As the child of a Jewish mother, I was not allowed to wear makeup or use heat on my hair until I was out from under her roof. Not because we were, like, really religious or anything, just because Jewish mothers are terrifying and what they say goes. So needless to say, I was not cute until I was properly introduced to makeup as a college freshman. Yikes! For all of you bitches who are about to light me up and tell me that women don’t need to wear makeup to be beautiful, I will say to you what I say to my mom when she tells me I don’t need to drink to have fun: I DO, OKAY?! On days I skip my beauty routine, I look like an exhausted toddler who just ran away from home. Safe to say, I believe in the power of skincare and makeup more than I do good genes. My mom is hot, but that didn’t really translate in her spawn.
Slightly switching gears: I am not a health nut because I love Domino’s thin-crust pizza too much (bless up) , but the recent cancer diagnosis of a family member forced me to reevaluate the toxic sh*t I put on and in my body. It’s been real f*ckboys, but I gotta say goodbye. Ladies, do yourselves a favor and look at the
ingredients chemicals in your foundation, perfume and lip gloss. Is it just me, or is every ingredient a 15-syllable word that ends in “oxide?” I mean, I feel like Penelope Cruz in that Pantene commercial trying to pronounce some of the ish on the label of my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I know what you’re thinking: Why don’t you just stop wearing makeup? And to you, I say, “LOL, good one!” Instead, I completely switched my beauty routine so that every product is made from ingredients I’ve heard of. So if you want to protect your hair, face and body from disgusting chemicals that beauty conglomerates pack into their BS products, see my favorite natural beauty products below.
1. Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser
Ok, truth be told, I don’t really wear a ton of face makeup because my skin is naturally pretty clear, even-toned and glowy. Don’t @ me, I already know I’m #blessed. However, I attribute that perfect trifecta to this cleanser, which smells how Central Park would smell if the hot dog vendors and chainsmokers hung out somewhere else. My point is that it smells like nature, okay? There are nine active ingredients, including organic jojoba oil, orchid extract, algae extract and green tea. The thin cream comes in the prettiest tinted glass packaging, so in addition to making my face look like an Instagram filter, it upgrades my fugly bathroom shelf, too. Anyway, I’m not a dermatologist, but I met with one last week and he told me that your cleanser shouldn’t leave skin feeling squeaky clean and tight. Your skin naturally produces oils that keep your face internally moisturized and healthy, so if you scrub them away, you can say howdy to the pending blackheads, acne and dryness that are about to call your mug home. No thanks! Lastly, as a bitch on a budget, I am also thrilled that this cleanser is pretty cheap and sold at culinary mecca, Whole Foods. One more thing: if you’re a decent human being, you’ll be happy to know that this brand doesn’t test their products on animals. Praise be.
Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser – $15.99
2. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this life-affirming beauty brand, listen up! When I was in high school, I would flip through the J.Crew catalog and quietly covet the models’ bedazzled hair accessories, popped collars and dewy skin. After launching an investigation into the makeup on set of these catalog shoots, I discovered RMS Beauty, and my life truly came together in that moment. The whole line is coconut oil-based, so no matter which RMS product you use, you will glow. The brand’s OG product is the Living Luminizer, and it’s really amazing. When it finally arrived in the mail, I kid you not, I felt more excited to dab this pearlescent magic on my cheekbones than I was to sit in front of Lucas Hedges in SoulCycle yesterday. We hit it off. Save the date, friends and fam. Anyway, now that the secret is out (thanks Sephora), RMS realized its true worth and massively jacked the prices up, but I would still buy it, because there is no price limit for perfect skin. Even guys are noticing my dewy cheeks! Thx, Lucas! It also now comes in several different shades, so even if you’re not ghostly pale like me, you’re going to love it.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer – $38
3. Acure Simply Smoothing Shampoo + Mega Moisture Conditioner
This brand is a one-stop shop for all things skin and hair, but I’m only going to talk about the shampoo and conditioner. Sue me. I have the Simply Smoothing shampoo, whose standout ingredients are coconut oil and marula oil, and the Mega Moisture conditioner, which harnesses the delicious power of argan oil and pumpkin. Aside from all of the great health benefits of those four bomb ingredients, I would just like to say that I have never smelled better. Acure creates its magic potions sans parabens, sulfates and testing on animals, so go to Whole Foods and pick yourself up a few bottles–your hair will thank you. All of the products have pretty stupid names with alliteration, but I won’t hold that against the marketing team because Acure is a great brand doing great things. Ok back to the product: my hair is pretty easy, but it’s thick af, so finding a good shampoo/conditioner that doesn’t anger it is important to me. I’m pleased to report that after three months of using Acure, my hair is really smooth, shiny, and delicious-smelling. Hats off to Acure, you’re doing amazing sweetie!
Acure Mega Moisture Shampoo – $9.99
4. LUSH Mask of Magnaminty
Lush has been around for a long-ass time and if you’ve ever been to a mall, you would know that. If you’re like me, you get a headache from the gigantic wall of smells that hits you just from like looking in Lush’s direction, but the brand does have great, truly natural beauty products. When I first lived in New York for a fashion internship, my skin revolted against me. Maybe it was because I was so stressed about getting my boss’ unnecessarily complicated coffee order right, or maybe it was because New York is a disgusting place filled with pollution on every corner. I’ll never know. Anyway, I popped into a Lush, and after crying to the salesperson for a few minutes, was instructed to try Mask of Magnaminty, which smells like a Thin Mint and I’m here for it. This mask is like the epitome of a face mask: it’s thick, green and makes you look like Shrek. Not Princess Fiona. Shrek. Anyway, Mask of Magnaminty is made from 13 all-natural ingredients and two safe synthetics. Shoutout to the kaolin clay and peppermint that work as magnets to draw out all the crap that sits in your pores after a day of simply existing. This mask is also really chunky and grainy (yum!), so when you wash it off, you’re giving yourself a nice little exfoliation. One small thing to note: the 100% recyclable tin suggests applying generously to clean skin and rinsing off after ten minutes. I read that and laughed because I’m not about to spend money on something to use it for ten f*cking minutes. So I left it on for like an hour and I had zero negative reactions. Maybe because it’s not made from a bunch of poisons like other brands’ products? So, this mask is definitely not a necessity, but as long as New York’s manholes are still spewing whatever the f*ck is coming out of them on my way to work, I am buying this for my face.
LUSH Mask of Magnaminty – $14.99
Images: freestocks.org/Unsplash; Mad Hippie; RMS Beauty; Acure; LUSH