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The best beauty products from around the globe

Tag Archives : aromatherapy

Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare Is All The Buzz

One of our all time favorite brands, Heaven Skincare, was recently written up on New York Social Diary and we wanted to share it with you.

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When she was 16 years old, Carla Sayer got into a bad automobile accident. The car in which she was a passenger was hit and one of the back windows smashed into her face. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors spent the next four hours removing shards of glass from her left cheek. She was subsequently put on steroids because of other injuries sustained in the accident. The steroids, according to Carla, resulted in severe acne. To control the acne, she was prescribed a birth control pill but when she stopped taking the pill several years later, the acne returned with a vengeance. With a face full of angry lesions, a distraught Carla was on the verge of canceling a much anticipated reunion with a long distance boyfriend.

Enter some divine intervention in the guise of Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare. An acquaintance of hers who worked for the product line recommended she use the Hydro Cleansing Milk, the Peppermint Clarifying Lotion and the Youthful Moisturizer twice a day and nothing else. Carla followed her advice and five days later, when she stepped off the plane to meet her boyfriend, she had only one spot on her face.

An added benefit was that the products also smoothed the scarring caused by the accident, eliminating the need for skin grafts. And in truth, when I met the 33-year old, her complexion was virtually flawless. “I genuinely believe Deb’s products saved my face,” declares Carla who has become such a fan that she now works for the company. “And the aromatherapy component helped with the emotional side too. It’s a healing experience,” she says. “I used to treat my acne with benzoyl peroxide which smelled like chemicals and burned and dried my skin, whereas Deb’s products are very gentle.”

The star ingredient of the line is bee venom. Deborah’s patented Abeetoxin, a complex formulation of bee venom, honey and botulism – a natural form of the toxin used in Botox that can be harvested from beehives – has generated a good deal of buzz for its smoothing effects. Her bee venom facials have been credited with taking years off the Duchess of Cornwall’s face. Deborah won’t discuss her work with the royals, but it is said that Kate Middleton enjoyed one of her facials just days before the royal wedding, having been introduced to Deborah and her products by Camilla Parker Bowles.

Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Deborah MitchellOther celebrities who have swarmed to Heaven Skincare include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Victoria BeckhamNicole Kidman and Kylie and Danii Minogue. Nor are men strangers to the products. David Beckham, Simon Cowell, Jack Nicholson and Robert Downey, Jr. also count among the devotées. Indeed, 30% of Heaven’s customers are men.

Intrigued, I wanted to meet the queen bee behind this luxury skin care line. Not only did I learn a bit about the ingenious formulations, but I walked away completely energized for Deborah’s story is nothing if not inspiring. The self-described “working class girl” turned herself into a bona fide business mogul. Last year, 24 years after its inception, Heaven Skincare earned a reported $45 million in revenues. The products are sold worldwide through its website and via stockists in 15 countries including the United Arab Emirates and China.

Blonde and glamorous, Deborah greets me with a big smile and a warm hug at the posh Langham hotel in London, her home away from her country home. Over a glass of bubbly and some hors d’oeuvres, the daughter of a hairdresser and owner of a courier business, tells me of her humble beginnings. The English native got her start in the beauty industry at the tender age of 17 by working as a door-to-door manicurist. “I started off with one £10 pack of nail extensions and my first customer gave me a £1 tip,” she recalls, revealing that she couldn’t afford to buy many products, so she began making her own. Armed with knowledge gleaned from cosmetic science classes and with a degree in lab science, she began experimenting with various formulas. 

According to Deborah, she suffered from severe acne in her youth and acne products left her red-faced. So, she came up with a soothing chamomile mask. More products followed, to be snapped up by her clients, and it wasn’t long before Deborah started giving facials. Her first treatment room was the handicapped bathroom of a gym in a Holiday Inn. In short order, her facials became so popular that she graduated to London’s prestigious Hale Clinic.

Deborah’s big break came when Tracey Taylor, the wife of Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, called to make an appointment after reading about her, only to be placed on a three-month waiting list. “I was working 7:00 am to 7:00 PM every day treating my existing clients, and I wasn’t going to let them down. I guess that increased my appeal,” she explains. “Pretty soon I was looking after all the band members and their wives, and then that group expanded, and before I knew it I was in LA doing treatments on Jack Nicholson around the pool!” 

Her next leap forward came while she was giving the Duchess of Cornwall a facial. “I caught my reflection in the mirror and thought ‘D’you know what? I really need some Botox.’” Disliking the “pinched and aggressive” look she got from the toxin, Deborah began looking for a natural alternative. “I went to bed that night, and, as with most of my products, I dream them up,” she discloses. “My sister, who lives down the road from me, is a beekeeper, so I had a lot of information about bees and honey in my head. I woke up and knew what I had to do.”

Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Deborah MitchellThe Bee Venom Mask is sold in three tiers, starting with silver, which contains the lowest amount of Abeetoxin, then black, and up to gold. Deborah recommends the more potent black one for men as they have thicker skin. The venom in the gold mask is collected from the queen bee. This is very rare – nearly impossible to obtain – as there is only one queen bee per hive. The price of one ounce of bee venom costs $38,000 and that of one ounce of venom from the queen bee is $140,000 according to Deborah. Our beauty expert, Alyssa Barrie, uses the Silver Mask daily, putting it on over her moisturizer and eye cream. “You need very little,” she advises.

The bee venom in the resulting Abeetoxin fools the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung. This causes blood to flow towards the skin and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Deborah makes the process through which the venom is harvested sound simple: “We release a small electrical current through a pane of glass that causes the bees no harm but encourages them to sting the glass, depositing their venom. When a bee stings a person, the stinger gets released into the flesh, causing the bee to die. But when they sting glass, the stinger can’t come out because it’s too hard, but their brain tells them they’ve stung, and so not to sting again.” Due to the fact the she actually saves the lives of bees, Deborah, who donates a portion of her profits to bee charities, has been named an official Guardian of the Bees in the UK.

“We have something for every pocket with our travel size options,” says Deborah. The Long Weekender Kit retails for $45 on NYSD Beauty and contains a cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer and the silver bee venom mask.

Our beauty experts at NYSD Beauty also swear by the Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream. The cream’s vanilla scent is even purported to act as an appetite suppressant!

Not surprisingly, imitators have jumped on the bandwagon but Deborah is quick to point out that her competitors use freeze-dried bee venom which is ineffective according to the skin care guru, whereas her products contain real botulism found in the hive. As industrious as her beloved bees, this 50-year old mother of two does not rest on her laurels. Debuting this summer is Bee Peel, an intensified facial peel for home use which again harnesses the power of bees. “It gives professional results without the downtime of regular chemical peels,” discloses Carla, who ten years on, still only uses Heaven products.

Expert tip: When it comes to exfoliation, forget the “once a week” rule. Exfoliate as and when you like, as long as your skin can handle it. I like Heaven’s Bee Polish which combines bee venom and botulism with raw cane sugar. It’s gentle on my sensitive, dry skin, leaving it smooth and reflective. Plus, it doesn’t contain those environmentally damaging microbeads. I also like the Clarifying Hydrogel (as a toner) which has a cross polymer interlocking (net-like) firming action. Both are in NYSD Beauty’s Long Weekender Kit.

By: Delia von Neuschatz

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Interview with Lavido Founder, Ido Magal

Creating skin care and hair care products is no mean feat! We love spending time with our brand founders to find out what inspired them to create their amazing products. We sat down with Lavido Founder, Ido Magal, to discuss the genesis of Lavido.

TB: What Spurred Your Passion For and Commitment to Natural Skin Care?

IM: My passion for natural skin care began very early and is tied to scents. My first memorable experience with scent was with jasmine and neroli blossom at my uncle’s citrus farm. These plants can be found all over the Galilee.

TB: How Did Lavido Come to Be?

IM: Again, I have to say scents. One of my first experiences with scents was with my father’s aftershave lotion. It was a strong smelling lotion, and at a very early age I made the connection between fragrant products and my favorite natural scents. Much later when I started studying aromatherapy, herbal and Chinese medicine in college, all my formative and academic experiences coalesced and eventually became Lavido’s first product, a diaper cream that I concocted for my nephew.

TB: Is There a Superstar Ingredient That You Include in Many Formulations?

Lavido-skin-careIM: My favorite ingredient is pomegranate – the seeds, skin, juice, everything. I began working with pomegranate 10 years ago when it was a fresh, new ingredient for skin care here in Israel. In fact, the oil was being studied for its anti-cancer properties at the prestigious Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Long story short, I received some samples of the oil, enlisted my family as my first test group, read everything I could find, and Lavido’s Pomegranate series was the result.

TB: This Is an Exciting Time for Natural and Organic Skin Care. What Differentiates Lavido From Other Natural/Organic Skin Care Lines That Are on The Scene?

IM: When it comes to the natural market, a major value that differentiates Lavido is that we are bringing the best of the conventional cosmetic market to the natural, organic market. We combine high concentrations of the best raw, organic plant-based ingredients with much needed safety and efficacy standards from the conventional market, including clinical and dermatology testing. Another property unique to Lavido is our use of volcanic thermal springs and purified waters from the Sea of Galilee. Besides providing the livelihood of inhabitants around it for millennia, the Sea of Galilee’s mineral rich thermal springs have been used for just as long to support healing and health.

TB: What Anti-aging or Other Sage Skin Care Advice Can You Offer?

IM: My anti-aging advice is simple, but can feel difficult to adhere to in our modern world.

Some basic rules:

  • Get the right amount of sleep and water
  • Use as many natural ingredients as possible for anything that goes in and on your body
  • Invite aromatherapy into your life – it’s truly effective when it comes to de-stressing mind and calming body
  • Finally, I am a big proponent of all things pomegranate for both internal and external use

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GG Candles Chakra Energy Candles

Perhaps you’ve noticed…we now live in the world of candles with triple digit price tags. While these designer candles look and smell great, it seems slightly insane to take a flame to such a costly item. I was therefore elated when, a few years ago, my dear friend Isabel introduced me to GGCandles. Not only do these candles smell fantastic and last for months, but they also serve a higher purpose. Best of all, they do so for a fraction of the cost of those fancier candles. I spoke with Gilah Guroivtsch, creator of GGCandles, about her creative process and how to pick the perfect candle for you.

TB: You’re not only a skilled esthetician, but also a talented candlemaker. How did your skin care practice inspire you to create candles?

GG: I have been a practicing esthetician for almost two decades. I’m known for my signature facials that I created years ago that incorporate my healing arts into each treatment. All my treatments have always been customized for each individual – for the needs of the skin at that moment. As a single mother of two young girls, at times I found it very difficult to provide for them. This lead me to think out of the box with my business. One day I was in a treatment, and as always, burning a random candle. I was staring at the candlelight and thought, what if I made my own candles? I could start an all natural environmentally friendly line.

Chakra Energy Candles

I remember thinking how great it would be to create a chakra energy candle to support the individual energies of each client I was treating. After many sleepless nights and MANY pounds of soy wax, my candles began to come to life. After 4 years of non-stop work, I have created a collection of healing candles that include The Seven Chakras Series as well as a general line of seasonal and holiday candles. I began to use the candles while working on clients and it did not take long before my clients took a liking to them and started asking how they could buy them.

TB: How do you create the “recipes” for your healing formulas?

GG: My passion is in the healing candles. After many years of studying the seven chakra energies, it was very important to get the right fragrances to support the different energy points. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils and other aromatic compounds, for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological and/or physical wellbeing. We have a multitude of senses. The five traditionally recognized are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Smell, the olfaction, is the only sense that goes straight to the brain. That’s why, in the most simplest way of explaining the aromatherapy, it has such an instant effect. A well-chosen energy candle can make a huge difference in how my clients are feeling during a treatment – or anywhere else for that matter. The chakra energies are referred to by name, color or number. GGCandles are all clearly labeled for each one.

TB: When choosing a candle, should people be guided by what they think they need or by what scent they are drawn to? For instance, I love the Abundance candle. Is this because I am searching for abundance in life?

GG: Everyday I am asked how to pick the right candle, or asked to pick the one I think is right for a client. I think that usually you are attracted to some fragrances more than others, and that is usually the chakra energy point where you need support. They are all designed for you to easily understand and learn about the chakras. You might not be in the mood for an ancient patchouli, but if your first chakra is in need of support, you might automatically be attracted to it. The Second Chakra Abundance Candle is one of the most popular as we all need support in our creative, emotional fulfillment, riches and balance departments. This support might make a big difference in all these different aspects. When you believe, it all happens. I always recommend choosing the candle that most appeals to you, whatever the name, color or fragrance. Once you learn more about the different energies and healing fragrances, you will know which one is for you.

TB: Any new candles you’re excited about and/or working on?

GG: As the light is shared, I’m inspired to create new candles. I’m happy to say that cold winter months are known to be the high season for candle burning. I am working on a new candle called Selfie that will be out for Valentines Day 2015. It is a candle meant to boost self-esteem and self-love that we so often seem to loose. The fragrances are going to support the different energy points to lift and bring you up.

After many years of hard work, today GGCandles are sold around the world. GGCandles are all natural soy, phthalate free and fragrance oil infused with essential oils. All our candles are white (no dyes), have a cotton wick and are hand poured to assure the highest quality.

To order these fabulous candles for yourself, visit Gilah’s website.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Emma Hardie Skincare & Beauty

It must be something in the water. First, we brought you British beauty brand Heaven Skincare by Deborah Mitchell…and it immediately became our best selling brand. Now we are bringing you yet another female-founded, luxury UK skin care brand, already a cult classic across the pond. Allow us to introduce you to Emma Hardie Skincare.

About Emma Hardie

Emma Hardie’s passion and commitment to advancing new approaches in the field of alternative health developed from her own experiences during a long and debilitating period of illness which left her with a serious loss of muscle tone. Choosing to forge her own naturally-minded path back to health, Emma healed and rejuvenated not just her body, but also her face, using nothing more than her body’s own self-healing process. Inspired by her restored health and renewed, lifted and reshaped facial contours, Emma became an aesthetician specializing in aromatherapy and restorative health and beauty. She then went on to research the science behind cell healing.

It All Started With a Facial

In 1996, Emma introduced her highly acclaimed, non-invasive Natural Lift and Sculpting Facial, which delivers firmer, plumper skin without harsh ingredients or invasive techniques. Emma’s goal was (and is) to end the search for a “miracle in a bottle” product, and to instead focus on natural alternatives that make the skin more resilient during the aging process.

Amazing Face Skincare System

In 2009, Emma introduced her award-winning Amazing Face skincare system – a complete natural facial rejuvenation collection. Designed to help instantly smooth and lift tired, stressed skin, Amazing Face is Emma’s capsule skincare system of multi-tasking, essential daily products. These products combine Emma’s passion for skin care with the benefits of using natural botanicals. Emma’s in-depth knowledge of the skin’s anatomy has made her one of the UK’s pioneering facial specialists.

Travel Beauty Favorites

Here are just a few of Emma Hardie’s standout products now available at Travel Beauty.

Moringa Cleansing Balm – Just as Heaven Skincare has its superstar Bee Venom Mask, so too does Emma Hardie have a standout, must-have product. The multiple award-winning Moringa Cleansing Balm was a cult classic and celebrity favorite almost instantly. One use and you’ll see why…I’ve been raving about this cleanser for months! You can use it as a cleanser, face mask, hair mask/serum and even to soothe sunburnt skin. Every Balm comes with a washable, dual-textured cleansing cloth for deep cleaning and exfoliation. Its impressive list of active botanical ingredients (from Sweet Almond Oil to Wild Sea Fennel Extract), makes it the most pampering and nourishing facial cleanser you will ever use. If you have a skin care addict in your life, it makes a wonderful gift.

Midas Touch Face Serum – This super-serum is the latest addition to the Emma Hardie Amazing Face collection. It contains a potent blend of firming, toning and radiance boosting botanicals. It can be used on the entire eye area – including the eyelid – to firm, tone and brighten the delicate skin there.

Luxury Superskin Face & Body Hamper – This set covers every beauty base, from face to feet, with eight products in all: Moringa Cleansing Balm, an eye cream, night cream, hand and nail cream, body wash, body lotion, body oil and an exfoliating body towel. Emma’s body care products are every bit as luxurious as her face products and all have her signature jasmine-infused scent. You – or anyone you gift this to – is in for a treat.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Interview With Gilah Guroivtsch of GGSkin and GGCandle

“Let the light from these candles be a reminder of the bright light within you.”

- Gilah Guroivtsch 

gilah-guroivtsch-ggskin-ggcandlePerhaps you’ve noticed…we now live in the world of candles with triple digit price tags. While these candles look and smell great, it seems slightly insane to take a flame to such a costly item. I was therefore elated when, a few years ago, my dear friend Isabel introduced me to GGCandles. Not only do these candles smell fantastic and last for months, but they also serve a higher purpose and do it all for a fraction of the cost of these fancier candles. I spoke with Gilah Guroivtsch, creator of GGCandles, about her creative process and how to pick the perfect candle.

TB: As an esthetician and now talented candle maker, how did your skin care practice inspire you to create candles?

GG: I have been a practicing esthetician for almost two decades. I’m known for my signature facials that I created years ago that incorporate my healing arts into each treatment. All my treatments have always been customized for each individual – for the needs of the skin at that moment. As a single mother of two young girls, at times I found it very difficult to provide for them. This led me to think out of the box with my business. One day I was in a treatment, and as always, burning a random candle. I was staring at the candlelight and thought, what if I made my own candles? I could start an all natural environmentally friendly line.

Chakra Energy Candles

I remember thinking how great it would be to create a chakra energy candle to support the individual energies of each client I was treating. After many sleepless nights and MANY pounds of soy wax, my candles began to come to life. After 4 years of non-stop work, I have created a collection of healing candles that include The Seven Chakras Series as well as a general line of seasonal and holiday candles. I began to use the candles while working on clients and it did not take long before my clients took a liking to them and started asking how they could buy them.

TB: How do you create the “recipes” for your healing formulas?

GG: My passion is in the healing candles. After many years of studying the seven chakra energies, it was very important to get the right fragrances to support the different energy points. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils and other aromatic compounds, for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological and/or physical wellbeing. We have a multitude of senses. The five traditionally recognized are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Smell, the olfaction, is the only sense that goes straight to the brain. That’s why, in the most simplest way of explaining the aromatherapy, it has such an instant effect. A well-chosen energy candle can make a huge difference in how my clients are feeling during a treatment – or anywhere else for that matter. The chakra energies are referred to by name, color or number. GGCandles are all clearly labeled for each one.

TB: When choosing a candle, should people be guided by what they think they need or by what scent they are drawn to? For instance, I love the Abundance candle. Is this because I am searching for abundance in life?

GG: Everyday I am asked how to pick the right candle, or asked to pick the one I think is right for a client. I think that usually you are attracted to some fragrances more than others, and that is usually the chakra energy point where you need support. They are all designed for you to easily understand and learn about the chakras. You might not be in the mood for an ancient patchouli, but if your first chakra is in need of support, you might automatically be attracted to it. The Second Chakra Abundance Candle is one of the most popular as we all need support in our creative, emotional fulfillment, riches and balance departments. This support might make a big difference in all these different aspects. When you believe, it all happens. I always recommend choosing the candle that most appeals to you, whatever the name, color or fragrance. Once you learn more about the different energies and healing fragrances, you will know which one is for you.

TB: Any new candles you’re excited about and/or working on?

GG: As the light is shared, I’m inspired to create new candles. I’m happy to say that cold winter months are known to be the high season for candle burning. I am working on a new candle called Selfie that will be out for Valentines Day 2015. It is a candle meant to boost self-esteem and self-love that we so often seam to loose. The fragrances are going to support the different energy points to lift and bring you up.

After many years of hard work, today GGCandles are sold around the world. GGCandles are all natural soy, phthalate free and fragrance oil infused with essential oils. All our candles are white (no dyes), have a cotton wick and are hand poured to assure the highest quality.

The next few days are very busy, shipping out last minute holiday orders and preparing for a private event at The New York Sotheby’s holiday fair.

To order these fabulous candles for yourself, visit Gilah’s website.

BY: CLAIRE MCCORMACK @clairemcmack

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