Saturday, February 11, 2012


Now that winter has finally hit with a vengeance in many parts of North America, other areas are curiously enjoying unseasonably spring-like temperatures and in the process, confusing nature. That said, no matter what it’s doing outside your window, guaranteed that the shorter days, loss of sunlight and an impatient amount of nighttime probably makes most long for a slight lift and diversion. One way to do that is to share with you my personal experiences about using some new spa and beauty products. I’ve even added a review of a cookbook that’s full of healthy eating hints and recipes. I hope you enjoy the following product reviews and even consider trying them yourself.

Brilliance New York Age-Defying Eye Serum

This very lightweight Eye Serum is also gentle and non-irritating. The fragile under eye area was wonderfully hydrated and appeared brighter. The science behind the formula includes a proprietary complex of three peptides that diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, a rich blend of anti-oxidants (vitamins A, B, C and E) and amino acid extract from the Brazilian Cupuacu fruit, which aids in firming and toning the delicate under eye tissue.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

With a cult-like following, the Elixir is an extraordinary toner that uses rosemary essential oil as its main ingredient, but also includes grape, orange blossom, rose, peppermint, and balm mint. Elixir refreshes, tightens pores, and brightens. Can be used throughout the day. The formula was inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s “elixir of youth”; this special formula also used rosemary water to brighten, hydrate, refresh, and maintain a more youthful appearance to her aging skin.

Equavie Organic Sesame Delight Body Oil

The Body Oil is remarkably hydrating and doesn’t leave any greasy residue and is quickly absorbed. Sesame oil has always been prized for its naturally gentle and hydrating properties. Besides the soothing and hydrating properties of sesame seed oil, other ingredients include safflower and sunflower seed oil and honey extract. Equavie is the organic (Bio and EcoCert certified) sister line of esteemed Phytomer, the innovators of thalassotherapy-based products.

Leonisa International Posture Control Undergarment

Bad posture and poor undergarment support can lead to back problems, sagging and make a person appear hunched, slouchy and older than their actual years. While this Undergarment isn’t frilly or sexy, neither is bad posture and slouched shoulders. This Undergarment not only supports the back by “encouraging” an upright posture, it also provides exceptional breast support during active sports and workouts.

L’Occitane en Provence Shea Cleansing Milk, Shea Ultra Gentle Moisturizer, Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream

The downside of winter is that dries the skin and robs the air of humidity. Each of these products has a common ingredient, shea butter, which is known for its incredibly hydrating effects. The Cleansing Milk was gentle and had a lovely fresh natural aroma to it; some of the ingredients include rosemary leaf extract, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin A. For daytime, I used the Gentle Moisturizer during the day; this product contains 8% shea butter; besides shea butter, the product contains other ingredients such as grape seed and sunflower seed oil, rosemary leaf extract, and vitamin E. For nighttime, I used the denser Ultra Rich Face Cream; this product contains 25% shea butter; other ingredients include chestnut seed extract, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, and rosemary leaf extract. Both products had a wonderful texture, a fresh and natural aroma, and when on gently, without being greasy; products were quickly absorbed and maintained hydration levels throughout the day and night.

Miraval Resort & Spa “Mindful Eating” Cookbook

This iconic destination resort and spa continues to raise the bar on spa and wellness experiences that indulge, rejuvenate, heal, and inspire. Health and wellness requires a balance and soundness of mind, body, and soul. This balance also requires healthy eating and knowing what works best and what foods can maximize your nutritional goals. The cookbook briefly summarizes the Miraval Experience, as well as defining their term for “mindfulness” and how it relates to healthy and delicious eating. Included is an overview of cooking hints and techniques, along with food substitutions, suggestions on basic cooking equipment, a shopping list of healthy cooking pantry staples, and a shopping resource guide. There are even primers on knife safety and a how-to on phyllo dough. As if those resources weren’t enough, following are two hundred recipes on all-things food, including stocks, appetizers, salads, dressings, soups, entrees, desserts, and beverages. This first-ever hardcover cookbook from the culinary wizards of Miraval is beautifully illustrated with four-color glossy images, and is scheduled for release May 2012; pre-orders can be placed with either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Seaweed Bath Company Wildly Natural Soothing Body Wash

When I think of spa, the aromas of eucalyptus and peppermint are exemplary of my most memorable spa experiences. The Body Wash was refreshing, gentle, as well as hydrating. In addition to essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint, other ingredients include bladder wrack seaweed, spirulina, coconut, kukui, sunflower, and safflower oils. This is a fresh and bracing product that’s aromatherapuetic as an aid for the upper respiratory; my clogged nasal passages were soothed with the distinct aromas.

SKINDINÄVIA Makeup Finishing Spray

This Finishing Spray is the ideal tool to have on hand to set makeup and not have to worry about touch-ups throughout the day. The ultra fine mist settles on the face and never causes makeup to streak or fade. It has a very pleasant and fresh aroma. This line has other wonderful makeup enhancement products that set, hold, insulate, and add luminosity.

All of these products transition well from season to season, and aren’t just limited to wintertime. Remember to continue taking care of yourself, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to do something nice for yourself and those you love. Until the next time….

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, and is Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz. You can email her at


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

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