Natural Beauty

This post has been a long time coming, and I'm so excited to finally share it with you. I've been making changes in my beauty routine for the past year or so - trying to implement as many natural (+ organic) products as I can. It started after I was introduced to a few 100% natural beauty brands, and was then pushed along even more once I read Skin Cleanse. Reading Skin Cleanse solidified what I already knew about the beauty industry and taught me a lot of new information, especially about how what you eat affects your skin. It's definitely a must-read if you are at all interested in natural beauty and skincare!

Once I decided that I wanted to implement these changes in my own routine, I found that it was hard to find good resources on where to buy, what to buy and more importantly, what actually works. After doing a lot of research and testing, I wanted to share with you my favorite brands and products, as well as my favorite places to shop for natural products. Luckily, more and more natural beauty brands are popping up and larger stores (Sephora, Nordstrom, etc.) are carrying more of them, so it's getting easier to find all-natural products. Also, there are a lot more "cool" natural brands with beautiful packaging, so the products look great sitting on your bathroom counter (which is important to some people, myself included!) in addition to working well.

And just to let you know, my whole routine is not 100% natural - I still use some products that have chemicals, but for the most part I try to choose natural when possible!

CLEANSERS + MASKS

I first dabbled in the natural beauty realm with cleansers, and more specifically the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. I absolutely love this cleanser and always find myself coming back to it after trying others. It's exfoliating, but in a mild way so you can use it everyday. I also tried the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask around the same time and can say that it lives up to its hype. I like to use it a few hours before a special event to make my skin more glowy, in addition to using it on a weekly basis. Bonus: it's also great as an overnight spot treatment. 

Sometimes I want a gentler, calmer cleanser and for that I turn to Soul Sunday's Rice Wash Cleanser. It's a super simple and gentle formula and leaves your skin feeling clean, but not stripped. I also love the Earth Tu Face Face Wash for its simplicity.

I've never been a huge fan of facial wipes, although I seem like their perfect audience because there's nothing I want to do less at the end of the day than wash my face. However, that has all changed with my introduction to Lauren Napier's CLEANSE Wipes. My biggest issue with a lot of facial wipes are that I often feel that I need to wash my face after using them. These have the opposite effect - your skin feels clean super clean after using them and they smell fantastic. Consider me a convert!

SERUMS + OILS + MOISTURIZERS

I'm still trying to figure out all of the hype about facial sprays, but I do really like the Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Spray (you can tell based on how little is left!). It's a refreshing way to prep your skin, add moisture and use to freshen your skin throughout the day. 

In terms of oils and serums, my favorites are Tata Harper Rejuvenanting Serum and Nude Skincare Rescue Oil. I absolutely love the scent of the Tata Harper Serum as well as the brightening look it gives my skin. I also love that it sinks into your skin really nicely and acts as a good layer under your daily moisturizer. I started using Nude's Rescue Oil this winter and I love the added layer of moisture it provides. It also has this way of evening everything out and calming my skin.

I haven't quite found my perfect all-natural moisturizer yet, but I've found a few good contenders. The best ones I've found are the Context Skincare Intensive Daily Moisturizer and Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer. I love Tata's moisturizer, but I was ultimately looking for either a) a moisturizer with SPF or b) a great natural SPF to layer with it. I ended up coming across Context Skincare's Moisturizer, and while it isn't 100% natural, it has a lot of really great things going for it. I've been using it for three weeks now and really love it. It's unfussy and it smells great (my favorite part of any product).

At night I like to use Block Island Organics Revitalizing Night Cream. It's very gentle and does the trick. I really want to try their facial moisturizer + SPF next!

BODY

Deodorant seems to be the one product that people are most interested in switching to all-natural. I came across Ambre Blends' natural deodorant while reading about Hannah Soboroff's beauty routine and thought I'd give it a try. Turns out it's fantastic and so much better than any other natural deodorant I've tried. It smells amazing and it actually works (I use the Ambre scented one). I also tried some of their essence oils and now wear their Ambre oil as my perfume (see below).

Body wash wasn't really a category I was looking to change, but one night I was in Whole Foods and I thought 'why not?' I had been using a body wash with shea butter so I decided to try Nubian Heritage's Raw Shea Butter Body Wash. I had read in Skin Cleanse that using raw shea butter is a lot better than refined shea butter because it's gone through less processing and hasn't lost it's inherent natural benefits. It's very moisturizing and I never have that dry skin feeling when I get out of the shower. They make a lot of different types of body wash and it's easy to find - I get mine at Whole Foods.

In terms of body moisturizing, I've never been a huge fan of lotions and have always preferred oils. I picked up The Honest Co. Organic Body Oil (also at Whole Foods) and love how quickly it sinks in. I highly recommend it if you are also not a fan of that greasy feeling some lotions can have. At night I love to use Weleda's Skin Food Creme on my hands. This guy is actually quite greasy, which is why I only use it at night, but it's super moisturizing. It's also great for your feet! During the day I carry around Grown Alchemist Vanilla + Orange Peel Hand Cream.

BEAUTY

I've mentioned my love of RMS Beauty before and I still use their UnCoverup Concealer (shade 11), Lip2Cheek (Modest) and Living Luminzer. But, I just recently started using their Volumizing Mascara and I can't believe I waited so long to try it! I am obsessed. It leaves your lashes looking and feeling so natural - it doesn't weigh them down at all. RMS Beauty recently launched nail polish that I'm super anxious to try.

For lip balm, I love the Olio E Osso lip balms - I have No. 2 and No. 4. (ps. they also double as cheek tint!) On a recent trip to Nashville, I discovered the brand F.Miller and picked up their lip balm, which I now use almost everyday. It has a great gender-neutral vibe to it - perfect for dudes too.

As you all know, nail polish is a big part of my life and whenever possible, I try to use 5-free nail polishes, which are free of the 5 leading chemicals that are typically found in nail polishes (formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor). There are a lot of 5-free polish brands nowadays and you honestly cannot tell the difference in quality or color. My favorites are Tenoverten and RGB Cosmetics (I wear Doll and Dove frequently). I'm eager to try RMS Beauty's new nail polishes as well as Habit Cosmetics, Côte and JINSoon polishes.  

WHERE TO SHOP

Here are the places I like to shop for natural beauty + skincare: Whole FoodsThe StellCAP BeautyTata HarperShen BeautyCredo BeautyBeautycounterThe Honest Company and Spirit Beauty Lounge

Whenever I'm unsure of a new product's ingredients, I search for it on Skin Deep Cosmetics Database so I can find out more about it. 

A few products I have my eye on to try:

From left to right, top to bottom:
Agent Nateur Deodorant / Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish in Bardot / Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 1 / Honest Beauty Younger Eye Cream / May Lindstrom Honey Mud Mask / Grown Alchemist Eye Makeup Remover / Vinter's Daughter Botanical Serum / Drunk Elephant Sheer Defense SPF / Beautycounter Eye Perfector

I'd love to hear about your favorite natural beauty brands + products! Let me know what you're loving, as well as if you have any questions about anything here!

So Much Shearling

 

Winter is officially here on the East coast and I cannot get enough of shearling pieces. It started with this fluffy pillow and then this shearling vest (thank you, new job) and has turned into a full-on obsession.

1. Loeffler Randall Shearling Vest (similar here and here)
2. Newbark Roma II Shearling Sandals
3. Loeffler Randall Shearling Industry Bag
4. Brother Vellies Sahara Shearling Slippers (also here)
5. Sea NY Denim Jacket with Shearling Collar
6. West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow
7. Carven Oversized Shearling Coat
8. No. 6 Fur Clogs (also here)

I've also had my eye on this shearling-esque Cienne NY Poncho for months now. And in case you're feeling extra spendy, here is the ultimate shearling coat.

Images - One, Two, Three, Four, Five

New Look

New year, new look - I'm excited to unveil a freshly redesigned Dreams + Jeans! 

I've been meaning to update the look of this site for years and finally got around to it during yesterday's blizzard. I've made a few small changes, but overall everything is the same except with a shiny new coat of paint.

I've been running the blog on Squarespace since the early days and am happy to report that the transition from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7 could not have been more seamless. I highly recommend using Squarespace if you're looking to start a website or blog!

2015 was definitely not my year for blogging (hello, only posting 11 times), but I'm hoping to change that in 2016! 

image by Jen Trahan

 

Parachute Home

Our bedroom has remained quite unchanged over the past two years. I’ve had all these ideas of little changes to make and accessories to get, but never quite got around to completing. When Parachute Home approached me to test out some of their bedding, I knew it was just the right thing to finally pull our bedroom together.

I’ve been following along with Parachute for a long time—I admire their neutral aesthetic and overall mission—and was eager to try their bedding in our own home. I ended up picking the Venice Set in White Sateen (I’ve heard rave reviews of their Percale Set too!). The sateen fabric is really beautiful in person and feels very luxurious—just like you are staying in a great hotel.

As soon as I received my bedding, I was impressed with the packaging and all of the thoughtful little details, like a handwritten note from their founder, Ariel.

The duvet has lots of great details that help keep your insert in place and make making your bed that much easier. (Want expert advice on how to put on a duvet cover? They've got you covered.)

Because New York apartments tend to be on the smaller side, we spend a lot of time in our bedroom and it’s my favorite place to hang out on a weekend morning. I love sitting in bed for hours, pouring over magazines with a cup of coffee, and now it's that much better with the addition of our new bedding! 

Parachute has also created a few fun extras for the home—I’m a huge fan of their Fireside candle, as well as their lightweight cashmere throws (which can double as a scarf).

If you need me, I’ll be in bed!

photos by Jen Trahan

 

Rivertown Lodge - Hudson

Last weekend Grant and I went on a weekend getaway to Hudson, NY to relax a little before I started my new job. I had been wanting to check out the newly-opened Rivertown Lodge and this was the perfect fall weekend to do so. 

The building itself has a lot of history - it was originally a movie theater in the 1920s (it still has the old marquee sign!) and was later converted to a hotel. The super-talented Brooklyn-based design firm, Workstead, worked on the design of the hotel, filling it with their amazing light fixtures and custom furniture pieces.

Every detail was carefully considered and it really showed. Case in point: they have some of the coolest light switches I've ever encountered. The hotel's lobby is perfect for relaxing and hanging out and because it's located right on Warren Street (the main drag in Hudson), it's only a quick jaunt from lots of restaurants and shops. We loved walking around and coming back inside to warm up and chat with one of the owners, Ray.

A few things you can't miss:

Gaskins - While this restaurant isn't technically in Hudson, it's only a quick 15 minute drive and I promise it will be an amazing meal.

Flowerkraut - Right across from the Rivertown, this cute shop is both a floral studio and boutique with lots of amazing finds.

2 Note Hudson - This local perfumery worked with Rivertown on their shampoo, conditioner and body wash, which is what initially led me to the store. I was surprised by their large array of products, including some natural skincare products (that of course smelled amazing).

Cafe Le Perche - The staff at Rivertown recommended this spot for brunch and it did not disappoint! I recommend making reservations as this is the spot to brunch. 

Hawkins New York - I had to be dragged out of this store before I bought everything in sight! The store is curated with beautifully designed goods, as well as their own in-house line. Come here for their luxurious linen bedding!

A glimpse into what I packed...

Industry Standard jeans / J.Crew loafers (sold out - similar here and here) / Zara sweater (old - similar here and here) / Madewell sunglasses (old - similar here and here) / J.Crew Fair Isle sweater

shelter island

My mom and I booked a last-minute trip to Shelter Island to celebrate my birthday and it could not have been more perfect! It was our first time there and we absolutely loved it. We stayed at The Chequit, which is nicely nestled in the Shelter Island Heights area and is walking distance from shops, restaurants and the harbor. The hotel was recently renovated and every detail was accounted forevery room even comes with a sun hat and a turkish towel!

Shelter Island is only accessible via ferry—either to the North Fork of Long Island or to Sag Harbor. It was a bit overcast one day so we ventured over to Sag Harbor for the afternoon. It's such a picturesque town with great shops to wander through. Back on Shelter Island, we loved going to the beach near the Sunset Beach Hotel, which is another great place to stay or spend some time at. 

STAY:
The Chequit / Sunset Beach Hotel / Rams Head Inn

EAT:
Vine Street Cafe / Marie Eiffel Market / Provisions / Wolffer Kitchen (opening soon!)

SHOP:
Monc XIII / Bloom / Ruby Beets / Sylvester & Co