We’ve been on a roll with the Friday Deals lately. This one is from one of our absolute favorite aromatherapy lines—Essence of Vali. If you’re newer to the site you may not know about this amazing aromatherapy brand. We first discovered it when researching the book, and we’ve been using it religiously ever since.
So here’s the deal. Essence of Vali is offering NMDL readers 20% off your purchase. Just use the promo code NMDL2013 at checkout for your special deal. And if you thought that was generous, get this—the promotion is valid until the end of the year!
Maybe you’ll recall that the Sleep Bedtime Ritual is one of Siobhan’s favorite aromatherapy blends. You really must try the Detox blend, too. With notes of grapefruit, lemon, cypress, and juniper, it’s perfect for this time of year when travel and over-indulgence in food and drink lead to fatigue.
Susannah’s favorite is the signature scent—EOV Botanical Perfume—a warm, sensual blend that’s floral and earthy with hints of citrus. It’s available as an eau de parfum or roll-on perfume oil. Just gorgeous.
If you’re already in gift-buying mode, well let us remind you why Alexandra thinks that aromatherapy makes the very best gift for your friends and family. Every one of us would love to be on the receiving end of some Essence of Vali! EOV products are at such a great price point to begin with. So go on—be sure to splurge on some EOV aromatherapy.
So tell us what you want, what you’ve tried, and what you love!
We are all about women helping women, especially when it comes making smart decisions in love. How many times have you cried your broken heart out on a girlfriend’s shoulder or warned a bestie that the dude she’s into is, well, just not the best choice? Thanks to technology, you may be able to sidestep trouble in love more easily than ever. There’s an article in the New York Times this week about a new app for women that takes love advice to the next level by harnessing the power of social network.
The app is called Lulu and it was created as a private network to give women a place to share their honest opinions about the guys they know or have dated.
Lulu is supposed to help women make smarter decisions about dating by helping you figure out, all in a sisterly spirit, whether your crush is #TrustWorthy or a #ManChild. I love this concept. Lulu aims to empower women in the dating game. It may also encourage men to be on their best behavior. Here’s a quote from the NY Times article that resonates with me:
“The thing that drew me to Lulu was that dating without a reference is the scariest thing you can do. Meeting someone out in the world when you’re not in school or don’t work with each other or have mutual friends — you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”
So very true. So how does it work? Lulu describes their reviews like a Cosmo quiz. To create a review, women answer multiple-choice questions about a guy’s sense of humor, manners, ambition, commitment level, and appearance. Reviews are always anonymous. Women can rate men in categories—ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative. Pink hashtags are used to describe a man’s profile, ranging from the good (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to the ugly (#PornEducated). Lulu then creates a score from 1 to 10 that appears under the man’s profile picture.
What’s your take? Is Lulu something you would use?
P.S. Lest you think this puts men at risk of false reporting from, say, a psycho ex, Lulu has built in protections to prevent abuse. For example, Lulu is friends only. Guys can only be seen and reviewed by their female Facebook friends. If they don’t want to be reviewed, they can have their profile removed immediately.
Burrrrr. Sounds cold up in Vermont. Warm up with this great routine from a lovely esthetician, Elizabeth. In addition to the Tata Harper products (Vermont love!), we’re intrigued by the other local items Elizabeth has found. Enjoy!
City: Montpelier, Vermont
Current Weather: Winter is setting in… below 30 degrees every day, windy, 5 in. of snow on the ground already
Skin: Combination, oily t-zone, dehydrated cheeks, sometimes hormonal breakouts, super sensitive!
Hair: Fine, straight, long…naturally ombre’d because I am growing out the bleach in the ends of my hair
Favorite Star: Cindy Crawford
Each Morning I begin each day by drinking as much water as I can. I fill up a 32oz glass milk bottle and carry it around with me while I get myself together for the day.
In the shower…
Generally, I shower in the morning but only wash my hair every few days. Every few washes I begin with a locally made, rose petal infused apple cider vinegar rinse that I pour through my wet hair and let sit for a few minutes to work it’s magic. This is clarifying, purifying and toning for the scalp…it also makes your shampoo work so much better! Next, I shampoo with either Phyto Volume Shampoo, Rahua Volumizing Shampoo or Pureology Volume Shampoo. When that is rinsed out I condition with either Pureology Hydrate Conditioner or John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Conditioner mixed with the John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler. My hair is very fine but because the ends were bleached, they still need a super hydrating conditioner. I then twist my conditioner-hair on top of my head and clip it while I go through the rest of my routine.
Next I wash my body with either Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash or Collective Well Being’s Charcoal Body Wash… and I ALWAYS use exfoliating gloves and scrub scrub scrub… I cannot seem to remember to use a body brush before showering, though I love the ritual, so instead I go to town with my exfoliating gloves! I rinse off, rinse out my conditioner, rinse my hands off and begin my facial cleanse. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Cream on most days, occasionally I use May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt for when it is very cold outside and I feel that my skin needs the circulatory boost from May’s product. If I am having a hormonal breakout I will use Arcona’s Raspberry Gommage. Though I rotate cleansers, I always treat my skin in the same way. I am an esthetician and believe that we should treat our skin as if it is silk. I never ever scrub my face, I press my cleanser into my skin beginning at the forehead and working my way down with very gentle pressure. This stimulates the lymphatic system to begin to flow, thus purifying your skin from the inside while on the outside your skin is being cleansed without being irritated. I rinse off my cleanser and my shower is done.
Outside the shower…
While my hair is wrapped in a towel, I spritz a facial toner on. I LOVE to experiment here. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Clarifying toner, Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, a locally made Raw Honey toner or Arcona’s Mineral Magic. If I am having a breakout, I will dab on Arcona’s Tabula Rasa. Works wonders! While my face is still damp, I go for a facial oil. Oil is FANTASTIC for oily skin. My favorite’s are Dr. Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil, May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew and a locally made oil that is choc full of sea buckthorn, tamanu and so many floral essential oil’s it smells like you just stuck your head into a bouquet of jasmine blossoms. I apply a dab of Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum around my eyes… if I use it all over my face I tend to breakout but it’s an incredible eye cream on its own. Because the weather in VT is so harsh, I use a day cream over my facial oil. In the winter I use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, amazing at soothing broken capillaries! In the summer I use Dr. Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream (heavenly lemon balm scent) or Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer. For the body I use Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (great for toning!) and then I use Lunaroma’s Bergamot Vetiver Body Butter where I tend to get extra dry…so arms, knees, feet, hands. Then I toss on a robe and do my hair, I put on a robe so that my hair doesn’t fall into my lemongrass oil on my back. I spritz Rahua’s Volumizing Spray into my roots, followed by John Masters Sea Salt Spray. In the winter I HAVE to blow dry or my hair would be icicles when I went outside so I do but in the summer it’s a benefit of fine hair that you can roll your windows down in your car on the way to work and your hair is dry in minutes!
For makeup I generally just curl my eyelashes with Trish McEvoy’s eyelash curler…its my absolute favorite! And then I use a few coats of Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. If I’m feeling fancy I will use Dr. Hauschka’s translucent bronze concentrate as an actual bronzer and swirl it onto cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin and neck with a stippling brush. I will follow with RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on both lips and cheeks…and if I’m REALLY going for it I will use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Seduce and Dr. Hauschka’s eyeliner pencil in 04 (charcoal brown)…smudging it right up into the upper lash line to make my eyelashes look super thick and dark.
Once all this is done, I try really hard to drink a green smoothie or a green juice. It’s incredible what it can do for your skin, especially if you are consistent! But if I don’t have the time, I’ll finish my morning routine with a giant cup of Teacup Botanicals’ Nourish vitamin and mineral tea. So delicious, so good for you and keeps me warm when I have to brave the blustery weather outside my door!
I’ve always had trouble with mascara, though I don’t feel my needs are overly demanding. I have dark lashes, but I enjoy some additional volume. Plus, color that stands out all the way to the tips would be nice. I don’t want to look “made up,” but rather put together and polished. Maybe mascara is just a difficult cosmetic, or maybe it’s my inept application technique. In spite of having a mother and two older sisters who were very into makeup, I never received any instruction. I also seem to have a face that changes drastically as color is added. As a result, it’s easy to go too far, and in moments I can go from fresh-faced to Marge-Simpson-with-the-makeup-gun-set-on-whore*.
My misspent youth saw my lashes slathered in every dirty drugstore brand out there. There were a few years with no mascara, or a clear formula. Right before I went clean, my favorite was Bare Minerals Flawless Definition. Even that, though, I couldn’t wear on my bottom lashes without smudging or just looking silly. Add to this my sensitive nature. With many mascaras, even natural ones, my eyes burn. Or there’s an icky scent and I can literally smell my eyelashes all day. Then there’s that awful hyper-awareness of my lashes that happens with many brands. Plus, of course, the standard smudging/flaking/raccoon eyes thing (In spite of my dryish skin, I’m an oily lid girl).
For well over a year, I’ve been routinely going without mascara, except for some playing with a couple of newish colors from Real Purity. Violet lashes are not really an every day look, though.
Then this fall, Ilia launched a new phenoxyethanol-free formula, in four beautiful colors. Cut to me wearing mascara again.
What’s to love:
- Short length handle is easy to maneuver
- Rubbery brush gives easy, smooth application
- Brush has short bristles on one side and long on the other, so you can flip it around to reach different bits of lashes
- Dries fast and is layerable
- Lashes stay soft, not stiff (especially with only one coat)
- Nice balance of volume and length
- Insanely gorgeous and unique colors
- Essentially no scent
With Ilia mascara, I don’t look in the mirror and say, “Wow, look at those lashes.” I say, “Wow, my eyes look pretty.”
There’s enough volume to make it worthwhile even with one coat, and length as well, while still working for every day. Layering, while not usually my thing, will give you a more powerful and glamorous look. After some experimenting, two light coats on top lashes and one on the bottom is ideal for my tastes. I have not yet had a smudge, and learning to apply carefully has left me nearly flake free. At the end of a work day, it still looks good. There’s a flake or two if I rub my eyes a lot or take a nap in it. I have not had a good cry or a rainy day in it yet, but I do often mist Lotus Wei on my face with no problems.
Okay, so we have to talk about the colors. My hazel eyes LOVE Macao, which is a coppery shade that is so much more fun than a standard brown. It adds soft emphasis and brings out the green in my eyes. Asphalt Jungle is charcoal goodness, and simply THE perfect color for those like me who think true black is just too much, but are bored with brown/black shades. Nightfall is the blackest black I’ve ever used in a mascara, and surprisingly, I like its richness. This color is a one-coater for me, too intense for daytime with more coats. So you ladies looking for more va-va-voom may love it. I can wear all of these colors on my bottom lashes with no trouble, and they all wash off with my usual cleanser.
Who’s tried the new Ilia formula? From what I’ve heard, it’s quite different from the brand’s first shot at mascara.
*check this out about 45 seconds in for a classic Simpsons moment
Hello friends! I am slowly coming back to reality after my monthlong yoga teacher training retreat. There’s much to share, but in two words: so good. (Oh, and so funny. My abs are still thanking me for the laughs I shared with my new pals.)
I know some of you have been considering doing a TTC program, and I couldn’t recommend it more. I did mine at The Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, which is an absolutely amazing place as long as you’re someone who can get with being told what to do, eat, and wear for a month (and if you can roll with a little woo woo, like chanting the names of Hindu gods in Sanskrit and stuff). For this gal, it was a heaven—a total luxury to not think about anything other than my yoga practice.
Anyways, I’m back—and I’m full of beans! Literally and figuratively. And, probably not surprisingly, I’ve returned with a renewed verve for plant-based eating too. (And a serious plan to grow my own food—but more on that another time.)
As I’ve shared in the past, I was a 20-year vegetarian (and on-and-off vegan) until I encountered some health problems a few years back—which I now recognize as a hormonal imbalance due to stress and total energetic depletion. On the recommendation of several practitioners I started eating a little bit of well-sourced meat. It was the right move then, but over time a little bit turned into a little bit more. And if I’m being totally honest, I even started slipping on the sourcing thing sometimes.
But this month helped me reconnect in a big way with all the perks of eating plant foods: from the practice of ahimsa (non-violence) to being kinder to the environment, as well as the benefits to my own physical and spiritual health. It was part of our curriculum (and a final exam question!) to learn about and extol the virtues of a vegetarian diet. (Ok, so they never mentioned glowing skin—but we all know that’s a major plus too.)
And while I’m not swearing off meat entirely—keeping some flexibility around food is important to me, because I do think context can be everything—right now, I’m in a pretty deep love affair with lentils and most things that grow in the ground.
The best part? After years of bloating at the mere sight of raw vegetables and legumes, it seems I’ve finally figured out how to digest this good stuff! Here are my three tips to anyone else who’s had the best intentions to eat more greens but couldn’t quite stomach it…
1. Chew chew chew. I’d never given a whole lot of thought to chewing and tended to eat pretty quickly. But it turns out that chewing is a critical part of the digestive process—not least of all because it lets your saliva do its job—and the more of it you do, the easier a time your tummy will have. It also allows your intestines to absorb nutrients more efficiently; it’s good for your teeth; and it helps you to really enjoy the taste of your food and eat with more consciousness. How much chewing? One speaker on the retreat recommended chewing until you can drink your food. While some foods never quite liquify, it’s a helpful way to think about it.
2. When you eat, focus on eating. I took many of my meals in silence at the farm, sitting under a beautiful weeping willow tree by a pond. While regular life doesn’t generally afford such a picturesque environment, I find there’s a big difference in the way that I eat, chew and digest if I’m distracted by the TV, my computer, or even just conversation. I’m not saying to ignore your family at meal time, but I believe making a conscious effort to focus on the act of eating can be a boon for your body.
3. Snack consciously. I can be a total grazer, and it almost always results in indigestion for me—especially if I throw something down unconsciously around 4pm. So now I’m trying to treat snacks like meals—if I want one, I put it on a plate, sit down, and eat it with awareness. It seems to help!
How much thought do you give to the wheres and hows of eating and chewing? Oh, and happy Meatless Monday!