:::THE PAINTED POUT::: Membership Winner & A Special Offer!

Congratulations to Sharry B. - the winner of :::THE PAINTED POUT::: 3-Month Handcrafted Lip Lovers Membership! Thank you to all of you who participated in the contest.

As a thank you to all of my blog friends, I will be offering 10% off both :::THE PAINTED  POUT::: and :::PLANT GLAMOUR BOX::: Memberships in my etsy shop between now and Monday, January 19. Just enter MEMBERSHIP10 at checkout. Ordering by the 19th will ensure that you will receive your first package in February - the Valentine's Edition. However, you can choose to join at any time.

Both THE PAINTED POUT and PLANT GLAMOUR BOX memberships allow you to try a variety of handmade, artisan botanical body care products at a price point lower than what the items would be listed for individually in my shop. All items are crafted by myself with natural ingredients to enhance your beauty and support your wellness. Some products that will be found in your surprise product shipments will be offered in the Autumn Moon Boutique, however, many will not. Members will receive these special items exclusively.

The 10% off bonus could save you up to over $20, depending on which membership you choose.

For more details about each available membership and if it is a good fit for you, please click on the image below. It will take you to that offering in the Autumn Moon Etsy Boutique:




 



















                                                                                            

In addition to handcrafted botanical surprises delivered to you, all Autumn Moon Memberships include all shipping and handling fees and sales tax for MI residents, as well, so there are no extra fees. 

Please join me in a unique way to make luxurious, pampering time for yourself. You deserve it.

Much Love,
Camille xoxo

Glycation: Why Sugar is Making Us All Wrinkly


It is no secret that excess sugar consumption can lead to health issues. But did you know that it is also a major contributing factor to aging - including premature aging of the skin - by a process called "glycation?"

What is glycation? Well, when there is too much sugar in the body, protein molecules can cross-link with sugar molecules, creating new sugar proteins (also called AGE's, ironically) that the body does not recognize.This process produces antibodies that cause inflammation in the body, resulting in accelerating the aging process. This is a very simplified description of the process, but is basically what is happening with the sugar swirling around inside you.

How does this make us wrinkly? The inflammation created by the glycation process causes inflammation in our skin. In fact, AGEs tend to affect dermal collagen and elastin, specifically - the stuff that keeps our skin youthful, supple and resilient. This results in wrinkles, skin sagging, premature aging and can also compromise skin's barrier function that regulates moisture and hydration. 

And the crazy part? It doesn't matter if it is refined sugars (like donuts and pastries) or natural sugars (like agave and honey). Glycation occurs when there is an excess of any sugars - the body doesn't discriminate.

Such a bummer. 

So what can we do to minimize this process? Here are a few general tips:
  • Omit refined foods, simple carbs, alcohol and sugar as an ingredient from your diet, to minimize the amount of sugar in your body. Many foods (like simple carbs) turn into sugar in your body after you eat them, even though they may not be sweet.
  • Use natural sugars, like honey and agave as needed, but sparingly.
  • Use stevia - a naturally sweet plant that is readily available now at your grocery - in beverages, baking and cooking. It does not cause the same response as sugar in the body and is a great alternative to artificial, sugar-free options that do scary things to the body. Here is a great post from Mountain Rose Herbs on making your own stevia extracts at home to flavor your foods
  • Look for skin care ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and calm and soothe the skin when applied, such as licorice root, aloe, jojoba, honey, seaweed, chamomile, green tea and oats.
  • Strive to include antioxidant rich foods in your diet, such as blueberries, nuts and dark, leafy greens. These antioxidants in the diet help to fight the aging process.
  • Get your Omega Fatty Acids with foods such as salmon and walnuts. The Omega Fatty Acids have also been shown to help to minimize inflammation in the body.
  • Follow a generally healthy lifestyle with plenty of rest, exercise, fresh air and love.
There are, of course, a myriad of things that contribute to premature aging - pollution, lifestyle, genetics - but minimizing sugar in your diet is one way to surely help support the health of your skin. And healthy, happy skin - our own best skin - is what it is all about. Not the airbrushed version of what we think things should look like.

On that note, one thing I would like to add, to finish this post, is that each of our faces tells a story. It carries memories of our years in our body - life's joys, sorrows and dreams. 

Every line and every crease is a part of you that makes you unique. With a society so obsessed with youth and aging, let's all take a moment to just look at ourselves in the mirror and love what we see. Touch those creases and remember all of the times you smiled at your child or pet. Remember the difficult times that you triumphed over. Remember all of the love and magic and good in the world that face has seen. 

You are beautiful.

 

Win a FREE Membership in :::THE PAINTED POUT:::!

Oooooh! I love giveaways! 

So, beginning today, I am going to be giving away a membership to :::THE PAINTED POUT::: 3-Month Artisan Lip Treat of the Month Club beginning this February! Squeeeee!



Some of you joined me for THE PAINTED POUT this past summer and it was so much fun to surprise you all with your monthly packages. And this time, it could be free surprises for one lucky winner!

For those of who who may be wondering: What the heck is this lip membership all about?
I will share with you the 3 lip treats that were received by members this past summer...

:::FLUSHED::: LIP ROUGE: A modern lip treatment based on a historic recipe. An alkanet root tinted lip rouge with moisturizing and renewing jojoba, coconut and rosehip seed oils. Paired with essences of lavender and spearmint - reminiscent of an English Garden. A similar version of this - Lip Serum No. 14 - is available in my etsy boutique.


:::DIAPHANOUS::: SHEER ESSENCE BALM: A natural, sheer mauve mist balm with essences of cocoa, vanilla, rose and cardamom. Revitalizing with cocoa and shea butters, golden jojoba, rosehip seed and beeswax. 
:::STRAWBERRY SMOOCH:: A throwback to the days of youth with swirls of strawberry and coconut, with a berry pearl sheen. Mango and shea butters, coconut oil and natural mineral pigments reflect the sweetness of summertime.

I am already dreaming up the offerings for February and beyond and can't wait to share them with you!

To enter to win ONE membership to THE PAINTED POUT, simply enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. There are several ways to enter (all optional) and the more you select, the better your odds are of winning.

The contest begins today and ends at 12:00 AM on January 15, 2015. Good luck and Botanical Blessings!

***ENTER HERE***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHANGE IS NOW: An Exciting Announcement from Autumn Moon

For many I know, the theme of 2014 was profound change. Moves. Deaths. Divorce. Sure this stuff happens every year, but, this year it just felt, well, different. Like we are all moving forward, closer and faster, to where we are supposed to be in our lives and as a group. 

2014 was messy. It was ugly. But one thing I felt that was really different this year is that we did it together. And with a new sense of kindness. We carried each other when we couldn't do it on our own. And sometimes, we were carried by people we barely knew. 

Perhaps it is social media, binding us all closer together and giving glimpses into each other's lives that normally would never be revealed, prompting support that would have never taken place in the dark? Not sure. But, despite the negativity and chaos of the headlines each day, I choose to look in another direction. I think the energy of now is moving in a positive way to one of community and sharing and support of fellow man. And that is cool.

2014 was a year of big change for me, personally, with a very emotional move and scary health challenges for loved ones. Everything stopped in its tracks - my business, my energy, my focus. 

But, it was also the kind of change that, eventually, kicked my arse into line, pushing me forward again into a new creative direction. This change was intent on birthing something positive into the world for others to enjoy. I listened to the voices inside, as well as the cheerleaders by my side (of which there are many and I am grateful to you all). I had a HUGE realization that - the perfect time is NOW. Duh. 

We fool ourselves a lot into thinking that we will make changes when the time is right - when there is more money, more time, more whatever. But really, that time is NOW. 

For me and for you.

So with that, I am very excited to announce that I have opened a new Autumn Moon online etsy boutique! This will replace my previous Poppyswap store and will have items added regularly in rhythm with the seasons, inspiration and alchemy that may occur during this journey.

But, that's not all! 

I am also offering two botanical body care memberships to bring glamour to your doorstep.



Some of you may remember :::THE PAINTED POUT::: - the 3-month handcrafted lip treat membership that I offered last summer. That was so much fun, that I have brought THE PAINTED POUT back to add allure to your lips and some sass to your step. Membership pricing remains the same as before at $49 for 3 shipments. 

For those looking for even more luxurious pampering, I am now offering the :::PLANT GLAMOUR BEAUTY BOX::: - a 3 OR 6 Month handcrafted botanical luxuries membership.

Membership (normally $117 for 3 months and $210 for 6 months) includes a monthly themed body-care box containing 3 (or more) products crafted from the finest ingredients, including plants from our family farm and from the fields and forests of Michigan. A unique experience to honor yourself and take treasured time to care for your body with 100% natural products.


Surprises in your PLANT GLAMOUR box could include:

- A luxurious botanical body butter
- A skin-smoothing body scrub
- An "at-home" facial kit
- A botanical perfume
- A handcrafted, natural lip color
- An aromatic facial mist
- A regenerating, anti-aging facial oil
- A floral facial steam
- A scented bath milk
- A natural cosmetic kit (shadow, blush and lip color)
- A renewing eye serum


To celebrate these new memberships with you, I am offering 10% off subscriptions to THE PAINTED POUT and the PLANT GLAMOUR BEAUTY BOX from now through January 15 in my etsy boutique! Simply use the coupon code: MEMBERSHIP10 at checkout.

Click on the icons below to be taken to the ordering page for each membership:

   

 































I am feeling very aligned with this new boutique and this new direction and I hope that you will join me in a membership and take sacred time for yourself. Let this new year of change be a luxurious one full of loving self-care. 

Botanical Blessings and much love to you all!

- Camille

Top Tips to Help Dry Winter Skin

While I wouldn't change a thing about living in Michigan - it is beautiful - the weather sure is fickle. While last week was 9 degrees and snowy, today is 55 and rainy. Drastic fluctuations in temperature are certainly the norm here - and it is also a perfect recipe for dry skin.

When the temps drop, indoor forced-air heat can quickly dehydrate your skin. Go outside and chilly outdoor temps cause skin to loose moisture to the air. Icy winds chap and irritate. Then it warms up again and your skin is left saying: WTF?!? And the cycle continues...

I have heard from several of you over the last week that your skin is disgruntled and dry. So here are a few tips I have compiled to help you on the road to happy, hydrated skin:

General Tips to Prevent Dry Skin


Hydrating your body from the inside is the first step to preventing dry skin. 
  • Drink plenty of water and/or coconut water to help keep your skin hydrated. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies to also increase hydration in your body.
  • Try to avoid caffeinated drinks, as they dry out your skin. If you must have your coffee in the morning (and, believe  me, I understand!), drink an extra glass of water for each cup.
  • Try to avoid alcohol, as it also dehydrates your skin.
  • When headed outside, cover your skin as much as possible with clothing. Cover any areas of exposed skin with a thick lotion to prevent moisture loss.
  • Apply lip balm frequently throughout the day, especially before you go outside.
  • Keep baths and showers short and warm (not hot). Hot water dries skin out by stripping your skin of its natural oils. 
  • Add fatty fish, like salmon, to your diet or take a good quality fish oil. The good omega-3 fatty acids help to keep skin moist.
  • Avoid using harsh cleansers, soaps or exfoliants. These will only further strip your skin and lead to dryness.

General Tips to Treat Dry Skin



Exfoliating dry skin first is key to allowing your products to work more effectively.
  • Gently exfoliate dry skin with a brush, loofah or exfoliating gloves as part of your body cleansing routine in the shower before using any topical treatments (oils, lotions, etc.). Dry, flaky skin needs to be removed from the surface of skin to allow topical treatments to work more effectively. Be SUPER gentle if your skin is overly sensitive and use these items only a few times a week. Avoid them altogether if you have any rashes, open wounds or general irritation.
  • Avoid cleansing your entire body every day, especially with a foaming soap or body wash, as they can strip your skin. Skip a day of sudsing, or wash only those most important bits daily. ;) 
  • Better yet, use a body wash of 1 part honey to 1 part oil (jojoba or coconut is lovely) a few times a week in place of your regular soap.
  • Apply lotions, body butters, oils, etc. immediately after showering while your skin is still damp. You want to capture the water and seal it into your skin.
  • Layer your products to protect skin from loss of precious moisture to the elements - start with an oil, followed by a rich lotion or body butter.
  • Avoid using products with artificial ingredients, as they can dry and irritate skin, too.

Helpful Ingredients For Dry Skin


Calendula oil and beeswax salve is a great dry skin healer.
  • Humectants like honey and vegetable glycerin help to pull moisture from the air into your skin.
  • Oils like olive, coconut, hazelnut, grapeseed, jojoba, sesame and sunflower work to replace lost moisture, while being easily absorbed into skin.
  • Oils like rosehip seed and carrot seed help to increase cell regeneration, repairing damaged tissues.
  • Products containing beeswax add a breathable, protective layer to skin.
  • Essential Oils like chamomile, lavender, ylang ylang and sandalwood help to soothe and heal dry itchy skin.
  • Aloe Vera soothes, heals and stops itching from irritated, dry skin. Just be sure you use the pure aloe gel, not the stuff full of colors and added fragrances.
  • Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient found naturally in skin, it attracts and retains moisture in your skin, while plumping and softening, which is great for dry skin and wrinkles (bonus!).
  • Fruits and Veggies like avocado and banana help to add moisture to skin.
  • Fruits and Veggies like papaya, pineapples and grapes help to naturally exfoliate dry skin due to their natural fruit acids and enzymes.
  • Herbs like calendula, chamomile and lavender are soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory for dry-irritated skin. A nice oil infused with these is great for dry skin.
  • Herbs like rose, licorice, marshmallow and chickweed are cooling and demulcent (they form a soothing, protective layer on dry skin).
  • Sea Kelp is amazing for skin when used externally. It's gelatinous texture soothes, hydrates and protects dry skin.
I hope this offers some helpful ways to hydrate, repair and protect your skin during these upcoming months.

xoxo,
Camille