For natural beauty blogger Kate Murphy, learning to read ingredient lists was a skill she developed at a young age, thanks to her first wellness icon: her mom. But while the Canada-born, Norway-based blogger's family focused on organic cleaning supplies and DIY health remedies, Murphy was on her own when it came to figuring out how to navigate the world of sulfate-free shampoos and paraben-free lipsticks.
"I began doing research on natural cosmetics only to find there wasn't much out there," she says. And so Murphy decided to become the resource that she wished existed, launching Living Pretty Naturally four years ago. Since then the blog has since grown to cover everything from concealers that won't rub off by the time you get to the office to interviews with her favorite yoga instructors. (Plus, it just underwent a major redesign—because sometimes beauty really is skin deep.)
Having tried so many products, Murphy knows a thing or two about the creme de la clean creme. But when it comes to staples, the natural beauty guru turns to an oldie-but-goodie: "I use coconut oil just about everywhere and on anything—maybe even too much! I rub it on my body as a moisturizer, create hair masks, use it to remove tough eye makeup, cook with it, spread it with some honey on warm gluten-free breads, and oil pull with it," the blogger says. She adds, "There are very few things that this little beauty essential can’t do." We'll co-sign that.
If you've already mastered the art of coconut oil and are looking for a few new products to fill your cabinets, here’s what else the natural beauty guru is currently using on her skin, hair, and even in her smoothies.
"Beauty Dust is your little helper [for getting] glowing supple skin, lustrous shiny hair, and twinkling bright eyes from the inside. I take this in my smoothies or in warm water in the mornings. Key ingredients such as schisandra and rehmannia are so powerful. Schisandra is an adaptogenic herb used in Chinese medicine and is known for its ability to act as a potent antioxidant and liver protectant, as well as help provide glowing skin. And the goji and rehmannia both repair inflammation—hello, anti-aging! It's a great way to get a nice, strong kick of adaptogens and herbs in an easy way."
"This is a new favorite of mine. The cream's cucumber and horse chestnut [makes it] really lightweight, yet instantly revitalizes the eye contour, and the prawn sage has powerful anti-aging properties. It has a nutty scent and literally melts into the eye—but leaves no grease, meaning no smeared mascara. I’ve been using it day and night for the past few weeks and think the immediate results are brilliant."
"Hands down, this is one of my all-time favorite natural beauty products. It’s like the fountain of youth in a cute little glass jar. I use it to create a natural glow by applying with my fingers and blending under the brow bones, on the upper cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and the top of the cupid’s bow on my upper lip. This is one product I will never live without. I think it makes me look younger by giving me a dewy glow appearance."
"This is also one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful rose water made with Vor-mag water—that's water that has been vortexed and magnetized to raise the energy to a higher vibration—and rosa damascena flower oil. I put it everywhere—by my bed, my couch, and my sink—and use it religiously after I use serum or facial oil... or really anytime I want a little lift I give a spritz! Plus, it's OTC and cheap, so I can easily put a few bottles all over my house."
"I’ve tried most natural deodorants out there, and this one is by far has been the most effective. Made out of fine vegetable powders and clays, as well as lavender, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils, it is quick to absorb moisture and inhibit bacteria. The one thing I would mention is be sure not to shave your armpits right before putting it on, as baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. But you don’t need much!"
Loving Kate's ideas? Check out her easy-to-make DIY body scrub—or get more expert-approved tips like nail polish pioneer Deborah Lippman's skincare routine and Gwyneth Paltrow's latest healthy obsessions.
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