I Lived Like Shailene For 5 Days

by Sara Spruch-Feiner

The Fault in Our Stars' Shailene Woodley doesn’t just walk the I'm-so-holistic walk, she also talks the talk: She makes her own toothpaste from bentonite clay and peppermint oil upon the advice of a NYC taxi driver, crafts medicines out of roots and herbs she’s gathered herself, lives a nomadic lifestyle with only what she can fit in her suitcase, and she no longer owns a cellphone. Further still, she only washes her hair once a week, if that, and when she has to wear makeup, it's either cosmetics made from all natural materials, or she just colors her lips with a beet. A beet.

It’s easy to question these habits knowing she’s got a glam-squad on call at any moment, but given the fact that she could easily see any of the world’s top dentists or have a $1,500 vampire facial à la Kim Kardashian, the effort she makes to stick to her convictions is impressive.

As I read more and more about Shailene and caught her appearances on every late night show, I couldn’t help but wonder just how I’d handle her low-maintenance, indigenous-inspired lifestyle.

This is the chronicle of my five days living the Shailene lifestyle.


Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When my box arrives from Living Libations, Shailene’s go-to haircare and skincare line, I am instantly charmed. The products come addressed directly from the founders, couple Ron and Nadine. Though I’m a little skeptical that Best Skin Ever can be an all-in-one for cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing, I follow Nadine’s face-washing instructions and pump the serum onto the accompanying washcloth. After rinsing off, I’m done, which feels almost disrespectful to my hoarder-level collection of serums, moisturizers, and exfoliators. I wash my hair with the coordinating shampoo and conditioner. My roommate tells me I smell like her aunt.


This morning, I spoon-feed myself a globular slurp of unrefined coconut oil, which costs me $10.99. I feel like I’m swallowing butter and instantly feel 10 pounds heavier. I focus on swishing the substance around, reminding myself of its benefits for dental health. I don’t last nearly the suggested 20 minutes and spit it out into the drain.

Note: Oil pulling can also be done with other oils, and in the future I plan to try sesame oil which has a less buttery texture.


The girl manages to make bed-head look great, as evidenced above, but I’m guessing that Shailene has never been to Soul Cycle, otherwise she'd be washing her hair everyday. After a pre-booked class, I make an executive decision to wash my hair. I stick to my Best Skin Ever product and my face feels super soft. I might just use this product, in conjunction with a smattering of others, beyond this week.


The clay arrives, which means one thing. It’s time to make toothpaste. Shailene told David Letterman all about how she eats clay, and "gets her clay" through brushing her teeth. A teaspoon of clay, more drops of peppermint essential oil than called for, and some water create my abbreviated concoction (a longer version of the recipe can be found here). I get a spare toothbrush and brace myself. As soon as I start to brush, I nearly gag. Fifty points to Shailene just for the fact that she puts that stuff in her mouth. The texture makes me queasy and the whole endeavor is over in 30 seconds.



My hair is already greasy and frizzy from Shai's no-wash policy, but I decide to go with it. Wearing boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt, I dab a bit of Living Libations rose colored balm onto my cheeks and lips and am pleased with my one-minute/one-product makeup routine, though I will say that I prefer my cosmetics unscented. Feeling nomadic myself, I pack a backpack of products from Mountain Rose Herbs (Shailene’s favorite) and head to my parents’ apartment without a change of clothes. My mom is joining me for a makeshift "Spa Shailene" day, and I mix up a clay mask (the same one used in the toothpaste!).

I love the DIY aspect of this mask and feel immediately badass mixing this mini-facial myself. Like any other clay mask, it’s messy to put on, but it feels instantly luxurious — better than any mask squeezed out of a bottle. When we wash off the clay, we both observe that our skin is brighter, and our pores much tighter. I highly recommend this mask. We sip a delicious blend from Mountain Rose Herbs, the Oregon Chai, and chat late into the night about how it's messy when you're trying so hard to be clean.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Mask, $8, Amazon

Images: Ebay; shai_woodley/Instagram