Category Archives: Mary’s Must~Haves

My Favorite FACIAL OIL BLENDS– the best organic quality and results from these skin~restoring potions for Spring

After you’ve read my recent post on the third and vital step to my Hydrate in LAYERS system* of attaining and keeping a moist, refined, and hydrated looking skin by using a FACIAL OIL BLEND immediately after applying a first layer of a liquid/gel-like Serum** then read this latest post with my favorite facial and body oils for SPRING. This step is especially important after the Winter ravages of cold, wind, dry and de-hydrating environments, and perhaps a neglect or lack of utlizing the correct and most nourishing skin care regimen. Now is the time to begin restoring and revitalizing your precious skin to get that Springtime glow
By reading my previous NOTES found below, you will understand in-depth how important using an OIL BLEND is to your daily skin care routine, and it has to be one that is organic, free of synthetics, colors, pesticides, and unhealthy ingredients. One that is deliciously and naturally fragranced with its own nutritive carrier oils, or lightly scented with quality essential oils that add to the beautifying properties of a well-made FACIAL OIL with certain skin regulating components that enhance with their delightful and time-honored essences (essential oils are actually more liquid-like than oils, except for tree resins which are generally thicker). Therefore, the carrier oils and essential oils do not make your skin oily…they actually balance your own natural oils without leaving excess oiliness on the skin’s surface since the skin readily absorbs them a few minutes after application of a few precious droplets.
Read these notes first to get up to speed with my recommended protocol:
These previous articles posted on Simply Nirvana’s FB blog will fill in the background necessary to create your own essential SPRING SKIN CARE REGIMEN that will not only repair the damages caused by Winter conditions, it will more importantly Strengthen and Re-New your DAILY BEAUTY routine for a fresher, moister, and less-lined countenance to greet the new season with confidence.
My system’s steps will also prepare your skin/body/mind/spirit for the following Summer Season which like the Winter Season is the hardest on us in terms of keeping a healthy lipid barrier on our skin and protecting it at the same time since exposure to the stronger Nature elements of both Summer and Winter are the skin’s real challenges. I have instructed both on what makes a quality facial oil blend and how-to use it in my above links, so take a look there to read and understand my methods and then, see the next paragraphs for listing of my current Favorite OIL BLENDS which will enhance both your skin and your outlook for Springtime by reviving your complexion in wonderful, effective and naturally beautiful ways~
My most highly recommended products to use as a FACIAL OIL for your Spring Skin Care Regimen are:
NELUM BOTANICS Graceful Face Elixir~ Company description–“Nelum Botanics’ Graceful Face Elixir is a powerful blend of organically grown medicinal botanicals working in harmony to strengthen collagen, maintain elastin, support skin structure, regenerate skin tissue and protect from free-radical damage. Alive with phytochemicals, our Graceful Face Elixir will help prevent age spots and even skin tone while replenishing your skin with vitamin A, B, C & E for a wonderful, graceful you!” Recommended for: •normal skin •dry skin •sensitive skin •blemished skin •mature skin
My Review~ While using this excellent product, I felt the wonderful experience of my skin being fully drenched and pampered with real quality, carefully selected, free trade carrier oils accompanied by a very lovely & deep-smelling, yet pleasantly light-feeling and not at all over-powering, essential oil blend of skin revivers and beauty enhancers Helichrysum essential oil and extract, Jasmine Absolute, EOs of Frankincense, Myrrh, & Citrus Blend (non-toxic which means non-photo sensitive which is so important in regards to citrus essential oils so they do not cause hyper-pigmentation or irritation from exposure to sunlight). This gorgeous facial oil comes in glass which I believe is the only safe container to use for beauty products.
I found this blend to make my skin very soft, moist, and restored, it also left my skin feeling refreshed and nourished without any residue…in fact, it felt perfect…like what my skin had been longing for had at last appeared. Find this wonderful facial oil elixir here: http://www.nelumbotanics.com/store/…
Use my special code: nelumbo10 for 10% off this delightful product until the end of April and begin to enjoy it while bringing your “dry in-need-of nurturing” skin back to life, and isn’t that what Spring is all about? R-e-g-e-n-e-r-a-t-i-o-n
NELUM BOTANICS Rosehip and Chamomile Body Oil~ “Formula Rosehip and Chamomile is a delicate mélange of oils naturally fragrant herbal extracts that have long been used to calm, soothe and nourish sensitive skin. Our light and deeply nourishing formula is kissed with a unique blend of Essential Oils and CO2 Extracts such as Rosehip, Chamomile, Ylang ylang. This sensual blend, rich in Vitamins A, C, D and E, lecithin, and Omegas help improve and restore your skin’s barrier function by strengthening skin elasticity, shielding against oxidation and preventing trans-epidermal water loss.” Recommended for: •normal skin •dry skin •sensitive skin •mature skin •blemished skin
My Review~ This is slightly heavier in weight than the Graceful Face Elixir, yet is still very penetrating and light-feeling and makes an excellent Face as well as Body oil for those who prefer a simple system of an all-in-one face & body moisturizer that is truly natural, restorative and healthy for the planet as well as ourselves. Rosehip Seed Oil is a well-known and revered carrier oil known for its anti-inflammatory and healing qualities, and the addition of chamomile and ylang ylang essential oils make it calming while at the same time sensual for the body/mind/spirit.
The convenient 4 oz. size with pump makes it easy to use and refills are available at a reasonable cost. I love both the smell and how Nelum Botanics Rosehip and Chamomile Body Oil made my skin feel–dry, flaky, dehydrated skin cells were quenched and looked repaired almost instantly. Applied head to toe after gently exfoliating in my shower, I felt that I was stepping happily into Spring feeling renewed and thankful for my body. Find it at this link:
Again, use my code for this month’s special introductory price of 10% off your order with my exclusive Simply Nirvana code: nelumbo10
I know you’ll really appreciate all the careful thought and importance to details that go into the delightful product line of this environmentally-concious company whose owner is a true lover of Mother Nature and all her glorious gifts. You’ll also find Nelum Botanics on FB and please read the blog on the website which has lots of good articles on beauty care and self-care using the best in natural, sustainable ingredients~

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 https://www.facebook.com/notes/simp…
and #2~ Mist LIBERALLY   https://www.facebook.com/notes/simp…
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~ https://oseamalibu.com/collections/…
Be sure to follow my Simply Nirvana Facebook page as well as  my new blog, https://yourskinadvisor.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 ~

http://www.buro247.sg/lifestyle/health-fitness/flower-elixir-lotus-wei-katie-hess-interview.html

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~ www.lotuswei.com/

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: https://www.etsy.com/listing/104135…

 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~ https://oseamalibu.com/collections/…
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~ http://shop.lotuswei.com/collection…
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 🙂

 

Natural Botanical Perfumes~ smell divine, unique et magnifique

Why follow trends especially when it comes to the most intimate beauty product a woman can choose?  When you want express your “smell personality” to the world let yourself smell akin to the delicious, provocative, evocative and pleasurable scents of  gorgeous florals, spices, herbs, resins and fruits of our Earth.  Once you try well-made pure ingredients natural botanical perfumes  hand~blended by modern perfumists, you’ll never go back to synthetics. Remember one of my Beauty Secrets~ You want people to ask “What are you wearing?” in a good way 😉

Check out these beautiful and unique SCENTS~

AUM AROMAS  https://www.essentialbodywisdom.com/product-category/artisanperfumes/

ESSCENTUAL ALCHEMY  http://esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com/collections/moon-valley

http://esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com/collections/dreams-of-smoke

GENIE IN A BOTTLE  http://genieinabottle.ca/Genie_in_a_Bottle/2016_Prana.html

http://genieinabottle.ca/Genie_in_a_Bottle/Shibui_Perfume_2011.html

NAPA VALLEY au NATUREL  https://www.etsy.com/listing/289082811/the-re-goddessing-collection-4-14oz?ref=shop_home_feat_1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/105325734/bespoke-perfume-creation-just-for-you?ref=shop_home_active_26

https://www.etsy.com/listing/90456122/natural-perfume-trust-yourself-roll-on?ref=shop_home_active_11

Lavender Fields Forever~

I really love and highly recommend the ESTATE COLLECTION from the Purple Adobe Lavender Farm. Their wonderful organic lavender oil (an item that should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet as an all-purpose remedy) is organically-grown at the gorgeous  Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, Abiquiu, New Mexico– Click on this link~ https://www.facebook.com/Purple-Adobe-Lavender-Farm-Abiquiu-New-Mexico-308107313851/ to visit their Facebook page and here is the link to their site: http://www.purpleadobelavenderfarm.com/…

Read the following to get an idea of the quality of their fine products and to find the link below to order from their BELLE ESSENCE Estate Collection:

Here’s a quote from Elizabeth, the owner: “Our Lavender Essential Oil is pure, undiluted 100% lavender essential oil. Our lavender oil has been tested in a lab and we are aromatherapy rated. There are so many different uses for lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is a natural calmative to the body, and the system as a whole. You can use it in your bath, or to scent your pillow at night and help you get a restful nights sleep. You can use it on insect bites, especially mosquito bites, or even use it in your rinse cycle of your clothes washer for a clean fresh result. The benefits go on. Visit our sister web site at www.belleessence.com for a free download of “10 BEST WAYS TO USE LAVENDER”.

Natural Botanical Perfumes for Late Autumn into Winter~ smell divine

Si vous plait, check out my personal favorites for the season.  I receive so many compliments when I wear these perfumes based on and created from the incredibly gorgeous flowers, herbs, and resin gifts from Nature~

http://genieinabottle.ca/Genie_in_a_Bottle/2016_Prana.html

http://genieinabottle.ca/Genie_in_a_Bottle/Amber_Chypre_Fougere_Perfumes.html

http://esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com/collections/autumn-spice/products/autumn-spice-eau-de-natural-parfum

http://esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com/collections/lumberjack-man/products/lumberjack-man-natural-botanical-cologn

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.essentialbodywisdom.com%2Fproduct-category%2Faumaromas%2F&h=sAQEsVuhz

https://www.etsy.com/listing/275573942/our-lady-perfumeanointing-oil-for?ref=shop_home_active_6

https://www.etsy.com/listing/289082811/the-re-goddessing-collection-4-14oz?ref=shop_home_active_9

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”.