When I visited my friend, Alexis, in Nashville last month, one of the activities I was most excited about was paying a visit to Lemon Laine, a natural beauty & wellness shop that opened earlier this year. Natural beauty retailers are few and far between, so when I found out that my home state had such an Instagram-able and chic beauty and wellness destination, I knew I had to check it out! From the moment we set foot into this beautiful boutique, we felt welcomed. They graciously allowed me to photograph their beautiful store (even with my eyesore of a camera) and we took our time browsing their skincare and wellness offerings with their staff close by, eager to answer any questions we had. Alexis decided to book an appointment at their exclusive Oil Bar, a completely customizable service in which you work with a Lemon Laine skincare expert to create your own unique facial oil, tailored to your personal skincare needs. I can’t think of a better way to pamper yourself (or someone you love- Christmas is almost here!) than to take a seat at Lemon Laine’s Oil Bar, sipping a glass of complementary champagne and sniffing & selecting your personal facial oil’s blend of skin-supporting essential oils! It was definitely a treat and Alexis is loving the results from regular use of her own facial oil blend. Lemon Laine’s products were definitely more wellness and skincare focused than many other natural beauty boutiques I’ve visited. With a wall full of supplements (and even a Smeg fridge stocked full of Coconut Cult yogurt), it’s clear that they truly stand behind their motto of “feel good first”. There were SO many skincare products to choose from (in addition to their Oil Bar services), and I appreciated that they had a good mix of products from a wide variety of brands. Their selection was well curated in that you hardly saw one single brand’s entire line- just the products that founder Laura Lemon had personally chosen to grace the picture-perfect shelves. Keep reading to see the products I decided to pick up!
This is my favorite natural deodorant formula that I’ve found so far and I was so surprised to see it lining the shelves at Lemon Laine because it was once only sold through Native’s website! I’m excited to try this scent because I’m a sucker for anything Lavender and Rose scented, so the combination of the two is a dream come true for me! The formula is really creamy and nourishing and once your body adjusts to using natural deodorant instead of chemical antiperspirants (which can take up to 3 weeks), you’ll never have to worry about being stinky or needing to re-apply it throughout the day.
I’ve been wanting to try Cocokind’s products for quite a while and when I saw their sticks at Lemon Laine, I decided to see what all the hype was about. The MyMatcha has only three ingredients- coconut oil, beeswax, and matcha green tea powder. These travel-friendly sticks can be taken anywhere and used for a multitude of purposes such as a moisturizing lip balm or a brightening under-eye treatment for dark circles. I’ve only used this for a few days, but it’s super moisturizing, yet has a nice texture that’s not too “balmy” and works well for use on more delicate areas such as under the eyes.
Natural lip balm is not hard to come by, but surprisingly, it is hard to find formulas housed in a twist-up tube for more sanitary on-the-go application. I brought these with me on my trip to England and they kept my lips in tip top shape, despite all of the time spent on planes and outside in cold, windy weather. These vegan lip balms are definitely getting a permanent spot in my purse. Shop Vanilla here and Mint here.
Inspired by Hawaii and made with precious natural ingredients like raw honey, french green clay, algae, spirulina & chlorella, this mask is the equivalent of a nourishing green smoothie for your skin! I’ve only used this once so far, but I adore the scent and texture of this mask- and I love the texture of my skin when I wash it off even more! I’m looking forward to many more mermaid-worthy at-home facials.
Another multi-purpose stick from Cocokind, this product treats and heals not only active breakouts, but also corrects pigmentation issues from previous episodes. The *all organic* ingredients include; sunflower oil, beeswax, turmeric, ginger root, & tea trea oil. To use, simply apply to problem areas, let sit for 20 minutes, then remove with a damp cloth. So far, it truly does seem to be a quick, effective, and affordable spot treatment product.
I started to transition to green beauty over a year ago and one conventional product I hadn’t given up juuust yet was lip liner and lip color. I had built quite the collection of MAC lipsticks and had found a couple of creamy liner formulas that I loved. While I’m not crazy about this particular formula, it’s a good product to lightly define your lips.
There were several goodies on the wellness wall that I would have loved to have taken home. The bright packaging of this turmeric blend won me over and with such clean ingredients like ground turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper, it’s a potent powder that can be added to anything- lattes, smoothies, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc. Turmeric has many health benefits, and this blend is a fun way to easily incorporate more of it into your diet.
If you ever find yourself in the Nashville area, take some time to stop by Lemon Laine for a real green beauty treat! Any products in my haul that you’re anxious to try? Tell me which ones in the comments!
I realize that this post is too little too late for the Sephora VIB Rouge sale, BUT 20% off for VIB’s & 15% off for Beauty Insiders begins on November 10th and goes through the 15th, so hopefully this Sephora Green Beauty Gift Guide will help out some of you with your Christmas shopping lists!
Before I share my clean and non-toxic Sephora picks though, I want to include a little disclaimer about Sephora’s clean beauty offerings. Just like anywhere else, it’s important to do your own research as retailers such as Sephora have a tendency to “greenwash”, or advertise certain products and lines as cleaner than they actually are. I haven’t shared anything on this list that I wouldn’t personally use myself, but I always encourage you to take charge of your own choices and double check ingredient lists before purchasing and gifting.
Sephora is a bit behind in the green beauty movement and they don’t have all that many truly clean brands to offer, but I’ve managed to round up my favorites in this post. There is a good mix of small “stocking stuffer” gifts, as well as cute sets that could be gifted to people of all ages, genders, and skin types & tones. I’d also like to note that there are a handful of clean beauty boutiques with online stores, like Be Pure Beauty, who I prefer to support over large retailers like Sephora when possible. BUT, I’m also realistic and realize that many people have a hard time buying high-end cosmetics at the full retail price. The Sephora holiday sale is not only a great time to buy gifts for others, but also to stock up on products for yourself since this is the most significant discount they will offer to those in their VIB Rouge and VIB programs all year! Let me know what’s in your cart in the comments!
One item that has been on my Sephora wish list for an eternity has been a silk Slip pillowcase. Sleeping on silk has many beautifying benefits. It’s a proactive approach to anti-aging, as cotton tends to be rough on delicate facial skin and worsens wrinkles over a life-time. Cotton cases also tangle hair, while silk pillowcases leave it softer and, well, silkier. Not only does this exclusive set have a silk Slip pillowcase, but it also includes a silk Slip eye-mask, making it the perfect gift for providing plenty of long winter’s naps.
The Beauty Chef, a super-food supplement brand, created this “glow” formula to heal skin from the inside out with the philosophy that a healthy digestive system will contribute to visible health and radiance. “GLOW contains skin-protective antioxidants and phytonutrients including vitamin C for collagen formation, normal immune function, and to help protect cells from oxidative stress, as well as zinc to help maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.”
A reincarnation of those dated plastic shower caps that never really kept your hair dry, the Shhhowercap is not only a useful product to have in between washes, but also a fashion-forward turban. At $43 it is washable and intended for years of use, unlike it’s disposable predecessor. This a useful and fun gift for your eco-friendly friend or anyone you know who is oil-training their hair and/or skips washes on a regular basis.
This is the perfect example of a universal green beauty gift. It features Herbivore’s exfoliating Coco Rose Body Polish, hydrating Rose Hibiscus Face Mist, and moisturizing Coco Rose Lip Balm. Perfect for friends, family, or even yourself, this set includes some of Herbivore’s most coveted products, plus its housed in the cutest little box that’s all ready to be wrapped up.
A super cute stocking stuffer available in several colors, these Invisibobble hair ties are pure magic! They truly provide a traceless hold, eliminating the ring around your tresses that elastics tend to leave. They don’t work in every situation (I trade them in for regular elastics when working out), but they are great tool to preserve your style, which is especially important for those of us who skip washes. They’re also exceptional at creating messy buns with the help of a few bobby pins.
This one is a bit of a splurge, but it’s a great option for anyone you’re hoping to pamper this holiday season. It features three FULL SIZE Tata Harper masks including the Resurfacing Mask, Purifying Mask, and Honey Blossom Resurfacing Mask. This set is not only great introduction to Tata Harper, but also to the technique of multi-masking.
I think many people begin their holistic health journeys first with alternative medicine and functional nutrition, then start switching out their conventional products for cleaner ones. I was the opposite. I was introduced to green beauty in the fall of 2016, and after using cleaner products externally for a couple of months, I decided to wonder if I should take the same natural and holistic approach with my internal ongoing health problems, which included;
A battle with chronic sinusitis I had been fighting for nearly two years, which entailed regular recurring sinus infections even after having an invasive procedure which my ENT doctor told me would correct the problem, and then loaded me up with antibiotics when it didn’t.
Seasonal allergies which had become year-round allergies
10+ years of struggling with acne, even after finally going on the Pill nearly two years prior after I was told at age 15 by my dermatologist that the only other option to clear my skin was to “regulate my hormones” by ingesting synthetic ones
Chronic bloat and fatigue
Recent episodes of crippling anxiety and depression
I made an appointment with Dr. Weber of Carolina Clinic of Natural Medicine in January and was pleasantly surprised when he came up with a plan of action to tackle not only these symptoms, but also to correct and reverse the cause of them. Here are the five lifestyle changes prescribed by my naturopathic doctor; adopting a gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar diet, incorporating protein powder regularly to compensate for the lack of meat in my current diet, combating fatigue by nurturing adrenals, eliminating symptoms from chronic conditions such as acne and chronic sinusitis and allergies, and quitting synthetic birth control. Keep reading for a little insight into how these changes were implemented.
Adhering to a Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Low-Sugar Diet
When I visited Dr. Weber, many of my symptoms were indicators of intolerances to dairy, gluten & refined sugar, which were very prominent in my diet at the time. Some side effects these ingredients caused in my body included Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin) on my upper arms, acne, a severe and never-ending battle with Sinusitis, lack of energy & extreme fatigue, and even anxiety and depression. He recommended that I completely remove these three problematic ingredients from my diet to see if these symptoms improved- they did. 10 months later, 95% of the time, I’m still sticking to no dairy or gluten or refined sugar and I’ve never felt better.
Incorporating Protein Powder
Plant-based protein powder is essential for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone looking to cut down on meat consumption (which should be all of us!). Before I visited Dr. Weber, I had all but eliminated meat from my diet, sourcing protein primarily from dairy products. My naturopathic doctor recommended that I regularly rely on a high-quality, plant-based protein powder, like Thorne Medi-Clear SGS. I’ve since used Aloha and Philosophie, too. I try to incorporate these powders into my diet every day, adding them to smoothies, (coconut) yogurt, and oatmeal. I prefer to use them for breakfast, as they’re usually vanilla or chocolate flavored. Even though a plant-based diet can sustain herbivores, protein-powder is a staple, especially if you’re just transitioning to vegetarian or veganism and your body has become accustomed to an abundance of protein.
Balancing Hormones and Nurturing Adrenals to Increase Energy
Although I was working out regularly before visiting Dr. Weber, I was always exhausted. Cutting gluten and dairy played a large part in improving my adrenal fatigue, but I also take some supplements like Omega 3 (since I don’t eat much salmon- a natural source of O3) and Vitamin D (took a large dose for one month to increase the vitamin in my blood levels), which play a huge part in increasing energy. I usually alternate between weight training and yoga at the gym, depending on how I feel. Now, I am usually fully rested after 6 hours of sleep and so long as I maintain blood sugar regulation, I don’t normally experience that dreaded 3 P.M. crash.
Alleviating Symptoms from Chronic Illnesses
The main reason for my visit to Dr. Weber’s office was to find a solution for my chronic sinusitis, a battle I had been fighting for about two years, even after having an invasive surgical procedure that was supposed to fix it. During my long journey of untreated sinus infections, which eventually left me with a case of chronic sinusitis and a cyst in one of my sinus cavities, my primary physician referred me to an allergy doctor. I had always had severe seasonal allergies in the spring, but over the previous couple of years they had extended to continue throughout multiple seasons and allergy immunotherapy was recommended, treatment that I was still receiving prior to my visit with Dr. Weber. He was confident that the diet & lifestyle changes I was making would eliminate my dependance on allergy shots. Now, the sinus infections and chronic allergies that once plagued me are all but obsolete. I do get the occasional sinus infection, but they’re no longer back to back and I now utilize practices such as acupuncture & sinus rinses to alleviate them naturally.
Quitting the Pill
Struggling with acne for practically my entire teenage and adult life, doctors (primary care, dermatologists, and gynecologists) had always told me birth control was the best option to regulate my hormones and clear my skin. I had been on the pill for a couple of years before my visit with Dr. Weber and it was obvious that taking synthetic hormones wasn’t improving my acne at all. And although it didn’t alter the regularity of my periods initially, they became more sporadic and less regular over the course of those two years. Because of my issues with anxiety and depression, and my health history (as ovarian cancer runs in my family), he suggested I stop taking hormonal birth control as soon as possible. I’m happy to say that I quit the Pill almost two months ago and traded it in for a copper IUD that doesn’t compromise the harmony of my endocrine system’s natural functions.