Island Fix

I left New England last week in the middle of a snowstorm, tired and depleted and in serious need of some island healing.  It was vacation time and I was determined to get my body back in balance, so to Antigua I went!

What I found, in addition to the obvious sleep and sunshine, were a few little local remedies that helped me relax and feel like myself again. ¬†The first was not that hard to figure out, because they were everywhere: in street stalls, in the supermarket and on the side of the road. ¬†It’s grapefruit season in the Caribbean, and I think I ate more of that tangy fruit in one week than most eat in a year! ¬†Let’s hope it was a vitamin C shock to my immune system.

The next thing I noticed was that a lot of Antiguans use sand to scrub their bodies while on the beach. ¬†I even saw a couple giving each other sand massages! ¬†One of the island’s little secrets (which was shown to me, I was not clever enough to figure it out) was at Half Moon Bay: rock and clay cliffs that, when splashed by surf, form little pools of gritty mud that made a great body exfoliant. ¬†The catch: to rinse off, you have to hike back to the beach looking like a swamp monster and endure many confused stares from tourists not in the know. ¬†But the smooth and soft feeling you are left with is well worth it!

And of course the greatest remedy the island had to give was the sea. ¬†I swam at least once a day and let that salt work its magic on me (and my stressed out skin). ¬†There’s a lot of buzz these days about what salt water does for your body. ¬†I just read an interesting article in Elle here, in case you are curious to learn more. ¬†Of course, my hair was not as happy to be sea-bathing with such frequency, and I found Yarok’s Feed Your Sunshine hair serum to be a life saver. ¬†My hair literally drank the oil in. ¬†Yarok is a great 100% natural hair care line that I’m so glad to have discovered: no more dirty hippie hair and its still gentle enough not to give me eczema!

Other than that, I tried to stick to a pared down beauty regimen, and these products were my workhorses: ¬†(I’m proud to report that I managed a full week with nary a sunburn). ¬†For my face SPF, I used Josie Maran’s Daily Sun Protection, and for lips (they ALWAYS burn before my face does) I used Badger’s Face Stick. ¬† It makes your lips very white indeed, so you have to channel your inner lifeguard while wearing it. ¬†I also used it to covered up scars from scrapes, bug-bites and gardening injuries past (yes, gardening can be dangerous) on my legs in order to keep them from darkening. ¬†I’m less picky about sunscreen for my body because I go through it so fast, so Neutrogena’s¬†Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock¬†in SPF 30 did the trick. ¬†To give my lips a boost after sun exposure,¬†Weleda lip balm was fantastic, and my Korres lip butter in Pomegranate provided just the right, un-fussy (you can apply with your finger) touch of color for evenings out.

That’s about it, at least on the beauty and wellness side of things. ¬†More on my trip to come!

Apartment Wishlist

1. Midcentury Dansk lattice tray designed by¬†Jens Quistgaard, $65,¬†The Inspired Trader on Etsy¬†/ 2. Tourne ceramic teacup, $22 each, Brook Farm General Store¬†/ 3. Merino ‘Glacier Park’ throw, $138, Pendleton¬†/ 4. Sharon Montrose baby porcupine print, from $25, The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose / 5. Glass Coffee Carafe, from $35, Chemex Coffemaker¬†/ 6. Vintage 1960’s ¬†slat bench, $195, Just L Antiques¬†/ 7. ¬†Aviator Headphones, $150, Skullcandy¬†/ 8. Vintage Danish midcentury lamp, similar on Etsy¬†/ 9. Nyvoll dresser, $199, IKEA

Color!

Something cheery and bright: my new lip butter in Pomegranate, made by the Greek skincare company Korres. ¬†It’s not a clean formulation, but it has lots of shea butter to help soften skin, and imparts a nice melon-y sheen that makes me feel like a beach bum. ¬†(more on that later…) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$12, korresusa.com

Lea Seydoux

Call me a little behind the times, but I finally got to see Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris the other day and I have formed a life crush (this is a self-diagnosed combination of a girl crush, a job crush, and a nationality/place of inhabitation crush) on Lea Seydoux’s character. ¬†Who wouldn’t want to sell vintage records in a rambly little brocante in the streets of Paris while looking so adorable? ¬†I hope we see a lot more of this actress in the future. ¬†She was fantastic in the french film La Belle Personne, which was a rather depressing but illuminating look at the angsty life of teens in France.¬†

Screenshot from Midnight in Paris, Sony Pictures Classics, 2011