Raw Stories – arielleestoria

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

I think that this journey of listening to, loving on and coming home to these homes we have the honor of calling bodies is honestly less about positivity and more about gratitude. Somedays, we will not always feel positive about our homes, some days we will feel nothing, some days we will just exist and not acknowledge only flaws or only goodness we will just-be. I think that’s the goal of this body “positivity” journey and the point of it – less negative self -talk and more that leads you to holding yourself a little closer and being thankful that you have what you have and learning to embrace the wholeness of who you are.


Photographer: @karenmarieco

Fall Hair Trends

Lock-downs, loungewear and ponytails are how we spent our spring and summer. And even though we can’t get a redo on 2020, we can give our hair a good refresh to close out the year in style. Our salons are open and it’s time to show a little optimism with a fresh look and maybe even consider wearing pants without elastic waistbands again.   


So what’s trending for fall? Here are some of our favorite hair looks getting all the love from celebs and influencers. And don’t forget to stock up on dry shampoo that can extend your style or add volume and texture to just washed hair. Get it here.   


Curtain Bangs. 

If you’ve always waffled between bangs or no bangs, now is the time to go for it.  Curtain bangs, or longer layers you can sweep to the side are sexy, cool and having a moment.  


The Rounded Bob. 

Bobs have redefined classic + classy for a few years now, but this season they get a little rounder and softer with a bit of added curve and texture. 


70’s Shag

Bell bottom jeans, slouchy sweaters and a long, layered shag. Really, is 70’s fashion ever going to go out of style?  We hope not.  

The 70’s tousled layers are more popular than ever this season so Farrah-lovers, it’s time to get your shag on.  


Classic Mid-Length a’la Kourtney Kardashian 

Trimming off summer split ends will get you to a gorgeous, classic, sexy mid-length look.  Keep it simple without a lot of layers. It’s versatile, classic and stunning with a little wave  or texture spray added. 


Long + Curly

Own it. Let loose your curls and show the world your wild and free side.  Girls with girls should flaunt them with longer layers and maximum fullness for the full, I am woman, hear me roar effect.  


Chandelier Layers 

This is a pretty, face-softening look that’s all gentle layers and no hard edges.  The back of hair is cut in longer layers with shorter, smooth, face framing fringe in front.  It puts the focus on eyes and gives you a softer, gentler vibe.  


Close Crop

Girl, if you just can’t deal, a close crop is your go-to. Everyone has done it in different pixie cut forms from Charlize, Halle and Katy Perry to Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Scar Jo.  It’s a sassy, powerful statement that’s both sexy, confident and rocks your no-nonsense mood.

Fall for a New Clean Routine

Season’s change and so does our hair and skin.  Even if you live in So Cal, the change is subtle, but the drier air, indoor heating and other factors take a major toll on your glow.  If you live in colder areas, the effects are even greater.  Now is the time to pivot and tweak your clean routine to hold on to soft, smooth skin, vibrancy and avoid the winter hat-head, frizz bomb.  


Here are a few tips to help you keep your personal-care cool in the colder months ahead. 


Hydrate Inside and Out. 

Your skin produces less oil in colder months so that means its time to step up the hydration inside and out. You should definitely drink more water, add lemon and sip on hot teas throughout the day.  Remember, what you do on the inside, shows up on the outside.  It’s also time to think about moisturizing your skin on a deeper level.  It’s a good time to go from your everyday lightweight Lotion to our lush, creamy Body Butters — even if you just put it on before bed. They melt into skin with gorgeous, uplifting scents and are the perfect antidote to dry, flaky, itchy skin. 


Think about going Sensitive. 

If your skin is irritated from weather and other environmental factors, you may want to try one of our Sensitive Skin formulas.  They keep you calm so you can carry on when your skin starts feeling flaky and itchy.  Our Green Tea + Cucumber + Aloe Vera and our Almond Milk + Agave + Oatmeal Body Washes and Lotions are both clinically tested safe for sensitive skin.  


Add Exfoliation. 

Summer’s tired skin cells are hanging on. Its time kiss them goodbye and add our Sugar Scrub to your shower routine at least 2-3 x per week to gently exfoliate and reveal brighter, smoother skin. They’re full of skin-loving Cold Pressed fruit oils too, so they not only brightens, but soften and leave a protective veil of moisture — which we like to call our Sugar Scrub glow.  


Hair Rx. 

Our new PRO Remedy collection is a professional grade treatment line made for hair that needs extra love. Now is the time to add all five products to your arsenal so you can avoid winter frizz, dullness and breakage that comes in cooler months.  Try our Reconstruct Shampoo and Conditioner, Leave-In Primer Mist, Leave-In Unbreakable Balm and even our Protective Dry Shampoo that helps, not harms your hair when you can’t fit in a wash. All are formulated specifically to protect your color investment and reconstruct and repair hair from over-styling, breakage and environmental stress.  


Extra Love for Your Lips. 

Remember, your lips absorb 65% of what you put on them, so keep your lip products clean. Our 95% Organic Natural Lip Balms are made with organic extracts and Cold Pressed essential oils to soften, smooth and lock in moisture. Keep them on hand all day and apply with reckless abandon. Each delicious flavor comes packaged with a pot of sugar scrub too, so you can prime lips and get rid of flakiness first. 

Meatless Mondays

Improve your health and the health of our planet.  


If you’re not ready to join the vegetarian movement, consider cutting meat from your diet just one day a week. Going meatless on Mondays will put you in the company of millions of people in over 40 countries that have committed to using Meatless Mondays as a tool to gain personal health benefits and improve the health of our planet.  This one small step can have a big impact on reducing your risk of chronic disease and reducing your global footprint.


There are countless reasons why you should consider foregoing meat for at least one day a week. They include everything from reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, losing weight, giving your gut a break and improving heart health to saving animals, reducing greenhouse gases and reducing water consumption and conserving precious environmental resources.


Consider these facts that impact our planet:

  • It takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce one single pound of beef, compared to 39 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables.
  • Livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes and trains in the world.
  • Producing one quarter pound beef burger uses up enough energy to power an iPhone for 6 months and uses 425 gallons of water.
  • Livestock production uses 75% of the earth’s agricultural land.
  • When you commit to Meatless Mondays, you can directly save 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals per year.


If those facts resonate with you and you’d like to join the Meatless Monday movement, there are unlimited online resources for great vegetarian dishes.  ForksOverKnives.com and MeatlessMonday.com are great places to start!  Consuming less meat means more love for yourself and our planet.  Happy eating!

Ingredient Spotlight: Carrot Oil 

How great would it be to cut down on the pains of growing out bangs!  If you want longer, stronger hair, faster, this is for you. Carrot oil has become a plant-derived superpower for hair care benefits. It has been shown to help hair grow faster — which is at the top of everyone’s list of hair dreams and may even help with hair loss by strengthening hair at its root.  


Pressed from the tiny, dried seeds of the lacey white flower head of wild carrot — the wildflower commonly known as Queen Anne’s Lace — carrot seed oil is an essential oil and contains a host of nourishment and essential vitamins for hair growth and rejuvenation.  It is one of the key ingredients in our Bounce Back Shampoo + Conditioner.  Here’s why… 


The Perks of Carrot Oil 

  • Carrot Oil may help hair grow thicker and faster
    •There’s evidence it helps hair grow longer and stronger.  
  • The vitamins contained in Carrot Oil help protect from harmful ultraviolet rays and environmental pollution.  
  • It’s gentle and healing. 
  • Fends off frizz. 
  • Helps improve texture, making it more softer and smoother.
    •Adds elasticity. 
  • Carrot oil helps boost circulation to your scalp. 
  • It’s rich in vitamin A, E, and beta carotene — all of which are essential for hair growth.
  • Can help relieve symptoms of dry scalp and dandruff by stimulating the production of sebum. 
  • Strengthen’s hair stem, root and follicle.  
  • Reduces the appearance of split ends.

7 Best Exercise Moves to Do at Home

Not all of us feel safe heading back to the gym quite yet but want to keep our fitness level on point. Using only your own body weight, these versatile moves can help you create a mini, full-body at-home workout without a single piece of workout equipment. Just by using the weight of your body and the power of gravity, you can build muscle and burn fat. For a more intense, sweat-inducing session, plan to do three sets of all seven exercises with 1 minute of high knee, in place running or jumping jacks in between exercises.  Get it, girl!! 


Front Plank: 
Lay on your stomach, and raise to your elbows and toes.  Keep your body as tight and straight as possible.  It’s best to look in a mirror so you can make sure your body is straight and your rear end isn’t raised.  Hold for a minute if you can then relax and repeat! 


Reverse Lunges: 

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Step back with your left foot, landing on the ball of your foot and bending your knees to create 90 degree angles.  Push through your right heel to return to standing and repeat on other side.  Repeat 15 times.  


Spider Man Mountain Climbers:  

Start in a high plank on hands and toes with body straight and tight.  Drive your right knee out and up toward your right elbow. As you do, turn and watch your knee meet with your arm. Alternate sides as fast as you can while maintaining a sturdy plank and keeping torso tight and still.  


Squat Jumps:  

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.  Sit your butt back and bend your knees to drop into a squat, keeping your chest upright.  Jump into the air as hight as you can and straighten your legs.  Land back on the floor with soft knees and repeat.  


Wide Grip Push Ups 

Start in high plank position with your hands flat on the floor — a little wider than shoulder-width apart, wrists under shoulders.  Keeping your body in one long line, bend your arms and lower  yourself as close to the floor as you can, Push back up to start.  Extra challenging, do this slow… 


Standing Oblique Crunches:  

Stand with your feet hip—width apart and hands behind your head and elbows out wide.  Lift your left kneed toward your left elbow while you bend your torso up and over to the left.  Make sure you’re squeezing your abs tight as you do it.  Repeat on other side. 


Glute Bridge: 

Laying on your back, with hands to your side, scoot your heels as close to your body as you can then lift your rear end as high as you can.  Squeeze everything as tight as you can then raise up and lower for a count of 20.  Try one legged version of this for an extra challenge. 

5 Hacks To Be More Eco-Friendly At Home

We’ve all seen images of dolphin returning to the canals of Venice. The holes in the ozone layer closing up. The space photos of clear skies over China and Los Angeles. The environmental impact of the global quarantine has been nothing short of inspiring.  The big question will be, now that we’ve seen how the world can heal, how can we keep it going? What can we do now, while we’re staying home that will positively impact our environment.  


Here are a few life hacks that you can put into play right now that can have a positive impact on not only your health, but on the health of our planet.  


  1. Eat more plants and less meat. Eating a plant based diet or cutting back on meat can have a large impact on the health of our planet. If you have a hard time cutting out all meat, start with beef and pork as they have the greatest negative impact on the environment.  


  1. Shop local farmer’s markets and community farms. We’ve gotten pretty good at locating alternate food sources locally so keep that going. Buying locally grown produce not only helps your community thrive, it helps by cutting back on all the shipping and fuel used to move food around the globe. 


  1. Use eco-friendly products — especially high-use soaps, and laundry detergent. Now is the time to take stock of the types of products you’re using. Clean up your buying habits by making a commitment to purchasing products that don’t contain harmful chemicals and instead, focus on plant based ingredients that come in eco-friendly packaging.  


  1. Evaluate your buying habits and consume less. This pandemic has brought about an unprecedented focus on what, how much and where we buy products. Shortages and the fear of running into people with the virus at the supermarket have got us all asking, do I really need to go out and buy this? Usually the answer is no. Become very aware of what you really do need and cut back on the unnecessary trips and purchases. In other words, less is definitely more for the environment.  


  1. Unplug and use less energy. If your chargers are plugged into the wall, they are sucking up energy even when a device isn’t connected. It’s called vampire energy. Unplug anything that isn’t actively charging.

Ingredient Spotlight: Rosemary

Rosemary has been used since ancient times as a cure all for everything from digestive health and muscle soothing to promoting hair growth and boosting the immune system.  And now, this garden-favorite fragrant herb has made its way into skin care health and beauty products. It’s gorgeous scent and abundance of skin healing properties make it a powerful addition to your skin care routine. It’s abundant in vitamins A + C + B,  iron and calcium and is a natural clean label preservative. Here are a few ways that Rosemary extracts help rejuvenate and repair your precious skin.  


  • It is antioxidant rich which may help prevent wrinkles by stopping free radicals from breaking down the skin’s elasticity. 


  • It’s a natural anti-inflammatory so may help soothe and de-puff irritated skin. 


  • Vitamins A and C work to neutralize damage to the skin and aid in cellular repair.  


  • It’s rich in B vitamins which rejuvenates cellular activity and promotes deep cellular repair.  


  • Rosemary has moisturizing and collagen-boosting properties  that work to hydrate and plump skin. 


  • Rosemary extracts can help prevent skin from looking damaged by tightening skin, strengthening veins and help treat signs of aging.    


  • Rosemary oil is a natural antimicrobial so works to kill bacteria which is ideal to help dry, irritated skin conditions.  


  • Rosemary can also reduce blemishes due to cell regeneration properties that help eliminate the appearance of scars, spots and sun damage. 

5 California Hiking Trails

Take a hike. 😉  Here are our picks for the Top 5 Hiking Trails in California.

With gym life closed, there’s never been a better time to opt outside and get a healthy dose of fresh air on California’s best hiking trails.  We’ve broken down our top five best in California. Below that is a top-line list of LA’s best too, in case you’re looking for local vibes.   

CA Top 5 Hikes 

  • Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite 

This famous trail rewards hikers with views of Yosemite’s most spectacular waterfalls as well as sweeping panoramas of the valley floor. The Trail includes two parts: The two-mile section to Columbia Rock, a moderate hike that ascends 1,000 feet through a switchback trail. Be sure to stay on the path, since wandering off can lead to dangerous sheer drop-offs near the trail.  Most hikers will be satisfied with completing Columbia Rock portion that takes two to three hours round-trip. From here, hikers are awed by the bird’s-eye view of Yosemite Valley’s meadows, with the Merced River winding its way down the center, enclosed by Half Dome and Sentinel Rock.


The second part of the trail up to Yosemite Falls is more difficult.  This strenuous seven-mile round-trip hike ascends 2,425 feet, up rugged terrain and steep hillside staircases.  To complete this round-trip hike takes another six to eight hours from Colombia Rock. The trail lies thrillingly close to Yosemite Falls. While climbing, hikers often feel mist from the waterfalls, and after reaching the summit of this challenging trail are rewarded with incredible vistas.  The panoramic outlook from the top of Yosemite Falls extends over the entire valley.  


  • Mount Shasta 

The majestic snow-capped Mount Shasta is one of the most inspiring places to hike in California. Many visitors come to Mount Shasta seeking a spiritual experience in nature. Adventurous outdoor enthusiasts come for the challenge of climbing to the mountain’s summit. However, Mount Shasta has plenty of hiking trails that are suitable for the average hiker. A popular hike is the Gray Butte Trail, with its trailhead at an impressive 7,500-foot elevation. This moderate four-mile round-trip trail gains 600 feet in elevation and takes about two hours to complete. The trail crosses through the expansive Lower Panther Meadow and continues up through a pristine forest of old-growth Red Fir Trees. At the fork in the trail, the right hand side ascends through a stand of fragrant Mountain Hemlock Trees. The trail continues past the Lower Peak to the Upper Peak of Gray Butte, offering splendid panoramic views at several vantage points along the way.


  • McWay Waterfall Trail, Big Sur 

This trail lies in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, named after the pioneer and frontier woman who owned a ranch in Big Sur country in the early 1900s. The park stretches along the mountainous Big Sur coastline with its 3,000-foot ridges that drop off dramatically into the Pacific Ocean. Lush wooded areas flourish with redwood trees, oaks, and chaparral. The McWay Waterfall Trail is a marvelous hike leading to an overlook that affords a stunning view of the 80-foot waterfall, one of the most breathtaking and frequently photographed sites in Big Sur. Hikers are awestruck by the sight of this magnificent waterfall descending from a sheer granite cliff into the ocean. Despite the grandeur of the scenery, this trail is surprisingly easy and short. The 0.7-mile round-trip hike has only a slight elevation gain of 50 feet and takes only about 30 minutes to complete. Hikers may spend more time admiring the amazing scenery than actually hiking.


  • Sea Lion Point Trail, Point Lobos

The Sea Lion Point Trail delights nature lovers who appreciate marine wildlife and ocean views. A short and easy hike, the 0.6-mile loop trail is an especially scenic portion of Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel. The trail winds around peaceful coves and rocky ocean bluffs that meet with crashing waves. Along the way, hikers will have a chance to spot barking sea lions on offshore rocks. The trail also passes by Headland Cove and Sea Lion Cove, quiet coves where seals swim, and sea otters bask in the protected waters. To get a closer view of the animals, hikers may walk down a staircase that provides access to the coves. 


  • Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek,  Redwoods State Park 

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park lies 50 miles north of Eureka, an off-the-beaten-path destination. This beautiful state park is dedicated to the protection of coastal redwood trees, the tallest living plant on earth. With their giant amber-hued trunks and leafy canopies, the stately redwood trees create a refreshingly serene, shady environment. Bordering the coast, the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park also has sandy beaches and expansive open meadows. Many visitors enjoy the gentle nature walk to the Fern Canyon, a site so remarkable that is was chosen by Hollywood directors as a backdrop for scenes in the Jurassic Park film. In fact, relatives of today’s living coastal redwoods existed 160 million years ago, during the Jurassic Era. Visitors are delighted by the breathtaking scenery of majestic densely wooded redwood stands, a pristine fresh-water creek, and lush ferns cascading down the canyon walls.


Top 5 Hiking Trails in Los Angeles

Runyon Canyon
Located in the Hollywood Hills, Runyon is a fairly known hike and trail around Los Angeles.  Often, you may see the beautiful view of Hollywood posted on Instagram or Facebook tagged at Runyon.  People commonly known Runyon as a place to bring dogs, spot celebrities, and see a full skyline. This trail is not very long, as it only extends around 3 miles round trip. 


Solstice Canyon
Solstice Canyon is located near Malibu just West of Los Angeles. Aside from the 2.6 mile round trip hike, Solstice Canyon also features historical ruins and a waterfall. Also, along the Solstice Creek there are picnic tables for a nice outdoor lunch.


Cahuenga Park
Another park in the Hollywood Hills is Cahuenga Park, which leads to a view of the Hollywood Sign and the Wisdom Tree. Heading up the East trail, there is a 1.6 mile round trip hike to the Wisdom Tree. This trail is more rugged and less paved than Runyon Canyon, and it gets steep at points. To the West, the trail gets even steeper and more rugged, but eventually leads to the back side of the Hollywood Sign. Both of these trails offer a large amount of elevation for a short distance. 


Santa Anita Canyon
The most challenging hike on this list, the Santa Anita Canyon, is an 8.7 mile loop, best made for a full day hike with lunch and swimming stops. The Santa Anita Canyon is located Northeast of Pasadena. Along this trail, there are numerous cabins, a 60-foot waterfall, and a total escape from Los Angeles. The waterfall is comes up in the first half of the trail, so you can jump in then dry off the rest of the way. 


Sandstone Peak
Sandstone Peak is the furthest hike to the East, past Santa Monica and Malibu but is one of the highest points in Southern California. You can see jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Bay. The summit is over 3,000 feet and follows a 6.25 mile loop. This hike features a picnic area and plenty of shade on the way up. Another beautiful aspect are the Grottoes with creeks and pools.

What Hair Type are you?

Do you know your hair type? Determining what type of hair you have can play a massive role in how well your hair care products work for you and how it holds a style. Buying the right shampoo, conditioners and treatments can do wonders whether you’re trying to detox and balance your scalp, tame your wild curls, fight the frizz, pump up the volume or simply shine.  


There are four basic types of hair including straight, wavy, curly and kinky. The best way to determine this is to look at your hair when it dries naturally. Does it dry straight, have some bend to it, dry in ringlets or kinks? Then there’s texture including fine, medium and thick. The way to check is put a strand of hair next to a thread. If it’s skinnier than thread, you have thin hair… equal to the thread is medium and fatter than the thread, then your hair is thick. The other thing that affects the look and feel of hair is how porous the strands are. The more open the shaft of hair, the dryer and frizzier it tends to be. Whatever type you have, look for shampoos that address your concerns.   


If you have porous frizzy hair, you’ll naturally want to use a product that helps fight frizz without the use of sulfates and parabens. They may smooth the hair shaft temporarily, but ultimately they dry out hair causing more damage. The Truly Unruly shampoo battles frizz with a blend of nourishing plant-derived ingredients and is fortified with avocado, apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil that help define curls  without weighing them down.  


Moisture Smoothie is a great option for hair that needs strengthening and repair from damage done by environmental factors or over processing. Dehydrated locks love the vitamin infused formula made with Cold Pressed coconut, agave and sweet almond milk. 


For hair that needs a lift and shine, our Bounce Back Shampoo and Conditioner are infused with shine enhancing Cold Pressed carrot oil and vitamin packed nutrients in a formula made with Certified Organic mango butter and agave. It delivers weightless bounce and soft body for hair that wants beautiful movement and softness.  


All hair types should also consider having a scalp detox on hand that will balance the scalp enabling the growth of stronger, longer hair. Our Scalp Restore ShampooConditioner and Therapy treatment do this with a blend of charcoal, organic tea tree extracts and moringa oil that work to lift out impurities and replace them with plant derived extracts, B5 and a surge of hydration.


Whatever your type, the best thing you can do is embrace it, love it and work with your natural beauty.

A little Raw Sugar Love

Crafted and produced in sunny SoCal, Raw Sugar Living is a natural lifestyle brand on a mission to promote clean and healthy living through products that are good for the body and nourish the soul.

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