Nan Arundel’s landscaping career started at age 5, when she peddled maple-tree seeds (aka helicopters) to neighbors out of a wagon. When she’s not co-running Landscape Love, the award-winning, landscaping design firm (and soon-to-be brick and mortar space) she owns with her husband, she’s chasing their son Junah, bringing yoga to streets of Minneapolis and documenting their family adventures along the way. After digging in the dirt day-in, day-out, no on knows how to keep hard-working hands picture-perfect better than Nan. Here are her must-haves for gardening guys + gals:
Gloves: Some people (including my husband/business partner) believe that a true gardener goes bare-handed into the dirt. I disagree. Every day, I don a pair of nitrile gloves ($3.50). I keep about 10 in rotation and toss them in the laundry at the end of every work day.
Hard-core hand cream: In my garden bag I keep O’Keefe’s Working Hands ($6). Unlike most heavy-duty hand creams, it’s not greasy. I put some on before the work day, and try to after washing my hands throughout the (12-hour) day. I love how even when I’m working in hot, humid conditions, it never makes my hands feel sweaty.
Luxe-for-less soap: We keep Trader Joe’s Orange Blossom Honey Liquid Soap ($3.99) at every sink in our house. It’s simple and has a fresh, subtly sweet scent. Plus it’s really inexpensive which we love since we have to scrub our hands so much to get all the dirt off! Guests at our home often ask where it’s from because it smells and feels luxurious (it is imported from France, after all); no one ever guesses it’s from TJ’s!
Nordic body brush:I love the feeling of giving myself a good scrub once a week. I use this Iris Hantverk body brush my sister picked up for me at The Foundry Home Goods. It’s got a super strong bristle that takes the layers and layers of dirt off hands, feet, body, and makes my skin feel soft. (Author’s note: New to body brushing? Check out my beginner’s guide here.)
Night-time nurturing: I keep Weleda’s Skin Food ($17) next to my bed. Before zonking out, I put on a thick layer to give them an extra dose of moisture while I sleep.
Do you garden? If so, what products and rituals do you rely on for keeping your hands healthy and presentable?
If there’s a skincare line that’s going to turn me into a minimalist, it’s CAMP. Crafted, tested and packaged in small batches in Toronto, CAMP adheres to an all-killer, no-filler philosophy when it comes to products. Simply put, they don’t use doesn’t significantly benefit your skin. And it shows! Take the Vanilla Moon Body Oil ($29), for example. The base of almond oil is infused with Madagascar vanilla not once, or twice, but three times over, imparting an amber color and intoxicating musky/sweet/incense-like aroma. Add to the mix evening primrose oil (promoter of skin elasticity and healing), jojoba oil (an all-time MVP of the moisture-delivery variety), borage oil (the greatest natural source of GLA, an omega-6 that stimulates skin cell regeneration), and you have a ridiculously luxe moisturizer that’s surprisingly easy on the budget. The perfect gift for your dream-catcher obsessed niece, Steve Nicks-obsessed BFF, your little brother’s vegan girlfriend and duh, yourself.
More lovely gift ideas from our Indie Holiday series right this way . . .
Keratosis pilaris, according to the Mayo Clinic is “difficult to treat,” a fact I could’ve told you myself, no M.D. required. Since, oh, puberty, I’ve tried everything to treat the swath of chicken bumps that cover my upper arms, from dry-brushing to dermatologist-prescribed creams. The only product that’s been remotely effective was a tube of KP Duty ($38) I picked up run years ago. After slathering my way through ninety percent of the tube, I noticed an improvement to my goose-like flesh, but the sticker shock just didn’t sit right with me, or my savings account.
Enter Gold Bond Ultimate Rough & Bumpy Daily Therapy Cream ($10), also known as the greatest impulse Target buy this girl has ever made. The bump-busting combo of major-sounding exfoliators (salicylic, alpha hydroxyl and beta hydroxyl acids) boosted with a smorgasbord of moisturizers, worked wonders within just TWO weeks. After a month of regular use? Velvety soft skin and my bumps are all but GONE. Have I mentioned it’s fragrance-free, costs around $1.40 an ounce and is available at your local Target or drugstore? Get it, girls!
Letting go of summer if hard, making this divine body spray is not. In fact, all it takes is a few ingredients—many of which I’m sure you have on hand—and two minutes of your time. The resulting spray’s smell encompasses everything I love about these fleeting Indian-summer afternoons, including floral sweetness, mind-clearing eucalyptus, perky citrus and soothing, cooling aloe. The tea-based spray leaves skin feeling refreshed and lightly scented, and is guaranteed to be as grounding as the crunch of leaves underfoot and as refreshing as a cool breeze at the end of a hot spell. Here’s how to make it!
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Essential oils—geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, grapefruit and lemon
3 cups of freshly brewed green tea, cooled (I used ginger-green to up the spice factor)
4 tablespoons aloe gel
1. Measure 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and add to your glass jar.
2. Add your essential oils—10 drops each of eucalyptus and lavender, 5 drops each of grapefruit, lemon and geranium.
3. Tighten the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. Just like making salad dressing, you want the vinegar and oil to be completely emulsified before moving onto the next step.
4. Add the aloe gel and green tea. Tighten the lid and shake it up again.
5. Funnel mixture into a clean spray bottle (or, if giving as gifts, multiple bottles).
Apply liberally whenever you need a little pick-me-up, shaking before each use, and storing in the fridge in between uses.
When it comes to celebrity beauty lines, consider me a natural skeptic. I mean, besides their name, what value is a singer/model/actress really going to add when it comes to formulating effective products? That said, a few celebrities have proven me wrong. I adore Drew Barrymore’s Flower cosmetics, have splurged on Josie Maran’s namesake skincare products, and now, I find myself obsessing over Salma Hayek’s Nuance line, available exclusively at CVS. In preparation for this post, I spent months testing and retesting 30+ products from Hayek’s collection. Here are the ones that came out on top:
Green Tea Cooling Eye Gel ($17): My three-word review? It actually works! As an allergy-sufferer with chronic insomnia, I’ve tried more drugstore eye creams than I’d ever care to admit, and more often than not, they do absolutely diddley squat. This fast-absorbing gel de-puffs eyes instantly and effectively, especially when stashed in the fridge in between uses.
My Secret Super Brightening Hand Cream ($10): Hayek’s ultra-rich hand cream reminds me of something my grandma would have on her nightstand, and I mean that in the best possible way. The formula is incredibly moisturizing but doesn’t feel greasy, and I’m so gaga over its lightly nostalgic floral scent I keep a tube at home and at work.
White Clay Ageless Clarity White Clay Treatment Mask ($13): In warmer months, clay masks work their way into my weekly rotation, and Hayek’s radiance-boosting iteration has quickly become a favorite. Fortified with tepezcohuite, an ingredient prized by the ancient Mayans for its anti-microbial and regenerative properties, and tempered with calming calendula, this mask sloughs away dead, dull skin and absorbs excess grease without irritation or over-drying.
Cucumber & Rosewater Dual Phase Makeup Remover ($8): Occasionally I buy beauty products simply because they’re pretty to look at, a habit that often leaves me disappointed. The purchase of this pretty layered eye makeup remover was not one of those instances. Packed with nourishing botanical extracts, including a few standards (cucumber, rosewater, lavender) along with some newbies (blue agave, camapu, mimosa and prickly pear), this product is easy on the eyes, in more ways than one. Good thing it’s pretty to look at because one bottle lasts for MONTHS.
Rose Petal Hydrating Balm ($15): This past winter, I had a cold that lasted months. After blow no. 4,994,225, my poor nose needed major TLC. I tried Vaseline, Neosporin, vitamin E and coconut oil—all to no avail. Desperate for relief, I dabbed a bit of this balm on at bedtime with zero expectations. When I woke up, my chapped, split nostrils were healed! Since then, I’ve considered this rosy balm something of a miracle-worker, and have used it on everything from torn cuticles to curling iron burns to bug bites.
Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.