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Creamy Coconut or Rose Oil?

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Bargains | 0 comments



Creamy coconut or rose oil?

Creamy coconut or rose oil?

Creamy Coconut or Rose Oil? Natural Cleansers for All Skin Types

I understand that a good cleanser is the essential first step in any skincare routine. The problem is, there aren’t that many cleansers around that actually do more than simply remove makeup or surface grime. The right cleanser, however, can do more than just remove dirt and impurities.

And that is why, when I was offered a choice of sample cleansers from Kensington Apothecary, I jumped at the opportunity to try the Creamy Coconut Cleanser. (Yes, the  Rose Oil Cleanser was very tempting, but I love coconut in all its forms.) Both cleansers are formulated in ways that any health-conscious, eco-conscious person would love–with certified organic and non-GMO raw materials, sustainably-harvested ingredients, cruelty-free and conflict-free. How beautiful!

When I received my cleanser, I checked the ingredient information: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Organic Glycerin (plant-sourced), Organic Coconut Pulp, Fig Fruit Extract, Honeysuckle Extract, Japanese Honeysuckle Extract, Xanthan Gum and Citric Acid. No paraben, no phosphate, no sulfate. When I tried the cleanser out, there was no scent, just a smooth creamy feel that left my skin clean and silky smooth. I loved it! According to product information, the honeysuckle extract in the cleanser provides an anti-inflammatory and calming sensation while hydrating and the Aloe vera acts as a protective layer on the skin. The coconut base prevents the cleanser from drying out the skin.

Both the coconut and the rose oil cleansers are sold at some Whole Foods, any spas and online. The price is $24.



Holiday Gifts by Carole Shashona

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Health and Wellness, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Carole Shashona Blue Products

Carole Shashona Blue Products


Holiday gifts from Carole Shasona’s collections

Feng Shui master Carole Shashona’s mantra of “better health, wealth and life” guided her creation of a line of candles and sprays. Formulated from ancient Chinese recipes given to Shashona by her feng shui master during an apprenticeship in Hong Kong, the sprays and candles can be used to uplift the spirits or to enhance and assist meditation. (The sprays can also be used as personal fragrances.)

I sampled the Purify Mist ($50, which is infused with wild sage and cedar essential oils that give it a clean and natural earthy scent meant to cleanse your home of negative energy, to reduce personal stress and enhance relaxation and focus.

The Purify Mist can be used in several ways. First I simply sprayed it into my right hand, massaged it into my palms and applied it to my pulse points. I found it very pleasant to be enveloped by this fragrance.

Later in the day, I added about eight drops to my bath water, stepped in and felt my body soaking up the essential oils; I imagined them doing their detoxifying work. (Though I’m not much on showers, the mist can be sprayed on the floor of the shower stall and inhaled for some easy aromatherapy.)

After a bath or shower or to start the day or after a not-so-pleasant experience, you can spray the mist and just step into it, again for some quick healing and to dispel negative energy.

All these functions in just one container make Purify Mist a welcome personal gift or a gift for the home.

A bracelet from Carole's Spirit Warrior collection

A bracelet from Carole’s Spirit Warrior collection

Carole Shashona’s Blue collection of luxurious jewelry is intended to empower while creating balance and harmony. The luminescent Blue color of Carole’s collection is inspired by the Blue Grotto Cave in Capri, Italy where the interior sea walls glow. The magical color activates and purifies, allowing for stress-free serenity. The jewelry includes a signature coin amulet which serves as protection from stress this season. It’s a reminder to take a calming moment throughout the day.

Carole’s mists and candles allow for meditation when you only have a few minutes – at home or on-the-go. Carole understands the stressors among us and aims to alleviate any ill effects with her line of useful and beautiful wellness reminders. Her Blue jewelry collection and on-the-go wellness line is featured in Barney’s New York and Montage Hotel Spa. Some of the world’s most distinguished therapists use her candles and sprays to relax their clients.

A portion of the proceeds from these products goes to such charities as Doctors Without Borders.

 Carole Shashona is a fashion and wellness expert, celebrity stylist and author of Feng Shui Chic. Her career began when she became the first American Grand Master in the art of Feng Shui. She uses her design expertise to bring harmony and peace to her clients. Her jewelry collection is a favorite among such stars as Melissa McCarthy, Julie Chen, Beverly Johnson and many others.





DIY Skin Care Tips from Ildi Pekar, Facialist to Miranda Kerr and the Victoria’s Secret Models

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Health and Wellness, Tips | 0 comments



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Ildi Pekar, celebrity facialist to Miranda Kerr and many of the Vicky S models gives you some innovative skincare tips that ANYONE can do, at home; Call it your supermodel DIY skincare routine

With the Victoria’s Secret show coming to New York in December,  this would be a good time to share some DIY skin care tips from celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar, who takes care of Miranda Kerr’s lovely skin, as well as ministers to the facial needs of the Vicky S models.

Supermodel Approved Tips to Hydrated Fall and Winter Skin:

1. Use krill oil/fish oil to hydrate the skin

2. Say NO to over-drying. Avoid scorching hot water. This over dries your skin when the weather is already doing the job.

3. Hello Honey. Use gentle products, anything that is soothing. Honey is a good example.

4. Say NO to coffee. Lay off the caffeine; it dehydrates you and your skin.

5. Hydrate from within. Almonds/Avocados/walnuts are great to eat, and the oils hydrate your skin from within.

6. We love seeds. Pumpkin seeds are also very high in oil. Add some to your diet.

7. Supermodel Skin Mask. Try a DIY Winter Mask (once a week for hydration).


½ Banana, smashed

3 tsp. of raw honey

3 tsp. of sour cream or yogurt (with fat!)

Blend the ingredients

Apply to face

Let sit for 15 Minutes

Rinse with cool water


Autumn-Inspired Treatments at Top U.S. Spas

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments


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Autumn-Inspired Treatments at Top U.S. Spas; Unleashing the scents and tastes of autumn, these award winning spas have embraced the season’s best ingredients to create treatments with wellness benefits.

Recognizing pumpkin’s full potential for the skin, SiSpa, the award-winning luxury waterfront spa at two of Florida’s top resorts, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa and Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, is offering a Muddy Pumpkin Wrap and Muddy Pumpkin Mani Pedi ($99 each).

o   Drenching skin from head-to-toe in pumpkin goodness, the Muddy Pumpkin Wrap (50 minutes) begins with a full-body exfoliation using a nutrient-rich Pumpkin Splendid Dirt that helps to even out skin tone. Next up is a Bourbon Bubbler Kentucky Whiskey Scrub to get skin primed for moisturizer while guests enjoy a soothing scalp and foot massage. After a warm, luxurious shower, guests are bathed in the scents of cinnamon with a hydrating “Red Hot” oil application, leaving the skin re-energized and re-hydrated.

o   The Muddy Pumpkin Mani Pedi (100 min) unleashes the unforgettable scents of fall. The treatment includes a Bourbon Bubbler Kentucky Whiskey Scrub, a Pumpkin Splendid Dirt mask, and a massage with “Red Hot” oil and warm stones. Nails on the hands and feet will also be groomed and polished.

Tucked away in the High Peaks of Lake Placid, The Spa at the AAA Four Diamond Whiteface Lodge (the area’s only resort spa), is offering treatments bursting with the flavors of fall paired with a complimentary glass of hot cider (valid Sunday-Thursday through November 2015).

o   Re-hydrate the skin from head to toe with an Apple Cider Masque and Massage (80 minutes, $150). This exquisite treatment contains mineral clays from the Canadian seas, iced cider and apple vinegar. Guests will enjoy a rebalancing scalp and full body massage with ultra-nourishing body crème containing apple extracts.

o   Designed to clarify and re-balance the skin, the Pumpkin Enzyme Peel Facial (50 minutes, $125) is ideal for dull, congested skin. The clarifying mask exfoliates with pumpkin enzymes to promote a clear and radiant complexion. This treatment is jam-packed with Beta Carotene and antioxidants and will leave skin hydrated, revitalized and ready to face the elements.

 Mirbeau Inn & Spa, the idyllic, Monet-inspired retreat located in the storybook Finger Lakes town of Skaneateles, N.Y. is offering two off-menu treatments this fall from the natural skincare company Farmhouse Fresh, including a Pumpkin Latte Body Treatment and a Honey-Butterscotch Rum & Relax Manicure and Pedicure.

o   The Pumpkin Latte Body Treatment begins with an invigorating caffeine-infused Whipped Caramel Body Polish that increases circulation and buffs away dull skin. It is followed by an Organic Pumpkin Puree Mud Mask to deep clean, and a soothing massage using Sweet Cream Body Milk Lotion completes the indulgent treatment. The 50-minute version is priced at $130 Monday-Thursday, and $140 Friday-Sunday. The 100-minute version includes a Butter Brulee Whole Milk Bath Soak and is priced at $230 Monday-Thursday, and $255 Friday-Sunday.

o   The Honey-Butterscotch Rum & Relax Manicure and Pedicure starts with a Warm Nectar Whole Milk and Chicory Root soaking bath before hands and feet are exfoliated with a combination of butterscotch rum, brown sugar and bran rice oil to soften skin. A Warm Honey Glaze with papaya, pineapple fruit cells, aloe and Vitamin E is then painted over legs and feet, or arms and hands before a dollop of Ginger Sorbet Body Milk Lotion is applied to the skin through a soothing massage. Nails are groomed and polished upon completion of the massage. The 50-minute manicure is priced at $65 Monday-Thursday, and $70 Friday-Sunday. The 50-minute pedicure is priced at $75 Monday-Thursday, and $80 Friday-Sunday.

  • The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.), the elegant AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Five Star retreat known for its serene woodland setting, offers the splurge-worthy Flower Hammam Ritual. With alluring aromas from the fall quince fruit (a relative of the rose) and spicy notes of cardamom, the treatment is filled with restorative autumn ingredients.

Utilizing rich essential oils, the ritual begins with an exfoliation of Lemon Coffee Blossom Scrub. The body is then cocooned in warm white clay, which cleanses and detoxifies the skin. Rich aromas of Moroccan Mint Tea and Orange Quince Mist abound, this ritual concludes with a relaxing application of Cardamom Amber Oil used to warm and relax the body ($145, 75 min; $190, 90 min).


25th Annual ISPA Conference & Expo Wrap-Up

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Bargains, News | 0 comments

ISPA Attendees

ISPA Attendees

The International SPA Association (ISPA) hosted spa industry leaders from around the world at the 25th annual ISPA Conference & Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. from October 19-21, 2015.

The annual event headlined a mix of inspiring keynotes, professional development offerings and an expo floor featuring the newest spa products.

“This milestone year was made even sweeter by having many of the individuals who founded ISPA 25 years ago attend the anniversary event,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “ISPA remains the most recognized voice in the industry and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the dedication of our members and the unwavering support of our generous sponsors and exhibitors.”

A few interesting facts and figures from the ISPA Conference & Expo:

4 days

41 countries represented

43 speakers

243 sponsoring and exhibiting companies

281 ISPA Foundation live and silent auction items

2,500 children received a year of education through the Esperos bags that were provided to attendees.

6,000 bags of product gifts dropped in attendees’ hotel rooms

10,000 dollars in scholarships awarded

A new workshop entitled “Ruth Stricker’s Wise Voices” kicked off the event on Sunday with a presentation from Gladys Taylor McGarey, M.D., M.D. (H), author, family physician and co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Foundation.

In line with the year’s theme of “Explore” attendees experienced keynote presentations from Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media; Amy Purdy, American actress, model, world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist; and Scott Harrison, a former club promoter who founded and is the current CEO of the non-profit, charity: water.

Additionally, attendees heard from award recipients Boldijarre Koronczay, president of Éminence Organic Skin Care, 2015 ISPA Visionary Award; Sharilyn Abbajay, senior vice president of operations, brand development and retail concepts for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, 2015 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award; and Alice Waters, chef, author, and the proprietor of Chez Panisse, 2015 Alex Szekely ISPA Humanitarian Award. These awards were presented along with the two 2015 Mary Tabacchi Scholarships to Taylor Toreno and Anne-Liise Verpson.

The opening keynote speaker for the 2016 ISPA Conference & Expo was also announced. Brene Brown, research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, New York Times bestselling author, and CEO and chief learning officer of The Daring Way will open the 26th annual ISPA Conference & Expo from September 13 – 15, 2016 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev.

More information can be found on the website.


Fitness Trends: The Last 15 Years

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Tips | 0 comments


The last decade and a half have brought some of the most unique fitness trends to hit the world. Along with weird sports superstitions there are plenty of weird health superstitions and the two feed each- other as athletes are always looking to give the self a better edge. Many of these fads and practices started with athletes and then moved to the mainstream later.

Technology has made a lot of changes to the way we work out and even eat. Here are some of the top fitness fads from the last 15 years:




  1. Low Carb Diets

Carbs got a really bad rap in the 1990s when the Atkins Diet got really popular, but in the 2000s we began taking a more critical look at what actually constituted bad carbs (refined sugar) and good carbs (whole grains, fruit,and vegetables). Now we aren’t kicking carbs to the curb so much as limiting the amounts and where they come from.






  1. Exercise Games

Whether it’s Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit, the video gaming world has gotten a lot more physical. You can now burn calories while still trying to beat your high score. In the last 15 years, gamers have definitely gotten off the couch.





  1. Fitness Technology

Along with exercise gaming has a new level of tech in the fitness world. Heart rate monitors and pedometers have gotten a huge upgrade with the introduction of devices that track everything from calories burned to sleep cycles. Fitness apps are also all the rage, as simple as interval timers to full-on GPS tracking. As fitness apps and fitness trackers have continued to increase in popularity so have new supplements. Pre-workout supplements are a recent occurrence in the fitness industry, with some of the best pre-workout supplements starting to surface in recent years.




  1. Dancing

The last 15 years have been all about dancing. Dance Dance Revolution is probably one of the most popular fitness games ever created. However, the rise of Zumba can’t be ignored. Seems like everyone was headed to the gym for their Zumba class after work. Dancing with the Stars has also sold their share of fitness DVDs since the show first aired in 2005.



  1. HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training is incredibly popular, though it often is disguised in fancy workout brands like Beach Body in the Insanity and P90X series. HIIT seems pretty effective and easy to adapt to many ability levels.



  1. YouTube Fitness Channels

Do the names Cassie Ho, Jessica Smith, or Adrienne Mishler ring any bells? They are some of the hottest YouTube fitness stars of the generation. Amazing to live in an age where you can get famous, make money, and help people achieve their goals, simply by uploading a video of you exercising. It doesn’t matter if you love yoga, aerobics, pilates, or any combination of exercises. There is a fitness channel for you.


  1. Evolving Fitness Shoes

Remember when the basic tennis shoe was just about your only option? Yeah I don’t either. In the last 15 years, we have seen at least two big trends in fitness footwear. Toning shoes were claimed to give you a work out just by wearing them. They activate more muscles than regular shoes. Now we are all about the barefoot shoes. Some of our fitness shoes today provide little more than a barrier between rocks and your foot while others provide some support but maintain plenty of flexibility.



  1. Healthy Living

Most of us have memberships to some kind of food/exercise tracking website. We count calories. We know how much carb/protein/fat is in most of what we eat. We can estimate calories burned in most of our workouts. We read food labels. While all of this isn’t paying off in ridding us of the obesity epidemic, at least we are more aware of it now.



  1. Functional Training

There are plenty of fitness gurus who have started touting the advantages of functional training. The idea here is that training specific muscles isn’t really useful for everyday situations. It is better to train for things you will actually do. If you are a functional trainer, you are more likely to go to the gym to play a game of basketball than to get on the elliptical for an hour.

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  1. Extreme Weight Loss

Reality shows like The Biggest Loser have fueled this fad. People are resorting to extreme diet and fitness programs to get the fat off fast. Crossfit is a favorite exercise class for these individuals as are diets than involve more air and water than actual food. It’s not the safest way to lose weight, but it is certainly popular.

Fads may come and go, but the underlying reason behind these is people just want to look and feel good. There is some definite science behind what we find attractive, and most of it has to do with body shape. Maintaining a good body shape ultimately sends the message of being healthy. And healthy is attractive and ironically…healthy. So whatever fad you choose remember to stick with it and be healthy.


About the Author

Paisley Hansen is a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mother.  She specializes in writing on home improvement blogs and when she isn’t writing she loves spending time with the family.  Check her out on Twitter.