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Great skincare is not just about a product. Great skin care is all encompassing. It covers a lot of territory and it means taking care of the skin, the body, and the mind. Making an effort on getting enough rest, drinking enough water (warm lemon water, too), and decreasing the amount of stress in your life by adding in meaningful moments can go along way. You can achieve wonderful results without getting that clinical look or feel. Practicing self-care while using healthy treatments is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Yes, using a healthy, wholesome product can feel luxurious, and using it should make us happy, feel good, and the beautiful side effects will be written all over our faces.
Come Along on a Journey with Me
We're in Paris, it's April 2, 2011, and it's a beautiful, early evening....
We're having a light dinner outside of the restaurant. We're at Le Café Saint Médard, which is in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. This arrondissement is one of the oldest and liveliest neighborhoods in all of Paris, and it is where we decided to dine that evening.
The iron table and chairs are resting just outside of the café. The Salade Niçoise is, of course, perfectly placed on the plate in an artful manner, and my glass of French, red wine is sitting at its side. The music down the street is filling the air, the clicking of heels on the stone street offers a steady, peaceful rhythm, and the street lights are starting to flicker as they shed their glow on us and our stress-free, smiling faces.
Le Café Saint Médard - this photo was snapped even before I knew it had special meaning for me.
Is this too much... too dramatic... too heavy? No! Jamais! This moment is real, and it isthe beginning of a turn that happened within me, in that very trip to Paris. Having been there several times before, this was a wonderful surprise, and one that I didn't see coming.
A Parisian Turn
While accompanying our daughter and her French group from school, along with her fabulous French teacher, Mme. Cryer, and a smattering of other parents, something inspirational, and even life changing, happened. The students were having some free time and our group of adults was enjoying another mood-elevating evening in Paris.
Years before this I worked and also had my own business, very different from present day, but the years prior to this adventure were spent caring for our children and our home. At one very particular, tangible, and heart-beating moment, I was overcome by the Parisian spirit (or could it have been the French wine?!), and felt that inside there was something more; that inside each and every one of us is a gift to share, a talent to polish, and a heart to open and allow to leap out with delight with new inspiration and passion. I started to get teary and mentioned to our group these words... "Is anyone else feeling the energy, creativity, the balance, and the ambition that is all around us, and the need to do something more?" It was then my emotions surfaced just as my inner person was peeking out from behind the children's events, school activities, sports programs, and daily chores that come with being the person in charge of the family's health, diet, and well being. Whether you're a new or practicing parent, you may know exactly what I'm talking about.
Very quietly, and with the nurturing voice and wisdom that Mme. Cryer possesses, she said to me something like this... 'Devoting just 10% of your time, your day, or your thoughts to something that really means the most to YOU, not to your kids or family, but to you, may be just what you need to develop what it is that's lingering inside of you." Bam! I was hit with "it" - whatever 'it' was - and I couldn't let it go. Mind you, I've always loved the creation of food, dinner parties, ambiance, and the feeling that goes along with a carefully curated evening with delicious food, and thought that certainly my focus was going to be in the food arena. I thought that a new, organic Produce Boutique had my name on it. Then there is the passion that I have for nature and its gifts, specifically flowers, plants, herbs, and the healing power that they bring visually and internally. Hmmm, well, is there a flower stand or herbal apothecary in my future?
A Garden in the Park ~ A Place to Ponder
A Curious Culmination
We return back home and all the while these things were spinning around in my head. As I start to nurture these ideas and new revelations that were coming, I was also at my wit's end with my skin and wanted to get off of my Rosacea medicine and get my fluctuating thyroid in balance and healthy again. In my kitchen, the very one where we share my proudest gourmet dinners and delights, I started putting together ways of cleansing my skin that wouldn't hurt my skin, clog it, and help it become calm and clean. Then came the moisturizer, the break-out help, something for my eyes and hands, and a mask or two. What happened? My skin started to calm, ease up, and become clear and soft, better than ever before. For decades prior, I was already very 'clean' and 'organic,' but not to the extent to what I was researching and experimenting with.
There was the start of formulating my own remedies. Suddenly I realized what was happening. What we use on our skin, our faces and our entire bodies... every-single-day... is like food for our cells and skin. I started working with plant based oils and botanicals because I'd always been the fondest of them and know their medicinal powers. Little did I realize that it was a culmination of the things that had always been the most important to me my entire life, and it was all coming together right then and there. The floodgates had been opened, and following it came years of research, trial, error, wonderful learning mishaps, and then the curating of face, body, and hair treatments of what we now know as Qet. Oh my goodness, what if I hadn't taken that advice to stop and devote that time to myself? Or... what if I hadn't had skin and health changes? Or... what if I hadn't had that glass of French, red wine?! Ha!
It was a long journey to come to this moment in time. Thinking back, it started at a very early age and matured throughout my lifetime until it was ready to make itself known. All the skin troubles, thyroid issues, sensitivities, and days where my skin was so bad that I didn't want to leave the house and I couldn't look another person in the eye... it all came crashing together in one beautiful, botanical package.
That trip is also the reason we have our Blooming Tea Bath - An Afternoon in Paris. Our tea bath was inspired by an afternoon while having lunch at Fauchon, in Paris, while sipping tea happily titled An Afternoon in Paris. I thought to myself at the time, "Wow, I'd like to just soak myself in this tea." Lo and behold, a couple of years later and one sumptuous tea bath blend, it all comes together. The same botanicals and touches are mingled into our tea bath, and it is simply delightful.
Delicate blooms and strong architecture ~ beautiful.
It is Personal
Is this personal? Yes it is, but so is skincare.
Yes, skincare is personal, and what we use as a deodorant is personal, and sometimes how we make our hair healthy and protect it also personal. It is all very personal, and it's why we pour our hearts into every ingredient we select, every drop that we drip, and every bottle that we fill. Your skin success stories and heart-felt testimonials are also very personal, and they mean so much to all of us.
Time to Take Ten (or even fifteen)
Sometimes taking just ten or fifteen minutes of time for ourselves makes us even more productive later. A pampering bath soak has been a century-long ritual and offers scientifically proven health benefits. Take a look at this fact-filled, funny article that lists six specific benefits of taking a bath. It even has a reference to Chandler Bing... you remember, from the TV show Friends.
The Thermes de Cluny are the protected ruins of Gallo-Roman thermal baths lying in the heart of Paris.
This time of year, we're reminding the Super-Person in all of us to take a little time out for ourselves. The benefits of soaking in a warm body of water surrounding our limbs with nourishing, de-stressing, and detoxifying elements is a necessary beauty treat, and should be practiced regularly.
Lisa Brill and Qet on TV ~ Here is a quick, fun, five minute TV tidbit on some fun facts and details about Qet on a local television show.
The holidays are coming... feeling the pressures of being stressed out? In the area and want to have a quick getaway? Shared by Healing Lifestyles & Spas, this article on getting stressed out shares the signs that you may be ignorning. Stress can also affect your skin ~ Qet's Spot Serum is listed in the article, along with other stress-relieving secrets. If you're in the Midwest area, and even if you're not, this beautifully nostalgic-toned article about our state's Door County Peninsula offers not only a fabulous getaway where people from all over the globe come to, but the fresh air, natural scenery, and laid back atmosphere is one that is hard to beat.
Dr. Apple A. Bodemer is a dermatologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the UW-Madison. She also directs an Integrative Dermatology Clinic, which focuses on offering this health care approach for dermatologic conditions. During a recent NBC 15 interview she was talking about how to prevent body odor. She shares they 'whys' of why we stink, 'how' to combat it, and Dr. Bodemer mentions how many of us are sensitive to the chemicals and harmful ingredients found in so many deodorants, even natural ones. In doing so, she mentions one of her favorite deodorants (hint, many of you have already tried it! - hooray!). She has also shared her love of our Spot Serumin a previous interview as a leading way to treat skin that needs major TLC while having bouts with acne or Rosacea.
Madison Women's Expo ~ We're delighted to be able to attend this year's Madison Women's Expo held on November 19th and 20th. We'll be having all of our treatments there to test, sniff, and purchase, and we will be giving a stage presentation on the benefits of potent premium oils on the skin, the feeling great about what we use, and we'll offer a special to those in attendance during the presentation.
The Moral of the Story
Hurdles and changes in life can lead to a positive outcome.
Keep your heart beating with joy, your eyes open for adventure, and your mind free of clutter ~ one never knows when an opportunity to change one's life direction will surface.
In this season of being thankful (and know that being thankful in every season is highly recommended), while we're out gathering things for the family get-togethers, making our lists, finding that just-right recipe, or stumbling on that special 'thing' or event to make someone smile, take a little time for yourself. Whether it be 10% of your day, or 10 minutes in the tub or in a quiet moment, all it takes are a few moments to nurture and develop that inner beauty and passion.
The Eiffel Tower at its brightest moment.
What Are You Thankful For?
From Parker J. Palmer - written by a 6 year old for a school project... and it can be applied to all of us at all ages.
"What Am I Thankful For:
- For the ground on which I stand - whether it's the kind that grows greenery or the kind in which my soul can take root.
- For the people who've supported me - from those who know me well and love me nonetheless, to strangers who offered help in a moment of need.
- For the natural world, which really does make things pretty - a beauty to which I often turn for solace, healing, inspiration, and peace."
Find your gift. Give your gift. It's the only way to keep a gift alive.
Many thanks to you from the Qet team, and a wonderful, thank-filled November and Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.