5 Summer Beauty Essentials Taking the Front Row in My Beauty Cabnit

This season is truly all about fun in the sun: from pool days to festival days, cookouts and park days with champagne - the Summer is all about time outdoors with friends. As someone that spent a decade of my life working in beauty and wellness I'm constantly investigating what's new on the market. I receive more beauty box subscriptions each month (focusing on clean beauty is a must) than I probably need (just ask my partner who wonders on the regular what in the world I could possibly do with another bottle of oil). As a collection of holistic beauty essentials and some luxury level goodies too I've decided it's time to round up my Summer essentials. 

Read on.


So after way too many years in the sun I've recently had a little skin cancer scare. The Supergood Glow Stick is the first thing I think about applying before I leave the house. It'll give you that that vacation glow while still protecting your skin with SPF 50.


I've received this kit from Carbon Coco in the Spring. It took me a little time to get into it... Honestly I'd heard about using charcoal to whiten teeth but wasn't yet sold. However, the claim to remove stains without toxic chemicals sounded good so I decided to give it a whirl. After that first couple of uses I was all in. It naturally whitens, polishes, strengthens enamel and detoxifies without any chemicals and added nasties. 


Murumuru butter is an ingredient I already was fairly familiar with. It's sourced from trees native to the Amazon basin, harvested by locals and is super good for moisture retention. Couple that with one of my favorite essential oil aromas, rose, and this was a quick winner. A brand who has a mission of showing respect for our planet by being accountable for, and working to reduce the carbon footprint also makes this a serious favorite. 


Soul Addict was founded just within the last year by a former Oui We team member! Laura, who now resides in Western Asheville on her family farm (where she's growing hemp on the same land in which she grew up) has a mission of creating zen inducing CBD wellness products. As a new inductee into the CBD wellness club, I'm a big fan. Being real: I smoked plenty in my teen years but that was nothing like this raw, small batch & high vibrational dark chocolate. It's truly a perfect way to add a little bliss to the end of the day. 


How could I not include a travel texture spray?! The second it's warm enough to even dream of beach days I start planning my transition into full mermaid vibes. This spray is step 1. This spray adds instant volume, beachy waves and shine. It's vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, color safe with UV protection, and formulated without sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or petroleum.

So there we have it! That's what's topping my list so far this season my babes. Cheers to a happy Summer with glowing, healthy skin, hair and so much more!



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Turn Your Practice Upside Down

By Oui We contributor Sam Spahr

The proverbial “they” say that mom knows best. Well, the older I become, the more I recognize my own momma proving this adage to be true. 

mommas hands by Sam Spahr

One day she came home in a cloud of bliss and sore muscles courtesy of the new yoga class she’d been frequenting. I’d listen to her tell me about it before: It’s different. It’s challenging. The instructor is wonderful. We hang in hammocks . . . And as we daughters tend to do, I snapped on my younger-than-thou attitude with a quick “sounds cool, mom,” a gentle decline to her subtle invites. 

I mean, I’m a fit (aspiring) twenty-something who could tackle circuit training sessions and some serious cycle classes. I looked to yoga for the stretch, the release, and spiritual discipline, but I was certain that any class my mom found to be “challenging” would not be enough for me.

Until I saw a photo of my mom in the class.

There she was, hanging up side down in her own cocoon. She was twisted up in silks suspended beautifully from the ceiling of the studio. Whatever this was, I knew I needed in on it.

grouphang by Sam Spahr

My first aerial yoga class was exciting, difficult, and completely rewarding. Here's what goes down

  • There's a hammock (think one long scarf made of completely durable, sturdy, and safe material) that hangs in a “U” shape from the ceiling. It’s attached with a series of carabiners and web straps so that it can be adjusted to hang according to your height.
  • Imagine doing familiar yoga poses (and some new moves) only now you incorporate you body through the hammock

Does the hammock make it easier? Heck. No. It does allow you to execute poses in a new way. The material can offer stabilization giving you the confidence to stretch deeper and open further. It can challenge you to push your entire self in new ways. Our instructor is fond of planking whilst your feet are in the hammock, almost as much as she enjoys a version of a full body pull up via the hammock. What can I say, she knows how to break us into a sweat as well!

The most rewarding part of the whole experience though is 100% the inversions.

hang by sam spahr

You will learn how to safely and strategically wind yourself through the fabrics which alone will test your core and arm strength. Once properly prepped, it’s time to either fold forward, roll down, or arch backwards - depending on your intended inversion pose.

Your instructor should never let you hang longer than is necessary or healthy, but once you feel comfortable and can get your mind to stop thinking about smacking the ground (because you won’t!) you’ll find your spine release with each deep breath. Sometimes I close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and I honestly can't remember which way is up. And for me, that’s kind of the point. I'm learning that I am capable of more than I thought, and I'm definitely stronger - mentally and physically - than I give myself credit for.

upside down by Sam Spahr

There’s something about disorienting not only your body, but your mind and spirit too. Inverting wakes up your body, blood flow, and energy. Feel your senses gently reorganize and recharge.

Take it from a once stale cookie, it only takes a shift of perspective (and a loving apology to your momma!) to reinvigorate your practice and the way you see yourself. 

A quick google search for aerial yoga near you should have you flipping around in no time!

Best to you,


Just Booked: Reflective Reads for a Trip Within

By Oui We contributor Sam Spahr

For as much time as I spend looking at the world around me, trekking across its landscapes and meeting its people, I surely do not spend enough time with myself. Do any of us?

Self-Reflection by Sam Spahr

The term self-care is thrown around like confetti lately, but what does it really mean? I’m not providing an answer here, just genuinely asking. Is it a cute excuse to buy some thing I’ve been pining after? Is it a reason to stay home on a Saturday night glued to my latest Netflix binge? Is it motivation to take up a new hobby or practice that is truly just for me? 

Probably all of the above. For me, I’ve been thinking about what’s ahead of me: career, family, personal goals. So naturally, this involves much self-reflection, you know, some good ol’ conversations with me - mind, body, and spirit.

self-reflection by Sam Spahr

I know for many self-reflection is often an unattractive activity, but I’ve grown to enjoy it quite a bit. I guess it helps if you tend to be a tad introverted and someone who likes thinking . . . and thinking about thinking. (Surprise, it’s me.) However, I could never have learned to take a good look at myself (and like it) without the help of some truly fantastic authors who also happen be novelists, doctors, musicians, etc…

Self-Reflection by Sam Spahr

Even if you don’t see yourself as “that type” of person, I promise it’s less scary - and not as weird as it seems - to really get down and get to know yourself. I think you’ll find it may have been a while since you really checked in.

Allow me to introduce you to two of my favorite books (and a bonus podcast). Each has served me a different purpose, all equally necessary and completely refreshing.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

While reading, I’ve learned that I’m an idea person. I have lots of them, or as Gilbert would say, many of them find me. They choose me to bring them to life, but I’m not very good at seeing that through. Thankfully Gilbert talks extensively about the follow through and what happens to those home-seeking idea fairies when we don’t appease them. Spoiler alert: someone else will.

If you have an ounce of creativity within you or even just a desire to complete something you’ve been working on - anything - then you need to read this book. Gilbert uses her own lived trials in writing to lay out an rather interpretive map of advice. Even if some of her wisdom seems obvious or common, it’s not . . . because you aren’t doing it! This book is like a kick in the pants from your loving (and funny) older sister.


The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

The very first chapter smacked right between the eyes, and I haven’t looked back since. Singer immediately addresses the “voice in your head.” Yeah the one that is reading this to you right now. You hear her. My voice keeps me up at night often sending me into an anxious spiral that has no business existing. Talk about useless and unproductive . . . 

Right from the start, Singer helps you acknowledge that voice and realize that it is not you. Simple, yet damn effective. I’ve already been falling asleep faster. And that’s only Chapter 1, you guys. Singer and The Untethered Soul take you to confront your consciousness, to understand your emotions and habitual thoughts - good, bad, and neutral. If you ever feel like your energy is being wasted or misdirected, crack open this read for some knowledge and validation.


Podcast: Conversations With Alanis, by Alanis Morissette ft. Special Guests

So, I found The Untethered Soul through Alanis and her insanely smart and curious podcast. Full disclosure, I consider her to be my soul mother - is that a thing? So, everything I say oozes of bias, but this podcasts features guests who are experts in fields that range from sociology to neurobiology, and beyond. Each episode is not only interesting but completely thought provoking. You will honestly look at the world, your peers, and your past, present, and future selves in a different light. Go have a listen!

Sam Spahr is an artist-educator who gets her kicks sharing the magic of the arts with kids and adults alike. She has a penchant for ancient artworks and helping others find the connections between now and then. When not inside a studio or bookshop, you can find her paddling out somewhere with her hubs and pup. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, but loves eating even more, especially in new cities and cultures.

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