Pink Evermore — Make Your Eyes Pop!

I try as much as possible to live an authentic natural life: I eat clean, avoid toxic chemicals in my household products and only use organic, natural skin care on my face and body.  The one exception I have is eye make-up.  Since the eyes cover a very small portion of the body, I figure that not as much is absorbed into the skin.  I also have yet to find truly natural eye products that I find effective.  The one eye product that I cannot live without is Jordana 12 Hour Made to Last eye shadow pencils. They come in 8 different colors.  Currently, I use 5 of the 8.

The 5 that I have are: Prolong purple, tenacious brown, eternal white, continuous almond and pink evermore. Here is a little information about each of them:

  • Prolong Purple appears to be a shimmery dark purple color  in stick form.  However, when you put it on your lids, its appearance softens and it is a beautiful, shimmery violet. It becomes more of a medium purple rather than the deep purple color.  I like to put it on my lid and then spread it to go up to my brow bone with my finger.  It softens the color and keeps it from creasing.
  • Tenacious Brown is a matte, dark brown.  By using your finger to smooth it out, you can soften the brown or use it right from the pencil to make a deeper, smoky brown.
  • Eternal White is very white upon application.  It works great to put in the corner of the eyes to brighten them up a bit.  I also like to line the inner lower lid — it gives the eyes a more wide-eyed, awake look.  I sometimes like to use this as a base layer with darker eye shadow colors to lighten them up a bit.
  • Continuous Almond is a light-colored tan that blends in with your skin tone.  It works wonderfully as a primer for your eyes.  I like to put it on, wait a few minutes, and then follow up with a powdered eye shadow of my choice.  It helps the powdered eye shadow stay on much longer.  On its own, it is too light to serve as a principal eye shadow for the lid.  It works well as a highlighter, right on the brow and in the corners of the eyes, but for the whole lid, I think it is a bit too light.
  • Pink Evermore is a shimmery cotton candy pink that blends into your skin tone.  I love to use this over my whole lid all the way up to the brow bone.  Often times, I will follow up with a darker eye shadow that I add to the lid and then leave the pink shimmer on its own on the brow.

The only reason I do not own the remaining 3 colors is because they do not suit my skin tone and eye color.  I am very pale with blue eyes so the green, turquoise and black would be a bit too much for me.

I love all of these eye shadow pencils, but the Pink Evermore steals the show.  It is a princess pink color and I get complements every time I wear it.  It stays on all day long and seems to make every eye shadow I pair with it look prettier.  It adds just enough sparkle without being glittery.  For pale skin, it adds a soft shimmer that glams up your make-up a bit without going overboard.

pinkIf you are looking for some fun, new eye colors, I suggest you give these a try.  I have only been able to find them at Walgreens. They are only $3.99 and they last a very long time.  I use mine regularly and have not had to replace any of them yet.  I bought them almost a year ago.  At $3.99, it’s worth a try even if you don’t like it.  Feel pretty in pink or choose a shade that you like best.



Repeat Beauty Buy — Wild Rose Beauty Balm


If you are someone that loves beauty products and is always on the lookout for the newest and greatest technology regarding skin care, then you are probably also somebody that does not always stay loyal to a brand or a product because you often find something that you like better or you just simply want to try different things.  I used to be that type of beauty shopper.

I often see beauty posts with such titles as “Holy grail beauty products,” or “My beauty staples” or “Beauty products I can’t live without.” I have never had a product that made enough of an impression on me to warrant that type of a response until I discovered Wild Rose Beauty Balm.  A balm, as many of you know, has a consistency that is quite thicker than a lotion or a cream.  Balms typically have a thick, waxy very concentrated texture allowing you to use a small amount to get a lot done.  In my opinion, you usually get more bang for your buck with a balm because they last for a very long time and tend to be more potent than their lotion and cream competition.

Common complaints with regard to balms are that they are too heavy or too greasy for the skin.  This argument may often bear out to be true if the balm is used improperly by using too much of the balm or using it on top of another facial oil or serum, for example.  Another problem with balms is that often the base ingredient is petroleum jelly or lanolin — both of which produce a heavy feel on the skin.  Due to the “heavy” feel that a balm can produce, many shy away from them.

If you are one of those people, then I implore you to try the Wild Rose Beauty Balm.  It is different than any other balm and I assure you it will be the last balm you ever buy.  You won’t be looking for the newest balm on the market, because there is no better balm.  For starters, this balm is based on beeswax, shea butter and essential oils — organic essential oils — making it markedly different from other balms.  Here is the ingredients list:

Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

*Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 99% organic ingredients.

The very first ingredient is Wild rose seed oil, which means that the balm contains a high percentage of wild rose oil.  Hence, it’s name: Wild Rose Beauty Balm.  Rosa canina, also more commonly known as Rosehip oil is often considered a dry oil because the skin soaks it up easily with no greasy after feel.  It is also exceptionally high in Vitamin C, which produces a brightening effect on the skin.  It has been known to have a significant softening effect on scars and is often used to treat wrinkles.  This star ingredient is combined with the powerful effects of essential oils, such as Frankincense (renowned for its anti-aging properties), Starflower (well-known for its soothing and calming effect on skin) and Geranium (lauded for its astringent and anti-bacterial qualities.)   As an added bonus, the uplifting and natural scents of the essential oils are relaxing and calming both to your skin and your emotions.  To make this balm even more appealing — it is 99% organic, so you can feel safe knowing that you are getting only the best-quality ingredients for your skin.

Wild Rose Beauty Balm, wonder ways to heal your skin!

These reasons alone should be enough for any beauty connoisseur to want to give it a try, but if not, it may help you to know that it is also very versatile.  Here is a list of the many ways I use the balm:

  • as a lip moisturizer
  • as a foot softener
  • to reduce acne scars
  • as a moisturizer
  • as a mask
  • as a cleanser
  • for children’s eczema
  • for sunburned skin
  • for bug bites
  • as a hair frizz tamer
  • as a pre-shampoo conditioner
  • as a cuticle smoother

And, another list showing how others have used it:

It is the only beauty product that I use every day, usually more than once and/or for more than one purpose.  My favorite way to use it is as a weekly mask.  I put a layer of it on my skin and let it sit for 30 minutes up to 2 hours.  Then, rather than remove it, I massage the oil into my face and my neck and head for bed.  The scents of the oils uplift my spirits and I always sleep soundly. When I wake up — I have the softest skin you can possibly imagine. This product truly has the magical effect of making a difference after only 1 usage, which I find remarkable.

At $70 a jar, this balm may seem expensive, but for the quality of ingredients and its versatility, I truly consider it to be one of the best beauty bargains available.  Initially, it took a lot for me to shell out that kind of money just for “a balm.”  However, I have since discovered that this is much more than a balm and worth every penny.  It is currently on sale for $56 rather than $70 through the month of September so if you want to try it out, now would be the perfect time.  You can purchase it here if you are interested.

Wild Rose Beauty Balm is, quite frankly, a product that I believe everyone should have in their home, especially those who are interested in skin care.  Treat yourself to this luxurious balm and discover new ways of incorporating it into your beauty routine.

I’d love to hear from you.  Is there any beauty product that you feel no home should be without?

Shame Starbucks with Cohobu Cappuccino

There is no doubt in my mind that what we ingest has more of an effect on our skin than any product that we use topically on our face.  I only use organic skin care on my face (Neal’s Yard Remedies), but I also combine that skin care routine with my knowledge of healthy foods to help keep my skin healthy and radiant.  With that in mind, I have been working on a morning drink that will energize me at the start of the day as well as jump start my skin upon wakening.

I am a tea drinker, and I am an avid yerba mate fan. (This is the brand I drink).  I have been drinking mate for years, ever since my college roommate from Uruguay introduced me to it. However, I am fully aware that the general public either does not know about mate, is not interested, or simply does not like the taste when they finally decide to try it.  I’ve come to face the facts that the morning beverage of choice for most is coffee.  There is always debate over the benefits of coffee versus the negative side effects. Keeping both sides of the argument in mind, I have tried to create a drink that is beneficial as well as tasty.

Although it is a bit more costly, organic coffee contains more antioxidants and does not carry the threat of pesticide residue. Check out this link to read about some of the benefits of organic coffee.  The brand I like is Pura Vida. I ilke Sumatra,


but any of their blends would be fine, depending on your personal preference.

To begin, you simply start by brewing coffee as your normally would each day.  I prefer to use a french press, so that is how I prepare my coffee.  Once your coffee is ready, pour 1 cup into an immersion blender container.  If you do not have an immersion blender, a regular blender would also work.  Then, add the following:

Use your hand blender to blend all the ingredients together until frothy.  The coconut oil and the butter add good fats that help boost your metabolism and bring moisture to your skin. The honey has excellent antioxidant benefits as well as giving the coffee just a touch of sweetness to combat the bitter flavor.  If you drink your coffee black, you can skip the honey, but I believe it adds to the taste and the health benefits.  Although it sounds strange, the combination of these ingredients makes for a wonderful creamy, foamy cappuccino-type drink that would rival any coffee shop.  I call this my Cohobu Cappuccino, in honor of its ingredients.   (Co- coconut, ho-honey, bu-butter).

It may be placebo, but whenever I treat myself to this morning concoction, my skin is rosy and I am full of energy all day.  I also get the added benefit of having the best cup of coffee, relaxed in my pajamas, in the comfort of my own home.

If you want health benefits for your skin, as well as the best-tasting cup of coffee that may have ever hit your lips, then I hope you will try my Cohobu Cappuccino.  It truly is as delicious as it sounds.

Sourdough for the Gluten-Intolerant?


If you’ve been gluten-free for years, then it has probably become easy for you to forego bread.  You have either become accustomed to not eating it by having eliminated it totally, or have satiated your bread desire with various versions of gluten-free bread.  Either way, one thing I can assure you of is that gluten-free bread is not the same as bread made with gluten.  I am a baker and have made homemade breads and pizza crusts for years and since being gluten-free for the past year, I have experimented with many types of gluten-free bread.  Some have turned out delicious, and others have not turned out so great.  But, one thing I am convinced of is there is no gluten-free bread that tastes like bread with gluten.  This is especially true if you are wanting a crusty, European artisan style bread.  I have made a wonderful gluten-free french bread, but it is still different from “regular” french bread.

I have been experimenting with sourdough bread and wanted to share my findings with those of you who are gluten-intolerant but yearn for a good piece of crusty bread with a soft, bubbly inside. Good sourdough bread has to start with a great sourdough starter.  Some people get overwhelmed by this and opt out, not knowing how truly easy it is to get a starter going.  A starter is simply a mixture of flour and water that you let sit and ferment, feeding it regularly (with more flour and water) to let it grow.  I like to use this flour:
One Degree Organic Foods Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour, 80 oz

If you have a friend who already makes sourdough bread, it is always good if they are willing to share their starter with you.  I began mine on my own and it was weak initially, but now is really sour and bubbly.  This process does require patience initially, because you have to give the starter time to ferment, but once it is ready, it can last indefinitely and will produce some of the best-tasting, most beautiful loaves of bread you will ever make.

I strongly believe in the power of fermentation and probiotics. When you ferment kefir and yogurt, the fermentation process breaks down the lactose making it almost non-existent.  I am lactose intolerant and thrive on whole milk kefir.  If I have a sip of whole milk, I break out in a rash, but a big glass of kefir boosts my immunity with no side effects at all.  What kefir does to lactose is what sourdough does to gluten.  During its fermentation process, sourdough breaks down the gluten that is inherent in many of the bread flours — wheat, rye, spelt, etc. Assuming this is true, it could mean that gluten-intolerant individuals could not only tolerate sourdough, but also receive its probiotic benefits.

I decided to test this out on my own.  There was a test published in 2011, precisely aimed at determining my hypothesis. You can read a synopsis of the findings here:  I was able to eat a sizable piece of sourdough bread with no symptoms whatsoever: no bloating, no gas, no diarrhea, no discomfort, no rash.  I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did.  In fact, I felt comforted and full.   After I had such good results, I wanted to try it out on my 4 year old daughter who has dermatitis herpetiformis and breaks out terribly when she consumes gluten. She becomes so itchy, it’s intolerable.  For her, I decided to make sourdough pancakes instead because the recipe I use, calls for 2 cups of starter and only 1 cup of added flour that sits overnight, allowing it to ferment as well.  I like to use the recipe from a site I often visit:  Nourished Kitchen. You can view the recipe here.


I do, like to add a tad bit more salt to the recipe and I almost always add a bit of water to thin the batter a bit.

My daughter ate 2 pancakes and I was very nervous about it. She had no reaction for the first time ever.  Just because my daughter and I did not have a reaction to sourdough, does not mean that it is for Celiacs and those with gluten sensitivities.  I am not suggesting that everyone go out and try it.   It does mean, however, that there is something different about the bread and it could be fine for some with such intolerances.  I would proceed carefully if you are interested in seeing your own reaction, or not at all if you feel it is too risky.   I have had the bread and the pancakes several times now, always with no reaction.  I’m glad I took the risk for myself.

One of our new favorites is our sourdough breakfast sandwich. We use two sourdough pancakes and put a little bit of pure maple syrup just to add a touch of sweetness.  We put a fried egg with bacon and or ham, topped with a piece of smoked gouda cheese. The sourdough pancakes are almost like an English muffin with a spongier texture.  The sour taste mixed with the slightly sweet and salty comes together for a perfect bite.

If you’re longing for that crusty piece of bread, I suggest you give this sourdough a try.  If you have gluten sensitivities or allergies, it may or may not be worth the risk for you.  However, I’m glad that sourdough has become a staple for me.

No smell, no wetness, no baking soda: An easy deodorant recipe that works

I have been making my own deodorant for several years now.  I have followed a trusted formula that many homemade deodorant makers have been using for years.  Most homemade deodorants have a similar list of ingredients including: coconut oil, corn starch or arrowroot, baking soda,and essential oils.  Sometimes there is the added addition of shea butter and/or cocoa butter.  I have used the basic recipe for deodorant given by Wellness Mama for some time now.  For those that have sensitivities to baking soda, there are other formulas out there that omit this ingredient, such as this recipe given by Scratch Mommy.

I have never had trouble with baking soda until recently.  Now, the skin under my arms is extremely sensitive and the baking soda makes it burn.  It still works as an effective deodorant, but it is very uncomfortable for me to use.  The recipes that exclude baking soda, while effective, are a bit time consuming to make an require the use of some unfamiliar and not readily available ingredients.

I have finally found a way to make an extremely simple deodorant that takes virtually no time at all to make, is inexpensive and is non-abrasive for sensitive skin.  For this recipe you will need only 4 ingredients:

Coconut oil

I buy Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil from Costco.  It is the best value and works beautifully.

Tea tree oil

Tea Tree Organic Essential Oil 0.34 fl.oz

I use Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Tea Tree Organic Essential Oil.  It is potent, and the best tea tree oil I have found.

Lavender oil

Lavender Organic Essential Oil 0.34fl.oz

I also use the Lavender Organic Essential Oil from Neal’s Yard.  It smells wonderful and a little goes a long way.  If you do not like lavender oil, you can substitute for an essential oil of your choice.  Sometimes I like to use grapefruit oil or orange oil as a substitution because I love the citrus scent.


Return to product information

The powder is definitely the secret ingredient.  I used to shy away from powder because it was too drying.  This powder is uniquely different from any other powder out there.  It uses ultra-fine cornstarch and is infused with lavender and tea tree oil, both of which have anti-bacterial qualities.  It also has calendula, which is extremely soothing to the skin.

The best part about this deodorant is how easy it is to make!!  Here are the steps:

  • Add 1/4 c. coconut oil to a small container (Make sure the coconut oil is a soft solid, not a liquid and not extremely firm.)
  • Add 2 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • Add 10-15 drops of the essential oil of your choice
  • Stir all the ingredients together

You are done!  It is so simple, and literally takes me under 2 minutes to make.  To use, scoop a small amount of the coconut/essential oil mixture and put it under your arms.  Then, take the powder and shake a little bit into your hand and pat lightly over the coconut/essential oil mixture. You now have on your deodorant for the day.  Since using this deodorant, I find that not only do I not smell, but my armpits stay dry, too.  This was never the case with my previous homemade deodorant.  I will often use a much larger amount of coconut oil — about a cup, and add more essential oil (20-30 drops) and use this as my body lotion.  When I get out of the shower, I slather it all over my body, saving my underarms for last, which I then follow up with the powder.  It’s wonderful!  The powder also works great to put on the bottoms of your feet once they are moisturized.  It keeps them from sweating and smelling.

If you, like me, have never been satisfied with a homemade deodorant recipe, I hope you will give this one a try.  I would love to know how it works for you.  For me, it’s perfection.


Skin — Treat the Source not the Symptoms

Doctors often give us medicine to treat and alleviate the symptoms of our ailments, but they do not always work on the root cause of the problem.  We then become frustrated when the same problem returns.  Similarly, In our quest for nice skin, we often turn to facial products to provide us with a solution but ignore the underlying problems that are causing our skin to suffer in the first place.  By working on some of the root causes of our skin issues, we can achieve healthier skin and then use quality products to maintain and optimize our skin’s potential.


I’m sure this one is obvious to most of us, but I don’t think that many of us realize the impact that positive changes in our diet can make.  There are so many differing opinions about what is good and/or bad for us that it can quickly become overwhelming with the end result being no changes in our diet. Many, if not all, skin conditions are somehow linked back to inflammation. I would like to offer just 3 changes to start with that will reduce inflammation, produce results, and inspire you to change more.

Eliminate sugar


I know that we have heard of this before but it wasn’t until I tried this myself that I became a believer.  I have always had a sweet tooth, but I didn’t go overboard. I would have a piece of chocolate after dinner or go out for a frozen yogurt with toppings. Sugar is one of the main causes of inflammation and therefore its removal can drastically improve your skin problems. I eliminated sugar for a month.  It was extremely difficult.  I was surprised when I experienced withdrawal symptoms.  I never considered myself someone that was dependent on sugar, but clearly I was.  I am finally at a point where I do not crave sugar any more.  My monthly breakouts have diminished and the overall appearance of my skin has improved.

Incorporate probiotics.  There is a lot of debate over the need for probiotics.  Many, if not all of us, have to take antibiotics at some point in our lives, which kills both the good and the bad bacteria in our gut.  it is a good idea to have a steady supply of probiotics in your system to help balance your gut flora.  Consistency is key; you need to take probiotics regularly to see a difference.  There are several ways to get probiotics into your system. You can make your own yogurt at home.           

I think this is easiest to do with a yogurt maker, but you don’t have to have one to make yogurt at home. I prefer homemade yogurt to store-bought because I can choose to incubate it longer, thus removing more of the lactose, making it easier to digest.  Emma Christensen gives detailed instructions on making yogurt at home here.  You can also make homemade kefir.

Kefir is incredibly easy to make, and delicious.  First you need to purchase kefir grains as your starter.  I got mine on Ebay from Snowberry Cultures and could not be happier.  I think it was a much better option than the big companies.  They arrived quickly and were made from organic milk.  They have worked perfectly and have doubled in size.  If interested, you can order them here.  I make coconut milk kefir because of my dairy sensitivity, but you can use whole milk, coconut or any nut or seed milk.  You can even use water.  You simply pour your liquid of choice over the kefir grains, put a loose fitting top (i use a coffee filter with a rubber band) and place on the counter for 24 hours.  Strain the liquid, save the grains and begin the process all over again. Another way to incorporate probiotics is to take a supplement. You can also do a combination of all the aforementioned.

Drink only water and herbal tea.

If you are already drinking coffee, tea, juices, milk, etc., by eliminating these, it will inevitably force you to drink more water, which is a good thing.  Also, learn to like herbal teas.  There are so many health benefits from drinking them.  My favorite herbal tea to help with my skin is my homemade TGC (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon) tea.  To make this tea get a coffee filter.  Put 2 tsp. of turmeric powder, 2 tsp. of cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 2 peppercorns, 2 cloves.  Use a piece of yarn or kitchen string to tie the filter closed, securing the spices.  Drop the homemade tea bag into a small pan of boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes.  Remove the herbs and pour the tea into a cup.  I like to hand squeeze a couple pieces of pineapple for a bit of sweetness and a small squirt of lemon for freshness.


Chakra Bond Pose

One of the main causes of skin eruptions of any sort is stress.  In addition, stress is also the cause of a myriad of other health issues.  The problem is that we do not know how to contain or control our stress.  Many people turn to various forms of exercise to alleviate stress. I have done many forms of exercise: kickboxing, running, weight lifting, pilates, extreme cardio, HIIT, et. While there are many forms of exercise to consider, I strongly believe that Yoga is your best bet for skin health and stress reduction.  Many of the poses help reverse the blood flow and provoke a sense of calming.  It has been said that we carry a lot of stress in our hips, and I believe that is true. When holding pigeon pose for longer periods, I can literally feel the stress leave my body.  After completing yoga, my face always has a healthy rosy glow to it.  You can read about some of the yoga poses that are good for your skin here.  If you have never tried yoga, you will be surprised. If practiced regularly for seven days, I believe that everyone would see a noticeable difference in the way that they feel.

By making small changes in your lifestyle, you will be able to see big improvements in your skin and overall health.  Try to make just one change today, commit to it for 30 days and see and feel the difference.

Good Fats = Great skin

In past years there was a low-fat diet craze!  We were told to eat low fat and the market place teemed with low-fat pre-prepared products such as cookies, frozen dinners, breads, etc.  It seemed that everywhere we turned, people were adopting a more low-fat way of eating. Ironically, people on a low-fat diet were often not losing weight.  Incorporating good-quality oils into your diet can help you with satiety and provide you with more energy to help your body function optimally.

It has been said before, and it’s true, that not all fats are the same.  We need good fats in our system for our bodies to function optimally and thrive.  Good fats also have the added benefit of helping our skin.  Our skin really needs to be treated from the inside out.  It doesn’t matter what wonderful facial products we are using if our diet is bad.  So, what fats should we eat to promote a healthy complexion?  The information on this can often be contradictory and overwhelming.  I’m going to keep it simple and just suggest the incorporation of just 2 good-fat oils to begin incorporating into your diet.

When choosing fats, I believe it is best to choose fats that are taken from whole foods.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is often undisputed as a healthy fat.


You can read about some of the benefits of extra virgin olive oil here.  It naturally contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E and Vitamin K.  It is literally the oil that is pressed from olives themselves.  Because of my experience in Spain, I prefer olive oil from Spain.  I know the attention to detail that the families put into their olive groves, which I believe produces a better tasting and better quality oil. You can read about some of the high-ranking olive oils on the World’s best olive oils site.  You can use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings and for moderate heat cooking.

Coconut Oil, extracted from the meat of the coconut, is also a good option.


You can read about some health benefits of coconut here and some of its many uses here. It contains Medium chain fatty acids and is high in lauric acid.  Lauric acid is actually found in women’s breast milk and is said to help build immunity and resist diseases.  I love using coconut oil to pop popcorn, fry foods, and for dishes requiring high heat.  One of my favorite snacks is fried plantains, using coconut oil.  I love Nutiva coconut oil, but I also like to buy it in bulk to use on my body as a moisturizer.  For this, I buy Carrington Farms from Costco.  


In addition to ingesting oils, it is also a good idea to incorporate oils topically in your beauty regime.  Many people are afraid of facial oils and think that they will leave their skin feeling greasy.  This, however, is not the case.  Good quality oils help improve the overall texture of the skin as well as training the skin to hydrate itself properly. Some individuals use olive oil and/or coconut oil as is on their face with great results.  Olive oil and coconut oil, on their own, do not work well on my face.  One facial oil that I highly recommend is the Rose Facial Oil from Neal’s Yard Remedies.

In addition to rose flower oil, it also contains other beneficial oils such as grape seed, hazelnut, evening primrose, patchouli and geranium flower.  The result is a beautifully fragrant oil with healing and beneficial fats for your skin.  If you suffer from rosacea, I especially recommend this oil.  It is the only skin care product I have ever seen that actually calms the skin and takes away the redness so common to rosacea.  You only need three drops of this oil to cover your entire face.

If you haven’t already done so, incorporating good-fat oils both in your diet and your skin care regime can greatly improve your overall health as well as the texture and quality of your skin. Within a month of regular use, I guarantee that you will see a positive change.

Lighten Me Up With Licorice

Although the summer is often the time that many seek to get that sunny glow to their skin, there are still some of us that prefer the rosy glow of a porcelain complexion. Whether you are a sun seeker or someone who shuns the sun, nobody wants discoloration on their skin.  We all long to have that even complexion.  However, many products geared toward that aim use harmful, harsh ingredients such as hydroquinone.  There are safer options that are equally, if not more, effective.  In my last post, I talked about turmeric tea and its incredible anti-inflammatory properties.  Today, I want to share with you an ingredient that many are unfamiliar with: licorice root. Licorice root, also known as glycyrrhiza glabra or glycyrrhizinate, has wonderful whitening properties and is also capable of preventing further dark spots from forming. It is also an anti-inflammatory and very soothing, so it is safe for most skin types.  In addition to its brightening effect on skin, licorice root is also said to help with other ailments.  As with turmeric, you can take licorice root as a supplement or apply it topically to the skin.

As a supplement, I personally enjoy drinking it as an herbal tea.  I would recommend Traditional Medicinals Organic Licorice Root.

This tea uses quality ingredients that you can taste by the strong licorice taste of the tea.

Topically, I use Neal’s Yard Remedies Soothing Starflower line. Although this line is not marketed as a brightening line, I have noticed a skin-brightening effect from using these products, due to its licorice root content.  The Soothing Starflower Cleansing Milk, Soothing Starflower Essence and the Soothing Starflower Daily Moisture all contain licorice root extract as a key ingredient.  Used together, they not only produce an even complexion, but they are extremely gentle and highly recommended for those with sensitive skin.  Let’s break down each one:

Soothing Starflower Cleansing Milk    

This cleanser, as you would guess from its name, is a creamy, white cleanser, with no lather.  You simply rub it into your dry skin and remove with a cloth or cotton.  It has no detectable scent and immediately soothes and softens the skin.  When my skin is irritated, using this cleanser takes the redness out almost immediately.  Besides the licorice root extract, it is also formulated with rich oils, like borage seed and sunflower, as well as healing agents such as aloe vera.  As a bonus, it also doubles as an eye make-up remover.   The combination of ingredients leaves skin feeling cleansed, but not stripped.  Skin is a peaceful pink, rather than a raging red.

Soothing Starflower Essence       

This product is formulated like a serum.  It boasts similar ingredients to the cleansing milk, along with sodium hyaluronate to seal in moisture.  It is best applied to slightly damp skin so that the skin is better able to absorb the ingredients.  It is very light-weight and works best with moisturizer over top of it. However, very oily skin may be able to use this on its own.  It is cooling and soothing and filled with protective antioxidants.

Soothing Starflower Daily Moisture


Once again, the moisturizer also features the same ingredients as the cleansing milk and the essence.  Thus, when used together, you get a triple dose of the licorice root extract and the skin seems to respond.  This daily lotion is very light in texture and glides on skin effortlessly.  Just like its counterparts, it also has no scent.  With the addition of edelweiss extract, also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, this lotion complements the starflower line.  It can be used alone, but works more effectively in conjunction with the cleanser and the essence.

Although I have not tried this line myself, another organic skin care company, Éminence, also has a brightening line that uses licorice root extract.

Bright Skin Starter Set

If anyone has tried this line, I would like to know your thoughts.

If you have struggled with uneven skin tone and have never tried a product with licorice root extract, I highly recommend that you give these a try.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how even your skin tone can be without the discomfort of harmful ingredients.

Tasty Turmeric Tea — A Summertime Treat for Glowing Skin

Brown spots or melasma are two of the complaints I often hear women complain about when they discuss their skin. As we age, our exposure to the sun, birth control, and hormones are just some of the reasons we develop age spots and melasma. While it may seem that the main preoccupation for middle-aged and older women is wrinkles, hyperpigmentation seems to be an issue of equal or greater concern. Nowadays there is an influx of products out there targeted at removing brown spots and promoting a brighter complexion: hydroquinone, vitamin C, black licorice, white mulberry, etc. At times, the product market can be overwhelming. We always want a quick fix for our skin, which is not always the best way to achieve our goal. To give skin a rosy glow, it is helpful to think about what we take internally in addition to what we may put on our skin externally.

Turmeric, with its beautiful bright orange color, has long been know as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It is also known for its skin-brightening effects.  In addition, it is heralded as a super spice for its many health benefits.  (See One way of reaping the benefits of turmeric is by drinking homemade turmeric tea.   It is very easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your home.  There are many recipes out there for homemade turmeric tea and the majority call for some type of sweetener. (I like this one: Meghan Telpner Turmeric Tea). Turmeric naturally has a bit of a pungent flavor so a bit of honey complements it nicely.  I, however, am currently not permitted to eat any sweeteners so I have developed my own sugar-free version of turmeric tea.

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need:

Get a small pot and put it on the stove.  Get a small lemon and slice it in half.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and place the lemon with the peel in the pan.  Squeeze 2-3 pieces of fresh pineapple into the pan, along with the pineapple pieces.  Cut up a 1/2-1 inch piece of fresh ginger and add it to the pan.  Throw in 2 whole peppercorns.  (The pepper adds a kick to the tea and it also increases the bio-availability of turmeric.)  Add a heaping teaspoon of ground turmeric.  (If you can find fresh turmeric, use it).  Lastly, pour 1 1/4 cup of water on top of it all and set the stove to high.  Once the tea begins to boil, turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for 14 minutes (I like to do cooking times in multiples of 7).

Meanwhile, get your teacup ready.  (Keep in mind that turmeric easily stains almost anything it comes into contact with, so choose your tea cup wisely.  I use the same cup for my turmeric tea so it has a faint yellow stain in it.)  Squeeze a bit more pineapple juice in the bottom of your cup and put a generous serving of either coconut cream or coconut butter.  This adds flavor and creaminess, as well as a dose of good fats.  It also helps the body absorb the turmeric more effectively.  Once the tea is done simmering, strain it into your prepared teacup.  You may want to put a plate underneath to avoid staining your counter if some of the turmeric splashes out. Now sit back and savor this unique tea.

After only 2 weeks of use, my skin is noticeably brighter and my spots have faded.  In addition, it just adds a rosy glow that you can’t quite define.  You can double your skin-brightening efforts by coupling your tea with a homemade turmeric mask.  (I like this one Homemade Face Mask — Turmeric from Forerver Natural Beauty).  Turmeric has a host of other healthy benefits, so even if you aren’t concerned with brown spots, you should consider giving this tasty tea a try.

Recommended Turmeric Tea Beauty Products:

My favorite beauty products that contains turmeric as an ingredient are Wild Rose Beauty Elixir and Wild Rose Body Elixir from Neal’s Yard Remedies. They both contain turmeric and provide incredible brightening effects.  The beauty elixir for the face is light and promotes a rosy, dewy glow.  The body elixir is almost like a serum for the body.  It smells wonderful and gives a soft sheen to legs and arms.

Wild Rose Beauty Elixir 1.01fl.ozWild Rose Body Elixir 5.07fl.oz

Save your hands…and the bees!

I hate the feeling of dry, cracked, red, sometimes bleeding hands. I have long been on a search for a hand cream that will actually help heal my hands and not just soothe the annoying symptoms. I have tried many hand creams over the years — some natural and some not so natural — with varying results.  I know that I am not the only one out there looking for that perfect hand cream, so I thought I would give you a breakdown of some of the creams I have tried.

Before I was cognizant and careful about the ingredients in my skin care, I often bought this hand cream by Neutrogena.  It did relieve some of the chapping, and I did like that it was fragrance free.  However, it never worked long term and I found myself having to use it several times a day to maintain relief.  Also, when I became aware of the dangers with parabens, I had to forego using this cream due to the propylparaben and methylparaben found in the ingredients list.

Another hand cream I tried back in the day was not really a hand cream.  It was a balm designed to be used for a cow’s udder (that should have been a warning to me!)


I’m not sure why so many people rave about this stuff.  It was terribly greasy, smelled extremely medicinal, full of harmful ingredients and never did anything to help my sore, dry hands.

As I started to become more aware of the importance of what we put on our skin, I started to read labels more carefully, which led me to purchase Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream.

I liked that this cream was seemingly natural.  It was greasy to the touch and it often stung my parched hands upon the initial application, but it seemed to soften my hand a bit with repeated use.  The fragrance was, at times, overwhelming.  I’ve realized since that whenever  the word “fragrance” appears on a label, you should avoid the product.  The listed, but not defined, fragrance often causes skin and eye irritation and its source is not specified.

I also tried Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands.

I liked that this balm was organic and I also like the round tin that contained the balm.  I also did not have any objections to the ingredients.  This balm did help my hands, much more than the bag balm did, but it would take a very long time to soak in.  I could only use this balm at night as it made my hands too greasy during the day.

I have tried many more along the way, but I have finally found a hand cream that meets all of my criteria: safe ingredients, wonderful natural smell, and…it works!!

The Bee Lovely Hand Cream from Neal’s Yard Remedies  ( is nothing short of spectacular.  It is creamy and rich, but not greasy; it is concentrated, so you only need to use a small amount to thoroughly moisturize your hands; it smells like nothing I have ever smelled before — honey mixed with sweet orange.  The best part about this cream is that since I have started using it, for the first time in 10 years, my hands are not red and flaky.  I only have to use this cream at night before bed and it keeps my hands in perfect shape.  I will never be without it.   I also especially like that this hand cream is part of the Bee Lovely Campaign to save the bees.  You can learn about it and sign the Save the Bees Petition here: (

After, literally, years of suffering from red, cracked hands, I am thrilled to have found a cream that works.  I am helping my hands, helping the bees and helping the environment.  This hand cream is the only hand cream you’ll ever need.