I just returned from an incredible, eco-adventure and safari getaway in South Africa where I communed with leopards, lions, zebras and elephants (oh, my!) and took a much-needed break from the busy past two months. Between the Oscars gifting suite and the CEW event in New York City, I have been up, down and across the US and, now, across an ocean. Good thing I took my own packing and travel advice, which helped me stay organized and calm.
Here are my tips for you.
Think monotone Pack clothes that mix and match easily and that go together. Add punches of color with bold blouses, tees, jewelry, a hat and scarves that can do double duty as sarongs or shawls.
That said, a little indulgence never hurts I love this advice from Refinery29 to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw à la the SATC series finale with one bold statement piece of clothing. This doesn’t mean a flowing Versace gown (though a girl can dream!). We’re talking a nice pair of flat boots or a chic jacket that will make you feel confident, beautiful and ready to take on whatever new city or countryside you’re exploring.
Be Organized… Keep your passport and other paperwork close at hand with Pura Botanica’s Document Organizer. Being the jewelry collector that I am, I also always have a Jewelry Travel Case. This chic tote keeps all of my precious necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets contained (no more tangles!). Our travel accessories are available in four rich colors (black, brown, tan and cream) and come in a luxurious faux-ostrich material.
And prepared for anything Yes, you want your documents, medications and iPad (fully loaded with books, shows and music) in your carry on along with your charger. Do not forget a change (or two) of clothes (in case your checked luggage is late), a lightweight shawl to curl up in (because airplanes are always chilly), high-energy snacks like almonds and protein bars and plenty of water (in case you are stuck on the tarmac for hours, as I was).
Simplify your beauty routine… Choose a blush that can be used as lip tint. And, try shellac instead of traditional nail polish. Shellac goes on like nail polish, but lasts like a gel—two (sometimes three) weeks with no chips, smudges, dings or dents. It’s a well-groomed girl’s dream.
And Don’t Forget It At Home There is no excuse to skimp on your beauty routine while you travel, especially with the Freshly Minted Take Me Along Travel Kit, which contains two-ounce bottles of True Shampoo, In Condition, Lotion to Love and Body Beautiful Cleanser. The kit has everything you need in one chic, clear vinyl case (so much nicer than a Ziploc bag) that slips easily in and out of your carry-on luggage for quick passage through security. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen—but you knew that.
Add a Hint of Luxury Bring along the ingredients for your favorite relaxation rituals. Mine include a scented, travel candle (like Fulfill Mint, with the exhilarating scent of Australian eucalyptus) and mineral bath salts to counter the inevitable jet lag (maybe our Pick Me Up Botanic Bath Salts made with Himalayan salts, orange and lavender—heavenly).
Stay active (even on the plane) It’s important to get up and walk around during your flight. Try to do modified yoga stretches every hour or so, get up and walk the aisles. If you have circulation issues, wear compression tights or socks to minimize swelling.
Moisturize Air travel is drying. Avoid dehydration by limiting alcohol intake when you fly and drink lots of water. Don’t forget to spritz a moisturizing toner on your face frequently and smooth on NPA-certified Lend a Hand Crème Smoother (which comes in a convenient, TSA-friendly 1.5-ounce tube).
Keep a Diary Bring a journal or type notes into your iPad so that you have a narrative to go with your pictures. Speaking of pictures, don’t forget to back up your pictures every day.
Stay tuned for our Pinterest board with photos from my trip. Until the next time, safe and happy travels to you!
This week, I’ll head out to beautiful Beverly Hills to participate in an Oscars gifting suite in partnership with my friends at Wow! Creations. From the Penthouse suite at the gorgeous Luxe Rodeo Drive, I’ll enjoy gorgeous views of Los Angeles while I talk to some of my favorite actors and actresses about Pura Botanica’s all-natural and travel-friendly products. Because really, who travels more than a working actor? We’ll be handing out our Freshly Minted Travel Kits, Botanic Bath Infusions and Lend a Hand Crème Smoother so that even the busiest celebs can take their bath ritual on the road. Stay tuned for pics and a recap of the event!
In honor of the Oscars, here are some of my favorite red carpet shots of eco-minded actors and actresses from past Academy Awards shows:
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie smoldered in a thigh-high, split Atelier Versace gown in 2012, earning her a place on our all-time best-dressed Oscar list. We admire this courageous woman for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of the rural poor and women. Her philanthropist partner in crime (and hubby) Brad Pitt looks pretty dapper, too, don’t you think?
Glenn Close, a well-known puppy activist, was stunning at the 2012 Oscars in a forest green Zac Posen strapless gown with floral embroidered details that she topped with a chic, matching blazer with wide, satin lapels.
Natalie Portman, a long time vegan who speaks out against factory farming, showed off her baby bump at the 2011 Oscars, wearing this fabulous Rodarte off-the-shoulder gown with chiffon draping and gorgeous Swarovski crystals. The look landed her on Best Dressed lists for Vogue, Elle and Us Weekly.
Sting and Trudie Styler, shown here at the Vanity Fair post Oscars party, are founders of the Rainforest Fund. They received the honorary International Green Film Award, a “Green Oscar,” from the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations for their ongoing and tireless work in the Amazon rainforest.
The unparalleled Meryl Streep founded Mothers and Others to teach consumers about the chemicals and toxins found in non-organic food. We adore this elegant, white Chris March gown that Streep wore at the 2010 Oscars.
Vegan and green queen Anne Hathaway paired her Prada dress with custom cruelty-free pumps from Giuseppe Zanotti. Hathaway made the rounds at awards shows earlier in the season in vegan Tom Ford gladiator boots and Jimmy Choo peep-toes.
Daryl Hannahwas the epitome of classic Hollywood glam at the 1988 Oscars. She co-founded the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance and supports groups as diverse as The Gorilla Organization, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Amazon Watch.
Human rights activist (and hunk) George Clooney helped start Oil Change International to reduce the United States dependence on foreign oil. He also swapped his gas-guzzling BMW for an eco-friendly Tango, and was in fact the first American to ever buy one.
For more of our favorite Oscars and Hollywood fashion inspiration, check out our And the Award Goes To… Pinterest board.
This Valentine’s Day, how about showing a little love to Mother Earth? We’re not suggesting abandoning the flowers, chocolates and jewelry for your sweetie, but, rather, taking a little extra time to source these gifts from eco-conscious suppliers and producers. Here are 14 gift ideas for your one and only (and the planet). While you’re shopping, feel free to check out our Valentine’s Day Gift Sets that are full of luxurious products made from organic and sustainably-harvested ingredients.
1. Fair Trade and Organic Flowers
Flowers are beautiful, but the ways they are traditionally produced are anything but. Order your Valentine’s blooms from companies that show a little more respect for the earth. You can “shop the frog” for Rainforest Alliance certified products or search out eco-friendly flowers from national companies like FTD, 1-800 Flowers and Sam’s Club who have climbed on the eco-band wagon.
2. Living Flowers
Instead of one dozen roses that will only last a week, pick a native potted plant from a local nursery and let the love last a lot longer.
3. A Seed of an Idea
Beautifying your yard or a vacant lot is an act of love. Plant a seed bomb in early spring; come summer it will sprout into a mini meadow of Black-Eyed Susans, Sweet Alyssum, Mountain Phlox that will attract bees, butterflies and birds.
4. Conflict-Free Jewelry
Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend when you think about the ways that they are mined and brought to the market. Look at companies like BrilliantEarth and GreenORO to find jewelry made in the most environmentally responsible way.
5. Go Vintage
The idea of something old, something new isn’t just for weddings. Check out antique stores and tag sales for vintage jewelry or visit Etsy and Eco-Artware for funky and fun items like bracelets or cufflinks made from old typewriter keys or subway tokens. Have a lot of sentimental trinkets you never wear? Send them to greenKarat and they will transform them into something brand new.
6. Pearls of Wisdom
This is the one precious gem that isn’t mined, but grown, making it the most eco-friendly jewelry option.
7. Sexy Little Things
Slip into something more comfortable with lovely lingerie made from organic cotton, silk and bamboo. Stella McCartney and Blue Canoe offer beautiful and environmentally sustainable options.
Once you’ve tasted artisanal, organic chocolate, you’ll never look at supermarket chocolate again. Choose from places that are as good for the earth as they are for your sweet tooth–GlobalExchangeStore.org, the Fat Turkey Chocolate Company, Raw Chocolate Love and Lulu’s Chocolate.
9. Valentine’s Cards
This year, maybe go with an e-card (some of them even sing to you!). But if only a physical greeting will do, check out the offerings from Pancake & Frank’s made from 100 percent recycled card stock and nontoxic inks.
10. Organic Bubbly
No need to break the bank to pop a cork in celebration of your love (and love of the earth) now that so many organic vineyards are coming out with sparkling wines at a reasonable cost. Check out Organic Vinters; a delightful Moscato d’Asti is just $17.99.
11. Organic Wines
Sulfates give you headaches? No worries with organic wines, plus there aren’t any pesky chemicals in them either. Coturri Winery and Bonterra Vineyards in California and Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon, offer a variety of ecologically sensitive varieties.
12. Recycled Glass Goblets
Enjoy your organic wines in recycled glass goblets, available in all types of colors, sizes and styles. Visit the Green Glass company for a wide selection.
13. Help an Animal
All my readers know that I am committed to saving sea turtles, but there are other animals out there who need our help. Farm Sanctuary was founded nearly 20 years ago as a farm animal rescue and protection group, raising awareness of factory farms and working to stop animal cruelty and promote vegan living. When you adopt an animal, you get a certificate and photograph of your adoptee—even an invite to come visit!
14. Bath Ritual
As always, I save the best for last. Pura makes it easy to turn an ordinary bath into a sensuous spa experience. Our Bath Ritual Gift Set includes Moments in Mint Botanic Bath Infusion, Tea Garden Soy Candle Jar, Freshly Minted Travel Kit and a Peppermint Leaf All-Natural Cleansing Bar. It’s pure bliss.
While setting goals to better ourselves is good in theory, the process often sets us up to fail when we inevitably slip (I can’t eat just one potato chip, either).
This year, I suggest that instead of trying to break habits in 2014, we create new ones. Rather than dwelling on shortcomings, we should count our blessings and practice gratitude. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you are focused on giving thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful for the roof over your head. After all, you can’t feel grateful and depressed at the same time. Here are some thoughts to help you get started (and please check out our New Year, Same Me Pinterest board for inspiration!):
Be thankful every day for what you have, starting with the things you may take for granted: a steaming cup of tea that warms your hands, a sunny day, your dog curled up at your feet. Add to your list each day.
Give yourself a break. We all lead such exhausting lives, constantly connected to our smart phones and computers and with unrealistic expectations of what we “should” be accomplishing. So make the effort to show yourself some love. Indulge in a good book (or the latest copy of People—I don’t judge). Fill a tub with aromatic bath salts, light a scented candle (might I suggest some of our luscious products?), and surrender to utter relaxation. Quiet that little critic in your head that says you should be doing laundry or training for a marathon instead. This is “you time,” and you deserve it.
Think positive. The poet Emily Dickinson once said the difference between an optimist and a pessimist was that one saw the doughnut; the other saw only the hole. Which would you rather have?
Keep things in perspective. No matter where you are in life, there are those who suffer more. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. If you can find a way to be thankful for your troubles, they can become your blessings.
Happy New Year to all my readers—I know I am grateful for all the support you have shown me over the years.
We can’t believe it, but the holidays are here. Before we dive into the craziness of the next couple of weeks—the meals, the parties, the shopping and the marathon nighttime wrapping sessions—we want to take a moment to think about how we can practice the generosity, compassion and good tidings that makes this season so special. Then, we’ll get to all of that fun stuff!
Pura Botanica is a proud supporter of a number of charities. One that is particularly important to us is the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, which has provided support to youth in south Florida since 1965. One way that we love to help is by spreading the word about the Club’s annual Toy Drive. We have partnered with a few local retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Styles Boutique and Body & Soul Boutique, to collect 130 toys for children aged 7 to 17. And the retailers are helping to sweeten the deal by offering incentives for giving. For instance, anyone who drops a toy off at Neiman Marcus tomorrow, December 12, will get a $25 Neiman Marcus gift certificate. Styles is offering a gift certificate for donations, and we are offering a free gift for each person who donates.
We also continue to expand our support of the sea turtles, which are indigenous to the south Florida coast. We recently adopted two loggerheads–Pedersen and Atwell—through the nonprofit Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which is based in Juno Beach, Florida near our headquarters. We’ll enjoy tracking the progress and rehab of these cuties throughout the year. Don’t forget that a portion of the proceeds from the Lend a Hand Crème Smoother goes to the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation.
In an effort to keep the giving spirit strong for the rest of the month and through the holidays, we’ve coined this month Giving December. How can you contribute? Show your charitable spirit by taking an #UNselfie – a photo of you with the name of the charity you support – and share it on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag Pura Botanica and use the hashtag #GivingDecember. Take a peek at our Giving December pinboard for inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/puramissbliss/giving-december-2013/.
As I write this post, I’m getting ready to go to Baltimore, Maryland to launch our brand new All-Natural Cleansing Bars at Natural Products Expo East, a huge trade event dedicated to promoting organic and natural products. Pura Botanica will have an impressive showing at the event, with eight products—including all four Cleansing Bars scents and the Freshly Minted Collection—on display. Each one has met the strict standards of the Natural Products Association (NPA) for ingredient purity, animal and environmental safety and responsibility, as well as overall sustainability.
My passion for NPA certification was sparked when we began developing our Cleansing Bars. We set out to create a truly natural bar soap and came up with a formula that was 85 percent organic. Unfortunately, organic standards do not apply to soap. Crazy, right? So, we began to research certifying associations in the U.S. and abroad and realized that many organization’s standards were not high enough to meet our standards! We were proud but also a bit disheartened.
Our mission has always been to create the purest products while educating consumers about the good and the bad ingredients used in everyday bath-and-body products. Our goal is to lead consumers to the good, but how does one know that something labeled “natural” really is? Further, with so much “green washing,” how could we prove that Pura Botanica is the real deal? This led us to the NPA, the oldest non-profit in the country dedicated to natural products. When you see the NPA seal on a product, you know that product has integrity and has been made in the US following strict and honest standards. Not every company takes this extra step to assure consumers of a product’s safety—but we can’t imagine doing anything less for our family of products—and our loyal fans.
Want more details on our new cleansing bars? We are introducing two fabulous new scents, Peppermint Leaf and Herbal Tonic—check them out on our new pinboard
Visit Pura Botanica pinboards at PuraBotanica.com/PuraMissBliss
We all know that good things come in small packages—babies, little blue boxes from Tiffany’s, dark chocolate truffles—and now, Pura Botanica products do too. Readers of this blog know that I am passionate about travel and love experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and discovering fabulous new products. But I also want to be able to maintain my daily beauty routine while away from home. Who wants to find herself in Marseilles or Melbourne without a trusted conditioner or cleanser? Do you really know what ingredients might be in the hotel freebies? You want to enjoy your vacation; confident you are looking good and being good to your body—and the earth. So we have created a travel kit of our new Freshly Minted collection: two-ounce bottles of our True Shampoo, In Condition, Lotion to Love and Body Beautiful Cleanser, all prettily packed in a classy clear vinyl case that is in perfect accord with TSA guidelines. Sure, zip-lock baggies get the job done, but we think it is important to pack a little luxury and beauty into every experience—even the security lines at the airport.
As you know, it is important to me to create pure and natural products, and three of the four products in the Freshly Minted collection are Certified All-Natural by the Natural Products Association. This is the eco-version of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval or a Consumer Reports rating. You don’t have to slog through a list of unpronounceable ingredients or do any research—the NPA rating assures you a product is safe. Indeed, Organic Spa Magazine’s website chose Freshly Minted as an Editor’s Pick last spring just after the line launched, and response from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. We think that once you find a good thing, you should stick with it, even when you’re away from home—especially when the good thing comes in a small package. Think of it as a little luxury—to go.
New York City is one of my favorite cities in the world; the crowds, world-class restaurants and chic boutiques make it an incomparable destination to visit. Much as I love it, the fast-paced nature can wear me down. And when it does, I unwind and reboot at one of the city’s many luxurious spas. I just returned from a fabulous couple of days at the Holiday Gift Guide Media Event in NYC and was reminded of some of my favorite hot spots for shopping, hotels, restaurants and, of course, spas. Enjoy!
Where to stay:
My favorite hotel in New York is the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, which has sweeping views looking north onto Central Park. The peaceful rooms are outfitted with the softest linens and beautiful furniture and are void of the incessant honking that can seem inescapable down on the street. I also love that the hotel is located right in midtown, which puts me in close, walking distance to my favorite shopping and restaurants. While the rooms can be pricey, the hotel does offer special rates. Be sure to check their website often for deals.
Where to shop:
The iconic Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue is a must-see. The luxurious department store was a favorite shopping spot for Sex and the City’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw, and she often popped in to pick up a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos when they went on sale. Keep your eyes open if you make the trip to Bergdorfs as you never know who you may see shopping there.
One spot I am sure never to miss is Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, just north of the Ritz. Madison Avenue is a shopper’s dream. The wide avenue is teeming with top-tier clothing and jewelry designers such as Gucci and Cartier. In between visits to my favorite boutiques, I make my way over to Rockefeller Center to eat at Brasserie Ruhlmann’s outdoor café. It is the perfect place for people watching while enjoying a glass of fine wine and exquisite food. Try the apple turnover; you have never tried a delicacy such as this.
If a quieter shopping experience is more your style, Manhattan’s NoLita neighborhood boasts a number of low-key, one-of-kind boutiques such as Calypso St. Barth, a unique brand inspired by a love for world travel.
Where to eat:
Whether you’re in NYC for leisure or business, Maialino in the trendy Gramercy Park Hotel is the perfect place for a delicious Italian-style breakfast. I love the house-made pastries—especially the olive oil muffin and brioche—the ricotta pancakes with jam and egg white frittatas with an espresso.
After a shopping spree at Barney’s, Rouge Tomate is the perfect place to grab lunch. The Michelin-rated eatery favors seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and prepares its dishes with the help of a culinary nutritionist.
Before returning to The Ritz to unwind, I love to stop by the bar at Marea for dinner. Marea is known for its fresh, seasonal fish and shellfish, which I enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine.
Where to relax:
If you’re staying at The Ritz, do not miss La Prairie, located right inside the hotel. La Prairie is one of the finest luxury spas in the world and offers a variety of skin care and massage treatments. I always go for the rejuvenating Travel Therapy package that includes a Swedish, deep tissue or aromatherapy massage plus the spa’s signature facial.
O’Live Organic Spa is the perfect place to indulge the mind and body in an environmentally-friendly environment. All of the lotions, creams and oils at O’Live are super nourishing and eco-friendly. Try the Phyto-Greens Facial in which fresh pulp from apples and grapes calm and restore skin’s moisture with the help of organic greens and rosehips.
Take a trip to The Peninsula Spa on Fifth Avenue and you will forget that you are in NYC. The Spa is at once serene and luxurious and combines ancient and modern techniques to create ultra-therapeutic spa experiences. I love to indulge in the Salt and Oil Scrub, which combines sea salts and essential oils to slough off dead skin and restore its vitality. The scrub is the perfect way to prepare for one of the Peninsula’s holistic massages, which range from tension relief to pre-natal massages for mothers-to-be. One of the best kept secrets in New York is The Peninsula’s rooftop pool. The glass-enclosed oasis features a sophisticated look and boasts stunning views of the city.
Rose Retreat Botanic Bath Salt
My last tip: Don’t forget to pack your Rosé Retreat Botanic Bath Salt and an Oh-So-Citrus Soy Candle Tin so that you can transform your hotel room (wherever you stay) into a luxurious and relaxing sanctuary.
Summer is just around the corner, which means that many of us are gearing up for well-deserved vacations and getaways. Whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway or a two-week sojourn to South Africa, preparedness is key to a successful trip. Here are a few of my tips for purely blissful, stress-free travel.
Do your research: Maybe you need help deciding where to go. Or you want to learn more about your locale of choice. National Geographic Traveler and Condé Nast Traveler are top-notch references for tourists. Both sites offer expansive lists of destinations for any taste alongside expert travel tips and reviews of restaurants, hotels and cultural offerings in destinations around the world, from Santorini to San Francisco. Condé Nast Traveler is the perfect choice for the beauty-minded vacationer with its exclusive sections dedicated to the best spas worldwide and an array of helpful beauty and health tips geared towards travelers.
Check out the Travel Blogs: Travel bloggers are also great resources for vacation tips and ideas. I suggest searching for bloggers that speak to your personal taste. I enjoy Nadine Jolie’s blog, especially her posts about all of the gorgeous spa weekends she takes around the world. Jolie also offers tips for dining, lodging and even suggests helpful travel apps for your smart phone! Green Globetrotter is another fantastic blog centered on ecotourism and eco-chic travel. The Green Globetrotter will have you longing for a dip in the natural pool at Agrotourismo Can Marti in Ibiza or a yoga class at the Travaasa Hana resort in Maui.
Pack Wisely: I never leave home without Pura’s NPA certified all natural Lend a Hand Crème Smoother. It is the perfect on-the-go moisturizer that I take with me on the plane, in hotels and on the beach—spots that are notorious for drying out the skin. The silky lotion is packed with antioxidants, West African Shea butter, and Vitamin E and replenishes thirsty skin without leaving behind any residue. Organic vanilla also soothes the senses. Our Rosé Retreat Botanic Bath Infusion is another great addition to any travel beauty arsenal. Simply fill your hotel bath with hot water, drop in the pouch of Andean and Atlantic sea salts infused with rose and geranium and embark on a getaway within your getaway. Because I never leave any detail uncovered, I have designed the compact, vegan friendly Essentials Pouch, where you can stash all of your travel beauty essentials.
Follow these simple travel tips and you will be bound for bliss!
Next up, I will be heading to Manhattan for the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide Show and will share my favorite New York City hot spots.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Pura Botanica will be hosting a Pinterest contest celebrating life’s many moments of bliss.
We want you to craft a Pinboard that captures your very own moments of bliss – sitting by a crackling fireplace on a snowy afternoon, the feeling of cool ocean water lapping at your feet, taking a peaceful bath by candlelight. Don’t forget to include a pin of your favorite Pura Botanica product. Whoever can garner the most repins on Pinterest or likes on Facebook will win Pura Botanica’s special Mother’s Day Bath Gift Set, which includes our Rose Retreat Botanic Bath Infusion, ‘Just Because’ Soy Candle, and All-Natural Cleansing Bar in Spiced Citrus – a $75 value.
A winner will be selected on May 8th and the Bath Gift Set will arrive by May 10th, just time for Mother’s Day. Get pinning and treat yourself or a mother you adore to a few little luxuries that are good for the earth, body, and soul!
For more information about Pura Botanica’s Moments of Bliss Pinterest contest visit us on Pinterest or Facebook.
***Pura Botanica Mother’s Day Bath Gift Set Pin-to-Win Pinterest Contest***
We invite you to create your own Moments of Bliss pin board.