Category Archives: How to’s

Step Three of your Winter into Spring Skin Care Regimen, Hydrate in Layers, part 2~your Oil Serum layer

Step Three of your WINTER into SPRING SKIN CARE REGIMEN~ Hydrate in Layers, continuing with part 2~ Choosing an OIL SERUM to achieve a beautiful, moist and nourished complexion for Springtime~
If you’ve been following me on the Beauty Walk here, you’ll know that I began to teach you in Late Autumn then transitioned into a Winter program giving you step by step instructions on how to counteract this dry, dehydrating and cold season of Winter, and now we’re transitioning from Winter into the first weeks of pre-Spring. I’ve taught you my practical and experienced lessons on how to care for your skin at this crucial season–Winter–by writing out in detail a successful guide to taking good and gentle care with your one and only precious skin. Read on to see links to my previous NOTES below where I describe Step One through Step Three, part 1, of my Four Part professional system for a complete SKIN CARE REGIMEN that takes Seasonal and Climate variations into consideration.*
Since the early days of March at the New Moon, we’ve entered another transition time which requires that you slightly modify your day and evening skin care regimen from Late Winter into Early Spring in order to keep your daily skin care regimen/RITUAL up-to-date as well as get into sync and complement what is happening in your personal environment as far as weather, air quality with its humidity or wind-chill factor is concerned, and especially become aware of your bodily transitions during this period between Late Winter into Early Spring.
Remember, the phrase of “…those will be helped who help themselves?” Well, Nature and our own often-forgotten, yet always there, BODY RHYTHMS will usually give us a cleanse either because 1) you’ve assisted your body with its own natural, season-induced CLEANSE by employing proper, easy, and gentle detox methods…or because, on the other hand, 2) you’ve neglected to follow MOTHER NATURE’S RHYTHMS and therefore, self-inflict yourself with colds, allergies, and sluggishness of body, mind and spirit.
This is because our bodies are overloaded and somewhat clogged by the past months’ slower pace, holiday and daily eating of heavier (and often less) fresh market food and substitution of some fresh foods with easier stored and prepared pantry foods. And, unless we carefully adjust with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and light or no dessert, our diet has almost subconsciously been seasonally adjusted to keep our bodies warm and our tummies full. Settling in with a good book and a glass of vino as you read this? Oh,oh, more carbs and sugar!
Yet, only the very disciplined can resist the comfort of warm bread, delicious cheeses, potatoes, and baked goods when the wind is blowing and temperatures drop so low during a long Winter’s evening–are you one of these people? I know I’m not really good at resisting temptation. So, when the season of Winter is coming to a close and our body’s overload happens, if you forget  (or worse, resist)  SELF-CARE methods such as the easiest and well-known method of doing a daily Gentle Detox first thing in the morning–the warm to slightly hot LEMON WATER RITUAL with its LIVER cleansing properties–you experience the often unpleasant result of system overload…and then what’s your body to do? BE PRO-ACTIVE…see my post:…
And you may be wondering–“What does this have to do with my skin care regimen for Spring?”  My methodology is HOLISTIC, that is, my knowledge and advice encompasses taking our entire being~ Body/Mind/Spirit ~into consideration when recommending protocols and products…so please continue reading if you’d like to learn more.
After gentle cleansing, misting or toning, and then applying the first layer of your Hydrate in LAYERS protocol–the light, liquidy SERUM Layer (see link below), IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW with the second layer in my protocol, the OIL SERUM Layer, the layer that guarantees a moist, hydrated, repaired and re-juvenated appearance to your Winter-weary complexion. Today, I will give you instructions on How-To apply and what to look for in OIL SERUM, and in another NOTE, I will give you my recommendations to my favorite products in this category.
Delicious OIL SERUMS whether smelling of their own carrier oil goodness, or lightly fragranced with real, pure essential oils is a BEAUTY RITUAL known since ancient times to prevent dryness and preserve a less-lined look to the skin because of their nourishing and replenishing properties. Plant-based OILS contain natural vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and lots of other great components for keeping skin both beautiful and HEALTHY.
This is because our skins by their very composition are Oil Loving! Our skins’ sebum is what keeps it lubricated and protected NATURALLY from bacteria; Our skins’ LOVE OIL~ our pores (really not “pores” but technically sebaceous glands, and not our sweat glands either) actually readily absorb and appreciate natural plant oils as the best and most beneficial moisturizing ingredients we can utilize–only if they are truly fresh and good ORGANIC OILS, and not heavy molecule ones like coconut oil, or clogging, synthetic ones like mineral oil–in order to function optimally allowing the skin to become Normal/normalized, the most sought-after skin type whose dewy, glowing, baby-like soft and radiant appearance is the condition that is strived for, and for which lots of money is out-laid for, to gain and maintain that just about perfect look we admire so much.
HOW-TO APPLY  an OIL SERUM~  Use either a third of a small glass dropper full, or 2-3 pumps of your selected  OIL SERUM which usually comes in a Glass Bottle into the palm of one hand, and use the fingertips of your other hand to press some of the oil onto your fingertips until most of the oil serum is on the fingertips of both hands. Then begin to apply in slow, gentle sweeping movements from the center outwards of your cheeks, forehead, chin, jawline and nose in that order.  Blend in lightly until you feel most of the oil blend has been absorbed into the top layer of your skin, then apply an equal amount or more to your neck and décolleté in lightly downward movements from under your jaw down with gentle and light pressure towards your collarbones.  Finish with sweeping movements across your décolleté and shoulders.  You must treat your entire facial area in order to retain a youthful countenance…both the right products and your ritual daily face massage will both stimulate lymph flow and assist circulation which are key to skin’s health and appearance. Leave on just the barest slight layer of oil so you may FOLLOW with the 3rd and final layer…your more occlusive cream layer/barrier.
Your daytime CREAM will become your 3rd layer (a future NOTE forthcoming) applied right after the OIL SERUM has absorbed…I suggest about 1 to 2 mins allowance time before applying the third layer…with enough of a slip and glide feeling left comfortably on your skin’s surface to form a semi-occlusive final layer over both your previously applied liquidy serum and oil serum layers. This is the application method I highly recommend to keep your skin protected and hydrated for the whole day and again, overnight, after your EVENING Ritual.
By repeating this cleanse, mist, layering system in the Evening, you will not only refresh yourself and prepare for a restorative sleep, you will prepare your skin to do its own restoring and repairing work overnight by providing a “breathe-able” yet very moisturized environment for your skin to repair free-radical damage and balance itself into the normal skin that is naturally ours. BE SURE TO APPLY the layering steps to your Neck and Décolleté areas also–this is crucial to maintain a total countenance that looks and remains refreshed and youthful.
*And be sure to check out my NOTES which appeared in the last few months on my Simply Nirvana Facebook page as well as on my Blog~ Your Skin Advisor at WordPress: to review all the STEPS so far–remember my motto–BE BEAUTIFUL NATURALLY!
Step One~ Cleanse GENTLY:…
Step Two~ Mist LIBERALLY:

Step Three of your Winter Skin Care Regimen ~ Hydrate in Layers, part 1

One of my key Beauty Secrets is the third step in your Winter Skin Care regimen. This important step was preceded by #1~ Cleanse GENTLY…
and #2~ Mist LIBERALLY…
An analogy to this next vital step, STEP #3~ Hydrate in LAYERS of my recommended Four Step Regimen, is my statement that “Just as we dress warmer by layering our clothes during the colder Winter months, it is a perfect idea to layer our Skin Care Products in order to provide enough protection and moisture for our exposed faces.” This NOTE will focus on the first step/first layer of my strongly recommended  Hydrating in Layers protocol–
After cleansing and misting well with some of my favorite MISTING Products (see the link just above for details and a brief critique of what makes them special), I recommend that you IMMEDIATELY HYDRATE with a thin, even base coat of a SERUM, not an oil blend or cream per se, but a liquidy/gel/ lotion~like emulsion which absorbs into the skin almost instantly, leaving a smooth surface.
Another wonderful quality of a serum is that it is Very Concentrated so only a small pump or half of a pea-sized amount in the palm of your hand is all that’s required to  spread quickly by the fingertips of the opposite hand with gentle yet continuously gliding strokes applying the precious ingredients all over your face. Next, use about two applications for your neck and decollette [A MUST!! your face doesn’t stop at your chin 😉 and along with the eyes are usually the first areas to show signs of environmental damage and loss of elasticity].
I highly recommend the Serums from OSEA Organic Seaweed-based quality Skin and Body Care line. I have used their products on myself and on my faithful clientele for years and I prefer not only the way they absorb deeply into the skin, and what the ingredients they contain do for the skin, yet also just the right amount of the gel-like liquid is dispersed from the high quality pumps of the beautiful frosted glass bottles. I enjoy and appreciate all 3 serums from OSEA and here is a little explanation and my critique of them one by one:
First, the VITAMIN SEA Serum– What Osea says about it~ “This potent serum infuses skin with Hyaluronic Acid and a fortifying blend of seven seaweed extracts to help smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Antioxidant-rich Turmeric, Ferulic Acid and Green Tea restore the appearance of youthful plumpness to moisture-depleted skin. Leaves skin feeling supple and hydrated.”
*My opinion is that the exceptional ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid, known for its ability to retain about 300x its weight in moisture when applied to the skin, are just what Winter skin craves. As the first step of your 3 part layering, a wonderful serum like this one absorbs quickly and makes a light base to help the next two steps adhere and absorb more evenly and deeply. Vitamin Sea Serum is categorized as Anti-Aging, or as I like to say, “Youth~Enhancing” 🙂
Second, the BRIGHTENING Serum– What Osea has to say~ “This ultra-lightweight serum contains potent botanicals that help to visibly brighten your complexion, diminish the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and create the appearance of a more even skin tone. Vitamin-rich ingredients such as Indian Gooseberry, Curcumin, Japanese Matsutake Mushroom and Bearberry give your complexion a refined, radiant look.” The Brightening Serum is considered ‘radiance enhancing’ and anti-aging by its maker.
*My opinion is that the gently exfoliating and brightening ingredients contained in Osea’s Brightening Serum are much safer and work at a much deeper level than chemical exfoliants and artificial brightening agents. Plus its special and unusual ingredients such as gooseberry (an Ayurvedic favorite), curcumin aka tumeric (known for its anti-inflammatory effect), specific type Mushroom, and Bearberry herb are ingredients known for assisting in the repair of sun damage and the gradual and safe lightening and even~ning of sun damaged-caused hyper-pigmentation of the skin which appears more and more as we take on the exposure year after years not realizing that SUN DAMAGE is CULMULATIVE, that is, every year in the sun, unprotected, causes a gradual change in melanin which is triggered deep in the dermis and comes eventually up to the skin’s epidermis (surface) slowly yet relentlessly.
So, every year we receive more sun exposure and the protective melanin increaes (a darkening of areas as small as freckles in the beginning then over time expand to be larger “sun spots” and with every birthday the spots and imperfections become darker and more prevelant…and that usually makes us so sad 😦
The only solution is to be pro-active with Protection, Lubrication, and pure Organic cleansers, toners, masks and other skin care products that are made specifically for certain skin conditions like these and beautifully realized by OSEA. There is help out there and this serum is one of the skin’s best friends.
Thirdly, the EYE GEL SERUM for all skin types. Osea’s description of its benefits~ This is a “Supercharged Serum For Tired Eyes.” meaning “This robust age-defying under eye serum combats visible signs of fatigue such as dark spots, fine lines and surface puffiness for an instantly illuminated look. Resveratrol, Montmorillonite, Organic Algae, Hyaluronic Acid cultivate a youthful, firmer looking appearance. Has an immediate, gentle, cooling effect that promotes a sense of freshness and wellbeing.”
*My opinion is that no skin care regimen should be without this very moisturizing and so necessary product since the EYE AREA requires specialized and consistent attention with the right kind of product that is not heavy to order to not cause clogging around this delicate, thin-skinned area, and it is also very important that an eye serum penetrates easily to sink in and not sit on top interfering with the next two layers in our Hydrate in Layers regimen. Again, the ease-of-application with the pre-measured pump as well as the just-right-size container to take in your purse, gym bag, travel bag, etc. makes Osea’s Eye Gel Serum one of my most highly recommended skin care products and definitely one of Mary’s Must~HavesTM.
Find the above mentioned products here~…
Be sure to follow my Simply Nirvana Facebook page as well as  my new blog, to see my next NOTE where I will share the second step of my HYDRATE in Layers method–your oil serum layer–the key moisture~retaining step.

A new modality for wellness via Flower Power

An informative interview with the creator of modern flower essences/elixirs for raising and fine tuning your outlook, creativity and mind/body connection. See the paragraph just below the link for my special for February with direct link to these exceptional products ~

Use my code: SIMPLYNIRVANA for 20% off any order ***only thru the end of FEB*** of these transformative, plant-dervided flower essences that enhance your moods, lift your spirit and inspire creative action and updated perspectives.  The  Lotus Wei collection includes Tinctures, Mists, Serums, and Perfumes plus specialty products~

Step two of your Late Autumn into Winter Skin Care Regimen~ Mist Liberally

Facial Mists and Toners are often an under-rated and therefore, an often skipped part of the average person’s skin care regimen. Many times I have heard that a consumer is told that a hydrating facial mist or gentle toner is an un-neccessary step in cleansing, so I am sharing with you now that this is totally wrong and mis-guided information.
Thoroughly misting your face with a delicious floral water, herbal water, or mildly cleansing toner is one of best procedures to plump up your skin, hydrate it enough to allow superior penetration of whatever moisturizer, oil blend, hydrating cream and serum you put on next, and fully invigorate your skin by removing tap water residue and/or any remaining cleanser on your skin due to not removing your cleansing product thoroughly.
Please see my blog post  dated November 29th on this page for my step by step instructions on how to really wash your entire facial area properly, and visit this blog again to  refer to my upcoming blog post on how to use a facial mist versus a facial toner.
All mists are used both to re-hydrate your skin after cleansing or masking as well as to prepare the surface of the skin for moisturizing by bringing back the skin’s natural pH balance and creating a moist medium for the serum, oil, lotion or cream you apply for superior penetration of product. Just think of the analogy of a wet sponge picking up more water into it than a dry sponge.
Mists are also very exhilarating to your senses and state of well~being because whether it’s the Evian spray or an aromatherapy or flower essence product. you are creating a vapor of loveliness as each precious minute particle of the mist falls delicately onto your skin and your nose picks up its refreshing scent. Please check my next NOTE to understand why you just don’t spray and leave the mist to evaporate–that will not have the same effect as my trusted method of application.
My current favorite MISTING PRODUCTS are:

1) Napa Valley au Natural’s ROSE KISSES Mist –A gorgeous smelling and feeling floral water blend of Rose Otto & Rose Geranium, two of the best traditional essential oils for softening, hydrating, nourishing, balancing and re-generating the skin. Experienced Aromatherapist, Anna Wingfield, creator of Rose Kisses’ gives her description~ “A sweet mist for your lovely face with rose otto & rose geranium essential oils. Also with ‘pretty face’ flower essence (to assist you in being kind when you look at yourself in the mirror). Rose is especially helpful in feeling beautiful and aging gracefully.” Find it here:…

 2) OSEA’s SEA VITAMIN BOOST with Gigartina Skottsbergii Algae hydrates while infusing skin with vitamins and minerals to reinforce the appearance of youthful volume and firmness. Leaves skin feeling hydrated and protected. Wonderful for all skin types and conditions~…
3) Lotus Wei’s Aura Mists~ Create a whole new mind set by using these intriguing organic extra high quality flower essence and essential oil blend products. The Lotus Wei system is a modern take on Bach Flower Remedies where a particular plant corresponds to a a particular energetic vibration that is healing to a specific condition. When you pick your flower of the day, it always reflects what energy you need most on that particular day….see what I mean by clicking on the link and exploring the newest healing modality that overlaps mental wellbeing and beauty~…
4) Evian pure mineral water in the traditional Spray~ The Classic standard of refreshment with gentle cleansing, toning and mositurizing properties all in one. I’ve used it for years personally and professionally and highly recommend it.
I also recommend that you purchase the 5 oz. size because the contents continue to spray whereas the smallest size (1.7 oz) has barely any contents yet makes a handy addition to your purse or when traveling. A cleansing mist of Evian can help remove perpiration, ocean salt, pool cholrine, or surface facial dirt. The very large size (14 oz.) does not maintain it’s sprayer function after using only about one half of its content–this is based on my years of utilizing this vital beauty product so, in other words, after buying literally a thousand cans of Evian Spray Mist and that’s why I’m passing on this information
I love the middle size (5 oz.) and have used it quite successfully in my own personal beauty ritual as well as using it on my spa clientele with fantastic results for over twenty five years. I believe its neutral to slightly alkaline pH (7.2) and unique balance of minerals propelled in a super-fine mist can penetrate the upper layers of the dermis for deeper hydration. It is also a great aid to overheated or dry office air and instantly helps soothe and re-hydraate sun burned and wind chapped skin. It keeps your skin looking fresh and moist and that is how skin thrives.
By purifying the skin with excellent mineral water sealed at the source in the French Alps, the Evian mineral water spray (“Brumisateur”) will assist you in the important step of rinsing away tap water residue which, in turn, leaves you with a completely fresh, sterile and dewy complexion to continue to enliven with a second mist of fragranced floral water or herbal toner, or just simply continue to the third step of moisturizing with more substantial pure skin care products which I will discuss in a future NOTE~ Find the 5 oz size of Evian Mist at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, on Amazon, or in many health care shops like Pharmaca.
And, be sure to follow along to see my next recommended step, Step Three–“Hydrate in Layers” in a future NOTE on my Simply Nirvana FB page (see a future reference on this page also) where I will explain how applying moisturizing products in LAYERS will really make a difference in how well moisturized your skin becomes & stays–and we want it glowing 🙂


Feng Shui your bathroom to transform it into your personal Beauty Retreat

A great way to invigorate the New Year~

Re-vamping your bathroom into your refreshed and practical BEAUTY RETREAT will bring an awareness of what you really resonate with in regards to your personal Beauty Regime and will re-new and re-fresh your outlook about yourself in a positive way.

Recommendations for a Winter Glow…the basics to get started~

Here are some of my BEAUTY SECRETS to assist you in getting started on a new SKIN CARE REGIMEN in 2017~
 #1–Make your skin care regimen a pleasant and nurturing daily ritual by having all your products organized on your bathroom counter in the exact order you will use them–early in the morning or late at night, you’ll be glad you did 🙂 A pretty container like a rustic basket, or a mirrored tray to hold your facial products will bring a sense of order and a feminine touch.
#2– Many people wash their face in their basin or shower in the AM, and neglect to do so in the PM which is the totally wrong approach. No matter how tired or distracted you are before bed, ALWAYS clean your face, neck, decollete and around your ears gently and thoroughly at the end of the day. I like to do this in the early evening so I’m all ready for my beauty sleep and can just drift off peacefully.
#3– Please do not use harsh glycolics, grainy scrubs or retinol-based cleansers at this time of year. I personally do not like these type of cleansers in the long run at any time of year and advise my clients to get a series of relaxing professional facials if they want to repair and restore their skin properly after the damaging effects of Summer sun exposure. Make sure your esthetician correctly assesses your skin type and condition and does not advise aggressive treatments.

Quality Skin Care products produce Superior Results…it’s all how they are made and utilized~

Find out about my criteria for rating my favorite Skin Care products~

Bring Aromatherapy into your Everyday life~

How the art & science of this wonderful healing modality can be safely and effectively brought into your everyday life.  Diffusing the oils throughout the Winter months is especially effective for purifying the indoor air in your environment and keeping your Respiratory System healthy.

Late Autumn into Early Winter-Update your Skin Care Routine

As the weather cools down and the sun changes position, there are certain adjustments that need to be made to your SELF-CARE ROUTINE to keep your facial skin hydrated, moist/glowing and refreshed~

Step by Step Daily Regimen for perfectly beautiful skin from Late Autumn into Winter~

Really understand HOW to Wash your entire Facial area~
The other day on my Simply Nirvana FB page, I posted a brief summary of MY CLASSIC FOUR STEP PROGRAM  to effectively care for your precious facial skin during Autumn and throughout the Winter.
In brief, they were~ 1) Cleanse GENTLY;  2) Mist LIBERALLY;  3) Hydrate in LAYERS-Base. Middle and Top:  4) PROTECT with Safe Sunscreen.
Here is an expansion of my professional advice for STEP ONE of the program I designed for my spa clientele~
Let’s start from the beginning by learning how to LOVINGLY WASH your Face and entire Facial area  like the precious object that it is:
Cleanse GENTLY: Use an OIL-based CLEANSER** especially in your evening PM regimen because oil is the most effective and efficient cleanser to remove make-up, sunscreen, environmental residue, and whatever happened to touch your face during the day.
 **My favorite oil-based cleansers can be recommended to you by contacting me in the comments section of this blog.
When you cleanse and nurture your face thoroughly at night, then morning cleanses can be simple and light since you’ve gone to sleep with a clean, moist, well-nourished face that should only need a lightly warm washcloth, facial toner, hydrating oil blend or cream and a natural zinc oxide sunscreen. Although, if you enjoy repeating the oil cleanse in the AM, please do so, but realize that using less water overall on your skin, face as well as body, during the drier seasons will help your skin retain more moisture.
STEP ONE, part 1~ Apply 4-6 pumps of the oil cleanser into the palm of one hand and press the fingertips of your opposite hand into the oil then apply the oil with both hands using gentle strokes in light upward movements beginning* with your forehead and moving downwards to under your eyes, over your nose, cheeks, around your mouth and chin, down the sides and front of your neck and onto your upper chest (decollete).
*Very important– If you are wearing eye make-up and lipstick, then first apply a pump or two of oil onto a damp cotton pad to lightly remove whatever make-up there is with eyes closed, turning the pad over and using a second if needed…the same for lips. Do this BEFORE you do the rest of your face–I’ve seen residue from mascara , eye shadow, lipstick, etc. embedded into women’s pores by not cleansing in the right order.
STEP ONE, part 2~ Massage the oil around about a minute to loosen everything, then run warm (not hot) water from your tap picking up a little water on your fingertips and palms, turn water off and spend another minute or two throughly but gently EMULSIFYING the oil into a milky-like lotion–this is key…do not just rinse off an oil cleanser without this step since this is how it really deep cleans.
STEP ONE, part 3~ Then, rinse well, but not overly well, using TEPID water and hands, or with a WARM washcloth which you first let rest over your face like a steam towel for about 30 seconds…repeat a 2nd time with a Cooler temp washcloth if desired–note I said, COOL not icy cold. GENTLY press your skin dry with a fresh, clean, very soft towel and press lightly to absorb some, but not all, moisture from your skin.
Your skin should feel soft, not stripped. Make sure you reach all areas where you applied the cleanser, and PLEASE do NOT rub with the washcloth, or dry roughly with your towel.
Check in with me often and read more of my practical Beauty Secrets including the next step in My Program–MIST Liberally –along with a couple of Feng Shui suggestions for your bathroom aka “your Personal Beauty RETREAT”.