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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, Malevič, 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

Looking at ourselves = liking what we see

dreamstimefree2

Looking at ourselves=liking what we see. Not such an immediate equation – Vogue.it.

“It has nothing to do with beauty or elegance. Many good-looking women feel inadequate. Unable to compare with other women. They are always more attractive or, in any case, better.”

…”They say that brides are all beautiful. Because on that very day at least, they are happy. Happiness or better, serenity, must be pursued in all those circumstances that are truly significant for us. And friendship may be of great help. It really hurts reading posts that reveal a state of bitterness, unhappiness and loneliness where illness is just around the corner, if not already underway. Nobody, only the fool, feels perfect and always on top of all circumstances.”

“Marie in her Friday comment wrote that we must believe. Yes, like in ‘being faithful’, but also believing in human relationships. Beauty is not the only factor required to succeed. It helps. But also less attractive women can find a way to improve, and enhance some of her physical or intellectual assets. And what’s on the inside often shows on the outside.”

Right now, I came across this wonderful post from the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, that I love to read. I decided to post this link, because it reflects my exact thoughts about the perception of our own beauty ideals and our self-image. I intended to write something similar about this topic, but Mme. Sozzani did it perfectly and this is the reason why I want to share it with you, women!

To raise our self-esteem and self image, that lies just within our heads and feelings and not somewhere outside of us!

(source: Vogue Italia editor’s blog, photo: Dreamstime.com)

Greenwashing and awareness when buying natural products

greenwashing

Yesterday, while I was shopping in different places, where two interesting things caught my attention. First, I was in a shop where I often buy organic food. The shop is nice and they have a lot of really good brands and products, among which they sell also a few cosmetic brands. I have already checked the cosmetics that they sell and I was quite upset . The brands are better than the drugstore ones, but they aren’t organic at all. So I decided not to buy cosmetics there. Otherwise, they are really cool. Anyway, while I was paying and almost going out from the shop, I noticed a man who was reading labels on the bottles of that cosmetic and checking something. Suddenly, he asked the seller: “Is this product certified organic?” And the seller replied: ” Yes, of course it’s all natural and organic and really good.” In that moment I realized that he was checking and trying hard to understand if the cosmetic was organic. Surely, he asked for advice in hope to get an appropriate answer.

The second similar case was in another shop, where I usually don’t buy. Sometimes, I buy there just small empty glass containers for my home-made cosmetics. They sell “natural” products, that kind of product with just the label natural on. Surprisingly, the same story repeated. When I was paying, a lady beside me, asked the seller if the product that she was looking at (it was a usual toothpaste) is really natural like the label claims. Obviously, the seller (again) publicized the purity and quality of that “natural” product. In that moment the lady was relieved and she bought the product in good faith that is natural.

My mind was full of questions after these two events. I recognized the phenomenon of greenwashing, about which I was reading recently. Shortly, greenwashing is a misleading advertising in different forms, that makes you believe that a usual company just by naming products green/natural/organic, is responsible for the environment and the organic quality of that product. However, many times, this is just a marketing strategy to sell more. Someone noticed that “natural” sells good and that became almost a trend. Consequently, a new selling niche was born.

In my case, on one hand, I was asking myself how can someone just blindly believe in nice words? On the other hand, I understood the seller; she was just doing her job. Let’s suppose, she knew that the product was not organic because of some harmful ingredients, still, her situation was not easy in that moment. Many years ago, I was in a similar situation, too.

You will maybe want to know why I haven’t said anything in both cases? Because I realized everything, while going out from the second shop. In short, this was a nice lesson for me to think about and to realize that I am really happy that I’ve chosen to expand my and others awareness about this topic. I’m also glad that people are becoming more and more interested in natural products. We certainly need to learn more and move to the next level, but it’s very good that these changes in perception are becoming visible. Right now, I am also preparing new courses about green beauty and make-up, its correct use and buying with awareness. However, I respect others choices and I’m not forcing no one to follow my opinion, but I feel good when I think that I can contribute to the wellbeing of the planet and its habitants (animals included).

“All that glitters is not gold”

is a well-known saying and I say:

“All that looks green is not always green.”

 

(photo: istock.com)

The story of cosmetics

Watch the story of cosmetics and learn more about what we put on our skin and the truth behind many times too nice words.

We can change the situation by becoming more aware of what we buy and use everyday on our skin.

You can find more informations about the topic at Campaign for safe cosmetics

Some advices before shopping green beauty products

dreamstime.com

Have you ever asked yourself what are you putting on your skin when you try your new natural body moisturizer with that fantastic smell of tropical fruits?

Do you really believe to the nice words of the seller who claim that their products are totally natural, green and safe and who is trying to just quickly sell you their latest product?

Is really the product with the label eco/green/natural,…safe and non-toxic?

Do you pay attention to the label with ingredients on the back of the product?

If you are becoming green conscious and aware about what you put on your largest organ than it’s time to start buying your cosmetic with a new attitude. And believe me you’ll be just happier and surprised on the results. For me the most important thing is the result. When I did my first skin care with organic products, the results were just amazing! Since then I started to look at the label with ingredients, to change some habits concerning beauty and much more.

Some quick advices on how to start shopping green cosmetics

Checking the label with ingredients on the back side of your product is the most important thing. That means that you have to understand which ingredients are good for your skin and which ones you have to avoid. You can check the ingredients or product brands on the fantastic site http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com where you find all the information about cosmetic ingredients. You can make a list of the most harmful products and bring with you when you go shopping. You can find lists of harmful ingredients also on the site Health report.

Don’t trust every label with green/natural/bio/organic. Just the name does not assure you the real quality. Check also the certificates, such as ECO CERT, SOIL ASSOCIATION, BDIH, USDA,…Eventhough the product is labeled with this certificates, I still check the label with ingredients.

Don’t believe in every miracle that the advertising is promoting. 

Check thoroughly the website and the entire philosophy of the brand before.

Spend your money wisely. Sometimes the price can be (but in most cases is not) a little bit higher than of an average product. But the truth is that the organic philosophy of skin care is different from the commercial one. You don’t need a lot of different products for your skin care, but just the right one of excellent quality. So it’s worth to invest your money in good products. At the end you will realize that you’ve spent more money before when you bought different cleansers, day&night&eye creams, serums, tonics, masks,…Sometimes you can even make a nice honey mask  for dry skin at home, or a detox salt scrub. Read a book about home made cosmetic and try something new and fresh!

Hygiene is the keyword in most cases of contamination, bacterial infection,…I always warn about the correct and hygienically use of cosmetic products. Don’t share your creams, lotions, make-up products. Don’t apply cosmetic on your face with dirty fingers. Pay attention to the shelf life of your product and how long is open. Especially with organic cosmetic.

And above all, don’t think this is difficult, it’s just a new way of thinking.

(photo: Dreamstime.com)

Words of wisdom from the top model Karolina Kurkova

karolina kurkova

When I was checking the fashion news I encountered an interesting post about the top model Karolina Kurkova on Beauty counter blog at Style.com. It wouldn’t catch my attention so much, but I find her way of thinking very constructive and positive.

Here are some of her thoughts about models and healthy living:

“A lot of these girls don’t know how to take care of themselves. They have misconceptions that to be a size zero, you can’t eat or you can only have things that are really plain and boring. I definitely can’t live on lettuce and water! I’m very organic; I like to eat natural foods and exercise. You really have to take care of yourself from within. This was an important message for me to get across, especially when I heard that the girls were eating fried Oreos—and they wondered why their skin was so bad! When you eat well, you feel good, and that shows.”

I’m really happy that there are people from the fashion world who send out this important message: that you don’t need to starve, make sacrifices and pull yourself down with negative self talking. It’s all about healthy choices that help you grow. Especially, when you have a positive approach towards life. I don’t think you have to be slave of all organic and healthy things, cause they cannot help, if you have a negative approach to life. I think it’s important to find a balance between everything.

I also liked her thinking about life. About becoming a model she said:

“We’re in the stage where it’s not just about being beautiful or size zero. It’s about being kind and professional, and having a personality. If there is a girl who has that oomph and light, it doesn’t matter where she comes from; she will get noticed.”

In my opinion this is so true, but not just for becoming a model but for every other job; strong personality and following your heart is a winning combination.

You can read the entire Kari Molvar’s interview at the Beauty counter blog

Organic vs Natural cosmetics

safe cosmetics

Did you know that there is a huge difference between natural and organic?

In Europe and the UK you can declare a product natural by law, if it contains only 5% natural ingredients. This means that these products may contain artificial preservatives, fragrances, petrochemical substances and detergents, which are absorbed into the body and are proven to be carcinogenic. Organic means that the product is produced without pesticides and toxic ingredients in the soil, which is also organic, without chemical substances. Some pharmaceutical companies use some organic ingredients, but their products are based on artificial or chemical substances. However, even if a product is labeled as organic, you should pay attention to the label with ingredients and to the certificate that assure you the quality. Just naming a product organic isn’t enough. The safe product has to be certified organic and under control by a number of internationally recognized bodies such as: ECO CERT, SOIL ASSOCIATION, BDIH (Europe), BFA (Australia), USDA (USA)…

Scientific studies show that in cosmetics there are many harmful and potentially hazardous chemical substances that can be: carcinogenic, skin irritants, allergens, acne producing, cause contact dermatitis and hormone-related diseases.

Pay attention and avoid especially the following ingredients:

aluminum ingredients

DEA ingredients (all ingredients with dea after the first word)

dimethicone (& other methicone ingredients)

formaldehyde

fragrance: contains large quantities of toxins & chemicals not disclosed.

imidazolidinyl urea: releases formaldehyde, toxic laureth family (ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions)

parabens: petrochemicals

PEG ingredients

petroleum (petrolatum, mineral oils, vaseline)

phenonip: preservative blend of phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben

phthalates (esters of phthalic acid, such as dibutyl phthalate): found in most conventional nail polishes, hair styling products, fragrances, squeezable plastics, soft plastic baby toys, baby wipes. Not listed on products, hidden in ingredients such as synthetic fragrances & “fragrance free” products

stearic (acids & others)

talc: can contain asbestos

TEA ingredients (not tea, but rather ingredients with tea in front)

These ingredients are just some of the most harmful, but the list goes on. So if you want to avoid hours of intensive study, it is still best to look at certified organic products.

You can find on internet many sources of information about this topic. For the start I recommend you further reading such as:

Julie Gabriel: The green beauty guide

Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty (also a great book about toxic ingredients)

Skin deep cosmetic safety data base at:  http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

On this site you find tons of information about ingredients, researches and studies of different cosmetic products and brands. I find this site extremely useful for checking the ingredients and find fresh informations.

http://www.safecosmetics.org

(photo: Dreamstime.com)

Do you really nourish your skin and feel good in it?

Do you really nourish your skin and feel good in it

Nowadays, we believe that we will fight skin related problems such as dryness and many others with that nice smelling body butter that we bought, the new dry oil that absorbs so quickly,…? Well, that is not entirely true.

First of all, we have to understand what our skin is and then what do we really put on. Don’t believe to every word and nice picture that the beauty industry is proposing to you and make believe to millions of women that they don’t feel good in their own skin and consequently that they absolutely need the latest hot beauty product that will make miracles. It’s time to understand that things don’t work that way. You’ve already heard that the skin is our largest organ that “we carry around” and that absorbs most of substances that we apply on it. The skin is the outer covering of the body. Its main functions are to protect our body from outside environment and against excessive water loss. Skin is made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin is also the organ of sensation that contains a variety of reactive nerve endings. It has also a psychological function; the mood and the physical state on the face speaks without words.

In brief, the most important thing is that our skin functions normally and renews itself, if our body and mind are in harmony. With bombarding each day our skin with several different cocktails of chemicals in beauty products, food and medicines we have forgotten how does it looks like having a normal, healthy and radiant skin. It’s not a problem if we love taking care and decorating our face, but we need to make some steps further and start caring for our wellbeing in a more conscious way.

There are more factors concerning the health of our skin:

The use of safe cosmetic products: start to use cosmetics with no (or at least fewer) synthetic chemicals than in conventional brands. Those chemical mixes from different products we use accumulate in skin tissues. Consequently, the body detoxify itself longer.

Becoming aware what we put into our bodies; What food do we eat? Fresh, daily prepared and organically grown? Do we include vegetables and fruit in our daily menu? Or we always eat just junk food with many preservatives and other unnatural substances? Remember, what you put in your body, that is what you get on the outside. The skin reflects our state of being.

Limited use of medicines: medicines contain a lot of chemical substances that don’t exist in our bodies naturally. With excess use of medicines, the organs have to work more in order to establish the body natural state and to eliminate out all that is not appropriate and natural for our body.

Take your time to relax: understand that the body, mind and the spirit are all connected. The more positive and relaxed is your view about life, the healthier you will be.

You should also understand that when you start using organic cosmetics, your skin has to adapt to it. This is because non organic cosmetic brands use large quantities of by-products of petroleum refining that are difficult to remove, can clog skin pores and prevent skin to breathe. So when one stops using this products made of synthetically derived substances the skin starts to detox = cleansing itself of chemical residues. Be patient and allow one month for the skin to adjust.

At the end, I know that is hard to choose quickly a safe beauty product in this flood of cosmetic products and different beauty topics, but with a little effort, we can do it.

I invite you to reflect about your beauty choices.

This article is published also on Greenwala.com

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