I have never felt more decadently healthy then when I’m sipping this unique creamy latte. The Fullest’s cozy warm saffron drink is actually a potent Middle Eastern heavy hitter.It has been clinically proven to be anti-inflammatory and improve symptoms of Alzheimers, depression, postpartum, hormonal imbalance, menstrual cramps, PMS and infertility. There are even promising studies pointing towards anti-carcinogenic properties,inhibiting malignant cells while protecting healthy cells from free radicals.And with just 30mg a day, you even get a serotonin boost. Saffron is the epitome of a wellness mensa spice.
Now for the sticker shock. At $35 for the 3.5oz canister, you might rule this product out, but sadly, the price actually make sense.Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, due to the labor intensive harvesting process.75,000 saffron blossoms need to be hand picked to produce a single pound of saffron, which can cost as much $5,000. Now you could just take the stigma/threads from Saffron and steep it yourself but this requires a ton of trial and error. Saffron is so intense that it’s tricky to find the palatable balance. The Fullest takes the guess work out with exceptional quality saffron,pre-mixed with coconut milk powder, coconut water powder and cardamon. And for the skeptics,the coconut powder is not filler. It is a deliberate choice since it can cross the blood-brain barrier and be an active fuel source for brain cells. On top of that, The Fullest’s Saffron Latte is vegan, paleo, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, organic and most importantly, absolutely delicious! And it’s a woman-owned business, founded by Nikki Bostwick.What more could you ask for!
How to make the perfect Saffron Latte from The Fullest:
1 | Pour the milk and saffron latte powder into a high speed blender.
2 | Whisk milk and powder together with an aerolatte.
3 | Blend and serve.
*Yields 1 serving.
Suggested Dosage: As with all things,too much of a good thing could just be too much. High doses of 4 grams or more can have toxic effects. With The Fullest Saffron Latte, you are looking at 150mg a cup up to 3x a day, which will keep you healthy and side-effect free.
I can’t talk about the Onerta Plant Stem Cell Peptide Serum without talking about the creator first. Biba is hands down the best esthetician I’ve had! I have followed her from location to location for years and years, until she created her permanent home at BIBA Los Angeles. Her profound love for her craft and deep understanding of skincare has made her a one-of-a-kind. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Everything is customized for your skin and what it needs. And with celebrity clients like Emily Blunt, Miley Cyrus, Emma Roberts and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the secret is out!
Biba’s passion and knowledge are also embedded in her product line! My favorite is the firming and nourishing Onerta Plant Stem Cell Peptide Serum. This sophisticated cocktail is rich with cell-communicating Palmitoyl Tripeptides-5, 38 and cell-protecting Echinacea Plant Stem Cells that help stimulate collagen. And when you add hydration-boosting Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol and skin rejuvenating CoQ10 to the mix, you have perfect skin nutrition. Such a highly effective, multi-tasking warrior product! Skin feels and looks smoother, strengthened and revitalized.
Most Stem Cell and Peptide loaded products tend to be very expensive. Comparatively, Biba’s Serum is reasonable at $80. And like all her products, it’s organic, vegan, cruelty free, non comedogenic, phthalates and sulfate free. This is a winner for all skin types.
Since October is breast cancer awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the dangers of using unregulated cosmetics, especially synthetic hair dyes! According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “Based on the data regarding bladder cancer, it has concluded that workplace exposure [to hair dye] as a hairdresser or barber is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” I assume that women who use hair dyes on a monthly and consistent basis are also at risk.
Conventional hair dyes are loaded with deadly chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems and even cancer! Not to mention testing on animals. I do not advise using synthetic permanent hair color, ever! Whether it’s from a box or your local hair salon it is hazardous to your health. It could affect the lymph and endocrine systems as well as your bladder and breasts, if you are exposed to it on a consistent basis. Here is a list of the deadliest chemicals in synthetic hair dyes: P-Phenylenediamine (PPD or coal tar, which is a known carcinogen), aminophenol, ethanolamine, hydroquinone, and 2, 4- diaminophenoxyethanol.
As soon as these toxins are rinsed from our hair, they are leached into waterways and the ground. Not only does this hurt our health and well-being, but it hurts our environment.
For years, my mother used black synthetic hair dye, and her mother before her. Every month she would dye her hair with these toxic chemicals, unaware of the dangers lurking. Black hair dye is one is the most toxic because of a higher concentration of the ingredients listed above, as well as ammonia, peroxide, sulfur, and harsh smelling fragrances. Every time she used the dye it would penetrate her scalp via the pores and enter her bloodstream. I finally convinced her about three years ago to change her ways. I was worried for her health because long term use can affect a person later in life.
So, you are probably wondering what your options are:
Henna dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Indian times and has been used as a safe alternative to dye the skin and hair. It comes from a small shrub tree also known as the Lawsonia Inermis. The leaves are dried and milled down into a soft powder to create a paste that makes a natural hair color. One of my favorite ways to be a beauty who loves nature is by using henna to color my hair. It’s all natural and leaves my hair looking shiny and feeling incredibly soft. There is also neutral henna, which is a non color henna. It can be used to make the hair shiny and soft without adding color.
Surya Brasil is a wonderful henna hair coloring brand that I came upon in Whole Foods one day. They have premixed henna colors ranging from light brown to black. The brand is completely vegan, sustainable and provides a pair of gloves and a hair cover with easy directions and use. It took me about an hour to complete my hair process and when I was through, my hair felt amazing! Oh, and the smell is lovely! Every time you wash your hair a little color comes out, and you have to reapply about once a month to keep up the richness, if you so choose. It is completely safe for pregnant moms as well, according to Surya Brasil’s claims. Although, it’s best to check with your doctor if you are going to change anything pertaining to your health.
Check out your local health food stores to see what options they have for natural hair coloring. I suggest this one because it is the easiest to use. Other brands have you mix your own henna which takes a while and is quite messy.
Tips: If you are coloring your hair with a dark henna, it’s best to wear clothes you don’t care about staining. Use dark or old towels and follow the directions. When you rinse the product out of your hair for the first time, your shower will be covered in color! Don’t worry though, it rinses off easily.
Be Advised: PPD has also been linked to “Black Henna.” It is approved by the FDA for use in hair color but not on skin because of adverse reactions. Which makes absolutely no sense to me because, if it contains coal tar- a known carcinogen than why does the FDA approve it at all. If you are purchasing a henna hair color with PPD in it, it is not natural and you should NOT buy it. Just to clear the record whether or not the FDA approves the safety of cosmetics, they do not. It is the responsibility of the companies and individuals who manufacture and market the products they are selling. This is a statement straight offtheir website:
FDA’s authority over other cosmetic ingredients:
“Except for color additives, FDA does not have the authority to approve cosmetic products or ingredients, although the use of several substances in cosmetics is prohibited or restricted due to safety or environmental concerns. Importantly, cosmetic products and ingredients are required to be safe for consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use. Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility for the safety of their products. FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that violate the law.”
Megan is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic Makeup Artist, based in LA. She is one of the first pioneers in the eco cosmetics movement and is part of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She teaches her clients about how they can make eco conscious cosmetic purchases that will help them and the environment. She loves to hike, kayak, workout, and hang with her handsome hubby and doggie Hobo.
I’m the person that “sensitive skin” labels were made for. Unfortunately, most products aren’t “sensitive” enough. I am allergic to every synthetic fragrance, every bubble bath, every laundry detergent, every make-up, every self-tanner, every everything.
I have horror stories of getting on a plane and using a beautiful, “healthy” cucumber hand lotion from an extremely reputable brand, known for it’s true to nature philosophy, and breaking out in hives 20 minutes into a 5 hour flight. When I go to a hotel, I have to bring my own towel, so I don’t get a red itchy rash all over my torso from the hotel bathrobe and towel sets. I have to pack my own blanket plus full length pajamas and socks, to keep me protected from the hotel linens. So much for a romantic getaway when you are covered head to toe, in the hopes of protecting yourself from a blanket. I am terrified of the Snuggle bear, and the wrath his scented dryer sheets can inflict on my skin.
So needless to say, I am extremely paranoid and picky when it comes to my skin care. For a long time I used Olay sensitive skin face wash, and moisturizer with sunblock, but when I wanted to make the switch to paraben-free skin care, I was lost in a sea of essential oils. I am always nervous to try anything new on my skin, I patch test everything, with a dime size scoop of any new product on my inner wrist for 24 hours before it goes anywhere near my face. So when a friend suggested DeVita skin care, I took her advice with a grain of salt; everyone always thinks they can outsmart my skin allergies, but my puffy eyes and swollen lips the morning after a “I swear it’s all natural” lotion test have always told me the truth. However, I started paying attention to her repeated suggestion, not because I necessarily believed the line wouldn’t affect my skin, but because her skin looked so fantastic.
My patch testing began on a summer afternoon, after reading everything I could on paraben-free allergy safe skincare. DeVita was the clear winner. It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and they have their own website, http://www.devitaskincare.com. It’s a little more expensive than the average drugstore skin care products, but for someone like me, it’s truly priceless. The packaging is beautiful, and not only is it paraben free, it’s vegan safe, gluten sensitive safe, never tested on animals, and the products are fantastic! My personal favorites are the Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser, the Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, the DeVita-C Serum, the Perfecting Time Age Defying Moisturizer, the Hyaluronic Serugel, and the super duper High Performance Glycolic Acid Blend. I am way too sensitive to use Retin-A, but this glycolic acid serum does the trick! My skin has never been calmer, clearer, brighter, and happier. The line has every kind of troubleshooting product you can imagine, from under eye cream to capillary support. DeVita has “try-me” kits on their website, which are also ideal for travel- because the bottles are a beautiful thick glass, some of the full-size products are not great for squishing into a suitcase.
I don’t feel lost or embarrassed about my skin anymore, I’m just a sensitive gal in general. As I have matured, I am grateful for my emotional sensitivity, it makes me a better friend, daughter, parent, sister. And I am thankful, for every hotel towel, and well-intentioned bubble bath, for all the itchy and red days and nights, because they brought me to a safe, healthy skin care line, that looks beautiful in my home, and even better on my skin.
Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.