Ahhhhh, relax……….with Kneipp Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, and Body Oil

Kneipp bath products

There are many stressful times of the year for me, and spring is one of them. Yes, it’s beautiful…I love to see all the flowers and trees coming to life and blooming. But there are all sorts of other things that spring brings…graduations, spring cleaning, weddings, the prospect of bathing suit season…all things that send me straight into stressland.

I am very conscious of making time for self care in times of greater tension and taking care of myself physically is always my first step to de-stress. A line with some beautiful and nicely affordable body products is Kneipp. They have lots of wonderful sets that also make great gifts (two birds with one stone!!) and I love the naturopathic philosophy behind the products. People are such fans of this line that once they discover it they are fans for life.  Here are just a few of my favorites from Kneipp that never fail to keep stress away.

samples

Kneipp Mineral Bath Salts

Kneipp Red Poppy and Hemp Pure Bliss Mineral Bath Salts

Kneipp Mineral Bath Salts

Kneipp Red Poppy and Hemp Pure Bliss Mineral Bath Salts

Red Poppy & Hemp Pure Bliss Bath Salt (17.63 oz., $20.00)  Bath salts in general are fantastic for healing your muscles, getting rid of aches and pains, and keeping your soul grounded. The Red Poppy and Hemp Pure Bliss Bath Salts are really, really wonderful – they are everything bath salts should be and more. You remember poppies from The Wizard of Oz? They made everyone sleep. The poppies in these bath salts smell so good. They are incredibly relaxing so this is a fabulous soak for right before bed, particularly if you have troubles turning those thoughts off at night. Kneipp says, “Our mineral salt is sourced from an ancient underground salt water sea in central Germany that is the last remaining salt works in Europe using traditional pan boiling methods. This method reveals unique salt crystals free from chemical additives and environmental pollutants. Naturally very high in trace minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc, which are absorbed by the body while soaking in your tub.” What a wonderful way to treat yourself both physically and spiritually. It’s pure bliss indeed.

Kneipp Aromatherapy Bubble Bath

Kneipp Aromatherapy Bubble Bath

I certainly enjoy life a little more every time I take a bubble bath with my May Chang & Lemon Enjoy Life Bath (3.38 fl.oz., $20.00). Shoot, just taking a sniff of this lovely citrus bubble bath puts me in a better mood. The scent is lemon-based and juicy, with a slight edge of clean mint. The formula is full of natural plant and herbal essential oils and a good soak in this lovely bubble bath is always a major treat.

Kneipp Aromatherapy Body Oil

Kneipp Aromatherapy Body Oil

Besides relaxing in a tub of beautifully scented water and tons of bubbles, I feel pampered and relaxed when I treat myself to some truly marvelous body oil. I highly recommend the Kneipp Lavender Relaxing Massage Oil (3.38 fl.oz., $23.00), which is saying something since lavender is not exactly my favorite fragrance. To me, lavender can smell sharp, soapy, and unpleasant. This scent is very soft, subtle, and feminine. It’s lovely. And the body oil itself is stellar. It’s perfect as a massage oil with lots of emollient jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. It isn’t greasy, so it’s also exemplary as a daily moisturizer (and especially terrific right after a shower because it locks in that wonderful moisture). There are several other scents I’d like to try, but boy, if you are a fan of lavender you really have to try the Kneipp Lavender Relaxing Body Oil.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Kneipp is fantastic body product line to help you remember to do so.  Happy spring! – Lisa

*samples, affiliate links

Red Poppy and Hemp Pure Bliss Bath Salt Ingredients:  SODIUM CHLORIDE, PAPAVER ORIENTALE (POPPY) SEED OIL, CANNABIS SATIVA SEED OIL, CITRUS NOBILIS (MANDARIN ORANGE) PEEL OIL, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, OLIBANUM, LIMONENE, GERANIOL, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), POLYSORBATE 20, CI 14700 (RED 4), CI 42090 (BLUE 1).

May Chang & Lemon Enjoy Life Bath ingredients:  POLYSORBATE 20, AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, LIMONENE, CITRAL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, LITSEA CUBEBA FRUIT OIL, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL, CYMBOPOGON NARDUS (CITRONELLA) OIL, CITRONELLOL, GERANIOL, LINALOOL, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), TOCOPHEROL, CI 47005 (YELLOW 10), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5).

Lavender Relaxing Massage Oil:  HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL, LAVANDULA HYBRIDA OIL, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) EXTRACT, LAVANDULA LATIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL, LAVANDULA HYBRIDA EXTRACT, RETINYL PALMITATE, LINALOOL, LIMONENE, GERANIOL, COUMARIN, TOCOPHEROL.

Treat yourself right. Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body and Camille Beckman Beauty Bath

Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body set

Treating yourself to a delightful little extravagance every once in a while is the best way to escape all the stress and anxiety that comes from watching the news these days…or even just reading your Facebook feed. I was recently sent two absolute gems that make me feel pampered and relaxed, and I highly recommend them both for escaping our current rather bizarre reality.                     samples

I am obsessed about the new Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body® set ($30). First of all, the packaging is adorable. The neat little box contains two glass jars of herbal goodness:  Sweet Soy Orange & Calendula Oil and Hot Toddy Body Scrub. You mix the dry scrub with the oil to create an exfoliating therapy scrub that makes skin soft, increases circulation, and makes you feel all warm inside and out.Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setFarmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setFarmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setWhile you can use a dish, I just mix the Cinnamon, Orange & Clove Body Scrub with the Sweet Soy, Calendula & Orange Bath & Beauty Oil in my hands. Then I apply this during my shower or after getting wet in the bath – making sure skin is already wet is crucial! Then I scrub my body, especially dry areas like my elbows and knees. It smells incredible and it actually makes my body feel warmer inside, probably from the increase in circulation. Increased circulation helps combat cellulite, a battle that I think we all want to win!Farmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setFarmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setFarmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body setFarmaesthetics Hot Toddy for the Body set

You are going to absolutely love this beautiful exfoliating scrub and it is a perfect gift for a girlfriend as well. Also, Farmaesthetics says “Our products are 100% natural, contain certified organic ingredients as indicated, are hypo-allergenic, non-irritating & dermatological tested, with a certified shelf-life of 2 years from the date of opening. No animal testing.”

I like to follow a good scrub with a wonderfully relaxing bath and my current favorite is Camille Beckman’s Epsom Salt and Coconut Milk Radiant and Renewing Bath Soak (4 packets for $12).Camille Beckman Beauty Bath Coconut Milk and Epsom Salt Bath Soak

I love this bath soak because it not only softens and treats skin, it also works wonders on sore muscles. The only thing better than a hot, steamy bath of orange and cinnamon essential oils combined with organic cocoa butter and healing salts is that very same bath…but with a nice glass of wine.Camille Beckman Beauty Bath Coconut Milk and Epsom Salt Bath SoakCamille Beckman Beauty Bath Coconut Milk and Epsom Salt Bath Soak

A bath is a small but very effective way of relieving stress and giving yourself a much deserved break. Pick up some Camille Beckman Bath Soaks for:

-Handmade bath soaks made in small batches
-Healing epsom salt and soothing, powdered coconut milk
-Cocoa butter and coconut oil leave the skin feeling soft and refreshed
-Quality, A grade essential oils

Seriously, treat yourself right. You deserve it.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Camille Beckman Beauty Bath Coconut Milk and Epsom Salt Bath Soak

Two great DIY books: Stunning Braids and Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

For someone who loves playing with makeup, I am not much of a do-it-yourselfer. I can’t get into scrapbooking, I’d rather buy a jar of tomato sauce than make my own and my Pinterest boards are full of projects I know I will never undertake. But I was sent two books that inspire me every day to do something with my hands, and my little projects always turn out great.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids:  Gorgeous Hairstyles for Any Occassion from Work to Weddings ($17.95) was written by Monae Everett, a fabulous hairstylist/blogger who has worked on lots of celebrities and has been featured in major publications like the Huffington Post and Redbook. Her book is fantastic for those just experimenting with braiding, although seasoned braiders will find lots of great styles to try as well.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

The book starts with the basics, including specific product recommendations for everything from hair spray and serums to flat irons and hair dryers. Monae starts with braiding prep, and includes tips for creating styles like loose romantic waves and flat iron curls. Then she gets down to braiding business.

Each style has a large photo of the finished product, step by step photo instruction, plus additional tips and tricks. It starts with the basic three strand braid, ‘the mother of all braids’, and goes all the way through complicated knotted updos. It also has a great section for African-American hair.

This is one of the best braiding books I own. It’s amazing for working on someone else – my poor daughter is my guinea pig way more often than she would like – and it’s clear and simple enough for working on your own hair.  Stunning Braids is a great staple book to keep right on your vanity.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Another super fun book that I don’t use daily but that makes for some awesome weekend fun is Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs ($14.95) by Kate Bello. This book has 300 recipes for luxurious soaks. While you might have some ingredients around the house like baking soda, coconut oil, and cornstarch, there are other ingredients to plan for like essential oils, Himalayan sea salt, rhassoul clay and flower petals.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

There aren’t pretty pictures inside, but there are tons of easy to make recipes that address ailments like fevers, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. There is a section of recipes for skin and beauty concerns like acne, oily skin, and sensitive skin; plus recipes to use for meditation, chakra cleansing, and aphrodisiac baths. There are even recipes for men and for pregnancy, plus a cool section with recipes for baths from ‘around the world’. Here is one that I have made several times that I just love:

Clary Sage Uplifting Salt Soak

2 cups Himalayan salts

1 cup of coarse sea salts

1/2 cup of baking soda

1 cup rhassoul clay

5 drops of clary sage essential oil

5 drops lemongrass essential oil

2 drops of benzoin essential oil

I get a lot of my ingredients, including essential oils, from Whole Foods. Another great online source is Mountain Rose Herbs. I tend to go for the bath salt mixtures, but there are also great recipes for bath bombs and scrubs in this book as well. All of the creations make terrific gifts and Kate has suggestions for packaging and storing your creations as well.

Both of these books are terrific fun and I highly recommend them! They are published by Ulysses Press and can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Pick them up for some DIY that you will actually enjoy!   – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Beautifully clean with Faith Aromatherapy

Faith Aromatherapy is a beautiful bath and body line based on essential oils that heal the body, mind, and soul. They avoid synthetic fragrances and chemicals in their spa quality products, instead using pure, natural ingredients that are genuinely effective as well as good for the environment. I love their products and there are three in particular that I turn to time and again: Tahitian Monoi Perfumed Shower Gel, Balneotherapy Salts in Just Breathe, and Lemongrass/Fennel Hand and Body Wash.

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Shower Gel 2

The Tahitian Monoi Perfumed Shower Gel ($12.99) is a liquid soap that creates a soft foam. The main ingredient is Tahitian Monoi oil, known for cleansing and soothing skin while also soothing the mind and spirit. Sweet Orange Oil makes the natural scent even more delicious, while glycerin conditions and softens the skin. This shower gel is a beautiful way to get clean every morning.

When it comes to bath time, I absolutely love the Balneotherapy Salts ($10.99) from Faith Aromatherapy’s Apothecary remedy products. They have five different types of bath salts available, including Keep Your Peace, Just Breathe, Be Flexible, Flu Prevention Ginger, and Awaken Your Senses.  My choice is Just Breathe.

Faith Aromatherapy Just Breathe Bath Salts

Faith Aromatherapy Balneotherapy Bath Salts in Just Breathe

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Just Breathe has an awesome combination of eucalyptus and sweet orange essential oils. Along with the epsom salts, the combo clears my stuffy nose like nothing else. It also helps to ease aching muscles and sea salt is fabulous for clearing your energy and getting yourself back into spiritual alignment. This is strong stuff and it is perfect for when colds or allergies strike.

Faith Aromatherapy Hand Soap

Faith Aromatherapy Lemongrass/Fennel Moisture Rich Sanitizing Hand Soap

soapy goodness

soapy goodness

Last but not least, the Lemongrass/Fennel Moisture Rich Sanitizing Hand and Body Wash ($9.99) is a wonderful hand soap. It smells citrusy and clean thanks to the essential oils and Olive Leaf Extract. I wash my hands all the time and many soaps leave them parched. This one never does, and it smells so good – and that fragrance is what helps protect hands from germs, fungus, and bacteria.

Faith Aromatherapy is a wonderful line, particularly if you are into essential oils and the mind/body/spirit connection. They also have body scrubs, body lotions and creams, and natural deodorant. Plus, in the Apothecary you can fill out a questionnaire and they will make a custom blended essential oil just for you. Check it out and get calm, healthy, and happy!  – Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Giveaway alert! Lanikai Bath and Body Tropical Body Mist, plus an Island Tropical Spa Set

If you missed our previous popular Lanikai Bath and Body giveaway, here’s your chance to win again!
a gift for you from Lanikai

a gift for you from Lanikai

Lanikai is sponsoring a holiday giveaway for Beauty Info Zone readers which includes their new Tropical Body Mist plus an Island Tropical Spa Set. All together this fantastic giveaway is a $103 value!

tons of great gift ideas

tons of great gift ideas

free giftwrap

free gift wrapping!

Lanikai Bath and Body is truly an excellent option for buying gifts for the holidays. It’s easy breezy to shop online for Christmas gifts and there are lots of gift sets available. The Lanikai store is in Hawaii but they not only ship worldwide (at flat rate prices when available)- they also gift wrap… for free!

Lanikai

Lanikai Tropical Body Mist in Beach

Lanikai

getting my Hawaii on

Lanikai sent their new Tropical Body Mist ($10.50) to try and what a treat it is. The Beach scent smells like the ocean and the body mist is so refreshing. It’s a great way to wear a subtle scent for the day and it’s wonderfully hydrating with purified water, aloe vera, witch hazel, black willowbark, and white tea. I spray this on and am immediately transported to the tropics! It comes in four other scents, including Pikake, Tahitian Gardenia, Plumeria, and Orchid Vanilla.

Lucky for us, the wonderful folks at Lanikai are sponsoring a fantastic giveaway. The winner will receive a refreshing Tropical Body Mist, as well as an Island Tropical Spa Set ($92.50), which has everything you need for a perfect spa day.
You want to win this!

You want to win this!

This beautiful gift set includes six full size products including Body Wash, Hand and Body Lotion, Body Butter, Hawaiian Mineral Soaking Salt, Exfoliating Scrub, and a Handmade Soap Bar.  What a wonderful way to put some Hawaii into your holiday!  – Lisa
*product reviewed and giveaway prize courtesy of Lanikai
Open through 12/23/13 @11:59 p.m. EST

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Thymes Filigree review and a Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

Thymes Filigree

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the return of beloved limited edition products. Thymes has a limited edition holiday scent that devotees wait all year for, then go crazy stocking up enough to last until the next holiday.  That scent is Filigree.

Filigree is a slightly exotic, very romantic scent.  It is a wonderfully unisex fragrance that everyone loves. Notes include amber, juniper berry, spearmint, lavender, and spicy ginger. To me the combination reads very heavy, but this is a warm, clean scent that even people who don’t like fragrance clamor for. Filigree used to be part of the permanent Thymes line, and it was the signature scent for many people. When Thymes discontinued it, there was a very passionate outcry. Luckily, this scent is now available at holiday time.

Thymes Filigree Body Wash

The packaging features exquisite silver-embossed detail. I love the Body Wash ($19), it’s extremely moisturizing and makes a gorgeous snow white lather. The body wash is fascinating to look at – pictures don’t do it justice, they just don’t capture the shimmery goodness that’s in the bottle.

The Home Fragrance Mist ($17) is another must-have in the Filigree scent. This is fantastic to spray on your sheets and in your closet.

spray can

I even spray it on my towels so I can engulf myself in it as I dry off from the shower.

In addition to the Body Wash and the Home Fragrance Mist, you can find Filigree in the Body Lotion ($25), Eau de Parfum ($60), and Hand Cream ($17). Any of these would make fabulous gifts for the holidays, but hurry because Filigree will be disappearing soon.

And if you are looking for some great stocking stuffer ideas, definitely consider the Thymes Bath Salts packets. The bath salts are a combination of Epsom salts and sea salts. They are only $5 and they come in some amazing scents.

Thymes Lotus Santal bath salts

I especially love the new Lotus Santal bath salts.  Here is the Lotus Santal Fragrance Profile:

Thymes says, “Let peace wash over you as you soak in skin-conditioning waters fragranced with the lulling hush of Lotus Santal. Enriched with all-natural Epsom salts and sea salts to soothe and condition skin.  Features a moisture-rich formula of calming lotus, amaranth seed and purifying turmeric. Makes a thoughtful gift for anyone seeking aromatic tranquility.”  Tranquil is right, this scent is extremely relaxing.  It has notes of cocoa orchid, red lotus, plum wood, patchouli, cloves, amber and sandalwood.  It’s absolutely fantastic.

Now is your chance to win some great stocking stuffers for yourself! You can win three packets of Thymes Bath Salts.  Thymes will chose the scents for you. This US only giveaway is open through Tuesday, 12/18/12 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  The winner will be picked by Rafflecopter and will be checked for veracity. An email will be sent out as soon as the winner is chosen so we can get the mailing information to Thymes. Entering is easy, so do it now for a chance to win these awesome stocking stuffers.  – Lisa

Products reviewed and giveaway items courtesy of Thymes.

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Holiday gift idea: an at home spa day with Gold Sakura

Who doesn’t love an at home spa day?  It’s a great idea, and I think a spa day gift is even better if the products are new and unusual.  I recently tried some pretty amazing bath and body items from the website Gold Sakura, which specializes in natural Japanese beauty products.  Theycarry three brands:  Hanayuki, Hinoki Deitanseki, and Shirasu.  It’s a blast to putter around this site, everything looks delightful and is very affordable.  This company ships incredibly fast.  You can get all of these things within a few days, so it’s a perfect gift basket or gift bag to put together.

Here are a few ideas:

Bath Oil, Bath Salts, and Bath Powder – great ways to get clean!

The Hinoki Deitanseki line features wood charcoal and Hinoki cypress oil products.  They have really neat bath packets for $3.00 each, or you can get 6 for $12.60.  I tried one of each.  The Bath Oil softens bath water and leaves your skin moisturized.  It has lemon fruit extract, citric acid, and Hinoki oil.   The Bath Salts soften bath water plus have minerals.  Ingredients include mandarin orange peel extract, sea salts, and Hinoki oil.  The Bath Powder is another great way to soften bath water, and it includes yuzu fruit extract, silica, and Hinoki oil.  I think one of each is a great addition to an at home spa gift.

Another really cool idea are Body Wash Towels.  These are traditional Japanese towels for the bath or shower.  Maybe I am extremely late to this party, but I have never seen anything like these before.

Bath Party Body Wash Towels

Body wash towels aren’t for drying off, they are for soaping up in the bath or shower.  They are large enough to make washing your back a breeze.   The pink towel ($6.50) is stretchy and slightly exfoliating.  It makes gorgeous foam with a tiny amount of soap, and it dries super quick.  It has vitamin C and acerola as antioxidants, plus marine collagen.  The blue towel ($7.50) is like the pink but with sea kelp for minerals and squalene to soften the skin.

just darling!!

And the packaging?  So cute!!!  These make awesome stocking stuffers as well as a perfect addition to an at home spa gift.  Another Body Wash Towel option is the ST Takesumi ($7.50), which is a thicker version that really exfoliates.  This one has bamboo charcoal in it to help deodorize and clean clogged pores.

ST Takesumi Body Wash Towel

The weave in this one is thicker for deeper cleansing.

the ST Takesumi close up

It feels super scrubby and is perfect for cleaning your back.  I love the Body Wash Towels, they are inexpensive and so different from anything you can find in the states.

A spa gift definitely needs a facial cleanser, and there are several great options at Gold Sakura.  Check out this lovely face soap, Shirasu Sakura Facial Cleansing Foam ($18.50).

see the mesh?

The packaging is sublime, it’s exquisite and just looking at it makes me happy.

love the hygienic tube

This is a thick creamy cleanser made with volcanic ash and Yoshino cherry (Sakura) extract.  I find it to be gentle and hydrating.  The volcanic ash is for deep-cleaning pores, and the Yoshino cherry moisturizes.

the special mesh net

Plus, it comes with this fascinating mesh net that you put right over your hand.  You just need a tiny amount of the soap, and the netting works it into a foamy lather that cleans beautifully.

Shirasu Cleansing Facial Soap, I have it sitting on the mesh netting that comes with it

Or, for something really different you could go with a jar of facial soap.  I am loving the Shirasu Cleansing Facial Soap ($22.50).

inside the Shirasu Cleansing Facial Soap

This jar of soap is the coolest thing.  It has a slightly grainy texture and foams up into a splendid lather.  The grains are the volcanic ash.  Gold Sakura says, “Ultra fine particles of specially processed volcanic ash have a balloon-like structure – smooth on the outside and hollow inside. It allows ultra fine particles to reach deep inside the pores to remove impurities without damaging the skin.”  How awesome is that??  It comes with a slightly larger mesh netting similar to the Shirasu Sakura Facial Cleansing Foam.  This soap also has Aloe extract, Pearl protein, Royal jelly extract and Collagen.

A great way to complete a home spa gift basket is with a facial mask.  I adore the Shirasu Facial Mask ($22.50).

Shirasu Facial Mask

The packaging is fascinating, and so is what’s inside.  This looks and feels almost like a clay mask, just a little more smooth and creamy.  It has all kinds of interesting ingredients like skin softeners olive fruit oil, glycerin and squalane. It also has pearl protein, royal jelly extract, collagen, soybean seed extract, and aloe leaf extract to nourish and moisturize. Plus it does deep cleaning with volcanic ash and Bentonite and Kaolin clays.

a smooth and creamy clay mask

Using the Shirasu Facial Mask several times a week results in healthy, clean, glowing skin.  This is gorgeous stuff, inexpensive, and unusual!

I have listed just a small sampling of goodies available at Gold Sakura.  A customized spa gift is perfect for someone special, and there are all kinds of other unique items at Gold Sakura.  Get creative this holiday and make someone very happy!  – Lisa

*pr samples

Facial Cleansing Foam ingredients

Facial Cleansing Soap ingredients

Moisturizing Facial Mask ingredients