Tag Archives: make-up

What Would You Do With One Second of Carefreeness?

Imagine you could let all of your worries and troubles go for one second, what would that moment look like? A french non-profit called the Mimi Foundation gave 20 cancer patients that chance a few weeks ago.

Each patient suffers from a terminal form of cancer. Many have completely lost their hair due to radiation treatments and their days are filled with dread of the next hurdle in fighting the disease. For one day they were invited to a studio to have their hair and make-up done, all while keeping their eyes closed. Then they were placed in front of a one way mirror that had a photographer on the other side. As they opened their eyes he took a photo of that first few seconds of happiness. He captured the pure joy of a carefree moment, something they so rarely get to experience in their current every day lives.

As we come to the close of our week on stress, what would your carefree moment look like? If you could choose it, where would you be? What do you think would bring you that joy? Tell us in the comments below.

How Happy Is Your Health: Buy Toxin-Free Cosmetics

Unlike the food and drug industry, there is little regulation when it comes to cosmetic and beauty products. As a result, many cosmetic and beauty products contain toxic ingredients, because they are considered inexpensive and ensure a long shelf life. These ingredients include coal-tar colors, phenylenediamine, benzene and formaldehyde—believe me, nothing you’d want to put in your body!

Unfortunately for your health, these potentially harmful chemicals are absorbed into the body and can get into the bloodstream in many different ways. Hair sprays, perfumes and powders are inhaled, eye makeup is absorbed by mucous membranes and lipstick can be swallowed. (Apparently, on average, women eat four to seven pounds of lipstick in their lifetime!) And shampoos, hair dye, conditioners, body creams and blush are all absorbed through the skin. Here are three things you can do to protect your health where cosmetics are concerned:

1. Read the labels to make sure that your makeup has natural and organic ingredients, made from botanicals and natural minerals, colored clays and vegetable oils. You are looking

for makeup that contains ingredients that you recognize from nature. By rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce a name on the ingredients list, it probably isn’t good for you.

2. If you don’t know what an ingredient is in a product, look it up before you buy it. Often the ingredient names are code for hidden ingredients. For example, the word fragrance is often used to refer to the many chemicals in a fragrance. Talc sounds safe, but it is actually similar to asbestos, and parabens are preservatives that increase the shelf life of products but are known to be toxic. You will notice that many healthier products will mention that they are paraben free on the label!

3. If in doubt, go light on the makeup. A more natural look is very appealing—perhaps just shape your eyebrows nicely, put on some mascara, wear a little bit of lip gloss and a dab of powder where you need it.

From How Happy Is Your Health? 50 Great Tips To Help You Live A Long, Happy And Healthy Life By Sophie Keller

This December, life coach and author Sophie Keller will be sharing tips on Intentblog about raising your level of happiness in the areas of your love life, marriage life, home and health. Check back every day for new happiness tips and quizzes. To learn more about Sophie Keller and the ‘How Happy is’ book series go to www.howhappyis.com.

Non-Toxic Make-Up Is Totally Possible: How To Completely Detox Your Beauty Kit and Supplies

shutterstock_99606218Is it possible to wear non-toxic make-up?

Short answer: yes, and it will require some time, self-motivated research and a little extra cash (to replace those toxic products that have been your old stand-bys) on your part.

But here’s the long-term benefit: you are treating your body so much better by not shoving toxic chemicals into your skin pores on a daily basis.

And a little extra reading and a few extra trips to your trusty natural make-up supplier is really not so bad if it means you are eliminating the possibility of extremely harmful ingredients entering your body system, messing with your hormones and permanently damaging some very vital internal functions.

The animated video below illustrates with urgent clarity just how little regulation is done to ensure the safety of our personal care products, and what we can do as consumers to take power into our own hands. I guarantee you will never look at your own beauty products the same way again.

(And yes, while the majority of self-care and beauty products are aimed at a female demographic, you men also are not safe from the toxic ingredients contained in aftershave, shampoo, body lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen and other common self-care products, not to mention the shampoo and baby lotions found in self-care products marketed for children.)

So what’s a make-up maven to do? Thankfully, as collective awareness grows on the issue of toxic make-up products, more and more websites are serving as valuable pointers to what all of us can do to completely detox our beauty kit–once and for all.

Educate yourself: visit SafeCosmetics.org. Education is empowerment, especially when it comes to substances that can detrimentally affect your long-term health, and the long-term health of men and women everywhere. SafeCosmetics.org has articles, ideas for getting involved, homemade make-up recipes, a calendar of events, and other valuable resources.

Know which ingredients to steer clear of. How annoying that synthetic ingredients always have those long and complicated names that’s hard to remember. Hence why education is empowerment: the more you become familiar with these complicated ingredients, the less likely you will use them again in the future. Skin Deep has a downloadable pdf of ingredients to avoid. GOOD.is has a great visual list of ingredients to avoid in face products. For starters: start avoiding anything that lists “fragrance” or “paraben” / “-paraben.”

Throw out your old make-up and self-care products with toxic ingredients. If that’s too hard for you, make a point to NOT buy new products with toxic ingredients when you run out.

Buy only non-toxic make-up products. Visit Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Review. At this website, you can search beauty products by category to see which products have the lowest toxic impact and which products get a red flag for high toxicity.

Never trust the terms “organic,” “natural” or “dermatologist-tested.” These wishy-washy terms listed on products are usually complete BS. Think about it: companies want to make profit even if it means delibrately misleading the consumer; they certainly aren’t twisting their underwear in knots worrying about your personal well-being and long-term health. Just read the ingredients.

Go au naturale and save your make-up for special occasions. Want to look young, vibrant and healthy? Rather than slathering your face with anti-aging toxic gunk, how about drinking 8 glasses of water, regularly exercising, going easy on the junk food and eating lots of fruits and vegetables? Amping up my raw fruit and veggie intake has done wonders for my skin, and it will for anybody else.

Roll up your sleeves and go DIY. Why use a facial scrub loaded with synthetic chemicals when you can just use olive oil and brown sugar? Or why buy designer shampoo when baking soda and water with a rinse of apple cider vinegar will probably work just as well? There are seriously TONS of resources on how to make your own facial scrub, body scrub, facial masks, shampoos, and more, usually involving very common household ingredients such as fruits, baking soda and cooking oils.

Spring-Clean Your Make-Up Tools: 8 Beauty And Self-Care Tools You Should Regularly Clean And Disinfect

Everyone talks about spring-cleaning your house and kitchen, but no one talks about spring-cleaning the stuff that is used for your face and body: your powderpuffs, make-up brushes, eyelash curler and other self-care tools that go on your face, near your eyes and all over your body.

When you keep your beauy tools sparkling clean, you are also keeping your face and the rest of your body extra-clean, too. Think about it: you are sparing yourself the constant exposure to accumulated dirt, bacteria, oil, chemicals and other nasty stuff that builds up on your utensils.

So when was the last time you took the time to give your make-up tools a good spring cleaning? Don’t really remember? Didn’t even know that you were supposed to clean them on a regular basis in the first place? Just as we thought. 

1. Clean your powder compact powderpuff. You know, the stuff you use to powder your face? They have probably accumulated months’ worth of skin bacteria, sweat, old powder, facial oil–not the prettiest picture. Run your powderpuff under luke-warm water, rub it gently with baby shampoo and lay them out somewhere where they can air-dry.

2. Clean your make-up brushes. Your make-up brushes for your face and eyes can also harbor a lot of dirt and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Run the bristles of your brushes under warm running water and lather them with shampoo. The water running from your brushes will be tinted with old make-up; keep running them through until the water turns clear. Place them somewhere to air-dry. If you want to keep your make-up brushes extremely clean like a professional make-up artist, you can buy specialized make-up brush cleaning solutions at a beauty supply store near you.

3. Clean your tweezers. It is especially important to keep your tweezers sanitized, as these are tools that get very close to your eyes. Before you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers with alcohol or peroxide, and rinse them under water so there is no chance of the chemicals getting into your eyes. After you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers again with alcohol or peroxide to keep them clean. Be sure to replace your tweezers if they are getting dull or rusty.

4. Clean your hairbrush. Your hairbrush quickly accumulates hair, hair products, scalp oil, dirt and who knows what else. First, remove as many tangles of hair from the bristles as you can. Then slide a wide-toothed comb over a trash can to take out more hair from the bristles. After that, fill your sink with warm water with a few drops of shampoo. Swish your hair brush in the water for a few minutes to loosen out the extra-stubborn hair and dirt. Give your brush a final rinse and air-dry bristle-down over the edge of your sink or bath-tub.

5. Clean your eyelash curler. You know, the thing that regularly gets close to the surface of your eyes? Better keep those clampers clean, too. Apply a few drops of eye make-up remover to the padding and metal clamp, and wipe excess make-up residue with tissue. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and apply a little bit of liquid hand soap to padding and clamp to lather the area. Then rinse it all out with warm water until the metal clamp and padding is completely clean. Dry off with a very clean hand towel or wash cloth, and you are all done! Be sure to repeat at least a few times a month. 

6. Clean your bath loofah. Fill a clean basin or your bathroom sink with hot water, hydrogen peroxide, and a little bit of white vinegar. Let your loofah soak for an hour, and then squeeze dry after shaking off excess water. After you do that, blow dry it with a hair dryer set on cold until loofah is dry.

7. Clean your toothbrush. Your toothbrush, by the way, should be replaced every three to four months. While you’re using it, you can run it through the dishwasher from time to time–and be sure to do it in the top rack so the excess heat doesn’t melt or warp the plastic. You can also swish your toothbrush in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water immediately before brushing your teeth.

8. Clean your razor shaver. If you are like most ladies, you are probably regularly shaving your armpits, legs, and bikini area. It is important to keep your razor blades regularly clean to keep them sharp for a safe, clean and effective shave. Check out this very handy eHow article, which gives a thorough step-by-step process for cleaning and drying out your razor blades with hot water and antibacterial soap.

Do you regularly clean out your beauty tools, or are you guilty of being a Dirty Diva? Do you have other handy tips for beautifying your beauty kit? Share your tips and ideas with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / lucy_baxter

Cover Girl (true) Beauty

When it comes to beautiful skin, you will hear me talk about how it begins with what’s going on inside of you, what you choose to eat and what you choose NOT to eat. But recently, there’s been growing attention rightfully placed on what we actually put on to our skin in terms of beautiful skin as well as disease prevention. To get underneath it all, I sat with renowned celebrity make-up artist, Christy Coleman who uses toxin-free products exclusively in her work and whose celebrity clients include Amber Valletta, Sheryl Crow and Emmy Rossum.

AKA: You haven’t always used toxin-free products, what inspired your change?

CC: It all began in rural Texas and Oklahoma.  My dad was exposed to many chemicals and fertilizers throughout his life, and I believe that these harmful toxins were the trigger for his ALS (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”). After watching my father pass away, I knew that I needed to turn my personal experience into something positive by transcending my knowledge about this disease and how much we all are exposed to toxins into my professional life.  Many consumers aren’t aware that traditional makeup can contain harmful ingredients, which the skin absorbs, potentially causing long-term health concerns. After years of research, I have hand selected only green products to be a part of my makeup kit that not only perform at a very high level, they’re good for you and the environment.

AKA: What do you believe the link between toxin-free makeup and skin health to be – can the products you recommend actually improve skin health as opposed to not harm?

CC: Toxin-free makeup often has better ingredients that do help to promote the health of your skin as opposed to irritating and damaging the skin over time. Many toxin-free / natural brands strive to include natural and organic ingredients that have an added benefit to the skin. Whether the ingredient is known to increase hydration, soothe or promote anti-aging, at the end of the day it is also about what “is not” included in the formula that is equally important.

AKA: But, can you seriously get competitive “cover girl” looks with non-toxic makeup?

CC: YES, you can create any look or trend with non-toxic makeup, and feel better about supporting eco-friendly brands while knowing that you are doing your skin a favor by decreasing the amount of toxins to which you are exposed.

AKA:  What do your celebrity clients say is the best thing about your use of toxin-free only make-up? Why do you use toxin-free make-up for your celebrity clients when they are only using the products during a shoot?

CC: Most of the celebrities I work with are wearing makeup day in and day out under the hot lights of a high profile event, photo or TV shoot. Applying and taking makeup off multiple times in a day can wreak havoc on the skin. I find that the products within my makeup kit are a lot gentler on the skin, but still provide the dramatic looks and performance that is imperative for what I do for a living.

AKA: I’m sold, as you know. But where can someone start if they want to begin switching over but aren’t ready to invest in a whole new line of products?

CC: I’d recommend starting with your foundation or face powder as well as any lip products because those are ones that cover the most surface area (your foundation) or that you are most likely to ingest (lips). Also, don’t forget about your body lotions. I recommend using raw organic coconut oil immediately following your shower as it locks in moisture for soft skin.

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