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Beauty & Tutorials

Renew: The Best Green Skincare & Personal Care Products to Try Today

Clean & Effective Alternatives to Put on Your Radar
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

The Best Green Beauty Products, Waiting On Martha

From a kale face wash to a nontoxic deodorant (that actually works) to a soothing face mask and more; I’ve tried more green beauty products than I can count over the past few years.  And from that I’m thrilled to say I’ve really been able to narrow it down to the best green beauty products on the market. 

If you’re thinking about swapping out any of the products in your own daily routine, I’d recommend any/all of the following to start.  I included several great options for things like daily cleansers, face oils, all natural skincare, nontoxic deodorant and clean nail polish that I’ve personally tested and LOVED.

I’ve become a bit obsessed with clean beauty and skincare products of late, but I can also attest to how much more effective they really are.  I’ve been happy to test and sample a ton of popular brands who’ve devoted their lines to products with ingredients you can trust.  That kale face wash (only $36!) is THAT good that I went back for another bottle, I’m telling you.  But like Kat said yesterday, take it slow if you’re overhauling your entire beauty and personal care routine…it can add up fast and it’s more fun to see the direct results of a new favorite, am I right?!  Truly, MKR

Softening Emollient

Sapelo Skincare

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I turn to this Softening Emollient Elixir when my face is feeling super dry (hello, winter).  Its all natural ingredients, including a combination of apricot seed oil, high oleic sunflower seed oil, lock in major moisture…fast.  I can’t get enough of how it makes my skin feel hydrated and dewy. 

Milk & Honey Hydrating Mask

Sapelo Skincare

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This gentle, incredibly healing milk and honey mask is another one of my secrets to my recent glow; its collagen boosting milk peptides help to hydrate, and the honey flushes the pores and keeps my complexion clear. It’s great for sensitive skin (which I most definitely have).  I typically apply it once a week, when I’m in need of a good at-home spa night. 

Seaweed Cleanser

Sapelo Skincare

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This super mild and gentle seaweed cleanser is a great option for an all natural makeup remover.  It works to moisturize, condition and prep the skin for a serum. 

Vitamin D Moisture Mist

One Love Organics

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Once you try this moisture mist, you will be hooked.  It’s part lightweight moisturizer and part toner that can be used for long-lasting hydration.  The list of ingredients include shiitake mushroom (a natural source of Vitamin D which tones my complexion) and alpine rose (rich in antioxidants that fights dryness from the winter or any other of the elements). I love to use the mist before applying serum so that it preps and hydrates the skin for maximum effect, but also whenever my skin needs a quick little reboot throughout the day (especially great when traveling!). 

Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

One Love Organics

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This award-winning organic makeup remover is absolutely one of my must-haves in my routine. Applied directly to your dry face, this serum locks in moisture and effortlessly removes makeup and impurities. It’s super hydrating; the ingredients feel luxurious on the skin and you’ll find yourself finally looking forward to removing your makeup every night once and for all. 

Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser

One Love Organics

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A WOM team favorite for good reason, this gentle everyday cleanser is a showertime staple. Its winning formula includes vegetable glycerin, cold-pressed apple oil and Chilean soap bark to come together as a non-drying, nontoxic foam.  It can be used for the face, body AND hair.  It’s pretty much a miracle product in my book. 

Lavan Shaving Oil

Oui Shave

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This uniquely moisturizing lavender shave oil is great for normal to sensitive, and easily irritated, skin.  Its nourishing blend gives you a ridiculously close shave, while it repairs and hydrates the skin. I’m a big fan of its all-star lineup of ingredients; Vitamins A & C improve skin tone and texture, and Omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9 rejuvenate. 


Breathe Again

Young Living via The Well Code

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This convenient ready-to-use roll on blend features four types of Eucalyptus essential oils.  Eucalyptus contains cineole, which has been studied for its potential to support healthy lung function and reduce airway inflammation.  Along with Eucalyptus, the blend includes powerful essential oils: peppermint essential oil, myrtle essential oil and copal essential oil. 

I like to rub Breathe Again straight on my chest or under my nose, finding that it gives me fast relief when I’m stopped up.  If you haven’t dived into the whole essential oil world yet click HERE to find out why we did a few months ago and join us!

Thieves Essential Oil Infused Cough Drops

Young Living via The Well Code

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So thrilled to have an all natural cough drop on hand in case I need the relief.  These cough drops not only bring the cough to stop, they sooth sore throats and boost immunity.  I personally love the flavor too; think minty, spicy yet sweet (but with no artificial sugars or preservatives).  

Nail Polish

Smith & Cult

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Hands down, my favorite all natural nail polish brand: Smith & Cult.  This “8-free” nail polish is formulated without the eight common concerning ingredients of big-brand name polishes: Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide and Triphenyl Phosphate. 

They’re simply my favorite thanks to utterly gorgeous shades that don’t chip (I’m talking like 1-2 weeks!). Do yourself a favor and stock up on a few colors of Smith & Cult nail polish

Kale + Green Tea Spinach Age Prevention Cleanser

Youth to the People

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The gang’s all here!  No, this isn’t your favorite smoothie recipe; it’s one of my favorite face cleansers.  This Youth to the People cleanser has antioxidant-rich ingredients work that together to fight free radicals, overall redness and all the junk that hits your skin from the environment every day. It’s light, non-irritating and very, very refreshing. 

Ocean Cleansing Milk

Osea Malibu

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I feel like I’m giving my skin a big hug with this ultra soothing and hydrating cleanser. It’s gentle enough for super sensitive skin and it’s completely fragrance-free, and it has a lineup of all natural ingredients like water lily extract, chamomile essential oil and rosemary essential oil. It has the perfect amount of creaminess as it effortlessly removes impurities (and makeup) without irritating the skin’s surface.  It’s left my skin feeling sooo supple and soft. 

Atmosphere Protection Cream

Osea Malibu

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Here’s a fantastic new-to-me lightweight daily moisturizer from Osea Malibu. It  hydrates and gives your skin a barrier protection against surface damage caused by things like extreme dry climates, wind and air pollution. The ingredients are heavenly; USDA Certified Organic Algae, shea butter and avocado oil.  After applying, your skin feels silky to the touch, and it smells absolutely divine.  I think it helps the overall look of my makeup too – hydration really is key! 

Frankincense Essential Oil

Young Living via The Well Code

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Frankincense essential oil is my new trusty skincare BFF.  It’s great for my acne scars, as well as fighting fine lines and wrinkles to help reduce their appearance and support an overall healthy glow and clear complexion.  I like to apply Frank on my face “neat” without a carrier oil (after spot-testing to see how my skin would react), but you can also mix it with a carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil.  Another great application is a drop or two in your favorite daily moisturizer for an even Also, add a drop or two of frankincense to your daily moisturizer to boost its performance.

And the best news is that it comes in the Premium Starter Kit ($160 value for 11 oils, a diffuser and more) which is a great deal from the retail price of $96.71 a bottle). 

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Young Living via The Well Code

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Tea tree essential oil is a life-saver when it comes to pesky blemishes and breakouts.  It’s my go-to spot treatment that gets down to the problem STAT, and clears me up naturally.  I’d HIGHLY recommend this oil to anyone looking to add an emergency breakout solution to their beauty regimen.  

Thieves Essential Oil

Young Living via The Well Code

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By now you know of my love affair with Thieves essential oil; it’s a household staple for us now for major immunity support, dozens of nontoxic cleaning applications, as well as aromatherapy. It’s a blend of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary.

I apply a drop directly on a pesky pimple, only to see it disappear by the next day, leaving no scar. I like to think of it as a bacteria zapper around the house, and I’ve found it works wonders on my skin too. 

Cello Vanilla Rosewood Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant

No Tox Life

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I’m always on the hunt for a hard-working all natural deodorant.  If you’ve tried any, then you’ll know it’s easier said than done finding a good alternative to the big-name brand stuff you’ve used for years.  I recently tried a sample from No Tox Life and have been really pleased with the subtle fragrance and strength to fight sweat. 

5-in-1 Derma Roller

Derma System

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Only a few months ago I tried derma rolling, and I’ve been so pleasantly surprised with the results.  As someone who’s struggled with acne scars for almost all my life, I appreciate this (affordable) at-home treatment that helps exfoliate and turn over skin cells, regenerating fresh, younger looking skin. 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

Winter Beauty Refresh: The Products I Have on Rotation

Combat Common Winter Skin Woes with These Great Beauty Buys
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

Winter skin essentials via @waitingonmartha

Hello, winter skin woes (read: annoying acne breakouts, tight and dry skin and lackluster complexion); we meet again.  Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that I’m struggling with my yearly beauty battle of the cold season. I’m reaching for anything and everything that can help me fight blemishes without skipping a beat, while lining up the overnight masks and creams that can keep my skin hydrated and soft after I buff with my Clarisonic.  

I’m sharing each of the products I currently have on rotation below, but I’ve got to point out a few of the MVPs here too. As you may remember, I went on a beauty bender with Fresh products last month.  This firming overnight mask was part of the haul, and I’ll tell you: it STILL has me completely enamored; it’s rich, yet lightweight, and it’s made me wake up with a brighter glow than I thought was possible this time of year.  Obsessed, I tell you!  And to fight blemishes, I’m using NERD Skincare‘s all natural acne cleanser, which is unique in that it doesn’t have the harsh benzoyl peroxide or salycylic acid that most acne products do.  The brand is worth checking out if you’re also struggling with a bit of adult acne but can’t bother with the (damaging) drugstore duds.  The all natural acne cleanser is my current favorite, but the entire line is strong. 

The wintry cold doesn’t have me quitting my go-to, 5-free nontoxic nail polish; I’m just shifting my shades a bit darker (“Dark Like Me” and “Lovers Creep” are my favorites)!  A strong polish that’s as beautiful as it is safe (and long lasting) just cannot be beat in my mind.  Both Kat and I have tried a few other nontoxic nail polish brands, but we keep coming back to Smith & Cult for being the best.  

Check out the rest of the products below, and tell us if you’ve tried any of them too! Truly, MKR

5-Free Nail Polish

Smith & Cult, $18

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I do my own manicures at home (I actually dread the time spent in the salon chair!), so a nail polish that looks just as good by me as the professionals is key. I do the whole routine; the cuticle oil is one of my secrets to a smudge-free hand. 

Smith & Cult
is my go-to 5-free nontoxic nail polish that literally lasts longer than any other polish I’ve worn.  I have about a dozen shades at home, along with the base coat and top coat.  Once you go Smith & Cult, you’ll never look back! 

Mia Fit

Clarisonic, $219

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I can’t say enough for this little guy.  I LOVE that it’s a convenient size that I can throw in my bag when I travel.  The Mia Fit is both lightweight and waterproof, so I usually use it in the shower.

The delicate, yet powerful design is the surest way to remove makeup, buff dead skin and find soft, smooth skin beneath. The reviews say it all; people are obsessed with this Clarisonic, and I’m one of them. 

Damn Good Face Oil

Damn Good Face Wash, $40

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Not all face oils are created equal, I’m finding.  I’m currently in love with this one (and The Well Code approves).  It has an all-star lineup of ingredients: organic rosehip oil (corrects dark spots and restores suppleness), organic argan oil (an anti-oxidant that hydrates and softens), jojoba oil (a great anti-inflammatory that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and pore size), organic sea buckthorn seed oil (calms redness), vitamin e oil (a strong anti-oxidant that boosts collagen production), jasmine essential oil (tones all skin types), lavender essential oil (soothes skin), and geranium essential oil (reduces the appearance of wrinkles).

Whew! I use 2-3 drops day and night after I’m done cleansing and toning.  And I’ve got to say…it’s damn good. 

Umbrian Clay Purifying Facial Toner

Fresh, $35

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I use this toner as my second step to my daily skincare routine (after cleansing) and before applying the face oil. The umbrian clay helps purify the skin, while cinnamon bark and burnet root work to clarify.  I love the addition of lavender floral water in the mix too; it tones and balances (and relaxes me!). 

Rose Face Mask

Fresh, $62

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This face mask is a big reason my skin feels soft and supple, despite the frigid temps.  It has a unique, cooling gel formula that seriously melts into your skin.  The mask soothes and tones my complexion (I can smell the cucumber and the aloe) and it’s simply a lovely feeling on my face and neck. Another really, really great buy from Fresh.  

Clarifying Cleanser

NERD Skincare, $20

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I’ve started using this gentle cleanser daily since my skin has flared up a bit with the colder temperatures.  I have sensitive skin, so I really enjoy this plant-derived cleanser that doesn’t strip my face too harshly. 

My skin feels SO soft after using this, and I haven’t felt my usual tight, too-dry skin I usually do this time of year after cleansing. 



Jo Malone™ 'Wild Fig & Cassis' Cologne

Jo Malone London™

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I’m glad I snatched up a bottle of Wild Fig & Cassis before it was discontinued!  I know it’s just a tease to hear it now, but I just can’t get enough of the fragrance.  “Sun-warmed figs and delicate cassis is entwined with notes of hyacinth and cedarwood, enveloping the wearer in the warmth of the Mediterranean” just whisks me away to heaven.

Of course, her other fragrances are note-worthy; I’ve worn Jo Malone for years. The gift sets make great gift ideas this time of year too! 

Acne Clearing Wash

Peter Thomas Roth, $38

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Like I said earlier, I’ve experienced a few more breakouts recently than my usual.  I use this Acne Clearing Wash in the shower to help keep them under control. 

It’s alcohol and paraben free, too, so I feel better using it than, say, your standard harsh acne wash. 

Tinted Brow Gel

Anastacia Beverly Hills, $22

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I never colored or filled in my brows before.  I’ve heard many girls swear by doing it, but since have such light coloring on my face, I hadn’t really thought about doing so until recently. So when I decided to try it out, I of course looked to the go-to name in the game, Anastacia Beverly Hills.  I tried the Tinted Brow Gel in blonde, and with a few practice runs I was able to get it looking natural and subtle.  

Perfect Brow Pencil

Anastacia Beverly Hills, $23

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Another must-have in the brow department I learned: the Perfect Brow Pencil. This pencil is two-sided, giving you the means to apply and blend the color perfectly into your natural brow. I really like the consistency of this pencil; it’s a creamy formula that dries down to a natural powder finish and helps you get the most natural effect possible. I ordered the blonde shade here as well. 

Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

Fresh, $92

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I. Am. Obsessed. with this Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask by Fresh. While you sleep, your skin is already working to recover and turnover, and this mask works in sync with that!  It gives me an incredibly moisturized feel to my skin in the morning, while firmer too (I swear).

I like to apply it to my face, neck and chest, leaving it on overnight. 

The Lip Scrub

Sara Happ, $24

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I picked up this special edition lip scrub at Create & Cultivate in October, and I can’t be caught without it now.  It tastes and smells like a Sprinkles cupcake, which is AMAZING and right up my alley. But most importantly, the lip scrub is packed with essential oils that hydrate and gently exfoliate my lips so I can keep the perfect pout. Aaand it’s paraben free, which is so important in my book! 

Acne Treatment

NERD Skincare, $85

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Where was NERD Acne Treatment when I needed it years ago?!  This unique acne treatment lotion uses your own immune system to kill acne on your face by nurturing the good, acne-fighting bacteria. 
The lotion works WITHOUT damaging benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid you’ll find in other acne products.  Instead, it uses powerful plant extracts, and it’s lightweight and colorless. It’s amazing, I tell you…I swear my face looked clearer after a few days. 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

DIY Peppermint & Citrus Sugar Body & Lip Scrub

Coconut Oil, Sugar, Real Citrus & Our Favorite Essential Oils Combine to Create an easy DIY scrub
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

DIY Citrus & Sugar Peppermint Body Scrub, The Well Code #keepyourwellfull

This DIY all natural lip scrub and body scrub have my name written all over them.  Well, Kat’s too because she’s obsessed with any and all kinds of scrubs these days.  But seriously, this may be our favorite DIY since our flavored salts way back in the day.  

These scrubs prove to be excellent exfoliators and moisturizers (thanks to the Coconut Oil), with ingredients you can feel good about.  They’re great for yourself of course (at-home spa night, anyone?!), but they also make a thoughtful and affordable gift idea this holiday season.  

What you’ll need: organic evaporated sugar crystals (don’t worry, you can find them in your grocery store and on Amazon), Christmas Spirit (my favorite essential oil by far…it smells like all the Christmastime feels with its sweet, spicy blend of orange, cinnamon, and spruce essential oils), peppermint essential oil, orange zest and coconut oil.  Easy as that!  If you’re pulling together your ingredients and find yourself sans Christmas Spirit or peppermint essential oil, first be sure to enter our GIVEAWAY with The Well Code this week, but then go ahead and snag your Premium Starter Kit to get covered on that front.  And if you’re totally new to essential oils, make sure to read why we’ve become obsessed with oils over on our new site, The Well Code.

Anyway, back to the DIY at hand.  The actual process of making the DIY all natural lip scrub and body scrub is simple.  For the lip scrub, I simply combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl with my hand (it’s easiest to get your desired consistency that way).  I store it in an small airtight jar like this one.  And if I’m gifting it, I just tie with a bow and voila…the perfect little “happy”!

As for the DIY body scrub, I mix coconut oil and sugar in a stand mixer until I have a paste. After transferring it to a bowl, I mix in the orange zest and essential oils.  Lastly, I add a few drops of cranberry juice for the coloring…though I do it super slowly to get the palest of pinks (it can get red fast!).  Like with the DIY all natural lip scrub, I store the body scrub in an airtight glass container or apothecary jar in my fridge.  It’s a super easy (under 10 minutes), thoughtful, homemade treat this time of year that I’ll definitely be gifting!  Truly, MKR

P.S. Enter our essential oils giveaway HERE.  And check out my picks below for great apothecary and cosmetic jars. xo 

DIY Peppermint & Citrus Body & Lip Scrub
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
For the Lip Scrub
  1. 2 tablespoons of organic evaporated cane juice crystals
  2. 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  3. 2 drops peppermint oil
  4. 1 drop Young Living Christmas Spirit*
  5. Zest of 1/2 orange
For the Body Scrub
  1. 14 oz organic coconut oil
  2. 3/4 cup standard sugar (I used fine crystals because I don't like my body scrub to be super rough, but it's your preference)
  3. zest of 2 oranges
  4. 10 drops peppermint oil
  5. About 15 drops of Young Living Christmas Spirit*
  6. A couple drops cranberry juice (amount based on what shade of pink you want)**
For the Lip Scrub
  1. Blend all ingredients to your desired consistency (I use my fingers to really get a feel for the consistency!).
  2. Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge.
  3. Tie up with a bow, and gift away!
For the Body Scrub
  1. In a stand mixer, mix coconut oil and sugar until you have a paste.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the zest and the oil.
  3. Mix it all together, and then add a few drops of coloring ( don't want it to be red!).
  4. Store airtight in a glass container or apothecary jar in your fridge.
  5. Tie up with a bow and it's ready for gifting!
  1. *If you don't have Young Living Christmas Spirit, or can't get it (it's super popular!), sub this ingredient out for orange essential oil and a warming spice oil like cinnamon, clove or nutmeg.
  2. **You can also use beet juice or pomegranate juice for a natural pink coloring to your body scrub.
Waiting on Martha


Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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