Nature’s Aromatherapy

IMG_6223Spring is almost here! And, what comes to mind? All the colorful and aromatic flowers that will blossom. Colors and scents affect our thoughts and moods in different ways. Does the smell of lavender soothe your mind? Does citrus brighten your mood? Does eucalyptus invigorate your senses?

For some mood enhancing, here are some essential oils that tend to bring about certain aromatherapy benefits:

  • Calm: Lavender, Chamomile, & Vanilla
  • Confidence: Jasmine, Bergamot, & Grapefruit
  • Energy: Rosemary, Peppermint, & Ginger
  • Happiness: Ylang Ylang, Rose, & Bergamot

Each of us respond to aromas differently, so explore various scents to determine the ones that work best for you. If you plan to apply them to your skin, it’s best to use pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, not products made with synthetic ingredients. Please do not apply essential oils directly onto your skin. It’s best to dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil before applying to the skin. Or, place the essential oils in a diffuser so that the aromas fill the air.

So, try the essential oils that suit your mood. And, have some happy pampering!

 

 

We took another transatlantic flight…

… and made it across the pond! Happy pampering in the United Kingdom!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Skin Care Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

IMG_1315Have you used apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a hair rinse? As a facial exfoliant? Or, as a toner? If so, then you know about some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin. It’s an all-natural, head-to-toe skin care product!

We’ve been touting the benefits of ACV, the fermented juice of crushed apples that contains vitamins, minerals and acetic and citric acids. It helps to balance the PH level of the skin to help promote skin cell renewal and proper function.

Here are some of the ways ACV can be used as part of your skin care regimen:

Hair rinse – An ACV rinse helps to detangle hair, revitalize shine, and cleanse your hair and scalp by removing residue and buildup from hair care products. It contains properties that naturally remove dirt and debris and has also been known to help manage dandruff. After shampooing, pour a mixture of one part water and one part ACV through hair, and then rinse with water.

Facial Toner – When the skin’s PH level is in balance, skin cells can regenerate, the skin can function properly, kill bacteria and manage excess oil. As a toner, mix one part ACV to two parts water (use more water if you’re skin tends to be more sensitive).  Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and smooth once or twice over face.

Facial Exfoliant – Weekly exfoliation is important to keep skin clear and smooth. ACV helps by removing pore-clogging dead skin cells that can cause breakouts. As a facial exfoliant, mix one part ACV to four parts water (use more water if you’re skin tends to be more sensitive).  Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and smooth over face in circular motion. Then rinse.

Skin Softener – Add some ACV into your bath for a soothing and skin-softening soak.

ACV can also be used to help soothe sunburn, aid in digestion, boost immunity, and whiten teeth. Remember, it’s best to dilute the ACV with water before consuming or applying onto the skin. And, look for raw, organic, unpasteurized, and unfiltered ACV that includes the sediment also referred to as “the mother”. That’s the good stuff!

Thanks again for being kind to your body! And, happy pampering!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Benefits of Dark ChocolateWhen February arrives, we think of chocolate! Maybe it’s because of Valentine’s Day? Actually…it’s probably because we’re always thinking of chocolate. But not just any type of chocolate. Dark chocolate!

Milk and white chocolate are higher in sugar and fillers, while dark chocolate typically has a higher cacao (cocoa) content that has been touted for its health benefits.

So, how can something that tastes so good be good for us? It’s all in the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant power of flavonoids. Dark chocolate with higher cacao content has been shown to have various health benefits that include the following:

  • reduce stress
  • enhance mood
  • lower cholesterol
  • increase cardiovascular blood flow

The higher cacao content does lend to a more bitter taste. Despite that, we still prefer dark chocolate with 65% to 90% cacao. The higher the better for our tastes. While tempting to start loading up on dark chocolate for its health benefits, remember to consult your medical practitioner to address any specific medical needs.

For us, we’ll continue to toast to our health with more dark chocolate. Cheers!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Spruce Up Your Beauty Care

Spruce Up Your Beauty Care

It’s the start of a new year. A time for resolutions. For 2015 to be an even better year.
The holidays have come and gone, and we’re starting off the new year by decluttering. Getting out from under the pile of boxes and mail that we set aside these past several months. Being organized contributes to our overall health and well being. And, this applies to our beauty routines as well. This means, cleansing our medicine cabinets of beauty care products that are toxic, have expired or gone rancid. Old and expired products may no longer be as effective and bacteria can build up that can lead to infections and breakouts.
Here are a few tips to organize and spruce up your beauty care:
  • Be cautious of products that include parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances and artificial colors that can be harmful to the body. Rid your cabinets of products that contain these toxic ingredients.
  • Use the “sniff” test to help determine whether products should be replaced. If it smells bad, toss it.
  • Discard expired products. Cosmetic and beauty care products that are over a year old or have passed their expiration dates should be thrown away. This includes sunscreen, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, moisturizer, etc.
  • Clean your makeup brushes and applicators. Use a gentle cleanser to avoid drying the bristles and let the applicators dry thoroughly before using.
  • Use bins to organize your makeup and beauty care products. If you have plastic storage containers or zip loc bags, those work too.
Take some time to cleanse and organize your beauty cabinets. Your body will thank you for it.
We wish you a wonderful and healthy 2015!

MEET the ARTISAN: Naturally Susan’s Skin Care + GIVEAWAY

December 1, 2014 as published on Etsy New York Blog

“MEET the ARTISAN” is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Susan, the creator of Naturally Susan’s artisan skin care.  I had the pleasure of sitting down with Susan and picking her brain. Susan and I have worked at Celebrate Brooklyn together so it is always nice to catch up with her.

Q: What is Naturally Susan’s? Can you briefly describe your business for us?
A: Naturally Susan’s products are about skin-healthy and they’re about versatility. They’re about simplifying our lives and making our lives easier. I used to travel a great deal for business so simplifying my beauty routine and my travel bag whether I was going from day to evening, to the gym, shopping or on vacation are fundamental to the products that I develop. My products are effective, long lasting, and versatile. And, most importantly, my products are about being kind to your body.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?
A: I started making skin care products for myself because I wanted chemical-free and fragrance-free beauty care suitable for my sensitive skin. Our skin absorbs about 60% of what we put on it, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing the right skin care. I found an abundance of toxins and chemicals in many products, so I started researching and developing my own, creating products that are as pure to nature as possible.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?
A: The next steps for my business is to further broaden my audience and expand my business. I’ve continued to work with great partners so that we can grow together, domestically and internationally.

Q: Can you tell us some of the partners you have made? Retail stores where we can find your product?
A: Some of the business partners that I continue to work with includes Artists & Fleas. Partnering with them through their markets in both the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Chelsea Market locations has helped to increase my brand exposure globally. I’ve also continued to work with local spas, schools, and nonprofit organizations to support businesses with philosophies and causes that align with my brand mission. You can shop my products on my Etsy shop and my e-commerce website at www.NaturallySusans.com. Also, select Naturally Susan’s products are available at Artists & Fleas curated online shop and StopTHINKShop’s GOODstuff Holiday Pop Up, a social good pop up shop at 103 Allen Street, in the Lower East Side, during this holiday season. There are a number of things in progress, and I look forward to sharing more news soon.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?
A: I’ve learned that if you’re passionate about something, it’s worth exploring. And, whether you’re just starting your business or have been in business for some time, it’s important to join a collaborative network. The level and diversity of experience in the networks are broad and deep and the knowledge that can be garnered benefits both budding and experienced entrepreneurs. Special thanks to Susan for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.NaturallySusans.Etsy.com. Susan is also selling this month at the following markets: Artists & Fleas, Exhale Spa, Etsy NY’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market, and more, so please check out her calendar at www.NaturallySusans.com/news.

And we didn’t forget about her giveaway!  The details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Enter for your chance to win HERE!

Roll On Moisturizers & Natural Perfumes 3-Pack Gift Set Retail value: $63.00 WIN the set! Packaged in convenient roll on applicators, our natural perfumes are made with a blend of essential oils to stimulate, calm and heal. They’re noncomedogenic, fast-absorbing, and versatile so they can be used as moisturizers too! Pop these into your purses, carry-on bags, and gym bags…they’ll be all you need when you’re on the go! Gift set includes three (3) roll on moisturizers & natural perfumes:

  • 1 – Lavender Chamomile
  • 1 – Rose Patchouli
  • 1 – Ylang Ylang

Gift packaged in a white gift box with green ribbon. Patch test for skin sensitivity. Results may vary. This is perfect for the holiday season! Can I enter even though I did the interview? Enter to WIN HERE! Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Monday, December 15, 2014! Tracey https://www.etsy.com/shop/traceytoole

HEALTHY & BEAUTY: Prep Your Body for the Holidays

Yoga

We’re all busy. And, we seem to be getting busier every day, leaving us less time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the holidays fast approaching, more travel, family gatherings and social engagements often fill our already full calendars. Yet, when that happens, it’s even more important to find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, how are you prepping your body for the holidays? Here are some tips that may help:

1. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important to maintain proper bodily functions and to flush toxins from the body. When exercising or traveling, it’s important to drink even more water to replenish our bodies since exercise and dryer environments can deplete more essential fluids.

2. Exercise. We admit that we’re not the most diligent about following a regular exercise routine, yet we’re constantly on the move when it comes to our market life. So, whether you enjoy jogging, swimming, or practicing yoga, continue exercising to keep your body active and in shape.

3. Eat right. Fill your plates with more fruits, fish and nuts. Fruits such as berries are high in antioxidant vitamins like A and C, and consuming more fish and nuts such as almonds that are rich in essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and keep the body healthy.

4. Get eight hours of sleep. Can we tell when we’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep? Of course we can. We look and feel younger and more refreshed!

So, stay healthy this holiday season. We wish you a wonderful time with your family and friends!

Chelsea Market…Here We Come!

Artists & Fleas Chelsea Market

We’re excited to be at Chelsea Market’s Artists & Fleas in September! We’ll be there during the first two weeks of September and through Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, so come by for some of our all-natural, organic skin care. And, shop unique, one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories to spice up your wardrobe!

You may also bump into some familiar faces while shopping and dining at Chelsea Market which is home to the Food Network and NY1. Recently, we crossed paths with Chef Morimoto, Budd Mishkin, Lewis Dodley, and many others. We’re thrilled to be among the talented artisans at Artists & Fleas and at the amazing Chelsea Market venue.

It’s where food, fashion and beauty mingle!

September 1-14, 2014

ARTISTS & FLEAS at CHELSEA MARKET

88 Tenth Avenue (at West 15th Street), New York, NY 10011

Mon-Sat 10am-9pm / Sun 10am-8pm

 

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Healthy Summertime Smoothie Recipes

Apples 2During the Summer, do smoothies make up the majority of your meals? They do for us. Especially when it gets too hot in the kitchen to cook. And, as our days get busier and we prefer to spend every minute soaking in the extra daylight hours, what do we do? We pull out the Vitamix! The ice-crushing, vegetable- and fruit-pulverizing machine that transforms solid foods into pulpy, liquid beverages.

While cold-pressed beverages are generally best for the body since the heat generated from blending can affect the nutritional content of the juices, we enjoy blending to retain the fiber from the skins and pulp that help cleanse and remove toxins from the body.

The inclusion of antioxidant- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, apples, and berries in the beverages help to maintain a balanced system and healthy, glowing skin. Over the years, we’ve tried numerous blends and have adapted some to our tastes. Here are some of our favorite fruit and vegetable blends:

Smoothie Green Smoothie:

water (purified)

3 kale leaves

2 apples

1 pear

1 celery stalk

handful of spinach

1/2 a cucumber

1/2 a lemon

ginger

 

 

Detox:

water (purified)

1 lemon or lime

1 tablespoon of raw honey

ginger

 

(Mostly :)) Fruit Smoothie:

water (purified)

2 carrots

1 apple

1 banana

1 cup of mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

1 celery stalk

1/2 a lemon

Remember to alternate the variety of foods that you consume, since eating too much of a good thing can build up in your body as well. And, remember to use organic and chemical-free produce when making your blends.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and let us know your favorites. Have a wonderful and healthy Summer!

~ Naturally Susan’s