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!