Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PRODUCTS THAT WELCOME SUMMER



As I write this, the temperatures are beginning to warm and the evenings are tempered with lingering sunshine.  Thoughts automatically focus on all-things summer…vacations, weekend getaways, picnics, barbecues, and special occasion parties.  Memorial Day is also fast approaching, and to most, that signals the start of summer, even though the official date isn’t until June 21st.

A few of my recent articles included my spring must-have products that transitioned nicely from winter to spring, as well as my expert lifestyle transitioning tips for spring and summer.  Here are a few additional tips for transitioning into summer, along with some new summer product finds and seasonal must-haves.  Enjoy!

~ Summer Transitioning Lifestyle Tips ~

(Image from www.altmedicine101.com) 
Fast words with lasting meaning…

STAY HYDRATED ~ Water is best, plain or infused with fruits or veggies is next best.
BE SUN-SMART, SUN-SAFE ~ Avoid the sun as much as possible, and use products that protect.
LIGHTEN UP ~ Food choices, color palette, fragrance, and skin, body, and hair care products.

~ Skincare ~


Aubrey Organics Skincare Revitalizing Therapy Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer, Gel Mask, Night Crème and Serum ~ Since 1967, Aubrey Organics began providing natural care products.  In 1994, it received its first certification as a certified organic processor.  When people are looking to change their personal skincare products to those that are brand-trusted, certified organic, natural and pure, they turn to Aubrey Organics for their skincare solutions.  The Revitalizing Therapy is one of several formulations that targets specific skincare needs.  Those with dry, mature or those with visible signs of aging looking to restore levels of hydration safely and without any irritation, will find this product mix ideal.  The key ingredient to this formulation is golden Rosa Mosqueta® oil, made from cold-pressed organic rose hip seeds; other key ingredients for these products also included beet root extract (humectant), carnosine, milk thistle and vitamin E (diminishment of wrinkles), alaria esculenta extracts (seaweed rich in fatty acids), organic lavender and aloe vera (soothing and moisture restorative), and alpha Lipoic acid (an antioxidant).  Overall, these products were extremely gentle and non-irritating; they maintained moisture levels throughout the day while making my skin appear revitalized; small lines and wrinkle were diminished.  The aromas of the products were very pleasant, with most having a hint of almond; favorite product was the Toner with its predominant lavender aroma, which is one of my favorite essential oils. http://www.aubrey-organics.com

 ~ Body Care ~


Jamu Organic Spa Rituals Thai Detoxifying Lemongrass Oil ~ I’ve always been partial to this restorative and uplifting aroma, and have found the purity of quality ingredients used in the Jamu Organic Spa Rituals to be outstanding.  While this product has many uses, including for self-massage, as a post-shower moisturizing, or as a hair treatment, or as part of a professional spa therapeutic treatment, I especially love indulging in this product as part of a morning shower ritual that includes a dry brushing to get circulation going and also to slough off any dry skin cells, followed by a shower, and while the skin is slightly damp, lavishing on this extraordinary product that delivers intense hydration that remains throughout the day.  The product was gentle and non-irritating, quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any residue.  The organic ingredients include sunflower seed oil, cold-pressed virgin unrefined coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary extract, and lemongrass oil.  Simple ingredients that deliver stunning results!  http://jamuspa.com


Rituals Cosmetics Wu Wei Calming Cream Bath and Sakura Spring Foaming Shower Oil ~ I thoroughly enjoyed both of these cleansing treatment products that also delivered hydration.  The Wu Wei Calming Cream Bath’s subtle aromas of white Lotus flower and Green Tea leaf extract made bath time, or in my case shower time, an enjoyable and indulgent experience.  An ideal alternate companion product is the Sakura Spring Foaming Shower Oil; ingredients include a delicate and sweet Cherry flower extract, organic rice milk extract, and soya and castor seed oils; the oils infuse rich hydration to the skin.


Burt’s Bees Sheer Body Lotion in Violet & Mango, and Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm ~ Since 1984, this iconic company has delivered products formulation with natural ingredients that are as gentle on the person as they are to the environment.  The Sheer Body Lotion comes in a pump spray that delivers a measured amount of this delicate and deeply hydrating Body Lotion.  The Violet & Mango fragrance was ideal for summer with its fresh and tantalizing fruity overtones.  Natural ingredients include safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E; quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue.  This handy Lip Balm drenches the fragile skin with moisture-rich ingredients that include protective beeswax, vitamin E, rosemary leaf extract, cocoa seed butter, castor seed oil, and peppermint oil; lips stayed hydrated and soothed for hours.  http://www.burtsbees.com

~ Oral Care ~



Hello Products Toothpaste and Breath Spray ~ Ditch that burn with Hello Products, a new line of healthier, gentler and less-invasive and reactive oral care products.  Products include naturally flavored toothpastes for adults and children, healthy and refreshing, non-alcohol based flavored mouth sprays, and toothbrushes with handles made from recycled non-toxic material.  The first time I used one of the adult toothpaste flavors (and I’ve now tried them all…Peach Mango Mint, Mojito Mint, Supermint, and Pink Grapefruit Mint), I immediately felt a major difference in my mouth between Hello Products and my former day-to-day toothpaste.  Not only wasn’t my mouth burning, but I also wasn’t frothing at the mouth like a rabid canine.  What I also noticed, regardless of which flavor I used, was that each had a subtle natural flavor to it, left a gleaming clean that made my pearly whites shine, and gave me a fresh mouth-feel with no after-taste.  For the kiddies, there are three flavors, and yes, they’re suitable for adults, but leave them for the little ones; the flavors include kid-approved Green Apple, Raspberry, and Bubble Gum; the packaging is adorable and includes winking faces throughout that add to the fun-time of wanting them to brush their teeth.  The Breath Spray immediately eliminated any unpleasant tastes or odors; flavors include Pink Grapefruit Mint, Mojito Mint, and Supermint.  There’s a lot going for Hello Products…they’re free of alcohol, dyes, artificial sweeteners, triclosin, and foaming agents; they’re not tested on animals and are Leaping Bunny Certified; their tubes are BPA-free and contain no phthalates; the ADA (American Dental Association) has also given the products their coveted Seal of Acceptance; they’re made in the USA; and, they’re definitely user-friendly!  http://www.hello-products.com

~ Maquillage ~


Smashbox Be legendary Lipstick, Posy Pink ~ It’s as if you picked a beautiful pink blossom and touched your lips with this beautiful color.  Lips are drenched with moisture-enriched ingredients like vitamin E, chamomile flower oil, wheat bran extract, olive fruit extract and shea butter; the combination of these natural moisturizers also delivers extended hydration to this delicate area.  http://www.smashbox.com

~ Fragrance ~


Love2Love Fresh Rose + Peach Fragrance EDT ~ I always make an effort to invest in at least one new fragrance each new season.  Spring and summer scents should always be fresh, light and airy, with both a subtle first impression and dry down.  This Fresh Rose + Peach Fragrance didn’t disappoint.  A subtle convergence of Peach and Rose made for a lush floral that was as fresh as a new blossom, but as lush as a bite into a ripe piece of fruit.  Top notes include peach nectar, lychee and fresh cassis; middle notes, Bulgarian Rose oil; and, base notes, musk and delicate Orrisroot.  I also loved the delicate packaging with its top flap that invites you to rub your wrist over it to experience the beautiful and delicate fragrance.  http://www.love2lovefragrances.com
~ In Closing ~

(Image from www.womenontheirway.com)
Be sure to visit each product website and familiarize yourself with the brands and all of the wonderful products they offer; be sure to also check out their social media presence and connect with them for the latest news, and to learn about product launches, contests, etc.

There’s a lot happening now that summer is fast-approaching…just make sure to slow down and savor those memorable moments.

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  Don’t forget to “Like” her Facebook Page, “Terry’s Second Helpings”.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com, or terry.herman@gmail.com.

ALL MATERIALS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

(Introductory photo credit, www.flowergardenpictures.com; all other photo credits as indicated or represented by the specific brand.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR SPA EXPERIENCE

Here are some great tips to keep in mind if you're thinking about going to a spa for a restorative and relaxing experience.  My article originally appeared in the "Huffington Post" January 31, 2012.

(Image from www.barcelonasalon-spa.com)
I've been covering all-things spa since the mid-1990s after a memorable first-time experience at a destination spa. People go to spas for many reasons. And while the experience can be all touch-feely, it can also be life changing, not to mention costly. Getting the most out of your experience is what really counts. Here are some tips for the spa newbie or the spa savvy. 
1. Before going to a spa, take the time to do some research; just because your BFF endorses one or two and she swears by them, doesn't necessarily mean that they're a good fit for you and your needs. 
2. Not all spas are created equally. Know the differences and every bit of minutia about what they have to offer. This includes spa etiquette, treatment description, price, tipping, deposit, cancellation policy, etc. 
3. When you contact the spa, whether by phone, email or online form, prepare a list of questions you might have and fire away. If you're not getting a clear-cut answer, ask again until you're satisfied with the answer.
4. Ask for a tour of the facilities once you arrive, just to make sure it's up to your level of expectation; you have every right to check out; be suspicious if a spa gives you a bunch of flimsy excuses as to why they can't accommodate your reasonable request. 
5. While most spas are happy to give you a tour, depending on the day of the week (spas are generally at their busiest Thursday through Sunday), the spa may be a bit crowded, or you may not get a chance to see actual treatment rooms due to current guests getting treatments, or guests who are in a relaxation/meditation area; spas want to preserve guest privacy and having a parade of would-be guests can be disruptive and distracting for their relaxing guests. 
6. If you're planning on going to a resort or hotel that has a full-service spa facility, make sure when you call to make your room reservation to be transferred to the spa so you make you treatment reservation at that time. Be sure to ask about any special room plus spa packages, or specially discounted a la carte spa treatments.
7. Nothing is more disappointing than arriving at a hotel or resort and after getting settled into your room, you decide to visit the spa to make an appointment and you're informed that nothing is available. Wait listing might be an alternative, but not that appealing.
8. Never be timid or shy about admitting that you've never been to a spa or have limited experience going to one if the spa asks you about your spa habits. Where treatment options are concerned, make sure to have the spa thoroughly describe what is involved in the that process from the person giving you the treatment and what's expected of you while on the treatment table.
9. Once on the treatment table and if at any time you feel self-conscious or experience discomfort or pain, immediately speak up and let your technician know. Your technician should stop and take the time to explain to you what they're doing, or they should adjust their pressure, etc. Your comfort is the most important thing, so don't suffer in silence and be a martyr. A highly skilled technician should always ask if you've ever had the treatment elsewhere; one the treatment begins, they'll generally ask you several times how you're doing, or if they're pressure is too light, too heavy, etc., or if there's anything they can do for you. 

10. Don't be late to your appointment. Most spas will suggest you arrive at least thirty minutes beforehand. This allows for your being shown to the locker area and amenity area (showers, steam, sauna, whirlpool, etc.). If your treatment doesn't start when it's supposed to, don't be shy about asking for an explanation. If it's because the spa accommodated another late arrival before your treatment time, you should not be penalized and have your time shortened because of other late arrivals. Don't hesitate to ask for some type of adjustment for the spa inconveniencing you; this can include a discount, or an add-on to your treatment (extra massage time, eye or lip treatment if getting a facial, paraffin or mask for nail work, etc.). 
11. If you're plus-sized, and your robe doesn't fit, don't hesitate asking for a larger sized robe; if the spa doesn't have one that fits you, you have every right to express your disappointment; you might even want to ask management for a slight discount for the embarrassment you've experienced in not having their robing fit you properly.
12. Avoid spas that expect you to pay upfront beyond perhaps a deposit. Avoid spas that expect you to pay an additional non-refundable fee for their own insurance coverage in the event of a guest emergency and having to reschedule without penalty; some spas offer this gimmick to even include their own spa equipment failures. Guests shouldn't have to insure themselves for the failure of advertised spa equipment.
13. If you ever decide to book a salt glow treatment or any body treatment (including expanded pedicures) that involves exfoliation, do not under any circumstance whatsoever shave anywhere on your body less than 24 (or more) hours before your treatment. Not all spas remember to mention this to guests who book these types of treatments, or they make the presumption that the guest has had the treatment before and knows this caveat. 
14. If you're on medication and you're not certain about contraindications from some of the spa treatments, products used, or some of the spa amenities (sauna, whirlpool, steam room, etc.) and how it might pose a health risk, check with your medical professional beforehand. Most spas will ask their guest's to fill out a brief questionnaire that asks about medical issues, medications being taken and even allergies; part of the questionnaire usually includes a waiver and your approval of the treatment. Signs are usually posted throughout the spa facility about health warnings. Same thing applies if you're allergic to certain things; a well-run spa will also ask you about this.
15. If you've scheduled for a massage, besides knowing what is involved with the type you selected, make it known at the time of the reservation that you want either a male or female therapist. Most spas will ask the guest beforehand if they have a gender preference, while others don't and it's a surprise.
16. Once you're on the treatment table, you should be fully draped throughout the entire treatment process without any of your private parts exposed. 
17. Some no-nos in spa-dom -- no loud talking or laughing, no cell phones or other electronic devices, and no children under 16 or 18 (this has to do with insurance).

18. Lastly, because spa experiences are sensory-driven, no two therapists will have the same touch when they give you the same type of massage, even at the same spa, for example. For facials, results will be different depending on the products used, since each spa tends to use their own preferred brand and private label brand (same for all treatments). 
Your spa experience is an investment in self. You should always leave feeling better than when you arrived at the spa. And while problems are the exception, should any arise, approach it with honesty and sincerity. Most spas want satisfied guests and your feedback will be invaluable. Remember, they want you to spread the word, and especially to return.
Lastly, knowing why you want to go to a spa is just as important as finding a spa that will meet your needs and expectations. And while the spa experience is relaxing, pampering and restorative, it can also be life changing. 
(Image from www.mikhaelshotel.com)
That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  Don’t forget to “Like” her Facebook Page, “Terry’s Second Helpings”.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com, or terry.herman@gmail.com.

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14 SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS IN THE NEW YEAR

(Image from www.webmd.com)
While the calendar is well into the new year, the following applies regardless of the time of the year.  My article originally appeared in the "Huffington Post" on January 12, 2012.


(Image from www.boundless.com)
It's easy to get caught in the day-to-day stresses of life. Trying to juggle too much and accomplish everything that we expect of ourselves, or even what others expect of us, can lead to anxiety, stress and general malaise. 
Sometimes just making small changes in the way we approach doing our responsibilities can result in reducing stress, resulting in a greater sense of accomplishment. Does that sink full of dishes really need to be done, or should you spend sometime with a loved one? Will the earth stop rotating if you don't do the housework, or better yet how about encouraging your children or your mate to help out and do it instead? Do you really need to do all those things on your list? What happens if you try saying "no"? 
It isn't selfish to think of yourself, especially when your well-being is at stake. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself, taking some time for yourself and being human by recognizing that you're not perfect all the time at everything you try to do. 

  1. Don't bite off more than you can chew. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't place importance where it's needed. Know your options. If you have to compromise, do so and don't feel badly for doing so. Go for it.
  2. Don't beat up on yourself. Failure doesn't mean it's over. Think of it as a new opportunity and beginning to try again and improve.
  3. Don't be your own worst enemy. Appreciate who you are, what you've become and where your journey has taken you. 
  4. Appreciate what you have, even if it's not what you've always wanted. You're still more fortunate than most.
  5. Celebrate the small things. Appreciate simplicity and its gifts... These are blessings.
  6. Never feel alone. Sometimes the best company one keeps is oneself. Focus on the positive, versus the negative.
  7. Before others can believe in you, it's important for you to believe in yourself. Ultimately, believing in self is what matters the most.
  8. The greatest success stories didn't start out that way. Success requires failure, learning from it, rising above it with newfound knowledge and resolving to continue moving forward.
  9. Don't be a martyr and suffer in silence. If you need help with something, no matter how trivial or inconsequential you may think it to be, don't hesitate to ask for help. This includes intervention from religious or spiritual, medical or psychological, family, friend or neighbor...
  10. Be spiritually-minded and believe in a higher calling and purpose. Having faith makes all things possible.
  11. Spend some time doing charitable things; start a food drive in your neighborhood and deliver the goods to a local food pantry, for example. Being humble, including doing charity, hones our humanness. Even if you're down and out with luck, someone else is at a lower level than you.
  12. Take a contemplative walk and try to notice every aspect of your actions and surroundings. Become one with nature.
  13. Seek the simple and less complicated.
  14. Never forget to laugh. Enjoy being alive.

It's easy getting caught up in the moments of responsibility and forgetting ourselves in those moments. While these tips may not fully be life changing immediately, in the long-term, they can be helpful. So, take some deep breaths, slowly exhale and celebrate who you are, what you've become and what you hope to be.


That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

TERRY HERMAN is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In the 1990s, she authored an extensive "Glossary of Spa Terminologies" and holds two copyright registrations.  Consumer and trade publications have also interviewed her as an expert.  She also conducted an extensive nationally broadcasted interview tour on aspects of creating an at-home spa, interior design, music, stress and time management.  Her work has been published extensively in print and digital in both consumer and trade publications.  In addition to writing, reviewing and being interviewed as an expert, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also served on the International Advisory Board for the former EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness; the Advisory Board was comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  Her social media outreach includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tripatini.  Be sure to read her food, wine and culinary digital magazine, TERRY’S SECOND HELPINGS.  Don’t forget to “Like” her Facebook Page, “Terry’s Second Helpings”.  You can email her at terrysspabeautywellness@gmail.com, or terry.herman@gmail.com.

ALL MATERIALS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED