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Tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a Crystal Healer, Reiki Master, Herbalist, Author and Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in the mountains in Utah, before moving to NY and LA to dance professionally. I transitioned from dance into fashion and then my passions of wellness and art became woven together when I launched my wellness footwear company ASTARA.

What is Crystal Healing, how does it work?

Minerals have the ability to hold a particular “tone” or vibrational frequency. And as quantum physics shows, everything in this universe is frequency and vibration. When we work with particular vibrations, they have the capability of balancing and harmonizing our own energies within our body, and this helps to create wellbeing within our energetic field and physical body.

What Crystals should we be using now?

Lepidolite – Oftentimes called the “Xanax of the mineral world,” it is high in lithium and helps to release stress and anxiety as well as calm “screen fatigue” or headaches from too much tech time!

Moonstone – This is the stone of new beginnings and helps us attune to energies of the lunar cycle, our own cycles of life and moving through transition and transformation into the next cycle.

Herkimer Diamond – A crown chakra stone with a very high frequency that helps us imagine and re-envision/visualize our new way of being so we can create that in our physical reality

Smoky Quartz – helps to keep one grounded in times of change and helps transmute and transform dense energies thought forms and ways of being into new expressions of being.

We are so excited about your new book, Crystal Healing for Women, can you share a bit about it?

Thank you! Yes! Crystal Healing for Women is the first crystal book written specifically to support the phases and changes that women go through throughout their life. It is a practical and thorough exploration into the world of crystal healing and has 50 crystal profiles along with 40 different rituals and meditations. The intention is for women to access their own innate natural healing abilities and reconnect with the elements of the earth for support along their exploration of self and self-care practices.

Where do you find inspiration for your incredible shoes, Astara?

ASTARA was born out of the desire to create a shoe that would keep the body connected to the healing frequency of the earth, but while still wearing a shoe. There is a grounding component that is embedded in the sole of the shoe that resonates at 7.83hz, which is the same frequency as the earth. This has been shown in many studies to help balance the body and help reduce inflammation and imbalances. Each shoe also has a different crystal as well for specific intentionality and purpose. I wanted my customers to feel empowered, grounded and centered when they wear their ASTARA’s and head out into the world as they walk and step with intention.

What have you been doing during quarantine? A trip you have taken? Any hobby started?

It’s actually been a very “full” time during quarantine with the book launching and ASTARA! I did manage to take a trip to Utah this summer to be in the mountains with my family and spent some in Mt. Shasta at one of my friend’s retreat spaces Guru Shasta which was so deeply nourishing. I also started taking guitar lessons which have been very fun and challenging in a new way!

Background on your phone?

I use my background on my phone as a sort of vision board of what I am currently creating in my life. I make a dream board with collected images, phrases and visions I have both personally and professionally and then take a photo and have it as a visual reminder of what I am stepping into and co-creating in my life.

What are your go-to daily beauty products, and why?

Skin: 

Ice Rolling: I have been ice rolling every morning which has been helping to reduce inflammation and any puffiness around my eyes and cheeks.

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: Not only are there microcrystals in this scrub, but I love how this scrub exfoliates without completely drying my skin. I always feel bright and luminous after using and following up with Fleuressence.

Goldfaden MD Plant Profusion Night Cream: I LOVE this night cream and have been wearing a bit during the day when my skin has been extra dry. It is the absolute perfect face cream and leaves my skin extra soft and hydrated.

Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Oil: I love how light yet potent it is. I wear it under my makeup and keeps my skin supple and dewy.

Make-Up:

Iris + Romeo “Best Skin Days” is my favorite all in one as it has sunscreen as well as minerals and ingredients that are supportive of combatting blue-light from screens. My skin is extra sensitive and I’ve used this for about a year now and it is my absolute favorite.

Ilia Cheek to Cheek: Perfect clean multi-stick that is great for both cheek stain and a lip. I’m very low maintenance when it comes to make-up so all for multiple applications on products.

Is clean beauty important to you?

I’ve been using clean beauty products for years. I switched over about 10 years ago when I was having autoimmune issues and learned that so many of my beauty products had chemicals and certain ingredients that were adding to my toxic load as well as disrupting my hormones. And energetically, clean products just feel better!

How do you de-stress?

Being in nature, swimming in the ocean, hiking, dancing, breathwork or taking a bath.

Favorite mood-boosting meal?

I love breakfast. I actually just always get very excited to eat so I love a morning smoothie or almond butter and banana gluten-free toast with a matcha latte. I also could eat a bowl of delicious spicy veggie curry with quinoa any time of day (or squash tacos) every day of the week.

What is your daily mantra?

“Ground in.” I can be very vata and living in a city can be quite un-grounding, so I’m constantly bringing myself back to the present moment, in my body, and reminding myself to breathe, ground in and anchor. It helps me to stay fully embodied and not get overstimulated by other people’s energy or situational stress.

The holiday season is upon us and while it may look a little different this year, there are plenty of cozy gifts to make the home feel full of holiday spirit. We asked the founders of Wonder Valley, Alison & Jay Carroll to share a few of their go-to gifts this holiday season. Below are their picks!

Donabe

Al’s been wanting one of this all-purpose Japanese hot pots for some time, perfect for braising, curries and cooking rice. 

Signet

We’ve both been eyeing a custom signet ring from our talented pal, Kate Jones of Ursa Major 

Jay wants all the indigo, always, from Japanese Tunics to Old French workwear, and I love to get it from Marston House

Two nights fly fishing at Dunton River Camp next spring

RTH belt

A favorite belt but with a pop of leopard print.

Jacques Marie Mage

Al’s been on the hunt for the right lens to ditch the contacts, JMM is always the way to go

 

Let’s face on any given day your skin is battling pollution, hormonal breakouts, stress, sweat, and clogged pores. With COVID-19 changing our lives on a daily, there’s a new type of acne that has been added to the list this year, called maskne –(mask acne). As we continue to wear our masks outdoors and indoors, there’s a high chance that the increased moisture-rich environment of bacteria could affect your skin. Meaning you’re most likely to deal with clogged pores now more than ever. It’s not just you, over 56K women on Instagram are using the hashtag #maskne to raise awareness around this skincare concern. Though it’s pretty impossible to banish clogged pores for life, it’s important to make sure they’re clean and free of debris that makes them less visible. Though those with oily skin are most prone to have an increase of clogged pores which lead to whiteheads, blackheads, and unwanted bumps — read ahead, as this applies to all skin types during this current climate. 

In order to achieve smooth and glowing skin, using ingredients with gentle detoxification elements is key. It’s important to note that, when you try to extract at home, it can cause hyperpigmentation, permanent scarring, and additional breakouts. Therefore, I urge you to step away from the mirror and refrain from squeezing away at your t-zone. This causes stress on the skin tremendously. For those with truly congested skin, investing in a deep pore cleansing product will be a major game changer as it reduces blemishes and pore visibility. Try Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Foam Wash, $35, to reach deep into pores and target stubborn dirt and oils. The magic in a bottle cleanser consists of two Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which are Latic and Glycolic. Both acids dissolve excess oil and dead skin which builds up insides your pores over time. This helps to achieve a smoother and clear complexion. The daily wash also has a blend of White Horehound, Acai Palm Extract, Date Palm, and Gotu Kola, the Detox Complex which will help aid against environmental stresses. This revolutionary combination of ingredients not only unclogs your pores but also, fights against pollution and texture. Using this cruelty-free product daily will result in slowly eliminating large pores, blackheads, and breakouts. 

Now let’s talk about exfoliation, you’ll have two main options such as a physical exfoliator or chemical exfoliator. Here’s the main difference between the two, a physical exfoliator is usually gritty and polishes away dead cells from the surface of your skin, while the chemical exfoliator usually consists of acids to breakdown debris and provide anti-aging benefits. This all depends on your skin type and sensitivity.   

For those interested in a physical exfoliator, I recommend Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, $75, which provides hydration while removing dead surface skin revealing brighter, radiant, healthier-looking skin. According to a consumer study with 82 participants over the course of 28 days, ninety-five percent agreed that their skin feels smoother after use. Crafted with hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration and ruby crystals to target unclean pores, this scrub is a must-have for all skin types. If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliation, try Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel, $85, which polishes away dead skin cells while reducing the appearance of lines, pores, and imperfections. The plant-based actives within this peel will result in a more radiant and youthful appearance. Packed with lactic acid and multi-fruit enzymes, the powerful combination will have others asking if you just got a facial.

When it comes to clearing clogged pores consistency will help you achieve the glow of your dreams. Partner these skincare recommendations with a well-balanced healthy meal plan that’ll not only create a flawless canvas but also promote a fruitful lifestyle.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Ashley Jimenez is a multi-media journalist and Co-Founder of LatinaWatch. She oversees LatinaWatch.com and all of the website’s editorial and video content and strategy, as well as social media channels. As the former Beauty Director of HOLA! USA, the Puerto Rican-Dominican reporter, is an expert in identifying trends, highlighting multicultural content, and exploring thoughtful conversations within the influential Latina beauty segment. Her past roles include Senior Beauty Editor at Latina Magazine, where she created beauty, wellness, and lifestyle content specifically for women of color. She explored intersections of vision, Afro-Latina identity within the hair industry, socially conscious skin care, mental health topics. Ashley’s dedication to storytelling has created groundbreaking content that speaks to the duality women face as they navigate the world while honoring traditions and crafting new age customs.