#HairGoals With Lauren Of Wholly Beautiful
The Clean Beauty Connoisseur + Eco-Chic Apparel Enthusiast Spills All!
We are SO excited to share our chat with one of our absolute favorite EVOLVhers with you all! If you're not familiar with Lauren and her blog Wholly Beautiful, she strikes the perfect balance between being totally knowledgeable, refreshingly candid, and warm and accessible all at the same time. The fact that she's a former pro hairstylist means she really knows her stuff when it comes to haircare, so we're beyond honored that she trusts our products so wholeheartedly and relies on them so religiously. Read on as she shares her clean beauty journey, some of her product faves, and some super helpful tips for transitioning to eco-chic clothing in style!
How did you first discover EVOLVh and how is it different from other natural haircare brands you’ve tried?
I first discovered EVOLVh when I was living in Fort Worth, TX at Natural Grocers. I was still working as a hairdresser at the time, and I really wanted to find something that was on par with the higher end products that I was used to but hadn't had any luck with other natural haircare lines. EVOLVh really impressed me because it actually did what it claimed to do! The first product I ever bought was the SuperFinish Polishing Balm, and it left my hair so soft and silky without feeling weighed down the way silicone-based products do. I even used it on my friend when I cut her her and she loved it - which is saying a lot as she's normally somewhat product averse!
Which of our products are your faves and why?
I absolutely adore the UltraShine Shampoo and Conditioner because they lather well and leave my hair feeling clean. Somehow they hydrate without making my hair limp or heavy either. The conditioner feels very different, it's like it magically absorbs into the hair. I was a little confused the first time I used it like "where did it go?!". Once my hair was dry, I thought holy smokes, it actually goes into the hair to condition it rather than just sitting on top! I've recently been trying out the SmartColor line, and I have to say, it works equally well on my hair with more color protecting ingredients. I can go days without needing to wash my hair now! The SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner is my everyday go-to, I recommend it to everyone who has fine hair and is looking for something that will aid in volume as well as keep it detangled and shiny without feeling like 'product.'
What aspects of clean beauty do you personally find to be the most important?
I think it's important to pay attention to what covers the most area on our bodies - our skin. Our skin can absorb some products within about 26 seconds. So many products are laden with parabens (preservatives that have been found in breast cancer tissues as well as being found in cord blood during fetal development). Beyond just avoiding specific ingredients and products though, I think it's even more important to focus on the good stuff in products! That's the beauty of clean/green beauty products - they're chock full of botanicals that work equally as well as their conventional counterparts while imparting more benefits like vitamins, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.
I am also a big advocate for swapping perfumes and fragrances. I often talk about avoiding added fragrance in products (because really, I don't need my foundation to smell like roses...no one is sniffing my face haha), but I do love perfume. It's one of the most personal and therefore difficult switches to make in our routines; so many memories are associated with fragrance, not to mention they leave lasting first impressions! The term 'fragrance' can technically encompass 250+ different chemicals in its makeup as they are regarded as industry trade secrets. I understand the desire to protect recipes, but I also would love to see more transparency within the industry. My bare minimum requirement for perfumes is that they be paraben and phthalate free, however I have found so many 100% natural lines now that I think are incredible.
Besides EVOLVh, what are your top 5 favorite clean beauty products? Think desert island must-haves!
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara. Seriously, I am a mascara fiend, and this is my go to for some serious wow factor...and it doesn't smudge or flake on me! Holy grail product. EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner because it's a do-it-all product for my hair: smooth, shiny, never limp. Bella Aura Daily Repair Moisturizer: it's the perfect weight and keeps the skin bright and hydrated. Hynt Duet Concealer because I perpetually have dark circles under my eyes and this is one of the few concealers that truly covers a multitude of sins. And lastly, the FitGlow Lip Serum. It's Heaven in a tube. I always have to have something on my lips; this is the best feeling product I've found, and I love how it looks!
Have you always been an advocate for clean, eco-friendly beauty products? If not, what made you switch and what was the most challenging part of transitioning?
I haven't always, actually! I used to use things like Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Lancome...and one day something clicked. Does my foundation really need to be fragranced? Does this cream that is predominantly petroleum based REALLY moisturize my skin or is it creating a film that makes it feel hydrated? There was this sort of 'aha' moment. I went cold turkey on everything and tossed all of my products out. I even stopped coloring my hair! I think I had a few bottles of oils to cleanse, moisturize, and maybe 5 different pieces of makeup like a lip/cheek tint and a super natural mascara. Eventually, I was frustrated by my extremely minimalist routine and introduced conventional products back in because there weren't may choices that I really loved in clean beauty at the time. But I found after doing so, my skin didn't seem as happy, and the products lacked a certain special quality.
I think as humans, we all have a desire to connect with nature and our environment...and using clean beauty products allows for a tangible experience, in a way, since they utilize botanical ingredients much of the time. I sought out products that allowed me to still be creative (I'm an artist at heart and love to paint!) and that utilize ingredients that nourish from the inside out. There are so many options now, and moreover, options that have incredibly high performance that rival their conventional counterparts!
Now that you’re a new mom (congrats, btw!) do you have any clean/eco-friendly baby product recommendations?
Thank you! I keep her routine very simple, less is more for babies since their skin can be somewhat sensitive. I use Beautycounter Baby Wash, and if needed their oil and protective balm. I really only apply those though if she has a dry patch. I've also used the A'del Diaper Cream a few times which works lovely!
Which harmful ingredients should parents be on the look-out for in the products they’re choosing for their baby?
My big no-go is fragrance. Serious question, why is everything for babies scented?! They smell pretty good without all the extra scent in my opinion. I always buy non-scented diapers, and unscented wipes. Most conventional baby products that have 'fragrance' listed will contain parabens/phthalates and other random ingredients that I don't want on her skin, especially because diapers are almost always a continual source of contact.
You’re also passionate about eco-chic clothing - what are some of your favorite brands? Do you have any shopping/styling tips for looking your best responsibly?
Ooooh, this is something I have called my passion project of 2019 - raising awareness surrounding the fashion and clothing industry. Fun fact: it's the second highest polluting industry, only second to big oil companies! Making changes in this aspect of our lives can have a major impact. First and foremost, I think it's important to consider looking second hand for clothing: this keeps things from going to landfills which is a large source of pollution! Plus, you'd be surprised what gems you can find secondhand for a fraction of the cost. If vintage hunting isn't your thing, online stores like The Real Real and Thred Up are great options.
When buying new, I want to support companies that treat their employees and everyone who comes into contact with their garments with respect, a safe working environment, and livable wages. Second, I think the materials themselves are important. If a company can use reclaimed materials, I think that's amazing! But if not, I think it's important to address how different materials are grown/made whether it's utilizing something like bamboo, modal, or tencel that requires less water to grow and manufacture compared to some materials. If it's cotton, I'd love to see more companies adopt organic practices.
Some of my favorites are Kindom (they utilize reclaimed materials that would otherwise be destined for a landfill, plus they're stylish!), Encircled for their multi-way wear and eco-friendly approach - even down to their factory, they walk the walk and talk the talk. Their clothing is also made from more sustainable materials like I mentioned above - it's also incredibly soft. Krochet Kids sends you a card showing you who made your clothes and a little bit about them which I think is incredibly special; it's a reminder that real people are behind what we often wear, that it's not some expendable garment created by a machine. I also recently ordered from Pact (organic cotton basics), and I'm highly impressed with their pieces. They even have a program where you can mail in clothes you no longer wear to send to charities in need!
Stay tuned, this journey is far from over. I'm just getting started!
Check out Lauren's after-shower routine using our SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner and SuperFinish Polishing Balm: