Saturday, September 29, 2007

Say Hey to Shea...

September is almost gone, and the cooler season beckons. Preparing the skin for the harshness during the months ahead is important. I've never seen the point in waiting until the dry flakes appear before deciding the skin needs attention.

Unrefined shea butter is very versatile, and has excellent soothing, moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It also has a characteristic "nutty" scent to it, that disappears after about twenty minutes on the skin. Shea butter has been used for dry skin by African healers for too many centuries to count. It is high in non-saponifiables and has a unique fatty acid profile. Together, this makes for an incredible ability to moisturize and retain the skin's elasticity.

But the wonder of Shea doesn't stop there. It also helps to protect the skin against damage done by the sun. It repairs degenerated cells, and its vitamin A content makes it a true friend to excema, dermatitis, and skin blemishes. Many report the natural butter to promote and accelerate wound healing, scars, and stretch marks.

The unrefined butter is thick, and easily melts when rubbed between the palms. A little goes a long long way. Intitially, for the first few minutes it feels a little greasy. Then, almost as fast as it melted between your hands it's gone, leaving behind a soft silkiness of protection that soothes cracks and eases dryness.

If you've never tried Shea butter, then you don't know what you're missing out on. And for those of you who don't need any introduction to its wonderful skin kissing properties... take yourself on over to the Manor. Fall has begun, and our natural organic unrefined shea butter is here in plenty...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Taking the Fifth...

I'd like to welcome The Bahamas as the latest stop on the Manor Hall Around the World tour. Some 2100 miles from its humble roots here in Springfield, Massachusetts, an Almost Sunset chappie has been spotted basking on a balcony in Freeport in the Bahamas.

Along with America, Ireland, Wales, and the Canary Islands, The Bahamas represents the fifth country to bag a Manor Hall handmade soap bar. All in addition to eight states and Puerto Rico.

That's a gift voucher on its way to one happy customer. Many thanks from Manor Hall. Keep them coming!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sweet September...

With the scorching summer sun getting set to yield to the cool of fall, there's no time like the present to give your skin a treat. Small wonder then that this is the month we nationally celebrate honey. Cleopatra had it right. Fill a bath with milk and honey, and sit in it while the world goes by. Skin needs to be kept hydrated in order to remain soft, supple and elastic. Age, life's stresses, and everyday pollution really stretch our skin to the limit and affect its ability to stay moist. Skin becomes dry, cracked, and yes… those dreaded wrinkles appear.

Honey attracts and holds on to moisture, making it a natural humectant. Honey is also good for sensitive skin. But, the benefits of honey for beauty don't stop there. Studies show that honey has good antioxidant properties. Antioxidants not only play a part in protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, but are also rather handy when it comes to skin rejuvenation and the restoration of. Its antimicrobial talents make it good for skin break-outs without drying the skin like most acne lotions, zit creams and wishy washes.

So, celebrate September with a jar of honey, and your skin. Spread it on your face, spoon some in the bath, and even mix with olive oil to condition your hair. Honey, you know you're worth it...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mattoon Street Arts Festival

I've spent the week so far stocking up on soap bars. I love the smell of a soapfest, as batch after batch wafts through and fills the whole place with wonderful natural plant oil aromas.

The weekend was a glorious one, and the Mattoon Street Arts Festival didn't disappoint. The Festival, celebrating its 35th year, is Springfield's signature festival, and one of New England's longest running arts and crafts fairs. With over 90 exhibitors displaying and selling handmade arts and artisan crafts on a wonderfully historic tree-lined urban street over two weekend days, it is as unique as the artists and craftspeople that participate in it year in and year out. Herringbone brick sidewalks, stately London Plane shade trees, and cast iron ornamental street lights all contribute to the charm of this designated historic district.

Saturday was sweltering with high humidity and the temperature a record breaking 92 degrees. It was a little too warm, and the numbers wandering through the pretty canopy lined street reflected that. But in true Scarlett style, tomorrow was indeed another day, and the Sunday shoppers stopped by our canopy all day long taking home with them many olive oil soap chappies.

Almost Sunset won the day yet again. I have yet to put this soap bar out and have it overlooked. Thank you to all who stopped by the booth to see what the scent was all about, and to everyone who couldn't resist picking up some Manor Hall goodies.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Strawberries and Cream

Over-active glands are often the problem behind oily skin. A good cleansing routine is what helps here. Strawberries, with their vitamin C and acidic properties, will leave your skin sparkling clean. Grab a fork and four plump strawberries, a dollop of cream, or a splash of milk. Add honey too if you have it. Mash away, and spread on your face for ten minutes or so. Patch test first if you have sensitivities.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Full of Beans

I've always found September to be one of those "where are we" months. I mean, it's still warm but it isn't quite summer. And yet, it's not cool enough for fall.

Skin takes a beating during the summer months. It's odd... the English complexion of olde was always one of pale. These days, if we look like we did back then, we'd be accused of being anemic. Wonder if that's why they were always fainting back then. Yes, okay... I'm just being clever. I know it was the corsets that were way too tight.

So... flaky lips from summer's blaze give way to new ingredients for the Fall. Macadamia nut oil, moisturizing virgin coconut oil and intoxicating coffee butter. Just the right thing to condition that pucker, ready for the cool of the coming months. Lip Skippers Conditioning Lip Butter in a wild coffee roast. Available now at the Manor. Just the thing to take the middling out of the month of September.