Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Be Radiant

I'm a firm believer in the power of natural remedies and organically-based products for soothing skin irritations.

Having struggled with bouts of frustrating acne as a teenager, (didn't we all), and the occasional blemish that rears its ugly head every so often, trust me: I've tried just about every over-the-counter facial cleanser, topical gel, and astringent on the market. Nothing ever seemed to work. These "acne treatments" either completely dried out my skin, stung too much to continue using, or just exacerbated the problem....UNTIL, I found my secret weapon. I've literally gone through six bottles of this cleanser, recommend it to everyone I know, and swear by its magical powers:
Aubrey Organics Natural Herbal Facial Cleanser for Oily Skin 5. Available at WholeFoods, health food stores, and Aubrey online for $12.98 (8 oz.).

Ingredients? Things you can pronounce! Deionized Water, Coconut Fatty Alcohol, Witch Hazel (natural herbal extract), Natural Grain Alcohol, Castile Soap; a special blend of Organic Eucalyptus Oil, Camphor Oil and Menthol Oil; Aubrey's Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E), Organic Rosemary Oil, Organic Sage Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Organic Aloe Vera.

Here's the trick: morning and evening, rinse face with warm water, and gently scrub with a little bit of cleanser on a washcloth. Rinse briefly. It's OK if you leave some transparent residue on your face. This product has a distinctive herbal smell which is another reason I love it so much...super refreshing! Pat dry. Then, just sit back, relax, and let the tingling ingredients kill off bacteria and other yucky stuff. Your face will feel refreshed, soft, and radiant. Use it habitually for a month, and you should see significant results; it treats current breakouts and keeps blemishes at bay.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If the Shoe Fits...

A recent article published in today's issue of The New York Times brings to light a startling scientific discovery: "Women wear shoes that cause pain."

What? We do? The horror! The horror!

The study, sponsored by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, concludes that," shoe choices paid off in the long term: women who had mainly worn supportive footwear like sneakers or athletic shoes in their younger years cut their risk of common foot pain later in life by more than half, compared with women who had worn shoes that gave average support, like hard-soled or rubber-soled ones."

Which basically means, all those women who must have looked killer standing on the subway platform in 4-inch heels back in the 1980's are now hobbling around in Easy Spirit, giving wistful glances towards the Bloomingdales Shoe Department sale rack.

Now. I'll be the first to admit that I currently own - wait, let me stand up and count - one, two, three...yes, THREE pairs of heels that will rip my pinky toes to shreds around mile two of walking. These are just the uber-painful ones. Then, there are my heels with longer known pain-thresholds. For example, my wedges are pain-free up until ten NYC Avenues, but my gladiator Kenneth Coles can take me dancing into the night. I reserve my safe-haven "commuting" Sperry Topsiders for the trek to work and spontaneous weekend excursions.

Sadly, an ill-fitting or poorly designed pair of heels can cause even the most graceful, well-dressed woman to walk like a Velociraptor. Yet, oddly enough we keep coming back for more. Is it the height-enhancing, leg-lengthening, instant-pant-hemming, or outfit-matching attributes that make said pump so desirable? While I will outwardly laugh at any woman putting herself through a premeditated painful shoe circumstance, (ie: trekking through 6 inches of snow, in 10 degree weather, in open-toed stilettos), we all have our tolerance levels for the ultimate look.

Might I add, the last phrase of the article matter-of-factly states: "When it comes to shoes, men make much better choices...fewer than 2 percent wore bad shoes."

p.s. For your next evening out, here is a great preemptive strike on blisters: rub Body Glide around back of heel and pinky toe area. Reduced friction = reduced number of blisters. And of course, a few bandaids can go a long way.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Longitude and Latitude

Having majored in Geography and International Affairs in college, there were indeed more to my studies than memorizing maps. However, it didn't take long for me to grow an affinity for maps, more maps, and anything to do with maps.

My fondness of vintage maps not only stems from their historical significance, but the mysticism and intrigue of whom may have laid eyes upon them. Throughout the ages, maps have helped the human race grasp a physical sense of space. Simply put, maps are tools that help portray, catalogue, and explore the world around us.

In the meantime, while I attempt to save up my pennies for an antique map collection, I fill the void with none other than printed map stationary, calendars, and notebooks. Behold: Cavallini & Co., one of my all-time favorite fine paper companies. Offering a brilliant range of vintage-inspired paper goods, the Travel Notebook (showcasing an antique map, pictured above), is essential to any map-lover's work space or carry-on bag. Cavallini & Co. products are available at fine paper good retailers including Kate's Paperie, Paper Source, Papyrus, as well as Anthropologie.