Welcome to the Cottage.

The Tiny Canal Cottage® is a 1920's Craftsman-style house by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. This <400 sqft home/office is the full-time residence of Creative Director Whitney Leigh Morris, her husband, their son, and two rescue beagles.

Simplified Skincare

Simplified Skincare

I don’t enjoy blogging about beauty-related topics. Women are often told in one way or another that we need to invest extraordinary time and money in beauty and youth at nearly every age, and I don’t want contribute to that narrative.

However, I can’t deny that my simplified skincare approach over the past 1-2 years has saved me time, money, and space. It has also reduced so much bottle, palette and canister waste that I feel as though it’s worth sharing here— especially since I’ve received several requests recently to post about my favorite resources for skincare and makeup.


First, some context: I’m 38 years old, covered in freckles, and have visible sun damage from decades spent outdoors in Florida and Southern California. (That’s why I’m constantly wearing my West Perro hat.)

I have never used injectables such as botox or fillers, and I have never had any cosmetic surgery.

I’ve been regrowing my eyebrows for 2 years by never, ever tweezing them, and I recently got temporary Microfeathering by Kristie Streicher to lightly fill in some patches that are slower to grow back.


Rather than ramping up my skincare and makeup habits as I grow older, I’ve pared them down in an effort to improve my overall health, better suit our limited physical space, and reduce my environmental footprint.

Instead of my skin rebelling at my scaled-back approach, it has responded favorably. Of course, my smile lines and crows feet all get deeper as the years pass. But my tone has evened-out, and my complexion has transformed.

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For my face, my skincare routine is as follows:

  • I wash twice per day with this Cleansing Balm (which also doubles as a makeup remover balm)

  • I apply Active Treatment Essence twice per day (Note: This has been the most effective product I’ve ever used on my face)

  • I apply Active Botanical Serum at night

  • In the morning, I apply either a tinted SPF20 moisturizer or an unscented SPF40. (Note: I plan to get this safer sun protection once I use up my current inventory so that West, Adam and I can all share the same bottle.)

That’s it. No scrubs, no peels, no wipes, no moisturizers, no masks, no primers.

Although the Essence and Serum have higher price tags, they actually end up saving me money, since the contents of those 2 small glass bottles are long-lasting, and are all I really need. (If I want a little extra spot treatment, the Essence combined with a drop from this tiny bottle have helped me out 100% of the time. )

On my body I use a Leaping Bunny certified body stone that softens on contact with the skin. It’s available in a sustainably farmed, re-usable bamboo canister, or simply as a refill.

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My makeup is limited as well— it’s mainly multi-use Olio E Osso balms and a few select Beauty Counter products. My collection consists of: Eyeshadow / Mascara / Sheer Lipstick / Eye Pencil / Highlighter / Brow Gel / Tinted Face Oil / Lip + Cheek Balm

I chose my makeup carefully after searching extensively for healthier products that actually work. While serious health issues are on the rise due in large part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals, Beautycounter (a certified B-Corp) prohibits 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals from being used in their products. Plus I appreciate their ongoing approach to lighten their environmental impact. Last year alone they also offset 3,628 metric tons of CO2 to match 100% of their yearly HQ consumption, planted the equivalent of 4,270 acres of trees to offset carbon usage, and invested in 1,284 Water Restorative Certificates to offset 120% of their water usage.


They’re also constantly adapting their packaging to be increasingly eco-friendly. A good example of this is their eyeshadow palette, which has a mirror that can be removed for use elsewhere, allowing the entire palette to then be recycled:


I use washable washable makeup remover pads to wipe off my makeup in the evenings, and washable cotton rounds for general cleansing. For folks who prefer to use wipes, here is a compostable option. (Read more about that via our “Space-savvy + Low Waste Bathroom Swaps” post here.)


Everything fits easily into a canvas pouch I found on Etsy, for use at the Cottage or on-the-go.

Here’s to simplifying our routines, and freeing up both time and space for the things that truly matter in this world.

Low Waste, Small Appliances for Compact Kitchens

Low Waste, Small Appliances for Compact Kitchens

Long-Lasting, Eco-Friendly Kids Clothing

Long-Lasting, Eco-Friendly Kids Clothing