Organic Beauty: Derma E Exfoliation

Hello all, and welcome to the second post in my Organic Beauty series, in which I talk about switching up my makeup and skincare routines to incorporate only products with organic/natural materials.  I’m having a very positive journey down this road, and encourage everyone else to give it a try.

This post is going to be centered around the Derma E. Microdermabrasion scrub, made with citrus oil and dead sea salt.  I have been using this product for months now, and am excited to share my experience with it!

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  • Honestly effective.  Every time I use this scrub my face is left feeling baby soft.  And while some exfoliants can be rough on your skin, and leave it raw, I have never experienced this with Derma E.
  • Non-Invasive Scent.  I know this is a very important point for a lot of people.  Derma E scrub has a very gentle and almost unnoticeable scent, that doesn’t stick on your skin after you’re done.
  • Long Lasting.  It might seem daunting to spend 25 or so dollars on a 2 OZ tub, but this product requires a very small amount per use.  I’ve had mine for two months now and have barely scratched the surface.  Considering you’re only supposed to use this exfoliant twice a week, one container could easily last you anywhere from 6 months to a year.

My only caution against this product would be that sometimes the actual scrubbing process itself can feel slightly stinging, or intense.  Make sure to scrub in upward circles towards the grain of your pores, and go as gently as you need to, in order to avoid irritation.  Rest assured that while sometimes feeling aggressive, overall I consider this product to be very gently cleansing.

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On The Topic of Thin Elegace

[Warning: allusions to disordered eating]

There’s one thing I want to make clear for all my vintage darlings, modern classics, and fashionellas who have struggled with self image or disordered eating, as I know I have.

Food is inherently tied to glamour, in a positive way.  

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Despite the image of thin elegance that is often presented to us, there is nothing dainty or lavish or high-class about not eating, or avoiding food.

Taking the time you make yourself a beautiful breakfast and coffee, having lunch at a small cafe and getting yourself salads and sandwiches and soups and pastries, cooking yourself new and interesting dinners and eating them by candlelight?  That’s glamour.

Ordering a desert you love, finishing every last bite on your plate and smiling; indulgence, self-satisfaction?  It’s gorgeous.  Nobody can deny it’s gorgeous.

Please don’t feel like you need to remove a love of food from your life just because you’re trying to present yourself in a beautiful way, because I promise, the food you choose to eat adds to your beauty infinitely.  Every ounce of you is angelic.  Every squish, sway, and bounce: a gift.

Learn to own this, and in turn, own the world.

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Above art by Delphin Enjolras
Laduree img credit: langhamhotels.com
Featured Image: Alexandre Cabanel, The Birth of Venus, 1875

 

Organic Beauty: Nourish Argan + Rosewater Lightweight Moisturizing Lotion

Hello, and a big warm welcome to the first post in a series of blog posts I’m going to be creating regarding Organic Beauty.  I recently started the process of switching all my skincare, haircare, and makeup routines to incorporate only products with natural organic ingredients.  Personally, I felt it didn’t make sense for me to try and achieve clear and beautiful skin while giving myself a face full of chemicals every morning and night.  

I had always been under the impression that Organic or natural products = products that don’t actually work.  Since I’ve initiated the switch, I’ve realized I could not have been more wrong!  My skin feels more beautiful than ever, and my body is functioning at a higher rate than it used to.

In this little article, I want to give a quick write-up of my personal favorite daily moisturizer: Nourish Organic Argan + Rosewater lightweight moisturizing face lotion.

Highlights of this product:

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  • Extremely dainty.  As someone who has combination oily skin, my number one fear of most moisturizers is that it will bump up the amount of oil my face produces.  I use Nourish lotion once or twice a day, and have never felt weighted down, or over-saturated with moisture.  It just leaves me soft!
  • Clean Smell.  This Nourish lotion does have a scent – a subtle lemon and rosewater, if I had to name it.  But the scent is gentle, and by no means overpowering.
  • UDSA Certified Organic.  I believe this point mostly speaks for itself.
  • Long Lasting.  A tiny bit of this beautiful lotion goes a long way.  I usually use just a drop on my finger, and spread it around my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin.
  • Fast-Drying.  Once you apply Nourish lotion, it isn’t there to stay.  It absorbs into your skin quickly, meaning you can apply it before bed and not worry about leaving a lotion faceprint in your pillow.  You can also apply before your makeup routine, and achieve a similar benefit.
  • Cost-Efficient.  A bottle of this lotion costs about $16-$20 depending on where you purchase it.  While that may seem steep at first, my Nourish has been lasting me, and occasionally my husband, for over two months now.

All-in-all, the next time your daily moisturizer is running low, consider giving Nourish a chance to baby your face.

A Delightfully Natural Way to Get Your Beauty Rest

About a week ago I came across an article on DavidWolfe.com describing a new sleep remedy that was claimed to be”better than a sleeping pill”.  The recipe simply involved boiling an unpeeled banana in water, and adding a pinch of cinnamon.  Immediately I was thinking, no way.  I’ve had sleep disturbances for 5+ years now, and the solution was a banana the entire time?

I’m certain I’m not the only one out there who has a certain sense of hesitation when thinking about beginning the nighttime routine.  My sleep disturbances manifest in different ways – falling asleep takes time, being asleep generally involves vivid and stressful dreams, and waking up often feels as though I hadn’t gotten a wink of rest all night.

I’ve taken sleeping pills, melatonin, and different natural supplements on-and-off for years.  And yes, I have coupled this with healthy diet and exercise.  Sleeping pills work fine, but I hate the idea of having to medicate myself to sleep regularly.  Melatonin can easily become addictive, and I stopped buying it years ago.  And all the natural remedies I’ve tried seemed to make me subtly relaxed, rather than ready for a deep rest.

Banana Tea – or whatever you want to call it – was nothing like that.

The recipe goes:

  • 1 Banana with the top and end cut off, unpeeled.
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • David Wolfe recommends Stevia to avoid blood sugar spike before bed (but I use a tiny bit of honey)
  • I also choose to add some chamomile flowers.

Organic ingredients and filtered water is encouraged.

Boil all of this in a pot, and voila!  Drink up!

The first night I ingested this tea, I slept like an absolute baby.  I was asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow, and didn’t wake until the morning.  No stressful dreams or periodic waking up.  It was my ideal type of rest.

Since the first time I tried the recipe, it hasn’t been a “work every time” fix.  It always helps me get to sleep, but some nights are easier than others.  There are still occasions when I wake in the night, or recall intense and vivid dreams.  But overall?  This tea works more consistently and solidly than any sleeping medication I’ve ever taken.  I’ve shared this with my husband, mother, and a few friends, and have heard similar positive feedback.

So if you have problems going to sleep, or just plain-old want to give it a try, I strongly encourage it!  It’s all-natural, no-risk, and – of course – quite tasty 💖

Cheers,

Josephine

It’s Enough to Be Young and in Love

Hey folks.

I urgently need to talk about Lana Del Rey’s new song “Love”, and it’s music video.

Lana has always been one of my favorite artists, for the way she highlights the simplicity of familiar concepts, in a nuanced and highly emotional way.  Everything she pours out might be cliché coming from another artist, but from Lana, it somehow becomes an audible bearing of the soul.  I believe this is due to her humble roots, kind attitude, and the way she has stayed true to herself throughout her rise to fame.  She is, without a doubt, one of the most intelligent creative minds in the music industry today.  Her talent speaks largely for itself.

On the topic of “Love” – I couldn’t put into words my favorite thing about it until I watched the music video, released today.  While many of Lana’s songs focus on individual stories, or personal memoirs, “Love” emphasized the universal emotions of youth.  The music video made it clear that it was not just about herself, but about us all.

Hidden within this heartbreakingly simple song was a feeling: you’re okay, you’re holding a world in the palm of your hand, you feel nothing but happiness and wonder.  You’re going somewhere incredible.

It’s her ability to perfectly recreate these emotions in a song that has captivated me.

Through her music journey, Lana’s fans have had the privilege of watching her grow and become more comfortable in her own skin.  I’ve been watching since she was proclaimed the worst performance to ever grace the SNL stage in 2012, and I get to be here now – seeing her smile and wink at the camera as she heartfully spills out lyric after lyric packed with enchantment.

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Flowers in her hair, high heels on, white dress glowing, this is Lana at her finest.  Creating honest and touching ballads that speak to the common desires of us all, using nothing but her powerful voice, charm, and imagination.

My youngest and most genuine love to Lana, and my entire heart for whatever she produces next.

Truly,

Josephine

[Image credits: dellrey.tumblr.com]

An Unofficial Guide to Estate Sales

After having just got back from a particularly peachy estate sale, I thought it might be appropriate for me to impart some wisdom on the topic.  After all, you can leave an estate sale either with a handful of gems, or a handful of clutter – and it’s up to you to make sure it’s not the latter.

An estate sale is what becomes of one person’s possessions after they pass away.  Generally, the heirs to the estate will come in and select what they want to keep, then pass the rest along to a professional, who prices, organizes, and cleans the items, making them ready to sell.

I’ve been to estate sales of all types, from people selling out of a mobile home, to people selling out of a 1.7 million dollar country mansion.  No matter what type of sale, there are some common threads that can aid all types of darlings out there who are in search of a deal.

Scouting

Generally, estate sales will be posted about on your local garage and yardsale forum on craigslist.  Don’t disregard a sale just because it doesn’t have the most appealing image attached to it – make sure to read the description.  Often, a seller will list the types of items that are for sale, giving you a better idea of wether or not this may be an estate sale for you.

I also personally have a stop-drop-yardsale policy, meaning that unless I’m 15 minutes late to a meeting, it’s my utmost responsibility to pull over every time I see an estate sale, garage sale, or yard sale sign.  Impromptu ventures like this have lead me to some of my favorite finds.

Preparation

Always be sure you’ve eaten a good meal, hydrated, and had your coffee or tea – estate sales can be tiring, and going to one on an empty stomach is a horrible idea.  Additionally, consider wearing comfortable shoes and a practical outfit.  You may be doing a substantial amount of walking, and bending down.

Timing

Once you find a particularly alluring sale, there are two prime times to arrive.  First, and last.  Of course, I’ve found incredible scores at all different times during an estate sale, so this is entirely up to the individual.  Arriving in the middle is never a terrible option either.

The perk of arriving first is having first pick, of course.  Depending on the location and content of an estate sale, they can become extremely competitive.  Arrive 1-2 hours beforehand, and be ready to stand in line – some sellers will even ask you to take a number and be put on a waiting list to enter.  I’ve heard of estate sales with 65 people lined up before opening time – yes, it happens!  Being first to enter allows you to scout out the best and most valuable must-have items.  But be careful, you may have to do some elbowing and clawing to get at them.

The second best time to arrive, is of course, last.  On the last day everything is half price o cheaper, meaning you get the ultimate deals.  This is a perfect time to haggle and bargain.  The only downside of last-day shopping is that anything of real value will most likely have already been nabbed, leaving you with beautiful nick-nacks that are probably more aesthetic than anything.

Selection

Know what you’re looking for when you arrive.

There’s a huge temptation when stepping into someone’s home to get hung up on every beautiful throw pillow, end table, marble sculpture, or light blue antique crystal punch bowl.  Stop it.  If you came looking for clothes, immediately locate where the clothes are.  Jewelry?  Find the jewelry sections.  Kitchen wares?  You get the picture.  If you’re on a mission, it’s important to comb through their relevant selection immediately.  Grab everything remotely of interest, and ask the seller if you can make a pile of things before you continue searching.  Once you’ve hoarded all the items you’re interested in – congratulations!  You’re free to browse around as much as your heart desires.

Paring Down

Once you’re ready to make your final decision, ask yourself the following series of questions for each item:

  1. Am I really going to use/sell this?
  2. Is it a brand name item, and therefore worth more than face value?
  3. Is it worth more than the price I’m paying for it?
  4. Does it have any damage that will impact the item’s function of value?
  5. Is it unique, or can I find similar things many other places?

If you find that this item is going to be useful, valuable, worthy, and unique, go for it!  But of course, it’s important to find your own criteria based off your own needs.

Finishing Touches

Always be sure to thank the seller for their hard work, and be courteous to them.  Putting together an estate sale is hard.  And never forget that estate sales can be great opportunities to network – if you’re a seller or collector, you may be among people who can share with you enthusiasm, insights, or business.  I recently bought an extremely lovely Valentino coat for a screaming deal, and on the way out, asked a glamorous older lady if she could tell me anything about the garment.  I was informed that it was most likely early to mid sixties make, mink fur, and that the label was extremely rare and valuable – all things I would have never known without the kindness of a stranger.

And of course, remember to have fun with it!  You have the privilege of getting a snapshot at someone’s life.  It’s a very unique and fascinating experience, so be sure to take the time to appreciate it.  After all, you never know who might comb through your belongings one day, long after you’re gone.