The newest, edgiest trends in beauty come out of Asia these days (snail serum comes to mind – ew). Another more palatable trend is using water – specifically mineral water – in your skin care routine. Washing your face with sparkling water has been a hot trend for beauty aficionados in Japan and Korea for quite some time, and now it is picking up in the west.
First, a note about sparking water – it is my jam. So when the brand, AQUA Carpatica, reached out with an offer to give this new beauty trend out and try their unique sparkling water, I jumped. AQUA Carpatica has the only nitrate-free naturally sparkling mineral water. Nitrates are contaminates from septic tanks, fertilizer and erosion of natural deposits. This nitrate-free water is sourced in the Carpathian Mountains and is loaded with minerals. And it tastes so good! Crisp with smaller bubbles just like I like it.
AQUA Carpatica just landed in the US at Sprouts Farmers Market for those who want to give this water a whirl – either in their beauty routine or just to sip on! Note, when I used some to wash my face it was very cold, but refreshing and slightly foamy. The natural carbonation aids in exfoliation and oxygenation of the skin. If I didn’t love the taste so much, I would consider trying this splurge beauty step on my weekly self-facials.
After having my eye on Nirvana Black since the launch, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered one of the sleek square bottles. And now I wish I had done so earlier! The scent is decidedly “me”. The notes are my familiar masculine favorites: Sandalwood and Vanilla. But the addition of Violet makes it just slightly more feminine.
At this point, I had drank the Kool-Aid that designers Ashley and Mary-Kate had developed for Elizabeth and James and had to order the ying to Nirvana Black’s yang. Nirvana White has notes that I am usually not drawn to. But I knew the blend was connected to Black’s so I had a feeling I would love it. The peony, muguet, and tender musk make for a much more feminine scent but still very sophisticated. I love it for this time of year and can envision it being perfect for sultry summer days.
And if you think I wasn’t already all in for these fragrances, I picked up the Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo too. While I love my Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo, it adds a significant amount of texture and I feel like a wash is mandatory the next day. Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo is a little different – I don’t get the stiffness or texture, but I do still get clean, great smelling hair with movement. Plus it gives a nice dose of volume.
Available at Sephora and Nordstrom.
My dear friend (who knows her wellness stuff) taught me about alkalinity a long time ago. Each time I visit her home and drink her filtered water, I feel great. So when I got the chance to try Elle Macpherson’s Super Elixir based on the same premise, I jumped.
Elle was feeling rundown when she visited her nutritional doctor who suggested a pH balancing. And it brought a dramatic sense of wellness to her body and she wanted to share that. The expanded line offers supplements, veggie wash and a plant protein (which I can’t wait to try) but for now I am focusing on the supplement.
This all-in-one powder is organic and simple. The formula contains premium ingredients and is hand-made in Australia (which helps explain away a little of the sticker shock).
Directions advise 2 teaspoons of powder in filtered water, coconut water, and almond milk or mix it into your favourite smoothie. I like it best in coconut milk – the taste in water was a little strong. I did try sprinkling on food which did not go too well. The full two teaspoons was too much for my yogurt and berries. I like mine ice-cold first thing in the morning.
I’ve made a lot of healthy changes lately, but I can really tell the Super Elixir helps start my day with energy – there is a definite difference on days where I skip it. The price point is a little daunting, but for those who want to invest in feeling a little more perky in the AM and overall balancing the pH of their bodies, Super Elixir is a wonderful wellness staple.
Available at NET-A-PORTER.
One last little Valentine’s idea from me today. While this isn’t necessarily glamorous or sexy, Eau de Lacoste is a little nostalgic for me. I had recently moved to Tulsa and received a package of fragrance to review. There were quite a few to try out, so I enlisted a new friend to help out. He wore Eau de Lacoste in Energetic Red until that little bottle ran out and it smelled so darn good. Sometimes fragrances are equally about memory and the way the notes develop on the wearer.
If you are on the hint for a classic, affordable and masculine scent, look no further than Lacoste. A triple blend of spices creates an energy accompanied by a refreshing blast of tea, mandarine and mango.
You can pick up a bottle at Macy’s or Amazon.
I’m not much for Valentine’s Day being single and all. But I do love sharing ideas for gifting – especially men’s grooming products that will make him feel pampered, but still super masculine. I will be here all week with my favorites, but today’s set is first up because it is a real crowdpleaser.
The slick and sophisticated Men’s Starter Kit by Kiehl’s contains products that all have a masculine feel while still getting rave reviews from my tester (aka Dad). Inside you will find:
- Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap (3.2 oz.): This sloughing soap is one of Dad’s favorite products he’s tried out for me. It leaves skin both clean and exfoliated.
- Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment (2.5 oz.): This sits front and center on Dad’s desk and his go-to to cure dry, winter skin. The oil-free formula wakes up skin and enriches with vitamins.
- White Eagle Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream (2.5 oz.): This shave cream contains menthol and camphor to sooth and heal skin.
- Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash (1 oz.): I have worked this cleanser into my routine – the minty wash gets my skin clean with just a tiny, sudsy drop without leaving my skin tight (plus it smells super masculine which I love)
- Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (2.5 oz.): My outdoorsman Dad needs a lot of moisture for his hands and this formula is heavy-duty and nourishing without much of scent nor a greasy feel.
Available at Keihls.com and Nordstrom. Made in the USA
Do you have someone special on your Valentine’s Day shopping list that loves organic ingredients? I have just the ticket: KORA Organics Heart Chakra Essence. This blend uses founder Miranda Kerr’s personal blend of organic oils to channel the Heart Chakra.
According to some Indian religions, the Heart Chakra is one of the seven centers of spiritual power in the human body. It is the source of love, joy and compassion – our connection to life and all living things. When the heart chakra is open, you are loving towards others and accepting of yourself. Kindness, compassion, love and warmth bring a sense of peace around yourself. Just about perfect for celebrating a day of love.
I’ve been using this on the weekends over pulse points and behind my ears. The blend of Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Jojoba and Ylang Ylang plus the pure essential oil of Cedarwood is warm but not overly floral. I like the spicier and woodsier fragrances balanced with rose.
Just a note: as a single lady, I must add it also makes a lovely Valentine’s Day present for yourself.
99% of the Total ingredients are from Natural Origin. 98.72% of the Total ingredients are from Organic Farming. Made in Australia. Vegan. Cruelty-free.
Available at koraorganics.com.