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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

30%-Off Special!

Hello Friends!  I apologize for the lack of posting recently, I have been all-consumed with planning my non-profit's Launch Party which is happening in LA this Saturday, October 27th.  Hang tight, and I promise to return next week with all kinds of useful skin care information and DIY facial recipes!

To make up for my disappearing act, I am offering 30%-off of all products at the SkIndulgence Store now through Sunday, October 28th at midnight!  To redeem this discount, simply enter the code SSCSPL30PER at checkout.  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Non-Profit's Launch Party!

Hey guys, guess what?  My non-profit, Build.Create.Kenya is hosting a Launch Party on October 27th!  It is going to be so much fun, so you all have to be there!  Here are the deets:

Join us on October 27th to celebrate the official launch of the arts and music based non profit, BCK!


We are going to have amazing musical acts, great Kenyan artists doing live art and will be raising money for the arts/music programs of East Africa.


The event is FREE to attend, and all ages are welcome! For more info and to RSVP click here. See you there!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Four Years Ago Today...

Four years ago today I met my [now] fiance walking down the street in Hollywood.  Our relationship has truly taught me the meaning of the word "partner"; and I am so happy he's mine in all that we do: not only our relationship, but in our work in Kenya.  Read all of the mushy details on our non-profit's blog, Build.Create.Kenya.  To celebrate the anniversary of the most important day of my life, I thought I'd get all publicly mushy with a slideshow:

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Thank you for four amazing years, mpenzi wangu, and here's to many, many more together!

Honey-Onion Cold Cure

Cold season is officially upon least in my house!  To celebrate, here is a very simple and natural syrup from Rosemary Gladstar to chase those cold bugs away.

To make the syrup: Slice two to four large onions into think half moons and place the slices in a deep pan. Just barely cover the onion slices with honey. Warm the onions and honey over very low heat, until the onions become soft and somewhat mushy and the honey tastes strongly of onions. You can add chopped garlic, if you want, for an even stronger syrup: stronger medicinally and stronger tasting!  Strain and store in a jar.

To use: It's actually quite tasty. To help fight off a cold, at the first onset of symptoms, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon every hour or two.  If you already are suffering from a cold, take 1 teaspoon three or four times daily to speed your recovery.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Basic Bath Tips

Perfection =  huge bathtub and trees!

Herbal baths are detoxifying and aromatic and intensely relaxing, both spiritually and physically.  The ceremony of bathing in herbs has become a daily rite in many cultures, a return to the source for the body and spirit.

The herb or combination of herbs used in the bath depends on the effect that is sought: to soothe the skin, promote sleep, stimulate circulation, relieve muscle aches and pains, or merely to enjoy the aromatic experience.  The concept, however, remains the same: imagine that you're relaxing in a giant cup of herb tea.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your herbal bath:
  • The best time to bathe is when the stomach is empty.
  • Salt added to bath water will help alleviate some of the light-headedness that some experience as a result of bathing in hot water.
  • Morning baths should be tonic.  Their primary purpose is to relieve physical fatigue, stimulate the body and eliminate toxins. An ideal temperature for a morning bath is around 96.8 degrees F (36 degrees C).
  • Evening baths are meant to be relaxing, to relieve stress and to prepare the body for sleep. An ideal temperature for an evening bath ranges between 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C) and 102 degrees F (39 degrees C).
  • A muscle- or joint-soothing bath after an intense physical exertion or a very stressful day generally ranges between 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) and 107 degrees F (42 degrees C).
  • Remember always to replenish body fluids by drinking plenty of water or herbal tea after a bath.
  • After bathing, apply moisturizer while the skin is still warm and moist.

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Aid Balm

Recently my friend Kenny was in a bad bike accident; he walked away with minor injuries but some pretty serious road rash across his face.  As soon as I heard the news, I put together an herbal remedy "get well soon" basket including SkIndulgence First Aid Balm.  A few days later Kenny called me up to say that the balm had worked wonders for his facial cuts: after using it, the swelling and redness had gone down considerably, the cuts were healing quickly, and the pain had greatly subsided.

This first aid balm is an all natural, thick, spreadable balm that can be applied to cuts, scrapes and bruises for quick healing with minimal scaring. It contains calming herbs so the healing effect is not just skin deep. The key ingredients that make this balm work so effectively include:
  • Candelelia wax that locks in moisture and keeps out dirt and impurities;
  • Calendula flowers to promote healing and protects against scarring;
  • Lavender & Chamomile flowers to soothe and calm the skin; and
  • Comfrey leaf to heal and provide pain relief.
This first aid balm is a must for every household, and for the next week you can save 20% on a 2-oz tin through the SkIndulgence store.

Friday, October 5, 2012

WINNER! Ultimate Relaxation Giveaway

Ultimate Relaxation Bath Set
We are so excited to announce that Chrystal is the winner of our first giveaway!  Congratulations, Chrystal, you've won the Relaxation Bath Set!  Please email us at telling us where to ship your prize, and we'll get it right out to you.  Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who entered!  If you haven't done so already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, where we just love to do random, quick giveaways and discounts!

Nighttime Almond & Honey Hand & Foot Paste

Earlier this week we were asked what the best remedy for dry, cracked hands and feet.  This remedy is ideal for soothing hard-working hands and feet by gently exfoliating old, dead skin and nourishing the new cells.  It will leave your hands and feet incredibly smooth.  Best of all, all of these ingredients are available at your nearest grocery store.

1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup dry oatmeal
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey

Process nuts in a blender until coarsely ground.  In a bowl, combine oatmeal, coconut oil, honey and ground nuts.  Rub into hands and feet and cover with cotton gloves and socks.  Leave overnight.  The next morning, remove gloves and socks and rinse hands and feet in cool water.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Faeries in the Garden

Snapped this while on one of my walks; spiders are my heroes!

In one of the 40-million herbal books I have on my shelf, I read:

How do you know when you've encountered the fairies? Well, you'll have to tune into your senses and see what they tell you.  There are always signs. A few examples would be: a nearby plant quivers for no reason while you work in the herb garden; you can't shake the sensation that something is walking through your hair, but there really isn't anything there at all; you feel yourself walk through spiderwebs in an open area; and most importantly, you are absolutely convinced that you are not alone while working with your herbs and flowers.

It is my nightly ritual to go on a walk through my Los Angeles neighborhood.  Despite the energy from a dense population all around me, I find I am able to focus and brainstorm like nowhere else.  Without fail, every night, even in the most open of streets, I will feel no less than a handful of spiderwebs fall across my face. Ever since reading this passage several years ago in Lewellyn's 2006 Herbal Almanac I can't help but playfully wonder if those webs aren't webs at all but faeries saying "hello"...but they are probably just Black Widows :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vitalizing Rosemary & Apple Cider Rinse

This after-shampoo rinse will remove all soapy residue from hair and leave it exceptionally shiny.  Rosemary is often used in hair tonics and rinses as it stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth.

2 springs fresh rosemary
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups warm water

Chop rosemary and place it in a jar.  Fill jar with apple cider vinegar and store in a cool dark place for 1 week, shaking jar vigorously once a day to disperse the rosemary. After 1 week, strain liquid, compost rosemary and return liquid to jar. When ready to use, dilute 1/3 cup of liquid in 3 cups of warm water and rub into freshly shampooed, damp hair and scalp. Avoid getting any mixture into your eyes. Rinse thoroughly and dry hair as usual.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Facial Steams

SkIndulgence Facial Steam for Normal to Dry Skin
A few weeks ago I shared with you my daily skin care "regime".  The facial steam is something I throw into the mix every other week or so.  It only takes 10 minutes and is an oh-so-necessity for your skin!

A facial steam is the best possible way for deep pore cleansing, and each of the herbs used is rich in nutrients that nourish and tone the skin. The aromatic oils of the plants are released by the heat and are absorbed by the skin. And best of all, it feels so good!

To perform a facial steam, bring a quart of water to a boil in a pot. Toss in one of our facial steam tea bags, cover, and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat and place it on a heatproof surface at a level that will enable you to comfortably sit and place your face over the pot. Leaning over the pot, drape a large, thick towel over your head and the pot, capturing the steaming herb water. It will get very hot under the towel. To regulate the heat, raise or lower your head or lift a corner of the towel to let in a little cool air. Steam for 5 to 8 minutes.

Immediately after you complete your facial steam, rinse your face with cold water and gently pat with toner. Your face will feel smooth and will glow with radiance.

SkIndulgence offers two different facial steam combinations: one for normal to dry skin and one for normal to oily and acne prone skin.  The difference between the two combinations is that one is designed with herbs that are primarily soothing and moisturizing while the other contains more astringent properties.  Find these steams at the SkIndulgence store by clicking here.

Not sure what type of skin you have?  Leave a comment below telling us a bit about your skin and we'll help you out!