Bliss in a Bottle: Uma Oils

Oils have been dominating the beauty industry for years, but mankind has used them since the dawn of time. Their wealth of benefits and uses are endless! They can be used for everything from naturally alleviating anxiety and stress to keeping acne at bay and offsetting the signs of premature aging.

Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile, soaked her tresses with honey and castor oil. She favored essential oils like myrrh, rose, cypress, frankincense, and neroli for fragrance. Modern day celebrities such as Gisele B√ľndchen uses facial oil to calm acne flare-ups, while Jennifer Lopez uses it to keep her skin glowing. It’s hard to find a find a female celebrity interview that doesn’t mention an oil that’s part of their beauty regimen. Oils are everywhere!



Uma is a luxurious facial and wellness oil line. Shrankhla Holecek is a holistic medicine practitioner and yogi that is the founder and visionary behind Uma Oils. These oils are cultivated, harvested, distilled, and crafted by hand at Shrankhla Holecek’s family estate in India. Some of the top names in the beauty industry like Tom Ford and Estee Lauder trust them to procure the finest essential oils to use in their products! Uma's farm-to-bottle face oils adhere to the centuries old principles of Ayurveda; the science of inner health and balance help skin obtain and maintain the ultimate glow from within. They have won the approval of PopSugar, Vogue, Stylist UK, The Sunday Times UK, Refinery 29, Uptown Magazine, Marie Claire, and Yahoo! Beauty.

Uma's line boasts five facial oils (Beauty Boosting Day Face Oil, Deeply Clarifying Face Oil, Ultimate Brightening Face Oil, Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil, and Absolute Anti Aging Face Oil) and five wellness oils (Pure Rest Wellness Oil, Gorgeous for Good Wellness Oil, Pure Energy Wellness Oil, Pure Bliss Wellness Oil, and Pure Calm Wellness Oil). Each oil is 100% certified natural and organic. They're free of synthetic fragrances and emulsifiers, parabens, GMO’s, mineral oils, and preservatives. These oils are always tested on real women, never animals!



I recently had the opportunity to try out their Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil, ($150), Pure Energy Wellness Oil ($85), and Gorgeous for Good Wellness Oil ($85). These oils are the most well-crafted and potent oils that I have used in a long time!

I used to be apprehensive about using facial oils in the past because of my skin being so prone to acne breakouts. I have slowly grown to love them over the past year, especially after being introduced to the Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil! This oil works as an overnight formula that promotes rapid cellular turnover. It also helps repair damaged and aging skin. I believe that this would be the first facial oil that I have incorporated in my nightly beauty regimen. The bottle may be small, but it can last quite awhile since 2-3 drops can take you a long way.

Some of its key ingredients are lemon essential oil, rose essential oil, frankincense essential oil, sandalwood essential oil, and geranium essential oil that’s in a pomegranate oil base – all ingredients are pure and natural. The rose essential oil seems to be more evident than any of them since this facial oil has a beautiful, light rose fragrance.

The frankincense essential oil acts as a natural astringent, and advances cellular regeneration to fade scars and discoloration. Lemon essential oil complements the skin’s natural moisture production process, for soft and intensely moisturized skin in the morning. Meanwhile, soothing chamomile essential oil is packed with azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that’s ideal for diminished scars and redness. It has been nice waking up to soft and supple skin without an acne flare-up for the past couple of weeks.



It was after reading Sophie Uliano's book Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life in 2008 that I started to adapt to more of an eco-friendly lifestyle. I have followed her work ever since! That's why I was ecstatic to try out the Gorgeous for Good Wellness Oil, which is inspired by her latest book: Gorgeous for Good: A Simple 30-Day Program for Lasting Beauty Inside and Out. This wellness oil is consisted of a harmonious blend of chamomile, marjoram, neroli, orange, rosemary, peppermint, ylang-ylang, and grapefruit. It truly lives up to its name, because it is a gorgeous scent that is energizing and uplifting!

Each bottle sold supports gender equality and empowerment in India. This helps women receive access to ongoing education, health and childcare, and a fair wage for sustained financial independence.

Lastly, the Pure Energy is another wellness oil that is energizing and uplifting. I love to alternate between this and the Gorgeous for Good Wellness Oil to help jump start my morning, especially if I have a long day ahead of me. I’ve found both of them work exceptionally well. The best and surefire way to get the most of the wellness oils is to apply 4-5 drops between your toes, the soles of your feet, and pulse points. You can also use them in aromatherapy diffusers for even more therapeutic benefits.

What Others Are Saying About Uma Oils



“A beauty brand specialized in (really) magic oils inspired by Ayurveda and tradition.” - Vogue Italia


“After switching out my nightly routine with their unique oil blends for just two weeks, I noticed fewer wrinkles and fine lines, a decrease in dark spots and an increase in brightness combined with less rosacea on my cheeks — big score!” - Yahoo! Beauty


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"They say youth is wasted on the young. I say good skin is, too." - Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor in Chief of More Magazine


This post is in partnership with Uma Oils. All opinions are exclusively my own.

Let it Glow with Otavea

One of my tried and true favorite ways to obtain and maintain smooth skin is exfoliating. Exfoliating helps keep skin dryness at bay, stimulate cell production and blood flow, rids dirt, bacteria and toxins that are lurking within the skin; and enables skincare products to penetrate deeper. I have noticed that my skin is at its best when I exfoliate once a week in the warmer seasons and twice a week in the cooler seasons.

Otavea's hand-crafted body scrubs are free of parabens, additives, and phthalates. Their ingredient list is all natural and vegan. Also, they don't believe in the out-dated, inhumane, and impractical practice of testing on animals. It's naturally simple luxury at its finest without a splurge-worthy price tag attached, as their body scrubs range from $6 - $16 in price!



Otavea offers four different varieties (Strawberry, HERO for Men, Chocolate + Coffee, and Peppermint) in three different sizes (2 oz., 4 oz., and 8 oz.). I received all but the HERO for Men for obvious reasons. These body scrubs are so addictive that I can assure you that you will almost not want to leave the shower!

The granules are tiny and easy to spread all over the body. They gently polish the skin without irritating it in the least, leaving behind a tantalizing aroma and deeply nourished skin after rinsing. There's no need to apply any type of body oil or lotion since the cold-pressed organic oils in the body scrubs are nourishing enough. Each scrub is tantalizing to the senses in their own right, but my favorite is the strawberry. It even has chunks of strawberries in it. You'll almost want to devour! Meanwhile, the Chocolate + Coffee and Peppermint will rejuvenate the skin and perk up the senses.



Chocolate + Coffee





Formulated to target stretch marks, cellulite, eczema, acne, scarring and wrinkles with cocoa, coffee and sugar.


Strawberry



Formulated to target clogged pores, damaged skin, uneven skin tone, acne and wrinkles with strawberries and sugar. Let the strawberries in this scrub smooth skin, cleanse and tighten pores while the Vitamin A hydrates and protects against free radicals.


Peppermint



Formulated to target scarring, uneven skin tone, acne and dull skin with sugar and peppermint essential oil. Let the peppermint oils in this scrub help strengthen and brighten skin cells while the sugars gently cleanse and exfoliate.






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This post is sponsored on behalf of Otavea. All opinions are exclusively my own.

How to Smell Gorgeous on a Budget: Scentbird





Scentbird is a monthly subscription service that is based in New York. It was established to provide designer fragrances every month for $14.95. Each month, you’re introduced to a new fragrance out of over 350 fragrances for women based on your scent preferences. They’ll suggest recommendations on fragrances when you first sign up by having you to take a quiz. Alternatively, you can browse their perfume collection and rate them. The more you rate, the better your recommendations become. You can also add fragrances that you’d like to try to your queue.

Some of my recommendations includes Womanity by Thierry Mugler, Cheap & Chic Light Clouds by Moschino, Maitresse by Agent Provocateur, Jungle L’Elephant by Kenzo, Eau de Mandarine Ambree by Hermes, Me EDP by Lanvin, and Envy Me by Gucci. A sampling of their perfume brand roster includes Coach, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Van Cleef & Arpels, to name of few. It’s like Birchbox, but in a fragrant sense. It’s not the least bit of surprising that this new company has already won the likes of Essence, TotalBeauty.com, Harper's Bazaar, Fashionista, and Forbes!



The Jungle L'Elephant by Kenzo that I opted for came in a travel-friendly purse spray case and velvet pouch. It also included a card on how to use your purse spray like a pro! Subscribers will receive a black purse spray case in the first month’s subscription, but additional cases can be ordered for $12.95 in pink or black. The fragrance is a timeless scent that was first introduced in 1996. It’s categorized under “Party, Classic, and Sweet.” It is harmoniously blended with notes of mandarin, cardamom, caraway, clove, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, mango juice, licorice, vanilla, patchouli, and casmerin.

I believe that the patchouli is one of the most evident notes in the dry-down, but there is something warm and effervescent about it. It is a beautiful and sophisticated scent that I can wear again and again! I’d love to try other scents in the future, such as Oriens by Van Cleef & Arpels, La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, and Perles De Lalique by Lalique.

How to Earn Free Perfume



You can invite your friends to join in the fun! Scentbird will arrange that their second month with Scentbird is free, courtesy of you. You will earn 1 free month of Scentbird for each friend that subscribes.

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Your fragrance is your message, your scented slogan. - Maurice Roucel


This post is sponsored on behalf of Scentbird. All opinions are exclusively my own.

Tantalizing Tresses with NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer

When I moved from a suburban area to the heart of a city a few years ago, I knew there were going to be many changes that I’d have to grow accustomed to. Little did I know that one of the changes would start with my hair, because it wasn’t long after I moved to Evansville that my hair started to look dry, dull, and straw-like. It also started to shed like crazy! I couldn’t figure out what was going on with my hair at first, until I started using a shower filter. I noticed a significant improvement in my hair and skin. This indicated that the water was the culprit. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as my city is known for their bad water. Hard water not only causes lackluster hair, but it can significantly thin it out and lead to hair loss – scary!

After my shower filter broke down within a few months, I couldn’t see myself paying $150 for another one. Thus, I took a different route earlier last year by using a chelating shampoo and apple cider vinegar hair rinse to remove the mineral content build-up from hard water. I also started finishing my hair off with flaxseed oil to help keep my hair moisturized and balanced. The quality of my hair has tremendously improved, because it has greatly thickened. Shedding is still an issue, though. That’s where hair vitamins, such as NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer, comes into play lately.



NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer is an all-natural powerhouse of vitamins that deeply nourishes the hair, while promoting healthy hair growth. It’s also ideal for those who suffer from breakage and shedding – moi! I haven’t noticed a dramatic difference in my hair, considering I have only been using it for a few weeks. I will note that some have experienced results within just two weeks! However, I have noticed less shedding since I’ve started taking these vitamins. That alone is quite amazing!

This is a post written by me on behalf of NeoCell.

Rise and Shine in Style + DIY Facial Cleanser

I’m not a morning person at all! I’m one of many that are apt to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock or tell myself “just five more minutes”. This isn’t always plausible for me since I usually have a whirlwind of activities and projects that await me. I am less apt at doing this during the warmer months since I don’t always have to wake up to a morning chill like I do in the cooler months, but I still have to find simple and easy ways to energize my morning routine.

One way that I like to jumpstart my morning is sipping on a mug of freshly brewed, steaming tea. It gives me a sense of renewal and rejuvenates me at the same time. It also gives me a sense of serenity and a much needed burst of energy that is perfect for a long, enduring, and wonderful chaotic day that is often ahead of me!



I have a few mugs that I love that make all the difference in the morning for my tea and occasional coffee drinking. I have never designed one until Martha Stewart Living recently sent me some craft supplies from the Martha Stewart Crafts line to personalize and craft my own stylish, reusable coffee mug. Since I’m drawn to colors that are reminiscent of the sea, as I believe that hardly anything captures serenity and vibrancy more than the sea! Thus, I designed a coastal-inspired mug, using Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint (in Beach Glass and Blue Sky) by Martha Stewart Crafts with a touch of Martha Stewart Crafts Malachite Glitter (from my own craft stash!) to give it a sophisticated sparkle.

How to Refresh Your Coffee with Martha Stewart Crafts


Materials


⦾ Adhesive Stencil Set
⦾ Ceramic Reusable Coffee Mug
⦾ Foam Pouncer
⦾ Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Craft Paint
⦾ Shallow Dish of Water

Steps

1. Place adhesive stencil on ceramic mug; rub gently to adhere completely.

2. Use a foam pouncer to apply paint, being careful not to go over the edges of the stencil.

3. Peel off stencil; allow paint to dry. If stencil is to be immediately reused, place in shallow dish of water to rinse. Use brush and stencil cleaner to clean stencil completely after use.











DIY Baking Soda + Coconut Oil Facial Cleanser


I always have essential oils on hand! My tried and true favorites are lemon, grapefruit, rosemary, and patchouli. I find these particular scents to be relaxing, yet uplifting and invigorating at the same time! That is why I love the Baking Soda + Coconut Oil Facial Cleanser, because it always makes me feel less tired in the morning since it’s always infused with one of my favorite essential oils. Best of all, it’s simple, easy, and relatively inexpensive to make since you’ll most likely still have all of the ingredients to make more once your supply depletes! Lately, I have been using it with patchouli essential oil since it’s beneficial for the skin in many ways. Patchouli is good for acne prone skin. It also helps keep the wrinkles at bay! The baking soda in this facial cleanser will deeply cleanse and gently exfoliate away dead skin cells and impurities, while awakening the skin senses with the invigorating scent of patchouli, and deeply moisturizes the skin with coconut oil. Not only does it makes a wonderful facial cleanser, but it can be used all over the body!



All that is needed for this simple and easy DIY facial cleanser is a Ball jar, preferably a half pint; baking soda, coconut oil, and the preferred essential oil of your choice. Depending on the size of the jar that you use, fill it up half way with coconut oil, and add a teaspoon of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda. Drop 25-30 drops of essential oil, and proceed to stir all combined ingredients until you have a smooth, creamy texture.





This is a post written by me on behalf of Martha Stewart Living.
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