PRODUCT REVIEW: Kahina Giving Beauty’s Essaouira Body Serum

Ess_BodySerum_200mlKahina Giving Beauty’s body serums take you on a journey.  One pump of a bottle and I’m instantly transported to Morocco.  With Fez (reviewed here), I find myself enveloped in a fragrant labyrinth of the Imperial Moroccan city.  Kahina Giving Beauty’s latest body serum, Essaouira, is a sojourn on the Moroccan sea coast.  Essaouira, a city whose name translates to “beautifully designed”, was conceived in 1760 out of desire for change, diversity, prestige, and wealth.  Essaouira, who opened her heart and her port to the New World, infused its ancient Moroccan aesthetic with contemporary European flair. Essaouira is where the second Kahina journey begins. Continue reading

PRODUCT REVIEW: Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask



\ˈrē-ˌtäks, ri-ˈtäks\

To pollute one’s body following a state of clean living.

This definition isn’t from Webster’s Dictionary – silly me made it up.  I don’t even think the word RETOX exists but no two syllables better define my June 2015.  Good times had for sure, with extra special thanks to my college girls’ reunion weekend. However, it was a month fueled by excess – too much wine, coffee, stress, and dietary no-no’s (I’m looking your way, sugar and gluten) with not enough exercise, sleep, routine, or, let’s face it, self-control.  My whole system was screaming from this retoxification; my complexion not excluded from the madness.

Thank goodness the doctor is always IN. Continue reading

PRODUCT REVIEW: GRESSA Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

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In terms of foundation, I want my cake and I want to eat it too.  I want to look like I woke up with glowing porcelain skin…BUT I’m not willing to do the time and work of Michaelangelo to get my face there.  I want under eye circles, redness, broken capillaries to disappear…BUT I don’t want to look like I’m wearing foundation.  That’s a tall order for any of us who weren’t born looking like the Ivory Soap Girl.  However, hold onto your foundation brushes, ladies – I am pleased to announce this order has been fulfilled (as have our dreams) by Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation. I speak of holy grail foundation, people.  HOLY GRAIL. Continue reading

PRODUCT REVIEW: The Natural Deodorant That Survived Elena Brower’s Yoga Class


Some people have a graveyard of hair products in their cabinet. I have a graveyard of natural deodorants. I’ve tried them all but none have worked, even the cult classic natch deodorants like Soapwalla and Schmidts. Just call me Natural Deodorant Fail Girl. #naturalsdeodorantfailgirl. While I stayed the course in my deodorant mission and trials, I would wind up in a state of ripeness by the time afternoons rolled around. I’m sure my co-workers were also referring to me as #naturalsdeodorantfailgirl once I left the room. I held on to the hope that my husband might actually appreciate my “natural essence”. Turns out not so much. At all. Apparently love does not conquer BO, as he requested I “return to the chemicals”. I needed to find something, and fast.  Continue reading

EVENT ALERT: A Night for Green Beauty #ANFGB



Take the thrill of the Womens World Cup (USA! USA!) and add it to the excitement of the Olympics, the Oscars, and your best night out with the girls, all synergized into one event.  The result?  The buzz, joy, high, beauty, glow and great fun that will be A Night For Green Beauty.

What is A Night for Green Beauty, you ask? (especially after such an intro!)

Put simply, it’s the top green beauty brands’ founders/formulators AND us green beauty devotees together under one roof.  Or, as some refer to it, “The Green Beauty Party of the Year”.  You know I love me a good party. The sole purpose isn’t necessarily shopping (although there will be plenty of that if you wish – good luck trying to walk out empty handed!).  Rather, it’s the opportunity to meet the fantastically talented, uber intelligent, and forward-thinking women and men behind the green beauty brands.  I have to tell you, it is really quite cool to meet the woman who formulates your eye cream.  When was the last time Aerin Lauder talked to you in person about her brand’s eye cream and ingredients?  Hmmmm….keep dreamin’.

The knowledge, passion, and warmth the green beauty community exudes is extraordinary.  I can also guarantee you will share many laughs as you dabble in experiencing all their facial and body care, perfumes, oils, soaps, hair products, and makeup.  You will be in sensory bliss.  An added feel-good bonus:  green beauty brands are known for paying it forward by supporting various social and environmental causes.  This year, proceeds from the event will benefit Learning AFAR: No Barriers Youth, a non-profit foundation that realizes the difference ONE person can make in this world. Learning AFAR: No Barriers Youth provides “transformative journeys” for students, educators, wounded veterans, and adults with disabilities, empowering them to find their worth, purpose, and a “No Barriers” mindset.  What a fantastic cause – please check out the website.

A little history: the event was founded by Karen King and Victoria Fantauzzi, the dynamic duo behind La Bella Figura.  It has traveled from NYC, to LA, and now lands in Chi-town.  The deets for this premiere green beauty experience and shopping event are as follows:

WHEN: Thursday August 6th, 6-10pm

WHERE: VENUE ONE 1034 W. Randolph, Chicago IL

COST: FREE as a bird, baby!

SPONSORED BY: Thoughtfully Magazine, Goodebox, Beau Tea Bar, Integrity Botanicals, Eco Diva, and Learning AFAR: No Barriers Youth.

For further info and the AMAZEBALLS list of brands representing, check out the #ANFGB website or find them on Instagram.

I feel so grateful for the opportunity to join in on this green beauty community celebration.  I hope you can too!  Come meet the brains and personality behind the brands, your favorite green beauty bloggers, and fellow natch beauty-obsessed peeps.

Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing some of my favorite products that will be featured at #ANFGB.  Whether you will be there in person or in spirit, I will help you generate a wish list of lovely yet effective products!

Will I see you at #ANFGB?

The VEGAN BEAUTY AFFAIR and a few of my faves representing!

What are you doing tonight, May 20th, from 6:00- 9:00 pm? You’ll be joining me at the #Veganbeautyaffair in NYC of course! The event celebrates the best in natural & vegan beauty with mini-makeovers, tips on glowing summer skin, sniffing, sampling, hair braiding and bitters making. Beauty from the inside out!

Spreadhouse, 116 Suffolk St, NYC

 My Faves & Recs Representing

Some favorite products of mine to check out at the Vegan Beauty Affair include….

MEOW MEOW TWEET COCOA SKIN CREAM: Two words – SKIN SAVIOR.  I have incredibly itchy, dry, and eczema-ridden skin on my body.  When I unloaded my skin woes on Tara, MMT’s founder and formulator, she immediately put a jar of Cocoa Skin Cream in my hands and assured me all would be well.  Well indeed!  The formula has only 4 ingredients and Tara’s combination of organic cocoa butter, shea butter, hempseed oil, and sunflower oil works wonders.  Trust any skin prescription this woman gives you. I highly recommend this for dry, itchy, and/or compromised skin.

 Continuing on the dry skin trend…

KAHINA GIVING BEAUTY LIP AND FACE BALM: This loveliness is brought to us by one of the most altruistic green beauty brands out there. In a world where lip balms can be a dime a dozen in terms of composition, Kahina’s Lip and Face Balm is truly in a class of its own.  When was the last time you read Imortelle, Calendula, and Blue Tansy on your lip balm’s ingredient list?  A quick rundown of these ingredients’ benefits include increased cell turnover, anti-inflammatory properties, healing of bruises and broken capillaries, and the ability to calm the skin.  Add organic moisturizing oils and butters and the heavenly scent of geranium and neroli and you have perfection in a pot.  Kahina Giving Beauty Lip and Face Balm is the reason why my lips survived winter.  Bonus: it’s a multi-tasker!  This balm is perfect for your face when you have stubborn dry patches that look like sandpaper under makeup.  Prep your skin with this and your foundation will thank you. Added Bonus: you are doing both your lips/face and womankind good with Kahina’s Lip and Face Balm. 15% of all sales goes directly to the Berber women in Morocco. 

 CARU ROCK & ROSE ORGANIC TONER: First off, the name. How can you not love the stuff already? Semantics aside, Caru’s Rock & Rose Organic Toner contains organic rose, geranium, and rock rose.  I’ve not heard of a rock rose but I can’t wait to ask founder and formulator Dominique Caron about it.  A spritz Rock & Rose Organic Toner cools and softens the skin, providing soothing nourishment and a lovely bouquet of rose and geranium. The scent is not overly rosy or floral – it’s just right.  I love spraying Caru’s Rock & Rose Organic Toner to prep the skin for facial oil.  This is a repeat buy item for me, as are Caru’s soaps (which I highly recommend as well!).

OSMIA ORGANICS DETOX EXFOLIATING MASK: Make no mistake: this mask is black and totally badass.  Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating mask flaunts some mighty powerful ingredients, including a trio of clays, Manuka honey, walnut powder, raw cacao, and activated bamboo charcoal. The mask allows you to play alchemist by adding the black mask powder to water in the included ceramic bowl (Love! No one should be mixing mask in a Tupperware. That’s sacrilege.).  Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask does what it says by thoroughly detoxing the skin. Once you are ready to rinse, gently use your fingers to exfoliate your face with a wee bit of water. The result is a face that glows and feels like a baby’s bum.  I’m not usually one for clay masks as I find them drying, but this mask draws out impurities while imparting moisture. It is one of my favorite masks.  I also recommend you check out Osmia’s soaps as well! 

My Wishlist for this Evening? I am on the hunt for some new body oils, a dry shampoo, and possibly a candle  (if I must…). Hope to see you at the Vegan Beauty Affair! 






Hello Again & Beauty Tea Blending Workshop with R.L. Linden & Co.

TeaBlending_Brooklyn_LG(1)Hello beautiful friends! Kindly forgive the blog’s hiatus. I’ve needed to take some time to focus upon healing, rebuilding my health, and taking care of me. The latter being something us women don’t do nearly enough of!  I am glad I’ve finally done so and I’m happy to be back.

Speaking of healing, some wellness practices can be an investment in time and/or money, super involved, or require fancy-schmancy equipment (hello, juicing). One of my favorite wellness practices is simple yet effective.  In fact, it’s downright relaxing and enjoyable. All you need is a mug, hot water, and the ideal blend. It’s time to talk tea, ladies. And I have just the place to do it….

THE EVENT: Beauty Tea Blending Workshop with Robin King and Lynn Till of R.L. Linden & Co.

HOSTED BY: Verdant Beauty

WHEN: Thursday June 26th, 6:00-9:00pm

WHERE: Brooklyn Winery, Bklyn NY

First off, this event combines my two favorite beverages: tea and wine. Brilliant. I couldn’t buy my ticket fast enough. Second, it provides the opportunity to meet the women behind the Colorado-based line R.L. Linden & Co. Robin and Lynn are the creators of superb natural skincare and healing teas. They also have a fantastic sense of humor (a very essential ingredient, in my opinion). You can read my review of one of their facial products here. The R.L. Linden & Co. Love Tea blend is the most exquisite blend of tea I’ve ever sipped. Given that I have an entire kitchen cabinet devoted to tea, that speaks volumes. The Beauty Tea Blending Workshop with R.L. Linden & Co. will include:

  • Cocktails and light refreshments
  • A healing tea blending session (from which you take home your blend and impress your family and friends with your fine skills)
  • A wealth of good info from Robin and Lynn
  • Access to limited edition products from R.L. Linden & Co.
  • 10% off all products (I love shopping with a buzz.)

This event is perfect for teetotalers and winos alike. Expect to learn from these incredible women, be in great company, have lots of laughs, and indulge in a bit of retail therapy if it pleases you so. It’s time to leave the Lipton and Tetleys behind and embrace a gorgeous cuppa healing tea. Hope to see you there!

Click HERE to purchase your ticket. Seating is limited so don’t dilly-dally.

 Will I see any of you at the tea blending table?


PRODUCT REVIEW: R.L. Linden & Co’s La Balmba Rosa Healing Rose Balm

Balm_7Years ago (okay, decades), I used to make a special trip over to Madison Ave in NYC to visit a small, old school apothecary.  I was by no means the Madison Ave type (still not), but a specific impossible-to-find product was well worth the detour.  This product was one of my obsessions.  I loved the vintage look of its red, white and blue tin and was lip-addicted to the blush pink, rose-scented ointment inside.  Fast forward a decade, this lip salve went mainstream with its debut at Sephora.  I’m sure you all know the product I’m talking about.  I believe it still enjoys status as a cult favorite.  Sadly, it is no longer a favorite product of mine.  Once I became ingredient savvy, I was devastated to learn it is comprised mainly of petroleum and cheap cottonseed oil.  Sigh.  Fist shake.

Well, I am crestfallen no more.  When Robin and Lynn of R.L. Linden & Co sent me a sample of their La Balmba Rosa Healing Rose Balm, I knew just what these keen women were up to.  More on them later.  Let’s talk La Balmba Rosa.

WHAT IT IS: La Balmba Rosa Healing Rose Balm is a multi-purpose balm for treating the lips, cuticles, dry spots, and even small nicks and cuts.

SENSORY: La Balmba Rosa is the prettiest pale pink concoction you’ll find in a pot.  Remove the cap, inhale, and you’ll swear you were in a rose garden.  This is not the musty rose scent of the grandma sitting in front of you in church (no offense to grandmas of course – I happen to foster a deep love and adoration for them).  Rather, this is a fresh and beautifully authentic rose.  While I’m not a floral gal, I do have to say I appreciate this product’s fragrance.  If you like rose, La Balmba Rosa will make you very happy.  Texture-wise, La Balmba Rosa is not a hard and waxy balm, nor is it an ointment.  It falls perfectly in between the two.  How does La Balmba Rosa compare to the cult-status salve of my past?  La Balmba Rosa’s rose scent is more intense and its consistency is not as ointment-like.  And it’s a thousand times better for your body*.

FUNCTION:  La Balmba Rosa spreads easily on the lips and has good slip.  It is very moisturizing due to the high content of quality oils.  Instead of petroleum, you’ll find coconut, meadowfoam, jojoba, avocado, and castor oils.  LaBalmba works great on its own or under any lip color you apply.  Indeed, it does multi-task well for the cuticles and dry patches.  I even use this on my lil’ daughter’s lips and dry knuckles.  It makes her feel very fancy and her little sniffer appreciates the rose scent.  Love her.


MORE ABOUT THE BIZ: R.L. Linden & Co was founded by Denver-based darlings Robin King and Lynn Till.  You can read more about the self-professed “nature lovers, product nerds and purveyors of pretty” here.  While their business only launched this past summer, they have 30 years combined experience in health, skincare, and tea blending.  Next on my list to try?  The Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist and Ms. Tilly Rosalie’s Beauty Tea (I’m a sucka for a cuppa).  I am excited for these women as they channel their expertise and passion into making a dream come to fruition with R.L. Linden & Co.  I foresee a very rosy future for them.

Have you made the switch from petroleum-based lip balms yet?  What are you waiting for?  Tried anything from R.L. Linden & Co yet?

* Not the most scientifically-based quantifier, but you get the point.

Image: R.L. Linden and Co

Putting More YOU in the New Year: An Interview with Dr. Pratima Raichur


The Doctor is IN.

Happy 2014, Beauties!  With the year officially under way, may of us have contemplated and formulated goals, resolutions, plans for evolving, and new mantras.  Whatever you choose to call it = whatever works for you.  Something I think we should all try to do this year is incorporate more self-care into our lives and routines.  This transcends beyond appearance and vanity.  Self-care is about devoting time to developing wellness in the mind, body, and spirit.  Wellness is synonymous with beauty.  You cannot have one without the other.

 I had the honor and pleasure of engaging Dr. Pratima Raichur in a bit of Q&A regarding Ayurvedic self-care. Dr. Raichur is a renowned doctor of Ayurvedic medicine and skincare.  As far as I’m concerned, she is both guru and goddess to womankind.  This is the second part of my series on how the ancient practice of Ayurveda can work for the modern woman.  Missed Part One?  You can catch up here.  Take a moment now to relax, open your mind, and ponder the following means for self-care and renewal. Continue reading