Zero Waste Beauty Routine

Weck jars with bulk coconut oil and baking soda for deodorant / oil pulling / toothpaste / moisturizer / makeup remover, handmade soap, Merkur razor

My sister tells this story from when we were in high school and I saw another girl wearing blue mascara. I made her stop wearing it because that was my thing. A fellow classmate claims I made her take it off in the bathroom, but more likely I simply issued a strong warning. I was such a horrible person then. I'm actually still horrible, it just doesn't translate as well on the internet. 

I have a complicated relationship with makeup, since I wasn't allowed to wear it until I was like 16. Of course, I sneaked around, applying friends' products as soon as I got to school in the morning. I loved experimenting with different eyeliner colors especially, lending a look that was less Kylie Jenner, more Alice Cooper / Diane Lane circa Fabulous Stains (I still don't know how to apply eyeliner). Now I go back and forth between wearing it and not. I don't usually use foundation anymore, but after saying I was giving up all makeup, I bought some almonds that tasted bad and turned them into homemade khol. I'm also using up some of my friends' unwanted cosmetics right now- blush and Burt's Bees lip balm- which would have gone to waste otherwise. I use Ecotools bamboo brushes to apply blush, foundation (Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in two shades, the lighter shade as concealer) or eyeliner- it makes a big difference. If I want, I set everything with cornstarch. Sometimes I use beetroot powder instead of blush for a different shade.

I wear makeup for myself only though, when I feel like it. I don't really care if people see me with or without anymore. I find most guys, including my husband and brother and dad, are so clueless when it comes to cosmetics anyway. Whenever I hear some trifling white boy say he prefers a "natural look," he's usually referring to an array of contouring, highlighting, and translucent powder products requiring at least 40 minutes to apply.

This stupid picture is a screenshot from a video where I fell and broke that log

Still using nothing but water for face and hair- in April it will be two years without shampoo. I break out only when I'm severely stressed now, but everything heals quickly and doesn't scar. I'm not sorry to say that I love my hair finally. It's big and grows so fast and long and never falls out. I do nothing with it these days- no brushing, no more rag or pin curls, hardly any scalp massage. At most, I'll toss my hair when I wake up to restore body. I wear it loose to sleep and wash it once a month with water, rinsing after a workout (I don't really work out) or swim, or if I feel I've been in really polluted air. If I play sports or something, I tie it up just to keep it off my neck and it's fine. Before swimming, I coat my hair in oil first- olive oil, coconut oil, whatever I find in bulk.

I can't tell if using castor oil as an eyelash conditioner makes them longer or not, but they're definitely thicker and fall out less without the weird side effects of Latisse (coconut oil or coconut cream is fine if you can't find castor oil in bulk). Drinking 3L of water per day absolutely does wonders for skin and hair. Finer pores, less prominent dark circles, smoother skin- everything's better. I fill an old swingtop limonade bottle four times a day, drinking two in the morning and two at night. With Paris' hard water, I still get enough minerals for this to be ok.

So now my routine is: Wash my face at night with a washcloth, which is usually enough to remove any makeup that I wear. If it's not, coconut or olive oil removes eye makeup. My mascara is currently homemade because RMS Beauty changed the formula for the volumizing mascara and I didn't like Kjaer Weis. RMS Beauty is too clumpy, messy, and difficult to wash off; Kjaer Weis struck me as dry and useless. It didn't lengthen or anything :( This new batch of homemade mascara doesn't smudge in the pool but comes off easily with a washcloth and separates and defines lashes so well. It isn't always like that- sometimes I'm not paying attention and the recipe comes out way different- ah, the joys of homemade cosmetics. I still use Aleppo soap for showering and shaving whenever I can find it, and moisturize with oil if necessary, but since it's harder to come by now, I supplement with vegan, palm oil free lavender soap my friend made. I take the ends and stick them in my closet to freshen clothes until I get around to using them. Above, Levi's wedgie icon jeans, American Apparel cotton spandex off the shoulder top and high waist skirt, Nike Air Force 1 Flyknits, all secondhand except the shoes, a gift from my husband.


Paris to Go

19 comments:

  1. Hi Ariana,

    I have to say your hair is looking fabulous with the water-only washing routine. I'm going to give it a go on my next holidays. I switched to shampoo soap only about a year ago, and my hair has never looked better.

    I'll be 50 on my next birthday and wear no makeup other than lipstick. A very sweet student of mine told me the other day she thought I was only 36! I had terrible trouble with my skin when I was younger, and I think like you I discovered the less I put on it the better. So I use a simple cleanser (organic, made here in Australia, very few ingredients and comes in glass) and I've moisturised with something simple like Dr Hauschka's Rose Cream for the last 20 years.

    I do think food is the most important factor in skin health - I've been plant-based for over 30 years and although grains are currently unpopular I think WHOLE grains are hugely nourishing for those who can tolerate them (and for the record I'm very slim and do this effortlessly - the anti-grain campaign seems to ignore the fact that Asians on their traditional diet are also slim).

    Anyway, that's my two cents worth on my good skin, I hope it helps someone :-) Just as an interesting aside, I also don't have much grey hair in spite of the fact that my mother was completely grey by my age. Again, I think it is the food. Having seaweed and miso as a regular part of the diet is said to be responsible for Japanese women not going grey early, and maybe that is what has slowed my own greying. That said, some of the most beautiful looking women I know have grey hair and I won't be covering mine when it comes in.

    Madeleine.x

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    1. These are great antiaging tips. Thank you. Helped me :-) Ariana, you've convinced me. I'm using up the last of my expensive organic shampoo and conditioner and will not be buying anymore. I have straight hair that tends to get greasy, so I may be using Dr. Bronner's to get me through the transition period, but I love the idea of giving up any sort of hair product altogether and just being able to rinse and go.

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    2. Madeleine seriously I always love reading about your life. You must look great. I want to let myself go grey too and I think you're right about the miso and seaweed because my and grandma didn't get their first greys until mid 40s (my mom wears her hair silky and long so what little grey she does have- and you can almost never see it- is really striking and very distinguished and beautiful looking). Now that I drink 3L of water a day I can process non-gluten grains that I couldn't eat before and maybe that contributes to the improvement in my skin? I think despite what's trendy we shouldn't eliminate anything from our diets unless we really have to. What made you switch to shampoo soap? So happy that it's working great for you!

      Hi Tamara! A lot of people I know looove Dr Bronner's for their hair. Especially since it's such a multitasking product. I think my hair is just too coarse for it but some people never stop. I hope you do try water only though and let me know how it works :) I feel like it's the perfect solution. As Madeleine says the less we use the better

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    3. Hi Ariana,

      I switched to shampoo soap because of all the plastic packaging used in shampoo bottles. The bonus was that my irritated scalp is now fine.

      As an aside, my 14 year old son has decided when he starts shaving he want to use the old fashioned 'cut throat' blade rather than the throwaway razors most men use. He decided this with no input from me, in spite of my views on things being annoying at times for teenagers! I bought him a beautiful wooden shaving brush with natural bristles made by a man from a town just 20 minutes away. So local, and natural - yay! It should last him a life time, and he was very happy with it.

      Madeleine.x

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    4. That is so awesome! I love straight razors- I love the whole art of shaving with the brush and the lather. So manly- I convinced my brother to switch to a Merkur and he really liked it but the straight blade is super cool too, the process of my husband getting a shave at the barber's was fascinating to me.

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  2. I too want to go the water route but seeing as my guilty pleasure is colouring my hair, I feel a bit more obliged to use a few products to attempt to make up for all the processing I put my strands through. Mind you, colour jobs for me last years, as in I won't do it again until probably the next US election!

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    1. I love your hair! And your hair is so shiny and silky looking I doubt you need many products

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  3. I envy the water-free routine you have for your face and hair. I have a lot of hair + oily (flaky) scalp, and so far the only thing that makes my hair feel better is New Wash (a type of non-foaming cream cleanser), although I'm not too happy about the packaging and processed ingredients.

    I also can't get past using some form of cleanser/exfoliator for my skin. There are times when I don't have access to running water, so I need some Rosewater+glycerin and ACV to keep my sebaceous glands and flaky skin in check. I'm sure that I could have a simpler skin care routine if I wasn't dedicated to wearing zinc-oxide sunscreen everyday, but because of my genetics, I can't be too careful.

    On a different note, I have one question, regarding recycling, (If you already addressed this previously, I apologize). Do you have any recommendations for how to re-use/recycle rubber+glass dropper attachments, and also the spray attachments for glass bottles?

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    1. I never heard of New Wash, but if you found something that makes you feel better don't worry. There are other ways to go zero waste! I had such oily skin but also super dry in patches on my face and water only has helped immensely. Unfortunately it's true sunscreen is not something we can skimp on. I only have two bottles with the rubber attachments and I use them :( I also only have one spray attachment for a glass bottle, I just refilled the last bottle I have... could you freecycle the attachments? Maybe someone else going zero waste needs a sprayer for one of their bottles? Or are there any bulk shops near you that may be willing to take them?

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  4. Thank you for the tip about free cycling. I did some more digging around on the internet, and found two separate sources on how to clean the glass/rubber dropper attachments for re-use. I didn't even know that you could dismantle these things! Both sources recommend the use of cotton swabs, but I'm pretty sure you can substitute it with cheese-cloth wrapped bamboo skewer. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing any suggestions for how to clean/recycling.spray attachments.

    http://homespunseasonalliving.com/how-to-clean-medicine-dropper-bottles-in-5-easy-steps/

    http://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/holistic-medicine-how-to/cleaning-used-dropper-bottles/

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    1. these are great tips! Love the idea of the cheesecloth skewer :) Thank you for sharing these! I didn't know you could dismantle them either, I always just stick salt and soapy water in there...

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  5. Hi Ariana!

    Can you share your recipe for home made mascara, I would love to give it a try!

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    1. Hi sorry for my late reply!! http://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/zero-waste-eyeliner-and-mascara

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  6. Homemade mascara - that sounds pretty cool! I'd be interested in knowing how it's made (though unlikely to try it myself, as I don't wear mascara).

    Without really thinking about it, I've downsized my makeup routine quite a bit in the last year or so. I just stopped wearing it to work or out to most weekend outings, which means that there's really no occasion for it (except the very rare special occasion or for interviews). My skin's been doing well (on my admittedly still product-heavy skincare routine), and because my foundation and concealer application skills are poor, foundation and concealer doesn't actually make me look that different or better. On workdays, I'd always opt for an extra five to ten minutes sleep rather than spend that time on doing makeup anyway, so I just stopped completely. I'd also phased out blush and eyeshadow before that, though I still like wearing lip color sometimes.

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    1. Aww haha but you are beautiful and have beautiful skin so I'm sure foundation and concealer is not necessary. Same with me- I'd rather sleep or have more time doing interesting things than makeup, but a few accents are fun...

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  7. Did you have any difficulty adjusting to hard water when you first arrived in Paris? I am moving from Atlanta (very processed, soft water) to a house in the country with well water and the first weekend I stayed there my hair and skin were a nightmare. My skin broke out and my hair felt like straw. If you did experience anything, how did you adjust?

    I am thinking about trying the water only thing if that is working for you, though.

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    1. Hi Mikella, yes, so much difficulty! My skin was terrible- cysts, peeling, enlarged pores- and here was my hair: http://www.paris-to-go.com/2015/05/zero-waste-haircare-no-shampoo-method.html

      I went to a dermatologist who prescribed Epiduo and tried every product, method, and routine under the sun for my skin but it only got worse. Switching to water only was the only thing that helped- now I only break out when I'm under stress. I hope you find a routine that works!

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    2. Oh my gosh! That looks just like my hair the weekend I was there! I am definitely going no-poo. :)

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