Glowing Skin Isn't Just For Summer

face glow graydon
Some people think our Face Glow is more for creating an un-makeup type of look for summer but let me tell you, Face Glow is my go-to cream for locking in moisture and layering on a dewy polished look, which I think you'll love as much as I do, in these colder months ahead. There's no reason why you shouldn't have glowing skin all year round!

You probably already know that your skin tends to get a little more dry in winter so instead of using Face Glow as an alternative for a light foundation it's best to use it as a primer (over your favorite facial serum but under a concealer, bb/cc cream or foundation). And then for a little extra glow and dewiness, I dot some on my brow bone, the bridge of my nose and cheekbones.

The reason why Face Glow is so great when used as a primer is because its zinc based so it acts as a sponge to evenly absorb your make up in a very smooth uniform fashion. It's like a perfect canvas to make your skin look great! The mica we use in it illuminates your complexion so you actually get glowing skin but in a grown-up, subtle, sophisticated sort of way :)

Nuvo Magazine recently included the Face Glow in their top favourite illuminating moisturizers list, you can check out the article here

Hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it for you!

Want more tips on how to get glowing skin? Check out our 3 Easy Tips For Lit From Within Skin.

“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure"

~ Sylvia Plath

Therapy is expensive. Yoga is usually a car ride away - and at least a $20 drop for the fee. Retail therapy is fun, but fleeting.

But “passive heating” (which means that you are warming your body up while relaxing, instead of running or exercising to get sweaty) has been proven to be a pretty sweet way to improve your health and wellness.

A good, hot bath is self-care gold and my favorite way to relax and detox. A hot bath can have the caloric burn as a half-hour brisk walk and help the body regulate blood sugar. It can help to reduce chronic inflammation and support the immune system.

Sounds perfect for the upcoming cold season, right? Aside from the health benefits, the other reason that I love recommending a hot bath is that it’s a relatively cheap way to create a habit of self-care.

A healing bath can be as luxurious as a trip to a spa, and as therapeutic as an hour on the couch in your therapist’s office, without having to arrange for a babysitter or even leave your home.

In a world where it feels like every moment is plugged in, every little treat is ridiculously expensive, and life can be so over-complicated, bathing is really an ancient and inexpensive ritual that can pretty much cure it all. 

Follow these steps for a soak that's fit for a goddess! 

Take all the clutter out of and around your tub. Simply move it aside (you don't have to turn this into an organizing session) This includes loofahs, razors, or any other clutter. Start with a clear space. 

Gather a candle or two and arrange them around your tub and sink. Have some incense or a sage stick? Get it burning. Lighting and burning is a great way to start a ritual, clear stagnant energy, and invite in healing. 

Get some mineral salts. A cup or two will do. In case you didn't know, magnesium from the salts is helpful for sore muscles and for relaxation. Feel free to add in a scoop of baking soda for an extra detoxifying kick. 

This may sound funny but before you actually get into that warm inviting water, apply a generous amount of oil onto your skin.

This is important because by applying body oil before you shower, you create a barrier between your skin and the shower water, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. It's because oils contain occlusive agents, which increase skin’s hydration levels by providing a physical barrier to keep it from losing any water! 

And if you're feeling a little blah, or have a chill try this for an extra boost! 

If you want to amp up the healing energy vibe, maybe you add some rose petals to the water. Set some of your crystals around your bathtub. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a cuppa tea. Spread some honey on your face for a sweet and simple mask.

And above all, act as if creating this relaxing little sanctuary is for a real goddess (who just happens to be you :)

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

make your own pumpkin spice latte

This incredible article is brought to you by one of the most inspiring people I know. Meghan Telpner is much more than I can sum up in one sentence! Among other things, she is a wellness expert, author, nutritionist, and coach. Keep reading to get her pumpkin spice latte recipe, which will seriously knock your socks off. 
To The Top.
As told by Meghan:

'Where I live, autumn inevitably brings cooler temperatures, fuzzy sweaters, an abundance of root vegetables and a frenzy for pumpkin spiced everything - especially the pumpkin spice latte.
Pumpkin spice, if you make it at home with actual spices, is an incredible mix of nutrient-dense aromatics like cinnamongingercloves and nutmeg. Problem is, many of us aren't actually using real spices for our pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pies or pumpkin baked goodies - or real pumpkin, either. Instead, we're grabbing pumpkin-flavoured processed foods and cruising by coffee shops to grab a $7 pumpkin spice latte. 
Let's take a look at a couple of coffee shop pumpkin spice latte menu items and see what we find.

Exhibit A:
MilkPumpkin Spice Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate), Brewed EspressoWhipped Cream (Cream {Cream, Milk, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan}, Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Pumpkin Spice Topping(Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents).

This is a concoction of sugar, preservatives, imitation flavours and dairy - all of which we know are detrimental to our health. Processed white sugar is a highly addictive substance linked to weight gaindental caries, blood sugar imbalance, diabetes and cancer. Dairy, in all its conventional forms, can cause allergies, digestive issues, antibiotic resistance and deplete our bone health. Carrageenan is inflammatory, particularly in the digestive tract, while those other 'natural flavours' and food additives are anything but natural.

Exhibit B:
Espresso, Pumpkin Spice Flavored Syrup (Fructose, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Nonfat Milk, Annatto Extract {color}, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate {preservative}, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sucralose), Whole Milk (Milk, Vitamin D Added).

With the first example, at least there was some pumpkin puree and spices in the topping. Here, there isn't any pumpkin puree or pumpkin spice at all - just a pumpkin-flavoured syrup loaded with fructose, artificial flavours and colours, and artificial sweeteners that are way, way worse for us than white sugar (you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of my series on artificial sweeteners for more info).
We can definitely do better.

Ultimate Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Spices
Spices are an important part of any dairy-free pumpkin spice latte. I like to buy my spices in small amounts to ensure freshness, and purchase them whole and grind them myself wherever I can. Even though spices are dried, they will still contain volatile, potent compounds that can dissipate with age (or if you aren't buying decent spices, they won't be there in the first place).

Another thing to watch out for in your spices is irradiation. Food irradiation is a growing problem and it damages the nutrients found in our foods, destroys helpful bacteria, and hasn't been proven safe for human consumption. Ask your local grocer or health food store for non-irradiated spices, or check them out online at My Spice Box.
If you love adding pumpkin spice to everything you make from October through December, try making your own batch of pumpkin spice mix and use it throughout the fall.
Prep time:  Total time:  Yield: ¼ cup

DIY your own pumpkin spiced creations with this simple spice mix

make your own pumpkin spice latte
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground anise
  • 1 tsp turmeric (super optional and not traditional but I love it!)
  • Measure out all ingredients.
  • Add to a small mason jar and shake shake shake.
Ultimate Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Pumpkin
  • A good pumpkin spice latte has to include actual pumpkin! So many pumpkin recipes call for pumpkin puree and most of us hop over to the store and buy a can of pumpkin. But pumpkin doesn’t grow in cans. It grows from the ground and grows a-plenty locally. It really isn’t that much trouble to do the right thing by your pumpkin and make your own pumpkin puree from scratch.
Fresh pumpkin has an abundance of outstanding nutritional benefits.

Pumpkin is:
  • Abundant in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps maintain our skin and vision and prevents oxidative damage.
  • Rich in carotenoids that help regulate blood sugar.
  • Rich in dietary fibre to keep us pooping regularly.
  • High in lutein and zeaxanthin. These funny sounding guys are potent antioxidants that prevent free radical damage in the lenses of our eyes.
  • Rich in Vitamin C, which keeps our skin, hair, and nails glowing throughout the winter.
  • High in potassium – this is helpful for those concerned about blood pressure.
  • About 90% water, making pumpkin very hydrating.
  • You can even eat the flowers. If you grow your own pumpkin, make squash blossoms!
Try roasting or cooking your own pumpkin - it doesn't need to be a gigantic one, you can find smaller versions - and then save the puree in the fridge or freezer to use in pumpkin spice lattes, smoothies, soups and even chili or hummus. One can of pumpkin is equivalent to about 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree if you're using a recipe that calls for the canned version.Here is one of my favourite dairy-free pumpkin spice latte recipe. With fresh pumpkin and spices, Dandy blend (a herbal coffee alternative) and natural sweeteners, this is a wonderful elixir that will fuel your day, rather than detract from your health.

Best Ever Pumpkin Spiced Lattes

make your own pumpkin spice latte
Prep time:  Total time:  Yield: 1

A delicious pumpkin spice latte using whole and unprocessed ingredients.

  • 1½ cups hot water (for a more decadent option, try almond milk or coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp Dandy Blend (or if you can't live without real coffee, try to use a nice organic brand!) 
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix
  • Pinch of salt
  • For a chocolate version: add 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • For extra decadence: add coconut whipped cream on top (recipe below
Make It Like So
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream

Prep time:  Total time:  Yield: ¾ cup

You won't miss cow's milk at all when you dollop your elixirs with this dairy-free coconut whipped cream.
  • Coconut Cream (this is the thick solidified top layer from a chilled can of full-fat coconut milk).
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make It Like So
  1. Chill your can of coconut milk for about 8 hours in the fridge, and then remove the thick cream from the top and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add your sweetener and vanilla extract.
  3. Use an electric hand mixer or some serious muscle and a whisk until soft peaks start to form. If it's too thick, you can add back some of the remaining liquid in your coconut tin, 1 Tbsp at a time.

A Hairstylists Take On Graydon's Matcha Mint Shampoo

matcha mint shampooPost via Oak & Tonic

We as a society are consistently bombarded with slogans and ads saying buy this, buy that...this will change your life and so on!

When you look at the hair industry in a is an absolute super-plex of products from oh so many lines that promise you longer, healthier, shinier hair if you use their products! Some are very much true...but when you flip that dreaded ingredients list around and whip out your phone to use the dictionary to begin your 20 minute translation of those characters that even some profs can't pronounce...we just give in, look at the bottle "looks good, smells good"...#sold

But I encourage you and challenge yourself to take a step back for one moment and consider what you are putting on your body and head everyday or every other! Those fillers and paraben's that some companies put into those bottles are just painful to me as a professional stylist and an avid green beauty health nut!

Guys and girls alike need to take a moment and Flip-over the full disclosure ingredients list on Graydon's NEW Matcha Mint Shampoo:

Ingredients: aqua (purified water), plant based surfactants: *sodium cocoamphoacetate, glycerin, *lauryl glucoside, *sodium cocoyl glutamate, *sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, *coco-betaine, *sodium cocoyl isethionate, *coco-glucoside, natural emulsifiers: glyceryl oleate, stearyl citrate, glycerine, xanthan gum, chlorophyll, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, avena sativa (oat) kernel oil, coco-caprylate, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, jojoba esters, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, **sodium benzoate, triethyl citrate, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, mentha piperita (peppermint) extract, cellulose gum, sodium glutamate, sodium chloride, camellia sinensis (matcha green tea) leaf extract, tocopheryl acetate, salvia hispanica (chia) extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) extract
(*coconut-oil derived **plant based preservative)

Basically every ingredient is clean and derrived from either a coconut oil surfactant (that makes bubbles/lather) to the beautiful emulsifiers that help stabilize the product and make up the key components of the bottle!

In my years of doing hair, I have not really come across a natural/organic shampoo that can give you a proper cleanse and not leave your hair feeling dull...I am sure many people can relate to this as well! BUT guess what...HERE IT IS! 

"It is infused with matcha tea to soften hair and prevent split ends, chia to help hydrate and fortify hair, sunflower seed extract to enhance thickness and sheen, and hemp oil to moisturize and strengthen hair to prevent breakage. With a light scent of peppermint and vanilla, this creamy, moisture-rich formula will leave your locks healthy and silky smooth. Oh and by the way it's green! Matcha and chlorophyll give this shampoo a gorgeously green tint and a dose of hair loving superfoods".

And if you want to follow it with a conditioner (which I highly suggest as a stylist), continue with Graydon's HAIR SMOOTHIE, and you will have a worry free, cruelty free, natural and organic hair experience to rival any 90's TV shower commercial!

I hope you enjoy!
<3 Oak+Tonic Team

Aging Is A Dirty Word In Most People’s Vocabulary

But I’d like you to rethink it a bit!

I hate to break it to you but avoiding aging is just not a possibility. You can have a 10 step skincare regime, see a super fancy dermatologist, get some work done, do monthly facials, slather on outrageously priced anti-aging creams that promise you the world, on top of eating well, sleeping well and exercising on the reg but...

The truth is, everyone is aging with each passing second. All of the beauty products in the world (botox and fillers included) cannot prevent this.

When you stop and think about it, our society’s obsession with anti-aging is a little odd. So I have some questions for you! 
What if you reframed the notion of aging and made it a priority to really nourish and protect your skin? What if you stopped obsessing about the impossible notion of stopping time, and keenly focused on improving your whole body health? What if you stopped looking at your life as a hill to roll down uncomfortably after the age 35? What if you started buying products to promote your skin health instead of getting stuff that promised an unattainable fountain of youth? What if you really did start to make better choices with the foods you eat, the sleep you get and commit to moving your body more often? What if instead of being at war with your skin and combatting it with the supposed latest fad treatment that you took pleasure in caring for it and began to take pleasure in the ritual of nourishing, massage, feeding it? What if you looked at your physical imperfections and fully accepted them? And what if you were able to look at those fine lines on your face that you’ve been conditioned to dislike as proof of you and your skin’s resiliency?

No promises but you just might become a happier, healthier more grateful person.
And I'd wager a bet that your skin would start to look a heck of a lot better too!
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