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Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter dryness leaving you feeling suddenly sympatico with Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s 3rd century B.C. terra cotta warriors? No worries. Nothing our gentle exfoliating sugar scrub and whipped body butter can’t heal and bring back to radiant life.  Isn’t it nice when this happens?  I mean the simple and real fix.

3 simple steps to heal and repair winter skin dryness: → Read more

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

Carl Jung (psychologist)

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Do you dress up in a fave silly or ghoulish costume for a party?

Do you toss together something last min to surprise unsuspecting trick-or-treaters when you open your door?

Do you chaperone the kids (and dog, in costume too), joining in their shrieks of laughter and calls to each other as they run in the dark from home to home in your neighborhood?

For years, I used to dress as Wilma Flintstone.  My husband as her stone age hubbie Fred.  Our next door neighbor created these costumes for us.

One year my Fred no longer wanted to go barefoot.  He determined that an oversized bright orange tunic with black patches and a royal blue tie were sufficient to signify Fred, without his big bare feet at the bottom.

That was the year of our descent from full-on Wilma & Fred,  as I recall it.

Who IS Fred with shoes on?  He’s NOT Fred, that’s who.

Wilma’s white jig-jag bottom white dress has shrunk over the years.  Maybe, I’ve put on a few, or things have shifted… No, it’s shrunk.

I choose to thrive in the land of deNile.  Free choice is a good thing.

My other sartorial option: a femme fatale vampire feline – homage to Don Taylor’s 1977 flick “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.

Cinephiles, or femmes d’un certain age, remember, Dr. Moreau, the mad scientist who experimented with inter-species breeding on his lost island filled with the sounds, dreams and nightmares of human-tiger-leopard-jaguar creatures, starring the gorgeous Barbara Carrera? Unforgettable.

I searched far and wide and finally discovered a beautiful faux fur black tail and leopard ears to pair with a royal purple velvet hooded victorian cape.  My ancestral Romanian-Ukrainian-Lithuanian-Russian DNA (black hair and anemic complexion, a natural Goth) brings me nearly to completion without much make-up beyond a good pair of fangs.  Not all fangs were created equal.   Some are better than others, and you get what you pay for where fangs are concerned.

For those of you who know me, any other ideas?

What about you?          

Any plans to dress up this year?

Please tell me that you still leap into the spirit of Halloween dress-up!

The last thing I have to say about dressing up for Halloween is “pourquoi pas?”

When is there a better excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone else, even if just for one night?

Come on, have some fun, let out those primal screams, giggles, roars,.. – You know you want to!

Remember: play is instinctual and vital to the creative spirit.  Why wait?  If not now, when? → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

ONE OF THE MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS: What are the differences between a lotion, creme and body butter? And most importantly, what’s best for my skin?  

There’s no better time to take a deeper individual look at what YOUR skin needs as our seasons transition.  

You’ve probably heard the chat about “seasonal skincare”?  It’s been in the beauty industry news everywhere we turn.  It should be.  Mother nature changes, and as she does, so does our skin.

I’ve always talked about understanding the essential nature of seasonal skincare needs, and specifically, learning how to listen to what our skin wants and needs as the seasons change.  If you live in the midwest with four seasons, the ideal treatments to cleanse, moisturize, protect and heal our skin are not the same year round.

So Red Note Botanica, the fresh natural luxury skincare line for the bath that I formulated, based on my training, knowledge and experience as an holistic healthcare practitioner and a certified aromatherapist is founded first and foremost as a healthy product line designed to rejuvenate and bring out the best in your skin, and secondly to delight and celebrate your beautiful playful spirit with uniquely fresh fragrances all year round.  It’s founded on seasonal skincare from the start, and always will be.

Our skin, as the largest organ of our body, absorbs at least 60-70% of what we apply to it topically.  That explains why patches and dermatological creams, ointments, serums, etc. are very effective at healing and protecting troubled skin, and even ceasing addictions like smoking.

With that in mind, it’s essential to formulate and use skincare products which have vitamin and nutrient rich oils, butters, and other healthy ingredients that will treat our skin gently with effective results.  Skincare that keeps its promises is a must.

It is my personal feeling that all skin is sensitive, and should be treated as such.  Treating your skin as anything less is not something I advocate.  Even if you are blessed with great skin now, it’s essential to protect it to ensure that it retains its natural beauty for years to come.

On that note, let’s chat about some of the things your skin might be trying to tell you as we head into colder weather temps, dry air, indoor heating, and other stuff that can dry out our skin, leading to potential irritation, inflammation, eczema, and less than healthy skin from which we absolutely do not need to suffer if we treat our skin gently on a regular basis – hey it’s fun, pampering, and the results couldn’t be better, so why not?  Let’s go!…

→ Read more

 

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Wear your favorite “signature” fragrances year round. If you absolutely love them, the way they make you feel, act, express yourself to the world, and share yourself with those you love, they belong to you every day of the year.

If you’re looking to play with new fall fragrances in the chillier months ahead, why not warm up your fragrance wardrobe with notes of sweet vanilla cream, chestnuts roasted in brown sugar, sugarplum or hints of cinnamon, ginger and clove?  

Our fragrances are never overtly spicy, and we promise you won’t walk around smelling like a spice cake, but you’ll feel warm, cozy, relaxed and comfy inside, and what a lovely way to feel!  Play, explore, discover the fragrances that make you feel cherished as the leaves fall from the trees and the first chill hits the air.

What fragrances do you reach for?  I know my favorites.  Here are just a few you’ll love to try…

→ Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Some of you prefer 100% pure aromatherapy essential oils to fragrance skincare for the bath products whenever possible.  We understand, especially if you’ve experienced a sensitivity to some synthetic fragrances.

Our essential oils are ALWAYS 100% pure, authentic and genuine.  They are NEVER diluted with carrier oils that can negatively effect the quality and shelf-life of your essential oils.

Sometimes to give you a more beautifully unique and complex fragrance blend that’s not available with only fragrant essential oils, we blend our 100% pure essential oils with high quality synthetic (phthalate-free) fragrances to create the most elegant, refreshing, and playful fragrances we all adore.

Just one sec here:  Before we jump into talking about an important issue inherent with the use of essential oils in skincare products, an issue which most people don’t think about when touting the benefits of essential oils and citing the potential negatives associated with synthetic anything, including fragrances (e.g. sensitivities, allergies, irritation, etc.), let me tell you that very often, the primary culprit associated with synthetic fragrances is PHTHALATES.  Phthalates are the chemical compounds which can, in some individuals, cause headaches, respiratory irritation, and other temporary sensitivities.  Our highest quality synthetic fragrances are phthalate-free, for just that very good reason.

Want to know more about phthalates?  Several of you have asked me about this, so I’ll include a new post on the topic.  If you can’t wait to know more, shoot me an email, and I’ll share with you the scoop on phthalates, and why you can expect to see more and more quality beauty products listed as phthalate-free.

But, for right now, here’s a very important reason for using phthalate-free fragrances (rather than essential oils) when you’re out in the summer sun: PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

It’s important for you to know that just because we use 100% pure essential oils (not adulterated or blended with carrier oils which risk reducing their fragrant potency, therapeutic effectiveness and natural shelf-life), this does not mean that these essential oils are free of potential cosmetic issues when we expose our skin to the sun. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

SEASONAL FRAGRANCE PHILOSOPHY, in a few words:

Your favorite fragrances become your signature, and there’s no need to change your fragrance wardrobe from season to season, unless of course you want to!

I will forever remember my mother’s perfume as she prepared for a night out with my father. It was part of her essence, a woman celebrating a romantic evening. As she hugged me before going out, the smell of her skin became one with my own.

Like the fragrances I wear today, my mother’s fragrance remained on the fabric of her clothes.  Trying on my mother’s clothes hanging over her chair was like wrapping myself up in her arms.

Today my teenage daughter wraps herself lovingly in my bathrobe, and tells me it smells like me.

Your fragrant self is a gift of love to you and to those whom you cherish, now and forever. It is the stuff of treasured memories, an expression of YOU.

That said, maybe you change how you feel from season to season? Do you feel a sense of renewal and joy when spring rolls into town?  Are you ready to change your fragrance up a bit to express how you feel now?

There are fragrances that seem to naturally herald the first gentle caress of spring, flowers and fruit growing from the fertile earth. The light floral and fruity fragrances of the following 4 fragrances celebrate a gentle transition to spring.

Express your new spring self, and always feel free to call for a personalized consultation if you’d like to play and explore a fragrance that beautifully expresses who you are right now! → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Transitions are a natural part of life. Acknowledge and embrace transitions and the changes they bring as part of the mystery of life that offer you an opportunity to expand your horizons, try new things, learn and grow.  Remember last week’s blog post about jumping into new experiences and changes without fear?  Mother Nature herself is changing it up and setting the example for us to follow! → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter drab be-gone. Perk up your thoughts, dreams and creative imagination with beautiful spring floral colors from palest pinks, roses, lilacs, mints, sea foams, melons, butters, and cocoas to the brightest fuchsias, limes, cherries, sunshine yellows and tangerines. Your favorite fresh spring colors are all here!   → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Super easy to make Neroli Geranium Toner.  Essential oils of neroli (citrus) and geranium (floral) bring you dreams of spring and summer whatever the season!  Refreshes and keeps your skin moist and hydrated like the beautiful floral essences from which it’s made!  After you cleanse your face, spritz 10 times over forehead, cheeks, nose and chin.  Watch your skin glow and look completely refreshed and youthful.  Apply moisturizer to still damp skin to lock in water and your skin’s natural moisture. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Everywhere I go, I hear women complaining about their dry skin.  They pull out purse-size moisturizers to spread over their faces and hands, and it’s still dry.  Sometimes what starts as a cosmetic issue quickly winds up to a deeper chronic issue such as itchiness, eczema, and other inflammatory conditions.  We can probably each name several people we know and love with eczema in the winter, maybe including ourselves.

The reason why these skin irritations are so important to prevent is that our skin is the largest organ of our body, our first line of defense to prevent the entrance of toxins into our body.  When skin is open and exposed to environmental and chemical toxins we encounter everyday, it’s more likely to allow these agents to pass into our body where they can do harm that is more than skin deep.

So what can we do?

As with most things, prevention is the best option.  Then there’s the first ethical principle of medicine: Do no harm.

Yes, we’re told to wash our hands throughout the day to prevent the spread of viruses and illnesses that spiral during the winter months.  Some of us use anti-bacterial lotions.

First, let’s get the latter off the table.  I’m not a fan of anti-bacterial soaps and lotions.  They tend to contain harsh irritating ingredients, some which may be suspected of serious toxicity, and frankly, are not necessary.  They do no better job at cleansing than products which are not classified as anti-bacterial.  If you work in a medical environment, considerations may be different, but for most people, I don’t believe we need to expose our delicate skin to the elevated health risks of anti-bacterial cleansing products.  

That said, I’m a big proponent of washing hands, but if your skin is super dry or you’ve noticed inflammatory patches, have you thought about what soap you’re using?  Not all soaps are created equal.

You can use the best moisturizers on the planet, but if you’re using a harsh detergent-based soap (you’ll know if it foams abundantly – sulfate or detergent-based soaps tend to generate a lot of foam which is not at all indicative of its cleansing properties), you will most likely continue to suffer skin irritations.

Change to a sulfate-free soap with added natural oils, butters and botanicals, and I promise you’ll notice a difference.

Then, immediately after washing, apply a thick rich body butter (fragrance-free if you’re suffering any degree of inflammation) over slightly damp skin to protect, soothe, heal and nurture your skin.  Do this EVERY TIME after you wash.

One big reason we make our travel mini body butters is so you can take them wherever you go – pop one in your purse, and re-apply after you wash your hands – every time.  If you wait until you get home, your hands will be exposed to cold, dryness, wind, and other environmental irritants.  Again, we’re big on prevention, because we know it works.

WHY MOISTURIZE?

A good body moisturizer (lotion, creme or body butter) will:   

lock in skin’s natural moisture, keeping it soft and supple protect it from dryness, topical irritants and inflammatory agents Moisturized skin feels and appears healthier, younger, softer and smoother moisturized skin will optimally intensify and retain fragrance → Read more