I love this time of year because it signals a time for new growth, renewal, rebirth and recommitment. In my “Transitioning Into Spring” article, I shared some changeover and makeover “tips”. In this edition, I continue this theme, offering my takes on products that transition nicely into springtime. Enjoy my spring bouquet!
~ PRODUCT REVIEWS ~
~ Nurturing and therapeutic, for face and body ~
Pevonia Botanica ~ The latest products launched that repair and brighten skincare the latest in skin technology the advanced Lumafirm™ Repair Cream-Lift & Glow and Lumafirm™ At-Home Intensifier. Both products have me wishing I could still do cartwheels! The Repair Cream promises immediate brightening and evening skin tone; with continued use, skin tone becomes more firm and tight, improving contours. I’ve tried other products that make these promises, especially about immediate brightening and even skin tone, but this is the first product I’ve tried that has delivered on their promise to brighten immediately and even skin tone. The key ingredients of the Repair Cream include the black tea derivative Kombucha, said to repair and redefine skin’s elasticity, contour and overall texture, while restoring luminosity and leaving a healthy glow; Diacetyl Boldine, an extract from the bark of the Chilean Boldo tree, is an enzyme that counteracts melanin production, while also brightening; Oligo-Peptide 68 is another lightener and skin tone equalizer; and, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 3. Which inhibits signs of premature aging, while increasing elasticity and firmness. Product texture is soufflé-like and silky; it applies effortlessly and is quickly absorbed and has a wonderful aroma.
The Intensifier is a treatment product that can be used daily, weekly or monthly; I did find it a bit messy to use; the freeze-dried disc supposedly comes with a butterfly-type applicator; mine came off of the product and I ended up moistening the disc and manipulating the dried product from it to a pliable state and then applying it with my moistened fingers to my moistened face, neck and décolleté area. Since water activates the freeze-dried product, it was important to maintain the level of hydration throughout. The moistened product quickly absorbed and dried rapidly. Key ingredients of the Intensifier include Diacetyl Boldine and Sorghum Bicolor; the latter, a cereal plant extract, tightens skin and improves texture, while reducing wrinkles. I then applied the Repair Cream and my skin was radiant. Spas that offer Pevonia-based treatment services also offer an in-spa Lumafirm™ Lift & Glow Facial. These two new Lumafirm™ products are a great complement to the Myoxy-Caviar anti-aging line.
Aromafloria ~ This brand continues to have a faithful following in mass retail and in spa. With a number of collections of sensory-driven products, the latest launch is their Healing Waters range, which returns to the traditional roots of spa therapy. The products re-mineralize, relieve and re-energize. I tired the Body Exfoliating Treatment, Body Mineral Bath Treatment, Body Purifying Treatment, Body Firming Treatment and Body Smoothing Treatment. Each product incorporates the company’s Green Chemistry eco-friendly model of no petrochemicals, synthetic colors, phthalates, sulfates, parabens or other harmful preservatives in addition to being 100% Vegan. Their core commitment is for the health of the person and the planet. The Exfoliating Treatment contains sea salt, organic sugar, aloe leaf juice, glycerin and moisturizing and antibacterial essential oils of mandarin, bergamot, juniper and vetiver, and organic bladderwrack seaweed extract (an antioxidant that helps to retain moisture). The Mineral Bath Treatment contains all-natural potassium, magnesium and sea mineral salts that are gentle while remineralizing the skin and easing sore muscles, organic bladderwrack seaweed extract, essential oils of mandarin, bergamot, juniper and vetiver. The Purifying Treatment is a wonderful bath/shower gel containing marine botanicals, aloe leaf juice, glycerin, panthenol (Vitamin B5), and essential oils of mandarin, bergamot, juniper and vetiver. The Firming Treatment was quickly absorbed and left no tacky or greasy residue; ingredients included aloe leaf juice, glycerin, coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba, Vitamins A and B5, organic extracts of arnica and bladderwrack, and essential oils of mandarin, bergamot, juniper and vetiver. The Body Smoothing Treatment is a dry oil that contains coconut, jojoba seed oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, borage seed oil, Vitamins A, D3 and E, and essential oils of mandarin, bergamot, juniper and vetiver. The product was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any tacky or greasy residue. Both the Firming Treatment and Body Smoothing Treatment extended the moisturizing properties of all other products used in the line. The natural properties of sea salt (potassium, magnesium, etc.) made all of these treatment products calming and soothing, while also being moisturizing. While the “mix” of essential oils was also antibacterial and moisturizing, I especially enjoyed their aromatherapeutic qualities.
Crabtree & Evelyn ~ Just in time for spring, this iconic brand has launched their Citron Honey & Coriander Bath & Cody Care Range. Warmed with the delicious aroma of lemon, honey and coriander, these products add another welcome spring and good-bye winter element. Products tried within this complete range included Skin Smoothing Body Scrub, Skin Indulging Body Soufflé, and Refreshing Body Bar. Each product’s aroma was a fresh lemony scent, tempered with lemon leaf and coriander; the aroma was fresh, bright and reminded me of sunshine. The Body Scrub include ingredients like glycerin, sunflower, soy and jojoba botanical oils, honey and coriander, peach kernel, peach and pumpkin fruit oils, and apricot, fig and pumpkin extracts. Gentle and effective exfoliating properties that left skin silky soft and hydrated. The Body Soufflé ingredients include shea butter, honey and coriander, pumpkin seed oil, apricot and peach fruit extracts, glycolic acids and AHA’s derived from lemons, oranges and sugar. Delicious aroma with wonderful hydrating qualities, the product was absorbed quickly without leaving any residue. The Body Bar ingredients include a refreshing herbal blend of thyme, tea tree, golden seal, willow bark, eucalyptus, coriander, shea butter, and evening primrose oil; the fresh and green scent made cleaning up enjoyable, while leaving skin moisturized.
Salt of the Earth ~ These handcrafted all-natural bath and body products are a wonderful way to get rid of tired, scaly, winter-weary skin. Each product is made of basic ingredients that might include grapeseed oil, tocopheral, essential oils, herbs, salt from the Great Salt Lake, or white and brown cane sugar. The products I tried were simple, basic, pure and very effective. I had the pleasure of indulging in their Rosemary Mint Pure Salt Glow, Rose Cane Sugar Glow, Stress Less Whipped Body Crème, Lavender Whipped Body Crème, and Menthol Infused Fire & Ice Soothing Lotion. Both the Salt Glow and Sugar Glow gently exfoliated and polished my skin; each scent was natural, adding to the therapeutic properties of each product; the salt and sugar properties weren’t harsh and the sloughing ingredients dissolved evenly, while leaving the texture refined and smooth. I also enjoyed the Body Crème products; density of product was very rich and comparable to body butter, so a little product went a long way; wonderful hydrating qualities, quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue; aromas were also pleasant. The Soothing Lotion holds true to its name and is definitely a targeted treatment product ideal for applying to stiff and over-worked muscles after a rigorous workout (or arthritic joints); cooling and warming affect with a predominant and pleasant menthol aroma. Beyond the few products I experienced, there is an extensive range of product types, formulations and scents available for the spa professional.
~Esthetics that embellish and enhance ~
Burt’s Bees ~ Just in time for spring, this homey brand of natural body care products has launched an assortment of Tinted Lip Balms that are packed with intense moisturizing for the lips. Ingredients include natural botanical flower wax, shea butter and Vitamin E. Eco-friendly, not tested on animals, free of petrochemicals and synthetics such as phthalates, parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate, this new collection of six Tinted Lip Balms imparts just the right amount of blush and hint of color, while gliding on super fast and easy, while leaving the delicate lip area moist and hydrated for hours. The collection includes Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Pink Blossom, Red Dahlia, Rose and Tiger Lily. I tried the first three Tints and enjoyed each one.
gloMinerals ~ This spring collection offers products made with natural minerals in soft pigments, the colors in this new edition are soft and subtle. I tried the gloBlush in Bellini, a soft peachy-pink, reminiscent of the drink, the Peach Bellini. The soft powdery blush was easy to apply and gave a nice glow to my cheeks. I also tried the gloEye Shadow Trio in Napoli; the trio of colors includes Brown, Grey and Rose; each color can be worn alone, or blended to create a custom look; colors went on easily, didn’t crease and lasted. I also tried gloGloss in Whisper, a neutral hint of color; lovely color that can be worn alone or over another lip color; found the consistency too tacky, making my lips smacky.
Jane Iredale ~ This is my all-time favorite mineral line. No matter the season, I can always count on the eponymous creator to one-up herself in creativity, innovation and practicality (think multi-purpose), while offering gorgeous colors that not only transition throughout the year, but enhance and treat, making the product gentle and what I categorize as skin-positive. The Just for Me Spring Collection is a stunning array of the seasons best and brightest. Expanding upon the success and award-winning design, My Steppes has grown-up from an all eyeshadow collection to a Makeup Kit. The new kit is a mirrored three-tiered swivel design that reveals a dual lip-gloss on the top layer, with a blush on the second level and lastly, a bronzer. Layers stay in place with a built-in magnet (although I’d love to see a carrier designed to hold these securely in place).
These adorable collections come in Cool (jewel tones) and Warm (earth tones). The Cool Kit includes Cotton Candy/Pomegranate PureGloss for Lips, Barely Rose PurePressed Blush, and So-Bronze 3. The Warm Kit includes Iced Mocha/Crab Apple PureGloss for Lips, Whisper PurePressed Blush, and So-Bronze 3. New shades include the PureGloss for Lips Pomegranate and Crab Apple. These colors are bright, lush and ripe for the new season. They go on effortlessly, with implement or fingertip, and can be taken from subtle-soft to glam-wow! The cases are tinted to differentiate between each collection; the Warm is in a shiny muted orange and the Cool in a shiny muted blush.
Another practical and multipurpose product is the new Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Pink. The color reacts to the natural pigment, enhancing and adding a subtle flush and hint of color. Flatters any skin tone. Drenched with extracts of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel, olive and avocado butters, wild rose wax and pomegranate flavor. On the lips, it’s great alone, over a lip pencil fill, or under a lip-gloss. I love the blush of color it adds to my cheeks; can easily stand on its own without anything else.
Rounding out the seasonal launch are two new shades of the incredibly popular and best selling Mystikols. Kohl was a product used by eastern cultures to delineate and define their eyes. This modernized version carries that history and elevates it by designing a tool that is enhancing while being practical. Mystikols are a dual-ended powder eyeliner and highlighter that adds new depth to kohl-smoky. The season’s latest includes gorgeous Citrine and Aquamarine shades; perfect for the warming trend of spring and eventually summer! The Citrine combines sultry-warm ochre on the one end and a hint of gold as a highlighter on the other end. The Aquamarine combines a deep turquoise green on the one end and a kiss of rose as a highlighter on the other end. Colors blend beautifully to reveal the natural beauty of the eyes. Each end has a soft tip applicator that can be used for a fine line or to smudge. These latest two new shades to the innovative Mystikols expands the color options to seven; others include Malachite, Amethyst, Dark Topaz, Lapis Lazuli and Onyx. The Jane Iredale brand is all about endless options and possibilities with products that represent the latest in techologocal advancements. These products deliver results, while treating the skin naturally in, rich, beautiful colors.
MUD ~ Make-Up Designory (MUD), is a popular retail brand that offers the latest fashion and trend colors in their extensive product line. Their seasonal collections always represent flattering shades for eyes, cheeks and lips. Their Spring Into Beauty Collection comes complete with a beautiful eyeshadow quartet in Honeysuckle, an iridescent pale gold; Daisy, a sunshiny gold; Canyon, a matte soft brown; and, Pacific, deep sea green. The eyeshadow colors are silky and glide on easily from subtle to intense; colors last without fading or creasing. Rounding out the collection is a blush in Gingerbread; this color adds a soft warm hint of color and transitions nicely into summer. One of the season’s hottest trending colors is melon, and the Cantaloupe Lip Glaze in this collection is subtle and stands alone or as a gloss on top of another lip color. A nice tote completes the seasonal offering.
neuveauBrow ~ This product delivered on its promises to generate growth of hair in the brow line. While my original hair color is dark blonde, my eyebrows were never dark and more on the blonde side than “dark”; my brows were always on the puny-side. I used neuveauBrow on those areas that had become sparse due to age or over-plucking, which was on the “down slope” of the arches. I was surprised after six weeks to see how much fuller the brow line looked. The product suggests results in thirty days, but because of my puny growth and light color hair, it took closer to six weeks to see any progress. I used the product once in the morning and evening, taking care to make sure the area was clean and dry and not gooped up with any skincare product. Because I have lighter and finer hair, I think products like this are better suited for those with much darker hair, because the new growth is more noticeable. Although I had to use a high magnification mirror to really see anything happening, there was new brow growth action. The dual applicator tip made it easy to apply product and once set, a double brush tip applicator evened-out brows and distributed any residual product. The product was gentle and didn’t cause any tearing, unlike other products I’ve tried in the past, which were irritating. With patience and diligence I ended up having fuller eyebrows; even a scarred area had some soft new growth of fuzzy stuff. This product is available in salons and also Saks Fifth Avenue.
SmashBox ~ Just in time for spring blossoms, this popular brand has launched its IN BLOOM collection of all things for the face. Colors are fresh, subtle and so seasonal. The Cream Cheek Duo in delicate Blushing and Peony Blush can be used alone or mixed to create a custom blend. The colors are fresh and lasting and brightened my winter-pale face. Complimenting these lovely cheek colors is the Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss With SPF15 in Endless Kiss. The color is subtle and can be worn alone or over a favorite lip color to gloss it up. I went the basic route and wore it as is; I found it to be a bit tacky and had to be careful not to make a smacking sound with my lips. For the eyes, there’s the Eye Shadow Palette & Brush in ten beautiful colors of nature that range from shimmers to soft mattes that can be worn alone, or mixed with other colors for a custom look. The colors went on easily and didn’t crease or fade. The generous sized mirror, the size of the sturdy container, also had a soft shadow brush; this all in one container makes this an easy take and go-with. Unless my eyesight is failing me, my only issue with this collection is that I didn’t see a grid that identified each individual color. Lastly, the Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner in Dark Brown went on easy, imparting a soft line of color emphasis; the color was easy to blend into the eyeshadow to soften the line, although leaving it delineated added a bit more glamour.
~ Fragrances that envelope the senses ~
For home ~
Carleon Cove by Crabtree & Evelyn ~ Carleon Cove is one of several home fragrances available in both a room spray and diffuser reeds. Both products bring seasonal freshness to the indoor. Said to be reminiscent of an English seaside, the products have a lovely and subtle scent of violet and other light florals and greens, with a slight bite of woodsy. It’s easy to conjure up a mental image of traipsing the English hillsides with thick green blankets of new growth peppered with the blossoms of spring flowers. While the spray is great for a quick fragrance lift, the diffusers linger on with infusing the inside with a consistent layer of crisp, green floral.
Geranium by The Soap & Paper Company ~ Geranium is a heady room fragrance with a blend of rose geranium, patchouli and ylang-ylang, where the rose geranium is the predominant aroma. Rose and rose geranium are divine aromas for me and really relax and restore me. The room fragrance is floral, light, bright and uplifting. I can close my eyes and see endless rows of roses in open fields. This is a very natural and light aroma that isn’t cloying.
Lovely EDP ~ While I’m not into celebrity products or endorsements, I did deviate with trying Lovely Eau de Parfum by Sarah Jessica Parker. This seasonal fragrance has been around for years, but is well suited for springtime. Its top notes are lavender, bergamot and mandarin. Middle or heart notes are apple martini, rosewood, paperwhites and orchid. The base notes are patchouli, musk, cedar, amber and woods. While the base notes are more dense and dark combination, the dry down of the top and middle notes tempers the base notes, softening them. The fragrance isn’t cloying and remains subtle and delicate from first spritz to final dry down.
Wildbloom ~ Banana Republic, known for its young, fun, trendy apparel and accessories, has launched its new Wildbloom Eau de Parfum Natural Spray fragrance. This is another delightful seasonal fragrance that isn’t over-powering and subtle embraces the best of the new season. Top notes are guava, pear kin, kumquat, and pink grapefruit. Middle or heart notes are watery hydrangea, Hawaiian Pikake, blue orchid and wild camellia. Base notes are patchouli, sandalwood, Tonka, Oud wood, radiant musk and pink suede; again, darker base notes are tempered by the dry down of the fruitier and lighter top and middle or heart notes. The result is a fresh, crisp, fruity mix with florals. Bottle comes with a cute leather flower that can be reused as a pin on the lapel of a cute fitted jacket, or scarf. This was another light and delicate scent that isn’t at all cloying. Available in-store only.
That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.
……THE NEXT EDITION OF SPA BITS…..
…will bring more natural and organic product reviews that nurture and restore, while being eco-friendly and green…JAMU Asian Spa Rituals, Goldfaden, Go Picnic, Lotus Wei Organics, Wei of Chocolate…so, stay tuned…..
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 addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. She also serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa. She also serves as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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