Old Reliables

I’ve been wearing some ugly clothes lately.  Mom jeans (hear me, they were literally labeled as mom jeans), Birkenstocks (the originals), and tapered track pants with mules.  There’s something freeing about forcing yourself to try and make good out of something known as “ugly” by conventional standards.  It’s a good challenge in personal creativity, and you sort of give up on how others feel about what you’re wearing.

One trend I haven’t been dabbling in, however, would be the return of overalls.  And by gosh by golly, even Olivia Palermo’s been wearing those and Lord knows how I drool over her!  I don’t know, I think it has to do with the fact that they bring back old memories of the cool girls in middle school who would wear their overalls (which were nothing short of a staple back in the day) with … tube tops.  Yep.  Hot pink tube top, overalls from some place now deceased like Anchor blue, top it off with an Etnies skater jacket, and you’re good to go.  Did we want to be Fred Durst video girls or farmers?  We didn’t know, but we had to have the best of both worlds or God strike us dead!

So, I’ll try a trend here and there (or in my case, more like here, there, and everywhere), but I’d say I’ve now managed to round up my set of old wardrobe reliables that I’ll probably keep in rotation until I die or my then-20-year-old child tells me it’s time to stop.  Such items include leather jackets, striped tees, a lot of denim, and a pair of leopard print pumps.

Now what, may I ask, would be the beauty equivalent of these items?

Old faithfuls

I’ve mentioned all of these items in previous posts, but if I’m buying them multiple times then they’re worth mentioning again.

I’ve used Bumble&bumble’s Prep Spray for years as a detangler once I hop out of the shower after washing my hair.  Speaking of washing my hair, it’s very likely that I’ve also just used Davines’ Momo conditioner for dry hair.  The scent (sort of gummy and cotton-y, yet addicting), the texture, and the long-term effectiveness of this balm have managed to give it a top space at an extremely long list of conditioners that I’ve tried.  I try to focus more on moisture with my wash as opposed to “damage repair” or protein (which I do every so often), because it can lead to more breakage as I’ve previously discussed.

So anyhow, after washing, I give a few sprays of Prep directly into my roots, sort of massage my scalp a bit, and then gently comb through with (only!) a wide-tooth comb.  I appreciate Prep for the vitamins and, again, the detangling qualities, but I don’t think it really serves a styling purpose.  That’s fine with me considering I tend to let me hair air-dry completely most of the time before laying any heat on it.

I keep a couple shampoos in rotation, but Rahua has been in my shower for two-and-a-half years now.  It is completely free of detergents and soap, is safe for color-treated hair, and has an almost wholly natural ingredients list.  It is not particularly cheap, but I love it so much.  My hair is noticeably less dry after using it, thanks to the lack of ingredients in drugstore shampoo that ironically do more harm than good for dry hair.  I love it, and it gives me an excuse to go to Bloomingdale’s.

Once my hair is dry and I decide to break out the hot tools, I spray a liberal amount of Sally Hershberger’s Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray on each section.  It works as a heat protectant, but also serves as an argan oil spray to smooth for blowouts.  The scent is phenomenal, and I love spraying it all over my hair once I’ve twisted it up in a bun at the beach, just to keep it hydrated.  The more concentrated versions of argan oil tend to be too heavy for me, unless I’m going for a pin-straight, shiney look.

And finally, once my hair is taken care of I move on to face and body.  I’ve often sung the praises of Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil Deodorant for the fact that it has no aluminum (which means it’s not an antiperspirant, and yes, your body can acclimate to this as all bodies once did a few decades ago), and it contains no propylene glycol.  Tom’s of Maine’s natural deodorant worked for a couple years before I found myself with red, peeling, burning rashes in both of my armpits that would not stop itching.  I discovered this to be the fault of propylene glycol.  Desert Essence is pretty much all oil, and yes, I do not go through my day sweat-free when I wear this stuff but you’re seriously not supposed to go through any day sweat-free.  Bad.

Once I’ve moisturized with some kind of somethin’ (still trying to nail down a favorite), I’ll move on to my precious BB cream from Boscia.  I loooooove this stuff like no other.  This will sound hilarious, but I cannot believe how good my skin looks after putting just a dab of this on!  I like to mix it with some kind of face lotion because it isn’t super spreadable, but I love how even and luminous it makes my skin.  There is a lighter version, a bronze version, and it contains SPF 27.  I recommend this one to anyone with a face.  Anyone.

Any mainstays in your own repertoire?  Holler at me; I’m always curious to know what others can’t live without, whether it’s a tube top or a good nail polish remover.  xo, MR

In praise of Whole Foods … or, I blame the hippies.

Long have I praised the good name of Whole Foods to my friends and on this blog for its wealth of natural resources when it comes to beauty, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve felt somewhat judged for my devotion to the establishment. But I get it- Whole Foods can be a real hotbed of pretentious bobos. I find myself throwing massive shade at the folks wandering around the place every time I visit. Wealthy forty-somethings driving their nice cars, fresh from their CrossFit workouts, making a quick stop at Whole Foods to pick up their certified organic produce that costs ten dollars per pound, or their preservative-free kale chips, or their Vegenaise, and other things that make life not much fun. Buuuut my allegiance to Whole Foods, or at least the health and beauty department, cannot be denied. Like the need for a tax increase on Bod Man body spray for men, it cannot be denied.

I didn’t exactly stumble into a Whole Foods one day and then just fall in love with what I found there. In fact, I’m sure it was quite the opposite. I recall health food stores in the nineties being more associated with the blue-haired folk, trying to preserve the last signs of life and vitality (along with their colon). But then something happened with the turn of the century, and I think it was Al Gore (which kind of spoils the fun), but suddenly “green” became the hip thing to do. Green was everywhere. Green cars, green food sourcing, and green beauty. I can’t remember exactly what started me down my journey of green beauty, but it’s come to my attention in recent years (I’ve been trying to go green for about five) that Whole Foods is thee mecca for effective green beauty brands. Here, a look at my local (and HUGE) Whole Foods:


My particular store that I go to is pretty big, but that’s good news for all of us because the selection is overwhelming in the most awesome way. There’s every kind of “green” brand that you may find in Target or a drugstore, but keep in mind that a lot of these brands suffer from what folks call “green washing”, or the appearance that the product is safe and natural but doesn’t contain a list of truly trustworthy ingredients. The packaging or container might be biodegradable, but perhaps the actual product isn’t. Or there maybe are a select amounts of organic oils within the product, but the rest of it is made of synthetic crap like everything else. Your best strategy- learn to read a list of ingredients and educate yourself on some of the most risky ingredients found in body and beauty products. This kind of information is available easily with just a Google search. I also highly recommend reading The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel. I love brands like Weleda, Dr. Bronner’s, Desert Essence Organics (at least for their face products, but not for hair), and John Masters Organics for their very clean ingredients.


Some of the skincare brands found at Whole Foods (and Sprout’s or Mother’s Market, too) can be pricier compared to, say, an eight-dollar bottle of Neutrogena moisturizer, but I’m convinced it’s worth it. Some will argue that their skin does just as well with a drugstore brand and that there isn’t a need to switch to greener products, but I say if you can cut out any shady chemical ingredients (with links to early-onset Alzheimer’s and various cancers) while maintaining great skin for a few dollars more, why not?!


If you do enough reading on blogs or in magazines associated with beauty, you’ll begin to memorize the names of a few cult products that celebrities and artists swear by (but I’ve still yet to understand why Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara has such a stellar reputation … I hate that stuff!). One such product is this stuff called Egyptian Magic, a pomade kind of thing loaded with honey and different kinds of oils that treats the skin beautifully when slathered on regularly. However, a jar of it will set you back somewhere close to forty bucks! But check out the product that’s always sitting right next to it- Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic. The ingredient list is exactly the same and it costs half the price of Egyptian Magic. So while you’re foregoing the idea of owning the Egyptian Magic cult-favorite elixir, you’re getting a way better deal with Sweet Bee!


And here, the one product that I swear by for every use under the sun- Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile Soap. This stuff might be one of the most trusted brands among all green health and beauty names, and what’s awesome about it is that it’s truly all-purpose. We use it for body wash, but just yesterday I scrubbed my tub with it, used a bit to wash some dishes, and have even used a bit for washing my clothes when I was low on detergent! You can use it on your baby, your car, anything. And it comes in multiple scents, every one of which you can find at Whole Foods.

Like I’ve said, you can find some of these brands elsewhere (and possibly for a higher price), but you hit all the bases at a Whole Foods. I think they have Burt’s Bees there, too (which has a great reputation) and a whole slew of other lines that I haven’t even tried. If I can convince you to even just change one thing in your routine (and my vote is to start with Dr. Bronner’s), I’ve won! xo, MR