my beauty ritual

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for my big thirtieth birthday, my kind and generous friends {i am talking 'bout you, jenna} at tata harper hooked me up with one of their limited edition, hand-numbered, soothing apricot masks. swoon. oh yes, and complete with a hand-written note. they are on their game over there in vermont.

i have been a tata harper fan for a few years now. it all started with a tube of "be fierce" lip treatment. i was hooked. from there, i added to my skincare collection through a combination of my own purchases, gifts, and giveaways. i was able to try a little of this and a little of that until i settled on my daily routine.

in the last five years and especially after becoming pregnant with elinor, i have really simplified my "beauty" routine. don't get me wrong, i am all about the fun of cosmetics. i mean, eyeliners alone are enough fun for a whole day of play...but when it comes down to it, that stuff isn't beauty. and i want my beauty to come from within. my spirit and joy and health. that's what should radiate. so i would rather focus on a more internal approach to beauty. taking time to be heart focused and have a beautiful spirit that shows in my face. if you're happy and you know it, then your face should surely show it. that should be where i spend my beautification time.

remember the story of esther in the bible? when king ahasuerus was selecting his future queen, he brought all the beautiful young virgins to his harem and gave them the full spa treatment for twelve months. a year of beautification. six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments followed by all the cosmetics and dazzle that they could fathom in order to please the king. this was a beauty pageant like none other. when it came time for esther to be brought before the king, she asked for nothing except what the harem director advised. she kept it simple. she took care of herself, she used some things. but she was moderate and intentional. she didn't overindulge. she was secure in who she was, her beauty and value in God's eyes. she took an inner approach and let what is inside shine on the outside. and you know what? she won favor in the eyes of all who saw her and when she was brought before the king, he loved esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen. that's the power of inner radiance. a pretty spirit. i want to be an esther. i want elinor to be an esther. the best cosmetics in the world can't fix an ugly spirit.

{steps down off soapbox}

i also believe that a large part of healthy, happy, glowing, non-fussy skin is nourishing your insides. when you eat right, stay hydrated, sweat a little, and get plenty of restorative sleep, it shows in your skin.  the most expensive skincare in the world won't fix a lousy lifestyle. so i try to lean on nutrition and internal health for my skincare needs. is helpful to use topical nutrition to feed the skin as well. and quality matters when you are applying things to your largest, most delicate, yet most protective organ - the skin.

i like to spend my moolah on quality skincare that heals and feeds the skin instead of powders and creams and illuminators. and honestly, i really don't have time for all that stuff. fresh faced is my daily look. when i do want to get "all dolled up", i grab for a tinted mineral cream and a thick application of mascara and some bold lipstick. that's my fancy face, these days.

when i make an investment in skincare, i select products that are natural, small-batch, and bio-organic. i like using things on my face that come from nature from companies with passion and integrity. and that is what brought me to tata harper.

and so, i wanted to share with you my daily routine as well as a little review of their limited edition mask. spoiler alert: it is fab.

after a night of restorative sleep, i like to start things off with energy and cleansing and nourishment. setting the tone for the rest of the day. having a morning wellness routine that rejuvenates and balances helps me to feel my best. i wake up on the early side of things and begin my day with some form of exercise. tabata or mat moves or dancing or core work or yoga. just something to warm things up, get my heart rate going, and sweat a little. it feels so cleansing and energizing. i usually follow that with some lemon water or apple cider vinegar. despite their acidic natures, these items, once ingested are wonderful for alkalizing and cleansing. a couple of times a week, i will do an oil pull with coconut oil and sometimes an addition of purifying or balancing essential oils.

and then, water. lots of water to hydrate and flush the body. i will also sip on herbal teas during the day because they are yummy and make me happy. i really love this during the cooler months. so soothing and calming. i especially love peppermint and rose and roobois and pu·erh and tulsi.

after i have exercised and cleansed and hydrated, i like to flood my body with nutrients. living elements that immediately provide energy. i used to rely on local cold-pressed and unpasteurized juices for this fix {expensive} but now that i have a legit juicer, our morning juicing session has become a part of the ritual. veggie juices, especially greens, are powerful elixirs that provide instant nutrients and help to purify the blood while sustaining blood sugar levels.

i like to spend some time outside in the early morning while i am enjoying my tea or juice. i read my Bible and other books or devotionals. i journal. i pray. i focus my heart. days can be full and busy so i do what i can to start things off strong.

after that, i shower and prepare for the day. and that means, treating my skin. for that, i turn to tata harper. she is one radiant and talented lady. she and her team of skincare enthusiasts and experts create gorgeous potions of natural goodness. skincare that is purposeful and nourishing and botanical. her products are gentle yet effectual. plus, free of all the usual skincare junk and fillers, with many herbs and flowers foraged from the fields of tata's vermont farm.

i use the regenerating cleanser which helps to gently exfoliate and cleanse skin, improving glow while purifying, minimizing the appearance of pores and helping to protect the skin’s natural hydration balance. it has a delicate sandy texture that smoothes as it activates and absorbs into the skin. it is also free of soaps, alcohols, and detergents. this cleanser clarifies with fresh enzymes, clays and, essential oils, while microspherical beads polish the skin and reduce appearance of blackheads. the combination of apricot seed powder, pomegaranta enzymes, willow bark, and french pink clay does wonders for skin tone and feel. my skin feels soft little elinor's baby skin. renewed and clean but not buffed and stripped.

following that, i spritz my face with the hydrating floral essence. this heavenly, lightweight moisturizing mist boosts the skin’s natural hydration with bioidentical hyaluronic acid and a weightless blend of natural humectants, delivering an all-day hydrated feel and plump appearance. this formula immediately improves and refreshes skin’s appearance and is ideal for delivering antiaging hydration. it is beautiful and smells like a dreamy field of flowers. totally ideal for arizona summers and an way to have a little skin pick-me-up during the day.

finally, i moisturize with the reparative moisturizer. it melts into the skin leaving a supple feeling with radiant glow. mango butter and fresh rose soften the skin while cocoa extracts protect against harmful environmental free radicals. it is rich and healing without feeling heavy or greasy.

i go through a similar routine at night but i swap out the hydrating floral essence for the rejuvenating serum. i like to use this before bedtime because it gives my rejuvenating sleep an extra boost and i wake up feeling younger and more radiant. this anti-aging serum uses narcissus bulb and date palm extract to increase elasticity and firmness. menyanthes flower is a powerful tonic to help skin cell turnover and collagen stimulation. this product is a must for all ages.

for a special treatment every week or so, i turn to the resurfacing mask. i have used this for the last two years and LOVE it. it is ideal for getting instant glow. and when i received the limited edition soothing apricot resurfacing mask, you better believe i was over the moon. let me tell you, it is total bliss and the perfect skin indulgence. the mask is soothing and cooling which is such a treat after all the dry heat here in arizona.  apricot stem cells add powerful anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits by helping to reduce redness and promote an even tone and boost skin tolerance...which is absolutely essential for combatting the effects of outdoor exposure during summer months. and the addition of coconut water preserves moisture while helping to decrease skin roughness and boosting cellular renewal. it feels like a drink of cool and fruity water for the skin. you know when you have a big pineapple smoothie on the beach? it is that, but skincare. i have been trying to pace myself to make it last for all the brutal summer months because no way can i be without it now! obsessed.

oh, and they just launched their open lab and traceability program and it is so good. it allows you a peek behind the curtain. and more than that, it opens the curtain completely so that you can see how your skincare is created and even trace your batch. transparency, folks. it is rare in that industry. and that is just another reason why i am a total tata enthusiast.