Spring Fever of 101°

by Mona on March 21, 2014

I’m on my second day in bed. Portland is sunshiny and Springy today. It’s a measure of how crappy I feel that on this first day of Spring I’m indoors, because here in Portland it’s a requirement that even the rumor of a sunbeam demands you go outside.  You know that thing when you’re sick where you wake up feeling pretty ok, so you hop out of bed and start doing your usual morning routine, and then you overdo it, because you’re not in your right mind from all the snot clogging your nose that you’re pretty sure has started clogging your brain, and then you crash because you overdid it by behaving like you’re well when you’re not?  That’s me today.

Anyway, I’ve got it all: body aches, stiffness, chills, loss of appetite, cough, clogged sinuses, fever, and a runny nose that is driving me to distraction.  I also have all the remedies: homemade chicken soup, hot ginger/lemon tea, umcka, elderberry extract, zinc, Chinese herbs from the acupuncturist, essential oils, and these genius little cake thingies that steam up clouds of lovely eucalyptus and other sinus declogging magic when you put them in the bottom of the shower.  I’m doing everything I know to feel better while I recover, now it’s just a waiting game.

Here’s the view from my lap, nurse Rosie doing her usual bang-up job.  She just finished licking my shirt sleeve. Why was she licking my sleeve?


My poor nose is suffering. My nostrils are chapped and tender.  How am I supposed to blow my nose when it hurts so much? Why don’t I have something more powerful than moisturizer to put on this?

In my fevered haze I remembered an intriguing sample that I recently received.* I staggered over to a box of samples I left on my bedroom floor. Yes! I’m not delirious, there’s something that looks useful for my nose’s situation:

Air Repair Rescue Balm

AR2 RB1 Rescue Balm

It’s kind of miraculous.

I schmeared some on and my nose was happier.  I’ve been schmearing it on my nose and lips at least once an hour, but this balm is so concentrated that the tube is still almost full.  A full size tube must last forever.

Full of good things: Sweet Almond Oil, Lanolin, Beeswax, Vitamin E, Castor Oil, Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Borage Oil, Lavender and Geranium Essential Oils.  It’s gluten-free too!

Back in the day I worked for a cosmetic line that had something called “_ Hour Cream”, which we used for almost every kind of irritated skin situation. I would have been schmearing that on my poor nose if I hadn’t had my green awakening.** Now I have a gorgeous alternative that works. Air Repair, I thank you, and my nose thanks you.

Should you want to try this miracle balm yourself, you can buy it online from Air Repair, or perhaps while you’re passing through an airport.  It’s called Air Repair, get it?

*I subscribe to one of those cosmetic sample boxes. It’s pretty fancy, but many of the samples I receive are full of junky ingredients I won’t use, but this time they came through.

**FYI, that other cream is full of parabens, fragrance, and petroleum byproducts. No, thank you!


Cheery Pits

by Mona on March 14, 2014

A short, extremely incomplete list of things I find irksome: jerks who use cell phones at the movies, scratchy tags on clothes, sweaty armpits. Scissors works for the tags, and I only have to put up with those movie cell phone jerks for a couple hours, but sweaty pits have confounded me since I began my adventures in greening my beauty routine.

I want to be good; I eat organic, I plant bee-safe flowers, and I transformed my vanity and makeup cases from toxic dumps of paraben-laden products into gorgeous treasure chests of beautification goodness. But some things are hard really to switch, and that’s where I’ve been a hypocrite, because I sweat. I work out a lot and I have random hot flashes, both leading to damp, uncomfortable, irritating, cranky-making pits. Gross. Every time I used my old antiperspirant I felt deeply uncomfortable. I tried to switch from my old awful stuff, but all the “natural” deodorants I found were sticky or stinky in a “I love pachouli and drum circles” way, or both. Worse, none of them did anything to keep my pits comfortable.  I continued to use my old standby, even if I felt very, very bad about it.

Then I was introduced to Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.


Cue the chorus of angels.

At photo-shoots I’m usually the one being pumped for the skinny on products, but at a recent shoot for some wonderful health coaches, I spied one of my lovely clients smearing some cream into her armpits.

M: What’s that? A: Schmidt’s. M: Does it work? A: Yes, I love it. M: Where can I find it? A: It’s made here in Portland. M: D’oh!

I learn so much from my clients.

Because I have to know everything immediately, I googled Schmidt’s before I left the shoot, found out it’s sold at my food co-op, and picked up a jar of the unscented Schmidt’s on my way home.

How did I miss this?

Schmidt’s comes in chunky, old-fashioned in the best ways glass jars. Everything about it feels no-nonsense and sincere, from the labels to the tiny little trowel you use to scoop it out of the jar. I’m pretty much an unscented product kind of person, but the other Schmidt’s scents, like Bergamot-Lime and Lavender-Sage, are clean and fresh. You won’t smell like a headshop, I promise. Unless you want to, in which case you probably already have the essential oils at hand.*

Here’s one reason I love and support small companies: I wasn’t sure whether or not Schmidt’s is gluten-free. It’s labeled free of every other problem ingredient, and appeared to be GF, but I need to be sure, so I called them up, and the impressive Jaime Schmidt herself answered the phone. Jaime was wonderful, smart and very helpful. And Schmidt’s is GF. Tada!

Applying Schmidt’s takes some getting used to, but I mastered the scoop, roll, schmear after 2 or 3 tries. Rolling it between my palms like a tiny ball of Play-Doh gets it melty enough to smooth in quickly.

I’m a convert. I love Schmidt’s and I’ve been recommending it all over the place. If you’re in Portland you can find Schmidt’s almost everywhere, but if you live in a Schmidt’s deprived town, find it here.

*Hey, I like essential oils too!


Bizarre Beauty Bazaar 1 – How To Be Truly Radiant

February 25, 2014

Beauty is a primal pursuit, and we are on an eternal quest to discover the secrets of attractiveness – whatever that means.  Beauty standards are fluctuating and fickle, but the essential compulsion to seek out beauty is constant.   Human beings, endlessly inventive, have come up with some weird, misguided, and mystifying solutions to the beauty quest.  […]

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This cat is killing me.

February 3, 2014

See this cat? This is my cat.  Her name is Rosie. Look at that face.  It will not be denied. Rosie is the sweetest, roundest, gentlest, cuddliest, cartooniest kitty; the living embodiment of those old instructional pictures on “how to draw a cat using only circles”.  I’m under her paw, just as any true cat […]

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Happy Holidays! Here’s your Hangover Helper

December 22, 2013

Been doing lots of celebrating? How’s your skin? Holidays for me mean getting to enjoy time with friends.  I’m way past the point in life where gifts are the point of the season.  What I really want is to be in the company of friends and family.  Finding time to share is the most welcome […]

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Cleaning Up

November 1, 2013

The other day I posted this picture of my very own jam-packed shower caddy: In case you can’t see it clearly, there are 4 facial cleansers there.  “You only have one face, why do you have so many cleansers?”, is what I decided you asked. 1.  My skin, and your skin probably, needs different things […]

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I’ll Show You Mine…

October 17, 2013

Lollygagging in the shower the other day as usual (why is it so hard to get out?), I took a real look at all the products in my shower caddy, and realized how different everything is compared to what I used even 5 years ago. I get asked all the time about what products I […]

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Eyelash Obsessing 3: Daredevil In The Details

September 13, 2013

Gunky lashes bug me.  Hairy spider leg looking things belong on hairy spiders, not surrounding my baby browns.  This is why I love my handy, dandy, scarily-pointy, gold-plated Tweezerman Folding Ilash Comb.  It’s the lash de-gunker to beat all lash de-gunkers.  I’ve tried every lash separator out there, from a clean mascara spoolie to a […]

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Eyelash Obsessing 2: Little tweaks

August 16, 2013

The lashes must be perfect.  This is a fact.  It’s a fact I just invented, but there it is, and I won’t unsay it. Japonesque’s tiny Precision Lash Curler is a genius little tool for achieving lash perfection.  Want to curl the lashes at the outer corner to enhance your cat’s eye liner?  Here’s your […]

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Eyelash Obsessing 1: In The Curl

August 8, 2013

Beauty brands major and mini spend ridiculous amounts of cashola developing new mascara formulas and designing ever more innovative and newfangled ways to apply it.  Because the eyelashes must be perfect!  I didn’t invent this, it’s a known fact.  I don’t even put mascara on if I don’t have time to do it right.  Mascara […]

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