Friday, February 8, 2013


“…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”
(Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”; Act II, Scene II)

Throughout the ages, the rose has come to symbolize perfection and love.  It has been portrayed and praised in religion, poetry, prose, music and art.  Roses have been coveted when used as culinary floral water for edibles, or in tinctures, tisanes, added to teas, or in fragrances or personal care products.  Its evocative aroma embraces the senses and imprints the psyche with a subtle and scrumptious fragrance that refreshes memories of a past life.  The perfectly formed petals and head are visually adored, whether living or when pressed dried as a memento.  Throughout history, queens and kings and commoners have known the rose. The rose has represented many things to many people, with most being awestruck over nature’s divine and perfect beauty.

The rose has been around for millions of years, has approximately 150 species, is worldwide with each continent having its own variety.  The rose and its derivatives have been prized for personal care and skincare because of natural properties that include cell regenerating, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, high in Vitamin C (antioxidant), non-irritating, natural astringent, natural fragrance, toning and moisturizing. 

While February is the month of St. Valentine’s Day, a day of love and for remembering those we love, it is also National Heart Health Month, which is also fitting for St. Valentine’s day, since the heart and cupid’s arrow in the heart also exemplify this day of love and remembrance.   Red roses symbolize beauty, love, affection and romance.  Again, very fitting for this day of love and remembrance.

I chose the following products for this edition because of the purity of the rose-based ingredients, in addition to each product’s favorable efficacy.  I’m also partial to these products because I love the scrumptious rose aroma.  These products had a pure, subtle and non-irritating aroma that was calming and uplifting, making them very aromatherapeutic.  The rose derivatives (petals, essential oil, fruit) were also healing, while providing effective skin and body care.  Enjoy!

~ The Perfect Rose ~

Aveda ~ Rose Absolute Singular Note Aromatherapy Oil ~ Made from the essential oil of rose petals and formulated in a carrier oil; also includes Vitamin E, applying directly to the skin is safe and won’t cause any irritation.  Rose Absolute is ideal for applying to the pulse points and inhaling; the product was very calming.  I liked adding it to a fragrance-free moisturizing lotion to give it a lovely and subtle rose fragrance.  I also applied the product to my dry cuticles; the Vitamin E in the base oil was very hydrating.

Decleor ~ Rose D’Orient Soothing Aroma Coffret Gift Set ~ This great travel-sized gift set comes in a beautiful reusable Coffret that includes the luxurious Aromessence Rose d’Orient Soothing Serum, Harmonie Calm Soothing Milky Cream and Rose d’ Orient Soothing Night Balm; a handy Journal to jot down your quick thoughts is also included; all of the products contained 100% natural ingredients.  The Soothing Serum includes essential oils of damask rose, Roman chamomile, neroli and petitgrain, and also contains sweet almond oil, black currant oil, bitter orange oil, and Vitamin E.  Ideally suited for sensitive skin, the Soothing Serum’s silky texture soothed, calmed and nourished my finicky skin, leaving my skin deeply hydrated.  The Soothing Milky Cream continues the healing, calming and nourishing properties with ingredients that include rose, Vitamin E, sweet almond oil, bitter orange oil, sunflower oil, black currant oil, neroli oil, damask rose essential oil, rose water, rose milk, cotton and lily milk, black current seed oil, white birch, microproteins and polyphenols.  Absorbed quickly without leaving any greasy residue and was very calming and soothing.  The Soothing Night Balm intensified the properties of healing, calming and soothing with ingredients that included damask rose, sweet almond oil, shea butter, black currant, bitter orange water, shea butter, marjoram oil, lavender oil, bitter orange oil, and chamomile.  The Soothing Balm, when warmed in my palms and applied in upward strokes, was quickly absorbed and left my skin hydrated without any irritation; it was also non-greasy and left no residue.

Ilā-Spa ~ Face Oil for Glowing Radiance ~ This product has a predominant rose aroma with a silky luxurious feel to it.  Ingredients include argan oil, rosehip seed oil, sandalwood, rose flower oil, and Vitamin E oil.  The product was absorbed quickly without leaving a greasy residue and was soothing and calming.  I preferred using it at night, although it worked well during the day. After using this product, my skin was brighter and healthier looking and felt deeply hydrated.  The majority of ingredients are certified organic.  Because it’s very rich, a little goes a long way.

Ilike Organic Skin Care* ~ Rose Petal Cleansing Milk, Rose Petal Toner and Rose Petal Whipped Moisturizer ~ All of the products were gentle and non-irritating.  Although the aroma of the Rose Petal was subtle in the Cleansing Milk and Moisturizer, it wasn’t as noticeable in the Toner.  The Cleansing Milk removed all traces of makeup and dirt easily, leaving no residue.  The Moisturizer was quickly absorbed and left no residue; products were gentle, calming and hydrating.

Jurlique* ~ Rosewater Balancing Mist and Skin Balancing Face Oil ~ Jurlique has had a strong commitment to skincare based on natural and organic plant-based ingredients for their products.  The Rosewater Balancing Mist was extremely gently and rehydrating and left my skin feeling refreshed.  The subtle aroma of rose was uplifting.  Ingredients include rose flower extract, rose essential oil, grapefruit seed extract, aloe vera and marshmallow extract.  The product was cooling and non-irritating and ideal after cleansing, but also wonderful as pick-me-up spritz throughout the day.  The Skin Balancing Face Oil delivered a depth of hydration that penetrated the skin quickly without leaving any tacky or greasy residue, while also being very gentle.  Ingredients include rose flower extract, rosehip oil, Evening Primrose oil, macadamia seed oil, marshmallow, avocado oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.

NYR Organic ~ Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture ~ Rose Daily Moisture is ideally suited for normal to dehydrated skins and has a medium-weight consistency, which was quickly absorbed, while replenishing and hydrating the skin without leaving any greasy residue; its aroma was lovely.  Ingredients include rose flower extract, rose flower oil, geranium oil, lemon peel, ylang ylang, marigold flower extract, sunflower seed oil and Vitamin E.  The product is vegan with a majority of ingredients being organic.  Gentle, calming and hydrating.

PINO Natural Spa Therapy* ~ Wild Rose Natural Spa Therapy Body Oil and Body Lotion ~ PINO Natural Spa Therapy first introduced its natural products to European spas in the early 1900s.  Products use only the purest forms of plant extracts and essential oils without any preservatives, synthetic or other toxic additives; products use organic ingredients that are environmentally friendly.  I’ve enjoyed the Wild Rose products because of their efficacy and aromatherapeutic properties.  The Body Oil reminded me of a fresh cut rose thanks to ingredients like rose fruit oil and rose flower extract; other ingredients included coconut and jojoba oils, sunflower seed oil and Vitamins A and E.  The Body Oil has a silky consistency that’s absorbed quickly without leaving any tacky or greasy residue; the product was effective on my body and my dry cuticles; gentle and rehydrating with a heady lingering aroma of healing and calming rose.  The Body Lotion also had a scrumptious rose aroma; ingredients included rose fruit oil and rose flower extract, plus coconut and jojoba oils, sunflower seed oil and Vitamins A and E, plus shea butter.   The Body Lotion also had a silky rich consistency and was absorbed quickly and didn’t leave any type of residue; it too was gentle, very rehydrating, soothing and restorative.

Shankara* ~ Sacred Essence Lotus-Rose Aromatherapy Oil ~ With the tradition of Ayurveda, Sacred Essence Lotus-Rose is formulated for all skin types (Tridosha) and is an exotic blend of rare sacred and pure essential oils that include the white rose (Egypt) and blue lotus (India); other ingredients include pure essential oils of jasmine, frangipani and sandalwood.  This exotic blend is to be placed on the pulse points and recommended for yoga or meditation.  I found the aroma to be very complex and strong; a small amount on the inside of my wrists was sufficient to transport me from the land of stress to the land of relaxation.

N.B. Companies designated with an asterisk (*) exhibited at the October 2012 Annual International SPA Association (ISPA) Conference.  For more information on ISPA, the spa industry’s pre-eminent organization, go to

~ My DIY Share ~

Buying a rosewater-specific skincare product, such as a toner, can be pricey.  Instead, consider buying culinary-grade rosewater, which is available at specialty stores, Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores, or in mass retail grocery chains that have an import section; the packaging may not be as upscale, but the ingredient is formidable.  For hundreds of years, women all over the world relied on this grade of rosewater for their personal care and culinary needs.  The culinary-grade is wonderful when chilled and sprayed on the face throughout the day for a quick pick-me-up.  It’s also great mixed with witch hazel; the gentle astringent property of the witch hazel in combination with the rosewater makes for a gentle finishing toner.  I use this mix especially during the summer or after a vigorous workout.  This is ideal for cooling down an over-heated face. 

~ Here’s to Celebrating ~

Lastly, don’t overlook your local spas, restaurants, or hotels for St. Valentine’s Day specials; this also includes resorts that are close proximity to your area.  It’s still not to late to book appointments or make reservations.  

And, don’t just wait for this day to show up on your calendar as a reminder about that someone special in your life. Make everyday special for them and not just this one-day a year.  Let your love know that you care and couldn’t live without them!

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


(Introductory photo credit, Everland Rose Garden from; all others as represented from the specific brand.)

Friday, February 1, 2013


 ~ this article is dedicated to my younger sister, Laurita ~

While the first month of the new year is history, I do find a new year to be energizing, because it’s a clean slate for new beginnings, new possibilities and new opportunities.  Change is also part of a new year.  Some of the changes I look forward to include experiencing more spa destinations to review, attending more industry conferences and expos, meeting new people, networking, gaining a better understanding of myself and others, learning from the previous year’s experiences, and testing more new and innovative products that simplify and enhance lifestyles.

In my first article of the new year, “The Labyrinth As Teacher”, I share my observations and lessons learned from journeying a labyrinth and how they apply to everyday situations.  In this edition, I share with you my recent experiences with new and innovative products that will simplify and enhance your lifestyle.  Enjoy!

~ For Home or On The Go ~

NYR Organic ~ Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR) began in 1981 in the UK with a simple philosophy that health and beauty could be best achieved naturally and without synthetics or additives.  NYR is now the leading natural and organic skincare company in the UK, Japan and Dubai, with expanding retail channels throughout the U.S.  With its simple yet enlightened philosophy, products must also exemplify it with products formulated with ingredients that are pure, natural, organic plant-based herbs, oils and extracts, and which are also non-toxic and cruelty-free; products must also be efficacious and benefit the whole person.  One of the line’s top sellers and customer favorites is their Rejuvenating Frankincense line, which firms, tones and nourishes.  Frankincense, a resin from the boswella tree (Lebanon), is prized for its cell regeneration and anti-inflammatory properties; it also minimizes scarring and heals sores and wounds.  I tried the NYR Frankincense Organic Face Collection, which included Hydrating Cream, Refining Cleanser and Toner; the kit also comes with an organic cotton muslin cloth.  Some of the Cleanser ingredients included frankincense oil and the following organic ingredients – coconut oil, cocoa butter, baobab oil, mandarin oil and bergamot oil.  The Cleanser’s consistency was rich and dense, and perfect for my winter-dry skin; very concentrated, so a small amount was all I needed; it rinsed off easily without leaving any residue and was gentle.  Some of the Toner ingredients included frankincense oil, organic mandarin oil, organic aloe vera and myrrh oil.  The Toner was was cooling and removed any miniscule traces of Cleanser, leaving it slightly hydrated and prepped for the Hydrating Cream.  Some of the Hydrating Cream ingredients included frankincense and myrrh and the following organic ingredients – almond oil, jojoba oil, marigold extract, apricot kernel oil, borage oil, carrot oil and aloe vera.  The Cream was rich and dense and again, very little was needed; it was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any tacky residue and added a wonder level of hydration to the skin. 

Ohm Universe* ~ One of the most effective ways for people to reduce their stress levels and ultimately relax is for them to get their mind off of the stress by focusing thought patterns and personal energy on something else.  This is also the premise of meditating.  Often, taking in deep breaths and focusing on the mechanics of breathing will reduce stress and lead an individual into a state of relaxation.  Ohm Universe has come up with an innovative hand held device, shaped like an egg, that vibrates and can be synchronized with one’s breathing patterns and is ideal for reducing stress, relaxation or meditation.  What I liked about the device is that it can be recharged from a computer or from a wall outlet.  The company also offers downloadable software for variable breath patterns; currently the software is only compatible for Windows-based computers; a Mac version, which is what I’d need, is being tested.  While holding the device, the individual concentrates on inhaling and exhaling in a measured and deliberate way.  Doing so diverts tension and stress onto the breathing pattern, while inducing relaxation and reducing stress.

Olivia Garden ~ Whether your hair is straight, short, medium or longer length, Olivia Garden’s Kerabrush collection will keep the tresses in peak form.  High performance bristles are based on Tourmaline Ion Technology that minimize friction, making it effortless to detangle.  Ionic bristles help hydrate the cuticle while eliminating any frizz, making hair more lustrous and easier to manage.  I especially liked the vented head with dual length bristles; longer ones on one side for medium to longer length tresses, and shorter ones on the other side for shorter tresses or bangs; tips are smooth and also help to stimulate the scalp.

Pevonia* ~ When Pevonia introduced its Lumafirm Repair Cream Lift & Glow, I tried the product and was amazed at the immediate visible results in improved texture to my skin; the product hydrated well while adding luminosity; this product definitely delivered the results represented.  Expanding this line is the Lumafirm Eye Contour – Lift & Glow, which I recently tried.  Once again, I was amazed at how well it hydrated, improved texture, while adding luminosity and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; it was also very gentle and didn’t cause any irritation, even when applied above the orbital bone.  Some of the high performance ingredients include marine collagen, sorghum extract, watermelon and apple fruit extracts, Vitamin E and Kombucha.

RazorBed ~ RazorBed is just what we need for extending the life of our razors.  People are often inattentive to the proper care of their personal care implement.  After use, many of us don’t bother to thoroughly rinse the razor head off and dry the blades, which dulls the blade head; or, we carelessly toss the razor into a cluttered drawer where rusting, chipping and nicking often results.  Dull, chipped or rusted blades not only won’t remove hair effectively, but the blades could also transfer accumulated bacteria onto the skin and cause infection.  Improper care or storage shortens the life of the implement. The innovative RazorBed is a sleek tight fitting case with an inside absorbent bed and pillow rest for the blade head that wicks away any moisture, while protecting the blade head and extending the life of the razor from anywhere between six to twelve months, depending on frequency of use.  The RazorBed works well with disposable or cartridge razor blades.

Skin Authority* ~ Skin Authority, the pre-eminent healthy skincare company, worked closely with Dole Nutritional Institute in developing a 100% vegan, whole food powder for a revolutionary product, VitaD Fortified Illuminating DUO.  This is the first-ever patented delivery system of products that aid in the daily consumption of Vitamin D, a vital nutrient many are deficient in. Vitamin D isn’t found in many food sources, and because of lifestyle, seasonal and geographical aspects, most people aren’t getting sufficient quantities of the vitamin; the nutrient is needed in order to optimize overall health.  These are also the first patented products to be categorized as “Nutritopical”, which synergistically optimize internal and external nutrition.  VitaD Fortified Illuminating DUO includes VitaD Fortified Topical Elixir and VitaD Fortified Whole Food Spice Powder.  The Topical Elixir includes Vitamins D2, D3, A, E and K, oligopeptides (for firming and brightening) and mushroom and comes in a single dose pump.  The Elixir’s consistency is silky and glides on effortlessly and was quickly absorbed.  It was non-greasy, left no tacky residue and dried quickly; the Elixir is based on Skin Authority’s patented Dry Finish Technology.  After the first few times using the product, my skin felt tighter; the texture was more even, pore size diminished and skin appeared brighter. I used the Elixir before applying moisturizer.  The Spice Powder is a 100% Vitamin D vegan plant-based whole food, Portobello mushroom.  The Powder comes in an easy to use container; one side is a shaker and the other a single measure.  The Powder mixes quickly when added to liquids or solids.  A teaspoon per day is recommended and provides for 600 IUs of Vitamin D, the suggested RDA.  The taste was very pleasant and earthy, which is how mushrooms should taste.  I enjoyed the product in omelets, on salads, in soups and casseroles.  It’s a very versatile item and a wonderful condiment to have on hand.

Sticky Be Socks ~ Unless you want to slip and slide during your fitness, pilates or yoga routines, you’ll want these comfy and safe Sticky Be Socks to wear; also great for at-home or anywhere there’s a slick floor surface.  The design completely covers the foot up to the ankle with a breathable and wicking bamboo cotton blend material; the bottom is covered with non-skid dots.  These are also socks with a purpose; several styles offered have individual affirmations written on the toe area and on the bottom of the foot area (also skid resistant), and come in different colors, depending on the affirmation.  I tried the Be Calm (Gray) design; other designs include Be Focused (Blue), Be Great (Turquoise), Be Happy (Pink), Be Positive (Green) and Be Strong (Black).  These socks make it safe to move on slick surfaces and are enjoyable to wear.

~ Continuing to Share and Inspire ~

Jane Iredale* ~ Jane Iredale defines mineral makeup, setting the standard for all who followed her innovative line.  She is Founder, President and CEO of jane iredale – THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP.  An industry icon, she is often called upon to be a keynote presenter at industry events.  Also respected for her business acumen and accomplishments, she was recently invited to speak before the prestigious group Berkshire Business and Professional Women (Berkshire BPW).  Since 1965, this group has been advancing workingwomen, from diverse fields, by offering professional and personal development through networking opportunities.  In her presentation, Ms. Iredale highlighted her personal challenges, which led to the creation of her own line of safe mineral makeup.  She also shared the challenges she had to overcome in creating a globally recognized brand embraced by the medical, esthetic, spa and consumer markets.  Her achievements clearly were inspirational to the women entrepreneurs present at the meeting.  A deep passion and commitment to her brand isn’t unique to success, but having those attributes exemplifies that achievement and success where her brand is concerned.  She continues to inspire!

N.B. Companies designated with an asterisk (*) were exhibitors at the 2012 International SPA Association Conference (ISPA).  For more information on ISPA, the spa industry’s pre-eminent organization, go to

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 credits from the specific brand.)