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Soak It In

1 Jun
Bath fantasies: I have a lot of them. Most involve me, a novel, pillowy poofs of bubbles, and a flute of champagne. The more interesting ones feature chocolate-covered strawberries, candle pillars, and that French guy from the Sex and the City movie.
 
These fantasies have never come to fruition, and not just because the French beaut has been busy on Dancing with the Stars and Brothers & Sisters (besides, he’s really more famous for showering…). The real problem: I simply cannot get over that icky feeling of my bare bum on the tub floor. No matter how clean the porcelain, it feels slimy against my skin. And then there’s the yuck-factor induced by stewing in water contaminated by dirt and dead skin cells. Surely I’ve whetted your appetite for a lovely bath?
 
Those tub-lovers are out there, though, as well as plenty others who are more in love with the idea of the tub. (Especially those vintagey clawfoot ones.) So if you’re one of the former, you’ll enjoy using the bath accoutrements below. And if, like me, you prefer the fantasy to reality–then you’ll enjoy positioning them around the bath, where they will look quite pretty.
 

I’m a sucker for packaging. This is some of the most alluring I’ve ever seen. If these bottles arrived at my house filled with rat poison, I wouldn’t mind. I desire them purely for their prettiness. If you’re into the actual bubble bath, though, rest assured. The Relax Evening Bubble Bath is a luxurious blend of white orchid, Tahitian vanilla, bee blossom honey, Indian amber, and moisturizing olive fruit, avocado, almond oils and vitamin E. Or for a more feminine scent try the Breathe Tranquil Bubble Bath, which features peony and white lily.

 

 

Lollia Foaming Bubble Bath

 

 

Yeah, so I’m not really sure why you’d need regular bubble bath and foaming bubble bath. But you might once you lay eyes on this screened glass decanter adorned with a Chinoiserie bird. Inside: Imagine Foaming Bubble Bath, a fragrance with hints of willow, lotus, orchid, rice flower, coconut milk, mandarin and jasmine.

 

 

 

Beekman 1802 Milk Shake Bath Soak

 

 

Love the old-school apothecary look of this soak, which is comprised of dehydrated goat milk and mineral salts. True, I’d rather dine on goat cheese than lie around in a goat milk stew, but apparently this stuff contains skin-healing  properties. Plus, the dropper is filled with essential oils, to be combined with the soak and tossed into your warm bath.

 

 

Truly Aesthetic Bath Affirmations

These neat little tubes contain bath salts and remind me of those sand art bottles we used to make at the town fair as kids (minus the neon colors). Each test tube includes a positive affirmation scroll to help start or end your day on an uplifting note. Varieties included in this set: Enliven Coconut Basil, Repose Thyme Lavender, Harmonize Juniper Berry Grapefruit, Fortify Mango Peppermint, and Thrive Camomile Eucalyptus.

Fiat Luxe Felted Soap

 

 

Oddly reminiscint of a Fraggle, the swirly wool pouch surrounding this yummy soap is both exfoliating and anti-fungal. The soap comes in six flavors, each with it’s own felt design: Fir, Citrus Spice, Amber, Lavender, Lavender Mint, and Verbena (my favorite!). Though pricey, the soap is designed to last longer than a regular bar. Plus, it’s pretty, reusable and economy-boosting (handmade here in the States).

 

 

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My pup shares my distaste for baths.

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Nail Fix

22 Jan

I am having major issues with my nails at the moment. Some folks are accustomed to chronic nail problems, but I am not one of those people. My nails are usually thick, strong and healthy. I’ve received countless compliments on them.

This might sound vain, but honestly I take no credit for my nail health because I do absolutely nothing to make them compliment-worthy. Plus, I don’t exactly consider healthy nails to be a vanity-inducing quality. That is, until last month when they started peeling, breaking and causing me all sorts of anxiety. Now I’d rank attractive nails right up there with luxurious hair and straight, white teeth.

Naturally, I’ve embarked on a hunt for a fix. Just in case you are dealing with a similar nail tragedy, here are two products that might help…

Organic Soy Nail Polish Remover by Karma Organics

This lavendar-scented nail polish remover is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and one hundred percent biodegradable. As a dog-owner, this is important to me. My pup has been known to knock over bottles of nail polish remover and snatch remover-soaked cotton rounds from countertops and trash cans. The organic polish remover is gentle on the skin, especially the skin around your nail edges that tends to dry out in winter. Plus, it came recommended by a fabulous friend who wouldn’t steer me wrong!

Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea & Olive Leaf Nail Growth

The strengthening properties of antioxidants and bamboo in this nail strengthener bond nail layers to prevent that horrible peeling by which I’m plagued. Plus, flexible nails are less likely to break while you’re performing tasks like typing, cooking, or just plain existing (lately my nails seem to break for no reason whatsoever). This is not an immediate fix, but if you commit to applying it several times a week, your nail structure will improve. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks and I can already see a difference!

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Buddha Bag

26 Dec

Looking for a way to spend that holiday gift cash?

An adorable purse from Big Buddha is a perfect way to treat yourself for making it through the holiday season with your sanity intact.

After traveling in Thailand between high school and college, Big Buddha founder Jeremy Bassan was inspired to create a line of vegan handbags. He started out selling the purses and bags from his college dorm room, and Bassan’s handbags are now featured in the likes of O Magazine, Style and Lucky.

Big Buddha was acquired by Steve Madden in February 2010–the companies are teaming up to expand the brand into new stores and create a unique vegan shoe line.

Here are some of our favorites:

What’s Handmade, Vegan, and Smells Good Enough to Eat?

8 Dec

I’m so overflowing with excitement about today’s post that I’m not even sure how to begin! It might be considered the quintessential Cheekie subject matter: vegan beauty products, handmade by two incredible sisters.

Blueberry Pie Vegan Soap

Rachel and Sarah McClure are the brains and beauty behind ajoeynamedroo creations. They make all their beauty products from scratch, and their etsy shop contains detailed information about the ingredients. Everything is vegan, ensuring that no animals were harmed or used in the making of your new lip balm or foot scrub. Best of all, keeping your skin healthy and gorgeous with ajoeynamedroo creations won’t break the bank. Say goodbye to over-priced products from health food stores!

The only problem with ajoeynamedroo creations products is that I want to eat them. Seriously, I nearly went into child-eats-paste mode the moment I opened each scrub, soap, lip balm, and body butter. The Orange Creamsicle Body Butter drove me to the brink, but at the last second I decided not to taste it for fear that I might die and ajoeynamedroo creations would be blamed for my demise.

Fight Club Lavender & Vanilla Cream

With adorable names (Honey I Only Dream of You vegan lip balm…) and decadent scents, Rachel and Sarah’s creations are pretty much irresistable. And they work. I’ve had dry lips for about three weeks now. I’m talking cracking and bleeding–attractive, I know. I started using the Strawberry Champagne lip balm and Peppermint Exfoliating Lip Scrub (yum!) a few days ago and voila, my chapped lips are virtually healed already!

Cheekie asked Rachel to tell us how she and her sister got started with their fabulous business. We quickly learned that this business grew out of a simple need and a “why not?” attitude.

Here’s what Rachel told us:

I’ve always been kind of a beauty geek. I love sampling, sniffing, applying and reapplying; there’s something exciting about trying new things that smell pretty and make your skin soft. Though I’m obsessed with beauty products, I’m also really thrifty. I love looking for good deals, and frankly, if you find a cheap bath and beauty product, the ingredients probably aren’t the kinds of things you want to put on your skin (many contain mineral oil, a by-product of crude oil…yuck!). Making my own products allowed me to use high quality products without spending a fortune.

I started making my own simple body scrubs by mixing olive oil and sugar, and from there, my fixation on bath and body spiraled out of control. If I could make scrubs, then why not lip balms? If I could make lip balms, why not lotion? I corralled my crafty sister into helping me, and soon I had so much cool stuff I didn’t know what to do with it all. We set up an etsy shop and never looked back.

After about a year, we decided to go completely vegan. We use candelilla wax instead of beeswax in our lip balms, certified vegan sugar (rather than regular sugar which can be filtered through charcoal of animal origin), and vegetable-derived stearic acid. We love being able to give people (and ourselves) affordable, high-quality vegan products.

And wait… we’re not finished yet. ajoeynamedroo creations has been kind enough to share a recipe with Cheekie readers!

Strawberry Champagne Lip Balm

If you’re in the mood to get crafty in the kitchen, whip up your own easy body scrub using this recipe. The ingredients are available in most health food stores.

Exfoliating Body Scrub

3/4 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup olive oil (you can also use safflower oil or coconut oil. Experiment to see which you like best!)
1/4 teaspoon vitamin E
20-25 drops of essential oil (lavender or lemongrass are great choices)

Mix olive oil and vitamin E in a large bowl. Add sugar and stir. Add 20 drops of essential oil; if you like a stronger scent, add 25. Mix thoroughly, pour into a jar or container, and screw the lid on tightly. Enjoy!

Feed Thirsty Skin

4 Dec

I don’t know if it’s the heat in my house or the wacky weather, but I’ve been plagued by dry skin for the past month. While I discovered a great daily after-shower moisturizer, some areas require extra attention.

Cara Mia Naturals Potters’ Skin Food is perfect for dry hands, elbows, knees, feet, and other spots chronically lacking moisture. The Skin Food comes in two delicious flavors: tangerine and lavendar.

Inspired by potters, Cara Mia moisturizers contain natural emollients like aloe vera, shea butter, kokum butter, and essential oils. Plus, you can keep a healthy conscience–the products are vegan and never tested on animals.

My favorite aspect of the Potters’ Skin Food is that it’s not greasy. It soaks right in to dry skin without leaving behind an oily residue. I have a feeling I’ll be stuffing some stockings with jars of Skin Food this holiday season!

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