BEAUTY / LIVING / TRAVEL / WELLNESS

c’est la vie

07.24.18
Biafine - A staple in all French beauty cabinets. A plant based cream used to treat burns, it’s multi purpose and can be used to sooth dry and irritated skin by stimulating new skin growth. I use it on my heels at night. Patyka - Energising Eye Gel smooths out wrinkles and fine lines and brightens the eye area. Have never tried, but I like the fact it has a metal roller ball applicator. Dermobianae - Hair vitamins. Stay tuned to see how these work…. Nuxe body oil - Because Summer glow sometimes needs assistance. Plus it smells great. Nuxe - Am a fan of natural deodorants (see post about my faves here!) so am always on the lookout for a new addition. Homeoplasmine: A homeopathic ointment made for skin irritations. Formulated to relieve irritation of the nasal mucous membranes associated with colds and rhinitis, scratches, grazes, bruises and cracks of the skin—especially dry, chapped lips. I use it on Harris whenever he gets a bump or a dry patch of skin.
Biafine – A staple in all French beauty cabinets. A plant based cream used to treat burns, it’s multi purpose and can be used to sooth dry and irritated skin by stimulating new skin growth. I use it on my heels at night and/or after any chemical facial treatments. Patyka – Energising Eye Gel smooths out wrinkles and fine lines and brightens the eye area. Have never tried, but I like the fact it has a metal roller ball applicator.  Dermobianae – Hair vitamins. Stay tuned to see how these work. Nuxe Body Oil – Because Summer glow sometimes needs assistance. Plus it smells great. Nuxe Deodorant – Am a fan of natural deodorants (see post about my faves here!) so am always on the lookout for a new addition. Homeoplasmine: A homeopathic ointment made for skin irritations. Formulated to relieve irritation of the nasal mucous membranes associated with colds and rhinitis, scratches, grazes, bruises and cracks of the skin—especially dry, chapped lips. I use it on Harris whenever he gets a bump or a dry patch of skin.

 

 

Back in 2000 I lived in Paris for a year while studying at Parsons School of Design. On the weekends (okay, not EVERY weekend), instead of recovering from being out at one of the various clubs, I would spend the day wandering all around the city. Popping in and out of shops, brassaries and of course, the pharmacy.

French women are some of the chicest around and their beauty game, while nonchalant and uncontrived, is unparalleled. European women in general know how to do it. They don’t obsess over every little line or imperfection, preferring to age with grace and stand strong in the knowledge that true beauty comes from within.

They focus on living with enjoyment and savoring life.  Pausing to enjoy a coffee with a friend in the middle of the day, taking time to spend with family on Sunday’s when the only things open are museums and restaurants. Participating in all the culture and beauty that surrounds them on a daily basis.

Being dropped into that culture in my twenties was a gift. I knew no one and spoke just a few words of French. I had only been to Europe once before, but I knew it was my kinda place when I saw there was a smoking section on the back of the plane.

You see, at that time, this girl smoked Gauloises, stayed up until all hours of the night, sketched perspectives of rooms and had decided that an MBA at Columbia or Wharton wasn’t the path I wanted to take. I wanted to explore the world, be creative and try something new. Paris gave me all that and more. So I left my job, my family and my boyfriend and headed to Paris looking for adventure and ended up finding myself.

I got comfortable with a lack of personal space, of not being understood and being okay with it and of being stared at while I waited in line at the Tabac in my Birkenstocks. Apparently they weren’t deemed chic then, but I’ll just claim being ahead of the pack.

Living in Paris taught me the following things:

  1.  All things in moderation.
  2. Smoking might not kill you.
  3.  Fishnet tights with trainers can be chic as long as you are wearing a trench coat.
  4.  Eating dinner before 8 PM makes no sense.
  5.  A diet of bread, cheese and wine is okay sometimes. See #1.
  6.  Use a cloth napkin at every meal and never let another paper napkin enter my home.

But most of all it taught me that true beauty isn’t found in potions or serums, but in experiencing life with all it’s twists and turns and unexpected challenges. Real lasting beauty comes through self knowledge, confidence and the freedom found in being yourself.

So don’t worry so much about the bags under your eyes, or the extra wrinkle that wasn’t there last year. Believe me when I say that there will be more and with each one know that you have lived another year,  expressed yourself freely and if those laugh lines deepen, so be it. At least you were smiling.

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LIVING / WELLNESS

VIBRATE HIGHER

06.07.18

As most of you may know I am a true believer in the power of crystals. I keep them throughout my home, carry them in my bag and wear them on my body. I use them to facilitate whatever I am trying to attract or repel and I know for a fact they have helped me tremendously in various situations.

About 6 months ago I came across these Gem Essences made by Moon Nectar Apothecary at my local mystic haunt Modern Mystic. I immediately purchased a few, and since then my collection has grown 3 fold. I use Malachite at night for deep REM sleep and to cleanse and protect my energy field. In the morning I massage whatever stone I feel I need into the corresponding chakras.  Sometimes I layer them depending on how I feel. My current daily blend is Citrine and Moldavite which are both great stones to use when starting on a new path. I also use them during my yoga classes, on my son or as part of a candle ritual for any moon ceremonies. A recent add is Lapis Lazuli.  I had a reading with an intuitive who said the entire time she kept getting visions of me with a huge lapis stone on my third eye. Apparently I was an Egyptian in a past life, but that’s another post….

Anyhow, each essence comes with a description for use as well as a listing of what Chakras it corresponds to. I typically place a drop or two on the corresponding Chakras throughout the day to amplify their power. She also sells a mini kit with small sizes of all the essences. Great way to sample different stones if you are unfamiliar. 

 

From Moon Nectar’s site:

Gem Essence are vibrational gem oils that provide properties from each gem stone and essential oil blends.  They excrete a vibrational frequency of each stone and are to be used with intention.

How to use:

– Add 8-10 drops to a meditative intention bath using the corresponding herbs to attract intention

-Use in dressing a candle during altar or moon rituals and anointing candle with gem oil

-Can be used on chakra or pulse points, as massage oil, hand or foot wash, or before yoga, meditation, presentations, or performances.

-Can also be used around your house or work area, on doorways, knobs, car or around your space.

A tip: when you get your bottle use tape to cover the label, I have found that because it’s an oil product it will dissolve the writing on the label over time rendering it hard to read. However, the owner was amazing and sent me all new labels when she realized mine had faded!

To purchase please click here.

*photos from Moon Nectar Apothecary*

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LIVING

Scenting Your Home

05.31.18

For me scent is one of the most important elements in my home.  Smell is the sense most closely linked to memory and can elicit powerful responses almost instantaneously be them negative or positive. Anytime I smell Estee Lauder White Linen perfume it sends me straight back to my Grandmothers bedroom trying on her pearl earrings. I tend to gravitate towards woodsy, green scents with subtle floral undertones. Scents that (at least for me) feel like a warm hug next to a fireplace, reading a book after smoking a joint and gazing out the window at the mountains beyond.

The first thing I do in the morning after my bathroom run is light some Palo Santo or incense. Immediately I feel at ease and ready to start my day. I use a mix of incense, candles, resin and dried herbs to create whatever scent I am craving and have fun discovering new pairings. Over the years I have found a few consistent favorites as well as some new finds that I am digging.

Norden Ojai

This is a recent discovery and I am obsessed with both the scent and the fact that I have a beautiful ceramic vessel afterwards; but again, when I want a refill my only option is to buy the entire thing. My personal favorite is Ojai. Shocking. Buy it here.

 

H.O.W.L. Tobacco & Red Currant

Made from 100% coconut wax these candles are handmade in Venice, CA. I discovered them on one of my many trips to LA and have been a huge fan ever since. I tried the Amber and Santal scent and while it smells lovely, it didn’t have the throw that the Tobacco and Red Currant does. I can walk into my bathroom and smell Tobacco and Red Currant without burning it, while the Amber and Santal I have to burn for a while before I can really identify the scent. Either way, I love them and they are always in rotation at my house. Buy one here.

 

Blackbird Incense

These stay in steady rotation at our house. I love Blood Countess and Ozo. They have recently added the ability to purchase two sample cones which I think is a brilliant idea so you can try a few before committing to a scent.

Jonathan Adler Hashish

The perfect blend of black currant, green apple, wormwood, patchouli and moss it is hands down one of my top 5. My only complaint is that they don’t sell the candles in an insert because A) I’m not consistently spending $68 on a candle and B) how many stash boxes does a girl need? Buy it here.

Palo Santo Sticks

I have seen a huge uptick in the use of Palo Santo the past few years. Not sure how I feel about this (social media ruins everything) but considering it’s an actual tree I wonder what the impact will be on these “Holy Woods” in South America. It is believed that a tree or fallen branches must lie dead for 4-10 years before the medicinal and mystical properties of the wood begin to come alive. This means that traditionally only the fallen branches and twigs of the tree are harvested, and this practice is regulated by the government of Peru to ensure that the trees do not become overharvested. However, as Palo Santo has become more popular, the illegal harvesting and cutting of trees has also greatly increased, ruining yet another Rainforest species, but that’s another post. Sigh…

Consequently, if you are purchasing wildharvested Palo Santo, it is important to do so from an ethical wildcrafter. I purchase mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They buy from a 50 acre farm in Ecuador that contains both naturally occurring and replanted Palo Santo. They have replanted over 5000 Palo Santo trees on the land so far to ensure adequate supply for the future.

I use this on a daily basis for clearing and protection before I start my yoga and meditation practice and throughout the day because I love the smell.

Copal Resin

Years ago on my first trip to Tulum I was totally captivated by the smell of this resin. It was everywhere and each time I burn it it takes me right back there. Beachside, bikini clad and drinking mezcal.  Buy them from my source here.

 

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BEAUTY / LIVING

Onwards and Upwards

05.22.18

Things have been a little rough for Highbrow Hippie over the past 6 months. What we thought would be an amazing start to 2018 ended up being an unexpected backhand delivered on a Sunday afternoon. The project we’d been working on came to an abrupt end. You see, back in 2014 we found ourselves blessed with a little building at 1346 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, CA so that we could start to build out our brand. We set up our office in the space and got to work. What we thought would take 1 year ended up taking 3 due to all the crazy changes, rezoning requirements and redesigns it took to finally get our building permit in September of last year.

We worked all of last spring and summer laying out the perfect space with our amazing architects – we completely redid the building – picked every tile, every door handle and piece of furniture. We knew that if we didn’t hit our approved budget it might not happen and so were happy to spend weeks (yes, weeks!) finding brass cabinet hardware that fit into our $8/piece budget. But we did it, and cabinet hardware not withstanding we came in under budget and celebrated accordingly.

Sadly, in November, after 3 years of work there was a massive change and we were left with no building, no investor and 3 years of lost time. While it saddens us to lose what we thought was our long term home, we’ve come to the realization that that building wasn’t meant to be nor was that investor.

If you follow us on Instagram you’ve seen all the emotions that brought us to that realization both good and bad. Now we’re left with hope, a sense of freedom and the sincere belief that this is all for the better. Part of being a Highbrow Hippie is learning how to trust the timing of your life. Even when you can’t see around the next bend. As a yogi a big part of my practice is developing trust – with myself, with the universe – and having faith that as long as we stay true to our vision and our intention the Universe will give us what you desire. Most of the time it’s bigger and better than you could have even imagined.

As of this month we’ve learned our lovely little building will be sold along with the plans we created. Take a peek below at some of the renderings. If you want to see what the space looked like before we ripped it apart check it out here. Let’s hope the new buyer will want to create their own vision and not hijack ours, but if they do, we’ll be the first ones through the door because at least that won’t have been in vain…

Second floor after we did preliminary demolition in anticipation of starting construction
Our midcentury meets Morocco entryway
A water feature is a must and further communicated our midcentury meets Morocco vibe.
Front desk of salon area
Salon area
Salon area
Nail treatment area
Second floor retail area
Our Highbrow Hippie product showroom
VIP Color area
Outdoor color patio
Outdoor color patio

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LIVING / WELLNESS

The Reluctant Yogi

04.05.18

I recently received an email from Love Yoga in Venice, celebrating my one year anniversary as a student. It made me smile because I don’t quite remember life before Love Yoga. For years Myka told me to give yoga a try, but I always thought my body needs strenuous physical activity to be challenged – i.e. tennis, running, etc. What I didn’t realize, and know now, is that yoga is the most challenging, and the most healing. In what has been a year of major ups and downs, Love Yoga is my dependable safe place to get my mind and body back on track.

The icing on the cake is that I now call both owners, Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon, both dear friends and clients, and they both have really fun hair to paint. I paint their hair in my living room in Venice, or sometimes outside on my patio, weather permitting. It was a friendship gifted to me by another client that I hold very dear, who gave me a nudge in the right direction to start taking better care of my body and mind.

These women- we protect each other, we LOVE each other. That’s as good as it gets, and that’s what it’s all about.

All hair color by Kadi, using non-toxic products and techniques.

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