Did you catch the total lunar eclipse last night? Technically, it eclipsed in the early morning hours today and peaked at around 3 a.m. ET. It’s called a blood moon because the of the coppery or red-orange color that’s produced when the earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light from the moon while, at the same time, it reflects the sunrises and sunsets happening on the planet. If you missed the blood moon, don’t worry. This was the first of four back-to-back total lunar eclipses—known as an eclipse tetrad—scheduled to occur over the next 18 months, according to astronomers. Pretty cool.

The moon holds such a mystical place in the history of human culture, especially for women. So let’s get a little mystical, shall we? (Hey, if we’re gonna get a little woo woo, a blood moon is the perfect excuse.) This lunar eclipse takes place with the full moon in Libra. We turned to MysticMamma, who curates readings from astrologers, for some astral insights. Here are some that stand out:

“…Aries is the sign of the self and Libra is the sign of the other… If we overdo our Aries we are fiery, feisty, aggressive, conflictual, and selfish. If we overdo our Libra we are pacifist, have boundary issues, are codependent and cannot stand up for or take care of ourselves… This Full Moon Eclipse in Libra will definitely highlight any imbalances in relationships.

“Lunar Eclipse happens during a Full Moon phase and it symbolizes powerful endings, closure, clearing out, completion. It heralds a time of major transitions. It represents letting go, clearing out, purging and releasing especially on an emotional and psychological level…”

“Consider the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Libra a time to restore the harmony and balance on many levels but especially the emotional… What a wonderful opportunity to clear away and heal the heart energy center.”

Sometimes, it’s necessary to just stop and take notice of the beauty above us, even if astral events don’t strike you as portentous. Did the blood moon speak to you in any way?


Introducing R.L. Linden & Co.

When I caught a peek of R.L. Linden & Co. I thought to myself, “Hellooo new black glass bottles on the block.” I cannot resist those bottles. Once I browsed the ingredients, I felt the call: flower essences, plant extracts, and infused oils. My cup-o-tea in spades. I’ve been keeping this line to myself for too long now; it’s time to share.

The founders, Robin and Lynn, have a healing touch and only create product when their spirits are happy and loving. That energy transfers to their products, like the Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist—high vibes, ladies. Maybe energy isn’t your thing, but if you believe that flower essences and plant extracts are powerful in the right combinations, you will love this line. Either way, you’ll swoon when you smell their mist.

R.L. Linden is based in Denver, Colorado. They are part of a charmed community of doers and makers that have revitalized Denver in a very human way. The ladies behind R.L. Linden love to collaborate. Their excitement about the artisans and indie businesses they partner with is infectious. Check out the cosmetics bag they had specially made by the husband and wife craft team at Winter Session. Their cleanser, the Bee Charmer, is made with chocolate from local makers, Ritual Chocolate. My favorite project is the perfume oil collaboration that they have underway. Their first perfume—Ironwood—takes its inspiration and namesake from a local décor shop, the Ironwood Collection. Did I mention that they formulated an entire collection of products for their local green nail salon, Base Coat? Or the limited edition seasonal boxes they create? I can’t even.

R.L. Linden is a young company. They have recently expanded their line from the Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist, Healing Rose Balm, and Beauty Tea to include a travel set of products, all of which will soon be released in full size bottles. This is the best way to discover what R.L. Linden has to offer, and trust me, there’s a lot to love. Here are some standouts for me:

Close To Me Uplifting Deodorant Spray: This is for pits, bits, toes, or anywhere you want to smell lovely. There’s an earthy undercurrent from the organic tamanu oil, but it’s lifted by the bergamot and geranium and sweetened by the bourbon vanilla. I crave this scent, and it keeps me so fresh. It’s not the kind of deodorant that keeps you from sweating, but you will smell herby and sweet. This doesn’t just mask odor though; it prevents it. It’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it really keeps funky smells at bay. In short, I’m addicted and will buy this before I run out for fear of not having it on hand.

Your Eyes Only Gentle Makeup Remover: This formula breaks down mascara and eye makeup in mere seconds. I was surprised by how much more effective this combination of fractionated coconut oil, organic jojoba, and essential oil of bourbon vanilla is at removing mascara and eyeliner than my normal routine. Mascara dissolves quickly from lashes and lifts from your face, requiring fewer tugs around delicate skin. I use it as a first pass when I’m wearing mascara and then oil cleanse as normal. Enjoy it after wearing the new RMS Beauty mascara, because the two are like yin and yang. Mascara on. Mascara off.

Remind me to tell you more about Time After Time Restoring Frankincense Serum, La Balmba Rosa Healing Rose Balm, and soon-to-be cult favorite Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist. Oh girls.

Have you heard of R.L. Linden & Co.? Tell us what you love about them!


How Do You Clean Your Teeth?

When I was a kid, my parents would try to entice me into learning proper dental hygiene by buying the pink bubblegum toothpaste for kiddos. It was glittery. All I really wanted was to foam at the mouth and imitate Pee Wee Herman. “Mad dog!”

Now I know that like conventional shampoo, the foaming action in most toothpaste is a result of sodium lauryl sulfate. We don’t have to talk about the ins and outs of SLS here (studies link it to organ toxicity, irritation, and more), but let’s just say I don’t want to put it in my mouth at least twice a day. As with many questionable ingredients, it’s the long-term cumulative effect on my system that I’m most concerned about.

Fluoride, artificial sweeteners, neon colors, and all the other weird ingredients hidden in toothpaste—there’s so much to take into consideration! For all the effort I put into cleaning up my skincare and cosmetics routine, I haven’t taken the time to research and find a great toothpaste or alternative. So what have I been using? Tom’s of Maine—the version without SLS.

The morning routines are a haven of great advice from readers and guest writers. Over the years, there have been lots of suggestions for different powders, pastes, and alternatives to conventional toothpaste. So let’s have a little conversation about your pearly whites.

How are you caring for your teeth? What ingredients do you love or avoid? Spit it out in the comments!

Apparently, it’s time to start planning summer activities! One of our readers wrote in with a great question about skin maintenance while road tripping. We love that Kaitlin is factoring in skincare while venturing out into nature. Here is her letter:

“This may be a hard question to answer, but I am going on a road trip/camping adventure across the US in August, and I’m on the hunt for a great “one step” skin regimen. I’m looking for something I would be able to use without water, such as facial wipes. I also am up for tinted moisturizer suggestions with SPF in it. I will not be wearing much makeup on this trip so makeup removal is not a concern of mine. I really do need help with this. I want to treat my skin well, even though the rest of me may get a little…. dirty? Haha! Please let me know. I would really appreciate all the help I can get.”

For a minimalist routine, Kaitlin has the right products in mind. Here are my suggestions:

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths: These wipes are a cleanser, toner, and eye makeup remover in one! They are made from 100% biodegradable, unbleached bamboo cloth. This is probably the cleanest, most natural facial wipe you will find on the market. The ingredients are full of goodness like organic honey, sunflower oil, and antibacterial essential oils. You can purchase as individually wrapped travel packs, or a full size box. I took these to the beach last summer and loved being able to wipe the sweat and sunscreen off quickly at the end of the day. So refreshing! They are effective but gentle (no alcohol, sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrance), and the cloth is super soft. Consider this the “Swiss army knife” of your skincare routine on-the-go.

Suntegrity “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen (Tinted, Spf 30): This chemical-free tinted sunscreen relies on zinc-oxide to protect your skin from harmful rays. Zinc not only protects, it is anti-inflammatory and helps problematic skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Win! This sunscreen contains some serious skin boosting ingredients like plant-derived hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, red algae and certified organic aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea. There are a couple of ingredients I am not a huge fan of (namely, dimethicone), but the formulation is cosmetically elegant — it blends into skin effortlessly — and it has been featured as one of the best sunscreens in the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen guide for the last two years. You can order trial sizes to figure out the best tint for your skin tone and see whether you like the finish.

One more thing, Kaitlin. Consider taking a light facial oil with you to apply at night and recharge your skin after a full day of outdoor activity. Not knowing your skin type, a safe bet is Lina Hanson Global Face Serum. This blend sinks in quickly and leaves a velvet finish. Plus it’s full of restorative, nutrient dense oils like baobab, argan, and marula. It also smells gorgeous and relaxing thanks to the neroli and frankincense oils.

Now, let’s hear your thoughts and suggestions for Kaitlin in the comments. Happy camping, Kaitlin!


Product Review: Tata Harper Love Potion

Early last fall Siobhan and I went to an event hosted by Tata Harper. At some point Siobhan turned to Tata and whispered, “Is it true that you’ve developed a love potion?”. My heart skipped a beat and all the other chatter faded away as I learned that come February, my pulse points would revel in a new Tata Harper blend.

The creation story behind the Love Potion is quite sweet. As told by Tata that evening in November, the Love Potion was inspired by a very pretty young lady who works at her laboratory. Despite all she had going for her, guys weren’t asking her out, so one of Tata’s chemists had an idea to create an aromatherapy blend that would help his colleague out in the love department. The seed was planted and the blend went into full development. Tata figured, what woman wouldn’t want a Love Potion? I have to agree.

Don’t let me mislead you. The Love Potion was created to do more than simply reel in the suitors. Its true purpose is to help you feel positive and radiant because as Tata knows, we’re most attractive to others when we are confident in our own unique beauty. The Love Potion was formulated with 10 aphrodisiac essential oils that are supposed to heighten sensuality, inspire an inner sense of beauty, and help you focus your body and mind on feelings of love and warmth. Judging by the essential oils included in the blend, I knew the Love Potion would do as promised as long as the composition of the fragrance was right.

I am an ardent fan of every Tata Harper aromatherapy treatment, but this new scent is more complex than the others. There are layers to discover, and they are well structured and balanced. Both sensual and energizing, the opening notes of jasmine, orange peel, grapefruit, and ylang ylang create a first impression that feels flirtatious, even tender, to my nose. The first moments are rich and sweet, though not cloying. It’s the headiness of the jasmine, the sugary ylang ylang, and enlivening spritz of the citrus at play. Then comes an undercurrent of a unique herbaceous aroma that again is rich and inviting — possibly the davana and cedarwood. This gives way to hints of soft dried grass and rose that get tangled in the timeless scent of sandalwood and frankincense, both of which dry down to a powdery puff of warmth with a faint floral finish.

To top it all off, the Love Potion is offered in two sizes: the standard 5ml green bottle with the roller ball top that can slip into the tiniest pocket or purse, and an ultra-feminine 10ml perfume bottle with a pink puffer that atomizes the blend with a glamorous flourish. Chic yet playful, the 10ml bottle comes with a tiny booklet that offers ideas on how to “inspire love every day” and includes a diagram that illustrates where you should apply the potion during moments of intimacy, ooh la la. If you really want to splurge, Tata Harper is offering a limited edition Love Potion gift set to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you live in New York City, lucky you, ABC Carpet and Home carries it, too. Remember, Tata’s fragrance comes from flowers, not chemicals, and that alone inspires love in my book. The Love Potion is a beautiful addition to the Tata Harper aromatherapy line.