Hometown: London, England…now Phoenix, Arizona
Current weather: It’s a dry desert pretty much all the time, unless it’s winter and then it’s freezing in the morning.
Hair: Collar-bone length, uber-thick natural hair with some chemically straightened ends.
Favorite star: I don’t really have one. Maybe Oprah, I have her hair, but shorter.
I have two routines one for the AM and one for the PM. My AM one is pretty stark, so here’s what I do both in the morning and at night. I like to take shallow baths, basically I use the same amount of water as a shower but in the tub. OK, for reals, here it is:
In the shower/bath (PM)…
Before I get into the bath I use coconut oil on my face to remove any dirt and makeup, I’ll wash that off with plain warm water or African black soap and a muslin. I tone with rose water or orange water, then follow up with Pai’s Rosehip oil mixed with sea buckthorn oil (1:1). In the bath I use Dr. Hauschka lemon bath, it’s creamy and non-foaming, I apply it to my under arms with my hands. I use whatever is left to cleanse the rest of my body. Every “shower” I use a few drops or a pump of oil, homemade mix of borage/wheatgerm/camellia (2:1:1). I find it more relaxing to “shower” before before bed and it gives me more time in the morning. Once a week I’ll use a sugar and oil scrub on my legs and chest (to ward off the occasional chest pimple). I’ll also exfoliate with a small 100% Pure brush and follow up with a mask, right now it’s Juara’s banana and avocado leave on mask, which I rinse off. I just finished Kahina’s antioxidant mask and it’s divine.
I wash my hair only once a week, as I don’t produce much sebum, I can get away with it. I precondition (or dry condition) my hair with powders: hibiscus, rose, neem, brahmi and amla powders; oils: castor, jojoba avocado or almond oils; mix all of that with some Shea Moisture shea butter masque and Tresemme naturals conditioner, I keep that on for hours on a Sunday while I do chores, if I don’t have time to do all of that 30 minutes is enough. I shampoo and condition with the Acure argan duo. As a leave in I use Acure’s detangler and coconut oil. Then I blow dry with Nubian Heritage honey and black seed cream for protection, I also flat iron on medium heat with only one pass on heat.
AM – I just apply some more toner and more oil to my face and that’s it.
Outside the shower (PM)…
Due to the gentle cleansing and oils in the bath I don’t have to use much lotion or cream. At the moment I use John Masters Organics blood orange and vanilla body milk. I previously used Pai’s cream mixed with any oil I had, not that it needed supplementing, I just wanted it to last longer so I diluted it with oil without diluting it (makes sense to me). I use deodorant at night, a few sprays of Weleda’s sage deodorant, if I just shaved my pits then plain old rosewater topped off with Soapwalla. I floss and brush with a neem toothpaste.
AM – I use some more deodorant in the morning. That’s it, well apart from brushing my teeth and all that.
I don’t wear much makeup, due to many colors not being flattering on me and me not being super girly. Day to day I wear 100% Pure’s fruit pigmented mascara in blueberry on the top lashes. I pair that with Honeybee Gardens eye liner on the lower lash line, not the water line, in Passion (a deep smokey plum). If I need something extra I’ll use some high lighter, This Works shimmer balm and some cream blush by either Revolution Organics or Josie Maran.
That’s it for the most part, not too complicated.
Good morning everybody–meet Alex! She tries to steer clear of perfumes, and is a pro with body oils. Right now she’s diggin’ the Yes To line, but she’s also interested in finding other brands, too. Her routine is no-fuss, but fun. Read on!
Name: Alex (la feminine)
Current weather: Unseasonably warm and sunny
Hair: Shoulder length and choppy, contains some lingering blue-green tones from last fall’s impulsive Manic Panic dye job, but otherwise dark brown.
Skin: Not too bad- forehead & nose tend to be slightly on the oily, break-out-y side, cheeks tend to be dry. I get those annoying zitty-things on my upper arms, but my feet/legs/hands tend to be dry.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Louise Brooks- I haven’t actually ever seen her movies, but I love her style.
In the shower…
I usually shower about midday, but I work at home so it’s really “whenever I feel like it.” I start with Giovanni shampoo (which one varies, I like to mix it up) and either Giovanni or YesTo Carrots conditioner. Sometimes I do it backwards, for a change of pace (but I can’t say I’ve noticed a real difference.) I like both brands because they work very much like conventional brands while still being pretty clean- Giovanni even smells delicious without making my head spin (I can’t really tolerate most smells.) YesTo still has a bit of fragrance but it’s so mild I don’t notice it (their shampoo has sulfates though, so watch out for that.) I later up everywhere with a soft natural sponge and Dr. Bronners (I like Eucalyptus, it really clears the sinuses…but I’ve been trying the other varieties too, lately.) For shaving, I use Alba Botanica’s Unscented Very Emollient Cream Shave. Most days I just rinse my face off in the warm water, but every few days (or if I’m broken out or feeling grimy) I use Evan Healy’s Rose Cleansing Milk. Finish off with a pumice stone to the heels.
Outside the shower…
If I used the Cleansing Milk, I skip right to the moisturizing, otherwise I use a little Kiss My Face Antioxidant Toner (I also use it on those little arm bumpies, or sometimes Witch Hazel.) If I’m going to be outside much that day, I use YesTo Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 (it’s made for older folks, but it was the only variety with no artificial fragrance- unfortunately it doesn’t absorb very well, probably because of the physical sunscreens. I will probably try another brand when this runs out.) If I’m not going to be outside much, I use Acure Chamomile + Carrot Day Cream, which is great. The rest of my routine is a little greasy, so I save it for nighttime: my all-over body oil is a homemade concoction that is about two thirds grapeseed oil, one third jojoba oil, and a dash of argan oil (grapeseed and argan are Aura Cacia, jojoba is Desert Essence.) About every other night I use pure argan oil on my face and sometimes my arms in hopes of cheering up the pores and stopping breakouts, though to be honest I haven’t noticed it being much better than my body-oil concoction (and it’s expensive and stinky) so once it runs out I might try something else. Immediately before bed, my feet and hands get shea buttered (either pure, or Nubian Heritage with Goat’s Milk and Chai.) I wash my hands a lot so throughout the day I use Weleda Skin Food on them periodically- it’s a little pricy but pretty amazing.
I wear make up very, very (like, VERY) rarely, so I haven’t switched all of it over to clean brands yet. The only things I use regularly are Gabriel Color concealor and YesTo Carrots Berry lip butter. I’ve been sort of moving away from the YesTo products but I do love this stuff- it’s mostly coconut oil and it works (and smells and tastes) great. The only “perfume” I can tolerate is a little bit of vanilla mixed with jojoba oil. I haven’t found a clean deodorant that satisfies my intense desire not to sweat yet, so I’m still using an unscented conventional super-toxic brand :-( If I’m just staying at home all day, though, I’ll often skip it. I jumped on the nailpolish bandwagon last summer and have amassed quite a collection- I usually go for Zoya or OPI or another 3 (or 4)-free brand, though even then I have to paint ‘em outside because of the reek. I use Bee Naturals cuticle and nail oil to keep them from drying out. No hair products, I’m a wash & go kind of gal (on the rare occasion that I color it, I try to veer towards the less damaging semi-permanent conditioner-based stuff. Unfortunately it’s really hard to find natural colors. Henna & indigo may be in my future.)
Anybody else thinking henna this summer?
Good morning, everybody! Meet Dawn, a bayou belle from Louisiana who isn’t afraid of using Apple Cider Vinegar on her face, has her own natural toothpaste recipe (Weleda + peppermint drops = genius!), and who is a self-taught hair diva. Check her out!
Current weather: Hot, sticky, mosquito-ridden, and generally pretty unpleasant (Sup, Louisiana?)
Hair: Fine and somehow surprisingly thick, wavy, boob length [Ed.: is that a technical term? :)], dark brown.
Skin: I have combination skin, with the oilier parts being my nose and forehead and the dryer ones being my cheeks and chin. For months at a time, my skin temporarily chooses to act right. Blemishes are the furthest thing from my mind, and my cheeks even manage to be rosy without the help of blush. Then, there are other times when one side of my face will turn against me and violently break out with little or no warning. It’s usually stress-related, and it almost always takes at least two weeks to run its course.
In the shower…
Thanks to Siobhan’s review, I’ve been successfully washing/conditioning my hair twice a week or so with Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner. For my body, I use whatever scent of liquid Dr. Bronner’s I happen to have (currently, it’s citrus). I wash my face with either Karen’s Botanicals Gentle Cleansing Lotion or Stark Skincare Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm. I love them both, but the latter is ideal for the days when my skin is feeling a little dry and/or dull.
Outside the shower…
Just after getting out of the shower, I pour a little Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar into the palm of my hand with a bit of cool water. I splash this on my face and allow to sit for around 15 seconds before moisturizing. To moisturize my face, I use Karen’s Botanicals Perfect Lotion on the days I cleanse with this brand and Stark Skincare Cypress Purity + Defense Oil when I’ve used the Grapefruit Balm. Regardless of which moisturizer I use on my face, I use the perfect lotion under my eyes because it tends to work best under eye makeup. I moisturize my body with Watts Beauty Organic Argan Oil, and occasionally I’ll add a drop or two to the ends of my hair as well. I brush my teeth with Weleda Calendula Toothpaste, to which I add a drop or two of peppermint essential oil. Without this extra step, my breath isn’t quite as fresh as I’d like (which is to say not at all). I’m still on the hunt for a toothpaste that manages to be both safe and a match for my morning breath. For my armpits, I use a Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone. Crystal stones are some of the only products I’ve found that I can use under my arms daily without developing a rash.
I tend to avoid most styling products simply because I don’t know the first thing about applying them, but I do regularly sleep with my hair sectioned and wrapped around a headband to achieve more defined waves ( (I used this video to teach myself)). It’s super simple, and I don’t experience the inexplicable guilt that I often do when I resort to heat-styling. I have a pretty sensitive nose, so I have to be careful when it comes to perfume. There are certain Pacifica scents that I can and do use in solid form regularly; Lotus Garden is my absolute favorite. Also, I’ve been trying my best to make my sample of Captain Blankenship’s Lila Perfume last, and I might’ve shed a tear when I used the last drop a couple of days ago. As for makeup, I always use 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Dark Chocolate or Blackberry on my lashes (depending on my mood), Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation under my eyes, W3ll People Universalist Matte Multi-Use Stick on my lips and cheeks (number 5), and Honeybee Gardens JobaColors Eye Liner in Smoking Gum on the outer corners of my eyes.
Thanks for allowing me to share! :)
Thank you, Dawn! Does anyone else splash their face with ACV to good results? Do you smell like an orchard after? Is it worthwhile?
Exciting news! We’ve had such an influx of Morning Routines (please keep ‘em coming!) that we’re going to be posting these even more often. Today, we travel across the pond to hear from the lovely Ania of Europe. Look out for exciting and mysterious European clean brands. [And a special thanks to Sylvie who will be helping us get these bad boys up. —S&A ]
Hair: Shoulder length, straight, no problems here
Skin: Dry and sensitive, reddish and uneven, with a long history of acne (forehead, jaws, sometimes chin), now almost gone
In the shower…
I’m a believer in body brushing but I’m way too lazy to do it regularly, so: body brushing, sometimes :) I use Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash(smells divine!), just on the parts that need that…
I’m still looking for my perfect shampoo…I’ve tried Eubiona, Weleda, Lavera, Logona, Urtekram and more, I’m reasonably happy with Lavera rose milkor almond milk but I feel I need to change shampoos every few weeks or so, so that my hair does not get used to it… anyone else feel the same?
I use conditioner few times a week, no favourite here: I quite liked Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Conditioner, now I’m using Jason Aloe Vera one (weird consistency).
If it’s the weekend and I don’t need to put my clothes on immediately and run out of the door, I put some oil on my still wet skin: argan, coconut, or sea buckhtorn. My new favourite is Shea Nilotica, with a delicate vanilla smell—amazing!
After the shower…
I use Weleda Salt Toothpaste (I will never use anything else now, it doubles up as a gentle scrub for lips), Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk and Santaverde Aloe Vera Tonic for sensitive skin (this is a really good German brand that uses pure aloe vera juice where other brands use water), then I massage a few drops of argan oil into the wet skin (or, when my skin feels really dry, a bit of Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask). If there’s any inflammation, I put a few drops of pure lavender essential oil to calm it down
Usually I just put a touch of mascara (Hauschka volume, which nice but could stay a bit longer…) and RMS Living Luminizer and I’m good to go! If I have a few more minutes and want to look more polished, I use Vapour Soft Focus Foundation (my new buy and I’m loving it!) and Dr. Hauschka lipstick in warm red (I’m not so happy with it as it’s a bit too drying, but want to finish it before I get a new one).
If I use a hair dryer, I apply a few spritzes of Logona blow dry styler with bamboo.
After a long search, I found a clean deodorant that is ok for me: Weleda lemon (haven’t tried Soapwalla yet; this one is not amazing but compared to other clean ones, at least does its job fairly ok and smells nice).
And, last but not least, a little bit of Pacifica Persian Rose Solid Perfum, my Vpure omegas and I’m off:)
I mean, right?! Who loves what? Did Ania mention any of your favorites here?
Those who abide by a monthly beauty budget that’s less than a cellphone bill can find department store counters pretty disappointing. But the solution isn’t necessarily found at Sephora or Duane Reade, especially if you like natural and organic ingredients.
So we’ve pulled together a list of nine natural and organic beauty brands from sources that won’t break the bank. These clean skin-care picks don’t skimp on quality, and cost less than $45 for a moisturizer or serum.
That’s half the cost of a cell-phone bill—and most of these will last you a couple months. Hear your new products calling?
A unisex favorite in plantable boxes.
Average cost of a moisturizer: $36
Fave: Moroccan Argan with Willow & Rosemary Facial Cream
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.pangeaorganics.com
A 90-year-old line of biodynamic skin-soothers made in Germany.
Fave: Pomegranate Firming Day Cream
Buy it at C.O. Bigelow or www.usa.weleda.com
John Masters Organics
Skin care from the famed eco-friendly hair stylist.
Fave: Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.johnmasters.com
Keep reading here! And tell us: What’s your favorite natural moisturizer?