Ray is the rock. Not in the way of pro-wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, just the opposite in fact. She exudes a solid, grounded, and gentle energy in everything she does. Selfishly, this works out really well for me, as Ray does hair and makeup for RVNG and as I’ve said before – I’m an anxious introvert who really has no business being on camera. Ray has helped me calm the eff down on numerous occasions. She’s also cured me of my fear of eyelash curlers (no small feat) and doesn’t even act annoyed when I manage to somehow get chocolate and/or lipstick on every part of my face the entire time we’re filming.
She is also REALLY good at what she does, and is quietly building her own little beauty empire. I also want to note that she just ALWAYS looks fresh and beautiful, even when we meet at 8am in our soft clothes to walk the dogs at Griffith Park after a few too many tequilas the night before. Which is to say — she knows what she’s doing. And you should probably read all her tips below.
As a makeup artist and esthetician, I am constantly on the lookout for the best products that are going to be the nicest to skin. There’s sort of a stigma that natural makeup doesn’t perform as well as non-natural brands, but here are a few products I’ve found that my kit can’t live without.
Let’s start with SKINCARE, which I believe is the most important step of the day.
Wash: I like to pre-cleanse with organic coconut oil. It removes all traces of makeup (because oil attracts oil) is great for the skin, and is super hydrating. I then follow with Fresh Soy Cleanser. It will wash away all the days impurities, its cucumber extract and borage seed oil make it super luxurious, and the smell is to die for.
I like to whip up an exfoliator with products that I already have at home. This mix will slough off all the dead skin cells and tone up the skin pre-makeup.
Ray’s DIY Exfoliator
1 part baking soda
1 part apple cider vinegar
5 drops lavender oil
Mix together until it’s a paste, but the baking soda isn’t fully dissolved. (You want it to be gritty.)
Toner: I love Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. The rose and aloe make your skin feel hydrated and fresh.
Eye Cream: I’m not one of the lucky ones that wakes up with bright, bagless eyes, so this is the perfect pick me up for those mornings when you want to fake like you didn’t have one (maybe two) glasses of wine the night before. Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On. Store it in the fridge for an even cooler (see what I did there) experience.
Moisturizer: Now that I’m in my 30’s I have to worry about fine lines and wrinkles and Retinol is the best ingredient to help combat them. REN Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Ageing Cream isn’t going to dry you out like a lot of retinol products and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates or phthalates.
I also LOVE Egyptian Magic. Don’t be scared by it’s Vaseline type texture, just slather it all over your face. I use it as my night cream and my face feels like a baby’s butt the next morning. This healing balm is made of all natural products and no parabens or GMO junk and can be used for so many other purposes than just the face – hello cuticle cream!
Masque: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay does not play around! Almost every mineral found on earth is contained in it…NBD. When it interacts with the skin it creates a positive and negative charge which results in healing and nourishment. Mix equal parts powder with apple cider vinegar and spread evenly onto skin. It will get very tight, but let it dry, then wash off with water. You physically see your skin turn bright red (which subsides – don’t worry) but then comes the beautiful, blemish-free face.
Face Oil: Marula Pure Facial Oil is oh so luxurious and smells amazing. Massage this into your skin post moisturizer or tap some onto your cheeks post makeup application for that dewy fresh face look.
Now MAKEUP! Now that your skin is lookin bright and tight, you are ready to beat that face.
Concealer: Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is full coverage and won’t crease, which is great under the eye. Just make sure to get a pink or peach based color if you are trying to hide those dark under eye circles.
Eyes: Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara. This mascara is great because it basically does everything. Lifts, curls, lengthens, volumizes, blah blah, you get the picture. Basically the Martha Stewart of mascara.
Lip and Cheek: I love a multitasking product and Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint is no exception. It’s long lasting, hydrating and will give your lips a bit of a plump and the colors make me happy. I always try to use cream cheek colors because your face just looks more dewy and healthy.
Now that you’ve got your face on, go out there and FACE that day. And remember, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Illustration by Goldfeather
Heidi wore a giant plastic butt and sang Bootylicious at the campfire talent show the night before my wedding. It’s important to know this because when you first meet her, you think she’s demure and elegant, and she is, but she’s also hilarious and real AF.
I’m a songwriter and write empowering songs for strong women like Natasha Bedingfield, Cheryl Cole, and the ladies of Little Mix—I’ve actually had two #1 hits in the UK! I’m very “girl power” and I love what I do. I believe that a person’s skin tells so many stories about them. Freckles tell stories of sunshine. Wrinkles tell stories of laughter and pain. The shades and the textures of our skin tell of our hard work, places we’ve traveled, years we’ve lived and learned. (Do I sound wise yet?)
I didn’t care at all about my skin until I woke up this last Christmas and realized that in exactly six months I’d turn 30. So I decided I needed to start 2016 off with a kickass skin care regimen, introduce some products and habits into my life that would help me have young and radiant skin forever. Because no matter how rich and famous I get, I refuse to do weekly botox and yearly facelifts like So-and-So and You-Know-Who. I refuse to erase the stories my skin wants to tell. (See how I tied that all together?)
Honeyskin Aloe Vera + Manuka Honey Cream – This is the ultimate face and body cream for people like me who have sensitive skin. I also travel a lot, which means I’m exposed to different seasonal allergens, temperatures, water, etc. The cream is made up of organic superfoods that help treat rosacea, rashes, dry skin, you name it. And besides, who doesn’t love honey?!
Queen Bee Organics Vitamin K Serum – Thanks to Vitamin K, we have blood-clotting proteins in our bodies that help us not bleed to death when we get minor cuts. Eating fish, green vegetables and drinking lots of water provides Vitamin K for our insides. Vitamin K serum helps with dark circles and bruises on our outside. I’m a huge klutz and I don’t sleep enough so this stuff comes in handy.
Non-toxic Nail Polish – They say a girl who has perfectly manicured nails is a girl who has her shit together. I don’t know who ‘they’ are and I actually know they’re wrong…but I like to appear to have my shit together and I find painting my own nails bold colors to be very therapeutic. Butter has the best polishes and the best Brit-inspired names. I’m wearing “Snog” as we speak…
Papaya, avocado, beans, and anything high in fiber – I always say, “You’re sure to feel super with a healthy pooper.” When I’m regular I feel like a gazelle. My skin feels better, my hair styles better, I sleep better, I drive better. It’s an all-around life improvement. It’s important to keep those intestines happy. Eat fiber.
Sleeeeeep – If I don’t get eight hours of sleep then I can hardly function. I wake up cranky and bloated and ready to go all crazy Latina on the first person who crosses me. If I could sleep for eight months straight like in those astronaut movies I probably would. Sleep is amazing.
Comedy – I try to go to standup and improv comedy shows as often as I can. It’s not hard to find incredible talent where I live (Los Angeles), but even watching standup shows on Netflix is great. I’m taking Improv 101 classes with a couple friends right now, too. Laughter and silliness is the best and I believe it will keep us young and beautiful more than anything else. Totally worth the laugh lines.
FOLLOW HEIDI @HEIDIROJASMUSIC
illustration by Goldfeather
I met Donna while we were both deep in the small biz hustle in San Francisco. She was running a kitchen shop called Pot & Pantry where you could buy and sell high-end vintage kitchen equipment and cookware (a genius idea); I was hawking my raw vegan desserts for Sidesaddle Kitchen. We commiserated over the struggle to pay our bills and our lack of social lives.
Since then she’s continued to do a bunch of cool stuff. She now works as a buyer for Heath Ceramics, basically finding and developing new products and creative collaborations (amazing, right?) and is also an illustrator (you can see some of her work here).
She is incredibly smart and talented, smart as a whip, and secretly a really, really good dancer. She also has bangin style and glowing skin that just looks more and more like a baby’s butt every time I see her. It’s annoying. Anyway, here are her natural beauty faves!
Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer SPF 47: I was so happy when I finally found a moisturizer/SPF that made my combo skin feel balanced. It’s super light and absorbs fast—my skin just drinks it up. After it soaks in, my face has a delicious elasticity and tackiness not unlike risen dough (in the best way possible)
Squalane Oil: Even though I have combination skin and I’m prone to oiliness, I like to moisturize since thirsty skin produces even more oil to overcompensate. A few years ago, I got really into a certain Japanese brand of squalane oil—until I learned it may or may not be made of shark liver (which would technically make it squalene oil—with an ‘e’—but that’s another story). What the what! I couldn’t find a definitive answer anywhere, so that freaked me out. Obviously, I stopped using that brand immediately, erring on the side of caution. I loved what it did for my skin though, so I’ve been trying this random brand I found online that’s derived from olives instead. It’s been a lifesaver in this record breaking California cold weather! I want to try argan oil next.
Activated Charcoal Sponge: I use this little sponge in the shower after my skin’s had a chance to soften up. While the sponge is still dry I like to use it to gently exfoliate, and once it’s moist I rub it all over my t-zone. The charcoal is extra purifying which helps prevent breakouts and clears up my pores.
Klorane Dry Shampoo: The best solution when you’re too lazy to wash your hair. Lifesaver!
RMS Makeup Remover Wipes: I’m SO bad at washing my face at night (especially when traveling!) so these make me a little less gross.
Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Soap: We buy a big bulk jug of it and use it for everything, all the time. The peppermint is my favorite for morning showers, since it really helps wake me up and feel refreshed. (They’re not lying when they say it “tingles”!). Smells great, works great, and the hippie propaganda packaging is tops.
illustration by Goldfeather
Novena just has the magic. She’s a brilliant entertainer, virtuosic musician, and self-described “one hundred trick pony” because she has a hand in so many different creative projects. She’s annoyingly gorgeous and charismatic, all with a heart of gold and lots of endearingly bad jokes. She also tours with Wallpaper (which also happens to be my husband’s band).
My favorite thing about Novena, though, is how she’s willing to make huge silly faces while she’s performing. Crazy faces. There’s something incredibly empowering about a woman who is more concerned with her performance than looking “pretty.” That said, Novena also has glowing skin and sparkly eyes and is a megahunk and HERE ARE ALL HER SECRETS.
“You’ve probably heard it before: our skin is the largest organ of our body. Super porous, it absorbs everything, which ends up inside our beautiful bodies. And since the skin is just sitting there on the outside (not protected like internal organs), it’s super vulnerable to like, everything. Living in a major city – Los Angeles – my skin and hair eat all kiiiinds of bulllshit on the regular like smog and hard water. So, I try to do my best to help them out with the loveliest of nourishment I can manage. Often the most basic ingredients is all they need, and when choosing products I veer towards those with few, non-toxic ingredients. Ingredients that are literally edible are a bonus, because your skin is actually eating what’s on it, in a sense. Here are some things that my skin and hair enjoys eating.”
S.W. Basics Toner S.W. Basics advertises that they use 5 ingredients or less in all of their products. Great sign! Their toner indeed has only 5 ingredients including raw apple cider vinegar, which naturally kills many types of bacteria. sidenote: I try to drink a tablespoon of vinegar a day due to all of its potential benefits. Anyway, the toner is nice, gentle and simple and I’m into it. $20, Target
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask This is the first mask I’ve every tried that truly makes me glow after one application. At least two other people I’ve talked to have said the exact same thing. It ain’t cheap, so I tend to use it more before special occasions when I want to be extra glowy. $58, Sephora
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil There are so many brands of coconut oil. I don’t think you can go wrong as long as it’s organic, virgin and pure. I usually get the Trader Joe’s brand because I’m pretty much at Trader Joe’s every day. Coconut oil is just a lovely, natural moisturizer for everything: face&body, lips, hair. And you can use the same jar for cooking!! In truth I have separate jars because I don’t want hair in my curry or coconut pancakes (got a great recipe for that fyi)…but that’s just me. Do you, mami! $15, Amazon
NOW Solutions Organic Sweet Almond Oil Coconut oil is a great every-day moisturizer, but when I want my limbs to really shine, this is my go-to. When I want to show-off my legs, for example, the difference between average moisturizer and almond oil is night and day especially for deeper skin tones. The almond oil enhances muscular definition and basically give my legs the voice to say, “kakow!” Also great for massages. aaaoooowww! $11, Amazon
Honey Body Polish Love this as a face mask. It has raw honey and turmeric in it which are both super good for you, and I am ALL about. I talked a male visitor (who had never used a face mask before) into trying it and I-kid-you-not, that same day someone commented on what lovely skin he had. $15, Forgotten Essentials
Kinky-Curly Curling Custard I have very curly hair that gets frizzy. This curling custard provides hold and definition without making my hair crispy. And it smells divine too! I’ve been using it for at least four years now. $15, Amazon
Tropical Vacation – It’s not a product. It’s an activity. I just spent two weeks in Cuba, and my hair and skin were so naturally moist 24/7 from the humidity. It was fabulous! A natural facial. Ok, of course we can’t always go/be on a tropical vacation, but while in dry LA I do get some (some!) similar results from sleeping with a humidifier in my room and/or visits to a steam room. humidifier, $30, Amazon
Laugh – Laughing releases feel-good endorphins which… feel good. It also increases immune cells and makes me feel prettier. An authentic smile and laugh are actually my favorite, natural beauty accessories. $0, here
I’m lucky to have Melanie as a friend. She is an encyclopedia of nutritional information, has a rolodex of all the local healers I need to help my screwed up back, and always has at least 3 giant jugs of things fermenting in her kitchen (you can see her in this video teaching me how to make kompot!) She’s an amazing writer and illustrator, but she also loves comic books and dressing up for renaissance fairs and went to a summer camp that was completely devoted to living like Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie. I KNOW. She’s a real weirdo and I love her.
I realized that I was texting her pretty much daily to ask her about different natural beauty products because I was having a hard time figuring out stuff that ACTUALLY WORKED on my permanently dry skin and Italian undereye circles, so I decided that I should be sharing some of this Mel wisdom, so here it goes – illustrated by none other than Mel herself!
Since our skin is our biggest (and most absorbent) organ, it’s extremely important to me that everything I put on my face and body is as natural and non-toxic as possible. But it can be really annoying trying to find natural and organic beauty products that actually work. (The struggle is REAL, you guys.) Luckily, over the years I’ve found some incredible products that make me look good and feel good every time I use them. Here they are!
Thayer’s Lemon Witch Hazel I’ve been using Thayer’s religiously for almost a decade now. This stuff keeps my skin perfectly clear—it never dries it out or leaves junk behind. Obsessed!
Andalou Naturals CC Cream with Rose Stem Cells Smells like a thousand roses and makes your skin even, luminous and perfect. Need I say more??
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer This stuff is pure magic. This universally flattering organic highlighter makes you instantly look like a glowing baby angel. My secret weapon.
Honest Beauty Créme Blush in Truly Flirting The most gorgeous peachy-pink blush. It stays on all day and gives you the perfect rosy glow. It also looks great on your lips!
Apivita Lip Care with Black Currant I was traveling in Greece a couple years back and randomly found this in a natural beauty store in Santorini. It has since become my go-to lip tint. I was over the moon when I found it online stateside. It’s the perfect juicy, sheer cherry color—and it’s free of all the usual toxic gunk usually found in lip products!