When our dear friend and fellow natural beauty junkie, Sylvia, was blessed with the birth of her beautiful baby Jessica, we were so excited! First of all, look at that gorgeous face… AND, immediately we rushed to interview this new mommy goddess on her chemical-free beauty routine with her daughter-proving that today’s baby beauty has come a long way!

Baby Jessica

Baby Jessica

The ERBAVIVA DIAPER CREAM is a huge staple. I use that on her 3-4 times a day. It is so healing! Totally helps her diaper rash! The echinacea reduces the redness and inflammation and the lavender and chamomile extracts are so soothing. Sometimes I mix it with potato starch to help soak up excess moisture in that delicate diaper area. I have also found that it is great when the folds in her neck become inflamed. I apply it really generously, and the results are immediate. You have to get creative sometimes!

I am also addicted to ZOE BELLY BUTTER. Originally it was for me to help reduce those not-so-lovely stretch marks and help me get that pre baby elasticity back! But, I found it so nourishing that I started applying it to Jessica’s baby eczema with amazing results. We indulge twice every day. Bath time is all about ORIGINAL SPROUT. We both use the NATURAL SHAMPOO- Jessica is not a fan of getting her hair washed, but this shamppo is so pure and clean. It rinses out in a flash, which is half the battle when you are dealing with a diva who doesn’t love hair washing time! It is actually a fabulous shampoo for her dad and me too! And because you can never have too many beauty products, I alternate with the ORIGINAL SPROUT HAIR AND BODY BABY WASH, which does double time from head to toe- and I found it really helps with dry skin, cradle cap, and any other irritation. The day after a hair wash we must use the CALIFORNIA BABY HAIR DETANGLER. It is just awesome. If I don’t use it her hair is just a crazy mess and she looks so like she has no home and no mother to take care of her. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it is really a lifesaver with those baby tangles! A few sprays and her hair is so soft and not at all sticky. Plus it leaves a yummy, light scent. Because I’m always on the run and throwing a million things into a diaper bag, its great to find one product that does it all. I have found that I can’t go anywhere without ZOE EVERYTHING BALM. It’s this fabulous multitasking stick that is so great for dry or chapped skin anywhere. I put it on Jessicas face before we go on a walk, give her a bunch of kisses, and my lips are instantly moisturized!

My beauty routine would just not be complete without DR. HAUSCHKA products. I never thought I would use “baby powder”, but then I discovered DR. HAUSCHKA BODY SILK, which is unlike any powder I’ve ever tried. Again, great for me and Jessica! So silky, those sage extracts are incredibly healing, and the smell is amazing. Super absorbent, and I even use it on my face for a perfect translucent finish. With a new baby, my gym workouts have been put on hold but DR. HAUSCHKA ROSEMARY LEG AND ARM TONER is the perfect substitute! I put it on and immediately everything looks and feels a little “tighter”. It stimulates and refreshes my tired limbs and just makes me look..better… Who needs the treadmill??

I have always wanted to use chemical free products. Jessica’s skin is sensitive and porous during this formative stage and I want to do my best to minimize the level of chemicals in her daily routine. I think that the non-toxic, natural products work just as well, if not better, than those with chemicals. The synthetic products are counter productive- adding a chemical onto a baby’s skin most often defeats the main purpose of the product, which is to heal and to soothe. I am so grateful to have been introduced to such amazing brands for my baby, which have also been so wonderful for me as well! She may be a 3 month old diva, but at least she’s a healthy one!!


Get Lost in the Woods (with Osmia)

osmiaMany of us have probably had the experience of picking up a supposedly unisex product, before opening it up and getting a whiff…and your experience comes to a screeching halt while you think, “Wow, this is definitely meant for dudes.” (Or vice versa if you’re a guy.) Sometimes, it’s an amazing product and you decide to  use it anyway, but smell can be a deal breaker. I, personally, like to keep a few different types of scents on hand as my preferences will generally change with my mood. Makeup and clothes are definitely inspirations, but there’s nothing like a great scent to help get me going. When Dr. Sarah Villafranco created Osmia Organics, it’s obvious that scent was a huge motivation.

osmiaperfumeoilMany of the natural perfumes and perfume oils are inspired by her home in Colorado, and the result is totally magical. While a couple of them are sweeter and more floral, most can be worn and appreciated by the guy in your life too. I personally love the perfume oil, as it comes in a rollerball that is really portable for a late afternoon pick-me-up!

PrimaThis one is my absolute favorite! It’s an earthy, woody scent that is inspired by “the smell of the dark, rich soil as it emerges from under the Colorado snow in the early spring”. All I need is a dab and I am a fierce mountain warrior princess!

Blüm: Sweeter and more floral, this is one of the more feminine scents. It has honeysuckle and citrus, with hints of spice and vanilla that are just right.

Cedar SmokeYou can guess from the name that this is one just oozes seduction. Frankincense and soft cedar fill your head and lull you into warm relaxation. Perfect for the cozy, winter months.

BriaThis is another frankincense and spice-filled scent, but subtle hints of jasmine lighten the mood. (The name is quite apt as “brio” means vivacity.)

Juniper Fire: This one is the ultimate joining of sweet and smoky. The juniper and cedar work with sweeter vanilla and spicy sandalwood to keep the smell from being decidedly masculine or feminine. This is the one that you and your man will fight over!

What I love about all of these is that they totally transport you. I feel like I took a walk through the mountainous woodlands or a summer garden in Colorado, not like I’m wearing perfume. With such attention put into the fragrances, Osmia’s skincare is equally outstanding.

The Facial Calibration Serum and Active Gel Nutrient Toner have seen me through the tricky transitions between seasons. Small pumps of the toner, which is meant to go after cleansing and before moisturizing, and the serum before bed have given me noticeably calmer skin. Both absorb in a flash, and the serum has that spicy, earthy quality that makes you feel like you’re sleeping under the stars.

Sarah Villafranco, founder of Osmia Organics

Sarah Villafranco, founder of Osmia Organics

Dr. Sarah Villafranco’s passion for Colorado shows in her products. You can see exactly why she decided to move there and explore what natural ingredients could offer. Try this line and you will be booking flights to Colorado to experience the place that inspired these incredible scents.

This post written by Bernadette Silva, contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.

This post written by Bernadette Silva, contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.

Bernadette Silva is a student, animal lover, and contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.


MOISTURIZER (1)Tantrum. That’s the word I would use to describe what my skin and hair have been throwing down lately. My complexion has been this rugged, dry, acne-prone monstrosity, while my hair decided that it was having none of the remaining summer heat. My natural curls have turned into a chaotic mess of tangles, frizz, and relentless split-ends. I had almost given up and accepted defeat until Olivella came into my life. Olivella is a natural skincare line from Italy that bases 100% Italian Virgin Olive Oil in their products. The line contains natural ingredients that are paraben free, dermatologist tested, eco-friendly, Kosher, and not tested on animals.

I began using their Olio Di Bellezza, also known as their Moisturizer Oil, and almost immediately my skin stopped being quite so angry. This oil not only smells really good, it also has anti-aging properties. I love the way it sinks right in, yet still feels really moisturizing. It’s perfect for both face and body and works absolute wonders on dry skin. Since I started using this oil, my skin looks fresher and clearer. The redness has decreased dramatically, and the acne has calmed down. This oil is a definite must have.

After using the Olive shampoo and conditioner, my tresses did a complete 180. The shampoo left my hair shiny and soft while the conditioner worked overtime by taming my frizz, restoring moisture, and detangling like no other. Not to mention that they both smell amazing! I then gave it to my sister, who has long, straight, chemically treated hair, and she also noticed a huge difference in the way her hair looked and felt.

olivellaLOVE the Crema Mani! This nourishing hand cream hydrates well and doesn’t leave the skin feeling icky or greasy afterwards. Normally I shy away from bar soap, but The Sapone In Barra is totally innovative – my skin felt luscious and supple after using, not dry and chapped. Olivella also makes fragrance. O.Live Sensuale for Her and O.Live Passionale for Him. Both scents are a little citrusy and, like every product at Olivella, provide your own personal Mediterranean aura. (tres sexy!)

Olive oil is high in anti-oxidants and has been used for centuries for the lasting benefits it provides. We’ve all heard about the super positive effects of eating a Mediterranean Diet. Why not take it a step further and incorporate the “Mediterranean Diet” into our skincare routine? Thanks to Olivella, we can. Before you know it, tantrums, dry skin, dull hair, and stinky, greasy lotions and soaps can all be things of the past.

This post written by Mary Silva, contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.

This post written by Mary Silva, contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.

Mary Silva is a beauty junkie, enthusiast, and student on the path to self-discovery.


Diana Ralys TonerA while back we posted a blog about rockstar facialist Diana Ralys. Her facial is one of the best I have ever had, and if you are lucky enough to live in LA, do yourself a favor and immediately book one. It’s an experience your skin will thank you for! SO, it only makes sense that Diana Ralys Premium Skin Care would be completely extraordinary on every level.  What is so amazing about these products is the sheer level of THOUGHT that has gone into them.  Every single extract, oil, vitamin, and enzyme ( just to name a few) in this line is special, has a purpose, and just makes sense. All I know is that the “Diana Experience” is one that leaves me feeling gorgeous.

The Gentle Gel Wild Oat and Honey Cleanser is so amazing that I have to hide it from my teen-aged product obsessed son, as he regularly steals it from my bathroom. Like all of Diana’s products, it’s filled with organic aloe vera juice instead of water, as well as organic honey, and tons of vitamins and essential oils. It is super mild, non drying, and really cleans your skin. It comes with an easy to use pump, and a little goes a very long way.

When I want to get really serious about uncovering what I hope to be some new skin, I break out the Enzyme Microfoliant. This scrub doesn’t fool around. The texture is kind of creamy and velvety, but it is actually filled with real microdermabrasion crystals, which physically remove aged skin cells. Most scrubs are either too grainy, or not potent enough. This one gets it just right. It also contains extracts of pineapple and papaya which have amazing exfoliating properties. In a nutshell, after I use this my skin looks NEW, SUPPLE, like I just had one of Diana’s facials.

pumpkin maskNow I’m really on a roll. After the Enzyme Microfoliant I love to indulge in the Rejuvenating Pumpkin Mask. I love a good mask, and I especially love one that gives me instant results. Did you know that pumpkin contains more than 100 beneficial nutrients, and is a incredibly rich source of antioxidants and enzymes? This is code for taking all the dehydrated, utterly useless cells and revealing healthier, younger looking skin! and just to put a few more instant face fixers in there, Diana mixes in sugar cane, fruit extracts and one of my personal favorites-neem oil. Plus it smells so delicious- like the ultimate dessert for your complexion.

Don’t even get me started on the Antioxidant Mist! This lives in my bathroom, my purse, my travel bag, because I habitually spray it all the time! Heres the deal: Every day your skin is exposed to all the nastiness of living-environmental toxins, UV radiation and free radicals. This mist helps neutralize those free radicals which equates to very happy, supermodel skin. The superstar ingredient here is organic cranberry which has some unreal benefits: its an anti-inflammatory, is filled with vitamins, enhances cell turnover and basically just totally protects and repairs the skin. I use it before or after I moisturize, and  I love to spray my beauty blender sponge with it and then dip into my foundation- gives me such a great finish.  Anytime I want a total pick-me-up, I reach for this. Hands down the best toner I have ever used!

Superstar Facialist Diana Ralys
Superstar Facialist Diana Ralys

One more thing. Diana Ralys Premium Skin Care is priced really well, and the chic glass containers are big- so you get these crazy amazing luxurious products that are a great deal and won’t break the bank. Here is Diana’s contact info- book your facial, and please try these products- you will certainly fall in love..

Special for our readers!

*Book between now and October 31st, and receive 20% off your treatment. Enter code Renata20 online or mention the blog when you call.

Click here to book your appointment!

1821 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 630  Santa Monica  90403      310-264-2228

This post written by contributing expert Amy Holiber.

This post written by contributing expert Amy Holiber.

Amy Holiber is a makeup artist and  has been a contributor to LUCKY, MORE, and ELLE magazines.

Simple Summer with TAY

ImageSummer is in full swing in my neck of the woods and, as I swelter in triple-degree heat and long for the days of snuggling into a blanket, I find myself spending less and less time on my hair and makeup. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s way too hot to keep my hair down anyway  but I’ve realized that I’m actually focusing more on skincare. Moisture is essential no matter what the season, and right now my skin is craving something light, fresh, and cleansing.

I had heard great things about TAY, so I decided to give the brand a try. Though, I have to say that the first thing that drew my attention to TAY when I saw it was the gorgeous packaging.  Created to be “beautiful from the inside and the outside” and designed by founder Sarah Tay, they are exactly what you expect from a chic, natural brand- modern, cool and of course, recyclable.   I was totally  impressed with the packaging,  but actual product inside completely blew me away.

Founder Sarah Tay

Founder Sarah Tay

I cleansed my skin as I normally do, and then decided to splash my face with TAY Purifying Botanical Water with Grapefruit Extract. The wonderfully springy and citrus scent gave me an immediate boost (I’ve used some DIY toners before that didn’t smell so great, believe me the scent here gets an A+), but I also observed that my face felt moisturized for a lot longer than usual. The most breathtaking and fairly eye-opening effects came when I used the botanical water as a toner. The results on the cotton ball showed that I have, apparently, not been giving the rest of my face as much love as I do my eyes when taking off my makeup. The water also helps to refresh skin, remove hard water, and cleanse pores, while moisturizing.  It  has witch hazel, pansy, lemongrass, chamomile, and basil extracts and oils which combine to create a gentle cleanser that can be used on all skin types.

I also tried the Youthful Eye Treatment with Apricot Kernel Oil. I actually haven’t used eye creams very frequently in the past, but have found them to come in handy when I have a rough night or have to get up particularly early. In any case, I’m always told that it’s important to care for this delicate area early on and have been trying to make more of a conscious effort to actually do it. The treatment is very effective, especially with brightening tired eyes. It actually has a hint of shimmer to it, which is just enough to open eyes without being noticeable. I love that the formula  isn’t greasy and is actually light enough to wear under makeup too. Perfect for the heat!!


TAY products are vegan and sourced through fair-trade sources. The brand also partners with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to provide trees to global communities. The gorgeous bottles are a great reminder of the origins of their contents, and seem a fitting partner in my journey back to skincare basics!

This post written by Bernadette Silva, intern for RenataHelfman.com.

This post written by Bernadette Silva, intern for RenataHelfman.com.

Bernadette Silva is a student, animal lover, and contributing writer for RenataHelfman.com.


Sasha Plavsic Founder- ILIA BEAUTY

Sasha Plavsic

“I now know that a natural cosmetic brand can be filled with organic goodness, packaged with class, and perform above the rest…”

These are the words spoken by Sasha Plavsic, the gorgeous genius behind the brand on everyone’s lips (literally!!) ILIA. Renata and I have been so very lucky to be able to try the entire new collection, and for lack of a better word- it just ROCKS!!  We were so taken with this rainbow of colors that  we accessed our inner Martha Stewart, hunkered down at the kitchen table, and created our very own ILIA palettes, which are filled with all these stunning formulas. This has become our go-to palette on the set- with everyone coveting these shades. It makes looking beautiful  simply effortless! QGkCBf_FpKJwqIIHDMjX6EAMAmhtTJOoT8m8eCn7egU

The MULTI STICKS and ILLUMINATORS are chic blocks of color made with Vitamin E, Shea butter, and all types of other organic ingredients. These totally brilliant products define the word multi-task! SWAY is an amazing bronzy shade that I blend onto my cheeks for instant bone structure, and smudge onto my upper and lower eyelids. I top it off with POLKADOTS and MOONBEAMS, a subtle, luminous highlighter that makes me positively glow-great for cheeks, inner corners of eyes and brow bones. A yummy pop of ALL OF ME (a deliciously warm coral ) or TENDERLY ( just about the sexiest pink you’ve ever seen) on the apple of my cheek and I am instantly transformed. These are great for lips too! I must confess, I made yet another mini palette of these sticks and that will sit all by itself in my Hamptons holiday travel bag- because I won’t need anything else!!

iliadotsOf course, Sasha didn’t stop there- her lip collection is so stunning, my formerly dull wear-the-same-gloss-everyday self is a woman of the past! I am normally not a lipstick person, I usually find them too drying. Maybe its the sunflower seed and the jojoba oils that make the ILIA LIPSTICKS so deliciously creamy- I am a total convert! I am wild for PINK KASHMIR, an electric shade that has successfully taken me out of my nude comfort zone. Same goes for NEON ANGEL, a hot magenta that I love wearing with just a little mascara.Try IN MY ROOM for days when you are feeling a little less daring- its a totally universal pinky-brown that will work on ANY skin tone.

THE LIPSTICK CRAYONS are the perfect, tapered, slightly chunky stick that are formulated with healing oils of sesame, rose hip, and papaya. I am currently obsessed with COME UNDONE, which I am officially declaring the perfect nude- pair it with a sultry smoky eye- can you say Brigitte Bardot??? 99 RED BALLOONS ( how great is that name?!) is a total classic red- think 40′s glam. Like the perfect Chanel bag, it’s a forever color. KARMA CHAMELEON is a spicy coral that literally makes me happy when I put it on.

Renata and Amy's DIY palette!


More things to adore about ILIA: It’s entirely cruelty free, was created with the highest level of ethical responsibility, and is a member of the esteemed Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which supports the global production of safe personal care products for women. Oh, and the packaging is TRES CHIC!! ILIA is truly a star in every sense of the word- Thank you Sasha!!

This post written by contributing expert Amy Holiber.

This post written by contributing expert Amy Holiber.

Amy Holiber is a makeup artist and  has been a contributor to LUCKY, MORE, and ELLE magazines.

Calm, Cool, Collected Dr. Hauschka

Dr-Hauschka-Bath-productsSometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing. Whether it’s trying to fall asleep or even meditate, it’s difficult to silence that little voice in the back of your head. After the last week or so, I imagine there are many people who are feeling more tense than usual. There are a multitude of relaxation techniques to try, and most people have different things that work for them.  I have my favorites, but I had never realized the potential of a bath.

I have always been more of a shower kind of gal, so I just never really considered the bath.  Always willing to try new things, I was more than ready to go when Renata suggested I review a line of bath oils. We are no strangers to Dr. Hauschka’s line of products here at Renata’s Blog, so I admit that was another motivating factor for me. When I first tried it, I was tempted to bring a notepad and do some word association, but then I felt just how relaxing it was (especially coupled with a nice playlist) and all of that went out the window. And believe me, the little voice in my head got pretty quiet for once. I sampled four different oils- each one totally unique in character. After my first month of really experiencing each one, I have to admit I have an affinity to each one for different reasons, moods, and specific needs.

  • Lavender Bath: I am probably the most familiar with lavender, as many natural beauty products use it. It is extremely calming and perfect for letting your mind rest a bit, especially at night after a tough day. The Dr. Hauschka blend also helps to eliminate redness, a must-have for sensitive skin. This is a great one to try if you are a first time bath oil user.
  • Sage Bath: I am used to seeing sage on the counter, but in my kitchen, not the bathroom! The sage bath is best used after a workout or physical stress to prevent breakouts. I love this because it reminds me to spend a little time decompressing after I exercise. It can also be used for a relaxing foot bath, and is perfect for the hot summer months when we all perspire a little more.
  • Rosemary Bath: Rosemary is another one of those that I am used to cooking with or keeping in our herb garden, and I had no idea was so versatile. It actually helps to eliminate cellulite (what a plus!) and has one of those heady scents that seems to literally melt my anxiety.
  • Spruce Bath: I immediately thought of Christmas when I opened up the Spruce! Dr. Hauschka’s blend uses Norwegian spruce essential oil to help perk up pale, tired skin with its warmth. The more I use this one, the more I fall in love with it. My senses come alive, leaving me recharged and ready to tackle anything!

For a regular bath,  fill the tub and then add about a tablespoon of the oil to the water. They’re incredibly easy to use and are made with essential oils instead of fragrance so you don’t have the cloyingly sweet or strong scent that you find in most bath products.

Don’t be afraid to step away from the directions on the label for these either, they have SO many uses! I wouldn’t recommend applying them directly to your face, but you can fill your bathroom sink with warm water, cover your head and indulge in a facial steam bath. They are also great for soaking your feet, especially after a long night in those stilettos!  I even put a drop of the lavender when prepping my pup for his bath. (He didn’t love it, but he became resigned to his fate quite a bit faster than normal.) No time for a bath? Just put a few drops on a cloth and BREATHE…. AHHH…. I also appreciate the fact that the brand takes care to assure that all of the ingredients they use are fair-trade and grown to support global communities.

drhauschka_complete-logo-4CAs for me, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to embrace the benefits of a good, old-fashioned soak.  Turn off the phone, the computer, your boss’s voice inside your head, and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. With the therapeutic benefits of rosemary, sage, lavender, or spruce, it makes it easier. The Dr. Hauschka baths are the surest way to emerge calm, cool, and collected.

This post written by Bernadette Silva, intern for RenataHelfman.com.

This post written by Bernadette Silva, intern for RenataHelfman.com.

Bernadette Silva is a student, animal lover, and intern for RenataHelfman.com.