For a long time I thought that my sense of style was seriously warped. I grew up in a town in Oregon filled with old hippies, where tie dye and Birkenstocks were the epitome of cool. Not only that but it was the 90s and the grunge era was in full force. It was an amazing place where not being mainstream was cool and being different was embraced. But it also meant that if you tried to look conventionally pretty you might be perceived as superficial and shallow. At the same time there wasn't pressure to look conventionally beautiful and I think I probably have a better self image because of that.
As a teen I read all the big fashion magazines – Vogue, W, Bazaar. Yet my style was more about function than fashion. Wearing fantastic fashion would have made me stick out like a sore thumb and I wasn't ready to go there. When I moved to California about 7 years ago, I was able to break away from the old less-is-better idea and start really experimenting with makeup and fashion. These days I'm not afraid to rock some harem pants or even eyeshadow (eyelid primer was a bit of a revelation for me). My beauty style is still understated and probably considered minimal by some. Just check out my with and without makeup photo evidence below. Pretty minimal right? For a full makeup look, I like to use some foundation to even out my skin tone, blush for a healthy glow, mascara and eyeliner to pop the eyes and lipstick to brighten the face. And that's it. Excepting that bright red lipstick it's a pretty natural look. (Do you like the headband I'm sporting here? Check out my DIY to make your own.)
Suffice it to say, my beauty journey has been a long one. I still don't know how to straighten my hair or apply liquid eyeliner. But I have found some natural beauty techniques that work for my often dry, rather sensitive skin.
1. Exfoliation Exfoliation is the best way to get rid of dead skin cells and keep pores clear. I like to use those peach colored exfoliating facial sponges you can find at any drugstore.
2. Tea tree oil This naturally anti-bacterial oil is great for treating the occasional blemish. I also use it in my home-made cleaning spray (in a spray bottle mix a few drops with white vinegar and water).
3. Aloe Vera gel Pure aloe vera gel (not the blue or green stuff) works great as a hair gel or even a shave gel. Really. You can't get more natural than 100% aloe vera. I have curly hair and it really works to tame the frizz.
4. Protect I've said it before and I'll say it again. Protecting your skin from the sun is the best thing you can do for it. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen and stay in the shade. Do it. You'll be glad you did later.
5. Moisturize In the last year or so, my skin has become drier than ever before. To help keep it moisturized and keep wrinkles at bay, I avoid hot water for cleansing, use a humidifier, drink lots of water, eat omega-3 rich food like fish oil and layer on loads of moisturizers. I've also been experimenting with the latest trend in skin care – the oil. So I was excited to receive the Seventh Generation Skin Serum Boost Soothing formula to try out. The boosts can be used alone or mixed with a moisturizer. I found the boost serum to have a really nice not-too-heavy texture and lovely aroma. There are 6 different formulas, so you can choose what works best for your skin type. Visit the website to take a quiz to find your ideal formula (There was a coupon when I completed the quiz. Bonus!).
What are your natural beauty secrets? Please share! I'd love to hear them.
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Disclaimer: This post is part of a Lucky Magazine community challenge to write about natural beauty. I received a free sample of this product from Lucky and Seventh Generation for use in connection with this blog. All opinions are my own.