31 January 2012

Let's Talk About Beauty

I'm always curious to find out which beauty products my female friends swear by. While I certainly love getting dolled up for a special occasion, my daily beauty routine is admittedly low-maintenance. I'm pretty loyal to the products I use, except for lipstick, to which I have a legitimate addiction and corresponding hoarding problem. (Seriously, don't even ask me how many lip sticks/stains/colors I buy in a single year. It's embarrassing).

Pictured above and described below are my tried and true favorites.

For hair:
1). I wash and condition my hair almost daily (yes, I know most experts would say that's waaay too frequently, but I can't help it. My hair looks best when it's clean). I've tried many, many shampoo/conditioner combos, but the one I return to again and again is Dove Daily Moisture. It's inexpensive and leaves my hair soft, silky and entirely residue-free.

2). Most days, I let my hair air-dry naturally. Less products and styling = better hair day, in my experience. My hair is naturally wavy and very fine, but I have a ton of it. A few sprits of Aveda's Volumizing Tonic on damp hair keeps the frizzies at bay and works well to enhance the natural body. Plus, it smells amazing!

For Face (Cleanse/Moisturize):
3). Typically, my skin is clear but super sensitive. I wash off make-up and sweat each night with Aveeno's Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser.

4). In the mornings, or after a workout, I cleanse with Kiehl's Pineapple Papaya Exfoliating Scrub. Yummy!

5). I've been using Kiehl's SPF 15 Ultra Facial Moisturizer for almost six years now and will probably never go back to anything else. Best stuff ever.

For Body (Cleanse/Moisturize):
6). Dove's Mild Classic Beauty Bar is my soap of choice. It's sudsy and smells they way soap should smell.

7). After showering, I religiously apply lotion all over my body before getting dressed. I actually use a bunch of different moisturizers, but Skin Trip Mountain Ocean Coconut Lotion is my all-time favorite.

8). I love wearing perfume and tend to gravitate towards light floral or citrusy scents. My signature is Vera Wang's Bouquet. I feel so feminine and delicious whenever I wear it.

For Face (Make-Up):
9). I exclusively use Bare Escentuals mineral powder on my face. I don't care for liquid foundation and my skin is fair and relatively even, so a light dusting of the mineral powder is enough to keep it looking smooth. I switched to this brand about five years ago and am 100% satisfied.

10). I normally don't wear anything on my eyes except for mascara, but for a fancier occasion or on a day I feel like "glamming," I love the look of winged-tip black liquid eyeliner. Lancome makes a precise one that I continuously restock in my make-up bag.

11). My daily mascara has always been the classic Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black. I honestly don't think anything else works as well.

12). On my cheeks, I use the Nars blush/bronzer duo in Sin/Casino. Usually, it's just a gentle sweep of the blush on the apples of my cheeks. I sometimes like the option of (light) bronzer in the summer.

13). I decided I need to devote another post solely to lipstick, but for the sake of this one, I recommend Rouge Allure by Chanel. It's pricey, but their line of reds is beautiful and I feel like a 1950's Hollywood screen siren whenever I wear it. An expensive indulgence, yes, but to me, it's worth it.

14). & 15). I am obsessive about keeping my lips hydrated, especially with so much lipstick wear. I alternate between Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil and Smith's Rosbud Salve in Brambleberry Rose. (The stuff lasts forever!).

I can be ready in 10 minutes if I skip the shower, a fact of which I am proud. I embrace an unfussy beauty routine and view make-up as a fun way to accentuate and play up what's already there.

What does your beauty routine look like? Any products you absolutely can't live without? I'd love to hear!


  1. Over the past 6 months or so I've worked towards transitioning nearly all of my beauty products to those not tested on animals. For daily washing I usually use Dr. Bronner's Classic Bar Soaps (http://www.drbronner.com/) - or sometimes Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar (http://www.tomsofmaine.com/products/soap/product-details/natural-beauty-bar). Both have lots of options for different scents, as well as unscented.

    For shampoo I'm usually picking something new every time I run out, right now I'm using Organix Shampoo & Conditioner (http://www.organixhair.com/hair). Tea Tree Mint is my favorite! Desert Essence Organics are great too for shampoo and conditioner (http://www.desertessence.com/hair-care). I love the Lemon Tea Tree.

    For face wash right now I have both the Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub and the Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream from Burt's Bees (http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/face-care/). I usually use the scrub at night and the gentler Soap Bark cream in the morning (it tingles!).

    For face moisturizer I'm in love with Lavender Moisture Plus Lotion with SPF 18 from Avalon Organics (http://www.avalonorganics.com/?id=82&pid=348). I love the smell and the bottle I have right now has lasted me at least 3 or 4 months. And as a general moisturizer I like the Olive & Aloe Moisturizer from Kiss My Face (http://www.kissmyface.com/product/grid/20/205).

    Make up has been a tricky realm. I basically just use a loose powder and blush/bronzer on a daily basis, both of which I get from the Physicans Formula Organic Wear line (http://www.physiciansformula.com/en-us/product-line/organic-wear.html). A little bit pricier but it's the only non-animal-tested make up I've been able to find in a local drug store. Unfortunately it's been more and more difficult to find lately so I may need to start ordering it.

    My boyfriend and I use Tom's of Maine as well for toothpaste (http://www.tomsofmaine.com/products/toothpaste/product-details/antiplaque-tartar-control-plus-whitening-toothpaste).

    I'm still dragging on transitioning some other make up as well as my deodorant over to cruelty-free products. I was using a powder deodorant from Lush (http://www.lushusa.com/shop/products/body/deodorants/the-greeench) but I'm still searching for a better fit.

    My boyfriend and I also use Seventh Generation laundry detergent (http://www.seventhgeneration.com/Laundry-Detergent).

    I know it's a long list but I've found all of these products to work great and I really encourage everyone to considering buying animal-friendly products! The cost is usually a bit more than what I usually shell out for beauty products (to the tune of maybe $2-$5 more, depending on what you're buying), but I think it's totally worth it to support companies which shun animal testing.

    PETA has a great list on their website where you can identify companies which use no animal testing, or which products are free from animal testing (http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.aspx).

    Also, I learned from the PETA website that many Bath & Body Works products are cruelty-free (though not all may be vegan, so that's debatable).

    1. Wow, thanks for such a thorough comment, and for all the links and tips. I try to be conscious of animal-testing as well, though make-up brands cane be tricky with that disclosure. I'd love to see more cruelty-free options emerge.

  2. Allispin, I'm all with you about products free from animal testing. I recently saw a picture of one of these poor animals used to test a facial cream and cried for hours! I love all Burt's bee products. I also recently discovered that most Body Shop products are fair trade and without animal testing. They are a bit more expensive than Bath and Body works, which I don't think is at that level yet, and are generally less perfumey. I think almost all anti-aging products are cruel though....I'll be proud to wear my wrinkles without harming an innocent soul!

    1. Maya, agreed on the wrinkles! Not worth it to harm an animal for the benefit of my skin. Besides, laugh lines and crinkly eyes indicate a life well-spent, yes?!

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only girl with a simple beauty routine–and I love the peek into your makeup bag! I actually wash my hair super-infrequently, and almost always with Brilliant Brunette. I rarely wash my face either–sensing a trend?–but love Decleor's Angelique and Neroli oils.

    And my makeup bag is huge (full of makeup for shows), but I only use a few things routinely: Sephora tinted moisturizer, Stila cream blush, Lancome Definicils or Loreal Voluminous mascara and Rosebud's strawberry balm–I have containers of that stuff that have been with me since high school!

    1. Rosebud Salve lasts freaking forever. I think mine dates back to early college!

  4. me and kiehls go way back. i've slowly tried to find all-natural makeup options that i love, but it's not the easiest. mostly what i've found kinda sucks. so i stick with nars. all- natural be damned.

  5. this is such a fun post. I love dressing up, but lately have been super low maintenance when going to work, and the longer my hair gets the less I need to spend on it, which is AMAZING.

    I used bare escentuals for years, and recently switched to MAC studio tech and LOVE it. It goes on with a sponge but dries like a powder and is not as noticeable as bare escentuals.

    all my hair products are aveda- I worked for the company back in the day and haven't used anything on my hair since. Having a bff hairstylist who buys me all my product is a blessing :)

    and I have fallen in love with a german skin care line called cnc kosmetik which is all natural and amazing. Not sure what I will do if we ever move back stateside since I don't think it is available in the US.

    for the body I adore Dr Hauschka body oils- they are natural and absorb better into my skin than lotions.

    looking forward to your lipstick post :)

  6. Great post! It's Skin ceuticals for me and 365 days of sunscreen. I love organic salt scrubs in the shower to beat winter dry skin. Stila make-up is the best I've found.

  7. I'm always curious what friends use, too, so it was fun reading your faves : ) I'm a Burt's Bees fan (shampoo, lotion, face wash, lip balm) because the products are lovely, mostly natural, and affordable. Still need to give Kiehl's a try though!

    PS. Mineral powder is amazing, isn't it? I'll never use foundation again.

  8. This is awesome...you may have inspired me to post my beauty routine too! So fun to see your favs!

  9. Two months ago I took the plunge and bought myself a starter kit for Bare Minerals. I don't think I will ever go back to a liquid foundation (actually mine was a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer.) That said I am in love with the mineral foundation. My make up has dramatically lessened too. I think I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that most of the time less is more.

  10. me and kiehls go way back. i've slowly tried to find all-natural makeup options that i love, but it's not the easiest. mostly what i've found kinda sucks. so i stick with nars. all- natural be damned.

  11. Wow, Excellent post. This article is really very interesting and effective. I think it’s must be helpful for us. Thanks for sharing your informative.
    What a wonderful phrase, I need a someone to make a cross stitch of that for me!

  12. If you have never visited the beauty store in question, you may not necessarily know what their staffs is like. Beauty tips 101


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