Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On Natural(ish) Beauty

My mom is really the one that introduced me to beauty, she's obsessed with all of the 'best of' beauty lists in Allure and the other magazines. We're always sending each other screen-shots of products or asking if the other has heard of a new brand and if we should try it. Because of that, I've always loved the decadence of beauty products. I’ve always been fascinated with different products, or watching other women’s beauty routines and learning from them. When I was younger, I would study my mom and Mimi’s rhythms when it came time to apply makeup or slather on creams and oils at night. Taking note of the discarded Elizabeth Arden capsules and under eye creams gently applied and always always always “worked upward and out”. 

I also grew up working in a business surrounded by beauty products and makeup artists. To this day, sitting in the makeup chair and learning all kinds of tricks and secret products is one of my favorite parts of the job. 

More recently, I’ve become super interested in transparency, natural based products, and better understanding what exactly I’m putting on my face and on my body. 

 In my research and transition into a more natural routine, I learned that the US does not have as strict of a regulation process as Europe. There are about 2000+ ingredients considered illegal to put in skincare/makeup/fragrance in Europe, whereas the US only bans 11 of those. I’ve always had to be more careful with skincare products because of my sensitive skin - but I had no idea how lax our system was. 

I’ve come across a lot of great brands in this transition — like Biossance (who actually does ban all 2000 ingredients that are considered illegal in Europe), True Botanicals, Lilah B, RMS, etc. All of these brands have purity in mind. A less is more mentality - less chemicals, fake ingredients, toxins and more natural ingredients that our skin actually wants. I would say my routine now falls to about a 70:30 ratio of natural vs not completely natural products. 

For everyday makeup, Neutrogena Healthy Lash is my go to mascara lately, plus some Glossier Stretch Concealer, which I love. I’ll highlight with RMS Living Luminizer or Glossier Haloscope then add Glossier Cloud Paint for blush and finish everything off with a spritz or two of either Liliah B’s Aglow face mist or the True Botanicals mist. If I need some color on my lips (which, according to my mom, you always need color on your lips) I’ll use a GenG lipstick or the Korres lip pots. 

I haven’t found an all natural mascara that I love yet. My mom and I consider ourselves to be mascara savants. We’ve tried a lot of mascaras over the years. But natural mascaras are a little tricky — they usually flake or smudge easier — I don’t need it to be waterproof, but it needs to make it through the day and then be easy to take off. On my list of natural mascaras to try are: Juice Beauty's, RMS, and the Lashfood mascara (I’ve been using the serum for my lashes and brows and I’m in love). 

Speaking of brows, they are a non-negotiable step in the routine. I’ve always had relatively dark and thick eyebrows, but every once in a while I’ll get a spot where a few hairs have fallen out and it's more noticeable because they’re so dark. I’ve been using Lashfood's brow serum for maybe 4 weeks now and it’s so great. Helps fill in the spots and it's natural and organic (Plume also has a great serum for lashes/brows). I usually fill in the outer edges of my brows with a little powder and sweep some of Glossier’s Boy Brow over them. Lashfood also has an eyebrow gel that I want to try too. 

Using Lashfood's Eyelash Enhancer

For skincare, I’ve mostly transitioned into completely natural based products. I take my makeup off with coconut oil, cleanse with a natural cleansing oil and then use True Botanicals Renew Oil at night. I was using the Biossance Probiotic Moisturizer during the summer because it’s so light, but now that the weather is changing I’ve switched to a thicker cream because I love to start with a very moisturized base before makeup. Now as a day moisturizer, I either use Glossier Priming Moisturizer, (which isn’t completely natural but it’s hypoallergenic and paraben/fragrance free!) Embryolisse, or Dr. Jart’s Ceramidin Cream (also formulated without a lot of harmful ingredients).   

I haven’t found a cleanser I feel committed to yet, but I’ve got my eye on the Youth to the People cleanser because it looks like a green juice for your face and I’m into that. 

I love face masks for the process. It’s a relaxing act of self-care that I really enjoy, but I wasn’t sure if they really did anything — until it came to the Herbivore Blue Tansy mask (+ Lapis Oil!). I am obsessed with this stuff lately. It’s natural and effective. I'm excited to try more of their products. I really want to try the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask because it sounds so luxurious, but the price seems a little steep for a face mask. (All in the name of self care and plump skin, right?)

 I also love baths. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am a woman who loves a hot, Epsom salt-filled bath. It’s the pièce de ré·sis·tance to the end of my day - I treat it as a prize and I look forward to a great bath at the end of (almost) every day. 

My overall approach to beauty is simple, I try not to over do it in any way, I just want to be thoughtful about it.  And while I’m trying to pare down my overall accumulation of products, there are so many new natural brands out there and I have a curious mind (and face). As much as I love playing at Sephora, I tend to stick to products once I like them. I’m also trying to finish products before buying something new to try, but that will be a hard habit to kick considering my mom’s beauty cabinet could be featured at Sephora. 

*For all your Glossier needs, head to the SHOP section of the blog and click 'GLOSSIER' - new Glossier girls get 20% off*



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