Comfortable in Your Skin: About & Beyond Skin Food

The Skin of Sound

The Skin of Sound
Sorry to ask you this (also because it is a cliche), but have a listen with your mind's ear: nails on a chalk board; losing control of your fork and knife on a plate. Ok now try this: a sharpened 2HB pencil writing on good paper with some tooth to it; a whispered conversation; keys clicking steadily on a keyboard; a thick needle puncturing felt. These are some of the sounds that float the ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) folks to the moon. There's the other kind of frisson: a turn of phrase in music that reminds us that we are spirits wrapped in skin having a human experience. Some surefire reminders for me are Benjamin Britten's Cello Suites (72, 80, 87).

Balbec: The Name

Balbec: The Name

Why Balbec?

I am often asked what Balbec means and why I chose the name for our company. I usually respond that I'm a Proust fan and Balbec is a seaside town in his novel. That's the short answer. My computer still autocorrects "Balbec" to "Malbec", which irritates me because I think it should know better by now.  

Tips I Learned Along the Way

Tips I Learned Along the Way

Beauty really is different for everyone, isn't it? And it is always  best when it feels good. Here is a little compendium of things I picked up along the way and still love because they work for me. If you find anything interesting or inspiring, it would please me; if there's something you wish to share, I'd welcome it!

In Pursuit of Patchouli

In Pursuit of Patchouli
In the mid 1990s I moved to NYC from Kansas via 18 months in Seattle. I moved for graduate school and there was much to love: I could walk everywhere, the movie theaters were fantastic, grocery stores were stocked with asian pears, olives, lots of chocolate, litchi nuts, litchi-flavored gummy Japanese candy, donut shaped peaches, prepared gorgeous meals, excellent teas, portuguese rolls, fabulous coffee, and fondue in packages. I regularly called home to describe my trips to the grocery. There was opera and Summer Stage in Central Park, the yoga studio  I attended didn't cost a fortune; it was a quiet, spartan space with flourescent lighting and a curtain for a changing room. There was Body and Soul in Tribeca—a Sunday daytime dance club that my best friend attended like church. No velvet ropes, no degrading lines, no alcohol-- just a great stretch of music for dancers wearing sneakers.

This is Not a Whisky. It is My Precleanse Routine.

Cleansing or precleansing with oil is a wonderful way to remove impurities from your skin and make the most of your skincare products. Follow with Bentonite Clay and Yogurt Cleanser with Coriander, Frankincense, and Palmarosa.
Cleansing is the most important step in a skincare regimen. Well cleansed skin helps prevent premature aging because it allows skin to receive the benefit of products and greater oxygen flow.  But what about oil cleansing or precleansing with an oil? At least twice within the space of a week's skincare routine, I find an oil precleanse to be a helpful and relaxing step in self care.  I am not a fan of a stand alone oil cleanse, but a precleanse can boost the power of your regular cleanser and offer a welcome massage.