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A Fresh Start with Day One. Skincare
Safe and Sustainable Cleaning with The Hoot
Joon Hair Elixir Oil – Modern Chemistry Meets Ancient Persian Plant Power

A Fresh Start with Day One. Skincare

The wise Ilona Royce Smithkin recently posted on her Instagram, “Take care of your body, it’s your best friend!”

The Advanced Style star’s words couldn’t be more true. I’m so glad I switched over to natural skincare products a couple years back, as I hope that the non-toxic products will help take care of my “best friend” for the rest of my life. I’ve noticed a big difference in the overall appearance of my skin, and I’ve been told a lot lately that I look like I’m still in my 20s (which is great). I’ve been so lucky to have connected with numerous local, natural and organic skincare brands throughout these couple years, mainly in Arizona, but also a couple amazing companies in Houston as well. I’m so pleased to share with you, the story of a company that just recently launched not too long ago…

Day One. is a small Phoenix-based skincare company that was created by Alexandra Stein in December 2017.  I had the pleasure of meeting her when I stopped by Pop PHX on my last visit to Phoenix. I had originally e-met her on Instagram through mutual friends, and I was thrilled when I found out that she was vending at the shop when I’d be in town.

While at the shop, I was introduced to naturally-made small batch bars of soap, deodorant, lip balm, and bath soaks, whose primary ingredients include: Isolated Cannabidiol and Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. Alex is a firm believer of only using organic, non-toxic products on your body, as well as being an advocate for cannabis and hemp. You can read more about the use of the plant with her products HERE. We also chatted about the importance of a natural deodorant that works. I can vouch for the fact that Day One.’s aluminum-free version does work for me. I still sweat, however, I don’t stink, thanks to the AHHHmazing fresh tea tree scent that emits from my armpits. Alex also loves it, and feels that it’s been a godsend to her own armpits as well. It was also interesting finding out more about her growing brand…

LAFS: Tell me a little about yourself, and what inspired you to start a skincare company?

AS: I grew up in Phoenix, AZ but spent my formative years at a boarding school in central Arizona. As soon as I graduated I packed and moved to Chicago where I lived for 5 years, eventually moving back to Phoenix after graduating from Loyola University Chicago with two bachelors degrees. The last 9 years in Phoenix have been a rollercoaster! With deciding to leave my corporate job and start my journey into entrepreneurship 3 years ago, I never would’ve envisioned being where I am now. I worked for years in marketing and public relations and made the jump to sales after leaving my job at an ad tech startup. I was making great money but I wasn’t happy. That’s ultimately when I decided to combine my passion for helping people and advocacy for cannabis and hemp, and turn it into my own organic skin care company…My passion for skincare and creating products started during my teenage years and progressed as I moved back to Phoenix. While living in the Midwest, I experienced a complete 180 in terms of skincare problems from growing up in Phoenix and spent lots of time making DIY face masks and shopping at Lush with my college girlfriends. I feel self-care routines are important to help us destress from our everyday troubles and have been taking baths to relax since childhood. Making the bath soak came about after creating bath bombs and really not liking how my skin felt after using them during my own bathing routine. While fun to watch and swirl about in, when I moved back to Phoenix after graduating, I took what I learned from living in the harsh and windy climate of Chicago and experimented with my own products at home. It wasn’t until I made my first batch of cold process soap in 2015 that I knew I was here to bring back bar soap in a big way.

LAFS: What inspired the name, “Day One.?”

AS: When I thought about the name, a fresh start. Also, the beginning of a new routine. Beyond our purpose of “empowering the public to make conscious health and beauty choices”, I want to inspire others to be their most authentic self while treating their bodies and skin with the utmost love and care. Education and transparency have been a huge selling point for my products. I want people to start their journey into non-toxic skincare and hygiene products with Day One. and I’m hoping I’m creating a loyal following for my niche.

LAFS: What makes Day One. stand out, in your opinion?

AS: Our products are free of palm oil and toxic ingredients. Two things that remain in many over-the-counter soaps and hygiene products. They are also made with a proprietary hemp seed oil that’s infused with an additional raw extract from hemp and isolated cannabidiol, both extracted with minimal solvents and imported from Europe. The combination of organic ingredients with the added benefit of hemp makes Day One. stand out.

Find Day One. online, Facebook, and Instagram!

Day One., natural skincare, bath salts

Day One., natural skincare

Day One., natural skincare

Day One., natural skincare, soap bar

Safe and Sustainable Cleaning with The Hoot

One of my fondest childhood memories was when I would go to my dad’s house for the weekend. Seeing that he hardly had time to really clean up around the house, I took it upon myself to help out. I really enjoyed showing him a cleaner house after I was done. In those days, the thought of a natural, chemical-free cleaning solution was pretty much unheard of. But fast-forward to the 21st Century, we now live in a society where it’s almost a given to have healthier and more sustainable household cleaning products around.

I had heard about The Hoot All-Natural Cleaning Solution through my Facebook feed, and I wanted to check it out. The Virginia-based small company was launched by Tonya Newsome. Throughout her lifetime, she had always spent most of her time cleaning homes, including her own. Over time, however, she would notice that her hands were aging faster than her face, and that she was having many respiratory issues. That led her to start investigating the ingredients behind common household cleaners, most of which turned out to be harmful. Empowered with the newfound information, she set out to make her own safer cleaning solution, which (since 2014) is now known as The Hoot.

The Hoot wasn’t the original name for her product, but unfortunately, the name she wanted to use was already taken. Tonya goes on to explain, “Because our logo design was completed before we named ourselves, I was 100% set on keeping the logo and finding a name that was befitting of the design and our mission- to introduce an all-natural cleaning product that is safe, effective, and AFFORDABLE. “The Hoot” was actually suggested by my daughter one day while sitting on our porch, and it immediately reminded me of my youth. In the first grade, I was in a play titled, “Give a Hoot.” I could recall a popular song from the seventies called, “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute.” I thought to myself, ‘Perfect! This is a sign!’ The name “The Hoot” stuck.”

While you can pretty much clean just about anything with the solution, it does not polish wood…Yet… Did I also mention that they use bottles that are crafted from recycled plastic?!

Tonya sent me a bottle to try, and I must say… I’m impressed! It does everything a “normal” cleaner would do. It also smells fantastic! It comes in lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, and pine. I received the lavender, and boy do I love the way it gives off a calming scent when I’m cleaning the kitchen, floors, bathroom, etc. I also use it to clean the tiles in the shower, where the soap scum builds up. I spray it, let it set in for a minute, and use a good scrubbing sponge, and it’s pretty good at getting most of it off. What’s also great about this product, is that I don’t have to use gloves. I have the reassurance that it’s safe to use around myself, my spouse, and my three cats. “The Hoot ingredients are easy to read. We are affordable, and our product contains no SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) like a lot of natural products on the market today. These are both common additives used mainly to produce foam in cleaning products, but are also known skin irritants and cancer-causing agents. The Hoot All-Natural produces the same (or even better) results without the harmful effects,” Tonya said.

The Hoot All-Natural cleaning solution, natural ingredients

I also love how Newsome is all about helping out and giving back in her community. “At this time, our main focus is introducing and getting the word out about The Hoot All-Natural. In the future, we also hope to expand our mission to include providing information and access to other healthy alternatives, including community gardens to low-income areas.”

You can find/shop The Hoot All-Natural online, in six local health food stores in Virginia (and plan on getting into more), on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tonya leaves us with, “Give The Hoot a try on things outside normal house areas that you need to clean. We have had customers use it on their shoes, car rims, car seats, and even as a glass cleaner!”

The Hoot All-Natural cleaning solution, natural ingredients

It really does work on car rims!


Joon Hair Elixir Oil – Modern Chemistry Meets Ancient Persian Plant Power

Joon Saffron Hair Oil, natural hair care, beauty

For thousands of years, plants have always been one of the main sources of ingredients for beauty products and skincare rituals. Siblings Shiva and Kayvon Tavakoli harnessed their Persian roots to create the ultimate hair elixir- Joon’s Saffron Hair Oil. This oil was actually featured in Allure Magazine as one of the “Best Hair Oils of 2017.”

It all started when the duo spent their summers with their grandparents in Iran. Shiva recalls, “My grandpa was a businessman that exported exotic Persian spices, such as saffron. My grandmother used these same spices and herbs in not only her cooking, but also her beauty rituals. This is where we learned about our culture and also along with it, the deep DIY, natural remedies from anything from hair loss to stomachaches.”

Shiva and Kayvon also have the fundamentals of the beauty industry in their blood. “After my father received his PH.D. in chemical engineering, he moved to Houston to work in the oil and gas industry, which he did for several years. Eventually, he began itching to start his own business. When there was a salon that was up for sale, he decided to buy it. It became one of the top salons in Houston. From that one salon, he began his chain. He owned over 150 salons at one point. As he was expanding his salons, he decided he was unhappy with the quality of hair care products that were available, so he decided to start his own haircare laboratory. He ended up selling his salon empire, but he kept the laboratory, which is where we still private label and make our own hair care products, including Joon. My brother and I worked in both the salons and the laboratory.”

Their hair oil has since been a hit with all hair types, and has been featured in numerous publications. “Our line is universal, and our saffron hair elixir works on many different hair types. I also want to highlight a diverse group of people who generally have been shut out of the mainstream beauty conversation. They tend to be Middle Eastern, South Asian, Hispanic, Black, and it goes on. I think no matter where you come from, and who you are, it’s important to be true to yourself. There is something to learn from every culture,” Shiva explained. “We make cruelty-free products and use non-toxic ingredients. Besides the obvious fact that non-toxic ingredients are better for everyone, the line was also inspired by Persian culture. Persians use a lot of plant-based remedies in their beauty rituals. I wanted to create safe products that are also in line with my Persian background…I have never heard of a Persian inspired hair care line prior to Joon. The Persian ingredients, such as the saffron (actually floating in the bottle), are not commonly used ingredients in beauty. You will be seeing a lot of new ingredients in our upcoming products that have a lot of benefits for the hair.”

I’ve personally used this product mainly after I’ve washed my hair, or sometimes in the mornings when I feel that my hair needs a refresher. I love that it’s cruelty-free, so I can feel good about putting it in my hair. I rub the remaining oil into my hands, and it also makes a great smelling moisturizer. Other ingredients in the product are rose and pistachio. Pistachio is known to help nourish and moisturize bouncy and smooth hair, while rose is known to help with hair repair.

“It’s a pretty versatile product. You can use the Saffron Hair Elixir on both dry or damp hair. Put a few drops into your hands, rub it together to evenly distribute the product, and then apply it to your hair length and ends. You can even use it before and after styling, and also as an overnight treatment.” Shiva also goes on to recommend that you wash your hair with lukewarm or cold water, as hot water can dry out hair and make it more brittle, as well as weaken the roots.

“We are about to work on creating our next product. I always want to get input from the Joonies before I create anything new. If you want to be a part of our product creation, or just keep up with the latest hair tips and launches, you can always go on our website, and join our Joon email list. Or follow us @joonhaircare.”

Joon Saffron Hair Oil, natural hair care, beauty




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