If you had asked me a few years ago whether I knew or cared about what was in my makeup and skin care products, my answer would have been something along the lines of, “I just want it to work.” I have genetic dark circles and it was, and still is, important for me not to look like I have the flu everyday.
Simply put, I was a slave to allocating my precious few funds toward brand names like Chanel or Dior mascara. I truly believed the brands wouldn’t be charging me an absurd amount of money if they didn’t make products that were both effective AND good for my skin. I know, gag – branding at its most effective. I didn’t want to know the truth because ignorance is bliss and responsibility is a b*tch.
Then I had my skincare-obsessed sister dropping hints in one ear and a kindly soul pointing out the app ThinkDity in my other ear. To my horror I can never unlearn what I read on that app and frankly, I never want to. The veil is up and it is revealing the shriveled up old bag lady of my future self. I mean we are talking products like La Mer, which I grew up watching my Mom worship, having high toxicity that causes all sorts of horrible things and is linked to cancer! Whaaaat?!
Enter Emma Watson. She is the queen of clean living and became my guru for where to start on the journey to responsible products. She just seems like the most down to earth famous person – like we could both share stories about eating a fish eyeball that one time (I’m looking at you, Xao Bao Biscuit) . . .
So now I have a morning routine with amazing products that I am proud of and that actually work for me without being morally reprehensible. I really do use these every day and payed for all with my own hard earned money. (picture of applied makeup on me at the end of the blog)
This is the best brow enhancer I have used to date. However, my relationship with the Glossier brand is a little strained. I adore the strong women behind the brand and their commitment to natural beauty and a no-makeup makeup look with tag lines like “skin first.” That said, I don’t believe everything is as natural as they claim it to be. They are a bit sketchy with releasing ingredients. Also not helping their case were the Africa sized breakouts during my “all things Glossier” phase.
I still buy and use Boy Brow religiously, and I love the priming moisturizer (not shown). Glossier was my very first step into going more natural and the first brand I had found that was formed to promote their best practices: guaranteed no cruelty to animals (big deal for me) and no parabens. Remember when I said La Mer was linked to cancer? Parabens are one reason why. It is the buzzword you will now hear everywhere. I don’t quite know what they are either, but they ain’t good.
I debated whether to put deodorant next in line because venturing into natural deodorant can feel like going for a polar bear swim in Alaska when you wanted the Bahamas. Being a sucker for a pretty image though, I’m throwing you right into the deep end. Here is why deodorant is tough. Most regular deodorants are horrible for your body – one even burned my skin. They generally are only effective for two weeks after you buy them and they use a boat load of chemicals to block your “receptors” rather than eliminate bad bacteria to get the desired effects. When you block a process that your body naturally uses, it creates undue stress on your system which then finds less productive and often more uncomfortable ways to compensate.
Unfortunately this is fairly new territory and most of the natural options out there smell like foot. I talked to a beauty product expert (and my new girl crush) at the best natural beauty store of all time, Follain. She told me to go deodorant-less for a week to let my body get back to basics and to then try Ursa Major. Luckily this brand was the only, and I do mean only, one that didn’t smell like a perfumed foot. In fact, I loved the smell- very clean and fresh and a little menthol-y?
I did not go deodorant-less for a week as suggested. If you can, more power to you. I find that this deodorant really works for me and my needs. Although this is a natural option so you may need to re-apply to get the same results as the chemical ones. Also be weary of any high alcohol based natural deodorants as it can be a big skin irritant.
Finding RMS Beauty courtesy of Emma Watson was like finding Fabio frolicking in the wild. It is my all time. I started with that well used general palette shown above (can you see the destruction I have done to that thing?) and was hooked. Now I no longer use foundation which is a HUGE deal for me given my dark circle dilemma. I use everything in that palette daily and even went on to buy myself the frosted pot version of the bronzer for longer use. The palette contains: Buriti Bronzer, Magic Lumanizer (highlighter), Lip2Cheek in demure, Lip2Cheek in beloved, and vanilla lip balm.
1) My favorite thing in the compact:
I use the Buriti Bronzer all day every day. I pat it lightly all over my face especially on the cheek area for a general glow and create a concentrated contour right under the cheek bone – not too low or you will look gaunt. Strangely enough, I have read some mixed reviews on this guy, but to me, it is my everything. Instead of clogging my pores its seems to blend right into my skin and nourish it, no BS! Every ingredient is good for your skin so pile it on! The result is that you look less like you put your face in a cake, and more like you have a natural dewy glow. I especially love this bronzer because I was blessed with very pale yellow based skin which often gives me this beautiful zombie vibe. . . I desperately need a bit of color but hate a heavy makeup look.
2) The rest of the compact:
The demure I use lightly over the bronzer as a blush and the beloved on my lips – a little bit of this red goes a long way for a lip stain. Lastly, I put their translucent powder on to set everything (you can buy this cheaper elsewhere for the same effect), finally applying the highlighter last. The Magic Lumanizer instantly completes my natural look with a defining highlight and does NOT look glittery in the slightest. A win for humanity I think.
3) The two items not in the palette, but shown above:
I use the RMS eye polish in Solar. Their eye polish is just applied with your finger and is cream-based, not powder. The color is glorious and I just smudge it on and go. Because it is cream based, it will crease with certain eye types. However using a finishing powder usually counters that for me. The other item in there is Oli Osso lip/cheek balm. It has a phenomenal pigmentation while hydrating your lips. Given that it is a balm however, it needs to be re-applied a lot throughout the day. Therefore, I don’t use this constantly, but I like having it around for a little boost when I need it.
So now you know I am a RMS addict…
Read on to find my last and most important makeup secret weapon….
Under Eye Concealer:
See that little guy in the right corner? Superman. The really hot british superman from the new movies. Say hello to The Well People. I think I may still be in shock that not only did I find a concealer that is all natural from an amazing organic brand with clean practices, but it’s also the best one I have EVER had. Am I dreaming? Will it leave me soon and never come back? I hope not because, yay! It has a mousse texture that helps it glide on and stay put while also not chunking up in fine lines. Again, genetic dark circles + miracle organic concealer = happy confident me. Apparently the concealer also “depuffs, brightens and improves skin texture while it conceals with a robust cocktail of organic algae, coffee, pomegranate and anti-aging peptides!” Sooo… sign me up forever? One important note – this only works like magic under my eyes. I do not use it as a coverup for the rest of my face.
Also shown in this picture is the RMS un-coverup. I pat this to hide redness on my nose and any linger pimple scars. It is the only RMS product that I have that I only like OK. It does the job for now.
My review of the Well People mascara is much more mixed than their concealer. There are big pros and cons to natural mascara, meaning I am still on the hunt for the best option. None of the ones I have tried so far have great longevity and usually need to be re-applied a few times a day if you want to keep your lashes dark and extended. Natural mascaras don’t flake off like regular ones sometimes do, they just don’t stay. . . fabulous. On the flip side they support eyelash growth like crazy simply because your eyelashes are no longer drowning in whatever tar-like substances are in the old options. My eyelashes rarely fall out now which was definitely a problem with the old drugstore stuff that smelled like rubber.
I am sticking with the natural options and leaving the days of scrubbing my face off with makeup remover behind. If I am going out after work, I just add another coat. I was using EcoBella mascara before trying this one. I believe the Well People lasts a tad longer and has a better wand than EcoBella, but the dye is not as black and it stings on contact with my eyes during removal. This has never caused any kind of reaction for me, but is still not fun or pleasant.
This is the only product that I did not buy, but was gifted to me via my sister. She has very sensitive skin, knows every product imaginable, and wanted me to try it. Although I have pretty tough and normal skin, this is all I use at night after removing my makeup. It helped me through the terrible Africa breakout mentioned above. I. Love. It. It also has tons of accolades.Read about it for yourself here: Maya Chia Oil
Want to scare your significant other? Use charcoal toothpaste once a week. Don’t tell them the first time you use it though, let them find out about this new life practice. . . shall we say, organically. It turns your teeth and entire mouth completely Gollum black and you end up looking like something creepy from Game of Thrones! On the productive side of things, it leaves your mouth squeaky clean and whitens that coffee away. And it’s just a good time had by all. Toothpaste from Sister & Co.
If you are looking for natural options yourself, an easy signifier of a company that actually cares about being clean and effective is it’s backstory. Be sure to read what motivated the founder to start the company and look for lots of scientific explanations as to why they think their formula works the best. Even better is when they provide info about their clinical trials and transparency about their ingredients. The Think Dirty App is a great resource to check into a new brand you are trying. They do the research for you and will tell you if it is a safe product with great accuracy.
Thanks! Let me know what works for you and if you have any feedback on the products you buy! – C*