Buddha Nose

I like my baths with a lot of stress-busting, Zen-inducing herbs, salts and essential oils. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a piping hot soak in a tub that’s laden with lavender oil, muscle soothing salts and lots of flower buds. But, what’s left after the fact is anything but stress-free: a bathtub littered with soggy bits of flowers and herbs that require being plucked, one-by-one, from the tub walls. Not fun.

Thanks to the growing availability of organic herbal bath tea sachets, like those from Buddha Nose, I look forward to never having to do this tedious post-bath ritual again. Buddha Nose’s bath sachets (in blends like “Detox” and “Meditation”) are big, bulky and certified organic. Plop one into a drawn bath, and watch as the salts and powders (like dead sea salts and ginger root powder) dissolve and the solid ingredients (like white peony tea) stay put in the sachet.

The organic mind-body beauty brand also won me over with its Bodhi Sugar Scrub, which serves as an effective all-natural exfoliant for my face, neck and decollete. For The Penny Rose’s New York readers, the company participates in frequent Yoga Beauty Bars with other indie organic beauty companies, where curious customers can get mini-facials and massages and try out products. Find the next event here: theyogabeautybar.com.

There Are Other TOMS Out There

They are back in rotation now that the weather has warmed past 50 degrees. Those ubiquitous TOMS roaming the city streets. Who is that guy anyway? As much as I am 100 percent behind the company’s 1:1 purchase=shoes for needy kids, what I cannot get on my feet are the classic/unisex flats that are everywhere. They are just not my style. They work on the people I see sporting them. And the ones for kids are extra adorable. I mean, come on, everything for kids and babies is cute, they’re tiny. But the style just doesn’t work on me. Thankfully this spring they are coming out with some ballet flats that fit into my wardrobe seamlessly. I also really like the high heel wedges they’ve had for a little while and the Cordones are a cute alternative to a sneaker. Not all retailers offer the full range of styles so your best bet is online

I especially find the aqua colored wedges are right for spring as mint and aqua are trending along with pinks and oranges and they all work so well together. Aqua pairs well with all kinds of neutrals as well; white, khaki and navy especially.  


The ballet flat is a closet staple and these cap-toed ones will be perfect with skirts, shorts, leggings or capris. 

                                                                                                                               

These soft rose colored Cordones are an adorable addition for a casual spring look. The color may seem like it wouldn’t go with enough but it works like a neutral and would wind up being worn more than you probably think. A bright red is always a happy pop option too. It goes with everything. 

If you're like me, maybe you've been resistant to TOMS based on style alone, because how could you not want needy kids to have shoes? If so, maybe give a couple of these other styles a try, and keep the kids well shod while making a stylish splash around town. 

Bag Lady

Every woman needs her own "It Bag." Sure, magazines hawk the newest this or that in purses and totes, but regular women usually can't afford the latest multi-thousand-dollar carryall. What we can afford, on a special occasion, is something more like a $160 bag that will last a lifetime and stay ultra fashionable throughout the years. Just such a bag was created by the founders of Baggu, a Brooklyn-based company that spearheads the recyclable shopping bag movement. (With a slew of ripstop nylon shopping bags to choose from, shoppers can feel like they're making a difference at the landfill.) More recently Baggu has created a line of leather purses that will get people stopping you on the street and asking about your purse.

I have the medium size version featured here in an apricot hue. It's soft, a "go with anything" neutral color, and roomy enough for your electronics and cosmetics. It's the perfect "It Bag."

Visit baggubag.com to see the variety of spring colors.

Beauty Balm Gone Wrong

In all fairness I only tried one brand of beauty balm, the Dr. Jart water fuse BB. For a truly scientific evaluation I should have at least tried two more. But I don’t really have the expendable income to be purchasing $34 cosmetics for experimental purposes. I need a product that performs! I initially wanted to try a BB because I read about them in a magazine and they sounded like the holy grail of makeup. It moisturizes, reduces signs of aging, provides sunscreen and acts as a light coverage foundation. Kind of like an all-in-one, amazing tube of daily miracle. So I tried it and the coverage was decent, if a little chalky. Not my favorite, as I was really going for “glowy radiance," but what the hell, I could do chalky in trade for perfect skin. But a few days later, what is this? Gasp! A pimple. One of those reddish, deep tissue, only partially erupted types that drive me crazy. But I carried on, still believing that I would be saved from my freckles, age spots, large pores and fine lines by this magical elixir. Perhaps it was just hormones. But alas, it was not to be. Fast forward three to four weeks and more pimples than I’d had since puberty, I finally threw in the towel. I went back to my tried and true moisturizer and light foundation routine. The pimples cleared up and the balm went into the garbage.