Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gorgeous Skin, Solid Ethics

Okay, so I took a wee break to, you know, get married and stuff.  But, thanks to an incredible product, I’ve been inspired to come out of hibernation and bring you all a review.

Because of the blog, I was offered a free sample of Global Face Serum, formulated by eco-fab make up artist Lina Hanson, to try.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  I feel like there is a new skin care product out every single day that makes new claims and you only have to walk into Sephora to see how saturated the market is. 

Global Face Serum is a collection of oils that are each hailed by women in their native countries as a “beauty secret”.  Lina Hanson has brought together all of these in one bottle.  Even better, the ingredients are sourced in socially responsible ways and a few of the oils in the serum are from ingredients grown by women’s cooperatives. 

Since receiving the sample about a month ago, I’ve been using it every night and I’m very impressed by the results.  I have combination skin that can be prone to break outs, but I’m also concerned about preventing aging.  From what I’ve been so far, this serum absolutely addresses all of my concerns.  I’m kind of amazed.  My pores seem tighter, I have not broken out even once since using it, and I haven’t had any patchy dryness that I’m prone to in the winter. 

Though the serum is expensive - $85 – I plan to keep this in my routine.  It feels amazing and I like that I can feel good about purchasing it.  Oh, and did I mention is smells like heaven on earth? 

And more good news!  Win a generous-sized sample of this product!  “Like this post on Well-thee's Facebook page and “like” Lina Hanson’s Facebook page and be entered to win!  Good luck!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mean, Green, Spring Clean

I’m not going to lie to you, my house is not generally impeccably clean.  I’m someone who always finds that dirt and grime sneak up on me.  When I see a dust bunny, I think – but I vacuumed last week!  That being said, I don’t like things to be messy and I find my environment to be much more soothing when clean. 

I also, like many people, have been making efforts to make my house cleaning more green.  Of particular importance to me is that I not use anything that could potentially be harmful to my pets, who - God love them - do gross things like lick the floor.  I am also prone to headaches and am very, very sensitive to smells.  Even many “green” products are heavily laden with fragrance and bother me.  So, below find a list of my FAVORITE things to clean with.  Please feel free to share your favorite in the comments section!

1.    Basic H Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate by Shaklee:  This stuff is one of the main reasons I got involved with Shaklee.  This stuff is incredible. You buy a bottle of the concentrate and it makes 48 gallons of all-purpose cleaner!   This also makes this product incredibly cost-effective. It can also be mixed at different concentrations for degreasing and cleaning windows (not to mention just about everything else.  It has no noxious odor.  Love this stuff!

2.    Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop Kit:  I absolutely hate mopping with the whole bucket thing, so I used to use the Swiffer Wet Jet until I heard that the chemicals in that stuff can be harmful to pets (or people, for that matter) if something is eaten off the floor.  What I love about this mop is it allows you to use whatever cleaning solution you want (I use Basic H!) and it sprays out just like the wet jet.  The microfiber cloth attaches with Velcro and I just throw it in the washing machine.  No bucket, no nasty chemicals!  Rubbermaid Reveal Mop on Amazon

3.    Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste by Shaklee:  Sometimes you come across some sort of gunky situation, like the stovetop or the oven and this stuff absolutely does the trick.  The paste has a very subtle cherry smell because the grit in the paste is actually made from cherry pits!  I have also used this stuff on spots on my hardwood floors and the paste is gentle enough that it doesn’t leave scratch marks.

4.    Dish Wash Automatic Concentrate by Shaklee:  I know this is going to sound weird, but I have had the hardest time finding a product to use in my dish washer that works, doesn’t leave weird marks on my glasses and doesn’t smell terrible.  At one point, I tried a Phosphate-free “eco” formulation by Palmolive and my fiancĂ© and I ended up throwing it out because the smell was so noxious that our apartment smelled like a hospital bathroom.  This dishwash powder has no smell, leaves my dishes gorgeously clean and lasts forever.  (I only need about a tablespoon for a big load of dishes).

Happy spring cleaning to all of you!  I think you will love these products as much as I do.  If you want any information about how to get any of these products, let me know and I’d be happy help!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's Trending at Well-Thee

What a winter it’s been!  Snow, ice, shovel and repeat.  I know Well-thee has been MIA for a few months and I apologize, but the spring has me excited, relaxed and ready to go! 

Over the last few months, I have a discovered a few things that I absolutely love.  In order to get caught up with all of you, today’s post will be to give you some reviews of what has me excited.  Enjoy!

MyChelle Incredible Pumpkin Peel:  I was at Whole Foods one day and a representative of this skincare line was there giving away samples.  I am a huge fan of samples of things because I use them at the gym and traveling and it gives me a chance to try new products without wasting money or full-size packaging.  I picked a few and absolutely fell in the love with one of their treatment masks made with pumpkin.  The Incredible Pumpkin Peel is a very active, exfoliating mask that smells exactly like pumpkin pie.  I love my regular skincare routine, but using this once or twice a week has been a nice addition.  I feel like it leaves my skin smooth and clear.  I swear, the first time I used it I had a breakout and the next morning it was basically gone.  LOVE!  You can order it on this website.

The Kindle:  I got one of these a month or so ago and I absolutely love it.  There are still plenty of books I will want in hard copy  - the books I love, want to re-read, books of poetry, etc – but there are plenty others I don’t need cluttering up my house.  With most books priced $9.99 or below, no paper involved and a battery that lasts up to ONE MONTH, this is the most green and most convenient thing I’ve bought in a long time.  I purchased mine at Target, but you can buy them direction from Amazon Kindle Store

Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel:  I am so lucky to live with a man that loves any food I put in front of him.  I love food and, most of the time, I like cooking, but I am no gourmet chef.  I asked for this cookbook for Christmas because I heard that Bethenny Frankel does a lot of healthier versions of comfort food in this cookbook and that sounded like something I might actually get into.  This cookbook definitely delivers on that front, but what I actually love about it even more is that every recipe has a number of “use what you have” substitutions at the end.  If you don’t have wheat flour, use white; if you don’t have basil, use cilantro or parsley, etc, etc.  I find this to be EXTREMELY convenient and cost effective.  It’s also much more green to use what you have in your pantry rather than drive to the grocery store and buy 10 ingredients for one recipe.  You can read a sample and order the book here: Skinnygirl Dish on Amazon

AG Jeans:  Remember when nice denim was something you bought at The GAP and never cost more than $50?  Yeah, well, I think those days are dead.  Designer denim has taken over the world and, I have to say, they look a heck of a lot better than the ones I wore in high school.  I have become particularly enamored with AG Jeans because they have a variety of fits and a few that seem to work particularly well for my – a-hem – shapely backside.  But, what I’m especially loving is that they have introduced a new, eco-friendly way to process their jeans and give them that faded look and the softness of weathering while using much less water, chemicals and energy.  That’s designer denim to brag about.  Get more info by clicking here.

Check out some of the things above and let me know what you think – feedback is always welcome!  “What’s Trending at Well-thee” will continue next week.  And, as always, if you have something you would like us to review, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to oblige!  (

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well-thee Reviews Tata Harper Skincare

For Christmas my very thoughtful future sister-in-law gave me a sample kit of a new, entirely natural skin care line made in Vermont.  The line was created by (and named after) Columbian-born Tata Harper.  Harper states on her website that her goal was to create high performance skin care that had absolutely no chemicals whatsoever.

Now, I can’t find any information on exactly how Harper is able to afford her lifestyle and pour thousands of dollars into developing skincare, but she does describe living between New York and a 1,200 acre organic farm in Vermont.  She also describes the journey of developing the skincare line like this; “My quest has taken me to ancient-walled laboratories in European castles, to English lavender fields that stretched out like a sea of purple and white and to the verdant green valleys of Vermont.”  Sounds nice, huh? 

Between the romanticism of the story and the remarkable beauty of Harper herself, it’s hard not to get excited about the products.  The complete facial skincare line consists of 8 products.  Again, all of the ingredients are completely natural and some are even organic and produced on the farm in Vermont where Harper lives. 

The Upside:  The Hydrating Floral Essence (kind of like toner, but you just spray it directly on your face) and the Resurfacing Mask are my favorite of the products.  The Hydrating Floral Essence smells amazing and it’s a really nice mid-day refresher.  The mask goes on like a gel and dries pretty quickly.  The directions say to leave it on for 30 minutes, but I only left it on for about 15 because I felt like it might dry my skin out.  However, when I washed it off, my skin felt really soft and gently exfoliated.  I didn’t use the Rejuvinating Serum long enough to see any anti-aging results, but it felt weightless on my skin and definitely seemed to help with moisturizing. 

The Downside: Overall, I think the line is really nice, but probably more for aging and/or dry skin.  I emailed with one of the sales women and she said they are working on a line for more oily/combination skin, but they are not sure when that will be available.  I didn’t care for the cleanser, which has exfoliating granules in it that I thought were a little harsh and the Rebuilding Moisturizer has a little bit of a sticky texture that I didn’t like.  Ditto on the eye cream.  The biggest downside to this line is that it is REALLY expensive.  Most of the products are priced from $75-$150.  Harper states that she didn’t create the line with a price point in mind; she just wanted to create the best products she could.  She also admits that her line is aimed at competing with expensive European lines like La Prarie and that she hopes that prices can come down if some of the ingredients become more widely available. 

While I remain devoted to Enfuselle Skincare by Shaklee, if I’m feeling flush some month, I would definitely consider integrating the mask and the floral essence in my skincare routine.

If you would like to find out more, check out 

Have you heard of something you’d like Well-thee to review?  Let us know at

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New product alert!

I just found this amazing, inexpensive moisturizer at a big-box pharmacy for $4.99.  It’s by St. Ives and does not contain parabens OR phthalates and the oatmeal/shea butter formula is really doing the trick on my dry, winter skin.  St. Ives is now formulating a bunch of their products this way and they are all very inexpensive and widely available.  This is a great way to start introducing more natural products into your daily regimen!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Personal Medicine

In my “real life” (when I’m not writing a blog or researching eco-friendly living) I am a clinical social worker in the field of mental health.  I am asked frequently about how my profession affects me personally – is it depressing or difficult to see?  There are certainly days that are very hard, but I almost feel insensitive to say that I rarely feel down at work and I don’t think I ‘take my work home’ more than anyone else that is passionate about what they do.

However, this is not an accident.  When I am struggling to find balance in my life, I draw inspiration from Pat Deegan; a brilliant, brave woman who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager.  Deegan is now a successful, middle-aged woman who has learned to live a full, rich, well life (becoming a PhD in the process) and has written and researched about how to help others with mental health conditions recover.  I think her work, though, has much wider implications and I am particularly enamored with her concept of “Personal Medicine”. 

Personal Medicine* is a term that Pat coined to describe the things that we DO to feel well.  Personal Medicine tells us that wellness is not just about the things we take (medications, supplements, etc) but that wellness has to be something we put into action every day.  I love that the phrase includes the word “medicine”, because in the Western world, we revere medicine and if it is prescribed, we take it diligently and regularly.  What if we could be that faithful to the things we do that make us happy?  Wouldn’t we all feel better?

Personal Medicine does not have to be a two hour yoga class, though that’s wonderful.  Personal Medicine can be as small as reading for a few minutes during your lunch break (one of my favorites) or being fully present with a loved one even if it’s just for a few moments.  The point is that Personal Medicine must be something that we can do consistently, that makes us feel good and that we stick to as doggedly as if it was a prescription because, honestly, it should be.

I would definitely not be able to be effective at work, or anywhere else in my life, if I did not practice Personal Medicine.  I play with my dog, find something to laugh about, read when I can, go for walks, do yoga, watch Sex in the City reruns, listen to dorky podcasts, light candles that smell good, attempt DIY projects around my house, etc, etc.  I did all of these things before conceptualizing them as Personal Medicine, but that framework helps me to be more insistent that they are priorities in my life.

If you can, take a step back this holiday season and prescribe yourself some time to do something you love.  Why not do it now?  Go on – after all, it’s medicine. 

If you want to read more at Pat Deegan or Personal Medicine, take a look at the links below.

*Personal Medicine should not be confused with “personalized medicine”, which is an area of medical science that pursues treatments for illness based on genetic codes and has gotten a lot of media attention recently.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eco Bargain Hunting: Well-thee goes to Marshall's

It has always been a little baffling to me that the terms “green” or “eco-friendly” seem to be associated with “expensive”.  While there are certainly high end eco-companies out there, buying green does not need to break the bank and, in fact, when done right should save you money.  To help make this point, I took a field trip this week to Marshall’s to scour the shelves for eco-friendly products with the hopes of inspiring you to do some eco-bargain hunting of your own. I found far more products than I could post here and settled on providing a sampling of what was available. (I also may or may not have taken home some of these things.)

Paraben-free, organic and smells ridiculously good.  Nature’s Gate Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.99/regularly $7. 99).

Only the best for our furry companions.  All-natural cotton/earth friendly dye dog chew ($2.99/regularly $6.99)

There were a number of gems among Marshall’s small selection of non-perishable food items.  Organic Olive Oil selection ($4.99, $5.99 and $12.99 respectively/ regular prices not listed)

Did you know that non-stick coating on pans can be toxic? Eco Ceramica Non-stick pan ($12.99/regularly $24.99)

Beautiful bowls grown from sustainable wood.  Bamboo Bowl ($7.50/regularly $20.99)

Have a garden?  Have a neighbor that has a garden? Eco Kitchen Composter ($14.99/regularly $39.99)

Microfiber dish cloths make excellent cleaning tools and can be washed and washed and washed, making them a perfect example of how being green can save you some green.  Microfiber dish cloths ($4.99 and $3.99/ regularly $8.99 and $12.00)

I nearly cried when I realized my favorite travel coffee mug might be leaching toxins into my morning cup of sanity.  Thank goodness for non-leaching alternatives. Eco One Ceramic travel coffee mug (5.99/regularly $12.99)

The next time you hear someone complain that eco-friendly goods are too expensive, Well-thee encourages you to be an ambassador of bargains and set them straight.  And, in honor of bargains, if you recommend Well-thee to a friend on Facebook and let us know that you've done so, we'll enter you to win a sample kit of our favorite eco-friendly bargain item of all time:   Shaklee Basic H cleaning solution!