Follow me on Instagram @OrganicallyGorgeous
Holistic skin care and therapies (doing *and* talking about them) are something I've been passionate about since a young child, from as far back as age 5, as I remember.
My Early Years :
I recall memories of my Grandmother's backyard 'Grandma’s Garden' (*organic*, of course). And in it, I would spent hours relaxing, respecting, connecting, and admiring the different flowers (& all their parts), vegetables, fruits, herbs, ... and the multitude of life that considered Grandma’s Garden home (I especially adored the bees and the butterflies).
From my little girl place of love and intuition - I created various tinctures, poultices, serums, and potpourri, and then integrated them in 'therapy treatments'. I played a game my Grandmother called 'beauty spa', where, after our evening baths, I soaked her feet in a tub of milk and flower petals, massaged her face, neck, hands and feet, and lovingly applied lotion and oils to her and my skin. ... I remember my discovery of the tweezer at about age 8. I learned how to trim and define brows, and tweeze unruly facial hairs. Around that time I also taught myself how to care for nails, even my Grandmother's (who were brittle and strong, yet had skin which required careful attention due to her diabetes).
The kitchen and bathroom served as my spa & salon, laboratory, consultation corner - and place of love. This *organic gorgeousness* and holistic health through nature's bounty and lots of care, touch, and love lasted with Grandma from my age 5 -10, when I then moved with my Family from Chicago to San Diego.
My West Coast Experience :
Del Mar, California is where I really learned about the health and happiness that can come from the sun, and to a lesser extent (yet truly important) the natural waters. At that time, I also realized the importance of movement to keep my mind and body more balanced and healthy.
Ashland, Oregon is where I studied during my sophomore year of high school. It was a lovely, earthy, intelligent, progressive, compassionate, and happy little town, - where I learned to take my pseudo animal and environment mindfulness ... and develop into a declared vegetarian, animal and environment activist, reduce/reuse/recycle/composter, and wanna-be organic gardener/forager. It is also where I was exposed to the concept of mindfulness, and intentional relaxation (through the use of aromatherapy, candles, meditation, earthing, and being aligned with nature).
Chicago As a Young Adult and Beyond :
I moved back to the northwest suburbs of Chicago ... and a few years later - I made my Daughter, Damiane. I quickly decided if I was going to be a teenage, single (unmarried) Mama living way below the poverty line - I was going to be the healthiest, most intelligent and well-informed Mother I could be. I ate 'clean' : whole, raw or slow cooked, no mammal meat, no mammal milk, and organic whenever possible. My Mother helped me to shop at Fresh Fields (before it was bought out by Whole Foods) - and we worked diligently (despite socio-economic hardships) to grow healthy gorgeous babies ... as well as holistically cure her cancer (which was a success, and at 69, my Mom is still with us today). I read often: about growing and raising healthy children, vegetarianism, connecting with nature, and maintaining beautiful skin and health while being subject to the changes of hormones during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
I also enjoyed learning about different cultures: customs, festivals, food, art - dance - music, etc. Additionally, I had first hand experience of life as bi-racial (my Mom is 'White', from Italy and my Dad 'Latino' / 'Hispanic', from Puerto Rico) ... which was sort of uncommon back then ... and then I created my own multi-racial Baby (her Father is 'Black', African American). I'd like to also share about being bi-sexual ... and in high school being involved with gangs ... being naughty with alcohol and a few drugs (a product of my environment) ... and living a pretty fast life (that I should write a book about). ;-) Also, I've always (literally, by just a few months old ... after transitioning from my Mama's boobie) been big/fat/fuller-figured. And although it was never my preference or first choice, and absolutely not easy - I've done all I've mentioned and more ... with more (of me). ;-)
So ... I mention these latter things to share that my 'clean' has also been mixed with some 'dirty' ... and it is my intention to speak my truth - and not just share the 'white washed' version of mi vida loca.
Getting More OG Green & Clean :
After high school, 8 years of part time college, and academic and corporate career positions (with sex industry jobs sprinkled throughout and beyond, spanning two decades) - I made the decision to change my life. I desired a new career 'job' that would share some of my lifelong joys, with others ... and bring them happiness and beauty ... while hopefully not seeming so much like 'work'. So, I enrolled at and attended Pivot Point International - Chicago for Esthiology, and graduated in June 2008, first in my class and program ... and earned the 'Personality & People Skills Award' (out of 500+ Graduates). I loved the program, and I loved skin care! But I wanted more knowledge and experience before I actually practiced skin therapy, on paying clients. So I enrolled at Tricoci University - Chicago, studying in the Teacher Training Program for Esthetics. I still yearned for education, but of a more holistic nature - so I read often, and embarked on various trainings, as I could find them.
For the following 5 years, I worked as an Esthetician in Long Grove, IL where I honed my skills in skin therapy: facial and waxing services ... Ayurveda for the skin therapist, a bit of massage, and Reiki. I found myself really enjoying the consultation portion of the treatment, and would often go well beyond the allotted time the spa would permit me - for the assessment, treatment, and education of my clients. Sharing my knowledge and helping others grow and change for the better has always brought me great satisfaction and contentment.
I personally experienced several positive health changes 8-12 years ago, including the loss of 50+ pounds, reduction of 4 dress sizes, greater strength and flexibility, more energy, increased libido, and improvement of my organically gorgeous skin. I made these positive changes through holistic means: mindful nutrition (food, drink and supplements) ... mindful movement (a bit of dance, yoga, and walking with my Dog) ... using natural, botanically based, organic face and body skin products ... and reducing the overall toxic burden on my body (dramatically reducing gmo / pesticides, and completely eliminating artificial color, flavor, fragrances - in all foods, consumable products, household products, and more).
All of these uplifting, life-affirming changes, were combined with my desire to be a positive influence over my new baby Grandson (who is now 9, along with another - age 5) ... and to hopefully help my loved ones : family, friends, and clients. My desire to more formally assist others, prompted me to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, NY, to become a Certified Health Coach - specializing in Integrative Nutrition. I graduated in December 2013, and also became a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (AADP, American Association of Drugless Practitioners). I am often enrolled in advanced / postgraduate education in a variety of interests including skin therapy, holistic health, nutrition (focus: whole food, plant based, intermittent fasting, vegan - vegetarian), Ayurveda, Reiki, aromatherapy, heliotherapy, holistic dental care, and much more! I am a lifelong learner!
Organically Gorgeous - Spa :
Which brings me to when I created ORGANICALLY GORGEOUS, Inc. – my own little spa (&/or mobile) beauty and holistic health biz, where I have loved up my lady and gentlemen Client Friends ... and have helped to bring about healthy, beautiful, glowing, gorgeous skin through professional organic and holistic esthetic services. I also offered (and still do - virtually) customized, at-home / self-care recommendations and education, holistic health consulting and education, 'Green & Clean Home Makeovers' - including skincare, food and more ... with shopping assistance, if desired (ingredient reading tutorial included). I did all of this where my Clients felt most comfortable: my downtown Barrington, IL spa, then later (for 5 years) Deer Park spa suite ... or a private home / small business. I was mobile and could visit for certain services, &/or via the computer / phone (coaching and education can be done virtually), and at the beauty or grocery store of choice. I also happily accommodated parties and groups - for skin / holistic education, workshops, shopping tours, or Neal's Yard Remedies' soirees.
I represent and retailed, at my spa (on-line still available) the amazing product line, NYR Organic (the social selling division of Neal's Yard Remedies). It is a global brand, although originating from and formulated and manufactured in England. It is holistic and certified: organic / Fair Trade / Fair Wild, vegan – vegetarian / cruelty-free, carbon neutral, philanthropic, and a family owned business - selling: award-winning face and body skincare, aromatherapy, and books (and many more products to other markets around the world).
Organically Gorgeous - Virtual : Consulting, Education and Yoga & Meditation :
My little holistic and heart-centered organic spa, in Deer Park, has been closed (permanently, at that location) since 07.31.20, due to the CoVid pandemic (and its trickle down affect). I’ve not offered any hands-on esthetics services since then. However, I have expanded my virtual offerings to more recently include yoga and meditation, too. I had the incredible opportunity to study in-person, live, and daily, under the amazing musician, artist, and yogi, Nick Giacomini (aka MC Yogi) and his beautiful, brilliant, talented, and darling Wife, Amanda Giacomini (10,000 Buddhas), at Point Reyes Yoga (but primarily outside in nature), in Point Reyes Station and surrounding points of interest, in the lovely Marin County, California. I was there for about 3 months, and had an overall life changing experience. I have been enjoying a nomadic life since my birthday, 09.23 (when I uncoupled from and left my Partner and home-life). I am currently in San Juan, Puerto Rico ... healing (emotionally ... and physically, - after a more acute structural body issue, in addition to decades long chronic pain), ... and getting some nurturing from my warm and lovely motherland.
So as I continue to demonstrate my flexibility (I am a yogini!), and pivot my life and business ... I remind myself of my life of fortitude (fuerza, as said in Puerto Rico). And that I ... *we* can do hard things.
I’d love to connect with you - about any and all of my organic and holistic offerings ... &/or just about life. Collective support and sisterhood is important, .. but especially now, in these extra strange times.
Sending love, Gorgeous.
xo OG Lavelle