Monday, September 12, 2011



(Volume 2011.4)


I love the season of fall (and even winter) because it signals a time for nature to rest from her rambunctious summer and recuperate, preparing for a rebirth next spring. In my “TRANSITIONING INTO FALL” article, I shared some transitional tips going into fall from the summer. In this edition, I continue this theme, offering my takes on products that transition nicely into the season of fall.

Following are reviews of products for this transitional season. I’ve included a number of skin and body care, hair care, makeup, food and home care, reading resources and even a restaurant review. Be sure to check out the links to the product websites, or search for them on Facebook, YouTube and the like. Many of the sites offer very helpful videos and how-to sketches for product usage, and are another great tool and becoming more familiar with them and how they work and how they’ll work on you. So, enjoy my fall cornucopia, brimming with a bounty of product potpourri!


Guinot ~ I tried the Large Écran UV, a sunscreen with an SPF30, and Age Logic Cellulair Corps, an anti-aging body moisturizer. Year round sun protection is a must to stave off signs of aging and to protect the skin from the debilitating effects of sun exposure. I loved how the sunscreen product went on and was quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving any type of tacky or greasy residue; the lovely aroma was a plus; product suitable for face or body. The first time I wore the Sunscreen was on one of the hottest and most humid days in the Chicago-area; I’d be outside for at least two hours walking at a garden walk. The punishing and unrelenting rays of sun on my fair skin didn’t stand a chance with this sunscreen’s protection; I was totally unscathed from any sunburn. Key ingredients include vitamin E, horse chestnut, heliotrope, and a proprietary formulation of DNA, sun filters and moisturizers. The Moisturizer is dense, making for a wonderful level of deep moisturization; it was quickly absorbed, and didn’t wasn’t greasy and left no tacky residue. Key ingredients include their proprietary Cellular Life Complex, vitamins E and C, algae, shea butter and passionflower oil. The neutral aroma is ideal for fragrance sensitive individuals.

Infusion Organique ~ This relatively new product line is outstanding. Products tried included their Scent Diffuser and Roll-on Eau de Parfum in the Açai Rain scent; and the Parfum de Maison, Hand and Body Wash, and Candle in the Buddha’s Fig scent. Açai Rain is a beautiful scent made up of the açai berry, raspberry, currant, white peach, fresh greens and organic vanilla extract. The subtle fruitiness was mellowed out by the greens and vanilla; ordinarily I avoid fruity aromas, but this one was very sophisticated. Buddha’s Fig combines organic fig extract, rose geranium, organic lemongrass oil, wood and amber essences. The Acai Rain Diffuser emitted its gentle aroma throughout my hallway and into my living room without being cloying; it was crisp, fresh and delicate. I enjoyed the same benefits of this scent in the roll-on EDP. The Buddha’s Fig room spray added a fresh green outdoor scent throughout the rest of my house; the scent subtly lingered. The body wash, also in this scent, while it cleansed well without drying, the lovely aroma wasn’t discernable; the soy candle, also in this scent, burned clean and smokeless and imparted a very subtle amount of its fresh, green aroma. Formulations conform to strict state of California requirements for non-toxicity and sustainability; ingredients are organic wherever possible, or naturally derived.

Navitas Naturals Cacao Power Organic Lip Balm ~ This Lip Balm is seasonless, but really protects the delicate lip area from the assaults of cold weather assaults that can dry and cause cracking of the tissue. Ingredients include organic sunflower and jojoba oil, organic beeswax, organic raw cacao butter, organic chocolate flavor, vitamin E, rosemary extract and organic calendula. Pure, natural and smells scrumptious, while imparting a wonderful protective veil of moisturizing balm that has staying power, so long as you aren’t tempted to eat it.

Votre Vu Très Magni-Feet Exfoliant Pour Les Pieds and Très Magni-Feet Crème Pour Les Pieds ~ I loved the gentle sloughing-off of dry skin on my feet from the Exfoliant; it was ideal using in the shower. It removed the dry stuff from my skin effortlessly, leaving my skin very soft and subtly moisturized. The Exfoliant ingredients included bamboo, wax microspheres, palmitic acid, panthenol and peppermint oil. This product made my feet happy with silky smooth skin. The Moisturizer ingredients included shea butter, verbena essential oil, arnica extract, panthenol, and menthol. This product had a lovely subtle aroma and drenched my feet with silky hydration. Product went on easily, was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any greasy or tacky residue.


DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom Perfume by Donna Karan ~ This is a lovely subtle airy floral that imparts a fresh veil of just-blossomed flowers. While this fragrance is subtle, it's ideal to wear all year long. I enjoyed it as a pick-me-up. Ingredients include Apricot, Cassis, Grapefruit, Smooth Skin Accord, Blond Woods, Jasmine, Rose, Apple, and Muguet.

Jane Iredale “Naturally Confident” Fall Collection ~ I love this eponymous brand. It continues to define mineral makeup that’s great for the skin, while enhancing what nature gave each of us. With each new season, an exciting new collection of products and color is unveiled. These always capture the spirit and essence of that season. What I also love about this line is that the colors transition into any season beautifully. This season’s Fall Collection, “Naturally Confident”, is phenomenal. LIPS ~ There’s three new colors of Lip Fixation, the dual-tipped wands, where one end is a lip stain with a proprietary formula that is waterproof, anti-feathering and super moisturizing with avocado oil, and the other end is a lip gloss that’s also moisturizing and contains a hint of organic vanilla powder. This collection’s colors include Passion, Relish and Mania. Passion is a cherry red stain and clear gloss; Relish is a luminous aubergine stain and shimmery gloss; and, Mania is a golden bronze stain and shimmering gold gloss. HIGHLIGHTER ~ There’s a new In Touch Highlighter, Complete, in Pale Pink. This lightweight creamy highlighter will enhance any skin tone, while accentuating cheekbones, brow bones and the bridge of the nose. EYES ~ Then there’s the award winning Eye Steppes in two new color palettes of the popular PurePressed Eyeshadow colors, goCool and goWarm. These clever, all-in one tri-level swivel compacts include a flip-up mirror, a single shadow highlighter, and two duo eyeshadows. The goCool palette, based on rich jewel tone colors in the plum and violet family, includes Ice, Mittens, Cold Snap, Zhivago and Mulled Wine. The goWarm palette, based on warm earthtone colors in the family of golden brown and bronzed peach, includes Beach, Steamy, Sunshine, Mojito and Sandals. The colors are stunning and don’t require touch-ups; they also don’t fade or smudge. They look wonderful on any skin tone and can go from soft to intense, depending on application.

MUD “Fall Elements” Collection ~ This is another brand I enjoy using and looking forward to their new seasonal collections. This year’s “Fall Elements” collection lives up to my anticipation and doesn’t disappoint. This season’s collection includes a handy cosmetic case and a mirrored eyeshadow quad in autumnal colors like

Cashmere, Taupe, Concord and Tea Tree; colors can be blended to create a lovely customized look, or worn alone. To further enhance the eyes, there's also a soft eyeliner in Rich Brown completes the look. For the lips, there’s the popular Lip Glaze in the color Java, a rich and bold accent lip color with a hint of aubergine. All of these colors mimic the intensity of nature’s fall foliage and look beautiful on any skin tone.

ONE Solid Shampoo and Solid Conditioner ~ These environmentally, earth-friendly compact solids are great alternatives to bottled varieties; one solid is equivalent to three eight-ounce bottles of shampoo or conditioner, which means less packaging waste, a lighter weight product with concentrated formulations, which helps to avoid waste. Packaging is made of recycled materials; the Shampoo Solid comes with its own aerated tin, which helps air circulate and dry the product. I tried the Squeaky Clean for Oily Hair Shampoo and Hair Boost It Does It All Conditioner. The Shampoo key ingredients include almond oil, oat protein, tea tree leaf oil, and panthenol. The fragrance was fresh and left my hair feeling squeaky clean, but without stripping it of natural oils; my hair also had a nice healthy sheen to it. The Conditioner key ingredients include shea butter, Argan oil, oat protein, and macadamia seed oil. The fragrance was also fresh and I found that a little product was all I needed to gently condition my hair, imparting a healthy sheen to it. I also enjoyed rubbing my hands over the product while it was dry, and then rubbing the product into my cuticles and on my hands for hydration.

“Spa Wars ~ The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry” By Lora Condon ~ This short read is a must-have for anyone curious about what it takes to make it in the industry as an esthetician and waxing expert, while being bombarded with challenges, difficulties and unique experiences. It takes more than talent, skill and know-how; perseverance and diplomacy are also needed. The author, Lora Condon, is an industry expert; throughout the book, however, she uses “salty” language to make her points, which was a minor distraction. Overall, I commend the author on revealing the truths about some within the industry, including owners, directors, managers, co-workers and especially some of the vile and disgusting clients she serviced over the years, who would challenge even a saint. This isn’t an easy profession, for sure, and I finished the book with a greater level of appreciation, compassion and respect for those in the spa industry. and


Ayala Sparkling Herbal Water ~ This brand is known for its delicious and refreshing naturally flavored “still” waters. They’ve expanded their line to include carbonated varieties that are infused with organic natural fruit flavorings and herbs. I tried the Sparkling Ginger Lemon Peel variety and enjoyed its overall taste, which had just the right balance of ginger and citrus; clean tasting and thirst quenching; a great way to enjoy some bubbly without alcohol. The Sparkling varieties also include Lemongrass Mint Vanilla and Cinnamon Orange Peel; the three varieties come in a frosted glass bottle (750ml). This all-natural beverage has no artificial flavors or ingredients, and has no calories.

Dave’s Gourmet Organic Pasta Sauce ~ These all-natural pasta sauces will make anyone a gourmet chef. Each flavor uses only the freshest vegetables from nature’s bounty, and taste like they were just picked and then immediately cooked. The Red Heirloom variety screamed of fresh off the vine taste. Some of the certified organic ingredients included heirloom tomatoes, carrots, and onions. I loved the simple sweetness that enhanced my sautéed ground turkey, served over meat angel hair pasta. The Butternut Squash variety was deliciously sweet and balanced with the wonderful texture of pureed squash, tomato paste, red bell pepper and other flavorful ingredients that enhanced the flavor of plain gnocchi, topped with a grating of fresh nutmeg. The Masala Marinara variety was more in line with Indian cuisine, than Italian. Indian-influenced ingredients included tomatoes, coconut milk, ginger, limejuice, lemon grass, and lime leaf. Lamb meatballs simmered in this variety complimented the meat, although most meats or fish would go well with this variety.

Esterházy Wines ~ When it comes to wine, I’m not a snob or a purest or a wine expert. I do enjoy the taste of a good wine, and if I like a red with my fish course, I’ll drink it, or a white with my poultry or meat course, I’ll drink it. I came across this brand of premier Austrian wines, which the Esterházy Family vintners have been perfecting since the 17th Century, at a special luncheon and thoroughly enjoyed their tastes. Following are my taste opinions for each of the varieties experienced: Estoras Grüner Veltiner 2010 ~ I found this white wine to be light, delicate and fruity, with a nice balance between dry and sweet. Blaufränkisch 2009 ~ This beautiful ruby red wine was rich, full-bodied, dry and had a peppery kick. Haydn Merlot 2007 ~ I found the taste to be very comparable to the Blaufränkisch 2009, but a bit drier and with more intense fruitiness. Beerenauselese 2009 ~ I loved this dessert wine, with its lovely rich consistency, beautiful amber color and sweet floral and fruity taste. I also noticed after drinking these wines that I didn’t have my usual headache or stuffed sinuses, which is often the case after drinking other wines. Wine, in moderation, is a healthy addition to any dining experience; I also enjoy cooking with good quality wines, which enhance the overall flavors.

Fernando Pensato Extra Vergine Di Oliva and Olio Di Oliva Mandarin ~ These varieties are exceptional and make for delicious dressings and vinaigrettes. The Extra Vergine Di Oliva had a bit of a bite to it, but was mellowed out when other ingredients were added to the vinaigrette. I loved the Mandarin variety, which isn’t an infusion, but rather the fruit is added along with the olive while it’s being pressed to extract the fruitiness of the citrus and olive. Every dish I made that contained either oil complemented and enhanced; both were lovely with sautéed salmon, and a simple salad of shaved fennel, frisée, shallots, roasted pine nuts, orange segments, flat leaf parsley and a splash of white balsamic vinegar mixed with orange juice and the Mandarin Oil.

Food Should Taste Good ~ I’m a snacker and when I can get my mitts into something that’s healthy, crunchy, tasty, less in fat and calories, I’m there. It’s no wonder why I fell in love with these extraordinary organic and whole grain chips. Some of nature’s healthiest ingredients in these chips include blue corn, quinoa, flax, sunflower, sesame seeds, brown rice, soy, hemp seeds, etc., making these one of the finest guilt-free and healthy snack chips to keep in your pantry. Whether eaten as-is, or dipped into a fresh-made salsa, or smashed and added to chili, or a hearty soup, or even on top of a salad, these delicious chips intensify the flavor of everything. Varieties I tried included White Cheddar, The Works, Sweet Potato, Jalapeño, Multigrain, Lime, Toasted Sesame, Cheddar, Hemp, Olive, Blue Corn and Chocolate. I promise I didn’t eat all of these at one sitting, although it’s tempting not to eat an entire bag in one day. I also enjoyed the fact that they weren’t overly salty and used sea salt, which I find has a more cleaner and more natural taste salt than conventional and over-processed table salt.

Navitas Naturals ~ I tried the certified organic 3 Berry-Cacao Nib-Cashew Trail Mix. This trail mix all-natural, raw, kosher, vegan, gluten-free and certified organic trail mix was tasty, although at times, very tart. Ingredients include organic goji berries, organic mulberries, organic goldenberries, organic cacao nibs, and organic raw cashews. This is a great all-around treat.

Oila Green Tea Oil ~ I had never heard of green tea in the form of oil and found this oil an unusual “add” to my culinary oils. The oil has a neutral taste, is clean on the palate, and doesn’t leave any after-taste. It has a higher burn level than olive oil, has less fat grams, is rich in vitamins A, B and E, and has more healthy essential fatty acids, Omega 3-6-9 and EGCG than olive oil. This all-purpose healthy oil is also a moisturizer, natural antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal topical.

Oogavé – Agave Organic Soda Beverage ~ This all-natural carbonated beverage has just the right amount and balance between carbonation, Agave nectar and natural flavorings and essences. The variety of organic flavors is a welcome change to other overly sweet, or artificially sweet beverages. I found all of the flavors thirst-quenching, clean tasting and very delicious. I loved the eco-friendly glass bottle servings. Flavors tried included Cola, Rootbeer, Ginger Ale, Grapefruit, Mandarin Key Lime, Watermelon Cream, Vanilla Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb. All of these flavors were flavorful and delicious, while being healthier than conventional soda beverages. http://www.oogavé.com

Teatulia Organic Teas ~ The taste of these certified organic teas was clean and refreshing. I love the video on their website that beautifully tells the story behind these exceptional teas; the imagery and background music is also eye appealing. The video tells the story of people, nature and the passion for tea. The Teatulia tea garden is the only one in Bangladesh that has been USDA and SGS Certified Organic. Teatulia offers a wide range of full leaf white, green and black teas, in addition to flavorful tisanes. Some of the delicious and satisfying varieties tried included Earl of Bengal Tea, Tulsi Infusion Tea, Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea, Peppermint and Lemongrass.


Dawali Mediterranean Restaurant (Chicago, IL) ~ Mediterranean cultures have always had a healthier lifestyle because of the types of foods that comprise their daily diets. The cuisine is based on healthy, fresh, unprocessed, high fiber, nutrient dense, and seasonal food; the cultures use land and sea to cultivate their cuisine, which explains why it’s so healthy. While the Chicago-area is a vibrant and multi-cultural major metropolitan area, the multiculturalism is especially predominant in the variety of global-centric restaurants. Dawali Mediterranean Restaurant has two prominent locations in Chicago that offer an extensive menu of Mediterranean cuisine, which is more representative of Middle Eastern and Arabian cultures. I dined at the newer, second location (North Halsted Street), which is in a trendy and bustling theater district. The menu was diverse and extensive, and the dining experience delicious, fresh, flavorful, and nutritious. Chef Samer Jabsheh, whose culinary background is impressive, worked his magic with delicious dishes such as Fattoush (chopped salad with toasted bread and sumac vinaigrette), Chicken Shish Kebabs, Lamb Shawarma (marinated and broiled), Kibbeh (bulgur wheat fritter) and a delightful sampler tray of Hummus, Baba Ganouj (eggplant), Ful Mudamas (fava beans), Masaka (grilled vegetable salad) and Falafel (chickpea fritters); the fresh made warmed Pita Bread was also delicious. A real treat was Chef Jabsheh’s special dessert creation using Knefe (baked shredded phyllo dough) shaped like a bird’s nest and filled with a luscious custard cream filling and then topped with seasonal berries. My only issue was that some of the dishes were a bit on the salty side, where the salt almost over-powered the delicate flavors of the dishes. While you may not live in the Chicago area, I strongly suggest you seek out similar restaurants in your own area and get acquainted with these fresh, healthy, and flavorful dishes. The variety of dishes will appeal to vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore.

“Great Easy Meals ~ 250 Fun & Fast Recipes” By Food Network Chefs ~ The one thing about successful chefs, whether they have their own cooking show on Food Network, PBS, or are successful restaurateurs, is that they always embraced the fresh is better concept, while also focusing on local and sustainable. This cookbook is a compendium of recipes that use the freshest ingredients, and are easy recipes to prepare, most in thirty minutes or less. Recipes utilize ingredients that are fairly staple to most pantries, or are easy to find at a local grocery or specialty store. The book’s pages are coated, so they’re easy to clean if something dribbles or oozes onto the pages. The book is broken down in main categories, with color coded page edge; there’s also a handy “Secret Ingredients” section with food-adds to consider when stocking the pantry that lists cross-references to the recipes the item was used in; and for the curious, there’s also a metric conversion section. Beautifully illustrated with easy step-by-step directions.

“Superfood Cuisine ~ Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Food ” By Julie Morris ~ As more an more people assess their overall lifestyle and conclude that their eating habits aren’t exactly healthy, now there’s an incredible food resource book that intelligently presents the how-tos, whys and ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle by changing various elements about their nutrition and going back to food basics that have stood the test of time for many indigenous cultures. I love the way the author thoroughly explains the food items, presenting a basic and logic journey in foods that have stood the test of time for generations. The informative guide of over twenty superfoods is also supplemented with a recommended list of staples of these healthy foods that should be in everyone’s pantry. The cookbook has delicious recipes, is beautifully illustrated and written by someone whose expertise and passion is all about good food that’s healthy food. and


Fresh Waves ~ The all-natural, non-toxic and eco-friendly product line offers exceptional and very effective multi-use odor neutralizing products. Ingredients in each product formulation contain non-toxic and natural odor eliminators, such as lime, pine needles, aniseed, clove, and cedarwood. Ideal wherever odor is a problem, and safe for people and pets. All of the products I tried were outstanding, and included their Spray, Pearl Packs, Crystal Gel, and Fresh Wash.

Green+Life Cookware/Green Pan ~ Finding a better and healthier way to prepare foods, without the dangerous toxins of so many traditional non-stick pans is easy when you switchover to this latest and most advanced technologically advanced cookware. With its thermolon ceramic coating, not only aren’t harmful toxins emitted and leeched into the food that’s being cooked, the thermolon ceramic coating, which can withstand much higher temperatures than other types of conventional non-stick coatings, it maintains the heat surface without any degradation, making for a more even and consistent distribution of heat. Foods cook cleaner, toxin-free, require less fat, and the pan requires a less intense heat source, since it maintains heat evenly and hasn’t any cool down areas; cleans effortlessly and is a safe non-stick alternative. and and

GrabGreen ~ This eco-friendly, non-toxic and natural home care product line covers all needs from dish washing to laundry detergent. Some conventional home care products make me sneeze, irritate my throat and eyes and have been known to bring me to tears. But, not this line. Their latest all-safe home care product is Garbage Disposal Freshener & Cleaner Pods. The product is available in two all-natural scents, Tangerine With Lemongrass and Thyme With Fig Leaf.


International Home+Housewares Show ~ This annual show attracts tens of thousands of trade professionals from all over the world to check out nearly two thousand exhibitors exhibiting the latest in all-things home and housewares. The multi-day, trade-only event, held in Chicago’s McCormick Place, offers concurrent professional development sessions, and lively keynote addresses. Major trends continue to include environmental, such as recycling, waste, re-purposing and sustainability. Next year’s event will take place March 10-13, 2012. The IHA (International Housewares Association) has been the voice of the $289B+ retail industry for over seventy-three years. [Brands reviewed for this article, which also exhibited at this show, include Oila Green Tea Oil, Fresh Waves and Green Pan.]

National Restaurant Association Show ~ This is another annual show that also attracts tens of thousands of trade professionals from all over the world to check out nearly two thousand exhibitors exhibiting the latest in all-things food. The multi-day event, held in Chicago’s McCormick Place, also offers concurrent professional development sessions, in addition to lively and topical keynote addresses. The major trends in the industry continue to be healthy eating and living; these trends cover the full range of natural, organic, dietary and related food trends, as well as consumer advocacy, recycling, re-purposing and environmental. Next year’s event will take place May 5-8, 2012. [Brands reviewed for this article, which also exhibited at this show, include Ayala Sparkling Herbal Water, Esterházy Wines, Fernando Pensato Monte-Carlo Olive Oils, Food Should Taste Good, Green+Life Cookware/Green Pan, Oogavé, and Teatulia Organic Teas.]


While the close of summer is fast approaching, hopefully that season was a great one for you and that you managed to make a lot of lasting memories to tide you over during the dark and chill of fall and winter. The change of seasons is a reminder of the cycle of life and how everything comes full circle. Take the time to enjoy the bounties of the fall. It’s a wonderful new season that also signals that winter, spring and summer aren’t too far away.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)


  1. Thank you for sharing this blog entry about FALL POTPOURRI. I’ve got to get cool new ideas. Keep your posts coming! Will definitely read them all.

  2. ...thanks AJ for taking the time to read my articles and for the works is a "part II" of additional product reviews...take time for yourself and those you love...

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read my informative article. Please continue following them. Don't forget to take time for yourself and those you love.

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