Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Some days feel like Christmas morning, even when it's April. It's been feeling like that for months now. I wake excited, giddy with anticipation with just the slightest bit of nervous butterflies and eyes wild like a child. I go about my days feeling like I have some sort of secret that I am just bursting to unveil.
I have spent the last few years creating a truly luxurious family of skin care products and now that the recipes are fully tweaked, the packaging is in final proofing stage and I've fully invested my nest egg, it's time to leap.
I strongly believe it is more important to be conscious of what you do not put on your skin rather than what you do. That said, I also believe that luxury skincare can offer an experience for your senses that goes far beyond simply getting clean.
I formulated my line using all natural, ethically sourced organic and fair trade raw ingredients from all around the world. The idea was to bottle nutrition and stimulation for your skin, designed to heal and harmonize, awaken and enliven the skin's own natural radiance.
More importantly, it's about creating a space to take time for yourself - to indulge in something delicious a few minutes each day to recharge, refuel, and acknowledge our own delightful goodness.
The line is free of petrochemicals, parabens, chemical preservatives and artificial ingredients. It is gluten free, vegan, non GMO and cruelty free. I have incredibly high standards about what I am doing. I literally created this line one raw ingredient at a time in my home studio - no scientists, no chemists, no outside labs, no business people, no generics I plastered my name to.
I have been a one woman operation up to this moment. I'm opening up and beginning to form my team of passionate players.
A couple of years ago, this was just a flicker of an idea and now I am looking at label proofs and setting up meetings with buyers and thinking about things like spreadsheets and marketing and sales (entirely foreign territory!).
There has already been a lot of interest in what I am doing, companies and individuals reaching out to me wanting to support and involve themselves. It's incredibly encouraging and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
For years I made skincare for myself because I battle with chemical sensitivities and was consistently let down by what I found in the marketplace. I had no idea the blends I threw together in my kitchen would evolve into something bigger, something that would make me take the leap and start my own company. It's a scary, but incredibly invigorating feeling to be where I am right now.
It's April 12th and it's Christmas morning. The gifts are abundant and I am so incredibly blessed. Thank you for sharing in my journey.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
As a newlywed, I can't deny that I've had baby on the brain at least a little bit as well. But what really has my attention is the massive amount of bath products aimed towards our little ones. The plethora of bubbling, foaming, highly scented and colored bottles offered up are tempting buys as there are few things cuter than the sight of a baby splashing around in a super sudsy bath. But is it healthy?
The answer is no.
Small children do not produce body odor the way that teenagers and adults do. While it is important to keep your baby clean and fresh for both of your comfort, sponge baths are the ideal choice especially in the infant stage. Sink and tub baths can also be great and water alone is the perfect way to rinse away nearly any smell creating mess.
If your baby has dry skin, add a drop or two of apricot, olive or another pure and gentle oil to the water. Soap is largely unnecessary if you are washing away food, milk and spit up with a soft cloth or sponge. Babies love splashing in clear water that doesn't irritate eyes too!
Soaps and shampoos in bathwater can irritate sensitive skin and aggravate baby eczema and psoriasis. Bubble baths have been linked to urinary tract infections so some experts recommend avoiding them until your child is at least 3 years old. Bubble bath formulas, as well as strong soaps that contain deodorants or potent scents, can irritate the opening of your baby's urethra if the soap is not rinsed off completely. "This makes it painful to urinate so the child ends up holding the urine and voiding incompletely, which can lead to UTIs," says Shelly J. King, a pediatric urology nurse practitioner at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
If you can't resist the bubbles or have one of those super dirty days where water alone just won't cut it, Dr. Bronner and California Baby both offer fantastic options for bathtime:
Saturday, February 26, 2011
A Beauty Treatment That Will Make Anyone Feel Like a Balinese Princess
After jumping back to a life full of stressors and to-do lists, I daydream of hopping a plane back to Indonesia where I recently spent my honeymoon receiving $10 massages, soaking in bathtubs filled with aromatic frangipani blossoms, and being in the focused care of Agung—the master body worker whose magic hands knew just how to melt me into a very happy pile of pink putty. I was in married bliss, but the beauty treatments in Bali could take anyone to cloud nine. But the good news is, creating a taste of these ancient beauty rituals is easy and fun!
Since as far back as 800 AD, Indonesian healers created recipes using the herbs and botanicals of their tropical forests and jungles to keep skin healthy and glowing. The queen of treatments is lulur—the spice and yogurt exfoliation and body polishing process practiced in the palaces of central Java since the 17th century. Balinese princesses were given the royal treatment each day for forty days prior to their wedding. Talk about a luxe introduction to married life!
The traditional ritual begins with a deep, full body Balinese-style oil massage.
Then comes the lulur paste - a four hundred year old tribal recipe rich in warming herbs and spices which helps stimulate blood circulation to promote a glowing complexion. This fragrant blend is rubbed over the entire body, sending heat into the cells and chasing away dead skin.
The ritual finishes with a spicy essential oil and milk bath traditionally decorated with several handfuls of fresh and deeply scented flower petals. Anyone would love to have this pampering experience every day for forty days or even one!
Follow the routine I’ve recreated for a delicious indulgence in the comfort of your own home.
1. Practice some serious self-love and treat your body to a rub down with your favorite massage oil. Better yet, blend up a quick batch of your own with virgin coconut oil and a few drops of essential oils of lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang or sandalwood.
2. I came across several variations on the recipe for lulur. Here's my take on it (feel free to improvise with what you have available).
In a coffee grinder (or with a mortar and pestle if you're really ambitious), combine a mixture of 1 cup plain dry rice, 2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. sandalwood powder (or 2 drops sandalwood essential oil), 2 tsp. clove, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. ginger, and 2 tsp. nutmeg. Pulverize to a fine powder before adding enough water to make a paste.
Spread over your entire body, taking at least fifteen minutes to fully love every limb and toe and curve.
3. Once the lulur has dried, exfoliate by firmly rubbing the paste off the body.
4. Rinse in the shower until the mixture is removed and then drench your wet skin with handfuls of natural yogurt or coconut milk.
5. Sink into a warm bath (flowers, salts, milk and essential oils encouraged!) and take note of how blessed you already are.