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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beauty and the Botanicals

"Once upon a time, Bazaar Spices held a class. 
A class that was called beauty and the botanicals. 
Nothing quite like it, a first of its kind, at last.
How to use nature's gifts for beauty. So magical!"

Voila! My attempt at poetry writing! I couldn't resist since this past Thursday's class, "Beauty and The Botanicals", inspired me so much. Our go-to beauty guru, Elana Jenkins did a great job at creating a warm and comforting environment for her students to learn about the benefits of approaching skin care with the use of natural ingredients. In doing this, we go beyond care for what's on the surface of our skin, and see beauty in a more holistic way. 

The grey, muggy weather juxtaposed nicely with the soft pinks, vibrant reds, and rich purples from the set up for the evening. Along the middle of the table Elana placed various products from her very own beauty brand, Funkiedo, which focuses on using quality, natural ingredients in their products. At every chair was a cocktail glass filled with rose petals and lavender as well as a gleaming glass tray with two different scrubs on the left side. I certainly felt like a princess. 

Elana proceeded to start the class with pouring everyone a deep red colored drink. The drink was beet juice mixed with various fruits including lemon and pineapple. I know; the earthy taste of beets is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a drink that's made with primarily beets, but Elana assured us we were in for a treat. As we sipped, the sweet taste of the fruit juices were all we could taste. The lavender buds and rose buds made it even better, giving this mocktail (as Elana put it) a very nice floral touch. 

Not only did the drink taste beautiful, but the benefits of the key ingredient are beautiful too. Elana explained how beets a great for lowering blood pressure, detoxing and for boosting memory. She also said you could even use it as a natural blush! Later on in the class she poured us a great ginger lemonade she made which is great for digestion. The lady's got talent!

We then got to trying out some of Elana's products! She talked about her soaps, toners, body oils as well as the sugar scrub and bath salt on our plates (made with Himalayan pink salt, fleur de sel, lavender and rose essential oils). She went in depth about the various ingredients she uses. For exfoliation, sugars work better than salts as scrubs because salts can be a little too abrasive for our skin. If you want an alternative a little bit of citrus juice is just as good because they remove dead skin and brighten. If you wanted to go even more sensitive just use dried rose petals and lavender buds with your body wash to gently scrub. For softening, lemongrass, rosemary and thyme are excellent ingredients for softening hair. When infused with oils they can also be great for really sensitive skin. The information was so helpful for me, especially since I have sensitive skin.

My favorite part of the evening, was near the end, when we just started chatting with Elana and asked her questions. She was very insightful and gave a bunch of beauty tips for making remedies at home with products that are great for people on a budget. One that stood out for me was a remedy for conditioning and adding shine to the hair with dried herbs. You take half a cup of apple cider vinegar, a cup of water, some dried rosemary (or another dried herb of your choosing), leave it in a jar by your windowsill for two weeks or more to infuse, and use it like a hair treatment!

Elana then talked to us a little bit about herself. She always wanted be a creator and with that she chose to study fashion design in college. She then became a high school teacher to fuel her desire to teach. With creating her products and teaching others the benefits of using natural ingredients, she gets to do both of her passions. After the class, I was convinced; Elana Jenkins is a prime example that beauty is all about doing what makes you happy and taking the time to care about what you put in your body, and on it.  

Sara is currently studying romance languages at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a student and a team member of Bazaar Spices, she is able to fuel her interest in understanding different cultures. For Sara, understanding different cultures is key to connecting with people, and there is nothing more gratifying to her than that.  

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