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Beauty Notes: I Like This
Posted by Joy Rothke, Friday, July 04, 2008 9:44 PM (Eastern)
Saaf Organic Enriching Hair Oil
Saaf is a new product line developed by Dr. Mah Hussain-Gambles, a UK-based homeopath and pharmacologist. Her Hair Oil ($54.95/3.4 oz.) is part of a skin and bodycare line designed to be "Highly Effective, Totally Organic, Utterly Ethical." All products are vegetarian, alcohol-free, non-irradiated, free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Halal and Kosher.
The hair oil is represented as being for fine, flyaway hair and split ends, but I found it especially effective on my thick and dry hair. I rub two or three drops between my hands, and apply it to the length of my wet hair. It adds softness, defrizzes and absorbs quickly. Ingredients include Mustard Seed oil, Sesame oil, Neem extract and natural Vitamin E; Rosemary, Bay Leaf and Ylang-Ylang essential oils. While this oil is pricey, it's quite concentrated, and I'd estimate my bottle will last at least a year.
Beautorium, a new online beauty boutique, is the exclusive US distributor for Saaf. They also sell a variety of hard-to-find, organic, international products--and offer wonderful customer service.
Parissa Natural Hair Removal Systems
Waxing isn't fun, but Parissa's Express Wax Strips ($9) are easy to use, virtually painless and get the job done.
The Express strips are designed for face and bikini; I've only used them on my face. Each box includes eight double-sided wax strips and a vial of azulene oil. You separate the strips, press against your upper lip chin or brow line, and pull off. Each strip can be reused several times to get rid of any errant hairs, and any wax left on your face can be easily removed with the azulene oil. It's fast and takes little to no expertise.
Parissa also sells a variety of other waxing systems for the rest of your body.
Lily Gulch Soaps
Until I discovered artisan soapmakers like Lily Gulch, I hadn't used bar soap in at least 15 years, finding it poison to my dry skin. Of course, the only bar soap I'd ever used was the junk from the supermarket or so-called "glycerine" bars I bought at various places. I didn't know that those soaps weren't soaps at all, but detergents. I just knew they didn't work, and I stuck to gels.
Lily Gulch has been producing old-fashioned, handmade, cold process soap in Evergreen, Colorado since 1995. They sell dozens of scented and unscented bars, and I've been testing their best-selling almond soap ($5.50/4.5 oz.) for the past couple of weeks. Tucked into my Soap Cinch, I'm enjoying the subtle almond fragrance as well as the fact it cleans well without leaving my skin dry and parched.
The Soap Cinch
I refuse to keep my artisan soap in a soap dish, unless I'm interested in washing with a slimy, melting mess. Soap Cinch ($6.85) has come up with a new take on a soap keeper. It's a hemp bag that holds most sizes of bar soap and doubles as a washcloth/exfoliator. There's an elastic tab at the bottom that allows you to connect two or more Soap Cinches to form a back scrubber.
Supracor Stimulite Bath Mitt
The first time you see the Supracor Stimulite Bath Mitt, it looks like it's made of some sort of bubble wrap, but it's actually a proprietary material called Stimulite® Honeycomb. It's available in a variety of lifestyle and medical products, including bath mitts and facial sponges.
Stimulite® is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. You can use the Bath Mitt ($32) wet with soap or shower gel for cleansing, or for dry brushing of your skin to encourage cell turnover and lymph system stimulation.
Beauty Notes: I Like This
Posted by Joy Rothke, Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:04 PM (Eastern)
A primary benefit of using natural and organic products is the opportunity to sample things from from all over the world, and encounter product lines I'd never know about if I bought everything at Nordstrom, CVS or even Whole Foods.
Sensatia Botanicals is a small line of 100% natural products from the island of Bali. I'm hooked on their essential oil blends and body oils, especially the
Balinese Herbal Lulur Body Oil ($17.95/100 ml.) It's a Balinese home remedy, and made of a traditional blend of oils, including sandalwood, fennel, star anise, eaglewood, fenugreek, gandepure and laurel leaf. It's a very soothing and earthy fragrance. I like to add a few drops to an unscented body lotion or cream.
I can't decide if naming a hair product "Product" is a good idea or a way to get caught in an endless Abbott and Costello "what's its name" loop. It's a basic, little organic hair product with five organic ingredients: shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E (tocopherol), beeswax, and fragrance ($14.00/1.5 oz.)
I use just the tiniest amount, emulsify between my palms, and work it into wet or dry hair. I'm happy with the simplicity of a simple, all purpose hair product, and also appreciate the convenience of a single jar. This is a great product for traveling.
Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie
Even though they're in my backyard, I only recently learned about Hollywood-based Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie. They've been around since 1986, mixing up quite a selection of "hand-crafted, micro-brewed" fragrances, almost all of which are limited editions--other than their signature "Love Potion" line. They were doing the BPAL thing long before BPAL.
Perfumer Mara Fox sent me a bunch of varied samples, and I've been trying them for the past few months. Her line is large and varied, ranging from pheromone-enhanced scents like Super for Men, Super for Women, PheroGirl Cuddle Bunny and Synchonicity ($24.95/1/4 oz.)
My favorite is Allegro, an ode to the Goddess of Joy. Allegro is a light but long-lasting green/fruity blend, and includes a bit of the pheromone Alpha-Androstenol, which is a mood elevator ($24.95/1/3 oz.)
My family's first reaction to my YogaToes was puzzlement over the "big old pink plastic things" on my feet. I politely explained that they're my YogaToes ($49.95) and that I'm stretching my feet.
There's no a stiletto in sight in my shoe closet; it's mostly flip-flops, Tevas, Birks and sneakers, so my feet are in fairly good condition. Nevertheless, I've found YogaToes helps my good feet feel even better.
They're simple to use. Slide/wiggle your toes into the flexible gel YogaToes, and wear for 15 minutes or so. I find the first 30 seconds or so slightly uncomfortable as my feet adjust to the stretch, but after that, I barely feel them, and can wear them for an hour or more. (They're not designed for walking, but you can stumble around the house if need be.) They come in two sizes and a number of colors, and have a 90-day unconditional guarantee. If you're a runner, dancer or someone who sacrifices foot comfort for high-heeled fabulousness, give these a try.
Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate
Liz Earle is one of the biggest names in natural skincare in the UK, and her products are now available in North America. Superskin Concentrate ($34.00/0.3 fl. oz) has everything I like in a skincare product: portability (it's in a wee rollerball bottle), organic and filled with a variety of soothing, light and quick-absorbing oils like hazelnut, argan, rosehip and avocado.
I've been using this a few nights a week. It's simple, easy to use, and I wake up with smooth, glowing skin.