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The 4 Easy Steps to Genuine Gratitude

Once November hits us, so does the pressure! No, we don’t mean the pressure to shop for holiday gifts, or think of a great turkey recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, but the pressure to feel grateful. We devote so much time and energy into planning for the holidays ahead, that often we overlook taking the time to nurture our mental and emotional well being. Cultivating gratitude is a proven way to feel better and happier, so we thought we’d share our top four tips on how to experience genuine gratitude every day.

1. Look for what’s good: The mind can be like a magnet for both positive and negative things, and very often we let our minds focus too much on what stressed us out. Instead of that, try to focus your mind on what’s good around you in the precise moment that you are in, whether it’s someone’s brightly colored scarf, or a nice cool breeze, keep your attention on those things around you that make you feel good.

2. Gratitude Journal:  One of our favorite tricks for feeling grateful is keeping a gratitude journal, and writing down at least 5 things that we are grateful for every day. At the end of the year you can look through it and physically experience the bounty of life by flipping through page after page of your self-expressed gratitude. Another version of this would be a jar that you slowly fill up with with colorful post-its full of what you’re thankful for (and it makes for super cute desk decor!)

3. Say it out loud:  There is no better way to reconnect with old friends or reignite old friendships than by offering a quick thank you for everything they’ve offered to your life. Whether you send a handwritten note, or simply send a cute meme over Facebook, sharing your gratitude with another not only strengthens your bond, but adds to your experience of gratitude by including others in it.

4. Helping Others:  There are as many ways to help out others as there are people on this planet that need help! Whether it’s through work with an official charity or simply a shopping trip for an elderly or disabled neighbor, self sacrifice is the fastest road to gratitude that we know. A great resource for finding volunteer opportunities in your area is VolunteerMatch.org, a website specializing in matching people to volunteer options that are close to their areas and their hearts.  And if you’re hard pressed for ideas on where to help out, don’t forget noya’s alliance with the National Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Council to distribute free lip balm to homeless and low income people. For every lip balm you purchase and send a photo of, noya will donate one to the National HCH Council, while supplies lasts. Click here for more details:  buy a balm, give a balm

We hope these suggestions help you to dedicate just a few minutes a day to cultivating gratitude, and spark your imagination to find your own ways to fill yourself with the joy of gratitude. Let us know what you like to do to stay upbeat, positive and full of thanks, and as always, live divinely!

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Avoiding Spooky Skin!

What’s scarier than zombies and ghosts? Waking up to find your skin’s been cursed – from blemishes to dryness, no one likes dealing with unexpected surprises on their face (or anywhere else, for that matter). There are so many things that can affect the body’s largest organ, from hormones to stress to cold weather, and here at noya we like to think ahead. So here are some tips that will help keep your skin in shape through any of life’s little tricks and treats!

 

1.  Keep hydrated – The key to great skin starts on the inside so drink up! The cooler months tend to make us less inclined to drink the recommended 8 glasses but your skin’s happiness depends on it. A tip to staying hydrated – invest in a reusable water bottle and bring it everywhere with you.

2. Stay clean – Make sure to wash your face twice a day, one in the morning and once at night. If you wear makeup, make sure that you are actually getting it all off in the evening. Clogged pores are the easiest way to find yourself battling those face demons!

3. Tone it down – Nowadays, most people skip this vital step in cleaning their face but toner helps to insure that every last trace of dirt is off swiped off your skin and tightens pores to boot! Make sure your toner’s alcohol free so it doesn’t create any unwanted dryness!

4. Moisturize twice – Most people use lotions and moisturizers after showering in the morning, but doing so a second time in the evening will insure against pesky dry patches on your face and all over your body. If you are feeling lazy, hit the spots that need it the most – lips, elbows, and knees.

5. Oil yourself – The newest trend in skin care is using natural, essential oils to moisturize rather than your typical lotions and creams. They restore your skins natural oils and absorb deep into the skin rather than sit on top of it. Some good options are Argan Oil, Coconut Oil (a power ingredient in our noya balms!)  and Tea Tree Oil (for spot treatment of blemishes).

6. Rest and relaxation – Stress can be a major cause of all types of skin issues, from zits to redness or blotchiness, and once your skin’s all out of whack, your anxiety levels only get worse, so our last suggestion is to get 8 hours of sleep. After all, they don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing 😉

These are our top 6 suggestions for maintaining healthy and happy skin through any of life’s little ghouls. Whether it’s a seasonal cold haunting you or the hair-raising cooling temps, keep your defenses high by sticking to these few suggestions. Have any secret skin-care weapons you wanna share? Leave them in a comment below, and as always, live divinely!


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On our lips – Fall for Rouge

Bold lips practically kicked you in the eyes all over the 2013 Fall runways – from matte reds to rich burgundies, the fashion world made one thing clear – this Fall is all about the romantic, wine stained lip favored by rockers and modern, chic fashionistas alike. Two of our favorite bold fall looks were the easy-to-wear Rouged lips and the darker, edgier Rouge Noir lips. We thought these two looks were especially interesting because of how easy it is to go from one to the other, simply with an extra swipe of  lipstick. Here is how you can go from Rouged to Rouge Noire in just a few simple steps:

Rouged Lips

The idea behind this look is a simple, 1940’s inspired stain. To start off, make sure your lips are nice and moisturized by priming with your favorite lip balm a few minutes before applying any color to your lips.  (noya lip balms are both hydrating enough to pull off this look and lightweight enough to act as a great base!   That’s a self-promoting tip, we know 🙂 )

Using a clean fingertip,lightly dab on your favorite wine or burgundy lipstick (the darker, the better!) For extra staying power, dab your lips on a tissue and repeat the step. The lips should look flushed, without any harsh edges or lines.

Another take on this look would be similar to another on-trend look – the ombre effect. Repeat the above steps, but instead of applying the color all over the lips, leave the center bare. After you complete the application, clean up the center with a clean q-tip. This is look is subtle enough for daytime, but is romantic enough to make a great, kissable date-lip.

Rouge Noir

We just love looks that can transition from day to night, or in this case from Rouged to Rouge Noir! To do so, start of by staining the lip with the method described above, and then add on a thicker layer directly from the tube to the lips, being careful to go all the way to the very edge of the lip. This will achieve the more Grunge-inspired edge that the Rouge Noir takes its cue from as well as create the illusion of super plum puckers!

Once you’ve applied a generous layer of lipstick to your lips, go around the edges with a matching plum lip liner to create super defined edges to the lip-look and to insure that the lip stick won’t feather throughout the night. If you’re feeling extra daring, use a dark brown or black liner for that super vampy look 🙂

We love how easy this look is to take from daytime appropriate to nighttime chic.The burgundy family of lipsticks is one of those iconic, autumnal colors that is sure to stay in-fashion for years to come, so if you haven’t already, we would highly recommend adding one to your collection this fall. Let us know what your favorite 2013 lip trend is, and as always, live divinely.


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Top 10 Fruits to Add to Your Beauty Routine!

If you love fruit as much as we do, put some on your face! That’s right, nature’s dessert can double as fantastic treats for your skin! Check out our list of the top ten fruits that work wonders inside and out:

1. Lemon – Full of Vitamin C, B, and Phosphorus, lemon has a number of benefits for skin of all types. Rub some on elbows to get rid of discoloration, or use lemon juice in a mask to treat acne and blemishes, as well as to add a youthful glow to the skin.

2. Avocado – The Vitamin A in this magic fruit (that’s right – avocado is a tropical fruit!) helps clear skin of dead cells, while antioxidants make it a great weapon against wrinkles and dullness. Making a mask from this tasty treat is a cinch – just mash it up and apply directly to your face!

3. Bananas – Everyone’s favorite yellow friends are more than just a source of potassium, they’re packed full of Vitamins A, B, and E making them a great anti-aging mask. Smash one up and use it as a mask for fresh, glowy skin.

4. Apple – They don’t just keep the doctor away but fine lines and wrinkles too! Packed with collagen, elastin, and Vitamin C, an apple-peel mask is a quick and easy way to perk up the skin.

5. Papaya – The Vitamin A and Papin (a type of protein) in Papaya make it super effective at treating blemishes by removing dead cells. It’s perfect for hydrating dry, cracked skin – whether it’s on your face, elbows or heels!

6. Kiwi – This power fruit is the leading source of Vitamin C and also contains a ton of Vitamin E – both fantastic anti-aging vitamins. Cut into slices and place over  eyes to reduce puffiness and darkness.

7. Peaches – This summer fruit is loaded with Vitamin A, C, K, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, and selenium, so it may protect skin from UV rays while healing sunburn and hydrating dry, dull skin. Add some mashed peaches to plain yogurt for a yummy peaches-n-cream face mask.

8. Pineapple – Not only is pineapple full of Vitamin A and C (both great for anti-aging benefits) but the enzymes in this tasty fruit improve skin elasticity and hydration, while removing dead cells. Use a big slice in the shower as a loofa for skin that’s soft, glowy and sweet.

9. Tomato – That’s right folks- tomatoes are a fruit, and one chock-full of Vitamin C, A and anti-oxidants. And because it’s high in acidity, it’s perfect for balancing oily, acne prone skin. Just cut in half and rub on on your face for a cooling and toning mask. So easy!

10. Cucumber – No list of beauty boosters would be complete without this super star, crammed full of Vitamins  B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, Calcium, Iron, and Folic Acid, you can quickly grate a fresh cucumber and mix with water for an all-over face mask that hydrates dull, dry skin leaving behind a youthful glow.

Phew! When it comes to beauty, nature doesn’t mess around 😉 Who would have thought that all the best beauty secrets are hiding in your fridge? Let us what beauty superstars hide in YOUR fridge in the comments below, and as always, live divinely.


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NOYA – Now available on over 150 stores in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago!

It’s been a long, exciting path to this huge milestone in NOYA’s journey to store shelves. We are proud to announce that the big day is finally here and NOYA can now be purchased throughout select stores in NY, with more to come in Florida and California over the next several months. You can access the following link for an updated list of stores that carry NOYA lip balms: Store Locator

In order to share in the celebration, we thought we would take you on a quick trip along the steps it takes to create a simple, all-natural and kosher product such as our yummy lip balms.

 

Step 1: Finding nature’s secrets

The concept of adding a protective layer to the lips has been around for 100 of years, yet in recent times we have begun to complicate this very simple need. Before creating NOYA, we found that most balms had a long list of ingredients in them, each requiring hours of laborious research just to find out a) what they are and b) what they do. Finally we thought to ourselves: there must be a simpler, more natural way to nourish and protect the lips, and that is when the idea behind NOYA lip balms was born. It wasn’t easy to find just the right textures and ingredients to work with, but finally we settled on the three main components of NOYA balms: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax. (Check out our NOYA Lip Balm Series for a description on why we selected each of the ingredients we use!)

  1. NOYA Lip Balm Series – Beeswax
  2. NOYA Lip Balm Series – Coconut Oil
  3. NOYA Lip Balm Series – EVOO

 

Step 2:  Finding a balance

Once the ingredients were settled on, it took extensive work just to finalize the right balance and combination to create a formula that’s light yet extremely hydrating and non-greasy but substantial enough to last through hot coffee sips and late night kisses 😉 Plus, we wanted the balms to be a little more fun than your standard lip product and have a taste that’s irresistible! We chose to use all-natural Stevia to add some yumminess to two of our balms, the Cherry and Vanilla along with all-natural flavoring. After multiple trial and errors, we came up with a Vanilla flavor to rival the sweetest of cupcakes, and a cherry that’s a tangy dance on your taste buds. The Mint was a bit tricky, but we think we balanced our spearmint balm to be a perfect, cooling minty sweet goodness that perks you up while moistening your lips. Lastly our Classic lip balm is a simple, no nonsense flavorless lip balm meant for the purists among you! It has only three ingredients and as far as we know is literally the simplest, purest lip balm there is on the market! If nature itself were to create a lip balm, this might be it. 🙂

 

Step 3:  Perfecting the packaging

The original NOYA lip balm tubes were bright and colorful! Hard to believe, but we had a completely different, crayon box inspired look in mind for our NOYA brand. The packing itself was going to be bright and full of colors as well, but after hours of back-breaking work by a design team, (and some sleepless, caffeine-infused nights for us) the colors slowly melted off. We felt that a more modern edge to our packaging conveyed our brand’s mission of a simple and natural lip care line more than the bright, vivid packaging ever could.  Even our signature splash of water design went from being a monsoon-sized graphic eating up the packaging to a more demure, eye-friendly wave.

What’s up next for NOYA’s creative team? Perhaps a line of completely biodegradable packaging? Hmm… 🙂

These are just three of the unexpected and fun aspects of creating a lip care line. A lot of time, we had to work off the cuff and experiment with new flavors or create completely novel ways of packaging our lip balms. And we aren’t done yet! Our team is already researching ingredients for new products, and we promise to keep you posted.  Stay tuned! And as always, live divinely.