Maybe I was born having beautiful skin, but the sun, stress and the declining conditions of Mother Earth and our lazy attempts to maintain it have completely changed all of that for me throughout the years. I’ll take the blame for half the silent downhill crash too — I admit I haven’t always been good to my body, using only anything I’d lay my hands on while in the shower and buying all sorts of products deemed effective. Or so they say. I’d lay under the sun without a care in the world and apply whitening lotions at night to reverse the tan.
When I got into the real world after dropping out of college two years ago, I started to really take care of myself. My eyes were opened to the reality of my unconscious decisions and how badly I’ve been treating my body when I should be taking care of it and giving it the utmost love in the deepest sense. Part of the change was slowly letting go of some bad habits, toxic products and embracing more organic body-loving remedies.
To share some of my everyday necessities:
1. Sandals from Rubi
These tan (synthetic) leather sandals from Rubi are heaven sent. They’re my third pair after the brand has proved its durability to me through the years. I’ve been using my two other pairs for over a year now, and they’re still intact, comfortable and pleasing to the eyes. I’ve owned enough footwear of all sorts to know and say that Rubi’s collection just might be some of the best, most practical in the world. I am forever indebted to you, Cotton On!
2. Organic soaps from V&M (Venus & Mars Naturals)
I may be a little too obsessed over V&M’s line of organic artisan soaps ever since my first purchase July of this year. I’ve already tried three kinds: The Salt of the Himalayas, Lulur and my favorite of all so far because of its scent and moisturizing powers, Clay it Fair. They swear by using only all-organic products imported from all over the world so they can produce a wide selection of necessities from soaps to body butters and mineral cosmetics, even perfumes! I can hardly contain my excitement when I’m visiting their booth so I joke around the staff, telling them I want to cry from the stress of the temptation. The good news is, they lovingly care for our wholesome hoarding needs by regularly offering discounts and promotional deals especially when they’re selling in bazaars. You get a big discount when you buy a certain number of products — who will so no to that? You also get to bug the staff about their products and they’ll throw you answers straight on about every little thing you want to know, it’s amazing. Props to V&M for their sensational handiwork from production to branding to marketing and everything in between. I am a huge fan and a deep lover.
3. Virgin Coconut Oil
My mom, dad and eldest sister would buy gallons and gallons of virgin coconut oil before I decided to jump in the family bandwagon. They would drink it most of the time as a dietary supplement but as for me, I let my hair and skin do all the drinking. Now I have the habit of lathering handfuls onto my hair and body every Saturday night, sleeping with it overnight. I shower the next day and find that I literally have bouncier, healthier hair and smoother skin. Not to be hyperbolic but virgin coconut oil works like magic. You can buy this practically from anywhere but if you want gallons, check out G-Stuff online and in shopping malls.
4. Red wine lipstick from Snoe
Snoe is a badass, cutting-edge brand keen into creating more organic products, more notoriously for cosmetics and other body usefuls that have similar promising effects but have less toxins in them. I’ve used a lot of their different products throughout a good 3 or so years, but so far my favorite would have to be this red wine lipstick. The color is bold and beautiful, it lasts so long, and it doesn’t strip my lips off of moisture which I find unsettling when using other commercial lipsticks. Just a little trick I do with my lipstick: I minimize its boldness by dabbing only a little on my lips and spreading it evenly and then filling it up boldly on days I feel a bit more spunky.
5. Smother Me Body Butter with Mint from V&M
This is the absolute best body butter in the world, I can say that as a personal fact. I’ve replaced my habit of using any kind of lotion and swore by using this minty, fresh-feeling body butter for as long as I haven’t found a better, more delighting one. But for now I’m staying faithful!
6. Witch Hazel by T.N. Dickinson’s
I first bought this latter part of 2013 in my earlier attempts to make organic homemade remedies. A lot of cleansing products required witch hazel as the base ingredient and it’s not hard to guess why. When life started getting in the way and I couldn’t anymore find time to create more remedies at home, I figured I can just use the witch hazel alone in the meantime as my everyday toner. I dab a piece of cotton with a few drops to cleanse my face right after taking a shower both in the morning and night, cleansing my skin off of dirt without stripping off useful oil and moisture. It literally feels so good on the skin.
On a side note, my astigmatism has been getting worse the past weeks so when I decide not to wash my face before I sleep (which I’m typically used to) I just use witch hazel instead and it feels equally clean. Also, I’m hoping I find time to create some homemade organic remedies using witch hazel real soon!
7. Mineral Deodorant Body Spray (Lavender & White Tea scent) by Crystal Essence
I stopped using commercial deodorants in the year 2012 when I found out that these can never do good for our innocent pits. I’m saying this lightly but I’m really disappointed in all the companies who manufacture these products, releasing into the market millions and millions of toxic products and marketing it and claiming otherwise. I can go on about this but maybe another time. After my last deo, a beautiful purple encased Lady Speed Stick (which I think is the best brand if you still prefer to use commercial deodorants), I started using Milcu. To keep it short and simple, it’s the best. Sadly, through time I developed a really bad allergic reaction to the powder, just as I am with other powdered products. And while I’d try to fight it at first I decided to hop into Healthy Options one afternoon to look for another healthy option. (Ha, I can be so clever!) There, sitting quietly on the cupboard was a selection of ethical mineral deodorants and much to my happiness, a lot that aren’t powdered. I decided to go for the Lavender & White Tea mineral deodorant body spray and it’s been a good journey so far.
8. Roll-on perfume from Lady Million
This isn’t too much of a wholesome product but I like that it’s lightweight and very scentful already with just a couple of quick slides and drops. It’s my go-to perfume when I’m out and about and running around the city, slowly but surely becoming a sweaty, smelly, hardworking entity in the form of a human being. Again, instant freshness. Two of some of my most favorite words.
9. Sunnies from Forever21
As a creative and especially a photographer, the most important assets I have besides my love and passion are my eyes. I used to stare at the sun for seconds whenever I felt like it and have a terrible habit of washing my face after hours and hours of working on my laptop but now I know better. Wearing sunnies does not only protect my eyes from the UV rays of the sun, it rids the quick formation of what all of us girls fear more than we’ll ever understand, wrinkles.
I know I don’t share too much besides my thought and feelings over here but we’ll be switching how things things work in here so we can all get to know and share all sorts of other wonderful everythings even more. Expect more posts like this on body love and homemade DIYs the next coming months! Let me know your thoughts x