Summers in Vermont are beautiful. We wait patiently for the ice and snow to recede and then, yes! Summer, in all its glory. What we fail to remember, is that as soon as the temperatures rise and the ground warms… mosquitos. I have woods in my backyard and a slow trickling stream so it is mosquito heaven. If I want to do anything outside in the evening, gardening, entertaining, or even walking the dogs I have to wear bug spray. And I hate it. The intense chemicals, the sticky feel, having to shower immediately when I come inside for fear of touching anything in the house. Then I saw this.
Aromaflage is a fine fragrance that also repels insects. A healthy alternative to chemical bug sprays it is free of DEET, chemicals, and parabens. Originating from the Southeast Asian jungle, Aromaflage’s original scent (pictured above) combines notes of citrus fruit, warm cedarwood, silken vanilla, and nourishing Vitamin E. It is a sweet and happy scent, which reminded me a bit of a creamsicle. This is not the normal type of scent that I go for, but you know what? I really like it, and on my dog walk in the woods yesterday, there were mosquitos all around but they would not land on me. Sold.
If sweet is not your thing, Aromaflage also has a “Wild” fragrance (pictured below) which combines notes of spicy cardamom, warm cedarwood, and snappy spruce. This scent is more me, though honestly I would wear either. Thank you Aromaflage, summer is saved!
I have had an interest in natural health and holistic beauty ever since college, when I was spending my summers at home in the bay area. I was lucky enough to work at Smith and Hawken at their original store in Mill Valley. I was surrounded by beautiful, natural brands and living in an environment that embraced a fresh, organic lifestyle, and I soaked it in. It was nothing short of idyllic. The color of the sunlight, the flowers, the ocean, the coffee, the redwoods, that drive up Highway 1.
Still, since then my skin and body care has included all sorts of brands, I’ve searched the latest and greatest, tried the miracle potions, and scrubbed, slathered, massaged, and gently patted my way back to where I started. I now live in Vermont. It is beautiful and equally idyllic. We have the best of every season, most notably, winter. Unfortunately, by January my skin has had it. After trying all sorts of things, I finally realized that the only thing that fixed this was using natural and nurturing products. Now for my skincare I seek products which are made from pure ingredients, which are good for both me and the environment, and which add an element of beautiful ritual to my day.
One brand which has caught my eye recently is Mullein and Sparrow, a 100% natural, fully plant-based apothecary line. Based in Brooklyn, the company was founded by herbalist and holistic esthetician Anit Hora who makes these products by hand, in small batches. Born in Mumbai, Anit grew up with the principles of Ayurveda. Her line draws strongly on the self-care regimens of Ayurveda and traditional, simple remedies that have worked for centuries.
Mullein and Sparrow is a whole body line which seeks to bring the purest, finest, plant-based beauty directly to your cells. The beautiful collections include facial care, body care, and hair care. The products are not limited to the topical, Anit believes that beauty and health start from within, and includes holistic teas to help detox and beautify.
I love taking the time to use a body scrub, it is such a pampering addition to skincare with a myriad of benefits. The Body Exfoliant by Mullein and Sparrow does not disappoint. This exfoliating scrub blends earthy and sweet coffee Arabica, shea butter, and coconut oil with the invigorating and uplifting notes of mint and orange. The coffee sloughs off dead and dry skin, while also improving skin’s texture – caffeine helps reduce the appearance of cellulite. The coconut oil strengthens and exfoliates and shea butter moisturizes and protects.
A natural and pure lavender body oil is an absolute necessity. It is also surprisingly hard to find without a handful of other additives or false fragrances. This oil is simple and organic, just lavender essential oil in a sunflower oil base with vitamin E. I like to use lavender oil at night after a bath or shower. It is wonderfully restorative, hydrating, and soothing. A perfect way to end the day.
How luxuriously lovely. What could be more pampering, relaxing, and restoring than allowing yourself the time for this floral steam. I used to incorporate a facial steam in my face care and it is so beneficial. It opens pores, helps release impurities in the skin, and creates a sacred space of quiet breathing and swirling steam. This blend includes lavender, rose, chamomile, calendula, and herbs. A beautiful treat.
You had me at detox. I gravitate towards all things cleansing and detoxifying. I live pretty cleanly, I eat beautiful, real whole foods, walk in the Vermont woods everyday, exercise… but there’s coffee, and this, and well, who knows what. Like Anit, I am a firm believer that beauty and health start from within. In order to truly glow you must nourish and clean your inside as well as your outside. Your skin is just a mirror of what’s going on inside. This tea is a great way to cleanse and purify everyday.
I have a love for lip balm and this multi-tasker hits all the marks. It is a natural tinted balm which adds a flush and a dewy finish to your lips and cheeks. It is easy, nourishing, and natural. Isn’t that what beauty should be?