Wednesday, August 15, 2012


There’s nearly six weeks left to summer, and while temps might not be cooling down as fast as many would like, including myself, many areas are still experiencing extremely hot temps.  Summer’s sizzle remains strong.  If you’re one of those watching your calendar, the Northern Hemisphere won’t officially welcome fall until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd at 10:49AM EDT.  Only then will summer officially be over.  That being said, there’s still plenty of beach time and tanning time left to enjoy summer’s continuing sizzle.  With that in mind, following are my latest reviews of products ideally suited for incorporating into your waning days of summer, which will also transition nicely into fall.  

California Footwear Company ~ You don’t need to live in California to fall in love with the Hermosa Spa Sandal design in White Floral.  One of the company’s founders is a former Birkenstock executive whose influence in the design is apparent.  The soft foot bed naturally conforms to the foot’s contour without distorting it and offers maximize support; it’s extremely comfortable to wear; the toe loop and easy to adjust straps are a big plus for me and the breezy design screams summer.  I also liked the knobby pattern throughout the foot bed, which stimulated the feet at key reflexology pressure points.
DNAEGF Renewal ~ DNA Defense SPF 30+ and DNA Intensive Renewal are perfect take with products for the gym bag or beach bag.  The DNA Defense SPF 30+ not only protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB light, it also doesn’t leave a white or chalky residue like other comparable products; it absorbs quickly, without leaving any tacky residue; it’s also gentle and non-irritating; active ingredients include zinc oxide and vitamins E and A.  The DNA Intensive Renewal is an ideal product to use in the evening after a day in the sun and on a freshly cleansed face; it also absorbs quickly without leaving any tacky residue; it’s also gentle and non-irritating; the product also contributes to firming and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles; a few of the key ingredients include DNA repair enzymes, hibiscus peptide and rapeseed sterols.

Feed My Skin ~ Aloe Push-Up, Pumpkin Peel Masque and Strawberry Scrub In A Tub are a fun additions to face and body care.  With summer’s heat and humidity, these products add welcome relief to the heated skin surface. The Aloe Push-Up is kept frozen at all times and when cooling relief is desperately needed, especially after sunning, apply the product all over the face to heal and cool in one step.  While the Pumpkin Peel Masque may make you think of fall, chilling it before using it is a great way to prime the skin before giving it a deep cleaning.  To really cool off, the chilled Strawberry Scrub In A Tub is ideal; gentle and effective in sloughing off the dry skin cells, while cooling down the surface temperature of the skin.  All products are made by hand in small batches and use fresh and natural ingredients.

Fiafini Skincare ~ Delicate Cleansing Emulsion, Divine Hydration Moisturizer and Deluxe Anti-Aging Eye Cream is one of the first product lines I’ve tried that truly is for any skin type, regardless of its range.  The key ingredient in these products is South African Marula Oil, which is hand harvested; it is prized for its hydrating and humectant qualities, anti-aging and healing properties; it is naturally high in anti-oxidant levels that fight damaging free radicals.  The products were all gentle, absorbed quickly and didn’t leave any tacky residue; they were also non-irritating.  In addition to Marula Oil, other key ingredients include prickly pear, evening primrose, avocado, vitamin E, chamomile, licorice and apple seed stem cells.  Hydration levels were maintained throughout the trial period and I noticed firmness and luminosity; fine lines and wrinkles appeared diminished.  All products are free of mineral oil, parabens, fragrance and alcohol and aren’t tested on animals.

Ilike Organic Skin Care ~ Stonecrop Toner turned out to be my favorite go-to products during the torrid heat waves my area has experienced since June.  Not only was this product calming, but it also soothed and cooled my heated skin; it also provided refreshing hydration and was never drying; it can also be used as a gentle skin cleanser; some of the key ingredients included stonecrop, aloe, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, enzymes, mineral salts and plant protein.

L.A. Christine ~ No3 Berry Face Oil is magic in a bottle.  This formulation contains some of the richest anti-oxidant berries that are also rich in Omega fatty acids, known for the anti-aging properties; included is the Scandinavian Lingonberry, the Brazilian Açai Berry and the Raspberry.  Along with these three über berry extracts, a delivery system of sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and vitamin E make for an intensely hydrating, replenishing and nurturing Face Oil.  Highly concentrated, very little is needed to apply to the face; product was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any tacky residue; the lovely natural aroma was very pleasant; noticeably improvement to hydration levels, firmness and elasticity; fine lines and wrinkles were diminished. 
Moroccanoil Body ~ Body Buff, Cleansing Bar, Body Soufflé, Intensive Hydrating Treatment and Hand Cream are the latest product offerings from this phenomenal company, which revolutionized hair care with its nourishing and restorative argan oil treatment products.  These latest new body care products expand the company’s market capture and elevate Moroccanoil as the über argan oil company; never mind “cult-status”; Moroccanoil has legions of fans beyond celebrity-dom.  Each product is brimming with the goodness of super-hydrating wild-crafted argan oil; this natural oil is prized for its inherent properties that include anti-oxidants, Omega fatty acids and vitamin E.  Key ingredients in the Cleansing Bar include shea butter, glycerin and a natural mineral-based talc; the Bar’s aroma is exquisite and it’s consistency, creamy and luxurious.  Key ingredients in the Body Buff include orange peel (for exfoliation), orange oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and grape seed oil; these oils drench the skin with hydration; the product was gentle and non-irritating, while thoroughly sloughing off dead skin cells; rinsed well without leaving any residue; left my skin feeling silky smooth.  Key ingredients in the Body Soufflé include shea butter, macadamia oil, aloe and oat protein; the product was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any residue; my skin felt revitalized and drenched with hydration; I loved the aroma of this product as well.  Key ingredients in the Intensive Hydrating Treatment include organic sunflower oil, organic chamomile water, vitamin E, glycerin and lavender oil; this product was remarkable as it alleviated some very dry patches of my skin; product was quickly absorbed without leaving any residue and its aroma was outstanding.  Key ingredients in the Hand Cream include shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter and avocado butter; once again, all of these butters, plus the argan oil drenched my hands, especially the cuticles, with restorative hydration; non-greasy and quickly absorbed; and of course, the product’s aroma was also outstanding.  All of these products were wonderful; they all work synergistically to heal, treat, restore and revitalize; my skin felt so much better after using each one.  I’m looking forward to the next round of innovative and exceptional treatment products from Moroccanoil.

Miracle Skin Transformer ~ SPF20 Treat & Conceal Eye & Face is the perfect go-to for that quick-fix concealer; whether it’s dark under eye circles, blemishes or hyperpigmentation, this light-weight cream comes in different shades to complement all skin tones; formulation hydrates, protects and enhances; key ingredients include marine collagen, white rose and chamomile extracts, and color correcting minerals.

SereniTea Liquid Organic Green Tea ~ Decaffeinated Raspberry Presweetened is one of the many flavors of this certified Organic Green Tea conveniently in a premeasured and already brewed concentration; handy take-with packet.  Green tea is known for its healthy properties that include high levels of polyphenols, flavonoids and anti-oxidant.  The pure brewed Organic Green Tea is flavored with natural fruit extracts, but sweetened with sucralose, which I found to be too sweet, while leaving an after-taste; the Raspberry fruit extract in the flavor I tried was enjoyable; free of pesticides, wild crafted, certified organic, zero carbs and zero calories.  Varieties include sweetened or unsweetened, plain or fruit extract infused, regular or decaffeinated.

Silly Lips Lip Balms ~ Bangin Bekah Sugared Strawberry, Tasty Tracy Peach Coconut and Kinky Katie Vanilla Mint come in adorable tins with images of naughty-esque pin-ups artist Alberto Vargas made famous in the forties and fifties.  These cute tins with their equally cute names bely the fact that the contents of each Lip Balm are brimming with all-things-great for those summer-parched lips; key ingredients include shea butter, castor seed oil and beeswax with a delicious hint of flavors that tempt lip smacking; lips are drenched with replenishing hydration and add just the right amount of subtle color.


Trademark Tavern (Lombard, IL) ~ While this location may not be in your geographic area, be sure to check out similar restaurants that go beyond offering standard bar-fare eats.  Trademark Tavern recently opened in my area, and I was impressed with its overall design and layout; huge, airy, but intimate ~ a definite sport’s enthusiasts place to hang but large enough to seek intimate seating for private moments.  The main reason I checked out the place was to look over their menu and see how easy and adaptive it could be to satisfy those with dietary restrictions.  There wasn’t any problem in ordering healthy food-fare off of the menu or making a request of the server to have a selection grilled versus sautéed in a no-no, like butter; I loved the White Bean Hummus with grilled Pita, the Margarita and Vegetable flatbreads, grilled lamb lollipops with a delicious chimichurri sauce and a seasonal fresh berry tart.  A fun aspect of the restaurant included four booths; each booth had two draft beer dispensers featuring eight different varieties. All menu items are sourced locally as much as possible (fish flown in fresh daily), with an emphasis on fresh and natural.  I've learned that one can’t presume anything based on its name.  Trademark Tavern is no different, and was a great learning experience for me in this regard.


ITEM ~ For the outdoor enthusiast, Avon’s Bug Guard Plus formulas guard against pesky insects that are carriers of disease and illness; each formula is also rated with an SPF30 to further guard against the sun’s harmful rays.

ITEM ~ JAMU Organic Spa Rituals is a premiere line of products that accentuate the exotic traditions of wellness; each product line is exquisite and brings the experience home.

ITEM ~ For outstanding mineral makeup skincare that enhances and protects the skin all year long, but especially during the harsh summer, industry icon Jane Iredale continues offering leading-edge products that are sun-safe and effectively rated by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

ITEM ~ Not your mother’s company, today’s Merle Norman offers the latest technology in sun safe makeup and treatment products with their Dual Spectrum SPF30 lotion that’s safe for face and body; protects against the harmful UVA and UVB rays; hydrates and conditions the skin.

ITEM ~ Another tried and true company respected for generations includes the Jergens Skincare; check out their Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer with SPF20; subtle and complimentary shades to choose from; treatment makeup that will keep your skin hydrated and sun protected.

ITEM ~ Lots of press chatter about the synergistic Polish & Plump Peel by HydroPeptide; the two-step peel will shed dullness while refining lines and wrinkles; a take on micro-dermabrasion, but simpler and in the privacy of your own home.

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 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 credit, Joseph D. Herman, photographer.)

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