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Behind the Brand: skyn ICELAND

Posted on 05/24/2013

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When chronic stress landed Sarah Kugleman in the hospital, she took action. Forced to re-evaluate her hectic lifestyle, Sarah embarked on a journey that would change her life. During a three month leave of absence, she traveled to Iceland as part of her healing process. Surrounded by the natural oasis of pure, unspoiled waters, air, and plants, Sarah drew inspiration for what would later become skyn ICELAND.

As devoted fans of this therapeutic skincare line, b-glowing brings you an insider look at the woman behind the brand. Learn more about skyn ICELAND founder Sarah Kugleman, her tips for a stress-free lifestyle, beauty must-haves, and personal skincare routine.

Shop Sarah's beauty must-haves here.

Stress has played a large role in your life, and the development of your brand. What do you do to relieve stress?

It has to be a holistic approach. 8 hours of sleep a night, a healthy and nutrient-rich diet, 64 ounces of water a day, a good exercise program and BREATHE! It's the simple things that really help us alleviate stress … and it's how we take care of the inside that shows on the outside. When I slip into a period of extreme stress, I know I have to get more sleep (when you get less is when you get sick!), cut out the refined sugar and white flour and load up on Omega-rich foods (to decrease internal inflammation such as salmon and avocado), antioxidants (lots of berries), magnesium (sweet potatoes) and vitamin B complex (broccoli) and vitamin D (supplement), try to get some cardio or yoga into my week and get a massage!

You are a mother, have you taught your daughter about stress management? What advice do you have for parents that want to educate their children about stress?

My daughter has a severe nut allergy, and that's very stressful.  Also girls, even at that age, can bully a bit. That's also stressful. I have helped her manage her stress by teaching her how to breath (sometimes we take deep breaths together!), the importance of sleep, the importance of eating organic and healthy foods (NO soda, NO candy, NO processed foods, LOW chemicals
), as well as exercise (she does ballet, gymnastics and tennis) and drinking lots of water. Stress is mental too - being able to manage what goes on in your head. I always tell her, "No one can make you feel badly about yourself. You are in control of your own feelings. Tell yourself 'I am a nice person, I am a good friend, and no one can make me feel badly.'"

Iceland has provided much inspiration to you in the development of your brand, how often do you travel there? What are your favorite things to do while visiting?

I travel back to Iceland usually once a year. Some of my favorite things to do are climb to the top of a glacier, walk on the black sand beaches at sunset and soak in a thermal bath. I also love hopping in a car with an Icelander and just driving wherever our whim takes us … you can discover the most otherworldly places there. Favorite food? I love lamb and yogurt. Iceland has unbelievable organic, locally-raised lamb and also locally-cultivated skyr, which is like the best yogurt you've ever had! Favorite place? That's so hard to say!! There are really so many incredible places - Eyrarbakki, Southern Iceland, which has these incredible black sand beaches and blue-green waters, and Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is a huge waterfall you can walk under.   

You started gloss.com, what is one of your most memorable moments from your time there?

There were so many moments where I had total out of body experiences with gloss. A few that come to mind … Finding out that I had closed a round of $5 million in financing and had to quit my job! Sitting in a meeting with Sara Jessica Parker, and her agent Kevin Euvaine, and negotiating a joint partnership. Being at a press event and having Victoria Principal teach me how/what to do when having your picture taken by a group of paparazzi. Having Jennifer Aniston introduce me to her fiancé Brad Pitt. Having lunch with Michael Keaton. Sitting in the Estee Lauder company headquarters on a Saturday, in hiding, while they discussed buying my company! Crazy …

You've attended, prepped and primed the models at New York Fashion Week for 8 years now. How would you describe your personal style?

Urban Chic - modern but comfortable.

What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?

My black Chanel clutch, my snakeskin Givenchy bag, my blue patent Gucci platform pumps, my Rachel Zoe camel coat with faux fur collar, Tahari sequin dress, and a beaded mini skirt I bought years ago in St. Tropez.    

What is your go-to makeup look?

Black eyeliner, black mascara, pink lip gloss and a little bronzer!

What is your daily skincare regime?

Glacial Face Wash, Pure Cloud Cream, Icelandic Relief Eye Cream and at night Oxygen Infusion Night Cream.

How does your daily skincare regime change with the seasons?

In the winter I use the Arctic Hydrating Balm either instead of the Pure Cloud Cream or sometimes in addition to the Cloud Cream - my skin is super dry in the winter. In the summer sometimes I use the ANTIDOTE instead of the Pure Cloud Cream - I love the cooling sensation when it's hot and humid. Also, when my skin is winter dry or summer parched, I'll switch to the Pure Cloud Cleanser.     

What advice do you have for people that want to develop a skincare routine, but don't know where to start?

Keep it simple. Cleanse, moisturize and treat your eyes. When you're stressed it shows up first in the delicate eye area - this is where we see stress, aging, exhaustion, poor diet etc. So an eye cream is critical for overall skin health. Also, you have to cleanse your face (never go to sleep with makeup on!) and even if your skin is oily or combination, it needs moisture. I'd say start with a good daily cleanser (like skyn's Glacial Face Wash, which is gentle enough for all skin types, but really deep cleans without drying), a great moisturizer for your skin type (like skyn's Pure Cloud Cream) and an intensive eye cream (like our Icelandic Relief Eye Cream). Then when you get used to your routine and find the products that are right for you, you can add to it and layer on products to enhance, such as a serum, skin peel, SPF, etc.

What's next for skyn ICELAND?

Global expansion, exciting new partnerships, and fantastic, ground-breaking new products for inside and out.  

What can we expect to see in the next year or two?

We have an amazing serum and mask coming for fall, and next spring we're releasing a totally revolutionary new eye product. I'm also really excited to bring more information and education to our customers about stress management, research in the area of stress, relaxation techniques, fitness and nutrition tips and inspiration as well.

Shop skyn ICELAND here.

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Behind the Brand with Francesco Clark of Clark's Botanicals

Posted on 10/28/2013

Shop b-glowing.

A b-glowing.com brand favorite—Clark’s Botanicals—keeps its natural products in the family. Started by father-son duo Harold and Francesco Clark, the skincare line covers you from head to toe with plant-based products that are soothing, healing, and protecting. Right now, you can also receive Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask ($22 value) free with any $80+ storewide purchase!

We spoke with Francesco about achieving beautiful skin and got an inside peek at his personal routine. He also told us all about his favorite b-glowing brands, and you can shop his picks here.

What is your daily skincare routine, and how do you adjust it seasonally or as your skin changes over time?

My daily skincare routine is always changing. I swear, I think my skin has ADD! One day it's really oily, and the next it can react so quickly to changing weather and ingredients - it'll feel like the desert. I do have constants that keep my skin in check, though.

For shaving, or when my skin is really sensitive, I use our Soothing Herbal Face Wash instead of shaving cream because it's moisturizing and doesn't leave me with redness. A lot of makeup artists love this to gently remove makeup, especially mascara, without being overly stripping. To get an added, subtle glow, I use it with my Clarisonic in the shower.

After cleansing, I use our Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist as a toner because it helps to prep the skin. This mist is not a toner, but I don't always use products in the way they're supposed to be used. It has botanical ingredients that are naturally antibacterial, so it's a good product if you're breaking out or oily, and it leaves your skin with this lifted look, so … why not? Plus, it's alcohol-free, which means it's never too much, even when my skin is being sensitive. 

My third step is the Nourishing Youth Serum, but only two pumps of it - a little goes a long way. It brings back that rosy glow that might have been lost in the winter, and it has two neuropeptides that help to soften the look of wrinkles. I use this every day, no matter what.

I found that consistency makes for the best skincare routine. I immediately follow this with Anti-Puff Eye Cream, which I keep in the fridge, because the bags under my eyes come out fighting every morning!

A dab of the Smoothing Marine Cream helps to keep my skin smooth, clear, and fresh. Again, you only need very little, and the tingling means the ingredients are working!

Your products focus on rebalancing the skin, and are especially effective for acneic skin types. What are your top tips for someone trying to clear his/her skin and keep it balanced?

The trick to keeping your skin clear and balanced is consistently using a good regime. Your skin needs time to re-balance. The Skin-Clearing Face and Body Wash is something customers use in the shower to ensure they use it every day, and it makes it easy. The Intense Radiance Mask was formulated to make your skin look like you went to a spa, and you can use it as a spot treatment wherever you might have a breakout. Finally, using the Smoothing Marine Cream every day will help keep your pores clear and your skin luminous. 

You used to work for Harper's Bazaar, what did you do there, and has that experience played a role in the development of your brand?

I loved working at Harper’s Bazaar. It felt like one of those moments where you were suddenly working in an incubator where all of these super-creative people got to do what they are passionate about every day.

I was a fashion assistant, and I'd say my top lessons learned there were how important it is to pay attention to detail and to follow through. If you say you'll do something, you' better do it, and do it well. I thrive in a challenging environment because it pushes you to that next level of growth. That's important to me now, too.

Also, there's something to be said about breaking the mold and taking a risk on something. In fashion and beauty, it's important not to just be another something, and confidence really becomes your parachute in that process.

Your dad helped in the development of the initial Clark's Botanicals line. Does he still contribute to new product development?

Yes, my father is very involved in the Clark's Botanicals process. This is a family business and we all help in our own ways. My father is a walking encyclopedia of homeopathy, traditional medicine, and botanicals - so family dinners jump from talking about my eight-year-old nephew's birthday party to how Ginseng combined with peptides can enhance anti-aging properties in skincare. 

You are a National Ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. How has this experience changed you? What is your favorite part about being involved in this organization?

Working with the Reeve Foundation is a dream come true. Christopher Reeve was my hero before I sustained my injury, and afterwards, he was my beacon of hope. He was articulate and could challenge any scientist, but explain a research study to anyone in a way you could understand in the blink of an eye. My passion in helping find a cure means so much to me, especially with a foundation that can communicate a message and medical funding so effectively. I still get goose bumps meeting other people who sustained, or know someone with, a spinal cord injury and establish a sense of support and hope. It is life changing. 

You are a business owner, an author, AND a spokesman for spinal cord injury survivors. How do you make time for yourself, and what do you do in the spare time that you have?

Time for myself. Tell me what that means? Ha! There are certain parts of my week that are non-negotiable. We have family dinners on Thursdays and Sundays. My mom pretty much cooks a Thanksgiving dinner on those days, and we're from Bologna, so if you love pasta … This is a time for us to regroup and catch up. I have an older brother and younger sister, who are both married, so the dinner table has grown. It's my favorite part of the week.

Finally, tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know.

Would you be surprised to know I would wear Lederhosen, growing up in Italy? Would you also be surprised I used to Yodel? Ricola!

Shop Francesco’s Top Picks here, and Clark’s Botanicals here.

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Behind the Brand: Tammy Fender

Posted on 10/04/2013

We’re devoted fans of Tammy Fender’s holistic skincare line—a natural force to be reckoned with. b-glowing brings you an insider look at Tammy—both the woman and the brand—as she shares her inspiration, her favorite products, and her personal skincare routine.

Shop Tammy's beauty must-haves here.

What are your favorite b-glowing.com brand products?

My favorite b-glowing products are Plus Clarisonic, Eve Lom Muslin Cloths, Mason Pearson Boar Bristle Hair Brush, Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo, Kai Parfum, and Ilia Lipstick Crayon.

Although I love all of the formulations, there’s a quick, five-minute fix that does wonders for the skin, using my Epi-Peel and Quintessential Serum. First, The Epi-Peel reinvigorates the skin, increasing circulation and bringing oxygen to the surface, while sloughing off dead cells. Then the Quintessential Serum provides instant nourishment and leaves skin with a luminous glow—a little lipstick and mascara and off you go!

What inspired you to create your own skincare line?

My collection was born in the treatment room, though it expresses my lifelong passion for holistic living. I trained as an aesthetician, but also studied botany, aromatherapy, and holistic chemistry. I began blending my own custom formulas in my kitchen to suit my clients' needs.

Once they experienced good results, word spread—friends told friends, and, happily, the line grew from there.

What one product would you recommend to someone who has never tried Tammy Fender and why?

People go wild for our Quintessential Serum, which is super concentrated, deeply moisturizing, and provides rich replenishment and nourishment for the skin. This includes a powerful dose of the fatty acids, gamma linolenic acids, and antioxidants skin craves.

The serum penetrates skin at the cellular level and, thanks to its purity, is easily absorbed by the body. It both strengthens and soothes skin, while bringing the body, mind, and spirit into holistic balance. It's really an all-in-one. I use it as a moisturizer on my face, hands, and elbows, but also several times a day on my lips, around my eyes, and at the tips of my hair to encourage a healthy shine.

What is your personal skincare routine?

One of the amazing things about skin is that it is constantly under transformation and actually wholly regenerates itself approximately every 27 days. My skincare routine shifts as I sense changes in what my skin needs.

Right now, before sleeping, I like to wash away the day's pollutants with Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk. I follow with Chamomile Tonic, which supports the vascular system wonderfully and has such a heavenly scent. I use a bit of Capillary Strengthening Blend, which is full of carrot seed extract—an excellent, natural source of Vitamin A.

I don't always re-cleanse in the mornings, as it's nice to let the natural oils be. So I begin early in the day with energizing Essential C Tonic and finish with a bit of Quintessential Serum to rejuvenate and protect the skin.

What is your go-to makeup look?

My makeup look is super simple. If I do wear any makeup at all, I use a little mascara and Afterglow Lipstick in "Secret."

Favorite fashion piece in your closet?

The looks that I love best are always simple white clothes that are feminine and beautiful. I like to wear those with jeweled sandals, though I can't get along without a pair of go-with-everything heels. Bohemian tunics are another favorite, and I have a real weakness for beaded jewelry.

How did you develop your brand's philosophy of Pure Living Energy, and how do you implement that philosophy within your company?

My beauty philosophy is rooted in ancient holistic medicine, which emphasizes that overall health is achieved by treating each person holistically, on the spiritual, emotional, and physical levels.

When I meet with a client, I take into account the whole person, addressing imbalances on every plane. In the same way, Pure Living Energy underlines the interconnectedness and the synergy between our lives and the world around us. The energy of plants and flowers harnessed by my formulas is tremendously healing, and that life force can be transmitted to every cell of our being.

All of us working together harmoniously at Tammy Fender have made it our mission to support our clients in achieving healthful lifestyles as we all find our way to a natural state. We love to share in the beauty, radiance, and joy that can only come from within.

Tell us what to expect from Tammy Fender in the near future.

Tammy Fender is growing as a luxury brand. We're slowly expanding into new global markets, and we always have exciting new products in the works.

We recently introduced our Cellulite & Stretch Mark Smoothing Solution, which is remarkable, effective, and uniquely healing. We've got many more revolutionary ideas to come!

Shop Tammy's beauty must-haves here, and all Tammy Fender products here.

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Behind the Brand: Kahina Giving Beauty

Posted on 08/19/2014

Shop Kahina Giving Beauty now.

In a b-glowing.com exclusive interview, we got to know the brains behind the Kahina Giving Beauty brand, founder Katharine L’Heureux. After a visit to Morocco in 2007, Katharine was inspired by the healing powers of argan oil - an ingredient the local Berber women used in their daily skincare routines. And so Kahina Giving Beauty was born.

Read on to learn more about Kahina Giving Beauty's beginnings, the women behind the brand, and what we can expect from the brand in the years to come.

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Tammy Fender Tonic Q & A

Posted on 09/09/2014

Shop Tammy Fender here.

Skincare guru Tammy Fender sure knows her stuff! We recently sat down with the beauty behind the brand to learn more about her tonics and how to incorporate them easily into our existing skincare routine. Read on to learn all about this skin-saving step you might regret skipping!

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