Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last post! We had quite the conversation going on Facebook, and I think this is the purpose for which social media were created: to start conversations and to increase the spread/sharing of knowledge. I learned about DIY milk baths, lip balm, soap making, laundry detergent and vinegar, and was able to share a few of my own tips and tricks that I’ve learned. So again, thank you!
As far as natural beauty products go, I’ve been a little loathe to let go of my plumping, lengthening commercial mascara. Until I can find a natural version that does as many magical things to my eyelashes as Diorshow or Maybelline, I’m going to stick with the “bad” stuff.
For my skin, I use mineral powder, although sometimes I use Clinique’s Nearly Makeup underneath. Then, Nars blush (although I should be using my Benefit stain!) and some simple eyeshadow with Benefit Bad Gal eyeliner. Nothing spectacular, but if anyone has any recommendations for natural makeup, I’d be happy to learn more!
I’m also playing around with a few different brands of day moisturizers with SPF. I first tried boscia oil-free hydration with SPF 15, but the texture was off. Now I’m trying Avalon Organics Vitamin C moisturizer with SPF 15 but the bottle keeps breaking, and no matter how many times I wrap it in duct tape it all spills out. That, my friends, is obnoxious. I’ve heard good things about Pangea Organics brand, and of course there are always tons of brands to choose from, but the difficult part is figuring out what is right for us as individuals.
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On a little bit of a different note, I want to record some of my favorite teas lately. I’ve been running out of my usual stash, so this is partly a list to organize my post-winter break shopping list, and also a recommendation list. Trust me, you’ll love these teas!
– Bergamot Sage: I bought some loose-leaf tea at a local tearoom that is going out of business this week, and I tried it earlier this week after a massage. It is deeply fragrant and complex in its herbal profile — I could smell the sage, the lemon verbena, the peppermint, the bergamot…it was delicious and energizing, and if you can find it at your local spice shop I would definitely ask you to bring me back a couple of ounces.
– Roobios: This is pretty much the national drink of South Africa (excepting the Springbok, of course) and we drank it all the time for breakfast when I was there. It is the perfect tea, mild and warm, just between a bright green tea and a strong black tea. It is naturally decaffeinated, and so makes a great afternoon/evening cup to savor. It’s gentle flavor profile makes it a good tea to drink with food, especially South African rusks if you’ve got them.
– Good Earth Green Tea Lemongrass: I don’t remember where I first heard about this tea, but it was recommended to me, and I snatched up a couple of boxes at a discount store for half price last year and just finished my last sachet. This is green tea to the max. The lemongrass amps up the citrus brightness of the green tea and makes it super healthy and super energizing. It’s my go-to green tea now, and I’m going to be investing in a few more boxes at the end of the vacation.
– Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride: This is a seasonal tea, available for a limited time at your local grocer, although it can be difficult to find these varieties just anywhere. I searched for four years before I finally found this tea this year at my local health food store. It was certainly worth the hunt — this tastes like a cookie. That’s it, it tastes exactly like a sugar cookie and I have no idea how they do it, but it’s a delicious and lighter option at night when my sweet tooth kicks in and I need something (not sweet) to satisfy it.
– Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra: I’ve been drinking Sleepytime tea since I was a little girl, and it is my go-to cup to brew at the end of the night. With valerian, it’s soothing and calming and nourishing, and a comforting tradition I can rely on. Plus, if it’s been a really tough day, I’ll add a splash of amaretto.
– Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care: This is a good tea for the winter months, with echinacea and vitamin C to strengthen and protect the immune system. It’s similar to Sleepytime tea, and it’s naturally non-caffinated, but it would certainly be delicious and anti-oxidizing if brewed together with a bag of green tea.
Tea is so perfect for the winter chill, and a nice ritual for slowing down and enjoying the holiday season…AND TODAY IS MY LAST FINAL AND THE LAST DAY BEFORE MY WINTER VACATION STARTS AND I’M SO EXCITED AND I CAN’T BEAR TO READ MORE FRENCH! Au revoir!