Somewhere over the forest
Quick get-away. For me, these are words of freedom, relaxation and a resourceful way to turn off the everyday stressors that might have anchored my emotional and physical capacity to function normally. Hypothetically speaking, I’ve pretty much crossed off long summer vacations for the next ten years, but I knew I had to do something to nurture my travel spontaneity and stay close to home. Relaxation is a quintessential way of reducing stress, meditation, and more importantly, it is the best antiaging activity, or lack there of that we can do for ourselves.
There are stressors that we become unaware of as we continue monotonously through our scheduled lives as hard-working individuals. What do your everyday surroundings look like?
Do you love sitting in traffic? And whom are you surrounded by? I’m not saying that being a CEO can’t be stressful, but unless you’ve got that huge office, a few interns, and a private driver like say, Anne Hathaway or “Jules” in the very inspiring film The Intern, the mundane things like sitting in traffic, long waiting times, and everything else you don’t love can weigh you down.
August called YOU! and shouted, “Don’t waste another weekend underestimating the mini local luxuries closest to you.” Just kidding that was me! But as A Leo, I feel it is my duty to wake a few people up and enjoy August while she’s here. While I currently live in greater Los Angeles and have major spas, salons, and events happening all the time, I don’t want a view of the 405 or the 101. So Sometimes I like to drive a bit south, or east, or west, depending on where the wind is traveling. You get what I’m saying. Take note of a couple beautiful SO-CAL mini getaway’s that will rejuvenate your spirit and relax your soul.
Santa Catalina island is just off the coast of Los Angeles and long beach. And while they are no longer offering a complimentary round - trip ride on the Catalina Express, the one-hour trip across the pacific is well worth it. Have you ever gone scuba diving? If you aren’t into that, it’s okay because the glass bottom boat tour is a beautiful experience. Keep in mind that there are many beautiful lodging options, dining, activities and Spa Services that will put you in bliss. It’s not Hawaii, but island life is very alive here.
Have you ever spent a summer day at a lake? We LA natives love our beaches but are sleeping on the gorgeous lakes in the San Bernadino mountains. I’m talking about Lake Arrowhead! Mountain life is so peaceful. Imagine being surrounded by a green wood line with lake views for days. There are a few quaint lodging options, and if you love cabins you won’t be disappointed, there are plenty of those to spend your weekend in as well. Everything you need is tucked away in this growing mountain town, Including a favorite place of mine, a spa.
Where ever you decide to go, relax to the fullest. And when you are ready for some fun call a Leo!
WOODLAND + LAVENDER
The Essence of Woodland + Lavender was inspired by the wooded mountains in Altadena, CA. There is something about clean, crisp, sweet air that is both healing and soothing to the body and soul. You’ll find the aroma of this facial mask to be much the same as a stroll through the woods. Braving through a rare form of autoimmune, in which I endure photosensitivity and inflammation often. I wanted to create a powerful yet nurturing mask. As my research grew, and my trials persisted, I finally decided on a formula that I adore and proves successful in my treatment room as an esthetician. Some of my treatment guests also brave various inflammation of the skin parallel to: Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Lupus, Rosacea, Dermal myositis, and photosensitivity. I know I’m not available to see everyone every day, and I know my guests are busy with lives and families of their own. So, that is exactly why I wanted to create something so powerful and serviceable, so to speak. And now, upon request, my signature facial mask can be brought home for your facial between facials.
HIBISCUS + GROVE
Hibiscus + Grove is an invigorating blend of the sweet tropical scents of Hawaii & the sweet citrus vibe of Pasadena, CA. Both regions have a reputation of a weather so sublime that you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but outdoors. The sun is a profound leading cause in hyperpigmentation and premature aging. So, I wanted to bottle some of the most powerful and stable profiles of vitamin C & other antioxidants which combat sun damage and aging. This hydrating facial mask will exfoliate, brighten, and improve circulation. It is powerful enough to help even the complexion, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but gentle enough to use at home and make you smile. Think of this brightening anti-aging mask as a facial between facials. As a gentle reminder, in addition to skincare remedies, sun protection is a crucial step in preserving the vitality & health of your skin.
The idea of eco packaging doesn't just have to be an idea. While eco packaging can be more on the expensive side, there are ways you can save, recycle, and personalize. I wanted that craft look. So i went to my cabinet full of Trader Joe's shopping bags and cut them to standard letter paper size. This was a bit tricky because old brown paper bags have alot of texture and bulk to them.After the bags were cut to size, I set my printer and printed the product story.
These resemble growth and repurpose.Much like how we grow in life. We repurpose ourselves and our hearts for the paths that become inevitably ours. These instructional note cards house little seeds that when planted, become flowers. Like the brown paper bags, they are bio degradable but also offer beauty and growth.
Arizona is hot, and dry, yet beautiful and alluring. A favorite story of mine takes place in Arizona. Jerry Spenelli’s “Star Girl” is a tale of a young girl with so much magic and love to share with those of whom have lost their own. What I love about this story is that it taught me that being different is a gift. I don’t need to be like everyone else especially if it means blending in and losing my own identity. Star Girl also taught me that while I may experience setbacks and feelings of defeat, that I should never give up.
Wait a minute, this is not a book report and my intentions are not to bore you, but to share with you a beautiful story and the wonders of beauty in Arizona.
Photo taken in Sedona Arizona
Cactus, clay, and sunshine. That’s what I always find whenever I’m visiting the “Grand Canyon State”. I’ve got friends who live here so I drive over from Cali whenever I get the chance. But every time I’m here my skin and hair get so dry! It seems as if I put layers of moisturizer and sunscreen multiple times a day. How do the desert dwellers survive the dryness and the heat? I wanted to find out so not only did I make an appointment with a local- fellow esthetician for a friend and myself, but we also searched as consumers for some desert made and inspired skincare.
Ann, the owner and brilliance behind “Mindful Skin”, located just outside of Phoenix was kind enough to take Sarah, (My beautiful friend who lives in AZ) and myself in at the last minute. As a practicing esthetician myself, it was really important for me to find someone thorough, knowledgeable, and diverse. I’d say jackpot if you ask of my success in finding exactly what I was looking for. Ann, like myself really believes in sun protection. So much that she created her own SPF. It feels great and was formulated not to leave a film or texture on the skin. Both Sarah and I are satisfied with the results of our facials! If you are ever in town, please get in contact with Ann so that she can guide your skin for desert survival.
Heres A little of what I tried!
Prickly Pear - Sacred Clay Face & Body Mask
After a long day in the heat and sun, of course your skin is going to experience a little bit of inflammation. I couldn’t wait to try this mask. Upon application, my skin immediately started feeling soothed and comforted. Prickly pear has extremely high anti- inflammatory benefits. This mask also includes other anti- inflammatory ingredients like sea buckthorn, and echinacea.
I think it’s appropriate that Body Bliss would incorporate prickly pear and red Sedona clay in their formulation. It is literally having Arizona in a jar!
Prickly Pear – Age Defense Facial Treatment Oil
To add a boosting effect to my Sacred Clay mask, I used the age defense serum immediately following. Containing some of the same ingredients as the prickly pear mask, this treatment oil offers much of the anti -inflammatory properties coupled with brightening and repairing of the skin. I applied it to my damp face with my damp hands to maximize the moisture absorption that my skin needed.
My skin is now feeling refreshed and hydrated from the dry AZ climate.
I hope you get a chance to visit AZ soon. If you are in SO – CAL, it is the perfect road trip! Some of the other places we stopped in on the way were: Joshua Tree, Palm Desert, and Indio, home of Coachella. A road trip like this will certainly bring out the Star Girl in you! My beauty advice for the summer is to read Star Girl even if you’ve already read it once before. The message in this book will keep you young, beautiful, kind, and will inspire you to be yourself.
- Mila Grass