Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tay Tea is Taystee!

I am a tea person.  I love how soothing it is and I drink it morning, noon and night.  One of my favorite brands that I have just been introduced (and fallen madly in love with) is Tay Tea. Tay Tea is a fabulous selection of  handcrafted blends by Nini Ordoubadi. 

Founded in 2003, Tay Tea  is the brainchild of a tea-obsessed New Yorker who comes from a third generation tea blending family.  Nini’s tea muse and maternal great aunt Noushafarin Saad was a celebrated bon vivant, poet and tea blender and has always been the creative source of inspiration for Tay. 

The tea blends are really inspired, and from the selection I got to try, I can easily say I am hooked.  I love the herbal blends, green and rooibos teas (I tend to drink mostly herbal and green daily).  The Herbal Infusions are made up of Dream and Muse.  Dream is perfect to lull your busy mind to sleep.  I adore sipping this nightly before bed.

For the Rooibos, I got to try A Day in Provence, which is a fruity, floral delight ( my favorite morning brew) and Tuk Tuk Chai.  I usually do not like Chai teas, but this one is perfection.  It is just the right amount of spicy and sweet and I love it with a splash of almond milk.  My daughter is a huge fan of this tea.

As a green tea afficianado (in my own mind), I adore the Berber green tea.  It is the ultimate blend of green gunpowder tea with Moroccan spearmint.  It wakes me up and is the amazing foil for a bad belly ache.  My husband and I are addicted to this one, and fought over the last spoonful of leaves.  With all of the health benefits of tea (including cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, and boosting your immune system), you would be amiss in not grabbing a cuppa and sipping away.

I look forward to trying more soothing blends from Tay Tea.  I also dream about visiting what looks like the most relaxing tea shop and café in Andes, NY.  Nini Ordoubadi is an artist and you will not be disappointed no matter what tea you acquire from her inspired collection. 

Isun Gemstone Aromatherapy Oils

Isun is pure, dynamic skin care that synergizes nature and advanced science with intuition and caring. The result is an amazing range of organic and natural products that feel good, smell fantastic and give your skin outstanding, transforming results!   I have loved everything I have tried and you will recall I did a review on the face masks .  I was also able to review the amazing Gemstone Aromatherapy Oils.  

 Traditional knowledge has shown us how plants, minerals and colors can gently help correct imbalances in our lives physically and mentally. 
Each harmonizing oil is a distinctive blend of pure synergy in herbs, essential oils, base oils, gemstone and color energies. Created to nourish and restore balance, each individual formula offers special qualities and properties that can subtly effect the body and mind toward greater wellbeing.
ISUN’s unique and exclusive gemstone energized, aromatherapy herb oils offer a selection of 9 harmonizing organic body oils. The color of the gemstone and the gemstone itself included in each bottle, sets the energy of the oils and mists and its effects on the body-mind complex. 

It would take ages to go through each oil separately, but suffice to say, I use the one that I feels will do the best for my body on that day.  Whether I need healing and harmonizing (Tourmaline) or to calm and cool my emotions (Lapis) there is an oil for that.  I use them as both moisturizer and as dabs of fragrance on pulse points depending on my mood.  The Rose Quartz is my favorite.  Rose Quartz has always been a stone I really connect with.  For me it is the essence of femininity.  The Gemstone Oil of Rose Quartz is uplifting and makes me feel safe and calm.  I actually keep it in my bedroom.  It is a joyful oil.  It does have a slight floral scent as you would expect with the name, but I am even more attracted to the spiciness of this oil.

The Gemstone Aromatherapy Oils can be used in the bath, as a massage oil, a moisturizer, and applied to the associated chakra area.  They really do have an amazing effect on the user.  Magic in a bottle, maybe not, but definitely piece of mind and healing.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Around the world with Red Flower part I

Within the next few weeks, I plan on taking readers on a journey through the world of skincare with red flower. First a little bit about this innovative line:

red flower was created from a deep-rooted love of the land and spirituality, as well as a sense of science and holistic medicine. we’re founded on the principles of world traditions, sustainable sourcing, ritual, well-being and aesthetics. all of our products are created around cultural body-care rituals from around the world. from the onsens of japan to the hammams of turkey, we tell the story of a destination through scent and by capturing the spiritual potential of native plants and extracts. red flower offers an ever-evolving line of flower body washes, lotions, shampoo and conditioners that are entirely botanically based, 100 percent vegetarian and paraben-free, available in 13 flower scents. red flower was founded by yael alkalay with a vision for people to create ritual and beauty in their everyday lives. focusing on both the internal and the external, always searching and trying to find, yael believes that true indulgence is personal and takes a lifetime. what started in 1999 at barneys new york with six flower candles and two organic flower teas soon grew into a global presence. the line continues to evolve and grow with over a hundred products. each is simple and clean and contains powerful, natural ingredients that promote health, environmental consciousness and integrity. this is what makes red flower so innovative.

The products are inspired as noted above, by body-care rituals that are treasured from the around the world.  I had the opportunity to review products from the Japan line, the Hammam line and the nature Line.  I want to do the review great justice so I plan on taking readers on a trip once a week for three weeks reviewing the products I used from a particular  red flower line.

 So fasten your seat belts and get ready for trip to the Hammam.  A Hammam is a Turkish bath. They are places your go to rejuvinate, and cleanse and they are a ritual favorred by many different sacred cultures.  red flower created the Hammam line to capture this experience.
 hammam means spreader of warmth. in an atmosphere of half light, quiescence and devotion, is a sensual ritual of heat, steam, detoxification, rich scent and relaxation based on the skin care practices of the hammam bath house. tracing its roots back to the ancient roman thermae–the body treatment traditions of the hammam can still be experienced from the far-reaching costa of andalusia, spain to the hot springs of turkey, tunisia and morocco. retreat into an intense blend of essential oils, plant, nut and fruit extracts, carefully chosen for their therapeutic and healing properties. layer powerful ingredients, heady scents and incredible textures to treat the body to a crescendo of temperature and detoxification for a euphoric lightness of being.

I got to use the Jasmine Rose Rhassoul Clay.   You mix it with water and apply to the entire body.  It draws out impurities while you while the scents relax and take you away.  The blend of rhassoul and bentonite clay is detoxifying, and the essential oils of  rose, eglantine, jasmine and moroccan blue tansy are a powerfully relaxing mix. It is an amazing experience.  I use this any time I am feeling under the weather or just in need of a cleansing.  

After drawing out the impurities and cleansing yourself, you step from your shower and spray the intoxicating Orange Quince Steam Mist all over yourself. 
This blend of gently toning citrus oils and stimulating wood and fruit extracts act as a gentle peel to encourage renewal. lemon, pink grapefruit and neroli oils brighten mind energy, while helping to rid the skin of excess sebaceous toxins. anti-oxidizing and nutrient-rich, these oils contain vitamins a, b and c, used to brighten dull skin. With every mist, stimulate circulation to remove impurities from the skin's surface, tighten pores, and recharge with a dose of concentrated oxygen to brighten the complexion.

I am addicted to the scent (I adore neroli) and I love how refreshing and awakening this is after a long, hot shower.  I also use this as a mid-day pick-me-up.  It really does make me feel lighter and brighter.

Stay tuned, as next week, we travel to Japan with  red flower and an exciting giveaway!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Au Naturale

Au Naturale is a wonderful cosmetics line that utilizes the purest ingredients to help you get your glow on.

Au Naturale founder Ashley Prange began her makeup range out of a need for a modern, organic, and principled makeup line in a cosmetics industry dominated by toxic ingredients and compromised ethics.  Ashley believes that no woman should have to sacrifice her health and values for beauty. Au Naturale connects professional artistry with environmental stewardship and social responsibility to offer all women an innovative makeup line rich in color, purity, and texture.  Au Naturale is an opportunity for women to guiltlessly indulge in an adventure with color, and make a beautiful statement to the world.  Her ultimate goal is to help our customers wear makeup that embodies their values and promotes their health - allowing all to live the life to which they aspire.Ashley formulated to create professional grade cosmetics that are elegant and clean. She personally produces each product, and oversees production in Green Bay, WI, USA.

I got the opportunity to try out some of this line and am duly impressed. Trillium Eyeshadow is a light tan color that is big on shimmer.   Like all Au Naturale shadows it is paraben-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free, bismuth oxychloride-free, non-nano, carmine-free, vegan, cruelty-free and made in the USA at a certified USDA organic facility.  I will say that the sparkly can migrate to cheeks, but this is a work or play wearable color.  Unlike most loose shadows, this lasted all day on my lids.
I wore this with the Cream Concealer, which did a wonderful job of not-migrating and covering my Uncle Fester dark under eyes.  Some concealers are too dry (especially for those of us who are no longer 20), but this was creamy and gave me a dewy and not greasy look.

A huge new obsession for me are the lipglosses.  Au Naturale Lip Glosses come in an array of tantalizing tints that are highly coveted by our customers. Not only are they perfectly pigmented, our glosses are also nourishing and 100% vegan (no bee's wax, or carmine).  
Au Naturale lip glosses are free of preservatives, parabens, fragrances, additives, bismuth oxychloride, nano-particles, and sulfates.  They have THE most yummy scent.  I got Flirt and Orchid.  Flirt is a pop of pink that i am obsessed with.  Flirt is a vivid plum shimmer that works great on me for nighttime. 

I have to Au Naturale  will definitely be taking up more and more room in my cosmetics bag.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Arya Essentials

Arya Essentials is inspired by Ayuerveda.  They currently offer two products which are not only supremely effective but also fan favorites.
Arya Essentials is inspired by the purity of Ayurveda combined with modern day intelligence. The name taken from the Sanskrit word, Arya (आर्य) means noble, precious, and pure, and staying true to its definition we strive to bring you products of the purest and highest quality to heal and revitalize your skin as you embark on your personal journey to a more naturally beautiful you. These active botanical ingredients traditionally used in this ancient holistic healing practice will help to purify and enrich so that your skin is luminous and radiant.Arya Essentials manufactures small handcrafted batches to ensure quality and freshness. Keeping Ayurvedic principles in mind, each ingredient was carefully chosen to be highly effective and serve a specific purpose. Meticulously formulated with naturally driven ingredients, regeneration takes place on a cellular level while delivering optimal results.

I tried the body oil and the face oil.  The Body Oil is a blend of coconut and sesame oils.  Essential oils of Rosehip Seed, Neroli and Brahmi help regenerate cells, delay aging, increase elasticity and boost collagen production. I use this on slightly moist skin.  I love how soft it makes my skin and I adore the light scent.  It is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

The Face Oil  is very light, yet very effective.  I feel like even I, with my combination skin could easily use this through all seasons.  This potent blend of essential oils and herbs revitalizes your skin and promotes a vibrant complexion with continued use. Herbs such as Amla and Brahmi are traditionally used ingredients that work to boost collagen production, prevent aging and reduce visible signs of wrinkles. Tulsi, a plant abundant in antioxidants, purifies the skin while imparting a healthy glow.  I use it in the morning after cleansing and again after cleansing at night. My skin drinks it up and feels soft and never greasy.  

I love that the products are handcrafted and I look forward to seeing what else Arya Essentials  created to nurture skin.  I am hoping I can convince them to release a lip or skin balm (hint, hint).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kjaer Weis Springs into Spring

As you know, I have always been a fan of Kjaer Weis.  I love that the make up is so natural and so pure as well as being available in the latest colors.  I recently got an opportunity to review an eyeshadow and blush that made me yearn for the first buds of warm spring weather.  First of all, we have to comment again on the pure luxury of the Kjaer Weis packaging.  Those sleek silver compacts are made to be reused and heck, you feel glamorous every time you hold one.

The eyeshadow comes in an array of colors.  They are completely silky and luxurious and wear all day long.  They are CCPB Certified Organic, with NO artificial ingredients, such as petroleum, parabens, artificial coloring and fragrance, petrochemical emulsifiers. They are not tested on animals and are gluten free.  (Some of the colors are even vegan).

The color I reviewed is called Cloud 9 and it is described as a pearly ivory.  It is perfect for highlighting, or if you are like me, as an all-over lid wash.  

These shadows are amazing!  

Contains luxurious, organic ingredients such as:

Bamboo: Rich in natural silicone, extremely important in the synthesis of collagen in the connective tissue.
Honeysuckle Extract: Antibacterial, nature’s own preservative.
Gardenia Florida Extract: Antioxidant.
I feel like it really brightens up my eyes.

The Cream Blush has long been a favorite of mine. I own (and love) many of the colors.  Embrace is a nude pink with blue undertones.  I was skeptical as this was never a color I would have reached for.  Yet, it wear like the most innocent and beautiful flush.

Contains luxurious, organic ingredients such as:

Castor Seed Oil: This product is not vegan Strengthens the skin .
Beeswax: Nourishes and moisturizes, wonderful for drier complexions .
Jojoba Seed Oil: Adds moisture to the skin .
Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil: Excellent tissue regeneration properties; fights signs of aging.
Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract: Antioxidant; works as a natural preservative.

It lasts on my skin all day.  This color is what you wear when you are looking for that slight flush.  This seems impossible to overdo.  I have pale skin, but my undertones usually make a color like this impossible, but Embrace just works (and I truly believe it would do so for all skin tones).  Like all of the Kjaer Weis Cream Blushes, it is super creamy and I may have found my new favorite.

Things are definitely feeling brighter and more like spring around here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

21 Drops

I am a big believer in essential oils.  I have replaced certain medications and pain relievers with essential oils and had great success.  I am often heard saying "I have an oil for that."  21 Drops makes premium oil blends that you can use for anything from PMS to needing a little boost to finish that job.  
Quite simply, we are as dedicated to your health and wellbeing as we are to maintaining transparency and safety.
At 21 Drops, our commitment to purity in healing originates at the very beginning. All of the essential oils that go into our blends are sourced from sustainable, indigenous habitats and are held to a rigorous, self-imposed therapeutic standard:

Therapeutic Quality
All of our individual essential oils must be therapeutic quality, 100% natural, and organically grown or wild-crafted... We’re sure you think about the quality of the food you put in your body, so why wouldn’t you care about the quality of your essential oils too?
Fully Tested For Purity
All of our individual essential oils must undergo industry-recommended GC-MS quality testing to ensure their exact chemical composition.
100% Safe, 100% Organic
All of our essential oils are safely diluted in 100% organic jojoba carrier oil to ensure upmost purity, safety and effectiveness… It’s actually not safe to apply pure essential oils directly to the skin, so they need to be diluted in a carrier oil. We chose jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) because it is 100% organic.

 I chose to review number 21 which is Inspire.  It is a blend of black pepper, cedarwood and sandalwood.
  I am addicted.  This oil blend is made to get your creative juices flowing.  I carry it with me when I need
 that extra boost.  I love the ease of the roll-on tube and I love how easy it is to grab this and take it with me.
This is one brand I plan on becoming devoted to.

Kiss Me Once

Ava Anderson makes some wonderful cosmetics.  If you read this blog, then you know I am a lip junkie.  I was anxious to try the glosses from the line.

I got to try a few and was duly impressed.

Moisturizing and conditioning lip gloss with vitamins and antioxidants to give you shiny, delicious lips.

 They are very sheer, but definitely build able color and I am addicted to the slightly fruity/minty scent.
I tried Pink and Red and honestly I cannot decide which one I love more.  Pink is subtle (perfect for spring), and Red is my everyday color (this from a woman who is just not brave enough for red lipstick).  I love the colors and I love that I can control the intensity (again I am color shy).

These are super moisturizing with ingredients like quinoa, avocado and beeswax.  Kisses!

Ava Anderson and Avoiding the Hairbrush Fight

My daughter has this way of getting her long (extremely thick) hair into the most baffling tangles.  We wash, we condition and yet we still have all out wars when it comes to hairbrushing time.  Ava Anderson has a selection of products that are made wtihout harmful chemicals.  I have written about this line before.  I will admit, I was a little skeptical that a natural Detangler could do the trick with my little Rapunzel.  Well, I ate my words.
It works like magic. It smells slightly herbal to me.  It is like a wonder spray.

Organic oils and extracts coat hair making strands smoother and less likely to catch on one another. Can be used as a 'leave-in' or 'rinse-out' conditioner or even between shampoos to tame flyaways and add instant shine

This is the only  Detangler  that allows us to comb and brush with no tears.  I am obsessed!  My daughter also actually allows me to use it on her (she usually complains about the scent of most sprays and detanglers).  Smooth sailing ahead!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kahina Giving Beauty back to your Skin

We all know of my devotion to Kahina Giving Beauty.  This amazing line not only brings you amazing products, but it helps the Berber women of Morocco.  The skincare from this line is unparalleled.  I use a lot of the products and I love each one.

The Rosemary Lavender Argan Soap can be used on face, body and even hair.
• Antioxidant-rich argan oil with olive, coconut and shea oils leaves skin soft, smooth and moisturized• Coarse-ground rosemary polishes skin and stimulates circulation• Fresh scents of rosemary and lavender uplift and invigorate with natural antiseptic properties• Paper wrap inspired by Moroccan tile designs and created by Archive New YorkThis Argan Soap cleanses, exfoliates and conditions for a supple, toned finish.
I have not used it on my hair yet, but I can tell you that this is wonderful for face and body.  It has a rich herbal scent and it really exfoliates skin.  It leaves me glowing and very happy.  I feel like I am in an exotic spa every time I use it.  My husband has tried to nick it more than once, but he knows better now.

 When my skin needs a little extra TLC, I have been happily using the Antioxidant Mask.
Argan oil and silica-rich rhassoul clay from the Atlas mountains in Morocco combine with extracts of pomegranate and acai to:• Detoxify by drawing out impurities at the deepest level, replacing them with nourishing trace minerals• Stimulate collagen production and improve skin strength and elasticity• Deliver potent antioxidants to fight free radical damage and reduce signs of aging• Gently exfoliate while leaving skin toned, smoother and more suppleScented with invigorating eucalyptus and mint, this multitasking treatment mask is an essential component to any weekly skin care regimen.
This mask will not dry your face out.  It is gentle while still giving you major results.  It cleans my skin thoroughly while giving me back a glow.  My skin is so soft every time I use this.

Kahina Giving Beauty has come up with so many amazing skincare and body care items.  I love supporting this brand and I love the results.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Isun Skincare

Isun Skincare is a line I have become truly enamoured with.  As I use it more and learn more, I am amazed.  The mission of this company is a noble one close to my beliefs.  Bunnie Gulick has founded a company with skincare that will truly change your routine.  The Isun mission:

To create true, high performance products in harmony with nature and our bodies that do no harm. To produce the most advanced, highest integrity wildcrafted organic and natural skin care products teeming with life and energy, for the purpose of restoring, rejuvenating and giving pure vitality to one’s skin, senses, health and total well-being. is a great place to find a wonderful selection of Isun Skincare. I am kind of obsessed with the masks.  I use the Dead Sea Mud once a week to clarify my skin.  For those who feel that clay masks are too drying (think in winter), but still want the clarifying, check out the Rhassoul-Neem Mask.  It does the trick wthout drying you out and it really purifies the skin.  It also smells Ah-mazing.  The Chlorella-Algae Mask is perfect for red skin (think too much time in the sun or harsh cold).  That in conjunction with healthy doses of the Soothing Relief Mask will make peeling, hurt skin a thing of the past.

The Vegan Moisturizing Mask is great for when you need a big does of smooth skin.  
Raw superfoods high in antioxidants enliven this deeply penetrating and delicious vegan moisturizing mask. Raw shea butter from Ghana and extra virgin coconut oil are blended with agave nectar, goji berries and raw cacao with concentrations of acai berries, raspberry and cranberry oils to create excellent moisturizing & nourishing benefits.
This mask is thick and dense which scared me at first (especially with combo skin), but it was amazing and I definitely cannot live without it now.

If you crave an even bigger hit of pure moisture, then the Honey-Goji Berry Mask is the treat you crave.  It plumps skin, repairs it and provides moistruzing protection.
100% active ingredients, this delicious, rich moisturizing mask is teaming with live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to soften skin, plump up the tissues with lasting hydration and nourishing moisture for healthy, rejuvenated skin. Phyto-antioxidants from goji and acai berries, raspberry and cranberry oils help repair skin and provide protection. Raw shea and mango butters blend in to enhance the moisturizing benefits.

Yeah, see my dilemma, I cannot decide which one I love more either.  I do know that now that I have found this line, I intend to be a lifelong fan.  They need to stop making such amazing products or I may go broke.  After giving my skin such treats with these masks, I am embarrassed to tell you that within weeks I am almost out of my favorite product yet, the Neroli Hydrosol Mist.

The Neroli Hydrosol Mist has become my favorite way to perk up my skin.  It smells like heaven (seriously) and I travel with it too.  I even use it on my body after the shower because I love the scent so much.

Each plant distillate is infused with herbs that enhance its properties, aloe vera for its moisturizing and healing benefits, panthenol for its soothing and regenerating properties, aspen bark extract for its soothing, microbial and natural preservative qualities, and a small gemstone inside each bottle that matches the energetic qualities of the distillate.

 Isun Skincare is so amazing.  I cannot get enough.  Which reminds me, stay tuned for my review of the Gemstone Body Oils.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Make you up with Tata

Tata Harper is a genius of skincare and now cosmetics as well.  During the holiday season, she released a set of Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tints in Very Naughty and Very Nice.  The set did so well, that both tints became a part of the permanent collection in their own right.  If you have read my other review, then you know I adore these Lip and Cheek tints.
Our 100% natural & nontoxic Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint delivers a more modern beauty experience, by combining lush natural pigments with the latest in antiaging skincare technology. These tints deliver the perfect pop of natural color to lips and cheeks while helping to fill the look of fine lines, for skin that has the irresistible flush and volume of youth. Long-lasting and multi-tasking, these shades combine rich natural color, softening moisturizers and nourishing minerals with Spanish Lavender and Lipoamino Acid Technology to promote a plump, volumized appearance. These smooth, easily blendable formulas adapt to compliment all skin shades.

Very Nice is a creamy pinkish-nude.  Very Naughty is a rich ruby red with a glossy finish.  They both are my new addiction.

Very Nice  is perfect for everyday.  It was like it was made for my skin.  Of all of the tints, this is my absolute favorite.  It is just so wearable.

Very Naughty  is definitely more dramatic, but so easy to work with.  This color leaves them wondering what you were doing to give you such a gorgeous flush. Think playing outside in the snow and coming into the ski lodge for hot chocolate.

I had to get a bigger cosmetic bag because I cannot get enough of these tints.  They are in a class of their own and really do work on lips and cheeks without drying you out.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ava Anderson and the Skin Saver Extraordinaire

When enough of your  mommy friends are raving about a product, you start to realize that maybe you need to check out this "wonder" cream.  That was the case for me with Ava Anderson  and her Baby Diaper Cream.  I know, you are thinking okay, diaper cream; aren't they all the same?  Well no.  With Ava Anderson's Baby Diaper Cream you have a thick, rich cream that can be used not just on the diaper area, but the whole body with amazing results.  First a little bit about this  Ava Anderson  person:

Always true to Ava’s ideals, we develop and produce cutting-edge, SAFE products to the highest performance standards. We are leaders in providing wellness information, while sharing the dangers of toxic chemicals in personal care and home products with families across America.

 Ava Anderson  became a crusader to make what we put on to our bodies safe.  The website is chock-full of information on how skincare products we use everyday are so harmful.

The Baby Diaper Cream is amazing and is made with all-natural ingredients.  It moisturizes skin like a dream.  We suffer from bouts of eczema in our home, and this has cleared it up within days.  It smells slightly citrusy to me, but nothing strong or overpowering for the scent-sensitive.  I find myself reaching for this little dream constantly.  It really makes a huge difference.  We are out of diapers in our home, but I can imagine with the results I see on irritated skin, that this would work wonders.  This product is definitely cult-status for me.

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