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.)

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