Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Most recent articles

NDC Beauty: Natural, Cruelty-Free and Vegan

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in Product Reviews, Tips | 1 comment

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Noix de Coco (NDC Beauty) is a line of all natural cruelty free, vegan beauty products, free of chemicals and based on the benefits of superfood ingredients.

More than ever, I look for beauty products that are cruelty free and free of chemicals and preservatives. After reading about Noix de Coco (NDC Beauty), a line that includes skincare, body products, hair care and makeup, I decided to try two of their products.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse appealed to me because so many conditioners, shine-producing products, etc. leave a film on the hair. Applying this after shampooing left my hair clean and shiny, so I will use it on a regular basis. This eliminates the need for an occasional clarifying shampoo to eliminate product build-up. The rinse, which contains Ayurveda herbs, is said to have anti-microbial and blood purifying properties to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. A bonus!


Ingredients: Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Burdock Root Extract, Nettle Leaf Extract, Neem Extract, Green Tea Extract

The second product I tried–the Organic Lash and Repair Serum–is said to repair and promote growth of both lashes and brows. It addressed a couple of concerns. With time, my lashes and brows had thinned out. I suspected that the lashes were probably damaged when I used mascara regularly. After using this serum for a few weeks on both my lashes and eyebrows, I noticed visible results: both seemed fuller and healthier looking. The recommended use is to apply at night, before bed time and wipe off any residual product in the morning. Alternatively, it can be applied and left on for a minimum of 20 minutes and then wiped off. On the days when I wasn’t planning to wear any makeup, I applied the serum in the morning and left it on all day. I think this consistent use may account for the results I saw.

Ingredients: Organic Raw Castor Oil, Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil, Vitamin E


Perfect Solution to Dry Lips

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Product Reviews | 0 comments



For me, dry lips have been a year-round problem that gets worse during fall and winter. Until I tried EpiCeram-L™ Lip Care, I was constantly applying and re-applying lip balms. Some felt great going on, but provided no lasting benefit—and left my lips feeling parched after a short while. That’s because most lips balms just temporarily trap moisture in.

EpiCeram-L Lip Care is a therapeutic lip balm that works. It’s a lipid-based lip care with three essential lipids – ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol – all of which replenish lost moisture, rejuvenate and repair dry cracked lips. The aloe soothes on contact while the blend of three vital lipids – ceramides, conjugated linoleic acid and cholesterol – work to actually heal and repair the lip’s protective barrier.

The silky, non-greasy formula glides on easily and makes a smooth base for lip color, including the popular matte shades.

During the winter season, when central heat can really dry out lips, I like to apply EpiCeram-L Lip Care before I go to bed—so that whenever I wake up my lips feel moist and smooth.

According to Dr. Jennifer Gordon, a board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas, “EpiCeram-L helps heal and soothe disrupted barrier function for patients on Accutane or those having dryness from topical acne medicine such as retinoids. It is also great post-procedure, including after lip injectables or peels.”

What’s more, EpiCeram-L® Lip Care is a steroid-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, petrolatum-free, fragrance-free, color-free, lanolin-free way to get soft lips back in just one week.

It really works!

For more information, visit the website.


Vernal Organic Skincare: Pure and Powerful Natural Ingredients–And Cruelty Free!

Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Product Reviews, Tips | 0 comments


As I choose only organic foods to put into my body, I’m interested in effective beauty products that will provide the same kind of natural care for my skin. The super antioxidant products by Vernal Beauty provide this kind of care, with a custom-formulated organic formula that is USDA certified, with ingredients derived from exotic cold-pressed oils, super-fruits and plant-based botanical extracts, all of which are ethically and sustainably sourced, as well as safe and non-toxic.

So many products today bear labels that can make you wince, as you scan the lists of parabens, sulfates, synthetics and other ingredients you definitely don’t want on your skin.

Contrast this kind of product with those of Vernal’s, where the labels list some of Mother Nature’s purest and most powerful ingredients: for example, bee propolis, maqui fruit, Indian gooseberry, sumac berry and mango.

Even better, the label assures me that the products are made fragrance-free and cruelty-free as well as  free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicone, petroleum, and artificial colors.

Bee Radiant Organic Face Oil ($45)

Combining the power of super antioxidants such as Sumac, Rosehip and Bee Propolis,Vernal Bee Radiant Booster Oil performs as a vitamin-packed, antioxidant-rich superfood for the skin.

  • The Sumac Super AntioxidantComplex has 3X the amount of antioxidants of acai and 60X that of blueberriesSumac is widely considered the most powerful superfood on the planet. It is packed with vitamin C to help fight free radicals and also has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent acne and clear up skin.
  • Used as a natural healer and restorative compound for over 5,000 years, Bee Propolis is rich in nutrients and vitamins, known to help prevent acne, decongest pores and stimulate cell renewal. It assists in balancing, healing and soothing problematic skin.

Hydra-Glow Serum with Hyaluronic & Vitamin C ($46):

This multi-benefit serum combines the hydrating power of hyaluronic acid with the healing power of vitamin C to protect and repair the skin and to deliver a radiant glow.

  • Known locally as Amla, Indian Gooseberry has been a common ingredient in the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it takes charge of free radicals and repairs damaged skin while visibly lifting, toning and brightening. Packed with vitamins, it boosts collagen production and hydration that leads to more plump, youthful and smoother skin. A recent double-blind study found that Amla contained powerful dark-spot correcting and skin brightening properties that worked better than those achieved by conventional, non-organic skin-lighteners such as hydroquinone.
  • A natural element of the skin, Hyaluronic acid is known for its ability to attract and retain 1000x its own weight in moisture. With ultra-hydrating abilities, this acid promotes more nutrient absorption and penetrates the deepest levels of the dermis.

In addition to these excellent and effective products, the Vernal line also includes:

SKINourish Super Antioxidant Organic Moisturizer, a rich but lightweight daily moisturizer containing vitamins E and C, to feed the skin with superfruits, hydrate with exotic butters and provide natural cellular renewal. In addition to smoothing the skin, it locks in moisture, increases elasticity and diminishes and prevents skin discoloration from acne, free radicals and sun damage.  ($44)

SKInourish Super Antioxidant Organic Eye Cream is formulated with potent doses of sumac, mango and evening primrose and is designed to help nourish, protect, brighten and repair the orbital area. The silky cream leaves a thin, yet dense protective layer that preps the eye contour area for a smoother makeup application. Its multitasking benefits help to hydrate, boost elasticity, diminish puffiness, dark circles and signs of aging. ($43)

For more information or to purchase Vernal products, visit the website.




Guerlain Spa Opening at The Plaza Hotel

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel

Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel

This spring the Guerlain Spa officially moved from the Waldorf Astoria New York to a new home at The Plaza Hotel. Currently in its soft opening phase, the spa’s grand opening is scheduled for October 2017

Continuing to provide NYC with an unrivaled spa experience, the new space will offer Guerlain’s signature menu of visible-results facials and luxurious body treatments, including the Orchidée Imperial CURE Facial, Abeille Royale Expert Treatment and the 4-Hand Impériale Relaxing Massage.

Highlights include:

–         Treatment Rooms: Each of the 11 customized treatment rooms (including a VIP couples suite) can be personalized with guests’ individual music preferences. A separate mani/pedi studio can be booked for private services.

–         Spa Au Revoir: Guerlain’s “Spa Au Revoir” service includes complimentary shoe shine, garment steaming and make-up refresher with every treatment.

–         Boutique: The spa boutique offers the exquisite skincare, fragrance and make-up of Guerlain Paris. Make-up application services are also available.

–         Group Wellness: Upon the official grand opening, the Guerlain Spa will offer a Group Wellness program for wellness-focused meetings and events.

–         Weddings: Ideal for pre-wedding pampering, bachelorette bashes and mini-moons, The Guerlain Spa is partnering with Warren Tricomi Salon at The Plaza to offer an exclusive menu of bridal spa and salon services that will launch upon the spa’s official grand opening.



Aspire–For “Barely There” Eyewear

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in News, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Aspire frames are lighter, thinner and more pliable than any other frames I've seen.

Aspire frames are lighter, thinner and more pliable than any other frames I’ve seen.

Jewelry for your face

When I started wearing eyeglasses at the age of 8, very much against my will, I hated the ugly utilitarian frames and took them off whenever I could manage to see, albeit myopically, without the correction.

When comfortable contact lenses became available, I jumped on that solution and used them for years.

And then a couple of strange things happened. I got older (again very much against my will). Presbyopia set in, which meant that if I wanted to see things (like restaurant menus) close up, I had to put on a pair of drugstore readers. And even stranger, I found that I actually looked better and younger when I was wearing a pair of really great-looking glasses.

So out went the contacts. I bought animal print glasses big, bold prescription sunglasses, plastic frames, titanium frames, etc. All had good points, all had one or two flaws. The great-looking plastic frames were often heavy and left groove marks on my nose. The titanium frames often lacked style.

And now came Aspire Eyewear, in both optical and sun-glass frames that were lighter, thinner, stronger and more pliable than anything I’d ever seen. According to the numbers, these frames were 50 percent thinner than a typical acetate frame, 50 percent lighter than a typical acetate frame – and even 22 percent lighter than a typical titanium frame!

When I had the opportunity to try one of those frames, I couldn’t wait to see how it would look and feel with my prescription lenses. I wasn’t disappointed. I chose the style called “Remarkable,” which was described as “A true conversation piece, Remarkable is a perfect P3 shape offering a unique keyhole bridge design and very thin stainless steel temples. A men’s style that works for women, too. Available in tortoise, hunter and crystal.” I chose the hunter color, which was very dark—almost black.

I had my prescription filled very quickly—the same day, actually—at Union Square Optical in New York City. I chose that optician because they carry Aspire frames, and I thought they would be knowledgeable and well-equipped to offer quick service.

When I tried my glasses on for the first time, they looked terrific and they delivered on that “barely there” promise. As they sat a little high on my face, the optician simple adjusted the (proprietary) anti-slip nose pad—and voila! Perfect. (I should mention that the nose pad never, ever leaves dent marks on my nose.

Needless to say I’ve had my share of compliments with these glasses, and in addition to being attractive and lightweight, they are also sturdy.  As they have a seamless hinge, something I’d not seen before, there will never be a need to replace screws that have fallen out.

So what’s the story behind this unusual eyewear?

Aspire frames by ClearVision Optical are created with SDN-4, a specially designed hypoallergenic nylon material proprietary to the brand; it is heat-resistant, has “shape memory” and will not fade in UV exposure. The frames are not injection molded, but created with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery to produce unique shapes and a dazzling array of color possibilities. That makes Aspire Eyewear “wearable technology.”

The brand asks the eyeglass wearer: “Who Do You Aspire To Be?” It references popular trends, classic motifs, and advanced architectural aesthetics to appeal to different personality types when designing its initial collection of 12 styles for men and women, as well as three sunglasses styles.

Each of the 36 frames and 5 temple designs in the collection are detachable, giving the wearer the opportunity to further personalize their own eyewear. The Aspire Eyewear logo is placed inside the frame of each pair of glasses, because the label feels it shares creative responsibility with the wearer.

Aspire Eyewear is carried nationwide.    Suggested retail pricing ranges from $249.99-$289.99


Golden Door Try Me Kit: Doing Good with Great Products

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Bargains, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Try Me kit with Golden Door products

Try Me Kit with Golden Door products

Packing for a vacation often means trying to pour or pack favorite beauty products into TSA-approved containers. Instead, consider the new and luxurious Golden Door Try Me Kit, which contains Golden Door’s best-selling skin care items–all in TSA approved sizes and ready to go.

Best of all–100% of Golden Door’s profits go to end child abuse and transform young lives.

The Try Me Kit contains travel sizes of:

  • Golden Peel-A-Way Masque: An all-natural, deeply hydrating masque that instantly refreshes the skin by lifting away impurities and dead skin cells through botanical extracts and sugar enzymes. Contains Multifruit BSC, a concentrated blend of five botanical extracts which safely exfoliates dead skin cells and stimulates skin cell renewal; Yogurtene®, which makes skin feel smoother, plumper and moisturized; Licorice Extract and AcquaCell,  to keep skin hydrated.
  • Bamboo Face Scrub: This aromatic facial scrub effectively exfoliates dead skin cells leaving a deeply cleansed, smooth, even-toned complexion. The scrub’s unique blend of bamboo powder and berry seeds along with healing, hydrating and nourishing plant extracts leave skin clarified, soft to the touch and glowing.
  • Hydrating Cleaning Milk: This ultra-moisturizing green tea, aloe and cucumber-infused wash hydrates and soothes the skin while effectively removing makeup and impurities. The sulfate-, phthalate-, and paraben-free formula will restore the skin’s youthful glow when used as a part of a daily skincare regimen.

The Try Me Kit costs $38–and, it should be said one more time, 100% of Golden Door’s profits go to end child abuse and transform young lives.






Virginia Resort Launches Oncology Spa: First of its Kind in the Mid-Atlantic

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Bargains | 0 comments

Landsdowne Resort & Spa

Landsdowne Resort & Spa

Virginia Resort Massage Therapists are Trained in Oncology Massage to Care for Cancer Patients and Survivors in the Spa

Lansdowne Resort and Spa, A Destination Hotel is excited to offer oncology spa treatments at Spa Minerale. This will be the first oncology spa program of its kind at a resort in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As a part of Lansdowne’s commitment to the community and enriching lives, the team at Spa Minerale is now trained in proper massage techniques by Healwell, a non-profit that specializes in providing hands-on therapy for people affected by acute, chronic and terminal illness.

In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Of those millions of new cases, many cancer patients and doctors aren’t aware that patients undergoing treatment can safely receive a massage from a trained oncology massage therapist. In addition to the important benefit of relaxation, a massage during treatment can measurably decrease common side effects like pain and anxiety as well as mitigating depression, fatigue and nausea.

“With so many new cancer cases each year, Spa Minerale is answering a need in the community,” explains Amanda Vassar, Director of Spa at the resort, “Our team at Lansdowne is so proud and humbled to have the opportunity to bring comfort and the gift of touch to people affected by cancer.”

Spa Minerale’s new oncology menu, Road to Recovery, will include treatments such as the Road to Recovery Massage (modification of existing massage techniques in order to safely work with complications of cancer and cancer treatment for anyone who has ever received cancer treatment from those in active treatment to those in recovery or survivorship); Hair Piece Consultation (a salon stylist helps you find a wig style, color and fit to compliment you); and Complimentary Head Shaving.

Oncology massage is also ideal for cancer survivors; many cancer survivors don’t realize the ways in which their bodies have been permanently affected by treatment, but most people who have been treated for cancer at any time in their lives would be best and most safely served by receiving massages from a massage therapist who has been trained in oncology massage.  A properly trained massage therapist can make important adjustments for issues related to scar tissue, range of motion limitations, energy level, Lymphedema and a host of other long-term, but often overlooked effects of treatment.

“We partnered with Lansdowne Resort after hearing their compassion for people affected by cancer,” explains Lauren Cates, Executor Director of Healwell, “We’re excited to support Lansdowne in bringing this important and personalized level of care to thousands more people each year at the resort.”

The initial Road to Recovery menu is made its debut in Spa Minerale at Lansdowne Resort and Spa to the public on April 1st.


About Lansdowne Resort and Spa, A Destination Hotel

Slip into the good life, the Lansdowne Life. Lansdowne Resort and Spa, A Destination Hotel sprawls across 476 acres along the banks of the Potomac River in Leesburg, VA. Rich in history and at the Gateway of Virginia wine country, the resort creates an environment that enriches lives. Lansdowne Resort and Spa cultivates an atmosphere deeply connected to nature and the destination. The resort features exquisite cuisine, recreation and experiences tied to the destination, leaving guests feeling inspired with a new sense of purpose and perspective. The resort is the ultimate sanctuary of sophistication and renewal, perfect for families, romantic getaways, business travelers and private events. Just miles away from Washington, D.C., Lansdowne is heir to a cherished tradition of Virginia hospitality and is the only full-service, four-diamond resort in the area that provides authentically immersed experiences that are true to its place. Visit the website to learn more.


About Destination Hotels

Destination Hotels (Destination) is a collection of luxury and upscale independent hotels, resorts and residences across the United States. Offering authentically-immersed and enriching experiences, each property is individual at heart, yet connected by a commitment to drawing upon the best of each location. Highly distinct, the Destination experience is always memorable and matchless; guests will feel the locale in a genuine way through each property and during the engaging moments cultivated both in and outside of them. Continuously growing with more than 40 properties from coast to coast, the award-winning portfolio features 20 renowned golf courses, 19 indigenous spas, and 105 exceptional bars and restaurants. Destination Hotels are true to our place; diverse by design. For more information, visit the website.


About Healwell
Healwell is an Arlington, VA-based 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to improve quality of life for people affected by acute, chronic, and terminal illness through integrative hands-on therapies, education, and research. They have a team of massage therapists practicing in 5 clinical programs throughout the Washington, DC metro area, specialized in providing therapeutic massage for hospitalized and medically complex patients. Currently, 4 of their 5 clinical programs represent direct collaboration with the palliative care teams at those facilities. Healwell trains massage therapists and other health professionals in clinical massage therapy, ethics and other aspects of the integration of massage therapy into healthcare around the world. To learn more, visit the website.