Style Bee - Au Naturel

Going Natural

12.02.15

Today I’m starting a new discussion on Style Bee all about natural beauty and skincare. I’ve found that the online world of beauty tutorials and product reviews is vast and daunting so my goal for this new category is to make natural beauty and skincare more approachable and to share my genuine thoughts on living with and learning to love an imperfect complexion. Today I’m sharing a bit about my history with problem skin, why I’ve decided to make the switch, a short Q&A with natural beauty boutique, Clementine Fields, and a few of the products I’ve tried and loved so far. So let’s dig in! 

Style Bee - Au Naturel

HISTORY

Let me start by saying that this is the best my skin has felt and looked in years, which makes me all the more confident that I’ve made the right move. Of course I’m also wearing makeup in these photos, which I’ll get into later in the post. I’m currently 28 and for about the last decade or so, I’ve had pretty much non-stop, blemish prone skin, particularly on my chin and T-zone. The moment one breakout clears up another is well on it’s way. I’m lucky that for the most part I’ve been able to disguise bad skin with makeup but the trouble is that the more I wear makeup the more irritated my skin gets, ergo the more make I feel is necessary. Vicious cycle much?

Worrying about how un-perfect my skin is has long been a preoccupation of mine. I’m also one of those people who can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to bumps or zits. I just have to poke and prod! The trouble with that is that I have very fair skin so whenever a pimple finally runs it’s course, it leaves a nice dark spot for me to remember it by. How nice of the little bastard. I also have some fine lines, which I’m coming to terms with, large pores in my T-zone and combination skin that has, until recently, always felt either too dry or too oily at any given moment. 

When it comes to photos on the blog, I do my best not to look like a painted doll and I’m careful to only photoshop the most obvious imperfections but often some good lighting and the right angle is all it takes to reduce the need for either.

On a slight side note for as long as I can remember I’ve also battled with body acne, which is about as sexy as it sounds. It’s mostly confined to my shoulders and mid back and flares up sporadically, typically when the seasons change. I’ve tried topical, oral, natural and pharmaceutical remedies, all of which have worked and then slowly but surely begun to fail. Right now I’m in a no flare zone and just waiting to see if it lasts. But that’s really another story all together. Safe to say I won’t be investing in any backless dresses anytime soon.

So that’s an honest overview of my skin issues to date!

Style Bee - Au Naturel

WHY I’M GOING AU NATUREL

I’ve tried a lot of skincare regimens from $200 moisturizers to $10 drug store buys that have hundreds of rave reviews. I’ve seen dermatologists and aestheticians and yet I find myself back in front of the mirror with the same scattered splotches and inflammations as always. Turning to all natural skincare was more of a new direction than a philosophical or value-oriented decision. Of course, putting fewer chemicals and harsh elements onto my already volatile skin seemed like a pretty good idea too. The fact that natural skincare and beauty products are all the rage right now hasn’t hurt either, but it’s much more about taking ownership of what I put on my skin that appeals to me. Just as my values towards conscious consumerism have evolved, I imagine my principles on skincare will too. My plan isn’t to toss out everything I have but instead to slowly start introducing natural alternatives to my repertoire as old products run their course.

Style Bee - Au Naturel

CLEMENTINE FIELDS

When I first announced my plans to switch to natural skincare and beauty products on Instagram I was blown away by how many people were willing to share their own experiences and thoughts on products they love. Ingrid, owner and founder of the Canadian based boutique, Clementine Fields, was one of those people I connected with. Ingrid graciously offered to help me start out on the right foot with a few products that she believed would be really beneficial to me. Without even meeting me or seeing my skin she was able to pick out a few incredible products that have totally improved my skin! But before I get into the details I wanted to share a few questions I had for Ingrid about her experience with green beauty:

How did Clementine Fields come to be?

I’m an actress and I have always loved skincare and makeup. I was diagnosed with a chronic from of leukaemia when I was 37, my diagnosis was good bit I vowed to do everything I could to stay healthy. I started using green beauty products and loved most of them but had a difficult time finding them in Canada. My acting career slowed down in my forties so my husband and I decided to open an online natural beauty boutique!

What are the key reasons why you recommend going all natural for beauty and skincare products?

There are far too many chemicals in conventional products. My concern is what happens when all these chemicals are layered in our system, especially when you add on the toxins we breathe and digest. I just think we should stop taking chances with our health.

Why do you think people might be hesitant to make the switch?

I think people are overwhelmed with totally switching up their routines, perhaps they have been using the same products for years and they are scared of not being able to find natural products that work in the same way. I have very sensitive and reactive skin and I love using natural products. I never wish for a conventional product that performs better because green products can perform just as well and they are good for you! We also have a sample program so customers can try products before they buy the full size product.

What are some common misconceptions about green beauty that you’ve encountered?

I think some people think they are too expensive. Some of our lines are pricey, some are not. But you have to keep in mind that green products are very concentrated, so a little goes a long way.They are also concerned that they are not anti- aging, which is not true! Many of the products we carry are very active and wonderful for mature skin.

What are your personal top 3 can’t-live-without products for daily use? 

Wow! That’s a difficult question. My skin gets super dry with the cold weather so I am always using body oils. I love the Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil. It’s filled with anti-aging, incredibly nourishing ingredients and it smells absolutely divine. We just launched a new makeup line called Hynt. It’s all wonderful but I especially love the concealer. It gives the skin a beautiful, creamy glow and the coverage is fantastic . I also adore Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil. I use it every night on my face and it leaves my skin clear, happy and dewy. The price point is amazing too!

Style Bee - Au Naturel

These are 4 all natural products that Ingrid sent my way to test out and review. I’ve been using them all for about a month now and here are my honest reviews of each:

1 – PAI Day Cream – This stuff is nothing short of miraculous! I attribute 90% of my skins improvement to this super lightweight, non-greasy, satiny serum that goes on like a dream and never leaves my skin feeling greasy or dry. I’ve been using it both morning and evening. It smells really nice too! It’s positive effects have made me feel so good I can’t wait to wash my face before bed, when I used to dread it.

2 – Hynt Lip Colour – The lipstick itself is a beautiful formula. It goes on smooth and lasts reasonable well (4 hrs + even with a coffee) and kept my usually very dry lips in great shape. The packaging is the true genius though. The lid comes with a little palette of lip balm (which is fabulous and tastes divine) along with a little mirror, because OF COURSE that’s what we need to put lipstick on!

3 – Hynt Mascara – Maybe it’s because I’ve been wearing Lancome Hypnose for years now, but this mascara left a little to be desired for me. The package is beautiful and the wand is great. I’ve tried one other natural mascara and this one is definitely superior. If you’re going for natural looking black lashes, a little extra length and some volume this does the trick but it won’t deliver extreme lashes like some of the department store brands.

4 – Face Food – I’m a firm believer in the importance of toners and this one is AMAZING! A few spritzes of this mineral mist and my skin feels totally refreshed and balanced. I let it soak in while I brush my teeth and follow it with the PAI moisturizer. I don’t think I’ll be switching to any other toner for a while! It has no scent which is fine by me.


You can read more information about the various ingredients in each product on the website. Shop these products and so many awesome all natural options (in sample sizes too!) on Clementine Fields but be sure to use code: ‘STYLEBEE’ for 10% off your order, from now through Dec. 6.


Style Bee - Au Naturel

WHAT I’M WEARING

Full disclosure time! This is probably the least makeup I’ve ever worn for a photoshoot, which made me pretty nervous considering the shots would be close up and with my super sharp lens. But, I wanted an honest take on my current skin situation. The only ‘photoshopping’ I did was to brighten the images and increase the contrast slightly. Otherwise it’s good light and good products doing their job!

Style Bee - Au Naturel

I’m wearing the 4 products mentioned above and started by washing my face with Origins cleanser.

I’ve been a longtime fan of the Naked Basics shadow palette for my eyes and fill my brows in with it too. This palette will probably be what I eventually replace it with.

I’m also wearing ILIA sheer vivid tinted moisturizer (in T1), which I’ve been loving! It’s definitely sheer but evens out my skin tone really well and gives me that overall dewy kinda glow everyone loves. It takes awhile to totally soak in but it’s a great option, especially if you’re looking for a little added sun protection (SPF 20). ILIA also makes a fabulous tinted lip conditioner.

Still using my beloved Clarins Concealer for under eye darkness and some redness around my nose. Once it runs out I plan to try this foundation, which all the green beauty gurus seem to swear by. I added a touch of this bronzer to my cheeks as well.

The last new natural product I’ve been loving is the RGB nail polish in Oxblood. Clementine Fields carries ALIA a nail polish brand I’m also excited to test out.

And that’s it!

Style Bee - Au Naturel

Style Bee - Au Naturel

Thanks so much for making it all the way to the end of this post! I’d really love to hear about your experience with natural skincare and beauty products! Let me know if you have a second in the comments. 


Huge thank you to Ingrid of Clementine Fields for partnering with me on this post and for all her help and insights into going green. Of course, all opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Button-down c/o AYR


 

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Rita says:

    I had such a laugh with your skin description. I can totally relate and we do have to approach it with a bit of humor sometimes! I have to say (hoping it won’t jinx it) that it has tremendously improved in the past 3 years. Coincidentally, those have been my thirties…Well, maybe not such a coincidence as this has been the time that I took a step back from all the experiments of my 20s and went for more natural products. It has been easy to phase out less natural products since I’ve been in New Zealand as there are lots of local organic, ethical and natural brands. It helps that they all have access to some incredible plant ingredients unique to NZ with increased science-based evidence on their benefits, such as manuka and kawakawa.

    • So there is hope!? I’ve heard from a number of people that their skin issues improved around 30 so it must be a turning point somehow. time will tell I suppose haha. That’s lucky that New Zealand has so many great natural options available. I’ve heard great things about NZ products, both skincare and food actually. I’m on the look out for the two ingredients you mentioned. Thanks for another insightful note Rita! xo

  2. Rebekah Harding says:

    Thanks for posting about this topic! Can you tell me the lip color you are wearing by Hynt? Love it!

  3. Kayleigh says:

    What a wonderful read πŸ™‚ I’ve found that a mix of clean eating and all-natural skincare has cleared my skin up amazingly, I was exactly the same as you with dry or oily skin, breakouts and blotchiness which I tried to cover up with makeup which just blocked my pores and made it worse, but since I switched everything this year to natural products I don’t feel the need to wear any makeup at all to work and my skin is the clearest, softest and brightest it’s ever been. There are so many great brands out there and Pai is definitely a staple in my routine as so many of their products have been great for my skin, and my other favourite is Indie Lee’s Squalane Oil (as well as Indie herself, she’s SO NICE!). Honestly going all-natural this year across food, personal care and cleaning products has changed my life and cleared up so many ailments including regular fevers, chronic headaches and IBS, I feel like I’ve finally started to live <3

    • Kayleigh, thank you so much for you comment! What you said is so inspiring! I’ve already started wearing much less make-up and it feels like my skin can finally breath. I will definitely have to try Indie Lee’s Squalane Oil, thanks for the tip, her whole line looks incredible! So glad to hear you’ve found the all-natural path to be a positive change. xo

  4. This is so lovely and you look beautiful ! I am so glad you are enjoying the products. Keep in touch and let me know if you ever have questions or concerns about finding green alternatives. Warmly, Ingrid

  5. Eve says:

    Love this, can’t wait for more green beauty posts from you! Give the W3ll People mascara (the detox market carries it) or Physicians Formula Organic Wear a go. They’ve both worked really well for me. πŸ™‚

    Eve | closetosimple.com

  6. Nicola says:

    What a great post! I’m excited to read more about products you find along the way.

    I’m a huge fan of Herbivore Botanicals, especially the Lapis Facial Oil. It fades hyper pigmentation left behind by pimples and also does a surprisingly good job of reducing inflammation and redness. I’ve also been meaning to try their blue Tansy mask, but it’s on the pricier side so it has yet to make it into my shopping cart.

    Find out more about my natural beauty loves in a post on my new blog: http://www.feltandbrass.com/blog/2015/11/15/things-i-love-beauty-potions

    • That’s great, thanks so much Nicola! I love Herbivore Botanicals too, their Pink Clay exfoliating mask is a fave. I’ll have to give that face oil a try! Great blog you’ve got too πŸ˜‰ xo

  7. Mun says:

    So so good. I’m keen on jumping trying those products out as well! <3

  8. Jennifer Lecluse says:

    Thanks for this post! I have gone to their website and loved the selection and the fact that you can get samples! I completely understand the combo skin dilemma. Ageing (in the mid 30’s), still acne, blotchy red a lot of the time! I am worried about chemicals on my skin, but worried that the truly natural products won’t work. Your experience makes me feel much better about trying some new stuff. Fingers crossed! Ordered some samples and can’t wait!

    • That’s so great to hear! I was totally of the same mindset as you, weary of the efficacy of natural products. But Ingrid was so helpful! I’m sure there’ll be some great options for you πŸ™‚ Hope you’re doing great Jenny! xo

  9. Kate says:

    What a informative post! I appreciate your honesty, it can be hard to come to terms with your beauty woes, let alone in a public forum. My skincare journey has been very similar to yours- with a pale complexion, every blemish seems twice as bad and last twice as long with enduring redness and spots. I used a chemical heavy brand of skincare for about a year before I realized it was bleaching my eyebrows (yes, I had some lovely orange eyebrows for a few months) ad decided that anything that was strong enough to bleach hair should not be put on my skin twice a day, every day. I eventually found a super gentle cleanser, Purpose, and use that daily instead. Its amazing what the difference less chemicals make! It definitely changes how you think about skincare products when you remember that your skin is essentially an organ which interacts with and absorbs whatever you put on it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Kate
    kateintheclassroom.com

    • Thanks so much Kate! Oh man, that is too funny! It would take a while for me to notice lighter eyebrows too. But yeah, that sounds like some serious stuff! I’ll have to check out Purpose πŸ™‚ xo

  10. Lexi says:

    I’ve been switching over to natural products as well and it’s been so much fun testing new products out. Ilia lip conditioner is one of my favorites as well.

    Jane iredale’s Daytime eyeshadow palette is a great natural alternative to the naked basics!

    • I wasn’t a huge beauty product fiend before but I’ve definitely been more excited to try new things now that I’m making the switch. It’s SO fun! Thank you so much for the tip on the Jane Iredale palette, it’s exactly what I was hoping to find! xo

  11. b. says:

    ingrid is an inspiration, for many reasons, and your partnership on this post, (and skin!) just makes so much sense. also? your skin is a delight. i’m on the aging-skin train, and well, things have not looked great over here for a while now, and it seems green & natural is the common sense route to take if you’re trying to make a bad situation look just a tad bit rosier…

    • Thanks so much B! Isn’t Igrid awesome? Her story is so inspiring and Clementine Fields is amazing! Her recommendation to try the PAI day cream was life changing πŸ™‚ I used to be super concerned with every tiny line that would appear but I’ve found the less makeup I wear the younger my skin looks and feels. Of course, that only works when it’s clear ;P But I’m sure Ingrid would have some great suggestions for you. xoxo