Somehow we missed Mercedes’ first routine in our inbox (guh!). But like many a clean girl, hers keeps evolving and we’re thrilled she sent in this new one because, well, it’s awesome. Now, can someone tell us what “stippling with a beauty blender” is? Because this makeup technique sounds amazing!
Age: 30 (on the cusp of 31, Gemini love)
Current weather: New England spring – holding steady in the low 60s, not a ton of humidity yet.
Hair: Naturally wavy, relatively fine but I have a lot of it, past my shoulders, very dark brown. I wear it in loose waves (from a large barrel curling iron) all the time.
Favorite icon: Not from the past, but Kate Winslet has been one of my beauty icons since I was young. She is such a truly beautiful, real woman and she inspires me to accept my own natural beauty.
Skin: I’ve always had a problem with dryness, but since going natural it really is more towards the “normal” side of things. Occasional cycle-related pimples, and a bit of redness here and there, but overall no major skin complaints. I’m happy! I don’t really ever wash my face with cleanser – I either use Jane Iredale’s magic mitt with warm water, or an oil cleansing method with macadamia nut oil (what I use to take off my eye makeup) and a hot washcloth. A few time a week I exfoliate with May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt.
In the shower…
I usually shower in the evenings, and as much as I would like to was my hair infrequently, I cannot stand the smell of scalp and with hot yoga classes and the lack of fragrance potency of most green hair products, I end up washing every other day. Shampoo and condish are my one true love Yarok, sometimes switched up with John Master’s Organics Zinc and Sage, which my boyfriend says makes me smell like “swiss miss” (the marshmallow, I guess). I suds up with either Dr. Bronner’s (the baby formula one) or a charcoal shower gel, and have been using up old bottles of Acure shampoo and condish to shave with (didn’t like it for my hair). Also, I’ve been using Rare El’ements pre-shampoo treatment a few times a week before I wash. I’ll usually put in, go to a yoga class, and then wash out. Once a month I’ll do a coconut oil deep conditioning. This has all transformed the condition of my formally pretty fried hair. I also like to do face masks once a week or do – my fave is the Pangea Oraganics seaweed one.
Outside the shower…
On the face it’s a spritz of some kind of toner (right now it’s the Acure one for dry skin – meh about it, next up will be In Fiore which I’m dyyyyying to get my paws on), and argan oil all over, and Kahina eye cream. My newest find is Bija Body…and I.love.it. I use the daily serum and lotion all over. It smells divine and lasts for a good long while. Sometimes I use Chocolate Sun self tanning lotion on my legs. I try and let my hair air dry as much as possible, and use Intelligent Nutrients leave in condish as a heat protectant. Then I use a large barrel curling iron to create large waves, do a little backcombing for volume, and set with some Intelligent Nutrients hairspray.
I love love love makeup. I have a separate everyday routine, and weekend/going out routine (which unfortunately still utilizes some dirty stuff). My current go-to day routine includes a layer of Vive Sana sunscreen, and RMS un-cover up in 22 applied with a beauty blender. This is my new FAVORITE discovery. The un-cover up didn’t work for me as an undereye concealer and I was lamenting the money I spent on something I couldn’t use. But then, inspired by posts on here about different ways to use products, I started playing around. To use all over the face for light coverage I discovered I need to use some kind of primer (the sunscreen, or sometimes I’ll just Vapour’s Skin perfector if it’s going to be overcast all day), and stippling with a damp beauty blender makes it blend in so well. Then I use a very light shade of Jane Iredale’s concealer click pen under my eyes, a contour-ish dusting of Studio 78’s bronzing powder (new discovery, love! Almost a dupe for NARS Laguna), a dab on the cheeks of Revolution Organics cream blush (the hot pink one!), sometimes a bit of RMS living luminizer on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow, fill in the brows with Jane Iredale brow gel, even out the eyelids with Nvey Eco concealer, curl lashes, apply some Jane Iredale basic black eye pencil on my waterline (top and bottom), apply a coat of Tarte’s lash primer (also a relatively new discovery, and it noticeably prevents mascara from flaking), and a few coats of Josie Maran’s GoGo mascara. Lips right now is Ilia’s tinted lip conditioner in Blossom Lady. It may sound like a lot but this takes me less than 10 minutes and I feel like me but better. Now, going out makeup is another story! It tends to include lots of black liquid liner, fake lashes, and bright lips <3
So glad to be part of the NMDL community. Green beauty is a huge passion, and I learn so much constantly from all of you.
Right back at ya, Mercedes!
We’ve been talking a lot about eczema this past week, and Janine here is no stranger to it. In this great routine, she talks about keeping it at bay in sunny Miami, her love of Yarok, and a surprising reaction she had to… argan oil! Enjoy!
Before the shower…
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
We believe too! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you thank you! After last week’s post, we got a bunch of submissions from a variety of wonderful women. Don’t forget to send yours if you haven’t yet! Today meet Annette: She hates to shower, which kind of makes us love her. Enjoy her awesome routine!
Hometown: Manteca, CA
Current weather: Sunny, cold (for CA)
Hair: Chin length, colored, fine and wavy
Skin: Fair, freckled, “mature”
Favorite celebrity: Lauren Hutton. She just gets more badass the older she gets.
In the shower…
Full disclosure. I hate to shower. It takes too much time out of the morning; time I would rather be doing other things before I have to get to work. The warm water makes me itchy and my face gets flushed. I don’t sweat much and I’m not very hairy (thanks to getting rid of toxic products, I believe). Instead, I do what my mom calls a “bird bath.” I clean the pits, bits, and feet, dry brush the rest and apply oil. It’s Diva Wash on the bits and Whole Foods olive oil soap for the pits and feet. I use Tom’s deodorant. I will hop in the shower on the weekend or if I don’t have to work so as not to freak out the hubby. I wash my hair a couple times a week with Rahua volumizing shampoo. I condition every day with Yarok Feed Your Volume conditioner. I just recently switched to the Yarok and I’m happy with it. I’ve gotten second-day hair a few times, something that didn’t happen with what I was using before.
Outside the shower…
Whether I’ve showered or just dry brushed, I massage in argan oil. I’ve tried lots of lotions and other oils and the argan provides lasting moisture but is not at all greasy. It’s more expensive than other oils, but it’s so multi-purpose I feel like I cut down on multiple products. Kahina makes the best, but Mountain Rose Herbs has a good version for a lot less money. I wash my face at night. I oil up my face, neck and chest with argan oil, using it around my eyes to remove my eye makeup. While the oil sits I use a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel to remove the oil from around my eyes and some warm water and a washcloth to remove my mascara. I use a Pai muslin cloth and nice warm water to massage the makeup/oil off my face. I use a splash of witch hazel and a drop of carrot seed oil as toner. While my skin is still damp I rub in one squirt of the Kahina Brightening Serum and a couple drops of argan oil. In the morning I put some raw, organic honey on my chin, jawline and temples and let it sit while I get ready to wet my hair. I tend to get bumpy through those areas and the honey helps keep them clear. After I have washed and/or conditioned my hair I repeat the toner/serum/argan oil mixture from my night routine. This sets the stage for my SPF/foundation combination. I comb out my hair to let it air dry while I put on my makeup, making sure the insane cowlick at the crown of my head is covered and behaving itself.
I mix one squirt of John Masters SPF 30 Sunscreen and the same size dollop of Jane Iredale Dream Tint. I love the Dream Tint. There’s no mica so it isn’t at all shiny. I really dislike being shiny. I use a small angle brush to apply Jane Iredale PureMatte powder on my eyelids, under my eyes and around my nostrils. I plump up my brows with Jane Iredale Purebrow. I still need a little filling in so I use Cover Girl eyebrow pencil. I chose this one because it’s a nice taupe. Even though I have dark hair I don’t want a dark eyebrow pencil. It’s too severe. I line my upper lids and the outer half of the lower lids with Nuance by Salma Hayak in brown. On my lids I use Universalist 2 (from my Quarterly package). I’m surprised how much I like it. I didn’t like the RMS Living Luminizer all that much. In the crease it’s 100% Pure’s “Toffee.” I finish off the eyes with Nuance by Salma Hayak Ultra-Defining Mascara in black. I would LOVE to let my hair air dry but it’s too fine. It really needs some love from the blow dryer to help with volume. I also have to tame a few spots with a curling iron. It sounds like a lot but it’s really very fast. Once it’s dry I hit it with a few sprays of Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Hairspray. That’s it. Pretty simple really. So much more simple than when I was “dirty.”
Thanks to Siobhan and Alexandra for this venue and to everyone who shares her wisdom. I have benefitted greatly from what I have learned here. I look forward to learning so much more!
Thank you too! And everyone who participates here. x
In my good-hair-day arsenal, there are three products. They each serve their purpose, and I use none more than the other, so I’ll tell you about all three at once!
One is sort of new and achieves such a pretty air-dry that it makes me want to do so even when it’s cold out; and the other is an old favorite that I buy over and over again; and the last one is brand new and so versatile that I use it on my arms and legs, too.
Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner
What it’s good for: Bounce, waves, air-drying, styling when you have to use a really crappy hotel hair dryer, and for smelling really good when you go in for a hug.
This is my go-to guy for air drying and for those days when I only have time to blast my roots and the strands around my face before I book it to work. It brings a nice shine, a soft, kind of sexy bounce, and it weighs nothing. It leaves my hair not piecey but with a nice texture, and like the shampoo and conditioner from Yarok, it smells divine, and the scent lasts. Last week I spent the night in Pennsylvania for work and I was traveling super-light. I knew the hotel hair dryer was going to suck; they all suck. So this was my product of choice. I had a nice, relaxed-looking hair day and despite the unseasonably high temperature that day, my hair didn’t get gross.
Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Spray
What it’s good for: Fuss-free styling, hold, adding texture to thick long hair, defining curls and waves, and also smelling really, really good when you go in for a hug.
No stranger to regular readers, this product is still a favorite of mine. Has been for a few years (years!) now. It’s a little boosting, volume-wise, but the real reason I love it is the fact that when I use this with my amazing hair dryer my hair just ends up looking super done with very little effort (that last part is key). Work’s been crazy great (and crazy busy) lately, so looking put-together—or at least more put-together than I looked all summer—is important. This product is my secret weapon. It also helps you hold a style or wave. Love.
Intelligent Nutrients Hair Shine
What it’s good for: Everything. On wet hair before you style, on dry hair what needs texture, shine or control, on curly hair, straight hair, and African American hair, and on color-damaged hair. It’s also great on your arms and legs as a light body oil, and it smells like lemongrass. Yum!
This is the new kid in my caddy. It’s a new product from our friends at IN and I absolutely love it. I discovered it when it was sent to my job and another editor stopped me in the hall and said, “You’re going to freak out.” She handed me the bottle, I fell in love with the look of the thing, took one whiff—a combination of non-skunky lemongrass and something else—and, well, I freaked out. I sprayed a little on my hands, ran my hands over my poofy hair and spent the rest of the day admiring the subtle sheen and insanely good smell (I’m an inveterate hair sniffer). Since it’s made of several light oils, it occurred to me it might work as a body shine too, so one day I sprayed a little on my arms and legs and loved that too! It’s subtle, non-greasy, and makes me look like I am much better about applying daily body lotion than I am. Heh.
Have you tried any of these? What’s your favorite leave-in?
And for my next trick, I will interview myself about two new products from Intelligent Nutrients. (There are two more to come—so check back soon. But for now…)
What do they smell like?
Like the best Aveda product you ever tried, but better. IN, as you probably know, was created by the founder of Aveda, who sold that company many moons ago. Big difference here, of course, is that the fragrance is completely natural and organic—and smells way better as a result. It’s a mix of lemongrass, ylang ylang and geranium and I’m convinced they possesss aromatherapeutic powers. I also like to know that when I go in for a hug, my hair will smell nice. I don’t wear perfume every day other than my Lotus Wei Infinite Love stuff, which fades as natural perfumes should. So this does the trick there.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how good does your hair look when you use this stuff?
Acknowledging that these things are subjective (and relative), I’m going to go with 8. I’ve been using it almost daily for more than a month and I’ve been having really, really good hair days. Since summer is over and I’ve had lots of big work meetings lately, I haven’t been air drying as much as I did all summer. With very little effort and a little heat I’ve been accomplishing hair that’s not flat, not too bouncy, super shiny, and nice at the end of the day, too.
Do you like them better than the other hair stuff you’ve reviewed lately?
Yow. That’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite kid, which I’m more than happy to do because I’m not a parent (and a shampoo isn’t a child, and this analogy is completely falling apart). Anyway, yes. I prefer these products to the others I’ve reviewed recently—namely Acure and Yarok. But I prefer Yarok for air drying (see below) and I prefer Acure for the price, gentleness, and for everyday. So I still have those in my shower caddy, love them, and will replace them when they run out.
How does your hair look when you airdry with these guys?
Not the best. Not terrible, but I don’t get the same lovely waves and volume I get with Yarok, for instance.
Does the shampoo foam?
No, not really. It gets you clean, though, obviously. The bottles look similar, which can make showering a little confusing if you’re pre-coffee. I frequently grab the wrong one first.
So does that mean you’ve been doing that weird thing where you wash your hair backwards?
Yes! IN’s founder was the first person to teach us this trick and, no surprise, it works wonderfully well with his products. My favorite trick these days is to lightly wash just my roots with a dime-size dollop, rinse, condition all over, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse again at the roots with another dime-size dollop.
Are they gluten free?
Do they cost an arm and a leg?
How excited are you to try this stuff? And are there other Intelligent Nutrients products you swear by?
Shampoo Ingredients: water/aqua, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, glycerin,1 disodium coco-glucoside citrate, glyceryl oleate, cocoglucoside, behenyl alcohol, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, ethyl palmate,1 theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu) seed butter,1 astrocaryum murumuru seed butter,1 citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) leaf oil, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil,1 cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil,1 sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,1,2 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,1,2 rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil,1,2 vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil,1,2 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,1,2 cistus ladaniferus oil,1 glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, elaesis guineensis (palm) extract, oryza sativa (rice) extract, adansonia digitata (baobab) oil,1 aleurites moluccana (kukui) seed oil,1 xanthan gum, citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, benzyl benzoate,1,3 limonene,1,3 linalool,1,3 farnesol,1,3 eugenol,1,3 isoeugenol,1,3 geraniol,1,3 citronellol,1,3 benzyl salicylate,1,3 tocopherol (vitamin e)
Conditioner Ingredients: water/aqua, ethyl palmate,1 behentrimonium chloride, behenyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, pentaclethra macroloba seed oil,1 theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu) seed butter,1 astrocaryum murumuru seed butter,1 cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) oil,1 pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil,1 cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil,1 nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,1,2 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,1,2 rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil,1,2 vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil,1,2 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,1,2 cistus ladaniferus oil,1 glycerin, glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, elaesis guineensis (palm) extract, oryza sativa (rice) extract, adansonia digitata (baobab) oil,1 aleurites moluccana (kukui) seed oil,1 citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, benzyl benzoate,1,3 limonene,1,3 linalool,1,3 farnesol,1,3 eugenol,1,3 isoeugenol,1,3 geraniol,1,3 citronellol,1,3 benzyl salicylate,1,3 citral,1,3 tocopherol (vitamin e)
(1 means “certified organic”; 2 means “antioxidant Intellimune® seed oil complex; 3 means “aturally occurring component of organic essential oil blend”)