Just Neem Holiday Spa Gift Set

Neem Spa Gift Set 3

When it’s cold and snowy outside and I’m running around all day preparing for the holidays shopping for presents and attending Christmas parties, my body literally screams for a spa day – or at least a hot and relaxing bath.

That’s why I was super excited to try out the Just Neem Holiday Spa Gift set. The Neem tree is an evergreen which has its origins in Africa and Southern Asia. Neem leaves are bursting with cosmetic and medical benefits: they are natural antiseptics with anti- viral, -fungal, -bacterial and -microbial functions. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin C which helps exfoliate and rejuvenate.

Bath Salt with Neem Tub Tea comes with a reusable tea bag and loose tea leaves combining the healing properties of Neem leaves with the anti-oxidative benefits of green tea and  mineral-high Dead Sea salt (remember my post about Dead Sea minerals). Bathing in Neem tea is therapeutic, immune-boosting and soothing. Any kind of irritations or blemishes heal faster and it is a truly exquisite feeling afterwards. I wish we could just substitute the chlorine in our pools with Neem leaves. ♥♥♥ $13.95

Green Tea Body Polish uses exfoliating sugar, nourishing oils and neem tea as its main ingredients. The smell is wonderfully green and the scrub is massaging and mild, leaving the skin polished. Put it on dry skin all over body and massage in circular movements, then wash off. ♥♥ $16.95

Neem Clay Face Mask is wonderful to use before your bath. It may tingle a bit while wearing it, especially if you have sensitive skin, but that just means that the clay and the neem leaves are at work. Afterwards skin feels clean and clear and pores seem smaller. ♥♥♥ $27.00

The package makes for a great gift, whether to yourself or someone else.

Happy Thanksgiving Face Mask and Friday Sales

pumkin honey mask thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you’re spending the day with loved ones and lots of delicious food. If you need to calm down after a busy day, I’ll have a wonderfully easy DYI face mask for you and for Black Friday tomorrow, I’ve researched my favorite brands and online stores and made a list with amazing sales discounts. Even if you’re not in the US, it might be worth checking out!

This fall I’ve totally gotten into eating lots of American root and squash vegetables. Since you can’t find this large variety in German grocery stores, I enjoy trying out new recipes with yams and pumpkin and butternut squash. Not only do they taste fantastically like fall but they are also full of healthy nutrients that are boosting the immune system and make for great skin food. Here’s my fall favorite:

Pumpkin Honey Face Mask

Inspired by my favorite fall foods and by Narine Nikogosian’s book Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin I’ve created a DIY face mask with pumpkin, honey and lemon. Pumpkins are high in beta carotene, which has splendid anti-oxidant properties protecting the skin from damage and giving it a healthy glow and zinc which helps repairing damaged skin and controls acne production. Lemon brightens the skin tone and the high amount of vitamin C helps exfoliate, and closes large pores. Cleopatra has already used honey (and milk) in her baths and she was right to do so – honey is antibacterial, it calms inflammation, soothes and moisturizes.

1 pumpkin wedge
1 tea spoon honey
1 tea spoon olive oil (to break down the beta carotene)
2 spritzer lemon
(add 2 cubes of papaya fruit for a stronger exfoliating effect)

Remove the rind and the seeds from the pumpkin and chop it in cubes. Boil the pumpkin cubes for ten minutes in water. Take them out of the water mash them and put them in a blender. Add honey, lemon and olive oil (and papaya) and blend until you have a smooth paste. Gently apply on face and leave on for 15- 20 minutes. After washing the mask off with warm water you skin should feel cleaned, nourished and taut.

BLACK FRIDAY SALES

I know organic skin care can be expensive and not everyone can afford it. That’s why I’m happy to list some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers from my favorite brands. I’ll use the sales to stock up on new supplements from Healthy Directions and order some Nourish Organic and AHAVA products.

Nourish Organic offers 50% off on all sales on what they call Green Friday and if you miss it you’ll still can get 25% off on Cyber Monday. Get the promo codes here

Juice Beauty offers a free Green Apple Age defy moisturizer ($45 value) with any $50 purchase.

Healthy Directions offers 40% off your $99+ orders before 2PM on Friday and 35% off your $99+ after 2PM. Use CODE: HURRY.There is Free Shipping on all orders.   If you order for less than $99 use CODE: TURKEY for 28% off until December 2nd.

AHAVA offers a Black Friday Special. 40% OFF everything! Enter code 40KARATS at checkout. Ends 12/1.

Alright, my turkey is waiting…. HAPPY THANKSGIVING and HAPPY SHOPPING!

Made in Brooklyn: skinnyskinny

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Brooklyn has a fascinating vibe that reflects a combination of artistry, artisan-ship and entrepreneurial endeavors. When I think of the term “Made in Brooklyn” I think of products that are local, organic, farm-to-table, and handmade and at the same time contemporary, hip, and trendsetting. Like handcrafted organic skin care.

Brooklyn alone has almost a dozen of organic skin care companies and I’d like to take you with me on my mission to discover them all. My first stop is at the skinnyskinny store in Williamsburg, where owner Clara Williams sells her namesake skin care line along with flowers, little figures and lovely greeting cards. If you’re in Brooklyn, pay the store a visit at 268 Grand Street.

skinnyskinny vanilla orange body butter

Skinnyskinny’s body butters are soft and creamy melting immediately into the skin. My favorite is Vanilla & Orange with its warm and cozy scent it is perfect for the winter time.  ♥♥ $20

skinnyskinny coconut Ginger Lime scrub

Coconut + Ginger + Lime = Perfect Combination! I’ve written about the benefits of coconut before and that I love ginger is almost self-explanatory. The lime provides Vitamin C and a fresh scent. Sugar, jojoba and sesame oil exfoliate and soften the skin. ♥♥♥ $26

Skinnyskinny black coffee scrub

If you love the smell of coffee as much as I do, you should try the skinnyskinny Black Coffee scrub. It smells so delicious and it really helps waking up your sleepy senses in the morning. ♥♥ $26

Photos by Adam Au

British Beauty: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet

 

BLENHEIMBOUQUETBATHSHOWERGEL

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Shower Gel is not proven organic and it’s for men not women, but sometimes I just have to make an exception and the ingredients are hand-selected, so they say.  I love this shower gel so much because it reminds me of an amazing place, Schloss Elmau, a hotel in a castle on top of a mountain in Southern Germany, one of my favorite spots on earth and definitely the best spa I’ve been to so far. It is so worth a trip: not only are the spa and the restaurants amazing but you can hear some of the world’s most distinguished classical and jazz musicians in the hotel’s own concert hall. Happy memories come to my mind when I smell the luxurious scent of Blenheim Bouquet.  Showering with it provides my skin with the cleanest most relaxed spa feeling I can think of. Unfortunately the price is quite luxurious as well. It’s £25 in the UK and $ 50 in the US. Luckily Amazon just runs a sale for $ 45  ♥♥♥

Juice Beauty Make Up

Juice Beauty make up, foundation, mascara, lip gloss, eyeliner

Juice Beauty, a California based company,  recently launched its make up line which is now available in Ulta stores all over the country (… except New York). Me and a few other bloggers met with Juice Beauty founder Karen a few weeks ago to get the inside scoop on their new products and I found myself a few additions to my make up cabinet. To be honest, organic make up is one of the few things I haven’t converted to yet, which is totally silly, because we’re wearing it all day and our skin absorbs it, too. Although I don’t believe in the ridiculous statistics that say we’re eating several pounds of lipstick throughout our lifetime, we do swallow some lipstick – it’s unavoidable. Over the summer I neither wore lipstick nor make up, but during the colder months, I need some color. My Juice Beauty favorites are Perfecting Foundation and the Reflecting Gloss.
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The Perfecting Foundation is very light weight, feeling more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. Since I prefer this to total coverage make up that doesn’t give my skin air to breathe, this foundation is perfect for me.  I accidentally ordered it in tan which is a bit too dark for me, but it blends in so well and looks totally natural. If you use little it really just provides light coverage. I’m most amazed by the fruity fresh smell. It does in fact smell so healthy like you’re putting on fruit juice all over your face. The name says it all: Juice Beauty foundation is skin food packed with antioxidant rich organic fruit seed oils from grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate and kiwi, acai and goji berries.

I was a bit sceptical about trying an organic mascara, because I need to trust that I can have it on all day without looking all smudgy. The Lash Defining Mascara takes a bit longer to dry than regular mascara, but once it’s dry, it stays. It elegantly separates the eyelashes and is perfect for a day time look. It is also very easy to wash of with a cleanser without having to rub the sensitive eye area.
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iconIf you’re looking for dramatic eyes apply the Defining Eyeliner. It is soft and easy to use and comes with a smudger. What might be too dramatic for an office look is perfect for a sexy night out.

Who doesn’t like a tasty lip gloss? The Reflecting Lip Gloss is as sweet as it can be with organic agave syrup extract and again lots of berries. I am carrying it with me wherever I go. The boys will love to kiss you with this sweet lip gloss on.

Read more about toxins in lip stick on:

motherjones.com

thedailygreen.com

JuiceBeauty.com

New York Health Food Trends. The Big Apple Eats: Kale Granola

Kale Greenola

My friends who visited from Germany last week and who were amused by the fact that I was drinking green juice and almond milk, made me realize that whatever is eaten in New York (and of course some other  places where there’s Whole Foods and juice bars) might not be eaten anywhere else. Although I’m living in Brooklyn, the home to many veggie-drinkers, locavores, raw-food-enthusiasts, and everything-organic-lovers, I refused to drink kale juice  for a long time. My conversion started when I tried to go gluten free for a week but didn’t want to give up my daily yogurt and granola. I found Cherry Chia Greenola  in a local bodega and couldn’t believe how great it tastes!  For me, growing up in Northern Germany, where eating “Kohl und Pinkel” (kale and sausage) has a tradition reaching back into the middle ages, kale is usually eaten with sausage after drinking lots of schnapps. People would go with their friends and family on a tour equipped with a wooden cart filled with alcohol (usually schnapps or korn) and on every crossroads they would stop and drink until they arrive drunk at the “Kohl und Pinkel” restaurant. You can imagine that associating kale with a healthy diet didn’t even cross my mind.

Little did I know then about the gazillion of health benefits this bitterly leaf has to offer. Kale contains high amounts of Vitamin K, A, and C as well as E and B Vitamins. Minerals, flavonoids, and omega 3 fatty acids are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and glucosinates are successful cancer-preventing phytonutrients. Therefore, if you’re not into the taste of kale yet, you should try these yummy recipes:

Kale Granola 

  • kale leaves
  • dried cherries
  • dried cranberries
  • sliced almonds
  • walnuts
  • sunflower oil
  • coconut flakes

Wash and dry kale leaves, then put them in a big bowl and mix them with the remaining ingredients. Add 1-2 table spoons sunflower oil and mix it well. Spread out leaves on a baking tray and leave in the oven at 115 F for 30 min. Make sure they stay green, it the leaves turn brown the temperature is too high and they are burning.

You can also buy the very tasty but a bit expensive Cherry Chia Greenola from New York Naturals which is made in a solar powered facility in Brooklyn.

Kale Granola tastes good as snack in between or over yoghurt.

And if you’re interested in cooking the traditional Kale and Pinkel, I found a good recipe online: http://germanfood.about.com/od/meatbasedrecipesandmenu/r/gruenkohl.htm

Bon appetit!

Rosemira Organics

Rosemira Organics

I’ve tried way too many products lately and ate way too much sugar which resulted in breakouts. Therefore, to clear up my skin, I’ve eliminated nuts and sugar from my diet and decided to only try one skin care line per week. What a crazy thing for a beauty blogger! The past days my beauty routine consisted exclusively of products by California-based Rosemira Organics and yes, I’m feeling great in my skin again. After a wonderful phone conversation with the inspiring Rosemira founder Mira and a quick consultation about my skin care needs, she sent me some products she thought would be beneficial for my combination skin type and they actually did help to clean up my skin in no time.

Rosemira Deep_Cleansing_Clay_Masque_Lavender_Geranium_

Rosemira Lavender & Geranium Deep-Cleansing Clay Masque is absolutely fabulous. All ingredients come separate and need to be mixed together for each treatment to keep them fresh longer. The  toxin-drawing  Kaolin clay powder needs to be mixed with a blend of the much talked about  oil-of-the-moment, Argan oil and calming Lavender, Geranium and Lemon Rind oil. Leave the mask on for ten minutes before washing it off. Extend the treatment by adding skin-healing Dead Sea salt into a bowl of luke warm water and gently wash the mask off with it. Use it twice a week. ♥♥♥ $45

Rosemira Cleansing_Milk_Pineapples_and_Cream_

The Pineapple & Cream Cleansing Milk is a sensation for it smells exactly like it sounds: like a tropical fruit milk shake! The ingredients list reads like a tasty fruit cocktail –  perfect for me because I love putting fruit on my skin! Pineapple contains fruit enzymes to exfoliate, citrus fruit extracts to provide Vitamin C, and Aloe Vera and honey to soothe the skin. I t is a very gentle but thorough cleanser. ♥♥ $38

Rosemira Spring_Flowers_Toner_

I never got the hang of how to use toner properly or what it can actually do for my skin. I either used none at all or one with alcohol which I applied many times a day rubbing my face with a cotton pad, because I felt I need to clean up my skin properly. When I talked to Mira she told me that it is very important for me to start using a toner regularly. I tried two different toners and my favorite is the Spring Flowers Calming Toner which can be easily sprayed on after washing face and neck – no cotton pad rubbing included. Letting the moist just sink into my skin is a very refreshing feeling  especially when it smells  like flowers and herbs like this one. This toner doesn’t contain any alcohol that would dry out the pores, on the contrary it nourishes with essential oils like blemish fighting Orange Blossom,  ♥♥ $42

Rosemira see_me_c_serum

See Me C Repair Serum is a very orangey light and moisturizing  serum  with antioxidant super powers from Pomegranate and African Marula seed oil, which contains an exceptionally high amount of omega 9 fatty acids. I’ve already praised the benefits of Frankincense, so I’m more than happy to find it in this serum! And the smell is just unbelievable. Very luxurious!  ♥♥♥ $36

Rosemira Moisturize_Me_Citrus_Restorative_Cream

Moisture Me Citrus Restorative Cream smells even better and feels very rich and nourishing. I usually prefer creams that are not so rich but this one feels wonderfully and doesn’t leave a coated feeling. Main ingredients are Jojoba oil, Aloe Vera gel, and Lemon, Orange and Tangerine essential oils. I feel totally pampered after this treatment and I enjoy it especially before going to bed, so when I wake up in the morning my skin is still so hydrated and feels so fresh that I only need to wash it with water and put on sunscreen and I’m ready to go. ♥♥♥ $40

Oyster Shell Brightening Cream from Concha Nacar de Perlop No. 3

Concha Nacar Mother of Pearl Brightening Cream

Oysters and champagne always brighten up my day, but who would have known that oyster shell is so good at brightening the skin?

Sometimes our skin needs some brightening, whether it is to clean up impurities, or to whiten dark spots, discolorations and little scars. Chemical brighteners are out of the question and I also don’t like to spend a ridiculous amount of money on products that promise to fulfill miracles. I admit I was very skeptical that anything non-chemical might actually work. I went on a search combing through numerous drug store ails until I found Concha Nacar de Perlop. The ingredients list reads like my favorites list with papain, zinc, lemon, honey and witch hazel. The texture feels and looks like greyish-white mud and applying this cream can get pretty messy. Since it doesn’t really dry and you need to wear it for 30 to 60 minutes, better plan some bathroom activity like doing your nails while waiting to wash it off. The smell might be unpleasant for some people, but I don’t really mind it. For me the results are more important and they are fabulous.  I used it on my legs and  face and it works well on both places. I achieved to  regain what I was hoping for: a skin tone that’s a few shades brighter and more even. All the ingredients work well together to promote cell-turnover, inhibit excessive melanin production, healing scars and drawing out impurities.

♥♥
Price: ca. 5$

Ingredients:
Glycerine , Zinc Oxide , Ground Barley , Water , Oyster Shell , Lemon Juice , Honey , Witch Hazel , Bentonite , Papain , Irish Moss , Salicylic Acid , Fragrance

My Fall Favorites

nuxe aesop neals yard

It’s the first day of fall and it was a gorgeous one here on the east cost with sunny and crisp air. The humidity is finally gone and with drier air comes drier skin, which means we have to moisturize more. For me this seasons means also Goodbye to burned and blemished skin, to mosquito bites and allergies, and Welcome to clean and bright luxurious skin. It’s about finding products with the most luxurious ingredients:

1. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is a blend of Almond, Macadamia and Hazelnut oils, calming Camellia, mood-lifting St. John’s Worth and Borage oil. I’ve never heard of Borage oil before so I assume you haven’t either: Borage oil is derived from Starflower seeds and is a nother uber-competent oil, that helps repair the skin from damage and eczema. Nuxe (a combination of the words “nature” and “luxe”) Huile Prodigieuse is a dry oil, leaving the skin with a matte finish. It has a luxurious nutty smell of which I can’t get enough. Use it as cleanse, or as moisturizer after cleansing morning and evening.
Love: ♥♥♥
Price: 45$

2. Aesop B and Tea Balancing Toner is an alcohol free toner packed with Provitamin B5 and Green Tea extract. While Aesop products aren’t necessarily all natural, this toner has a pretty good list of ingredients excluding Parabens, Sulfates, and Phtalates. I actually wish Aesop would have more natural products, because I love the design, the smell and the store concept. Use the toner at night after cleansing.
Love: ♥♥
Price: ca 32$

3. I’ve already written about the Wild Rose Beauty Elixir from Neal’s Yard Remedies and I still have the same love for it. Try fresh Rose petal tea to complement the treatment from the inside.
Love: ♥♥♥
Price: 72$

4. Another Neal’s Yard Remedy that I love is the Frankincense Hydrating Cream. Frankincense, now the signature scent of any catholic church, has been used and valued since ancient times. It protects the skin from free radicals, works therapeutic on neurodermatitis and prevents wrinkles. Myrrh, which was used by Egyptians for thousands of years, joins Frankincense in this amazing cream to make your face smell like you just visited a story of 1,001 Arabian Nights.
Love: ♥♥♥
Price: 44$

5. Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisturizing Mask uses plant based ingredients like Comfrey, a herb used in Chinese traditional medicine, Green Tea Extract and Jasmin Oil to deeply nourish dry and tired skin.
Love: ♥♥
Price: 72$

6. Christopher Drummond Beauty Sateen Blush is the first organic blush I use, just because I find blush always too strong and haven’t used it for many years. This one is very subtle and conjures a fresh rosy color on my cheeks, brightening my face instantly. This blush and some Mascara is all I need to create a finished look.
Love: ♥♥♥
Price: ca 28$

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Go Ginger

GO ginger balmStill sleepy? Time for some energizing ginger. I named my blog Ginger and Aloe because I’m a big believer in ginger as one of the most powerful plants on this planet. Every time I have a cold, my go-to home remedy is drinking lots of freshly brewed ginger tea with honey and lemon. And every time my skin gets this radiant glow,  blemishes clear completely and my complexion is smoother than ever. People even tell me that they can’t believe have a cold because I look so good and fresh (which is not always to my advantage…). So this how I personally discovered the benefits of ginger for my skin.

Why is ginger so beneficial for your health and well-being?

Ginger has been used for thousands of years to help with digestive problems. It has antibacterial properties and its ingredient gingerol promotes digestion and balances digestive track by moving out toxins. People drink or eat ginger to fight nausea, arthritic pain, flu and much more.  It is my favorite remedy for a sore and inflamed throat due to its inflammatory properties.

So why would ginger be beneficial for the skin?

Frankly, most of us – including me – eat a lot of sh*t every day. Breakouts are mostly due to inflamed follicles caused by dirt and bacteria. Fresh ginger consumed as tea or in a meal cleanses our bowel by cleaning up deposits can fight these breakouts from inside the body. Our digestive tract regulates what stays in our body and a healthy digestion is mirrored in our appearance.

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GO skin care line by the ginger people:

The Ginger People have a great range of syrup, sauces, beers, spreads and candy. They recently launched their skin care line – a range of beauty products that all include ginger juice and extract. I’ve tried the face serum, moisturizer and the beauty balm and love them all. My absolute favorite is the balm that effectively soothes irritated and dry skin. I use it a lot for my thighs and hips because it’s a wonder balm for after shaving bumps and stretch marks. I have combination skin and also put the balm on my cheeks that easily dry after using a toner and mask. The energizing serum and moisturizer are especially good to apply to a tired face in the morning. The serum also includes sea buckthorn which which is a natural radiation shield and has impeccable anti-aging abilities. The moisturizer comes with moisturizing jojoba and and vitamin-rich grape seed oil, two ingredients that I have in my favorites list. If you like ginger then you will love these products!

The price range for all these products is between $10 and $30, so it is pretty affordable. They do not have an online shop, but sell their products on Amazon:

Go By The Ginger People Face Serum, Ginger, 1 Fluid Ounce

GO Ginger Face Moisturizer, 2 Ounce

Go By The Ginger People Balm, Ginger, 1.6 Ounce