My weakness? Dior. Lip. Glow. Ever since Annie introduced me to the soft, pout-plumping formula, I have been absolutely hooked. It’s the ideal balance of lipstick and lipgloss – not too dry, not too moist and leaves the most delicate trace of color. The only problem is, it’s not exactly clean.

I know, beauty routines are never perfect. 100% nontoxic is tough to achieve, especially if you wear makeup. But when it comes to something you’re applying to your lips all day long, it’s wise to go organic. Just think about it – what’s on your lips normally ends up in your stomach. Would you want to eat regular lipstick? I don’t think so.

Since I’m a big believer in having your cake and eating it too, I set out on a mission to find the healthy DLG. (I know that metaphor didn’t exactly work there, but let’s just go with it). I can’t lie. It wasn’t easy. I spent weeks scouring the shelves of clean beauty havens in NYC. Most things I tried just didn’t cut it. They were either too dry or too creamy, two characteristics that just won’t do for this kind of lip essential.

I was about to give up my search, until I found Henne Organics while browsing a CAP Beauty in the West Village. CAP is one of my favorite beauty stops. They always have the latest and greatest in gross-free beauty, plus the vibe is just so good. In other words: I should have known they’d have what I was looking for.

So, back to Henne. Here’s what’s up in a nutshell… It’s an American-made, female-run brand inspired by the minimalism of Scandinavia. The line of lip tints comes in 4 colors (and they are all conveniently sold online at Amazon right here): Intrigue (dark red), Bare (nude), Azalea (pink) and Coral (self-explanatory, no?). I am partial to the Coral, since it most closely resembles the orangey-pink of my beloved DLG.  It’s not an exact copy, of course, but it sure does make me feel a little less bad when I go to apply it 10+ times a day. Do you have a favorite all-natural lip go-to? Let us know in the comments! 

Story by Lexi Tollefsen.

This seasonal, heart-warming recipe was adapted from this recipe by the Queen herself, Ina Garten. I just love her recipes (who doesn’t) because they are ALWAYS delicious and quite easy to follow. But because I really don’t do dairy or gluten and I try to avoid excess amounts of sugar, I always have to replace Ina’s love for butter and sugar with something else. Ina loves her sugar. I actually followed her recipe pretty closely the first time I made this recipe (cutting out butter though) and it was just a bit to sweet, even for me. I think you will really love my version. It’s super creamy, filling and oh so good for you.

It’s fall in Switzerland, and it’s actually my first fall since moving to Europe in January. The leaves here turn bright orange and yellow and the air is super crisp. It reminds me of New England fall, but just grander. One Sunday afternoon, I whipped up this simple, delicious and nutritious purred soup for Henry and I, and we have been making it ever since. Like literally once a week. I will make it over the weekend and it will last me throughout the whole week for lunch or easy dinners. I like this recipe because it uses ingredients that are seasonal. I bought everything from the bio stand a the farmers market, so I know that nothing has been effected with chemicals. Butternut squash is so awesome – its low in fat and is full of fiber. It also has lots of potassium and Vitamin B6 which is essential for the proper function of the nervous and immune systems.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons good olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow (or white) onions (3 large)
3 cloves garlic
5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
1 1/2 pounds sweet apples (4 apples)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups water
2 Tbs vegetable bouillon
Hefty splash of white wine

Directions

Warm the olive oil and onions in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot. Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks. Add the squash, apples, pepper, water, vegetable bouillon and the white wine to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Remove from the heat and puree the soup (in intervals) using a heavy-duty blender or Vitamix. Pour the soup back into the pot. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot, or let it cook and store it in your fridge for the rest of the week. If the soup is too thick, add in water to change the consistency.

When the seasons change, I always take a second look at my skincare routine. With years of practice, I’ve gotten pretty good at adjusting my line-up depending on the climate and what’s been up in my life. But when I need a little extra help, I call up the experts. I recently checked in with my go-to facialist here in Zurich (Beauty Care for those of you who are interested), as well as my dermatologist. They helped set me back on track for the fall season ahead.

While embarking on this little reset, I figured I would share the details with all of you – both what I’ve learned over the years and how the pros have guided me. Finding a routine is actually pretty easy once you master the fundamentals. In 5 steps, you can create a stellar skin-changing routine. Seriously. Here’s what you need to know…

Step 1: Cleanser

In a nutshell – get all the gross stuff off your face

Cleansing isn’t optional, especially at the end of the day. Clean skin = clear skin. I’d say that out of the whole routine, the washing part is probably my least favorite, which is why I look for cleansers that quickly get the job done and leave my skin feeling sparkling and plump. You’ve got to find one that feels the best to you. Here are a few all-stars by texture:

Lotion – Even thought I’m personally not a lotion girl, I do really like Pai’s Gentle 2-in-1 Cleanser and Eye Makeup Remover. It’s great if you have red or sensitive skin and the packaging makes it perfect for travel.

Oil ­– My favorite oil cleanser is by One Love Organics. It’s a really like oil and it smells like pineapples and it dissolves everything. Tatcha’s one step Camellia Cleansing Oil is the runner up in the oil-cleansing department.

Sudsy – I love Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser because it creates a rich lather to wash away the day. It’s packed with antioxidants and rose hip (one of my favorite ingredients), so it leaves your face super tight after.

Double Cleanse – If you feel like you still have a bit of makeup from the day, I HIGHLY suggest Erno Laszlo’s tried and true Light Controlling Lotion. It gently exfoliates and tightens pores. I am obsessed with the smell. It reminds me of my childhood. It was the first skincare line I ever used, as introduced by my mom.

 

Step 2: Serum

In a nutshell – a concentrated potion aimed at treating your specific problem areas.

Serums are the key to retaining that youthful glow as long as possible. There are all different kinds of serums geared towards a host of issues: anti-aging, acne, dullness, fine lines, age-spots…You get the point, right? Here are my favorites by type:

For Hydration – You will love Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyluronic Acid Serum. This plumps skin and gives you a dewy finish.

For Targeting Redness & Acne – Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Calming Serum is also amazing. It’s good for just about anyone dealing with redness, uneven skin tone, acne. It does what it says and calms the skin right down. It’s a miracle product.

For Plumping – Tata Harper’s Concentrated Brightening Serum is still one of my favorites, because it makes my skin feel really tight and leaves a flowing finish. Also, you can’t not mention serum these days without mentioning Vintner’s Daughter. It’s won dozens of awards and is coveted by just about every beauty editor.

For Glowing – Odacite makes amazing serums. My favorites are the Wild Carrot Seed and the Rosehip Ylang Ylang.

 

Step 3: Moisturizer/ Cream

In a nutshell – lock-in hydration to keep your skin plump

Right now I am using Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream. It’s pretty no nonsense. It sinks right into the skin and leaves my skin looking hydrated and gets rid of the general redness. I’d say the holy grail of moisturizers is Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom. It’s one of my all time favorites and it ails almost any kind of skin issue. Some claim it’s a miracle product and the smell and texture is so luxurious. From the French pharmacy comes Avene and it’s Skin Recovery Cream. I really love their creams, and this one in particular, for hypersensitive skin. And last but not least, Pai’s Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream is ideal for redness-prone skin. The gentle formula calms flair-ups of redness and irritation while hydrating delicate skin.

 

Step 4: Eye Cream

In a nutshell – keep your eyes bright and youthful

Yes, you need one morning and evening. Use your ring fingers to dab it into the delicate area around the eyes. I love Dr. Sturm’s Eye Cream the best. Followed by One Love Organics Eye Balm, which is so light. Royal Fern I actually just started using and it’s meant to reduce the effects of genetic aging. I feel like after only a few days, I can totally see a difference!

 

Stop 5: SPF

In a nutshell – protect your skin against harmful UV rays

I don’t like to use lotions that are made with SPF, I like to mix it in my day cream. It stays longer and doesn’t leave a weird residue. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops are intended for this exact purpose and make using sunscreen really easy. Avene’s SPF  is also very clean and mixes into my lotions really nicely. Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF30 is also super cool. It’s hypoallergenic and dries with a clear, matte finish. It’s made from organic, natural ingredients, free from mineral oil, alcohol, parabens and gluten and blends so easily into the skin. Also – make sure to use SPF that is oxybenzone-free. This is just the worst ingredient. Seriously, it’s pure poison. Oh, Susanne Kaufmann relaunched her SPF and it’s incredible. All the ingredients are harvested and cultivated organically from Austria’s Bregenzer Forest – I’ve been there and you can read my interview with Susanne here.

It’s been a while, to say the least, since I’ve shared my Glow Guide. In case you’re a new reader, my Glow Guide series is a curated monthly roundup of my favorite beauty products. The focus changes month to month, depending on the season and what’s trending. In the spirit of back to school, I figured I start it up again just in time for the fall.

I am still feeling skincare over makeup, and can slap on my daytime makeup in less than 5 minutes. I am addicted to essential oils and keep little bottles of them on me at all times. I have just switched to Dr. Barbara Sturm cream just in time for the cold and am using her super-rich body cream as well.

I discovered a new cheek and lip tint in the most perfect (and totally universal) tone and I am really into a red eye shadow situation for evenings when I want to look a little vampy. What else… Oh, perfumes and candles! Fall is all about finding your scent and creating a warm, cozy place to come home to. Read on for the full September beauty edit of the best products to try for the season ahead.

Ellis Brooklyn SciFi EDP

Raaw in a Jar Blue Beauty Drops


CAP Beauty Matcha Match Stick Box

Glass Dharma Glass Straw

001 Skincare London Pure Active Peel

Byredo Rose Of No Man’s Land Roll-On EDP

RMS Beauty Garden Rose Eye Shadow 19

 Charlotte Tilbury Matte Lipstick Amazing Grace

 Pursoma Earth Bound Body Mask

 Susanne Kaufmann Nourishing Herbal Whey Bath

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream

Living Libations Rose Glow Complexion Mist

 Olio E Osso No. 2 Balm in French Melon

 Rituel de Fille Ash and Ember Eye Shoot in Viscera

True Botanicals Antioxidant Booster

I recently drove to Austria to visit Susanne Kaufmann. I was on a mission to experience a few treatments at her glorious spa. During my Advanced Anti-Aging Facial, I learned a masking technique I’ll never forget. I loved it so much, I’ve incorporated it into my routine at home. (And you know I’ve very picky with my routine.) It only requires 3 products, takes 30 minutes max and is ideal when used as a pre-party, glowifying peel. 

Here’s the deal:

Step 1: Apply the Enzyme Peel to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Suzanne loves using this mask first, as it opens your skin up for the other products.

Step 2: Next, combine the Nutrient Concentrate or the Skin Lightening and Radiance Complex with the Moisturizing Face Mask. Leave this on for 20 minutes to let the products do their magic work.

Step 3: Massage, massage, massage. During my facial, jade rollers were used to press the product deeper into the skin and to further encourage relaxation. I even bought a few rollers of my own so I could authentically replicate the treatment at home.