Thursday, May 31, 2012



Now that spring is in full swing, most people have either begun planting their gardens, or readying their backyard grills after winter’s hibernation, or renewing outdoor routines, while others plan their quick weekend getaways or leisure vacations.  All of this welcome busyness is in anticipation of the warmer summer months, despite it still being spring. 

In this edition, I'm continuing my theme from recent articles, which featured reviews of products that transitioned nicely into spring and summer.  This edition will also include highlights on some of our industry’s latest happenings.  Enjoy!

AMRIT ORGANICS ~ If you’re still searching for a high-performance, all-natural, wild crafted certified organic skincare line that’s gentle, earth and user friendly, while also being efficacious, then look no further.  Amrit Organics Raw Skin Care addresses the needs and preferences of professionals and consumers alike who wish skincare to ethically and safely meet their needs, while providing them with the best in skincare.  The line offers five skin-specific formulations that deliver results within the spa medical spa, or in the home.  I tried the Purely Bare formulation for reactive skin types (e.g. hyper-sensitive, Rosacea, Eczema, Psoriasis, chronically inflamed).  My skin can be finicky at times and using gentle products is key to minimize another contributing irritant, such as skincare that’s isn’t formulated to target these issues.  Products tried included the Facial Cleanser, Organic Hydrosol, Organic Skin Smoother and Organic Moisture for Hyper Sensitivity & Dryness; I also tried the Organic Conditioning Makeup Remover.  The Cleanser gently removed all impurities without drying the skin; has an “earthy” aroma.  The Hydrosol was refreshing to spritz on after a thorough cleansing; chilled, this a delight to spritz on when a pick-me-up is needed, or having a “hot flash”.  I enjoyed the gentle exfoliation from the Smoother; a small amount mixed in with some of the Cleanser was sufficient; left skin feeling polished and renewed.  The Moisture delivered incredible hydration results without leaving the skin greasy or tacky; its aroma was outstanding.  For those times when I needed to quickly and effectively remove my makeup, the Remover was great to have on hand; it quickly removed the makeup without leaving any residue and subtly hydrated the skin.  As an added bonus, I also tried an Organic Lavender Essential Oil from their newest Aromatherapy Bar offering.  I adore anything with lavender essential oil in it; the product was incredibly hydrating, while also calming down reactive skin; I also used it to calm down an area that was healing from minor surgery.  Lastly, this line offers an impressive array of specialized skin and body care treatment products.

AVEDA ~ This iconic brand remains a go-to for those wanting safe, reliable and effective products for hair, skin, body, face and lifestyle.  Recent new products continue this brand’s favorable market position as a leader and innovator in natural, organic, Ayurveda-inspired, flower and plant-derived products that are user and planet-friendly.  Haircare products tried included Invati Solutions for Thinning Hair, which included Exfoliating Shampoo, Thickening Conditioner and Scalp Revitalizer.  A close friend of mine tried the Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair and Color Conserve Daily Color Protect.  All of the Invati products I tried were outstanding.  I was amazed at the immediate and noticeable improvement to my hair’s texture and appearance; it was thicker, fuller, brighter and healthier looking after using the products.  I loved the product aromas.  The products my girlfriend tried noticeably made her hair look healthier and brighter; she colors her hair and the Damage Remedy products were ideal for her hair condition.  The first time I saw her after she had begun using the products, I immediately noticed a difference in her hair.  Skincare products tried included Elemental Nature Skin Care Starter Set for Infinity/Air Natures ~ Botanical Kinetics is recommended for dry/normal mixed skin type, such as myself; products included Crème Cleanser, Skin Firming Toner, Exfoliant and Hydrating Lotion.  The entire sequence of the new skincare is based on the principles of Ayurveda’s elemental natures that include infinity, air, fire, water and earth.  In addition to the infinity/air I tried, other sets include products geared towards the remaining natures, and include fire sensitive, fire enbrightenment, water/earth and balanced.  Products in each set are formulated with Ayurvedic ingredients that are known to adapt to the specific elemental nature.  The Cleanser was creamy, gentle and deep cleaning; skin was left hydrated with no greasy residue or tackiness.  The Toner left my skin feeling fresh and firm without being taut; I spritzed on the product throughout the day as a freshener.  The Exfoliant was wonderful; this liquid toner added brightness to the skin without drying; very gentle exfoliation while leaving the skin hydrated.   The Lotion added wonderful hydration, wasn’t greasy, was quickly absorbed without leaving any tacky residue.  Each product's aroma was calming with subtle overtones of fresh green herbal and floral.  Check out the website for all of the latest and greatest with this popular line.

BURT'S BEES~ This popular brand has been a mainstay for over twenty-five years, and continues its commitment to providing its customers with products that are natural, gentle, non-irritating and effective; it is also committed to adhering to principles of sustainability.  I enjoyed trying the following products ~ Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea Extract, Sensitive Eye Cream with Cotton Extract, Honey & Shea Conditioning Body Bar, and Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter.  The Towelettes gently and thoroughly removed makeup and left my skin hydrated; key ingredients included, white tea extract, cucumber extract, aloe vera and vitamin E.  The Eye Cream was non-irritating and left the fragile under eye area hydrated; key ingredients included cotton extract, rice extract and aloe vera.  The Conditioning Bar was also gentle and non-irritating; enjoyed how my skin was hydrated after rinsing off in the shower; key ingredients included grapeseed, shea butter, safflower seed oil, honey and royal jelly extract.  The Lip Balm drenched my lips with hydration; easy glide without any drag; key ingredients included coconut, olive, sunflower and avocado oils, cocoa, shea and kokum butters.

KRIGLER NEW YORK FRAGRANCE ~ This luxe perfumery gives a nod to its 100th Anniversary with one of its original heady scents, Ultra Chateau Krigler No. 12 Fragrance.  The finest essential oils comprise are used in this artisan crafted perfume.  Top notes included muguet, iris, magnolia, violet, and rose.  The middle notes included musk, cassis, champaca flowers, jasmine, ylang ylang and lilac.  The dry down was continuous and was as beautiful, elegant, sophisticated and complex as when first applied.  An old worldly perfume reminiscent of a time when feathery fedoras, lace hankies and white gloved damsels sashayed up and down NYC’s Park Avenue.

LA BELLA DONNA ~ This was my first time using this product line and it was a real wow!  Over the years I’ve tried different lines and liked but a few.  I’m adding this one to my list of favs. What I especially enjoyed about the products I tried was the effortless application and the staying power of products, eliminating the need for touch-ups.  The colors were rich, natural and beautiful and could be applied as a delicate enhancement, or glammed-up.  The products I tried included Compressed Mineral Foundation (Nicoletta), Colour Blushing Compact Quad (Vision of Mineral Lights), Eyeshadow Compact Colour Quad (Sedona Sunset), and Baci Baci Award Winning Moisturizing Lip Sheer (La Viv en Rose).  I enjoyed the ability to customize my own color with the Blushing Compact Quad by sweeping my brush over all four colors to make a brilliant and luminous hint of color (blush or bronze) or use each individual color from each section; either way was a unique color experience.  I pretty much did the same thing with the Eyeshadow Compact Colour Quad; the colors made my eyes pop and come alive.  Speaking of which, the Lip Sheer is one of those pump-action brush applicators; it took me a few practices to get the hang of it without releasing too much; easy does it and a little goes a long way; the color was beautiful and added a nice gloss to my lips and brightened my face.  All of these colors complimented my skin tone.

LADIES & GENTLEMEN AVEDA SALON & SPA ~ I had the pleasure of experiencing this full-service Aveda Salon & Spa at the Chicago, IL location; I scheduled a precision haircut with senior stylist Monica.  Located in the new Block 37 on Chicago’s iconic State Street, I was impressed at its enormity.  The relaxation area was very Zen-like with subdued lighting, a neutral color palette and over-stuffed chairs; I was given a cup of their signature all-natural tisane, which I love, to further relax me. Before my service began, my stylist came into the relaxation area and guided me through a Sensory Journey; this is a standard service guests enjoy regardless of which service they book.  The Journey began with my stylist explaining to me the different Chakras with representative placards; I’m then asked to select one of them to correspond to the way I’m feeling at that particular time; I’m then presented with three corresponding essential oils associated with that particular Chakra and asked to inhale each one; I then select the one I’m most drawn too and which appeals most to me at that time.  My stylist then selects the corresponding Chakra Spray and lightly mists the air around me.  The Journey concluded with an application of the selected Chakra Essential Oil to my pressure points.  After a beautiful cut, before leaving for a luncheon appointment, I had enough time to experience a Chair Massage and Stress Relief Hand Massage; the hand massage used Aveda Stress Relief Hand Cream; both were given to me by massage therapist Brianna; her technique was impressive, especially during the Chair Massage, which was comparable to receiving a treatment table massage; it was that good.

THYMES ~ As one of my favorite lines, I always have a variety of collections to choose from to match any persona I'm experiencing at any particular time; within each of their collections there's a variety of products for Bath & Body as well as Home Fragrance.  This time around, I tried the Agave Nectar Home Fragrance Mist from their Agave Nectar Home Fragrance collection.  The Mist was vibrant, fresh, crisp and sunny, adding a delicate and airy scent that delicately imparted luscious aromas of grapefruit, guava and lemon blossom into the air without being cloying; the scent added sunshine to my rooms.  New this season is the beautiful Garden Alchemy collection with three distinctive aroma choices; they include Rosemary Sage, Wild Angelica and Lemon Geranium.  I tried the beautiful and sophisticated Lemon Geranium.  The airy, yet complex aroma was comprised of lemon geranium, muguet, and honeysuckle with green notes of armoise, Tonka bean and green moss.  A spirited and uplifting fragrance that remains delicate and crisp.


ITEM ~ The recent launch of WellTech is our industry’s first-ever health and wellness-focused  “incubator” for business start-ups.  WellTech will offer an entrepreneurial turnkey approach to new businesses along with critical experts to aid the development of the newer companies.  WellTech is an offshoot of SpaFinder and destined to fill the void of obtaining all-things spa health and wellness focused; the concept is the first of its kind and promises to be a huge success.

ITEM ~ Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and its Sheraton Hotels is expanding its signature spa brand Shine Spa throughout Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  The brand is targeted for twenty-three by 2015, with ten opening this year.

ITEM ~ Italy’s iconic health and wellness spa destination Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort announces a partnership with Zerona, developer of the first-ever non-invasive body contouring procedure, the Zerona Body Slimming Treatment.  Guests will be able to experience a reduction of unwanted body fat in key areas over the course of six individual treatments.

ITEM ~ The first-ever BeWell Expo, which combines beauty and wellness under one roof, has been announced for September 29-30 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  The expo will feature our industry’s best and brightest experts, products, trends, education and sampling. Tickets are $25.00 for one day, or $50.00 for both days.  Proceeds benefit the “Look Good Feel Better” charity that nurtures and mentors cancer survivor.  Sponsored by “New Beauty Magazine” and SpaFinder.

ITEM ~ If you’re a sun goddess and can’t get enough of the sun for that 1) all-over bronze glow, 2) dread the prospect of sun-induced skin cancer, 3) spend too much time and money going regularly to a salon for a spray-on tan, then consider a safer and more eco-friendly at-home spray tanning version.  The Tropic Spa Home Mist Tanning System is consumer-friendly and uses plant-based solutions for a DIY tan.

ITEM ~ If you love the outdoors and being close to nature, but don’t want to rough-it with standard camping-fare, then consider the luxury alternative of El Capitan Canyon, the first-ever luxury camping alternative.  Safari Tents, Cedar Cabins and Adventure Yurts are offered at this all-season comfort camping destination in northern Santa Barbara.

ITEM ~ If you’re ever in the western suburbs of Chicago, newly opened Bakersfield Restaurant is a must-visit.  Only the finest, natural, organic and local foods are offered at this dining establishment that is open for lunch or dinner.  Menu selections can be modified to appeal to any dining preferences, including carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free; the wines offered are impressive.  The Restaurant is lively, upscale and unpretentious and offers wonderful food with exceptional service.  After a nice repast, cross the street and do some upscale shopping at its sister Standard Market.  Local, natural, fresh and organic is also the Market’s theme.  Fresh made breads, pastries and desserts, artisan coffees and teas, fresh flowers, local meats, cheeses and produce, fresh made sushi, wines, fresh made prepared dinners will delight everything the foodie wishes; another plus is the popular in-store Standard Grill, which comes with fresh made food-fare and a self-serve fruit and veggie water bar.….

That’s it for this edition.  I hope you’ll take some time to visit the websites listed and do some additional browsing to fully appreciate the scope of products and items offered.  Make sure to also check out Facebook for the brands mentioned and become a fan of the pages to keep up on the latest news.  

Explore, share and daydream.  Whatever you do, make sure you do something nice for yourself and those around you.

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


(Introductory photo by Joseph D. Herman, all other photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

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