Episode #20: Our Clean Skincare + Beauty Favorites

Hello, hello! Happy Monday! This week, we are taking a break from our usual home stuff and talking about clean skincare and beauty. So many of you have requested this episode. It’s a bit of a wildcard, but a subject that we care so deeply about! I hope it is helpful or at least a fun listen.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Show notes: 
OK, let me first say … Emma’s dogs are barking throughout this episode and we are sorry, haha—but honestly, that’s life, right?

Skin Cleanse Book 
This is our clean beauty bible. If you find clean beauty confusing, we HIGHLY recommend this book. Learning about clean skincare/beauty can be so overwhelming at first. How do you know which brands/products are truly clean and which are just marketing that way (AKA lying!). This book really helps get a base of knowledge for the beginning of a clean product transition.

Clean beauty IS real. I am not going to spend time defending how or why today, instead I’ll just say read this book if you want to learn more. 😀

Think Dirty App
When I was first transitioning, this was so helpful for general brand awareness. You can look up brands and products and see their scores (from 1 to 10, 10 being the “worst”). There are A LOT of brands that market themselves as clean, but are actually just as bad or worse than other conventional brands. There are also brands and products that are surprisingly clean. And, last, there are my favorites … brands you can trust across the board. These are the brands I tend to stick with.

One more tip! You can go on the app and just search “laundry soap” or “foundation” or “shampoo” to compare popular brands and see some new ones that are clean.

Elsie’s morning routine products:
-Rinse with water
Thayers Toner (Rose)
Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
Face Hero Face Oil
Frankincense Essential Oil

Emma’s morning routine products:
Burt’s Bees Cleaning Oil or Juice Beauty Green Apple Cleansing Gel
One Love Skin Dew
COOLA Mineral Primer + SPF
COOLA Scalp and Hair Mist + SPF

Elsie’s night routine products:
-Double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser (Leahlani smells soooo good, but any oil will work)
-Use a water-based cleanser
Toner (use a cotton pad or just your hands and press it into your face)
Face Hero Face Oil with one drop of Frankincense
-Eye cream Biossance or Boscia
-Face serum (Herbivore Prism is so good, and I like leave-on masks like Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask)
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
-Masks (ESW Beauty Raw Juice Mask or Leahlani Mermaid Mask)

Emma’s night routine products:
SheaMoisture Face Oil with one drop of Frankincense or Manuka
Vitamin E Oil
Honest Beauty Retinol Serum
Leahlani Bless Balm
Goodflower Farm Lavender Mint Lip Balm
Bentonite Clay with ACV or water (beware of your sink–lol)
Erin’s Faces Pumpkin Enzyme Peel

I just noticed Emma says LAY-Lani and I say LEE-Uh-Lani … which is right? Who knows??

Elsie’s makeup:
-ILIA (love it all, but this highlighter and these multi-sticks are my favorite)
Lawless Eyeshadow Palette
Bite Beauty Lip Crayon for making your lips look bigger—I outline my lips a lot.
-Jane Iredale Primer + Foundation
-RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up

Emma’s makeup:
-Rejuva Minerals Blush
-Pink House Organics Glow Sticks
-100% Pure Matte Lipstick
ILIA Lip Oil

Facials and treatments:
-BBL (photo facial)-light therapy for sun spots.
-Microneedling (collagen encouraging)
-microneedling with added PRP and PRP injections
-Skin Pharm in Nashville (and Atlanta soon)

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 20 Transcript


Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. If you follow our blog, you might already know that we are totally obsessed with clean beauty products as two women in our thirties, we thought it’d be fun to share our skin care routines with you as well as how we transitioned from conventional to clean products. And at the end of the episode, we’re each sharing something that’s, you know, relatable. If you would have told me that I would be happier with my skin at thirty five than twenty five, I would have thought that was wrong. But I think that there is kind of, yeah your 30s, I mean, at least for me, it’s been my best skin time. So I think that a lot of people think when you’re 30, I mean, I don’t know when you’re younger, like in high school, you think like 30 is like, old.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: There’s a slower. Yeah. There’s like this medium area that you don’t know about until you’re living in it where it’s like, okay, this is actually not so bad.

Emma: Oh yeah. There’s roughly a mentality of youth is better. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with youth. But I also think, like, I don’t know so far, 30s skin has been the best for me of all my skin, except I guess when I was a baby but…

Elsie: (laughs) Oh, my gosh. Yeah. My 5 year old skin was really glowing.

Emma: It was really good, if I could go back (laughs). Toddler skin. I really don’t deal with a whole lot of breakouts, but my skin’s very dry. That’s probably my number one thing. I have very like dry skin. It’s much worse in the winter here in the Midwest than in the summer. Like I’ll get oily patches here and there. But I definitely have very kind of like the scaly, dry skin where your makeup won’t go over it easily because you’re, it’s just so like…

Elsie: Do you use toner every day?

Emma: Wait. What?

Elsie: Do you use toner every day?

Emma: No, not every day. Just sometimes.

Elsie: You need to use toner like morning and night. It’ll help.

Emma: Like to exfoliate? What do you use for your toner?

Elsie: I use the Thayers brand toner and it’s the rose kind. It feels good. And now that I’ve been doing it every day Ican’t skip it at all.

Emma: So you do it morning and night?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: Okay. So I’m 34 and I have very fair skin and it also has very kind of reddish undertones. So when I don’t have any makeup on, I feel like my skin looks a little bit pinkish red. Not in a bad way, just like that, those are the undertones of my skin. And then my skin can be oily, but it’s mostly dry and it’s especially dry in the winter. And then my number one thing that I’m trying to work on or I don’t know, that kind of bothers me, I guess, about my skin, if I’m being honest, is I have…and I think you pronounce it melasma?

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Do you think that’s right? And if you don’t know what that is, you can Google it. It’s just like, I have kind of dark areas, dark patches on my skin when I don’t have any makeup on, when I have makeup on, I don’t feel like you could really see it at all. And it’s pretty light. Like, I definitely have days where I don’t wear any makeup and I go out and in the world and it’s not like a big deal doesn’t like stop me from feeling confident and just my bare skin. But I do notice it and I don’t love it. And it also makes me, it’s supposed to be kind of hormonal, like sometimes it’s called pregnancy mask, although I’ve never been pregnant. It just has to do with hormones. But I also notice that it gets worse in the summer. So I think it also has to do with sun. And, you know, I do wear sunscreen and we’ll probably talk about that in our everyday routines. But I don’t know. That’s just like one thing that I would love to learn more about, how to minimize the effects of that or potentially reverse it. If that was possible, it’s not like a big deal, though, but it’s just like that’s probably the number one thing about my skin that makes me feel a little bit self-conscious.

Elsie: I’m thirty seven, so I have like a pretty religious skincare routine and I love it. I just like love the experience of doing it every morning and every night. Although it’s way more at night, it’s in the morning, it’s like two things. And when I read you my night list, you’ll be like “oh, okay, that’s silly.” But it makes me happy. It’s like a ritual, you know, at this point.

Emma: Yeah. Oh, it’s definitely self-care.

Elsie: Mm hmm.

Emma: A little bit like just like time to yourself for sure. So have as many products as you want, I say.

Elsie: (laughs) Right. I mean, it’s healthier than a lot of hobbies or habits you can have. Right. So overall, I am very happy with my skin. I feel like it’s good for my age. I’m taking good care of it. I definitely have like some wrinkles, some sunspots, like tiny little things, some that bother me, some that don’t bother me. But overall, I’m like, okay, this is fine. This is good. And I wear makeup about, I would say three times a week. I’m kind of all or nothing like I’m like all the way makeup-ed or I’m like, not getting on Instagram stories.

Emma: That’s how I am. And like my all-the-way makeup really isn’t even that much. So it’s just funny cause it’s I don’t know. I am definitely…I’m, I have more skin care products than I do makeup that I’m, you know, religious about. I did want you to talk a little bit about how you got into natural beauty and like natural skin care, because you’re really the reason I got into it. So I feel like your origin story is kind of a little more important because mine’s basically like, oh, yeah, my sister told me to do it and I was like, okay. So that’s all I have, you know.

Elsie: Totally. First of all, before I even start, I want to say this is a judgment free zone. We just learned about clean beauty like three or four years ago. And I know that some people think that clean beauty is kind of full of shit. And if you’re one of those people still listen to this episode, I mean, you’ve gotten this far into it. Listen to it for fun and see what you think. And I’m going to give some resources that you can look more into. Don’t take our word for it. We’re obviously not experts. We’re just people who are passionate about this for fun as a hobby. I started my transition, it was a little after we moved to Nashville because for most of my life, I actually thought I was buying clean, cleaner products or products that are better for you. Because I would always pick the products when I was growing up, I usually would buy my makeup at like Walmart or Target and I would always pick like Neutrogena or like a brand like that because I thought it was better for me. So my story is that when my friend came over for a dinner party who was very, extremely into natural beauty and like not shy about talking about it a lot. She told me all this stuff and all…I felt very confused, a little bit angry, a little bit defensive and really betrayed by the products that I had been buying all those years. Because, you know, I was like I spent like extra money to buy Clinique skin care because I thought it was so much better for me. And it’s not at all. So I felt very angry.So a few things that really helped me get educated, because when you’re kind of in that first step, if if you’re someone like me, where all the sudden you’re just like, oh, my gosh, I have to throw everything in the garbage and start over, these two things will help you a lot. The first one is the book Skin Cleanse. And we have talked about it on this podcast before. It really is like my clean beauty Bible. It’s a great, great book. Very educational, not preachy, not telling you you have to buy any certain kind of products, just giving you an overview about why clean beauty matters, why it’s real, the science behind it, all of that. And then second thing was the Think Dirty app, which is a great app. I actually don’t use it much anymore. Now that I’ve switched I just don’t need it as much anymore, but for a few years I would use it constantly. And what the…the most thing I got out of it was general brand awareness. So download the app and then you, it has a search function. You can also scan specific products like if you’re in a store. It gives them a score from 1 to 10, 1 being very clean, 10 being very dirty. And I will tell you before you begin, most of the beauty products and the cleaning products also are on this app. Most of the things that you will see at a store like Target or Walmart or Walgreens or whatever are going to be like a 7, 8, 9, 10. And it is very shocking. And it will make you feel really sad because even kids stuff like baby oil is really, really bad on the spectrum. One thing that I loved about it is that there are also a lot of products that are not that bad, that are conventional products. So you kind of over time will get a feel for, OK. This is something I’m never going to buy again, a brand I don’t trust at all. And they’re just off my list for life. And then there’s some brands that are conventional brands, but they’re just naturally cleaner. And you learn that you can trust them. And then there are all these many, many brands in the clean beauty specific space. And even when you get into that space, there are still products that, depending on your point of view, you might think are like, from my point of view, there are still products that are labeled clean beauty that aren’t clean at all because I don’t consider something that has synthetic fragrance in it clean. But some brands will still label themselves that way.

Emma: I do view it as kind of like an ongoing process thing.

Elsie: Oh yeah.

Emma: So and it’s just about making your life a little bit better, using products on your skin or things that you’re going to slightly ingest, like lip products that are going to have less chemicals in them that you don’t really want on your skin or on your body or inside of your body.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: And it’s not you know, I don’t know. I feel like so often when people start talking about this, it can get very like, fear-based very fast. And for me, that’s a real turnoff because if I feel like somebody is trying to scare me into something, I’m immediately like, oh, this is a cult and I must get out of here. (laughs) Like, that’s kind of like my mentality.

Elsie: I totally agree. So this really is judgment free. And just so you guys know that we’re not purists, we’re not perfect. I still use conventional shampoo. I tried like maybe 10 different clean ones and I just didn’t like any of them enough. And I just start using conventional again at the moment, I’m not even trying…and eventually a product will come along and it’ll blow me away and I’ll tell you all about it. But right now, it hasn’t. I still use conventional eyeliner and on the days that I really wear makeup, I still use conventional foundation. So I’m not perfect either. It’s fine.

Emma: Yeah. I think about it like eating organic or like anytime you’re trying to make changes in your life, you’re not necessarily gonna be able to do it 100 percent out of the gate. And that’s really fine and not really the point. The point is just to continue to educate yourself and figure out what you care about, what matters to you for yourself and your family. And, you know, just like, don’t worry so much.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Let’s talk about our morning and evening skincare routine. And if we want to talk about a little bit of makeup, cool. Let’s do it.

Elsie: Okay.

Emma: Tell us about your morning, because you already said it’s pretty simple. So let’s hear it. Let’s hear the simple morning routine.

Elsie: (laughs) So I wake up in the morning and I just rinse off my face with water. Like I literally just splash it on my face, wipe it off with a towel. And then I put toner all over my face, spritz my face with either a face tonic or rosewater because I’m like, really into the sprays. Like every time I do a blog post, there’s like four different sprays. I like spray my face a lot. And then for sunscreen, I like SuperGoop. It’s the unseen sunscreen is just the easiest to put on sunscreen that exists it’s very, very silky. And then maybe if I’m feeling in the mood, I will try, I will put on a an oil…just a regular face oil. My favorite one right now is from the brand GoTo, and I will add one drop of the frankincense, essential oil to it and frankincense essential oil is an acquired taste or an acquired scent, I guess. It’s a love it or hate it. Yeah, like I. But now that I I’m used to it. I really like it. And it makes me feel very good. It’s a big part of my night routine as well.

Emma: Yeah. My morning routine’s actually pretty similar. I just wash my face and I use various cleansers. I think right now I have a Burt’s Bees one and also a Juice Beauty like bar that I’ve used. It’s like a apple bar. So I’ll do that. And sometimes I will just like put warm water on a washcloth and just rinse my face really good if I feel like I got my makeup really good the night before. I may not even need to cleanse it. I’ve been using One Love Skin Dew as my morning moisturizer. I really like it because it’s very light, so and it really like, it just very like marshmallow-y and like goes into your skin cause I don’t love it when my boarding moisturizer sits on my skin, I do that at night. But I don’t want it to sit on my skin because if I’m if I do put makeup on that day, I feel like it’s kind of like mixing weird, if it’s just like sitting on my skin. So anyway, I love that One Love Skin Dew. And then, yeah, I usually do, even if I’m not wearing makeup, I do some kind of sunscreen, some kind of SPF. And I do love SuperGoop. I kind of go back and forth. I like SuperGoup. I also do a lot of the COOLA. I like their primer, which is meant to go under makeup. Sometimes I just wear only that even if I’m not going to wear makeup just so I can get the sunscreen.

Elsie: I love COOLA as well. They have this scalp spritz that you can spritz like on your hair like if you have very blonde hair or like our children have very fair scalps. Yeah, I spray that on them every morning and it makes me feel a lot better. Do you want to hear the night routine?

Emma: Yeah, let’s talk about night routines.

Elsie: Okay.

Emma: Apparently yours is very extensive. Let’s hear this extensive routine…

Elsie: So I love the double cleanse. If you’ve never tried the double cleanse, let me just explain it real fast. Basically, you cover your face in oil and kind of rub your makeup off and then you wash it off with a hot washcloth and then you cleanse again with a water based cleanser. And there’s just something about it. It is the most magical face wash cleansing situation you’ll ever have in your life. You don’t have to have a special oil. It could pretty much be any oil. So if you have like some little spare thing sitting around or just like plain jojoba oil would be fine. Anything like that.

Emma: I actually use. I just had like a jar of only half used organic coconut oil that I was using in my kitchen…

Elsie: That’ll work. That’ll do it.

Emma: …and I scraped off the top layer just in case there is any like, you know, a spoon with food or, scrape that off (laughs). And now I use it. Now it’s in my bathroom and I just use it when I do my double cleanse. For me the double cleans is days when I wore makeup because I just know that I have a lot of stuff on my face, you know, all my foundation, all my stuff. So I just like to see it moving around with the oil as I’m pushing the oil around my face. I can see my makeup kind of melting into it. So then I feel like, OK, it’s coming off and now it’s gonna be off my onto my washcloth.

Elsie: It’s magical. If you’re a person who feels like you sleep in your makeup at all, try this, because it will get all your makeup off. So after the double cleanse, then I do the toner, which we talked about earlier.

Emma: Can I ask about the toner, how you put your toner on? Do you spray it on your face?

Elsie: I just put it on a little pad. But yeah, they do have it in sprays as well.

Emma: I’m interrupting you. Sorry. Please go on. So you do toner.

Elsie: Yeah. And then okay. After that I go on to like my oil. And you know, I like the little drop of frankincense in there. I’m not picky about my face oils. I use basically every brand. All the samples. You know, we’ve had the beauty box for years. I feel like there’s just lots of little oils around my bathroom and they’re all great. And then I will do an eye cream just around the bottom of my eye and then kind of up around the top. And then my favorite two are the Boscia one and the Biossance one. They’re both amazing. They’re both great. Highly recommend. And then after that, maybe I will do a serum. So I like the Prism serum. And I also really love leave on masks. So anything that you can leave on all night, like the classic Summer Friday, the blue one that they have, is really nice. Like especially if you’re feeling super dry. And then as far as doing a face mask, I usually do a sheet mask or a Leahlani mask. And, because they’re super hydrating, I don’t do any of the masks like the clay or anything that is drying just because I don’t need that. And I do one of those either one or three times a week. But basically, like before I’m going to take a bath or on the weekend, something like that, you know, just put one on and…magical minds

Emma: Mine’s very similar to yours. So I wash my face at night. Really, really good. Usually the double cleanse like we were talking about. And then I also put on face oil and I have lots of different kinds. And they’re from the Oui Fresh beauty boxes mostly. And as I love one, I’ll just buy, you know, buy it from that company. The one I have right now, I went and checked before this episode is I’ve been using the Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Overnight Face Oil, which is a very plain carrier oil just very simple, hydrating. And I add either frankincense or the other essential oil, I add sometimes this manuka.

Elsie: Hmm.

Emma: Is that how you say it?

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: That’s the honey, too, right?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: Anyway, it’s the essential oil is what I have. And then I’ll add a little bit, like one drop of vitamin E oil just to, you know, hopefully heal. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Elsie: I use Manuka oil Keely taught me this trick. I use a drop of Manuka oil in my deep conditioning if I have any kind of dandruff. And it really works.

Emma: Yeah. Oh, I hadn’t heard that. That’s cool. I don’t usually get dandruff, but that’s a really good tip. After oils or sometimes before, I also have been using this Honest Beauty…do you say retinol serum?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: Retinol. See, I don’t know how to pronounce anything. And yeah. So I’ve been using that. I had kind of read that that might help with melasma, but I don’t really know. I can’t really say conclusively if I think it actually makes a big difference. But I’ve been using that for a while and I do like the product a lot. It seems like it really gets into your skin. So I like that. I also really like Bless Balm from Leahlani. I feel like this is a commercial for Leahlani at this point, but she does have amazing products. So I love that if I have like a spot that like needs a little extra, that’s definitely something I always grab. And sometimes I use that in the morning, if I’m not going to be wearing makeup, that’s like a moisturizer I really like. So that and then let me think what else? Oh, I also, I get really chapped lips, especially in the winter. I think I might sleep with my mouth open or something. I don’t know what my problem is. I drink a ton, a shit ton of water like I drink tea all day.

Elsie: So do you like the Bite Beauty agave stuff? Or do you not like it? I felt like I remember you didn’t like it.

Emma: I really like the smell of it. It’s…and I do think it’s very effective. It’s very thick. So…

Elsie: I’m obsessed with it.

Emma: I can’t wear it to bed.

Elsie: No?

Emma: It’s something that I keep in my drawer when I’m working at my computer during the day. And I’ll put it on like during the day because at night I’m a side sleeper. So I’ll get.

Elsie: Oh, it’s too sticky!

Emma: Yeah, it’s too sticky.

Elsie: It is really…yeah.

Emma: So I don’t love that one though. The lip balm I’ve been using at night, right now, I actually have it right by me, I’ve been putting it on, why we’ve been talking is Good Flower Farm lavender mint lip balm. It’s light, but still very effective, but it’s not super sticky, so it doesn’t…yeah, I have a problem with the stickiness at night because sleep on my side.

Elsie: I love that sticky agave mask stuff. It’s so amazing.

Emma: I use it in the day and it smells amazing. It actually tastes really good too, if you like, get a little bit of in at your mouth. It’s like really delicious, but too sticky.

Elsie: It’s my favorite thing. Like here’s my night routine. Don’t go to bed until your face looks like a glazed donut. (laughs)

Emma: Agreed. Yeah. Trey like he’s like, you can tell it’s night and day. Once I’ve taken all that makeup out, it’s just like a wet face. I’m like, well, I’m trying to get hydrated here. (laughs) So we already talked a little bit about face masks, and you mentioned you don’t love clay masks, which I totally get. But I will sometimes use a bentonite clay mask and I just use bentonite clay. You can just buy it loose powder clay and I’ll mix it with water or apple cider vinegar. It is kind of drying and it does tend to clog my bathroom sink. So I will I put it on the mask and then like read for 20 minutes or whatever and then take my shower so that I can wash it off in the shower. I feel like that for some reason is just a lot better method. When I wash off in my bathroom sink, it just like clogs and Trey is like, what’s wrong with the sink? And I’m like, uh oh.

Elsie: That’s horrifying.

Emma: Yeah. So yeah. And then I did also want to mention I love this face mask. It’s an enzyme peel. It’s from Erin’s Faces. It’s her pumpkin enzyme peel. And I love it. We had it at like one of the very first beauty boxes.

Elsie: I remember that one it smells like a pumpkin spice. Like a pumpkin pie.

Emma: Yes. It smells like a pumpkin pie. I love it. It smells amazing. And I feel like it’s just like a great little face mask. So I wanted to mention it. Well, we’re mostly talking about skin care, but I thought if we want to mention any of our favorite clean makeup products, this might be a good episode to do that in. I have a couple that I wanted to shout out just because I do love them. And I had a feeling you probably would, too.

Elsie: Hell yes, you go first sister.

Emma: All right, Walter, I’ll tell you, I don’t have that many that I turn to over and over again. I. I love to experiment. And I definitely still feel like I’m very much learning about clean beauty. So I love to try new products. But here are some brands that I tend to get the same things over and over again. So I have the review. Rejuva Minerals blush, and I love it. I also love Pink House Organics, anything, but I really love their glow sticks. I use it almost every day. It’s my favorite.

Elsie: I love those too.

Emma: Yeah, just a little highlighter on the cheekbones or on the bridge of my nose, that kind of thing. One Hundred Percent Pure is awesome for lots of different things. It can be a little pricey, but their products really are great and they usually smell amazing.

Elsie: They have really the best matte lipstick of all time.

Emma: I love matte lipstick. I don’t why I feel like it stays on better.

Elsie: It does.

Emma: Also, I also love, speaking of lip products, One Over One lip oil. They have kind of tinted lip oils. And the one I have smells kind of cinnamon-y.

Elsie: I love that too.

Emma: I just think it’s really pretty. And it feels really good on it feels very hydrating. So I love that lip oil.

Elsie: All right. OK, here’s my list. I love Ilia. Everything they make is great. They have so many different things, but they have a liquid highlighter. That is my favorite thing ever. And I’ve used a lot of their lip products. I just got the big eye palette from Lawless. It’s at Sephora.

Emma: I love a big eye pallete.

Elsie: I will link it in the show notes. It’s the coolest, most beautiful, best clean beauty eye palette it I’ve ever had. I can’t say enough good things about it. It has sparklies, it has mattes, it has great colors. It’s gorgeous. I love Bite Beauty. I was talking earlier a lot about the agave lip mask. I use that all the time. And then I also oh, I also use their lip liner. A lot of times when people ask me if I got lip injections, it’s because I use their lip liner. And I kind of not like overline, but I kind of like outline the outside of my lips. And I don’t do a lot on the inside and it just makes my lips look bigger. Remember one time I showed it on Instagram? Like the process and it really does make them look bigger. Jane Iredale is amazing. I love her primer. Her foundation. If you’re going to get a clean foundation, it’s probably my number one favorite one. And then she has other products as well. And then RMS Beauty, they just have so many different products and they have my favorite concealer. It’s called like uncover up, I think. And just a lot of different things. And it’s available a lot of places. So it, I do think that it’s, it’s a factor if a brand is easy enough to find because, you know, you can’t all…I can’t always buy everything online, but I do buy probably the majority of my makeup online.

Emma: Since this episode is all about skin care and that kind of thing, I just thought we would maybe share a little bit about any different kinds of facials we’ve tried in the past because I think you’ve tried a few that I haven’t. That I’m kind of interested in. And so if anyone else is in my shoes, they might want to hear about that.

Elsie: Yeah, for sure. Skin treatments. I mean, I have had facials before too. But…

Emma: Yeah, I guess. I mean, treatments.

Elsie: Treatment as well. Right.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: Okay. Do you wanna say your faves?

Emma: Yeah. So. Well I don’t really have faves. I’ve only tried one thing and it was dermaplaning, and that is where they’d use a very small blade and basically kind of scrape off the top layer of your skin. That sounds very dramatic. It’s not quite that dramatic, but it’s meant to really exfoliate. And I’ve done that I think three times now. You can do it, you know, periodically. You shouldn’t do it too often. Like, I think they recommend six weeks in between. Mm hmm. And so I don’t do it like all the time, but it was something that I had read might help with melasma. So I thought I would try it. I liked it. My skin definitely felt very like renewed afterwards, like very like fresh like a baby. But I didn’t really see any difference with the melasma issue. But like I said, I’ve only done it three times. So it could be a thing where you need to do it for a few years. I don’t really know, but I liked it. I will say one of the times I went, the gal I went to accidentally cut me. I got a little cut on my chin and it bled a decent amount.

Elsie: Oh my gosh.

Emma: I didn’t need a stitch or anything, but it was enough that I decided to go somewhere else after that it kind of yeah, I want I want to be a very chill person and be like, oh, nothing’s that big of a deal. Everything’s okay. But honestly, it did kind of traumatize me a tiny bit. Like I noticed the next time I went to a new person, which was someone…it’s the same gal who does my lashes. So I’m like very comfortable with her and I trust her a lot. And like, we talk a lot. I feel like, you know, I really like her and she did a great job. But I could feel it that I was kind of nervous even though she was a different person. And she actually was a lot more gentle.

Elsie: That’s normal, yeah.

Emma: I don’t know. So it’s just one of those weird things. So I think since then, I’ve been…I’ve been wanting to try some other treatments. Like I want to hear about your experience with micro needling.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: But I’ve also been kind of nervous to try stuff because I had that kind of weird experience…

Elsie: That should never happen. So hopefully it’ll never happen again.

Emma: Yeah, it was not great. Tell us about treatments or facials you’ve had.

Elsie: Ok, so I’ve also had dermaplaning and it was OK for me. Like the thing I really like about it is that it makes your makeup go on prettier. And they say that it helps your product absorb into your face better. But like you, I didn’t notice like a big difference. It was just kind of like a very small thing. Last year I went pretty religiously and I Instagrammed about it a lot. So people who think this is like one of the things that people just like really want to know everything about. So I’ll give all the details on here.

Emma: Yeah. Do. Please.

Elsie: Yes. So I did two treatments and I did both of them a bunch of times. So the first one is called BBL and it’s also called photo facial sometimes. And what it is, is a light therapy and it kind of zaps you. It feels like your eyes are closed and you have glasses on and stuff like that, like little goggles. And it kind of feels like someone like snapped a little tiny rubber band on your face. It’s, it’s a bit uncomfortable, but it’s not it’s not like horrible or anything. It’s not like getting a shot or it’s…

Emma: Right.

Elsie: It’s not so bad. I would definitely do it again. I did do it, I think twice last year. And the first time was pretty dramatic. I had this one sun spot on my cheek that was really bothering me. And they got it off like it was gone. It was in one treatment. Yeah, in one. You go home and it’s like your sort of freckles or sunspots are a little bit darker, like the ones that they targeted. Like it’ll just look darker. And then I can’t remember if it was like three or four days or a week. But all of a sudden one day they start falling off. And I remember I didn’t believe it. Like someone told me it was like washing a coffee ground off your face. And I was like, well, I’m going to try it because that sounds great. And I have this one spot that’s kind of bothering me. It wasn’t very big, but it was just like, you know, I knew it wasn’t supposed to be there. I knew it was sun damage related. And I just wanted it off my face. I did do like tanning beds and stuff when I was in high school, which I wish, you know, I would take it back now. But it was the 90s and I didn’t know. And anyway…so that was amazing. And then the second time I went and did it, I also was like, could you do my arms? Because they have some spots on my. arms, and they did. And it didn’t work as well, like I think I might need to do those ones a couple more times if I really wanted to get them off like they say, it can be like three or four times for like a bigger spot, but it definitely works. And if you have especially like one spot on your face is bothering you, definitely try this because for me it was a pretty big difference from just one treatment. And then the next thing I did was micro needling. And I don’t know how many times I went last year, but probably like five or six, quite a few. And. So micro needling, I should say this about BBL, too. These are both totally natural treatments. There’s nothing toxic about them. There’s nothing that you can’t do while you’re pregnant. So they still fit into the clean beauty spectrum. So anyway, micro needling is like they take a little tool that looks sort of like a round version of a toothbrush almost. And then they your face will be numbed with numbing cream. And I usually do my whole face and my neck and sometimes my chest, too, because the whole area is like important skin on your body. And so it’s a collagen encouraging treatment. It’s supposed to help your body naturally produce more collagen. Which is the thing that like as you age your body says goodbye to and doesn’t do anymore. So it’s basically the best thing, she told me that for my goals and for what I wanted to do as far as like keeping my routine clean, it was the best treatment. And she was like, just do this a lot and see what you can get out of it. And so I went for about half the year last year and then I kind of did fall off the bandwagon a little bit when we adopted our second daughter…

Emma: Sure.

Elsie: …and I need to get back on, but I will say it’s hard…okay so microneedling, it’s hard to tie together the improvements ex actly, because it’s a long term treatment. So I was seeing improvement in my skin. I really was. But it’s hard to say for sure if you’re not just like drinking more water or getting more sleep. But I feel like it was definitely helping. Yeah. And I was feeling better about myself, you know, and that’s really all that matters. And then at the end, I also did two times with PRP. So this is like what some people call the vampire…

Emma: Yes, the vampire facial! I saw Gwyneth do this on Goop Lab.

Elsie: So, yes, I saw a Kardashian photo once where her face was all bloody. And yeah, that’s basically how it looks when you get micro needled, when you’re like…they can do it really soft and you walk out of there looking normal like a tiny bit red. But they can also do it where you walk out of there and you look like you’ve been in a car accident, which is what I ended up doing in the end. And I would just like wear a baseball hat and keep my head down and drive straight home but it does work better.

Emma: Can’t any errands after that.

Elsie: Yeah. And I just like wanted to see, like, how much better. I’m just very curious about this kind of stuff. So anyway, what PRP is, is they draw your blood. So you have to get your blood drawn to her to be okay with that. And then they take it in another room and spin it and then somehow it separates two different parts of your blood. Don’t ask me these details because I…I have no idea. But it comes back and it’s gold colored. And then they put that on your face instead of the gel to do the micro riddling. So they’re micro needling this stuff into your skin and then they put it in a syringe and inject it anywhere in your face where you have like a wrinkle or a concern the same way as they would like a filler or whatever else. Botox, I guess. And…

Emma: But it’s just your blood. That’s been spun or whatever.

Elsie: Yes. And it’s totally natural. And it is supposed to encourage collagen production and improve your skin over time. So should we move on to our segment?

Emma: Yes. Did you think of one?

Elsie: I did…”99 problems”. And what’s yours Emma?

Emma: Okay, so mine somewhat relates to skin care. Kind of. I have super, super dry eyes. And I think a lot of people suffer from dry eyes. It’s not like, you know, uncommon or anything. And our mom has really dry eyes, so I’m pretty sure I kind of get it from her, or at least I think that could be somewhat related genetically. But here’s how bad mine are. If I’m like driving for long periods of time and I have my contacts in I’m always like super aware if I have glasses in the car with me and there is this one time, and like just sometimes my eyes will water so much that I need to pull over. Like it’s unsafe for me to be driving.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: So when I’m on highways, I..I try to be super aware if I think that’s happening because it’s, it’s harder to pull over on a highway. You really need to use an exit if you have to pull over to a shoulder. You know, sometimes you can, but it’s a little bit more like risky. So, yeah. Highway driving makes me a little more nervous. Anyway, so it’s not like a big, big deal, but I kind of wanted to put it out there just in case anyone has any recommendations. So I’ll tell you what I already…

Elsie: Yeah a miracle cure. Please send a miracle cure!

Emma: Exactly, if anyone’s got a miracle cure please shout out to me. Gosh, that’d be so helpful. Yeah. So the things I’ve tried so I use all sorts of different eyedrops, you know, to try to hydrate. The one I like the most is called Thera Tears and it’s just very thick. So I really prefer it. And then I’ve also been trying Lumify, which I like. Okay. I think Thera Tears is better, but everyone was like try Lumify at Lumify costs like three times as much as the Thera Tears so I was like, oh, this will work. I mean it was good. It takes away redness, but I didn’t feel like it helped that much with the dryness. So, and then I also switched from, I used to have contacts where you would take them out every night and you could keep them for 30 days. And honestly, I would forget and I would keep them for more than 30 days. Not crazy amounts of time, but I would. And I know that was probably a contributing factor to dryness. So I switched to dailies. I kind of hate using daily contacts because I feel like it’s a lot of extra trash because they come in little packages. So, yeah. So I feel like, and I wear contacts almost every day. So I. I was so resistant to it for years because I was like, I don’t want all this extra packaging, all this extra trash that I’m creating every year. Yeah, but the little packages are recyclable. So I put them in my bin. So that makes me feel marginally better, although I don’t know if it’s actually that much better. But anyway, I did switch to dailies, but I do wonder. Next time I’m gonna order my contacts. I think I’m going to try to research more if there is some kind of daily contacts that is even better for dry eyes. And I’m like open to spending more money on it because I just feel like it’s a thing in my life that I’m like. If I could solve this, I would feel so much safer driving at night.

Elsie: Poor sister.

Emma: Yeah. Anyway, if anyone’s got any miracle cures, let me know. But that’s that’s it for me. Got super dry eyes over here. All right. What’s your what’s your “99 problem”?

Elsie: Well, yours is a genuine problem and mine is basically just…bitchin’!

Emma: Mine’s not that big if a problem! Oh, okay. (laughs).

Elsie: So mine. This is what I have written down. I have 99 problems and moving is eighty nine of them, so. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Just moving with little kids. It sucks and you know, we’ve been working on it for months trying to have this perfect seamless transition and we’ve put a lot of planning into it. A lot of, you know, research, you know, you schedule all kinds of things when you move with little kids because we’re moving…it’s not…it’s 40 minutes away. Like it’s significant enough to where you switch your doctor, your dentist, you switch everything. Your grocery stores. Nothing’s the same. So anyway, we’re working on that. And I will just say send us all the good vibes. And there was one more thing I want to say before this episode is over. I’m going to early vote after this. For the love of God. Everyone who’s listening, please vote. We love you.

Emma: Gotta vote, people. Yeah. So that was our episode about clean beauty, skin care, all things like that. Also, random problems we have. So if you have any dry eye solutions for Emma, please send them to the podcast@abeautifulmess.com. Also, if you just have questions or things, you can always write us there. Our show notes are at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. So for any of the products we talked about, you can find them there. And if you like this episode, feel free to share it with friends or leave us a review. That means a lot as we’re trying to grow. This is still a very new podcast and we really, really appreciate your support. Thanks.

Elsie: Thank you, guys!

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  • Hi there! Just recently listened to this episode and really enjoyed it as I have been in the process of migrating to cleaner products. I have one question for you. You guys super briefly mentioned some kind of beauty subscription box (I think) in the episode. If so, can you tell me which one that is and if it is specifically clean beauty products? Thanks so much!

    • Hi! The box was was part of our product line (Oui Fresh) that we retired a couple months ago. I’m sorry!

  • Elsie, you mentioned that you don’t use clean foundations. Have you tried the glossier perfecting skin tint? I love it! It’s just the right amount of coverage for me!

  • I tried the Burt’s Bees oil and the Thayers toner. MY LIFE HAS BEEN CHANGED.

    Thank you for making it so easy to find a place to start with clean beauty. ❤️

  • I loved this episode on clean beauty!! Such an important topic. Have either of you ever tried Beautycounter? You should give a few of their makeup and skincare products a try!

  • hi all, i have really been enjoying your podcasts. just wanted you to know that i really loved the byte products too but sadly i seem to have some serious allergic reaction to them — and i am not alone once i started googling. my lips swelled up and i started to get blisters. it was so weird and disconcerting. i’d never had that happen to me before. any other ideas for lip products — mine are so dry — would be great. thanks for all your content. laura

  • Do you have any “clean” eyeliner or mascara recommendations? All the things I’ve tried tend not to stay all day and get smudged. Elsie your eye makeup is always perfect! What do you use?

  • Curious to know do either of you consider yourselves to have sensitive skin?

  • I LOVE your podcast and this episode in particular was super helpful, thanks!
    Emma, I have some light melasma too and even if others say they can’t see it, I do and its very annoying! I’ve tried lots of different stuff to get rid of it but nothing seems to work, do you have any tips or recommendations on what has worked for you?
    Would love to hear about it!

  • Emma,
    I too struggle with very dry eyes and have a problem with driving at night because of it. A couple months ago I found something that has really been working well for me. I use Systane eye drops. Also a dermatologist I follow online said that chemical sunscreens tend to irritate eyes more, so I switched to a fragrance free mineral sunscreen. Between those 2 things, I’ve had zero issues with watery eyes while driving at night. One more thing… I‘be found that having the heat or air directed at your face makes the dryness worse too. Hope this is helpful.

  • I always had dry eyes when I was taking the pill. When I gave it up, it helped a lot. And daily contact lenses are better for dry eyes. Right now I am lazy and wearing glasses all the time 🙂 It’s better for the eyes. No contacts can be as good as the good old glasses.

  • Hey Emma – re your dry eyes, have you tried sea buckthorn oil? You can get it as a supplement (capsule) or as a serum/gel. My optician recommended it for my dry eye. I’ve been taking it for 6 weeks now and I can definitely feel the benefit. Might be worth a try??

  • I totally love the podcast and listen weekly! I just wanted to mention a product you might like that I use on my face. It’s called everyday oil. You can look them up on Instagram or on the web. They are in Black Mountain NC. It’s has so many amazing uses and smells amazing! I think you’d love it!

  • I absolutely love your podcast! I listen to a lot of different podcasts and ya’ll’s has quickly become one of my faves! I love listening to it on the way into work Monday morning. It starts my week off on a great note!

  • I really enjoy your posts on clean beauty, so I can’t wait to listen to this episode! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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