My Truest True Love: Rose Floral Water

Sunday May 4, 2014 | Beauty Skin Care

Simplicity In Skincare

Aroma Zone Rose Hydrolate

Nothing embodies simplicity and beauty in skincare like a pure rose floral water.

Floral water, more generally known as hydrosol, is the condensate water left over after extracting the essential oils from flowers and plants through the process of steam distillation.

The water retains the aromatic essences of the plant plus many of the hydrophilic parts of the plant that are not captured in the extraction of the essential oil.

Hydrosols carry the scent of the plant, though the fragrance is much softer and more rounded. As such, it is wonderful for aromatherapy.

It is often the first thing you will find in the ingredients list of many natural cosmetic products, though it may go under the name of essential water or water distillate.

There is a whole universe of floral and herbal waters to discover, each with their own unique properties.

But above all, my favorite is Rose Floral Water.

A Rose Is A Rose

A rose is a rose

It’s almost a cliché how much roses have come to symbolize beauty and romance.

But there is something in all of us that knows beauty when we see it.

What may not be so obvious is the many ways roses can be used.

For example, rose water can be used in cooking. Many North African recipes call for rose water. I’m thinking especially of those small rose-flavored Algerian nougats. Mmm

When it comes to skincare, rose floral water has many beautifying properties.

It has a toning, hydrating and nourishing effect on the skin.

It can soothe inflamed skin and calm allergic reactions. Because of this, rose water can be a real godsend for people with sensitive skin.

Before applying moisturizer, your skin should be slightly damp in order to enhance absorption and seal moisture. And rose water is perfect for this.

For hot days, after exposing your skin to the sun, you can take a chilled bottle of rose water and spritz it on your face. Seriously, you must try this! The sensation is incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating.

In aromatherapy, the soothing scent can help relieve anxiety. In fact, the main reason why I love rose floral water is because it smells so divine.

Of course, not all floral waters are created equal. So when looking for rose water, I recommend you look for ones that are labeled as “pure hydrosol” or “pure hydrolate.”

Many products labeled as “floral waters” may be nothing but regular water mixed with essential oils. But true hydrolates are obtained through the process of steam distillation which I described above. 

A True Hydrolate

Aroma Zone Rose Hydrolate
One of the purest rose floral waters I’ve ever come across is the Damascus Rose Pure Hydrolate by Aroma Zone.

The scent is amazingly natural. You can’t mistake it for anything else. It’s rose! In all its glorious watery essence.

The brand, Aroma Zone, is not really a brand but a specialty shop in Paris. They sell the most basic natural ingredients & equipment with which you can make your own beauty products.

Normally, it doesn’t take long for a hydrolate to lose its aromatic properties. But the quality of the roses used in this bottle (grown and picked by organic, fair trade farmers in Morocco) and the technique involved in the distilling process must have been rather superior, because it has managed to maintain its aromatic essences for months.

Also, keeping hydrolates in the fridge helps to preserve them for much longer.

Nowadays, with the proliferation of so many super complex skincare products that boast of the most cutting edge technology and the rarest plant from the remotest corners of the world…

Sometimes it’s just nice to go back to basics…

Rose floral water. Ingredient: Rose.

Discovering Ayla, A Beauty Micro Shop in San Francisco

Saturday December 7, 2013 | Beauty Events

Last night I attended a charming and intimate holiday soirée hosted by Ayla, a small beauty shop in San Francisco.

Ayla Beauty Shop

The event featured a one-on-one skincare evaluation, dark chocolate squares for nibbling, light sips of champagne, and a brief makeup lesson on holiday looks by the rather knowledgeable makeup artist of The Organic Pharmacy.

The Organic Pharmacy Makeup

[Makeup lessons by The Organic Pharmacy’s top makeup artist]

The Ayla beauty shop offers a small and carefully selected collection of topnotch skincare products that are very niche and hard to find.

In fact, the shop itself was not that easiest thing in the world to find. It’s certainly a hidden gem, tucked in the back of a narrow driveway next to a massage therapy salon in San Francisco’s Japantown.

When I asked Dara, the founder of Ayla, about the story behind her skincare shop, she told me that effectiveness was the most valued attribute in her products.

What’s more, she only features products if they are safe and eco-responsible and mildly formulated to suit reactive and sensitive of skin types.

 Kahini Skincare
[The Argan oil used in Kahina products are of the finest quality. Tempted to try Kahina argan oil next.]

You can imagine how happy I was to find a beauty shop like this!

Ever since I moved back to the U.S., I’ve been doing most of my skincare shopping at Whole Foods. But honestly, who wants to buy their skincare products next to their cheeses and meats?

In all seriousness, my real complaint is that I’ve been buying super expensive natural and organic products from Whole Foods that do not quite deliver the same results that I became used to with the natural and organic skincare products in France.

Ayla features products of the quality level that I’m looking for. And not only that, they provide personalized skincare evaluations and recommendations.

Organic Glam

[Organic Glam Makeup line by The Organic Pharmacy]

As a beauty blogger, I have a habit of picking the brains of people who are deep in the world of beauty. So of course, I had to ask Dara all about her skincare routine and her favorite cleanser, moisturizer, toner and sun protection and all that jazz.

But also, as someone who dreams of someday opening my own small natural and organic beauty shop featuring some of the best skincare products from around the world, it was just really nice to meet another entrepreneur who is living and making her dream come true.

I left the Ayla shop last night with an amazing new moisturizer in my hand, less lunch money in my pocket, and lots of bright new ideas and inspiration for Ziba :)

Lucy, We’ve Got Some Catching Up To Do!

Wednesday December 4, 2013 | Beauty Musings

It’s happened.

In a short space of time, I’ve managed to accumulate quite a bunch of stuff.

I am now at a point where I am taking in way more beauty products than I am writing or talking about.

Let me show you what I mean…

Beauty Collection

Products Pictured:

  • DermOrganic Skincare Sampler (includes Soapless Facial Cleanser, Facial Moisturizer, Hand & Body Moisture Lotion)
  • DermOrganic Daily Conditioning Shampoo
  • DermOrganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque
  • DermOrganic Leave-In Treatment
  • DermOrganic Fast Dry Shaping Spray
  • Beautisol Wash Off Body Bronzer
  • Measurable Difference Instant Lash Extensions
  • Save Our Sweaters with Lilly Brush
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
  • Susan Posnick Eyeliner/Eyeshadow
  • Nailuv Gel Polish Berry Sweetie
  • Nyx Butter Lip Balm
  • Bon Bliss Mango Butter Solid Hand & Body Scrub
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (sample)
  • Becca Skin Satin Finish Foundation (sample)
  • Becca The One Perfecting Brush
  • Nyx Love In Florence 5 color Shadow Palette
  • Prai 24K Gold Caviar Wrinkle Repair Serum
  • Prai 24K Golden Eye Wrinkle Repair Caviar
  • Makeup Geek Liquid Gold Pigment
  • Dermalogica Precleanse (sample)
  • Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer (sample)
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (sample)
  • Vitabath Asian Orchid & Coconut Body Wash (sample)
  • Vitabath Cucumber & White Tea Body Wash (sample)

Beauty Collection Pt.2

Products Pictured:

  • Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
  • Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner
  • Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
  • Goodebox November 2013 Box
  • Goodebox December 2013 Box
  • Acure Gotu Kola Stem Cell Day Cream
  • Dermae Evenly Radiant Brightening Serum with Vitamin C
  • La Roche-Posay Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Anthelios AC
  • La Roche-Posay l’Eau Micellaire
  • Uriage l’Eau Micellaire
  • Themis l’Eau Micellaire
  • Jonzac l’Eau Micellaire
  • Bioderma l’Eau Micellaire
  • Gamarde l’Eau Micellaire
  • Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum
  • Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen Lip Care SPF 25
  • Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Color in MOD Matte
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner High Precision Waterproof Eyeliner
  • Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Sunscreen Makeup SPF 25 (sample)

So as you can see…

There are too many amazing products that I’ve been dying to tell you about!!

Instead, I’ve allowed this task to turn into a daunting pile in my bedroom and bathroom.

And now it’s spilled into other crooks, crannies and surfaces of my life.

But I’ve decided to finally do something about this.

I’m gonna bust through this writer’s block and get my blogging mojo back!

The same excitement and passion that I used to always get whenever I would even just THINK about BEAUTY? I can actually feel myself getting it back again.

So expect some fresh new beauty writings and reviews in the days to come.

Maybe even another impromptu beauty video. Who knows? :D

Baby steps first!

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Hm, okay well…

Though I am inclined to agree with Confucius… I am also of the opinion that you gotta “strike while the iron’s hot” and “catch the giant waves before they break!”

So here we go!

***

Disclaimer

* First Photo: All the products were gifted to me during the SF iFabbo Social Media Conference (which I STILL have to write about btw). BIG thanks to the SF iFabbo 2013 organizers & sponsors. Most were full-size!

** Second Photo: All the products were personally purchased by me, with the exception of the 3 Dermalogica products which were generously sent to me by the folks of Dermalogica.