Organic beauty isn’t a new thing. It has been around for a while, evolved to meet the high standards of today, and is popping up just about everywhere these days. Love it!
Target carries a selection of high quality organic beauty products, now including W3LL People. Barney’s recently introduced Kjaer Weis to its line-up. And Nordstrom’s added in-store Natural Beauty Outposts the beginning of the year.
The best way to keep the clean beauty movement growing is to keep purchasing organic beauty products. I recently had the opportunity to take part in an interview with Trevida. Check it out to see where I see organic beauty headed, skincare tips for the different season, and my organic makeup must-haves.
Liz Thompson Of Organic Beauty Source Talks All Natural Skin Care
Trevida: There’s been a lot of progress in organic skin care in recent years. Where do you see this industry going?
Liz: I’ve always dreamt of walking into department stores and seeing counter after counter of clean beauty products, and I truly believe we are getting closer. Organic beauty sales go up every year (practically doubled since 2012), Nordstrom launched Natural Beauty Outposts in stores this year, and clean beauty items are making regular appearances in mainstream beauty magazines and blogs, and on celebs and red carpets. Organic beauty is no longer a fringe notion or trend, but something consumers want as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Maybe the most difficult makeup feat to pull off is finding your perfect foundation match. Not only are all skin tones slightly different, but (unless you live where the climate stays the same year-round) the color of your complexion changes with the seasons.
If you search tips on choosing foundation, you’ll find plenty of recommendations to get a professional color match. But how many times have you walked out of a department store and hated the color of the foundation you just bought once you get a good, long look in the lighted car mirror?
Department store lighting is not set up to color match (whoever invents indoor lighting that looks like outdoor lighting for department stores will be a gajillionaire!) and only you know what your skin likes. I’m sure some people have found their absolute favorite foundation with the help of a makeup salesperson, but most of the time this is not going to make you happy.
There are several factors that come into play here other than color. Do you want a hydrating foundation or a lighter consistency? Do you want a matte or radiant finish? Are you looking for medium or light coverage? These are all important things to note before embarking on your foundation match journey.
Much time and many dollars later, let’s see how you can DIY the heck out of this whole foundation match business.
6 Steps to Choosing Your Perfect Foundation Match
Step #1 :: Know your skin tone. The foundation you loved last summer, or even at the beginning of winter, may be all wrong right now. Take a long look in a well lit mirror and determine where your skin is at right now, today. Most of us fall in the fair, medium, or dark zone.
Step #2 :: Now, to get your ideal match, you must determine your undertone. This stays the same through changes of season, for the most part, though fair skinned gals may appear more pinkish as winter wears on. There are three undertones … pink, yellow, and neutral. Pink is cool, yellow is warm, and neutral is somewhere in between. A cool foundation on yellow toned skin will look grey. A warm foundation on pink toned skin will look yellow. This step is not difficult, but is super important.
Step# 3 :: What type of coverage are you looking for? A lightweight foundation evens out skin tone and conceals minor discoloration. Medium to full coverage helps with deeper discoloration and in covering acne spots.
Step #4 :: Take your skin type into account. Oily skin types will want to steer clear of overly creamy or hydrating foundations as they may cause skin to breakout or become too shiny. Hydrating foundations make dry skin type more comfortable and prevent the cakey look. Some people prefer a matte finish, while others love a bit of radiance that comes with a slightly luminizing foundation.
Step# 5 :: If you are shopping in store, apply a touch of foundation to an area of your face that a) you always wear makeup on, and b) you can see well. Since you are likely never putting makeup on the back of your hand, this is not suitable for color matching. If you only wear foundation on your T-zone, don’t color match to your cheeks. And it is often advised to swipe a bit of sample product on your jawline. But, unless your eyes are set up differently than mine, it can be dang hard to get a good look at your own jawline. It may not be your dream come true to go shopping with a bare face, so leave an area of your face clean and makeup free for testing shades. This is when bangs come in handy.
Step #6 :: If you are shopping online, track down those juicy product recommendations. These are chock full of great information that a product description often doesn’t deliver. People who’ve used the product can tell if the shade is true to color, if it left their skin greasy or caused zits, if it looks natural or better suited to covering sleeve tats. You get the picture. And order samples wherever possible.
That six-stepper ought to get you on your way. In the meantime, peruse this handy pic of high quality foundations with a little something for everyone.
It’s January! Doesn’t a new year always feel so good? Lots of goals set and good work to do.
I thought we’d kick off 2017 with a round up of good clean beauty items you absolutely have to have. We are stuck in the depths of winter, so of course skin hydration is key. A good glow-inducing skin smoother is also important right about now. Plus something to keep your system in check. Let’s take a peek.
Products You’ll Love for January (and beyond)
Goop Clean Beauty :: As you’ll be able to tell, I’ve been clocking plenty of minutes on goop.com. I bought the new book over the holidays, Goop Clean Beauty, written by the editors at Goop (that Amazon app makes it just too dang easy, I must say). It’s a green-beauty-meets-detox-tips-meets-healthy-recipes-meets-do-this-whole-clean-living-thing-your-way sorta read. Right up my alley. Get your hands on a copy asap.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum :: Oh my goodness, I’ve wanted to try this serum forever. It gets tons of praise in the beauty world, not least importantly by my fave beauty editor of all time, Jean Godfrey-June. So, had to have. And it is just as good as everyone says. This serum contains some of my absolute favorite oils. Avocado oil has such a luxe texture and makes skin feel almost spongey it is so good at plumping. Nothing beats rosehip oil for anti-aging benefits, like brightening the skin, lightening dark spots, and softening lines and wrinkles. Sea buckthorn and turmeric are superstars at giving skin a lit-from-within glow. VD suggests a particular pat and press type method for applying the serum and now I do that with all of my facial oils. Love.
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial :: Skin tends to get more sand papery in dry months. It seems like I need to exfoliate every few days right now. As always, don’t overdo the sloughing or you’ll end up with red, irritated skin. This is especially important when winter is already causing skin to become more fragile. I love this treatment because, while it does contain super fine granules, it is not a scrub. This baby uses fruit extracts to loosen and remove dry, dead skin cells. It’s seriously an instant facial. When I need smoothness and glow, I apply a nice layer, wait a minute or two, and rinse. That simple and no scrubbing necessary.
Ashwaganda :: I love Dr. Sara Gottfried. She’s a medical doctor who strongly believes in holistic medicine. Her book helped me get my hormones on track and I read pretty much anything she puts out. So, when I came across this article recently I had to check into some of this adaptogen. I wrote more on adaptogens here, and have always meant to get some ashwaganda in my life because Ayurveda loves this guy. It is said to help with both emotional and physical stress (sign me up), boost the immune system (a must for cold and flu season), and help to balance hormones (for sure, yes!).
So, I talked with many people over the weekend who have their holiday shopping done.
If you are like me, you still have a ways to go in the shopping department. The great thing about shopping online is,you have time to put together some great gifts in a snap. I have many, many beautiful green beauty treats on my list this year. All great for giving or receiving. And if you are reaaaaalllly late on the gift buying, I have one idea that is going to save the season for you.
Read on for…
Your Holiday Gift Guide (Wishlist)
Kypris Glow Philtre Mask :: I am all about the glow this year. Ok, every year. But I totally feel you can head off that sulky mid-winter pallor if you start early. And one way to do that is with this gorgeous exfoliator. Kypris knows how to do beauty, so we can trust them. Plus, this slougher is gentle enough for all skin types. A true beauty treat.
Moon Juice Beauty Dust :: If you follow me you know I’ve been singing the praises of this beauty supplement far and wide. You know how you buy something and hope with all your heart it will actually give the gorgeous skin benefits it boasts? Only to be let down time and again? Well, this baby will not leave you out in the cold, girl. It really does make your skin look magnificent. I drink the stuff every day and would love to see it peeking out of my stocking.
Vapour + Shiva Rose Lip Gloss :: Want a lip color any woman on your list will fall in love with? I am head over heels for the new lip gloss from Vapour Organics. It’s a collab with green beauty guru, Shiva Rose, and it has a way of livening up your face in an instant.
Josh Rosebrook Ethereal Botanical Fragrance :: Maker of the incredibly satisfying organic skincare line has gone and designed a fragrance. It is said to conform to every person who wears it and has a warm airy scent. Plus the name is just so divine. Can’t wait to try.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Nurturing Body Oil :: Nothing fancy, but feels so luxe. I promise this stuff delivers on soft skin big time. It is nourishing and my dry wintery legs are still smooth and silky at the end of the day after I use this delish body oil. No small feat. And it has the perfect, soft rose scent.
de Mamiel Winter Facial Oil :: I am obsessed with facial oils. I like several different brands and even mix up my own custom blends depending on my skin’s needs. The fact that de Mamiel has facial oils for every season is so utterly exciting. Who could resist?
Mullein & Sparrow Hydrating Face Mist Toner :: So love this product! It is a lovely scented mist that hydrates and soothes the skin, perfect for the dry days of winter. Made with rose water, which actually helps to soften and plump up the complexion. I spritz on my face, body, hair, sheets, coat, handbag…
For the readers in your life :: I have a few suggestions. First off, if you have yet to read Gabby Bernstein’s latest The Universe Has Your Back do yourself a giant favor and buy it now. Get one for anyone in your life who could use some soul love. This book seriously changed my life, not even kidding.
Next, for the green beauty lover or wannabe, Dr. Pina LoGiudice’s short but super sweet The Little Book of Healthy Beauty. This tiny tome offers up sound healthy beauty advice with info I’d never read anywhere else. So cool.
And for the DIYer, give them a book that will keep them beautifully busy with Hello Glow.
Now, let’s say you have absolutely no idea what to get your sis, bestie, mom, boss, girlfriend, or other female in your life. I have the perfect idea and you can even do it last minute. A beauty box! Luckily, I had the chance to sample a few this season and here are the juicy details…
Credo Clean Beauty Discover Kit :: Full of top brand name natural beauty samples. The online store’s debut kit featured de Mamiel, Tata Harper, Evolvh, Pai, Lovefresh, and Skin Owl. All stashed in a cute canvas bag that is easily tote-able. This kit is not available by subscription but any gal would be happy to know it’s heading her way.
Goodbeing Box :: Another sweet surprise of green beauty swag. This is where my relationship with Dr. Hauschka Body Oil began. The box also contained Annemarie Gianni Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash, Osea Ocean Cleanser (which I’ve been using and love), and a pretty little Pure Ananda Loose Mineral Shadow. They also included a fun textured scrubber body mit by Daily Concepts that my daughter quickly confiscated. This box comes in several varieties and shipping options, including a month-to-month subscription.
Good Earth Beauty Box :: A fun and out of the ordinary beauty box. The theme for the box I tried was chocolate and it was exciting to open it up and have the yummy scent waft out. All items in the box are chocolate scented, including a bar of soap, lip scrub, personal fragrance, skin oil, and lip balm, all by Good Earth Beauty. This one also comes in a variety of box and subscription options.
Natural supplement powders are sort of everywhere right now. People are adding them to smoothies, juice, tea…even coffee has been known to get a dose.
But what are they and what will they do for you?
Ok. Supplement powders, the good ones anway, take the power of natural and organic plants and herbs, and blend them to do different things. Certain blends infuse you with energy. Others help you sleep. Some give you clarity of mind or beautiful skin.
Yep, I said beautiful skin. Moon Juice makes a variety of supplement blends and my fave is Beauty Dust. I sampled the lot and, of course, it was the first one I tried.
What’s Beauty Dust Made Of?
Organic Goji :: An antioxidant powerhouse, these teeny berries are also good for toning down inflammation
Rehmannia :: Reduces swelling and the appearance of broken capillaries
Organic Schisandra :: Reduces inflammation, protects skin from environmental damage, and makes it look plump and supple
Pearl :: This beauty is full of calcium, magnesium, and amino acids, and is great at evening skin tone and promoting a calm mood
Organic Stevia :: So it tastes yummy
Unlike some supplement powders, Beauty Dust is a pleasure to use. I add it to both smoothies and tea (haven’t tried coffee yet, but I’ll get there) and it never tastes or feels weird.
Now what you really want to know. Does Beauty Dust make your skin beautiful? I’m going with Yep!
My first time with Beauty Dust was in a smoothie. I drank it down for breakfast and went about my morning. When I went to put on makeup I noticed that I really didn’t need concealer. I’ve worn concealer pretty much every day since my early twenties to tone down redness around my nose and cover up dark circles. Let’s just say, other than eyeliner and lipgloss, I don’t leave home without a dab of concealer. So, to not need it was something I definitely noticed.
A huge check mark goes beside the “evens skin tone” benefit of Beauty Dust. I also think it gives skin a nice glow. I need to try it out after a night of pizza binging and really put its anti-inflammatory skills to the test.
Am I still buying Beauty Dust? Yes, I am. Moon Juice has a subscription plan so you never have to be without your dust. It’s also available on Amazon Prime for those of you who roll like me and like to wait until you are practically out of something before buying more.
I’ve always loved beauty products. From playing in my Mom’s makeup, to putting together my own style, to writing about it today…I’m into it.
But when you write about eyeshadow colors for the season, and how to use highlighter, and stuff like that day in and day out, you can get in a rut. Like, nothing new.
And then you stumble on something that is so good you can’t quit thinking about. And your fire is lit again.
Here’s what’s been lighting my fire lately:
1 Baby skin :: Sounds like something you want, right? Wait ‘til you see a pic of it! I came across this article while writing a story on facial mists and cannot quit thinking about it. The deal is, you give your face a light misting between each layer. So, moisturizer, mist, foundation, mist, powder, mist…you get the idea. I want.
2 The New Brow :: While brows have taken a slightly more demure turn over last year’s big and bold, definition is still definitely in. This can be tricky. How many bad brows have you witnessed in the past 12 or so months?
I found a trick in InStyle mag that works like a charm. You simply brush brows up, feather a line on the under side of brows (I give it the slightest of blends with a q-tip), and brush brows into place. It gives brows definition without looking overly filled in or mad scientist-y. Give ‘er a try.
3 Exotic Oils :: Facial oils have sorta been my thing for a long while now. I love ‘em and no one is gonna change my mind. But I recently came into a sweet little stock of facial oils I had never tried. We are talking Berbere, Tamanu, Marula, and Baobab. Exotic, oui? They are all mighty lovely and create super soft skin, but my face seems to be crushing hard on the Berbere in particular. I’d say run, don’t walk, to one of these babies.
4 Hair Game Changer :: And last, but not least, I’d like to share a life changing hair moment I had recently. My daughter, in attempt to get the most from a new hair conditioner we were trying, read the directions on the bottle. It appears you are supposed to squeeze the water from your sopping wet locks before applying your conditioner.
Oh. Em. Gee. Do you all already know about this? How many other daily life things have I been doing wrong forever? If you too are one who slathers her soaking wet hair in conditioner and wonders why she isn’t getting super soft locks, try this trick. If you’ve been doing this your whole life, take pity on my feeble mindedness.
I’ve seen a few articles lately and fielded some questions on the whole chemical free cosmetics labeling issue. Following is my opinion on the subject. Feel free to love or hate.
Some green beauty experts feel labeling a cosmetic as “chemical free” is misleading because all ingredients, natural or synthetic, are chemicals.
Oh gosh. This reminds me of the kid in class who always (always!) had to pipe up when someone called white or black a color, and expound at length on why these two are not technically colors. We all already knew that, had heard it plenty of times, but still called white and black colors. Why? Because who says My new black dress is the perfect absence of light to go with my new shoes or I’m having trouble choosing the best shade of light for my bathroom.
Answer? No one.
Here’s the deal. We have to call them something. While I prefer the term “toxic” over “chemical” as a means to relay the harmfulness of certain cosmetic ingredients, I also get that people relate to the term “chemical”, so I use it often when I write about harmful ingredients. And toxic can be just as questionable. What constitutes a toxic cosmetic ingredient? Are all cosmetic ingredients on the avoid list toxic? … you get the picture.
Same with the term “natural.” Does it carry any true weight in terms of a safe product? Not really, but it is a term we use in the green (there’s another one) beauty industry. Natural Perfumes for Summer or Natural Makeup for Summer are better headlines than Synthetic Free Makeup for Summer. That last one is not going to get many hits and this means less good synthetic free beauty advice in front of eyes looking for healthy information.
We organic beauty experts have been making lists for over a decade now titled “Chemical Ingredients to Avoid”. Yes, we could easily begin calling them “Toxic Ingredients to Avoid” or “Toxins to Avoid in Cosmetics” or even “Unhealthy Cosmetic Ingredients.” That’d be fine with me.
But the real problem here is under regulation of cosmetics and personal care. We are on our own here, as consumers, and doing our best to protect ourselves from unhealthy junk, and purchase what’s best for us and our families.
Shooing shoppers away from products labeled “chemical free” entirely? I get the good behind this strategy and the desire to educate, but it is too soon for this. There are good, safe, high quality brands creating products they choose to call chemical free because it speaks to consumers. Is it sometimes misleading labeling used by less than safe companies? Yes. Always? No!
Awareness surrounding toxic ingredients in cosmetics is much huger than it was a decade ago. This is good stuff. But, at least for now, I feel that shunning all cosmetics labeled “chemical free” is not only misleading to shoppers in general, but sort of like throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Yes, right now words like chemical, green, natural, and even organic are tossed around without a whole lot of street cred. This not only makes it harder for shoppers to know they are getting a safe product (remember: never trust the front label!), but difficult for truly safe brands to market their healthy products.
We are on the right path. Read labels, follow brands you trust, and ask questions.
Lina Hanson Global Treasures :: You know how you put your heavy moisturizers away once winter disappears? And then you realize summer is parching your skin too? People, there’s pearl, gold, and coffee in this spectacular balm. It’s like a decadent dream come true for thirsty skin and I want it now.
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Fleur 2 :: You know how Chocolate Sun is one of the best nontoxic self tanners? You don’t? Well, you totally need to get some. I can’t wait to try this spray version.
RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Myth :: Solar seems the obvi choice for summer, no? But the sweet kinda lavender/kinda silver-y-ness of Myth has me all kinds of excited. Going to use on lids, cheeks, lips, collarbone…try to stop me.
Of course, you’ve got to get yourself that smooth, even look. And since the sun is out most of the time these days and we are heading into summer (yay!), I’m recommending Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen. This stuff goes on like a dream and provides some healthy mineral sun protection. Gots to have.
Can’t forget to handle the brows. While I’ve never been one to fill mine in, lately I’ve been using Benecos Eyebrow Designer. It is super easy to apply (I advise using a feathering motion while holding the pencil at a slant against brows) and comes with a convenient brow brush on the other end.
This look is lash game strong, so get yours out there with a smooth, thickening black. Try Ilia Beauty Mascara.
Those neutral lips are what is so surprising about this stunning look on Gwen. I mean, she can rock red and neutral? C’mon. Go with a lip that is close to the shade of our shadow. I choose Ilia Beauty Lip Crayon in Come Undone, cuz there’s nothing un-fun about picking out lippies.
Yep, I started this little blog a decade ago. Since then, my business has definitely evolved. And my blog design along with it, thankfully. Just for chuckles, check out the OBS original home page, below.
Way back when it all began I had a preschooler and a kindergartener, and would spend any time they were sleeping researching this whole toxins in beauty products thing. In March of 2006, after spending a good 6 months reading and asking and emailing, I decided to start a blog sharing this knowledge with others. The plan was to eventually open an online store selling my favorites.
But the writing bug soon took over and before I knew it organic beauty professionals were asking me to write for them. I may spend most of my time now writing for other businesses and websites, but I am still just as passionate about the organic beauty/heath + wellness movement.
Not only have I and my blog changed, but the organic beauty scene has changed big time too. Back when I was starting out, researching my brains out and scouring the web for organic brands that were actually walking the talk and not just utilizing good marketing skills, naturals were different. Sure, there were those that have always been both high performance and safe at the same time (Lavera, Primavera, Dr. Hauschka, I’m lookin’ at you), but many were sloopy, sticky, stinky concoctions I did not enjoy using.
I think these days women are looking for products that act, look, feel, and sometimes even smell like conventional products. I know I am. Lucky for us that is happening. Today we have a huge selection of nontoxic products and brands to choose from. Truly safe, high quality, act like you want them to, beauties.
We are fortunate. There is nothing standing in our way of looking and feeling great while making healthy choices. I’m so happy to have been a part of the organic beauty movement over these past 10 years and want to give a huge shout out to my sisters and bros in the organic beauty game too. All of the amazing bloggers, editors, online shop owners, brand creators, and PR peeps who’ve lent their time and products to my journey…a big smooch to you. Couldn’t have done it without you!
If you’d like to talk about my writing services, please get in touch via my contact page. For organic beauty info, hit up the Resources tab. The Shop page will get you started on some beauty products I’ve picked out from one of my fave shops. Or dive into the posts to see what’s going on in my green beauty world.
As always, thanks for reading and come back soon!
Top image by Pineapples at Unsplash.com has absolutely nothing to do with OBS turning 10. I just love pineapples and beaches:)