I promise this is not going to totally turn into a pregnancy blog, but…today’s post is definitely related. And it’s definitely girly. Gentlemen, unless you really like all-natural and organic skin care products, you might want to skip this one.
So, last weekend I had the surreal experience of receiving a Mother’s Day gift…from my own mother. Considering I’m not quite a mother yet (I mean, yeah, I’m caring for a fetus in my uterus, but there’s no infant to wake me up multiple times a night yet), I wasn’t necessarily expecting gifts on Mother’s Day. That said, it was a nice feeling to get that package in the mail. I guess it’s always nice to be reminded of your mother’s love.
Anyway, what she sent was a diaper bag filled with Basq NYC products. Basq is focused on making all-natural skin care products that are safe for use by pregnant women, new moms, and in some cases even babies. Their products are not cheap, as you might imagine, but they are really safe and not tested on animals and all that good stuff. I got four different products, so I’m gonna tell you guys about them, and if you’re interested you can go get some!
Rebalancing Facial Cleanser. Basq promises that this cleanser will get rid of acne, tighten pores, moisturize, fade dark spots, etc. I really, really like this one, so much so that I’m considering splurging on this in the future, despite the fact that it’s $34 for 2 oz. I can’t describe what this smells like, except that it’s good. Sort of fresh and herbal at the same time. It has little beadlets in it for exfoliating, and it makes my skin feel softer and less dry, but not oily. I’ve only used it for a few days, so I can’t say if it will get rid of my acne, but even if it doesn’t, I still like it. A little goes a long way, so I can see 2 oz. lasting me for a while.
Citrus Sugar Body Polish. This one is probably a bit self-explanatory – it’s a sugar-based body scrub, intended to exfoliate the skin. It’s also got some good oils in it for moisturizing. Basq claims it will help stop new stretch marks and repair existing ones. And sugar is not drying for your skin like salt is. It feels good to scrub on my itchy pregnant body – it’s not so scratchy that it irritates, but it definitely relieves the itchiness. I’m not totally sold on the smell – they claim it’s orange blossom, but it’s a little too…something for me. Not an unpleasant smell, but not my favorite of the group. I seem to be going through this one a lot faster, too – I guess I have more area to cover than just my face. It’s 8 oz., but I don’t see it lasting more than maybe 2 or 3 weeks if I used it daily, and $26 is a lot for 2 or 3 weeks worth. I like it, but I’m not sure I’d spend my own money on it.
Resilient Body Oil. Basq calls this the “Gold Standard of Stretch Mark Oils.” I didn’t realize there were so many out there that a gold standard would be needed! This is definitely a moisturizing body oil, though whether it will prevent or repair any stretch marks is beyond me. Even if it doesn’t, I like it. It has a whole bunch of different oils in it (hazelnut, sweet almond, wheat germ, grapeseed, rosehip, eucalyptus and vitamin E), but the predominant smell is of roses. It’s not a terribly overpowering rose scent; just a nice delicate one. And the oil absorbs into your skin quickly – I can rub it in and get dressed right away without feeling oily or anything, which is nice. This is a wonderful decadence for me – I’m not the type to use body oil usually. I rather like the pampering of it – it feels luxurious. And again, a little goes a long way – it’s $38 for 4 oz, but I think it can last for several months. And if it helps with stretch marks, so much the better! The only thing I wish was different is that it had some sort of spray mechanism – it can be kind of messy to try and pour oil in to your hand to then rub on your belly and then pick the bottle up again for more with slippery hands. I haven’t spilled any yet, but a spray would make it so much easier!
Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy. Image credit: Basq NYC
Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy. This is an aromatherapy oil intended to help mom (or baby!) relax, de-stress, and/or go to sleep. You can put the oil on pulse points, use it in a bath, drip it on a warm washcloth…lots of different ways. I’ve just been dabbing it on my wrists, neck, belly and behind my knees before sleep every night. I outright adore the smell of it – sweet almond, pear and lavender. I just wish the smell lingered longer – after about 45 minutes, I can’t smell it on myself anymore. Still, it definitely calms me. I can’t say for sure if it helps me sleep better, but the wonderful smell alone is worth it for me! The cost is $20 for what I think is about 2 oz., but being an oil, it will last a long time.
So there you have it! I know my mom got a special deal on this as a package set (because I fussed at her for spending so much, and she promised she didn’t). If you want to pamper a preggo or new mom in your life, I would recommend these products. I have really been enjoying them!
Basq NYC did not provide these products to me or ask me to review them. I have no affiliation with the company. I simply wanted to write about the first Mother’s Day gift I ever received, and this is it!
The saying is true that money can't buy you good health, and it is case in point for our poor Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton. The 30 year old Princess is feeling quite under the weather lately and has been admitted to King Edwards VII Hospital for acute morning sickness. Along with some ginger tea and bland biscuits, I've gathered a selection of beauty products to help calm, relaxe and soothe her growing and very tired tummy. Take a peek below!
All the beauty must-haves for every expecting mom. With the big news comes big change. This all-in-one kit lets her look and feel great during pregnancy and new motherhood. Each product is designed to relieve, revive and rebalance for gorgeous skin that really has "That Glow." The Mom2Be Kit includes: two 0.5 oz bottles of Resilient Body Oil, one 1 oz. Bottle of Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy, one 2 oz. jar of Rebalancing Face Cleanser and one Facial Cleansing Brush.
Basq Energizing Body Lotion: This blend of Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Eucalyptus and Lavender is lightweight and quick absorbing, leaveing your skin feeling soft and velvety. All basq products are rigorously Clinically Tested for ZERO Skin Allergy and Irritancy. The line is Paraben, Phlathlate and Animal Testing Free. basqnyc.com, $22
I am sure all moms out there can speak to the dreaded stretch marks we can encounter while pregnant. I am a first time mom and I have been working really hard at ensuring I don’t get stretch marks, and let me tell you it’s not easy. While I was online doing some research about how to prevent stretch marks I found basq NYC Skincare and I am so happy I did!!
Prior to this I had not heard of basq NYC Skincare - so I wanted to share a little with you about this company. At first, basq was formed to meet the unique needs of expectant and new moms and over time they have evolved to meet the needs of these woman well beyond the pregnant years. Today basq NYC Skincare covers woman from pregnancy to weight loss, sensitive/delicate skin to the mature skin and pretty much all skin types in between. What I really like about basq is that all of their products are phthalate and paraben free and there is NO testing on animals.
Advanced Stretch Mark Butter
I was lucky enough to receive the Advanced Stretch Mark Butter from basq NYC Skincare. As most of my readers know I am currently expecting our bundle of joy, I am 25 weeks pregnant, right near the end of my 2nd trimester. I received the 4oz container of Advanced Stretch Mark Butter a few weeks ago and have been using it since.
Most of us know that prevention is key – that is why I started using stretch mark products at the very beginning of this pregnancy, but I am also well aware that stretch marks can also occur anytime from the beginning of pregnancy until after child birth, therefore I plan on continuing using the basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter for some time to come.
What is the key to basq’s advanced stretch mark butter? I will be honest and say that I don’t always understand how products work, but I can tell you that for me, this product has worked. I have taken the following information from the basq website to explain how it works – “basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter uses a three prong strategy to fight marks: Clinically Proven Ingredients, Essential Oils known for scar prevention, and rich Butters. To read more about the ‘scienftic’ ways in which this products works make sure you check out the website.
The 4oz container of basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter retails for just $35 and can be purchased by clicking HERE. While you’re on their website also make sure to check out their wide variety of products, you won’t be disappointed. Also make sure you stop by and follow/like their Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter pages – I have to make sure I stay am in the loop with all new product developments and promotions/special offers.
Now I am happy to let you know that the extremely generous people over at basq NYC Skincare have been kind enough to offer a lucky reader the chance to WIN basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter for yourself or as a gift for someone you know who is expecting!!! All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter entry form below.
Before creating basq, Lauren worked in skin care as a new products specialist with a focus on global ingredient research and skin care trends. She is married with two children. She and her family love sports, traveling spending time with friends and family and cooking. Kelli had a long career in financial services, from product development and marketing to overall management. Kelli lives in Manhattan with her husband and three kids and they lead a very active lifestyle of sports and travel.
They met through work in a consulting business doing market research and trend analysis across industries.
Why and when did you form your company?
Having a partner who shares your entrepreneurial spirit, vision and work ethic was a major factor for both of us and helped answer “when.” After working together closely, we realized we would make an excellent business team and having the right fit is critical. The idea for basq came from our own experiences during pregnancy combined with a desire to run a business that’s all about women run by women. We knew from our larger mom circles there was a real need for gorgeous skin care products that deliver results for the needs of pregnancy safely without compromising on beauty. At the time, there was little in the market that dealt with all the issues of pregnancy and some of what was out there had ingredients best avoided. After a lot of research with women, Ob/Gyns and Midwives, we launched in 2005.
What’s the first thing you did when you realized you were serious about launching?
We first spoke to hundreds of women literally from the playground to the friend circles to hear their wants and needs. We launched a full scale market research campaign from surveys to focus groups. At the same time, we were lucky enough to be picked by a highly regarded manufacturer in their entrepreneur program. Working with the best in the business, they helped us create the skin care products. Our lead chemist had worked on everything from the top baby and pharmaceutical brands to the best in high end beauty. With great products ready to show, we went to the national meetings of Obstetricians/Gynecologists and then Midwives and got their feedback and approvals for the line. It was a full scale effort that used the best practices in the industry for a market that the big companies often forget because they see her as short term clients.
What makes your product different?
We start with the simple yet critical principle that every one of our skin care products has to deliver change from deep within skin – we stop damage where it starts. The idea is simple yet effective, feed the skin what it needs to build Collagen and Elastin so it is stronger for the big stretch and bounce back after. Every basq product absorbs quickly because the skin needs to break it down to make it useful – anything that feels greasy or sits on top isn’t helping. Once we’ve conquered how deliver results we Demand Beauty! The textures are decadent and the aromas leave you wanting more not less! We understand that some time you need a scent that’s a pick-me-up and sometimes it’s all a cool down – the line is built for the many moods of pregnancy. Finally, we take safety seriously so she can relax and enjoy – Everything is clinically tested for zero allergy and sensitivity and every product is FREE of Phthalates, Parabens, Sodium Laureth Sulfates and Animal Testing.
What was your worst moment in trying to get your company up and running? What was your best?
The worst moment was when we realized there is no safety rule book for pregnancy products. It’s a pretty open field and it’s up to the company to care! There are products out there that use ingredients that are better off being avoided during pregnancy. It takes a lot of time and effort to get things right, and still create products that deliver a beautiful usage experience too. This also turned out to be our best moment because it shaped our company – we wanted to make products that we could use and pass along to all our loved ones- that sets the bar! We worked with the best to create basq: Skin Scientists, Doctors, Midwives, Aromatherapy/Essentials Oils experts as well as Independent Clinical Labs. We have found that our drive for excellence is what sets the brand apart – real benefits and results, gorgeous textures and aromas and uncompromising safety efforts.
What’s something you can recommend other potential mompreneurs do before launching their brand?
Talk to your market first and listen with open ears – forget what you think and make sure you ask the question in an open way so you get real answers. You need to make sure you have an idea that people really want first. Once you’ve found the opportunity it becomes a step process to build it.
How did you get someone like Disney to notice your product? What did that feel like?
We were absolutely thrilled. Like all the basq stories, the lead came from a fan of the line. A Disney executive was at a dinner party and basq was brought up by someone who used it when she was pregnant. She was raving about the products and it just happened that they were looking for a high quality partner in the maternity / baby category. Once the consumer products group did their research and experienced the brand they wanted to partner. We share a lot of the same core values – high quality products you can trust that bring good results and fantastic experience.
Fun Question! If you could trade places with any person in the world for one day, who would it be and why?
Lauren – I would trade with Oprah because of all the fascinating people she meets and business she built – but better yet my husband!
Kelli – Probably Cleopatra – she had an amazing life in incredibly complex times.
Basq is a luxury skin care that delivers on the promise of Real Results with Real Beauty. Founded in New York, NY by Kelli Kenny and Lauren Parisier, these two long time friends and mothers created this brand with a labor of love – skincare for the expecting and new moms. Basq presents gentle, effective skincare that splurge on beauty and deliver on results, appealing to those in all life stages. From pregnancy to weight loss, delicate skin to mature skin and all the combinations in between, basq offers beautiful solutions that work. The upscale line offers a vast array of products for the body and face featuring rich textures, gorgeous scents and beautiful packaging. For every creation, basq starts with the premise that change begins deep within. Each product features a combination of nutrient rich essential oils and plant extracts that accelerate the building blocks that strengthen, rebuild and replenish within the skin. The products are rigorously tested for allergy and sensitivity and the entire line is paraben, phthalate and animal testing free.
The company’s steady growth over the last 6 years has lead to recognition and countless awards by iparenting Media, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award, World’s Best Skin Care by Frommer’s Shopping Guide, PTPA Media Award recipient, Shecky’s “Beauty At Its Best” recipient, Family Review Center Seal of Approval, among others. In 2011, basq was honored to be invited by Disney to collaborate on a mom and baby skin care collection as part of their “It’s a Small World” collection (http://basqdisney.com/) and most recently created an exclusive line for Disney- Disney Baby Maternity by basq.
There has been a lot of buzz about the Basq line of prenatal skin and body care. Suffice it it to say, Basq has earned every bit of the buzz. What an amazing line of products. This Sharp Mama was especially impressed with their Resilient Body Oil, specially designed to fight and prevent stretch marks and maintain hydration on the ever growing baby belly.
Some stretch mark oils on the market are greasy, don’t smell great, and leave lovely little stains on our shirts. Gross. Basq’s product is the exact opposite. The oil has a lovely spa-like fragrance, absorbs beautifully into your skin, and because it absorbs so well, no stains! I’ve used and sampled many other tummy specific stretch mark oils in the past, but to me, Basq’s product feels far superior. Its also a great product to use post partum to make sure your skin bounces back to normal and stays hydrated. I can’t wait to try more of Basq’s line! This product is officially Sharp Mama approved!
A little more info on what’s in the Resilient Body Oil:
Active Ingredients: Rosehip Oil, Grapeseed oil, Hazelnut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil Why It Works: It’s all in our beautiful, carefully selected oils. Hazelnut, Sunflower and Sweet Almond Oil provide intense skin cell nourishment with Essential Fatty Acids and naturally occurring Vitamins that protect skin from damage. Sweet Almond oil also has natural antimicrobial properties which help prevent local bacterial infections in healing wounds, thereby minimizing the chances of scarring and ugly marks. This oil also has the natural property of tightening sagging skin.Rosehip Oil has a high content of essential fatty acids known specifically to heals scars and restore normal skin color. Grapeseed is plentiful in antioxidants and fatty acids to moisturize deeply to restructure of damaged and stressed skin tissue. Due to its nourishing and detoxifying effects, Sesame Oil reinforces the body for skin regeneration and smoothes the skin.
Tips on How to Keep Your Body Mark Free for the Nine Month Stretch
By basq Co-Founder and Skin Care Expert Lauren Parisier
When it comes to stretch marks, we all want to know what (if anything) works. The real answer is that your skin may or may not mark – it varies by person. But, what you do to prevent them can make all the difference! Products can lessen stretch marks, but once you’ve got them they don’t go away. So prevention is key.
What you do in the early months is critical – you want to support your skin and help it build collagen and elastin so it can stretch more and hopefully avoid breaking (which is what gives you the marks). It’s never too early to start. While stretch mark prevention isn’t instantly gratifying because you can’t see what would have been – it’s better than the alternative.
So, when your skin feels taut or dry or you just have a horrible case of the itchies, give your skin some attention. There are a few easy steps to dramatically improving your skin’s strength and stretch-ability.
Step 1: Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
We all know in facial care that anti-aging begins with exfoliation, but somehow we forget the body. Exfoliation does two things, first, it preps skin for better product absorption. The second, and more important benefit for stretch mark care is that it kick-starts your skin’s natural repair process. Our skin’s repair process naturally slows down after the age of 30. But when you sweep away dry, dead skin and you trigger renewal. New skin rising also means any damage is getting a quick fix.
But when it comes to exfoliating, not all polishes are created equal. Stay away from salt scrubs– they are drying which equals more damage. Many everyday scrubs have clary sage, rosemary and caffeine – these should be avoided in pregnancy. Loofahs and shower mitts can deliver exfoliation that is too hard, causing micro tears which harm skin instead of helping. We created basq Citrus Sugar Body Polish for pregnancy-safe exfoliation. The natural sugars gently smooth while rich oils and butters nourish. Focus on mark zones for best results: chest, belly, thighs and hips.
Step 2: Use Stretch Mark Ingredients Proven to Work
If you are lost in a sea of confusion when it comes to stretch mark creams and butters, my best piece of advice is to look for ingredients clinically proven to work. For real stretch mark care you need your products to work deep down — below surface moisture. When it comes to texture, greasy isn’t good. You don’t want products that sit on top and never absorb. Stretch marks happen well below the surface, so you need ingredients that your skin absorbs and uses to build collagen and elastin, which support strength. At basq, we spent a long time working on a butter that could blend the oils your skin wants and needs with ingredients proven to work. The core stretch mark ingredients in the basq – Advanced Stretch Mark Butter are Algesium C and Darutoside. Both have been proven in clinical testing to prevent and repair marks. Plus it contains omega rich Borage and Grapeseed oils and a rich Shea Butter base – it’s all you could want and need in a stretch mark butter!
Step 3: The All Over Stretch
Marks mostly happen on the chest, belly, hips and inner thighs but don’t forget the rest of your body. Everywhere else stretches which translates to saggy skin. For head to toe care, we love oils. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t greasy and a little bit goes a long way. The basq – Resilient Body Oil has been an editor favorite and a best-seller. If you remain a devout butter user, the basq – Fragrance Free Illipe Butter is another fantastic option.
At basq, we have tried to make your stretch mark care easy and affordable. The 9 Month Stretch Kit includes a full size Advanced Stretch Mark Butter, 1 oz Resilient Oil for the all over stretch and a 4 oz Citrus Sugar Polish to exfoliate smartly. It’s all you need for mark free skin!
With the departure of the red diapered cherub, the holiday season is officially over. Although the days are getting longer, spring can seem forever away. Do not despair, Ms. Preggo! Tryout some of basq’s top ways to warm your spirit and bring a little sunshine into your day.
Exercise causes us to release endorphins and in turn, these brighten our mood. There are many ways to exercise safely and effectively during pregnancy.
Many local gyms, recreation departments and Destination Maternities offer classes designed just for pregnant woman such as: Prenatal Yoga, Pilates and Water Aerobics.
It’s easy to fall into the excuse that you will exercise after the baby arrives, but why wait? The more you do during your pregnancy, the better you are going to feel. The better you feel, the more you will enjoy your pregnancy. See the cycle?
Don’t forget to bring your basq Energizing Body Lotion with you. It is amazing to use on muscles post workout.
Make Some You Time
Life is about to change very quickly over the next few months. A great deal of energy is going toward your wee one-to-be. Take a little time for yourself. Grab your favorite decaf coffee drink, a good book and go get a pedicure. Will anyone besides your hubby actually see your toes anytime soon? Probably not. But what better way to pamper yourself a bit and tryout the new colors for spring?
Devoting time to yourself is an excellent way to relax and in turn, this will amp up your energy.
Get some of your best girlfriends together and have a few laughs. Dress up and hit the town, maybe checkout a local comedy club. Or make it casual by hitting up a local Redbox (may we suggest Bridesmaids—always a great girl’s night flick) and making mocktails at home. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and fruity drinks, just make them without the alcohol. As they say, “laughter is the best medicine” and who better to share that with than your besties?
Watch what you Eat!
This is the last thing that most of us want to hear, but it is true. Run from foods that are refined and processed. You know, the comfort foods, like white bread and sugar. These foods are low on nutrients, and they drain your energy. Chances are, you are already needing an energy boost while growing another human. If you are craving carbs, try to include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, fruit and vegetables. These foods not only give you and your baby the nutrients you both need, they also help to stabilize energy and blood sugar.
Get Out in the Sun!
Needing some sunshine in your life? Literally, get out in the sun! Most of us are aware that the sun gives us Vitamin D, but it also causes us to release endorphins, much like exercise. In turn, a short while out in the sun, and we find our outlook to be much improved. This may take some effort on your part. During your lunch break, take your food to go and take a nice walk outside. If you can’t do that, perhaps sit near a window (shades open of course). If all else fails, try replacing the light bulbs near you with Full Spectrum bulbs. Your body will think you were catching some rays.
Of course, be smart with this. Skin tends to be extra sensitive while pregnant. Apply an SPF as needed to avoid becoming sunburned.
Try out some of these tips to find out what works best for you. You deserve it and so does your baby.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. In the past few weeks or months, surely lots of attention (deservingly so) has focused upon you and the wee one-to-be. What about the man in your life? Let him know that he will always be in your heart with these basq Super Picks designed just for him.
Sentimental Sweetie Does your guy save ticket stubs from movies you have seen together? Does he have a framed ultrasound picture adorning his desk? This may be just what he would love.
Remember Special Moments with a completely customizable print. Include events such as your first date, a favorite concert, engagement and of course your wedding day! This is a gift that your children will enjoy looking at one day.
Chic Geek Does your man feel more comfortable at a comic book convention than at a cocktail party? When the double lines appeared on the pregnancy test, was he quick to suggest the names Luke and Leia? This is just the gift for him.
A Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray. Your hubby will love reliving his favorite childhood flick as you make him his favorite beverage with Han Solo ice cubes. Bonus, if you are really feeling crafty you can make chocolate Han Solos or soap Han Solos with these same molds. It won't be long before these trays will be used by your kiddos for Han Solo popsicles during the summer. You will be the best wife in the galaxy. Let your man know that, "The Empire will compensate you if he melts". Trust us, he will know what it means. :-)
A scoreboard desk clock designed to look just like the real team's scoreboard. Choose your love's favorite baseball or football team. This clock is perfect for any bedroom or office. One day, your child may even learn to tell time using it.
Solor-Powered Illuminating Waterbottle. This amazing bottle is the ultimate outdoor lovers multitasker. This BPA-free plastic bottle is perfect for carrying water, but the real twist is in the lid. The cap contains 4 ultra-bright LEDs and one red LED for night vision, along with a reflective lens that turns the bottle into a brilliant camp light. It is powered by a solar panel, so no batteries are needed! It won't be long before baby and Daddy will be having backyard campout with this to light their way.
http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/solar-powered-illuminating-waterbottle Gift from mom and baby: Has the baby already arrived? Would you like the gift to include him/her as well? Look no further: This amazing print will be adored for years to come! Using your little one's foot prints, this artist will create a heart between the words I and you. On the right side it will read, "from the top of my head to the tips of my toes." What could be sweeter?