Review of Skylar Fragrance Sample Palette

Skylar Sample Palette

I love beautiful fragrances, but I have to be careful with what I wear because I don’t want to set off a patient’s allergic response. Enter Skylar, a wonderful fragrance company based in Los Angeles, California. Skylar fragrances are all hypoallergenic, made from real flowers, fruits, and botanicals, resulting in fragrance mixtures which are fresh and natural. There are no harsh chemicals in these mixtures, no synthetic dyes, no phthalates or parabens, and Skylar fragrances are never tested on animals.

Skylar’s Sample Palette is a fantastic way to try all six of their featured scents. This way, you don’t have to commit to a full bottle of one fragrance until you are absolutely sure which one is your favorite. There’s plenty in the sample bottles to experiment quite a bit. What’s even better is that you can create new fragrance experiences by layering the scents.

The 6 scents included in the Skylar Sample Palette are:

Arrow – Spicy, warm, and seductive
Capri – Sparkling, zesty, and sweet
Coral – Fruity, floral, and flirty
Isle – Clean, dewy, and fresh
Meadow – Floral, elegant, and beautiful
Willow – Woodsy, lush, and cool

Arrow has this rich, exotic vibe which is just gorgeous. Skylar calls Arrow its most seductive scent, and I would have to agree. This scent blends jasmine, one of my absolute favorites, with rose, another personal favorite. Arrow also features neroli flower and labdanum flower, and brings in more “foodie”, enveloping elements like vanilla and tonka bean, while the tarry quality of birch tar, the musky sweetness of patchouli, and the spicy sweetness of schinus molle add a deepness which rounds out the blend.

Capri is the scent to turn to if you want a delicate floral. I’m a big fan of bergamot and use the essential oil in my bathroom to freshen it, so I am thrilled that it is featured in this fragrance. The lovely lightness of neroli balances the crisp bergamot beautifully. It’s a simpler blend than the other fragrance blends in this sampler collection, but it certainly stands its ground with its understated, refreshing scent which is perfect for cool spring days. It’s beautiful.

Coral is described by Skylar as a “very clean, fresh citrus fragrance”. However, the sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin resin come through very prominently on the top notes for me, and only hints of black currant and apple blossom peek through in the middle. It’s definitely heavier than Capri, more complex, and it doesn’t read like a fresh citrus fragrance. That said, I love this mixture as well.

Isle is definitely reminiscent of an ocean breeze, fresh, gentle, and clean. The sharpness of the bergamot is balanced out beautifully by the mellow spiciness of cardamom and the exotic woodiness of sandalwood. This is like summer in a bottle, very nice. If you like crisp, summery, clean fragrances, then Isle is a great choice. I do like this alone, but it transforms when into fairy tale dreams when it is layered with Meadow. More on that later.

Meadow is a very elegant, almost lofty fragrance which reminds me of teatime on a temperate day. This blend features soft tuberose, rose, baie rose, and cistus flower, so it is definitely a more floral fragrance, yet the patchouli complements the florals nicely and tones them down somehow. I could definitely see wearing this by itself for more formal affairs, but with Allure, it’s phenomenal.

Willow is definitely a woody, earthy fragrance, yet it isn’t too heavy like other members of this scent category. It features the woodiness of cedarwood and the green quality of galbanum, balanced by the cozy aroma of the benzoin tree. I personally am not a big fan of earthy scents, so Willow wasn’t my favorite in this set. But if you like earthy fragrances, you’ll love this one. I will say that the combination of Meadow with Isle (the Daydream Duo) is utterly divine.

Scent Duos from Skylar

So then I began experimenting with combinations, starting with a combo which a reviewer on the Skylar website suggested. I spritzed Isle + Capri and experienced a very light, fresh fragrance combo, reminiscent of a spring breeze. It was lovely.

Then I tried the Getaway Duo (Isle + Coral). If Isle alone is the ocean breeze, the Getaway Duo is a tropical trade wind, carrying hints of the local flora with it. Just delicious. I even love the description of this combo on the Skylar website:
“A luminescent combination of fruity and fresh will whisk you away to white sand beaches. The soft sandalwood of Isle pairs beautifully with the hints of apple blossom in Coral.”

Next was the Enliven Duo (Capri + Willow). I personally was not fond of this combo because it was too crisp for me, and it ended up smelling more like a men’s fragrance when it mixed with my body chemistry. Again, though, if you like woody, earthy fragrances, then this is great for you.
“Brighten any day with this playful and cheerful layering combo. The fresh, citrusy notes of Capri aligns with the green woodiness of Willow. Playful yet grounded, this is the perfect pairing to rejuvenate and refresh.”

When I tried the Allure Duo (Arrow + Meadow), I fell onto a bed of lush-smelling blooms. This duo is definitely very floral, which I usually don’t like, but this combo is so tempting, so inviting, that I can’t get enough of it.
“This layering combination will lure you into a world of glamour and temptation. Our full bodied floral scent, Meadow pairs beautifully with the spicy and warm notes of our most seductive scent, Arrow.”

The last combo I tried was the Daydream Duo (Isle + Meadow). I love how lush and intoxicating this blend is, yet it somehow manages to be undeniably light and fresh at the same time, and so very feminine. For me, it’s a toss up between the Allure Duo and the Daydream Duo, but since I love Arrow so much on its own, I may end up with Arrow and Meadow.
“Let your mind wander. The dreamy layering combination of heady white flowers in Meadow blend with the dewy, sheerness of Isle to create an exotic floral scent.”

I’ve got nothing but love for Skylar, and I love the fact that they are nestled in my hometown of Los Angeles. From the small batches they mix, to the packaging which features original hand-painted watercolor artwork made exclusively for Skylar Body, this company pays attention to the details.

Oh, and by the way, Skylar also makes candles with their featured scents!

I also think that the Scent Club is an amazing opportunity to try new fragrances. If you join, Skylar will send a different new, limited-edition, travel-sized roller fragrance each month. Right now they are having a promotion, so you can sign up for $20 per month (instead of $29 per month). Shipping is free, and you can “Change, skip, swap or cancel anytime”. How awesome is that? It was so irresistible that I signed up for the Scent Club while writing this blog post!

Here’s a link to Skylar’s website:

https://skylar.com/collections/fine-fragrance

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How Sleep Can Revitalize Your Body and Mind

Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com has done it again with another informative article!  Check it out here.

sleep

Image courtesy of Pixabay

When we lose out on restful sleep, our bodies tend to age before their time. If you’re tired or feeling run down and a bit haggard, it might be due to lack of proper rest. After all, nothing replenishes us the way a good night’s slumber does.

 

Why Sleep Keeps Us Youthful

How do you feel after a night of no sleep? Is your thinking slowed and your energy nonexistent, and do you notice new lines beneath your eyes? If so, you’re not alone, as poor sleep can make us feel and look older than we are. Our cortisol levels shoot up, our brains can’t properly restore themselves, and we look as haggard as we feel. Your mind and body both need this time to reset themselves and flush out toxins, which helps us stay healthy and energetic. Unfortunately, trying to force ourselves to slumber through sheer will alone seldom works. Instead, we need to be proactive about our patterns to change our sleep habits.

 

Transform Your Bedroom

If your room is uncomfortable, stressful, or too stimulating, you may not be sleeping as well as you could. If you have a television where you can watch from bed, a lumpy mattress, or curtains that let in every stream of light, then it’s definitely time for a change. Have good bedding, including both linens and your mattress, and add blackout curtains to extend your rests. Every change adds up, so transform your bedroom into a paradise today.

 

Best Sleep Position

Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid the development of premature wrinkles, but there are options for side sleepers to overcome this problem. Adding a body pillow to take some of your weight, or using a silk pillowcase, can greatly cut down the strain your skin experiences at night. Supplements, meanwhile, can provide vitamins and collagen that our skin needs to stay youthful, which allows us to continue side sleeping without fear. Even a good moisturizer can go a long way to helping your skin fill in lines created from the pull of a pillow.

 

Banishing Tech

Many of us use smartphones into the late hours, but that can deprive us of restful sleep. The light from our phones and tablets signals to our brains that it is daytime, and thereby prevents us from beginning the sleep process. It can be hard to put your phone down at a certain time each night, as tech addiction is very real in today’s society, but we must learn how. Start by removing notifications from your phone, taking off tempting apps and cutting back in increments. All in all, do what you can to eliminate your tech usage before bed.

 

Eat for Good Rest

What we eat can impact the quality of our rest. When we eat poorly or consume foods that cause indigestion, our sleep is interrupted, and we may wake throughout the night. Even drinking coffee in the afternoon can negatively influence how well we slumber. To give yourself the boost you need, reach for healthy carbs over empty ones, and don’t overeat before bed. Cherries, milk, and poultry are also good options to ease you into a refreshingly restful night.

 

Keep a Routine

When you go to bed at different hours, and when you wake up irregularly too, you’re setting your body up for failure. It has no ability to learn when it should get sleepy or when it will awaken. That’s why setting a nighttime routine and sticking to it even when you don’t work the next day is beneficial. By teaching your body to rest at a specific hour, you give yourself a higher possibility of falling asleep when you lie down.

 

To keep your complexion flawless and to have more energy during the day, get the sleep your body craves. It may take some training, and you may need to rearrange your bedroom, but you can get more rest. Each and every one of us deserves a good night of slumber.

 

Five Steps to Transform Your Entire Well-Being

Sheila Olson is at it again with another fantastic article which I am sharing here. Let Sheila guide you towards optimal well-being!

Five Steps to Transform Your Entire Well-Being
by Sheila Olson

Being healthy is a goal that we all have, and we are frequently exposed to countless trends that promise to drastically improve our well-being overnight. Of course, that isn’t realistic on any level. What our minds and bodies need is long-term commitment. If you’re interested in improving your entire well-being, check out the following tips.

Center Yourself

When left unaddressed, stress can occupy our thoughts throughout the day and leave us restless at night. Unfortunately, our physical health is directly connected to our mental health. After all, stress can disrupt sleep, impede focus, and leave us with a host of physical issues. Yet, with the right tools, you can learn the proper ways to manage it.

A good starting point is meditation. Mindfulness habits can balance our emotional states, leaving us physically and mentally healthier as a result. Beginning a practice can be as easy as spending 10 minutes in a quiet place every day. Thanks to the internet, you can also use guided tutorials to help you learn that process. How you explore meditation is up to you. You may want to focus on breathing exercises, or you might prefer a room dedicated to emotional centering.

Clean Your Air

It’s natural to assume that our homes are a refuge from pollutants, but sometimes that isn’t the case. We may have pets that shed, or we use cleaning chemicals that do more harm than good. This decline in air quality can cause many health issues, such as asthma or allergies. Fortunately, you can drastically cut pollutants by investing in an air purifier. These devices filter air at the microscopic level. They won’t purge our homes completely of contaminants, but you can notice marked improvement in both your health and air quality. Before you choose a specific model, learn more about the products on the market. There are several different kinds of purifiers available, so know what you need before you buy one.

Contextualize Fitness

Being active shouldn’t be a chore; if it is, then you need to find routines that you enjoy to make healthier living more sustainable. Don’t rely on bruising sessions at the gym to achieve your goals, as this can lead to burnout. Instead, remind yourself that all activity counts. That might be walking through a park or playing basketball with a group of friends. Do you work out best with others? Join a sports team, or take up regular jogs with your buddies. Above all, give yourself manageable goals that you can work toward, and make sure you follow through with them. By having a positive mindset, you can keep your fitness moving forward.

Focus on Sleep

Having a good night’s rest is easier said than done. However, sleep recharges one’s emotional and physical batteries. So, get to the root cause of any restlessness and find a solution. Do you drink caffeine? Limit it as best you can, and consider a cutoff point in the early afternoon. Are you using electronics? They may seem ideal to help you unwind at the end of the day, but they can override your body’s sleep processes. Don’t overlook your environment, either. If it’s bright, invest in blackout curtains. Likewise, keep your room cool to help your body prep for sleep. Identifying the source may mean replacing your mattress or changing your decor. Whatever the cause, though, you can rejuvenate your health with sleep.

Embrace Positive Living

Unhealthy habits can be a significant obstacle to wellness. They are hard to stop, but doing so can be transformative. Negative habits can have various underlying causes, so it’s important to determine what they might be. This can help you understand certain patterns and avoid them in the future. However, don’t just try to drop an unwanted habit “cold turkey.” Instead, challenge them by adopting positive alternatives. If you smoke when you’re feeling stressed, find a substitute that you can use to manage your anxieties. Don’t end your nights on a stressful note by checking social media or email. Positive living is a strategy that adds up over time and can become a central part of your day-to-day life.

Good health is not a fad. It’s perfectly achievable by making easy adjustments to our lifestyle and outlook. Make your well-being a priority every day.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Happy Moments

Image ID : 53068853
Copyright : anyaberkut

All too often, we carry around feelings of negativity and allow them to color our days. If we are feeling anxious, dejected, or angry, then we will create that environment for the day. And then what happens? we may say, “well it figures” or “I knew this was gonna be a crappy day”, because it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, we will have to deal with bad days every now and then, but if we can start every single day with good intentions and a positive mental attitude, we’ve won half the battle against challenges and upsets.

So this is what I want you to do today, especially if your day is especially frustrating or challenging:

I want you to call to mind one of the happiest moments in your life, a moment in which you felt pure joy, pride, elation. Bring it into view. Remember how you felt.

Now I want you to carry that memory with you throughout your day. Allow yourself to bask in that moment, to reminisce. See how it changes your attitude towards the day. Take note of how you respond to minor irritations today.

You know something? You can take that happiness, carry it with you every day. If your happy moment had something to do with an accomplishment, then allow that feeling of pride to shine through, to empower you today.

We all have the power to transform our days, our lives. Simply by harnessing positive, happy thoughts, we become powerful, we become strong.

Magical Thailand

image 15767344
Copyright : pakhnyushchyy

Last November I traveled to Thailand with an open mind and no set itinerary, and I fell in love with the country. From the island vibes of Koh Samui, to the many temples scattered throughout Chiang Mai, to the metropolitan atmosphere of Bangkok, Thailand far exceeded my expectations.

There was so much to do and see that the ten days which were earmarked for the trip weren’t nearly enough. Yet my friend Sasha and I were ambitious enough to travel to areas in north, south, and central Thailand, and we noticed differences between the areas.

If you like the idea of being on an island, then you might want to consider island hopping, but make sure that you designate most or all of the trip for the islands instead of trying to conquer areas on the mainland as well. Consider visiting Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Chang, Phuket, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Kood, etc.

Here’s a link to an article which describes the Thai islands in a bit more detail: https://www.roughguides.com/article/best-thailand-islands/

When we were on Koh Samui, we drove around the island (which took all of an hour), which was a bit of a challenge since Thai residents drive on the left side of the road, and the traffic is rather haphazard. We spent time on the beach, indulged in fresh seafood, got massages, and relaxed.

After four nights on Koh Samui, it was off to Chiang Mai, where we visited a number of Buddhist temples. As someone who identifies as a Buddhist, I immensely enjoyed honoring the Thai temples and praying to Buddha. Evidently there are over 300 Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai. A word of warning though: Do NOT wear anything with Buddha’s image, such as a t-shirt. Thai people take honoring Buddha very seriously, and if you are seen using Buddha’s image as decoration, you could be arrested and thrown in jail!

Image 51223199 –
Copyright : Sutichak Yachiangkham

While in Chiang Mai, we also spent a half day at Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, where we fed and bathed the elephants. It was a tremendous experience and one which I highly recommend. Another activity which we found ourselves doing quite a bit of was shopping, which was surprising since shopping isn’t exactly one of my favorite activities. However, it is quite an experience to visit the night markets, not just for the souvenirs, but also for the sensory experience. The sounds, the sights, the aromas of Chiang Mai will surround you in such a way that you won’t mind so much that you are sweating through your clothing in the sweltering humidity and heat.

Last stop was Bangkok, where we spent two nights (“two nights in Bangkok”…I know, it’s supposed to be one night…) consuming fantastic food, visiting more temples, the Golden Palace, and getting fantastic massages at Perception Blind Massage. During the earlier part of our Thailand trip, we had made the mistake of going to two different massage places (one right on the beach while in Koh Samui, and the other in Chiang Mai) which were cheaper, but the masseuses were of questionable skill, and the massages were NOT good. But Perception Blind Massage in Bangkok (800 baht for 60 minutes, which is about $28) and Natural Wing Spa on Koh Samui were exceptional and well worth the extra expense.

A Thailand vacation is very reasonable on the pocketbook, so you will be able to explore the country in many different ways without breaking the bank. Typical dishes in most restaurants run around 50 to 80 baht ($1.70 to $2.70 right now), and a GOOD massage will run about 800 baht ($27). Hotels are also very reasonably priced, with a 5 star hotel in Bangkok averaging about $90 per night.