Thursday, March 29, 2012


If you haven’t already done so, make sure to read “At-Home Spa Spring Bouquet Part One”. In this article I focus on aspects of transitioning from winter into spring, while my product reviews also focus on their suitability for creating an at-home spa experience. In Part One, I also provide some “tips” on ways to achieve and create your own special space to spa at-home, as well as “tips” on seasonal change. And just as relevant as are Parts One and Two to these “themes”, another must-read is my “Spring Transitional Tips” which provides some additional how-to advice on how to maximize transitioning into this lovely new season. Lastly, be on the lookout for my detailed guide on “How To Spa At-Home”, which further provides how-to advice on ways to achieve the spa at-home experience without much effort or cost.

The excitement in using many of the products I’ve reviewed is that luxuries need not be that costly, making your at-home spa experience more of a reality. Given the protracted economic concerns we all have, frugality doesn’t have to mean deprivation. Enjoy my spring bouquet as you spa at home!


Aveda ~ Limited edition Aveda Spring/Summer 2012 Sea Blossoms Makeup Collection for face, eyes and lips, is perfect for welcoming the new season after winter’s end. The color palettes are reminiscent of a water-colored landscape and balmy sea breeze washing. The natural earth-gentle colors complement most skin tones with a delicate hint of the fresh new season’s best. Petal Essence Face Accents in Shimmer Shell, a trio of shell tones, adds a subtle hint of bronze, highlight and blush to the face; can be worn individually, or for a customized look, blend all three with the sweep of the handy applicator; adds a hint of fresh shimmer to the face. Petal Essence Eye Color Trio comes in two different color families; the Violet Coast pallet offers matte colors of subtle lavender, neutral gray and violet-petal purple; Sea Grass palette includes matte colors of muted sand, shell brown and sea green. Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Color comes in two beautiful plumping, super-hydrating and smoothing colors; Oyster Pink gives hint of natural color, and Star Coral gives a slightly intense subtle rose color; lastly, there’s Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Coral Sea, a peachy tone, and Beach Thistle, a violet pastel. Both products plumped and hydrated lips while leaving a hint of shine. Hydration properties of the Makeup Collection included jasmine, geranium and orchid emollient waxes and organic fruit oils, which gently moisturized delicate skin. The subtle colors were fade and crease-proof. My new spring/summer look was beautiful, fresh and healthy.

DermaQuest Skin Therapy ~ DermaQuest’s new K-Q10 Firming Cream, part of their Age Management targeted line, is rich and dense, so a little goes a long way. Some of the anti-age ingredients included Omega 3 and 6, matrixyl (a peptide) and Co-Enzyme Q10. The product was quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue. However, while I enjoyed how the product hydrated my skin and levels of hydration were maintained throughout the day, I didn’t like the aroma; fortunately, the aroma quickly dissipated once the product was applied.

Dr. Brandt ~ Dr. Brandt, a renowned physician and expert in the field of dermatology, is also an innovator of effective cosmeceuticals prized by celebrities and wannabes. Although I’ve never tried any of his products until now, I was impressed with their gentle effectiveness. I tried Lineless Cream with Age-Inhibitor Complex, Time Arrest Crème with Age Reversing Platinum Technology, and V-Zone Neck Cream with Age Reversing Platinum Technology. Overall: All three products were gentle, non-irritating, easy to apply, and were quickly absorbed without leaving any tacky or greasy residue. Hydration levels were also maintained throughout the day and accumulative effects were noticeable, especially skin’s firmness and elasticity. Product consistency: The Lineless Cream had a soufflé-like consistency and was tinted. I’m not a fan of any tinted moisturizers because the tints usually don’t complement my natural skin tone and often conflict with my makeup foundation or powder base. The Time Arrest and V-Zone products both had denser consistencies. Overall aroma: The Lineless Cream and Time Arrest had a subtle, pleasant lavender aroma from lavender oil, while the V-Zone’s predominant aroma was sour-from glycolic acid/aha. Key ingredients: The Lineless Cream and Time Arrest are based on the proprietary Age-Inhibitor Complex. Time Arrest and the V-Zone are additionally based on another proprietary complex, Age Reversing Platinum Technology. The website includes a very extensive listing of each product’s ingredients.

Jane Iredale ~ Just in time to welcome the new season is the iconic brand’s Feeling Alive Collection of fresh sun-influenced colors for face, eyes and lips. The beautiful collection includes Rose Dawn Bronzer, a color-quad of hues that go from cool pink to bronze tones, adding just the right amount of color to an all-over face highlighter wash, or use colors individually to create a customized face glow; colors are also suitable to color eyes; won’t irritate. Eye Gloss in Pink Silk and Aqua Silk; these liquid colors can be worn alone or combined to make a personal and dramatic seasonal statement. Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Rio and L.A.; Rio gives a lovely rosy-brown hint of color and L.A., imparts a lovely hint of pink; ingredients that drenched my lips with moisture include avocado oil, jojoba oil, lemon and tangerine oil, green tea, grapeseed, vitamins A and E, and shea butter. Lip Definer pencil in Pink gives just the right amount of color outline to lips before the Lip Plumper fill, or can be used as an all-over lip color; the non-drying formula and easy glide is due to ingredients like jojoba oil, mango seed oil, meadowfoam oil, macadamia oil, shea butter, and vitamins A and E. Each product’s colors remained throughout the day without drying, fading or creasing. The colors were beautiful, and enhanced my fair skin tone with a lovely healthy glow.

Jergens ~ Whenever I see this iconic brand name, which has been a mainstay for women since 1901, I think of my mother and aunts who used the delicious smelling Original Scent Dry Skin Moisturizer (cherry-almond) to soften their skin; the product is still available. Over the years, this brand has introduced many new products to cater to the needs of people all over the world with different skincare needs and who wanted effective products at reasonable prices. One of their newer varieties is their Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer, which is formulated with hydrating and healing ingredients that include glycerin, and a vitamin “cocktail” of C, E and B5. I enjoyed using the product; it was quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue; it also soothed a few of my irritated and patchy dry areas; and, its subtle aroma was pleasant and fresh. My winter-dry skin was left hydrated and supple throughout the day.

Thymes ~ A favorite brand for all-things body and home and one of my favorite lines, offers an impressive array of seasonal and timeless favorites. Just in time for spring, I tried a few of their seasonal must-haves, including their Azur Body Lotion, Eucalyptus Hand Wash and Hand Lotion Sink Set, and Lavender Aromatic Candle. Keeping with the theme of spring’s green freshness, these delicate aromas aptly depict the scents of the season. The Thymes website categorizes its product collections by fragrance profiles; the profiles include citrus, green, floral, aromatic, oriental, gourmand and woody; each category is broken down to reflect the dominant and sub-family fragrance notes, making it easier to zero-in on fragrance preferences. The products I tried are appropriate for this new season. The Body Lotion was deeply hydrating; hydration levels remained throughout the day; healing and hydrating ingredients include shea butter, Evening Primrose oil, vitamins A and E, sea kelp and other marine extracts and minerals, and glycerin; it’s aroma is uplifting, fresh and green. The Eucalyptus Sink Set was wonderful to use in my kitchen; the Hand Wash wasn’t drying and left skin feeling smooth; the Hand Lotion was exceptional; ingredients include shea butter, eucalyptus leaf oil, lemon peel oil, lime oil, tangerine leaf oil, aloe, honey, and vitamins A and E; product quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue; hydration levels were maintained throughout the day; subtle aroma was uplifting, fresh and green; includes a stainless steel caddy and is ideal in the kitchen or lavatory. The Lavender Candle burned clean; its lovely aroma of lavender, rosewood, clary sage and violet leaf defined the freshness of the new season.


Got Sun ~ Get Spa…head to the renowned Bliss Spa at award-winning W Fort Lauderdale (FL) for al fresco de-stressing poolside…a special spa menu of therapies that include massages, scrubs, facials and nail care perfect for the busy multi-tasker who hurriedly left home for the sun and oops, forgot getting spa tweaked…some of the witty indulgences include ~ head over heels in ‘scrub’, not so ‘up-tight’, the cold shoulder, ‘sun’-believably younger, ‘saving’ face, poolside paint job and the ‘sole’ shebang…it’s all there, sun, spa and fun…

Any Space ~ Any Gym…fitness guru Melissa Paris offers realistic workouts that can be finessed into anyone’s schedule, regardless of their locale…a certified personal trainer, she’s the go-to-guru for inspiration and realistic workouts for those of all fitness levels...her website is a comprehensive resource for beginners and the advanced…downloadable fitness routines are also included…

Eat By Color ~ Optimize HealthSheraton Hotels & Resorts has launched its Color Your Plate, which expands upon the brand’s innovative approach to guest fitness…in 2007, Sheraton partnered with Core Performance in offering guests a comprehensive fitness and nutrition options for guests...the Sheraton Fitness, Programmed by Core Performance has been very successful...this new program will feature 500 calorie or less dining options of well-balanced vibrant colored food choices…http://www/

Experience the SeasonFour Seasons Hotel Chicago has announced their new Spa Menu…included is a Seasonal Pedicure, complete with Mint Julep and a keepsake pair of Havaianas flip-flops, and the launch of a Resculpturing Facial featuring popular Circ-Cell Skin Care…also added are the Vintage Bourbon Massage and the Men’s Bourbon Retreat, a hand and foot therapy…the bourbon-based treatments include a taste of a signature single-barrel bourbon in the hotel’s trendy Allium Bar

Global Spa Minds CongregateThe Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) convenes for their annual prestigious meeting of the minds event June 3-6 at the Aspen Institute…the GSWS attracts the movers, shakers and thinkers in the industry…global delegates meet once a year to delve into the latest research, trends, while strategizing on the imaginative and innovative that will continue to define and refine all that is spa…

Midwest Spa Minds CongregateFace & Body Spa Conference & Expo Midwest held it’s annual event this past March 3-5 at Chicago’s McCormick Place West…the show was co-located with America’s Beauty Show (ABS)…I attended both shows…the Face & Body Expo was a much larger show than last year’s, including more exhibitors and attendees…according to show organizers, Allured Business Media, attendance for the Expo had an increase of 73% in attendance…there were eighty-three exhibitors presenting the industry’s best in product, equipment and services…attendees at both events were able to attend each others event…the ABS event was all hair and nail…ABS was loud and very high energy and entering the Expo confines was a Zen-like experience…serene and quiet…I’m looking forward to next year’s Expo and taking in the best the spa industry has to offer in skin and body care, beauty, equipment and technology…next year’s event is March 9-11, 2013…

Lastly, be sure to visit each product website and checkout the full range of their product line. Many of these websites also include how-to videos, tips, trends and related. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, most of these brands and properties also have individual pages for you to follow. Enjoy welcoming in the new season as you dabble in the products, colors, and trends, and read about about the latest industry happenings.

That’s it for this edition. Until the next one, enjoy the transitions of the seasons, and remember to take care of 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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand. Introductory photo from the Morton Arboretum website; “a garden path with respite bench”; Lisle, IL.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The clocks have already advanced one hour in the annual “let’s lose another hour of sleep to gain an hour of sunlight”, while awakening the giant inside as we rejoice and anticipate beautiful balmy breezes, new growth popping up from subterranean earth, while welcoming the return of the sweet chatter and cacophony of birds and watching playful squirrels and ground hugging critters reclaim their territories.

Spring is officially here. Many parts of the U.S. are experiencing unseasonal summer-like temperatures more fitting for July and August, instead of mid-March. In my area, for example, we’ve had a string of mid to upper eighties, which are some twenty to twenty-five degrees above average, rewriting the record books. Folks are donning their shorts, sunning, gaming, running and taking in the welcome change from a rather skittish and erratic winter. All of nature has similarly embraced the return of very warm temperatures, forcing blooms on bushes and trees of all kinds to paint the earth’s canvas with floral pastels and lush greenery; birds sing joyfully adding to the movement of the season.

That being said, what the clime has done to our psyches is nothing compared to the impact it’s had on our skin. It’s season-ravaged, dried, and dull. Add to this that all of our senses long to be renewed as well, so we pullback and regroup, while strategizing our approach to transitioning from winter into spring, and invariably into summer. Following are some helpful tips I’ve developed that will help you transition from winter, into spring and summer. Many of these tips are intuitive and already aware of, but it never hurts to have a gentle reminder or nudge.

As seasons change and transition from one to another, these changes impact virtually every aspect of our lives. We need to be mindful of the need to change and adapt as well. Consider the following as you transition from winter to spring:

· Change your skin care and body care regimen and products. Go with lighter formulations. With more humidity in the air, you might be able to forgo using a serum or booster, plus heavier-weight moisturizers, and just go with a medium-weight moisturizer. Consider exfoliating less and reducing the intensity of your cleansing regimen. If the change is too drastic, your skin will react; so, pay attention to what your skin might be telling you to do or not to do.

· Consider using chilled face toners or an essential oil-based spritzer to refresh the face and neck areas throughout the day, especially as temperatures heat up and humidity increases.

· Change the intensity of your fragrance. Go with lighter formulations, such as florals or greens, versus woods, ambers, musk, etc. Remember, as temperatures warm up and humidity levels increase, so too will your body heat, intensifying the fragrance, which could make it too cloying.

· Continue using products with a sunscreen/SPF rating to protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays. If uncertain, consider consulting a dermatologist.

· Both the weight of clothing fabric and color palettes should changeover from weightier fabric materials with darker colors, to lighter-weight fabrics (e.g. cotton, silk, natural fiber blends, etc.) that are more neutral or pastel; lighter weight fabrics and colors also keep the skin cooler, naturally.

· When in doubt, look to nature for cues on what to do. For example, during the day when the sun’s rays are their strongest, most birds and other creatures have the good sense to seek shade and avoid rigorous activity. Take a cue from them, slow down and stay cooler. Animals also begin shedding their winter “coats” to prepare for the warmer temperatures.

· What may have worked during the fall and winter, might not necessarily work in the spring and the lead-up to summer.

· Lighten up on the types of foods you consume and continue drinking plenty of water to maintain a healthy digestive and circulatory system.

· Don’t forget to open those windows and let the balmy breezes and fresher air envelope you.

· Enjoy the rebirth of all-things nature and celebrate all of its changes.

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 by Joseph D. Herman)


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In the Northern Hemisphere, meteorological spring began March 1, but for the rest of us, spring won’t arrive until the spring equinox March 20th. Although winter may seem like a whimper at that time, it can still spew its last gasp of inclement weather and prolong the agony for many that long for warmer and balmier longer days of sunshine. But, fear not…as I finish writing this article today, the weather is glorious…it’s sunny and seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit…serenading birds voice their approval with the sweet songs of the season in gratitude for the gift of nature.

I’m one of those individuals who delights in seasonal transitions, especially going from the cold of winter to the promised warmth of spring. I love transitioning from winter to spring because it signals a time for new growth, renewal, rebirth and recommitment.

In this edition are my takes on products that I feel transition nicely from winter into spring and even spring into summer. The product mix combines some well-established brands and newcomers to the retail market, including product launches of iconic spa, apothecary and luxury brands that are expanding their market outreach both online and in traditional brick and mortar stores.

Many of these products can be adapted for an at-home spa experience. Even if you’ve not had a chance to experience a spa, regardless of the reasons, enough is available online where you can do research and try to adapt what goes on at a spa and then transition the information into an at-home spa experience. And while not wanting to splurge on a spa experience may have been one of the reasons for not being able to go to a spa, the products I’ve reviewed in this article transition nicely to an at-home spa experience. Many of the products reviewed are also available at discount retailers like Target and Walgreens, making them affordable necessities that are at-home spa indulgences.


· Focus on how different sensory experiences affect your stress levels.

· Take measures to reduce these, or even eliminate them wherever possible; these can include artificial lighting, extraneous noise, offensive odors, etc.

· Find some time for yourself when you’re not stressed, rushed or interrupted, even if that means scheduling appointment times for these set asides.

· Indulge in some me-time that is yours and yours alone, while utilizing products that are functional and luxurious.

· Investing in self is not an extravagance, but rather a necessity, and can optimize how you go about your daily regimen and accomplish your goals and defined responsibilities.


· Adapt fragrance to conform to seasonal change.

o Spring to summer ~ wear airier, cooler and more subtler scents when temperatures begin to warm up. Notes that are white floral, citrus, herbal, or green work best.

o Fall to winter ~ wear scents that are more intense and warming when temperatures begin to cool down. Notes that are peppery, musky, amber, sandalwood, or spicy work best.

· Adapt the weight of fabric, color of fabric, even the types of food and drink consumed to conform to seasonal change.

The excitement in using many of these products is that luxury is now affordable, making your at-home spa experience more of a reality, and given the protracted economic difficulties, frugality doesn’t have to mean deprivation. Enjoy my spring bouquet as you spa at home!


Boots ~ In 1849, Boots began as an herbal medicine shop in Nottingham, England. The Boots brand will be launching March 15, 2012 at select Target stores throughout the U.S., and will also be available at and; Target stores will also have trained beauty advisors to assist patrons on which products will work best for specific skincare related needs. The range of products will include beauty, skincare, bath and body. I tried a few of the products in the Botanics range; this range was created in conjunction with the Royal Botanical Garden (Kew, London). The products included Organic Face Rosewater Toner, Organic Bathing Cleansing Body Wash and Organic Body Nourishing Body Oil. One of my favorite aromas is Damask Rose and the Toner is formulated with this certified organic oil; I find its aroma to be calming and aromatherapeutic; the Toner was gentle and didn’t strip away any of my natural oils, leaving my skin hydrated and refreshed. The Body Wash cleansed without drying; although the product is formulated with certified organic oils of rose, rose geranium and bergamot oils, I would’ve preferred a more pronounced aroma of these exceptional oils; they were a bit weak for my preferences and the less appealing aromas of the cleansing ingredients were predominant. Lastly, the Body Oil was very hydrating and had a lovely aroma to it. The base of certified organic jojoba oil, plus certified organic oils of rose, rose geranium and bergamot made this an enjoyable product that was quickly absorbed without leaving any tacky or greasy residue.

Champneys ~ The name Champneys dates back to 1307 when Ralph de Champneys owned the Tring Mansion, which would later be opened as a health farm in 1925 by renowned naturopath and holistic pioneer Stanley Lief. In 1970, founder Dorothy Purdew opened her first “slimming” club and continued refining the vision of health and well-being, and opened the first destination health spa in 1981 at Henlow; there are four such destination health spas. Bridging therapeutic spa treatments with its products, the Champneys Spa Collection was launched in 2004. Today, the collection represents a full array of skincare, bath and body products that are also used in the day-to-day spa treatments. Champneys products will be launching March 15, 2012 in Target stores; they’re also available at or; Target stores will also have trained beauty advisers to guide customers in selecting the right mix of products to benefit their specific personal care needs. All of these products make bringing the spa experience into one’s home more of a reality than every before. Products tried included the Spa Indulgence Mediterranean Bliss Shower Cream, Bubble Heaven, Body Glow, Body Hydrator, and Shimmering Body Oil. All of these products worked exceptionally well with key performance properties that included gentle exfoliation from the Body Glow without stripping or irritating skin, while subtly hydrating; key ingredients include pulverized olive stone particles, salt, sugar, olive oil, shea butter and coconut oil; gentle cleansing and hydration from the Shower Cream and Bubble Heaven (which I used as a cleansing gel since I don’t have a tub); key ingredients include olive leaf, fig milk, green tomato and mango butter (Shower Cream), and olive leaf, fig milk and green tomato (Bubble Heaven); and deep penetrating hydration from the Hydrator and Body Oil, which quickly absorbed without leaving any tacky or greasy residue; key ingredients include olive leaf and fig milk (Hydrator) and rice bran oil, sesame seed oil and jojoba oil (Body Oil). The aromas were lovely, light, fresh and green. I also tried the Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Body Glow and Exotic Retreat Body Glow. Performance properties for both products, as previously stated; Oriental Opulence aroma properties included ylang, ylang, sandalwood and patchouli; Exotic Retreat aroma properties included mango and coconut. Ingredient properties included olive leaf, which stimulates health of the connective tissue and is rich in antioxidants; fig milk restores skin health; and, green tomato supports the skin and blood circulation and also contains the antioxidant lycopene.

Crabtree & Evelyn ~ Leave it to this iconic brand of skincare, bath and body that marries nature, science, luxury, and tradition introduced yet another line of must-have products just in time to transition from winter into spring. Their new Avocado, Olive & Basil Body and Hand Care Collection is gentle, healing and hydrating with the fresh, bright aromas of spring and revered performance ingredients that cultures have used for hundreds of years. The products I tried included the new Revitalising Bath & Shower Gel, Skin Nourishing Body Butter and Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy. The main performance ingredients in this new line include avocado oil and olive oil, which have long been prized for their healing and hydrating properties, while basil has been prized for its aromatic, antiseptic and healing properties. Ironically, all three ingredients also play a major global role in culinary preparations. These three ingredients are the stunning properties for each of the products I tried, while shea butter was also a primary ingredient in the Hand Therapy. The hydration of each product was excellent; products quickly absorbed without leaving any tacky or greasy residue; hydration levels were maintained for hours. The Shower Gel thoroughly cleansed while leaving skin hydrated. These new products are a wonderful addition to this brand.

Kate Somerville ~ One of the leading edge cosmeceutical brands has expanded their impressive line to include an array of new and highly effective therapeutic skincare. The new products I tried included KATECEUTICALS Moisture Milk Cleanser, Daily Deflector Moisturizer (available April 2012), and DermalQuench Liquid Lift. In my November 7, 2011 article, I reviewed my first-ever Kate Somerville products; although skeptical, after trying them, I was impressed with the effectiveness and gentleness of them. My skepticism had to do with my I tend not “liking” cosmeceuticals because of their harsh formulations, given my sensitive skin and based on my trials of other “cosmeceuticals”. Those initial Kate Somerville changed my skepticism and made a believer out of me. The newest products I tried were also impressive. I loved the thorough and gentle cleansing properties in the Milk Cleanser; it was very gentle and left my skin feeling hydrated; its subtle aroma was lovely. I also enjoyed trying the Deflector Moisturizer; its creamy, whipped texture was quickly absorbed and didn’t leave any tacky or greasy residue; hydration levels were maintained throughout the day; has an SPF 20. I also enjoyed the subtle aroma of each product. For me, the real star of these new products was the DermalQuench Liquid Lift. Late last year, I experienced the in-demand therapeutic Kate Somerville DermalQuench Oxygen Facial; this therapeutic treatment is offered only at Kate Somerville Clinics and Trump Spas (I had my treatment at the Chicago Trump Spa). The ninety-minute treatment plumped and renewed the appearance of my skin; fine lines and wrinkles were diminished and my skin tone was refined and luminous. The new DermalQuench Liquid Lift product replicates many of the same properties of the in-spa treatment, including infusing oxygen into the skin from the products delivery system; the product is very convenient for home-use and a definite must-have for in-between visits to the spa. After using the product once, I noticed visible results to my skin; my skin appeared refreshed and healthy-looking; skin appeared lifted and plumped; fine lines and wrinkles were diminished and the overall texture, refined; hydration levels maintained throughout the day. High tech properties include the combination of an oxygen delivery system, hyaluronic acid and botanical extract (nasturtium/trapaeolum majus) and vitamins A, C and E. It was truly amazing! Another new addition to the line is the Somerville 360° Face Self-Tanning Pads, a companion product to their popular array of Body & Sun products. Products are exclusively available at Neiman-Marcus stores, online or at Kate Somerville online.

Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul Lifestyle Guest Collection ~ Waldorf Astoria Hotels, the definitive luxury hotel brand, and Salvatore Ferragamo, the definitive luxury fashion icon, have paired together to offer the definitive luxury brand guest room amenities. The range of products in this luxury line was impressive and exceeded what typically is stocked in guest rooms by the majority of most hotels and resorts stock in their guests rooms. I tried the Face and Body Soaps, Body Lotion, Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Hand Cream, Lip Balm, and Eye Cream; also included in this impressive line, but not tried, were the Face Cream and Toner. The aromatic notes of each product included Tuscan lemon, tomato leaf, lavender, green Tuscan olives, Florentine orris and fig; the aromas were calming, fresh and uplifting. I wasn’t able to identify through my research the ingredients used for the moisturizing properties, but whatever they are, they’re wonderfully hydrating. None of the cleansing products were drying; the moisturizing products absorbed quickly and left no tacky or greasy residue; levels of hydration remained throughout the day; the Eye Cream was very gentle, non-irritating and left the delicate tissue under the eye hydrated, while diminishing fine lines. If you want to try these Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan-inspired products, you’ll need to stay at one of the fabulous Waldorf Astoria Hotels to experience them; Gift Stores at the properties may also carry the full-sized versions for purchase. Neiman-Marcus specialty stores also offer this line.

Shea Moisture ~ This is a favorite brand among ethnics and has a formidable history dating back to 1912. The foundation of this popular line is that it uses Fair Trade shea butter, renowned for its beneficial hydrating properties. I tried the Hibiscus Body Wash; after rinsing it off, my skin was noticeably smooth and hydrated; the hydration remained throughout the day; ingredients included shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, vitamin B-5, Songyni mushroom, hibiscus, honeysuckle and papaya. The Black Soap is recommended for those experiencing skin conditions that may include acneic, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, etc.; this therapeutic soap includes calming ingredients like shea butter, tar, plantain peel, palm ash and tamarind. Both products had sweet aromas, which for me were over-powering.

Suki Skincare ~

Known for its gentle and effective organic skincare products, I enjoyed trying the Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Concentrated Nourishing Toner and Eye Lift Cellular Renewal Cream. The Foaming Cleanser was very concentrated, requiring very little product to work up a lather before applying to the skin; sugar an rice powder were the primary exfoliating agents, leaving the skin feeling polished and thoroughly cleansed; other ingredients included lime, lemongrass, calendula, lavender, orange and seaweed; I loved the product’s overall aroma; it was fresh and uplifting. The Toner was slightly strong for my sensitive skin and had a medicinal aroma, although the first ingredient was Damask rose, which I love; other ingredients included denatured alcohol (lavender and cane alcohol), green tea, aloe, shitake mushroom, calendula, lime, and chamomile. The Eye Cream was hydrating and levels remained throughout the day; it was quickly absorbed and non-irritating; ingredients included jojoba, shea butter, rose, hibiscus, and lavender; the aroma was subtle and lovely.

I hope you’ll try some of these wonderful products and adapt them to your own at-home spa concept. My next edition will continue this edition’s overall themes. In Part II, I’ll be sharing with you some additional takes on spring transitional products ideally suited for your at-home spa experience.

That’s it for this edition…until the next one…enjoy the transitions of the seasons and remember to take care of 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


(Photo credit, “Spring Colors" near the Thornhill Education Center, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL by

Friday, March 2, 2012



I grew up in a blue-collar family; we were poor; my dad was out of work quite a bit and mom stayed at home raising seven of us. We learned at a very young age to make do, go without, and not ask for anything we knew was never going to happen. Our circumstances forced us to recycle, re-purpose and re-use…long before it was the green thing to do. It was how we survived. Back in those days, there weren’t any government agencies to help the poor, or food stamps, or food pantries. Poor people coped, remained stoic, and never spoke about being poor. As long as our clothes were clean and pressed, and we were bathed and well behaved, that’s all that mattered; that’s how we fit in with the “haves”.

Fast forward. Like so many and given these difficult economic times, I’m struggling to make it. I’m almost grateful for having been born into a poor family, because the early lessons I learned from those experiences have proven invaluable in getting through each day and coping. Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way and have reflected while coping. My experiences are lessons that have also enabled me to maintain hope and faith that things will eventually improve. And whether or not you draw a correlation between these experiences and one's well-being, how one copes does in fact impact one's state of wellness.

1. You’re better off than you think, since most in the world have far less than you’ve ever had.

Try taking stock of what you have ~ whether that’s in material possessions, food, money, education, creative talents, or personal qualities; doing so can be uplifting and good medicine for being “down”.

2. Make do with what you have. If your wardrobe is looking a bit old and tired, you don’t really need to buy the latest “fashions.” Update your outfits by changing around the pieces or how you accessorize them. If need be, go to a secondhand store; there’s no shame in doing that and you’ll save some money.

3. If you need to go to a food pantry, go; pride is the enemy of hunger. Consider organizing a neighborhood food drive and collect food staples and donating them to a food pantry.

4. Consider giving back to your community by volunteering your time at an agency, hospital, senior home, etc. Helping others is another way to uplift oneself from being “down”.

5. Always live within your own means and not those of others. Never over extend your debt or create new debt for yourself unless you know you’ll be able to pay it off. Unless something is a matter of life or death, chances are you don’t need it, so move on and away from the urge to splurge.

6. If you really need money and have limited liquid resources, consider selling some of your possessions, even if you have to sell them at a considerable loss of their value.

7. Admit it when you’re experiencing problems that seem to be overwhelming you. Be honest, even if it hurts. Don’t suffer in silence. Seek help from a family member, or friend, or go to a local social agency, free clinic, house of worship, etc. Pride can compromise your health.

8. Enjoy the simpler things in life…nature, laughter, happiness, your five senses and relatively good health. Consider re-reading a favorite book. Take a leisurely bath. Go for long walks.

9. Be spiritual and grateful for what you do have and thank whatever deity you believe in for the blessings you enjoy. Ask for courage and strength to cope and move forward. Be mindful that even a challenge can be a blessing, since it may create for you an opportunity to become a stronger, more humble person, and rise above a challenge.

10. You’re not the only one suffering, so don’t allow yourself the indulgence of feeling sorry or having regrets. Only worry about those things you can directly change or influence. Appreciate who you are, where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you hope to be. Smile!

Coping varies from person to person, and while these tips may not totally resolve the difficulties one might be experiencing, maintaining hope and faith are critical to coping. Hope and faith are also important to the will to survive.

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