green makeup

green cosmetics

A splash of colors

Makeup trends fall/winter 2011

This month is all about the fashion week with upcoming trends for spring 2012. I’m always excited to see what’s going on in this colorful world, so I will take this opportunity to present you some of my favorite makeup looks for this fall. For those who haven’t seen the designers proposals for this season (fall/winter 2011) yet, here are some guidelines:

 

RED LIPS + DETAILS ON THE EYES

Red lips in all its shades from orange red, classic red to dark cherry red are a must-have this fall. However, the skin has to be perfectly flawless. Additional details like spider lashes with many coats of mascara or a graphic eyeliner in flash color, make the red lip look even more artistic and sophisticated. Precision is the keyword for this look, otherwise you will end up looking not so sophisticated 🙂 If you aren’t really precise with the make-up applications, next looks will be for those who love the chic of smudged colors.

Make-up trends

 

COLORS!

Who is not a fan of the red lip look, can still play with other colors on the entire face: pink salmon lips or salmon orange on the eyes, lips and even nails? It’s up to you! Take in consideration your over-all colors (hair, skin, eyes) and choose the make-up palette that enhance your beauty. Choosing the right color and still keep it looking natural is the rule for this look.

Make-up trends

 

NUDE PALETTE

Sheer and nude tones of beige, strawberry and other natural shades on lips and cheeks are a timeless combination. This look will make happy the all-natural beauties, who swear on minimalistic makeup routine. To enhance the overall look and make it more “alive”, try the classic eyeliner style in day version or line the eyes with a light color like yellow gold for example.

Make-up trends

 

FOCUS ON THE EYES

make-up trends

The first look in the top photo is the timeless “smoky eyes look” in different versions: from the dark rock’n’roll to the elegant and sophisticated one. Both looks have focus on the eyes, of course, while lips and cheeks remain in nude, almost invisible tones. Women who love more a sexy look, can play with some dark grey colors, mixed with dark royal blue or purple shades, to make the eyes look even more mysterious. If you find  light tones more appropriate, then pearly silver and light grey tones with just a thin line around the eyes, will end up as an elegant chic version of the same smoky eye look.

As I usually say, take a look at these make-up looks, relax & enjoy, find what you like and then make your own makeup guidelines according to your personal style!

My eco chic bags

Eco conscious style

One of my green recycling tips is avoid the use of plastic bags. I really don’t like tons of plastic bags around in the house! Instead I have a few favorite eco chic bags that I carry around with me. They are very handy especially when I go into the food market and I don’t have to use the plastic bags. Avoiding to use plastic bags means saving our planet and stop the pollution. If I have any plastic bags, I try to reuse them as much as I can. When I go shopping big quantities I have 2 bigger bags where I can put everything. This way I avoid picking plastic grocery bags.

Sometimes I use one of these cotton bags even instead of my hand bag, especially now in summer. It’s light and handy to carry around. I can also wash all of them, because they are made from organic cotton.

I received the first bag (from left) as a gift. It was bought in Loft 18, a nice eco boutique in Paris. The second bag is from the shop Made in the shade in Milano, where I was buying Dr.Bronner’s organic cosmetic. It is made from light cotton and is very useful, cause I can put it in every other bag, so I always have an additional bag with me, in case of extra shopping. I bought the third bag in H&M, because I like its inscription and shape.

What do you think about using a cotton shopping bag?

Pure & natural greenwashing

 

greenwashing

I got goose pimples when I saw an entire collection of “pure&natural” products from Nivea on the shelves of a shop! You will ask me: “Aren’t you happy that the world and companies are becoming more and more aware of going green and that they care for us and our planet?” I’d be happy, if the label would convince me with ingredients. For a multinational brand selling enormous quantities of products, it’s also almost impossible to produce really safe cosmetic with fresh ingredients without chemicals. A really good product made with organic herbs does not have a shelf life of years.
Most of us know that Nivea is selling us chemical cosmetics with non safe ingredients, like all big corporations. Now, they want to sell also “green and safe” products, with amazing advertising and beautiful pictures. Looking at this, another more important question came over in my head : “Aren’t they directly telling us, that in all their “non-natural” products they sell us toxic ingredients? In other words, they are telling us that their main range of products is highly toxic! This question is meant more for the reader, to reflect about it. Personally, I’m completely aware about their greenwashing and the misleading of the consumer.

Nivea new line is called Pure&Natural (and I guess that many other big companies will follow this trend sooner or later). Along some nice words about argan oil, honey, aloe vera and other plants, there is no further explanation about any certifications or other ingredients. For a big corporation is enough to write that they use organic plants. Without any certification, they easily claim to use organic and safe ingredients! I know this is enough for a mediocre consumer who blindly trusts and relates just on nice words and images. But it’s not enough for me. Nivea claims not to use silicones, parabens, chemical UV filters in the Pure&Natural line, which is true. But I’ve checked the labels and found inside many other toxic ingredients! What is worrying is their use of synthetic fragrances that give the product a pleasant “natural” scent like:

METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE: is a widely used preservative; has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. Function/use(s): Fragrance ingredient; MASKING
LILIAL(butylphenyl methylpropanal): is a synthetic scent ingredient; associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Function/use(s): Fragrance ingredient; MASKING
ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE: Ionones are a group of naturally occurring and synthetically produced scent chemicals.

Among these there are also ingredients like: Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol,Geraniol, Parfum. Since there is no statement that these ingredients are compounds of high grade organic essential oils, it’s more than evident that big companies are misleading us again with words: natural, pure, green and organic. As you can see, there is no trace of real conscience for our health, helping people and the planet.

Maybe I have indirectly even advertised Nivea with mentioning them, but at the end, I’d like to let you know that not everything is so nice, pure and natural as it claims to be. You have to decide how green you really are!

Being Green, my lifestyle

Slovenia

This time, I’m not going to talk about make-up and beauty, but I want to say something about living and going green from my personal experience and how I feel about it.
I notice more and more that many people are talking about green or becoming green, just because of a widely spread trend, or a new target group. Well, this is not my case, so I want to share with you just my genuine green thoughts 🙂 On the other hand, there are also many other people and brands that are really lovingly caring about our planet to remain green.
I grew up in a small but green country Slovenia, gifted with nature, fresh and clean air to breath and numerous unpolluted waters. In my country, a lot of people grow their own organic vegetables and fruit at home, or grow animals on the open air. Recently, when I came home from foreign countries where I lived, I realized even more the fact that we have first quality organic products already at home. Among many other good things this is just a short description of our small, but precious pearl: Slovenia.

Leading a green lifestyle was quite normal for me since ever, without even realizing it! There is more, my mom has a garden where she grows all kinds of herbs and vegetables in an organic way, without pesticides or other toxins. Besides gardening, cooking is her passion since ever. She never uses any processed food, she grows by herself or buy just raw materials from nature. And then she prepares everything at home: from delicious desserts to home-made bread, not to mention her hand-made ravioli made with organic flour, organic eggs and filled with fresh spinach and cheese…Yes, you got it! I’m a big gourmand:) I inherited from her the passion for cooking and preparing fresh food, and also to carefully select what I eat. My first step towards a green lifestyle began with food and cooking.

My green lifestyle

Then I started to pay a lot of attention on how to clean my house and wash my clothes. I had some health issues caused by chemicals. I always felt that is not ok using chemical detergents. They always irritated my lungs, I was sneezing a lot,…I made changes also in my home while using environment friendly cleansers. I have one multipurpose eco detergent that I dilute it with water and it lasts a huge amount of time. I could clean everything with it. Just an all-in-one detergent, instead of a range of chemicals. Or the old vinegar and baking soda recipe. Very green and convenient, too! Yes, convenient. Many people complain that leading a green lifestyle is so expensive. I don’t agree at all with this statement! It is expensive, if one buys all the products that he used to buy in the conventional shop. He has just switched the shop and still buys bio sweets, bio already prepared food,… I understand that everyone has to do the first step, but what I want to point out is that living green does not mean just buying tons of already made products. It means preparing your meals at home from raw materials. Because of your health. In prepared & processed food from the shop there are so many nasty preservatives, colorations, stabilizers and many other chemical ingredients. I will give you an example: in winter time when I have time, I adore preparing ultra delicious and healthy cookies at home. It’s a very simple recipe from Saint Hildegard: Cookies of joy, made with just a few ingredients, some spices and good quality spelt flour. That’s it. Considering that I buy all the ingredients from organic growing and that I will make a lot of cookies from 0,5-1kg of flour, they are really cheap in comparison with a small package of normal cookies. The most important for me is that I know what I eat and put in my body. Being green means above all being aware of ingredients. Everywhere, not just in cosmetics, as I always preach, but also in food and cleaning detergents!
I think that we should start to support and buy organically grown food from our local farmers. This way we will not just support them and the nature, but we will also start stopping the big industry to expand and dictate.

my green lifestyle

my green lifestyle

Regarding cosmetics I have already written a lot and I will still do. I’m repeating again: check the certificates that guarantee you safety! If it’s not organic with the highest quality, at least buy bio with Ecocert. There is still an enormous difference in comparison with conventional brands full of toxic chemicals.

Going green means being conscious about what we put in our body, on our skin and consequently on our planet = in air, water, soil! What we give is what we receive. I believe that the Earth is a living organism, like we are and gives us back what we give to her.
If you start to look around yourself, you will become aware of what the big corporations wants from you. They tell you every second that you need the smell of that chemical lavender softener to soften your clothes, or that excellent mix of toxins in your already prepared meal. Not to mention cosmetic corporations with all the advertising on how you should look… Stop for a moment and open the eyes to realize in which world do you live. Is it really your world?

I don’t want to praise myself, I am like you, learning everyday something new, even about the green way of living. What I want you to realize is that living green is not expensive. Saying this is just a simple excuse not to make the first step and a change towards a better living. We can all contribute any time to the wellbeing of our planet. It’s not enough just to say I’m cruelty-free, I love animals, I am all natural by showing the label.

What counts is the fact of your imprint on this big living organism, the planet Earth. Try to make the first step towards a new awareness and a better living of everyone!

 

photos from my personal archive: top: waterfall Kozjak and Kobarid Kamp Lazar, one of my dishes with home grown vegetables (details of basil and chili pepper from our garden), rosemary from our garden, my spread made with sunflower seeds and wild garlic, fresh marjoram drying for winter and dried figs.

Another green soul in beauty!

Jenna Hipp – celebrity  green nail artist

A few minutes ago I found on my RSS feed this nice and interesting news. It’s an interview with a green nail artist – Jenna Hipp. Since I realized that we have the same philosophy about skin, so I wanted to share it with you. Listen what she says about going green:

Jenna Hipp

“I believe in embracing the entire condition of the skin and nails from the inside out, as well as sourcing organic topical products and at-home remedies,” Hipp told Style.com. Here, the polish maven talks about how to green your nail routine, getting hip to “squoval” nails, and why the French pedicure needs to go the way of the Walkman.”

Have you always been a “green” nail stylist, or did something specific inspire you to make the switch?

“The switch for me came with the symptoms—nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, dizziness, forgetfulness—the realization that I could no longer expose my body to everyday beauty products, cleaning supplies, and perfumes, let alone my nail supplies. It forced me to take control of my health and career for myself and my clients. I had to create a new title that described my newfound green and eco ambitions for the nail industry, and that’s how “green celebrity nail stylist” came about.”

What should manicure enthusiasts look out for when picking non-toxic polish formulas?

“When a product says “3″ or “4-Free”, they are referring to the carcinogenic chemicals that have been removed from the formula. This usually means formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde resin. DBP (the chemical dibutyl phthalate) acts as a binder to improve the lasting power of nail lacquer, but it’s also been linked to cancer in lab animals. Even though toluene helps suspend the color and creates a smooth texture, it also affects the central nervous system and can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.”

Aside from going “3-Free,” do you have any other suggestions for how the rest of us can clean up our act?

“Revamp your at-home nail care kit and educate yourself! Unfortunately, chemicals are still prevalent in polishes because the consumer demand to remove them just isn’t there, and laws do not require cosmetics companies to prove that products are safe before putting them on the market. Now that formaldehyde (used as a hardener in polish) is under so much scrutiny, companies have taken it out, but replaced it with formaldehyde resin, which they are not legally required to reveal. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep has been key in raising awareness about these harmful chemicals and forcing companies to remove them. You can find out how toxic your products are by typing them into the EW database.”

Check the entire interview on the link below written by Fiorella Valdesolo:

Style. com Beauty Counter blog

Safe sun creams for a carefree summer!

Natural sunscreens

As I promised you in my previous post, I’ve tried my best to provide you more practical informations about sun creams and which ones I recommend you this summer.
As we already know, the sun light is very important for our health, though is not good to exaggerate with the sun exposure, especially if we aren’t used to go out on the sun the most part of the year. Too much sun exposure can cause damage on the skin and cells. In every case we need a really good and safe sunscreen to protect our skin.
Many proofs and scientific results regarding the harmful properties of conventional chemical sun creams are emerging out more and more. Furthermore, recent discoveries result that skin cancer is strongly related with toxic chemical ingredients in conventional sunscreens.

First, let’s discover what is the difference between a conventional sunscreen and an organic one:

Chemical sunscreens: They are called so, because their active ingredients are chemicals, that prevent sunburns on the skin by absorbing mainly UVB rays. These are very popular among consumers, because they penetrate quick in the skin and feel quite light. But their ability to irritate the skin and cause allergies due to harsh chemicals, is very high. Usually, people blame the “harmful” sun for the allergies, without knowing that the main cause can be their chemical sunscreen. What is more, in many shops happened many times that they sold old sun creams from the previous season, which can be even more harmful. I can confirm this from my personal experience. Read what Dr. Barry Groves says about chemical sunscreens:

“A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 filters out approximately ninety-four percent of the UVB rays. Using one with a SPF of 30 does not double to protection – filtering out ninety-seven percent means that it only increases protection by about three percent. And this quoted SPF applies to UVB rays only. The protection provided against UVA rays in chemical sunscreens is much less at about ten percent of the UVB rating.”

Many people have already discovered by themselves that high chemical SPF factors can cause many skin diseases instead of really protecting the skin. This is especially a problem when high SPF with toxic chemicals are applied on your child’s delicate and sensitive young skin. I want to share with you a real story regarding chemical sunscreens that happened in my family a few years ago . My grandfather had a small wound and a bacteria infection on his ear (outside, on the skin). After some simple cures in the beginning, the situation has improved, the skin was becoming healthy. Since the doctors needed to check his state regularly, one day in the beginning of the summer, the doctor prescribed(!) him to start using a very well-known brand of chemical sunscreen with the SPF 60! When he told us about this, we were surprised. We knew that he doesn’t need it, since he never went out on the sun. But he is the type of person who obeys the doctors and he decided that he would use the prescribed sunscreen, even though there was no need, since the wound on his ear was going better and better. Guess what happened? The wound was small, but it started to getting worse and worse after applying that sunscreen. That occasion made me start to reflect even more about toxic chemicals and the pharmaceutical industry selling us drugs without curing us. The conclusion of the story is even worse: the state of my grandfather’s ear got so worse, that they started to apply him many other drugs and creams on and on. Today he is without his ear. But this is the beginning of another story.

Physical sunscreens: these are sunscreens with mineral origins and are mainly found in organic sunscreens. Julie Gabriel in her book The green beauty guide states about them:

” Wearing a mineral sunscreen is like wearing thousands of tiny mirrors on the skin that reflect the sun’s rays. They sit on top of the skin. Mineral sunscreens include zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Both minerals have a wider spectral range of activity than any synthetic sunscreen ingredient. While the entire range of UVA and UVB radiation is 280-400nm, titanium dioxide’s range of protection is 270-700nm, and zinc dioxide shields from rays ranging from 290-700nm.” 

Apart these two minerals, a high quality sunscreen has to contain also some herbal and plant extracts to soothe the skin with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and calming effects. Among plants with an excellent function in a sunscreen, there are: aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil,… They don’t oxidize on the sun and they provide a lot of benefits for our skin.

 

Harmful ingredients in conventional sunscreens

PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid): causes allergic dermatitis, photosensitivity, produces free radicals that cause mutations, lead to cell death, may be implicated in cardiovascular diseases, causes changes in blood components.

Benzophenones (benzophenone-3, sulisobenzone and dioxybenzone) =UVA filters: strong photoallergen, endocrine disruptor, produces free radicals that increase skin aging, environmental toxicant

Cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate, cinoxate and methoxycinnamate) =UVB filter: lead to cell death, a penetration enhancer, cause skin irritation and contact allergies

Salicylates(octyl salicylate) =UVB filter: increase breast cancer cells

Dibenzoylmethanes(avobenzone) =commonly used UVA filter in EU: produces free radicals under UV light, which can lead to DNA damage, it’s unstable under UV light, breaking down into several chemicals, can cause contact allergies

Octocrylene = UVB filter: it is absorbed into the nucleated epidermal layers, can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis.

Camphor derivatives(4-methylbenzylidene or 4-MBC) = UVB filters: endocrine disruptor, lead to hypothyroidism, can cause photoallergic dermatitis, bioaccumulative in the environment.

 

There is another alarming fact concerning chemical sun creams and the environment

“Chemical constituents of sunscreens have reached detectable levels in fresh water and seawater systems, with experts estimating that around a quarter of the sunscreen ingredients applied to the skin are released in water over the course of a 20 minute submersion. Certain sunscreen and personal care ingredients have been found to cause coral bleaching, even at low concentration, promoting viral infection in coral reefs and threatening the survival of endangered tropical ecosystems.” (from the book Toxic beauty by Dawn Mellowship)

 

Which sun creams are safe and good for the skin?

There are several organic sun creams on the market that are safe with its formulations, but don’t trust just to the words on the package. My favorite sunscreens are absolutely the Lavera Sun sensitive collection. They have a wide range of products from sprays to lotions:

Lavera Baby & Children Sun Screen SPF 20 contains precious organic ingredients such as beeswax, canola oil, shea butter, organic carotene and organic sunflower oil. This lotion is suitable even for the delicate baby skin. Due to its precious oils and plant extracts it protects the skin from moisture loss and the skin cells from damage.

Another very good brand is Petite Marie Organics from the above mentioned Julie Gabriel, with a totally safe product named Ounce of prevention. This is a mineral based sun cream with SPF 30+ with zinc and anti aging antioxidants like green tea, lycopene and precious oils like argan, starflower and black currant oils.

The Organic pharmacy has also a collection of sunscreens on a zinc oxide basis. They contain many natural beneficial ingredients like sweet almond, sweet orange, rose hip, honeysuckle, aloe vera and shea butter.

Green makeup tip: Don’t forget to protect even your lips with a lip balm with a SPF. Lavera has an excellent one!

Truly safe sunscreens contain only herbal ingredients and mineral filters that do NOT include nano particles. A safe sunscreen has to protect the skin in a safe way, without irritating it. Independent certifications such as Ecocert, Cosmebio (Cosmetique Bio), Soil Association, BDIH, Natrue,etc. forbid the use of nano particles and toxic chemicals and guarantee us more security than just a normal pretty advertising in the magazines. Though, for me the most important thing is still to read the labels with ingredients.

Enjoy your summer sunny days!

 

 

Top picture: Green makeup favorite selection of sunscreens

Check out more about the toxicity in sunscreens at: http://www.ewg.org

Another very good article that I recently found concerning sunscreens at: http://www.naturalnews.com

Is the sun really our enemy?

Dreamstime.com

I couldn’t help myself to write my thoughts concerning the every year’s biggest summer issue – the sun and sun creams. When the first hot sunny days start, populist medias are full of generic articles about sun creams and skin cancer, which want to convince us that the sun is our huge enemy. Stop and think for a moment. Do you really believe that the sun is our big enemy? I belong to the type of people who love going out to enjoy and recharge themselves on a nice sunny day. I’ve never felt (and still don’t) the sun is harmful, for I’ve always enjoyed it. So I wanted to unveil what does stand behind this regular bombardment with fear, skin cancer, forcing with highest SPF creams,…

Let’s start at the beginning. Since ancient times the man worshiped the nature and the sun as a source of life. He knew that the sun is the source of all living existence. Nowadays, the industrialization has torn apart man from nature, from the source. We still think that is normal working entire days under artificial light, eating artificially grown food which haven’t seen the sun and real soil, but chemicals. We apply cosmetics and eat medicines with toxic chemicals poisoning our bodies and much more. Do you really think this is normal? You can still open yourself to hear the other part of this story.

Nowadays, many scientific sources already know that without sun = natural light, there is no real life. The sun is the main source of vitamin D, which is essential for our health and strong immune system. Read further, what Dr. Michael Holick, who opposes to the chemical and cosmetic industry, states in his book: The vitamin D solution.

“Vitamin D is not a vitamin but a hormone. It is unique in that it is made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. Photosynthesis of vitamin D has been occurring on earth for more than 750 million years. Some of the earliest life forms that were exposed to sunlight for their energy requirement were also photosynthesizing vitamin D. Both children and adults have in the past depended on adequate sun exposure to satisfy their vitamin D requirement. It is well documented that at the turn of the last century upwards of 80% of children in the industrialized, polluted cities of northern Europe and northeastern United States suffered from the devastating consequences of vitamin D deficiency rickets. The skin has a large capacity to make vitamin D. Exposure of a person in a bathing suit to a minimal erythemal dose of sunlight, which is typically no more than 15-20 minutes on Cape Cod in June or July at noon time, is the equivalent to taking 20,000 IU of vitamin D orally. It is now well documented that in the absence of any sun exposure 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day is necessary to maintain healthy levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the circulation.”

In addition, have you ever asked yourself, why our grandparents, 40 years ago, while working entire days outside on the sun, without a sun cream, haven’t had any problems with skin cancers? The answer is simple. Since the sun is the source of life, it has also provided our skin a great self-protecting mechanism, in order not to get sunburns. This mechanism is the nice brown tan, that should be accomplished GRADUALLY. When we expose to the sun gradually, our skin becomes firmer, absorbs and produces a lot of vitamin D. Step by step, it give us a brown color, which is the self-protective barrier that prevents us to obtain burns.

Unfortunately, man has changed the direction of living and put us in closed buildings where we cannot see the light, except artificial one. And here comes the main problem about sun exposing. The industry has invented chemical cocktails that act on your skin as “protection”, so that you can quickly go out from your office, directly exposing yourself to high temperatures in ultra hot vacation destinations. People don’t go out on the sun step by step, but directly exposing their body to a high amount of sun radiation. This is not normal, especially for pale skin, non-adapted to the sun. Applying a sun cream, full of harmful substances, that acts on our body with preventing the skin to get the tan, it’s not a happy news. Have you ever asked yourself what does a cream like this contain and how does affect and block your body functions, so that the sun cannot do its natural process? Don’t you think there is a more logical connection between skin cancer and chemical sunscreens?

“Incidence rates of melanoma have risen especially steeply since the mid-1970s. The two principal strategies for reduction of risk of melanoma and other skin cancers during this period were sun avoidance and use of chemical sunscreens. Rising trends in the incidence of and mortality from melanoma have continued since the 1970s and 1980s, when sunscreens with high sun protection factors became widely used. Indeed, the Garland brothers strongly believe that the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. Recent studies by them have shown a higher rate of melanoma among men who regularly use sunscreens and a higher rate of basal cell carcinoma among women using sunscreens. This was confirmed by another study group who found that ‘always users’ of sunscreens had 3.7 times as many malignant melanomas as those ‘never using’.”

This makes sense to me! I want to point out another fact concerning skin cancer:

“British doctors R Marks and D Whiteman are unconvinced of the sunlight/melanoma link. They point out that:
– Melanoma can be found on ovaries
– Melanoma occurs less frequently on sun-exposed areas
– In Japan forty percent of pedal melanomas are on the soles of the feet
– There is 5-times more melanoma in Scotland on the feet than on the hands
– And melanoma in Orkney and Shetland is ten times that of the Mediterranean islands.
Other clinicians agree. Karnauchow says: “The simplistic idea of a sun/melanoma relationship is based more on a belief than science.”. . . “As with other neoplasms, the cause of melanoma remains an enigma and most probably the sun has little, if anything, to do with it.”

(source: Barry Groves, PhD)

To conclude, there is no doubt that too much sun exposure causes severe skin sunburns, stress and skin aging, that can lead to skin cancer. Even though, there are many obvious evidences and proofs regarding conventional sun creams that are even more carcinogenic than the sun. I will explain the difference between safe organic sun creams and the regular sun creams, full of harmful ingredients in my next post.

 

What is the solution?

The solution is always a midway between, a middle path, that means:

– DON’T EXAGGERATE, even with sun exposure. It’s obvious that the sun radiance in peak hours (from 11 -16) is very strong and may cause severe burns! It’s not natural to be exposed on the sun in this time of the day. Even mediterranean nations, who are adapted more to sun, know there is siesta time (relax) during that time of the day. This is why we have to avoid the sun. If you will expose on sun, when it is not so strong, there is no need to worry. Use a natural organic sunscreen without harmful chemicals and apply it several times during the day. It’s better to protect your skin several times with a lower SPF than force the skin with high number of SPF such as 40 or 60. It’s just against the body nature. The higher the SPF, more toxic chemicals contains. This is the reason why organic sun creams does not have so high factors. And the reason why dermatologists claim that high SPF is good, is because they have to sell the pharmaceutical products.

– In hot summer days, when the sun radiation is high, drink a lot of pure water, so that your body will be hydrated.

– Eat orange-colored vegetables and fruits such as: carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. They contain significant amounts of alpha and beta-carotene, which protect our body against free radicals. Eat great sources of vitamin E that slows the aging effect: cold-pressed olive oil, broccoli, avocado, mango, sunflower seeds and oil, wheat germ oil.

– Even if you are in the shadow during the peak time (11-16h), dress with light clothes and cover the body, cause the sun rays can burn you everywhere. Imagine how Tuareg people from Sahara desert wear their clothes, long layers of natural fabric, that protect them from the sun.

Finally, don’t be so afraid about everything that the chemical industry connected with big corporations wants you to fear (=focus on). Remember this every time you think about cancer, other diseases and “harmful” sun: Where the attention goes, the energy flows.

 

(foto: dreamstime.com)

My new discovery: Makeup brushes with Natrafil fiber

Natrafil brushes

Last week I was invited to a special event called Makeup in Paris, which took place in one of my favorite places in Paris-in Louvre. The event was intended for professionals in the make-up field. There were presented new textures, formulas and package designs for upcoming years, conferences about beauty & make-up trends and many other interesting things. Among all this flow of informations, there was something that especially caught my attention. It was the stand with synthetic makeup brushes. And it wasn’t just one of the many names, but it was Du Pont. Why I was so excited to see this? Because I remember the brand name Du Pont as a synonym of highest quality among synthetic filaments, since when I was studying fashion design at University, where our professor mentioned this brand many times 🙂

To sum up, I’m glad to see that these new technologies are offering its knowledge in the makeup field. In fact, I have already tried many synthetic brushes who are very good to work with, but these one from Du Pont are just an incredible discovery! Why? DuPont does not make brushes, but they develop their special patented synthetic filament which is named Natrafil. Natrafil is a great alternative to natural animal hair in cosmetic brushes. There are still many skeptics about using synthetic brushes, cause they are used to work with traditional natural hair brushes. I used to work with them too, but since I discovered that I can do my job as good or in some cases even better with synthetic ones, I am getting more and more favorable to them. Moreover, I think that there is no need  to kill the animals for brushes, if we have so much advanced technologies working for us. Why not take advantage of it?

Below, I have attached a picture from the Dupont site, where they explain the difference between animal hair, normal synthetic fibers and Natrafil fiber technology:

Natrafil fiber

This is just a brief presentation of these exciting concept about which I am going to write even more. I will surely keep you updated with a second part where I will make a review of brushes with Natrafil fibers that they have given me to test them on the event mentioned above.

What do you think about synthetic makeup brushes? Have you already tried them? Are you satisfied with them? I’d be glad to hear from you about this topic.

Fashion trends for Fall 2011 and my homage to Matisse

Recently, I’ve visited again the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, one of the most important museums of modern art. There are many amazing things going on there all the time. You can hear the Tibetan monks chants as you take the escalator or dive into a light installation among many other forms of contemporary art. My favorite place is the 5th floor, where you can admire the “classic” masterpieces of art dated from 1905 to 1945, from Matisse, Picasso,Delaunay, MaleviÄŤ, Miro… I also love the contemporary art, but my biggest admiration goes to charismatic painters who influenced their upcoming time, as big visionaries. One of them is for sure Henri Matisse, which I really find inspiring, especially with his own use and perception of color. I can sense parallels in some upcoming trends from fall 2011 collections and his work: layers of bright colors, simple constructions and forms, a sophisticated simplicity,… There were such influences also in the make-up where models looked like faces from modern painter’s canvas. Here are a few inspirations for you to take note, admire and find some of your own tips to build your fall new look!

art and fashion

art and fashion

art and fashion

art and fashion

fashion trends

fashion

Freshly made: deodorant

deodorant

In the previous article I have explained how the process of sweating works. In this article I want to explain the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants, harmful ingredients to avoid in them and how to make an amazing deodorant at home.

Antiperspirants: they prevent the formation of sweat (= interfere in the natural function processes of the body!)

Deodorants: they cover/mask the underarm odour through the addition of antimicrobial agents such as triclosan, farnesol, alcohols or ammonium compounds that try to disable and kill the bacteria(even the good ones!) on the skin.

 

Harmful substances to avoid in deodorants/antiperspirants

Unfortunately, most of the substances, which are acting against sweat or bacteria, is very controversial for our health. Some of the main important to avoid are:

Triclosan: endocrine disruptor, strong skin irritant, environmental toxicant, affects thyroid hormone, caused fetal death in animals

Aluminum salts and all aluminum compounds (aluminum chlorohydrate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, potassium aluminum sulfate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly): can cause contact dermatitis, are related to many diseases (asthma, lung disorders, reproductive disorders, …). Studies against aluminum show also that it accumulates in the brain over time and may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancers.

Phthalates: which may be hiding under the name “fragrance”. They are dangerous endocrine disrupters, which also affect the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs, they can cause allergies, itching, redness, breathing difficulties,…

Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl), are all derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical derivat. (related to contact allergies, skin sensatizations, found in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer)

Toluene: skin and lung toxicant, accumulates in fat tissue, soil contaminant, can cause strong skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation. Inhalation can cause nausea, headaches,…

Talc: even when it contains no asbestos, was proven fibrogenic (causes tissue injury and fibrosis), skin and lung irritation

Propylene glycol: can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation

(sources: Julie Gabriel: Green beauty guide, Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty)

 

How to stay fresh smelling naturally an entire day?

There are many healthy choices to choose instead of toxic chemicals who can cause many disorders. Start to look after deodorants with ingredients like vegetable glycerin, natural preservatives, herbs or herbal extracts, green tea, aloe vera juice, baking soda and natural essential oils. You can also make an amazing and easy deodorant at home. Here I share with you the recipe below. I am using this deodorant a few weeks and it works great! The deodorant is also tested by many other people who are very satisfied and now ex users of traditional antiperspirants/deodorants. The best thing is that it smells amazing and it lasts up to whole day.

 

Recipe for a natural deodorant

– 1 / 4 cup of cornstarch

– 1 / 4 cup of baking soda

– 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice (I like the freshness of lemongrass essential oil)*

– 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Mix corn starch and baking soda in a bowl and then add to this mixture partially melted coconut oil and the essential oil. Stir well and put this mixture in a clean pot. Start to use it after 1-2 days. You need a small amount of deodorant, as the deodorant is highly effective even in small quantities.

* I’ve added the lemongrass essential oil, which is for my taste a great choice for hot summer days. When the fresh smell of lemongrass mixes with the nice sweet smell of coconut oil, the result is a fresh and lightly sweet tropical scent.

You should know that coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties, as does baking soda, but without killing the microorganisms that are useful in our body. The nature has provided us everything we need to balance our body, mind and spirit 🙂 I’d be happy to hear from you that you have made this deodorant at home and your thoughts about it. Or maybe you already have any other natural recipes & experiences with natural deodorants to share with me?

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