Once upon a time I was almost exclusively a savory gal. But these days I have a full-blown sweet tooth, and one thing I love to order if I see it on the menu is a little French number called Pot de Crème. Have you tried it? So good. Like ice cream that hasn’t been frozen, but instead whipped into delicious chocolate submission. I’ve never made it but I know that it’s filled with the usual dessert suspects like cream, egg yolks, and lots of sugar—not exactly your skin superfoods. But that’s about to change.

See, one of my pals from yoga camp is the co-founder of this very awesome company called CaCoCo. It’s all raw, vegan cacao (I know, I’m late to this party), ethically sourced from organic farmers in Ecuador. He recently gifted me a few bags of this so-called Superfood Drinking Chocolate and it basically blew my mind. But why drink chocolate if I can eat it, I wondered. And so was born my simple (and healthy!) take on a Pot de Crème using only 3 ingredients and my blender.

Here’s what you need:

—a powerful blender (I have a vitamix)

—1/3 cup raw cashews

—an avocado

—3/4 cup of CaCoCo drinking chocolate (whichever kind appeals most to you, I like the Global Warrior and Essential Midnight)

Possible extras, depending on your tastes: sea salt and/or sweetener of your choice (sugar, stevia, agave, maple syrup)

Here’s how you make it:

Boil about a cup of water and mix it in the blender with the drinking chocolate. Then add in the cashews and avocado and keep blending (on high) until it’s smooth.  Pour the thick pudding-like mixture it in a mason jar or other glass container and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours. The CaCoCo itself is not overly-sweet (they also use healthier sweeteners like stevia, carob, and coconut nectar) so if you need extra tszuj you can add to taste. And even though there’s already sea salt in there, I like to add a little bit more. I still have that savory tooth!

Traditionally Pot de Crème is served with a little whip cream on top and chocolate sprinkles. If you’re vegan, I suggest you add a little cashew cream or just skip it. I sprinkle some more of the chocolate bits on top which adds an amazing crunch to the super-creamy texture. Good night!

Aside from being delicious this dessert is filled with skin-loving fats and antioxidants galore—and it’s insanely easy to make. I might even like it better than the original!

What’s your dessert jam? Got any great recipes to share?

There’s only one thing better than discovering a product you love, and that’s figuring out a killer combo.

In a recent panic over a misplaced (and since retrieved) tube of Juice Beauty CC cream, I did just that. For better or worse, the CC cream has made me realize just how much I like having that subtle look of more even skin.

So when it went missing I reached into my medicine cabinet and was reintroduced to a product I had previously passed up: Studio 78’s Chameleon Foundation.

Now, to be fair, even when I gave this product the cold shoulder, I knew it had a lot of good things going for it. I loved how it magically transformed when I touched it from a white cream to a perfectly-color-matched foundation, and it had a wonderful texture to it. The glitch? Its coverage just felt a little bit too coveragey for this clean girl.

But desperate times call for innovation. And lo, right there on the bathroom sink sat my trusty PAI Rosehip Biogenerate Oil.

I pretty much love all of the PAI products (special callout to their eye cream, which I like to use on my entire face), but there’s something about this oil that I just keep coming back to. I know, I know—oils. How different are they really? Rosehip is known to be chalk-full of antioxidants and other magical things, which is awesome. And if memory serves, Evan Healy told me it was essentially god’s gift to acne and anti-aging when I interviewed her for the book.

But at the end of the day, while I love information, I’m still largely about the experience. And this is an experience I just adore: the smell, the feel, the way my skin glistens after I apply it.

Now take that effect and combine it with the beautiful texture and just-slightly-too-matte coverage of the foundation and—voila!—skin perfection. Dewy, even, doesn’t-look-like-makeup natural.

Why am I telling you about this instead of just reiterating how great the CC cream is? Well, because they’re actually totally different beasts. The CC cream is subtle city, and sometimes you want to take things to the next but-still-natural level. That’s what this combo is. In fact, my new favorite thing is using all three products for a serious triple threat.

Here’s how I do:

Cleanse, apply your base or sunscreen or, if you’re me, the CC. Then pump a very teeny-tiny amount of the foundation along with a very small drop of the oil onto your finger tips. (If price concerns you with these products, I cannot overemphasize how little is required for each use.) Blend  and apply evenly to your skin with a very light touch (you can always add more). If you have a problem spot you can go ahead and use the foundation on its own too, like around your nose or under your eyes. The crazy thing about this stuff is that even with the oil added, it has incredible lasting power.

Have you tried either of these products? What do you use for coverage? And most importantly, what combos do you create in your bathroom?

38

Aging: The Good, The Bad, The Grays

It would appear that aging happens in cycles. You start seeing a change—grays sprouting, a butt cheek falling—you fixate, then it kind of stops or slows, or maybe you just get used to it.

I remember being in my early twenties and noticing (nay, freaking out) about the first signs of marionette lines forming around my mouth. My young, vain self was very concerned about these! Now I don’t even notice them—they’re just a part of my face, a natural crease that comes from smiling. How could that be bad?

As I approach my 35th birthday this coming month, aging is more on my mind. Here’s the good I see about getting older: I’m mostly delighted with life and way more at ease with my looks. My skin is generally good and I’m a lot less stressed, though I do get the occasional what’s-the-point-of-it-all bug. I spend a lot of time with people who are a lot younger than me, and I have no envy for their youthful glow or the malaise that can come with it. For the most part, getting older is… an improvement.

The bad? My metabolism is slow as hell compared to what it once was and so is my recovery time from any bad behavior. There are definitely some new expression lines and, most noticeable to me these days, an small army of grays not-so-slowly taking siege of my scalp.

What does it mean to age gracefully? Linda Rodin (pictured above) comes to mind. A stylist, model (in her later life), and founder of the beautiful clean oil line Olio Lusso, Linda says that she never thought of dyeing her hair when it went gray at 35 (there’s that number again!). For a little aging inspiration I invite you to watch this video of her chatting about her life.

There are many gems but on aging, and anti-aging treatments, she says (around 4:45 in): “I don’t believe in anything other than what makes you comfortable… But I never fought my age.” She goes on to talk about some treatments she does, her motto being that you should do what you want, as long as you don’t end up looking distorted.

The question I have for you is this: What aspects of aging do you see as charming, or at the very least bearable? And which do you actively try to fight?

For now, I’m letting my grays do their thing. But you guys will be the first to know if I change my mind!

52

Do You Buy Your Beauty Products Online?

It’s not exactly news that people are buying more and more stuff online. Ecommerce sales are expected to hit a cool $370 billion by 2017. And just this past holiday season, UPS and Fed Ex struggled to keep up with the unexpected surge in online sales.

But it’s one thing to take a chance on a pair of shoes and quite another to purchase something that’s going on your skin. Color-matching and smell are especially tricky when buying beauty stuff at a distance.

We were talking about this the other day with the crew and determined that we all fall into one of these three online shopping profiles: 1) only willing to buy products we know; 2) willing to buy and return (returns, however, aren’t often possible with beauty goods); and 3) willing to buy to try but can’t be bothered to return (unless something is super pricey).

I work in the ecommerce world, so I’m probably not the most unbiased guinea pig, but I’m definitely becoming increasingly comfortable shopping online—maybe a little too comfortable! Still, I tend to fall into category uno: While I’ll totally hit up a Nubonau to re-up on favorite products, I don’t tend to buy things I’ve never tried.

Case in point: I’ve been greedily eyeing the Kjaer Weis line for just about forever. But it wasn’t until Evolue started offering the products in-store a few months back (run, don’t walk, LA ladies) that I finally took the plunge. (And what a plunge it was: I’m especially in love with the sun touched cream blush and goddess lip tint.)

What about you? Where are you buying your beauty products, and what are your online shopping practices?

20

8 Reasons To Drink Hot Water And Lemon Daily

As January trucks along, chances are some of those New Year’s resolutions have probably begun falling by the wayside, am I right?

If you’re feeling a bit bummed that you haven’t been able to stick to certain health promises, there’s fascinating research out there now on how to form new habits for good. I invite you to read it, because sometimes our success (or failure) is actually predicted by how we set up the game—and not by how we play it.

One thing that’s for sure: Most people find it easier to change one thing at a time—so that they can register the value and reward of that thing, which motivates them to continue doing it—rather than embarking on an all-or-nothing mission. In fact, that “reward” bit is crucial to making a habit stick.

That’s why I want to share a new habit of mine with you. It’s simple and easy and it’s probably the single most powerful thing I’ve done for my health since—hmm—taking that first yoga class ten years ago? It’s hot water and lemon, y’all. Here’s all the reasons (and rewards!) why you too should make it a habit.

1. It’s easy to stick to. Of all the health commitments I’ve made to myself over the years, and there have been plenty, this has been the absolute easiest to stick with. It probably helps that it didn’t start as a resolution. See, when I was on the yoga retreat, we always drank tea with our meals. I’m talking delicious teas made from scratch with fennel seeds and fresh ginger and all kinds of goodness. I got used to having this warm yummy liquid with my food, and when I came home the boxed teas in my cupboard weren’t quite cutting it. Enter Mr. Lemon. Easy and fresh-tasting, this quickly became my go-to.

2. One good habit begets other good habits. Mark my words: Drinking warm lemon water will improve your dietary choices. I’d be willing to wager that if you are you sipping warm lemon water during the day, when mealtime rolls around you’re going crave something healthy. It’s just an association thing. One that really works.

3. You’ll drink more water (and probably less coffee). I’ve always been one of those too-much-coffee-too-little-water types. I still enjoy my morning coffee (or two) but after 11 this is my new go-to beverage. I’ve essentially gone from a person who would forget to drink water to a fully hydrated human. Also, I’ve lost desire for other less healthy bevs.

4. You’ll eat more slowly and thoughtfully. Watch most of us eat and it’s easy to see just how close we still are to animal ancestors. But slowing down, and especially chewing, is one of the best things you can do for your digestion and your relationship to food. Not only will you enjoy your meals more, you’ll know when you’re perfectly satiated—not just when your plate is empty. Here’s a great practice to make this a habit: Take a bite of your food and then actually put your utensil down, chew, and have a little sip of your warm lemon water. Rinse, repeat and watch how this lovely ritual ups the pleasure of a meal.

5. You’ll have a better chance against the flu. We’re having one heck of a flu season. Chances are you’ve already been sick more than once this season, or have watched those around you suffer. This simple tonic will help your immune system stay strong.

6. Your skin will thank you. Contrary to popular preaching, the skin’s hydration comes from the inside and not from the creams we love to lather on it (the right ones do help keep moisture in, mind you). The best way to hydrate? Not by chugging a giant water bottle all day, which will just send you to the bathroom. Research shoes that it’s slow sipping over longer periods of time that actually hydrates you. To boot, Vitamin C is a known boon for skin and anti-aging. Talk about two birds.

7. It’s better than that third drink (or any drink). You’re out to dinner with friends. You started with a cocktail and then enjoyed a nice glass of wine with your food. You’re perusing the dessert menu and considering just one more little boozy beverage. Here’s a better idea: Enjoy your dessert and sip on some hot water and lemon instead. It will kill the craving for another drink and you’ll avoid getting sloppy and waking up with a hangover. Win! Don’t drink? Even better. This tonic pairs well with just about any meal.

8. It’s calming and comforting. There’s just something about a warm cup of something that brings up feelings of coziness and comfort. During a busy workday, sipping on some warm water with lemon instantly turns down the stress. Knowing what stress does to our skin, health, and everything else that matters in life, perhaps this is the best reason of all.