Meet Tara! Love tea? She’s got you covered. Need some makeup application tips? Ditto.
City: Colorado Springs
Current Weather: Sunny but in the mid 30s
Skin: Dry and acne prone- that lovely combination
Hair: Long, wavy brown and thankfully relatively stress free
Favorite Star: I couldn’t think of one from the past so can I say Shiva Rose? I absolutely love her site The Local Rose and think she’s such a lovely women and great role model.
I adore my skincare products. Nothing brightens up my day like receiving new beauty loot from one of my favorite brands. I am also always trying to find that next cure which I am sure is going to give me supple, flawless, glowing skin. While I haven’t found that product I have found a decadent routine that seems to suit my skin care needs.
First I begin with a cup of tea. I am a tea connoisseur and frequently switch my teas on taste and what I feel my body and skin “need”. Some days I need a clean energy kick I reach for Runa Tea, other days something more delicate like Rishi Wild Rose Tea, some days I love the fragrant punch and beauty of 2 Leaves and a Bud Green Tea Jasmine, and if I want a skin detox either Susan Kauffman Detox Tea (which I got on vacation in Munich and am kicking myself that I didn’t buy anymore because it is THAT GOOD). Anyway enough of the teas, moving on with my day I next try to fit in a ½ hr workout then get ready for a shower.
I dry brush for a couple of minutes before hopping in the shower. These days I cleanse with May Lindstrom’s heavenly Honey Mud (I got to try a sample with the NMDL promo and just received my full size version-yay!) I try and really pamper my skin with the cleanser using the technique Isabelle Bellis demonstrated on Into the Gloss. I alternate this with May’s Clean Dirt. For my body I keep it simple, I just use Hugo lavender body soap and shave when needed. I wash my hair a couple of times a week and when I do I rely on Rahua’s Shampoo and Conditioner. Once I’m out of the shower I spritz my face with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist and then apply my oils. This is the part of my skincare that I experiment with the most. I have used May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew (gorgeous) and more recently Aster and Bay’s Purify (a little drying on my skin heading into winter, although really nice for summer), African Botanicals Marula Oil (nice richer oil although I think it breaks me out a bit so I only use it on areas I don’t get breakouts). Just today I order La Bella Figura’s Holiday Essentials Mini Set and can’t wait to try the Daily Elements Defense Oil and the Barbary Fig Renewal. After applying my face oils I rub some coconut oil and put deodorant on (another product which I switch- either from Meow Meow Tweet, Soapwalla or Lavanilla). For my hair I put on some Yarok’s Feed Your Roots and style. Once I’m done with styling I use John Masters Sea Mist. A couple of times a week I also May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver, amazing product, amazing women, really I am so in awe and in love with her line.
I next brush my teeth with Weleda’s salt toothpaste and head to the kitchen for breakfast. I am a green smoothie convert and love getting ideas off Pinterest. Two of my favorite recipes come from Foodtrainers, their “Thin Mint Smoothie” and Carrot Turmeric. Both so good and healthy! Days that I don’t make a smoothie I’ll have green juice and then a snack later on in the morning. This is the time I also take supplements. I use Synergy’s Womens Multivitamin, Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol, Garden of Life CoQ10, Gaia Turmeric and Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver oil. I also take two dropperfulls of tinctures my naturopath makes me- one if for stress/hormones and the other is for my skin.
Once I am done with breakfast I head back to the bathroom for my makeup. I use RMS Uncoverup under my eyes, Bareminerals mineral powder on spots and lightly all over, Jane Iredale’s Moonglow on my cheeks, temples, and chin making a “3” shape. Then I dab some RMS Luminizer on the upper cheeks, temples, eyebrow, inner eye, and cupid’s brow. I then use RMS in solar on my lids, Dr Hauschka Volumizer Mascara and finally some Baby Bear All The Better to Kiss You With Lip Balm.
Thanks for sharing Tara! Recognize similarities in your own routine? Share with us in the comments!
Say hello to Cécille! We love the thoughtfulness behind her routine, as well as her strategy for shaving her legs. So smart!
Location: Seattle, Wa
Current Weather: Mid-70’s, 49% humidity and not a cloud in this beautiful sunny sky.
Hair: Raven/black, slightly wavy, thick and lots of it. It’s layered with the longest layer about six inches past my shoulders with some copper and bronze highlights – some natural, some not-so-natural. My hair is strong and healthy due to my schedule of no-poo every few days, brushing on rare occasions and staying away from the hairdryer whenever possible.
Skin: Light olive complexion that is oily during the summer months, combination during the winter months and suffers from the occasional eczema patch. My skin is sensitive and I have several topical allergies which is why I cleaned up my routine in the first place. I am prone to breakouts right around my period (who isn’t, honestly) and I have a few dark spots from breakouts past. Overall, I have good skin that I credit to awesome genetics (Thanks, Mom & Dad), good diet choices and SPF.
Starlet from the past: Nancy Kwan. Prior to the 1960’s, Hollywood casted white actors in Asian roles. Kwan broke that barrier by becoming the first actor of Asian descent to play Asian roles on screen. She is half Chinese and half English/Scottish. Not only did she become a Hollywood sex symbol because of her exotic good looks, but she also earned an Academy Award nomination for her first silver screen appearance in The World of Suzie Wong (1960). With that she forever changed the western views and stereotypes of American and European Asians. As an Asian American woman (also of mixed heritage), I idolize Nancy Kwan and am grateful for what she has done for our community.
I am a morning person and an early riser…I mean 4 am-early. I make a conscious effort to smile when I first wake up in the morning as a way to celebrate having another 24 hours of life to live. I have been doing this for about four years now and I honestly just like to do it. (I highly recommend starting your day off with gratitude. It makes the simplest of things absolutely delightful.)
Depending on the day, I either go for a run, meditate, do some yoga, or read before I start my regular morning beauty regime. If I am going out, either for a run or for yoga class, I will just rinse my face off with warm water, pat it dry, spray on some Kahina Toning Mist and top it off with Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream to moisturize, tint, and protect (SPF!). I give my pits a little spray of Weleda Deodorant Spray and head out the door. Otherwise, I prefer to just shower in the mornings.
In the shower…
I do not like to combine washing my hair and shaving my legs in the same shower because of how time consuming the process becomes. Instead, I either wash my hair, shave my legs, or do neither. Not only does this save time and money (using products less frequently means using less products overall), it saves on water and the energy it takes to heat up the water (great for the environment).
If I am washing my hair, it is usually the first thing I will do in the shower. I will get my hair completely soaked through and run conditioner through only the ends. With the conditioner still on my ends, I go right ahead and shampoo just my roots and then rinse it all out. I find that with this method works well with my hair’s random washing schedule. My hair has a lot of body, bounce and shine. Right now, I am using BWC’s Aromatherapy Shampoo and Conditioner in Rosemary Mint Tea Tree. I love that it leaves a clean smell and rinses out easily. If I remember, I will turn the water off or switch over to the low-flow setting on my showerhead after I get my hair wet and then back on again when I rinse.
In every shower, I will cleanse my skin (neck to toes) with Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (I love this stuff!). The fragrance du jour is a mix of Peppermint and Lavender. I usually do a 50/50 Bronner’s to water dilution into an old scotch bottle that I have repurposed into a soap dispenser. I like the way this looks and it allows for me to buy the gallon-sized Bronner’s and save on the bulk price (as well as cut back on the plastic packaging).
I used to use Bronner’s on my face, but have since stopped because of how drying I found it to be (even after diluting). Now, I cleanse my face with 100% Pure’s Organic Eucalyptus Seafoam Facial Cleanser. It’s made with French Green Sea Clay, so it provides gentle exfoliation and removes impurities without leaving my face feeling stripped or dehydrated.
If I shave, it is the last thing I do in the shower and I do it with the water off (more for the fishies). I will sit down at the bottom of my tub with my razor and a sugar scrub. For this, I like a particularly oily sugar scrub, like 100% Pure, but I am currently using J.R. Watkins and it works fine. I will scrub both my legs thoroughly and wipe off the excess sugar, leaving the oil behind. From here, I take my razor and shave my legs. Once I am all done, I will turn on the faucet and rinse off myself and the razor. (Warning: this process makes the tub and your hands very slippery. Proceed with caution. A quick clean of the tub with Bronner’s usually helps.) I try to go as long as possible without shaving—once every two weeks or so. When it comes to cleansing my skin on a regular basis, I do not use body puffs or cleaning cloths. I find that the extra exfoliation promotes hair growth. Since I am trying to go as long as possible between shaves, I just avoid exfoliating.
Out of the shower…
Once I’ve toweled off, I apply oil from neck to toes. I am currently in mad love with Caudalie’s Divine Oil (although, Kahina’s Argan Oil still holds a dear place in my medicine cabinet). It is just the right amount of moisture for my skin, has a beautifully light fragrance, does not leave my skin feeling tacky, plus it’s a spray! In the winter, I will layer on body butters or creams when I get extremely dry (100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream). If I shaved, I will skip applying anything to my legs. The oil left over from the shave is more than enough moisture for my skin.
Face-wise, I spend quite a bit more time here. I like to give my face a few sprays of Kahina Toning Mist and let it sit while I brush my teeth (Brush with Bamboo toothbrush and Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste). After that, I dab some Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue around my peepers and treat the rest of my face to their Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (my effort to combating those dark spots). While I wait for that to soak into my skin, I will apply a few pumps of Giovanni’s Frizz Be Gone to my still damp locks and let it air dry as well as spray my pits with Weleda Deodorant Spray. Then I will apply Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid to my face. It’s a light moisturizer (great on my oily skin) with SPF 15 and provides the perfect base for applying my makeup. I also love that it does not have an overwhelming smell.
After I get dressed, I apply some Jane Iredale’s Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation (SPF 20!) to even out my skin tone and highlight my cheeks with Alima Pure’s Satin Matte Blush Powder. If I am feeling up to it, I will fill in my brows with Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse. I give my lips a swipe with some Burt’s Bees’ Beeswax Lip Balm or Pacifica’s Color Quench Lip Tint (whichever I can find first) and finish off with a quick spray to my nape with TokyoMilk’s Tainted Love from their Dark Femme Fatale Collection (not entirely eco-friendly, but I love the play of vanilla and sandalwood fragrances). All-in-all, my routine takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes (depending on the day).
As complex as it all sounds, that is my morning routine. Although I will probably discover other products in the future or little ways of tweaking my routine (Life is, after all, ever changing), I like being somewhere in between low and high-maintenance and the constant strive for balance. It’s good practice.
BTW-If any NMDL users out there have any advice on taking care of my dark spots, please let me know. I am open to suggestions.
Well, Cécille, we hear that people have beat dark spots with Yuli’s Cell Perfecto PM, and at least one of us at NMDL is currently trying it out, but we’ll have to wait for the results! What’s your go-to skin brightener?
Meet Caitie, a natural beauty blogger who shares our passion for great clean products!
Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada
Current Weather: Moody—hot and humid one day, cool the next.
Hair: Curly and very prone to frizz. I’ve happily found products that keep it under control, but when I deviate, bad, pouffy things happen!
Skin: Pretty normal. I struggled with acne until about 21, but since then, my skin has been fairly easygoing. It can be a little sensitive at times, but generally my biggest skin concerns are pores that I wish were less visible, and a couple fine lines on my forehead.
Icon: I’m not sure I have one! But, let’s go with Amanda Seyfried. I don’t see it, but ever since Mamma Mia came out, I regularly have strangers come up to me and tell me how much I look like her. It’s very strange…
The night before…
I take my makeup off with jojoba oil and then double cleanse with some kind of cleanser. I’ve been looking for a new one and trying out a few different ones in the meantime, but none seem quite right. I like Pretty’s Black Tea and Raw Cocoa Cleansing Grains and Weleda’s Soothing Almond Cleansing Lotion, but I’m not convinced either of them gets my skin clean enough to use just it, all the time. After cleansing, I use a homemade witch hazel toner, and follow with KYI’s Argan + Vitamin C Serum, which is a light oil, but still very hydrating. I’ve actually noticed an improvement in the lines on my forehead in the two months or so I’ve been using it. I also use Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream, which is great for dark circles, but not quite as effective for puffiness.
In the morning…
About once a week, I mix up a homemade clay mask and apply that about 10 minutes before jumping in the shower. When I remember, I’ll also do a quick dry brush. On days when I don’t do a mask, I like to use a face scrub in the shower – either Devita’s Gentle Aloe Scrub or Sukin’s Revitalizing Facial Scrub (which contains phenoxyethanol but is otherwise very clean). Next, I wash my hair with Acure’s Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and leave the matching conditioner on until the very end of my shower. I change body washes all the time, but right now I’m using Nourish’s Almond Vanilla, which is lovely and creamy, and smells like decadent cake batter. On shaving days, I use Desert Essence’s Fragrance Free Conditioner, which I hated on my hair, but which works surprisingly well as a shaving cream.
Outside of the shower…
If I don’t deal with my hair while it’s very wet, it frizzes up, so after quickly toweling off, the first thing I do is apply Aura Cacia’s Organic Argan Oil, focusing it mainly on my ends. Then, I scrunch with either Yarok’s Feed Your Roots Mousse or Intelligent Nutrients’ Styling Gel. Both control frizz and define my curls, without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. Both also have mild scents, which I love since scented hair products usually start to drive me crazy midway through the day. The Intelligent Nutrients gives a little more hold and makes for better second day hair, but either one is fine day to day.
On my face, I use my homemade witch hazel toner again, followed by Skin Essence’s Nourish Serum/Moisturizer and Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream. I also moisturize my body with an unscented lotion. Right now I’m using Seed’s Nourishing Body Lotion, but my favorite is Acure’s Cocoa Butter + CoQ10.
I enjoy playing around with makeup, but my everyday look is pretty neutral. Eye shadow varies day to day, but it’s usually a light, shimmery beige or gold on the lid and a medium brown or plum in the crease. My favorite mascara is Zuzu Luxe’s Onyx, and while I don’t wear liner every day, when I do, it’s a pencil from either Honeybee Gardens or Benecos. Lips are usually pretty subtle. I like Badger’s lip balms (particularly the cocoa butter ones), Yes to Carrot’s Tinted Colorbalms, Vapour’s lip glosses, and a recent discovery, Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor lipsticks (Tuscany Rose is my favorite). Most days I wear a powder foundation, either Honeybee Gardens’ Pressed Mineral Foundation or Lucy Minerals’ Lucy Light Foundation. For a cream/liquid product, I’m a big fan of The All Natural Face’s Cream Foundation. I also use Une’s Skin Glow Pencil and Silk Naturals’ Sleep in a Jar Concealer under my eyes. My blush is usually from one of my homemade pressed palettes, which I made a couple months ago when I was feeling especially adventurous. I top everything off with Lucy Minerals’ Light Finishing Powder, which blurs fine lines and imperfections and helps my makeup last longer.
Whew, sounds like a lot when you write it all out! Overall, I’m pretty happy with my routine, but I’m still searching for a perfect cleanser and eye cream. Any suggestions are very welcome!
We love a good deodorant throwdown, and it’s been a LONG time since our last. Here’s the deal: Poor Emily can’t find a natch deodorant that doesn’t break her out in a rash. Let your favorite finds and DIY suggestions roll for this newly converted clean girl. Happy Friday!
Here’s a quick roundup of the ones we’ve tried and liked.
—Lavanila: This used to be quite spency but on their site it’s only $14 (not cheap, but not the $20 it was at Sephora). It feels the most like a mainstream deodorant and works like a star. It used to have one slightly suspect ingredient but we haven’t revisited the list in some time. (Anyone know?)
—Soapwalla: Absolutely love love love BUT don’t always love applying with a finger. Also many women (including Alexandra) have gotten rashy from it. For her it was just once right after shaving.
—Nourish: Smells and feels really really good, functional for sure but not the most powerful we’ve tried.
—Weleda: This sage one is one of the first naturals we tried, and it worked great. Until it didn’t. If memory serves the effect wore off after a little while. That sounds weird, but it happened to Siobhan, Alexandra + two friends.
Onto Emily’s email…
I’ve been cleaning up my beauty routine for the past few months, and so far haven’t had too much trouble finding clean versions of all the products I used to use – except for one:I can’t find a natural deodorant that doesn’t give me a painful, red, itchy rash.
I’ve tried just about every deodorant available at the health food store, I’ve tried Face Naturals, I’ve tried several from Etsy…everything works alright for about a week, and then comes the inevitable day when my armpits turn red and start to hurt.
The only one I’ve found that doesn’t give me the rash is the Crystal deodorant rock, but it’s not very effective against smell, for me.
So, after all this TMI, I was wondering whether you, or your readers, might have had similar problems and found a solution? I really don’t like to feel like I stink, but I also really don’t want to go back to using Secret – besides the aluminum and other gunk I don’t want to put on myself, the fragrances now give me a headache!
Hoping you can help,
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.