Posts Categorized: Body Care

May 19, 2013

The Pampered Life



I’ve always been about the kind of life that allows you the time and day to reflect, power down and treat your self to the simple treasures. In this case, my day has long been Sunday. I prioritize, focus on what’s needed to treat FRO to the at home salon treatment, gather together favorite new mags and books to power through & raid the beauty stash to whip up and apply potions of lotion to zap zits, calm the eczema and re-gain that youthful glow. The list is pretty gi-normous in size at this point (I am a closeted beauty girl:-), but here are this week’s hand picks that are on the current rotation.


glamglowGetting through the winter months in hopes of making it to another glorious summer each year always seems like half the battle. Turns out my skin, in this case my face, cries out for mercy & a chance to enter skin rehab every year. Well this season’s mission is to refurbish & get skin back to it’s old glowing glory.  The first step in that process is to reach for Glam Glow’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment. Use alone as a spot treatment, or as an all over face mask, this is the kind of heavy beauty duty stuff meant to clear up problem skin, fight blemishes and prevent any future black heads from forming. My skin feels incredibly free of the yukkies after using. The added bonus? It works to cut down on my most annoying problem as of late….in-grown hairs!!



I really don’t make it a secret my on going love for the LUSH troop. From the ridiculously yummy hair treats, to the smell good perfumes, this company has all your beauty wishes covered. But for the body?  After my recent visit to their stores, I literally squeeealled in excitement after my hands were bathed in the Turkish Delight shower smoothie. With a base of rose water, coconut oil and cocoa butter – this is crack for your skin. Yes, the price is a bit steep. But if you’re like me, who grinds hard at the 9-5 and needs an at-home respite before the whistle blows, this is your buddy. I no joke. I’ve slathered this on my skin, let it seep in for a few minutes, then rinse to some incredibly soft, rose smelling yumminess. I’m also careful not to overdo the love- so a nice 7ounce pot will last the better part of a few months.



I’ve been singing the praises of this line for what seems like months now. Friends have latched on to the very goodness that is the moisturizing twisting butter, and co-workers can’t get enough of the Curlaide Moisture Butter. But my new go-to in pinch when FRO needs TLC is the Algae Renew Deep Conditioner. Check out my initial review here, but when you slither into the new and natural hair friendly aisles of your local Tarjay, pick up a jar, take it home – then thank me later.

January 30, 2012

Butter Up with Andalou Naturals!


I’m having a hard time believing we’re really about to usher out January and welcome in a new month. See, usually during this time of year I’ve quietly let go of over reaching goals often set during the high thrill of a new year, growing more annoyed by the return of the yearly ‘eczema,’ & taking on the task of treating flareups.

What a difference a year makes! Yes, we’re already knocking on February’s doors but so far I’ve managed to cross off a pretty amazing goal attached to this year’s vision board, and set forth the practice of treating my body to exactly what it needs; a dedicated TLC plan that’ll help prep the skin for the upcoming warmer months.

Typically a body butter snob, I grew excited when sampling the Kukui Cocoa Body Butter from Andalou Naturals last year after discovering their moisturizing line of conditioners. Formulated with Kukui Butter to repair damaged skin, cocoa butter to moisturize & hydrate, and Capaucu Butter to increase skin’s elasticity and fight against dry winter conditions…this made for the perfect solution to this season’s dry skin itch.

So being a body butter snob does come with a few benefits…such as sticking to products and ingredients that are certain to nourish and protect your skin where regular lotions fall short, and indulging in the variety of different scents. Earlier this year I immediately went back to Whole Foods to snag the Lavender Shea Butter (which has my new fav, Manuka Honey!) and have been using it since.

Here’s the deal, I’m no longer shy about slathering on a fair amount of body butter immediately after exiting the shower and concentrating on areas of the body that often go neglected (knees…cracked elbows, etc.) Making a more intentional effort to care for my skin this season has made the most incredible difference as far as eczema flareups & how it’s able to retain moisture.

How are you caring for your skin this winter? Are you signed up for this month’s newsletter? We’re talking Winter Survival, dishing out giveaways to get your skin back on track & readers immediately save 15% off their 1st Andalou Naturals order!

September 15, 2010

Humble Beginnings

I’ve had a hard time over the past few weeks admitting that a break from the noise and more than just a few deep breathes were what I needed to regroup my thoughts and perfect the art of pure awesomeness that I know I’m ineptly capable of. It took amazing timing, new-found clarity and a heartfelt talk with a good friend to set my thoughts back on their right track. We sat in front of the majestic fountain in the heart of Central Park several weeks back watching newly married couples pose, small children blow bubbles & play tag, the after work crew(s) bask in the last remaining days of Summer in NYC….it all just.felt.right. I felt a whole season of doubt and exhaustion slowly melt away in a matter of moments and understood why seasons change, the nonsensical reasoning behind why some people enter our lives & how swiftly they exit.

Time is what it inherently takes to have clarity, and for that I feel blessed. Lately I find myself regrouping and unpacking my thoughts and belongings into a new apartment, a new way to get home and an earnest desire to treat myself to the simplest of things. It starts with the little things sometimes… and when I mean ‘little‘ ….I mean small.

Over the past few years I’ve lamented over a lil secret that I undoubtedly share with more than just a handful of small apartment hoarders in any Metro area.  Pump your fist proudly (or quietly) if you feel me, but over the past few years I’ve lived without the luxury of a bathtub to canoodle with after a long days/weeks worth of work. SILLY….yah. But there is something undeniably rewarding when you’re able to stretch your limbs in the morning before the sun breaks through or luxuriate in the comforts of a different kind of bubbly that relaxes you to the core. I missed this, and am over the moon happy each morning I step into my new bathroom complete with full length tub!

First night in new apartment, before calling the fam, before placing new sheets on any of the beds in my home…I scampered to the my bathroom…closed the door and Diddy Danced my way to happy! The small things…YES! I doused my Japanese washcloth in Caress goodness using their new Whipped Souffle body wash, and stretched my limbs and toes till they could no more.

Again, it just.felt.RIGHT!

I blew my own bubbles and indulged in a body wash that felt more like a moisturizing cream than something meant to cleanse and scrub away my day. My Mum would approve of the Blackberry Vanilla scent (YUM!), and the way it leaves your skin touchably soft long after you shower.

I’ve been in my new humble digs for approximately 15 days and have yet to play switcheroo with my body wash stash. I’m attached to my new tub and the simplicity of wanting and needing something small yet satisfying to complete my day.

Can any of you guys relate or am I the only one who’s finally learning the importance of the little things in life.…?

*products mentioned in this post were offered for potential review. disclosure policy can be found here
June 8, 2010

Quick Tips for Wash-N-Go’s

It’s been a while since I took to the quick & easy wash-n-go method, and this was largely due to the heat damage experienced two years ago. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier that the saga of damaged ends, middles and in betweens is finally over!!

Looking ahead, I’m anxious to try products that can make the transition seamless and altogether flake free & scalp irritation-less, so the quest to find good gels are in order. In the meantime here’s a list of my current essentials for the wash-n-go process:

Co-Washing Cleansers

Especially during the warmer months, I love to wash my hair at least twice per week. It’s more so for relief against the humid & sticky weather, yet still feels nice to wet the scalp. Favorite conditioners to use are the tried and true Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner, Aussie Moist & Herbal Essences’ Hello Hydration. All three have adequate slip to help with detangling & most importantly cost effective. New found favorites are the Curl Junkie’s Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner and the Curls Creamy Curl Cleanser, now available at participating Target stores.

Denman & Wide Tooth Comb

Recently I switched Denmans, now using the D3 model rather than the larger D4. While the larger detangling brush worked well, switching to a smaller brush is a lot easier on my arms, and I can target stubborn strands more effectively. If I run into a disgruntled knot while brushing, I’m quick to use my wide tooth comb as backup. Though always veering more so on the safe side, I’ve found that detangling FIRST with a wide tooth comb, beginning at the ends, then working my way up and finishing with a Denaman – achieves the best results. Over the course of a few months I’ve adopted this method, and was able to retain significant length. Be gentle on your ends! They are the most fragile of the bunch, need the most care and attention. I tend to double up on the condish application when targeting the ends because I instinctively know it will help the process along.

Spray Bottle

Spray bottles are hair savers, especially after you’ve applied your modicum of product and need help setting the style. Because my hair is thick & coarse it’s often best for me to shingle products into my hair as opposed to palming some gel and leave-in throughout the hair. I apply my product in sections, and continue to hydrate using a spray bottle. With wash-n-go’s hair MUST be wet and/or saturated with water in order for the style to prolong in days. Straight out of the shower, water dripping down your back – while annoying- works best. Because I do apply product in sections, by the time I reach the end of my routine, the hair tends to be very dry, particularly around the edges. Lately I’ve been adding a few drops of Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-In to my spray bottle or you can use my Mum’s long time friend, Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin Leave In.

Black Soap

So here’s something they don’t mention in co-washing 101 – Please make sure to FULLY cleanse your back when co-washing! Meaning, if you’re prone to acne, specifically what many call ‘backne‘, you’d do yourself a favor by double checking to see if you’ve gotten ALL the conditioner film off of your body. I love the slip and sleek feeling a good conditioner leaves on my hair, but it’s always a NO NO for anywhere else on my body. Any traces left behind, and I’m always sure to have a flareup down the road. If you’re a lady who loves to wear backless dresses during the warmer months, you understand how annoying this situation can be. I could use my regular body scrubs to get rid of the film, yet using traditional African Black Soap has done wonders to not only eliminate the film, but it keeps the usual breakouts at bay while previous hyper-pigmentation marks are able to fade away.

Traditionally, African Black Soap has been used to treat rashes, acne, eczema, dandruff, body odor and much more. The African black soap helps keep the skin clean and helps against premature facial lines. It is great for showering, bathing, washing of the hair, face and the feet. Black Soap is recommended for the young and the old. Black soap leaves the skin smooth and soft & as a facial soap it is excellent for clearing acne.

To aid in the process I use either a loofah sponge or a longtime favorite a Japanese bath towel. I find the towel to be a bit gentler on the skin compared to most loofah sponges, easy to find either on-line or in China Town, and they last a lot longer for the price.

Even though wash-n-go’s are loved by many natural/curly haired ladies due to less time spent styling,  it is still important to follow through with the basic steps to ensure good results. Try and Deep Condition at least once a week for a minimum of 30 min, and clarify the hair  if you use Silicone based products which tend to build up over time. Build up on the hair can cause subsequent products to be ineffective and result in MORE time styling, totally defeats the purpose eh..? I love this routine for it’s consistent results and it’s relative ease allowing me to walk out the door if I’m pressed for time, BUT it took many trials and errors & product switches to find the right combo. If you’ve tried this method once, twice, or even 10 times the most, be mindful of what you might have done wrong, conditioners used, what your hair likes in terms of ingredients and follow up with what you’ve learned.

February 28, 2010


It’s always fun to treat yourself to something homemade no matter if it’s warm, gooey & straight out of the oven or something shared with a friend. This weekend I made use of what little time I had in between shuffling to and from the library to make another oil blend for hair/scalp/body. Typically I find that I’m always in stock of all the supplies I’d need to make an ideal blend, though choosing which specific oils to fuse with different herbs always leaves me a bit lost.

I had no formula, except the want of something a bit romantic in scent and light, nothing heavy to clog the pores. I doubt I’ve mentioned on here before…but aside from the seductive smell of all things chocolate, I am a fiend for anything lavender scented. Feed me lavender vanilla anytime during the year, and I’m a sucker! The blend instantly brings a smile to my face, and I’ve been in love since my Mum bought home a lavender oil rub from Origins many years ago.

When my Mum did come for visit last holiday, I made her a shea-butter based lavender butter that was quite similar to her Origins collection, but this go-round, I was in the mood for using up my oil stash. Rather than making an oil blend targeting my scalp, I opted for a little wiggle room & had some fun playing around with Jasmine Flowers which has such a beautifully delicate fragrance.  Last year I treated myself to Anita Grant’s Coconut & Rosewood Dry Oil Spray, a lovely light oil spray with rose buds infused throughout. Versatile enough to use as an after bath/hair/body oil, I was anxious to try my hand at something similar.

Lavender is aromatic perennial evergreen shrub. Its woody stems bear lavender or purple flowers from late spring to early autumn, although there are varieties with blossoms of white or pink. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, but now cultivated in cool-winter, dry-summer areas in Europe and the Western United States. The use of Lavender goes back thousands of years, with the first recorded uses by the Egyptians during the mummification process. Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, healing wounds, and as an insect repellent. Discorides wrote that taken internally, lavender would help with indigestion and sore throats, and externally to clean wounds and burns. Lavender was used as an after-bath perfume by the Romans, who gave the herb its name from the Latin lavare, to wash.

What I Used:

I love to use glass jars to store and mix the infusion, because no lie-I want to see the fruits of my labor…no matter how small or big;-). And for the sake of all things pretty…it looks nice simmering on my windowsill for what will be the next 3-4 wks before I opt to use. For the past two days I have been perpetually sniffing the jar! The smell of infused lavender is ridiculously enticing…you really do just want to lather it all over and take a long luxurious bath. The lavender mixed with the alluring jasmine flowers is…

*pausing to sniff the jar..

…it’s heaven. You must try it! The oils I used are fast penetrating, and sink into the skin almost immediately leaving behind a long lasting aroma.

Coltsfoot Herb Benefits:

  • Organic Coltsfoot is a medicated herb with an abundance of natural plant sulfur, silicic and amino acids.
  • Organic Coltsfoot helps to heal dandruff, reduce scalp build up and is purported to strengthen the hair shaft adding sheen and elasticity.
  • Organic Coltsfoot also helps to regulate over productive sebaceous (sebum) glands whilst increasing elasticity of the skin & scalp. Coltsfoot stimulates collagen production which makes it excellent for an herbal hair spritz or final hair rinse infusion.

My love for all things lavender also stems from it’s versatility. Whether it’s winter/spring/summer…it’s always appropriate & welcomed into any skin regimen. It’s a light enough scent to stand on it’s own, or mixed with mint, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli or my long time favorite Vanilla! Next up, I hope to share & mix up another blend using rose buds & petals, Hibiscus Flower, Chamomile, and perhaps an Almond Cookie devotion from another one of my favorite scents!

*For more great mixes & inspiration check out one of my fav mixtress gurus, Amina of Coup de Couer fame. Great places to check out herbs/essential oil & to purchase online:

Mountain Rose Herbs

From Nature With Love

Anita Grant

Texas Natural Supply

July 30, 2009

Spotlight Hodgepodge





Still playing catchup to what’s been floating around the blogosphere/Internet over the past few weeks due to my lack of computer.  A handful of product reviews that I wanted to bang out the door are still waiting in the wings, along with a few e-mails that I have yet to respond to (bear with me!).  But with no Spotlight last month, I felt it only necessary to hodgepodge this month’s finds and goodies!   Small favors that I’ve been diggin like crazy, mainly because of how well they worked, how yummy they smell and how much I’m looking forward to trying out even more from these lines!

Lately, the PJ in me has dimmed ever so slightly, forcing me to race past all the Sephoras that are loitered throughout the city…all the pretty & chic boutiques that line the avenues of my neighborhood, but most importantly all the on-line boutiques that have bombarded me with e-mails proclaiming SALE 50% OFF + FREE SHIPPING! ARrrgh!!

But you know what, as frustrating as it’s been…I’ve still been good.  I’m still dipping into the stash that I currently have (which is STILL a heaping mound of whatnots), and every so often I will indulge in a small treat. 

bee2One of the things I’m instantly attracted to whether it’s the dawn of winter or the height of summer is a smooth & nourishing lip balm.  Since I was a small kid I’ve had a thing for their cute packaging (umm…Hello Kitty!), ability to smell like watermelon, tangerine and all the other fruit drinks I had in my lunchbox growing up.  Naturally though, you begin to choose favorites and preferences emerge when your doctor uses words like ‘winter itch’, or ‘eczema’.  I know!  How could they.  But turning this negative into a positive, I was able to explore the world of Lip Butters!  I’ve found favorite vendors from EtsyAnita Grant, Bath & Body Works, and my new favorite, Honey House

What I like best about this line is their natural approach to producing bath & body products.  From their honey filled soaps to their signature moisturizing Bee Bar, a hand and body lotion bar, all their goodies look and feel like a serious treat for your skin.  I snagged the signature Bee Bar, (vanilla scented) & the Vanilla Almond Lip Butter which does an amazing job in keeping my lips smooth for hours at a time.  The lip butters come in either a tube or tin for easy carrying.

 Like a kiss to the lips… Pomegranate oil has been added to the Lip Butter tubes for its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory qualities. Other superior Natural Oils are Shea, Jojoba & Kukui Nut to soften, moisturize and protect. What a relief for dry, cracked lips! Other flavors are: Apple Pear, Mango, Peppermint, Vanilla Berry, Natural, and Mandarin. Try them all!

Right now I’ve got my eye on the lavendar scented Beer Bar, the Honey Blossom Soap and the vanilla berry lip butter.  They have several distrutors throuhgout the northeast, click here to find a store.

My next find has been a staple in my routine for the past few months simply because it’s managed to work better than any face zajawash, face polish, facial scrub I’ve tried over the years.  In the past I’ve sampled from St. Ives Apricot Scrub to Origin’s Never A Dull Moment  face polisher and neither has left my skin as clean and fresh feeling. Zaja Natural’s Dead Sea Mud Foaming Face & Body Scrub is honestly one of the best in making that ‘at home spa’ experience come to light. I purchased this months ago during a PJ frenzy along with their Amber Sandalwood Spa Soap Bar, and could not believe how much dirt and grime it sloughed away to leave me with and oil free T-zone and a clean face.



A wonderful skin confection that you won’t be able to resist diving into. Made with pure handmade cream soap, genuine dead sea mud, camelina meal, strawberry seeds, grape seeds, jojoba oil, pure cane sugar, dead sea clay and rhassoul clay. Formulated to lather into a soft creamy texture and gently scrub away all your worries without scratching or irritating your skin.

Dead sea mud has so many minerals that are just wonderful for the skin and has been used for many centuries are part of a daily beauty regimen. Camelina acts as a skin defoliant and opens up the pores so that the cleanser can take the bad stuff out of your skin so the good stuff can go to work. Rhassoul volcanic clay contains a high percentage of magnesium plus silica, potassium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc and lithium, the wonderful elements that we need to survival and purification. Added scrubbies to gently exfoliate dead skin cells so that your skin can begin to renew itself and reveal the gorgeous skin within. Couple this with our plain unscented unrefined Shea butter or our Pure Monoi De Tahiti oil and your skin will glow and you will look and feel great!

I use the scrub typically once-twice a week before going to bed.  I take a small scoop with my finger. which is really all you need to cover your entire face, and massage the mud until it becomes a frothy, creamy consistency.  By then, I move in circular motions for 3-5 minutes, cold rinse and apply moisturizer before heading to bed.  In the morning my face is clearer, and my pores look significantly smaller.  It truly does feel like a spa moment after that final rinse because of how FRESH & CLEAN your face becomes.  Zaidat, the creator and owner of Zaja Naturals has an AMAZING collection of bar soaps, butters, deodorants…and all are handmade! Soap names include the delicious sounding Coconut Cream Pie Soap & the Blackberry Vanilla Musk soap…all on my ‘get’ list.

 If you’re an avid Etsy shopper, stop by her shop and DO NOT sleep on these goodies.  The only problem you’ll find is the overwhelming need to buy up everything on the site because it all sounds and LOOKS yummy!  You can also visit her original stomping ground @

If you guys have any Etsy sellers to shoutout drop me a line, or leave a comment down below, I’d love to hear any new discoveries from the handmade community;-).