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Life as of Late

March 30, 2013





1. Spending a lot of time with these guys 2. Maybe a little too much time. 3. Ready for spring sun 4. Celebratory drinks with my two favorites



Line I’m Loving: Pratima Ayurvedic Skincare

March 29, 2013


Y’all may be familiar with ayurvedic medicine and skincare from my previous post on a little line I found a while back or from your own personal knowledge. Since being introduced to the Ayurvedic beauty world (which in short is an ancient Indian holistic, all-natural practice), I have been utterly obsessed with the idea and eventually discovered Pratima. Pratima is an Ayurvedic spa and skincare line  based in New York, founded by Dr. Pratima Raichur. Dr. Raichur hand makes her products and performs traditional Ayurvedic healing mantras while doing so. At her spa, face and body treatments are administered using products that comply with your Dosha. Unfortunately, I have a really bad habit of not treating myself to most things, especially spa services (I’ve literally had ONE facial in my entire life), so I just thought, “Hmm…amazing! Maybe someday.”

Well, that day came sooner than I thought when the lovely folks at Pratima asked me to take their Skin Analysis Quiz to determine my Dosha (I’m a Pitta Dosha, which after reading the description comes as no surprise), and then generously sent me the full range  of products intended for my particular Dosha.

You know, I’ve tried a lot of really amazing skincare products, and while I definitely had high expectations for the Pratima products, I really wasn’t expecting to be blown away like I am. I’m gonna describe each product one on one in the order they are used, so here goes.

First up is the Herbal Cleanser. This cleanser comes in a powder form, so I was a little worried about the mess that my clumsy self would make. Luckily the opening to the bottle is quite narrow, so just the right amount comes out each time. You mix a small amount with a couple drops of water and then massage it onto your face and neck.

The consistency of this product is a bit like a light paste with sand in it, which gently exfoliates the skin. The only way I can think to describe the smell of this product is like really fancy dirt which is a good thing in my book. The Herbal Cleanser consists of only organic milk powder, lentils, aloe vera, almond powder, neem and nutmeg. Not sure that it gets any more natural than that.

Honestly, I was concerned that this product wouldn’t give me the deep cleanse that my New York City-clogged skin needs, but I was pleased to discover that the Herbal Cleanser gives me a deep, exfoliating clean without leaving my skin feeling stripped or irritated.

After cleansing my face, it’s time for what is possibly my favorite part of the day: applying my Essential Oil! Y’all know how I feel about oils, and when I received this one from Pratima I was absolutely over the moon. Instructions direct you to massage three drops into your face and neck, but I usually have a bit left over, which I apply to the ends of my hair; they’ve never been smoother! I genuinely feel like this is the key component to the Pratima skincare routine. Consisting of  sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, organic essential oils of rose, sandalwood, ylang yland, jasmine and natural vitamin e, this product smells incredible, hydrates, soothes and balances my skin. At night, my beauty routine stops here because if I put too much on my skin at night, my pores get clogged.

Side note: The other day, I was in the shower washing my face with the Herbal Cleanser which got me to thinking about how much I loooooove the Essential Oil. “I can’t wait to put my oil on!” I thought, “It has seriously changed my life, I’m going to use it forever!” After I got out of the shower, I was getting ready at my vanity only to realize moments later that I had somehow knocked over my Essential Oil bottle, completely spilling it. I was utterly heartbroken!

Yesterday, I had the amazing pleasure of visiting the Pratima Spa to pick up another bottle (I couldn’t live one day without it). I have to say, the spa is more than worth a visit. Jen, a staff member at the front desk, was incredibly kind, helpful and knowledgeable, making the experience so awesome. I am definitely encouraged to return for an actual spa treatment as soon as possible!

Once my Essential Oil is all soaked in, I apply a pea sized amount of the Botanical Moisture Cream. This cream is silky smooth and super soothing; it has a really nice cooling effect on the skin. The Botanical Moisture Cream really works well to hydrate my winter weather chapped skin, but is still really lightweight. This product is comprised of aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, fennel, comfrey, carrot extract, sandalwood, safflower,organic essential oils of honeysuckle, orange, rose, eucalyptus, and vitamins A and E.

For that final protective measure, I apply one pump of the Neem Rose Face Sunscreen with SPF 3o all over my face and neck. This sunscreen is extremely lightweight, and doesn’t leave a weird white cast on the skin like many suncreens on the market. I was super stoked to receive this because natural sunscreens are pretty hard to come by. Ionized water, non-nano micronized zinc oxide, organic extracts of neem, brahmi, shatavari, licorice, vitamin E, lecithin, organic essential oil of rose and xanthan gum are all it takes for the UV protection we should all be utilizing.

As an extra treatment, twice a week I slather on the amazing Sandalwood Rose Mask. This mask works wonders for decongesting clogged pores, soothing breakouts and evening tone. The Sandalwood Rose Mask is chock full of nutrient rich muds, specifically sandalwood mud and ocean mud, in addition to turmeric, rosewater extract and manjistha. The effects of this mask are seen almost immediately; I saw a drastic improvement in the clarity of my skin after just one use.


This mask dries down really tight, as most mud masks do, making it really hard to smile. Trust me, I am elated to be using my Pratima products!

So, that’s the full range of products from Pratima that I’ve been working with for the past several weeks. While there are quite a few products, I feel like the regime is really quite simple. After about a week of using these products I began noticing a very noticeable change in my skin. Most significantly, I haven’t broken out once since starting this regime — not even during that time of the month! I’ve also noticed that my skin is much more firm and bright; I feel comfortable leaving the house without a stitch of makeup on, which is new territory for me

What I love most about the products is the way they make me feel when I apply them; they scent of all the products is so relaxing and beautiful. I feel like  some sort of wise ancient Indian goddess every time I put them on, which is a lot more than most beauty products can say.

As if it’s 5,000 year old history weren’t enough, because of Pratima products I can definitely say that I am a lifelong believer of Ayurveda and am actually so inspired to adopt more Ayurvedic principles. I definitely encourage you all to determine your Dosha and give at least a few, if not the entire range of Pratima products a try!

Thanks for reading!


Product Review: Blades Natural Beauty Mountain Woman Tea

March 26, 2013

That’s right, a tea is most definitely a beauty product too. I strongly feel that if you don’t take the time to relax and soothe yourself by sitting down with a steamin’ hot cup o’ herbal tea, you might not feel as beautiful as you probably could.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the amazing Jessa Blades, a makeup artist, natural beauty expert and women’s health advocate based here in Brooklyn. After a lovely chat about the natural beauty industry, plant medicine and herbalism, Jessa bestowed to me some of her amazing Mountain Woman Tea (along with an incredible herbal recipe book for loan) and I’m truly blown away by it!

The tea obviously comes loose and consists of oats, nettle, damiana, lemon balm, peppermint and chamomile. I like mine in the evening, letting it steep in my french press for about 10 minutes. The first time I indulged in Mountain Woman Tea, I was so relaxed that my boyfriend thought I was on drugs. Yep, it’s that good.

This tea is so refreshing, soothing and clearly relaxes me to the point where I melt into bed. Since drinking Mountain Woman Tea on a nightly basis, I get amazing sleep and feel so much more calm and centered. In my book, calm + centered = beautiful.

You can buy Jessa’s teas on her website, as well as other products she creates or recommends. Whether you mountain is physical or metaphorical, this tea definitely works wonders.

Thanks for reading!


Product Review: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

February 19, 2013

Helloooooo y’all! Please pardon my recent silence, I have been working up a storm holding down a full time job and also writing part time for Lovelyish! It’s been a real treat, but I miss Annie’s All Natural like crazy, so I’m gonna try to squeeze in some posts here and there!

I have been using Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream, which is considered by many the holy grail of natural deodorants, for several months now and I wanted to share with y’all my experience! Y’all know deodorant is a big thing for me, so I was super excited to check it out.

I ordered my Soapwalla Deodorant Cream from Etsy, and paid nearly half the cost of the product itself for shipping only to discover it is hand crafted in the very borough in which I live! Next time, I’m going to have to pick it up from one of it’s many Brooklyn retailers.

When I received my deodorant in the mail, I was a little disappointed, as I was expecting it would be much bigger. I’m not sure why, because the site very clearly indicates that the product is 2 ounces. I soon realized that you use a very small amount of the deodorant cream.

I have to admit that it felt a little strange applying my deodorant with my bare hands, but then sort of realized we are socialized to view armpits as icky, got over it and am now sort of into it. The cream is very thick and slightly grainy in texture, with an intoxicatingly lovely scent. I use just enough to rub between my first three fingers and then spread it under each pit.

The first day I wore it, I really didn’t understand what all the hype as about; I was sweaty and reeking only a couple hours after I applied it. As time goes on, though, I find that my body has sort of adapted to the product. Now by the end of the day I smell and feel totally fresh.

I have to warn y’all though, as the site advises, do not use this the day you shave! Personally, when I use this the day I shave, my pits become super sensitive and rash-y. This may not be the case for everybody.

I really love this product because I feel like we overcame several obstacles in the beginning, but ended up working out our differences. Haha! We now have a strong, stable relationship, I think only bolstered by our previous hardships.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream runs $14 a pop for a 2 ounce jar, which may seem like a lot, but I’ve been using the product daily for a couple months and am no where near halfway done with it. The whole being free of disease causing chemicals and preservatives is definitely an added bonus as well.

Here are the ingredients, in case you’re curious:

Organic Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil; Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil; Organic Rosehip Seed Oil; Butyrospermun parkii (Shea) Butter; Organic Corn Starch; Sodium Bicarbonate; Kaolin Clay; Organic Vegan Kosher Glycerin; Essential oils of: Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender); Organic Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree); Organic Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange); Organic Mentha Piperita (Peppermint); Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergaptene-free Bergamot)

You’ve gotta love corn starch and kaolin clay for their absorptive powers and all those yummy essential oils. I’ll definitely be a Soapwalla girl for life.

Thanks for reading y’all!


The Toils of Oils

December 6, 2012


I hate to say it, but my recent obsession with oils has backfired on me just a lil bit. After a bunch of positive feedback on my previous post on oils I got a little oil-happy.

Without any research or even recommendation from anyone, I began using my coconut oil for face cleansing. Ahhhh did it feel nice…and smelled even better! I put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on a hot rag and gently scrubbed my face. Afterwards my face was completely make-up free and so very well hydrated. Just positively glowing! I began getting a TON of compliments on my skin, my make up was wearing beautifully…

That is until about three days ago when I began seeing….CLOGGED PORES!!!! and ZITS where ZITS HAVE NEVER BEEN BEFORE!!! I typically only break out around my chin for hormonal reasons, but nope not this time. Zits on my nose, zits on my forehead, chin, cheeks. Blackheads every which way. Apparently for me, coconut oil is comedogenic….not everyone has such misfortune with it, but I will definitely be sticking to body use only for my coconut oil.

Am I turned off from oil cleansing altogether? Hell no!!! I loved how it made my skin look and feel, I just need to get an oil that will not clog my pores. For that I’m definitely turning to Living Libations and I can’t wait to keep y’all posted on my results.

Has anyone else had an experience like this with coconut oil? Success with it?

NicoleSpa’s Lavender Mineral Bath Soak

December 1, 2012


Ahhhhhhh…..y’all, I have to say I just got out of the most heavenly bath which I can solely contribute to the all-natural Lavender Mineral Bath Soak by NicoleSpa.

I just want to start by give a shout out to my mother for repping the relaxing effects of lavender despite me teasing her for the duration of my childhood for it being a “mom scent”. Now that I am actually exposed to adult life and real stress, I totally get it. Lavender is my new jam. My doctor even told me that I needed to incorporate this scent into my life, therefore this amazing bath soak is literally just what the doctor ordered.

Just a handful of these dead sea salts not only transport you to some next-level relaxation, but they also have the added bonus of detoxification. After soaking in this concoction for about a half hour, I literally feel like a new person.

See for yourself by ordering on NicoleSpa’s online shop….try adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to a steaming hot tub of this lavendar soak and then parking it in there for a while with a glass of wine. You’ll thank me later.

The Award for Best Design Of A Natural Beauty Product Site Goes To….

November 29, 2012



The Wellness Cafe at Norma Kamali Site is simply beautiful! It’s so lovely to see an aesthetic I admire aligned with a philosophy I stand by.

The Wellness Cafe at Norma Kamali is a place to find healthy plant based solutions to our toxic environment. Our goal is to promote fitness, health, and beauty by providing clients with an oasis filled with products to better their lifestyle. We offer non processed foods, including products from Organic Avenue and Vital Choice, easy to eat delicious and plant based. We also carry our own line of Olive Oil’s and olive oil based products fresh from orchards in France, Italy, and Spain. All of our olive oil products (including soaps, calcium liniment, massage oils) are safe enough to use on babies, pets, rashes, burns, you name it. We also offer several healing solutions for relieving pain and prevantative solutions to feelings good all the time. Bath salts, anti inflammatory body relief pillows, netti pot with sea salt, salt inhaler pipe…are only a few of the many products we cary to support our health and immune systyem. Norma’s favorite books and fitness picks can also be found!

Y’all know how enamored I am with olive oils. I can’t wait to pay The Wellness Cafe a personal visit!