Rachel Burke is an LA-based romance novelist and food blogger who's first cookbook, The Skinny Chick's Cookbook, will be released in 2017. Today, she chats about her beauty philosophy, all-natural beauty treatments that really work and the daily self-care ritual she swears by.
What's your skin care routine?
I have a monthly Ipsy subscription, so my routine tends to change when I receive new products that I like. I received two products recently that I'm loving: a cleansing gel from the Organic Pharmacy and a hydrating mask from Épicé that I use at least once a week. I also use Loreal's Age-Perfect Cell Renewal serum daily.
What makeup do you normally wear?
I never leave my house without foundation, mascara, eyeshadow and lip balm. I love Clinique's Superpowder and have been using it for years — it's not as heavy as liquid foundation, but doesn't come off as easily as some powders do. I also love Smashbox's Full Exposure and X-Rated mascara (another great product that Ipsy turned me onto!). Mac's Retrospeck is my favorite eyeshadow by far, and Burt's Bees' Coconut & Pear Lip Balm is a great organic lip balm.
How would you describe your approach to beauty?
I think beauty starts from the inside. Eating well and exercising plays a big part in how our skin, hair and bodies look and feel. I also try to use all-natural products when it comes to beauty. I use coconut oil instead of lotion, and I love egg white facials and DIY hair masks.
Which haircare products do you swear by?
I am in love with Keratin Complex shampoo and conditioner. My hair feels so much healthier after using it. I also love Batiste's dry shampoo for days when I don't have time to wash my hair. Beyond the Zone has a few great products also, specifically their Rock On Volumizing Powder that helps volumize your roots.
My hair is naturally very wavy and frizzy, so I use a lot of leave-in treatments, oils and hair serums. IT Haircare's 12-in-1 Leave In Treatment is great. I'll use CHI's 44 Iron Guard Spray before I straighten it to protect my hair.
Do you have a DIY beauty treatment you love?
Oh, yes — egg white skin facials and coconut oil honey hair masks! They're great!
Are you trying out any new products you don't typically use?
Ipsy sent me a liquid eyeliner last month. I don't usually use liquid eyeliner, but I found it's helpful when lining the tops of my eyelids. It's much smoother than using regular liner.
Do you usually wear perfume? If so, what perfume are you currently wearing?
Yes, Pink Sugar. I love it — it smells like cotton candy!
How did you become a romance novelist?
I read a lot of books growing up, and in my early twenties I was reading a lot of young adult and new adult novels and was so inspired by the great storylines that I decided to write my own.
Where does the inspiration for your novels come from?
Books, movies, real-life experiences and people. It's a mix.
In addition to your novels, you're currently working on a cookbook. When did you start developing your own recipes?
I had to stop eating meat about six years ago due to digestion issues, so I learned to get creative with my food. It was around that time that I moved to California and was exposed to a whole new world of health food that I didn't have growing up on the East coast. So I started coming up with my own healthy substitutes and would use ingredients such as black beans and lentils instead of meat, zucchini noodles instead of pasta, etc. A few years ago, I started a food blog to keep track of the recipes, and I now have enough to finally put them all into a cookbook.
Does food play a role in your approach to beauty?
Absolutely. I think the healthier you feel on the inside, the more beautiful you feel on the outside. Not to mention, there are so many all-natural products that are great for both cooking and beauty. As I mentioned, I use coconut oil not only in cooking, but also in my beauty routine as a moisturizer and a hair mask. I've found that it works much better than lotion or a lot of store-bought hair products.
What's one thing you do every day that makes you feel great?
Yoga and meditation. If I don't have time to fit in yoga, then I'll set aside at least a half hour to meditate and clear my mind. It's so important to stretch your body, clear your mind, and take time for yourself to remember what you're grateful for in life.
When do you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
In yoga pants. I live in them 99% of the time. It's gotten to the point where I hate even putting on jeans!
Be sure to follow Rachel on Instagram (and follow The Skinny Chick's Cookbook while you're at it!). Check back next week for the latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights a real woman's beauty routine. Last week, Sapling editor Nicole White shared the simple routine that's transformed her skin and the bold lipstick she's currently obsessed with.