Winter Product Obsessions 2018-19: Light Edition

Have a look at these beautiful natural and organic favorites…

Once I gathered up these products from where they’d already found permanent homes in my bathroom, purse, and nightstand, I realized that they’re connected by the theme of light and glow— something I hold close throughout the cold, dark winter season. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe these should be the next items you reach for if you’re craving a little extra glow in your winter routine too. Happy Solstice!

Kindred Baton d’Or, $38 (or Limited Edition 2018 Set for $45)

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Literally ‘stick of gold,’ this creamy, shimmering product leaves your skin subtly illuminated and deeply moisturized. With only 5 ingredients (mango seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula-infused sweet almond oil, geranium oil, and mica), it feels like a pared-down, everyday essential and a special occasion item all at once. I’ve decided to make it an everyday item this winter, with the goal of restoring some of the sun-kissed bronze that has long left my skin. It works instantly to create luminosity— especially around my collarbone and décolleté (about all the skin I show this time of year!) or on cheeks and lips— and is surprisingly natural-looking and buildable. This product comes from (local to me) Delaware-based natural beauty company Kindred (maker of the most beautiful body oil ever), and you can purchase it paired with a cheerful sparkling pink La Femme candle as part of a special Limited Edition gift set. If you order, use the code JHART for 10% off.

 

The Organic Skin Co. Task Force Nine, $48

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Task Force Nine— the name alone sounds like it means business. And this cream does just that, by soothing skin and reducing inflammation while imparting a healthy glow thanks to golden-hued organic supercritical turmeric, sea buckthorn, and calendula extracts. This cream is a medium weight (it’s water-based, with rose hydrosol and aloe juice), has a soft, non-sticky dry-down, and is 78% organic and 100% natural. I am in love with its natural vanilla scent too— so calming on face and hands.

 




VitaVie Repair & Restore Elixir, $29

I’ve only had this oil for a few days and it’s already one of my winter favorites. Repair and Restore Elixir is instantly calming for my nervous system— you can credit the mix of frankincense, helichrysum, vetiver, neem, and lavender that is super grounding to the senses. I’ve been using it for a beautiful ritual: warm one pump of the oil between your palms, cup your palms over your nose and inhale slowly and deeply, then apply the oil to clean skin that you’ve just misted with a hydrosol. It soaks in well, leaves your skin dewy and your body feeling peaceful.

 

 
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The first time I pumped a drop of Light Reveal (a creamy, balm-like serum) onto my hand, I gasped. It’s completely orange, from brightly-pigmented supercritical sea buckthorn oil. But don’t fear, once you distribute it and massage it into skin, the orange hue creates a subtle warmth that becomes a natural-looking glow. The serum’s other antioxidant-packed ingredients include exotic buriti, pequi, and andiroba oils, plus caffeine from guarana that boosts blood flow to skin. Wabi Sabi Botanicals is a brand new indie beauty addition to Beauty Heroes, and you can purchase Light Reveal alone, or in a special Limited Edition Indie Beauty Spotlight discovery box from Beauty Heroes. The gilded packaging will be the prettiest thing in your beauty cabinet.

 

Axiology Soft Cream Lipstick in Reflection, $30

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I fell for this lipstick (dressed up in new packaging from Axiology) because it reminded me that sometimes the colors you think you can’t wear become your biggest wins. In the tube, Reflection is a pearlized purple, but on lips, it softens into a bright, berry-hued pink/purple with medium payoff that feels fresh, trend-setting, and joyful. As always, Axiology lipsticks are made with natural oils and pigments, are vegan and cruelty-free, and completely free of fragrance.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Wabi Sabi Light Reveal was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Spring Product Obsessions 2018

Alleluia, it finally feels like spring on the East Coast. This season is a natural cue to detox, and that includes cleaning out the products that are old or just not serving you. It could also mean experimenting with something new. Today I gathered up the natural products that are my latest springtime loves, from a very extra new deodorant to a milky serum to a travel version of a product that I’m betting you already rely on. Maybe one of these six winners will be your next healthy beauty purchase…

Vapour Aer Next Level Deodorant, $24

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Next Level Deodorant— such an amazing name. And it speaks the truth; Vapour took things to the next level when they created this product, from the formula to the delivery system to the statement-making natural scents (are you more Palo Santo Blood Orange or Lavender Myrrh?). It took the company 5 years of lab time to perfect Aer, and I have to say, while I was not in the market for a new deodorant for my own routine (still in love with my fave Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free deo), I can’t find a single flaw here. I got my Aer Deodorant in the Beauty Heroes April Limited Edition Beauty Discovery Box, featuring Vapour. If you hurry, you can get one here (this will sell out fast), or you can always grab the product itself in the Beauty Heroes store. Switching to a natural deodorant from a conventional formula often feels daunting, but I tell you there’s never been a better time to make the switch.  Conventional anti-perspirants contain ingredients that you don't want on your skin or next to your breasts every day (aluminum and synthetic fragrances are two), and they block one of your body’s major detox pathways. Aer is a natural deodorant (read: not anti-perspirant), and it worked for me from Day 1. Now, on Day 20, it’s still working well and I have yet to experience any irritation from the “just a pinch” of baking soda in this formula. If you’re baking soda sensitive, you might actually find that you’re okay here. The cream-to-powder formula doesn't feel wet and cold under your arms after you apply (one reason I usually avoid cream deodorant sticks like this one) and you only need a tiny amount, so this stick will last you at least 2 months— likely far more. And the scent— let’s just say I never expected to have palo santo-scented pits, but I’m kind of loving it. Thank you for working so hard to hit the mark on this, Vapour!

W3ll People Bio Bronzer Cream Stick, $23.99

I was thrilled to discover this cream bronzer-in-a-stick just as the weather started to warm. The stick delivery system makes it easy to swipe anywhere, and the cream formula blends in quite well, so that the tiniest dot mimics the effect of sun on my face. I’ve found that a warmer bronzer shade like this one (mine is Natural Tan- 01) looks even more realistic on my skin than pink-toned blush. For spring/summer, I’m keeping it close at hand. W3ll People, a green beauty pioneer, has perfected its formulas, so you can’t go wrong with any of their natural makeup— this one especially. It also comes in a small pot ($11.99), in case you prefer a tinier size.

 

Coconut oil is just about everyone’s multipurpose beauty and health staple, and this eye-catching tube makes it so easy to transport. I use coconut oil regularly for oil pulling, and have always loved it for makeup removal, and recently was shocked to find that I can toss this tube in my bag without fear of leaks! It’s designed for travel, and made with Fair Trade, cold-pressed coconut oil. Each purchase also feeds one child a meal through Feeding America food banks. If you’re a coconut oil devotee and you travel a lot, you absolutely need to give this pretty tube a try.

 

Confession: I haven’t worn foundation since my wedding day, almost 7 years ago! After living with acne for almost a decade and clearing my skin with changes to my diet and lifestyle, I live in as little coverage as possible. My daily staple for sun protection and barely-there coverage is Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Tinted Face Sunscreen. But I got curious about Ilia’s new True Skin Serum Foundation— a mix of skincare and makeup that sounded too good to pass up. The pros at Aillea helped me match my skin to shade F1 (I thought there was no way I could be the lightest shade, but even though the formula looks extremely pale in the bottle the match is great), and I have to say that I really love this formula! It’s loaded with nourishing ingredients like baobab, rose hip, and jojoba oils, in a base of aloe and coconut, and that seems to ward off any chalky dryness. Dimethicone also helps it apply with a silky finish (a feature you don't want to compromise on for your base makeup). It’s buildable and light enough that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a heavy foundation. This one is a new staple when I want a little more coverage.

 

de Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir, $135

I was introduced to this exquisite skin treatment in the April Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, which has long ago sold out, but I had to share it again here because it continues to impress me as I use it. De Mamiel’s founder and formulator, Annee de Mamiel, is an esthetician, aromatherapist, and licensed acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her products are inspired by the needs of her clients and she truly practices slow beauty— sometimes taking years to develop, trial, and perfect her products, which work on the physical, emotional, and cellular levels. This would be beautiful in theory alone, but in practice I can tell you that my skin truly glows after using her Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir— a milky serum that protects from environmental damage and stimulates regeneration and repair. Using both first and second generation antioxidants (including the powerful ferulic acid and superoxide dismutase), as well as incorporating principles of vibrational beauty, this formula continues to work over time, with continued use. Though de Mamiel’s handmade products (made in the UK) may be a true skincare splurge that’s not in the budget at all times, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to use this elixir and its Beauty Heroes sidekick, Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar. Beauty Heroes has introduced me to some amazing brands, but this one might be my most favorite new discovery!

 

CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion, $14.50

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I have long loved this natural lotion, and routinely recommend it to clients with eczema and sensitive skin that is healing from a number of conditions— including radiation irritation. Its combination of anti-inflammatory reishi mushroom, turmeric and bisabolol, as well as calendula and beta glucan, does wonders for compromised skin. You will see a difference in your skin’s condition after one application, and continued use heals skin (if you’re experiencing eczema or skin rashes, this lotion helps skin heal topically while you are working from the inside out to change the root cause of the skin issue). Had to share it again this spring— the season when we start to bare more skin, and of course want it to be clear and healthy.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these Vapour and de Mamiel products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Beauty Ingestible Road Test: Anima Mundi

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In my experience, the foods we eat are unequivocally our greatest tools to shape our beauty and health. Which is why I think that the growing market of ingestible beauty products (basically edibles with beauty benefits) has the power to transform our beauty routines.

In the past, I've road tested beauty ingestibles from Moon Juice, The Beauty Chef, Fountain, and Sunpotion, and shared recipes that I created to use each of these lines. Take a look at those past posts for more recipe ideas. This time, I'm sharing a brand that arrived on my doorstep in my January Beauty Heroes WELLNESS Discovery Box— a BRAND NEW OFFERING from Beauty Heroes, which includes four incredible full size products from Anima Mundi Herbals.

Take a look, and dont miss the warming Cherries & Cream Skin Tonic recipe below!

What you need to know about Anima Mundi Herbals: This brand specializes in herbal ingredients (many of them heirloom) from Central and South America, as founder and herbalist Adriana Ayales is Costa Rican. Before founding Anima Mundi (the beautiful name refers to the 'shared soul' of the world), she practiced herbalism in New York City and Berkeley. Beauty Heroes founder Jeannie Jarnot describes her first experience drinking Anima Mundi products (the same ones offered in this box), "an out-of-body experience." I've newly received my Anima Mundi products, but am loving the experience of using them so far, especially sipped in the tonic recipe ahead, and by adding the turmeric-rich Curam Elixir to my morning lemon water.

How to consume: Coconut Cream Powder is incredibly versatile. You can add a tablespoon or two to smoothies, hot drinks, and just about any recipe for extra good fats— especially lauric acid for gut, brain, and skin health, as well as metabolism. Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder can also be added (1 teaspoon is a standard serving) to drinks like juices, smoothies, and teas. I could also see getting creative and adding it to dressings and sauces or sprinkling it over a decadent bowl of fruit.

Here's what I made with my Coconut Cream Powder and Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder as soon as I opened my box:

Cherries & Cream Skin Tonic

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Add cherries, both powders, and raw honey to a high powered blender. Pour boiled water over ingredients and blend until smooth. Top with additional hot water if needed to warm the tonic.

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Love it for: You will want to eat the Coconut Cream Powder by the spoonful. It's sweet, creamy, melts right into your mouth or into whatever you're making, and will be your new favorite beauty food item. The Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder has a mildly bitter taste, but it's packed with vitamin C, phytochemicals, and beauty minerals that truly nourish healthy, balanced skin from within. And love that these ingredients are incredibly high-quality and carefully sourced! They're also priced very well to include in your everyday beauty pantry.

Cost: Until it sells out, you can buy the January 2018 Beauty Heroes Wellness Discovery (4 products) here, for $49. And you can find individual Anima Mundi products in the Beauty Heroes store, as well as at animamundiherbals.com. Coconut Cream Powder retails for $20, and Mangosteen Hibiscus Superfood Powder retails for $24.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these Anima Mundi products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Winter Product Obsessions 2018

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New Year, and new natural and organic products to love. Here are the picks that have been favorites in my shower, stationed at my bedside, and stocking my bathroom cabinet through the winter season and beyond—

Maya Chia The Eye Achiever, $70

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I had to share this product first; it’s now a permanent bedside fixture and has already been quite effective in counteracting the visible effects of holiday indulgences (cheese! cookies! salty snacks!) that showed up as morning-after puffiness around my eyes. It’s The Eye Achiever— a new product from the amazing Maya Chia brand that arrived in my January Beauty Heroes Discovery Box. Picture this: you gently press The Eye Achiever’s cool metal rollerball underneath your eye and glide it back and forth. It’s so cooling that it feels akin to the old trick of resting a chilled spoon under your eye to dissipate puffiness (only so much more comfortable and chic). The roller delivers a layer of a light, incredibly nutrient-dense serum formulated with ingredients like antioxidant-rich astaxanthin, wakame brown algae (famously used by La Mer),  raspberry seed oil, and Maya Chia’s patented supercritical chia seed oil. It addresses the unwanted trio of wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles all at once, and feels so, so good in the process. If you’re searching for an eye product to love, this is a must try! And while you’re at it, consider a Beauty Heroes membership this year; it will honestly be the very best thing to arrive in your mailbox every month.

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These two products feel like harbingers of an oral health revolution. I’m so excited to share them with you. Hyperbiotics, a company whose probiotic supplements I’ve been testing and sharing over the last year, recently launched a probiotic toothpaste formulated with super-binding activated charcoal and a strain of probiotics called lactobacillus paracasei to gently cleanse and whiten teeth without destroying beneficial bacteria that resides in your mouth. This is pretty amazing, given that conventional toothpastes commonly contain antibacterial ingredients like triclosan that wipe out bacteria— both the good, protective kinds and the bad. After you’re finished brushing with this toothpaste (which does take some getting used to— it’s not as minty as standard toothpaste and doesn't foam), you can pop one of Hyperbiotics’ minty PRO-Dental chewable tablets, designed to restore beneficial bacteria to your mouth. These chews contain 3 billion CFUs of oral probiotic strains like S. salivarius that, unlike your usual probiotics, are meant to stay in your mouth instead of being swallowed. Long-term, a better oral microbiome can improve your dental health and your breath, and actually help your sinuses, ears, nose, and throat too.

Seed Phytonutrients Daily Hair Cleanser and Lightweight Conditioner (price to come).

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I’m sharing this amazing shampoo/conditioner duo now, because it’s about to hit shelves in January. But—confession— I’ve actually been using it since last June, when I first received a travel-size sample. I savored that little bottle (seriously, it made my hair so silky that I used it only on days when I was taking photos, hosting an event, or otherwise needed to have flawless hair) until the fall, when a full size product arrived on my doorstep— not a moment too soon because I was completely out. The combination of these formulas seems to be magical for my hair (fine, dense strands that can air-dry to unruly waves), far outperforming my other natural favorites. These formulas are 99% natural, and do a great job at bridging the gap between hair products that are healthier choices for your body, and those that perform the way conventional hair products do! What I notice most is the softness of my hair after using them; my husband has also been using these products and his hair texture feels silky where it used to be coarse. Will this dup be the perfect match for everyone? Probably not— and Seed is developing products to suit other hair types too. But these really area a must-try! (Other hair types should check out products from brands like Innersense, Acure, Josh Rosebrook, and Ahnesti as well.) Congrats on your upcoming launch, Seed Phytonutrients, and thanks for this amazing gift to my hair!


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Maya Chia Eye Achiever product was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Beauty Heroes x Gressa's Minimalist Makeup Collection

As a beauty editor, I interviewed countless makeup artists who would use a *hint* of shine— gold, silver, rose gold— to make their celeb clients' eyes look bright and youthful. It's all about subtlety (no allover metallic lids pls); just a dot in the inner corners of your lids to give your eyes a little wake up.

When my Beauty Heroes September Makeup Discovery box arrived last week, I found that the creamy Gressa Aureo Eye Tint inside was so perfect for this trick! It's become my new favorite, along with the lovely Gressa Lumiere, a pigmented serum that works kind of like a subtle liquid bronzer on my skin. This, along with beta carotene-rich veggies, are helping me prolong summer's golden skin glow!

This set (which also includes a smoky brown cream shadow and a brush) is super subtle, versatile, and minimalist—the way I like my makeup (it's actually called the Minimalist Collection). With this kind of makeup, your healthy skin glow gets to shine through, which is what you want.
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If you're looking for some healthy new makeup to bring sparkle into your routine this fall, definitely check out this box! It's $45, for $104 worth of gorgeous Gressa makeup.

You can shop the collection here.

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of these companies that helps to offset the cost of maintaining this site. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and this Gressa makeup was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

New Self-Care Obsession: Lilfox Masks

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Beauty Heroes really knows how to pick them! I couldn't wait to show you my newest spring self-care obsession, a pair of masks from Miami-based brand Lilfox. Lilfox is a brand new find for me, one that I discovered in the (aptly-named) April Beauty Heroes Discovery Box.

The box features the Lilfox Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanser and Mask, which is really just too good to use as a cleanser for a few seconds and then wash away. To me, you must use this product and all of its organic goodness as a mask, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes! It goes on sticky, like any great honey-based mask, and gently exfoliates while moisturizing and delivering some potent topical antioxidants from ingredients like raw cacao, maracuja oil, and rosehip. Totally calm, happy, smooth skin is the result. You'll look like you just got a professional facial.

I thought the results couldn't be any better until I paired it with the Cleopatra Restorative Milk + Honey Beauty Mask, the 'sidekick' that you get in the Beauty Heroes box. This clay mask is unique in that it comes in powdered form, and you get to reconstitute it into a paste by adding water. I tried it while taking a bath, as recommended (talk about self-care moment), and, combined with the good-circulation glow from the hot bath, it left my skin dewy, fresh, and radiant. Another winner! Two masks in one box, from one brand? Almost too good to be true!

I would recommend either of these masks, or the April Beauty Heroes box (or just Beauty Heroes in general— their radar for finding amazing natural and organic products is spot-on!) as a spring self-care treat. For the past few weeks I've been using them the night before photo shoots and speaking engagements to boost my confidence and skin glow!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Having a Healthy Hair Moment

If you've been struggling with your hair, or unhappy with its appearance, let's talk. Hair health is impacted by so many factors, both internal and external. Damage to your hair can come from styling, overexposure to salt and sun, and even hair products. But so many of us forget that stress and a diet lacking in healthy hair beauty foods (see below!) take a major toll too, leading to thinning or brittle strands.

This month, my subscription Beauty Heroes Discovery Box inspired me to have a healthy hair moment. Inside my mailbox was a gorgeous trio of Innersense Organic Beauty hair products (complete with redesigned, minimalist packaging) that has led me to slow down and enjoy my hair care time a bit more (Innersense calls this a 'hair ceremony'— don't you love that?).  So I wanted to share some of my favorite new natural hair products with you, as well as arm you with my favorite healthy hair foods list so that you, too, can have a healthy hair moment this spring. (And seriously, if you havent already, join Beauty Heroes. I consider it a self-care strategy. It is such a treat to receive this carefully-curated box every month, with a full-size natural or organic beauty product—this month it was three full size products, plus a beautiful sidekick hair oil—for less than $40).

This spring, I'm using the Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrate Collection for shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner— all from my Beauty Heroes delivery. I love the subtle scents of the shampoo (called hairbath) and conditioner, and so far I think I'm seeing less frizz when I air-dry, and slightly more defined, piecey waves overall. My hair is fine and naturally a bit wavy, and these hydration-heavy products haven't overwhelmed it. I don't think I've used spray-in conditioner/detangler since I was a tween, so I plan to use the Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner a bit more during the summer months; I can see it being a beach and pool staple for hair protection. I'm also loving Captain Blankenship's Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray for extra definition and waviness (and a gorgeous rose smell). I am so glad I finally purchased it and highly recommend it for wavy types!

But that's just half of my current hair routine. Here's my inside look at beauty foods for hair:

HAIR NUTRITION

To address lackluster, brittle, or thinning hair from the inside out (which is key for long-term hair health!), here's a list of nutrients, and corresponding beauty foods, to get more of in your diet:

  • ZINC. So many of us are deficient in zinc. A lack of this mineral can lead to an itchy scalp, hair loss (even eyelash loss...) and create the conditions for splits to readily form. It's best to get zinc from your diet, not from a pill, so try eating more oysters, whole grains, eggs, and nuts like pecans and walnuts.
  • OMEGA-3s. Just as you might imagine, omega-3s keep your strands elastic and shiny. Take a high-quality fish/algae oil supplement or get your omega-3s from wild salmon, flax, sardines, and pumpkin seeds.
  • PROTEIN. Protein is a building block of healthy hair and its main component keratin, so you absolutely MUST get enough in your diet for optimal hair health. But, you definitely dont need to go out and eat a steak—try plant-based protein sources like pastured eggs, wild salmon, quinoa, tempeh, and spirulina.
Click for a 5-minute healthy hair smoothie...

Click for a 5-minute healthy hair smoothie...

...for the rest of this hair-boosting lineup, read my COMPLETE LIST OF HAIR-STRENGTHENING FOODS HERE. And find out why SEAWEED may be an overlooked hair nutrition secret.

Banana Breakfast Smoothie

If you're hungry, you can whip up a 5-minute, 5-ingredient healthy hair breakfast with many of the foods in my above list. Get this hair-building Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe.

Put these hair-supporting ingredients on your grocery list to make the smoothie:

  • unsweetened almond milk
  • banana
  • gluten free whole oats
  • shelled hemp seeds
  • ground cinnamon

What are your favorite natural hair products? How about hair-strengthening foods?

Build a Better Beauty Sleep Ritual

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

I absolutely love sleep.

I've said many times that good sleep is even more valuable than the most expensive night cream you can buy. It's so important for skin, energy, weight, moods—you name it—that I devoted a whole chapter to beauty sleep in my book Eat Pretty. Did you know that when you sleep your body secretes anti-aging hormones that boost skin cell production, increase collagen synthesis, and speed up damage repair? And that lack of sleep contributes to collagen breakdown, immune suppression, as well as slowed metabolism and cravings for sugar and simple carbs? Good sleep is a beauty MUST HAVE.

One key to getting the kind of sleep that's most restorative to your skin and balancing to your hormones is regularity. Your body, and nature, loves a regular cycle. Maintaining a similar schedule of sleep and wake times goes a long way toward optimizing your restorative pillow time. And the time you turn out the light and go to sleep is also key. I strongly believe that there is an ideal bedtime window (which varies in individuals but is between 9 and 11pm in general) for falling asleep to prevent a nighttime surge in cortisol, the stress hormone that has many negative effects on your beauty and sleep if it remains high. Find your ideal lights-out time (mine is 10:30) and try not to stay up past it.

And there's really so much more you can do to get fabulous beauty sleep. Ahead, I share some of the most effective strategies for optimizing your precious hours of beauty rest...

My top 5 beauty sleep rituals—practice them to look & feel better in the morning!

1. Shut off your devices at a reasonable time. When I'm on my computer or phone late, my sleep is noticeably worse. Blue light from screens is partially to blame, but your brain being keyed-up with work or social media plays a part too. I try to set a nightly shut-off time for my devices (say, 9pm) and stick to that as often as I can to protect my sleep health.

2. Sip something warm and calming. I keep a stash of herbal teas and reach for them when I want snacks, sweets, or chocolate late at night—which I know will disturb my sleep. Many herbal teas actually help relax you. Nighttime favorites include a digestive blend (see p 309 in Eat Pretty Every Day for ingredients), tulsi, or a Natural Calm magnesium drink, which further relaxes the body and prepares it for restful sleep.

3. Take a bath. You already know that baths feel amazing, but do you know why they're especially sleep-inducing? Baths raise your body temperature and then lower it when you exit the bath, signaling to your body that it's time for sleep. Add some salts and essential oils like lavender and sandalwood for even greater chill factor. I'd take one every night if I could, but I settle for days when I've been especially busy or stressed, and it helps me wind down.

4. Set aside nightly self-care time. Yes, washing your face counts as self-care. But I challenge you to do more. If you bathe or shower at night, definitely opt for a dry brushing ritual, followed by a head-to-toe natural or organic body oil or lotion. Your skin and body will be so relaxed, and you'll get the best sleep. Right now I am using the incredibly lovely Osmia Night body oil from the latest Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, and it's the best pre-sleep oil I've ever used. It combines more than a half-dozen organic oils (think evening primrose, hemp, kukui nut, avocado...) with organic French lavender and Roman chamomile, two classic calming botanicals that are ideal for nighttime. Overall, this particular oil is relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin. After this ritual, you'll feel so luxurious you'll want to sleep in silk sheets!

5. Clear your mind. Taking 3 minutes to write a quick to-do list for the next day helps me feel less stressed and more organized before getting into bed. Nothing keeps me up more than a racing mind. I also love journaling my thoughts, or even taking time to express gratitude, in my head or in writing, for the gifts of the day.

What's your must-do ritual for beautifying sleep? You can read more in-depth about the foods and habits that support great sleep in Eat Pretty!

Chia Seeds Inside + Out

I've been buzzing about the beauty benefits of chia seeds for a few years now (you can check out the Pantry chapter of Eat Pretty for an in-depth overview of this beauty food), since they support healthy digestion and elimination, help with fullness and satiation, and encourage regular detoxification (all radiant skin essentials!). Chia seeds are great sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin, as well as skin-clearing, immune-supporting zinc. But this is the first time I'm experimenting with the topical benefits of their oil!

My January 2017 Beauty Heroes Discovery Box just arrived, and inside is the beloved Maya Chia The Super Couple face oil serum, as well as a special edition Supercritical Chia Waterless Wonder Balm with a fresh-smelling lavender, vetiver, and cardamom scent created just for Beauty Heroes. Opening this monthly box, and using the carefully-crafted natural and organic products inside, continues to be one of my very favorite self-care moments each month. I've been introduced to more beautiful products than I can count through my monthly Beauty Heroes box. 

But back to this month—when I saw these two Maya Chia products, I wondered first about the term 'supercritical' and the chia oil extraction process it references. How does it differ from, say, the cold pressing process? It turns out, a lot. First of all, the 'supercritical' extraction process is licensed only to Maya Chia in the US. It's a super-gentle, oxygen- and solvent-free extraction process that, "unlike cold pressing, where valuable antioxidants, omegas and sterols can be lost during the cold pressing process – the supercritical extraction method yields all of the biologically ‘active’ components (all the good stuff for your skin) of the amazing chia seed," according to Maya Chia.

The rest of the ingredients in these formulas continue the trend of being super high quality—they're are either certified organic, organic, or wildcrafted, (with the exception of myrrh). You might be surprised that the facial oil serum has a bright orange color- a product of the high levels of the antioxidant astaxanthin that it contains. Astaxanthin is quite a powerful ingredient for fighting free radical damage and slowing the aging process. So far these formulas feel amazing—I layer them at night—on my wintertime skin.

Remember: always apply your facial oil serums over skin that you've misted with a toner or hydrosol—that moisture layer helps the serum to properly hydrate your skin at the topical level. And for moisture and chia seed nourishment from the inside out, try my Ginger Grapefruit Chia Seed Pudding!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Cacao: Winter Beauty Inside + Out

One of my most favorite ingredients for winter beauty, cacao, has been showing up in my skincare routine and in my diet a LOT more lately. Did you realize that cacao delivers skin benefits from the inside and outside?

When the weather turns cold, I reach for cacao in my smoothies, hot drinks, desserts, and even savory dishes (a little cacao in homemade chili is amazing). And this year, thanks to Josh Rosebrook and the Beauty Heroes team, my skin is getting a dose of cacao from the outside as well, with the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask that arrived in my November Beauty Heroes Discovery box.

Here's what you need to know about this powerful mask, and a special recipe from the pages of Eat Pretty Every Day that's a staple in this season of sweets & treats. Enjoy!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - OUTSIDE: To me, this mask has both a silly and a serious side. Smearing it on feels a bit like donning warpaint; arming yourself against future harms to your complexion, perhaps? But if you're a beauty buff the ingredients inside will catch your attention for their potency and purity (not just natural—organic). Not only does antioxidant-rich cacao show up as the second ingredient, it's accompanied by such desirable anti-agers as turmeric, baobab, marula, ashwaganda, cinnamon, elderberry, and ginger. It's like slathering a superfood smoothie directly on your skin.

And if you have ever met Josh Rosebrook, you understand on an even deeper level exactly how much love goes into his craft. His formulas are unique, high-performing, and in a class of their own—much like Josh himself. If you ordered the November 2016 Beauty Heroes Discovery box, you'll also be able to mist on Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, and dab on his incredible new unisex perfume, Ethereal. Amazing, right? I can't say enough amazing things about Beauty Heroes!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - INSIDE: Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from the winter chapter of my latest book Eat Pretty Every Day, is one of my favorite recipes, for its ease, deliciousness, and beauty benefits. Make a batch of this amazing Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark (recipe below- top it with your favorite raw nuts and seeds, spices, and dried fruit) and enjoy it while Josh Rosebrook's Cacao Antioxidant Mask works its magic from the outside. Consuming cacao reduces redness in the skin, protects against UV damage, and increases moisture in the skin by boosting nutrients, blood, and oxygen supplied to skin. It also contains a phytochemical that helps block wrinkle formation and, of course, creates feelgood endorphins in the body when we eat it. Time to make a batch of this amazing treat tonight:

Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from Eat Pretty Every Day:

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NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.