Meet Briana—a.k.a. Pepper—and her amazing morning routine. We love seeing a clean girl who really knows, loves, and finishes her products to the last drop. Honestly, this routine reads like a best-of list (and then some) of our absolute favorite clean brands. Bookmark this routine, ladies! It’s a serious resource. (Also, hilarious choice on Kimmy Gibbler, Briana.)
Name: Briana (I comment here as “Pepper”)
Age: 29 (30 in July!)
Current weather: Starting to get hot, lately it’s been humid, and rainy rainy rainy!
Hair: Bra-strap length, thick, wavy, frizz town. Every few months I go have my auburn color enhanced with dirty dye. I want to try henna but I’m waffling out of fear of clown-color red. I only have a few grays, I just really love having red hair! My roots come in all ashy and sad.
Skin: Pale, sensitive, prone to hormonal acne but mostly pretty clear.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Kimmy Gibbler
Before/In the shower at bedtime…
I usually shower at night and I wash my hair every other day or every two days. I do shower daily though – I can’t get comfy in my bed if I’m not clean! I take off my makeup with Stark GF balm and a wash cloth (I’m on the bottom of my third tub – can’t live without it!) If I think about it I’ll do some half-assed dry brushing before I get in the shower, sometimes with some Manuka on my face that I’ll rinse off in the shower. I wash my hair with John Masters Bare Shampoo, a henna shampoo bar I bought from Etsy, or my new favorite, Rahua. I also have a sample of Yarok because I want to see what the fuss is about! I can’t wait to try it. Once a week I’ll do an ACV rinse. For conditioner, I use Intelligent Nutrients Pure Luxe or John Masters Citrus & Neroli Detangler (love this JM conditioner so much!). I comb my conditioner through my hair and roll it up & clip it. Then I wash myself with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap on a sea sponge from Spirit Beauty Lounge. This is just the most refreshing soap ever! It makes me feel so tingly & clean, I can’t get enough of it! I also adore the Almond scented one. I rinse my conditioner out last, and I’ll try to rinse it with a shot of cold water. If I’m shaving (when I’m too lazy to use my epilator!), I’ll use a mix of the Dr. B’s & some coconut oil or some of my Pure Luxe.
Outside the shower…
I rotate around between coconut, sweet almond, Weleda Baby Calendula & Stark MF oils. Body oils are my jam! In the winter I also used Acure’s Lavender lotion, but I’m not needing much extra moisture these days. I spray my face with Evan Healy Immortelle Hydrosol http://www.evanhealy.com/products/show/67, and press in some serum or oil. I’ve recently been using Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil, and I also love Tata Harper Regenerating Serum & Kahina Giving Beauty Serum. I add a little swipe of Kahina Argan oil over the top. Once that absorbs, if I feel like a need a little more moisture I use Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream and if I have a pimple it gets a dab of tea tree oil. Sometimes before a shower I’ll do a clay mask too. I’ve tried a bunch but right now I’m using Aztec Secret and mix it with a little ACV or manuka. While it’s not quite as classy as its pricier counterparts, the tub is huge and crazy cheap – if there’s a huge difference between that and other expensive clay masks my face can’t tell. I also use Hurraw! Moon Balm at bedtime.
For hair, if it’s air drying I’ll spray in some Yarok Feed Your Ends Conditioner (on my third bottle!) and use a little Rahua Finishing Cream on the ends. I twirl pieces with my fingers to control it a little, scrunch it with a t-shirt & leave it be. Now that my hair’s pretty long, being able to do this is just beyond amazing. My hair is so much healthier now that I’m mostly letting it do it’s thing. When it’s dry/mostly dry I go to sleep on a satin pillowcase to prevent breakage.
If I am blow-drying, which is maybe once a week, I use all of the above plus some Yarok mousse at the roots. I’ll smooth a little more Rahua cream over my frizzies once it’s dry, and spray on some Yarok Feed your Hold Hairspray. Also worth noting, I have two Widu brushes that are just the best! The wood paddle one & the mixed bristle one. I am a former hair product junkie. Junk-ie. Paring down to what I have now & using things until I run out of them is a massive accomplishment for me and I’m weirdly proud of it!
In the Morning…..
In the morning, I wash my face first thing. I love using Tata Harper Refreshing face wash or Acure Sensitive face wash with my Konjac Sponge (in total, mad, lifelong love with those weird little things) and a couple days a week I use May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt. I’m also working on a sample of Kahina face wash now. After that it’s a few sprays of Evan Healy Rose Geranium Hydrosol, then Stark CY oil. I stopped using this oil for a bit in a sampling frenzy and I actively missed it. I was so happy when my new bottle arrived!
My hair will go into a pony tail or a bun (I love my trusty Goody bun donut!), or I’ll use some Beautiful Curls Curl Reviving Tonic, which I’m on my second bottle of because this stuff is awesome, mixed with a little of Beautiful Curls’ curl gel to revive my waves/curls. If it’s a little flat, I’ll rub a bit of Yarok mousse into my roots and hit it with the blowdryer for a second. I’ll finish it with a tiny bit of John Masters Salt Spray or Yarok Hairspray & maybe smooth some Rahua cream over it. For deodorant, I use a homemade one. Equal parts arrowroot, aluminum free baking soda & coconut oil with tea tree, lavender & patchouli essential oils. Works like a freaking charm. I also keep a travel-sized Weleda Rose deodorant in my bag, just in case of a sweat-related emergency.
For our teeth, we use Jason Powersmile in peppermint.
I am one of those gals who rarely leaves the house with a bare face. Why? I don’t know. I just like feeling a little polished and I love makeup! My minimum is concealer and and couple dabs of blush, a sweep of mascara & some tinted lip balm. And while my routine seems full I apply everything with a very light hand.
I use Jane Iredale tinted moisturizer on my face & neck. Then it’s Vapour Illusionist Concealer for my under-eye area & RMS Un Cover up for my red splotches & any blemishes. I had to switch to a different concealer for my eye area, because the RMS was giving me little red bumps. It’s fine on the rest of my face, so I have no clue why it affected my eyes. Weird. But I love the Vapour concealer! I do a sweep of W3LL People Altruist Mineral Foundation or just Dr. Hauschka Body Silk Powder & then W3LL People Hedonist Mineral Bronzer in Light.
For blush, I rotate around a little between 100 Percent Pure blush in Healthy, or their Pot Rouge in Ballerina. I also love Vapour Aura Multi Use Stain in Impulse & their Blush in Courtesan. I top that off with some RMS Living Luminizer patted on my cheek bones, the bridge of my nose and around my orbital bone.
For eyes, sometimes I use my W3LL People bronzer as eyeshadow, or I’ll use a Korres one in Nude. For nighttime, I have RMS eyeshadow in Seduce and I like to use that as an eyeliner – I don’t use it often enough to notice if it give me the same bumps the un cover up does! I’ll also sometimes use a dark brown Korres eyeshadow with a wet brush to make a winged line. I fill in my brows with a little of Jane Iredale’s Pure Brow Gel in Brunette and then use some Tarte Lash Primer followed by Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara Lash Boosting Mascara for day & Korres Volcanic Minerals Volumizing mascara at night.
And then there’s lip color! I have an arsenal. My every day go-to is Tata Harper Be Adored, which is a tinted lip balm in a beautiful rosy shade. I also love Hurraw! tinted lip balms in cinnamon and black cherry. For something more dramatic, like when my hair is up, I go for Ilia Bang Bang or RMS Lip Shine in Sacred. I have W3LL People’s lip gloss in gold too, which looks gorgeous over my Ilia lipstick. I also keep a John Masters lip balm in my bag, but mostly for my husband. He is a balm black hole – I have no idea what happens with all the ones I give him, but they just seem to vanish!
That’s it! Whew..
Update: If you tried the other code earlier with no luck, we have a NEW code for a site-wide 15% off!
Ahhhh, summer just got a little bit better for us clean girls. This fine Friday we have beloved NuboNau here, offering a discount across ALL of their makeup brands–AND THE REST OF THE SITE. Because they are excellent curators that means a deal on RMS, La Bella Donna, Juice Beauty, Living Nature, Dr Hauschka, Mai Couture, Intelligent Nutrients (lip glosses) Vapour, ILIA, Butter London, Piggy Paint, as well as makeup tools and brushes and more. Boom!
Just browse NuboNau’s goodies here, and choose whatever you like and the discount will be applied at checkout. Just use the NN15 promo code, and ta-da.
The deal runs from today all the way to next Thursday—it’s open to US and Canada—and as always you get points with every purchase and a lovely sample set…plus you can use the code as often as you like during the week. Don’t forget to tell fellow readers what brands you’ve tried, and include your own reviews in the comments.
We promise that in the not-too-distant future our reviews are going to be organized in their own section—never cry wolf over here, we know—but they will! Until then you can visit some of our past makeup reviews (including some Morning Routines) here, or search in the tool bar. And while we’re at it, do you follow us on Facebook and get our newsletter? Cause you should. We’re way too busy to be spammy—you’ll get a single email a week at most—so look to the right and sign up there.
And just to get sappy for a second: We were pretty stoked when we last checked our readership stats, so we also just want to say thank you for being a part of the community. And thanks also to NuboNau and the other stores and brands that are helping further the cause for clean beauty.
Have a sunny summer weekend.
your devoted clean girls
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and today everything you need to know about this incredible NuboNau deal is right above. They are offering savings on some of our absolute favorite products: from the timeless RMS luminizer to new discovery Vapour blush, from the delicous-smelling Rahua shampoo to the lovely Ilia lipsticks in all their awesome colors.
All the details are above, and the deal runs right through the entire holiday week. So treat yourselves nicely, and happy happy Friday.
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Stephanie and her sweet-as-honey routine. She swears by Manuka for her skin. She also has been getting a lot of mileage out of spiritbeautylounge sample items. Annnd..she makes her own (edible!) DIY brozer. Read on!
Current Weather: In the 70s-80s and humid-ish. I just moved home from the North so I am loving the warmer weather despite the humidity.
Hair: Long, brown, and sort of curly/wavy. Definitely not straight. The oiliness has become non-existent since my switch to natural products and reduction in showers. Which is great because it saves me a ton of time, I find showering to be a pretty grand and involved event in my life. 23 year old problems clearly.
Skin: I have always been acne prone :( I was on a strict regimen of prescription topical stuff which worked, but I got completely fed up with how dry they left my skin. Right now, I just got off birth control but things are still OK. Residual scarring and the odd small breakout are all I have to worry about now with no dryness!
Favorite Star: Miranda Kerr. Was she already chosen? I just love her values and personality! Image via
Before the shower…
I try to do oil pulling with coconut oil (I use the nutiva brand) which is an ayervedic technique that consists of swishing the oil in my mouth for twenty minutes then rinsing with warm salt water. It’s hard to last the full twenty, but I’ve found it is a great way to naturally whiten the teeth and make my whole mouth/gums feel supple and healthy. I will then usually eat breakfast and workout and also take some skin supplements which I thought could be applicable. I take fish oil or flax seed oil, black current oil and evening primrose oil which are GLAs which are supposed to be beneficial for skin and regulating female stuff as well as Indole-3-Carbinol which I saw was recommended in an article for women coming off the pill again to regulate hormones. I also only brush my hair before I shower with a wide toothed comb.
In the shower…
I’ve usually had a Wedderspoon Manuka Honey 16 strength mask on my face for at least half an hour before my shower and leave it on until the end (this was inspired by Siobhan) which I use as a facial cleanser. If I don’t have time to do a mask I will use the Tata Harper cleanser or the Dr Alkaitis cleanser I have from the samples I purchased on spiritbeautylounge. I like them both and find them super gentle, but prefer the manuka for its anti-acne fight. Manuka honey/honey in general for the face has been a godsend for my skin! Next I shampoo with either Desert Essences lemon and tee tree shampoo for oily hair or Alaffia neem shampoo (both of which I like and find wash away build-up, which was my biggest difficulty when looking for a natural shampoo) followed by either John Masters Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, the John Masters Honey and Hibiscus conditioner, or the Alaffia neem conditioner. I have recently begun washing my body and shaving with Moksa soap in Abbey Road. It smells amazing, is gentle (I loved Dr. Bronners tea tree bar soap, but then it become too harsh for my skin) and the company is amazing and donates to so many great charities! After that I may spray my hair with the Aubrey organics Nustyle Organic Detangler and Shine Booster (which smells like limes) as a heat protectant or Intelligent Nutrients leave-in conditioner which kind of makes me smell like a pizza, but I like it anyways. (Ed. Note: Pizza?!?!?! We need more info on this! Ha!) Then I wrap my hair up in a t-shirt which I’ve also heard is better to prevent frizz and keep curls intact.
Outside the shower I don’t really towel off because I find the extra moisture super beneficial for the rest of my routine. I spray my face with the Acure Organics Rose toner for oily skin which I LOVE it smells so good especially after reading that article about rose scents on here, then I mix my beloved Aubrey Organics aloe vera with whatever moisturizer is tickling my fancy. I use the aloe because it is such a great base to cut/preserve products which we know can be quite expensive. As I mentioned, I purchased the sample packs of Tata Harper and Dr Alkaitis so I basically pick and choose which moisturizer I feel like mixing in with my aloe. At the moment, I love the Tata Harper Serum and the Dr Alkaitis soothing gel and nourishing oil. Both companies products smells sooooo good and honestly make my skin look so plump and incredible. I never thought I would be able to treat myself to such luxurious moisturizers during my prescription days; it has been one of my greatest revelations of going natural! After that I spray my body with a DIY toner of Aloe Vera gel by Lily of the Valley (which is edible quality that I sometimes add to my drinks) and Witch Hazel followed by a DIY combination of coconut, argan, and jojoba oil, my Acure Organics unscented lotion, or my Bubble and Bee or Moksa body butter. I’m really into body moisturizers. Or moisturizing in general.
As far as makeup goes, I probably wear it once or twice a week and try to keep it really simple. Again, I am all about the samples! I recommend it because they are all quite sizable and I have yet to run out of one and repurchase. I use the Vapour organics concealer on my eyelids and the Alima Pure satin matte foundation on my under eyes and any other imperfections. I line my upper water line with Korres brown eyeliner, apply RMS living luminizer to my eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow and have been loving revolution organics in blush for my cheeks! I also love RMS lip2cheek in Modest. I sometimes finish that up with a DIY bronzer made of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and some other stuff and 100% mascara in black tea as well as my Bubble and Bee lip balm in pomegranate or my Badger Organic cocoa butter lip balm in cocoa.
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m having a hard time not making a “good enough to eat” pun about this routine…
Meet lovely Luna. She has lived in both the US and China, and currently calls the latter home. She does an amazing job at keeping her beauty products green by bringing them over when she travels back to the US. Read on for her efficient but inventive routine…
Current Weather: Beijing at its best! Warm, Spring breeze, Sunny
Hair: Black, straight, shoulder length – can’t hold a curl for longer than 10 minutes
Skin: Best defined as complicated: definitely combination, acne prone, dry on cheeks, oily around forehead and T-zones. Beijing water is very hard and the climate is dry which isn’t good for skin that is prone to breakouts since many moisturizers can clog my pores but not using any will leave my skin parched!
Favorite star/icon from the past: Anna May Wong
In China there isn’t a lot of focus on “clean” beauty products. There are some basic drug store staple brands like L’oreal and Nivea and their Chinese counterparts. On the other spectrum, the luxury skincare market is dominated by brands such as SKII, Lancome, Amorepacific, Clarins, and some Chinese ones like Yue-Sai. There’s really nothing in between and there are definitely no smaller, clean, indie labels like in the US. Sephora opened here a few years ago and some “cleaner” brands have started to trickle in such as Boscia and Ren. I grew up in the US and am now back in China working for a multinational corporation. I usually come to the US about three or four times a year for work and this is when I stock up on my beauty products. I would describe myself as loyal but adventurous – I have my “tried and true” products that I MUST restock every trip and then there are others I learn about through web research (such as your site!).
I usually start my day by just washing my face and doing my makeup, and save showering for night, so I will frame this as morning routine, makeup, night time.
In the morning I usually just wash my face with lukewarm water. If I want to really clear my skin for a meeting at work, I will use a cleanser – my favorite is Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser. It smells a little strong but it’s nothing I can’t handle. After that I use Dr.Alkaitis Organic Herbal Toner, followed by 100% Pure Argan Oil Hydration SPF 30 (which I learned about from your site!). This combination keeps my skin very balanced and prepared for whatever Beijing throws my way: pollution, smog, etc.
I’m not a huge makeup girl so it doesn’t take me very long in the morning to get ready. Since I don’t use that much product, I have no problem with spending more for high quality products. I use Suki tinted moisturizer and Vapour Organic Aura blush in Courtesan which really wakes up my face. I use Lancome mascara because I can’t find a natural one that doesn’t give me racoon eyes by noon. For lips I use either raw shea butter or Dr. Bronner’s Naked lip balms, the one without a scent. If I’m feeling like wearing color, I’ll rotate between any of the Kjaer Weis Lip Tints or Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner colors I have.
Before the shower, I take my makeup off with sweet almond oil or jojoba depending on which one I have available and then I dry brush myself.
I try to take the quickest showers possible because the water is really not ideal. You can’t drink it straight from the tap so I don’t really like to marinate in it at night. I wash my face with Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser and use Dr. Bronner’s baby liquid castile soap for my bits and that’s it. My showers are literally 3 minutes long and if I wash my hair that takes it to about 8 minutes. I only shampoo my hair once a week and I use Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic shampoo. No conditioner. No blow dryer. My hair is not high maintenance at all so I’m totally grateful for that.
Out of the shower…
I tone again with Dr. Alkaitis and then do a few drops of YULI Skincare’s M.E. Skin Fuel serum on my face which is light but still hydrating. I never do anything thick or creme-like at night because I feel like that hinders with my skin’s ability to renew and push out impurities overnight. If I’ve washed my hair than I rub a few drops of the Skin Fuel over my head and comb through.
Thanks, Luna! Is there anyone who has any experience with naturals in China or elsewhere in Asia? If so, maybe you can suggest some new local brands?