Archive | Rituals

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!

 

A Kahina Ritual for Summer Skin

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Memorial Day has always been the unofficial start of summer for me, as the thermometer in New York these past two weeks would corroborate. The season’s hotter temperatures create the need for lightweight moisture, and pore-clogging sunscreen and sweat make cleansing and exfoliating a must. Here is our recommendation for an ideal program to keep skin healthy all summer long.

1. To keep pores open and skin cleansed, apply our Antioxidant Mask twice weekly.
2. Cleanse night and day with our Facial Cleanser, infused with skin calming Blue Tansy and Neroli.
3. Gently hydrate and tone with our Toning Mist. Aloe Vera-based, it works to protect and heal skin from sun damage, before and after sun exposure.
4. Kahina Brightening Serum works to prevent dark spots from occurring due to sun exposure, while correcting existing damage.
5. Our Face Serum contains naturally occurring SPF from Carrot Seed Oil. Sea Buckthorn Oil, Pomegranate, and Argan Oil provide powerful antioxidant protection against harmful UVA rays.
6. Our Argan Oil is the perfect summer product, easily absorbed and full of vitamin E to repair sun damaged skin. The ideal multi-tasking oil, it is perfect for summer travel to use post sun on face and body, apply to hair before swimming to protect from salt and chlorine, and afterwards to condition.
7. Finish with our Lip & Face Balm applied to rough patches on face and to chapped lips – or use as a replacement for lipstick and to add a healthy sun-kissed glow to cheek and brow bones.

 

 

Kahina Lip & Face Balm

A Kahina skincare ritual for the last weeks of winter

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We’re half way through winter and, even though it got a late start in New York, our skin is definitely feeling the effects of bitter cold and dry indoor heat. During these cold winter months, our skin needs extra moisture and protection. Each day this week, we’ll be highlighting our product suggestions to give your skin what it needs to stay bright, soft and glowing through the next leg of the harshest season.  Pay attention, there will be a pop quiz and chance to win at the end of the series!

To win, watch our blog this week for product recommendations and details. We’ll post a quiz at the end of the series and you can email us your answers at info@givingbeauty.com. The winner will receive full sizes of our Toning Mist, Prickly Pear Seed Oil and a little special surprise from Morocco!

We’re kicking off the series with our Toning Mist.  The perfect base to aid in the absorption of our moisturizing oils and emulsions, our Toning Mist helps to calm, soothe and hydrate skin.

Starring:
Aloe Vera Leaf (Aloe barbadensis)
Creates a shield over the skin that keeps moisture in and pollutants out and works to calm and soothe skin.
Aspen Bark Extract (Populus tremuloides)
An excellent source of salicylic acid, it helps soothe skin irritations and reduce inflammation while refining pores.
Rice (oryza Sativa)
Rice has moisturising, antioxidant, and healing properties that help to improve circulation, prevent or fade age related spots, and ease inflammation.
Rose damascene (Rosa damascene)
Excellent for combatting skin aging, it helps repair tissue damage and soothe skin.
Sodium Hyaluronate
Naturally derived from the fermentation of a vegetable source, sodium hyaluronate mimics the exact structure of hyaluronic acid, a necessary constituent of body tissues and fluids. It immediately plumps skin cells while increasing their moisture retention capabilities over time. By binding collagen and elastin fibers together, hyaluronic acid makes skin smooth, firm, and flexible.

Link to our website at http://kahina-givingbeauty.com/shop/kahina-toning-mist/ for reviews, testimonials and to purchase.

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Bringing the hammam home with Moroccan Beldi Soap

First stop - a visit to Le Bain Bleu in Marrakech

First stop – a visit to Le Bain Bleu in Marrakech

I always make a point of making a trip to the hammam one of my first stops on arriving in Morocco in order revive, rejuvenate and relax after the long flight from New York. Nothing puts me more quickly and completely into a Moroccan state of mind than the immersion into the ritual and scents of the hammam. And there is no more key element in the hammam experience than the cleansing and exfoliating step using Moroccan Beldi Soap, aka Savon Noir, and “kessa” exfoliating mitt.

First pores are allowed to open with hot water and steam. Then Beldi Soap is applied liberally to cover the body, working into a slight lather, and then allowed to penetrate skin for 3 – 10 minutes. Typically, the beldi soap is scented with eucalyptus for additional therapeutic properties. After rinsing, the skin is scrubbed heavily in a circular motion with the kessa exfoliating mitt. I am a regular dry brusher and exfoliator at home, but it is always astonishing how my skin literally rolls off with this treatment at the hammam.

Beldi means “traditional” or “authentic” in Moroccan. The gel-like soap made from saponified olive oil acts as a body masque and is a Moroccan specialty.   Women will pick up their serving (25 grams) of Beldi Soap from the spice shop or apothecary in the souk on their way to the hammam, carrying it with them in a plastic bag. I am thrilled to have found a high quality version of the soap to share with our customers. As with traditional varieties, Kahina’s Moroccan Beldi Soap is all-natural, made with pure olive oil and scented with eucaluptus essential oil.

For a limited time only, with every purchase of our Moroccan Beldi Soap on our website, we offer a complimentary pharmacy grade kessa mitt so you can replicate the hammam experience at home. If you don’t happen to have a steam room or sauna, I recommend heating the shower before entering to allow steam to rise – or soak skin in the tub before applying to soften. Multitask by applying a hair mask and/or our Antioxidant Mask to face while you wait for the Beldi Soap to penetrate. The Moroccan Beldi Soap may also be used for simple cleansing as a deliciously scented soap replacement.

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In 2009 I had my first experience at a traditional Moroccan hammam, which I wrote about in a previous blog post.

For a more luxe, yet still traditional hammam experience in Marrakech, I recommend Le Bain Bleu, an oasis in the heart of the medina.

Get The Kahina Glow: Our 3-Product Mini-Facial

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Je promise: you will have the glow and grin of this jack-o-lantern when you’re done with this Kahina mini facial

Halloween is right around the corner… which of course means Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are already going up and our holiday event calendars are getting pretty booked (speaking of- got some exciting Kahina events lined up for you this season! Stay tuned!).  Yes, I am getting on the bandwagon and hyping the holidays/winter before they’ve even started.  But! it’s for a very good reason: looking fabulous. Or at least much, much better.

You see, anticipating this cold weather and how it dries my skin out, as well as the myriad of events stacking up, I start thinking about mini-facials.  That’s where your mind would go too if you worked at Kahina Giving Beauty. Trust me.

Q: What can I do in twenty minutes, tops, to revive my chronically dehydrated skin and look and feel presentable for these nights out?

A: Duh. The three-product, at-home Kahina mini-facial. It’s quick yet still luxurious, requires only 3 products, is guaranteed to deliver a glow, and oh yeah, smells amaze– perfect for putting me (and you!) in a good mood for hours of (tedious?) socializing.

You’ll need: Kahina Antioxidant Mask, Kahina Serum, and Kahina Eye Cream*

Here’s how:

1. Start with a clean face.  I like Kahina Giving Beauty Cleanser, but it’s not essential for this at-home facial.

2. Apply a thin layer of our Antioxidant Mask.  Doesn’t it smell good?  That’s the eucalyptus and mint- so uplifting and refreshing, amirite? Leave it on for ten minutes while you brush your teeth, watch Bravo, call Mom, pet your dog, whatever. (I do all of those things.)

3. Remove our Mask – gently buff it off with your hands or a washcloth.  That little grit you feel is the other Moroccan beauty wonder, Rhassoul Clay, which deep cleanses and helps gently exfoliate, all without drying you out or leaving you red-faced, like other clay masks.

4. Admire your glow. Seriously, you’re already glowing at this point, but we’ll keep going.

5. Apply a few drops of Kahina Serum. This smells so good too! Chamomile, ylang ylang, myrrh? Yum.  Kahina Serum is a more complex blend of oils, including Argan, that deliver nutrition like vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as antioxidants, thanks to sea buckthorn, coffee, and carrot seed.  If I have some extra time, I’ll spritz on Toning Mist before the Serum to help it absorb better, but if I’m in a rush, the Toning Mist can wait.

6. You’re almost done! Dab some Kahina Eye Cream around your eye area. It’s silky, absorbs easily, and plumps those little fine lines so they’re less noticeable. Kabam Pow! You’re so glowy, refreshed, and lovely.  Didn’t that feel good?

Bonus point if you do all of this from a hot bath. Two bonus points if you’re sipping some vino or coffee – they’re mood-boosting and antioxidant-rich, too!

By the way, Katharine L’Heureux, Kahina founder and fearless leader/guru, swears by this 3-step treatment as a transformative skin/mood pick me up.

What’s your foolproof 1-2-3 before a night out?

*I picked these three products in particular for a sort of autumn/winter mini facial because they’re a little richer and more moisturizing.  For the summer version of this, I’d use Argan Oil or Lotion in place of Serum and Eye Serum rather than Eye Cream.

[Mairin]

Notting Hill Spa Launches Kahina Facial Especially for Men

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Beauty Works West in Notting Hill, London, is set to launch the “Natural Man – Kahina Facial,” for those who like their martinis shaken, not stirred.  The Kahina line is decidedly unisex; minimal scents (if any at all) and clean packaging means that that bottle of Kahina Argan Oil has a home in both His and Hers bathrooms.  Now London chaps (like Jude Law? or Daniel Craig? or HRH the Duke of Cambridge?!) can treat themselves to Kahina in the spa as well with a treatment specifically designed for them.

Here’s how Beauty Works West describes it:

“Celebrated by the New York Times as the ‘latest miracle ingredient’, this super effective facial uses Argan Oil, the skin secret Moroccans have used for centuries to combat the harsh effects of the sun and reverse the signs of ageing. Perfect to revive, nourish and restore lacklustre skin.

Kahina’s Argan Oil is organic, contains no artificial fragrances and is paraben-free. Extremely rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it minimises the appearance of wrinkles, restores elasticity, protects the skin from environmental pollutants and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

So just relax as your skin is thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated. Argan Oil is then applied and the expert hands of our therapist work their magic using lymphatic pressure points and deep tissue massage. Next, a mask and serum are applied to the face and neck, finished with the application of hot stones, by which time you will have entered Nirvana. Once the mask is removed, the serum is re-applied and worked in with ultra-sound to thoroughly penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin.  The result – complexion perfection. Naturally.”

Combining Kahina with hot stones, ultra-sound, and massage? Sounds like the ultimate luxurious beauty ritual.

Fair Trade in Tazghilite

I had the extreme pleasure of visiting a Fair Trade argan producer in the tiny village of Tazghilite in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, two hours from Taroudant.  Instead of working in the traditional cooperative model, the women of the village are paid  a fair wage for the harvesting and cracking of the argan nuts by an individual who runs the company, a lovely Frenchman named Albans who relocated to Tarzhgilite four years ago.  With the oversight of Albans and his small staff, the women are able to make a living working in their homes, and the cooperative progresses smoothly exporting the highest quality cosmetic and culinary oil.  In addition to providing the women with a living wage, Albans has developed numerous programs to assist the villagers, including providing water for the village, the development of a women weavers’ cooperative as an additional resource for income, and the planting of olive trees for the women’s use.

The women presented me with a rug in honor of my visit

I was enthusiastically welcomed during my stay in their village, presented with a rug they had woven and invited to join them in a traditional Berber celebration in the evening.

Celebrating in a Traditional Berber Fashion

Marrakech Magic

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My first stop in Marrakech was to pay a visit to a small apothecary in the medina run by an acquaintance of my friend and guide, Majid.  An expert in traditional remedies using herbs, spices and essential oils, he concocted a special blend of essential oils including eucalyptus, neroli, rose and musk for an aromatic “savon noir” – the traditional soap made from olives.

The beauty of sharing secrets

Cal Gerberding, Joshua Tree, California

“Women helping women through shared beauty rituals” means not only bringing beauty traditions from other parts of the world to women in the West, but creating a community of women here who can share beauty advice and tips.I receive numerous emails a day from Kahina customers, many of them just wanting to express their appreciation for the products, and many writing with real skincare concerns that they would like addressed.Either way, I take great pleasure in connecting with these women, especially since our customers are generally like-minded souls – conscious consumers concerned with their health, the environment, and helping others.

Sometimes, these communications can result in new friendships.Recently a customer, a fitness trainer living in the California desert, wrote to me with a concern.After hearing about my broken ankle, she offered to provide me with exercises to do at home while I am on the mend.It is a wonderful time to start a business, with the advent of so many social media tools that help us connect with our customers and foster a community in which we can join together, share advice – and pass on beauty secrets.

I’d love to share photos, stories and health and beauty tips from more of our customers.  Please send a photo of yourself and how you use any of our products – or any other beauty tips.

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