It’s December, people. And though some of us maybe finished our holiday shopping over the long, sale-filled holiday weekend, others of us may not be that on top of things. Enter this gift guide.
I love gift-giving. I have an entire secret Pinterest board dedicated to gifts for others so when my husband or sister or best friend mentions something they’ve been coveting, I have a safe place to stash the idea for later. This year, I’m doing beauty-related gifts for many friends, so I wanted to share a few of my fave pressies. Check them out below (for all budgets, for all kinds of beauty gals).
For the clean beauty skeptic: Since swapping clean products into my whole beauty caboodle, I’ve tried to convert as many friends as possible to the clean beauty movement. Some are more hesitant than others, and the ones who I have the hardest time convincing are the ones most concerned about cost. So I point them to a multi-tasker that usually woos them to trying more clean products: Acure Organics’ Argan Oil. It’s a hair-smoother, a cuticle oil, a face moisturizer. And it has a friendly price point if they want to repurchase for themselves.
For the beauty aficionado: The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Winter Glow Gift Set. I’ve talked before about how much I love the Vitamin D Mist, and this set boasts that toner, plus a yummy Vitamin C serum that even my mom loves (and she used to use only Vaseline to moisturize her face). Top those off with a colorless face powder and angled kabuki brush help you hit this season’s matte face look and you’ve got a great combo for a girlfriend who’s a tad more in-the-know.
For the makeup maven: I can’t say enough about loving Alima Pure’s wide range of mineral foundations, but now I love their eyeshadows and mascara as well. Their holiday set, Me Encanta, comes from a collaboration with green makeup artist Kristen Arnett. I love love love the navy shadow included in the kit (I used it as a liner) and the blush is my all-time favorite color (I wore it for my wedding, for Pete’s sake). There’s even a how-to video on creating a subtle look with the liner, contour powder and blush. Fool proof. And a perfectly well-rounded present.
For the jet-setter: This Travel Therapy Botanical Mood Booster from La Bella Figura Beauty is one of those things I’m not sure how to make it through the day without. It smells like sunshine, it sticks around for a looooong time and I’ve gotten dozens (not exaggerating) compliments on how I smell, even after not showering for four days, when I’m wearing this puppy. It calms me—and anyone who smells me—down and makes every hurried day, full of airplane travel or just regular old commuting, better.
If you’re on a budget: Much like I am. Alexandra once blogged about why she loves gifting aromatherapy, but let me add to her points by saying it’s a super easy way to customize gifts and to not have to pick out makeup colors. You know your best friends; you know what’s bugging them. Therefore, you know what aromatherapy might benefit them. (Plus, we have a kick-ass deal going on with Essence of Vali until the end of the year. Save your dollar bills and give gifts your peeps will love.)
Or, do a little DIY for the holidays. Get some cute plastic bottles and fill them with a DIY dry shampoo. Or a body scrub. Or a lip balm. The thought goes a long way (and if your friends are like mine, they’ll be thrilled you took time to make them something, not just swipe your credit card.)
For the boy: Olie Biologique JUST released a Whisker Oil for before and after shaving. It smells manly and helps reduce redness and irritation. Or check out the body soaps from Osmia Organics. I only got my husband to switch from Dove when he smelled these babies. (Get a body oil for yourself while you’re at it—Water Lily is my fave and I started wearing it as a perfume.)
What did I miss? What are you snagging for friends, family or S.O.s?
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!
It’s Friday and I’m thinking about my weekend. I’ll be traveling, which means figuring out how to recharge without the luxury of time to myself. No lounging about au naturel with my newspapers and a rich face mask. No long walks in the arboretum or people gazing from the patio of my favorite Capitol Hill cafe. This weekend will be a fast-paced punch in the face, leaving stars in my eyes come Monday morning, but I say bring it! I’ve got this.
Even in a rush or away from home, you can build in moments of pure detachment from your daily thought load and engage your senses in an elemental way, the kind that really hits reset. For me, the answer is always flowers. The biggest reason I’m drawn to natural products—at least the most carnal reason—is the heavenly (earthly?) scent of expertly blended essential oils and flower essences.
Flowers are my greatest source of therapy and I suspect they play a role in your pretty life, too.
Here are my flower picks for a hectic weekend on the go…
Hope Gillerman Travel Remedy: This weekend I’ll be driving up the east coast in heavy Friday evening traffic. Tomorrow I’ll venture even further up the coast by train. Hope Gillerman’s Travel Remedy will steady any motion sickness and help me feel grounded as my surroundings change. The lemon-balm scent comes from a blend of some of my favorite oils: litsea cubeba, lavender, palmarosa, orange, atlas cedar, petitgrain, and birch. This travel staple comes in a small roll-on bottle, perfect for your purse.
LURK PRJ V1: Have you tried this natural fragrance line? Are these precious little bottles to die for or what? It was a great pleasure to sample the LURK line and speak with the lovely founder, Anne Sanford, at the Night For Green Beauty. PRJ V1 is a heady, sensuous blend with a crisp finish that keeps the overall effect fresh. Expect a perfect marriage of jasmine, rose, and petitgrain. Dab it generously on your wrists and behind your ears and come back for more as often as you please.
Bach’s White Chestnut Flower Essence: The unfinished chores or other loose ends in my life won’t bother me while I’m away. Nope, White Chestnut flower essence will interrupt the endless to-do lists that run through my head and help me live in the moment, unencumbered by worries that just aren’t productive. Have you tried flower essences?
One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist: The latest collaboration from dream team Suzanne LeRoux and Elizabeth Dehn is a gorgeous aromatic mist that kisses your face with gentle alpine rose, and this baby is multifaceted. I’ll use it to rehydrate throughout my trip, set my makeup in the mornings, and tone my face in the evening. The bottle delivers a super fine mist that floats onto your skin, unlike some that drench your face in one spot. The formula features antibacterial Shiitake mushroom extract, which soothes irritation and redness. The rosey scent is faint but marvelous.
Pratima Amla Collagen Cream: This is the only cream that can lure me away from my precious oils. It has a cooling effect on my Pitta skin, and though it is meant to treat dry skin, this cream is not heavy and sinks in beautifully. I love to smooth this over my neck and décolleté. The texture and Ayurvedic ingredients are simple and divine, but it’s the scent that has me hooked. Organic essential oils of rose, geranium, lemon, and cardamom give this cream a sweet, delicate aroma that makes me feel well-loved and dreamy. Its skin-plumping effect doesn’t hurt, either.
Rishi Wild Rose Tea: This tea is one of those little luxuries that makes me stop and appreciate my position in life. The delicate rose aroma soothes and rejuvenates my spirit. The flavor is subtle, not overpowering or too floral. I like to add some mint leaves to the blend for a mid-morning refresher, or drink with some honey in the evening to wind down. Traveling with loose tea can be impractical, but T-Sacs make it easy. Pop into a Starbucks, grab a free cup of hot water, and brew your own elevating rose tea.
Erbaviva Relax Spray: Organic lavender, rose, and neroli lend a tranquilizing sensation to this travel-worthy blend. I spritz this in the air and on my pillow just before hopping into bed. It helps me feel at ease, open to rest, and at home in an unfamiliar bed. Get the travel size and thank me latter.
What are your flower powers? How do you enhance your wellbeing on the go?
It’s hot. It’s Friday. It’s a long weekend in Canada, and next week it’s an extra long one here! What could be better? This! We have a Friday Deal from reader-favorite 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—not least of all to help us sleep. But these days, you guys seem to talk about it as much as us. It’s been mentioned in more Morning Routines than we can count.
But enough about that, and onto the deal! As always with our Essence of Vali offers, you get 20% off anything you order. Site-wide. No minimums. Easy does it. Just use the promo code nmdl2013 and you’re in business.
So what will you order? If you’ve tried Vali, tell your fellow clean girls what you’ve used—what you’ve loved (or didn’t). You know we only roll with the truth here.
If you’re not sure what you want, here’s founder Valerie’s recommendations for the summer.
1. Relief balm and Relief massage oil for sports injuries.
2. Refresh mist for cooling down.
3. Detox mist for jet lag. (Hello! Right on time.)
4. And of course, SLEEP for a good night’s rest.
She also suggests putting any of the mists in the fridge during the hot summer months to add a cooling effect to the experience. Good call, and happy misting. X
Santa, take note. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing better than giving (or getting) the gift of a truly beautiful, natural smell. I was thinking about this whole gifting thing, and how the holidays are a great time to help spread the clean beauty experience to the women we love. But aromatherapy—instead of say, face wash—is a particularly great place to start because you’re not telling people to replace anything in their current routine, you’re just adding a new element and helping expand their senses.
I mean, who here remembers the first time they fell for a natural smell over a synthetic one? I often go back to my early experience…
At any rate, I’ve gifted my share of natural beauty products, and can say with confidence that—while a small vile of Hope Gillerman or Tata Harper or a Lotus Wei energy mist may not have the wow factor of a new iPad—these gifts have had the most longterm impact. And here’s how I know: Every time I have given one of these magical formulas, the receiver has continued to buy it themselves. (And in my case that often means Canadians who have to jump through hoops, beg me to send them re-ups, or pay all kinds of shipping to get their hands on this stuff.)
And if scented oils and mists feel too pricey or risky—natural scented candles like these and these, or room diffusers like these, or the more affordable and awesome Essence of Vali products are all wonderful too.
Here’s why I think aromatherapy is so perfect to give…
1. It’s thoughtful and personal.
You have to choose carefully when it comes to smells. So even if the person is not into naturals or aromatherapy, you need to have a sense of what kind of scents appeal to them. (Though if you’re totally stumped I’ve included a list of crowd-pleasers at the end of the post.)
2. It’s powerful.
This stuff works, and science concurs. Most everyone in your life is probably stressed out, and smells like jasmine, rose, and lavender are proven to help people calm down. Is anything better than that?
3. People don’t get it for themselves.
Some people prefer getting practical gifts, but I do think there’s something really nice about giving a gift you know will be enjoyed that someone would never think to get for themselves.
Now for the cheat sheet. According to one study these are the top 10 most universally beloved smells: 1. lime (fruit) 2. grapefruit (fruit) 3. bergamot (similar to an orange in scent) 4. orange (fruit) 5. peppermint 6. freesia (flower) 7. amyl acetate (a molecule that smells like apples and bananas) 8. cassia (similar to cinnamon) 9. mimosa (flowering tree) 10. fir (tree)
Are you gifting any wellness products or DIY concoctions this year? Is aromatherapy on the list?
P.S. In slightly unrelated gifting news… If you’re a mom, or gifting one, obviously clean kids’ products are a boon. But I wanted to engage in some shameless nepotism here, and point the mom set to my sister-in-law’s awesome illustrated poster site South and Summer. She’s created these very cool posters inspired by the toys of our childhood, and I just think they’d make a great gift for parents who like design and have a hard time finding cool kid’s decor. You’re welcome!
Flower grid image from the Lotus Wei site.