Friday, December 17, 2010


In my blog, I promised I’d tell you about items that will make your life more delightful and are actually beneficial. These make GREAT stocking stuffers and litle gifts of appreciation at any time.

Well, Bordeaux Balm from Kristin From the Vineyard is one of those treats that really does what it is supposed to do! This grape seed oil-based multipurpose balm is your beauty best friend -- it smoothes out the rough edges and offers relief for most skin situations, soothing, moisturizing, and protecting. Use on chapped lips, ragged cuticles, tough feet and rough hands. Also great for scratches, razor burn, sun burn, post-hair removal irritation, winter noses and most other skin discomfort. Try on eyelashes and eyebrows as nourishment and as a grooming aid. For shine, apply to any part of the face or body that needs a spotlight. In addition to grape seed oil, Bordeaux Balm is loaded with essential oils and natural ingredients, including coconut oil, aloe leaf extract, soybean oil and cotton seed oil.

"Kristin: Skincare from the Vineyard" was founded by Kristin Moses Murray in 2006 when she could not find a grape seed oil-based multipurpose product to suit her beauty needs. A veteran of lifestyle and beauty public relations, Kristin transitioned to a position at Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, her step-mother and father’s business in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heading up the PR, marketing and advertising for a burgeoning company meant she worked long hours and traveled a great deal. Kristin saw that as she and her friends moved into the next phases of their careers, and some had children, time became a luxury. With each passing year, schedules were tighter - and beauty products and treatments were more necessary. As Kristin’s routine and travel kit included foot cream, lip balm, cuticle oil, eyelash nourisher, and assorted other products, she thought there had to be a more streamlined method or a key ingredient that could target many needs and one that tapped into the magic and merits of grape seed oil. Grape seeds contain polyphenols and anti-oxidants, which help to nourish, smooth and moisturize the skin and the scent soothes the soul. Unable to find her dream product in the marketplace, Kristin was influenced by her entrepreneurial parents. She looked at the rows of vines outside her office window and decided to create a magic bullet herself – a multi-purpose product offering the benefits of grape seed oil, made for busy, beauty-conscious women. After nearly two years of research and development, Bordeaux Balm was born! Oh, and did I mention Kristin was my daughter? $12 plus $2 SHI to continental United States.

I promised I’d tell you about things that make my life easier, and here’s another one of them. Without fail, whenever someone walked into my booth at an antique show, they would exclaim, “Your silver looks so great! What do you use on it?” It really became sort of a joke…and soon my automatic reply was, “My husband.” That was only half the truth, though. He supplied the elbow grease and actually enjoyed polishing silver because it gave him instant gratification. The silver positively gleamed!

BUT the other half of the equation was Mr. Metal. Yes, Mr. Metal is a non-abrasive liquid polish packaged in an 8 ounce plastic container and it works on brass, copper, stainless steel (yes, pots and pans), even chrome bumpers on your classic car. An old-time silver dealer turned me on to it, and as a museum director and silver dealer, believe me when I say that I had tried every polish on the market.

The many plusses of Mr. Metal are that it will tackle oxidized silver without the usual hard rubbing necessary. Just wipe it on with a soft cloth, then wipe it off with another. There’s no sulfur stench, although I recommend using latex gloves. It dissolves tarnish and grime without rough abrasives. If you need to get into places with intricate chasing, a soft toothbrush will help, and you usually don’t have to rinse the polish off except in those types of instances. Of course, whenever you’re dealing with vessels that contain food and drink, you should wash them with warm water. It won’t harm metal surfaces or clear coats, and provides a one-of-a-kind tarnish guard protect that leaves a protective coating that prevents tarnish and dulling. The bonus? You don’t have to polish that often.

If you can’t find it, and it’s not always where you’d expect it to be, I’ll ship you a bottle for $8 SHI included. I can’t say enough good things about it.