IMG_20150216_195011As you can imagine, things have picked up pace around here ever since announcing my very exciting role as Event Ambassador for A Night for Green Beauty. It has also been rather humbling as most of my family and friends have no idea what that means. But that’s ok. What better way to introduce it to them, convince them that this is THE year to attend, and begin a necessary convo on intimate matters such as sweaty pits and toxins, right? Indeed. All about timing and shock value, you know.

I’m also in the process of updating Edible Facial, as well as helping out with an upcoming conference called the W.E.L.L. Summit (more to come about this exciting weekend and how you can get involved). With the kids around and snow storms nearly becoming a weekly occurrence, personal down time is an absolute necessity.

Three products have eased their way into my “as needed” morning routine lately, making it virtually impossible not to experience ritual-inducing moments. Think of it as the Rx for winter doldrums!

De Mamiel’s restorative Cleansing Balm, Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate, and Mun Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner pack a treasure trove of beautifying and nourishing ingredients. A few weeks ago, I tweaked the way I was using them that delivered instant and impressive results.

Let me first begin by admitting that it was not instant adoration with de Mamiel’s Restorative Cleansing Balm—and now I love it! So here’s what changed…

De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm, $86IMG_20150203_082849

Based on its impressive reputation, I had high expectations for the Cleansing Balm. But my skin had other ideas, so I set it aside for a while. Ask me what it was and honestly, I can’t say exactly. Maybe I wanted it to remove makeup more thoroughly or leave my skin looking better for the price. I simply was not wowed by it. However, with my current way of incorporating it into a morning treatment, my faith in the de Mamiel balm is restored.

It’s a sign, perhaps, that the skin’s needs change and not to be hasty in shelving a worthy formula that now captivates me from step one.

Simply dipping my fingers into the balm, I easily drift away on a multi-sensory journey. The velvety, golden touch is the first to hit the senses followed by a pleasing aroma that’s at once soothing, as well as restorative. The intoxicating blend contains honey myrtle, fragonia, chamomile and rose geranium. What sets this balm apart for me is the base of probiotics, anti-bacterial manuka (a steady skin fave), and nourishing kukui, calendula and moringa oils. This makes for one heady potion that cleanses but never strips—offering the ideal replenishment for dull, winter-challenged skin.

It is well worth the time to massage this balm slowly and intentionally over the face. The mounds of snow outside fade into a distant and foggy memory, as the kids banging down the bathroom door fail to penetrate the peaceful moment. OK. That is a gross overstatement, but the effect, hopefully, is clear.

De Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate, $68IMG_20150203_083008

I discovered a happy accident when I left the balm on my skin as a mask and then—without rinsing—followed with the de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate. This loose powder-to-cleansing mud incorporates several high performance clays, pearl and gemstone powders, in addition to other powerhouse ingredients that prove to be thorough, yet gentle at sloughing off dead skin cells and evening the complexion.

If only you could have a whiff of this cocoa and buttermilk confection. It is heavenly! Once dampened with water, it turns into a gritty slush that’s just the right texture. To me, it is a shame to rinse it off too soon, so I leave it on over the balm to allow my skin to benefit from both formulas. It may be the “wrong” way to use the product, however the end result speaks for itself. **FYI, Here’s a tweet from de Mamiel saying that this is just the thing she would recommend to her clients!

On rinsing, my skin feels nourished, smooth as tumbled stone, more even-toned, and well-rested. In short, the product lives up to its name. In winter, the use of a balm or oil on my face and body prior to any cleansing seems to be staving off any dryness whatsoever.

De Mamiel is currently offering a lovely $15 (10 GBP) off every purchase by using this link.

MUN No. 11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner, $68

Following the sensation of refreshed skin, I felt magnetically drawn to Mun No.11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner as the ideal complement.

Dismiss whatever you currently think about toners. This one is in its own category of luxurious. Rose water, aloe, prickly pear seed, and goji are listed among the first five ingredients (along with de-ionized water). Rare it is to find a tonic with a plush formula like this one. Hyaluronic acid boosts hydration levels, while jasmine and daisy soften skin.

As the name implies, the toner cushions skin and envelops it in Bulgarian rose petals that in and of itself demand complete and devoted attention. Given that it is only the second product created in the line—following the outstanding Mun No. 1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum (a permanent fixture on my bedside table as much for its scent as for its efficacy)—it lives up to its performance expectations seamlessly.

Such a ritual does not require much time.  It merely requires presence. These products render it easy to embrace the present moment—barring a few loud knocks on the bathroom door, reminding Mommy that it’s time to go outside and shovel…Yet again.

What do you do to incorporate a self-care ritual into your day? Are you making sure to enjoy one?

* Each of the products in this post can be found on the lovely, newly launched website Seed to Serum, started by uber-popular blogger, Megan. She created a space dedicated to exploring beautiful, life-enhancing rituals. It is well worth taking some time to indulge in her magical haven. You won’t be disappointed.

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