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Plug Into Your Subconscious With Cynthia Morgan’s HappiSeek App

Mental health awareness has been on the rise, but so has the number of people suffering with mental health conditions. According to a CDC report, 40% of adults in United States have reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions, which were directly associated with COVID-19. It is no wonder than that the demand for mindfulness apps has been on the rise as well. While there is something to be said for unplugging from our devices, these helpful apps can help us use technology in a healthy way.

Enter HappiSeek, created by board-certified hypnotherapist, Cynthia Morgan. HappiSeek is one of the newest apps to come out this year in order to help users plug into their subconscious minds through gentle rewiring, science and relaxation. Scientific studies are proving that hypnotherapy can help you make meaningful changes in your life. This hypnotherapy app guides users step by step, opening doors to: trust, honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, defenselessness, generosity, patience, faithfulness and open-mindedness. Through it all, you will hear Cynthia Morgan’s friendly and calming voice. Cynthia Morgan is known for her work with celebrities and her book “You’re Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up”. Let her guide you towards better mental and spiritual health. As with any treatment, all you have to do is be ready for self-realization.

Read our Q & A with the HappiSeek creator, Cynthia Morgan.

Cultivated: You’ve been conducting workshops and leading meditations for the last 35 years. When was the idea of creating an app born, and did you know right away what it would be?

CM: The idea was born a few years ago when my friend Daniel Anstandig, an award-winning tech entrepreneur and fellow seeker, approached me about doing a hypnotherapy-based app together. We threw around a couple of ideas for the first year and ultimately landed on creating an app that reflected the most important thing to each of us—our spiritual growth. We wanted to create an app that we would be excited to find and use as seekers.

Cultivated: How can users get the most out of your app?

CM: This app is for newbies and experienced seekers alike, and don’t worry if you’ve never used hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is simply a tool we use to help you access your deeper, wiser self.

All you need in order to obtain enlightenment is the willingness to learn something new about yourself. Approach HappiSeek with an open mind and you’ll be amazed at what you discover about yourself and the nature of personal reality. 

Cultivated: What makes HappiSeek different from others on the market? 

CM: We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind app that hadn’t been done. Our goal is to help people become more enlightened, and thus happier. Most hypnotherapy-based apps are about behavior modification, but hypnotherapy can be used in more exciting ways than losing weight or stopping smoking. Writer Aldous Huxley was a hypnosis enthusiast who used hypnosis to seek and know “the divine within,” as he put it. HappiSeek guides you to access your divine within. And bonus, once you do connect to that part of you, bad habits like overeating and smoking naturally fall away as a result.

Cultivated: Tell me about your educational journey towards becoming a well-known and compassionate healer. 

CM: I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation when I was 8 years old, so it’s been a long life of seeking. I left the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the mid-80s to move to San Francisco where I studied with some notable spiritual teachers at that time and led weekly group guided meditations. It was around then that I discovered A Course in Miracles, which became my spiritual path. While writing a book on A Course in Miracles, I grew interested in hypnosis as a means of self-realization and for accessing the unconscious mind. That curiosity led me Santa Fe, New Mexico where I studied at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America and became a board-certified hypnotherapist in 2002. I opened a private practice in Los Angeles where I worked mostly with Hollywood elite, and in 2017 I relocated to Joshua Tree, CA to create a hypnotherapy-based spiritual empowering retreat called Desert Reset. In my case, a curiosity led to a career. Follow your curiosities! It can be your higher self guiding you on your life’s path.

Cultivated: In addition to hypnotherapy you are an activist. Tell me more about that.

CM: Perhaps it has to do with meditation from an early age, but I’ve never perceived a hierarchy of life. There is one life in many forms. It was in the mid 80s, around the same time A Course in Miracles came into my life, that I became aware of systematic animal abuse. Back in the day, there was a magazine called Animal’s Voice where I saw an ad for an animal rights organization called Last Chance for Animals (LCA), who organized protests. I had just moved to Los Angeles a couple of weeks before attending my first protest, and I didn’t know LA or anyone there, but the night before the demonstration, I made a sign and showed up to the protest and march the next day. I instantly felt like I was home. I continued to spend weekends “tabling” on Melrose Avenue, gathering signatures to end animal testing for cosmetics and household products and handing out brochures to passerbys. It’s not a coincidence that the acceleration of my spiritual path coincided with a greater awareness.

My activism has always felt like a natural extension of my spiritual growth, urging universal compassion and oneness. They’ve informed each other and evolved together.

I believe that every serious seeker is an activist at heart, if only that the spiritual journey requires a gentle no to blindly following the herd.   

Cultivated: Any future plans or launches you’d like to share? 

CM: Daniel and I just hosted our first HappiSeek webinar together, which included live group hypnotherapy with participants from all over the world. It was really fun, and we had wonderful feedback, so we plan on doing more of those. When two or more are joined with a common positive goal, it creates a ripple effect in the collective unconscious. We’re into creating ripples. 

If you are having a hard time and struggling with a mental health condition or suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to someone, 800-273-8255 (available 24 hours).

Easter Bathing: Slovak Easter Traditions To Help You Stay Healthy All Year

In Slovakia, Easter signals a lot more than the resurrection of Jesus. It is a day that symbolizes re-birth, fertility, and the welcoming of spring with health in mind. As is the case with a lot of Catholic holidays, Easter is a mix of christian and pagan traditions. Looking at the Slovak tradition of bathing in cold water and whipping/or spanking of women with branches on Easter, one cannot help but think of these rituals as something nature-worshipping celts and pagans might have done. It is these traditions that make Slovakia and Czech Republic special. I know what you are thinking. Whipping? Bathing? Allow me to explain.

Here is how Slovaks and Czechs celebrate Easter. While Good Friday and Easter Sunday says Easter to most of the world, in Slovakia the celebration continues on Monday. Monday after Easter Sunday is a national holiday, and it is purely reserved for eating and socializing. Artisanal eggs get displayed on trees, in vases, and around the home. Carefully arranged plates of cheeses, sandwiches, ham, sweets, and more, await hungry visitors. Here is where things get a little weird. It is on this day that women and girls prepare for company that whips them, bathes them in buckets of water, and if you live near a river, a dunk in the water is not out of the question. While most of the visitors include family, neighbors and school mates, a stranger (or a group of them) might try to pay you a visit as well. Whether you let them in, or not, is up to you. These customs used be taken very seriously in small villages, but be assured, the days of strangers from a town over coming to whip you and throw you in the river are gone. In modern day Slovakia, the whipping holiday custom requires consent and knowing your visitors.

How does it all work? A bendy whip, called korbáč, is braided into intricate designs. The whip itself can be considered a type of art. Each family has their own special way of braiding it. In rare cases, visitors find a unique tree in the mountains with prickly branches, but we have yet to find out what type of tree this is (if you are reading this and know, please contact us). The typically whipping or spanking is gentle, and polite company uses perfume instead of water. A normal visit consist of a respectful exchange or a fun water fight in the back yard. Any aggressive ambushing is not accepted by the new generations of Slovaks. Before the company leaves, you feed them, present them with your best decorated egg, and tie a ribbon on their whip. Alcohol is another way to pay visitors and thank them for visiting. By now, you might be thinking: What and why?

When I was a child growing up in Slovakia, Easter both excited and terrified me. I loved dressing up and weaving a special flower headpiece, but made sure to wear pants under my skirt. Looking back, I find the custom of whipping interesting, but certainly problematic. My family continues the tradition even in New York, and it is always civil, fun, and even rejuvenating. Many women welcome visitors in the name of beauty, fertility and good health. If you visit Slovakia during Easter and see men chasing women around in their back yards, do not be alarmed. It is very likely that they are having fun, and before you call the custom sexist, be assured that women get to play their part in whipping as well. It all ends up being a fun game of chasing each other with whips and water. After all, men desire health just as much women.

Yes, the tradition is weird and has murky history. Most Slovaks grew up celebrating Easter in this manner, and to them it is normal. With that said, good luck explaining it to the rest of the world!

5 Ways to Add Cryotherapy, or Cold Therapy, To Your Beauty Routine

Is Cold The Secret To Beautiful Skin?

Waking up with a splash of cold water is a universal beauty and hygiene ritual, but would you ever put ice on your face? Using cold as a treatment is not new. Performers and entertainers are known to use ice in order to take down inflammation. Any spa goer will tell you how invigorated they feel after cold therapy, and they always making sure to use the ice bucket in the spa shower. Cryofacials and CoolSculpting are among the most well known innovative cosmetic treatments that use cold to their advantage. This is no trend, using cold treatments will likely get more interesting.

While we would not recommend that you start applying ice directly on your face (at least not until you mentally prepare yourself, do a patch test, and/or talk to your dermatologist) there are quite a few ways you can use cold therapy as a beauty hack. We foresee lots of icing this spring/summer season.

THE BENEFITS: An icy treatment can help stimulate collagen production, reduce puffiness and inflammation, providing your skin with radiance and tighter pores. This is especially helpful if you have indulged in rich foods or alcohol the night before. How does it happen? When blood rises to the surface it smooths and tightens the skin. Your pores, and even breakouts, become less visible, leaving you with healthy looking skin. COLD is good for your skin, hair, and it happens to be our favorite mood booster. Try a cold shower if you feel low.

5 Ways To Indulge in the Cold Treatment

Angela Caglia Gold Cryo Facial Set

If you are looking to fight dull tired skin, puffy eyes, and fine lines first thing in the morning, look no further than Angela Caglia’s 18k gold plated wands. This gorgeous tool set is worth the investment. The tools harness the power of cold temperature and massage in order to provide you with a radiant complexion. As far as cooling therapy and skincare goes, this is one of the best and easiest tools on the market. Simply put the wands in your refrigerator or freezer, and when ready, gently glide the wands in an upward motion. The contour shape ensures you get the most out of your facial massage. For an even more effective treatment, glide your wands over a sheet mask to help penetrate the product in even deeper.

Facial Ice Sphere by Nicole Caroline

Every master esthetician has a unique approach to skincare. Nicole Caroline continues to impress her loyal clients with simple, but very effective, ways to elevate the beauty routine. We love Nicole’s anti-bacterial exfoliating body mitt, but the real hero in this story is the Facial Ice Sphere Kit. While you can purchase it right now, be cautioned, it is on back-order. Celebrities, like Irina Shayk, use Nicole’s icing technique to wake up their skin in the morning or before a big event. The sphere is essentially a frozen snow ball infused with an exclusive proprietary blend full of skin loving ingredients. Owning the ice sphere will make you a real skincare aficionado.

Cryo Facial

Cryotherapy facials were the latest beauty trend a few years ago, but looks like they are not going away any time soon. The facial consists of applying blasts of cold vapor to the skin, boosting cell rejuvenation and collagen. The treatment is quick, about ten to fifteen minutes and painless. It does feel cold but that is exactly what you need to get the results. Afterwards your skin feels energized and tighter. If you enjoy cryotherapy treatments for the body, and love the way it helps your circulation and muscles feel, then you already know that a Cryo Facial is the real winner for you.

NYC Spas We Recommend

Kollectiv

21 East 1st Street

The Fuel Stop

200 Central Park S

Chill Space

124 East 40th Street

Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber With Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid

Icing your face at-home has to be one of the most invigorating beauty treatments. Dr. Jart+ makes the at-home treatment easy. The brand’s hydrating two-step Korean rubber face mask is inspired by Cryo Therapy. Apply the ampoule serum onto your skin and then apply the mask, experiencing instant cool down. This is the most ideal mask to use when you feel puffy, dry, or need to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Afterwards your skin will feel hydrated and invigorated. For an even cooler feeling, place both steps 1 and 2 in the refrigerator for 20-30 mins before application. Don’t be afraid to use the remainder of the serum on your décolletage or arms.

At-Home Aloe Icing

For a free at-home treatment, use our aloe trick. Aloe is one of those versatile plants that should be in every home. While this is one of the easiest ways to prep your skin before an important event, we like to use it on days our skin feels dull, dry or needs extra prep before makeup. To prep, peel the aloe, and cut it into cubes, placing it in ice trays. Let it freeze overnight. Voila! You have your icing treatment ready first thing in the morning. Massage the cube into your skin in circular motions. It even works well on sunburns and eczema.

Before icing: If you have rosacea or are allergic to aloe consult with your board-certified dermatologist first.

Talking Art and Career with Street and Graffiti Artist, Elle Street Art

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Mural on 11th Street and 1st Avenue in the East Village by Elle Street Art

A new mural was going up in my neighborhood. It was colorful, timely, and drew a crowd. The mural was of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the artist was Elle Street Art. I stood on the sidewalk with my East Village neighbors, we cheered on the artist, and some discussed the mural in detail. There were a lot of conflicting ideas. While Ruth Bader Ginsburg is at the center of the mural, there are quite a few symbols around her. It is a hopeful feast for the eyes. To clear things up, Elle was quick to explain the mural on her Instagram.

The flowers to the bottom left are Black Eyed Susans, which represent justice. Above that is the Brooklyn Bridge, signifying Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s childhood borough. Above her head are hits of a crown composed of her many collars. This is also a gentle nod to Biggie, the namesake of her nickname Notorious RBG. The justice of the Supreme Court seemed to enjoy the nickname. To the right of the justice’s heads is the turquoise swath depicting the ceiling of the Library of Congress. In front of it is the statue of Lady Liberty. To her right is the sculpture of the Contemplation of Justice, who sits outside of the Supreme Court house (originally carved by James Earle Fraser). Under the hand of this sculpture are some of the cases that Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued. These cases are Reed v. Reed, United States v. Virginia, Windsor v. US and Hollingsworth, and Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld. The red swath of fabric floating across the painting represents Wonder woman’s cape. Behind the Contemplation of Justice is an interpretation of the tympanum on the Supreme Court. To the right of that is the emblem of the United States, the eagle, holding a banner showing part of a quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “Women belong in all places decisions are being made”. Lastly, there is the installation of Process Pride Flag. This piece was made possible by the public art charity The Lisa Project.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural is far from the biggest the artist has painted. Her biggest work is a 10,000 square foot mural in Red Bank NJ. If you make your way towards Hudson Yards in NYC, you might also like to see Elle’s Hudson Yard’s mural in front of the “Vessel”, which is a 2,900-square-foot semicircular stretch of a wall. As is the case with many mural artists, Elle’s work takes her all over the world. She never seems to stop creating. Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired and paved a way for young women to move forward in a career that still lacks diversity. Same can be said for street and graffiti art. It is the kind of dream job little girls didn’t necessarily dream about in the past, but thanks to artists like Elle, can now aspire to.

Read our Q & A with Elle Street Art.

Photography by Peter Marquez

Cultivated: Your work is very detailed, bold and powerful. Are you self-taught or did you go to school for art? 

Elle: I did get a bachelors of Fine art and Art Studio degree from UCDavis, and then I dropped out of a Post- Bacc painting program at Brandeis University. I then moved to NY and picked up street art and graffiti. I am mostly self taught with spray paint- although a couple friends (such as Bishop203 and Sye5) gave me some tutorials in the  very beginning.


Cultivated: I read that you are from California, what drew you to New York and did you know you wanted to do graffiti and street art prior to moving? 

Elle: I left California after school. I was already on the east coast going to school at Brandeis- so when I dropped out I figured I should see what New York was all about! I had never really “seen”  streetart or graffiti before moving to NY.


Cultivated: How does one approach doing graffiti art as a beginner, especially as a female? 

Elle: I started with wheatpaste- but I got drawn to graffiti because of the speed with which you could install a piece- and how prolific you could be. I was spending days to a week painting on paper for the wheatpastes- so the speed and possibility of proliferation with graffiti enticed me! I had a few interested situations when I was out by myself and with another girlfriend where a man chased me while jacking off- and another time where a man approached me and told me he wanted to chop off my feet- I would say being out late at night has it’s own issues of safety as a woman sadly.

Photography by Richie Benavidez


Cultivated: What is the hardest part about being a woman in your business and what ways can we start to change things?

Elle: I don’t feel like there is much of a disadvantage as a street artist/muralist. The world that felt much less acceptable to females was illegal spray paint graffiti… but there are many women who are very good and who have broken through the stigmas etc: Miss Reds, Honey, 17 in NY and more.


Cultivated: Your work has taken you to places all over the world, what is your favorite place to work, and how has the pandemic affected your routine? 

Elle: Penang Malaysia was one of my favorite places in the world to paint- it was extra fun because people that lived there were soooo excited about streetart! The pandemic has been very weird- I have had more down time, and time to work on conceptualizing and studio work, which has been great, but I’m used to living on the road, so it has felt a bit stagnant for me in that way. I did manage to do a few fun jobs despite the pandemic still in NY and Cincinnati this past year.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural in progress


Cultivated: Your mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gotten a lot of attention, especially from New Yorkers and the press. How long has it taken you to plan the different details and how long did it take to finish? 

Elle: The RBG mural was a great honor to paint. It was commissioned by @IntoActionUS. The mural sketching took me a few weeks, as did the painting of it. I wanted to make sure that I made a tribute to Ruth that I thought she might have liked- something honorable and respectful, while still celebratory and colorful. 

Cultivated: You are an activist for social change: racism, women’s rights, police reform..Do these issues make it into your art on a regular basis or does it depend on the project? 

I feel a bit of a responsibility when I paint large scale public murals. I always want my work to beautify a space- but it’s even cooler when you can say “hey, what do you think about this? Or what are you doing about this issue?” with your work…. Although I would say that my work is quite poetic and different people might interpret it in different ways- there is generally a message or story of some sort behind it.


Cultivated: You started out by doing illegal graffiti. Now that you made it into some of the best galleries, shows and done commissioned public murals, is there a message you’d still like to convey about the way society treats art and artists?  

Elle: I feel very grateful for the role I get to play and the opportunities I get. I have found more of a responsibility to stand up and represent others who have it tougher than me, or don’t have a voice.If  I have a platform and a giant wall- I might as well use it to do some good if I can! This is not to say that I don’t understand the inequality of women artists represented in museums and galleries- but that I, and all of the women out here are working on that, and I think making great progress at the moment. Hopefully the institutions can work with us and we can make some real progress!

The Vessel, Hudson Yards Mural


Cultivated: Any advice for aspiring female street artists? 

Elle: If you work hard enough on the thing you are passionate about, nothing can stop you.


Cultivated: What is the highlight of your career so far and what’s next? 

Elle: Hmm.. that’s a  difficult question. There have been so many highlights. From working with global brands such as Nike and Ikea, to celebrities like Steve Aoiki and Dani Leigh, to painting the wrap around wall at the base of the Vessel in NY- I think the coolest thing about my job is that opportunities pop up out of nowhere and I never could have even dreamt up the opportunities that I have been given thus far. I would say that’s the best part- the unknown of what might happen in the future or what I might be able to do- it’s beyond my wildest dreams!

8 Toxic-Free Dry Shampoos Honoring National Dry Shampoo Day

Yes, National Dry Shampoo Day is real. Our obsession with dry shampoo began about ten years ago, but little did we know of all the harm it can do to our hair, scalp, and the environment. No, we have not given up on dry shampoo entirely. In fact, giving our hair a break during the pandemic has made us want to use it even more. If you are in need of a cleaner dry shampoo, look no further. We compiled a list of our top eight brands to try, and fall in love with right now.

Vegamour GRO Dry Shampoo

Vegamour has become synonymous with hair wellness. This modern brand focuses on hair growth and their GRO Dry Shampoo is no different. The plant-based dry shampoo is fortified with the same proprietary blend of phyto-active ingredients found in their best-selling GRO Hair Serum. Using it will ensure a healthy hair ecosystem, plus the volume and texture you desire. It is 100% vegan, clean and cruelty-free.

Lulu Organics Hair Powder

Lulu Organics packaging will stop you in your tracks. For anyone who likes handmade products and a bit of glam, this is the brand to know and proudly display on your vanity. With six different scent options, fresh smelling hair has never been easier. It works like all other powder dry shampoos- sprinkle a bit of the powder in your palm and work it through you hair. You will be pleased to know that it is talc-free, cruelty-free and gluten-free.

Cleo + Coco Dry Shampoo + Body Powder

Raise your hand if you love a good multitasker. Cleo + Coco is known for their deodorants and dedication to natural beauty. The new Dry Shampoo and Body Powder packaging really draws you in. The powder comes out of a convenient pump, and you can use it to absorb moisture anyplace you need it. The natural product keep you dry, day and night, usingvegetable powders, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and essential oils for unique freshness.

Act + Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo

No helmet hair here. Unlike a lot of dry shampoos, Act + Acre supports the health of your hair. Get ready for soft hair and easy blending for all hair colors. This brand uses fulvic acid, a super-nutrient extracted from organic plant matter, plus  rice and tapioca powders to make a product that is both safe and effective.

Acure Dry Shampoo For All Hair Types

For a truly clean dry shampoo, go for Acure. Acure is Organic, Paraben free, Sulfate free, Mineral oil free, Petrolatum free, Formaldehyde free and Cruelty free. They even have an option for brunette to dark hair types. This is important because darker hair types often struggle with the white residue left behind by most dry shampoos. It also means less build up and a cleaner scalp.

Green & Gorgeous Organics Dry Shampoo

Green & Gorgeous makes gentle and organic products that work. Their 100% vegan, organic, sulfate free, talc free dry shampoos are gentle on your hair, but deliver the necessary volume. The great smelling powder absorbs excess oil, leaving your scalp clean and your hair silky smooth. They even have an aerosol-free powder spray option. Run, don’t walk to their website to discover more.

Rahua Volumizing Dry Shampoo

You can always count on Rahua product to help with health and styling, and they do it with planet health in mind. If you have fine or flat hair this product will give your hair oomph, delivering texture, hold and volume. The key plant-based ingredients leave your hair looking and smelling great. Plus this plant-based dry shampoo is packaged in an environmentally friendly non-aerosol dispenser. It’s a win-win.

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Dry Shampoo

The Mermaid Dry Shampoo is one of the more unique products on our list. Not because it works better than the others, but because of it’s name and scent. It smells like wild roses and an ocean breeze, just what a city girl needs. It does the job by providing you with volume, grease absorption, and no residue build up. The formula is made with organic ingredients, all within a compostable tube.

10 Beauty and Wellness Gurus To Follow On Instagram Right Now

Want to focus on self-care and skincare in 2021? Here is a list of aestheticians, spa professionals, doctors, and wellness warriors to follow and learn from right now.

BEATA ALEKSANDROWICZ – THE FACE WHISPERER

Since the beginning of the pandemic we talked about the power of touch, and use of our five sense, to help soothe and heal the body and the mind. Beata Aleksandrowicz has been written about many times as the go-to expert in massage, healing and wellbeing. She live streams her sought-after face massage classes to help with sculpting, lifting, soothing and general Face Therapy. We cannot stop watching. Learn from a real professional and follow her: beata_aleksandrowicz.

DR. BARBARA STRUM – THE YOUTH EXPERT

Dr. Barbara Strum is everyone’s favorite aesthetics doctor. The German doctor never seems to age and has developed cutting-edge and non-surgical treatments that help fight inflammation and aging skin. In 2014 she blessed us with a skincare line that celebrates simplicity, hydration and provides a regenerative glow. You can book a virtual consultation with the famous doctor, and or follow her for daily wisdom: drbarbarastrum.

SHANI DAREN – HOLLYWOOD ESTHETICIAN

Shani Daren has made a name for herself in Beverly Hills, a town that worships youth, health and beauty. She trained under a dermatologist and then ventured on her own, creating a well-known and respected practice. Her results-oriented approach to skincare became so popular a skincare line was sure to follow. You too can experience the glow Shani Daren provides for her celebrity clients with Shani’s Retinol products. We swear by the Retinol and Texture Reform. Follow her: shanidaren.

DR. ELIZABETH TRATTNER – THE HEALER

For an inside out approach to beauty and health we follow Dr. Elizabeth Trattner. Dr. Trattner focuses on helping people look and feel better with a personalized treatment plan. She helps her clients (more specifically women) with weight management, complex health issues, infertility, cosmetic acupuncture, environmental illnesses and more. While this doctor’s practice is in Florida, you can book a video conference and start your own journey towards healing. If you find yourself in Florida, her Gemstone Acupuncture Facial looks like a dream. Follow Dr. Trattner for your daily inspiration: dreliztratts.

Dr. LAURA SCOTT – THE LIFESTYLE DOCTOR

While there is no such thing a supermom, Dr. Laura Scott comes close. Her inspiring feed highlights her life as a doctor and a mom to three children. We love to follow her for her smile, positive attitude and helpful success tips for younger women. Dr. Scott has a blog filled with advice for all. If you are seeking inspiration on skincare (especially skin of color), wellness, home life, style and motherhood, do yourself a big favor and follow laurascottandco.

GEORGIA LOUISE – THE FACE SCIENTIST

Georgia Louise has been referred to as The Face Scientist because of her signature lift and sculpt techniques, and for her ability to find the most ideal combinations of skin elixirs. The British born facialist has trained in France, Switzerland and the UK. We all want to know how celebrities get their glow – Georgia Louise could be the answer, as she has touched some of the most famous faces in Hollywood. We love her because she is a spa legend, and in fact trains other aestheticians on her techniques. Book an appointment at her New York atelier and remember to follow her for insider information, georgialouisesk.

DR. MICHELLE HENRYTHE NON-CONFORMIST

Dr. Michelle Henry is a well-known New York City dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon who reject the cookie cutter approach to beauty, and that is why we love following her. Besides being a busy Manhattan doctor and professor, this MD advocates for getting rid of historical beauty ideals. Her instagram is filled with real skin wisdom, medical and cosmetic videos, and we just cannot get enough. Follow her, drmichellehenry.

Dr. SARAH VILLAFRANCO – OSMIA FOUNDER

You likely already know the brand Osmia, but did you know it was founded by an ER doctor? The founder gets up close and personal with her followers on the Osmia’s Instagram, providing advice in skincare and healthy living. Dr. Sarah Villafranco wants us to love our skin at every age, and approach skincare with simplicity and natural ingredients in mind. Follow osmiaorganics and get your skincare tips directly from the mouth of a doctor and brand founder.

JILLIAN WRIGHT – INDIE BEAUTY EXPERT

Once an aesthetician, always an aesthetician. Jillian Wright is the co-founder of Indie Beauty Expo and a global beauty advisor, but this skin health expert has decided to focus her powers on aesthetics again. If you love finding new indie beauty and holistic ways to improve your skin, Jillian’s account is the one to follow. Jillian’s personality and flawless skin will inspire you. You can even shop the very products she uses during her facial treatments, visit her website and follow jillianwrightfacials.

Steve Wrubel/Parfums Christian Dior

JOANNA CZECH – THE SKINCARE AUTHORITY

With over 30 years of experience Joanna Czech needs no introduction, but here is why you should follow her. She will brighten up your feed with funny posts, and while her facials can be pricey, she also provides practical tips that we can all follow. Joanna Czech is Dior’s Global skincare expert, a celebrity facialist and you can shop spa skincare, like Biologique Recherche, right on her website. Our favorite is the Joanna Czech facial massager. Follow joannaczechofficial.

The Duo, Carlos Lamarche and Jason Lundy, That Brought Us Salt Therapy During The Pandemic

SALT Live Energized Spa

Carlos Lamarche and Jason Lundy want you to pay more attention to your lungs. The wellness duo opened SALT Live Energized in Soho because they saw an unfulfilled need. As with any city, New York is polluted. Soot, diesel fumes, noises, second hand smoke and chemical emissions pollute the city on a daily basis and while New Yorkers have come to live with it as an unavoidable part of the city’s charm, they deserve better. Seeking respite in the city that never sleeps can be hard but not impossible. Salt Live Energized opened before Covid, but since the pandemic, more and more New Yorkers have come to SALT to experience the power of salt therapy. We had our own experience at SALT and it was a breath of fresh air. Once you are in the salt room, the salt can be felt and seen. The natural anti-bacterial salt air widens your airways, loosens clinging mucus, and reduces inflammation. Breathing becomes not just easier, but more fulfilling. The non-inhaled particles of salt land on exposed skin, helping with skin hydration, balancing pH, and inducing reparative and regenerative processes in the skin (such as stimulating cell growth and microcirculation). From beginning to end, Carlos Lamarche and Jason Lundy make you feel like family. It is a day at the beach and you don’t have to leave the city to go there.

Q and A with Carlos Lamarche and Jason Lundy

Cultivated: Why Salt Therapy? What made you want to concentrate your powers on respiratory health?


Think of all of the ways we try and take care of ourselves today – beyond eating organic, filtering our water, and working out.  We watch cholesterol for heart health.  Liver and kidney detoxes.  Colon cleanses.  Herbs for clearer thinking.  Herbs for better sleeping. 

But we do almost nothing for our lungs; the organs responsible for getting us the oxygen we need to live.  We thought it was time to highlight that – especially for people who live in cities and breathe polluted air. 

SALT provides a safe, all-natural detox to help you breathe better and rid the body of airborne pollutants.

Cultivated: Salt therapy in the city isn’t new, but the way you do salt therapy is different. What makes it different?

We provide a very unique and effective service.  We’re America’s largest premium dry salt therapy center and we approach our therapy very intentionally with a focus on immediate efficacy.  In our semi-private treatment room we provide relaxing chaises where clients can do intentional breathing exercises and we have them individual iPods and wireless Bose headsets with meditations and earth/ocean sounds to help calm and center them.  Everyone who leaves SALT reacts the same way, “I can feel it!”

Pharmaceutical grade salt is ground into micrometer-sized particles by a professional-grade halogenerator.

Cultivated: Is it safe to visit SALT during the pandemic? 


We’re one of the safest places to be!  SALT is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal but more importantly we only put a maximum of two parties (no more than 4 people total) in our 550 SQ FT room.  Everyone is separated by seven foot tall curtains, no one is near you, and no one works on you.  You just breathe our SALT air.  It’s one of the safest treatments you can find – a lot safer than shopping in a store or dining in a restaurant!



Cultivated: New Yorkers need more wellness escapes in their lives. Are you thinking of opening more locations or other types of healing spaces?


Yes, it has always been our intention to expand to other parts of the city and country.  Post-COVID, that’s true now more than ever.  People are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy respiratory system.


Cultivated: Lastly, what are some ways you unwind in your personal life (besides hanging out at SALT)? 


We love the beach, partially because one of us grew up in the Dominican Republic and partially because we spend a lot of our time on Fire Island where it’s easy to find a calm place to be with the earth and ocean.  We do a lot of meditating there and hanging out with our dogs.  We can’t always get there, though, so we’ve developed  a treatment that combines dry SALT air therapy with LightStim™ LED light facial treatment.  You feel like you’ve spent an hour on the beach without ever leaving SoHo!  Everyone should try it.  It’s the ultimate escape in the city.  We do it every day we can.

This Is How A Master Aesthetician Treats Her Own Skin

Skincare tips and product recommendations are great, but what we really want to know is how the experts treat their own skin. One of the most sought-after custom facials right now is by master aesthetician Jillian Wright. Safe facials are back and the safest way to get a facial is to go to someone who takes the pandemic seriously. The Indie Beauty Expo co-founder has decided to go back to what she loves, being an aesthetician, and we could not be more grateful. Jillian tells us how she treats her skin this winter, what women over 30 should own, and how to deal with skin issues due to mask wearing.

Jillian Wright’s personal skincare routine is for dry skin.

Herbologia Walnut Scrub

DAYTIME ROUTINE

Cleanser- Lab to Beauty Balancing Face Wash for day and Lab to Beauty Cleansing Oil at night (These are available at my facial suite)

Eye Cream- Glowbiotics Anti-Wrinkle Illuminating Eye Cream

Exfoliant- Herbologia Walnut Scrub 

Glowbiotics HydraGlow Cream Oil

Serums (I layer three on my skin before my moisturizer)

  1. Lovinah Red-C Ampoule
  2. Bioelements Moisture x10
  3. Glowbiotics HydraGlow Cream Oil
  4. Moisturizer- Inika Phytofuse Renew Maca Root Day Cream DAY
  5. Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

I keep it super simple (CBD products available at Jillian Wright Facials for now)

  1. Cleanser- Lab to Beauty Cleansing Oil
  2. Exfoliant-Her Royal Hempress Exfoliating Whipped Serum 3x a week
  3. Eye Cream-Glowbiotics Soothing+Revitalizing Eye Cream
  4. INIKA Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Night Cream 

Cultivated: What are some skincare essentials every woman over 30 should own? 

JW:

  • See my skincare routine above!
  • Dry Brush to exfoliate dead skin from the body.
  • Eye Cream
  • Exfoliant
  • Excellent moisturizer.
  • Non Toxic Color Cosmetics like Au Naturale or Ilia

Cultivated: What are some ways we can prevent breakouts or dry skin due to mask wearing? 

JW:

  • Make sure to clean your masks often.
  • Use a hydrating and balancing mask like the Lab to Beauty Green Cure Mask which has Matcha, CBD to reduce inflammation and French Green Clay to detoxify.  Use it at least 3x a week where you are experiencing maskne.
  • Use clean beauty products.  Ditch the formulas with filler and unnecessary ingredients.
  • Exfoliate at least 3x a week
  • Incorporate Evan Healy Purifying Serum into your day and night routine.  Spot treat.
  • Make sure you never miss your AM/PM ritual

Cultivated: How important is exfoliation in the winter season and what do you typically recommend we do that with ( scrubs or peels)? 

JW:

  • Very important. Go lighter on the AHA percentage.  For example use Her Royal Hempress Exfoliating Whipped Serum with 8% glycolic or use Herbologia Walnut Scrub on the shower, alternating, giving yourself a couple days off in the Winter.  Make sure not to over exfoliate which will lead to flaky skin.

There are many ways to exfoliate from manual to chemical.  Be mindful in the winter since your skin can be very dry.  Exfoliate at least 2x a week but choose carefully.  Don’t over exfoliate.  Since we are wearing less makeup, choose the makeup you do wear with ingredients that help your skin function.  Oftentimes when we don’t look at the ingredients, we don’t realize that there may be acne causing or drying ingredients in the formula.

If you do get a break out, don’t pick your skin.  This will make it worse.  Spot treat with an AHA like Her Royal Hempress Exfoliating Whipped Serum or use it all over, avoiding the eye area 2x a week.  If you like a manual exfoliant, try Herbologia Walnut Scrub.

The most important thing is consistency.  Do not skip.  Take the time and listen to your skin.  It doesn’t have to feel dry.  It doesn’t have to breakout.  It’s a matter of making it a priority and being your own skincare detective.

To book a personal consultation and facial with Jillian Wright at Bloom Beauty Lounge on 19th Street between 6th and 7th, visit Jillian Wright Treatments. She only takes one client at a time, and 3 clients maximum in a day in order to allow more time for cleaning and disinfecting in between. Jillian also gets covid tested often and has a strict guidelines for people coming in to get a facial.  Obviously, facials are not hands-free, but she takes every precaution necessary to put her clients at ease.

Cultivated Beauty: Products We Tested, Loved & Deemed Worthy of Your Money

With so many brands on the market these days, the aisles of beauty shops can get a bit crowded and confusing. We like to keep beauty simple. You will not find a ten step routine on Cultivated, but you will find effective skincare that does the job so your skin looks and feels its best.

Products We are Loving Right Now

Nécessaire Eucalyptus Deodorant is a creamy deodorant that doesn’t waste a drop. The elegant packaging ensures the cream comes out in small amounts, plus it just looks great hanging out in the bathroom. What’s inside? A gentle, effective complex of Mandelic – and Lactic Acids that help neutralize odor, while Silica, Zinc, and Kaolin Clay help keep you dry. We love the creamy texture and modern scent. Plus it contains no aluminum, baking soda, synthetic fragrance, or parabens. It is everything we look for in a deodorant.

Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser feels so refreshing you will never skip washing your face at night. As with all Summer Fridays products, this cleanser makes you feel like you are on a well-deserved holiday. The light scent and gel texture provide gently take care of your face and your senses. This gel cleanser a restoring cocktail of 11 amino acids with a splash of mineral-rich seawater. This cleanser is a keeper for all seasons.

Magari Skin Care Liquid Youth is a multitasker unlike we have ever seen before. A bottle of Liquid Youth contains all you need to skip a long routine: Hyaluronic Acid, marine extracts, Vitamin C, Biotin, Peptides and more. On a lazy day all you have to do is spritz it on your clean skin, let it soak in, and feel good about it. You will want to bathe in this stuff. In order to get to know the brand further, we reached out to one of the founders. Here is what makes this product and brand so special.

At Magari our ideology is simple — create powerhouse products through ingredient pairing technologies and tested results. Our designs are sexy and luxurious, while having no gender, or bias when it comes to our approach to scent and design. Magari strives to create an inclusive brand that gives everyone results regardless of gender, age or skin color. We wanted to create a brand that transcends time and brings out the inherent beauty we all have. We want the future of skincare to be an elevated luxurious experience for all that declutters that 15 step routine to just a few core powerhouse products that truly deliver results, and look sexy on the counter while doing it.” – Montgomery Nicholas, Co-Founder

Shani Daren Texture Reform has been on our list of products to try for a while now. Getting our hands on it felt like a hallelujah moment. We don’t shy away from using retinol but wanted to start with a gentler version of the Retinol Reform first. Don’t worry, it still contains all the anti-aging benefits. One use was enough to convince us of its effectiveness. What’s inside? It is formulated with 5% retinyl palmitate, a mild retinoid, boosting collagen production and improving cell turnover to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, acne scars, and uneven texture. In addition, it contains 7% lactic acid and soothing ingredients such as aloe vera (always a favorite) to gently exfoliate for brighter, more youthful-looking skin. Waking up to smoother and brighter skin was all the convincing we needed to become a repeat customer.

Expert Feng Shui Bedroom Tips For Couples

Making small changes in our home environment can often create a powerful shift in our mood and our lives. Take the pressure off Valentine’s Day with Feng Shui. The bedroom is where your love thrives, so make sure your environment is properly set up to help your relationship in positive ways. For expert tips we went to an influential Feng Shui consultant, Judith Wendell. Judith Wendell is a well-known New York City Feng Shui expert; focusing on design, space clearing and teaching the Feng Shui philosophy. Before construction goes up, she is the one who gets called in to clear the space. Even if you think the spiritual aspect of Feng Shui might not be for you, the Chinese concept of Feng Shui provides practical tips that can be applied to our everyday lives.

  1. The position of your bed is most important. You should have a clear view of the door without being in line with its path.  This usually means that the bed is diagonally across from the door.  If the bed must be in the direct path of the door a round clear crystal could be suspended from the ceiling to help disperse the oncoming Chi (the Chinese word for energy).  
  2. Equally important is having a solid headboard.  A headboard is symbolic of having a protective mountain at your back.  It also acts as a unifier of relationship – two acting as one.  Wrought iron or open lattice headboards do not accomplish this. 
  3. Energy must flow into your bedroom for a relationship to flourish.  Make sure your bedroom door is unobstructed and swings freely thus symbolizing open and clear communications between you and your partner. 
  4. Also, do not store things under your bed which can limited the healthy flow of energy.
  5. Next, to have a balanced relationship the bed must also be balanced by having equal access on both sides.  Each side of the bed should have a night table and lamp and never get cluttered.  It is also important that your box spring be of one piece – undivided.  Otherwise, an energetic ‘split’ occurs over time.
  6. Other than the bed, the area of the bedroom that is most significant for a good relationship is the SW or back right hand side of the room.  This is the area that is considered to represent marriage, partnership, romance and nurturing. 
  7. For decor healthy plants are a good symbol here for your growing relationship.  Pictures of the two of you (or anything in pairs), fresh flowers and candles particularly in the colors red, white or pink, strengthen this area.  An oval or round mirror in this area can be a symbol of expanding unity and wholeness in your relationship. The color of your bedroom can range from terracotta to the softest pink because these are the colors associated with joy, love, and romance. But the color peach is not considered a stable one for a long lasting relationship…but good for sexual encounters.  Beige, brown, yellow and taupe are fine for the bedroom too, because these colors represent trust, connection, and growth.  Relationships desirous of ensuring sensual bliss should use red or pink sheets. If this does not fit your personal taste, try putting a red sheet on the underside of the mattress (next to the box spring).  Red is considered a particularly auspicious color.  It connotes happiness, sensuality and act as a protector.
  8. It is important to always crack at window again allowing for the healthy flow of air and chi.
    Start to recognize that everything holds a vibration and potential meaning.  In this way you can put the meaning you want in your bedroom and relationship.  Placing mundane and transcendental objects (i.e. a crystal) with intention is a big part of what give them potency.  And who does want a potent relationship!?

Water Is Life: 10 Powerful Benefits of a Bath Soak

Water is a precious resource. Treat it with respect and take a bath like you mean it.

Whether you call it self-care, spa life, time-out or me time, bath soaks are real medicine for the soul. We consider ourselves quite the bath aficionados and firmly believe in using baths as spa therapy for all types of ailments. While balneotherapy deserves more studies, the evidence that baths have powerful benefits has been there for years. In fact, studies have shown that being near water is good for our mental health because it helps soothe anxiety and boost our mood. The father of medicine himself, Hippocrates, prescribed and documented hydrotherapy as a powerful treatment. When you enjoy meditating to the sound of waves, swimming in the lake, drinking water, or playing a water sport, you are taking part in healing and nurturing yourself with the powerful force that is water. Think a bout it, in times of stress, we are often offered water as a calming antidote. Water is a life source, and bathing in water helps us feel renewed and rejuvenated. If you consider yourself more of a shower person, we urge you to reconsider and come over to the bath side once or twice a week. Here are all the benefits you could be getting from a bath soak.

10 Benefits of a Bath Soak

Bath soaks calm your nerves and help you learn mindfulness by making you take a pause, stay in the moment, and focus on the present. Make waves with your hands, pay attention to the movements of your body and inhale the scent of your favorite bath oil. In another words, it helps you get into a meditative state of mind, get back in your body and even fight anxiety.

Bath soaks have a superpower effect on relaxing tight muscles, therefore the psyche. When your muscles loosen up and you feel less pain, your mind relaxes. Combine your bath water with Epsom salt or any replenishing salt soak. The warm water, combined with magnesium, helps improve circulation and reduce inflammation.

Bath soaks right before bedtime have the ability to help you fall asleep faster. Besides relaxing you, a hot bath one or two hours before bedtime will likely result in better and deeper sleep. Studies have shown that when we soak in a warm bath the increased blood circulation helps rid us of warmth through our hands and feet, therefore lowering the core body temperature. Since our body temperature lowers around bedtime, giving the process a nudge will help you fall asleep faster.

Bath soaks act as a mild anti-depressant or mood booster (at least we find it helpful). Deciding to take a bath when you feel low is a great choice. Although there are not enough studies done to prove that bath soaks can be a real treatment for depression, balneotherapy has been practiced for centuries at spas and hospitals. The only way to prove it is by seeing if a bath soak can be your personal mood booster.

Bath soaks soothe itchy and dry skin. Use lukewarm water and hydrating ingredients. We like to add a bath oil or colloidal oatmeal to our bath in order to resolve itching and eczema.

Bath soaks help reduce blood pressure. Hydrotherapy can be used to improve cardio-health, however people with heart disease should be careful when entering a hot tub. Try limiting your time in the bath to 10 minutes. Always check with your doctor first. Cardio health brings us to bath soaks helping your body feel as if you had a workout session.

Bath soaks are similar to exercise. Bath soaks should not replace your exercise but hot-water immersion does help you burn calories through sweat, reducing inflammation and even controling blood sugar levels.

Bath soaks allow you to breathe better. A warm bath and steam allow you to clear your chest and sinuses. When you are soaking in warm water up to your neck, your heart works faster, allowing for more oxygen. Breathe in a lavender or eucalyptus scented product and relax!

Bath soaks boost your immunity. They even help you fight your cold and flu symptoms, shortening the length of recovery. When you find yourself suffering from a case of the sniffles, try using epsom salts and essential oils to soothe achy muscles and sinus inflammation.

Bath soaks allow for creativity. Have you ever noticed that when you take a bath or shower, you turn to internal thoughts? This is when our best ideas come to mind. Try keeping a pen and paper near to write down those important ideas.

We’ve tested many bath products throughout the years. Here are a few that will help you compliment your bath like no other.

(The Soak Club is a shop associated with Cultivated Magazine. Your purchases will help us keep Cultivated content free.

Disclaimer: Our content should in no way be taken as medical advice. Always consult with a board-certified doctor.

Face Sauna: Time-Honored Beauty & Wellness Remedy

We just cannot stop talking about the face sauna, aka: face steaming, and for a good reason. According to the International Spa Association, spa-goers are slowly trickling back to spas, but mostly for massages. Facials still seem like too much of a risk. If you feel like a facial is long overdue, there is an easy way to clean out your pores at home. While this is in no way going to be as effective as a 4-10 step brightening or anti-aging in-office facial, it will do the trick for pore purging. Trust us, it’s easy and very relaxing. All you need is water, an herbal medley or essential oil, and a good clarifying mask.

Face steaming is an old wellness practice shared by many cultures? The first time I encountered the face sauna was when I was just a little girl living in Slovakia. My sisters and I all caught a cold and in order to provide relief, my mother boiled a large pot of water and filled it with dry chamomile flowers. We huddled under a warm blanket steaming our faces and giggling in the process. The scent of chamomile was pleasing and still remains to be one of my favorite scents. Even as a child I could tell that it allowed me to breathe easier and helped clear up my sinuses.

Today, I remember this cold remedy fondly. As a sinus headache sufferer and at-home facial enthusiast, I use it often. Every time I steam my face, it brings back memories of my mother brewing and handling herbs with ease. If you plan on embracing face steaming, don’t be afraid to look silly. Be in the moment and enjoy practicing this classic remedy in silence, and inhale deeply.

Face Steaming 101 

Step 1. For a quick and simple face steam all you really need is boiled water, but to help you feel relaxed and get all the benefits of the steam, try using a botanical medley.

While getting fresh and quality herbs might not always be accessible, there are plenty of brands who can provide you with a medley of their own. Our very own shop, The Soak Club, sells a medley that includes an herbal mixture of German chamomile, calendula, fenugreek and rose. Chamomile ingredient is calming, helps with sinus issues and colds. Calendula has anti-bacterial properties and helps aid dry skin. Fenugreek clears and brighten the skin. Rose helps soothe redness, has antioxidant benefits, heals and reduces oil productions. All of The Soak Club ingredients are sourced from the same places where chefs shop. This ensures the highest quality and freshness.

Step 2. Set up a place, such as your kitchen counter or table, where you can hover over the water comfortably, and safely, while you inhale the relaxing steam mixture. This is where you will place your pot or bowl. Make sure it you are placing it on a heat-proof surface (such as a wooden cutting board).

Step 3. For a single person, boil water in a medium pot. Yes, you can make this an activity for more than one person. (If you prefer, transfer your boiled water to a large ceramic mixing boil instead of using a pot, however this step is unnecessary.) The best way to use a bowl is by boiling water in a kettle and simply pouring the water directly into the bowl. Once the water boils, drop in your herbs and you are ready to steam. Allow the medley to steep for a moment, but start steaming immediately. Be careful when handling the pot, always grab it with a towel.

Step 4. Cover your head with a blanket and immerse your freshly cleansed face in the steam. Make sure to not get too close to the water. Simply hover over, inhale and exhale with ease. Keep covered so you can get all the benefits and the steam does not escape. Do this for 10 minutes. Your skin will react by become more willing to take in the good ingredients of your mask afterwards, plus you will be getting all the benefits of steaming and the herbal mixture. There are many skin benefits that can result from a facial steam: increased circulation, rejuvenation, hydration, clear skin and of course that much-desired skin glow. Any congestion should be eased with this at-home treatment as well.

Step 5. Take things a step further with a clay or clarifying mask. Clay masks are known for their purifying, pore cleansing and softening benefits. A good clay mask will draw out any dirt or impurities, allowing your skin to breathe.

Step 6. Do not let the mask dry completely. Soak your face towel in warm water and wash off the mask. Then splash cold water on your face. Remember to moisturize afterwards, or use a nourishing facial oil. We would love to know about your experience with our face medley. Feel free to email info@thesoakclub.com.

The Soak Club is a shop associated with Cultivated Magazine. Any purchases will help contribute to making our content free for all readers.