Wakeup with the Early Fall Blues Smoothie

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Fall starts as a season of highs and lows, making us shiver and sweat, pile on scarves and shed layers, over the course of a single day. It’s a reminder that our bodies and skin are adjusting — and that our diets should too. Like spring, fall is a season ripe for supporting detox in the body. It’s a time to support skin cell repair and cell turnover, and ensure that you’re getting optimal nourishment before the winter arrives.

With these goals in mind, I created this sweet, earthy, and satisfying Early Fall Blues Smoothie— named for the deep shades of blueberries and beets inside (but also for the touch of sadness I feel as summer wanes). It’s loaded with antioxidants and a combo of protein, healthy fat, and plant fiber that will keep you full for hours. It’s also excellent for supporting skin clarity. Hope you enjoy it as a transitional beauty breakfast as fall arrives!

Early Fall Blues Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 beet, roasted and skin removed

¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

¼ avocado

1 cup filtered water

3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Top with additional cinnamon or pumpkin seeds if desired.

Images and recipe © Jolene Hart.

Summer Product Obsessions 2019

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To me, summer simplicity is using only these 4 staple natural products before I strap on my cross-body bag, put on my sunglasses, and leave the house feeling pulled-together and prepared. On easy days, I can get away with using these 4 products only— and so I had to share them with you here as my obsessions of summer 2019.

Schmidt’s Lily of the Valley Deodorant, Sensitive Skin Formula, $10.99

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Sometimes I can’t resist beautiful things, and this Lily of the Valley deodorant from Schmidt’s had me from the moment I spotted it. The great thing about Schmidt’s deodorant formulas is that they are tried-and-true to work on me (everyone’s pH is a little different, so while I do recommend this one to all, definitely give it a test if you’re a Schmidt’s first-timer). The base of this deodorant (I wear the sensitive skin formula because the standard baking soda versions give me a skin rash, as is very common) is coconut oil, arrowroot, and shea butter, scented with essential oils. The light scent reminds me of a day at the beach; I think it shares fragrance notes with a natural sunscreen I used to wear as a teen. In any case, I am loving smelling it on hot summer days. One unique angle of this special edition deodorant is its partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. 5% of the purchase price is donated to the Jane Goodall Institute for its conservation work (and lily of the valley is one of Dr. Goodall’s favorite flower aromas). So much beauty in this one, inside and out!

Ere Perez Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint in Fun, $26

Back in my beauty editor days, Benefit’s Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain was a staple in my desk; I loved applying a few dots to lips and having its just-eaten-a-popsicle rose hue stay put for hours. When I cleaned out my beauty cabinet to switch to naturals, I had to toss it because of parabens, BHT, and synthetic fragrance (which I didnt want near my mouth— blah!). Years later, I’ve finally found a natural stain to replace my beloved Benetint, and it’s become a staple in my bag this summer! Meet Beetroot Lip & Cheek Stain from Ere Perez (the shade I have is Fun, an ultra-vivid pink that mellows out when applied). Apply 3 or 4 dots to clean lips, rub it in (I use my finger), and it stays put so well! I sometimes top with clear lip balm if my lips feel dry, but that seems to reduce its staying power a bit. A single dot also colors cheeks into a fresh flush. This formula is enriched with antioxidants from beets and carrots, plus rose extract and vitamin E. And if you haven’t checked out the entire Ere Perez line of natural cosmetics, it’s seriously a must see!

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30, $14.99

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In my 10+ years working in natural beauty, I’ve tried and tested dozens of mineral sunscreens. And my husband has tested them right along with me— usually not thrilled with the extra rubbing time required, the thick textures, the whitish mineral layer left on his skin and stuck in his beard stubble…you get the picture. “It’s worth it!” I've assured him of the move to leave behind those easy-to-apply, invisible chemical sunscreen formulas (the same ones that use active ingredients like oxybenzone that pose risks of hormone disruption). But I’ve always felt a bit guilty every time he had to coat himself head-to-toe in white in order to sit oceanside. That is, until now. We’ve finally found common ground in this Bare Republic Spray sunscreen, which uses the safest mineral sunscreen ingredient, zinc oxide, and is free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and the chemical sunscreen ingredients I seek to avoid. He loves it, uses it (that’s the key, right?), it applies via spray nozzle in seconds and leaves no thick white layer (my tip for spray formulas is to spray it into my palm and then rub it into your skin so you’re not ever breathing it in). I can buy it at Target— for $15 (or less when it’s on sale). And while it’s not quite as natural as my go-to 5-ingredient Badger formula, this one is accompanying us to the pool and beach all summer long, for the foreseeable future.

Ayuna Velo, $156

I received Ayuna’s new hybrid sun protection/moisturizer/light skin tint/anti-aging treatment Velo (billed as a ‘6-in-1 suprastratum protection’) in the May Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, and I liked it immediately. But as I started using it more frequently, I realized that I outright loved it. I’m obsessed. This formula is everything I want and need in one step, feels amazing, smells divine, and leaves my skin looking like I’m just naturally flawless, dewy and glowing. The irony here is of course that this is a high-end, ultra-sophisticated $156 formula that I love because it makes my everyday routine ultra-simple. It works for my speaking and coaching events as well as for the park and grocery store. It’s a lot to pay for that simplicity. But I had to include Velo here because it’s truly an incredible formula that I am delighted to use each day. (This formula carries an SPF 30 rating in Europe, but is not yet approved to claim that in the US). To note: I dont think this product would have quite the same complexion-evening effect on darker skin tones; it seems best for light to medium tones. And I do hope that the leaky packaging gets a revamp in the near future— this product is too precious for me to waste any (you can be certain I’ll use it til the very last drop).

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the above Ayuna and Ere Perez products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Revealing My New Book, Ignite Your Light

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We talk a lot about glow. I’ve used the word so often in the last 5 years that I hardly stop to think about its meaning much anymore. Glow has always been health: at its core, healthy, clear skin. But the last few years of my life (and I think of our collective experience— if I may generalize), have revealed on so many levels that glow alone is not enough. That in order to have a life in which you look and feel beautiful you also must contribute something beautiful to the world in return. That in order to create a life that is filled with meaningful beauty as long as you live, you must cultivate beauty that is more than just visible. I, and I think so many of you, have realized a need to light ourselves up, not just in physical beauty, but in our mindset, emotions, and spirit as well. And that is the goal of Ignite Your Light.

I, and I think so many of you, have realized a need to light ourselves up, not just in physical beauty, but in our mindset, emotions, and spirit as well. And that is the goal of Ignite Your Light.

In so many ways, we’re seeking beauty that’s palpable—like that feeling we get in the presence of someone we love or in a place that fills us up. One way to describe that type of beauty is energy— the energy you convey when you walk into a room, the energy you get from doing something you love, the energy you derive from your views of the world and of yourself. Whether you believe energy is scientific, mystical, spiritual, or a mix of the three, it’s real and it’s a powerful source of beauty, health, and happiness in our lives.

I’ve spent the last several years on a journey to create my upcoming book Ignite Your Light: an energetic guide to beauty, resilience, and joy. At the same time I have been living an incredibly surreal and scary chronic illness experience. The book’s gestation mirrored my healing process: filled with ups and downs that didn't make much sense at the time, but required a consistent pledge of patience and trust. And when the path suddenly cleared and pieces began to fall into place, it all made sense, reminding me through my self-doubt that I was always the right person to write this book, and to put beauty, resilience, joy and healing together to highlight a universal power that transcends gender, race, ethnicity, age, and life experience.

Even the room where I did most of the writing for this book is light-filled.

Even the room where I did most of the writing for this book is light-filled.

By the time it’s published this coming April 2020, this book will have been a long 3.5 years in the making (for reference, it took 2.5 years for Eat Pretty from idea to pub date). For me, it’s been the test of maintaining beauty: in the breakdown, in the unknowns, in the darkest dark. The result is something so beautiful, and so different, that I can’t wait for you to experience it. Ignite Your Light takes you through the 13 most influential power sources for your personal energy and beauty— sources like creativity, relationships, mindset, play, and, of course, food (get ready for delicious new recipes, each one with a photo!). It’s a guide not just for anyone who is finding their way through a dark moment, but for everyone who is seeking more inspiration and beauty in their lives, everyone feeling confused or adrift, everyone looking for a more meaningful approach to self-care, everyone seeking to reignite vitality that has diminished or feeling helpless to change negativity and pain in the word around us. Yes, at times we will all encounter challenges, people or circumstances that drag us down, and moments where we don't feel the beauty in ourselves and our lives. But by choosing and actively creating our personal energy through these powerful sources, we can light ourselves up so bright as to find and maintain beauty, resilience, and joy through it all.

It’s a guide not just for anyone who is finding their way through a dark moment, but for everyone who is seeking more inspiration and beauty in their lives, everyone feeling confused or adrift, everyone looking for a more meaningful approach to self-care, everyone seeking to reignite vitality that has diminished or feeling helpless to change negativity and pain in the word around us.

This is just the beginning. I’ll be sharing much more of Ignite Your Light (including fun stuff like the beautiful cover, illustrations, and excerpts!) going forward. But I wanted to give you a peek into what’s coming, and let you know that I’m emerging from a place of deep healing and reflection— slowly and carefully— and feeling lit up with the knowledge that this book could help you, and others, feel the same. Thank you for supporting me on this long, transformative journey!

x Jolene

Summer's Skin-Protecting Supplement (& Giveaway)

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[UPDATE: Giveaway closed. Congratulations to Taylor Callahan, winner via Instagram!]

Want to know one of my top summer skin secrets this year? I’ve been adding astaxanthin and its super potent UV defense benefits to my summer skin protection arsenal, in addition to my other favorite sun protective foods and mineral sunscreens. Astaxanthin (as-ta-zan-thin) is a mega powerful antioxidant to have in your diet for UV defense. The antioxidant levels of this deep red carotenoid pigment are actually among the most potent found in nature. While it doesn’t block UV rays, astaxanthin helps protect against UV-induced cell death, meaning that less damage accumulates in your skin whenever you’re exposed to the sun. One study show that after taking 4mg of astaxanthin every day for two weeks, about 20% more UV exposure was needed to create skin redness.

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Regardless of the season, astaxanthin supports youthful skin tone, texture, elasticity, and moisture levels. It neutralizes free radicals, protecting from oxidative damage that speeds up aging, and provides excellent nutrition for healthy eye and vision function.

You’ll find astaxanthin in wild sockeye salmon, shrimp, red trout, lobster, and crab, many of which feed on astaxanthin-packed microalgae. The whole food astaxanthin supplement I’ve been using from Pure Synergy contains organic red freshwater algae to deliver 6mg of astaxanthin in each capsule. (60 of these whole food capsules are $30.) It’s one I’ll be taking all summer long as I soak up the healing benefits of the sun!

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I’ve partnered with Pure Synergy to give away a bottle of this SuperPure Astaxanthin and a signed copy of Eat Pretty Every Day, which has a page of beauty inspiration for every day of the summer (and the rest of the year!). Leave a comment on this post or like and comment on my Instagram or Facebook posts by the end of the day on Sunday, June 23rd to enter to win this pair of summer essentials. [GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

Eat Pretty with Less Time: Beans

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Beans may seem like a pretty bland topic, but take a closer look— they’re refreshingly budget-friendly, loaded with the fiber we all need for detox, packed with protein + mood-supporting, slow burning complex carbs, and there are just so many delicious ways to prepare them. Yeah, beans are kind of the best. I also think they’re an absolute staple for anyone short on kitchen time or in need of a quick recipe idea.

But even with this long list of pros, I find that there’s a lot of questions and concerns about eating beans— aren’t they bad for the gut? Too hard to digest? Filled with anti-nutrients?

The short answer: uncooked or not fully cooked beans contain plenty of compounds that are hard on the gut and will bind to other nutrients (preventing you from absorbing them) if you eat them— but when do you eat uncooked or partially cooked beans? Soaking and cooking your beans (especially with a speedy method called pressure cooking) eliminates those concerns for you. If you frequently have trouble digesting beans, you’ll definitely want to double check that they’re soaked and well cooked— and you may also want to pair them with a digestive enzyme supplement for a time.

Here’s what you need to know for the most beautifying beans, plus an quick and addictive recipe for those days with little time:

Soaking. Here’s where you eliminate so many of the compounds that make beans notoriously hard to digest. All it takes is a little water and time. Say you’re up at 8am and you are thinking ahead to that night’s dinner— cover your dry beans in water and by the time you get home from work, they’re ready to cook (pop them in a pressure cooker for the speediest prep). Better yet, do your soaking and cooking during the weekend and keep already cooked, chilled beans in the fridge or freezer so you can grab them for salads, soups, etc. Soaking removes indigestible sugars by about 75%, and removes the majority of anti-nutrients that otherwise block your absorption of beans’ excellent nutrition. Pre-soaking also helps your beans come out whole and plump instead of split and broken.

Cooking. I love that the easiest way to cook beans also happens to be the best for your digestive health— I’m talking about pressure cooking. Pull out your instant pot, toss in your soaked, drained beans and additional water or broth (about 3/4 cup for every 1 cup of dried beans you originally used), kombu seaweed (great for furthering their digestibility), herbs and/or spices and you’ll have perfectly cooked beans in 15 mins or less, depending on the type of bean. This cooking method dramatically reduces lectins, the anti-nutrients that are found in uncooked beans.

Cooking on the stovetop takes longer and leaves higher levels of lectins in your cooked beans; but it’s also an excellent way to cook them if you aren’t pressed for time. For stovetop cooking, cover your soaked beans with about 2 inches of water and simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.

Canned Beans. Choose carefully here— the best canned beans come in BPA-free cans and aren’t loaded with sodium (you can always add your own unrefined salts and spices for flavor later). Trader Joe’s offers organic BPA-free canned beans that I stock in my pantry for last minute dishes. In my mind, there’s always a last minute salad to be made with beans and veggies, cooked grains, leafy greens, or whatever ingredients you have on hand!

Favorite bean salad additions:

Chopped crunchy vegetables like cucumber, celery, colorful peppers

Flavor pops like kraut, capers, olives, sundried tomatoes, brined artichokes, pickled veggies

Tomatoes

Pre-grilled veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, eggplant, asparagus

Vinegar-based dressing

Whole grain mustard

Digestion-supporting spices like cumin and fennel

 

Simple Marinated Beans

Marinated beans are so satisfying with their combination of earthy beans, crunchy veggies, flavorful herbs, and acidic vinegar. Acetic acid in vinegar also helps slow the digestion of carbs in beans, keeping you full and your blood sugar stable. I serve this as a side salad, or a quick main mixed with fresh greens and healthy fats like avocado, olives, or wild salmon.

Serves 4

  • 3 cups cooked beans (mix to your preference)

  • 1 stalk organic celery, minced

  • Packed 1/4 cup fresh herbs (try parsley, dill, basil, or cilantro), finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp vinegar (try a mix of red wine and apple cider)

  • Salt to taste

In a serving bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or let flavors marinate up to 1 hour on the countertop, or longer in the refrigerator.

Text, images and recipes © Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.

 

A Bride's Guide to Looking and Feeling Her Most Beautiful

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Wedding season is gearing up, and brides everywhere have but one thing on their minds: looking and feeling good on one of the most special days of their lives.

Actually, that's a huge lie. Brides have 8,659 other things on their minds, from the weather forecast, to the bridal party outfits, to the playlist you’ll be moving to. Every detail of the wedding runs through the bride's mind at one moment or another, so it's really a wonder that she has any time to take care of herself!

To help take the pressure off of seriously overwhelmed brides, I've pared down my favorite pre-wedding beauty pointers (all available in detail to brides who take part in a Beauty Is Wellness coaching program) for looking and feeling your absolute best on your wedding day—or at any big event. These tips are the foundation of glowing skin, an energetic body, your healthiest weight, and minimal stress as your wedding day approaches.

Here's the Eat Pretty approach to looking and feeling your best as you walk down the aisle:

A moment from My 2011 Wedding

A moment from My 2011 Wedding

1. See sugar for what it is. On your special day, no doubt you're going to celebrate with wedding cake, a plate of petit fours, a slice of homemade pie, or your favorite celebratory sweet. But in the weeks and months before your wedding, sugary foods are tied with stress as the #1 saboteur for brides. Refined sugar contributes to unwanted pounds, makes you more prone to acne, fine lines, dryness, and uneven skin tone, plus it takes you on a hormonal roller-coaster (as if you weren't experiencing enough drama as you plan your perfect wedding day!). If your wedding day goals include clearer skin or shedding extra pounds, cut out sugar as much as you can (try skipping it completely for 10 to 14 days to reset your cravings, if you have them), and find some healthier ways to deal with stress than sweet treats— think dinner with a friend, meditation, sweating in a sauna, or a long soak at the end of the day.

2. Make friends with ferments. Okay, not right before you say your vows, but in the weeks and months before your big day! Sauerkraut—along with other fermented foods like kefir, brined pickles, kimchi, and miso— contains beneficial probiotic bacteria that help amp up the digestion and absorption of beauty nutrients that happens in your gut after you eat. There are several times more probiotic bacteria in fermented foods than there are in store-bought capsules, so try eating your way to better gut health with a few forkfuls of fermented foods each day. Cultivate a healthy population of bacteria and you'll not only boost your immunity and moods and help out your skin, hair and nails, you'll stop bloating and gas (which is a great thing to avoid on your wedding day) before they start.

3. To slim down, eat. Eating to reach your healthiest weight can sounds counterintuitive, but trust me— it works. Starving or cutting too many calories slows your metabolism and dries up the stream of beauty nutrients that your skin, hair and nails need to glow—and grow. Forget dry salads, rice cakes and meal replacement bars; build your diet around beautifying proteins (think wild-caught salmon, lentils, hemp, raw nuts, sardines, pastured eggs, quinoa, etc.), healthy fats (avocados, raw nuts, coconut oil), and an abundance of fresh, seasonal veggies— and eat a combination of the 3 at each meal for your best blood sugar balance. While you’re at it, aim to eat less of the sugars, gluten-containing grains, dairy, and alcohol that can cause inflammation.

4. Don't fall prey to stress sabotage.  Brides, you know that stress is an inevitable part of wedding planning, so create a plan to shut it down before it takes a toll on your beauty and health. Stress, unchecked, can cause breakouts, weight gain and lackluster skin before your big day, not to mention make the entire experience a lot less joyful. Pick a stress-busting activity that makes you happy—it might be yoga, jogging, meditation, or taking a walk in nature—and practice it regularly. I also love supplements and teas like magnesium, lemon balm, lavender, and even CBD to support calm and relaxation.

5. Plan what you'll eat in the week leading up to your big day. You know that when you get busy, beauty nutrition goes out the window. So don't leave your wedding-week meals to chance. Take control of your meals and plan a grocery list of foods that will make your skin glow, rev up your energy and help you handle stress. Go for an anti-inflammatory menu filled with the foods mentioned in number 3, above. When your wedding day arrives, you'll be looking and feeling gorgeous—and you'll feel great about splurging on all of your favorite indulgences during your celebration.

6. Know that you're going to glow on your wedding day like no other day before! Whether or not science can quantify the radiant glow you get from being truly joyous and in love, it's there. Not only will you see it, but so will your partner, and everyone else in the room. Remember that you are gorgeous, and the happiness of this occasion will only amplify your glow beyond what you can imagine!

Bonus: if you're heading to a sun-filled honeymoon destination, you can help prevent UV damage by filling up on sun protective beauty foods that contain lycopene and beta carotene (think watermelon, red peppers, cantaloupe, tomatoes). You'll come home with memories, but leave behind the sun damage.

Tell me: what made you glow on your big day? I'd love to hear your own advice for wedding day beauty!

Would you prefer one-on-one coaching to motivate you to put these tips into action in your life? Contact Jolene to set up a free consultation to decide which Beauty Is Wellness coaching program fits your beauty and health goals.

Sunflower photo: Ivan Cabanas — Bouquet photo: Courtney Apple

Originally published July 2013/Updated April 2019

Detox Smoothie: The Springtime Pear

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If you've ever felt that you just didn't have time or interest in following a detox plan or a mapped-out cleanse, I hear you. While some detox programs do have excellent benefits, it takes time and effort to seek out a good one, stock up on the ingredients or supplements needed, and to follow its guidelines carefully. So most of the time, you forget the idea altogether. But detox doesn't have to be all or nothing!

This season, commit to one easy nature-approved detox strategy: incorporate more naturally-detoxifying spring foods in your regular diet. The Spring Beauty Renewal chapter of Eat Pretty outlines the full list, including artichokes, asparagus, and a green favorite that I use in the below recipe— dandelion greens.

The benefits of supporting your body's detoxification include glowier skin, increased energy, shedding unwanted pounds, and an immune boost that will aid you in staying well even after spring has passed. This is the season to focus on detox, to keep your beauty and body in balance. But I promise, it's okay to take a simplified route.

To get you going, here's an easy detox recipe that works as a light, blood sugar stabilizing breakfast (it has the key combo of healthy fats + clean proteins + fresh veggies/fruits). Feel free to add your favorite superfoods to suit your unique beauty needs in any season.

The Springtime Pear

This light yet filling and nutritionally balanced smoothie offers a trio of detox superstars— fresh dandelion greens, pectin-rich pear that cleanses internally, and chlorella— that support beauty and health in the spring season and beyond.

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe organic pear, cored

  • 1 medium handful organic dandelion greens

  • 1/4 ripe avocado

  • 1 cup coconut water

  • 1/2 cup filtered water

  • 1 serving collagen powder (I like Vital Proteins marine collagen) or your favorite plant-based protein powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp chlorella powder (I like Sunpotion)

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until smooth. If needed, add more water to thin to your desired consistency. Serve immediately.

 

Healing from the Hive

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Honey Love— and a Giveaway

I have a longstanding love affair with honey, and it’s no secret. I’ve come a long way— from the grocery store honey-filled bears of my childhood, to discovering local apiaries that source raw honey from their hives, to treasured jars of healing Manuka honey. I’ve probably slathered as much on my skin as I’ve ingested (raw honey masks were a key discovery during my blemish-filled years and to this day honey remains my #1 favorite skincare ingredient). Beyond honey (the raw variety is my personal fave), I love the nourishing, immune-supporting properties of bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, which I’ve used for years and relied on for immune support while fighting late stage Lyme disease. There’s so much healing that comes from the hive. Read on for the beauty and health benefits of these bee-born ingredients, as well as an exciting giveaway from one of my favorite bee brands— Beekeeper’s Naturals!

Important note: those allergic to bee venom should proceed with caution. Check with your doctor before using products with bee-related ingredients to prevent allergic reaction.

HONEY: THE HYDRATOR

Suspend your skepticism for a moment and slather on the sticky stuff (be sure it’s raw, unheated honey, which packs the most active enzymes). Wait 20 minutes and rinse away with warm water- your skin will feel softer, tighter and more even. Honey may go on smooth, but it acts as a gentle exfoliant, with mild alpha hydroxy acids that loosen dead skin cells and refine pores for a rejuvenating effect. Combine this with honey’s ability to attract and retain moisture, its naturally-occurring antibacterial hydrogen peroxide and its antioxidant content, and you have a recipe for a natural line-reducer and blemish treatment. While all honey disinfects, the Manuka variety contains a special molecule that is even more potent in its ability to inhibit bacteria growth. It’s an incredible skin healer (with a history of being applied to wounds to speed healing) and potent antibacterial.

ROYAL JELLY: THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

The one lucky larva chosen to become queen bee enjoys lifelong nourishment with royal jelly, a nutritious, milky secretion from the glands of bees. As a result she lives a stunning 40 times longer than worker bees. The queen owes her longevity to the essential nutrients in royal jelly, among them 17 amino acids and a rich store of B complex vitamins and trace minerals. This crème de la crème of the hive is prized as a beauty ingredient for its anti-aging, cell-rejuvenating properties and as a wellness aid for its immune support and energy boost.

PROPOLIS: THE HEALER

Propolis remains the mystery of the hive, a blend of plant resins, wax and essential oils collected by bees to coat the hive as an antiseptic defense against foreign objects. Its role in skincare is similar: to eliminate unwanted bacteria and inflammation, thereby hastening the healing of scars, blemishes, even rashes and eczema. For whole-body health, propolis is prized for its immune-boosting properties and its content of healing flavonoids. It’s as effective as Nystatin against candida yeast, and can kill pathogens without disrupting the good bacteria in your body.

BEESWAX: THE SOFTENER

Beeswax is an emollient wax produced by bees that is rich in fatty acid esters and skin cell-supporting vitamin A. In the beauty world, beeswax is a natural, nontoxic substitute for petroleum jelly and a favored ingredient for lip balm, given the natural moisture barrier it forms on lips. Beeswax protects skin and seals in moisture- leaving you with noticeably softer skin on lips, elbows, cuticles- anywhere you apply.


Ready to try out some of these amazing benefits in and on your body? I’m giving away a set of 4 Beekeeper’s Naturals products that I personally use and love. One (1) lucky winner will receive: Propolis Throat Spray, Kids Propolis Throat Spray, Bee Powered (a mix of honey, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly), and Raw Honey.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post or on my Instagram giveaway post by 11:59 ET on Wednesday, January 30th. Winner will be announced on January 31st. Contest open to US residents only.

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Holiday Pfeffernusse Cookies

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What are you baking this holiday season?

I love these festive cookies for their addictive spiciness, petite size, and pillowy texture. Pfefferneuse (‘peppernut’) cookies are traditional German, Dutch and Danish spiced Christmas cookies that I remember eating as a child. They have a licorice-like anise flavor that may be a bit polarizing, but that I find festive and perfect during this season. I recreated the traditional cookie in gluten free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free form— and the result is perfect! Bake them in your own home as you embrace the darkness of the winter season and the soon-to-be return of the light.

Holiday Pfeffernusse Cookies

These cookies can be easily frozen and ahead of when you want to serve them.

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  • 1 tbsp ground chia seed (+ 3 tbsp water)

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill GF 1-to-1 flour blend)

  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted organic grassfed butter

  • 2 tsp anise extract

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup molasses (use blackstrap molasses for a less sweet, more deeply flavored cookie)

  • 1/8 cup coconut sugar, blended into powder (can sub conventional powdered sugar if desired)

 

DIRECTIONS

In a small dish, whisk together chia seed and water and set aside to gel.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, beat butter, anise extract, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in the chia mixture, and then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll 1” balls of dough, flattened slightly on the bottom, and place onto greased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies start to brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack and cool slightly.

Pour powdered coconut sugar into a plastic bag and drop cookies into bag, one by one, to coat them with sugar.

Winter Product Obsessions 2018-19: Light Edition

Have a look at these beautiful natural and organic favorites…

Once I gathered up these products from where they’d already found permanent homes in my bathroom, purse, and nightstand, I realized that they’re connected by the theme of light and glow— something I hold close throughout the cold, dark winter season. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe these should be the next items you reach for if you’re craving a little extra glow in your winter routine too. Happy Solstice!

Kindred Baton d’Or, $38 (or Limited Edition 2018 Set for $45)

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Literally ‘stick of gold,’ this creamy, shimmering product leaves your skin subtly illuminated and deeply moisturized. With only 5 ingredients (mango seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula-infused sweet almond oil, geranium oil, and mica), it feels like a pared-down, everyday essential and a special occasion item all at once. I’ve decided to make it an everyday item this winter, with the goal of restoring some of the sun-kissed bronze that has long left my skin. It works instantly to create luminosity— especially around my collarbone and décolleté (about all the skin I show this time of year!) or on cheeks and lips— and is surprisingly natural-looking and buildable. This product comes from (local to me) Delaware-based natural beauty company Kindred (maker of the most beautiful body oil ever), and you can purchase it paired with a cheerful sparkling pink La Femme candle as part of a special Limited Edition gift set. If you order, use the code JHART for 10% off.

 

The Organic Skin Co. Task Force Nine, $48

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Task Force Nine— the name alone sounds like it means business. And this cream does just that, by soothing skin and reducing inflammation while imparting a healthy glow thanks to golden-hued organic supercritical turmeric, sea buckthorn, and calendula extracts. This cream is a medium weight (it’s water-based, with rose hydrosol and aloe juice), has a soft, non-sticky dry-down, and is 78% organic and 100% natural. I am in love with its natural vanilla scent too— so calming on face and hands.

 




VitaVie Repair & Restore Elixir, $29

I’ve only had this oil for a few days and it’s already one of my winter favorites. Repair and Restore Elixir is instantly calming for my nervous system— you can credit the mix of frankincense, helichrysum, vetiver, neem, and lavender that is super grounding to the senses. I’ve been using it for a beautiful ritual: warm one pump of the oil between your palms, cup your palms over your nose and inhale slowly and deeply, then apply the oil to clean skin that you’ve just misted with a hydrosol. It soaks in well, leaves your skin dewy and your body feeling peaceful.

 

 
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The first time I pumped a drop of Light Reveal (a creamy, balm-like serum) onto my hand, I gasped. It’s completely orange, from brightly-pigmented supercritical sea buckthorn oil. But don’t fear, once you distribute it and massage it into skin, the orange hue creates a subtle warmth that becomes a natural-looking glow. The serum’s other antioxidant-packed ingredients include exotic buriti, pequi, and andiroba oils, plus caffeine from guarana that boosts blood flow to skin. Wabi Sabi Botanicals is a brand new indie beauty addition to Beauty Heroes, and you can purchase Light Reveal alone, or in a special Limited Edition Indie Beauty Spotlight discovery box from Beauty Heroes. The gilded packaging will be the prettiest thing in your beauty cabinet.

 

Axiology Soft Cream Lipstick in Reflection, $30

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I fell for this lipstick (dressed up in new packaging from Axiology) because it reminded me that sometimes the colors you think you can’t wear become your biggest wins. In the tube, Reflection is a pearlized purple, but on lips, it softens into a bright, berry-hued pink/purple with medium payoff that feels fresh, trend-setting, and joyful. As always, Axiology lipsticks are made with natural oils and pigments, are vegan and cruelty-free, and completely free of fragrance.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Wabi Sabi Light Reveal was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.