The Clean Routine – Jil Carrara
Sustainable Fashion Blogger
“The women in my family are all kind of obsessed with skincare but not very into make-up.”
I just graduated from London College of Fashion with a BA in Fashion Styling. Now I’m putting my education to work running my blog, devoted to sustainable fashion and natural beauty. I’m half German and half Italian, and even though I grew up in Italy, the German side of my family has always had a mentality of choosing more natural, organic options. It’s so normal over there! When my mom moved to Italy, she brought this mindset with her. The women in my family are all kind of obsessed with skincare but not very into make-up and that’s my approach as well. Everyone from my grandma to my sisters would have a shelf of creams each and share all these tips and tricks to naturally improve the skin, but only own one mascara and a single lipstick. My grandma’s skincare mantra that she has really ingrained in me is ‘The sleep you get before midnight is the most important.’ Because even when you sleep in late – if you didn’t get any sleep before 12, it’ll show on your face.
“One beauty advice I got from my mom and have been really sticking to is ‘Drink water!’“
I started eating very health-consciously when I was around 17, and immediately noticed such a huge difference. That was also around the end of puberty for me, so timing might have had an influence, too. Now I don’t label myself. It’s all about eating what is good for you and works, so I focus on eating whole foods that support my body. I’d say I’m 95% plant-based. I find that healthy fats are so important for the skin and luckily I love avocados. I eat one a day. One beauty advice I got from my mom and have been really sticking to is ‘Drink water!’ It actually changes your skin if you drink good quality water that has all these minerals in it. I used to start off my days by drinking lemon juice first thing in the morning but I recently made the switch to one tablespoon of Aloe Vera juice (vegan) in a big glass of water. It gently helps wake up the digestive tract and is detoxifying.
In the mornings I just wash my face with water. I already cleansed the night before, so I think a cold splash is enough. Yes, cold, because that’s supposed to firm your skin. I swear by coconut oil for practically anything in life and put it on my face most mornings as a moisturizer. If I’m feeling especially dry, I’ll also spritz on some Mount Purious rosewater (vegan). Growing up between Italy and Germany, and now living in London, I’ve always travelled a lot. There’s something about airplane air that just sucks everything out of your body and this rosewater is my essential on long haul flights. I always mist some on before boarding the plane for extra hydration. Drinking a lot also makes a huge difference when you’re flying. I noticed that even when I drink a ton of water while up in the air, I don’t even really need to go run to the bathroom all that much. I feel like my body just absorbs every drop can get. My rule – one liter per hour!
I only started switching to organic products around 6 months ago and I still haven’t found a foundation I like. So on days when I want to wear make-up I’ll use one that I have left over and mix it equal parts with Weleda Iris moisturiser. I don’t like the feeling of having a lot of product on my face – what’s worse than getting foundation smeared all over your phone screen? That’s why I like to thin my foundation out. My lipstick also still is a relict from my days of using conventional beauty. I’ll use that up before I go shopping for a green one! I have this deep red colour that I especially love.
I always either focus on eyes or lips. Brown eyeshadow works well for me, and I like to use the Lavera Mineral Eyeshadow Palette (vegan). The BYBI Babe Balm (vegan) is great to illuminate the cheekbones. It’s a really nourishing and versatile formula and you can use it as a balm on dry skin as well. I usually paint my nails using Kure Bazaar and find that they hold up quite well, but I definitely am planning on getting their top coat. With all the washing up I do, nail polishes always chip really easily.
My nighttime makeup isn’t very different from my usual look. Honestly, I’d rather wear red lipstick to the farmer’s market and go to the party bare-faced. I like the contradiction.
At night I use a Sante makeup remover (vegan) and wash my face using Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel. I’m very loyal to beauty products that work for me and this one has been with me for ages. But I just used up a bittle and I hope I can replace it with a natural alternative soon. My nighttime moisturizer? Coconut oil! I’ve also tried oil pulling and seen results immediately. But I just can’t commit to it. As much as I love it everywhere else, sitting around with coconut oil in my mouth for twenty minutes constitutes the ultimate form of boredom to me.
Almond oil is another key part of my beauty routine. It works miracles on dry skin, nails, or even lashes! Every evening I massage some into my nails and gently push back the cuticles. They used to be really brittle and bendy and have now gotten a lot sronger thanks to the daily attention. I’ve gotten all my friends into doing it, too – Then one of them actually called me up and said ‘Jil, my nails are growing like crazy. I can’t trim them every other day’, so then she had to stop using it.
My hair is all-natural! I had a brief interlude of trying red when I was in my teens but other than that I’ve been wearing it like this. Lately I’ve been feeling like changing it up a bit and maybe going for blonde but I spend so much time in Italy anyways, so the sun usually lightens it during the summer. Sometimes I like to accelerate that process with some old-fashioned lemon juice. I wash my hair once or twice a week with Faith in Nature Coconut shampoo and conditioner. I use lukewarm water to wash and cold water to rinse. I think doing this has made my hair much more resilient. Once a month I do a hair mask with my favourite raw cold-pressed Coconut Oil (vegan). I told you, it goes in everything!
I also like to experiment with DIY skincare. Mixing good-quality organic honey, oats and coconut oil makes for a great exfoliator. My signature body scrub is coffee grounds, salt and coconut oil, I use that every saturday in the shower and it smoothes and, surprisingly, really tones the skin. It also makes you smell like coconut, which in my mind is the best fragrance in the world. Never give me perfume as a gift – it’ll just sit on the shelf.
Every time I go back to Germany, I come back with a huge pack of Luvos Heilerde (vegan), which I’ve been using as a mask for almost 10 years. You can get the dry powder for just a couple Euros and mix it with some water at home.