Tag Archives: beauty

Shiva Rose

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Fresh off a trip to Provence, I found myself immersed daily in roses.  I love roses. From perfume to food to decor, I am constantly surrounding myself in these delicate expressions of nature.

When my beautifully botanic friend Shiva Rose launched her non-toxic, chemical free skin care line, which is made in small batches to insure optimal integrity, I knew it was going to have some powerful rose moments. My gateway drug was the Radiant Rosewater spray and now I’m covering my entire body in this lovely line. I am quite sensitive to energy and I have to say, the energy in these products emit positivity and that positivity goes right onto your skin and into your soul.

I’m deeply into skincare these days as I have pared-down my use of makeup, opting for more natural beauty. When you can’t hide your skin behind foundation and powder tricks, you have to make it naturally look as good as you are trying to fake it with the application of makeup. Smooth, even tone, and naturally glowing. It honestly even took me some time to get used to looking at the natural texture of my skin!

I’ve been experimenting with different beauty lines and currently I’ve been focusing on Shiva Rose. Overall, I say these beautiful products are great for the woman who wants mega moisture and natural scents delivered through a bouquet of essential oils and topped off with a lot of happy spirit juju.

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The Gentle Cleanser-

Pearl Milk Cleanser might be my favorite of all Shiva Rose’s products. It’s a face wash that doesn’t strip your face bare of it’s natural balance. It feels calming and hydrating to use with a very delicate natural exfoliant from black willow bark and luminizing elixir from the pearl powder, your face comes out clean and radiant. Shiva is not just about the physical aspects of beauty but how it ties to the inner spirit and this gentle fresh scent cleanser really does feel uplifting.

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The Perfect Beauty Balm-

Glow Face Balm is that kind of do-it-all-for-you treatment. Slightly thicker in the jar, the moment it touches your skin it melts into a silky oil I use all over my face, lips, neck, décolletage, and cuticles. It’s oily at first application so give it a few minutes to soak into the skin and you’ll feel soft and radiant. The fragrance notes are brighter, mixing floral roses with the woody and lemony notes of frankincense. This “goddess glow” balm also contains Argan Oil, also known as liquid gold, a beauty weapon I discovered on my journey through Morocco.

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For the Body-

This product is amazing. Typically when I think of body scrubs I think of an abrasive texture sitting in oil you sandpaper all over your body. This, however, is not like that at all. With a slight grainy texture, this paste melts into your skin like butter. A strong bouquet of lemongrass instantly makes you feel brighter and lingers on your skin afterwards in a way no other body scrub has. It’s no wonder she calls it the Sea Siren Body Scrub, it truly makes you feel like a sea goddess.

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For the Eyes-

Before you even put it on you feel the soothing nature coming through with this Blue Crystal Eye Cream. I love the dusty blue-green tone and intense organic smell, a mix of anti-aging evening primrose, chamomile, blue tansy, lavender, and sandalwood notes balanced with powerful natural ingredients like aloe to fight puffiness and activated by azurite crystals.

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The Rosewater Spray-

This was my point of entry into Shiva Rose’s collection. I love rosewater sprays. I think they are the secret to natural beauty. I spray this on my face first thing in the morning, after any point in my skincare routine, throughout the day, and after I finish applying what little makeup I do wear. I am a firm believer it keeps your skin hydrated, glowing, calm, and youthful. Shiva’s Radiant Rosewater has an organic rose scent without smelling perfumed.

Other botanical mists I rotate between are Chantecaille’s Pure Rosewater made from 100% Rose de Mai from Provence, May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden Mist (possibly the best smelling beauty product in the world!), and Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater. I also always carry a travel size Caudalie beauty elixir spray with me for multiple applications on flights.

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Above, a portrait of Shiva Rose I took in the backyard of her L.A. home when she first discussed the desire to make a line of skin care for women based on natural beauty. Her blog, The Local Rose, goes even further with stories of wellness, at-home natural beauty remedies, healthy lifestyle recipes and much more for the mind, body and spirit.

More beauty stories…

Tata Harper ||  Stowaway || Chantecaille

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Tata Harper

Trying the all natural beauty line Tata Harper

A few months ago my sister-in-law tagged me in an Instagram post belonging to the brand Tata Harper that she had fallen in love with. I was unfamiliar so I poked around for a bit- oh you’re handmade in Vermont- oh you’re all natural & non-toxic- oh you are a real environmentally sustainable business… ok, ok, you’re cool. But then I got busy and forgot until a recent trip to ABC home (fav home store in NYC btw.) where they carry her line. So I tried it on my hands, played with the lotions, and smeared on some Love Potion. As the day worn on I kept smelling my hands, it was intoxicating.

I’ve been pretty happy with my beauty routine and wasn’t looking for a change until one morning I read this article and downloaded the app Think Dirty and started going through my beauty cabinet. Nothing I owned was considered “safe” by this app. Huh… I thought. So, what if I tried something that was considered totally safe? Then I remembered Tata Harper. I looked them up on the app and it passed with flying colors so I ordered a starter kit complete with cleaner, serum, moisturizer, nutrient complex (oil), face mask, and lip balm. annnnnnnnd I also ordered the Love Potion which is actually what I wear to bed now and in the mornings when I spend time in my little garden

I’m going on two weeks now with this as my skincare routine. At first you notice that it’s different from what we are used to. The face wash isn’t foaming and lathering, the moisturizer isn’t thick and creamy… instead it’s better. The face wash doesn’t strip your skin of moisture and smells like you went for a walk in a garden. The serum and moisturizer are not greasy and absorb so easily into your face which also smell like a walk in the garden and considering I really like walks in the garden this is just great. When I first used the resurfacing mask I smeared it on and thought.. that’s it? Nothing is happening. But after 20 minutes when I washed it off my skin had never looked healthier. It took a couple of days for my lips to adjust to the new lip balm situation but now I LOVE the Be True lip treatment. It restored a natural lip-color that had long faded, my lips don’t dry out in-between applications, and the sheen it provides is so pretty that often times I just use it instead of lipstick.

This is what I’ve come to find out with using all the Tata Harper products: it restores a natural color balance in your skin, keeps you moisturized and super glowy which I love love love. The best part about it though? It makes me feel good to know that what I’m putting on my skin every single day is not going to hurt it. The only sad part about Tata Harper is that I don’t own every single product she makes. Choosing is so hard when it’s all so good.

I know… it’s not cheap. But as my mom once said to me, “it’s cheaper than plastic surgery.” So there you go.

Trying the all natural beauty line Tata Harper Trying the all natural beauty line Tata Harper Below, after I finish my morning beauty routine with not a stitch of makeup in my Ari Dein slip Trying the all natural beauty line Tata Harper More beauty stories HERE.

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The Stowaway

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It came as no surprise to me when I caught wind that my friend Chelsa was starting a new makeup line. Her knowledge about beauty and products comes from years of being a makeup artist and working for brands such as Clinique and Bobbi Brown. I’ve personally worked with Chelsa many times on beauty stories in the past, remember when we did this tutorial on the bold lip or how to look “berry” romantic?…

So, I was curious, does the world need another line of makeup? 

Yes! 

but why?

Because our lives have changed from the sort of women who had time to sit at a formal vanity and “put on our face” to women who are now busier than ever, on the go, and care more about what products are made of than pretty packaging.

Chelsa explained to me, “The makeup industry is a bit in the dark. We all think about the food we eat and where it comes from now but we don’t ask ourselves, what’s in our makeup?” Part of Chesla’s initiative with Stowaway is to have those honest conversations about beauty products and educate women on what they are paying top dollar for and, this is something I never even thought about, that your makeup DOES expire. Would you drink expired milk? I don’t think so, so why is it ok to smear expired makeup on our skin?

Stowaway lets you never have to worry about your makeup expiring because it’s designed by size to be used up before that date approaches. It’s 1/2 the size, 1/2 the price and literally does all the thinking for you so you can concentrate on more important things like Barre Method at 7am, breakfast meeting at 9, getting through the workday, that social event after work, dinner with the love interest and some of you can throw a few kid’s schedules on top of that too right?… all the while looking great incase we come upon a perfect selfie moment.

Here is the other thing Chelsa educated me on-

The U.S. only bans 11 items from being allowed in cosmetics while Europe bans over 1,300! Stowaway  is committed to holding themselves to the highest standards in the beauty industry by following Europe’s lead and being EU compliant. When I asked her if the products were all-natural then she explained to me that “all-natural” isn’t exactly the answer but rather a trendy marketing term. I mean, Mc Donalds uses “all-natural” and sure potatoes come from the ground but….. ANYWAY. There are really great man-made advances in beauty that are 100% safe. Stowaway lists all the ingredients in each of their products HERE.

But what I love most about Stowaway personally is the size. They easily fit into your gym bag, clutch, purse, carry-on, camera bag, or pocket. In that beautiful minimalist approach to life we are now embracing (we’ve all read this by now right?) I can pack the Stowaway kit of their 6 go-to basics and find myself free to focus on life, wherever the day may take me.

Since we are being super honest here I opted to NOT beauty retouch Chesla’s skin into some sort of idea of beauty industry perfection so you can see the real product in action, the way we actually look IRL. Also, full disclosure, I was not paid for this post, I am 100% in love with Stowaway #fangirl and all my friends are too. So, this is just a love letter.

Here’s the real pretty part: Chelsa broke it down into three different looks using only three products to get the woman on the go through our busy day-

 

The Post Workout Look

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1. Creaseless Concealer

2. Radiant Complextion Beauty Balm

3. Defined Lash Mascara

(more…)

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The Female Nude

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I am a woman. I am aware of my body like any normal human being. It’s not a surprise, just look at the images served up to us. Everyone is beautiful, happy, young, thin… they have the perfect (insert your own personal thoughts here) stomach, eye brows, waist, legs, hips- sometimes it feels like an impossible treadmill of perfect we will never really achieve because of genetics, because we have real life and real work and can’t spend the amount of time it takes to achieve “perfection”.

But really, what is perfect?

I’ve always be interested in shooting nudes. I started in college. The body is one of the most beautiful, natural things about life. The way it changes, the way it gives life, the way each is our own and that is what makes us special. I wouldn’t take my grandmother’s wrinkles away, or Dad’s loving soft hugs, or seeing my sister-in-law’s body change carrying the amazing twins my family adores. I would not say that I have had body issues all my life, but as I’ve gotten older I had to learn to look in the mirror and teach myself to stop judging the way I look compared to other people.

As a photographer I look for what is photogenic from people to places to the design of a still life. I’m not going to lie, I love tall beautiful thin fashion models. They are like illustrations of illusions of an idea of who we think we are or could be. Fantasy is part of the fun, photographing that fantasy is one of the things that I love most.

However…

There is a place for curves too. Curves are incredible. When our model Jourdan walked in I was honestly first taken back by her personality. Her confidence. Confidence is the one of the greatest quality anyone can possess. She was cool, smart, comfortable in her own skin. She was one of the least self-deprecating models I’ve ever worked with. When we started making photographs a lot changed for me. Not only as a photographer but as a woman. Maybe even more importantly as a woman. Here was a human, not afraid to let me photograph her with nothing to hide behind, no character to portray, no fantasy story to tell, it was just her. In the moment. In the light. Just the way she is.

After this shoot I had a mix of emotions. Her body, so beautiful, so photographic in its shapes and contours was in one word: inspiring. She made me realize that the female form in any shape and size is incredible. To have curves, softness, confidence was true beauty. She represented to me what being a woman was all about. I understood why Renior and Matisse painted the way they did and I saw that beauty too. I was so proud to be a woman and in my personal life, more confident about the size of my chest and softness around my stomach. If wrinkles show the hand of time and the life that was lived, curves show the fertility of it and the raw attraction of humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that women come in many fascinating forms and, at this sitting, I saw beauty in a way that should be more often seen.

Here’s to the beautiful form we call being a WOMAN.

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