Entries Tagged as 'natural beauty buff'

October 23, 2015

natural beauty buff | shrankhla holecek, uma oils

Lines inspired by different cultures always intrigue me.

But many times, these lines are created by those who may not have a direct connection to the culture.

While that doesn’t lessen the beauty of a line or the thoughtfulness of the founder, I’m more deeply drawn to authenticity in creation. That’s why Shrankhla Holecek and her Ayurvedic line, Uma, catch my attention in this crowded market.

Raised in India, Shrankhla was immersed the cultural traditions of Ayurveda and holistic medicine. You don’t get more authentic than that.

When she moved to the States for business school, she found herself surrounded by misappropriations of Ayurvedic traditions. To counter this, she launched her own line of products that embody her family’s heritage and the time-honored traditions of Ayurveda.

Today, Shrankhla shares both her must-have Ayurvedic ingredients as well as her favorite packaged green beauty products.

She’s a true example of someone who knows how to balance everything this wonderful explosion of green beauty offers while remaining true to the simple staples that work.

shrankhla holecek uma oils

At peril of being labeled a FOB (fresh-off-the-boat) Indian, I need to start with three key Ayurvedic ingredients in my beauty arsenal that I simply cannot live without

I absolutely love honey — both in homemade face masks, as well as a super-powerful yet gentle cleanser. It’s highly antibacterial and great for unclogging pores without the side effects (such as drying) that most chemical face washes can have. It is also a great scar-fading agent.

Turmeric is up next for its healing, anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties. Much loved in Ayurveda for its external (and internal) “repair” properties, I think turmeric doesn’t get used here nearly enough!

Finally, aloe vera is an excellent addition to your skincare regimen, and can be eaten or applied topically as a skin-calming paste. These ingredients can be found relatively easily at your local (organic!) grocer, and I recommend you try them immediately.

When it comes to store-bought product indulgences, here are a few of my faves:

shrankhla holecek, uma oils

W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist Foundation Stick

I love the buildable coverage and how easy it is to apply! I’m usually on the go, and it only takes a few moments to swipe on and blend for a natural finish. The aloe vera in the formula also leaves my skin more hydrated each time I use it.

Uma Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil

This oil is my night time skin saver – it’s a rich but lightweight Ayurvedic formula, and loaded with essential oils of frankincense and sandalwood for faster cell turnover. It leaves my skin looking and feeling renewed each morning, and is especially helpful for fading pesky scarring and hyperpigmentation for an even skin tone.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Endless Guava

This multipurpose lip and cheek tint leaves a subtle tinge of color — perfect for every day, when I want a natural glow without looking too made up. I dab a bit on the apples of my cheeks for a subtle, dewy look.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer SPF 30

It’s not just a sunscreen. This moisturizing primer nourishes my skin and gives it an even texture without greasy residue. Not to mention, it keeps my makeup in place all day long!

shrankhla holecek, uma oils

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

This lightweight shampoo is perfect for summer — it infuses my hair with the right amount of moisture and nutrition without weighing it down. My hair feels bouncier every time I use it, and an added bonus is that it’s perfect for color-treated hair.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

The strawberry enzymes in this cleanser leave my skin brighter with every use. I love to leave it on for an extra five minutes a few times a week for even deeper effects. The natural strawberry scent is divine, so be warned: once you apply, you may never want to rinse off.

Uma Pure Rest Wellness Oil

I don’t always get enough sleep, so when I’m ready to turn in, I want the most restful night I can get. Pure Rest is packed with potent herbs in an Ayurvedic formulation that rivals traditional sleeping aids for a deep and uninterrupted sleep that helps me restore myself physically and mentally every night.

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

This rapidly absorbing hair oil is perfect for dry or damaged hair. It moisturizes deeply without leaving hair greasy. With ingredients like lychee, sandalwood, and bergamot, I can’t get enough of the scent!

EVOLUÉ Resurfacing Grains

My skin is at its silkiest after I exfoliate, and these resurfacing grains strike the perfect balance between gentle and effective. My skin feels clean and smooth after each use, and it gets rid of every last trace of dead skin and leftover makeup.

Rose Water

This Ayurvedic toner (and astringent!) is alcohol-free and non-drying, so it’s perfect for restoring your skin’s balance after cleansing. My favorite brand is an Indian brand called Gulabari, but find an ethically sourced local one and you’ll be impressed with what this can do! Thayer’s Aloe Vera Toner in Rose Petal is another alternative.


August 5, 2015

natural beauty buff | marie veronique nadeau, marie veronique advanced


Let’s face it. The green beauty party is getting bigger, and lots of people, regardless of their background, are getting in on the game.

While I respect founders from all walks of life (models, makeup artists, tinkerers, you name it), there’s nothing that piques my interest more than an approachable scientist-founder who takes the time to not only formulate intelligently, but educate tirelessly so we can all be a little bit smarter about how we spend our money and treat our skin.

That’s what you’ll find in Marie Veronique Nadeau, the former chemistry teacher-turned-skincare entrepreneur who, along with her physicist and bio-medical engineer daughter Jay Nadeau, create innovative, clean beauty products for Marie Veronique Advanced.

marie veronique nadeau

What you won’t find alongside Marie Veronique Advanced’s top-notch, effective ingredients (like vitamin C, encapsulated retinols, antioxidants and more)? BS.

Marie keeps the hyperbole to a minimum and instead focuses on the key actives in her products and the explanations for how everything works in harmony. Her blog is a wealth of information, and I seriously devoured every single post when she relaunched her website.

Keep the posts coming, MVA team! I’m a diehard fan.

Marie is such a shining example of a founder getting into the game (um, more than 10 years ago!) for the right reason: Because she has knowledge to share and an elegant way to deliver it — with skincare that does what it says it will do and looks beautiful to boot.

Read on to learn why Marie started Marie Veronique Advanced (MVA) and to see what health and beauty products she loves.

As usual, I’ve starred the items I also use and love. If you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts on the line, visit my Marie Veronique archive! So many more reviews to come, but if you’re impatient, I truly adore and recommend Serum de Jour, Gentle Retinol Serum and Eye Recovery Serum.

marie veronique advanced green beauty products

“I started Marie Veronique because I couldn’t find products that were gentle enough for me and actually showed results, so all of the skin care I use is from my line. These are the products I never go without.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Everyday Coverage SPF 30

“This will always be the last thing I put on each morning. I love it because I know that I’m getting the best full-spectrum protection that’s available with non-nano zinc oxide and a host of other protective ingredients, while it calms and evens my skin.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Rejuvenating Face Oil, Extra Healing

“This is what I use morning and night to moisturize. It’s safe around eyes and lips, and it really penetrates skin to deliver all the goodness to the deepest layers of skin. It also helps my serums penetrate better”

Marie Veronique Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum

“This is from my new PRO Collection, and one of our best-selling products. I absolutely love it! It delivers 7 percent retinol without any irritation, and that’s a big deal because my skin is definitely reactive to harsh products.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Cleanser de Jour

“My newest product, this is a cleanser I actually love (not a fan of cleansers in general) and use twice a day. It is so moisturizing and it will remove my sunscreen easily. I’ve also heard from my friends, customers and team at MVA that it removes really tough — even waterproof — eye makeup easily.”

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

“I seem to always have my shops close to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and I am a fan of great tea. I love their hot and iced green and black tea, especially my morning cup of Earl Grey with half and half.”

*Organic, Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

“Besides eating it, I use it to clean my face and make masks. It’s a great moisturizer and gentle exfoliator because of the lactic acid, and it helps keep our microbiota balanced. (I get different brands, but try to keep it local.)”

*Zuzu Lipsticks & ILIA Lipsticks

“These are my go-to choice for safe, beautiful lip colors.”

What have you tried from Marie Veronique Advanced? What do you look for in skincare lines and their respective founders? Tell me in the comments section!

June 1, 2015

natural beauty buff | victoria tsai, tatcha

TATCHA beauty founder Victoria Tsai has a startup story similar to many of those in the clean beauty industry — except her story takes us to Japan and back to the Bay Area.

Like many who work for large corporations, punching the clock and working for a bottom line in which perhaps didn’t feel as connected to, Vicky was seeking to live a more simple, authentic life.

Travel opened her eyes to what could be, and on a trip to Kyoto, she met the muse who would change her entire path.

victoria tsai tatcha

That muse was the geisha, the traditional Japanese entertainer and artist with seemingly flawless beauty and an air of mystery surrounding her very presence.

Vicky uncovered the beauty secrets of the geisha and came away with a new skincare philosophy that many clean beauty enthusiasts adore, but sometimes have trouble actually applying: less is more.

Knowing that the geisha must maintain the utmost beautiful skin beneath all the layers of performance makeup, removing it and reapplying it daily, Vicky was intrigued to learn about the geisha’s focus on local, time-tested ingredients such as rice bran, green tea and Okinawa red algae.

This inspired Vicky to dig deeper into the history of geisha beauty, and it was with this research that that she found an ancient text considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan.

The book details an approach to beauty and elegance, and Vicky knew that this special text would be the foundation of her Japanese- and geisha-inspired line, TATCHA.

In addition to capturing the essence of the geisha, Vicky formulated TATCHA to work with her own finicky skin, which was susceptible to acute dermatitis, or inflammation and irritation. This led her to keep TATCHA free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA and TEA.

Vicky stays true to using cleaner beauty products in her daily life — including Japanese apothecary lines as well as American favorites we’ve all come to know and love.

Perhaps I should bring you a part 2 to this interview in which Vicky spills the secrets of her favorite Japanese lines?!

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

victoria tsai tatcha

“I pick my products based on the company’s value systems (animal testing, ingredients, etc.) and also based on what I know of their founders and formulators. Many of the products I use come from little apothecaries in Japan, but when I’m in the States, here are my favorites.”

Jennifer Fisher x RGB Nail Polish in Taken

“I love her jewelry and her nail polish collaboration. This has become my go-to nude.”

Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue

“This is my best friend for photo shoots. I also love Leslie Blodgett — she’s an incredible woman.”
Editor’s Note: Me, too!

*LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla

“It took me so long to find a clean deodorant with that actually lasts. This has become a new staple in my purse.”

Laura Gellar Ombre Baked Blush in Pink Blossom

“Another necessity for going on-air or doing a photo shoot.”

*TATCHA Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers

“I always have at least one pack of these on me. Not only do they wick away excess oil, but they remind me of the first time I ever met a geisha.”

TATCHA Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick

“As a mom and a CEO, I rarely have the time to apply a full face of makeup. A quick swipe of red and I’m ready to go out the door.”

Nonie Creme Color Prevails Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo in Fig

“Nonie Crème, the founder, is a friend of mine and whips up the most amazing colors.”

Have you tried any of Vicky’s picks? What have you tried from TATCHA? Tell me in the comments section!

February 10, 2015

natural beauty buff | annie jackson, credo beauty

“We believe that everyone deserves products that are exquisite, effective, modern, and good — in every sense. We started Credo with the goal of providing you with the world’s most exceptional collection of those very products.”

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the green beauty world for the past eight years, and it’s been absolutely inspiring to see the various facets of this industry evolve over the years.

  • New natural beauty brands have launched left and right.
  • Conventional beauty brands have slowly cleaned up their acts.
  • Indie brands that started on Etsy are taking over Target.

The biggest trend I’ve seen over the past two years, though, is the explosion of amazing online green beauty boutiques, and Credo Beauty is one of the latest to burst onto the scene with quite an impressive lineup of both product offerings and street cred.

annie jackson credo beauty

Created by Shashi Batra, a founding member of the Sephora USA team, Credo Beauty is setting itself up to be a major online (and soon, brick-and-mortar) green beauty destination.

Today’s natural beauty buff, Annie Jackson, serves as VP of Merchandising and Planning and brings a wealth of experience in branding and product innovation to this exciting new venture.

Case in point: One look at the site gives you an idea of the breadth of brands available (from 21 Drops to Zoe Organics), but what’s extra special about the online shopping experience is the care Credo took to create its “Maker Videos” that bring you a bit closer to the brands and founders you know and love.

To bring you even closer to this exciting new green beauty shopping site that is sure to haunt your dreams, Annie is sharing her top green beauty picks with us today — which, of course, are all available at Credo, which is a bit mind-blowing to me.

And if you’re connecting the dots the way I am, I’m going to be bold and say Credo could be the brand that takes shopping for green beauty to the next level.

Can you imagine what it would be like to walk into a Credo Beauty store anywhere in the country, the same way we can walk into a Sephora anywhere, and play? I’m placing my bets on Credo to bring every green beauty guru’s dream to life with this concept!


annie jackson of credo beauty's favorite green beauty products

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

My skin gets really dry in the winter, and this is a great addition to your moisturizer. The texture is really emollient and gives dull skin a really natural luminosity and feels hydrating.

W3ll People Bio-Extreme Expressionist Mascara

Loads on the volume with no flaking! Mascaras are hard for people to make the jump to natural, and this one does not disappoint!

Armour Lip Gloss

Pigments are really rich, and the formula and scent are to die for! “Gypsy” is a great nude (my favorite), and the rest of Theo’s shades are really wearable.

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Body Oil

I am a body oil fanatic. The texture of this oil is almost hard to describe. It is think, but totally lightweight at the same time. It sinks into your skin, smells like Hawaii and absorbs almost instantly. Gorgeous!

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Super hydrating, and my skin feels clean, with a beautiful hydrated barrier left behind.

Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil

We get asked all the time “What is squalane?” This little gem of a product is 100 percent derived from olives. But what is best about it is not where it comes from, but how it protects — sun damage, wrinkles, discoloration — this is your product. People have even gone so far as to call it the holy grail of skincare. I agree!

Sans Bio Active Body Exfoliant

Amaaaaaazing! Seriously, an at-home spa moment. Sloughs off dead skin and rinses away easily. Your skin feels lusciously plump, and super soft and moisturized all day.

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Makeup Remover

Removes makeup easily, doesn’t leave a greasy residue — great for contact lens wearers. Love the simplicity of their ingredients.

Dr. Alkaitis Universal Mask

Based on active plants — and it feels like it!  Your skin looks smooth and plumped, and it removes redness. It’s like a superfood-packed green juice for your skin.

Province Apothecary Sleep Well Therapeutic Roll On

Works like a charm….for the whole family :-)


January 9, 2015

natural beauty buff | kirsten kjaer weis, kjaer weis

One of my big goals this year is to embrace simplicity in beauty more, and I can’t think of a better muse for this than Scandinavian culture.

With a sleek yet minimal design aesthetic, the Scandinavian culture is known for beautiful, breathtaking creations that have us all yearning for a more streamlined, soothing palette in life.

In the green beauty world, nobody brings this to your vanity better than Danish-born makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, creator of organic makeup line Kjaer Weis.

kirsten kjaer weis natural beauty buff

When it comes to well-edited, smartly packaged beauty collections, Kjaer Weis is ahead of the game.

Kirsten designed her line to be beautiful both inside and out, with high-performance organic and natural ingredients on the inside and heavyweight, sleek, refillable packaging on the outside.

Anyone who has ever held a Kjaer Weis product knows how substantial and glamorous they look and feel!

In addition to her approach to the Kjaer Weis line, Kirsten also exemplifies this streamlined, minimal-yet-luxurious approach in her green beauty routine.

Her sampling of favorites below — just five items! — is a breath of fresh air, demonstrating how investing in fewer, better products can make you look and feel amazing.

Buy what you love. Use what you buy. Support kind businesses.

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

Tata Harper Love Potion

Love the scent. I will put it on several times a day, almost as a ritual of centering myself.

*May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate

I find it super soothing and love to wear at night. I feel my skin looks nourished and glowing in the morning. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)

*Kahina Giving Beauty “Fez” Body Serum

I love the scent and I love how it absorbs really quickly. It makes my skin feel nourished and moisturized without feeling greasy.

DDF Polishing System

I use this every other day with a mild scrub, and I can really see the difference in the silky texture of my skin.

*Kjaer Weis “Just Sheer” Foundation

It covers so lightly that it makes me look like me — but a better version. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)


December 11, 2014

natural beauty buff | rachel najera, rachel’s plan bee

“It all started with a little boy and a determined mom…”


Stories that start out like this are common in the green beauty world, but there’s absolutely nothing common about what Rachel’s Plan Bee founder Rachel Najera has achieved with her natural skincare line.

Currently comprised of seven botanically based products, Rachel’s Plan Bee has carved itself a nice little niche in this growing green beauty product industry.

This affordable, un-intimidating line (unless you’re scared of bees!) welcomes those who want neatly packaged naturals that aren’t ingredient-heavy and offer comforting, familiar scents.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

On the broad spectrum of green beauty brands, Rachel’s Plan Bee offers a warm, unpretentious style for those who are feeling out what the natural beauty industry has to offer.

Who wouldn’t want this beautiful, welcoming face — and flowery, happy brand! — to be one of the first that those new to natural beauty see?

(Her line also offers an escape to simplicity and beauty that green beauty veterans sometimes need. Just make me a pretty, effective vanilla body oil that won’t leave me broke for months!)

You’ll definitely be seeing more of Rachel’s Plan Bee around in 2015.

Not only because Rachel is doing amazing things with her small yet mighty line, but because we need to see more from green beauty entrepreneurs like her in the new year.

Passionate. Humble. Always grateful.

This is what the green beauty industry (and overall beauty industry!) needs more of. And when we need something this bad, the Universe makes it happen.

Are you ready to see more of this, too?

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love! NOTE: I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s Body Oil and Body Polish, which she hasn’t mentioned below but I felt compelled to remind you about! (Read my body oil review and body polish review.)

*Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in “Antique Rose”

I am in love with this mineral blush because it absolutely has no shimmer looks so natural on my skin. I don’t wear much makeup, and this blush gives me just the right amount of color on my cheeks.

*RMS Beauty Lip Shine in “Moment”

Most lip color products on the market completely dry my lips out. I love this color and the way it moisturizes my lips. At first I thought the color would be way off for my skin tone. This one is perfect for a nude lip.

*Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil  (Don’t forget to read my review!)

This is my favorite product from our line. I cannot be without it. There are times when I am tempted to just go to bed without my nightly dose of this facial oil, but the “skin care police” quickly remind me to NEVER neglect this nightly ritual after a cleansing my face. Our oil has become the only moisturizer I use both morning and night.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

Tehacha-Bee Farm Natural Probiotic Deodorant Baking Soda Free

Baking soda is not my friend and I have searched forever to find a non-irritating natural deodorant. This one is great! It does go on white initially, but if you massage it in with fingers after application, it is non-staining and works all day long with zero irritation. If you are a DIY person, Tehacha-Bee Farm has a sister company called Handcrafted Honey Bee where you can order a kit to make several tubes of this wonderful product. It’s called “Your Main Pit Stop” – so hilarious!

*Rachel’s Plan Bee – Bee Cream

This is one of our first products I created in our line. This is my go to beeswax cream to quickly moisturize my cuticles, hands and just shaved legs. It’s only takes a tiny amount to get great results.

*Fleegal Farms Peppermint Chocolate Soap

Even though I have been making soap for my family for years, I have a secret addiction of buying too much handmade soap from other makers. This one is my absolute favorite. Elly of Fleegal Farms has a gift of creating super moisturizing bars with intoxicating scents.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

Soap Nuts 

Several years ago when we were eliminating all synthetic cleaning supplies from our home, I discovered eco-friendly economical soap nuts. I love using soap nuts to wash our laundry! Artificial fragrances in commercial detergent make me sneeze. I wish I could bottle up the clean fresh scent that it leaves on clothes. I have slowly converted several “non-believers” to the many benefits of soap nuts!

October 30, 2014

natural beauty buff | munemi imai, mun beauty

It’s no secret that fashion and beauty insiders flock to the experts when it comes to skincare and makeup secrets — and for a big beauty industry, it’s the seasoned makeup artists who are regarded as the top resources to reveal the beauty secrets of the stars.

But Munemi Imai, founder of cult hit Mun Beauty, offers so much more than her years of experience as an international makeup artist.

She offers deep insight as a green beauty product formulator herself, combining the best ingredients into a simple yet chic beauty oil that’s earned a place on my top shelf.

And she also offers proof in the pudding: LOOK at her skin. I’ll do whatever she tells me to do.

natural beauty buff munemi imai mun beauty

Munemi’s story is one that’s similar for a lot of us.

During a brief illness at one point in her career, she discovered the beauty of natural ingredients in everything that’s important to our well-being: The food we eat and the personal care products we use daily.

Inspired to take control of her health and own a deeper beauty, Munemi created Mun Beauty to harness the beauty of prickly pear seed oil, argan oil and rose oil to launch her line and is taking her time to expand the line — her companion toner launches this month, and I couldn’t be more excited to get my hands on it.

Besides Munemi’s new toner, I’m excited to try a few of the other beauty items she mentions below as staples in her beauty care routine.

A lot of them are familiar to me, but there are some gems below that are worth looking into — because again, of all the beauty aficionados out there, the ones that rise above the rest are those like Munemi who bring years of experience and depth to table.

natural beauty buff munemi imai mun beauty

As usual, I’ve starred the items I also use and love!

Healthway African Healing Clay TLC Tub

This organic South African green clay does a wonderful job on detoxing skin. You can mix with water and keep them moist as instructed, or I like to mix with honey instead.

*Manuka Honey

I like it both eating and putting on my face as a mask. I’d often mix with clay and a few essential oils for extra nourishing.

MUN No.11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner (available mid-November)

This is our brand new product. It’s the perfect synergy with No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum. It has a rosewater base with hydrating and anti-aging ingredients such as prickly pear stem extract, goji berry extract and hyaluronic acid. Rose, jasmine and daisy flower extracts work together for skin softness and radiance. I can’t wait for the launch date!

*MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

I just believe in this. I have fewer fine lines than four years ago, and it keeps my skin looking youthful. It’s so pure and so clean, but it’s powerful. It’s great for both morning and night. I use it as a makeup primer on models and celebrity clients all the time. Before I launched this, I thought to myself, “Even if the business doesn’t take off, at least I am set for myself.” {Editor’s Note: Read my full review of this serum!}

Illuminare Concealing Mineral Foundation SPF 20

I got introduced to this from Miranda Kerr when we worked together. When I want extra coverage — and in sunnier weather — I like to use this one. It gives a great coverage and is easy to spread, blend and layer.

*rms beauty “Un” Coverup 44

I use this as shading on the temples to under my cheekbones to give a little contour.

*Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant Herbal Scent

This is a clean, natural, safe and effective deodorant choice. I like the roll-on applicator, too. {Editor’s Note: See my “ultimate guide to natural deodorants” to get my take on this deodorant and many others!}

October 13, 2014

natural beauty buff | laurel shaffer, laurel whole plant organics

I’m always completely giddy to bring you a new “natural beauty buff” feature, but today’s post featuring Laurel Shaffer of Laurel Whole Plant Organics has my heart skipping a beat.

Laurel is just one of those founders you can instantly connect with because she’s the real deal — from the first email to the first handshake.

Warm and sweet, Laurel is chock-full of natural beauty knowledge (she’s a trained herbalist, ya know), yet explains it to you in a way that’s not sales-y, shocking or oversexed. It’s just real.

It’s also refreshing to see that not only does she use her own products in her daily rituals, but she also gets excited by other green beauty brands (and dare we say the c-word — “competitors”), which just goes to show you how deeply ingrained Laurel is in this bustling green beauty community.

Something tells me that’s that Bay Area coolness coming across in her demeanor.

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love!

laurel shaffer laurel whole plant organics

I love products.
I love my products.
I love other brand’s products.
If I could use 30 products everyday, I would. I might have to take time away from work to fit them all in, but it would be worth it!

I don’t wear makeup often, so I didn’t include that in my routine. I love nourishing my skin and keeping it bare whenever I can.

When I do wear makeup, though, most of my staples are from Alima Pure and Vapour Organic Beauty. Below are my “Daily Essentials” that I really do use every day! 

Laurel’s Daily Essentials

laurel shaffer laurel whole plant organics

*Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

OMG. I am a believer! Using “natural” hair care products has always been a struggle for me. I tried pretty much everything on the shelves of Whole Foods. Not only did they not work, but they were usually a pretty far stretch from natural to my own standards. I came across Josh’s brand, and the purity really stood out to me — in fact, a purity in shampoo and conditioner that I had never come across. So you can imagine my surprise that it WORKED. I’m a die-hard. I’ve found my go-to hair care brand. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been.

Rupam’s Tooth Soap

All about the purity for me – always! I love that Rupam’s tooth concoction is so incredibly pure and effective. My teeth are always squeaky clean. This product replaces a toothpaste for me, and my teeth actually feel cleaner than when I used a toothpaste.

*Etta & Billie Soap

Shout out to one of the many indie green brands in my Bay Area home. Alana, who makes these soaps, is such a lovely person…. her formulas are incredibly pure (again, with the purity!). I love that her formulas are mostly organic and that she uses rosemary to preserve her oils instead of vitamin E. She also uses super-cool combinations for her soaps like this locally made Earl Grey Tea.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Normal/Dry Cleanser

This is my go-to cleanser for washing my face and removing my makeup. I like to treat it like an oil cleanse and remove it with a towel. It’s super-nourishing and hydrating, starring rose, calendula, honey, rose geranium and bergamot. With 20 active beneficial plant ingredients, and no water or alcohol, this cleanser is more than a cleanser for sure.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Normal/Mature Elixir

Immediately after cleansing, I use our Elixir. It smells so lovely, and I tend to overuse. Guilty. This product is also rose-focused, accompanied by frankincense, lemon balm and sandalwood — a total of 20 beneficial plant actives actually! This product is also water- and alcohol-free, so the formula in total is 100 percent beneficial active ingredients. This is definitely more than an average toner and a must for my anti-aging regimen.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun Damage Serum

How I moisturize my skin changes daily. I love that about our line. Do I use a Balm today? Is my skin inflamed? Do I need an antioxidant boost? I love being able to ask myself those questions each morning and choose accordingly. But in the summer, often our Sun Damage Repair Serum wins. It contains a high amount of whole plant vitamin C, and it repairs as well as prevents sun damage. I am a huge advocate for using whole plants instead of synthetics for our antioxidants like vitamin C, and this product is an obvious reflection of that philosophy’s efficacy.

On Laurel’s “Daily Essentials” Wish List:

A good deodorant. I really need to work a good deodorant into my routine, and I am excited to try the news ones from Meow Meow Tweet, Schmidt’s and Blissoma! [Laurel, tell me you’ve seen my ultimate guide to natural deodorants?!]

Laurel’s “Serious Me Time” Products

laurel shaffer laurel whole plant organics

I try to take at least one day a week to really relax, take a bath and surround myself with products. That sometimes is the only time I take for myself all week when things are busy. It helps me relax like nothing else.  This always starts with a bath and some tea!

By Nieves ​Bath Salts

I have personally known Nieves for years, being one of my fellow Bay Area brands. She is always incredibly kind. I love that this bath salt has some of my favorite EO’s for relaxing, like lavender and cedar, and it also has seaweed for a great detox. My skin is always incredibly soft after.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Honey Berry Mask

On a serious pampering day, I have been known to do three masks back to back!  And use, easily, 15 products. Love it. But our Honey Mask is a staple. I never give myself a facial without it being included. One tip is to NOT mix it with powdered masks! We get asked that a lot. Honey coats the plants in the powdered mask, so then you are not getting the full benefits of the plants, only the honey.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Brighten Mask

This is our real-deal, anti-aging mask. This is another product where we focus on using the whole plant version of our desired antioxidants, like vitamin C. Camu Camu, acerola cherry and rosehip are all packed with vitamin C to repair damaged skin, restore collagen and brighten skin tone. I should probably be using this one daily!

Herbivore Botanicals Hair Serum

I love this hair serum! I slather this all over my hair, and sometimes leave it on until the following day. It has a rich texture to it, and a soft bright floral scent. I also think the owners of Herbivore are basically the coolest hippie product-makers ever.

*Laurel Whole Plant Organics Night Balm

A real anti-age facial is not complete without our Night Balm. Our Night Balm contains more rose and more sea buckthorn than any of our other products. It is by far one of our most concentrated and results-driven formulas. I will be the first to admit it smells a little heavy — nutty, floral and musky. I love it, but I know that it smells so heavy because of all of our unrefined quality oils. Sometimes efficacy has to come before scent in my opinion. That is what perfumes are for!  Which leads me to…

Charmed Botanicals Chakra Oil

This scented roll-on scent is made only with essential oils, and it is super special. It is made of equal parts seven oils, one for each chakra. It is truly harmonious and blissful. It is very delicate, which I love. I could spend hours smelling it and trying to pick out the seven oils and how they interweave together. For me, scents aren’t necessarily something you throw on before you leave the house. They are part of me caring for myself and feeling beautiful.

On Laurel’s “Me Time” Wish List:

*May Lindstrom Skin The Jasmine Garden

Yes, I know, I know – we make Elixirs! But we actually don’t use a lot of Jasmine, and May has such a gift for making self-care so special.

La Bella Figura Aria Nighttime Cell Recovery Treatment

Even though we make plenty of serums, LBF’s Aria looks so rich in color! And as a formulator, that tells me all I need to know: The richer the color typically means the higher the antioxidant content and the higher quality the oils – sold!

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