Winter can leave even the most oily of skin (namely mine) feeling dry and itchy. That’s why I’ve been loving Pino’s Ginger Honey body lotion. This rich and nourishing blend of shea butter, Vitamin E and jojoba oil contains warming ginger (a great ingredient to keep circulation moving in winter) and honey extract (both anti-bacterial and healing). But of course my favorite part is the scent which is both spicy, subtly sweet and best of all, completely natural. Pino is a German company that has been around since 1904 and like many European companies their commitment to green, organic ingredients in beauty products is impressive. Pino makes good for you products that are not only are free of all the “baddies”, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, animal testing, etc. but also contain 95% organic ingredients, surfacants and emulsifiers of plant origin and high quality plant extracts in their products. If like me, you can’t resist rich, creamy and sweet smelling lotions, you’ll love this one.
It’s hard to imagine anything I love more than honey, almonds, chocolate and roses. Usually, in the form of some kind of dessert. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to indulge my love of this fab four of ingredients, but since I’m trying to limit my sugar and caffeine in-take these days, I’m trying not to think too hard about a honey almond chocolate cake with rose essence, or a chocolate rose honey hot chocolate with almond milk, or a honey, chocolate almond rose truffle….well you get the idea.
To try and shift my cravings in a different direction, I started thinking about what would happen if I put these ingredients on my face instead of in my mouth.
This combo may not be ideal for imbibing, but applied topically, it’s a powerhouse of skin care goodness. Almonds exfoliate honey heals scars and soothes, chocolate’s antioxidant’s smooth and soften and rose moisturizes. So mix your mask, apply to your face, sit back, relax and breathe in the decadent aroma of this Valentine’s treat and dream of the day when you can indulge in a rose, honey almond brownie or two….
2tsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tbl. honey
1tsp. ground almonds
1 tsp. of rose water
3 drops of rose essential oil
I’m happy to announce my first product giveaway featuring Skin Again soothing skin care. Products are fragrance-, paraben-, gluten- and cruelty-free. “Rescue” is designed to care for burns, post waxing, shaving, radiation, laser treatments or for cuts and scrapes. “Vanish” is good for cellulite, stretch Marks, and scars. “Youth” diminshes wrinkles, dark spots, loss of elasticity and hyper-pigmentation. “Relief” is used for relieving itchy, red and inflamed skin, rashes and insect bites.
Skin Again uses a variety of herbs like chamomile, gingko, comfrey and other natural ingredients including fruit and vegetable extracts. Their founder Sherry Berry (love her name!), has a great story about how she came to make Skin Again. With a background in natural healing and energy work, Sherrie brings a holistic approach to skincare and combined with a unique product line and natural toxin-free ingredients, this one looks like a winner! To share the love and win a set of this skin soothing goodness, comment below and tell me what your favorite product is to use on a daily basis. Giveaway offer ends on February 19, 2014, so please comment by then.
Like wine and cheese or chocolate and roses, Sonoma County and romance are a perfect pairing. Add in a trip to the spa and you have the ideal recipe for a Valentine’s Day made in heaven. So get ready to get your “love buzz” on and celebrate this day of love in true spa style.
While there are plenty of Valentine’s Day offerings in Sonoma County, the properties showcased below are artisans when it comes to crafting fairytale style getaways that fulfill all your most romantic dreams. Each has a unique style, offering a slightly different experience, but all are sure to deliver when it comes to creating a unique experience to share with that special someone.
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The buzz at Bardessono Hotel in Napa was all about spas on Monday, January 13th, 2014 as local industry professionals gathered to network and sample new products. Organized by the Spa Buzz, the Garden Party themed gathering featured mini-treatments, a raffle, wine tasting from Napa’s St. Clair Brown winery and a prix-fix dinner by Lucy, Bardessono’s signature restaurant. Local spas and businesses represented included Meadowood, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Matanzas Creek Winery, The Lodge of Sonoma, Osmosis Day Spa and Mandarin Oriental of San Francisco.
Samantha Silver, director of communications with Spa Buzz, said “these gatherings are a chance for the spa industry to network and build community while trying new products”.
Some of the most interesting offerings included the Nu Face facial toning device, a non-invasive face lift tool that is said to improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles. Also featured were the Grande Lash MD’s mascara and lash enhancer, paraben free and made in Italy, this natural mascara conditions lashes while adding volume and length. SmileActives Teeth whitener is a handy little pen that can be applied twice daily for whiter teeth. Pino, a 100% natural skincare company from Germany featured a line of massage candles, available in a variety of essential oil based scents.
After mini-treatments and wine tasting, the prix-fix dinner at Lucy was offered for event goers. The meal began with an amuse-boche of crab salad. Light and refreshing, this starter was a great way to introduce the winter themed menu. Lucy specializes in farm to table, “field to fork” cuisine and incorporates produce and ingredients from their on-site garden. The first course of Lucy’s garden mixed greens, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, apple and a pomegranate vinagraite was fresh and vibrant, with a nice balance of sweet and tart. The main course featured local petrale sole with brussels sprouts, black trumpets, pickled fennel, green apple and whole grain mustard jus and continued the theme of local and seasonal. Dessert was a pear soup, with lemon sorbet and lavender from the Lucy garden.
Spa Buzz events are held regularly in major cities around the country. Upcoming is the “Diamond Standard” event to be held in Atlanta, Georgia on February 20, 2014.
Hello, my name is Heather and I’m a beauty product junkie. As a spa blogger, I regularly receive products to review and write about. And to be frank, that was exactly what I had in mind when I set out to write about spas, beauty and wellness four years ago. Fast forward to 2014 and this is what my medicine cabinet looks like today:
Originally, the idea was that I would save some space for my fiancee. But as the days passed and he neglected to claim his shelves (silly man), I gradually took over.
I’ll admit, I am weak in the face of essential oils, shea butter and flower essences. Which means I am now working my way through several half opened bottles of different types of facial cleansers and creams, a few moisturizers and my real weakness: body lotion and oils (you could count seven, if you really wanted to, in the picture above). That’s not to mention the flower essence perfumes, natural nail polishes, organic mascaras and herbal tinctures I’ve accumulated.
For the health and sanity of my skin I try to finish one product before I start another, but usually I can’t resist just trying a little of my newest shiny skincare toy, which results in, well, a medicine cabinet that looks like the above.
In an effort to try and reap some good from my beauty product addiction I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with my blog readers, so, over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my current favorite products as well as some classics that I return to again and again even after the thrill of “newness” has worn off.
First up is a new (to me) product that I received as part of a gift bag at The Spa Buzz event I attended this week. It’s called “SmileActives” and is a teeth whitening pen that you brush on your teeth up to four times a day.
SmileActives is supposed to help whiten teeth and freshen breath and it’s claimed that you can see results within two days. The ingredient list is short, which is usually good and includes hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and castor oil. The only troubling ingredients are ammonium hydroxide, which is commonly used in food processing and the FDA deems to be safe, but I’m not completely convinced, thoughts? The other one, Etidronic acid is an ingredient that seems mostly safe, but not necessarily natural.
At any rate, this is probably one of my least green and clean beauty experiments. So, you may be wondering, does it work? Well, I started using it about three days ago and so far my teeth actually do look whiter. I didn’t take any before and after pictures, but maybe I should have. The pen is easy to use and doesn’t have any kind of taste or noticeable feel on my teeth. If the two slightly worrisome chemicals in the product are less harmful than I think, I could see this becoming a permanent fixture in my beauty product addict medicine cabinet.
I was cold, hungry and I’ll admit, more than just a little cranky when I arrived at the Kenwood Inn in Sonoma County, California, one cold winter day.
Walking into the Tuscan-inspired lobby, I made a beeline for the pot of hot-spiced tea and homemade biscotti waiting on the sideboard in the library, grateful to be back in this little slice of Italy tucked away off of Highway 12 in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country.
Like a deep-sea diver descending, it is sometimes necessary to relax in stages. Fortunately, Kenwood Inn has multiple levels of sensory pleasures available that help the decompression process unfold gently and gracefully, allowing guests to easily release stress and tension, one layer at a time.
As I unpacked in my gorgeous “Le Stanze Del Re” or “Room of the King” suite, warmed by the room’s blazing fire and soothed by views of the neighboring vineyards, I could feel myself slowly unwinding as the spirit of the inn begun to soothe my rough edges.
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