Category Archives: beauty

Hotline Bling

So, Mercury is about to be Retrograde and I pretty much just want to cover myself in crystals and stay in bed until it subsides. But since I can’t reasonably do that, and have to go out in the world, I’m settling for decking myself out in wearable stones from some of the lady makers who are killing it in the gem world.

Two problems here: 1) I have stupid small fingers and wrists, and it can be challenging to find jewelry that fits. Bracelets are the worst, and I don’t find them very comfortable, anyway, but I do love rings. 2) After working for a high-end jeweler, and receiving perks and knowledge from that job, I find it difficult to shell out the cash for overpriced, mass-produced goods. What to do?

I can be found cruising Etsy most afternoons, searching for vintage goods, original designs, & apothecary elixirs, and it was through here that I stumbled upon Lazuli Handcrafted. Based out of Rhode Island, Erica creates sparkly baubles from raw gemstones to adorn your hair all the way to illuminating your fingers, and they won’t break the bank like all the overpriced commercial designers. These magical, electroformed pieces are just splendid – and better yet, she makes them in an array of sizes! Not all jewelers will make rings smaller than a 5, which can be disappointing, and because of the electroforming process, they cannot be re-sized, or have beads put in them. Finding a 3.75 is hard, so I usually just stick with a 4, giving my fingers some room to swell during these sweltering days. But I digress – the jewelry! I took advantage of her “Trio Tuesday” sale, and with Erica’s suggestions, picked out Herkimer diamond, emerald, and turquoise rings. Herkimer diamonds are great because they are ethical, conflict-free, and an ideal alternative to a real diamond. I’ve loved emeralds since seeing Return to Oz as a child, and who doesn’t relish a strong piece of turquoise?

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dainty gem trio with viburnum

I wear mine as a stack, but each one is unique and handsome enough worn on its own. I love the juxtaposition in Erica’s jewelry – delicately made bands supporting powerful, energizing stones. As mentioned, she creates more than just stunning rings: hair pins, earrings, necklaces – and she’s just released some Tibetan quartz chokers that this Leo is on the prowl for- you can practically feel the cleansing vibrations! I’m also highly lusting after her Herkimer Diamond 5 Stone Rings. What a great band! Any of you lovely ladies getting looking to get engaged? A single Herkimer diamond with the 5 stone band would be a flawless wedding set! Not into the whole marriage thing? Nbd – celebrate yourself with a few of these beauts!

When I have been able to tuck myself away indoors, I’ve been trying to channel the ominous energy from Mercury Retrograde and turn it into something good. I’m currently working on a Zodiac-inspired moon watercolor series, complete with – what else?- crystals! My muses are the minerals my guy and I brought home from a dig this past weekend, and, with paintbrush in hand, rings on my fingers, rocks by my side – I think I’ll be able to get through the next three weeks with little to no scarring. Even with 5 planets in retrograde this time, I feel like this one won’t be too bad. It’s a good time to slow down, reflect, and evaluate how we communicate with ourselves and the world. Best of luck to you all!

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Sweetheart Day, pt. 1

This Valentine’s Day, we decided to get away from it all and headed to Atlanta for a quick, but relaxing, overnight trip. About a month ago, I had booked an appointment with Radiant Human at Young Blood Boutique to have my aura photographed, and couldn’t decide if I should just drive up for the day solo and then have a quiet Valentine’s Day at home or if the boy and I should go together and explore. We like a challenge, so we decided to go for it and pack in as much as we could in those 24 hours!

Our first stop was at Argosy so I could get my cards read by my friend, Katie, of Psychic Joy. She was eerily accurate in December, and I was curious as to what she and the cards had to say a couple of months later. She was right on the money again! You should definitely check her out during one of the Argosy Swaps, and take a look at her goods at Psychic Joy Shop.

Surprisingly, I had overlooked Young Blood each time I was in the Highlands, always spending the afternoon in Highland Row Antiques digging for records, jade dishware, & vintage adornments. Nutmeg Vintage is without a doubt my favorite booth, so give her some love next time you’re there! As for Young Blood, they carry almost all of my favorite brands – Mudpuppy CeramicsNative Bear, Portland favorites Betsy and Iya & Imaginary Authors, & Group Partner, just to name a few. I managed to get away without causing too much damage, with a long-coveted tee from Otherwild, some chocolate from Compartes, and the most adorable plum-flavored lolly from A Secret Forest.

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also shown: a lovely labradorite I picked up for some extra good energy

I’ve been dying for one of Michael’s All-Seeing Eye Hand Amulets, and now I’m obsessed with his decal adorned skulls, particularly the boob one! Seems like it would be pretty perfect for my desk at work, no?

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Getting my aura photographed was all that I hoped it would be. Christina is so kind, and she took the time to explain what the colors of each person’s aura meant. The purple/violet color at the top represents my consciousness – being a visionary who is  unconventional, non-judgmental, playful, loves to be inspired and delight others. The red right represents the exterior, the energy pushing out, or how the world sees me – strong with great will power, someone who looks to new beginnings, leadership, action, and practicality. It is encouraged to get plenty of exercise and get into nature to achieve balance. As for the lower left-hand, that represents how I see the energy coming in, or the lens in which I view the world – a blue color stands for depth of feeling, trust, devotion, loyalty, nurture, personal relationships, supportive, intuitive, and sensitive, and it is recommended to pursue creative endeavors. I’d say that’s me in a nutshell!

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Christina is based out of Portland, but is constantly on tour photographing auras. I urge you to check her dates and see if she will be in a city near you so you can do this, too! It is an experience I will always treasure – and definitely not a bad start to a lovely Valentine’s Day weekend! Next up, Jeju, the High, and the Botanical Gardens!

Self Care

A lover of natural, herbal, & holistic remedies, I stumbled upon PDX apothecary, Duck Feather Herbs, a couple of months ago, and have had my eye on their Lavender lip balm, Sleeping Beauty tea, and an array of herbal tinctures ever since. Just after the new year, they hosted a giveaway with fellow herbalists, Tumbleweed Apothecary & Monarch Apothecary, offering a dreamy assortment of health and beauty goods. With a package full of soaking salts, perfume, incense, facial products and more, how could I resist entering?! I was fortunate enough to be chosen as their winner and I couldn’t be more enamored with all of their products. Even their packaging was perfect in its rustic simplicity!

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The Love Manifest perfume from Monarch Apothecary is altogether divine – a consummate marriage of various rose petal essences, rose geranium, bergamot, and ginger lily essential oils, & topped with their own farm harvested roses, it’s a delightfully feminine and romantic bouquet. After a hot bath with their Turmeric & Calendula Soaking Salts, enhanced by the air of Lavender & Sage incense cones, roll on some love-filled perfume and be prepared for an amorous evening!

Keeping my face dewy and lips soft is super easy thanks to Tumbleweed Apothecary’s oil-based facial serum, Stunner. With thirteen different oils, including rose hips, argan, frankincense, & jojoba (“you’ll love it – it has jojoba.” s/o to my theatre “sister,” Lauren!), I apply it after cleansing my face and before adding their ‘Spellbound’ Face Cream. Topping my lips with some Lavender & Mint ‘Peck’ lip balm, my skin is supple & kissable.

I stay busy between my full-time job at a local tv station, part time job at an art gallery, helping run a volunteer-based community art gallery, traveling, & my own artistic endeavors – painting, writing, baking, acting, & photography – so I’m always looking for new ways to relax and unwind. Sleep has never come easier with a cup of Good Belly Tea combined with some Have a Good Rest Tincture, care of Duck Feather Herbs. Adding a couple of drops of this chamomile, catnip, lavender, & bergamot mint tincture to an already quieting cup of mint & lemon balm herbal tea is a foolproof way to end a satiated day.

I’ve added some Elderberry Syrup to my wish list from Duck Feather Herbs, as well as some tinted lip balm called ‘Smooch’ and the ‘Siren’ facial steam from Tumbleweed Apothecary, and a tin of Cacao, Rose, & Rooibos (decaf!) Chai & Herkimer diamond gemstone essence from Monarch Apothecary. My ever-growing Etsy cart is taunting my bank account!

While I’ve linked to each apothecary’s individual shops, they’ve all got Instagram accounts that are equally as tantalizing as their products. Take a peek for yourself at @DuckFeatherHerbs@tumbleweed_apothecary, & @monarchapothecary!

 

 

Glitter Bomb!

If you’ve been making your holiday list and checking it once, twice, and thrice, like I have, then you probably have all sorts of treats on it that you’ve been coveting for awhile. Mine wouldn’t be complete without a gorgeous pair of shoes on it!

I follow Alyssa Garrison’s blog, Random Acts of Pastel, as well as her Instagram account of the same name, and Sloane Tea, whose social media accounts she handles. Almost a month ago, Sloane Tea‘s Instagram account shared an image of their lovely tea with a pair of THE most amazing ballet flats with a sparkly toe. I am like a baby when it comes to anything with sparkle; it instantly grabs my attention. And shoes? I’m frequently referred to as “Imelda.” I’ve been lusting for these gems for weeks now!

The shoes in said photograph are by Titabonita Designs, and come in a range of colors and textiles. Their latest collection, with styles named after female world travelers, has me preparing my early 2015 wardrobe around them!

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I’m majorly crushing over this blue metallic slipper, named after investigative reporter Nellie Bly, who traveled the world by boat and train in just 72 days-talk about girl power! The ladies at Titabonita Designs told me that, “the blue represents the sea, rivers, and canals she bravely sailed, and the metallic aspect, as well as the silver toe cap, represent the steel train on whence she traveled.” How inspiring is that?

This icy blue is a color I’ve been feeling a lot this month. To me, it embodies everything about winter- cool & biting, soft & familiar. Though my holiday colors in previous years have had rosy pink as the focus, this glacial blue, along with some crisp white & woodsy lavender, has been at the center of my holiday decorating.

I’m also particularly fond of this stunning green ballerina! She is called Harriet, in honor of Harriet Chalmer Adams, “an american explorer, writer, and photographer, whose life was full of adventure.” The texture of this shoe “represents the stones used for Aztec and Incan temples she explored with her husband, Franklin Pierce Adams.”

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Green is one of my favorite colors, and one that I like to wear often. I feel like you can never go wrong with a vibrantly colored shoe, and how lucky would you be to be stepping about in this one? Another reason I love great shoes so much is that you can always find the right fit. When we struggle with jeans and bathing suits, we can always find comfort and confidence in that perfect shoe.

We still have several weeks before the holiday season ends, so you have ample time to add a pair of these beauties to your “I’ve been good” list! Hell, even if you’ve been naughty, you at least need to do so in style, right? 😉

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(Thanks so much to the gals at Titabonita for the photos and information about the naming process!)

Wolf’s Apothecary

If you’re a regular reader of blogs, then you’re in no doubt familiar with Jen McCabe’s swoon-worthy site, Honey Kennedy. If you’re not, hop on over and let her take you on a tour of Portland’s best right now!

We’re planning on a PDX visit in the near future, and my list of places to see & shops to patronize keeps getting longer and longer, thanks to her blog. Luckily, I haven’t had to wait too long to try some of the fine products out of that dreamy city, thanks to the incredible “Giveaway” section on the Honey Kennedy blog! She hosts giveaways nearly daily with all sorts of makers and shakers, and the gifts are pretty epic- even if you don’t win the big prize, the person or store she’s collaborating with offers a discount, so everyone can enjoy. My most recent win nabbed me a $50 gift card for myself to Portland apothecary, Wolf’s Apothecary, as well as two more $50 gift cards to share with family & friends. Naturally, I chose my sweet mom and darling Matt! The homemade, all-natural products at Wolf’s Apothecary are just plain wonderful, and it was so hard trying to narrow down what to try first! I ended up ordering Rapunzel’s Hair Oil, the Dandelion Milk bath powder, and a tube of Lip Salve-Ation. Rapunzel’s Hair Oil is an intoxicating elixir that one uses to tame & bring luster to ones locks, and its scent alone is luxurious. I can’t help but massage a few drops into my long mane at night since the aromatics are so relaxing!

There are few things I love more than taking a long, piping hot bath, and they’re made even better with sweet smelling, skin softening products. The combination of dandelion root, lemongrass, and lemon verbena was so on point that the wafting steam lured my kitten to sit at the edge of the bath and dip in his tail- it’s even fluffier than before!

A self-professed lip balm addict & junkie, I will try any and all chapsticks. The Lip Salve-Ation has in it infused oils from apricot kernal, sweet almond, and coconut, amongst others. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to reapply this lip balm every fifteen minutes-a fairly normal activity for my dry lips, thanks to nearly twenty years of lip balm obsession. Another aspect I liked about this balm was that it’s pretty unisex. A lot of lip balms come across fairly feminine, both in packaging and scent, but this is one that I would feel confident giving to both my boyfriend or best female friend. Stocking stuffers, anyone?

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I’m also a sucker for good packaging, and look at how simply perfect this is! The hoarder in me will reuse these bags for storing my tea-making herbs, and the bottles give my powder room all the fancy feels!

One of the best aspects of sharing these products is promoting small businesses. Having worked for and currently employed by a small business, as well as being an artist, I know first hand the labor and love that goes into creating something you hope will be enjoyed by others. Black Friday is coming up, but it’s important to remember the people who stay up all day and night to bring you a little something special you just can’t buy at big box stores, on Small Business Saturday.

Happy Shopping!

fall feels

It’s finally, FINALLY starting to feel like Fall! I had full intention of attending a French film fest that a dear friend was putting on for his cinema series at the local university, and where my sweet boyfriend was set to DJ in between films, but I’m afraid that the warmth of the bed and furry snuggles were just too enticing! Instead, I took advantage of spending the day in between the sheets, enjoying a much needed rest.

Though my part of the world stays pretty humid, therefore leaving my skin hydrated and moist, I’m still not taking any chances when the cooler, drier weather hits. I’m always eager to try new facial products, and over the past few months, I’ve found some really great ones that I’ve adopted into my daily routine. Even though my skin type falls into the “normal” range, changing cleansers always gets me a little nervous. After running out of my favorite Kiehl’s facial wash, and being too lazy to order more, I opted to try something I could get locally. I’ve fallen hard for Dr. Bronner’s Almond soap! I use it twice a day in the bar form, and it is so incredibly gentle. So simple, and easy to find at Target, as well as health food markets, such as Whole Foods.

I was hipped to Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay soap, a wonderfully vegan bar via Rail and Anchor while visiting my boyfriend’s family in Michigan. Another gentle formula, the scent is so refreshing, and I tend to alternate between it and the Dr. Bronner’s.

A couple of times a week, I use Fig and Yarrow ‘s facial scrub, which I bought after winning a Mother’s Day prize from Nora Modern ‘s Instagram account, that included another one of their products. It leaves my face feeling silky smooth and refreshed, especially after an intense hot yoga session.

Hands down, THE BEST toner in the world comes by the way of Shop Summerland, where proprietor and all around sweetest lady (with the most adorable baby ever!) stocks Robert’s & Co.’s Rosewater. Splashing it on my face each morning with its clean, cool, and rosy formula makes me feel like a classy gal from a foreign film.

Locking it all in, I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion, my trusty old faithful. It was a little too oily for me when I bought it, but after shelling out the money for it, I felt like I needed to give it a try. Fortunately, my skin adapted, though I’ll be getting the oil-free version next time.

Smoothing on some Rose & Vanilla lip balm from Fig and Yarrow, by the way of Shop Summerland, keeps my lips from chapping as the winds start blowing just a little bit harder. To know me is to know I’m completely addicted to chapstick. When I find one as pretty as this little tin, and hand crafted, as well, I’m definitely hooked!

Facial routine

Fig Yarrow face care
$45 – urbanoutfitters.com

Dr Bronner s body cleanser
$6.67 – asos.com

What keeps you looking and feeling soft in the cooler months?

xx,

emily

(Though there are links from polyvore, I recommend ordering these products from the links I’ve supplied. Support small businesses!)