3 Easy-To-Master Braids

Summer is the perfect time to get hair off your neck–and braids are a classic, easy way to match both dressy and casual looks. While braids may seem intricate and complicated, most are fairly simple to master with good instructions and some practice. Check out this list of trendy braids that look great, but don’t require a professional stylist to achieve.

1. Four-stranded braid. Using a similar weaving technique as a classic braid, the four-stranded braid is surprisingly easy to create and provides a chunky, interesting look. Get the YouTube tutorial here.

Four-stranded braid. Via: www.bobbyglam.com

Four-stranded braid. Via: http://www.bobbyglam.com

2. Fishtail braid. This style looks extremely intricate and although somewhat more challenging than a classic braid, it shouldn’t take more than a little practice to master. Just remember to keep strands taught and as neat as possible (unless you’re going for a messier look). View the tutorial here.

Fishtail braid. Via: www.abeautifulmess.com

Fishtail braid. Via: http://www.abeautifulmess.com

3. Waterfall braid. While this braid is the most difficult (you’ll want to learn to french braid first), it is far simpler than it looks. It’s impressive-looking and works well for special occasions and everyday looks alike. Don’t get frustrated–it’s all about practice! Check out the tutorial here.

Waterfall braid. Via: www.luuux.com

Waterfall braid. Via: http://www.luuux.com

What’s your favorite braid? Have you tried any of these?

Four Of The World’s Greatest Places For Skin Health

Reykjavik, Iceland is beautiful, with pure air and waters conducive to healthy, clear skin.

When it comes to skin health, there are many factors at play: genetics, diet and exercise, and hormone and stress levels being just some of them. Over the course of many years, however, one element that largely determines the wellness of your complexion may be your environment. Between pollutants, air quality and the resources available in your community, the place you choose to call home can play a surprisingly major role in health, especially affecting the appearance of aging and clarity of skin.

So where are the optimal places to pamper skin cells and renew your youthful glow? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most complexion-friendly locations–so even if you can’t pick up and move, maybe you’ll find a place to rejuvenate skin on your next vacation.

1. Oslo, Norway: A beautiful cosmopolitan city, Oslo is also known as “the world’s biggest village” due to its small-town approach towards impact on the environment and commitment to the community. With a simple public transportation system, large amount of bike users and widespread use of locally grown foods, this city is known for its pure air and healthy diet. The quality of air and food creates a perfect environment for slowing the aging of skin and staving off conditions such as acne and environmentally caused skin irritation.

2. Marienbad, Austria: Discovered in 1341 by a wandering traveler, the mountain town of Marienbad has become a favorite spot for tourists due to the curative carbon dioxide waters in its springs. Boasting eight different pools, each with unique mineral compositions, this small town is a perfect escape for soothing tired, irritated skin. Bathing in the springs and drinking from them is reportedly beneficial in battling numerous ailments including gout, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatism.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland is one of the least polluted countries in the world. With an overall low rate of disease, Reykjavik is a perfect place to rejuvenate skin through clean air and swimming in the pure, geothermal-heated waters enjoyed by locals year round. With large amounts of outdoor activity, as well as relatively low exposure to the sun per year, this is a place that promotes skin health.

4. Portland, Oregon, USA: With some of the lowest ozone and pollution levels in the US, Portland is a great place to avoid the free radicals that age skin and interrupt healing. An emphasis on physical activity and farm-to-table produce also makes this city a great place to get and stay healthy, supporting a luminous, youthful complexion.

Free Shipping On All Snowy Owl Cove Products!

In honor of our love for fall, we’re offering free shipping on all Snowy Owl Cove products in our Etsy store!

Stock up on everything from thick, creamy lotions to alleviate winter skin to gentle, soothing soaps to leave your skin clean, fresh, but never stripped of moisture. Keep in mind that all of our products are all natural and handmade in small batches with the utmost attention to the quality of ingredients. We hope you’ll take advantage of this deal and use our array of soaps, lotions and serums to keep your skin healthy & happy this fall!

Simply use the coupon code FREEFALLSHIPPING during checkout in our store to receive your order free of shipping charges anywhere in the domestic US!

Happy shopping, everyone!

Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report

Wondering which beauty products to invest in this fall? Pantone released its 2012 fall fashion color report, predicting which shades will likely trend this season in everything from eye shadow to handbag color. Including darker, more serious tones like “french roast,” this palate is also big on pops of color, such as “pink flambe” and “bright chartreuse.”

We’ve searched for our favorites of these shades in some of our go-to all natural brands and come up with a list of products that will help you stay on trend this fall (the all natural way!):

  • Tangerine Tango: Zoya’s all natural nail polish in “Paz” is a great way to add a spot of bright, attention-grabbing color to an otherwise neutral outfit. Vibrant and long-lasting, this nail color is also free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Rhapsody: Try Afterglow Cosmetic’s mineral eye shadow in “Velvet” for a subtle way to incorporate muted purple into your makeup routine. With certified organic ingredients including grape seed and rosemary extracts, these eye shadows are gentle on skin without sacrificing vibrant color.
  • Rose Smoke: For understated lips with a hint of rosiness, try Primitive Makeup’s lipstick in Sedona. Moisturizing and all natural, this product includes calendula, green tea and rose hips for a beautiful, conditioning treatment for your lips.
  • Pink Flambe: To wake up your complexion, try a dash of bright creme blush by Real Purity Cosmetics in “Pink.” Free of any FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol, parabens, chemicals, this blush delivers easy-to-apply, creamy color to naturally brighten winter skin.

What’s your favorite Pantone color this fall? Do you plan on investing in fall colors? Let us know!

 

 

4 Essential Oils For Healthy, Luminous Skin

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

By now, many of us are familiar with essential oils and the diverse array of health and beauty benefits they provide in safe, natural ways. Still, the search for the correct essential oil for your skin can be confusing due to the large selection of these ingredients. Instead of selecting your preferred oil based on scent alone, check out this list of some of our favorites and how they can help keep your skin healthy and luminous:

1. Lavender:

  • What it is: Many of us enjoy the essential oil of lavender, which is common in bath products and candles. Derived from the lavandula angustifolia plant, this oil is present in a variety of forms depending on its origin and the altitude at which it was grown.
  • What it does: Helping to balance oily skin and clear blemishes, this oil has antiseptic properties that can even help in relieving burns, insect bites and small cuts. Its fragrance also has a calming effect that many report as aiding in sleep and relaxation.

2. Tea Tree:

  • What it is: Coming from the Australian plant melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is probably one of the most popularly used oils due to its effectiveness in treating skin and unique and diverse uses. Used for thousands of years by the aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand, tea tree has proven its worth throughout history by serving as a treatment for wounds and as an antiseptic for many skin ailments.
  • What it does: With great effectiveness in warding off infections of all kinds, this oil has been known to cleanse and treat skin prone to blemishes and is even purported to help fade scarring of the complexion. Additional benefits include aiding in the healing of minor cuts and scrapes, as well as insect bites and chicken pox.

3. Chamomile:

  • What it is: Extracted through steam distillation from fresh camomile flowers, this oil was widely used by ancient Egyptians in shampoos, perfumes and cosmetics due to its soothing and cooling abilities.
  • What it does: Based on its place of origin, camomile oil comes in two different varieties: Roman and German. While both oils have excellent calming properties, Roman chamomile is more effective for skin irritation, while German chamomile  is especially effective in not only soothing and calming the skin, but also in tissue regeneration.

4. Rosemary:

  • What it is: Crisp and clean smelling, this oil comes from a shrubby evergreen bush originally native to Asia known as rosmarinus officinalis. Now cultivated in France, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, this plant was burnt in hospitals during the middle ages to ward off plagues.
  • What it does: Rosemary oil is ideal for acne-prone skin with enlarged pores, as it cleanses and invigorates skin, leaving a gentle astringent effect. Because it tones and firms skin, rosemary is also ideal for mature skin and is employed in many anti-aging skin products.

*Note: Please keep in mind that, while natural, many essential oils are strongly effective and therefore may cause irritation on some skin types. When using alone, remember to use sparingly and test a small amount of the product on skin before use. For gentler options that still offer similar benefits, try finding skin care products, such as our facial soap bars, that contain essential oils mixed with other soothing ingredients.

What’s your favorite essential oil? Let us know!

Strong Styles With Romantic Touches Reign for Fall

Temperatures are slowly dropping, the humidity has been replaced by a slightly crisper breeze, and up in New York, Fashion Week has begun to reveal some of the styles that we’ll be seeing for the upcoming season.

I’ve checked out the runway photos, compiled some of the new beauty trends that most excite me, and put an all-natural spin on these fashions:

  • Lips: Look for vampy, romantic shades of burgundy, purple and deep red. Dramatic lips paired with more neutral eye colors will be making a major appearance this fall. Try Honeybee Gardens Natural Lipstick in Vintage Merlot for a paraben-free take on this trend, complete with all-natural moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter.
  • Hair: Perfectly coiffed, intricately styled hair is making way for lower effort, simpler styles this fall. Think low, sleek ponytails, hair that looks as if it’s been air dried, romantic styles involving loose braids and twists and more casual versions of 1960’s bouffants. Check out Harper’s Bazaar’s slideshow for inspiration, and for an all-natural way to keep hair smooth and styled in a braid or updo, try Kiss My Face’s Natural Styling Gel.
  • Nails: Tired of neons? For those who favor the classics, you’ll be happy to learn that rich, elegant jewel-tone shades will make a comeback in the upcoming months. Shades like wine and eggplant, along with neutral grays and metallic coppers will make for less trendy, more tasteful nails for the fall season. I’m loving Zoya Nail Polish’s formaldehyde-free polish in Toni, which they describe as a “dark, warm raisin-wine cream.” Yum.
  • Accessories: Headbands, which have gained popularity in the last couple years, are still popular going into fall. Look for beaded and sequined designs with a vintage flair to lend interest to an updo or to loose, wavy hair. Check out these handmade fall favorites from Bethany Lorelle’s shop on Etsy.

What are your favorite fall trends? Who’s ready for cooler weather, boots & tights?