O(dour) Naturale

One of the most obvious ways to go clean and cruelty-free (sorry, buzzwords) is switching deodorant.

While there aren’t any conclusive claims that deodorant = cancer etc, I still wasn’t happy with using something that I knew was tested on animals (looking at you Dove and Nivea) and was full of chemicals. The armpit is full of lymph nodes so I didn’t feel comfortable knowing that parabens, triclosan, aluminium and other bits were lurking in my (not-very-effective) $3 stick from the supermarket.

New-ish research also suggests that aluminium deodorants can kill off healthy bacteria living in your armpit that actually keep your body in check.

(Related: how gross is the word armpit?)

Anyway, it was just down to personal choice and I wanted to try something I knew was made out of less scary stuff.

First, I switched to Agent Nateur & Shiva Rose Holi Rose, which was gorgeous and effective but a little expensive for a month’s worth of deodorant. But again I must stress it worked really well! I’d love to use it again and I am sure I will.

agent nateur

Courtesy: Agent Nateur.

However what I hadn’t researched correctly was the transition period. Thanks to Into The Gloss here for a really great article I wish I’d read first!

I had been using big brand deodorant for about 15 years so was not prepared for what happened in the next three or so weeks, as my body got used to not being glued up with chemicals.

TL;DR: You will sweat heaps and it will smell if you don’t bring your deo with you! But I didn’t cave and go back to cheap roll-on because the end game was to detox myself from mass-produced deodorant. I took Weleda’s wild rose spray deodorant to top it up during the day. It smells gorgeous but I found didn’t work very effectively for me as an all day deodorant. Especially if you live somewhere quite warm.

I then went to Lavanila which smells great and works pretty well, but in the end I found that Noosa Basics worked the best for me. Warning though! Having a baking soda base, you can give yourself a gnarly burn if you use too much. A little will be just fine. It melts beautifully into the skin and I found it super moisturising. It also pays to wait a good few minutes before dressing so it can dry. Every time I try to put on my favourite black shirt I manage to give it a good swipe with deo first 😦 rendering it unwearable in the rush to get to work. Patting it off with a damp cloth or towel won’t cut it either. Throw that shirt in the laundry. BUT it’s still worth it!

Now I’ve discovered that Lavanila has designed an armpit detox mask to help ease the transition and honestly I wish I’d waited but part of me still really wants to try it, despite there being literally no point in me doing it now! It has a cool built-in mask brush and it’s made with charcoal, which I’m totally obsessed with. Should I do it anyway?! For fun?


Let’s go shopping

1412793-1477455243Buying ethical beauty is so easy now, as more and more retailers realise that it’s not cool to sell things that exploit people and animals.

If you work full time it can be hard to get to the shops and besides, I personally think it’s more fun to be a little picky and spend time mulling over your purchases. It’s your skin, so you can afford to be.

Having bought exclusively cruelty-free for the past few months, here’s my hit list of great places to 💸


The first place I tried Leahlani, Black Robin and Tata Harper. The lovely Eve only stocks products containing completely natural ingredients and these are all, of course, cruelty-free. Shipping is super-fast and the orders include great samples. Also you can Afterpay, so how good is that? Find it here.


Mecca can be a little on the exxy side and doesn’t offer Afterpay BUT does offer a great and easily searchable range of natural, ethical products, like Eve Lom, Chantecaille and Drunk Elephant. Again, great samples. I use these to take away travelling. So easy. Click over there now.


This is where I first went when embarking on my makeup bag purge. This site has everything you could want. And I mean everything, household stuff too. Owner Irene has such attention to detail and a commitment to ensuring the integrity of the shop’s product range. My personal favourite? Such a fab range of natural deodorant. You can rack up reward points too, which is always a bonus. All types of price points too. Check it out here.


Probably my favourite ever shopping experience. I am obsessed with Charlotte’s lipsticks and mascara. The range isn’t available in Australia so ordering from the UK is the go and the website makes this process a breeze. Shipping is really affordable and quick. The orders arrive like presents and have the best samples. Charlotte, as I’ve discussed before, is also cruelty-free. Love love love. The Australian version of the website lives on internetland here.


Samples AND a Tim Tam? Adore Beauty, you spoil me. This is where I get Jane Iredale. There’s usually some sort of fab sale. Check it out.

How to conceal a facial scab with success

I have a scab on my jawline.

It’s dark against my very pale skin and very obvious and I want it to heal ASAP, without scarring if possible. But I can’t hermit myself away because I also have to go to work and I don’t want to look like I have ringworm or only bathe once every week.

I’m not going to explain how or why I’m scabby because WE ALL KNOW AND WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE.



(It was a cystic zit and I picked it)

Anyway, after nearly 20 years of dealing with pimple scabs I have FINALLY discovered my HG.

I have one gnarly scar on the side of my face that is 14 years old and is the result of months of picking a cystic zit, covering with old grotty concealer and probably just generally being a gross teen. Luckily with age and good skincare it’s evened out and become much paler and more uniform.

I’ll probably need to get to the bottom of my picking one day, but it borders on my obsession with removing the source of the pain, and my guess is that anxiety, too, plays a big part.

No, it’s definitely anxiety. I’ve noticed a correlation between feeling anxious and picking or squeezing my face.

So when you end up with a nasty scab on your face, how in the world do you conceal that horror? First things first; you are never ever going to be able to fully disguise its colour or texture, but you can make it look a little more uniform with the rest of your skin so that you can feel ok to appear in public again.

I’ve had scabs that hung around for way too long because I was touching them and putting makeup on them too early and just generally doing the wrong things.

This one is different. It’s painless and healing quickly. So, what’s the process?


I immediately cleaned it with antiseptic, had a shower and cleaned again with my normal cleanser and just popped a sticking plaster on top – one that will not upset the fragile facial skin – and went to bed. I used clean towels and clean pillowcases to lessen bacteria transfer. Also, I was worried about scratching and touching it in my sleep and didn’t want to upset the healing process.


Washed it gently with saline and a cotton pad. I let it dry naturally and didn’t do anything else. NO MORE TOUCHING. I cleaned it again with saline at before bed and put another sticking plaster on top to minimise bacteria and prevent sleep-scratching/touching. The good thing about bandaids is they keep it moist (sorry).


Time to go to work. There is no way I am putting makeup on a fresh scab while it’s clean and healing nicely, I’m not taking any chances! I really don’t want this to scar and I definitely don’t want to dislodge any of the hard red crust on top. I’ve noticed that on other delicate skin, if I have a scab, it’s less likely to scar if the scab is allowed to fall off naturally.

How to cover this? MAGIC.

Basically, what I’m saying is I am certain that hydrocolloid bandages are actually made of fairy dust. Hydrocolloid bandages are waterproof and stick like glue, fairly un-germy and seem to help heal my zits pretty well. Whatever works for you!

These also have the great benefit of being semi-transparent, muting the redness/brown tone. Also I didn’t touch, thanks to the bandage. Win.

Got home, cleaned with my Dr Spiller cucumber cleanser (so gentle) and left it alone.

Attempting concealer today. I read online that the best way to do this is to use a paler concealer on the base and your natural skin colour on top. Ok, I thought. This will be yet another kindly but useless tip. Wrong. WRONG.

Blast away all signs of redness with a concealer that’s lighter than your natural tone. I used Jane Iredale Disappear Full Coverage Concealer in light. Yes it looks weird, but stick with me. Then cover that with a concealer that’s a match with the rest of your face. I used RMS “Un” Cover-Up in 11. Set with powder. Done.

These two concealers are great because, as always, they are cruelty-free. Jane Iredale has lovely botanicals to heal that poor, stressed skin underneath, including my gal jojoba and antiseptic rosemary extract. RMS also has rosemary 🌿

Like I said before, your scab won’t be invisible. But it will make you feel better about what you’ve done.

To remove, micellar water is great. After years of loving Bioderma I now use Sukin. It’s gentle and doesn’t leave my skin squeaky. I need to let my skin do its thing and self-moisturise as best it can. All reading I’ve done indicates that scabs are meant to be a little bit moist (sorry) to heal to the best of their ability. A tiny bit of aloe on top can help.

Repeat process from all other days until it falls off naturally.

When that blessed time arrives, I’ll use Kosmea Rosehip Oil to heal the pink skin underneath and treat myself better next time.

Are you a picker? And will you try this two-step concealer trick?

Feeling good, fast. A self-care manual.

Holly Golightly called it the mean reds. Not the blues, she clarified, but something a little more complex.

mean reds

So that’s where self-care comes in. Small and very manageable ways to help lift your mood. Or at least, ways I can lift my mood when the mean reds kick in.

Let’s start easy. I’m not going to tell you to take a bath or have a walk. These are more of the hard love variety. And they do work.

  1. Actually get out of bed and have a shower. Wash your hair. Wash your body. Wash your face. Scrub. Scrub some stuff! Scrub away the shitty feelings. Shave your legs (or face, no shade!) and put on moisturiser. And then put some real clothes on (not pjs or undies). Wasting away in bed all day is misery and wallowing in your own fust is also especially gross. Time taken: at least five minutes.
  2. Make your bed. Seriously! Think about it. There’s something a bit sad about looking at a rumpled, unmade bed. Think about how nice it is to visit hotels and peel back fresh sheets. Good feeling, right? Right. So making your bed is a super quick way to do something that’s not actually lying in bed. Just try it. Time taken: one minute.
  3. Get into the sun. Sometimes I really have to be pushed to do this, but I am learning its benefits. It’s believed that sunlight can help the body produce serotonin. Time taken: as long or as short as you like but take some tea or a book with you if you need incentive to leave your smelly, shadowy, grotty bolthole. But don’t forget your sun protection either.

Next level. Now these can take as long as you like.

  1. Switch off. Again, something I need to be reminded of, and frequently. My day job involves typing or staring at a screen for nine hours. Ever noticed that at the end of a day at the computer you feel a bit ick? Not just you. I read a 2016 study conducted upon a group of freshmen, showing that those who had “higher screen time exposure” also experienced a downturn in their mental health. Read it here, including further reading on similar anecdotal studies. Turn off the phone or computer and look at something that isn’t powered by battery.
  2. Mask up. Make yourself feel good on the outside … I cringed writing that, but it is what it is. I am loving on the Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalising Mask right now. I also got the Kosmea Five Minute Facial muslin cloth, which includes instructions on a quick massage. Pop on some facial oil, or a moisturiser that smells yum (or both) and you’ll feel better. Or at least a bit brighter.
  3. Do a couple of chores. Seriously! Put away dishes or start a load of laundry. You’ll feel accomplished, and doesn’t that make you feel good? Because let’s face it, if you knock over a load of maggoty bowls and have no clean undies while in the midst of your mean red moment, well, that can’t help.

Feeling better?