treeI’m attempting to simplify my life. This ideal bleeds into my beauty routine. Actually, I really decided that I should stop skipping breakfast. Something had to give. Full tummy equals less primp time.

I’m using more natural — sometimes organic, sometimes vegan — products. I’m a reluctant convert. Few brands are high quality. Even fewer brands are cost-effective.

Here’s a mini review of products that are worth the small investment (complete with links):

Michael Todd True Organics Cleanse and Tone

70% Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free

My skin is so oily that the government should pass a bill for facial drilling. I jest. I do have to use toner. I like that this product combines two parts of my skincare routine into one step. For $19, the price is less than I’ve paid for other products that didn’t work as consistently. A little dab will do you, extending the longevity of the product.  I also appreciate the money I save by not buying cleansing pads for toner.

Aveda Deep-Cleansing Herbal Clay Masque

Natural, Plant-based, Vegan, Gluten Free

Who doesn’t like a mini facial? This masque requires minimal usage and spreads easily. I have acne prone skin. This masque is fantastic. It draws out any cystic acne that tries to form (which the above-mentioned product prevents, by the way). It’s especially beneficial for PMS face.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear CC Cream

100% Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free

Bye-bye moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation. I’m in love with this product. The CC stands for color correction. Remember that cystic acne I mentioned? It leaves scars and hyperpigmentation. This product not only conceals but also corrects. It even covers the redness from my eczema. Some reviewers dislike the orangy tone. It’s not exactly orange. It’s more tan. This is problematic for certain skin tones. I have pink undertones, and it blends in fabulously.

All hail awesome no makeup days! See?

Only CC Cream

Only CC Cream

Here’s a before shot a week ago when I started using it:

IMG_2110

Nothing but splotches (and pores) and a Pillsbury Dough Boy photobomb.

Aveda Hand Relief

Natural, Plant-based, Vegan, Gluten Free

Good gluten-free lotions are hard to find. As a person with Celiac, lotion can cross-contaminate my food and make me quite ill. This lotion is extra moisturizing without the heavy greasy feel. It smells good to boot.

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer

Natural, Gluten Free

I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t like Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. It comes in 14 shades. I love shimmer so much, I think I may have been a racoon in a former life. It’s not as boring as a regular lip balm, but it’s not as pigmented as a butter or a gloss.

Julep Nail Polish

Vegetarian, Vegan, 4-free

I wasn’t so kind in my Julep review. Why the change of heart?

I need more Hand Relief.

I desperately need more Hand Relief.

I was hasty in my post. CEO Jane Park explained in a Facebook forum that the 4-free formula thickened upon exposure to air. They have worked on the formula since. It no longer goops. The longevity of my nail polish has extended several days without chips, making Julep the best vegan nail polish on the market. I know. I’ve tried several. In fact, the polish I’m wearing in the picture, Ledi, is 6 days old without touch-ups and chips.

So now I feel the need to recant my previous review. A girl has the prerogative to change her mind, you know.