There are many products I’m wanting to review right now, but I will start with my most visceral obsession: Tapa Candles. I realize candles aren’t a beauty product per se, but when they’re scented and amazing and make you feel calm and cozy after a stressful day—and especially these days, with all the noise, the politics, to say nothing of the scary weather (my heart goes out to you, East Coasters)—I believe they’ll do as much for your face as an amazing eye cream or oil.
Here’s the snag: It’s surprisingly hard to find natural scented candles that don’t smell awful. I don’t know why, but it is. And the good ones tend to be insanely expensive.
Not that these are exactly cheap, but less pricey than many I’ve seen, and there’s a super reasonable travel kit. The full size featured in the photo also comes in a beautiful reusable glass, perfect after for water or wine. Online, you can find them here, here and here.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tamika, the company’s creator, at the Yogitoes Breast Cancer Awareness event a few weeks back. I will warn you, there were many amazing products there: makeup brushes that made me want to powder my nose all day, and an argan oil/rosehip hybrid that has me weak in the knees. More on those anon, though.
Tamika herself struck me as some kind of a modern goddess—all beautiful and cool, giving people reiki treatments on the floor.
This is where she lives in New York with her husband, (and I’m now obsessed with his furniture too) so it’s no surprise that she creates amazing and tasteful things. I got a travel kit, and while I’m most fanatic about the pine-and-cedar Alps one (you can take a girl out of the woods but…), they are all truly amazing. Just read the simple descriptions and choose the one that features your favorite types of smells, or get the affordable three-pack to try a few.
Last week I went to San Francisco for work, where I pulled multiple late-to-all-nighters with my much-younger coworkers. It was super fun, but each night when I came back to my hotel, I lit my Alps candle to chill the freak out. It helped immensely.
Do you have natural candles you love? Spill.
This past Saturday I was reminded once more why I believe that an energetic reality that we can’t touch or see does in fact exist. Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes like: “Duh, Alexandra, tell me something I don’t know.” While others are one click away from a less flaky site, thinking: “Are you flipping kidding me right now? I read this blog for beauty advice, not some The-Secret-style shi*%#.”
I know. But for some reason, this site has become a place where we share all kinds of weird stuff about ourselves, and for me (OK, and maybe her, too), this kind of alternative healing work has become an important part of managing our sometimes stressful lives, and also checking in with our higher selves.
What is energy work? So hard to say, really. I’ve seen and felt it during reiki—anyone tried reiki?—but also during regular old massages, with acupuncture needles, and through no touch at all.
I’ve felt it more times than I can remember, and it has provided me with great relief at times—a kind of high feeling of lightness—while at others plunging me into a deep grief I didn’t even know was there.
But back to this weekend. I was having a party for the multiple people I know born in March, including yours truly. There was loud music and a solid amount of debauchery underway when my friend Mini grabbed me by the arm and said: “My friend Siobhan”—no joke, and I’ve never met another until Saturday—”wants to sage you.” That means she wants to use the smoke from sage to clear my energy. Me—happy, a little drunk, and always up for some unpredictable semi-spiritual encounter—lept into the living room for my birthday cleansing.
I sat down with a woman who looked like a supermodel and had a beautiful energy to match. Wordlessly she began puff-puffing the sage smoke around my body with graceful and adept hand motions. “Your elbows are really happy,” she said finally, and then moving down she kind of paused uncomfortably, “but your hips…” She trailed off. Not so much. “Yeah,” I said. “I know.”
So here’s the thing: Before I lose you entirely, nearly every energy worker slash healer slash whatever you call these people who are more attuned to such things, has told me this. My hips, it seems, hold some kind of blocked energy. In the earlier part of my yoga practice, and before I had any kind of awareness of my body, pigeon pose (a pose so many seem to find totally relaxing) could instantly send me into tears. Even as a kid, as my sister would throw herself into the splits, my hips were locked. They’ve gotten a whole lot better—at least in terms of flexibility—but not enough to stop evoking this reaction.
Now, it’s not like this was the craziest energy experience I’ve had, it’s just on my brain. Recently, on vacation, I also got a massage and the second the woman touched me an intense burst of energy rushed through my body. Oh my, I thought, major energy worker in the house. When she turned me over, I asked her: “You do energy work right?” It was really funny, her eyes bulged and she looked at me like she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In broken English-Spanish, she replied almost in her defense: “Un poquito, solemente, un poquito! I just start.”
Why are we talking about energy work? Because stress and health (and beauty, of course) are all deeply intertwined. Whether you believe that we hold tension in the body—is that even up for debate?—or in things far more out there, like trauma from birth or past lives, energy work may be something worth exploring.
Have you ever tried it? Felt it? Had an interesting energetic experience? Would you?