Beauty Ritual

My love for fancy beauty products has been growing, and I’ve recently acquired some perfume- something I haven’t bought in years and years. Unfortunately dalas hates every scent, but whatever- I’ll just use them when he isn’t around, haha. I understand what it’s like to be sensitive to perfume/aromas, so it’s a fair complaint. ANYWAY, I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I use, even though I’m far from being an expert. In terms of skin, the most important thing a person can do is eat well, drink water and moisturize. For me, my ultimate skin enemy is sugar. I was a major sugar fiend when I was younger, and I’ve slowly gotten away from it. I’m not super crazy about avoiding it, I just know that I can’t have it a lot, and if I consume a bit too much in a day then I am guaranteed a nice ol’ zit or two the next day. That’s just how it works! It’s annoying, but it’s good to pinpoint cause and effect like this. A weird health trick I do is to drink a bit of apple cider vinegar in water every morning, because it’s a major cure-all. It tastes bad, like super super super strong kombucha, but it only takes a few seconds and I know it isn’t doing any harm. It’s great for improving digestion, you can put it on your skin (did you see this skincare tutorial?), you can put it on your hair to quit shampoo, etc. I like it!

My buddy Vanessa actually just posted another great skincare tutorial featuring clay, which I love! Clay is a really strong and awesome cleanser, but I wouldn’t recommend using straight clay every day because it is drying, it is more of a once-a-week kind of thing. It sucks all the junk out of your skin and leaves it fresh & ready for some good, balancing moisture. The one pictured above is a fancy French rose clay from Evan Healy, who makes my favorite skincare products. The rose clay also contains Moroccan rhassoul clay and it smells so nice. I use a lot of their products, actually, and my skin loves them. They are all natural, and they really aware of what skin ACTUALLY needs- like oil! Oil is the best kind of moisturizer and cleanser, because it keeps your natural oils from getting all confused. I use oil & toner on my face at night before bed and in the morning my skin is super soft. I feel like such a dummy for getting tricked by skincare companies for most of my life, thinking that oil is bad. Embrace that dang oil and balance it out!

Man, look at all these fancy scents! A recent acquisition is Lightning Paw by OLO Fragrance, an awesome Portland company that makes really unique scents. Lightning Paw’s notes are bergamot, vanilla, jasmine, patchouli and wood. I’m really interested in seeing what the Violet/Leather is like too. I picked mine up at Palace, where I discovered that they stock Evan Healy stuff too so I can stop ordering online! I searched all over etsy for a honey-scented perfume and came away with Honeybee from Long Winter Farm, and it’s definitely an accurate honey smell. I love it. Better than holding a beeswax candle to my nose all day. In the back is a solid perfume made by Tokyo Milk, it’s rose-scented (called Scarlett) and I bought it last year at Flutter during my major rose obsession. I also just received a sample pack of the scents offered by Portland General Store, which are really interesting. They’re all quite masculine and woodsy, and I love the little sample size vials. Perfume scientist.

Dry shampoo is a new thing for me too, I ended up buying a small size of the Lulul Organics hair powder, which has a great herbal lavender smell. I use it on my fringe (haha, first time I’ve said “fringe”) and if I’m home, will accompany that will a blast of herbal toner on my forehead to freshen it up. Fun beauty fact: those paper toiler seat covers are exactly the same as oil blotting papers, so remember that if you’re out somewhere and wish you could blot!

Do you have any cool product recommendations for me? I would really love to find a non-gross, non-greasy, non-full of chemicals sunscreen for daily use. I’ve been using one from La Roche-Posay, but it has sort of a bad rating on the harmful products scale, so I’d consider trying something else. I’m pale, so it’s an SPF 30. I need to find something good because there’s no way I am taking the Julianne Moore approach and never walking on the sunny side of the street. I read some quote from her saying that she’s always in the shade… that’s wild. If you live in a place that is gray for so many months, when the sun comes out you gotta get in it!

  • Anabela

    Love this! A friend of mine swears by this sunscreen:


  • Vicky

    I love apple cider vinegar and use it on my hair regularly. Not only is it great for smootihng the hair cuticles and detangling but it is also a mild antiseptic so is great for removing impurities on the scalp. Also almond oil is very good for dark circles under the eyes if applied daily. I have recently replaced deodorant with coconut oil (it comes in a pot and is solid but melts on contact with the skin) and it’s also great to use on skin and hair!


  • Sally

    Oh man…there is a whole huge online community revolving around independent perfumeries. If you’d like any recommendations (/ resulting lighter pockets!), let me know. ;)


  • kate

    Ohh I love this post:)

    Boscia makes a great SPF moisturizer that I like. It’s all natural, too. Not cheap though, but is any beauty product I like?? No, sadly.

    Also, Will hates every perfume I wear too! He banned me from wearing my Olo Nationale scent because it made him want to throw up. I was so sad. Boys.

    I’m going to try this apple cider vinegar drinking trick. I bought a bunch during my no shampoo phase but that shit ended recently as I coudn’t take the nastiness anymore!


  • niki

    Ahh! My mom went through a holistic phase when I was in grade school and made me use apple cider vinegar in my hair. I have horrible memories of being teased because my hair smelled like salt & vinegar chips! Still, I’m interesting in other kinds of natural beauty products. I’ve heard rose water is an amazing facial toner and Moroccan oil makes your hair super soft and shiny. Still need to try both though!


  • Dani

    I loved this post! I especially loved your emphasis on natural products, being healthy overall, and taking care of your skin by giving it the things it needs. Thanks!


  • hannah

    I love perfume! Synthetic fragrances make me feel kind of queasy though. My favorite is Twigscent Rumpledcake, I picked some up at Little Winter, it makes me think of a sophisticated smarties(fave childhood candy) smell, ha!

    Peter Thomas Roth mineral powder sunscreen is my favorite, it’s easy to apply transparent and doesn’t freak me out. I’m super curious now about trying the Even Healy products. I bought Boscia’s clear complexion moisturizer and my big sis (worked at sephora) gave me the SPF one too. Both of them made me break out with crazy huge cystic zits, which I’m still trying to get rid of. I’ve never been able to use moisturizer though, so it may work fine for you. I’m back to my no makeup + glycerin soap + benzoyl + green clay spot treatment. My bank account and skin are finally admitting beauty counter defeat.

    ACV is awesome…I never thought of drinking it though…hmmm. I had a traumatizing Kombucha experince though, so maybe I shouldn’t


  • Joy

    Wonderful post and great picks. The lighting is so wonderful I thought this was from a catalog of sorts. :D
    I think you’re good with what you have!


  • Angela

    I’m also a pale Portlander & need to bask in the sun (when we get it!). I also refuse to put petroleum and other toxic chemis on my skin. I LOVE Devita sunscreen / moisturizer. 100% natural & vegan, SPF 30+, not greasy, no zinc oxide pastiness and a huge tube costs $16 on (not sure if you can buy it locally). Check it out. It really works!


  • Caitlin Rose

    OH thanks for that. I’ve used clay before and I really like it, I need to learn to be a bit more disciplined with it. I’ll try the apple cider tomorrow morning : ) Oh and I can’t wait to try Evan Healy’s stuff, it looks according to her website she sells her stuff all over toronto, so I”m excited.


  • caroline

    I too love evan healy products. they sell them at whole foods if ones near you. at first I was skeptical about using oil on my face but I was surprised! my face drank it up and I did not feel oily at all. it moisturized my face better than “normal” moisturizers. I also love mixing their clay with cleanser to use as an exfoliant.

    I’m going to check out some of the fragrances you mentioned. I am in the market for one and although I’m probably going to get tocca stella or brigitte…


  • Penelope@thirdroomstudio

    Aesop has a beautiful collection, mostly plant based, and they do gorgeous packaging too. I swear by their Fabulous Face Oil – not cheap, but so worth it.


  • Rachel Rector

    Love this post and your pretty white floors.
    I agree that eating well, drinking water, and taking vitamins is the best…my skin was getting really dry for awhile but it got much better as soon as I started taking Vitamin B and flax oil on a daily basis (shoulda been doin’ it anyway).

    Still, I think the best thing I ever did for my skin was to stop wearing make up. About once a year, I would get a horrible break out on my forehead that lasted for months and I finally realized it was an allergic reaction to makeup. I haven’t had any major break outs in the last two years (besides period zits) and now I just can’t go back to foundation or concealer because my skin itches if I even put it on for a little bit. I also just wash my skin with water and it seems to be just fine.

    I am a huge fan of oils now. I have a sample of Acure Organics Seriously Firming Facial Serum that is a combination of a ton of different oils, including sesame seed oil, pumpkin seed, cranberry seed, olive oil, etc and I really dig it…even though I don’t really need the anti-aging aspect (or maybe I do) it seems to do the trick for dry skin. I also use Aztec clay masks once in awhile, though they definitely dry me out…and I also use some kelp exfoliating stuff if I get flakey.

    I second your request for good sunscreen recommendations…especially ones that are cruelty free!

    The only thing I’m battling now is a flakey scalp…and there’s no way I want to start using head and shoulders :/


  • Casey

    I LOVE this post, Anja! I have become a bit of a beauty product junkie lately, but am considering a few more natural options for things I use. Funny you should mention the apple cider vinegar trick… I really need to start using that again; my skin has been really angry and breaking out for two weeks (ugh!!!), and I think like you the culprit is sugar. (I have been eating way too many sweets lately and probably dumping too much sugar in my tea. haha!) Plus I’m starting to realize that I’m not getting any younger at this point and really need to start taking care of my skin. Going to read through all these comments–they look like goldmines! :)


  • Nichole LA

    Are those pretty new studio floors?! The only thing I ever put on my face is marula oil for moisture (and wash with water), but I don’t think there’s any spf to it. I need to look into that though- I convince myself I’ll compensate with hats. :) My great gma has recommended apple cider vinegar for as long as I can remember! I always sip that when my stomach’s upset.


  • Nichole LA

    Oh yes! And green tea powder + water for a once a week face scrub is amazing! and RACHEL I have the same problem… having such dark hair it is no fun. I use a tea tree oil shampoo a couple of times a week and it seems to help, although I think my hair might hate it…


  • Rebecca

    What a lovely post, Anja! Perfume and beauty is definitely a great love of mine nd it is always nice to see what other people use, wear and what works for them.
    I really love Liz Earle’s Organic Skin Care Range and she does a great Mineral Sun Cream (although only SPF 20). The company is based in the UK but has a US website:


  • Amanda-lwf

    Such awesome finds, and I’m glad you like the honeybee! ;) I’m a huge fan of vinegar, too! I make cold process soap as well, and went through a solid coconut shampoo phase. It’s great for the scalp since you’re not drying it out with foaming agents, but it gets long hair all scummy. So I kept a bottle of dilute vinegar on hand to break all that up. If you dilute it enough, and rinse well, you don’t smell like a pickle! Which is always a plus. Also, you can use different vinegars with different herbal infusions based on your hair color and behavior. Yup, I’m a nerd. And the oil cleansing method? It’s the only thing that keeps my face from turning into a greasy war zone.


  • whitney

    I recently started making my own sea salt spray, after my friend Katy (Moonshine Hill) did a tutorial on how to make your own. With such long hair, I was going through bottles of Bumble and bumble so fast. And at $23 a pop, it wasn’t a good thing :/ Now I make my own on the cheap! Water + fine sea salt + a bit of coconut conditioner + a few drops of jojoba oil + a dollop of hair gel. Magic!


  • Erin from NC

    Hey Anja, It’s Erin (arcade_dreamer) from the ol’ LJ. The sunscreen I recommend most is Badger (#1 rated on all scales, but kind of $$ for daily use) or California Baby. Both work great and aren’t too heavy. My favorite products are from Arbonne (basically Swiss organic Mary Kay type of thing). I haven’t tried their makeup but their skincare line is amaaaaaaaaazing!


  • Emily

    In the last few years I’ve really pared down on what I use in the bathroom. I find the simpler, the better. I’ve had problem skin forever, and while it’s far from perfect, it’s the best it’s been in a long while. I cleanse my face at night with raw organic manuka honey and moisturize with coconut oil. That’s it. If I try to get fancy and add something to the mix I undoubtedly break out. I rinse my hair after shampooing with apple cider vinegar. I no longer use lotion of any kind- I just keep a bottle of jojoba oil in the shower that I rub in before I dry off.

    Cheaper, simpler and most importantly, works better.


  • Rachel C.

    i’m a huge advocate of acv – it’s so good for you in so many ways! i mix it in green tea with lots of local honey to tone down the flavor.

    this is a great post! thanks for sharing!


  • E. Elizabeth

    I’ve found that a nice glass of ACV diluted with warm water makes for a good, but temporary relief from a stuffy nose and sinuses when I am sick or all seasonal allergy’d up. The less you can dilute it, the best. I aim for a 1:1 ratio, but it can be admittedly harsh on the old tummy.


  • Josie Ryder

    This is really awesome Anja! The oil stuff is totally news to me. I’ve been having heaps of eczema related dry skin problems lately and I’m really excited to try out the Apple cider thing, and also the toner and oil. What kind of oil do you use?


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  • Crissy

    Yay! I don’t feel so alone with using toilet seat covers as oil blotting paper. I think I read about it in Sassy or Jane magazine.

    I have been taking ACV for the past four years for various things, mainly poor digestion. I take it with molasses and psyllium husks. I try to do a ACV hair rinse bi-monthly. It helps with itchy scalp and product build-up. It also leaves my hair soft and shiny. I occasionally dilute it and use it as astringent when my hormones get the best of me.

    I totally agree with using oil on the face. I used to seek out oil-free products and I would get rashes on my face. A few months ago, I started using Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and my skin was the best it had every been since pre-pregnancy. I ran out and now I have bumps all over my face.
    I am very interested in trying Evan Healy products. Thanks for the recommendation. Where can I find Evan Healy Portland?


  • Winnie

    I really, really like Josie Maran’s argan oil-based sunscreen, which is SPF 40 and has what I consider a pleasant smell.


  • Jessica Sturm

    I work at a natural cosmetics store, and I use mostly Evan Healy products, they’re great! Pure cold-pressed rosehip oil is also great on the face and much more affordable than blends like the lovely Evan Healy oils. My favourite sunscreen is Caribbean Solutions. I haven’t been able to order it lately in Canada but I think it should be available in the US. Their face sunscreen is not greasy at all. Badger sunscreen is the purest, but it’s very rich.


  • Annie

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am a make-up artist in brooklyn with a newly found obsession with high quality all natural beauty products.

    I featured this post on my blog at, I hope that’s alright!


  • Paige

    I’m a chemist and I’m obsessed with perfumes–for both aesthetic and scientific reasons. My favorite perfumer is Jean Claude Elena, which is sort of a gimme–he’s the in-house perfumer for Hermes and probably the most famous perfumer alive. My favorite scent (which happens to be by Elena) is Hermessence Rose Ikebana. Light, earthy rose scent, that even my fiance (who usually hates perfumes) loves. As for sunscreen, I recently bought the Alba Botanica Sunblock in Aloe Vanilla. It smells divine! Haven’t tried it out yet, but Alba products incorporate organic ingredients and are usually great. Good luck!


  • Eileen

    The Australian input: I use Natralia chemical-free sunscreen, it’s really great on my skin, especially here in Sydney where we were 300 days of sun, and we’re right below the ozone hole!

    You can get it here, I’m not sure if they ship internationally, which will be a bummer if they don’t.


  • julie e

    Great suggestions. I use Keys sunscreen. But the absolute best source for sunscreens that are free of harmful chemicals is the Environmental Working Group Report (also helpful for other beauty products).


  • Andrea

    Hi! I like natural skin stuff too and here are my recommendations:

    Argan Oil as a face moisturizer (I used this one because it’s not as expensive as the Josie Maran one but is also organic)

    I love coconut oil as a body moisturizer.

    Also, I just got this sunscreen for my face and I love it! I think it’s rated a 1 or 2 on the toxicity list, is mineral, and has such a creamy not shiny texture. It’s a bit white but I’m pale so it blends in well. Too pricey for body though.


  • Tori

    I love the sunblock by TiZo that is actually a mineral based sunblock (as opposed to a chemical based sunscreen) but it’s only for the face. It is slightly tinted (evens out skin tone!) and is matte in its finish. Best part, it is a 40 SPF. You should be able to find it online.


  • Megan

    i could LIVE it this post i love it so much! totally with you on the ACV topic, it’s great. i have yet to find the perfect sunscreen, right now i’m using the josie maran argan oil sunscreen 40+. the texture is great but i really don’t like the smell…kind of like a sweet tart?

    i bought that insanely expensive olio lusso stuff that everyone has been talking about and it does live up to the hype HOWEVER i think next time i’ll try the dr hauschka normalizing day oil. i’ve heard good things and it’s less expensive. i think using oil on my face has been the best thing i’ve ever done for it, along with drinking more water.

    i want to try that rose clay, looks fancy!


  • emma

    i absolutely loved this post. Great alternative beauty tips and i love how you presented the products in your photographs – it looks like a spread from an alternative beauty magazine. please let me know if you find a non greasy chemical free sunscreen! x


  • haluca

    Hello Anja, it’s first time i comment, usually i’m to shy to write cause of my horrible english. I like a lot this post, new things to learn since I try to put only natural things on my face and body. You can use clays like dry shampoo as well if, works great. Some of mineral foundations have high SPF so I think it could work as sunscreen and makeup at once. Greetings!


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  • nora

    this is by far my favorite sunscreen! the scent is so clean and wonderful, and it leaves your face glowing also.


  • Karen Patrick

    When I was 15 I was on vacation in Croatia, a local lady with beautiful
    skin told me to pick up a snale and rub it on my skin because I had,
    like most 15 year olds, bad acne. I laughed it off and never did it
    because it just seemed gross. Now that I read about the snale cream I
    dont think it would have been such a bad idea..NFA trust


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