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Kahina for Beauty Heroes – Giving is Beautiful

Photo by TLV Birdie

Photo by TLV Birdie


 

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We are huge fans of Jeannie Jarnot and her fresh and intelligent approach to the subscription box, offering full size products from one brand per month in her Beauty Heroes monthly mailing. Jeannie’s prior career in the Spa industry gives her the knowledge and experience to bring an informed opinion to the curation process and she has established herself as a thought leader in the green beauty world. We were thrilled that our Eye Serum was selected as a Hero for last year’s September box. This year, we are over the moon to be selected for a very special 13th discovery box.

 

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The theme of the special edition box is “Giving Is Beautiful” and we couldn’t agree more. The box includes a full sized Beldi Soap and kessa mitt, with a travel size of our Essaouira Body Serum and a Essaouira perfume oil sample. The perfect gift for someone special. Jeannie and Beauty Heroes are also donating to one of our favorite causes, Education For All, Morocco, so If you decide to keep it for yourself, you can still know that your purchase is making someone very happy.

 

 

Kahina Giving Thanks

Photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

Photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

Thanksgiving is upon us – a time when we celebrate and share abundance in our lives.   At Kahina Giving Beauty, we have much to be thankful for. We acknowledge and thank those people who work to create our products and keep Kahina running smoothly: from the women who harvest and crack the argan nuts in Morocco, to our chemist and production team, and the small group in our office and in the warehouse who take your orders and get your products to your door. We are grateful to you, our customers. Thank you for your support, encouragement and kindness in helping us to build this brand. We know that without you, we wouldn’t exist.

Gratitude, appreciation, humility and the wise use of resources – these are some of the most valuable lessons I have learned from my time spent with the Berber women of Morocco over the past nine years.   There has never been a more apt time to live up to these ideals than Thanksgiving 2016. I recently stumbled across this article on the Fifteen Principles of Thanksgiving by Peter Breggin, M.D. for The Huffington Post. A couple points particularly resonated:

Gratitude is the antidote to self-pity… It takes little imagination to know how much worse it has been for other people in previous ages and in other places. Be grateful for this life.

 Everything good requires courage. Find the courage to love, to be grateful, and to live by sound ethics. Especially be brave enough to speak when you are afraid

Read on for the full article:

  1. Love is joyful awareness. Love life—people, animals, nature, gardening, art and music, sports and exercise, literature, God—anything and anyone that brings you a joyful awareness of the wonder of being a living creature.
  1. Gratitude satisfies the spirit. Be grateful for all that you love and if you cannot think of anyone or anything that love, then be grateful you still have a chance to love. Be especially grateful for the opportunity help and to serve other people and good causes.
  1. Gratitude is the antidote to self-pity. Feeling sorry for oneself is ruinous. Especially don’t fall into believing that we live in the worst of times. It takes little imagination to know how much worse it has been for other people in previous ages and in other places. Be grateful for this life.
  1. Ethics guide the good life. Put ethics and principles above pleasure, convenience, safety, income, career, your presumed place in the world, and the way others view you. Living a principled life is the key to a satisfying life.
  1. Everything good requires courage. Find the courage to love, to be grateful, and to live by sound ethics. Especially be brave enough to speak when you are afraid.
  1. Dare to seek romantic love. Abiding love for a partner in life is the nearest we get to heaven this time around.
  1. Make a living by doing something that you love. Many people find a way to do it. Your occupation should feel like a privilege, a pleasure, and an opportunity to serve.
  2. Approach every single challenge in life with determination to master it. Otherwise you won’t handle it. Feeling helpless in the face of adversity is a prescription for failure. Deciding to take on the challenges is a prescription for self-satisfaction and makes success more likely.
  1. Don’t hide from or stifle your painful emotions. Feeling pain signals that there is something wrong in your life that needs immediate attention. Invite your painful emotions to tell you everything they can about what you really want out of life. All psychoactive substances, from illegal drugs to psychiatric medications, suppress our real emotions and should be avoided, especially in time of suffering and fear when we especially need to know what we are feeling.
  1. Reject being labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis like depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. There are no “psychiatric disorders;” only life disorders. All of us have to struggle, to go through hard times, and to find a way of becoming more in control of our emotions and more successful in our actions.
  1. Don’t think of yourself as a survivor. Intending to survive guarantees little more than getting by. Think of yourself as some who intends to triumph.
  1. Forgiving other people liberates us from hate. You won’t get even by hating, you’ll get miserable, bitter and spiritless. Take care of yourself by forgiving, and if necessary by avoiding hurtful people, but don’t waste a minute hating.
  1. Seek a worthwhile life rather than happiness. The search for happiness will distract you from what matters and even make you crazy. Happiness is often a matter of luck—the way we are shaped by childhood, where we happen to be born, health, and circumstance.
  1. No one knows the meaning of life but it’s certain that life is best lived with love, gratitude, ethics, courage, and a determination to give it your best effort. A sense of worth is guaranteed and happiness will often tag along as well.
  1. Let your spirit be touched, and touch the spirit of others, with love.

 

Morocco’s tradition of gifting

Rania Soussi Temli

Rania Soussi Temli

The holiday season is almost upon us and our attention turns to securing the perfect gifts for friends and family. In Morocco, the gifting ritual is important all year long. We sit down with our newest Kahina team member, Rania Temli, to discuss the importance of gifting in Morocco.

As a pure Berber born in the South of Morocco and who grew up in Tangier, I was raised in a culture where expressing gratitude and appreciation is second nature. In Morocco, gift giving is intertwined with Islamic traditional belief. In Islam giving a present is one of the best ways to show love, respect, honor and appreciation towards another person. For this reason, people really value the concept of gifting. If you are invited to a traditional Moroccan family’s home, you will most likely be given a lot of food and a ‘thank you’ gift for coming and accepting the invitation. A guest might receive olive oil, sugar cones or tea. Likewise, it is very appreciated for a guest to bring a gift to the hosts as a symbol of “thankfulness” or “A Choukr” in Moroccan. Typical hostess gifts are nuts, pastries, or flowers.

Join us in welcoming Rania to our Kahina family. She will be at ABC Home in New York City on Friday afternoons. Who better than Rania to help you find the perfect Kahina gift for someone you love?

Andrea’s Fall Beauty Routine

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Meet Andrea Lee, Kahina’s Manager of Operations. If you’ve called to place an order or with a question about our products, you probably already know how sweet and helpful she is. In addition to her naturally upbeat disposition, she has enviable glowy skin and shiny hair that always seems perfectly coiffed, even on ponytail days. Read below for Andrea’s personal beauty routine and Kahina favorites.

As summer transitions into fall, I’m sure of two things:

1. Wedding season has finally come to an end
2. Wellness & skincare changes are in order

While New Years Eve/Day marks the end and beginning of the year, in my mind, fall is the true restart button. It’s the perfect time to repair my body and skin after a busy, sun-filled season. Being as fair-skinned as I am, I spent the last 3.5 months coating my body (especially my face!) in sunscreen. Now, I make a point to exfoliate my body and face multiple times a week to get rid of the dead skin, cleanse, and improve overall skin tone. I love coffee in any and every form. I want it in a large mug and on my body. I recently made my own scrub out of Kahina Argan Oil and coffee grounds – Its ability to help diminish cellulite when applied topically, improve blood flow and make skin glow has me incorporating it into my routine in every way possible.

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On my face I’ve been using the Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask 3x a week, followed immediately by the Toning Mist. I follow with the Brightening Serum to help take care of any sun damage and discoloration that may have occurred during the summer. October in New York requires extra-moisturizing products for my skin due to the decreasing temperatures and finicky seasonal changes. Time to step up the hydration! I have normal/dry skin and have been using the Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream during both the day and night as well as the Eye Cream. The face serum has been my favorite, “can’t live without, go-to product”. I use it in the morning and in the evening, and also put a few drops into my cream for extra moisture. The serum is my everything.

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Wellness emerged as an October priority. So far, my summer-fall wellness transition has been slow. But, I’ve started incorporating green smoothies into my diet multiple times a week (which, let’s be honest, should be a year-round practice…) and had my comeback to yoga at Yoga To The People. I’m a seasonal runner and am partial to cooler temperatures. I only run during fall, winter and spring and once summer begins, I [temporarily] retire my running shoes until the temperatures drop. I live a short walk away from Central Park, so exploring all of the paths has been an incredible running adventure so far. Exercise is known to improve circulation, so hopefully the post-workout glow and healthy habits will stick!

 

The Beauty of Giving Beauty

Photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

Photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

Aside from the concept of elevating the Berber women at the heart of our line, Giving Beauty also reflects another idea – the power of beauty rituals to heal, connect and to build self-esteem. In Morocco, the public hammam is a place in which bonding between mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends, occurs. One sister can be seen brushing another’s hair, a mother bathes her daughter, two friends scrub each others backs. These are intimate expressions of caring that are encouraged within the confines of the hammam. Closer to home, consider the experience of getting a facial or massage: the generosity in the act of performing a treatment. The best practitioners give their energy and focus to create a sanctuary that allows another to feel safe and special in their most vulnerable moments, in their skin.

We can also create these experiences by giving ourselves permission to take time to nurture ourselves, to treat our senses, to believe “we are worth it”. What a simple gift that is! In Morocco, this isn’t considered a luxury or indulgence, but a necessity.

 

photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

photo by Antillia Dufourmantelle

Nine Years of Giving Beauty

Katharine with Laarbia

Katharine with Yamna

 

The concept of Giving Beauty, a cornerstone of the Kahina brand, begins by providing economic opportunity for the Berber women who do the labor intensive work of extracting the oils at the heart of our line.  I’ve just returned from another 2-week trip, visiting Marrakech, Taroudant, and several remote villages of the Anti Atlas Mountains where I obtain the argan and prickly pear seed oils for our products.  On my trip, which happened to coincide precisely with the nine-year anniversary of my first trip to Morocco and the conception of Kahina, I had a chance to witness how the work of harvesting and cracking the nuts for these oils and the fair trade initiatives put in place to further enhance the women’s quality of life have had a positive impact.

For the first time in this tiny village of 100 women, to which the men visit only one month out of the year when they take time away from their work in the cities, the homes now have electricity and running water. The women are able to purchase food that they can’t grow themselves and wool for their weaving, which is in itself another source of economic opportunity. The primary school is freshly painted and now has separate bathrooms for the girls and boys. The success of my supplier (in some measure due to Kahina) means that opportunity is spreading to surrounding villages as well and plans are underway to bring electricity and running water to an additional 200 homes.

Beyond paying a fair wage and supporting these initiatives, Kahina also donates an additional 1% of our revenue to programs that contribute to the Berber women of Morocco and their families, including Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation.

 

Back to School with Education For All Morocco

With the girls of Dar Asni

With the girls of Dar Asni

While on the calendar we still have almost two more week of summer, the past two weeks officially marked “back to school” and the end of summer for my family and me. This is always a sad time for me, as I tearfully send my older children off to college and watch as my seventh grader develops his increasing independence from me. This year was no different, but I recognize that its an indulgence to be sad over a child’s parting for school when even the most basic education is not afforded to many children, especially girls, around the world.

“Right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school,” Michelle Obama declared after a recent trip to Liberia and Morocco to initiate “Let Girls Learn” when delivering a speech on the crisis of girls education.

“Sometimes the issue is resources: their families simply can’t afford the school fees; or the nearest school is hours away; or the school nearby doesn’t have adequate bathroom facilities for girls, so they’re forced to stay home during their menstrual cycles, and they wind up falling behind and dropping out.

But often the root of the problem is really about attitudes and beliefs: families and communities simply don’t think girls are worthy of an education, and they choose to marry them off as teenagers instead, often forcing them to start having children when they’re basically still children themselves.”

In her speech The First Lady detailed the program’s plans to support the Moroccan government to establish dormitories for girls so that the girls from the countryside may go to school. This is an important initiative, but as she states in her speech, “governments alone cannot solve this problem.”

That is why Kahina Giving Beauty proudly supports Education For All Morocco, a Non Government Organization which addresses the problem by building and running free and safe boarding homes for girls so they can continue their education beyond the age of 12.  Education for All was founded in 2009 with a single boarding home.  The program now boasts five boarding homes, housing approximately 250 girls.  Now, 18 girls from the program are attending University, the first girls in their villages to do so.  We have been supporters of the organization since its early days, sponsoring ten girls and helping to keep the houses running.

“EFA’s solution is to bring the girls to the schools, an approach which is beginning to change the lives of Berber girls in a way that could transform the region’s future. Their boarding houses, which are run solely by Berber women, provide accommodation, healthy food, support with homework and extra French and English lessons. On average, the pass rate for all academic years is 97%.”  — The Guardian, June 2016

The following is excerpted from Michelle’s speech:

I had the privilege of meeting Ralphina and Rihab earlier this week when I traveled to Liberia and Morocco to highlight our global girls’ education crisis — the fact that right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. This is such a heartbreaking loss, because these girls are so bright and so hungry to learn — and like Ralphina and Rihab, they have such big dreams for themselves. These girls are no less smart or deserving of an education than my own daughters — or any of our sons and daughters. The only thing that separates them from our children is geography and luck.

 

The girls I met in Morocco and Liberia want to be doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers. One of them wants to run for office so she can fight for women’s rights and combat climate change. Another hopes to open her own auto shop to teach women about cars so they can be more independent.

But we know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it. They’ll walk for miles each day to school. They’ll study for hours every night by candlelight, determined to learn as much as they possibly can.

 We also know that educating girls doesn’t just transform their life prospects — it transforms the prospects of their families, communities, and nations as well. Studies show that girls who are educated earn higher salaries — 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school — and sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country’s GDP. Educated girls also marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, and are more likely to immunize their children and less likely to contract malaria and HIV.

In Morocco we’ll be working closely with the Moroccan government to help transform high schools across the country, and we’ll be supporting new school dormitories to allow girls from rural areas to attend school far from home.

Large scale efforts like these are critically important, and will affect the lives of countless girls, but they’re simply not enough. Governments alone cannot solve this problem — not when we’re talking about a number like 62 million.

While I will always be sad to see my children leave, I am so thankful for the opportunities afforded them by living in the society we do – and I think about the mothers in Morocco who are sending their young girls away from home to go on and live a life they could only dream of.

Introducing “the most luxurious soap on the planet”

 

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Now, everyone’s favorite Moroccan hammam treatment comes scented with Moroccan Rose essential oil for a superluxe, skin calming take on the original.  InStyle Calls it “the most luxurious soap on the planet” turning “perfunctory bathing into a gorgeous routine” and The New York Times includes it in its story on cleansers that “very seriously detox, scrub and lather.” Kahina Moroccan Rose Beldi Soap can be used on body and face to calm, soften and cleanse skin.  Read about the famed damascena rose and the Rose Festival in Morocco and click here to shop.

Kahina’s Moroccan Beldi Soap rapidly rose to cult status after launching earlier this year.  The skin softening olive oil soap with its unusual soft gel consistency attracted attention from Town & Country and The Wall Street Journal.  Well + Good said  “This purifying black soap is incredibly loyal to the one used in a traditional hammam experience, where you’re lathered endlessly with a mitt and olive oil soap and doused with pans of water. Kahina’s has only two all-natural ingredients: traditional eucalyptus leaf oil and saponified olive oil, and it comes with a seriously exfoliating kessa (mit) for an all over skin-smoothing detox scrub. Grab one, fill your shower with steam, and you’ll be stepping into a beauty ritual that’s centuries old.”

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KAHINA FACIAL LOTION NOW CONTAINS RASPBERRY SEED EXTRACT

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Who doesn’t love raspberries and cream? This summertime favorite now comes together in our newly reformulated Facial Lotion, upgraded with the addition of Raspberry Seed Extract. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants, raspberries have been shown to help protect the skin against the sun’s rays.

A 2000 study found that raspberry seed oil provides a UVB protection of 28-50, and an SPF protection factor against UVA rays of around 8.  We recommend you use our Facial Lotion to enhance your existing sun protection.

As always, Kahina Facial Lotion features our highest quality argan oil, shea butter and sodium hyaluronate to protect and nourish skin in a lightweight formulation that is easily absorbed by the skin.  Tip: some of our favorite makeup artists swear by it as a natural primer for the skin to smooth skin in preparation for makeup application.

We’ve also eliminated Japanese Honeysuckle extract in our preservative system.

A note on Japanese Honeysuckle Extract:

Japanese Honeysuckle (lonicera japonica) is a natural ingredient with a similar molecular structure to parabens. At Kahina Giving Beauty we strive to formulate our products to the highest standard. While giving first priority to product performance and the health and safety of our customers, preservative systems in the product are weighed heavily in our formulation decisions. We have never felt that there have been any health and safety issues with the previous formulation containing Japanese Honeysuckle. However, after hearing some customer concerns, we decided to reformulate so that consumers wishing to avoid parabens of any kind may use our Facial Lotion without concern.

Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, Argania spinosa (argan) oil, glycerin, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) nut butter, maltooligosyl glucoside/hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, behenyl alcohol, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate, betaine, cetearyl alcohol, Acacia senegal gum, xanthan gum, Apis mellifera (beeswax) wax, sodium hyaluronate, Argania spinosa (arganyl) leaf extract, maltodextrin, Rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed extract, phospholipids, glycolipids, Glycine soja (soybean) bean oil, Glycine soja (soybean) bean sterols, hydrogenated lecithin, PCA, arginine, levulinic acid, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate

Ingredients in bold are Certified Organic

17.75% Organic and 100% Natural

Click here to shop!

New! Kahina Prickly Pear Seed Oil Now Available in Roller Ball Bottle

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Our bestselling Prickly Pear Seed Oil, featured in Allure, the Zoe Report, and Town & Country Magazines, is now available in a 5ml bottle with a stainless steel roller ball applicator. This new format makes this vitamin K and E studded product perfect for targeted application on the eye area to help reduce under eye dark circles, moisturize and fight free radical damage. The stainless steel roller ball works to cool and soothe the eye area to reduce puffiness.

To use: Roll under eye area as needed after cleansing. For daytime and nighttime use.

Prickly Pear Seed Oil is extremely rich in amino acids, Vitamin K, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, and has been shown to:

• Moisturize and soften skin
• Restore elasticity
• Neutralize free radicals that cause signs of aging
• Brighten under eye circles and minimize spider veins

100% organic
Made in Morocco

5 ml/.15 fl. oz. $40 Shop here.

Free shipping in the US with orders over $75.