Our Editors Share Their Go-To Natural Beauty Products
Our Editors’ Beauty Capsule Routine
What are you wearing on your face right now? Are you done up, or proudly au-naturale? You might be surprised to find me often sporting a bold lip on days where I have Zoom meetings. Alongside the serious and heavy things, this past year has been my “lipstick testing ground”—where I explore new shades and hone my technique. The stakes feel lower on a pixellated video screen, so I don’t feel as self-conscious about coffee cup smudges or errant flecks of red on my teeth.
After months of varying degrees of success, I think I’m ready to go pro (aka into the real world with a bold pink lip once it’s safe to go mask-free). But this personal renaissance has me wondering—what beauty products or “hacks” are my team members at The Good Trade loving right now?
Below, each of our editors shares four of their current favorite products, pulled directly from their routines. Whether it’s skin care, makeup, hair care, or otherwise, here’s what helps us all feel a little—a little—more pulled together.
What are your favorite natural beauty products or tips? Drop them in the comments below!
Because I’ve been spending more time on video than ever, I’ve opted for more color than less. I get washed out easily, and my face looks like a blank thumb if I don’t add a little dimension to it before logging on. But I keep it simple: SPF, eyes, lips, and cheeks, and I’m ready to go. Sometimes when I’m feeling dramatic, I’ll add a little brow tint to my barely-there blonde eyebrows—but most days, I don’t have the emotional bandwidth for it, you know?
I’m currently squeezing the last drops out of my ILIA foundation, which according to Twitter, is the same product that AOC uses, so I consider that a hearty reco. The coverage is just right—I get a slight sheen from it at first, and once it fully settles, you’d never know I was wearing anything. I dab a little color and highlighter from NOTO’s multi-purpose sticks on my cheekbones and gently blend with my fingers (their Hydra Highlighter makes me feel like an Instagram model). I swipe on whatever mascara I can reach first (usually ILIA).
The hero of my look is usually a Kosas lip product. The lipstick colors are perfect, and they last a large portion of the day without re-applying. (If I am wearing a mask, a light tint works too—this hyaluronic lip balm gives just enough color. It’s so hydrating that sometimes I put it on before bed…but then it gets all over my pillowcase, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re precious about your linens.)
Speaking of bedtime—I drink at least one large mug (sometimes a full pot) of peppermint tea every night. I can’t get enough! I tend to wake up less crusty-feeling whenever I’m adequately hydrated before sleep, and this loose-leaf tea from Rishi is organic, US-grown, affordable, and extremely delicious. (A one-pound bag lasts me almost six months!)
Rishi Peppermint Tea | $22/lb
I inherited dark under-eye circles, so when I’m not in the mood to apply makeup or am simply having a day that I want to embrace rather than conceal them, I combat their “tired” connotation with a few favorites.
First things first, to quite literally glisten, I rub a few drops of organic rosehip seed oil onto my face. (If I’m going outside though, I opt for a sunscreen with a bit of sheen as opposed to a mattifying one.) Even once the oil fully absorbs and I lose the shine, I know that I’m still getting its antioxidant and hydrating benefits. Then, the real rescuer: I apply Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (in cherry or rhubarb) to my lips and—wait for it—my cheeks! A blot on the former and blending on the latter immediately makes me look and feel rosy and refreshed. (I also use an eyelash curler, sans mascara, to further awaken my eyes.) Together, I’ve found these two can usually fend off even the most dulling effects of Zoom cameras.
In the evening, I care for my curly hair with a long, restorative routine. Once a week, after shampooing and detangling, I comb a few dollops of deep conditioner from my roots to my ends, pin my curls up, and cover them with both a shower cap and twisted towel. (This naturally creates moderate heat for a better penetrating treatment.) I leave the conditioner in for at least 30 minutes and use that time to pursue any self-care practice of my choice—which is often doing absolutely nothing.
Finally, before bed, I gently work Ursa Major’s Recovery Cream into my face. It smells delicious (which instantly puts me in a good mood), is rich but goes on silky, and I’ve convinced myself that its golden color—likely courtesy of the calendula—rubs off on me a bit too for a golden glow.
Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer | $4.99
Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque | $13.99
When it comes to beauty and skin care, I prefer to keep things simple. Too many serums and oils in my tiny bathroom cabinet feels overwhelming, to the point that I end up skipping it all and opting for a splash of water on my face. I’ve learned to focus on actionable skincare steps instead, like hydration and sun protection, and then only invest in a few quality products. These are the ones I’ve tested and love enough to spend money on. They nourish my skin and enhance natural beauty rather than masking or changing it.
First up is the day bottle from Bink. I know—it’s not a beauty product, but hang with me. I recently purchased this 27 oz glass bottle, and I love it so much that I bought a second one as a gift. It comes with a hydration tracking sleeve, and you can add-on the food-grade silicone lounge straw + cap (do this). I drink so much more water when using a straw, especially when sitting at a desk all day. Hydration, IMO, is really everything when it comes to healthy and glowing skin, which is why I consider a fancy water bottle a beauty essential.
Next up is a baseball cap. Again, not a beauty product, but I digress. I wear hats pretty much everywhere in the spring and summer. My hair is super thin, so it gets oily, and ball caps are the perfect low-maintenance fashion staple, especially in a pinch. Better yet, they protect my sunburn-prone skin and scalp from LA rays. This one from tentree is ethically made from organic cotton, and 10 trees are planted for each product purchased.
For actual beauty products, there are two that I absolutely love: Biossance’s Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (EWG verified, cruelty-free and vegan) and Town & Anchor’s Golden Masque (made with organic, cold-pressed oils). I love keeping the mask in the fridge so that it’s cold on application, and the oil is a nightly ritual that is as easy as it feels luxurious. Though not cheap, a few drops go a long way, and it’s worth it to wake up with soft, silky skin.
Bink Made Day Bottle | $38
tentree Baseball Cap | $35
My husband and I recently moved to the West Coast, which is pretty much the catalyst behind most of my current products. Allow me to explain.
The water is much harder for my hair than I was used to in NYC. So the first couple of weeks, my hair felt pretty…we’ll go with the word grimy. It never fully dried, felt oily and clumpy, and not at all what I’m used to. After getting a water purifier for the shower and this Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, my hair is feeling so much healthier and silkier. I love that it’s USDA-approved as a Biobased product and has so many certified organic ingredients.
We also moved cross-country during a pandemic (4/10, would not recommend unless absolutely needed). That stress and maskne combined with recent laser hair removal on my face means my skin has been acting up like never before. I’ve regularly woken up with new ingrown cysts or pimples along my mask lining when I normally have pretty smooth skin. So I’ve been using two natural products that have helped calm down both acne and redness: Nuria’s Hydrate Moisturizing Toner and Biossance’s Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer.
The toner is vegan and cruelty-free, made entirely of green ingredients, and sales benefit my favorite nonprofit She’s the First! And then the gel moisturizer is a God-send; I could see the effects almost overnight, which I’ve never really said about any product. I ended up buying it originally in a Biossance sampler kit, and now I’m a committed believer.
Finally, my skin has been drier out in California compared to the humidity I’m used to, so it’s also quite rough at the moment. I’ve been excited to try xo Brown Girl’s Body Nectar, especially because I am obsessed with floral scents. It’s made in small batches with plant-based ingredients, particularly ones that work for melanated skin like mine, so it checks allll the boxes. I’m just impatiently waiting for it to get to my mailbox.
Social & Community Lead
Ahh, this is my most dreaded question! Everyone on the team knows that I only just started washing my face about two years ago. (Ok…one year ago. Don’t shame me!!). Since the start of COVID’s sheltering-in-place orders, I’ve found myself leaning into beauty and skincare, reading more about how to pronounce bakuchiol, what order to layer skincare products in, and so on. My biggest issue with skin care is that it’s all trial-and-error, and as an indecisive person, this is hard for me! These products are things that I’ve found to swear by and that my dry-as-the-desert skin seems to respond well to.
My number one most favorite beauty hack is sunscreen, especially for your face. HELLO! You’ve gotta wear it every day, whether you want to or not, even indoors. I learned that after researching a Reels we published on blue light (hint: it’s not great for skin). I’ve religiously applied body sunscreen since I can remember, thanks to my mother’s English genes, but I’ve recently been trying out different face-specific sunscreens and love this one by Supergoop.
Any additions to my new “beauty routine” are few and far between, but when I do feel like it, I’ll apply a colored eyeliner (if I’m feeling playful) and a swipe of mascara. I realized pretty quickly into the pandemic that I don’t actually care if I feel like I’ve painted a face on, so to speak. It doesn’t make me feel any more “me!” Instead, I’ve been focusing a lot on my eyebrows—I love that brushed up, bushy look, so lately, I’ve been applying castor oil at night and vowing not to touch them. Even the strays! I like the way they’re naturally filling in, especially since I used to powder-fill them. I stopped that on March 12, 2020 and haven’t looked back.
Another before-bed, overnight treatment I love is the cocokind resurfacing sleep mask. As I mentioned, I have no established skincare routine 😬, so I love that I can put this on, forget about it, and rinse off in the shower the next morning. It makes me feel like I glazed donut when I wake up. It’s the easiest way to glow-up. ✨
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio. Say hi on Instagram!