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Blissful Hand and Body Scrubs ~ BonBliss

  • Posted on April 27, 2013 at 1:21 am

I have found heaven. And its name is BonBliss. Comprised of husband and wife team Elissa and Jay Choi, BonBliss makes deliciously scented hand and body scrubs. I have sampled each of the 14 scents, and I can honestly endorse every one of them. BonBliss scrubs are single-use treats perfect for traveling or a quick sweet indulgence wherever you are.

BonBliss treats come in the form of Moisturizing Body Truffles, perfect for the shower, and Scrub-2-Go minis, ideal for a moisturizing boost after washing your hands. Each is individually wrapped and resembles an edible delight.

Bon Bliss Truffles

BonBliss Moisturizing Body Truffles

And you know how skincare companies often write “Do Not Eat” on their packages, and you sarcastically think, “Really? I never would have guessed.” Well, BonBliss really did need to warn users because their products are so ridiculously alluring that you’ll truly want to eat them. But don’t.

Instead, add a little water to one and gently crush it and rub it onto your skin. It will leave a yummy scent and a light moisturizing gleam. And get this: If you shower with a truffle in the morning, you will still be able to smell it at night. As a body scrub connoisseur, I can assure you that most scrubs do not last until bedtime. BonBliss products are free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.

Choosing your favorite scent might prove difficult, but mine is the Cherry Almond. I simply cannot get enough of this one. First runner up? Sweet Satsuma. Each 1-ounce body truffle is $3.75, and a tin can of bite-size scrubs are $10.95, but they occasionally run specials. Visit them at BonBlissBeauty.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.

BonBliss Scrub-2-Go

Cherry Almond BonBliss Scrub-2-Go

Today’s Tip

As BonBliss states, be careful when using the truffles in the shower because they will leave a light film that can make the floor slippery.

Even though they are intended as single-use scrubs, if you are willing to forego a little indulgence, the moisturizing body truffles can last for two uses.

It’s Spa Week!

  • Posted on April 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

April 15 to April 21 is Spa Week, which means that spas all across North America are offering luxurious full-service spa treatments for only $50. This is a biannual event, occurring every April and October. It’s a chance to sample a spa affordably; and for the spa, it’s an opportunity to seduce you into becoming a repeat customer.

But I noticed some states that were conspicuously missing from the list of places participating, including my own—New Mexico—who, some might say, is the spa capital of the U.S. Iowa, Arkansas, and Maine were non-participants as well. I wanted to know why this was the case, so I called a local spa director and asked her. It turns out, her spa did participate in Spa Week two years ago, and lost a lot of money. The spa saw no repeat business from the event, and even had to pay over $1,000 to partake in it. “Our loyal customers know the value and luxury they’re getting and don’t use deals to come here.” She related the “coupon” idea to those who use discount social media sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. These generally attract people who are looking for a one-time deal.

Abhasa-Spa-Massage

This got me thinking about where I stand in the matter of getting a “deal” and whether or not this makes me a repeat customer, and my answer is that I am the poster girl for companies who want to tease me with their wares and lure me back, and this includes spas. I’m the one who drools over the free samples that places like Sephora and Beauty.com give me. If I like the sample, I’m back online ordering the full-size product. Most people love a good spa deal, like the kind you get from Spa Week, but they aren’t necessarily spa junkies, like I am, and therein lies the difference. The average person might say, “Wow, that was a nice treat,” whereas I would say, “Oh my God, I have to get this treatment every single day for the rest of my life.”

Whether you want a one-time deal or you’re looking to sample a massage, facial, or body treatment in hopes of finding a spa you can frequent, Spa Week is worth it. Their website will not only tell you which spas in your area are participating, but they gab about all things spa, just like yours truly. Check out Spa Week’s travel deals, blog, and contest to win a spa and wellness gift card at Spa Week.

Today’s Tip

Spa Week is the ideal time to book an affordable spa vacation. Most participating spas will allow two to three full-service treatments at $50 a pop. If you can’t get away, see which spas are participating in your area. Running a spa is expensive, so if you find a treatment, spa, or therapist you like during Spa Week, consider being a repeat customer. Some spas offer loyalty programs for locals. For example, here in Santa Fe, the Inn & Spa at Loretto has such a program, which features 20 percent off year-round for New Mexicans.

Take Care of Your Hair!

  • Posted on April 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I have had long hair my entire life. At its longest, it was about two inches above my waist. People have told me it’s my mane, my identity, and how they know it’s me in a crowd. In elementary school, my hair would hang down over the back of my chair, and the boy behind me would push his desk up against my hair, to trap me. The cliché everyone spouted—especially my parents—was that he was doing that because he liked me. I still don’t get that.

So, I’ve always tried to take the best care possible of my hair. Here are a bunch of tips I’ve learned over the years to ensure healthy tresses.

Woman with smooth hair. High quality image.

Not So Much

Avoid washing your hair every day. This strips your locks of their natural oils. Unless you suffer from very oily hair, most dermatologists agree that it’s best to shampoo every other day. For particularly dry, frizzy, or treated hair, you can wash it every third day.

 Warm, Not Hot

Use the warm setting on your blow dryer, rather than hot. Even though it might take you a little longer to dry your hair, the lighter setting is less likely to cause heat damage. Hair care expert Raymond Bolton says, “You can avoid damage by keeping the dryer moving, not allowing the heat to dwell on any one location.”

Sage Brush Advice

Raymond has this to say about brushing wet hair: Avoid using natural bristle brushes on wet hair. Water softens hair and natural bristles are sharp enough to slice hair lengthwise, increasing breakage and split ends. Instead, use a plastic paddle brush with ball-tipped pins.

Get a Little Air

Unless your hair is just too unmanageable or freaky looking without blow-drying, consider air-drying your hair. It will boast a much smoother finish when allowed to dry naturally. The next best option is to air dry it for five to fifteen minutes before grabbing the blow dryer. This cuts down tremendously on drying time, which is better for your hair.

Keep it at a Distance

If you are a blow dryer addict (like I am), hold the dryer at least two inches from your hair. Again, this will lessen the damage. Never place the blow dryer directly on your hair.

Treat Your Tresses

You didn’t actually think I was going to blog about hair care without praising the virtues of my favorite hair treatments, did you? My favorite overnight treatments for my hair are Alterna’s Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue ($38.00 at Alterna Hair Care), and Fekkai’s Protein Rx Anti-breakage Treatment Mask ($30 at Fekkai).

Apply Alterna’s hair treatment to dry hair, and leave it on overnight. It will not leave any residue on your pillow, and it washes out in the morning, revealing soft hair. It is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Fekkai’s creamy white concoction is drenched in soy and milk proteins and leaves my hair incredibly silky. Use this on damp hair for 10 to 15 minutes.

Ojon also makes a hair mask called Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment. This can be used on dry hair for 20 minutes, or overnight for deeper conditioning. It boasts a strong nutty scent and only liquefies when rubbed between the hands. It’s $33 at Ojon. I place a towel on my pillow when I use this one, because it will rub off on linens.

Trying to return damaged hair to health? Raymond suggests getting a polymeric treatment from your hairdresser. This refined process strengthens hair up to six weeks per treatment.

Today’s Tip

Everyone’s hair is different, so you can adjust these steps for your particular needs. Also, try mixing in some of these hair treatments with your regular shampoo or conditioner. I find that they add a little shine boost when used as a quick add-on treatment.

You can reach Raymond Bolton at Raymond Bolton Hair Design LLC

Priceless Primping at Pamper Me Fabulous

  • Posted on April 1, 2013 at 4:14 am
Pamper Me Fabulous March 2013

The Pamper Me Fabulous Dance!

I stood on line for seventy-five minutes, business cards in hand, awaiting my “Pamper Me Fabulous” arm stamp, which would allow me to enter the crème de la crème of spa events. Pamper Me Fabulous is held six times a year, and this was my first one, held at the Vibiana, a Los Angeles venue.

Roughly 1,500 women of all ages stood in line to drench themselves in the latest lotions, age-defying serums, lip plumpers, and foot soothers. More than 70 vendors teased us with their quirky, yummy, and sophisticated wares. We pushed and shoved to grab a sample of a mineral peel from O.R.G. Skincare, a whiff of a Twilight Forest body truffle from BonBliss, and to test the Smooth as Silk Day Creme from Dermadeli Facial Foods. The lines for Space Mountain at Disney had nothing on the queues for manicures, hair straightening, and even the free Pamper Me Fabulous gift bags.

It was brutal. In fact, the lines were so long for the facials, massages, and manicures that I didn’t even bother with them. But I did sit down at the Hum Nutrition booth. Billed as “Your Free Personal Nutritionist,” this company promises to customize your supplement regimen. I filled out a short computerized questionnaire, which a dietician will review before designing my vitamin protocol. They will be e-mailing me the results, which I will share with you.

I left with oodles of delicious products, most of which I will review in upcoming blogs. (The woman from Nerium AD Skincare swore the age-defying treatment I went home with would “change my life.”) I’m giving it 30 days, I’ll let you know. Some of the vendors were blush-inducing, including the company Kanoodled, which sold a “Coochie Cleaner” and “Wiener Wash.”

Pamper Me Fabulous Gift Bag

Pamper Me Fabulous Gift Bag

Even though the crowd was a bit large for the venue, and the ticket takers were a bit disorganized, it was all worth it. It was a chance to try new products—including a mini portable I.Q. Massager—meet other spa junkies, network, and bliss out on a little pampering. The ticket for the 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. event was $40, although they freely offer a 20 percent discount. Others who had attended previous Pamper Me Fabulous events said that the one held at the Terranea last year in LA was better organized and offered more physical options, such as yoga on the lawn of the gorgeous Palos Verdes resort.

The next one up is in Dallas on May 19. Then comes Chicago (June 23), Miami (September 15), New York (October 13), and Los Angeles again (November 10). I will attend at least one more this year, and I promise to gather a bunch of new goodies to review for you. Here’s the link: Pamper Me Fabulous

Today’s Tip

Get on line early on the day of the event. Bring a very large bag that is easy and comfortable to carry. You will collect so many samples (or full-fledged products, if you choose to buy them) that you will need a place to put them as you walk around. I lugged around so many bags from each vendor until finally the nice guy at KM Fantasy (who sold me a massage oil candle—yes, I’ll review it) took pity on me and double bagged all my stuff into a huge brown shopping bag.