Organic to Green to holiday happiness! Therapy Bath Salts and Chap Guard

Only ten more shopping days until Christmas, can you believe it? I have two more amazing gift ideas that you will love so much I think you might have a tough time parting with them. One will have the recipient’s name on it, so that might not be as difficult – and what a cool gift! The other, well…just read on.

sample/affiliate links

Organic to Green is a fabulous little cruelty free and vegan store that has wonderful bath and body products. You can even find lots of their items at Ulta. I love two items in particular this year – first, a perfect gift is the PERSONALIZED NAME ORGANIC THERAPY BATH SALTS ($28). This is a large corked glass bottle full of artisan bath salts and the label is personalized with your giftee’s name. It’s also gift wrapped in green eco-friendly paper. He or she will be thrilled! The salts are delightful for relieving stress after a hard day or soothing muscles after a long workout. Just check out these amazing ingredients:

  • Epsom Salt: Eases stress in the body and nervous system. Helps eliminate toxins and improve digestion.
  • Dead Sea Salts: Super rich in minerals, it contains 21 minerals including zinc and potassium which are easily absorbed into the skin. It is a natural exfoliant helping to remove dead skin cells for softer smoother and more youthful skin. Natural antibacterial for purifying oily and acne prone skin.
  • Sweet Basil: A good source of vitamin A, for toning and purifying the skin. It is also great for sensitive skin and it helps calm inflammation.
  • Cypress: This essential oil is composed of monoterpenes which can help improve appearance of oily skin. It renews, uplifts and energizes while helping to reduce shine and an oily appearance.
  • Eucalyptus: Every home should have a spray with eucalyptus oil with its many natural healing properties: insect repellent, aroma-therapeutic, asthma relief, immune stimulant, disinfecting cleanser and sinus decongestant.
  • Ginger: A natural healing agent, ginger is full of antioxidants which helps to fade and reduce the appearance of scars, promotes hair growth, reduces cellulite and combats dandruff.
  • Lavender: Helps as a disinfectant and healing agent for cuts, burns and wounds.
  • Lemon: Perfect for people with oily skin and acne, lemon peel oil enhances skin by helping to remove dead skin cells, stimulating new skin growth, and making skin smoother and softer.
  • Sweet orange: An energizing essential oil that is great for reducing stress, increasing awareness and uplifting your mood. It is invigorating to the immune system for a healthy mind and body.
  • Peppermint: Helps to calm and promote healthy respiratory function, opens the sinuses and enlivens the senses to promote a feeling of energy and alertness. Also, helps to clarify, freshen and open the nasal pathways and congestion in the chest and sinuses.
  • Ravensara: This powerful antibacterial, antifungal oil holds a place in the traditional medicine system of Madagascar and has been used for centuries as a tonic and for fighting infections. It is praised as the “cure all” oil because of its many medicinal benefits from an antiseptic to aphrodisiac and relaxant.

    Ahhhh…..loving these bath salts!!

Can’t you feel the healing from a long, soaking warm bath filled with these bath salts right now?? I could use one after my day today, that’s for sure. I have a date with my Therapy Bath Salts tonight and your loved one will be thrilled to have that option too.

My second choice from Organic to Green is the  CHAP GUARD – GREAT BARRIER COCO HERBAL LAVENDER FOR SKIN AND LIP ($18.00) It actually won a 2017 Allure Best of Beauty Award, and it’s easy to see why. This big jar of lip balm comes in an eco-friendly plastic jar. It’s lovely stuff not only for lips, but also for anything chapped – cheeks, hands, heels, elbows, babies butts.  It gives a layer of protection with coconut oil and shea butter, along with tons of other great ingredients:  

  • Coconut Oil: A powerful moisturizer for all skin types, especially dry and flaking skin, coconut oil is packed with fatty acids and antioxidants making it the ultimate skin healer. It strengthens skin tissue while absorbing quickly into skin offering protection and combating a plethora of skin issues including: burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis and psoriasis.
  • Shea Butter: Known as skin’s best friend, shea butter has exceptional healing properties. The ultimate moisturizer and skin healer, regardless of the skin whether it be dry skin, chaffed skin, allergies, insect bites, eczema, psoriasis, stretch marks, dermatitis, blemishes, wrinkles, etc., shea butter will help to soothe and heal your skin.
  • Olive Oil: One of the world’s great antioxidants, olive oil helps to protect skin from premature aging while never clogging pores.
  • Lavender Oil: Helps as a disinfectant and healing agent for cuts, burns and wounds.
  • Rosemary Leaf Extract: An antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and the effects of environmental damage to the skin. Also it is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbrial and has skin toning properties.
  • Jojoba Oil: One of earth’s great natural skin conditioners, jojoba oil lubricates the skin so it never dries out. It also is perfect for helping to control oily skin and acne acting as a natural sebum modulator for your skin.
  • Rosehip Oil: Full of vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids, rosehip oil helps with dark spots, dry skin, itchy skin and reducing scars and fine lines.
  • Neem Oil: Helps to rid the skin of bacteria, reduce inflammation and redness, and treat scars from acne.
  • Vitamin E: By helping skin to retain its natural moisturizers, Vitamin E helps to ease and eliminate dry skin and neutralize damaging free radicals, making it essential for a complete anti-aging regimen.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil: Moisturizes and protects skin while acting as an anti-inflammatory with anti-bacterial properties helping to keep skin hydrated longer and combatting acne, dermatitis and sunburn.

This wonder balm is an excellent cuticle treatment and also helps relieve eczema and psoriasis. Who doesn’t love a multitasker??

You’ve got to check out Organic to Green for some truly great holiday gift ideas. You can find many of their products at Ulta and their full line at organictogreen.com.  – Lisa

Therapy Bath Salts Ingredients: Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate), Dead Sea Salts (Sodium Chloride),Ocimum Basilicum (Sweet Basil) Essential Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Essential Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Organic Ginger*) Root Essential Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender*) Essential Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Organic Lemon*) Peel Essential Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Organic Sweet Orange*) Peel Oil, Mentha Piperita (Organic Peppermint*) Essential Oil, Ravensara Aromatica (Ravensara) Essential Oil.

*Organic Ingredients

Chap Guard Ingredients: *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, *Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire d’abeille, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Elaels Guineensis (Palm) Oil, *Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Azadirachta Indica Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol.

*Certified USDA Organic Ingredients

All I want for Christmas is a basket full of Rescue and Renew products from Arbonne

A basket full of Arbonne Rescue and Renew!

You know what I want under my tree? A big old basket full of Arbonne Rescue and Renew products. I could use a lot of rescuing and renewing, that’s for sure! Arbonne has everything I need to rescue and renew me from head to toe and while the whole collection makes for an amazing gift, even just one of these items brings a great big smile of relief.

samples

Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Face Mask

If you have large, congested pores, Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask ($44) comes to the rescue. This is a creamy French pink clay mask that goes on wet then pulls out dirt and oil as it dries, closing up those pores and making them look smaller in the process.
• Helps skin appear brighter and promotes the look of smoother, softer, and refreshed-looking skin
• Leaves the complexion looking cleansed and renewed
• Safe for all skin types including sensitive skin

Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Face Mask

• Dandelion extract contributes to detoxifying effects that promote the appearance of overall skin health
• Turmeric extract helps to promote radiant-looking skin
• Ginger root extract helps counteract the look of dull, lackluster skin by enhancing the appearance of skin radiance

As the mask dries, you can actually see where the concentration of dirt and yucky stuff is – it’s fascinating. The formula uses an oil-pulling technology with 5 self-neutralizing acids to clean skin and leave it looking brighter, plus it has rosemary oil which is very hydrating so skin stays wonderfully moisturized. This is a terrific face mask with great ingredients that lives up to Rescue and Renew name!

Rescue and Renew Detox Body Wash

The Rescue Renew Detox Body Wash ($32) is a lovely, citrus-y smelling body wash that leaves skin cleansed and detoxed yet moist and hydrated at the same time. I always have problems in the winter with dry, itchy skin but whenever I use this body wash my skin feels great. The citrus scent comes from grapefruit and orange essential oils, and the formula also has two excellent skin conditioning agents – alfalfa and chicory root extracts.
• Cleans oil, dirt and other impurities from the skinto help revive lackluster-looking skin
• Helps improve the look of skin’s clarity and brightness
• Hydrates and replenishes moisture content tohelp skin look softer and smoother
• Formulated with pure, aromatic essential oils

Rescue and Renew Detox Body Wash

• Alfalfa and chicory extracts help improve the appearance of skin tone and smoothness
• Mineral salt helps balance the skin’s appearance, revealing a smoother, brighter surface

I think this is a perfect body wash for winter since it takes of dry, itchy skin and it’s especially good for morning showers because that citrus scent wakes you up and gets you in a great mood for the rest of the day.

I absolutely love body oils and the Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Oil ($50) has gone to the top of my favorites list. It has a lovely scent with aromatic essential oils including orange, lavender, anise, and bergamot. It makes for a terrific massage oil but I use this in the mornings after a shower when my skin is still a little damp. Rescue & Renew Detox Oil has grape seed oil which is so good for skin…it keeps it nice and firm, and it also has sesame seed oil which helps reduce the appearance of cellulite.  

• Helps to promote the appearance of healthy, radiant skin
• Delivers hydration and helps skin to retain moisture
• Improves the appearance of dull, lackluster and tired-looking skin, helping skin look softer and smoother

The ingredients are truly top-notch.

• Vitamin E, with antioxidant properties, helps protect skin’s moisture barrier
• Grape seed and sesame oils moisturize to support collagen, helping to promote firmer-looking skin
• Argan oil — with antioxidants, vitamin E,and essential fatty acids — moisturizes and conditions skin

Rescue & Renew Detox Oil is a great alternative to body lotion because it’s not sticky or gooey. This is a wonderful gift to give or receive!

Rescue and Renew Detox Body Lotion

Rescue and Renew Detox Body Lotion

For those who love the basics, lotion is a great choice – skin can always use some rescuing with a little body lotion! The Rescue and Renew Detox Body Lotion ($36) features anise seed oil, which brightens dull skin, along with vitamin B5 for softening and smoothing. This is a shea butter-based lotion but it’s still light and fluffy, and it smells wonderful thanks to the orange, lavender, anise and bergamot essential oils.
• Promotes smooth-looking skin through moisturization
• Provides immediate hydration while also replenishing skin’s natural moisture barrier
• Formulated with pure, aromatic essential oils
• Alfalfa and chicory extracts help improve the appearance of skin tone and smoothness
• Shea butter, a body conditioner, helps moisturize dry skin
• Vitamin B5, a humectant, emollient and moisturizer, helps skin look soft and smooth

Even though it’s light and fluffy it still works wonders on my crazy dry feet. I slather a bunch on at night then cover my feet with cozy socks and in the morning I have heels and toes to be proud of.

Rescue and Renew Detox Soak

Rescue and Renew Detox Soak

A long, soaky bath is a sure way to rescue and renew after a tough day, especially if you fill your tub with Rescue and Renew Detox Soak ($38) These sea salt crystal dissolve quickly and soften the water as well as your skin. They get rid of surface impurities from skin leaving it nice and clean, plus bath it in wonderful ingredients like turmeric root which promotes radiance, as well as tons of wonderful botanical essential oils including grapefruit, tangerine, lavender, juniper berry, ginger, orange, and rosemary. 

Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee

Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee

So this is interesting….I was excited to try the Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee ($58), which comes in either a big tub or else in a box with 10 separate tubes. This is a great gift for the sports enthusiast or the loved one who is on their feet all day and night.  Smooth some of this cooling gel into sore, tired muscles for a terrific cool down and fantastic hydration. The sensation is absolute heaven!  Really interesting ingredients include green algae to smooth skin, juniper berry fruit oil to moisturize and create a moisture barrier keeping moisture in, and aromatic lavender and tangerine peel oils to just help you feel peaceful and happy.

• Moisturizes to promote skin elasticity,helping dimpled skin appear smooth and soft
• Provides immediate hydration while also replenishing skin’s natural moisture barrier
• Formulated with pure, aromatic essential oils
• Safe for all skin types including sensitive skin

Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee

Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee

A little more info on the ingredients – aromatic essential oils like orange, lavender, grapefruit, and tangerine help you relax, while shea butter and vitamin E gets rid of any dry patches. Caffeine moisturizes and helps reduce any bumpy areas, plus it’s an antioxidant and helps fight off free radicals. This is a great product that nourishes your body and your soul!

Rescue and Renew Detox Scrub

Another excellent way to detox, the Rescue and Renew Detox Scrub ($50) is a fabulous exfoliating scrub that is gentle but extremely effective. Skin is constantly renewing itself, which means you have dry, dead skin cells on the surface that need to be removed. If they aren’t, they build up and clog pores, leading to all kinds of skin drama that you don’t want. This lovely combo of coriander seed oil and avocado oil plus sea salt gently removes all the dead stuff and all the dirt and oil, leaving beautifully soft, radiant skin.

Rescue and Renew Detox Scrub

• Cleanses to combat the daily wear and tear of environmental exposure and pollution by effectively clearing pores of excess oil, dead skin, and buildup
• Helps improve the appearance of radiant, brightened skin
• Hydrates to promote the appearance of softer and smoother skin, leaving skin feeling touchably soft
• Formulated with pure, aromatic essential oils
• Safe for all skin types includingsensitive skin
• Dermatologist-tested• Vegan
• Vitamin E, with antioxidant properties, helps protect skin’s moisture barrier
• Avocado oil, with moisturizing properties, helps protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier from water loss
• Coriander seed oil, with antioxidants, soothes skin
• Passion fruit seed oil moisturizes skin

This is a really wonderful, gentle sea salt scrub that smells fabulous – like oranges and grapefruits – that works!

Shea Butter Hand Cream

Last but not least, no gift list is complete without a hand cream recommendation! I have hand cream everywhere – next to my bed, next to my computer, in my desk at work, in my car, in my purse…I just can’t get enough. And I can’t enough Arbonne Shea Butter Hand Cream ($20). It smells yummy, soft and buttery. It moisturizes beautifully and soaks in quickly, so I can get back to typing or whatever right away without leaving those tell-tale greasy spots. The ingredient list includes skin happy ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil. It’s all good stuff and a wonderful hand cream that even the most picky person on your list will love.

Arbonne uses pure, botanically based ingredients that contain no animal products or by-products | artificial flavors | artificial sweeteners | benzene | bisphenol-a | carbon black | formaldehyde-donating preservatives | hydroquinone | mineral oil | parabens | petrolatum | phthalates | sodium laureth sulfates (SLES) | sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) | synthetic dyes | talc | triclosan | triethanolamine (TEA). You can find the products reviews and so much more online at arbonne.com.  Happy shopping!! – Lisa

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