The Diva has Spoken
By Lisa Link
Ok, I'll admit it: I've needed a little more pampering these
days. Why, you might ask? I'm getting married next month.
Need I say more? Actually, I've remained amazingly peaceful during
the storm of planning and preparation.
While I'm not one who is
especially uptight about every little detail, there is an awful
lot to do, and that alone causes a measure of anxiety. With my
regular full-time job and the part-time job of putting together
this really fabulous, fun party, I am well aware that I'm
burning the candle at both ends.
Although I'm doing
my best to eat healthy, get some extra exercise and try to fit
in plenty of rest, I find I need a little extra help in the
de-stressing, diva-fication department.
Do you remember any of that high school Latin or Italian?
"Diva", literally translated, means goddess or deity, and it is
a word I think every woman needs to embrace to some degree.
Remembering to take time for oneself is a necessity, not a
luxury, and is absolutely crucial to maintaining health and
overall sanity. And I promise that I really do practice what I
preach: no matter how much I have to do, I always try to pay
proper attention to my needs; consequently, the stress
works itself out.
While some would call this selfish, I call
it rational self-interest. I mean really, straight
jacket-white isn't the best bridal look, so I just do my level
best to keep it all in perspective.
When rejuvenation is a must, is it any wonder that a trip to
the tub for a restful soak is almost a nightly occurrence? I
think not. For those of us short on time and dime, a bath is a
fine little luxury that costs mere change and requires only a
half-hour, at most (while some might like to soak longer, it
makes me look like a big, pink prune Heh!).
lovely smells, and a good book or music are all one needs to
get centered and relaxed. Of course, bath water requires good
bath products to evolve to its higher state, so I looked to
Star Bath and Beauty and the Jaqua Girls to provide
the appropriate goodies to aid in the process of stroking my
Let's take a look at both sets of products, and
let my three "Rules of Diva-Worthy Skin" be one step on your
journey to discover your own inner goddess.
Star Bath and Beauty is a relatively new line, created by Tracy
Hollander. Tracy sought to create products that are, first and
foremost, all natural; they contain no harsh
derivatives and are not packaged in aluminum.
lists read short and sweet and contains words you can actually
say, like avocado butter, sweet almond oil and beeswax. Part of
the inspiration for these products was necessity.
Tracy has a
daughter who struggles with eczema, and as anyone who suffers
from this condition knows, chemicals can really exacerbate the
problem. I'm sure even the most sensitive of skins will react
kindly to Star's gentle formulas.
This young company encourages us to "Pamper the Celebrity in you
with Star, cutting edge bath products. Our products are nothing
like most products on the market. These high quality products
were created to bring out the best in you and make you shine
like a star inside and out...After all, you deserve to shine
like a star. We all do."
If you'll allow me a moment of indulgence, I'd like to add a
tangential side note. I feel compelled to say that I do not
share Ms. Hollander's obvious adoration of modern day Hollywood,
as indicated by the marketing of her products. I personally feel
that Hollywood today has, unfortunately,
taken a path quite different from the golden age of movies past,
forsaking art and the artist in favor of money, hype, and the
Then again, I'm an old theatre rat from way back who has set a bar
based on the performances of greats like Humphrey Bogart,
Maureen O'Hara, Kate Hepburn, Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich,
Jimmy Stewart, and Mae West.
Modern Hollywood seems hopelessly anemic by comparison. (But, please remember that this
represents merely one opinion of many. And, considering
that opinion has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of
Star products, it should be taken with the appropriate grain of
salt enough said.)
Or a Queen
On the flip side of my product testing, there were the
Girls to be reckoned with. Jennifer, Allison, and Sara Jaqua
cater to the whimsical, fun-loving diva with their Tub Queen
Bath Set (about $37).
This adorable array of lavender and rose-scented
products (bath salts, bubbling bath gel, bath oil and body
lotion) comes in a paint can-style container. It even includes
a few extras: a cotton headband, a cotton bath mitt and a "The
Queen is Soaking" sign for your bathroom door (to help avoid
having to curse those clueless individuals, such as spouses and
roommates, who seek to steal your quiet moments).
This set is a
great gift for yourself or some other deserving soul. I wonder
if these chicks want another honorary sister, because they just
seem like too much fun.
First Rule of Diva-Worthy Skin:
Like all good deities, goddesses require
Of course, getting clean is only the start of body treatment,
but it is, by far, the most necessary. I mean really, what's a
deity without purity? (Of body, at least; of mind is another
story altogether Heh!)
From the Star line, I tried Bathing Beauty Shower Gel
in Tangerine ($16.) Although this particular scent is no longer
available, there are a wealth of delicious scents from which to
choose: pumpkin pie, dreamsicle and chocolate almond, just to
name a few.
I loved this gentle, sweet-smelling cleanser; it
foamed beautifully, smelled terrific, and, thanks to its gentle
formula, my skin felt very hydrated post-shower. Bathing Beauty
Shower Gel is so gentle, you can even use it for shampoo! Great
when you're on the move and need to pack light. This is a fine
formula that won't strip skin or hair.
I also tried a delightful glycerin soap bar from Star. I adore
glycerin-based bars, and this one, with its gorgeous lavender
scent, was just wonderful. My skin was amazingly smooth and
hydrated after using it (glycerin is a very effective humectant
that treats skin delicately); it's too bad that this product
seems to be discontinued from the Star line!
For my evening respite in the tub, I turned to the items from
Jaqua Girls to make my soak a soothing experience. First, I
added a mixture of the Lavender Scented Bath Salts and
Rose Scented Bath Salts to the tub.
Although I'm not a big fan of
most floral-scented bath and body products, lavender and rose
are both big exceptions, especially when they smell this
I enjoy either fragrance as a single note, or mixed
together because they complement each other beautifully.
the salts, I added a generous dollop of the Lavender Bubbling
Bath Gel. Bubbles are a heck of a lot of fun, and both
myself and my bath time companion, Henry (no we're not getting
kinky here, I promise; Henry is my chunky-funky-spunky orange
cat who sits on the edge of the tub while I bathe) love them. If
my skin feels especially fragile, a little bit of the Lavender
Bath Oil will add an extra layer of moisturizer.
The combination of the scented salts, bubbling gel, and bath oil
filled my bathroom with a gorgeous, heady fragrance, and helped
me emerge from the tub clean and soft. A true delight for divas
who long for offerings of richly scented blossoms!
Now that we're clean, we have to soften, which brings
us to the:
Second Rule of Diva-Worthy Skin:
Silky skin is a must leave the "scales" to that wily
serpent. Everyone's skin
needs a good scrub now and then to slough off flakes, stimulate
circulation and make skin feel really smooth. I tried two
products from Star to this end.
Diva Detox Salt Scrub and
Divalicious Sugar Scrub ($18 each) both contain a wealth of oils in which, you guessed it, salt or sugar are used,
respectively, as the exfoliant. Both formulas do a great job of
making skin seriously silky, but I prefer the sugar scrub for
legs, simply because it doesn't react unkindly with any little
cuts or abrasions. (That little nick you gave yourself will feel
like the great, flaming fury fell upon it when rubbed with nice,
However, the salt scrub did work beautifully on my
upper arms and shoulders. Really, it is a question of personal
preference, because both formulas smell divine, and really
perked up my skin.
Third (and final) Rule of Diva-Worthy Skin:
Wise and beautiful
deities know to protect born-again skin.
After you've exposed your skin to cleansing and exfoliation, you
should always lay down a protective layer of moisturizer to keep
it soft and flake-free.
I tried Star's Celebrity Skin Body Butter ($18) in Lavender, which is
a scent that is no longer available. However, judging from the
current list of
delicious scent choices, you won't have a problem
finding one that appeals to you.
The formula is rich and thick,
but it absorbs well and doesn't feel overly greasy. This formula
is especially great for colder climates and the harsh demands of
For patches of skin that are dry enough to develop some form of
irritation or rash, look to Star's 5 Star Solid Lotion and
Perfume Butter Bar.
I tried this concentrated moisturizing stick
in the Dreamsicle scent, and loved how it handles that red rash
that develops on my shins and calves. (I always get drier on my
legs than anyplace else, which is a common problem the further
the skin is from your heart, the more apt it is to get dry.)
Just warm the formula in your palms a bit, then apply. You'll
love how great it feels and smells! Not to mention that you
can't beat these solid lotion sticks for convenience and
portability. The price on this one varied from $10 to $15,
so shop around.
Last stop on this diva's lotion quest was the Jaqua Girls
Lavender Body Lotion. I loved this lightweight formula because
it absorbed quickly and left almost no residue after soaking in
for about 10 minutes. This is a great warm weather formula, with
a scent that will transport you to an English Countryside run
wild with lavender.
Find the Tub Queen kit and a nice
selection of other Jaqua Girls products at
And, with that, this particular diva winds up her reviews of
bath and body products fit for a goddess. Please remember,
there's a little bit of the divine in each of us that deserves a
bit of pampering now and then. So listen to that nagging but
small voice that reminds you to take care of yourself.
Sometimes, divas deserve to receive rather than to give!