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OWe had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Oat Mama founders: Eliza Larson and Kristy Kohler – they are the Mamas behind Oat Mama (the most delicious Oat Mama Bar + range of products for mom’s from pregnancy to postpartum). Eliza and Kristy bonded a lot over a mutual passion for food and for feeding themselves and their kiddos well.

Oat Mama’s products are delicious AND effective (speaking our language!). Developed to keep moms to keep mom’s feeling loved, nourished, and supported. They are a company by moms for moms.

Do you have any beauty shortcuts that mom’s need to know about?

Eliza: A good dry shampoo will be your best friend during that newborn stage, and regular mom life, tbh. My favorite is Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo.

Everyone has that ritual that makes them feel confident and pulled together, what’s yours?

Eliza: I feel the most pulled together when I have my jewelry on. I honestly feel naked without my earrings or a necklace on. I also feel like my best self when I have mascara, bronzer, and lipgloss on.

Do you have any first-time mom advice?

Eliza: Find a group of moms to connect with and share stories about birthing, diaper blow-outs, sore nipples, breastfeeding advice, or just to talk about this new journey of motherhood you’re on, the good and the bad. Having a baby for the first time can feel so isolating. Find moms that you can connect with.  

What beauty product can you not live without?

Eliza: I can’t live without my Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. It was a splurge, but so worth it.

How do you find balance?

Eliza: Still working on that, haha. But making time to exercise every morning helps me to be a better version of myself.

How do you de-stress?

Eliza: I love walking around my neighborhood while listening to a podcast. I also try to treat myself to a pedicure or put on a face mask at night. Doing any of those things feels relaxing and luxurious and like I’m taking care of myself.

Do you have any beauty shortcuts that moms need to know about?

Kristy: I live in the desert, so chapped lips are a major concern. Each night before bed, I apply a little vaseline or aquaphor to my lips for an extra soft and hydrated lip in the morning.

Everyone has that ritual that makes them feel confident and pulled together, what’s yours?

Kristy: I love a good facial. When that is not an option, I do all of the things at home: exfoliate, mask, oils and lotions. Fresh glowing skin always gives me the most confidence.

Do you have any first-time mom advice?

Kristy: Trust yourself. You already have everything you need, everything it takes, to be an awesome mom.

What beauty product can you not live without?

Kristy: I know it is crazy, but I don’t love mascara, so an eyelash curler is my best friend.

How do you find balance?

Kristy: I actually schedule in fun on my calendar alongside meetings and work engagements. I’ll schedule in date nights, dinner with friends, and even one-on-one time with my kids. When it is on the calendar, it is way more likely to happen.

How do you de-stress?

Kristy: For the last year, I have been meditating with the Calm app first thing in the morning. It gets me in the right frame of mind to start the day. I also make a point of getting out into nature regularly. The fresh air and sunshine really clears my head and helps relieve any tension built up through the day.

We enlisted our dear friend Ada Polla, CEO of Alchimie Forever, to shed light into how important and impactful women friendships can be.

My friendship with Lisa Goldfaden started a couple of years ago – and after finally meeting her, I couldn’t believe we hadn’t met much earlier, as in may ways we are work twins.

Ada Polla

When Lisa asked me to write a guest blog post for her, how could I say no? She told me it didn’t have to be on skin care – and so instead, I want to write a few lines on women’s friendships, and asking for help.

Many could say that Lisa and I are competitors. After all, we both have skin care brands that are positioned at the intersection of dermatology and nature (hers), aka clean and clinical (mine). We sell to many of the same boutiques and spas. We could hate each other, bad mouth each other, and refuse to help each other. But instead, we do the opposite.

I use her products (my favorite is her Fleuressence face oil). When I hear of an account looking for an innovative brand, I recommend hers. She does the same – actually it is thanks to her that you will find Alchimie Forever at Fusion Apothecary in Manhattan. We share industry stories. We tell each other how awesome we are. We lift each other up. There is enough skin in the world for brands to be friend (side note: I feel the same about Sarah Kugelman of Skyn Iceland).

I am a strong believer that women helping women is good for the soul, for the industry, for the world. I love helping, and I love being helped. But I didn’t used to – in particular the latter. When I started in the industry, I knew less but thought I knew more, and I saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. I would do this on my own, by myself. Sometimes I didn’t even want the help that my family provided. I am now older, and wiser, and clearer on a few things:

  • I can’t do it alone.
  • I can’t know everything about everything.
  • Asking for help is a sign of strength.
  • Being helped is as important as helping others.
  • Strong women lift up other women.
  • And Alchimie Forever products and Goldfaden MD products layer beautifully!

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and a perfect time to learn the facts about this very common and potentially deadly disease. Below are some facts from Breastcancer.org, where you can find out more information if you or a loved one is fighting this cancer.

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  • 1 out if 8 women will get breast cancer during their lifetime (12%)
  • A man’s risk for breast cancer is 1 in 1000
  • In 2015 – 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed
  • In 2015- over 40,000 women are expected to die from breast cancer
  • Breast cancer has the 2nd highest mortality rate for cancers with the exception of lung cancer in women
  • 2nd to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer for American women
  • Under the age of 45, African American women are at higher risk than white women
  • Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are at lower risk of developing breast cancer at any age
  • Risk doubles if a woman has a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) that had breast cancer
  • Only 5-10% of breast cancer can be linked to having the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • If you have BRCA1 you risk goes up to 45-55%
  • BRCA2 the risk is 45%
  • 85% of breast cancer occurs with NO family history
  • Top risk factors are gender and aging

While exercise, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight all contribute to staying cancer free, the best weapon against breast cancer is a mammogram. There are two main types of mammograms available today, film or digital, talk to your doctor to see which is most appropriate for you. Film mammograms and digital both take two pictures of the breasts. The difference is how they are printed and stored. The actual process is the same but the storing of the results is different. Film is on film and digital is on a computer. The benefit to the digital is that they can be shared between doctors easily and blown up to see closer if something looks suspicious. There is also a 3D mammogram, which is available in 48 of our 50 states. The 3D mammogram takes images form various angles of the breast in ‘slices’, which allows for a deeper more accurate view. However, 3D mammograms are not always covered by insurance and are costly at $100.These mammograms are good for younger women, women with dense breast tissue or implants. Studies have shown that 3D mammography may help up to 40% more to detect cancer. They also lessen the ‘call backs’ because they are so precise.

Knowledge and early detection saves lives. Mammograms take 10-20 minutes and while they can be uncomfortable they do not hurt. If you have a family history of breast cancer mammograms are being recommended at an earlier age than 40. Talk to your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends. Urge them to get tested and have yearly mammograms. Another great way to help fight this disease is by raising money and participating in a Breast Cancer walk/run. Think Pink!