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
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized at the start of a new year by your own ambitions. You know, those resolutions you’ve set for yourself saying you’re going to cut back on ordering from UberEats, slow down on the booze, or finally start using your gym membership? (Same, same.) While those resolutions tend to be forgotten by February (or like… the second week of January), I’ve rounded up some not-so annoying beauty resolutions that are pretty easy to stick to in the new year. Your hair and skin will thank you, and then you’ll thank me, so it works out for everyone.
Finally, beauty resolutions that will make you like, really pretty (and healthy), and don’t require working out every day or cutting
daily weekly happy hours out of your schedule.
1. Remove Your Makeup Every Night Before Bed
… Yes, even when you’re drunk. I know, the last thing you want to do when you get in from a long day (or long night) is remove your makeup before you lay down for your beauty rest, but the truth is you really should. You see, your makeup can trap dirt and toxic environmental pollutants and lead to a number of concerns like clogged pores, acne, dry skin, and the degradation of collagen (which eventually leads to premature aging). Just do it, ok? You know what’ll make it a hell of a lot easier to stick to? Makeup wipes.
For wipes that will take off all of your makeup (yes, even pesky mascara), no face wash or sink needed, grab La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Cleansing Towelettes and take “lazy but efficient” to the next level. You can even use them while you’re in bed if you’re willing to be that
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes
2. Use A Mask Multiple Times A Week
If you’re super lazy, adding another step to your beauty routine may seem like an impossible task. But let me tell you, I swear there is plenty of time for them and they will do wonders for your hair and skin. First off, as far as hair masks go, there are plenty of masks that you can massage into your locks overnight and wash them out in the morning. For face masks, opt for one that targets your main skin concerns. Plaster it on while you’re binge-watching Netflix, in the morning when you’re checking all of your social media platforms before you get out of bed, or while you’re waiting for your shower to warm up. The key is to use it 2-3 times a week. That way, you’re actively addressing your skin issues but you’re not over-using it so it won’t dry out or otherwise irritate your skin.
Lab to Beauty’s The Green Cure Mask contains matcha, french green clay, lavender, and the ever-trendy CBD oil to detoxify the skin, calm redness, and revitalize for a healthy, glowing complexion.
Lab To Beauty The Green Cure Mask
On wet hair, apply this overnight hair mask to calm frizz, provide nourishment and just make your strands smell so much better. Just be sure to rinse out in the morning and then style as usual.
Matrix Biolage 3-Butter Control System Overnight Mask, $25
3. Stop Self-Medicating With Sex And Alcohol
So this one is a little more for your brain and emotional well-being. But regardless, if your anxiety is at an all-time high, your skin is freaking out, your bank account is drained, and you’ve been ghosted by too many f*ckboys to keep track of in 2018 (I swear, I’m not writing an autobiography here), odds are you should probably stop self-medicating by getting drunk and hooking up with even more f*ckboys. Instead, clear your head, ease your anxieties, and get focused using natural supplements. These vitamins contain mood-enhancing ingredients like organic St. John’s wort, organic gingko leaf, vitamin B6, and GABA. They literally just lighten your mood and clear your thoughts to help you focus and get back on track (whatever track that is).
Love Wellness Mood Pills, $18.74
4. Drink Your Collagen
Ingestible collagen became like, really trendy in 2018—and for good reason. It works from the inside out for a more effective outcome compared to topical collagen products. And in case you weren’t aware, your collagen production begins to slow down in your mid to late 20’s. So odds are, if you’re reading this and you’d like to maintain a smooth, youthful complexion, then start chugging collagen every morning ASAP. Skinade is part of my daily morning routine, and not only does it taste good, but I honestly notice such a difference in my skin. The peach and mangosteen drink combats the signs of aging by preventing the breakdown of collagen and improving moisture and hydration. Basically? Your skin will appear smooth, supple (ew but true), and hydrated in less than 30 days.
Skinade 30-Day Pack
5. Get Into A Consistent Skincare Routine
I’m sure you’ve heard all sorts of conflicting things about what your skincare routine should and shouldn’t include. Let me put it plainly for you: getting into any consistent routine should help keep your skin issues at bay. What I’m trying to say is, do you keep randomly trying all sorts of different products and you keep experiencing breakouts? If the answer is yes, then consistency is key. Try getting into a routine using the same products and the same steps everyday and watch as your skin beings to glow. My recommendation? Try cleansing, using a serum, and then a moisturizer every morning and every night.
6. Stay Out Of The Sun And Start Using SPF
In case you still hit the tanning beds or go into the sun without SPF on your face, I’m not going to flat-out tell you to stop because well, I used to be the same way. But what I will tell you is that UV rays really do f*ck with the texture of your skin, especially as you enter your late twenties when your collagen naturally starts to deplete. Protect your face in the sun. And if you’re anything like me and crave a bronze glow, try a self-tanner for your face. If you want an effective SPF that doesn’t just protect but also moisturizes and feels good on your skin, Glossier’s invisible shield doesn’t disappoint.
Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35
But when you still need that glow so that you don’t look absurdly pale, sickly, and all around ghost-like, Tan-Luxe’s The Face Self Tan Drops can be dropped in with your daily facial moisturizer and then develop in two to four hours for an amazing bronzy glow. Just remember, though, just like with any other self tanner, you’re going to want to stay away from getting your face wet while the color develops (aka no bathing, swimming, sweating, pouring champagne in your mouth/all over your face, etc.)
Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self Tan Drops
7. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos And Conditioners
Sulfates in your shampoos can cause build-up, strip your color (if you have color-treated hair), and basically make it gross, dry, brittle, and hard to style. Sulfates are the chemicals that we associate with a rich, foamy lather, but guess what: You don’t actually need that sh*t for shampoo to work. Take my word for it and opt for a sulfate-free option.
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate Repair Shampoo & Conditioner
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Header photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash
These days, everyone wants to be vegan! And gluten free! And all natural! But when it comes to beauty products, are these just bullshit marketing ploys to convince you to buy the products, or do they actually hold value? Well, thanks to major loopholes in federal laws (and according to the FDA’s website), the FDA doesn’t have a list of approved or accepted claims for cosmetics—odds are, they’re most likely meaningless. But *extremely JLo voice* because we’re real, we’re here to clear up all of the confusion about the misleading beauty terms associated with some of the products on the market right now.
So if you’re overwhelmed with trying to figure out which products contain ingredients that are actually safe for you, and which are using fancy buzzwords and misleading beauty terms to try to trick you, keep an eye out for these words and phrases.
1. All Natural
What you want “all natural” to mean versus what you think it means is a lot like those “you vs. the girl he tells you not to worry about” memes. If a label claims a product is all natural, all it really means is that some of the ingredients are plant or mineral-based versus synthetic. That itself in no way guarantees that the product is safe since the FDA doesn’t regulate it. If you want to know if a brand is really committed to being natural, check for certifications by organizations like the Natural Products Association, BDIH and EcoCert. Unlike the FDA, these third-party organizations have standards that products have to meet in order to earn their approval.
By FDA standards, a “non-toxic” label literally just means that the company left out ingredients in the product linked to toxic reactions in humans: neuro or hormone-disruption, cancer, and death. Cool, thanks for looking out! In general, a good rule of thumb is to check the ingredients list for major no-nos like formaldehyde, petroleum, hydrous magnesium silicate (aka asbestos) and lead acetate.
What does “chemical-free’ on beauty products mean? Nothing, that’s what. It’s really one of the most misleading beauty terms out there. A chemical-free label really makes the marketers behind the products look like incompetent people that didn’t pass seventh grade science, because it’s literally impossible to have a chemical-free product since chemicals are any forms of matter or pure substances. To illustrate this point, I asked my friend with a B.S. in chemistry about this, and she said, “Excuse me. Water is a chemical. Its name is dihydrogen monoxide. Just because you can’t pronounce it doesn’t mean it’s scary.” What these companies probably want you to believe is that the product is free of synthetic chemicals, and maybe it is. But there’s nothing inherently bad about synthetic chemicals, the same way there’s nothing inherently good about many non-synthetic chemicals.
If a product claims it’s vegan, then it’s saying that the product does not contain any animal products or byproducts. To ensure that that claim is true, look for logos by Vegan Action or Vegan Society, third party organizations that actually regulate the term and confirm that the product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, just because a product is vegan, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product wasn’t tested on animals. To make sure that the product wasn’t tested on animals, look for PETA’s little pink and white bunny logo.
Once again, the FDA does fuck-all when it comes to regulating the term “organic” on beauty product labels. If a product claims it’s organic, all it really means is that the raw ingredients contain no chemical pesticides. But the products themselves? They could (and probably do) still contain preservatives. If you want to know if a product’s really organic or not, check the label for terms like “parabens,” “phenoxyethanol,” and “benzoic acid/sodium benzoate.” Those are signs that some inorganic shit is in there.
6. Dermatologist Approved
A dermatologist may have approved the product, it’s true. But that dermatologist could be literally any Tom, Dick or Harry from Nowheresville, U.S.A. It also doesn’t mean that the product has gone through any standardized testing. “Dermatologist approved” most likely means that said derm knows that the product may work. But it doesn’t mean that they’ve evaluated the safety of the ingredients in the product.
The takeaway? If you are conscious about what you’re putting on your body, good for you! It’s a good idea to read the label to check for ingredients that you might not want to put on your skin.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (6)
To be blunt, my face is my most prized possession. It’s the only thing that has gotten me this far in life. With or without pounds of makeup, I care for it as much as I do for like, my dog—which is more than I do for any person, ever. I would be nothing without my high-status man candy,
technically good physique flawless skin, and army of skanks evil band of *loyal* Instagram followers. Which is why when I notice the slightest of breakouts, I run to the nearest Walgreens and buy every fucking overpriced face wash/cream/moisturizer on the market. But, like other times I (appropriately) acted irrationally, I usually hate myself for being so god damn impulsive and spending my entire paycheck in one sitting for a bunch of shit that doesn’t even work. IDK, maybe there should’ve been a self-control course in college. No one cares why x+y=z and other lame ass bullshit that doesn’t make sense.
Attempting to learn something (for once in my life), I’ve taught myself how to be resourceful by using
water as a chaser food in my kitchen as a remedy for all of my facial flaws. If this means having my face smell like a foot or avocado toast, then so fucking be it. I’m saving money by not leaving my house. What’s there to complain about? Here are common foods probably in your cabinet or fridge that will do wonders for your skin (you’re fucking welcome).
Lemons are the answer to most of life’s problems like providing us with good cocktails and catchy album titles. Well, who fucking knew it could benefit your face too? To reduce redness, excess oil, and light scarring, apply fresh lemon juice to targeted areas with a cotton ball. NGL, it may sting just a tad, but let those juices flow, GF.
Unsweetened Plain Yogurt
Okay, this is probably a little far-fetched being that no fucking normal person nonchalantly has plain unsweetened yogurt chilling in their fridge. Unless you’re into like, diets and being healthy. Whatever the fuck that means. In this case, you may have to buy some to not only impress your
skinny snobby friends, but also to slab on your face. Ingredients such as lactic acid and zinc help moisturize your face. They fight aging and prevent nasty-ass wrinkles. You’ll always be 25 on the outside if you use enough.
Don’t be lazy with this one. Finding an unprocessed, natural, pure honey is most likely found at a local farmers market or hipster grocery store (aka Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods). It’s important to find one without sugary loaded shit—aka that shit that comes in the bear bottle at your grocery store won’t cut it. Apply to only affected areas to reduce swelling and prevent infection. Wash off thoroughly after your desired time because like, do I really need to explain why?
Ever wondered how to get rid of vomit-inducing blackheads? Grind or blend a few tomatoes until they become a paste. Apply it as a facial mask after washing your face to unclog your pores and serve as an exfoliant. Fresh tomatoes reduce oil and prevent blackheads.
Life tip: If you have avocado at home already, guac isn’t extra for you!! You go, Glen Coco. I know you don’t really need another reason to have/eat avocado, but either option is fantastic for your skin. Applying avocado directly onto your face keeps it looking nourished and radiant. If you have a sunburn, apply to the affected area to rid dead skin cells and protect from sun damage.
All around, oats are pretty fucking great for your skin. Even for the most sensitive skin types, oats relieve itchiness, reduce swelling, and lock in natural moisture. Use as a paste or grind for a loose powder. Oats are especially ideal for those who are prone to allergies or skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Whether you use its peel or mash it up, applying fresh bananas give life to any dull complexion. The shit ton of vitamins and potassium provide soft, glowing skin to make you look as young as the first time you got a fake ID. FYI, if you rub a banana peel along your teeth, your teeth will have a fab glow-up too.
I mean, fucking duh. Everybody in the English-speaking world knows the penis-looking veggie does some common good for your face. Although they’re literally like, water, placing cucumbers on your eyes reduces puffiness and dark circles because what is sleep anymore. If you’re suffering from an allergic reaction or type of skin irritation, apply to the specific area for cooling and relieving purposes.