6 ways to feel beautiful in Bend
I recently had to film some video footage for a promotion tied to my other life as a romantic comedy author. “Do I have time for a workout?” I asked my video producer husband beforehand.
“Sure,” he said, “but won’t you end up all sweaty for the shoot?”
“I won’t be sweaty,” I assured him. “I’ll be glowing with health and vigor.”
I was only half joking. While a hardcore, intense workout is likely to leave me looking like a boiled Dungeness crab, a little bit of exercise is just the thing to leave me feeling (and looking) rejuvenated.
It’s the same sort of happy glow every traveler hopes to go home with after an awesome vacation, so here are five ways to achieve it during your visit to Bend, Oregon.
Get that fabulous outdoorsy glow
As you probably gathered from the intro, I prefer exercise over rouge when it comes to adding a healthy-looking flush to my cheeks. And who needs a fancy Brazilian Blowout when you can achieve the same effect with a little Central Oregon breeze in your hair? (Sidenote: I actually had to google Brazilian Blowout to know what the heck it is, and it’s apparently a hair smoothing treatment. Okay, fine, you can’t achieve the same effect by standing in the wind, and if you reeeeally want that treatment, Zante Salon in Bend does Brazilian Blowouts).
But you get the idea, right? There’s nothing quite like the healthy glow you get after a brisk hike, an afternoon of snowshoeing, or some paddling around a lake. For hiking ideas, go here. You can learn more about snowshoeing on this page, or scope out the offerings from Wanderlust Tours if you prefer to leave the guiding, gear, and transportation to someone else. They also offer canoe trips in the warmer months, or you can go here to find paddling opportunities on your own.
Score some Bend-made beautifiers
There’s something about Bend that seems to inspire artisans to create luxurious bath and beauty products. Maybe it’s the dry high desert climate that prompts us all to want to baby our skin a little, or maybe it’s the abundance of awesome local ingredients.
That’s definitely the case with Boneyard Beer soap made by LeCol’s, which is an amazing, fragrant, wonderfully lathery bath bar made with beer from Bend’s own Boneyard Brewing. The hops and amino acids in beer soften and soothe irritated skin, while the polyphenols have antibacterial properties.
Another unique option is Lava Love. These soaps and bath products are made from natural volcanic ingredients, including bentonite clay, zeolite, and activated charcoal. The ingredients come from Oregon volcanoes, and promise to restore your body to its natural balance, leaving your skin clean, soft, and kissable.
If you like to keep things beautifully simple, Bend Soap Company makes exquisite bath products using moisturizing fresh goat’s milk (yep, they milk the goats themselves!), saponified coconut, olive and palm oils, and essential oils. Goat milk is easily absorbed by the skin, and is full of vitamins and minerals your skin craves, along with capric and caprilic acids that closely match the PH of your skin. The result is a supremely moisturizing, nourishing bar of soap.
For a more expansive line of locally-made skincare products, check out Angelina Organic Skincare. From cleansers to masques to lotions to facial serums, you’ll find everything you need to get your skin looking and feeling beautiful.
What’s that smell?
Sometimes smelling nice is what it takes to feel foxy. I love wandering through Oregon Body and Bath and hitting their expansive bar of fragrance oils. Pick out a single scent that makes you swoon, or create a custom blend that they’ll happily write down for you and store for your next visit so you’ll remember what you created.
My husband loves when I make a custom blend just for him and have it added to their invigorating spray that he mists on himself each morning. As an added bonus, I not only get to smell him, but I get to browse Oregon Body and Bath’s awesome selection of Yala Bamboo Dreams sleepwear made from breathable, anti-microbial, temperature-regulating bamboo.
If essential oils are your passion, Allison Murphy at Utilitu Sewing & Design creates some amazing blends. I’m a huge fan of her blend called Coven’s Blend, with delightful notes of clary sage, patchouli, and orange. A roller ball vial is only $12, plus your visit to Utilitu is the perfect excuse to take advantage of my next suggestion…
Score a unique piece of clothing
You don’t need to splurge on a whole new wardrobe in Bend to feel foxy (though if you’re in the mood to do that, I’m pretty sure the retailers in Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District wouldn’t object).
But have you ever noticed how one perfect, super-unique accessory or article of clothing can leave you feeling like a million bucks? Throw in the added bonus of giving yourself a wearable souvenir of your Bend vacation, and you’ve got a great reason to do a little shopping in Bend.
Rescue Moderne Consignment sells a variety of unique locally-made clothing and accessories, like Hangr Supply jewelry made from recycled skateboards. Check out Clementine Urban Mercantile for a cool selection of scarves, socks, and sweaters, or visit Hot Box Betty to score some killer denim or a cute top.
On the guy side of things, my husband digs the selection of shirts and shorts at Outside In (the clothing and lifestyle branch of popular footwear retailer, FootZone). You’ll find cool brands like Prana and Arc’Teryx, which are great for striking that perfect balance between outdoorsy, hip, and a little dressy.
If you’re looking for a really cool statement piece, stop by Utilitu Sewing & Design in the Maker’s District. That’s where you’ll find Castaways one-of-a-kind handcrafted fashions made from castoff sweaters. The sweaters are meticulously deconstructed and revamped into completely original, wearable art. I’m obsessed with the adorable skirts, and wish I could own an entire closet full of them. No two are alike, and I guarantee you’ll get loads of compliments anytime you wear one.
Plan a spa day
Sometimes a spa day is what you need to feel your foxiest. Luckily, Bend has tons of full-service day spas offering everything from mani/pedis to deluxe facials and massages. Go here to start your search, and prepare to be pampered no matter where you go.
Get some sun (but not too much!)
We like to boast that Bend sees an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, and while I won’t claim the sun is blazing every single hour of those 300 days, it’s true that we have an abundance of sunshine here in the mountainous high desert.
All that glorious vitamin D is nice to soak up for a healthy glow, but be careful out there! Bend’s high altitude (along with the albedo effect of spending prolonged time on a bright white surface like snow) can lead to a nasty sunburn.
One healthy option for protecting yourself is with naturally-made sun care products from T’s Tonics. Made in Bend, they offer sweat-proof SPF 30 protection with the added bonus of healing oils that leave your skin soft and nourished. You can find them online or at the Wanderlust Tours headquarters when you show up for your cave tour or snowshoe adventure.
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