Winter’s here, and while I know I can hardly complain here on the Northern California coast, my skin is noticing the change in weather. Cold and dry means mama needs extra help for the next few months. And I’ve found just the thing.
The Blue Cocoon is a concentrated balm made with really special oils & butters, plus some of my favorite EOs. The scent is complex, but the stand-out is blue tansy oil, also known as Moroccan chamomile. It is very refreshing and unique. I can catch the helichrysum too, with an undercurrent of cocoa butter.
Blue Tansy oil is about to take off in the skin care market, I think. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, therefore wonderful for redness and itching. And it’s known for being calming to the mind as well as the skin.
I have mainly used this at night, initially only under my eyes. It certainly does make a spectacular eye balm. Lately I’ve been using it on my whole face (with a hydrosol first, naturally). I was surprised at the radical difference it makes in how my skin feels when I wake up – crazy soft and well hydrated. It absorbs so perfectly that I have used it successfully in the daytime as well.
Now, I admit the $160/50 ml (1.69 oz) price tag widened my eyes. Since I know May’s line well I was sure the quality would match the price, but was I really willing to pay that much for one product? Yep. As it turned out, I loved my sample so much I had to make the full size purchase. Definitely a luxury item, but the one jar should last a few months at least. This would make a supremely extravagant gift for someone special. I’m thinking about dividing up a full size into some pretty little glass jars I have stashed, so I can turn it into multiple gifts.
Will you be wrapped in The Blue Cocoon? What’s helping your skin thrive this winter?
Ingredients: Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *** Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, *** Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, *** Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, * Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, * Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, * Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, * Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia CO2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera CO2 Fruit Extract, * Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil.
* Certified Organic ** Wild Harvested *** Fair Trade, Raw & Unrefined
I do still love Stark Skincare’s Meadowfoam, but I have to admit I ventured further into body oils this year, as the cooler seasons rolled in.
I was seeking an all-over glow with beautiful scent, and these get me there. All are made with high quality oils, and leave the skin ultra soft. I use a bit after a shower, and run my hands through my hair, too.
May Lindstrom’s The Good Stuff: As regular readers know, I love all things May. She knocks it out of the park with every single product. This body oil was the only thing I had yet to try from her line, and it’s a wonderful indulgence. I normally don’t like ylang-ylang on me, but the subtle blend with rose, lavender and the killer cocoa absolute is addictive. If you love the scent of The Honey Mud, you will love this too. This oil has a bit of mica, which mostly just makes it look very pretty in your hand, but I’ve never noticed any overt sparkle once I’ve spread it on my skin. It’s a very special treat. ($110/3.38oz)
La Bella Figura’s Skin Aficionado: The ingredients start with some of my favorite oils: camellia, sunflower and meadowfoam. It has quite a unique blend of scents, but the ginger is what grabs me. I really notice how supremely soft my skin is after using this oil. Right now I’m working the last bit of the generous sample I received, and it’s on my list for a full-size purchase soon. ($90/3.4oz)
Osmia Organics Body Oils: Water Lily is my favorite of the various scents. Rich with vetiver, it’s grassy and spicy and wonderful. On the website, it says, “you may find yourself sniffing your arm during meetings.” Well, yes, I actually caught myself doing just that, and had to laugh! On a few occasions while wearing this, people have mentioned how nice I smell. I even put some in a little roll-on bottle* to carry around with me and use as perfume. There are many other scents to try. I like Night to seal the deal on a relaxing evening bath. Stream is also nice, and more on the flowery side. I love that this oil comes in an unscented version, and in different sizes for easy gift-giving and travel. ($24/2oz or $70/7.5oz)
Looking for an even more budget friendly option? Body oil is quite easy to DIY. You can pick up unscented carrier oils, EOs and bottles at your local clean products spot or Mountain Rose Herbs. MRH also has helpful information on which EOs go together nicely. Make a big batch of oil, and you’ll have a beautiful little something for everyone you’re gifting this year.
Which body oil would you love to give (or get) as a gift?
*these are coated glass, if you’d rather avoid that the same site has clear glass rollers and so does MRH
Not too long ago my skin was feeling pretty down in the dumps.
I told you guys all about it and the comments poured in with recommendations and kind words. (You’re the best, did you know?)
The problem: A combination of deep exhaustion, season change, and some serious laziness around self care in the skincare department. As I write this on the eve of a monthlong yoga retreat, I can almost taste all the fresh air and deep breathing that lay ahead. And I know my skin is going to thank me.
But I’m happy to report that even with stress working against me this past month, I was able to get some glow going again. You guys had great advice. Here’s what worked for me!
1. May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt (+ Honey Mud): We’re obviously a little obsessed with Miss May lately. But I swear, on the same day that I told you guys about my skin woes I went straight to her site and reupped on Clean Dirt. Rotating between that and the new honey mud this past month has completely brought back some life to my skin.
2. Juice Beauty CC Cream: I’m gonna be honest, I was pretty skeptical about this CC stuff. But this product is completely off the hook. I had used it a few times and liked it. But Nicolle inspired me with her comments to really do it every day. The results are unbelievable. Not only does it instantly help fake a great glow, it nourishes the skin (really, I can feel it) and seems to be improving it with time. The major added bonus: I’m finally wearing sunscreen on my face every day. Something I should have been doing for years but could never get into. Now I look forward to it!
3. Cosmedix Rescue Balm: I told you about this balm a little while back, and some of you (ok, and me) were a little wary of the brand’s whole vibe. Others among you swore by it. Alas, I still love the stuff. It’s intensely moisturizing and it makes my skin instantly look dewy. I even use it like a more mellow daytime highlighter sometimes on my cheekbones and lips. It also smells like fresh-picked cherries, so there’s that.
4. Vitaforce Green Smoothies: Many of you guys told me to get my green on, and did I ever. I got back on the smoothies pretty hard after that post and I spiked them with Vitaforce for serious added punch. Here’s the fave smoothie recipe at my house: Lots of spinach, almond milk, 1/4 frozen banana, some peanut or almond butter, chocolate protein powder (the really pure stuff, with like three ingredients—chocolate, wei, and stevia—the others sketch me out). Tastes better than a milk shake and within a few days these helped put some health back in my cheeks.
Because this topic never really gets old, share: What are you doing to glow these days?
I have a problem.
My skin’s in a funk. It doesn’t look exactly bad. I’m not broken out, and there’s no one problem area that I can point to. It just doesn’t have a glow going. It looks like tired skin, not happy skin.
Unfortunately, I think this is a tired-on-the-inside kind of problem, because for the most part I follow my own advice: I get plenty of sleep, and I eat well and I’ve been really regular about exercise and back on the yoga train for real. I work like a dog, of course, but on the weekend I always try to take one day where I completely chill and often get a massage.
But what I’m realizing is that when you’re tired on the inside—in that way where you just need a real vacation and to forget about work and Syria for a while—one weekend of pampering isn’t gonna cut it on its own. At least not for me. So, either I need a way to fake it, or a recommendation so awesome and effective that it knocks my skin out of its funk.
So, let’s hear it. What works for you? Do you drink green juice all day? Do you meditate on joy? Is it luminizer, or is it lasers? What’s your secret weapon when you want to get your glow on?
I will say that May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt was doing it for me. So I’m going to re-up on that stat. The great news for this girl is that I only need to solve this problem for a month because…
Come mid-October, my retreat from the world is coming in a big way! I am off to do a yoga teacher training, a longtime dream that I’m finally realizing. Now, I’m kind of banking on that giving me my natural glow back. But a girl has to live in the now, right? Help!
Is there anything more exciting than discovering a new product you love?
The other day Siobhan, Susannah and I were talking about this electrifying process and we came to the conclusion that NMDL basically lives and breathes on discovering new brands and products. Even if we also like to write about random stuff like why meditation is going to make you a better person, and how chia seeds absolutely can go in your coffee… At the end of the day product recommendations are the bones of what we do.
Which is great because since writing the book the natch beauty biz has been BOOMING. I have more boxes sitting in my entrance than I know what to do with. It drives my husband up a wall, but I don’t even like opening them if I’m not ready to: smell, read ingredients, and decide if the product is worth of trying. Many don’t even make it past the nose test!
When I think about it, it’s actually kind of wild how many of our staples are still from the original tribe (you know, RMS, Kahina, Intelligent Nutrients…) There’s a special voodoo to creating the perfect product, something like creating the perfect dish—and it’s just not everyone who can cook. (Bless your hearts for trying, though.) Don’t even get us started on packaging.
Not that we haven’t made new incredible discoveries since then. I mean, Studio 78, Ilia, Acure, Marie Veronique Organics, and May Lindstrom (the last, PS, is cooking up a new product right now that you guys are gonna lose your freaking minds over).
But who else is out there, that we just don’t know about yet? Where’s the next Rosemarie Swift, making magic in her kitchen, or already selling her product overseas… We must find her!
That’s where you come in. So, two questions:
1. Other than popping by here, what’s your product discovery process?Friends, other blogs, a store in your city?
2. What products have you found and love—in any category—that we just aren’t talking about here? We take a lot of joy in introducing smaller brands to more folks, so don’t keep secrets.
Or maybe, gasp, you are making your own beauty products? Tell us about them, or email us and send some samples through…
I promise the boxes always get opened eventually! x