Category Archives: Green Living

Can essential oils help you handle plastic surgery? You betcha!

I was first turned on to the many benefits of essential oils when I met the founder of 21 Drops, Advanced Clinical Essential Oil Specialist, Cary Caster. She studied aromatherapy in Europe where aromatherapy is widely recognized as a medical treatment — It’s based upon the principle that oils, extracted from various parts of plants, can help support your body’s physical and mental well-being. Essential oils can be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, have healing properties and strengthen your immune system. They also have many other benefits including the ability to help you focus, feel more passion, control your appetite, detox and even control stress and pain, which makes them the ideal complementary medicine for everyone, including those about to undergo surgery.

As someone who gets anxious before any doctors appointment — be it the dentist for a cleaning, my yearly checkup with my primary care physician or a full body skin check with my dermatologist — I can attest that the use of essential oils to help you relax can be a game-changer as the anxiety is always worse than the actual procedure. Though many swear by anti-anxiety medications like Xanax or Valium, I’m a big fan of essential oils because you can reap similar benefits, without the side effects or possibility of addiction.

Essential oils work through inhalation, topical application or a combination of the two, but are usually most effective when both methods are combined. With inhalation, you simply breathe them in which ignites a physiological response that stimulates changes in your body depending upon the specific essential oil being inhaled. When you apply it topically, minuscule-sized molecules of the essential oil are easily absorbed through the skin where they then pass into the bloodstream to affect change. For better penetration, it’s best to apply to freshly cleansed skin and if the essential oil isn’t already blended, you should mix it in with a thin carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil instead of the heavier ones like olive oil.

Clinical studies have shown that specific essential oils can help get a handle on your daily life and can even be used before during and after surgery to help alleviate a variety of issues. In regards to pre and post op procedures, here’s what you can expect:

  • They can help ease anxiety. Choose lavender, orange, rose or Roman chamomile to reduce stress and apprehension about your upcoming surgery.
  • They can help reduce pain. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Rosemary has analgesic and antispasmodic properties. Sandalwood will help relax the nervous system, thereby reducing nerve pain. Depending on what’s causing you discomfort, there’s an oil to help you bear it.
  • They can help with post-operative nausea or vomiting. Choose ginger or peppermint essential oil to help relieve digestive issues.
  • They have anti-bacterial properties. Choose cinnamon, tea tree or lemongrass for help with healing.

It’s important to note that some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions as they can have possible interactions when prescribed drugs are involved or when they’re used on those with certain metabolic conditions. Always check with your doctor before incorporating essential oils in any form of your treatment plan.

Click here to see more of my work on Smart Beauty Guide.


(featured image via pinterest)

Smooth Operator

If you’re anything like me, your feet can use a little love right about now. Skyy Hadley of As “U” Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, NJ  shares this all-natural, at-home DIY recipe to get your feet in the best shape of their life. It contains cucumber to refresh and revive, lemon to exfoliate and olive oil to moisturize and soften.

Refreshing Cucumber Lemon Foot Scrub:

You’ll need:

  • 2 whole cucumbers (one per foot)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

To do:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until pureed.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and heat it up to warm temperature.
  3. Divide the mixture in two and place each half in large Ziploc baggies.
  4. Slide feet into each baggie, rubbing until each foot is fully soaked.
  5. Leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.



(featured image courtesy of pinterest)

Sole Searching?

Brrrrrr…it’s cold out there! When I’m chilled to the bone, one thing I do to stay warm is to hold a piping hot drink. Works like a charm! Which is why the timing was perfect for an invite to experience Sweet Lily’s Vanilla Latte Pedicure. I had a feeling it would do for my feet what holding said drink does for my hands, and then some.

Upon entering this respite from the hustle and bustle of  Tribeca I was led to an oversized comfy-cushy chair so a skilled manicurist could work her magic. My feet were soaked in a hot whipped cream concoction, scrubbed soft with a coffee bean scrub, wrapped in hot towels and massaged with a fresh vanilla bean body butter before being painted to perfection in a gorgeous plum shade of environmentally-friendly and health-conscious Zoya nail polish. Ahhhhh…sweet bliss!

This was by far the most soothing, relaxing, pampering and sole saving pedi I’ve ever received. I loved every second of it…so much so that it tops my holiday wish list. Maybe I’ll see you there…

Sweet Lily Vanilla Latte Pedicure, $74 / 60 minutes

Sweet Lily, 222 West Broadway, NYC. Call 212-925-5441 to make an appointment or for more information.


Blow & Go!

You know that feeling after you leave the salon. Your hair has body, bounce and shine and you know you look great. But no matter how hard you try to replicate that look yourself,  you can’t quite master it. Enter Blow In Blow Out.

Tara Galatt, CEO and Owner of the soon-to-debut Blow In Blow Out in Summit, NJ knew this was something she had to do after experiencing a blow dry bar while on a trip to Los Angeles. She set about finding the perfect location in a walking town where women like to take care of themselves and would appreciate this affordable luxury.

Blow In Blow Out aims to be the best at one thing. The perfect blowout. With a menu including aromatherapy scalp treatments, shampoo and conditioning serums and six signature styling options (all for only $35!) plus braids, ponies and updos, Blow In Blow Out is poised to take the town by storm. I for one, can’t wait!

Blow In Blow Out, 330 Springfield Ave., Summit, NJ, 07901, (908) 273-4947

Hot Topic: Face Oils

Product Review: Marula – The Leakey Collection

I was a bit hesitant about testing a facial oil. After all, I have somewhat sensitive skin and am averse to putting anything oily on my complexion for fear of breakouts. But, the modern oils getting all the attention are pure botanical oils, an entirely different breed from mineral based ones which can sit on the skin and clog pores. These more recent oils are super hydrating, immediately absorbed and chock full of antioxidants to protect against aging free-radicals and environmental stressors.

Marula – The Leakey Collection comes from hand-picked, cold-pressed Marula nuts. It instantly melts into your skin, leaving it soft, supple and non-greasy. In fact, it’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory so it’s even a great treatment for those with acne. Made from 99% pure Marula Oil from East Africa and a 1% essential oil blend, it’s produced using sustainable harvesting practices and is fair trade, providing rural women with a source of income so they can feed, cloth and educate their families.

I love it as a moisturizer for my face, hands and body but you can also add it to your cleanser, masks, lotions and creams for an extra boost in hydration and anti-aging properties or to your foundation for a more radiant finish.

Marula – The Leakey Collection, $78, available at

Eat, Play, Love Everything at ABC Home!

I’ll find any excuse to head to ABC Home in NYC. It’s the best place for browsing, shopping and eating and it’s also my go-to place to recharge and get inspired! There are 6 floors to lose yourself in and hunt down that perfect piece or meander to your heart’s content.

Exquisite antiques and modern furniture live side by side. Looking for throw pillows? No matter what your taste, you’ll find them. They have the most gorgeous jewels by numerous designers, two favorites being Gabrielle Sanchez and Pyrrha. Need a children’s gift? Their tot department is overflowing with extra-special items that you won’t find elsewhere. Into celeb sightings? In the past I’ve seen Uma Thurman (with her head on Ethan Hawke’s lap!), Goldie Hawn, Betsy Johnson and  many others.

When it’s time for a bite, the on premise restaurants are phenomenal…my favorite being ABC Kitchen. It’s Jean-Georges  so you know the food is unsurpassed. The changing menu is organic and as local as possible, with the dishes beautifully presented. When dining there, I feel like I’m on one of those food shows except that everything is unique and delicious every time!

My kids (especially my daughter) love the experience almost as much as I do. When they were small I would bring them to ABC and tell them to keep their eyes open and observe, we were in a special place where things morph and change at a moment’s notice. I’d say there were hidden rooms and secret passageways–their imaginations always ran wild! I should probably feel a little guilty, but I don’t. They had a blast and I got my ABC fix. In my book that’s a win/win!!!

ABC Carpet & Home, 19th & Broadway, NYC

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Happy Earth Day…Lather Up!

Today is Earth Day, a day to think about the environment and the issues that threaten it. Unfortunately, one of the greatest threats is woman! The beauty products we use on a daily basis can have a huge, negative impact on the earth. But, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for the sake of the environment. One way to lower your carbon footprint is to use eco-friendly products and packaging…and LATHER stands out as a shining example!

I first discovered this brand a few years ago while staying at a swanky Vegas hotel. The wonderful-ness of the lemongrass soap and body wash made me linger in the shower that much longer (I know…not so good for the environment). LATHER is a beauty company with skin care (face and body), hair care and aromatherapy. Besides formulas made with natural ingredients, pure essential oils and no synthetic fragrances or colors, nearly all the products are paraben and sulfate-free and their sample packs, shopping bags, and gift cards are all made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials. Customers can even return empty LATHER containers to receive 10% off their next purchase. Not bad!

I recently received a box chock full of LATHER products to review…I’m in heaven!!! Though I’m taking my sweet time working my way through it, here is one notable mention in case you’re looking for that perfect body cream:

LATHER Coconut Creme Body Whip, $22 at I applied it all over my body and my skin was instantly silky smooth without the least bit of greasiness. Truly!  And that scent…fresh coconut/vanilla. Perfection!

If shopping for beauty products doesn’t feel enough like “earth-day” to you, you can also get your hair cut or blown out at a participating Aveda salon today (see my previous post here). Still not enough? Plant a tree, pick up trash in your town today and everyday, always turn off the lights when you leave a room and recycle/repurpose whenever possible. Happy Earth Day!!! xoxoNancy

I’m Obsessed! 21 Drops

21 Drops is genius! I wish I’d thought of it myself…but then again I’m not an Advanced Clinical Essential Oil Specialist like Cary Caster, the company’s founder, who studied in Europe where Aromatherapy is widely recognized as a medical treatment. It’s based upon the principle that oils, extracted from various parts of plants, can be inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream where they interact with your body, creating balance and wellness.

Caster has developed 21 unique blends formulated to address different concerns you might have…everything from Moodiness to Lack of Confidence to Grief.

  • #1 “Invigorate” gives you a healthy energy boost.
  • #3 “Strength” boosts your confidence so you can achieve your goals.
  • #10 “Calm” helps you do just that. It banishes the drama so you can deal.
  • #18 “Sleep” soothes and quiets your mind so you can rest.

And check out these colorful rollerball bottles! They’re  gorgeous and sized right to stash in your bag or your pocket for a quick pick-me-up whenever the mood strikes.


Green Believer!

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St. Patty’s Day might have come and gone…but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of seeing lots and lots of green. Pantone’s Color of Year is EMERALD which means we will be seeing an abundance of it throughout the year. Look for it in makeup, fashion and home decor.





Here, a few reasons I love green!

1) It’s the color of veggies…and I do love my salads! My favorite salad recipe? Greens with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Dried Cranberries.

2) I see the world through green eyes. They started out hazel…I swear I willed them to turn green! If your eyes are similar to mine (green or hazel) opt for eyeliners or shadows in shades of apricot or purple to make them pop. Metallic hues like gold, copper or bronze will also complement your eyes. To try: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Violet Plum, $28 or Estee Lauder Pure Color EyeShadow in Sizzling Copper, $21.

3) This year, green is hot and the picks are plentiful! Check out Drop Necklace Set available on Etsy, only $12.40 and Diane von Furstenberg ‘Leanna’ Silk Shirtdress, $375.

4) Who couldn’t use more $green? To save, invest, donate or spend.

5) Living “green” doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The little things you do can add up to big changes for you and the environment. Here, 10 Tips for Living a Green Life.

photography courtesy of J.Crew