20 Questions with Lola Gusman

LG Photo

I always love falling down the rabbit hole when it comes to discovering an amazing blog, and that is exactly what happened when I first encountered The Hermes Hippie. Lola instantly introduces you to her personality in this line on her About page:

If Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Parker had a baby, who was raised by Diana Vreeland and Christopher Hitchens… Goodness, that baby would have a LOT of issues. I would be her best friend.

And from then on, I was hooked. You should definitely check out her blog for wonderfully written posts, lovely green product reviews, and the scoop on brands participating in A Night For Green Beauty (she’s one of the ambassadors for this year’s event!).

1. If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Is there a way to describe oneself in one word without it sounding either completely self-congratulatory or totally boring?

I’m sure there must be, but I am not good with short-form. So I guess, in the spirit of my writing style, shopping habits and, well, everything else, I’ll go with “excess”.

2. How would you define the word ‘perfect’?

Representing the ideal state of any given thing, entity, state of being, etc. The pinnacle.

3. What is your biggest beauty tip?

Wash. Your. Face! I will never tire of saying it. It’s the easiest thing you can do for your skin (yes, even at 3 am, completely drunk – trust me) and one that will have the greatest benefit. But obviously wash your face with the right cleanser.

4. What made you decide to go green?

I was going through a particularly rough patch with my extremely sensitive, temperamental and annoying skin and none of the expensive conventional products I was using helped. And then I tried the Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil (discovered via No More Dirty Looks) and it fixed my issues within a matter of days.

The amazing part is that now, having made the switch, all of those sensitivities are the thing of the past and my skin has never looked better.

5.What has been the hardest part about making the switch?

It honestly wasn’t that hard. Finding a good natural mascara was a pain, but I have been using the Kjaer Weis mascara and am completely in love with it. Don’t even miss conventional mascara anymore.

Actually, the hardest part was finding the right toothpaste. I have sensitive teeth and it’s impossible to find a sensitive formula toothpaste that is SLS-free, but has fluoride. So I have been combining two different toothpastes into one.

6. What have you learned through the process?

So much! I learned that the green beauty community has seriously amazing, passionate, kind people. I learned the names and properties of about eleventy bajillion exotic oils and other ingredients and even discovered my personal favorites. And, of course, I learned that cleansing with oil is a thing, that it is not insane and that it’s actually completely fabulous.

7. What are some of your favorite green beauty finds?

Oh man! SO many. I think my favorite finds are the things that replace their conventional counterparts with finesse, or even surpass them. Things like the Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF (see Lola’s review here), the Living Libations shampoo and the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant.

I also love the concept behind the Odacite line of serum boosters, In Fiore’s ridiculous and sublime 4-2-4 washing method (see Lola’s review here) and the beautiful natural fragrances by Strange Invisible (see Lola’s review here) and La Bella Figura. Oh, and the Kari Gran Lip Whip. It’s insane.

Actually, one of my favorite green beauty finds is not even sold in the US anymore: the Mrs. White’s Cold Cream by Roullier White is a wonderfully vintage product that works very well. I also love the wellness finds Sun Potion, Four Sigma Foods and the Beauty Chef.

After all, beautiful skin starts on the inside. The process of discovery is one of my favorite things about being a green beauty blogger, so the list can go on and on!

8. What was the hardest product to replace?

I already mentioned toothpaste and mascara. The one product I actually haven’t been able to replace is eyeliner. I did hear great things about the Benecos liquid liner from the Call It Vanity ladies, so I’m going to try that soon.

9. How has this journey changed your overall health?

I have always been very conscious about my food, but this journey has made me much more aware and holistic in my approach to health and wellness.

I started a serious exercise regime for the first time in my life (SoulCycle, boxing and Pilates) and the difference to my health has been tremendous! I am also planning on doing the Whole 30 challenge starting this week (wish me luck!), so I am hoping that this will help reset my system even more.

10. How you would recommend getting started to non-toxic newbies?

First and most importantly: make it fun! Switching over shouldn’t be a chore and I don’t recommend throwing out all of your dirty products in one go.

You will end up feeling deprived, spending too much money and resenting the whole process. Figure out what’s most important to you and focus on that.

Are you looking to eliminate toxins as much as possible? Then start looking for the right clean deodorant (this can take some time) and replace your drugstore lipsticks with something from Ilia, Nudus or Axiology (far too many conventional lipsticks are contaminated with lead and you end up eating them. Scary!).

If your reason for switching is finding luxurious, effective products that nourish your skin with actives without unnecessary fillers and junk, then you should look at highly active, sophisticated and effective brands like True Nature Botanicals, Yuli, La Bella Figura or Odacite.

And don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t bear to part with your beloved Lancome mascara or Chanel perfume. They won’t kill you and we all need our indulgences and guilty pleasures.

11. What is your favorite ingredient?

Blue Tansy. I am completely obsessed. It’s wonderfully calming to the skin and to the mind and the blue color makes me swoon.

It’s not a super-common ingredient, but you can find it in May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon (divine!), Herbivore Botanicals Lapis, Aster & Bay Indigo Oil (see Lola’s review here) and Pollen & Wax’s Picasso Blue.

12. What is a quote you live by?

Well, I had this quote by Mae West in my senior yearbook and I’m still quite fond of it:

“When I am good, I am very good, but when I’m bad I’m better”.

Also, every single thing Dorothy Parker has ever written. I have used her quotes on many occasions (including to write on the wall of an expat bar in Bucharest), and I am quite fond of this one:

“I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives’ tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock around a brilliant one. It is but fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I had never seen this happen.”

Dorothy Parker

13. If you could only leave the house with one product, what would it be?

One?! Do I have to pick one?! Arrrgh! I am really torn between a face mist and a really great oil. I think a great oil wins out by a hair. I’d use one that has sun protecting ingredients, so that I could skip sunscreen.

14. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I have no idea! I am a tumbleweed by nature and haven’t lived anywhere for more than 4 years since I was 11 years old. That is until I moved back to New York in ’06 – it’s been 9 years and, much as I adore New York, I am well overdue for an adventure!

15. What is one piece of advice you’d tell your 13-year old self?

At 13 I was a good kid and mostly had my head screwed on straight. Now if you had asked about my 16-year-old self… I guess I’d tell myself to not be afraid to follow my dreams, however impractical they might seem.

16. If you were able to read minds, would you? Why or why not?

Absolutely! I am pathologically curious and spend all my time wondering what people are thinking anyway, so I’d just save myself the time and effort. Can’t promise I wouldn’t use it for nefarious purposes, though.

17. What is the last thing you Googled?

Besides Dorothy Parker quotes? 😉 I am research-obsessed and Google pretty much everything. I think the most recent thing was Comme des Garcons for Converse sneakers. I am obsessed with the high-top version I have and wanted to get the regular one as well.

18. What is the most difficult part about blogging?

Updating regularly. I think I am much better suited to having an editor: I need someone pushing me to get stuff finished. Plus, I take all my own pictures, so the process is even longer for me.

19. What is your favorite part about it?

For starters, it’s the process of writing itself. I love creating the images and crafting the posts – I suppose that is why they take so long.

But the part that brings me the most ridiculous amount of joy is knowing that in my little way, I am actually helping people.

It’s such a privilege and a treat and I can’t get enough of it!

20. How do you stay positive?

I’m actually a pretty optimistic person, so I tend to stay positive most of the time. And if things get tough, all I need to do is hang out with my kid and the world seems immediately brighter.


Thank you so much Lola for letting me pick your brain!

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7 thoughts on “20 Questions with Lola Gusman

  1. Aww loved reading this! I’ve been following the wonderful Lola for a while, it’s fun to learn a little more about her personally. Wish I was going to A Night For Green Beauty!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: Giveaways Galore | Dream & Scheme

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