Jesse Harbison dreamed up “Mirror Mirror,” a weekly Nashville-based podcast, as a way to convince inspiring women to reveal their beauty secrets. Founded by Nashville natives Jesse (the podcast’s host) and Allison Duke Budslick (the executive producer), each episode of “Mirror Mirror” features an interview with an interesting woman — everyone from farmers, interior designers, stylists, poets and natural beauty experts — about their favorite desert-island beauty products and beauty philosophies. Because each episode has incredible nuggets of beauty (and life!) advice, we asked Jesse and Allison to share their favorite beauty tips and tricks from each episode of “Mirror Mirror.” Welcome Jesse and Allison as they share their favorite 13 tips from previous guests.
Find the best natural mascara on the market.
As the owners of Poppy & Monroe, a natural beauty collective in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville, Karen Kops and Sherri Coates have tested nearly every natural mascara on the market. After testing over 14 different mascaras and counting, they discovered the very best: Lily Lolo Mascara.
Make informed decisions on what products to purchase.
Because your skin is your body’s largest organ, Karen Kops and Sherri Coates are serious about vetting each and every ingredient in their makeup and skincare products. Their go-to tools for evaluating the ingredients in beauty products are the Think Dirty app and Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. You can even use the Think Dirty app to scan products while shopping; the app gives you immediate information about the chemicals in the product and makes suggestions for cleaner alternatives.
Fake a natural-looking tan.
We all know the harmful effects of sun exposure, which is why we are forever chasing a method for achieving a believable — and easy — fake tan. When Amanda Valentine, a fashion designer and stylist and our very first guest on “Mirror Mirror,” revealed her method for getting a sun-kissed glow — she applies a mixture of Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel and facial moisturizer daily — we knew we quite literally struck gold.
Use a DIY recipe for treating zits.
Eileen Ray, the co-owner of Little Seed Farm, shared her recipe for a Himalayan salt treatment that can be used as a breakout-blasting spot treatment and a hair volumizer. Who doesn’t love a product that works double duty? To make the treatment, combine 1/4 ounce of Himalayan salt and three drops of geranium essential oil in a one-ounce dropper bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water or witch hazel, seal with the dropper cap and shake for one minute or until most of the salt has dissolved. To use as a spot treatment, apply to breakouts after cleansing and toning and allow to dry before moisturizing. To use as a hair volumizer, apply 1-4 one-ounce dropper bottles to damp hair for beach waves, or dry hair for extra volume.
The secret to getting rid of under-eye circles that can be found in the pantry.
Stephanie Pruitt is a poet and creative business consultant in Nashville who shared her miraculous homemade under-eye mask recipe that eradicates bags and dark circles. To make the mask, combine instant espresso (Stephanie likes Café Bustelo brand) with coconut oil to form a gritty paste and apply under eyes for 10-15 minutes. See ya’ never, dark circles. (P.S. Stephanie also shared a slew of ways to use apple cider vinegar on her episode, including the recipe for a tonic she used to shed four pounds a week without changing her diet or exercise. Y’all, we aren’t making this up.)
One cult beauty product is worth the hefty price tag.
When a farmer who is exposed to the elements day in and day out recommends a face lotion, you listen! Lauren Palmer, owner of Bloomsbury Farm, an organic and GAP-certified farm just outside of Nashville, says La Mer Moisturizing Cream is worth every penny and keeps her skin in top form year round.
The secret to whiter teeth is $8 and can be found at Walgreens.
Yes, really. Gen Sohr, the owner of Pencil & Paper Co. (and a dead ringer for Grace Kelly), swears by Plus White Premier 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel for whitening her smile. Gen says to skip the tray and apply it directly to your teeth.
There is a smoothie recipe for glowing skin.
McKel Hill, a registered dietitian nutritionist, founder of Nutrition Stripped and author of the Nutrition Stripped cookbook, shared her recipe for Beauty Papaya Potion that nourishes the skin from the inside. The recipe can be found here.
Prevent bedhead and wrinkles.
As the director and co-owner of Shed Fitness Gulch, Brittany Farrar knows a thing or two about maintaining her hair when working out on the reg. To prevent hair breakage and frizz during a night’s sleep (and did we mention wrinkles?), Brittany swears by sleeping on a Slip silk pillowcase. She loves it so much she hand washes it and even takes it with her on the road.
Shampoo gives natural hair its curl.
Amber Curry, a hairstylist who specializes in natural hairstyles, told us there are many misconceptions about natural hair, namely, that conditioner can be used to clean it. According to Amber, shampoo – not conditioner – is the best way to achieve healthy, beautiful curls. Listen to our interview with Amber to learn more.
Dry shampoo actually works.
Leah Hoffman, a hairstylist and colorist at Parlour & Juke, has tried hundreds of dry shampoos and says Lulu Organics Hair Powder beats them all. Bonus: Because it is not in a spray bottle, it is more environmentally friendly.
Eyelash extensions are worth the investment.
Ivy Elrod, co-owner and co-creative director of Wilder in Germantown and the new Wilder Etudes in Edgehill Village, swears by eyelash extensions for making her eyes pop and looking great without wearing any makeup. We’re in.
Get a facial oil customized to your skin type.
Beyond confirming that English accents are way cooler than American, we learned that no facial oil is perfect for everyone fromJen Auerbach, co-founder of Clary Collection, a line of 100% organic and natural beauty products. Thankfully, Jen partnered with Laura Lemon of Lemon Laine — Nashville’s newest natural beauty and wellness shop — to provide the base oils for the Lemon Laine Oil Bar, where customers can have a hand-crafted oil infusion blended specifically for their unique skincare needs. (Be on the lookout for our interview with Laura Lemon in the near future!)
Ashtin Paige is to thank for the lovely photos!