Streamline Your Beauty Routine

Streamline Your Beauty Routine

In an effort to cut back on gratuitous products and free up some desperately-needed space…

Hi, I’m Allie and I’m a skincare and makeup addict. I love the stuff. I can’t get enough. The minute I read or hear about a new product, I drop everything and start Googling. It doesn’t matter if I already own (and barely use) dozens of similar products; once the itch starts, I can’t stop until I’ve researched enough to know I’m not interested or, more likely, have become the proud owner of the product.

And while I love each and every one of my beauty products like a proud mom (I know it’s weird, just let me have it), every once in awhile, I find myself digging through drawers and bins and cabinets full of creams and palettes and serums and sprays and masks, looking for that ONE THING I KNOW IS IN THERE SOMEWHERE but continues to elude my grasp. Then I think to myself, “Allie, wouldn’t it just be easier with fewer products?”

The answer, obviously, is yes. We are a world of consumers—many of us, present company included, over consumers. And while it’s certainly a nice luxury to be able to perfectly match my bronzer to my skin after a few hours in the sun and also after a week in the sun because I have both shades, it’s all a bit unnecessary, don’t you think?

So in an effort to cut back on gratuitous products and free up some desperately-needed space in my apartment, I’m adopting what I like to think of as a streamlined approach to beauty.

What does this mean? It means that instead of bringing an extra overnight bag on a weekend trip to accommodate any product I might need, I fit the essentials  into a standard-issue makeup bag. It means instead of insisting on having dozens of lipsticks and stains, I only have a few that I can play with to produce whatever shades I’m missing (and even use some as blush!). It means that instead of bracing myself against the potential avalanche of products that might tumble out upon opening my bathroom cabinet, I can swing that mirror open with confidence knowing I am safe from cascading makeup.

And it means I’m going to tell you how to do it for yourself if you’re sick of stubbing your toe on plastic crate full of lipstick that’s sticking out from under your bed when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Hack #1: “Foundation” 

Given that summer is just getting started, it’s probably time to lighten up on makeup for the sake of your skin. So instead of reaching for foundation every morning, let your cover up pull double duty as a lightweight tint by combining it with your favorite face oil or serum. The viscosity of the serum will help the small amount of cover up spread thinly and evenly, offering a beautiful light layer of coverage and skin benefits at the same time.

How: Scoop a small amount of RMS Beauty’s Un Cover-Up onto your fingertips. The amount will depend on how much coverage you’re after, but I find a half-pea is perfect for a sheer wash that also lets skin breath. Add a 2-3 drops of your favorite oil-based face serum (I like Maya Chia’s The Super Couple Face Oil Serum) and warm everything up between your fingers. Then apply in a gentle, upward motion as if you’re putting on moisturizer. Rub in where necessary, and you’ve got beautiful sheer, breathable coverage for your whole face. Then if you need it, go back in with the Un Cover-Up and add a little extra wherever you’d like. The nice thing about using an oil serum as the base here is 1) you likely won’t need to apply moisturizer first since the oil will cover you on the hydration front, and 2) you’ll get a gorgeous, subtle glow from the revitalizing oil.

Hack #2: Lip Stain

When you want some color on your lips but can’t be bothered with reapplying full lipstick, a lip stain is where it’s at. The color gives you that “I just ate a popsicle” look and you don’t have to worry about it fading or running to find a mirror to reapply. If you’re really crafty, you can whip up a to-go batch of this stuff so you can always have it handy.

How: If you’re really ambitious, exfoliate your lips a bit before applying a colorless lip balm like Lano’s Multipurpose Superbalm or good old coconut oil. Let the balm/oil sink in for a few seconds, then dab a bright lipstick into the center of your bottom lip. Pick a shade and formula that’s vibrant and highly pigmented so the color dilutes easily—I like Kosas’ lipstick in Thrillest. Once you’ve built up a bit of color on that bottom lip, gently spread it out with your ring finger, blotting your lips together as you go. The balm/oil will help the color spread without sinking into any cracks or lines, and it’ll diffuse the pigment into a lovely stain.

Hack #3: Body Bronzer 

I’m speaking for myself for, but I am very pale. Like, the first time I wear a skirt or dress after the long winter months, it’s almost blinding. I also don’t tan well…at all. So faking it is really the only way to ensure I don’t stop traffic and cause harm when not wearing pants in public. Luckily, the bronzer I use on my (pale) face can cleverly double as a body bronzer.

How: You’ll need a liquid or cream bronzer for this (or use a tinted moisturizer/foundation you may have bought on a whim after you booked your last beach trip) and some body lotion. To start, take a pea-sized amount of bronzer into your palm—both RMS’ Buriti Bronzer and Contour Bronze work perfectly, though the second has an added shimmer if you’re into that—and warm it up a bit. Then add a dime-sized amount of body lotion to your palms and work the two together between your hands. Apply the mixture to your legs and arms, blending as needed, until you’ve got a pretty faux tan. The Skin Tight Body Lotion from PRTTY PEAUSHUN is great for this since it comes in a variety of “glow” levels, letting your customize how dark the color is and how glow-y your skin becomes.

HACK #4: Highlighter 

I mean, who doesn’t love a good highlighter? And while there are a lot of excellent ones on the market—looking at you, Vapour Organics and RMS Beauty—if you own an eyeshadow pallet and some eye cream or serum, you’re covered in the luminzer department.

How: Find that eyeshadow palette you only ever use one color of and locate the lightest, most peaches-and-cream color. (In Smith & Cult’s Book of Eyes Quad Palette, it’s the top left color.) If you plan to use the shade as a shadow in the future, pick up some color with your finger and deposit it on the back of your opposite hand, near the base of your thumb. Add one small drop of eye serum to shadow and blend together with the same finger you used to pick up the color. (You can also add the serum directly to the palette, but you likely won’t be able to use it as a straight shadow anymore.) Once it’s blended, pick up the mixture with that same finger and gently dab it on as you would a highlighter: hit the top of your cheekbone, under your brow bone, the center of your eyelid, the inner corner of your eye, etc. The nice thing about using an eye serum here is that it’s specifically designed for the delicate, thinner parts of your skin where you apply highlighter, so it won’t cause irritation or congestion and it’ll deposit skin-friendly nutrients.

+Read more from Allie here and be sure to check out our full beauty collection, online and in stores!

Free People Blog

Soho Pop-In: Nutritional Counseling with Raj Barker

Soho Pop-In: Nutritional Counseling with Raj Barker

If you’re in NY on 6/21, consider stopping by our Soho pop-up and take in a seasonal health class with Raj!

As a holistic nutritionist, my aim is in identifying and treating the root cause of a problem as opposed to its symptoms, taking into consideration a combination of diet, lifestyle, work-life balance and relationships, to understand its true nature.

Below I’ve broken down three of the most common complaints I receive from clients and, in turn, provided simple tools you can weave into your everyday routine to put yourself back on track to feeling your best.

Adrenal fatigue

Symptoms: Waking up tired even after a long night’s sleep, relying on coffee to wake up, feeling alert right when it’s time to go to sleep, irritability, weight gain, decreased libido, depression.

What to do: Limit coffee to 1/day and drink it by 10am. Cut back on processed foods, especially sugar. Implement a nightly routine (shower-tea-meditation-essential oils-read-lights out) turn off screens 1 hr before bed, aim for the same bedtime every night. Focus on resting, relieving stress via yoga, walking, dancing, whatever you find works – part of the treatment is discovery.

What to eat: Easily digestable, nutrient-dense foods in their most natural form. Think foods with good fats and high fibre like coconut meat, olives, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, as well as seaweeds like kelp and wakame, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.

Supplements: Magnesium before bed to help relax (follow instructions on packet), ashwagandha to increase stamina and relieve stress (start with 1 tsp in the morning, add to tea, smoothies, etc).

Acne

Symptoms: Red or white lesions on the face, neck, chest, back and tops of arms.

What to do: Simplify skin care routine, use products with minimal ingredients, drink plenty of filtered water, sip hibiscus and dandelion tea. Get plenty of sleep and manage stress.

What to eat: Reach for whole, fresh foods in their most natural state. Reduce processed sugar, alcohol, packaged or high trans fats foods. Feed the gut with good bacteria — think sauerkrauts, kombucha, kefirs, small servings of whole greek yogurt, and eat plenty of clean protein such as fish, eggs, spirulina, legumes, beans, raw nuts and seeds.

Supplements: Probiotics to replenish gut microbes, milk thistle to assist in liver detoxification (be wary if pregnant or breast feeding). B6 to help sebum excretion, zinc to support skin cell repair.

Bloating

Symptoms: Swollen belly, frequent gas, discomfort in the abdominal area.

What to do: Focus on chewing your food at every bite, observe reactions to trigger foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol — consider you may have food sensitivities or allergies. Ensure legumes and beans are adequately soaked before cooking (at least 24 hrs).

What to eat: Eat easily digested foods in their most whole form. As mentioned above: Chew! Chew! Chew! Rather than drinking your food, focus on meals instead of juices and smoothies for a few weeks. Eat fruit before a big meal as opposed to after, as it will digest most quickly.

Supplements: Digestive enzymes (follow instructions on packet). Drink 1 cup of warm water BEFORE meals with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

+Learn more about our Soho Pop-Up here

Photo by Emily Sellers

Free People Blog

FP How We: Meditate

FP How We: Meditate

Our monthly home office wellness series turns within, featuring best practices meditation from two of our very own…

Unlike the hosts of our previous FP How We sessions, you are both full-time FP employees. Can you talk a little bit about how your paths brought you here? 

J: I was always into the mysterious… ancient secrets in yoga, chanting, numbers, letters, astrology, etc. My love for design was once separate but, as I dove deeper into my spirituality, I realized everything is connected. The good and the bad. How we do one thing is how we do everything, weaving it all into a work of art… we are all creative beings.

K: I’ve always been interested in and curious about the non-physical world, ever since I was a little girl. As I grew into my teens I was always attracted to the mystical, delving into astrology, tarot, always yearning to know more about the deep mysteries. It wasn’t until I was out of college, and working full time at Free People, that I started falling in love with yoga. At first, it was just a couple days a week in a local gym, but the instructor was fantastic and took me deep inside myself, especially during Savasana. After I had my daughters I became much more committed to yoga and joined a local studio. One day I dropped into an Ashtanga class and fell deeply in love. As I progressed through the years with Ashtanga, I realized I was getting so much out of the sitting pranayama (breath work) and stillness at the end of the sequence. It seemed I had to push my body to all its edges and limits to achieve this bliss of spacious awareness, I felt light streaming through my body — I felt better than I had ever felt in my life. A few years later, I moved away from my Ashtanga teacher and had a hard time keeping my practice going. I also began suffering from some pretty serious illnesses and had knew I had to limit my energy output so I could help my body heal itself. I started doing guided meditations to help ease my stress and anxiety and realized I could access this spacious awareness state through my consciousness. I knew I needed to dive deeper into meditation and signed up for a teacher training program.

Was wellness always a part of who you are? Tell us about that journey.

J: As a kid I endlessly played in nature. I knew there was a life-changing wisdom there. The trees alone are full of metaphors on how to exist, deeply rooted in the ground while stretching up into the heavens. As I got older and more conditioned to social norms, I struggled. Stress began to break down my body and I started to develop health issues. On a crusade to heal naturally I realized it wasn’t about the food itself. It was about my emotions, self-esteem and connection to my true self. You can eat all the super foods in the world but, if you are full of guilt and shame, who cares what size you are or who likes you. Until you see that your value is an accessory to something greater. In this knowing I have been able to liberate myself from many issues and am truly enjoying life. Spiritual or not, to me these are the basics of life.

K: Absolutely. When I was younger it manifested mostly in preferring a healthy diet & regular exercise. I loved to go to aerobics classes with my mom in high school, hiking the national parks with my family, and was even the captain of the cross country team in high school. In college, I craved good vegetables, when the cafeteria was filled with junk food. It wasn’t until my late 20’s when I realized that importance of mental & spiritual heath as a significant component to overall wellness for me. I realized that ALL the choices I was making, not just my food & exercise, were contributing to living a fulfilling life. I realized I needed to look deeper into my stress, anxiety, and emotions as well as develop a deeper connection to the Mystical world that I’d been curious about since childhood. As I’ve had some illnesses over the past few years, I’ve also realized how lacking our medical system is right now in terms of preventative or vitality enhancing focuses, so have turned to so many other healing modalities to help my body be well again including Herbalists, Ayurveda, Energy Medicine, Acupuncture, Diet/Food as Medicine, Self-Love, Breath-work, Mantra, Yoga and Meditation.

And how did you two find each other?

J: I’ve been at Free People for 9 years. Kristal not only interviewed me, but hired and trained me! We have been working together ever since. We always compared notes on our latest obsessions — in the beginning it was yoga to nutrition, then deeper esoteric studies as we progressed. It’s been a Joy to grow alongside each other and inspire as we go along… blessed be!

K: Yes, so much JOY! We have said so many times how grateful we are that we were brought together to support each other on this journey. I totally think it was fate. We were meant to work together on many levels in this life.

What does meditation mean to each of you? What does your personal meditation look like?

J: Meditation, to me, is a practice of knowing yourself. No wonder it is so hard in the beginning, all your demons rush forward to be released the moment you sit down. Personally I was overwhelmed by this. I explored many different styles of meditating, loving something from each. I now have custom built a practice for me, something I recommend to everyone. This includes a prayer, mudras and breathing always. Other times I may add dance, chanting or yantras. I strongly feel as we grow what we need reveals itself… so cool!

K: Meditation is essential to me. It helps me stay connected and in-tune with my higher self, my true self. It helps me stay present and available for the people in my life. It also inspires ideas, helps me process my day, and release anything I no longer need to hold onto. It helps me ‘see’ where I am stuck, where I am clinging, and where I need to let go.  I usually wake up around 5am, have a cup of tea and head out to my little yoga/meditation/sacred space. I typically read some inspiring pages or verses of poetry while I finish my tea, I then meditate until about 6am, when during the school year it’s time to wake up my girls. I typically just follow my personal silent meditation, and when I’m feeling I’d like a guided practice, I choose something from the myriad of options on the Insight Timer App. I’ve also began incorporating a few mudracs that I learned from Jess that shift my energy quickly. I also do occasional longer sits on the weekends, as well as go to group meditations, womens circles or retreats when I can. I also like to get into a meditative state during physical activities, like hiking, walking, yoga, and dancing. Like Jess said, there are so many ways to get there!

I bet most of us do not know about mudras – can you give a quick explanation of what these are?

J: Mudras are essentially hand yoga. Each finger is linked to an energetic meridian in your body (what they use in acupuncture) as well as a neurological pathway in your brain. You can literally change your state in 3 mins. As I mentioned above, when I began to meditate I found it overwhelming unless I had just performed yoga. Why? Because I had so much energy that needed to move. Learning mudras allowed me to clear and channel this energy with intention and purpose.

Favorite crystal (no pun intended, K):

J: Its hard to have a fav. I’d say selenite is my go-to. I’d love one of every color.

K: I always go to quartz because it’s an amplifier and clears, helps me to move energies quickly. I love so many, though.

Morning or night?

J: I practice every morning, but I’m a nighttime person. I get super psychic at night.

K: Morning for me. I feel sparkly in the morning. I love sunrise. I am so sleepy at night.

#1 inner beauty go-to:

J: Mudra & Adi Shakti Mantra.

K: Heart openers using meditation, yoga, mudra, movement. I think nothing creates beauty more than an open heart and a peaceful presence.

Biggest hope/dream for women everywhere:

J: To Self Realize and know their own power. To embrace each other rather than compete/compare.

K: Totally Agree. Also owning their cycle, realize the sacredness of their moon time. We are the instruments of creation.

What does free mean to you?

J: Boundless Self Expression.

K: Liberation From Conditioning.

 

Free People Blog

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou

Keeping it Clean with Eddie Mitsou

Maybe you’ve been considering it… Sobriety may not be for everyone, but it might be right for you?

Let me be the first to say… I love partying! Dancing, hanging out with friends, flirting, coming home at 3am exhausted with my lipstick half gone, LOLing at my Instagram story while peeing and brushing my teeth.

What may separate me from man others is what happens next — I wake up with my makeup perfectly removed, IG stories still intact, with no fear of finding that dreaded embarrassing video. I make myself a green smoothie and I’m on my way to a Pilates class before 9.30 am.

So, why is that?

Because I don’t drink.

The thought of it might scare you.

But…maybe this is something you’ve been considering yourself. Sober partying may not be for everyone – but it might be right for you?

I have many girlfriends who have gone out with me and follow suit – and most of them really like it, usually quite surprised at how easy it can be. AND! how much fun they can actually have without booze flowing through their bodies. Some, as a result, have decided to quit drinking – or at least consume very little – while some continue to go out and get wasted.

And I don’t blame them for that. Everything is a choice — you do what feels best or right in that moment.  However, there is also a fear of simply breaking the norm. You simply stick to what you know and how you’ve been raised to live, courtesy of family, culture (television, movies, magazines) and society.

Several years ago, the idea of sobriety seemed impossible. I struggled with it during my last semester in school. I had just started dating someone in the deep house underground party scene. The only thing my heart wanted was to be tequila-tipsy, kissing him in the darkness of a grungy garage, every night of the week.

But, I had to focus — good grades on my final exams and beyond. There was also the potential to do modeling in Milan,  and my agency asked me to be in perfect shape, which demanded both more hours at the gym and a healthy diet. Despite my new love, my mission had always been to move abroad as soon as I graduated.

But I couldn’t. I really couldn’t give up being boozy. It was so important to me. Drinking was the only way of partying in Stockholm, so maybe that rubbed off on me?  My point is that there wasn’t a time when I could picture a life without alcohol. I was young, but my mom nervously made jokes about me becoming an alcoholic. I had a great opportunity right in front of me, but I wasn’t ready to make the sacrifices to achieve it.

I’m a very strong believer in refraining from judgment or telling people how to live their lives. I would never tell anyone that it’s bad to drink, or that they shouldn’t. No, no, that’s not my vibe. It’s an individual — and personal — choice, and whatever you choose is hopefully right for you. What I do is right for me.

So all I intend by this post is to inspire you. To maybe introduce you to a new or scary path and know there are different ways to go. Follow your own gut, and try to push away the fear of being different.

I didn’t make it to Milan that summer, after all. It took me over eight months to finally leave Stockholm. I wasn’t ready to stop drinking and didn’t fight for my dreams. I ended up in Istanbul, but even there I realized that other paths existed…

Free People Blog

Wellness Encyclopedia: Benefits of Papaya + Papaya Breakfast Bowl

Wellness Encyclopedia: Benefits of Papaya + Papaya Breakfast Bowl

There’s a reason papaya is a major player in the skincare industry…

Summer is officially-unofficially here (technically there are still a few days left of spring, which is difficult to believe). Along with sun, blue sky and sweltering humidity, comes my complete inability to turn on the stove. Hot temperatures I can deal with, but I have zero desire to make things any warmer than they already are with a hot oven. But as markets are brimming with fresh produce and fruits, who needs heat? Summer is the perfect time to cool your body down with everything fresh and crisp — from bright green local lettuce to more exotic tropical fruits coming into their prime season. To me, papaya is the taste of summer all wrapped up in one convenient package. Peeled, cubed, and drizzled with a little lime juice, this exotic berry (yup, not actually a fruit!) makes a simple meal that nourishes while it cools from the inside out. There’s a reason papaya is a major player in the skincare industry — the antioxidants and enzymes present provide vital nutrition internally while boasting the ability to resurface and renew skin externally. Today I’m diving into the beautiful papaya — what it is, the benefits and, most importantly, how to eat it. Scroll on to learn more and find a cooling recipe, no heat required.

What is it? Believed to be native to Southern Mexico or Central America and originally cultivated in Mexico, the papaya is a large berry with bright orange flesh and greenish-gold skin when ripe. Similar in texture to an avocado (a very juicy avocado), when sliced in half a ripe papaya will reveal dark brown seeds that are easily scooped out. Papaya is available year-round but peak in summer and early fall, making them the perfect addition to fresh fruit breakfasts and snacks on those 90-degree days when you can’t bring yourself to turn on the stove.

What are the benefits? Rich in vitamin C, folate, fibre, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and beneficial enzymes, papayas can benefit the entire body, from head to toe, internally and externally. The vitamin C present in papaya can help boost immunity, and help resurface skin when applied as a mask. Rich in fibre and the enzyme papain, when combined these two nutrients can aid in digestion, helping to break down proteins and scrubbing the digestive tract (papains) and moving food through the system faster and more efficiently (fibre). The presence of fibre also aids in heart health by potentially lowering cholesterol. A popular ingredient in over-the-counter skin care products for good reason, papain, the beneficial enzyme in papaya, can help slough away dead skin cells when applied to the skin, and the vitamin C and other antioxidants can help resurface and smooth skin.

How do I use it? When choosing a papaya, the skin should be a mix of light green and gold tones, and it should be about as soft as a ripe avocado. Papaya is delicious fresh, especially topped with a bit of lime juice and honey, and it blends easily into smoothies. It’s also a great topping for chia puddings, yogurt, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and banana ice cream. Create an easy face mask by mashing fresh papaya together with a bit of raw honey and applying to clean, dry skin (always do a patch test first). Create a hair mask by mixing mashed papaya with jojoba oil and applying to hair before rinsing.

Papaya Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

½ papaya

½ banana, frozen

½ cup frozen cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut butter

⅛ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup nut milk or coconut water

Dash of cinnamon

Optional: Scoop of vanilla protein powder of choice

Chopped almonds and blueberries, to top

To prepare the papaya, slice lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Set ½ aside or freeze for later use.

Method

Place frozen banana, cauliflower, coconut butter, vanilla, nut milk, cinnamon, and protein powder (if using) in a blender or food processor. Process on high until mixture is smooth. Pour into the papaya half and top with almonds, blueberries, and any other toppings of choice. Enjoy!

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Free People Blog

Quickie Wellness: The Head-to-Toe Benefits of Charcoal

Quickie Wellness: The Head-to-Toe Benefits of Charcoal

Removing the mystery behind beauty’s favorite form of black magic…

Activated charcoal is officially having a moment— from beauty products to pizza crusts, it seems to be on every new need-to-know recipe list this season—but what do you actually need to know about the mysterious black powder?

Its general appeal is fairly simple: activated charcoal particles can soak up thousands of times their own weight in chemicals and poisons. This mean that toxins are pulled away from your body, making it an environmentally friendly remedy for tackling environmental aggressors and harmful bacteria day-to-day.

While ingesting too much of the dark dust can disrupt your ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals, harnessing its benefits as a natural Brita-filter is the easiest way to upgrade your morning beauty routine. Whether it’s brightening your teeth or refreshing your bod, we’ve broken down a few of the perks of an activated lifestyle:

Whiten Up

Thanks to its inherent ability to balance the Ph of your mouth, activated charcoal-infused toothbrush bristles have the ability to freshen your breath without the need for harmful chemicals. Match that with the capacity to absorb surface stains from teeth, and you’re left with a whiter smile and none of the dicey ingredients found in the majority of drugstore dental options. The Goodwell Company’s Bamboo + Binchotan toothbrush uses sustainably sourced bamboo for its adorably colorblocked handle, so the first step of your day has an even smaller carbon footprint.

Shower Up

Great for sweeping bacteria and pollutants from skin’s surface for a clearer complexion, the exfoliating power of ultra-fine activated charcoal powder is infused into the fibers of Morihata’s gentle Binchotan Charcoal Body Scrub Towel. Pair it with Moon Rivers Naturals Activated Charcoal & Himalayan Sea Salt Bar Soap’s nourishing blend of vegan oils and magnesium to help speed the healing of any minor cuts and insect bites you might accrue during rugged summer outings (pool parties included).

 

Freshen Up

The beauty of incorporating charcoal into deodorants lies in its ability not only to draw out toxins trapped in vital areas of your body (like the lymph nodes found directly under your arms), but also to trap odors rather than just mask them. Kaia’s Takesumi Detox Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant stick does both, and encourages you to power through the first weeks of adjustment, which could mean sweating a bit more in the short-term as your body purges harmful chemicals and bacteria in the long-term. Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium formula combines the added bonus of magnesium, which studies show can assist your day-to-day functions. From improving sleep cycles to increasing energy, it’s a recipe for the ultimate refresh.

Drink Up

As you rush out the door with your favorite BPA-free canteen in tow, consider dropping one of Marihata’s Kishu Binchotan Charcoal Sticks into your water for a dose of natural, hyper-portable filtration. Binchotan releases ions that balance H2O’s Ph as well as calcium, magnesium and iron, creating DIY mineral water with zero hassle. And if you’re seeking a bit of luxury during your end-of-day routine, toss a couple of sticks into your bath for an immaculate, restorative soak.

+ Charcoal, charcoal, charcoal. Now that you know the benefits, shop here today

 

Free People Blog

How to Make the Most of Your AQUIS

How to Make the Most of Your AQUIS

A quick how-to for getting that perfect ‘Wash and Wear’ hair…

AQUIS founder Britt Cox recently gave us the inside scoop on what inspired her creation of the perfect hair accessory. Hair needs tender care, just like your hands and your heart. In fact, hair is at its most delicate and vulnerable when wet! So, for the shiniest and healthiest locks, we decided it only befitting to break it down for you, to ensure you’re getting the most out of your AQUIS towel or turban. After all, your drying technique is key to maintaining your hair’s integrity.

Towel vs. Turban

The general steps between the towel and turban are basically the same: be sure to pat hair, do not rub. To make sure you are gathering all of your hair, lean forward so your hair falls in front of your face. If using the towel, wrap and twist the towel gently around your hair, then tuck the end into the back or side so it does not fall off. If using the turban, place the button fastener at the base of your skull. Twist the turban gently until desired fit is achieved, then fasten the loop around the button. Now turn up those tunes, pour yourself some coffee and let AQUIS take care of the rest!

All About the Timing 

The amount of time your want to leave on your AQUIS towel or turban varies based on the hair type. People with curly hair generally don’t have to wear it as long as those with straight hair. Rule of thumb: Remove the towel or turban when hair feels damp. Be sure to keep on until the heavy drippy water is out of the hair, and the strands open up!

+ Ready for some amazing hair that takes half the time to dry? Check out AQUIS’s full line of products here

Photos by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

Father’s Day Gifts Your Dad Would Never Buy Himself

Father’s Day Gifts Your Dad Would Never Buy Himself

Make his life a little easier by encouraging him to relax once in awhile…

On their own, the items on this list may not seem all that impressive as gifts for the guy who is half the reason you’re here right now. But bundle a few in a nice basket and tell him it’s time he started looking out for himself the same way he’s always looked out for you? Now that’s a Father’s Day gift.

For the funny dad: 7 Wonders Masks

If your dad memories include a lot of funny faces, character voices and general laughter, your dad is probably a goofball that would do anything to see you smile. So instead of him contorting his face in silly ways, why not just gift him a sheet mask or two? Serious skincare, yes, but sheet masks look just funny enough to the newly-initiated that he’ll no doubt get a kick out of figuring out how to apply one.

But really, the joke will be on dad because while he’s busy laughing at how weird he looks with a white sheet of gooey paper draped over his mug, he’ll be getting a serious dose of skin-friendly ingredients without even noticing. Does he spend a lot of time outside? The Amazonian Anti-Pollution Mask will help to purify, detoxify and neutralize free radicals. Maybe he doesn’t get the point of moisturizer? The Kalahari Melon Moisturizing Mask is deeply hydrating and smoothing. Is he starting to complain that he looks older than he feels? The Mediterranean Olive Brightening Mask will perk his skin right up. Bonus points if you do one with him—Instagram will love it.

For the active dad: Native Atlas Muscle Balm

Does your dad wake up at the crack of dawn to run miles before anyone else is awake? Did he get really into CrossFit recently and keeps trying to get you to come to a ‘box’ with him? Maybe he never gave up his high school baseball dreams of one day making it to the big leagues? Whatever his prefered method of movement, chances are he could use some help in the recovery department, which is where Native Atlas’ Muscle Balm comes in.

Packaged in an easy-to-toss-in-your-bag tin, the balm works to alleviate muscle soreness and discomfort with all-natural ingredients like capsicum, menthol oil, arnica oil, cinnamon and rosemary. These plants and herbs combine to topically treat whatever muscle he last pulled, while also smelling way better than any old drugstore ointment.

For the outdoorsy dad: LVNEA Essential Oil Candle

Candles are not just a woman’s game, despite what my collection of 54 unused candles would have you believe. No, dads are just as down to appreciate a candle’s delicious scent, especially when it’s a one that smells like star gazing in the middle of a forest after a days-long trek through the wilderness and grilling freshly-caught fish on a fire you built by hand would smell like.

Handmade in small batches, these vegan candles burn for up to 50 hours and do a seriously excellent job of transporting the sniffer to a totally different world. Encourage your dad to light his when he’s stuck inside but craving a hike or camping expedition. With notes of frankincense, cardamom and jasmine, the Aurore Boréale candle is deeply evocative of the lush notes of summer hiking, while the La Forêt Dormante candle does a deceptively good impression of a winter forest with notes of fir balsam, juniper berry and cedarwood.

For the eco-conscious dad: Goodwell & Co. Bamboo + Binchotan Toothbrush

It may be strange to refer to dental hygiene products as sexy, but damn if you’ve ever seen a better looking toothbrush. Jazz up his side of the sink with a sustainable, color-blocked bamboo toothbrush and make sure he’s taking care of those pearly whites. Speaking of pearly whites…the activated charcoal in the binchotan bristles help to balance the mouth’s pH while also fighting off bad breath-inducing germs.

He spent a buttload of money on your braces (and retainer and wisdom teeth removal) — let him know you care about his chompers, too.

For the hardworking dad: Schmidt’s Deodorant

Ok so maybe not the most glamorous thing on this list, but seriously, what dad wouldn’t appreciate having a backup stick of deodorant on hand when he inevitably runs out of whatever he’s currently using? I can see it now: “Oh man! I have a big important thing to do today and I am totally out of deodorant! Wait! I just remembered that my very thoughtful (and favorite) daughter got me a new one for Father’s Day. I can’t wait to try it.”

That’s how dads talk, right?

Either way, he’ll appreciate this stuff. Not only will it keep him smelling perfectly lovely even in the hottest temperatures and most stressful situations, but it’s also inevitably better for him than whatever conventional stuff he has right now. Free of aluminum, phthalates and parabens, the arrowroot, baking soda, coconut oil and shea butter formulation is one of the best natural deodorants out there and it’s a stick, so you don’t have to teach dear old dad how to apply deodorant cream with his fingers.

For the stressed dad: Soak Society Sleep Wellness Soak

No one works harder than your dad, and sometimes it shows. You do your best not to stress him out, but sometimes you just need to call at 2am to ask for the spare key he has to your apartment because dad instinct told him you might need it one day. So make his life a little easier by encouraging him to relax once in awhile.

Since there’s literally no better way on the planet to relax than by taking a nice, long bath (yes, this is a scientific fact), and there’s no better way to feel rested and refreshed than after an excellent night’s sleep, help him combine the two with a sleep-inducing bath. This natural, vegan, epsom salt soak from Soak Society checks both of those boxes, and more. The lavender and chamomile will help to calm his busy mind through some aromatherapy magic, oatmeal and white clay will work wonders on the skin he’s probably neglecting, and the epsom and sea salts will help to detox his mind and body. Just make sure he doesn’t fall asleep in the tub and drop whatever James Patterson novel he’s reading in the water…unless you’re looking for next year’s Father’s Day gift already.

+ Switch it up this year, and share some Free People love with the Dad in your life! 

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KIKI Health Streamlines Your Summer Supplements in One Sleek Sweep

KIKI Health Streamlines Your Summer Supplements in One Sleek Sweep

KIKI Health founder Cary Kikis explains what you need, why you need it, and how to use it…

At this point, we all know that the key to a balanced beauty routine is curating what goes into our bodies with the same attention that we give our skin care regimen — but navigating the waters of endless capsules, juices and cleanses can be a task so overwhelming it’s tempting to skip it altogether. What are the rules for stirring, swallowing and spraying our way to wellness? Rather than curling up into a ball when faced with a library of supplements, we turned to KIKI Health, the powerhouse brand that’s streamlining the superfood beauty game with simplified options wrapped in sleek, photo-worthy packaging.

Cary Kikis launched the brand almost two decades ago after falling ill and finding that incorporating a clean lifestyle and pure supplements into his diet helped cure the same ailments that doctors were unable to remedy. Inspired to share the benefits, he created the natural, cruelty-free line of best-sellers by incorporating pure ingredients that deliver a beauty-packed punch. From energizing Maca Powder to cleansing Aloe Pure gel, Cary guides us through the WHAT, WHY and HOW of the wellness essentials designed to take your summer beauty game to a deeper level:

MOOD & IMMUNE-BOOSTING: Body Biotics Capsules

WHAT: “This is the ultimate immune system wellbeing and vitality booster. Our probiotics are made from soil-based organisms that prevent bacterial and fungal overgrowth, and provide the same health benefits we used to enjoy before the introduction of harsh chemicals into our farming world in the mid-50s.”

WHY: “A healthy gut can have phenomenal health and wellbeing benefits… Aside from digesting our food, our gut also has a role to play in hormone balance, detoxification, and elimination, energy and vitality, immunity and believe it or not, our mood! They help to replenish your natural friendly flora and restore a healthy balance between “friendly versus unfriendly” gut bacteria. This rebalancing supports better digestion, improves nutritional absorption, and enhances the immune system.”

HOW: “It’s best to take them on an empty stomach 30 minutes before a meal and not with anything hot. During Week One, take one capsule a day, 30 minutes before food with juice or pure water. During Week Two, take one capsule twice a day, and during Week Three, take one capsule three times a day. Maintain six capsules per day for six months (or longer), at which point you can reduce to two or three capsules daily.”

CLEANSING & PURIFYING: Aloe Pure Capsules

WHAT: “The yellow gel contained on the inside of the aloe leaf has been used for centuries as a natural, safe, non-addicting internal cleanse.”

WHY: “We all need to cleanse our bodies at some time, and what better way to do it than with pure aloe from the potent aloe ferox plant. The leaf contains active enzymes to help break down and dissolve foods.”

HOW: “Just one potent capsule will help relieve the body of toxic waste build-up which is essential in today’s environment. Take one capsule with an evening meal for two to four days, then use as needed.”

ENERGIZING & STIMULATING: Organic Maca Powder

WHAT: “Maca is a robust vegetable root that grows in four different colour ranges — red, yellow, purple and black, each with their own unique properties. Ours is a blend of all, encompassing their benefits and offering you a unique nutritional profile.

WHY: “The vitamins and minerals in this powerful Peruvian root will help boost your immune system, stimulate energy, improve fertility, balance hormones, increase libido, and provide a nourishing boost.”

HOW: “Used for centuries by the indigenous people of the Andes as a warrior food, the Inca warriors used it in preparation for battles to increase strength and endurance. But it’s not just because I want to be a warrior that I love it! It also tastes great in smoothies, adding a delicious caramel and nutty flavour with an array of pure vitamins and minerals. Drop a teaspoon into your smoothie or use as a sweetener for healthy treats.

MULTI-USE MIRACLE: Raw Virgin Coconut Oil

WHAT: “We searched high and low for a really amazing coconut oil that was full in flavour, whilst pure and unaltered — this is cold-pressed, organic, virgin oil.

WHY: “When heating oils for cooking, they become oxidised and release dangerous toxic chemicals. Coconut oil is one of the safest oils available, with so many benefits that range from both internal and external.”

HOW: “I love to cook with it, add it to my smoothies, and use as a skin and hair oil! As a beauty aid, you can use it to moisturise skin, lips, remove eye makeup, and it’s even known to remove grey hair! Try mixing 1:1 with organic turmeric powder to form a paste and brush teeth for two minutes. Not only will this naturally whiten your teeth, but it is excellent for the health of your gums and protection against cavities.

 

REPAIRING & RELAXING: Magnesium Oil Spray

WHAT: Magnesium is a mineral that is often overlooked, even though it plays an essential role for over 300 enzymes in the human body.”

WHY: “This mineral helps to promote overall wellbeing and relaxation. If the body has the correct level of magnesium, skin will feel more supple, you’ll be less likely to feel tired, and your muscles will repair themselves more efficiently (especially after exercise). It helps to relax and de-stress, and therefore aids in a more restful sleep.”

HOW: “Our Magnesium Oil Spray is a lot more absorbable when sprayed directly on the skin as opposed to taking it orally, as it bypasses the digestive system where some nutrients are not absorbed. It can be used directly on problem areas, such as cramping and stiffness in muscles and joints. After showering, when the pores are more open, spray and massage well into the skin.”

BALANCING & STRENGTHENING: Alkaline Infusion Powder

WHAT: “Jam-packed with nine powerful ingredients that help establish balance and enhance immunity, this blend can help the body to rebalance pH levels and neutralize acid. Alkalizing minerals, calcium, potassium and magnesium balance pH while acerola cherry boosts essential collagen for skin elasticity and bamboo powder strengthens hair and nails.”

WHY: “In a fast-changing world, we can easily consume too much food and drink that make our bodies acidic. Balancing the acid/alkaline pH levels in the body is one of the most crucial metabolic functions required to sustain long-term health. An acidic body can be a haven for unwanted viruses and bacteria which can mutate into more serious illnesses and diseases.”

HOW: “I use it as my very own beauty elixir! It has a refreshingly citrus sherbet taste that is a sweet treat for fruity lovers alike. Stir 2 teaspoons into water and drink, or try mixing into green powdered smoothies and juices to sweeten and add an extra zing!”

+ Check out the full line of Kiki Health here

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7 Simple Beauty DIY’s Using Apple Cider Vinegar

7 Simple Beauty DIY’s Using Apple Cider Vinegar

For all the good stuff it’s supposed to do for you when ingested, ACV is equally excellent as a super-simple skin/hair/almost everything else treatment…

Once upon a time, I kept hearing about apple cider vinegar and how amazing it was for your health. As someone who will try any health-related thing at least once, I opened up my pantry, pulled out a dusty bottle of ACV, poured myself a shot of the stuff and knocked it back. My eyes immediately began to stream, my throat felt like it was on a fire and my stomach…well, I’ve never felt something hit my digestive tract that fast, let’s leave it at that.

It turns out, you’re not supposed to just straight-up guzzle a bunch of ACV. That’s a really quick way to do damage to your insides. BUT. After doing some research (the kind of research I should have done before that ill-advised shot), I learned two things. The first is that if you’re going to drink it, you should dilute it. The second thing? If you’re a bit turned off by the idea of drinking it — and I can’t say I’d blame you — you can use it apple cider vinegar externally to up your DIY beauty game.

If you’ve got a bottle of apple cider vinegar languishing away in a dark cabinet somewhere, it’s time to embrace the stuff. Here are a few stupid-easy ways to incorporate ACV into your self-care regimen, minimal effort required.

Bath Soak

Why: Like a good French pastry, your skin consists of many, many layers. At the very top is something called an “acid mantle” and it’s the protective, slightly acidic film that sits on the skin’s surface, protecting it from the elements. Since ACV has a pH level that’s very similar to that of your protective acid mantle, giving your skin a dose of apple cider vinegar will help restore an acid mantle that may be out of whack due to any number of things. ACV has also been known to help reduce swelling, so if you’re dealing with a sunburn or a bunch of bug bites, this can be seriously soothing. 

How: Fill your tub with warm water and add one cup of ACV. Swirl it around, then climb on in to soak for 10-15 minutes. It may seem backward, but this will have the biggest impact on your skin if you shower and wash everything before the soak.

Facial Toner

Why: Similar to the back soak explanation, using ACV as a toner will help keep your skin’s acid mantle balanced and healthy. Additionally, apple cider vinegar is high in alpha-hydroxy acids and acetic acid, both of which stimulate circulation (blood flow = happy skin!) and minimize pores.

How: Mix equal parts ACV and distilled/filtered water in a reusable, clean glass container. Shake well before each use, then apply the solution to your clean skin with a cotton pad. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. If you have normal skin, try a 1:2 ratio by doubling the amount of water. If you have sensitive skin, go 1:4 and always always always do a small test patch first. As always, apply a great moisturizer after rinsing to keep moisture, hydration and pH in check.

Face Mask

Why: If your skin is in need of a serious detox, this mask is no joke. Combining the exfoliating, ph-balancing wonders of ACV with the impurity-extracting properties of clay equal refreshed, detoxed and glowing skin.

How: Instead of mixing your favorite clay mask with water, replace the liquid with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. (You can also go ½ tsp ACV, ½ tsp honey if you’re very sensitive or are worried about dehydrated skin.) My favorite way to embrace this ACV DIY is with Root Science’s Detox Facial Mask. The trio of French green clay, bentonite clay and kaolin clay, combined with apple cider vinegar, leave skin feeling soft, refreshed and totally free of anything gross. Just a heads-up: This combo makes for a fairly active mask, so don’t freak if your skin is red for a bit afterwards — it’s just all the blood circulation happening.

Hair Rinse

Why: Sure, you could look for a green clarifying shampoo that will remove buildup from your scalp and hair so that your locks are shiny and lustrous once more. But you could also DIY one with ACV. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar will immediately get to work ridding your strands of grime and product build-up your regular shampoo might miss, while also stimulating your scalp to help encourage hair growth.

How: After shampooing hair, dilute two tbsp of ACV with one cup of water and pour it all over your scalp and hair. Massage it into your scalp and hair for a few minutes, then let it sit on your strands for a bit. After 10 minutes, rinse it out in the shower and follow with a light conditioner, like the Nourish Conditioner from Josh Rosebrook.

Scalp Treatment

Why: With its natural antifungal and pH-balancing properties, ACV can work wonders on a dandruff-ravaged scalp by settling any acid issues and helping to clean out clogged pores and hair follicles.

How: For a down and dirty option, simply pour ACV onto your wet scalp in the shower and massage it in. (Just make sure to keep your eyes and mouth tightly closed.) For something a bit more nuanced, mix equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle, generously spritz your scalp pre-shampoo, and massage the stuff into your scalp.

Razor Burn

Why: Even though you should know how to shave sans razor burn after reading this, a few angry red bumps are often inevitable. So if you do find yourself with some angry post-shave skin, let ACV help. The stuff is anti-inflammatory so it soothes irritated skin and hair follicles, and the acetic acid softens skin to ingrown hairs can work their way out more easily.

How: This one is simple: just moisten a cotton ball with straight apple cider vinegar and apply to the razor burn-afflicted area. No rinsing required.

Foot Deodorizer

Why: The least glamorous reason for DIY on this list, but necessary nonetheless! Luckily, you’ve got ACV in your corner with its antiseptic and antifungal properties the deodorize, disinfect and help prevent any fungus that might be lurking on your tootsies.

How: Mix one cup of ACV with four cups of water in a large bowl or tub. Soak your feet for 15 minutes, then rinse and dry. And if you want to take this tres luxurious foot treatment a step further, finish the whole thing by slathering your freshly deodorized feet in Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil, throwing on a pair of thick, old socks and letting your feet soak up all the moisturizing goodness.

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