I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about clean/green beauty product recommendations, and quite honestly didn’t feel equipped to answer them. I harnessed the power of the vast knowledge and naturalistic nerdiness that is Jeannie Vincent from Follain to assist with this endeavor, and man oh man did she deliver. Below are her top picks for a dewy day look, as well as some questions that popped up along the way.
We filmed this session at the Follain store in Beacon Hill, Boston. Follain (Gaelic for healthy, wholesome, and sound) is a nautral beauty store with locations in Boston, Nantucket, Washington, D.C. and New York. Everything at Follain is curated and cruelty free. They try all the products to ensure their goodness before deciding to carry in stores, which makes the whole transition to natural beauty far less overwhelming. Rather than attempting to describe the beautiful essence of the store, their credo does it best.
“We exercise and eat our greens, but don’t stop there. We also feed our skin beautiful ingredients that it knows how to use. We are here to complement your healthy lifestyle. Your beautiful self. Clean, pure, and effective. Spa-grade and US made. Join the movement.”
Let this be the official declaration that I am joining the movement. In terms of why it’s prudent to start making beauty swaps, skin is the largest organ in the body, and it absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it in 26 seconds (learned this during the live session ayyyye Jeannie with the facts and the knowledge). Plus, the US only bans 11 ingredients from beauty products, whereas Europe bans around 1400. Combined with the fact that there aren’t regulations on the terms “all natural” and “organic” in the realm of green beauty, I wanted to officially switch over all of my products.
The live session started with a tutorial on how to apply / what products to use for an understated, day make up look. The steps and products used are below.
You can use the code LEMONS for 10% off select Follain product (excluding kjaer weis, laurel, may lindstrom, one love organics, RMS beauty, suntegrity, vintner’s daughter, and zoe organics).
- toning mist: Osea (refreshing toner) – if you have no make up on, you can use it without washing face. Applying a spritz of toner throughout the day is a good way to replenish moisture in skin. You can use it all day or spray in people’s faces at work if they’re being annoying – using a cotton pad gives it a clean sweep – ($38 for 4 oz and $16 for travel sized)
- eye cream: Staring at screens takes a toll on skin and eyes and can be really drying, and it’s good to replenish with eye cream. I used the Dr Alkaitis eye cream, which is 100% organic, and you can even eat the ingredients (we don’t recommend doing that, though). Put eye cream closer to cheek bone and orbital bone and tap it in to stimulate circulation and help break up dark circles by stimulating drainage. Apply counter to the direction that your brows grow to increase circulation, but don’t get too close to the lash line. If oil gets in your eye, it can be really harmful. While this does moisturizer, it is not designed for dark circles, though no product really is. Dark circles are hereditary and products who claim they help with dark circles are usually big liars. ($65)
- face oil as moisturizer -Oil is good for everybody because it’s easy for the skin to digest. Indie Lee Squalane Oil. Squalane is a lightweight moisturizing carrier oil, and is derived from an olive. Oil won’t clog your pores depending on the type of oil it is. This one is a small molecule that is absorbed easily. Mineral oils, however, are pore clogging, as they contain byproducts of petroleum. Oils are sometimes easier for the skin to digest than moisturizers, as they contain fewer ingredients and don’t contain emulsifiers. Oily skin is not in fact afraid of oil – oil free products have other things in them to make them feel smooth, like silicon, which ironically (ironic-oily) end up making you feel more oily. ($32)
- concealer: RMS Un-Cover Up (I used number 22). A jar will last you about a year. It can be used as either concealer or foundation, and you can even mix with moisturizer if you want to make a tinted moisturizer. When you’re trying out a concealer / foundation, it’s better to see and match it in the middle of your face, so it’s recommended to try it on your nose. If you have to touch it up throughout the day, that’s okay!! Make-up sits on the skin all day and sometimes just needs to be re-blended. ($36)
- brows: Jane Iredale Pure Brow – This is an all natural alternative to boy brow. It’s a tinted gel as opposed to powder or pencil, which means it adheres to the hairs and looks really natural, and holds your brows in place. I used a tinted version, but there’s also a clear one. The one I used was Brunette. ($21)
- lash primer: Jane Iredale – PureLash Lash Extender and Conditioner. Bulks up lashes and keeps the mascara on. Caster oil stimulates lash growth, and it’s one of the ingredients in this primer. ($19)
- mascara: Jane Iredale Longest Lash – Thickening and Lengthening Mascara. Pro-tip: if you accidentally smudge, don’t wipe it off right away. Let it dry, then flick it off using q-tip. ($33)
- removing mascara: Put oil based make up remover on pad with water and hold it over lashes. SW basics ($10) and Farmaesthetics ($26) both have it.
- blush: Ilia Multi-Stick ($34) Sheer, blendable color that can be used on lips, cheeks, and eyen eyes. The color I used was All of Me.
- lips: Kari Gran Lip Whip – Shiny lip gloss / balm and you can also use it on the cheeks to give a little bit of a glow. It’s a natural way to get a glow without seeing a stripe of another color. Gives a little dewiness. ($16)
- inner eye pencil: Vapour Mesmerize Eyeliner ($20) Soft and easy to glide on and smudge to make look more natural.
- highlighting – WellPeople Bio Brightener – Places to highlight: on top of cheekbone (use your fingertips to blend it in), very little amount under and above the brow, right above the lip over the cupid’s bow, bottom of center of lip for full lip, and a little on the nose. ($23.99)
Additional questions covered:
- For acne / acne scars: Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum is great, but pricey. Otherwise, Barbary fig seed oil or anything high in Vitamin E!
- Over cleansing: There’s really only a need to cleanse once a day – if you wash your face at night you wake up with pretty clean skin. The cleanser you choose depends on your skin type: those with dry skin may need to use cream or oil based cleanser without harsh surfactants (no soap). If you’re using the wrong cleanser, it can throw everything off balance. It is recommended to cleanse at night to remove makeup and any pollution that’s on your skin from the day.
- Face vs eye cream: all eye creams are ophthalmologist tested, so you know they’re safe to use around the eye. Some face creams can be used around the eye, but overall it’s not recommended.
- Good oil for acne prone skin? Tamanu oil, squalane oil, Barbary fig seed oil.
- Is it better to apply with brush or fingers? Fingers warm the products up and make them easier to blend with the skin. If you want really precise application, a brush may be better.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil out of the jar isn’t that moisturizing, but a product that uses coconut oil is in it or as the base is fine. Coconut oil is light and not very hydrating. The molecule is big so it doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin, so it’s not ideal for a facial moisturizer. On the ends of hair or on the body, it’s okay.
- Why is retinol bad? Retinol can be harsh and break the barrier of skin down. Vitamin A is a natural alternative to retinol, having similar effects without damaging chemicals.
- Anything waterproof usually has plasticizers in it for mascara.
- To stimulate lash and brow growth: castor oil.
- Vitamin C is good, you just want to know where it’s coming from. The ingredient itself isn’t bad, but the sourcing sometimes is, aka can get contaminated in the process. It’s photosensitizing so can make you more susceptible to getting a sunburn depending on where the source is from. Vitamin C serum recommendation: One Love Organics ($75) for dry skin or True Botanicals ($90) is hard core and effective. It’s synthetic but safe, and in powder form so it’s totally stable and active. Vitamin C is less stable in water.
- When taking off mascara, be gentle around the eyelashes, otherwise they have a tendency to fall out. Natural product prevents them from getting brittle and falling out. Recommendations: SW basics ($10) and Farmaesthetics ($26)
- Sunscreen / SPF look for something with zinc. Raw Elements for body ($17.99) tinted one so doesn’t make you look white. Works on 90% of skin tones unless you’re super light or dark. Suntegrity Scented or Unscented rubs right in ($24).
- 1-3 switches with products, where to start. This kind of depends on the person. You want to think about / focus on switching the products that sit on your skin the longest, or are applied to the largest surface area. This means that body lotion, soap, and deodorant may be the first switches for some people, or foundation for others. Really depends on what you use most and apply to the largest areas. For deodorant: Jeannie recommended Meow Meow Tweet ($14), though I found North Coast Organics or Primally Pure to work best for me. Check my whole deodorant post here. For face wash, SW Basics cleanser ($12) or Farmaesthetics ($39). For moisturizer / lotion: Farmeasthetics Nourishing Lavender Milk ($39), or Soapwalla Luxurious Body Oil ($32).
- Ingredients to avoid in products: fragrance (can have up to 3,000 chemicals in it and it’s proprietary to the brand so they don’t have to disclose what is in it).
- soap: 1 million pounds of plastic soap bottles thrown out in the US each year. Follain Refillable Soap ($16) and Refill Pouch ($12)
- toothpaste: look for one that doesn’t have Sodium laurel sulfate – Jason (Jeannie’s pick), EcoDent (follower’s recommendations) or Nature’s Gate (my pick) are some good brands.
- Tata Harper recommendation: Regenerating Cleanser (which is a scrub) ($78)
- Natural tampons recommendations: LOLA subscription, Ellebox subscription (PMS survival kit + tampons / pads), Natracare, Cora, Veeda (stop and shop).
- Dry shampoo: toxic for you and environment (especially those in an aerosol can) and the ingredients can clog the hair follicle. Lulu Organics (Jasmine or Lavender / Clary Sage) is a good one ($12) or Rahua because it also builds volume ($32).
- App: Think Dirty to look up products and rated on scale of 0-10 for safety. Everything at Follain is a 4 or under.
- EWG Skin Deep Database
- you can use these resources to look up product lines like: Burt’s Bees (mostly fine), Bare Minerals (face powder is fine because it’s just minerals, though others are not), Lush (yuck), Tom’s of Maine (has some issues). A lot of the brands that you think are natural ARE NOT! Make sure to do your research and look them up.
You can use the code LEMONS for 10% off select Follain products (excluding kjaer weis, laurel, may lindstrom, one love organics, RMS beauty, suntegrity, vintner’s daughter, and zoe organics).
PS. For those of you who tuned in, did you like this hour session / find it helpful and informative? We are thinking of doing a few more, so leave additional comments, question, and feedback below or shoot me an email!! xo