To me, beauty begins with what you feed your body + mind. What you put on the outside simply smooths it out + gives it a graceful polish.
I take the natural + organic route when it works for me, but I also use plenty of conventional products too. I pick my battles and I’m not obsessive about any one thing — you never know when you’ll learn something new and it’ll change your outlook.
Here’s my beauty + well-being routine, plus a few products I love sprinkled in.
My quickest fix, when I’m feeling a little off? Hydrate, sleep, or laugh. Works just about every time.
In the morning, I drink warm apple cider vinegar mixed with lemon juice and water. I’m not going to lie, it’s gross. But the long-term energy it gives is totally addicting. It also does wonders in keeping my skin healthy and warding off infections + illnesses. I also take Ashwaganda to help me stay sharp + energetic all day.
When it comes to fitness, I stick with things that make me smile — which is usually things in the yoga + dance category. I tried to get myself into distance running and Crossfit, but it turns out, I don’t like them. So why force it? There are plenty of other activities I’d love to do.
Right now, I’m having a blast doing PiYo — it’s one of those home DVD workouts, and I have to admit, I felt goofy the first time I did it. But it’s got that graceful Yoga thing I love and it’s crazy challenging. All those flowing moves are making me stronger than I’ve ever been.
After I’m finished with the PiYo course, I’m planning on enrolling in a hip-hop dance class (I’m terrible at dancing, but it’s about having fun, so who cares, right?). Then later on, I want to challenge myself to take a yoga teacher training course.
To me, the best thing I can do for my body is appreciate it. There are plenty of things I don’t love about myself, but I refuse to trash talk my own body. That kind of negativity is poison — and totally within my control. The things I tell myself can either feed insecurities or starve them. I choose to starve ’em.
If something about the way I look is really bothering me, I consider what it would take to change it and then make the decision from my heart. If I decide to change it, great. If not, I decide to change my mind about it. Moving on + enjoying life.
At one point, I tried to get my makeup bag down to just 5 items. Having less stuff invites peace into my soul, so I figured I’d apply that principle to my makeup bag.
But, after a little while, I realized that it’s more useful + practical to have the right amount of stuff instead of having a minimal amount of stuff for the sake of minimalism.
This is true for capsules too. I think numbers can be helpful guidelines when we are experimenting with smaller wardrobes, smaller makeup bags, etc., but the right amount will be different for all of us. It’s more about inviting peace into our souls than meeting a number.
Anyway, one of my goals for 2016 was to slowly replace my makeup with safer alternatives — that actually perform well. So far, I’m about halfway there, and I’m totally celebrating this progress because small change over time = big change.
Here’s everything I’m using these days:
I begin and end the day with Trilane Moisturizer. My mom introduced me to it last year while we were living with my parents + renovating our home. It’s a super light oil and it feels amazing. My skin loves this stuff and a lot of my little wrinkles and sun spots have vanished since I started using it.
For foundation, I use Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream. Word to the wise: a little goes a long way. This stuff is super saturated and a tube can last forever — it’s more of a true foundation than a BB Cream.
And! It’s rated 2 / low hazard on EWG’s Skin Deep Guide — hooray!
The only drawback with this BB Cream is that it must be mixed with a primer or else it’s super chalky. I use MAC essential oils primer — it’s light + fresh. Again, a little goes a long way. I’ve got all the coverage I need if I use less a pea size dab of BB cream with just one or two drops of primer (depending on how dry my skin is that day). I mix them in the palm of my hand and use my fingertips to apply it.
EDIT: I recently started using a Beauty Blender to apply my Jane Iredale BB Cream, and guess what? It works even better than mixing it with primer! Now I don’t have to use a primer unless I feel like it. Pretty excited about this. (Here’s how to use a Beauty Blender if you’ve never used one.)
For blush, I use Beauty Counter Cream Blush Stick — rated 1 / low hazard on EWG, for the win!
For my eyes, I use Tarte Eyeliner and Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara. I always have trouble with smudging on my eyelids, but these stay put — little to no smudging. I have yet to find a low hazard eyeliner + mascara that don’t smudge. Know of one? Share away!
For my brows, I use Anastasia BrowWiz in Soft Brown. This stuff is rated 2 / low hazard on EWG — yay! If you’re looking for an inexpensive version, try Milani Easybrow.
And finally, for my lips, I use Burt’s Bees Lip Balm to keep my lips hydrated and Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine for a little color.
When I’ve got the urge to shop for clothes I don’t need, I turn my attention to my hair instead. I mean, mastering a new hair style is kind of in the same vein as getting new clothes — it can completely change my look, but without spending money.
Right now, I have four go-to styles for my hair: half up / half down, a messy low bun, a topknot, and loose waves.
I like an imperfect + undone look and I don’t really use product in my hair, but I do use a handful of tools. To get loose waves, I use a one inch tapered curling wand that I got from Target for $30 (here’s a similar one for even less). For a topknot in 30 seconds, I use one of these spongey donuts. And for the half up / half down look, I love using this cool circle clip.
I wash my hair about once or twice a week now. Once I stopped over-washing, my hair got stronger, shinier, and it actually started growing faster. If I find my hair is getting a little oily between washes, I use either Herbal Essences tapioca-based dry shampoo or my own DIY-ed natural dry shampoo.
Instead of conditioner, I use the tiniest bit of grape seed oil on the ends of my hair. Bonus: it also works as a body lotion and shaving cream.
And that’s it! That’s my happy blend of naturalness + made-up-ness. My own way of celebrating life + honoring what I’ve been given.
Got any specific questions about anything mentioned here? Ask away! I’d also love to hear about your beauty routine — share away in the comments!
Bonnie Rae says
This made me so incredibly relaxed for some reason, you have such a beautiful way of looking at life and caring for your body- so encouraging.
Bonnie, that’s so nice to hear! Thank you :) xo, Caroline
I totally agree! What you put on the outside… A few years ago I drank also apple vinegar each morning. Then I stopped this routine and now the oil pulling cure with olive belongs to my morning routine and I’m happy how it works :) Thanks for sharing this post and I love all of the hairstyles you show here!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
I love your blog. What’s your recipe for the vinegar/lemon/water mixture? Thanks!
Hi Teri, I do about 8 ounces of water + 2 tablespoons of lemon + 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. :) xo, Caroline
Stefanie Murrer says
I love Arbonne’s It’s a long story mascara and it’s rated a 2! I was queen of curling and using waterproof mascara my entire life until I realized that I probably wasn’t making the best decision as the years went by. I gave Arbonne’s a try, and maybe a few months after using, I actually found I didn’t have to curl my lashes as much – win win! I haven’t experienced much smudging – at least after a minute of letting it dry. Now, when I sneeze right after putting it on, that’s a different story :)
Stefanie, haha! The sneeze smudge happens to the best of us! :) Thanks for the recommendation. xo, Caroline
This is such a great post, I loved reading about your wellbeing and completely agree about starving or feeding your own insecurities. I really need to stop trash talking my own body even if it is only in my mind. I love your hairstyles and that facial oil sounds like it performs miracles. Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed this post x
ALittleKiran | Bloglovin | Instagram
Hi Caroline! :)
I’m super happy that you’re back with your bog! Love to read all your tips and find many of them very useful. So thank you for sharing! :)
I try to use as few products on my skin as possible and as animal friendly as possible. Hate the thought of stuff being testet on helpless animals.
There is a Danish brand called Rudolph Care that is free of any nasty stuff and that is NOT tested on animals as far as I know.
Best regards from Norway
Can you share about your experience with bangs? I’ve been thinking about it a lot, but I’m on the fence. I think I might look slightly better with them, but I don’t know if the upkeep would drive me batty. What do you think?
Hey Emily, sure! I loved a lot of things about having bangs — not having to keep up my brows, not having to worry about forehead breakouts, feeling like Jane Birkin. :) In the end, I just felt more like “me” without bangs, so I’ve grown them out. But! It was a super fun experiment. And growing them out wasn’t near as big a pain as a lot of people said. I learned a lot about how to style my hair and go with the flow through all the growth phases. They do take some upkeep, but you can wear them in so many different ways. Overall, it was really fun to get bangs and I say why not?! :) xo, Caroline
Tania // girlwithanakita says
I love this post!
I also like to go as natural as possible, but I find that I have ‘different’ hair that requires conventional products to calm it down rather than the natural route. I totally agree with you in that it’s very important to choose your battles and worry more about having the right amount of products rather than a certain number. I dwindled down my makeup from excess multiple color foundations, eyeshadow palettes, and lipsticks I don’t wear to the ‘right’ amount that I use on a daily basis. It doesn’t look minimal but compared to my old drawer of half used things, it is heaven to look at :)
Tania, isn’t it like a breath of fresh air to have that clean makeup drawer? Aaaahhh… :) xo, Caroline
I’ve gone that route as well, and ended up having a lot of success with dual-purpose beauty stuff – my fave is an RMS pot rouge that works as blush and lipstick, and in so,e shades even eyeshadow. Their concealer also does double-duty as foundation when I mix it with a teeeeny bit of lotion. So those two tiny pots replaced 4 of my old toxic products, woo!
Caroline – if you haven’t tried out RMS (I’m a particular fan of their concealer and cheek/lip tint), I super recommend it. Lowest EWG rating of anything I could find, and it lasts forever – seriously my cheek/lip tint has lasted a year and I use it daily!
I love Pacifica’s mascara. It’s low hazard, vegan, and cruelty free too! It’s also sold at Target which makes it super convenient to pick up. I switch over to natural/low hazard/cruelty free make up about 2 years ago and that is one product I’ve stuck with!
xo bonnie @ busybonnie.com
Bonnie, thank you for the recommendation! Love that it’s conveniently sold at Target. :) xo, Caroline
I’m going to second Bonnie’s suggestion. If you have oily eye lids this stuff is for you. It stays put all day! I’m probably never going to switch mascara now. Oh and their whole line is beautifully packaged and is good for our bodies:)
Hynt Beauty mascara! All natural and so amazing at staying put while giving killer lashes! :)
What ratio of vinegar/water/lemon juice do you use?
Hi Amy, It’s about 8 ounces of water to 2 tablespoons each of lemon and apple cider vinegar. :) xo, Caroline
Hi Caroline – Thanks for sharing! A couple questions:
1) What do you use for regular shampoo when you do wash your hair?
2) Are all these beauty products cruelty-free? I think it’s important to use products that are free of harmful chemicals, but I’m also trying to eliminate all brands/products that are not kind to animals or use animal testing from my beauty routine. Please let me know.
Hi Katrina, right now I’m just using Tresemme Naturals, which isn’t ideal (a 5 / moderate on EWG) but it’s inexpensive and my hubby shares it with me. :) As for the beauty products, I think about 6 out of the 10 I listed are cruelty-free. This list was a good guide. Hope that helps! :) xo, Caroline
Thanks! I, too, was wondering how many are cruelty-free; Jane Iredale is always a good choice. :)
As always, you have such a graceful approach, and I agree with a previous commenter that reading your posts and seeing your images has a soothing effect. I particularly like your rational approach to slowing changing out both clothes and products to suit your values; all-at-once doesn’t work for most people! How do you choose which specific issues to focus on? I find that my *ideal* products don’t exactly exist, since it’s a tall order to find things that are socially and environmentally conscious, cruelty free, organic/non-toxic, *and* – have you thought about this? – low-to-zero waste. For me, it’s a constant struggle balancing products I like while also considering their packaging and whether it’s excessive and can be easily recycled.
i love lemongrass spa mascara! (I am a consultant, but i am crazy about it and would talk about it anyway) it doesn’t clump which was my most horrible thing about mascara and i found out that other mascaras were making my eyes itch–this does not.
Gosh, this is totally off subject but the vanity in the photo is great. I know you and your husband just remodeled your new house. Is this your bathroom? If so can you share the manufacturer of the vanity.
So glad your blog is back.
Hey Bronwyn, the vanity is part of our remodel — from IKEA! :) xo, Caroline
Katie | Domesticate Kate says
I need to try using grapeseed oil! I also wash my hair once or twice a week, and people cringe when I say that, but my hair is soooo much healthier that way. My boyfriend told me the other day that he can’t ever tell when my hair gets dirty, but he feels like it has to because I never wash it.
Mikyla marie says
Ahh Jane Iredale products are the best! You’re absolutely right, the BB cream has to be mixed with primer or else it goes on very thick. I actually tested on Jane Iredales Dream Tint moisturizer and I love it! I use that as my base everyday and then brush a finishing powder for that matte look – I have very oily skin though. I only use the BB cream now for nights out when I want a stronger base and for covering specific blemishes. You should try out the Dream Tint moisturizer. I think you would really like it!
Mikyla, sounds great! Thank you for the suggestion :) xo, Caroline
Just started using Honest beauty products. I love them and I trust the brand to be ethical.
Molly O'Rourke says
Magic, magic mascara: http://amzn.to/1XVeoIw no smudges in sweat, heat, naps, anything, and washes off with WATER and friction. It’s the best. Also available at Sephora and Nordstrom and other retailers but this is the cheapest I’ve found.
I’ve been using Ecco Bella mascara (rated 1 / low hazard on EWG) for a little over a year and only have good things to say about it! Link to it on Amazon: (http://bit.ly/1qLTSfQ) Sadly it looks like the price has gone up a bit since I last bought it… :( And I bought Maybelline Lasting Drama by Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner (rated 2 / low hazard on EWG) for special occasions at the end of last year and, again, am extremely happy with its performance and that I’m using something that’s arguably less toxic with out breaking the bank. Link to it on Amazon: http://bit.ly/1TDHhZD
I agree, it’s about balance. I generally try and keep my everyday items to 1-2’s on EWG scale and reserve 3-4’s and higher for more occasional (every other week or once a month) use. Or learning to forgo all together — good by foundation! ;)
There will always be data gaps, but making the best decisions with the information we have available is my bottom line goal went it comes to pursuing the natural + organic route of skin care + hair care. I’m actually taking a couple classes from an herbalist on how to create your own botanically based skin care products — I’ll let you know how it goes!! #diybaby
Laura, the skin care product class sounds so cool! xo, Caroline
Love this post. Thank you. I am really moving into getting most of my products to be natural and very low EWG score. Curious what you use for a face cleanser and if you use a sunscreen?
Hi Erin, to get my makeup off, I use a makeup remover wipe like Neutrogena or Burt’s Bees. Then I use warm water + a clean washcloth to gently exfoliate. And my BB Cream has sunscreen in it, but other than that I don’t use it (unless I’m headed to the pool) I’m a big fan of hats these days to keep the sun off my face. :) xo, Caroline
I had the hardest time finding healthier mascara/eyeliner alternatives that work, too. After using up the last of my DiorShow mascara I tried probably 6 different brands, all of which got super smudgy on my oily eyelids. I’ve finally landed on Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara (http://www.amazon.com/Mineral-Fusion-Mascara-Volumizing-Ounce/dp/B00CFQFIG8/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1464281039&sr=1-1&keywords=mineral+fusion+cosmetics) and eye pencil (http://www.amazon.com/Mineral-Fusion-Eye-Pencil/dp/B0177O900C/ref=pd_sim_194_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=31Bo6va5AmL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=1B8NFRJQ5JSTZ4DTEC8P). Both are also available at Whole Foods….I’ve been super happy with them and they are reasonably priced and easy to find too!
I use and love the Mineral Fusion Lengthening mascara! It can be a little pricy but if you get a two pack from online from Costco (you don’t have to have a membership!) it’s a pretty good deal. It’s not waterproof but stays on all day really well, has a good ingredients list, and it’s cruelty free! :)
Anna Kristina says
LOVE your attitude about all of this stuff. I’m also working on slowly transitioning my products with safer alternatives. It’s fun to have friends and an online community on the same journey! I know a single product can work differently for different bodies, but the encouragement and suggestions are super helpful! I found a store in Boston called Follain (also online + expanding) that’s been great for finding safe products that work for me. Thanks to Follain, I’m in a good place with my face + body care, but hair is still elusive!
Hi Caroline! I just switched to the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner. I was having the same problem with the covergirl eyeliner I was using — it would smudge too much and fade by the end of the day. I really like it so far! I bought the Whiskey (deep brown) color. It looks like it rates as a 2 on EWG’s site.
I’m currently using up my bottle of Urban DeCay’s Naked foundation, but I’m thinking of trying BeautyCounter’s Dew Skin tinted moisturizer with SPF once that’s gone. I’m definitely going to keep the Jane Iredale BB cream on my radar if that doesn’t work out!
LOVE that hair clip. My hair is long enough now to pull back (at least some of it), so I may need to visit Madewell soon!
My more splurgy makeup items include Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation and Gressa Lumiere lip/cheek tint. They work better for me than most conventional products and they’re made with all non-synthetic and non-toxic ingredients. I would love to own every single item in that line.
Jennifer Bennett says
I’m just going through my bathroom vanity and realizing how much stuff I have that I don’t enjoy wearing. My make-up routine is super simple – but I like to keep a few things for dressing up a bit on special occasions. I would also love to find natural replacements for at least my everyday products. Thanks for sharing!
thanks for sharing! i’ve copied down a bunch of these links. my goal for 2016 was to clean up my hair and makeup products as well. so far it’s been slow, but i’m really liking the Petit Vour beuaty box subscription (vegan, mostly all natural/non-toxic, and cruelty free) as well as some (but not all) Honest Beauty products.
I picked up a tube of the Jane Iredale BB right after Christmas in 2013. With a solid 5 days a week use, I just ran out this spring. That stuff is amazing! I choose to use a little moisturizer immediately before using and works along the same thoughts as you!
Jenn, that’s crazy good! 2.5 years of use sounds like a great investment. Thanks for sharing! :) xo, Caroline
EliZabeth Miller says
A mascara I’ve found that works really well and leaves no flakes is Ilia’s mascara in black.
Do you mind sharing your measurements for your morning energy drink? You are such an inspiration. Thank you!!
Michele, oh you are so sweet! The measurements are 2 tablespoons of lemon and 2 tablespoons of acv to 8 oz. of water. :) xo, Caroline
eyeliner: physician’s formula eye booster 2 in 1 lash boosting eyeliner and serum! ewg rated 2 and stays put.
Susan Hawkins says
Hi Caroline! I am much older than you (late 40s) but found your site a few years ago through my minimalist/capsule wardrobe searchings, have found it inspiring and look forward to your posts, especially since you are back from your hiatus. This is my first time commenting. I love your positive, easygoing but non-dogmatic approach to life. I’ve been doing yoga for almost 15 years and just completed my teacher training. It was one of the most transformative life experiences I’ve ever have. I think you’d love it. Namaste :)
Susan, that’s wonderful! I’m glad it was such a positive experience for you. I’m excited to give it a go! :) xo, Caroline
Hey! Great post :-) What shampoo routine did you end up liking the best? I tried a shampoo bar and hated it…probably because I really don’t want to have to do a clarifying wash with ACV. Any suggestions? Am thinking of trying doTERRA’s shampoo/conditioner next.
The doTERRA shampoo & conditioner are great! I love them.
Hey Steph, I actually don’t use anything fancy — Tresemme Naturals. It’s not ideal because it’s a 5 / moderate on the EWG, but it’s really inexpensive and I share it with my husband, so it’s easy for now. :) xo, Caroline
Lisa white says
Hi Caroline, what do you use for shampoo? Thanks for your thoughtful post.
Hi Lisa, right now I’m just using Tresemme Naturals :) xo, Caroline
Blinc mascara is amazing – it creates tubes around your lashes and does NOT smudge (I had a huge issue with smudging prior to finding this mascara – nothing stayed on properly). To get it off, you just use a bit of water and pull very gently and it literally comes off in tubes. I would never go back to regular mascara again. It’s a 4 in the EWG’s database, which isn’t awful.
Sarah, that mascara sounds really weird and cool! Thanks for sharing, I’m very intrigued by it :) xo, Caroline
I have really oily eyelids. Blinc and Trish McEvoy (both use the tube technology) are the only two I can wear. I went years without because I was so sick of having raccoon eyes.
I’m actually looking for a replacement since both products contain parabens. But they are great if you can’t wear normal mascaras or don’t want to deal with trying to remove them.
Dumb question – what your ratio of apple cider vinegar to water to lemon – pls advise – thx!
Hey Kris, there are no dumb questions! The ratio is 2 tablespoons acv to 8 ounces water to 2 tablespoons lemon. Hope that helps :) xo, Caroline
Kaylen Runyan says
“To me, the best thing I can do for my body is appreciate it. There are plenty of things I don’t love about myself, but I refuse to trash talk my own body. That kind of negativity is poison — and totally within my control. The things I tell myself can either feed insecurities or starve them. I choose to starve ’em.
If something about the way I look is really bothering me, I consider what it would take to change it and then make the decision from my heart. If I decide to change it, great. If not, I decide to change my mind about it. Moving on + enjoying life.”
Love, love, love this. Thank you for sharing!
I hear you on the non/low smudge eyeliner and mascara combo. I smudge mine all the time. But I’ve found if I use a little bit of setting powder (or any powder) under my eyes, coupled with eyeko mascara it doesn’t slip around.
Eyeliner wise, I’ve started embracing that some of it might smudge. I tend to go for purple or brown Urban Decay liners since they’ll stay put with minimal smudging. But if it does smudge, it’ll look intentional. Thanks for sharing your routine with the world!
Jess, that’s actually a really cute idea to use a colored liner, just in case. Smart! :) xo, Caroline
Caroline–I just love your blog! I have been working on my purging my closet and I do found the bathroom is such a more peaceful place with less!! I have a hard time throwing some things out that I bought to try and never used, but feel confident that less truly is more! I just wanted to let you that Beautycounter just came out with a mascara that is safe and smudging–I too have tried my fair share of safe mascaras and have less than stellar results!
Keep writing your blog is such a life-giving place on the internet!
shannon fleming-wood says
Thank you so much for sharing your routine! What kind of shampoo do you use when you do wash your hair? I have had a hard time finding a natural shampoo that leaves my hair feeling nice. I am now going to go clean out my make up bag:)
Hi Shannon, right now I’m just using Tresemme Naturals. It’s not ideal since it’s a 5 / moderate on the EWG, but it works since it’s inexpensive and I can share it with my husband. :) xo, Caroline
Caroline, one thing, check where your makeup is manufactured. I refuse to buy anything made in China, I just don’t trust it or want it on my face or body. You might think it’s just drugstore brands that do this, but some brands like Stila make their eye pencils in China. I go for things made in the USA, France, Germany, and Japan.
Another product I can recommend for women with dry skin or mature skin is Bobbi Brown Extra SPF tinted moisturizing balm. It doesn’t sit in your pores or lines, it blends nicely and leaves a dewey, even finish.
I’m going to try that face oil you recommended. Thanks!
I used Jane Iredale for a long time and switched everything to beauty counter (full disclosure, I am a consultant now). Their foundations are much easier to use than the Jane BB cream. It was so thick and I was in-between shades and could never get it took look like I wasn’t wearing a ton of make up. I have been enjoying Beautycounter and all products are EWG skin deep rated 3 and below.
too look* (Can’t blame that one on autocorrect…it was all me)
one more time…to look* Oh man. I speak English, I promise
Haha Savannah, I got what you meant ;) Thanks for sharing. xo, Caroline
Lily Lolo is hands down my favorite eco mascara. I’ve tried 100% Pure’s mascara as well and I liked it too, and it’s the cleanest version I’ve found. But Lily Lolo’s is still super clean and, I think, it performs better even more so than conventional mascaras. I’m using a Two Faced mascara that I heard so much raving and ranting about, but now I can’t wait to go back to my Lily Lolo mascara…
Mrs Patty says
I love seeing sneak picks of your house! That bathroom looks amazing! I hope you have plans to share how your thoughts around wardrobes and self care translates to your home!
For everyone who asked about natural shampoo routines, I tried going without washing my hair at all (except for rinsing through with herbal infusions) last year, and thought I’d share my experiences. For the first 2 weeks, I really struggled, my hair felt sticky to the touch and I was verging on giving up. Then I read that using a bristle brush really helps. Once I started doing this it made all the difference. My hair was still slick at the roots, but felt clean (you need to give it a really thorough brushing though). After about a week after this, my hair evened itself out, and no longer felt greasier at the routes, just really soft all over. I kept up the non-washing for a while until I went on holiday. The plane journey seemed to send my scalp into grease producing overdrive, and after arriving with an oil-slick on my head, I gave in and washed it. Would recommend it to others though, the initial settling period really wasn’t so long, and it made a great difference to the condition of my hair.
Carly, the bristle brush is a great tip! Did you get a certain brand? Thanks for sharing! :) xo, Caroline
The brand of the brush was Mason and Pearson. I think the bristles work by removing dirt and dust from your hair , stopping that sticky feel you can get with unwashed hair. It also helps distribute the oils from the scalp along the lengths of the hair. Give it a go! : ) x
Thanks for sharing your routine! I’ve been slowly working on going more safe and natural with my beauty products as well. I started to follow Laura’s Natural Life on YouTube and she is great! She’s gone through so many different, natural beauty products and has great reviews for everything.
I’m also curious about what shampoo you use. I really don’t like washing my hair every other day, but am afraid of making the leap to stretch it out longer. Then again, with two kids and my hair always up in a top knot, who would notice! :)
Great to have you back blogging!
Hey Shiloh, I’m just using Tresemme Naturals for now. The price is right and I share it with my husband :) xo, Caroline
100% Pure makes fruit tinted mascara that I really enjoy. I wear a basic activated charcoal eyeliner, but only on special occasions because it doesn’t last super long. But I do want to try mixing it with some aloe / maybe coconut oil and see if that helps.
Focusing on your hair, when you feel an urgent need for buying more clothes also works for me. Beside that, I also focus on my body – I exercise a lot, so I feel better with my body. It’s all in our heads ;) Take care!
Miranda Allen says
Thanks for all that you share Caroline! I have enjoyed your blog for a over year now and it has influenced the way I choose my wardrobe. I have learned a lot from you! I also love that you have come to a place of doing what works for you and not sweating it. It’s so easy to go to extremes and when you can find a happy medium, that is a good place to be. We need to enjoy this one life! Many blessings to you and your family.
This was just the thing I needed right now! A little pick me up, calm and niceness at the right time!
I have been trying to simplify and switch to a natural beauty routine for a while but I have a really hard time finding my center, calm and harmony in every area of my life, so no surprise that this isn’t working either..
Many thanks for the great tips, Caroline!
I really enjoy your blog and love this post! I’ve been trying to simplify my beauty routine the past year and switch to better products too. What do you use for face wash? That’s one I’ve struggled to find one I like at a reasonable price. Also, how do you do the top knot with the spongey donut?
Hi Brittany, to get my makeup off, I use a makeup remover wipe like Neutrogena or Burt’s Bees. Then I use warm water + a clean washcloth to gently exfoliate. :) For the bun, if you search YouTube for “donut bun tutorials” there are some great videos that will show you just how to do it! Good luck! xo, Caroline
Great post! I highly recognize the brand 100% Pure for non-toxic makeup and skin care. And John Masters Organics for hair products. I am a new reader and look forward to reading your future posts!
I actually did get my makeup routine down to 5 items: foundation or tinted moisturizer, pale neutral eyeshadow, mascara, blush and lipstick. For my skin, it’s cleanser, exfoliant and sunscreen in the morning and cleanser, exfoliant, blemish treatment and moisturizer at night (all from Paula’s Choice). I use Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Shampoo and Conditioner and no styling products.
Well done Carol! xo, Caroline
Thanks, Caroline. :) Still looking forward to that closet Tour post!
I love your attitude towards beauty and exercise. I am trying to replace my products with healthier alternatives too and I was feeling pretty overwhelmed but this helped :)
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing your beaty routine. I’m anxious to try the trilane moisturizer. I use 2 chic tangerine and papaya for fine hair shampoo and conditioner. They are organic vegetarian no animal testing overall just a really great product. I have a lot of waist length fine hair and it’s the only shampoo and conditioner that gives my hair the lift it needs. For me it’s a little pricey so I just buy a bunch when they are on sale. I’ve wanted to try the no washing buy my head literally hurts if i don’t wash my hair…don’t know if that would go away. As for lip balm I’ve never loved burts bees. I’m rather picky when it comes to lipbalm and I’ve found alba to be the best so far. I also thought I’d add that I’ve switched from regular body wash to baby body wash and it has done wonders for my skin. I use the honest company brand switching between the lavendar and orange.
Lizzie, I never thought of trying baby body wash, but it sounds awesome! :) xo, Caroline
Marie @ The Business of Blooming says
Great post, as always, Caroline! The part that resonated so strongly with me is how you exercise ONLY in ways you enjoy. I absolutely love that. I’ve never heard of PiYo, but I feel like I’d like it. So thanks for introducing something new to me :)
Have a great weekend!
Becky :: accooohtrements.wordpress.com says
These are the best tips! I particularly like: “If something about the way I look is really bothering me, I consider what it would take to change it and then make the decision from my heart.”
Thanks for sharing :)
Another inspiring post!
I’m totally going to think carefully before I replace items going forward! I’ve been trying to find a BB cream so when I next run out I’ll definitely try to find the Jane Iredale cream you mention. My usual routine is primer + under eye concealer and then if I’m going one step further then I’d use Mascara (100% Black Tea which looks great but has so many edible ingredients it makes me hungry!), lip gloss and a BB cream.
Thanks also for the shampoo tips. I use Argan Oil one a week before washing my hair, it creates shine but no grease (and I’ve used it on the one of the girls to to soften the frizz in her curls).
For shampoo I’ve been really happy with the Copperhead shampoo bar from Lush. It leaves enough of my hair’s natural oils that I don’t need any other products, but maybe some oil for the ends of my hair. It also lasts me a long time (I shampoo about twice a week) and I share with my fiancé.
Bonus: it’s super lightweight and doesn’t count toward the airlines’ limited liquids policy! I always keep an extra for when I travel.
As an esthetician, I love Jane Iredale’s makeup line! She did such a great job at making quality mineral foundations. Another one I recently discovered I love, and that is on the lighter side of the non-powder mineral foundation spectrum in terms of wearability, is RMS Beauty’s “Un” Cover-Up. Even my husband, who never notices makeup things, watches when I apply because he is so amazed by how natural it looks on the skin. Does need a very light dusting of powder to set (I just use NYX finishing powder because it is only $6 and the same exact single ingredient as the RMS setting powder), but it wears very nice and natural!
Also still on the hunt for *the* quality, low-hazard mascara for me. I have giant spider leg lashes (unfortunately, naturally blonde XD) and smudging has been the biggest obstacle. Will be checking out some of the suggestions in the comments. :)
Lauren @ lauren, Etc, says
This week is such a treat! Both you and Andrea of Seasons + Salt shared your beauty routines, and I am LOVING it! I totally squeeled when I saw you’re using Beautycounter’s cream blusher. The new Beautycounter mascara really exceeded my expectations. Natural look, super lengthening, holds a curl, no smudging, and no clumping – you should try it!
Wow, what a useful post. thank you. I am so excited about DIY Dry shampoo. Going to make it tonight )
Hello Caroline! I have to say: you’re my biggest style inspiration! Everyday I see your outfits on Pinterest and I just falling in love for all them and finally I discovered your Blog :D I have to say you’re a beautiful person and thanks for inspire me everyday. Thank you!
Xx, from Brazil.
Caroline H says
Hi Caroline – love your one step at a time approach to making positive changes in your life. You have encouraged me to clean out my closet and shop intentionally and ethically when I was overwhelmed by taking baby steps before. I also love your beauty routine and am looking forward to trying some of your suggestions. Tomorrow morning I’m going to give the ACV/lemon water a shot.
Also, have you tried the oil cleansing method (OCM)? I remove makeup and wash my face with coconut oil, then steam with a very warm wash cloth and wipe to remove oil, makeup residue, and exfoliate. Saves you the cost of make up remover wipes, and all natural! You can also use olive oil. It leaves the skin magically soft.
Mindy Bailey says
So glad you are back writing on your blog. I love your simple approach to everything in life….none of the standard cookie cutter chaos, but a more simple beautiful life inside and out.
Kathryn Mader says
“…none of the standard cookie cutter chaos…” Love it, that made my day :)
Simplicity never fails.
Thanks for sharing! I love your point about the “right” number of products rather than an arbitrary number.
I’d be interested in a future post about special occasion beauty care, etc.
I’ve followed your blog for a while and can’t remember if you’ve shared this before or not – how long did it take you to get to where you can wash your hair only once or twice a week? My hair is extremely oily and I wash it everyday, occasionally every other day, but the oiliness drives me nuts! Many people have told me if I stop washing it so much, it’ll stop producing so much oil. But I wonder if my hair is oilier than most and this wouldn’t work? What are your thoughts? Thank you! :)
Hey Tiffany, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve heard the same thing — the less you wash it, the less oil is produced. When you wash it too much, it starts to overproduce to make up for what’s being washed away. There are some tricks you can try to extend between washing, like dry shampoo or a bristle brush, but it all comes down to your preference. Whatever works for you! :) xo, Caroline
Completely agree with Caroline. I used to think I could never do it b/c I have the oiliest skin and hair, but I started a gradual move to less washing. I did an every other day wash for years (it doesn’t take that long to get over the hump, but I don’t remember exactly), then pushed it to every three days. Now I go four days without an issue and will even push it to five. And that’s even with sweating on my scalp daily from workouts.
I have used ACV mixed with a bit of water as a facial toner for a while now, and I have to say, I’m liking the result. I’m going to have to get brave and start drinking it. I’ve put it in smoothies before, but you are right. It’s just gross. What is your morning drink recipe…like a tablespoon of ACV in water with a squeeze of lemon? And three cheers for going many days before hair washing…I’ve also taken to this and I use a type of dry shampoo, a root spray really by Redken, called Pillow Proof, 2 day hair extender. Soaks up the oil and freshens up the hair like a gem! As for make-up (and about 99% of my skin care) I am an Arbonne gal. Been using/selling it for ages and still believe that is truly pure, safe and beneficial, just like they say. I use their eyeliner and mascara. No smudging issues for me. Awesome blog…keep it up!
Hey Carolyn, the morning drink recipe is about 8 oz. water + 2 tablespoons each of lemon and acv :) xo, Caroline
Kathryn Mader says
Red Mountain Goodness makes a lovely bar shampoo. I was skeptical but boy, no turning back for me. It has made my hair “young” again. The lather it produces is so creamy, rich and luxurious. I do use DHC conditioner after shampooing. Speaking of DHC, love their eye and neck peptide and Q10 make-up base, which I blend with Clinique Even Better foundation. For some reason, that combination leaves a flawless yet natural finish and seems healthy for my skin. Thank you, Caroline, for your generosity in sharing, and like some others have mentioned, would love to see how you have simplified your home, because that’s where I get stuck every time. How did you do it??
I loved your post. I was wandering what deodorant and perfume you use?
Hey Karoline, I’m experimenting with a couple of “natural” deodorants right now and liking Dermalogica Environmental Control the best so far (available on Amazon). But when it’s vital that I don’t sweat, I just use Secret. :) xo, Caroline
Love this post, keep it up! I have used Mineral Fusion mascara in graphite for a few years now and really like it. You can find it at Whole Foods or Amazon. I checked and it gets a 2 on the EWG scale. Hope that is helpful in your mascara search!
HOW DID YOU STOP OVER WASHING YOUR HAIR? what was the process?
Hey Natalie! It really is a gradual process, especially if your hair tends to get oily. I would start by gradually skipping more and more shampoos. Maybe start on a weekend – skip washing on Saturday and Sunday, then wash again Monday. The next round skip one more day. And so on. In between shampoos, use dry shampoo (or something like it) to soak up excess oil. Use a bun or ponytail to your advantage! :) I’ve even heard good things about bristle brushes and vinegar. There are lots of tricks to get through it and allow your hair to recover from so much washing. Once you see how much happier your hair is without constant shampooing, I think you’ll be hooked! :) Hope that helps! xo, Caroline
I’m surprised you aren’t using Red Apple Lipstick products! They stand for a lot of things you mentioned, and I think they’re local to you. I see them mentioned everywhere, so I just assumed you’d use them too.
I love the dry shampoo from Lush – it’s not chalky or clay-based like some of the other ones I’ve used.
Love this! I try to do a minimal makeup look too, while still using what I need to look “presentable.”
I really like Almay intense i-color volumizing mascara for hazel eyes (which is basically their black color). That, plus castor oil applied nightly, has taken my stubby lighter lashes from blah and boring to much improved! And it doesn’t smudge for me.
For eyeliner, I love to use the tiniest brush dipped in water and then black eyeshadow. The amount of product lasts way longer than regular liner (if you’re one of those people who keeps makeup products too long like me) and really stays put after it dries, but can also be easily moved around while drying if you’re prone to mess-ups like me.
I use a boots no. 7 mascara that is a 2 from EWG. I get it at Target and it’s awesome!
Lovely post and a great read. I like your point about not condensing for minimalist sake but for what you actually need. Thanks for sharing!
michenn Skincare Sundays
Reading through all the comments, if you are eventually looking to change up shampoos (certainly not that you need to! You do you!) I’m a little obsessed with Lush’s solid shampoo bars for several reasons – they smell delicious, they are solid so they are ideal to travel with (and you can use them as body soap when traveling), they are high quality and clean, they last forever (mine last about 3 months of every other day washing). Love the post! Hope you have a great week!
Kelly jo says
Hi Caroline, thank you for this post. The last few months I have really paired down my skin + makeup routine and have been trying to use safer and cleaner products. It can be very overwhelming so I love your laid back approach. Question about the Beauty Counter blush, what color do you use? I love the Hibiscus color but it looks pretty bright online :)
Hi Kelly Jo! I do use the hibiscus, which can go on looking very saturated, but I just use a dot or two and it blends very easily. :) xo, Caroline
Honeybee Gardens mascara doesn’t smudge at all for me even in high heat & humidity. You can buy it online at ULTA (not in stores) or on the company’s website. It comes in black and brown (pretty hard to find in natural makeup). It’s water resistant, but not proof so it washes off with water, oil, or mild cleanser well. It’s also very affordable. The downside is it tends to dry out faster than other natural brands I’ve used (though I’ve heard the trick of mixing in some eye drops works). It also doesn’t give you lots of volume or drama without layering it (3 coats with drying time in between works for me. It dries fast and I use a metal lash comb to separate the lashes between layers). But if all you want is a little color it works well with just one coat; looks like a lash tint.
Hope that is helpful to someone! I’ve tried a lot of brands and they all smudge for me (I have oily eyelids maybe?) except this brand.
Have you ever heard of buti yoga?? It is a mix of yoga and tribal dance! So fun and an incredible cardio workout.
Leanne Caroline says
Such a beautiful and calming opening line. A lovely post, inspirational as always. I’ve been on this more-natural-choices journey for six months now. A wonderful line of products is MooGoo (an Aussie company, now available internationally).
Thanks for all the tips. I have a hair texture similar to yours. This may be a silly question, but do you wet your hair between washes? I’ve always overwashed my hair and I’m trying to do it less and less, but am having trouble figuring out what to do between washes. Thanks!
Hi Caroline, Have you ever used any w3ll people products? I love their highlighter/concealer sticks but was hesitant to try their mascara since I rub my eyes all day and everything smudges, but it’s actually been holding up SO well for me and it’s all natural and organic. You should give it a shot!
Hello! Not sure if someone already asked you this, but do you use any particular product in your hair for styling it? Love your hair, btw!
Thanks Christina! I just use Herbal Essences dry shampoo and a styling wand. Nothing fancy :) xo, Caroline
For an eyeliner that stays put and is really safe, I like the chocolate brown shade by 100% Pure. I also use their liquid foundations, cream blush, and highlighter. Not all of their products rate well. I find I have to search each ingredient because, for some reason, their products aren’t on EWG.
Second, you have GOT to try Gressa Skin – their lip boosts are amazing! And they are super natural – no chemicals! I also like their highlighter, purifying oil, dirty pretty things mask, face scrub, face wash, and their blush. All of Svetlana’s products are really fantastic.
I know MAC is one of the worst offenders in the beauty world. I used to be SUCH a fan of their products. It was no easy task to ditch them once I learned more about the chemicals in beauty and body products. If you haven’t already, definitely look up your primer on EWG.
Thanks for this information, I’m loving reading through your blog, its been really helpful! I also love the clean simple design of your site, so uncluttered!
My only caution is about recommending herbs. Some people wont research and speak with a herbalist or naturopath and blindly purchase from the link you’ve provided. There are always cautions and contraindications to be considered as it may interfere with a person’s existing medications. I’ve put a link below to help people educate themselves on ashwagandha.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge Sasha. :) xo, Caroline
Any chance you can also link us to your home decor? ;) Like that adorable little stool!
Hey Bess, the stool was a lucky antique store find awhile back. :) xo, Caroline
Love your blog and you new route with natural and sustainable sources- might I suggest looking into what makeup is tested on animals? I personally find that I’m happier with what I put in or on my body if I know exactly where it’s come from- and I promise there are a lot of fabulous alternatives! Mac, Neutrogena and Korres just happen to test on animals, that I noticed on your list.
Just my two cents! Happy blogging :)
Hi there-not sure if this was mentioned as they are green beauty cult products but Antoynm makes great eyeliners and Lilly Lolo makes the only mascara that hasn’t smudged on me :-).
Just curious which shade of the Jane Iredale BB cream you use? I was thinking of trying it out!
Hi Sarah! It’s the BB3. :) xo, Caroline
Meghan E says
Can you share with us the method you use to put waves in your hair? I find it so difficult to make them look natural but yours are always perfectly unperfect. Maybe a video?
Do you still use ashwagandha as part of your routine?