I'm really excited about today's post because it's on a topic that has impacted my life greatly. A couple of years ago, I decided to ditch the toxic and chemical-filled products that I was using, both household and beauty. I forget what the actual turning point was, but I think my interest in changing my ways developed while I was attending networking events and just so happened to meet a couple of women who worked for companies like Arbonne, which is a company that sells natural health and beauty products.
I was so intrigued. I remember someone (in the natural beauty field) saying, "your skin is your body's largest living organ and anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream". At that moment, my mind was blown. I know, it sounds so silly and almost a little naive to have not thought about that before but that's the point! I truly had never really thought about it before. I had ignored labels and all of the LONG and unfamiliar words that were on them. Well, that ignorance went out the window real quick. I became so enthralled in learning more about chemicals and toxins that are found in both household and beauty products. I started scouring Pinterest for homemade recipes of products that I use on a daily and weekly basis. How could I not have known that baking soda and lemon created such fantastic cleaners?!
I then learned about a local store, Follain that sells natural beauty products and that is when I became completely obsessed. Not only is this store beautifully designed with its white and black color palette and pops of fresh greenery, but every store associate is knowledgable in their products and incredibly kind. AND I absolutely love that they carry brands whose products are made in the United States. They have two stores in Boston (South End and Beacon Hill), a store on Nantucket, in D.C. and a new store in New York City (in SOHO). You can also purchase their products online too!
So, I thought it'd be fun to share some natural products that I use! Some of these products can be found at Follain, but there are a few that can actually be found at stores like Target or Whole Foods too.
Follain Hand + Body Soap - love, love, love this hand soap! I use the Lemongrass and Lavender scents in my kitchen and bathroom and cannot recommend it enough. My hands are never dry or crackly after washing which is a huge plus in my book because I have an uncontrollable issue if my skin is feeling dry. I also adore the reusable bottle. I know people that have used this soap to clean their pets...it's that good!
Cleanser + Exfoliator
Right now, I'm using Acure Facial Cleansing Gel and Alba Enzyme Scrub and they are both great. Both can be found at either Target or Whole Foods which makes purchasing super convenient. I have really grown to love the Acure brand because their products are great and are extremely affordable considering most natural beauty products do come with a larger price tag. I've used the Acure Brightening Scrub and highly recommend it as well.
Another cleanser that I've used which can be found at Follain is the Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Cleanser. I have somewhat normal to dry skin and this is a great, light cleanser that makes my face feel clean without feeling as if everything just got stripped away. It smells divine and a little goes a long way so one bottle could literally last you 6 months!
I use The Honest Company Organic Baby Powder and this stuff is great. If you're not familiar with The Honest Company, they are commonly known for their natural baby products, but I think their stuff is just as great for adults too! I love that this powder is talc-free!
So, I just started using the RMS Beauty Oil and woah, guys, this stuff is incredible. I cannot recommend it enough. For people who like to use oils instead of lotions to moisturize their face and even body with, then this is THE product. I love RMS brand so, so much. I am a HUGE RMS makeup lover so I knew that I'd love this beauty oil.
I visited Follain a couple of weeks ago on the hunt for a new oil because my face was NOT agreeing with the coconut and jojoba oil that I was currently using on it. During my visit to Follain that day I learned that while coconut oil is great for removing makeup, healing scars and for a gazillion other reasons, it is NOT good for moisturizing on certain skin types. It's a super light oil so if you have dry skin, then it's definitely not going to offer enough moisture. It also has traditionally been given a comedogenicity rating of a 4 on a scale rating from 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest. This means that it's highly common for coconut oil to clog pores. It can also make dry skin even dryer, which is the problem I was having!
Don't get me wrong, I still use coconut oil to remove eye makeup and for so many other things but I will never use it as a moisturizer again. Now that I am using the RMS Beauty Oil, I am hooked and my face is 1000 times better.
For people that have extremely dry skin and/or like more of a cream to moisturize their face with, I would recommend SW Basics Cream. I use this stuff in the winter months because my face gets so incredibly dry. You could even use it on your body too! I also love that it's sold at Target in addition to Follain. SCORE!
Side note - the smaller "trial size" bottle is more than enough, if you're just using it on your face in the winter months. The bigger bottle would be good to buy if you planned on using it on your body though. : )
For anyone that knows me pretty well, you'll know that I cannot go a day without some sort of chapstick. Much like my skin, my lips get super dry which is quite annoying. If I realize that I've switched bags and don't have chapstick on me, then I'll B line it to the nearest drug store to buy one immediately.
I've used so many different types of chapstick in my day and it wasn't until I started using the natural brands that I realized how less frequently I need to reapply it throughout the day. This is because there are weird chemicals and toxins in the non-natural kinds that are causing the product to actually not do the job of what chapstick should be doing.
Right now, I use a combination of stuff but I love the Herbivore Rose Lip Butter which oddly enough I cannot find online! This stuff is awesome and is so moisturizing. I keep this it at home because I don't love the idea of dipping my fingertip into a product to then put on my lips while I'm out and about and definitely touching things that thousands of germy fingers have been on. Yup, I'm that annoying about cleanliness. So in my bag you'll currently find Burt's Bees chapstick which is just okay. I love Follain's Lip Balms and have tried many of the different scents! I feel like I just need to stock up on like 4 of them the next time I go in there because I go through chapstick so quickly. And honestly I'm more apt to be closer or in a Whole Foods or CVS than Follain on a regular basis which makes me sad. : (
I also use the Stewart & Claire Mint Julep Lip Scrub and have to say it's pretty amazing as well. I don't use this too often so one little jar of this lasts a long time, but I find I use it a lot in either the summer or winter months because that's when my lips are either super dry or are sun damaged. It feels so nice to scrub the dead skin away and once you wash it off, your lips are super moisturized because of the oils and butters that it's made up of.
Makeup is one of those things I really started to splurge on once I went the natural route. Natural makeup is not cheap, BUT each cosmetic that I own lasts quite a while so it's not like I'm buying a new piece every month. I MIGHT be caught buying a new Ilia lipstick every month because well, it's just THE BEST lipstick I have ever laid my hands on.
I personally don't wear a ton of makeup so my approach and the types of makeup that I use might not be what you would choose, which is totally okay! I just want to spread awareness on the brands that I use because they're solid, natural brands that produce great product. With SO many options out there for literally everything, it's hard to know which brand is better than the last. So, I hope this post offers some clarity for you if you're looking to "go natural".
I thought it was only fitting to start off the makeup roundup with my collection of lipsticks since I literally cannot stop feeling the obsessive way that I feel towards this brand. Are you annoyed with me yet?
Ilia is the only lipstick brand that I own because I am convinced there's no better brand. Their selection of colors is truly too good to be true - there are nudes and lighter shades for gals that like to keep it neutral and subtle but then there are badass bold colors like, "neon angel" and "around the world" that are drool-worthy. The application of this product is bananas good. Since it's jam packed with natural oils and butters, this lipstick applies so well and smooth. Who the hell likes clumpy, dry lipstick anyway? NOT ME.
Like I mentioned above, I don't wear a ton of makeup and never really have but I think these face makeup products in particular, could be great for someone that does like to layer on makeup in addition to someone who likes to keep it somewhat light!
W3ll People is another awesome brand that I have grown to love. I use their Narcissist Foundation Stick and don't have one bad thing to say about it. It applies smooth and offers enough coverage for me. Now again, you might want something that is a bit thicker or heavier but if you're looking for moderate to light coverage this is a great one!
Also use and love W3ll People Bio Bronzer Powder. This is such a great bronzer. A TINY BIT goes a long way so one little container lasts so freakin' long. It offers a natural looking bronzed look and is money when used alone on top of some nice sun-kissed skin.
RMS Tinted "Un" Powder is my go-to for everyday. Sometimes, actually most times, I am too lazy to put a full face of makeup on so having this as my only face coverage is awesome. It's somewhat sheer, but it does help even things out (enough for me at least!). If I'm going out for the night or to an event then I'll do a full face of makeup which would start with the foundation stick (mentioned above) and then I use the powder over that. I never feel cakey or as if I look like I'm wearing a ton of makeup, which for me is how I feel most comfortable.
RMS Living Luminizer was my very first natural cosmetic product that I purchased. I started using this product years ago after searching high and low for a product that would offer that "J Lo glow", which is f*ckin incredible. Who doesn't want that glow?! A little swipe on the cheekbones and on the corners of your eyes and you are good to go. This is also an amazing product when applied on sun-kissed, bronzed skin. And yet again, a little goes a long way so one jar will last forever.
Mascara is kind of like lipstick, there's nothing like a good mascara that applies smooth and anything but clumpy. Circling back to W3ll People, their Expressionist Mascara is an awesome one. I use the black, but they have brown, blue and pink - how fun?!
So that rounds up some of my current natural beauty products! I hope you have found this post helpful and exciting because now you have learned about some really, really, really good brands that offer excellent products at prices that don't break the bank.
Another piece of advice for people who are looking to go natural is to do it in phases so it's not as overwhelming. Don't feel like you need to throw everything away and start fresh in one fell swoop. Natural beauty products are not cheap, so make sure you really love the product. If you're interested in any of the products that I mentioned above that can be purchased at Follain, then go in there and test some products out and definitely ask to take home some samples. It took me a couple samples to figure out which products I loved and worked well for my skin. And not to mention, my natural beauty product collection has grown over time and is still growing. I didn't just go out and buy everything on one day. I also love that a lot, if not most of these products only require a little amount during each use so they last quite a while which means I'm not going out every month buying a new one.
I also thought it'd be helpful to add some other products that I have used in the past and some of which I will definitely be investing in! Check those out below...
I loved this natural deodorant but unfortunately my skin was rejecting the natural ingredients that were in it. I used this specific product for a few months and before using it, I used the Tom's and Jäsön brands which were just okay. I saw my doctor and tried several kinds of prescription medications only to learn that none of them were working. I then went to my dermatologist and she basically told me it was the natural deodorant. I was completely baffled because I thought natural deodorant was supposed to be good for you. She told me to stop using the natural deodorant and to then see if I saw a difference. And sure enough, it worked. I was and still am really bummed because the aluminum that is found in non-natural deodorant scares the crap out of me, but I really don't want to go back to having weird rashes. I'd be curious to see what happened if I tried a different natural deodorant though...
LOVE this product. This is an awesome toner and it smells incredible. I need to get more but when I used it, I would spritz it on my face before moisturizing and it would add a nice extra layer of hydration which for me is so necessary.
Oh and, when I had it I had the travel size and it lasted me months!
Currently using a sample right now and I have nothing bad to say about it. It smells refreshing and goes on smooth! I'll definitely be buying a full bottle once my sample is done!
Okay, so this is definitely a splurge item and I have yet to purchase it because I am savoring every last bit of my sample and the price tag is truly the only thing that's holding me back. With that said, this product is FANTASTIC. It's literally magic. It's different from any other mask that I've used - it doesn't dry up all the way quite like other masks but holy crap does it work. I'll smother this on my face, let is sit for like 10-20 minutes (whatever I have time for!) and then wash off with a damp cloth. My skin legit feels like a brand spankin' new baby's bum.
I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions or comments so please drop them below! I'd also be happy to answer any questions as well. : )
Thanks for reading!