Humans and wildlife need healthy forests to survive, and anyone who’s spent time in them knows how wonderful they can make us feel. Camping in the woods as a child instilled an awe for nature in me that I have never lost. And because of this, I know all-too-well how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the rate at which we our losing the world’s forests. From clear-cutting for agriculture, ranching, and urban development, we have already lost nearly half of the Earth's original forest cover. Seeing trees cut down, in a once-wooded-area where I am from in Tennessee, making way for some fast-food restaurant, strip-mall, or parking lot, brings tears to my eyes on the regular. Is there no way around this feeling of despair and hopelessness for our forests, and our planet as a whole? Well, by visiting one, small FSC-certified tree farm in Arkansas, my hope for the future was fueled in a much-needed way.Read More
I have been getting lots of inquiries lately about my skin care routine, and what clean beauty products I use. As flattering as it is to hear, "You have beautiful skin.", I can't stress enough that, I too, have had more than a few years of trial-and-error perfecting my skincare practice. Every skin type is different. Every person's skin is different. I have combination, dry and oily skin that is sensitive to harsh chemicals, and dark circles under my eyes that never go away. I firmly believe that plant-based nutrition, staying hydrated, exercise, and adequate sleep are far more important than any topical treatment will ever be at giving someone good skin. Products are often expensive, and it's wasteful to buy something that doesn't work only to throw it away. But I also really love enhancing my natural beauty with a little bit of makeup and know that cleaning and moisturizing are also essential to maintaining radiant, healthy skin.
I have tested and used all of these products for the past year, and know they are good investments. They all last for at least a few months if not longer, are cruelty-free, non-toxic, and are easy to purchase online or in a local store. I hope this list is useful to you, and that you can find some items that also work for you. Let me know, in the comments below, if you want to learn more or if you have any other thoughts on clean beauty routines! Here is my daily skincare routine, and the best products I've found for my skin type:
Face Wash Powder
Day and night. Apply a quarter-sized amount of powder into the palm of your hand. With your other hand, run water over your fingers, and allow a few drops of water drop onto the powder. I only use enough water to make a paste. Too much water added can make this difficult to apply. Massage gently on your face and neck, then rinse. Avoid rubbing vigorously and be very gentle around your eyes. Optionally, you can leave this on your face for 10 minutes as a mask.
Day and night. In the mornings I combine a quarter-sized dollop of this with my bronzing tint shown below. Rub between the palms of your hands, and gently apply in small, circular motions on your face and neck. At night time I do the same application, minus the bronzing tint. This lotion is not oily, but still wonderfully moisturizing. Ideal for sensitive skin.
Renewing Night Conditioner
Night time only. One month treatment, 3 times a year. Applied before moisturizer after washed face. Open dropper and squeeze just enough drops as one hand can hold in its palm, without dripping out. For me it's usually about a nickel's size. This has the same consistency as water, so be careful not to waste it. Use your other hand's ring finger to dip in the conditioner, and apply it on the face... then neck. Repeat until dropper is empty. Follow with moisturizer above. I really love this product as it makes my face look healthier, my pores smaller, and my skin more supple.
Used daily with morning moisturizer. Apply 1-3 squirts with lotion listed above, depending on how dark you want the tint to be. Blend thoroughly with a dollop of moisturizer, and then apply all over face and neck. Play around with how much you add of this to your moisturizer. Start with less, blend with lotion, and if the color is still really white, add more. If the lotion looks too dark, you probably added too much. A little goes a long way!
Used when makeup worn. For covering dark, under-eye circles and other blemishes that may occur. Squeeze a pinhead-sized drop onto index finger and hold on under-eye area for a couple of seconds to help it warm. Then lightly blot with same finger to cover purple under-eye circles. Use lightest pressure possible to blot and blend. Use same technique for blemishes. I use the "light" shade.
Used when makeup worn. sharpen pencil every week, to get best application. Start by nose and work your way out, using light upward strokes that match the grain on your eyebrow hair. This stuff lasts all day, but is easily wiped off with your finger if you color our side of the lines. Use opposite brush end to comb brows and blend. I use the "flax" shade.
Used when makeup worn. Suck in cheeks to make cheekbones more visible. Apply a line of bronzing stick, starting in line with the center of your eye, and draw to hairline. Blend with ring finger down and evenly. This makes cheeks look naturally bronzed. Apply elsewhere on face depending on your face shape. I love my jawline, so also use same technique along jawline close to ears. I don't use under my chin. In the winter, I also use alone hairline to give a sunkissed look. Always blend thoroughly. More is easily added on top of the old.
Contour/ Highlight Duo
Used when makeup worn. I like this as a more natural-looking eye pallet, to contour eye crease and highlight eye lids. Use small makeup brush, or finger tip, to apply darker shade in creases of the eyes. Blend outward and don't apply close to eyebrow. Use same brush, or fingertip, to apply highlighter on eyelid. These can also be used as a highlighter on cheekbones, and a contour along cheekbones/ jawline/ hairline as described with bronzing stick above. I use a finger and not a brush for this. Blending again is key for a subtle enhancement. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Used when makeup worn. Do NOT repeatedly dip wand in and out of tube, as this makes your product dry out faster. This will last you for at least 3 months if you don't allow it to dry out. Simply shake the tube when closed to get more mascara on wand, then open. Apply with wand in light, upward strokes. I only apply it to my upper lashes, but it may also be applied on lower lashes as well. Use light, downward strokes when applying on lower lashes. If one coat isn't enough, repeat until satisfied. This mascara isn't waterproof, so it can be easily removed and doesn't cause lashes to break. It also doesn't smear throughout the day unless you cry or go underwater. I use the "pro black" color.
This look achieved using products and techniques above.
I hope you enjoyed this look into my clean beauty routine, and that I've demonstrated how simple making a mindful makeup switch can be. What does your clean beauty routine consists of? What are your favorite products? Let me know, in the comments below, if you have any questions or thoughts about this post.
We're almost a month in to 2016 and if you're anything like me, you're feeling more motivated than ever to be your best self. Maybe you've been hitting the gym again or finially trying that Yoga or Pilates class that you've been wanting to try. Maybe you are setting financial goals or picking up a meditation practice. And my biggest dream... maybe you've decided to take the plunge like I did and are finally trying the vegan diet (even 1-2 days a week benefits you and our planet!).
Although I can personally vouch for the amazing benefits of all the New Years resolutions above, I know how hard it can be in our busy lives to accomplish mindfulness, fitness and diet plans... no matter how dedicated we may be. That's why I am here to suggest an easier change for 2016. Why not get rid of all of those toxic beauty products you have been using, and replace them with some of my tried and tested favorites?
Not only are they better for you and our environment, but they work amazingly too. Check out my favorite natural vegan hair, makeup, and skincare products listed below for a new, greener you in 2016!
Biodara's Creme de Clay Mask is an organic, vegan, purifying face mask that works wonders on all types of skin. Made with bentonite clay and roasted bamboo salts, this mask penetrates pores and detoxifies skin by extracting impurities. Organic bioactive oils and plant extracts further aid in the exfoliation of dead skin cells, and organic sea kelp and ionic trace minerals help soothe and moisturize the skin.
I use this mask each night before bed. It feels so soothing to my sensitive skin, and it leaves my face felling refreshed with a revitalized glow. "BIODARA is an eco-conscious luxury skincare line that perfectly blends modern science with natural and organic bioactive botanicals." To find out more, view other products, and shop, please visit Biodara.com.
Lavett and Chin’s Coconut Moisturizing Facial Mist is perfect to moisturize and refresh your skin, both before and after makeup. It is a blend of seven amazing natural ingredients, and has been designed to be both refreshing and light for all types of skin. It features coconut extract, Aspen bark, and organic Bulgarian rosewater, all to aid in the absorption and retention of moisture in the skin.
This mist is the perfect touch to finish off a dewey, youthful makeup look, or as a moisturizer after cleansing. It penetrates the skin and immediately delivers antioxidants, nutrients and moisture leaving skin feeling rejuvenated. I personally love to use it in the morning after I have applied my makeup, and as a refresher throughout the day. Visit LavettAndChin.com to purchase and find out more.
W3LL People’s Expressionist Mascara instantly creates big, bold fluffy lashes. The high tech brush design precisely separates the thinnest, shortest, hard-to-reach lashes by expertly scooping up and lengthening each one. Lashes are nourished thanks to a synergistic botanical blend, and hyper pure mineral pigments create the “blackest of black” color for highly defined luxurious look.
There are no harsh artificial chemicals or petroleum derivatives that can irritate the sensitive eye area. I love this mascara not only because it is 100% cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben free, coal tar-free, and aluminum-free; but also because it give me amazing, long, clump-free lashes that last all day long. Visit W3LLPeople.com for more information.
W3LL People’s Bio Bronzer Stick is an easy-to-use bronzer that gives your skin a natural sun-kissed glow. A multi-use cream stick, it can be applied as a bronzer to create a tanned look, or as a contouring shadow to give the face depth and dimension.
I personally use this bronzing stick as a contouring tool, concentration it below my cheek bones and along my jawline to create added dimension. Organic aloe leaf extract and olive oil help hydrate and protect skin, and its pure pigments adapt to virtually any skin type. I also love the portable stick design, as it is great for fool-proof application on the go. Visit W3LLPeople.com for more information.
Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner are 100% natural and organic and are especially effective for color-treated hair.
The shampoo is natural cleanser derived from coconut oil. It cleanses gently without removing color pigmentation, while Rahua oil molecules penetrate deep into the hair shaft, strengthening and fortifying weak, damaged strands. A light-lather shampoo that creates and maintains healthy, bouncy and lustrous hair while regenerating the scalp and hair follicles.
The Conditioner is a double-duty product, as it works as both a conditioner and a medium hold styling cream. The thick, super-rich formula creates manageable, soft hair without any build-up while protecting the strands.
It is hard to find a natural shampoo, and especially a natural conditioner, that preserve hair color, detangle knots, and strengthen my hair without them being oily and leaving my hair flat. Rahua shampoo and conditioner however have done wonders for my hair. It looks beautiful and feels stronger than ever before. Visit Rahua.com to try for yourself and to learn more about their products.
Lavett and Chin’s Sea Salt Texturizing Mist was formulated in 1999 to recreate the beautiful texture and body hair gets from a day at the beach. It thickens fine, limp hair by accentuating hair's natural texture. Years of research went into its development and have resulted in a formula that contains many vital minerals and nutrients to promote healthy hair and aid in hydration.
With pure maris sal, which is harvested from north america's only active sea salt bed, this hair mist is wonderful at achieving a “beachy” waved look, and is perfect for adding texture to any look. Visit LavettandChin.com for more information and to try out the salt spray for yourself.
Thank you for reading, and here's to an amazing 2016... a bold New Year in Beauty!
Mimi Kim is a powerhouse of the organic beauty industry, and the owner/ founder of the skin care line BIODARA. The name Biodara is derived from a melding of different languages meaning: "life, beauty and intelligence."
This line stands out among the many organic products that I have tested over the years for its quality, effectiveness, and affordability. Not only do her products pamper your skin with the best ingredients, but the packaging, formulation, and processing of them are also carried out with the environment in mind... "
"Great care and thought is involved in using only the finest natural, organic and non- GMO ingredients that are free of parabens, chemicals and synthetic fragrance. Absolutely no fillers are added; each ingredient is specially chosen to synergistically work together. To ensure potency and purity, our products are hand blended in small batches and encased in eco-friendly violet glass jars/bottles which shields the active ingredients by blocking out damaging light yet allowing the penetration of stimulating violet and infra red light."
See my interview with Mimi below:
What is your name and how do you describe your company?
My name is Mimi Kim. My company, BIODARA, is an eco-conscious luxury skincare line that blends modern science with natural, organic bioactive botanicals. These products not only enhance the outer beauty but nourish the skin and body.
What makes your clay mask stand out from the rest?
Crème de Clay is a deep pore cleansing clay mask that not only contains therapeutic bentonite clay but roasted bamboo salts that help extract impurities and detoxify the skin while organic sea kelp and ionic trace minerals help soothe and moisturize your face. Most people who try it say their face feels so refreshed and luminous, like they just had a professional facial.
Do you think a more sustainable is possible affordably?.. Is it able to reach everyday consumers? Most people don't have the extra income to spend on the best ingredients, and seem to believe more sustainable options are too expensive or simply unavailable?
Absolutely! When you choose quality, sustainable ingredients, the benefits are long term, not just temporary. Your body, especially your skin, responds much better to natural ingredients. What you put on your face/skin affects your whole body, mind and health. A happy, healthy body, you can’t put a price tag on that. Also, a little goes a long way. I would rather use a small amount of healing and beneficial product, than gallons of synthetic, harmful product.
What does "green living" mean to you? How do you live green?
I view our beautiful earth as a lovely home that we should enjoy and cherish. I try to treat it with respect and love, trying my best to make conscious choices. There are so many little ways, but they all together can make a great difference. Our products are all packaged in reusable violet and amber glass that help shield the active ingredients by blocking out damaging light; synthetic preservatives are avoided which can harm our body and environment. In our home, we try to use glass, stone or clay instead of plastic. We try to support our local communities, especially local artisans and farmers. I love to make/ferment homemade yogurt, water kefir, red wine vinegar, etc. What is amazing with these natural ingredients, they are designed to be shared. It’s very economical, healthy and creates a giving spirit!
The Model4greenliving Takeaway:
I have personally tested all of her products, and stand by their quality, ingredients, and effectiveness. The two products that I love the most include her Crème de Clay Mask and the Immortal Face Mist.
Check out my next post on the best beauty products for the new year, coming this week. And as always thank you for reading!
I am so happy to present you with my first-ever YouTube video! It features me and one of my favorite Makeup Artists in NYC, Kristen Arnett. Kristen is a self described, "eco" makeup artist, and the Founder of the Green Beauty Team.
I had been having problems with my skin since I got off of birth control, and needed some "green beauty" advice on how to conceal my blemishes. Kristen knows all of the best products from her extensive career in the industry, so she was a perfect fit.
Switching out my makeup to all natural products with no silicones, petroleum or paraffin ingredients really helped, and I hope this tutorial can benefit you just as much as it has me!
The video features Kristen's professional advice on products that let your skin breathe and won't clog your pores. She shows me several leading brands of eco-minded concealers and foundations along with the best tools and techniques to use when applying them.
"Finding a great all natural foundation that won't clog your pores can be hard. In this video, I offer my professional advice on foundation and concealers that let your skin breathe. You’ll also pick up tips on how to use brushes and various application techniques to get luminous looking skin that feels great too."
Stay tuned for more "Makeup Overhaul" videos. This is just part 1 of a series of 3, where Kristen helps me "CLEAN OUT and GREEN OUT" my makeup bag. Be sure to visit GreenBeautyTeam.com for more great beauty advice!
After a long day shooting, I really wanted to take a nice, hot bath and relax. I usually don't indulge in baths, because they require a lot more water than a shower does, but every now and then I like to treat myself.
I have sensitive skin, and don't like to use common bath soaps or salts. I saw this Seaweed Bath Co. Detox Bath and decided to give it a try.
I already knew that seaweed has some amazing nutritional properties... Omega-3 fatty acids that help your heart and reduce inflammation; iodine, a mineral that is critical for healthy thyroid function; calcium (one serving of seaweed has more calcium than broccoli); it is almost as rich in proteins as legumes; and also includes vitamin B-12 and vitamin A.
According to the Seaweed Bath Co website:
I have to say, that after trying the Whole Seaweed Detox Bath, my skin feels amazingly soft. I didn't have any adverse reactions to the product either. As far as the anti-inflammatory and detoxifying claims, I can't give an accurate testimony... Further scientific tests would have to be conducted. I can say, however, that I absolutely loved my bath and felt like I was on a mini vacation to the beach in my tub.
For more information, please visit The Seaweed Bath Co and as always,
Thanks for visiting!
It's finally almost Summer here in New York, and people everywhere are slowly starting to shed their winter layers. I am seeing so many beautiful women (and men!) all over the city in amazing outfits for Spring! Shirts, shorts, dresses, tanks, and swimsuits all reveal so much beautiful skin... why not feel your most confident while showing it?
"Dry Brushing promotes detoxing, improves lymph flow, makes skin softer, corrects uneven fat distribution and helps fight cellulite." -Christina Pasternak
If you want to learn about a pampering, all natural way to improve the look of your skin on your body, check out my post on dry brushing HERE. Enjoy the sunshine and don't be afraid to show some skin!
As you all know, I try to be an advocate for green living in every aspect of my life. I am vegan, organic, and sustainable in almost every purchase I make. Up until now however, that has not been true when it comes to my make up.
Today I am excited to share with you the first purchase I have made in vegan organic cosmetics.
I was first introduced to RMS by a makeup artist and fellow vegan on a photoshoot here in NY. She has so much experience in the industry and knows that their products really work.
My question was are they practical and long lasting in every day life? I know they look great on camera, but will they do the job for me throughout the day? I have become so accustomed to my more Toxic but but long-lasting eye liners and mascaras that I am a bit skeptical when it comes to organics' staying power.
I purchased the RMS living luminizer, mascara, and karma eye liner/ cream shadow.
I really want to make the switch to an organic and vegan, non-toxic makeup. I have high hopes for my RMS makeup and will keep you all posted after testing out their wearability and staying power on myself.
Check out my PRODUCT REVIEW SECTION to see my review of the RMS beauty products mentioned above!