Why Everyone Should Watch “Toxic Beauty” Documentary

white and brown plastic bottles on white textile

Brief summary of Toxic Beauty

Toxic beauty is a documentary feature film following a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, a renown household brand. We follow personal stories of whistle blowers, survivors and women in a race against time revealing a series of ugly cover ups in the beauty & cosmetic industry. Besides that, the film weaves in a human experiment conducted by Mymy Nguyen, a Boston University Masters student who measures her chemical body burden when using different cosmetic products.

“The cosmetic industry is destroying women’s cells.”

This powerful statement mentioned by an ex formulator of one of the biggest cosmetic brands hooked me on immediately. I’ve had sensitive skin and eczema when I was a child, and the prolonged periods of itchiness and rash were not fun. Since then, I’ve always been wary of chemicals I apply on my skin, always fearful of a reaction. Even though I outgrew the sensitive skin phase, my sense of wariness about products I apply on my skin never left me. While my peers were playing with make up and slathering themselves in an assortment of cosmetic products, I stuck to the most routine: washing my face with water and applying sunscreen. After the unpleasant realization that I end up consuming the wax like substance, lipstick on my lips, I resulted to eyeliner as the only form of make up I use.

three makeup brushes on top of compact powders

Granted, some of the times, the lack of available scientific information in the present results in health issues in the future and cannot be avoided. However, what shocked me was that renown household companies like Johnsons & Johnsons which specialize in a range of baby products was engaged in a lawsuit that unveiled a series of cover ups that spanned across decades. Bear in mind this isn’t a direct hit on Johnson & Johnson as talc is used rampantly in other products. However, a link between talc and ovarian cancer was discovered all the way in early 1980s by world renowned epidemiologist Dr Daniel Cramer. However, nothing was done. No warning label was placed on talc even after the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared Talc as a possible carcinogen. The cosmetic industry has had little change since 1936, and the way we regulate personal care products need to improve.

I’d like to believe I’m an over cautious person, however, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that point that conglomerates often use harmful chemicals and ingredients in products and sell them to unwitting buyers. Labels such as “fragrance“, “parfum” and “aroma” do not show the ingredients used and can conceal a range of potentially hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, the fact that we live in a world operated by a post- market regulatory system is hazardous as a product goes into the market and a regulatory system kicks in only when there are incidents. The fact that we are slathering ourselves with potentially harmful chemicals every day of our lives doesn’t sit well with me. In 2004, Dr Phillipa Darbre, a scientist from the UK found parabens in breast tissue. In 2018, a study by the National Institute of Health linked breast cancer to the use of personal care products. Furthermore, the use of certain products high in oestrogen were found to link to hormonal disruption in baby boys causing a myriad of side effects such as developmental delays, low sperm count, infertility, cancer, diabetes, obesity and skin disease. The idea that a lot of these “bodily malfunctions” are essentially self induced is worrisome. How do we make informed decisions? How do we know which product is okay to use?

black makeup brush, lipstick, and blush on powder

It is scary that our physical and mental health risks can be self induced through using products containing harmful chemicals. The documentary follows Mymy Nguyen who conducts a self experiment to measure chemicals in her body when she doesn’t use any self care products at all, when she uses all of her usual routine, and when she uses natural and clean products. It was shocking that when she used her products she’s been using for years eg shampoos, toothpaste, make up, the parabens and phthalates (toxic chemicals) found in her urine samples were higher than the 95th percentile of Americans. It is close to impossible to not use any personal care products as tasks like washing your hair or brushing your teeth cannot be avoided. She expressed her fear of not being able to have children and like the women we follow in the lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson expressed the guilt that the health risks were almost like it was self induced. I disagree with the statement, as I feel the chemists and R&D part of companies should be more stringent and responsible about the types of ingredients they choose to use. But how do we make sure that the products we use aren’t harmful to us?

Regulatory bodies such as the FDA should aim to be more stringent with regulating cosmetic products instead of buckling under the pressure of conglomerates who promise to self regulate. Furthermore, consumers should take one step further and use ingredient analyzer platforms such as 1Source, EWG, and Incidecoder to make sure that the products they use do not contain harmful ingredients / chemicals. It is really simple to use, especially if your ingredient label is filled with long chemistry names we are unfamiliar with. Simply type the name of the product into the platform. A rating of the products will be shown and toxic ingredients will be flagged. By making smarter purchasing decisions, consumers can support clean businesses and put pressure on other companies to use cleaner ingredients. For starters, here are some toxic ingredients and chemicals to look out for in your personal products.

Different types of harmful chemicals

woman in gray sweater holding lipstick

Endocrine disruptors:

  • Mimic hormone activity with links to birth defects, reproductive harm and cancer
  • Found in hair, nail, sunscreen and baby products, makeup, lotions, toothpaste, soap, fragrance

Phthalates:

  • Endocrine disruptors linked to developmental disorders, reproductive harm & cancer
  • Found in fragranced lotions, body wash, hair, skin, baby products, nail polish, perfume, color cosmetics.

Parabens:

  • Endocrine disruptors linked to reproductive harm, developmental disorders, cancer
  • A preservative found in deodorants, antiperspirants, soaps, hair, shaving, fragranced products.

Toxic ingredients and Chemicals to look out for

  • Shampoos containing formaldehyde have a high risk of serving as an endocrine disruptor, and bring about side effects such as allergies, depression, and cancer
  • Deodorants contain endocrine disruptors such as formaldehyde which causes hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and tumors
  • Skin cream containing mercury, coal and tar may serve as endocrine disruptors that causes tremors, insomnia, and/ or cognitive dysfunction
  • Soap containing coal, tar and 1,4 dioxane may serve as endocrine disruptors that causes allergies, infertility and heart disease
  • Fragrance often contain toxic chemicals that are not disclosed and may cause allergies, reproductive disorders, and cancer
  • Skin lighteners containing chemicals hydroquinone and mercury may cause skin disease, organ damage or cancer

References:

“Carbon Black, Titanium Dioxide, and Talc – IARC Publications Website.” https://publications.iarc.fr/Book-And-Report-Series/Iarc-Monographs-On-The-Identification-Of-Carcinogenic-Hazards-To-Humans/Carbon-Black-Titanium-Dioxide-And-Talc-2010. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

“The Film — TOXIC BEAUTY.” https://www.toxicbeautydoc.com/the-film. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

“TOXIC BEAUTY.” https://www.toxicbeautydoc.com/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

I tried the Billion Dollar Morning Routine (Honest and Realistic Journey)

One night when I was on my phone during the hours of when I was supposed to be asleep, I came across a video titled ‘We Tried the 1 Billion Dollar Morning Routine’ produced by As/Is.

The video left me with curiosity and motivation to attempt the morning routine as well. Before I started, I did a little research.

As I believe, The routine was popularized by the motivational Youtube Star, Jim Kwik who showed on the Be Inspired Youtube Channel. The video currently has 6,327,884 views with 177k likes.

Upon research, there is no exact routine set by time. Some would wake up at 4:30, while some others wake up at 7 am. I concluded that the wake-up time would be after 8 hours of sleep. And of course, everyone’s routine is different. Those who wake up at 4:30 usually clock in for work at 7 – 7:30 AM, and those who wake up at 7 AM usually work from home.

Are you a morning person?

But the routines are similar, if not same.

  1. Wake up early
  2. Recall dreams
  3. Make your bed
  4. Drink a tall glass of water – while taking vitamins or prebiotics
  5. 20-minute breathing exercise/meditation
  6. 2 minutes of intense movement
  7. Cold shower
  8. Regular morning routine e.g. brushing your teeth, morning face cleanse, brew tea
  9. Write in your journal. In this journal, you must write 3 points of what to do (assignments) ; 3 points of what to personally do ; 3 points of what to feel; and 3 points of what to be.
  10. Read a book for 20/30 minutes
  11. Make a smoothie – suggested to use blueberries as they are ‘brain berries’
  12. Do a brain exercise

It should be noted that some people’s approach to this routine can be modified. Jim Kwik himself said in the video that he just tries his best to do it all.

My Attempt(s) at the Billion Dollar Morning Routine (Long Read Ahead!)

Day 1, the first impression

1. Wake up Early

I woke up to my alarm at 7… but I went for a 30-minute nap. Not the best start but it is definitely a very big improvement to my usual waking hour, which is usually 10. Worse, the latest I woke up was 2:30 pm…

2. Recall dreams

Coincidentally, I dreamed about doing the morning routine in my dream. However, it was more like a nightmare. I cannot remember the events but I knew the energy of the dream was chaotic, the most I remembered was hearing arguing and things crashing like bombs and I felt claustrophobic.

I personally believe that I am sensitive to dreaming, compared to my friends, I have several dreams that I still remember today.

The dream also felt really real, I thought I was already up in the morning. Until the alarm proved wrong.

3. Make your bed

I never make my bed, ever. I don’t see the point of it because I will eventually sleep in it again.

However, the step is not as boring as it sounds. Jim Kwik said that this step is intended to push people to accomplish more tasks, it creates momentum.

He says that, when we go to bed, we go back to the cycle of ‘success’.

4. Drink tall glass of water and take vitamins/prebiotics

I am ashamed to say… I don’t wake up to drinking water every morning.

Although it was only water, I did struggle, I felt like I was forcing down water when I felt full.

Before I drank the water, I had to go to the bathroom first. This step was supposed to be in the 8th step but I knew I couldn’t down a gulp of water if I weren’t going to take a leak first.

I also don’t take any supplements. My prebiotics are in powder form that I put in my morning smoothie.

5. 20 minutes of breathing exercise / meditation

I wasn’t exactly excited for this part, 20 minutes of sitting still sounded like it would put me to sleep. The purpose of this step is to fully oxygenate the body.

I simply searched for a 20-minute breathing meditation on Youtube. For day 1, I am following a guide by the Mindful Movement. I only realized after the meditation that the video was only 19:38 minutes, but better than nothing!

This step was not effortless. I struggled with staying still. So, I helped myself with the breathing exercise by using my body instead. When I breathed in, I would trail my upper leg to my knees with my hands, then sweep them back up while I straightened my back as I exhaled.

It is only after that I realized that I should have done it the other way. And well… I sometimes don’t breathe the right way. When inhaling, the stomach should be expanding, and the opposite when exhaling. However, I sometimes do this in the opposite way. I hoped to correct my breathing habit by doing this routine for the next few days.

By the end of this step, it is 8:02 AM

6. 2 minute intense movement

The purpose of this step is to wake my body. Note: This is not a workout of the day!

For Day 1, I split this step into 1 minute of jumping jacks and the other minute to high knees.

7. Cold shower

This step… I couldn’t take a straight cold shower. Especially since the morning is breezy. However, I did attempt to do it.

Instead of ignoring this step, I did a mix of a hot and cold shower. I turn the water to cold when I am washing off the shampoo and conditioner from my hair. I also did this at the end of the shower.

8. Regular morning routine

For this step, I brushed my teeth.

Cleansed my face. Since I was more conscious to my routine, I gave the #60secondsrule face wash a go.

Despite the positive feedback, I never attempted it. My face actually felt nice after 60 seconds of cleansing.

Then I blow dried my hair and made tea.

9. Write in Journal

10. Read a book

I am currently reading Eye Of The Red Tsar by Sam Eastland. I have issues with focus, so to help me read, I turned on reading music for my 20 minutes read. As much as I like reading this book, I was waiting for the timer to go off in the back of my head.

11. Make a smoothie

I didn’t have any brain berries that were suggested to be used. I instead used a herbal smoothie mix that I was already having as my breakfast.

12. Brain exercise

I downloaded the Elevate app for this step. I am using the free version. For the following days, I do 3 short exercises to strengthen my language and mathematics skills.

Day 2

Disastrous…

I couldn’t wake up early because I was tired. I slept late the night before (1:30 AM) from gaming with my friends. So I missed most of my morning (10 AM).

However as Kwik mentioned, he tries to complete all the tasks. So I tried to tick as many boxes as I can before the morning ends.

2. I couldn’t recall my dream

3. This time when making my bed, I put in more effort. It felt good to look at a neat ‘successful’ bed

4. Drink water – stopped my inner whining dialogue and just went with it.

Wrote in my journal…That is where the routine ends.

Day 3 (PAUSE)

This is the day when I had to stop the routine. I woke up late again from a long night of gaming with my friends. I felt very demotivated. I could have continued the routine as a Day 3, however, I wanted to give it another chance. If the ladies could do straight in the As/Is video, I should too.

So instead of trying to complete the steps, I sat down and wrote in my journal to reevaluate:

“I’m going to restart this journey on Friday the 25th marked as Day 1… clearly I failed twice. And as much as I am lazy, I am a perfectionist! Therefore, I’ll try again BUT I’m going to have to plan it.”

“I realized that I can’t push myself to wake up early at all after a ‘night’ (1-2 AM) of gaming on LOL. So to proceed with this routine, I must not play over midnight.”

“Something I noticed is that I am starting to inhabit step 3 and 4 (make the bed and drink water) with effort”

“For my journal lists, I must also be more specific and actually attempt to finish at least my to do’s”

“Instead of staying in bed for step 2 (recalling your dreams), I should get up and write it down in my journal since I am such a heavy sleeper… staying in my bed eyes closed? I pass out in 30 secs”

Overall, I initially went into this routine without any preparation, which was bad since the Billion Dollar Morning Routine is drastically different from my everyday lifestyle.

Day 3 (Redemption)

Day 3 was a massive improvement compared to the past 2 days of failure. Comparing how my day went between this day and the day before. There is a difference in motivation and drive. Even though the morning routine took some adjusting, it is a rewarding experience.

Day 4

As normally, the day went fine. However, the night out of Day 4 has caused another dip into my attempt at the routine.

Day 5

So indeed, after a night out (or to be more specific, an all ‘nighter’), I did not criticize myself as harshly as Day 2 or the paused day. Just like Day 2, I try to finish the morning routine within the hours of the morning. For a chill day, I had a productive workday.

So it’s not as bad as I described it earlier, but this is where the ‘dip’ happens.

Day 6

As observed, the day was not productive at all. So how did this happen?

When I gave myself an excuse for Day 5 and allowed myself to have a ‘chill day’, the slowly growing discipline I built up vanished. The routine is not for people who rely on motivation, but a habit mentality.

When I compared my progress to the ladies who attempted the routine from As/Is, it really demotivated me and in all honesty, it made my mental health fragile. I became demotivated and basically hated myself for the entire day. The day felt awful, productivity was not running, overall, it was grim.

Day 7

So, still being in the cycle of lack of discipline, I did not get the happy ending I wanted. However, I felt a glimpse of hope.

Although I did not have the best attempt. It made me reevaluate how I ‘drive’ my life.

Life without this routine

So to give the Billion Dollar Morning Routine a more fair judgement. I proceeded with a week of what my normal routine was.

And to no surprise. The week was less productive, unpredictable, exhausting and depressing.

I found myself in a spiral of some days waking up at 10 AM and some waking up in the PM. And with the progress of my work and activities in my life, made me want to stay in bed all day in the dark.

This experience had opened up my eyes. I didn’t think much of my normal routine. And because of how I felt with the Billion Dollar Morning routine, living my life how I normally did. I, for the first time, was hit by the reality of my everyday failure.

What I am taking from this attempt

The thing I did wrong was that I underestimated how challenging this routine was going to be. Especially for me, since I am a person who has more of a go along with the waves type of person. I have to give it to the ladies from As/Is, they made it look so easy!

Even though my attempt was not an accurate representation of this routine. I felt comforted by the women from their attempt where they as well have their own struggles with the routine. And like Freddie said “Do I feel like a billionaire? Actually, I do!”

So they both concluded that they themselves are going to take some things from the routine to add to their morning. Mei cleverly played on the words, made her own “Millionaire Morning Routine”

So for my personal take on the Billion Dollar Morning Routine. I am adding going to the toilet right after I wake up, and turn the 2-minute intense movement into a full workout because I do prefer exercising in the morning before breakfast. I’m going to work on the cold shower, but like the ladies, I’m sticking to the warm shower for now.

Challenge: Do the Billion Dollar Morning Routine for a week and see if you can use it in your life!

The Link Between Cooking and Your Mental Health

smiling woman standing and putting pepper on stock pot

Over the course of the pandemic, people have found new ways to keep their mental health intact — whether that means working out, journaling, or going on a Zoom call with friends. One such self-care routine is cooking. Of course, this is no surprise, as a full stomach can do wonders for elevating your mood. However, CNN notes that the act of cooking itself has therapeutic benefits as well. We list down a few of them below:

It gives you an achievable goal.


According to the Society of Clinical Psychology, behavioral action refers to “increasing patients’ contact with sources of reward” by exposing them to doable tasks that make them feel more accomplished. It’s one of the reasons ticking boxes off a checklist feels so satisfying — and cooking for mental wellness works in much the same way. The various activities associated with cooking, from dicing veggies to washing the dishes, all offer you a sense of control — which is something that’s sorely needed as the world navigates through COVID-19. When you’re focused on an achievable reward — a homemade meal, in this case — it’s easier to reduce procrastination and stay on track with your mental health.

It promotes mindfulness.

person cutting vegetables with knife

There’s a certain meditative quality in repetition that encourages mindfulness, and this includes the attendant chores of cooking. At its core, cooking is a ritual that gives you the opportunity to be present, appreciative and nonjudgmental. Focusing on your inner dialogue and the actual experience of cooking allows you to forget about your problems, if only for a moment. With that said, mindfulness is a muscle that needs to be practiced, and cooking is one good way to do that.

It helps you attain other fitness milestones.

assorted fruits and vegetable on brown wooden chopping board

Fast food culture has become prevalent around the world thanks to an increasingly busy workforce. But though fast food can be convenient, eating fatty, sodium-laden foods will eventually take a toll on your physical and mental health. Instead, make it a habit to cook your meals for the week ahead of schedule. This will not only give you full control over your nutrition needs, but will also free you up to do other self-care tasks like exercising and meditation.

To make meal prep easier, use multifunctional appliances. For example, you can use tools like the Braun FP3020 food processor to whip up a smoothie or shred some lettuce for a salad. Meanwhile, an Aroma rice cooker is great for cooking quinoa, rice, and even vegetables — all in one pot. With all this said, taking charge of your meals will make you healthier, both inside and out, so make meal prepping a part of your routine.

It engages the senses directly.

man in black and white stripe polo shirt holding bread


We’ve all been forced to stay at home because of the pandemic, which means we’ve had little to no sensory stimulation all this time. When this happens, everyday living becomes drudgery; you’re basically going through the motions with little reward. Cooking, however, can serve as a remedy, as it directly engages the pleasure centers of your brain through the sights, smells, and tastes of home-cooked meals. This gives you the mental health boost you need to take on other activities.

It allows you to flex your creative muscle.

person filling her plate


A report on Bloomberg notes that individuals who engaged in artistic activities reported lower rates of depression and greater life satisfaction. Indeed, everyone, no matter how artistically challenged, must have a creative pursuit in order to live a holistic life. For some, cooking fulfills that need. True enough, experimenting with recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods are also one form of self-expression that can bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment.

As we’ve mentioned before in our post on ‘Why Mental Health Should be Your Top Priority in 2021’, it’s important to pay attention to your mental well-being, given the effects of COVID-19. Take care of yourself by building positive habits like cooking, which nourishes both your body and your mind.



Healthy Habits to Teach Your Kids During the Pandemic

two toddler playing letter cubes

The pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in significant ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laid down some guidelines to help keep populations healthy. Everyone, including children, needs to practice these guidelines. Parents must teach their kids these guidelines to protect their health during the pandemic. Nutrition and health go hand in hand. Find out the 4 foods to boost immune system here!

Frequent hand-washing

Wash your hands often

Your child should practice frequent hand washing habits during the pandemic and maintain them after. This is because the hands are a common source of infection. Hands easily pick up dirt and microorganisms from the environment and contaminate other body parts like the mouth and eyes. One way in which the coronavirus spreads is through the hands. The hands can pick up the virus from surfaces like public benches and doorknobs. You then get infected when the hands touch any part of the face. Children are more likely to touch their face and put their hands in the mouth. As such, hand washing is a crucial healthy habit to instill in kids to prevent coronavirus and other infections transmitted orally. Teach your child how to wash hands properly. The CDC recommends washing hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If your child cannot access a hand-washing facility nearby, teach them about sanitizing. Have your child carry a sanitizer everywhere they go.

Social distancing

people walking on pedestrian lane during daytime

One of the CDC guidelines that everyone needs to follow during the pandemic is social distancing. Teach your child the importance of maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people. Social distancing may not be necessary around the house unless a family member is infected. However, it is important when in public settings like schools. Teach your child that they should maintain a safe distance from people who experience signs of the disease, like sneezing and coughing. With schools now open, teaching your child on social distancing can provide you with relief that the child is safe in school.

Wearing a mask

woman in black long sleeve shirt holding white face mask

Teach your child on proper techniques of wearing a mask. Any child above the age of two should know how to wear a mask in public. Reinforce these techniques as much as possible; once is never enough. Your child should know the appropriate mask to wear and how to put them on. The most effective mask that every child should be aware of is the n95 masks. If you are wondering where to buy a n95 mask, try online stores or pharmacies. Some online stores have CDC-approved N95 masks to keep you and your children safe during the pandemic. They do deliveries to your doorstep, saving you from the need to go to public places to buy masks. Surgical masks are also similarly effective. Children can also find it hard to have the mask on for the entire period they are in public. Therefore, emphasize having the mask on at all times, except when the child is eating or in your car.

Social connection

person holding white and blue textile

Do not get too caught up with other healthy habits that you forget one crucial health aspect; mental health. The pandemic period is difficult for everyone, including children. Kids can no longer play with their friends as much as they want. They can also hardly interact with their friends because every parent is trying to protect their child. As a parent, preventing your child from going out to socialize or play is challenging. Entirely preventing the child from social interaction due to fear of the pandemic is also not mentally healthy for your child. Check out our article on the negative impacts of long term isolation. You can organize with other parents in the neighborhood on indoor playdates now and then. Additionally, you can teach your child how to use platforms like Skype. Skype enables the child to interact with friends and family virtually. These will help distract the child from the stress of staying indoors with as little interaction as possible, which can lead to mental illnesses like depression. For additional information, check out more ways to look after your mental health here!

Conclusion

group of women standing on green grass field during daytime

These healthy habits are important for children. They will help protect the children in the pandemic and protect the elderly who are susceptible to the disease. Kids should also be taught to maintain practices like washing the hands frequently after the pandemic. These are not the only habits that parents should instill in their kids. There are a plethora of health habits that every child should be taught.

The Best COVID-19 Eye Protection

closeup photo of person

Medical experts previously recommended the use of facial masks and shields to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Recent guidelines also include eye protection for individuals who run an elevated risk of being exposed to the new coronavirus. The best eyewear options include face shields, goggles and prescription safety glasses that have facial cavity seals. Learn more about the most effective forms of eye protection against exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

ANSI Z87.1-Certified Safety Goggles

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend eye protection for healthcare workers and individuals who come into close contact with other occupants in buildings that have poor ventilation. Spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 typically occurs when aerosolized respiratory droplets come into contact with mucosal membranes in the nose and mouth. Eyes also have a similar mucosal lining and can provide an entry point for the new coronavirus.

Impact protection is a primary factor for the ANSI Z87.1 safety rating, but a “D3” marking on frames and lenses indicates that eyewear provides splash and droplet protection. Consider goggles made by a trusted personal protective equipment brand such as the Uvex Classic, Livewire or V-Maxx styles. Goggles with foam seals or rubber gaskets can limit opportunities for aerosolized respiratory particles to enter eyes in addition to direct contact.

Safety Glasses With Gaskets, Seals or Shields

woman in pink and white hijab

A standard pair of ANSI Z87.1-rated prescription safety glasses frames without a facial seal can protect wearers’ eyes from impact hazards but may not include splash and droplet protection. In order to prevent particles in the air or direct contact spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, you should look for safety glasses with a “D3” splash and droplet rating. This eyewear will probably feature gaskets or seals for a close fit.

Wiley X safety glasses such as the Airrage, Boss, Compass, Enzo and Gravity are all compatible with removable Facial Cavity seals. All of these styles also meet ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity and High Mass Impact standards and can accommodate prescription lenses within specified ranges of sphere and cylinder measurements. Other brands also make conventional frames that have removable side shields or permanent shields along the sides, top and bottom of lenses.

Full Coverage Face Shields

A face shield is a full-coverage solution that is intended to be worn with a cloth or particulate face mask. If you wear standard prescription glasses to improve your vision, you should be able to fit these frames under a face shield.  Face shields are effective for protecting your entire face from exposure to aerosolized respiratory particles and direct contact. This PPE functions as source control, but may not be as effective for protecting others unless you pair shields and masks.

Consider purchasing adjustable disposable face shields or TPE face shields. It is also possible to order headgear compatible with replaceable shields or visors. While a face shield is easy to position properly, this type of PPE may be less comfortable than a pair of properly fitted goggles or safety glasses paired with a mask. Fog can pose more of a problem with this full-coverage mode of protection and the combination of a shield and mask forces wearers to speak loudly to communicate.

These types of safety eyewear and facial PPE are effective for reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 through the mucosal lining of the eyes. Goggles rated for droplet and splash protection provide a close fit and can minimize fogging. If you require vision correction, you may want to upgrade to goggles or prescription safety glasses with facial cavity seals, gaskets or shields for complete eye coverage.

Heavy Metals in Your Baby Foods Cause Irreversible Brain Damage

selective focus photography of baby holding wooden cube

“Baby products used to hold a special position of public trust,” however, this is no longer the case. The House Oversight and Reform’s Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee released a report stating that baby foods are “tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. These toxic heavy metals are declared dangerous to human health, according to The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. Children and babies are most vulnerable to the effects of toxic heavy metals, and even low levels of exposure can cause “serious and often irreversible damage to brain development”.

Effects of exposure to toxic heavy metals

person wearing gray shirt putting baby on scale
  • Permanent decrease in IQ
  • Diminished future economic productivity
  • May danger infant neurological development and long term brain function

Where does toxic heavy metals come from?

brown farming equipment harvesting on rice field during daytime

Naturally occurring toxic heavy metals contribute to the unsafe levels of toxicity in baby products. Crop fields contain varying levels of toxic heavy metals in the soil, due to metal containing pesticides and ongoing industrial pollution. However food manufacturers may also voluntarily add ingredients high in toxic heavy metals such as vitamin / mineral pre-mix.

Following allegations of high levels of toxic heavy metals in baby foods, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy requested internal documents and test results from seven of the largest manufacturers of baby food in the United States. Out of the seven, only four of the companies responded to their request, suggesting that companies (Walmart, Campbell, Sprout Organic Foods) had something to hide. Independent testing conducted confirmed that baby foods sold by these companies contain concerning levels of toxic metals, which is a huge problem as their products are marketed to babies as young as 4 months.

Toxic heavy metal results:

Arsenic, lead and cadmium was present in all baby foods from all responding companies, while Mercury was detected in baby food for the only responding company that tested for it. The results are multiples higher than the maximum allowable levels dictated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the report by the subcommittee, test results far exceeded those limits and were “up to 91 times the arsenic level, up to 177 times the lead level, up to 69 times the cadmium level, and up to 5 times the mercury level, ” resulting in a higher level of contaminants.

Other things to look out for:

woman in teal tank top drinking milk from feeding bottle
  • Nurture (HappyBABY) created its own internal standard for toxic metals, which exceeds the FDA limit by 15%, while Hain (Earth’s Best Organic) exceeded its internal policies under the guise of “theoretical calculations”.
  • A secret slide presentation from Hain (Earth’s Best Organic) was ignored by the Trump Administration, which revealed that corporate policies test only ingredients and not final products. Inorganic arsenic in Hain baby foods were found to be “28%-93% higher in finished products. “
  • Food producers may be adding ingredients that have high levels of toxic heavy metals into their products.

Advisory:

kid sitting beside round cake close-up photography

Parents: To this day, there is no warning label on toxic heavy metals on baby products. The Subcommittee urges parents to keep up with the news and avoid baby products containing ingredients that test high in toxic heavy metals. (Check out our article on determining if diapers are toxic for your baby.)

Manufacturers: Manufacturers should take responsibility and label their products transparently, and to report the levels of toxic heavy metals on food labels. Furthermore, manufacturers should voluntarily find substitutes for ingredients that are high in toxic heavy metals.

FDA: The FDA should set maximum levels toxic heavy metals allowed across all forms of baby foods and make mandatory testing to ensure that baby food products adhere to FDA regulations.


References:

 “Leading baby food manufacturers knowingly sold products with high ….” 5 Feb. 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/health/baby-food-heavy-metal-toxins-wellness/index.html. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

 “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead ….” https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2021-02-04%20ECP%20Baby%20Food%20Staff%20Report.pdf. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

 “Parents Erupt Over FDA Failure To Regulate Toxic Metals in Food ….” 28 Feb. 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/agenda/2021/02/28/fda-toxic-metals-food-471757. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Why Mental Health Should Be Your #1 Priority in 2021

selective focus photo of terrestrial desk globe

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted society in a number of ways. One of the most concerning is the significant deterioration of the mental health of many of the world’s citizens. A rise in isolation, economic stress and worry about loved ones has led many to experience emotional distress in ways they previously had never encountered. It’s time to enter the new year with increased attention to emotional wellbeing. Here’s why mental health should be your number one priority in 2021 and some ways you can address your state of mind in a proactive manner.

Social Connection

three women walking on brown wooden dock near high rise building during daytime

Many have lost valuable social connections due to imposed social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic. One mental health trend that should arise is a renewed focus on the importance of social connections. It’s easy to forget what social creatures humans are and how they depend upon relationships with others. However, mental health professionals are seeing more of a crisis now that so many have been isolated from their social networks.

macbook pro displaying group of people

Chances are, you’re not seeing many people outside of those who live in your household. This is a wise and necessary choice that can, unfortunately, have negative effects on your mood. There are steps you can take to maintain connections and make new ones. Technology offers a number of outlets for connecting. Zoom meetings aren’t just for work. You can use such online services to organize chats with loved ones or friend groups. If video isn’t your thing, text chats through Facebook messenger can be a way to stay in touch with important people. In addition, there are lots of online learning and social options such as virtual tours, classes, and performances. Try to take advantage of some of these outlets for connection. it can do wonders for your mood and mental state.

Sleep Quality

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

Many who are spending the majority of their time at home are experiencing disruptions to their sleep cycles. The time you’re spending online might also contribute to a change in your slumber habits. Good sleep is crucial to overall wellness. Not getting enough rest can have you feeling groggy, cranky, depressed, anxious, and stressed. Your productivity can also be negatively affected if you’re not getting plenty of sleep.

Improving your sleep habits can be one way to overcome the negative mental health effects you may be experiencing due to your other life changes. You can take some control of this aspect by adhering to a regular sleep schedule. Shoot for getting eight hours of sleep each day.

Choose a bedtime and stick to it. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Turning off electronics an hour before bed can help you fall asleep better. So can making your bedroom as conducive to sleep as possible. Dim the lights as you prepare for sleep. Read or listen to music quietly. Get the best quality mattress you can afford. You’re likely to notice that things begin to seem quite a bit better once you get your sleep patterns in order.

Health and Wellness

woman in black shorts and white tank top doing yoga

Paying better attention to your general health will go far toward improving your mental health. Taking care of your physical condition can go a long way toward making you feel better emotionally. That means trying to eat a healthy diet and getting exercise. These things can be especially important if you find yourself primarily housebound. Stress eating is understandable, but you may be surprised what making a few healthy substitutes can do for your energy level and confidence. Getting out for a safe and socially-distanced walk around the block, bike ride, or hike in the woods are wonderful ways to move your body and experience a change of scenery. You’ll feel happier and more alert when you return.

This is the sign you've been looking for neon signage

Taking care of your mental health is obviously part of managing your wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to seek out professional assistance if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There are online programs and counseling available that are safe and confidential. Whether you seek counseling for anxiety or for specific mental health problems, you will almost certainly find benefit in such activities.

There are steps you can take on your own to improve your mood. Give some of these suggestions a try. Your mental health should definitely be a priority in 2021.

Love Potions: when Chemistry is used to make Chemistry

Originally celebrated in Ancient Rome, Valentine’s day, was practiced in a very-extremely-different-bloody way. Before continuing to the topic of the article. Here is an interesting historical lesson on how Valentine’s Day came to be.

(St.) Valentine’s Day replaced the Pegan festival of love and fertility (Lupercalia). The Romans celebrated the holiday drunk and naked, sacrificing a goat and a dog, hitting women with the hide of the dead animals as a ritual to bless them with fertility. Then when Rome converted to Catholicism, they replaced the Pegan name to Valentine in honor of St. Valentine(s), who were ordered to be killed by a Pegan Emperor (Emperor Claudius II) on February 14 (in different years).

Though there were three well known Valentines during those days (who were all martyred). The true origin cannot be accurately pinpointed. However, there are two theories of how their names became honored for the day of love.

  1. Secret Marriages

Emperor Claudius II thought that marriage – having a family in general made men bad soldiers. Therefore, he banned it for young men. Valentine the priest was against this, he proceeded to marry couples in secret. When the Emperor found out, he was sentenced to be killed. However, some believe this missionary was the act of St. Valentine of Terni the bishop, who was also killed by the Emperor.

2. From Your Valentine

When it was illegal to be Christian. A Valentine helped Christians to escape prison, unfortunately, he got sent in. He fell in love with the jailor’s daughter who visits him. Before he was sent to be martyred. He wrote a letter for her, signed with ‘From Your Valentine’

Love Potions: Magic or Chemistry?

According to Elite Daily, Ancient Greeks grounded up orchids into a fine powder and put it in wine for consumption, they did it as a charm for lovers. The Center of Research of Reproduction and Contraception (CRRC) mentioned that the significance of using orchids as an ingredient when it came to ritualistic practice surrounding love has its roots from the Greek physician, Dioscorides. He believed that the orchid plant influenced sexuality, probably because of its erotic appearance. Ever since, the Greeks used orchids as a symbolism of love, sex, fertility and so on.

Therefore, orchids have been used as an Aphrodisiac.

How Aphrodisiac works

Aphrodisiac: substances derived from plants, spices, foods, synthetic ‘chemicals’ that increases sexual desire, sexual pleasure, or sexual behavior.

The International Journal of Impotence Research has done a study on aphrodisiacs as a ‘herbal drug’. It was found that the orchid species, Vanda tessellata and Trichopus zylanicus stimulated ‘mounting behavior of male mice’ and increased the ‘mating performance in mice’.

Other than that, reports also showed that ‘plant has anti inflammatory, antiarthritic, antimicrobial, antipyretic and wound-healing properties’

From this research, Nitric Oxide (NO) has vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) and penile erection functions. NO activates ‘guanylate cyclase and thereby increases the levels of cyclic GMP (cGMP)’ In simpler terms, it means NO stimulates the production of cGMP, the thing that relaxes smooth muscle tissues – thus in blood vessels, increasing blood flow due to vasodilation, by interacting with the lyase enzyme, guanylate cyclase.

The researchers added: ‘The herbal drug appears to be useful for developing as an attractive alternative to Viagra…in this study, a novel aphrodisiac compound…was discovered from an orchid, V. tessellata …The finding has the potential to develop a valuable medicine for sexual dysfunction or erectile dysfunction.’

But why is Aphrodisiac is not exactly recognized by Science?

In an interview on Sunday Morning, Meryl Rosofsky, a physician who teaches food studies at New York University, said ‘Aphrodisiacs are bounded only by our imaginations’.

In the Middle Ages when superstitions and religious philosophy ruled the country, Law of Similarity was theorized and took over how people perceived material terrestrial things. The Law of Similarity is a philosophy that the appearance and design of a natural object represents its God-intended function. ‘If something looked virile and phallic and strong and erect, that it might confer those very properties on whoever consumed it…’

For example, Aphrodisiac got its name from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of Love. She is illustrated as a God who sprung out of an oyster shell, hence oysters became a common aphrodisiacal food.

Quentin Wheeler on the Guardian, who specializes in articles about biological discoveries – New to Nature, had written a piece about another species of orchid. In it, they ended it with ‘Certain orchid tubers are shaped like testicles, and it has been long claimed that, when consumed, they are an aphrodisiac. This is, of course, a load of bollocks’

Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.

Love in a bottle?

Potions have been around for a long time, we can see this in folk-literature, paintings and even in religious texts. Philter, is a specific name for love potions. During Old English times, potions were on the market sold by Quack doctors. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Quackery means ‘medical methods that do not work and are only intended to make money’. As Pharmaceutical Journal explains, people visited these ‘doctors’ because pills looked mysterious and suspicious.

Do you know any Novels or Poems that has a Love potion involved? The Love Potion from Wide Sargasso Sea gave Antoinette what she wanted, but she didn’t know it would take a bad turn…

Witchcraft was once fear mongered. According to the UK Parliament, A Witchcraft Act was passed in 1542 to criminalize witchcraft. Between 1560 – 1700, 513 witches were put on trial and 112 were executed (that was known).

Today Witchcraft has its own media, lineage and career. Vice produced an insightful documentary about witchery today, ‘Witchcraft in Romania‘. The documentary goes as correspondent Milène Larsson visiting the town of Mogosoaia, to brew a love potion, a curse, watch an exorcism and celebrate the Summer Solstice, where witches predicts the future.

(If you watch the video, the predictions oddly came true, whether it be coincidence or not)

In Mogosoaia, there lives one of the most famous and respected witches of Romania, Mihaela Minca, daughter of Bratara Buzea, another powerful witch known to be jailed by Communist dictator Ceausescu during the 70s. Today, she is free and feared by politicians. As part of the witch clan, Minca passes down her legacy to her daughters. It is safe to say, witchcraft in Romania will stay for now.

Vrajitoarea Mihaela Minca
Vrajitoarea Bratara on paper

When it comes to Love Potions, there is a specific time and ritual they practice. The Witches only have one chance to brew the love potion every year, as it is only done on the day of the Christian Pentecost festival. The witches go to the meadows and pick traditional plants and herbs, when they pick them they say a specific beautiful chant : Just like these flowers are proud, seen, beautiful and sought after, may it be the same with love and happiness. God bless, may it be so!

After picking them, they go back to the brewing area and boil the plants till the sap excretes from them which then turns to a potion. To use the potion, the person makes a cross sign on their forehead in the morning before sunrise.

Witchcraft in the Modern World?

Larsson asks Bratara : Are you worried about modern times will change this ancient craft?

Bratara responds enthusiastically: On the contrary, it’ll make it known world wide that our power exists.

When Bratara said this, I immediately understood what she meant. Information about witchery is very much accessible today on the internet, just from searching ‘How to make a Love Potion?’ results of Youtube videos of witchcraft tutorials show up. In addition, TikTok, the new and extremely influential platform has a whole community of witches – WitchTok, where witches educate, practice and interact with one another. Likewise, Pinterest has a fair share of witch content, from infographics to video tutorials.

When Love Potions killed a King

It is important to note that there are many types of witchery, Christian rooted, Wiccan, Spiritual or what I’m most familiar with, Buddhist ritualistic practices. Therefore, rituals are different. For example, scouring through the internet, common items when making love potions are rose quartz, apples and an oil. Compared to the Romanian Christian witches who were mentioned, the main ingredient is the sap of some plants.

In Ancient Greece, the Spanish Fly was used to make Love Potions. According to HistoryExtra, the fly would be crushed along with other herbs into a tonic. The results would be a warmth feeling, however, they added it was most likely inflammation rather than desire, because after all, the fly is toxic. The insect excrete a toxic blistering agent called Cantharidin, causing inflammation and blisters.

Spanish Fly, aka Blister Beetle
Spanish Fly on the market, sold as a ‘Love potion’

If you ever heard of the Catholic Monarchs, then you might know of Ferdinand II of Aragon and his Queen, Isabella I of Castile. They are called the Catholic Monarchs because their marriage joined the unification of Spain. The King reigned from 1475 – 1504, his death – theorized to be an effect of drinking many potions containing the Spanish Fly.

While others believed to be just a cause of a possible heart disease – Researchers from ‘The end of a myth: clinical causes of the death of Fernando el Católico’

The Catholic Monarchs

Magic or Chemistry, the point is still Love

Overall, whatever you believe about Love. 2021 Valentine’s Day will be different. Perhaps some couples would have ZOOM dinners, family members sending love hearts over WhatsApp, or spending it with yourself at home. The article shows how humanity levels out the importance of Love. From Scientists experimenting and researching on the ‘love chemicals’ in our brain, to people relying on the meta-physical world. Love is valuable.

Remember! Self-Love is Love too!

References::

“The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day : NPR.” 13 Feb. 2011, https://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

 “What is Valentine’s Day and how did it start? – CBBC Newsround.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16945378. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“History of Valentine’s Day – Facts, Origins & Traditions – HISTORY.” 22 Dec. 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“Are Love Potions Real? Here’s What History & Science Have To Say.” 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.elitedaily.com/p/are-love-potions-real-heres-what-history-science-have-to-say-19298441. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“​Making sense of aphrodisiacs – CBS News.” 15 Feb. 2015, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/making-sense-of-aphrodisiacs/. Accessed 13 Feb.

2021.”Home Page – University of Washington.” 28 Nov. 2006, https://depts.washington.edu/popctr/orchids.htm. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

 “New to Nature No 138: Gastrodia flexistyloides | Wild … – The Guardian.” https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/25/orchid-gastrodia-flexistyloides-self-pollination-aphrodisiac. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“One Of The Reasons Why Quackery Seems To Work – Repictblog.” https://seruan.onrender.com/one-of-the-reasons-why-quackery-seems-to-work.html. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

 “Witchcraft – UK Parliament.” https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/religion/overview/witchcraft/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“Witchcraft in Romania – YouTube.” 19 Jan. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRckGlNQesk. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“History’s Weirdest Aphrodisiacs And Love Potions – HistoryExtra.” https://www.historyextra.com/period/ancient-history/love-potions-aphrodisiacs-facts-spanish-fly/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“Blister Beetles: Do Not Touch! – Poison Control.” https://www.poison.org/articles/blister-beetles-do-not-touch-194. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

“An investigation dismantles the myth that Fernando El Católico died ….” https://www.archyde.com/an-investigation-dismantles-the-myth-that-fernando-el-catolico-died-from-an-aphrodisiac-overdose/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

5 Ways to Become Happier and Healthier

We all want to be happier and healthier, however, how to achieve it, is a million dollar question. Luckily, I have compiled a number of things you can do. The following are five ways to accomplish what you want, but bear in mind, it is going to take some work.

1. Dealing With the Physical

woman standing on dock

Take care of your body if you haven’t been doing so. This means doing everything you can to be your best self, which includes visiting your doctor to make sure your body is working as it should. This step will definitely make you happier and healthier.

On top of that, consistently work on eating well and exercising. Taking an active interest in your overall health should help you feel good. Try to make a habit out of this because happiness and health are life-long battles.

2. Addressing the Issue

smiling woman standing beside plant

Embrace your imperfections. Everyone has a few imperfections that do not fit society’s standard of beauty. However, don’t mistake things that make you unique versus things you can make better, like misaligned teeth. If it bothers you that much, go the extra mile of visiting a dentist. You can also try to address other imperfections, like if you’re losing your hair. You may have to use things like Theradome to help reverse this problem. Be sure to read Theradome reviews before you make your decision, but this should boost happiness and your self esteem.

3. Improving Your Lifestyle

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

Your lifestyle could also be fighting against your happiness and health. You could take the time to think about your life, and try to figure out where you can make some changes. These changes should help you feel happier and make you healthier.

For example, if you tend to stay up too late, you should fight this habit. Sleep can help regulate your overall mood, and that’ll make you feel happier. In addition to that, sleep also helps your body repair itself, which should make you feel healthier in the long run. Vices such as constantly drinking or smoking is detrimental to your health. Giving these up should help your health, and the accomplishment should uplift you.

4. Let the Heart Drive

man holding card with seeking human kindness text

It’s important to do something that brings your heart joy, and this goes beyond doing what you’re passionate about. You need to figure out how you can give back in some way. Doing a little charity work every so often or making a donation can do a lot for you. Being altruistic can help your soul sing, and that can help your overall self esteem.

Sometimes, being a good person can fight stress. If you are dealing with chronic stress, you need to find something to do for your mental health. You can try to do a few things until you find something you feel comfortable with. Be patient with yourself. Getting used to this can take some time, but you’ll get there.

5. Positive Friends All Around

people laughing and talking outside during daytime

The kind of people you have around can be good or bad for you. If you’ve noticed that some of your friends have a way of making you feel worse, then it’s important to minimize contact with these friends. You need to find a group of friends who are willing to back you up every so often and make you feel good about yourself.

This doesn’t mean your friends can’t disagree with you. Sometimes, you need a little push back as this can help you see things more clearly. What you don’t need is a person who constantly depresses you. This is not going to help you feel happy, and it might end up hurting your mental health. If you need to find new friends, this can be good for you because it will get you out of your comfort zone and give you a chance to meet new people.

Hopefully, you can use some of these to make yourself feel happier and healthier. Always look for more ways to achieve these goals because they aren’t incredibly simple goals to achieve, but they are worth the work.

The Black Community and the Fashion & Beauty world

In celebration of Black History Month, let’s explore how the Black Community has shaped the fashion & beauty world!

The Black Cosmetics Pioneer – Annie Turnbo Malone

Malone was considered to be one of the first African American women who earned her millionaire status in the US. She was born in Illinois, by the age of 20, she used her chemistry knowledge to form her first shampoo and scalp treatment. Her product became a success in 1902

Distribution Channels were not accessible to Black people during Malone’s days. She sold her products with her assistant by going door-to-door. And the product started to get the buzz as it spotted a gap in the market: although there were commercial shampoos targeted towards this niche, it was the only product to straighten the natural curly texture of Black hair without damaging it.

She expanded her business, thus naming it Poro Products. It later became a National brand after the 1904 World’s Fair, a large international exhibition showcase. In 1918, she built a factory and a cosmetology school, Poro College. She stayed in business after a divorce and the great depression. While doing so, she contributed and helped a lot of charities throughout her lifetime.

And it must be known, she was the employer of the famous Black entrepreneur and activist, Madam CJ Walker. Today, her legacy is still on Earth, as the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home.

The 60-second-rule by Nayamka Roberts (@LaBeautyologist)

Whether you heard it or not, Roberts had popularized this routine to the world of the skincare junkies. The rules of this ‘Free.99’ routine are simply cleansing your face with your fingers. She explains that the average person only spends 15-20 seconds washing their face, it is not enough for your cleanser to battle your skin concerns. This routine helps the face by improving the texture of the face, cleaning the pores and promoting circulation. The #60secondrule has been proven to be a must-do step by people’s reviews and reactions online!

Reviews on Twitter:

@if_iknewbetter: Not to be dramatic but the 60 seconds rule saved my skin in a week @LaBeautyologist

(https://twitter.com/if_iknewbetter/status/1181618814422794244?s=20)

@_kafayaat: The 60 second rule by @LaBeautyologist has literally changed the entire look of my face! Y’all really need to listen to that free gem! Wash your face for 60 seconds! I promise it works

(https://twitter.com/_kafayaat/status/1137813151876046848?s=20)

@sydmoise: thankful for @LaBeautyologist 60 second rule- CLEANSE UR FAVE FOR 60 SECONDS FOLKS

(https://twitter.com/sydmoise/status/1065762910125858816?s=20)

@skincare_hub: •Wear SPF everyday whether you’re going out or not. •Know your skintype and ingredients that work best for you and stick to it. •Double cleanse at night always using @labeautyologist 60 seconds rule. •Use witch hazel ONLY when you’re wearing makeup •Silk pillow case 24/7

(https://twitter.com/skincare_hub/status/1115620555724660737?s=20)

Robert’s video on the 60 Second Rule on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9yyZ9PysjI&feature=youtu.be

Y2K Aesthetic

Y2K – Network Encyclopedia

Y2K, or The Year 2000, was a colorful and fun time. NOT! The reason why people started expressing experimentalism and creativity in the beauty world and what not was because of a massive scare, caused by a computer bug. People thought that the world was going to end.

According to National Geographic, the Y2K bug caused a global panic because computers were not able to interpret dates beyond December 31, 1999. Only the last two digits of the year would represent the years. So when January 1, 2000 was coming, it could have turned to January 1, 1999. This was a problem to businesses like banks, technology centers, power plants and transportations e.t.c people believed that the computer crash was going to cause an apocalypse.

Now back to the beauty world. Y2K was everything, if it wasn’t girly – it was boyish, if it wasn’t baggy – it was skimpy, if it wasn’t metallic – it was vibrant, if it wasn’t cyber – it was street!

Destiny’s Child
Cam’ron
Missy Elliot

Jackie Aina, a Nigerian-American Youtube Star on her video, Things Black Culture Popularized, explains how the Black community started the Y2K fashion wave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7tjVVAGSQ

“right now something that is very very very popular that I’m actually really here for is the Y2K aesthetic…” at 3:50

What was it like to be wearing Y2K? It was never praised like today, in fact, according to Rashida Renée on ELLE, who explains that celebrities like Lil’ Kim, Mariah Carey and Foxy Brown were always criticized and labeled as ‘Worst Dressed’, while the ‘proper’ dresses were ‘Best Dressed’ on the runway. Interestingly, the Instagram engagement that the ‘worst dressed’ red carpet walkers had was better.

What is Y2K now? Resurrected – – Well it was never dead. The article mentioned above got me reminiscing from my childhood. Then I remembered these iconic looks that has a special place in my memory:

Beyonce’s metallic suit in Sweet Dreams MV
Zendaya’s ‘Pretty Girl Swag’
Nicki Minaj’s giraffe pink zip up suit in Super Bass MV

So Y2K stayed but it wasn’t called Y2K anymore, the different looks started to have its own names, during the 2010s, they were called Tomboy, Preppy, Hip-Hop and whatnot. Today, the trendiest look names are E-Girl/Boy, VSCO, Art Hoe, Soft Girl/Boy and…………….. Y2K.

Y2K today is not as versatile as before, now it has a specific look. It’s fun, cool and retro.

Saweetie
Megan Thee Stallion
Normani

Honorable mentions from Aina’s video:

Styling of baby hairs

Rico Nasty, an American rapper, not only known for her music but also her cool style!

Super long nails

All these iconic looking long nails are worn by the Youtube Star and Influencer, De’arra Taylor

Big Lips

Also from Aina’s video at 14:08, “Another painfully obvious thing that black people didn’t even intentionally make popular, we just existed, our big lips.”

Big Lips, or more popularly known as, the ‘Kylie Jenner’ Lips. It took the beauty world to another turn like when thick bushy eyebrows dethroned the thin eyebrows trend, also popularized by another black woman, Diana Ross. The 70s Diana Ross eyebrows flipped the game, even though the 80s went back to being thick and bushy like the 60s, the 90s turned back time and made brows thin again!

Diana Ross, an American singer and actress from Detroit. She was also the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group, The Supremes.

The Big Lips trend was a big ‘culture’ change. More people began to get lip injections and overline their lips in their makeup routines. A study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), shows an increase in lip augmentation procedures. The statistics report shows the difference of lip augmentation procedures done between the year 2000 and 2019. In 2000, only 18,589 procedures were done. And in 2019, a whopping increase, 31,789 procedures took place! Why? It’s a safe bet that ever since Kylie Jenner posted her selfie in 2014 with plumper lips, and coming clean about them in an episode of Life of Kylie, that she was getting her lips done, the influence started flooding the world… while black people…have natural big lips…which were unlikeable???

Aina pointed out the irony of the Big Lip trend. Before the acceptance of big lips, they were once ridiculed for. Not only are big lips now a trend, it has become part of someone’s career.

Black people getting ridiculed for having big lips is not just a story about being bullied, it has a dark history. Minstrel shows, a form of racist ‘entertainment’, where an actor performed in a way that was dehumanizing and mocking of black people, in black face. An obvious feature to these shows are the overlining of the lips representing the ‘lips’ of a black person.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1280px-Minstrel_PosterBillyVanWare_edit-1024x758.jpg

The term ‘Kylie Jenner’ Lips proves what Jackie Aina mean: ‘the regurgitating of things that naturally come to us, and rebranding it, packaging it, selling it, making a career out of it, commodifying it basically where for us it’s a weapon, it’s a tool, it’s a flaw.’

How Lip Augmentation works?

Also known as lip fillers, this procedure is quick and simple. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the key ingredient to lip augmentation is Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Polyacrylamide is also available, but it is less common because it may cause granuloma. We ourselves have HA in our body, but overtime, the lip loses volume because of age, sun exposure and more. The purpose of the HA in lip fillers is to replace the HA that was lost.

Inclusivity

The beauty industry is one of the biggest industries in the market. According to Statista, in the year 2019, the beauty industry earned a revenue of USD49.2 billion in the United States alone! For such a universal market, the beauty industry still fails to cater to people of color. This includes: foundation, lipstick, eyeshadows – basically, everything.

Fenty Beauty

Rihanna

Fenty Beauty is a cosmetics brand that was launched back in the year 2017 by mega star Rihanna. When the brand launched, the foundation caught the most attention, not of it’s formula, packaging or whatsoever, it was the shade range which consisted of 40 colors (now 50), covering not only the light skinned, but also the darker skinned. It is almost satirical that 2017 would be the year people became more conscious about foundation shades that are lacking. Not saying that Fenty was the first brand to make foundation for POCs, but rather, it offered more. The brand didn’t just offer a ‘dark’ color, the brand closely looked into making shades with different undertones – because not everyone is warm, or neutral, or cool toned.

So why is it so hard to have darker shades? It’s not. According to Al-Nisa Ward, the owner and president of Cosmetic Science Innovations who appeared on Vox, said that the claim of product development for dark shades being more difficult is false. She explains, foundations have the same base formulas, the difference between shades is just up to the differing of ratios in pigments. There are 4 basic pigments in foundations – Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide Red, Iron Oxide Yellow, Iron Oxide Black.

PAT McGRATH Labs

Pat McGrath

PAT McGRATH Labs is a cosmetic brand that was founded in 2016 by the legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath. She is known for her experimentalism with bold colors and materials like feathers and gold leafs.

The makeup line is known for its luxurious packaging, shiny shimmers, pigmented lipsticks and more. McGrath appeared in an interview with Guardian writer Sali Hughes. “…a lot of the time when you buy a normal shadow, it doesn’t always work on every skin tone – it’s chalky or too light – so that’s my main aim, to bring makeup for all skin tones to the fore.” She told Hughes, ‘there was no makeup for women of color…NOTHING”

McGrath does not only bring inclusivity when it comes to race. She works with everyone, like men, drag queens and plus size people. To her, “It’s about pushing boundaries. I believe absolutely, the world wants something different, people want back their individuality.”

SKIN FETISH: SUBLIME SKIN HIGHLIGHTING TRIO

Beauty Bakerie

Cashmere Nicole

Beauty Bakerie is an indie cosmetics brand founded in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole. The indie brand is known for it’s cute and ‘yummy’ theme. Where products are designed or inspired by foods found in bakeries, like cartons of eggs, flour bags or utensils.

After surviving breast cancer. Nicole became more health conscious and looked closely what ingredients are in the beauty products people put on everyday. She developed the brand to be cruelty-free and vegan. In addition, in 2016, Beauty Bakerie became associated with Sugar Homes, which donates money, clothes, toys and more to orphanages. Their journey has helped children from Uganda, Indonesia and Zanzibar.

ORGANIC EGGS BEAUTY SPONGES
FLOUR SETTING POWDER
EYESCREAM PAINT JOB

For such a fan favorite brand, it wasn’t an easy journey for Nicole. According to an interview with Aimee Simeon in Refinery29, Nicole observed that the beauty industry was focused on ‘self’, she thought, approaching the cosmetics business with ‘thinking about others’ would be the right way for her.

Apart from cancer, raising a daughter by herself, and investing into the side-business. Being a black entrepreneur was not going to be easy, “I’ve learned that being Black and running an indie brand is extremely tough. As a child, I remember hearing that you have to work twice as hard when you’re Black — and now I know that it’s true.” However, Nicole never gave up, her constant perseverance and hard work had brought her to where she is today. A successful strong Black businesswoman.

Why is being a black entrepreneur hard?

According to Devin Dixon, Black entrepreneurs lack access to ‘people, education, opportunity, and capital’. Dixon, who started being an entrepreneur at the age of 18 and the journey was hard. He recalls to a moment when he was advised by a Black business leader to have a White man become the face of the company, this was shocking. Dixion pointed out that this type of idea is part of the problem and plays into the narrative that Black people are not collaborative or don’t work.

Systematic racism in society is still very apparent. And it is a reason why being not only a Black entrepreneur, also in general, Black is hard. There is lack of safety when it comes to being a Black entrepreneur. Jumping to being a business owner or CEO is risky, the access to important materials makes it harder to obtain. “For example…these top execs have strong ties to the top schools such as Stanford or Harvard. Given that top schools tend to only have about a 5% black population, we have less access to powerful networks.”Video by Sam Dey about being a Black entrepreneur.

Video by Sam Dey about being a Black entrepreneur:

https://youtu.be/66ak9PWUyuc

2:05 ‘One thing I noticed about these events is that the Black race are underrepresented at the majority of these events…’

6:06 ‘Particularly in the UK, young black males are seen as a certain way, whether we like it or not, we are often portrayed as trouble makers because of the way we are depicted in the news….’

Support the Black Community

As we observed, it is acknowledged that the Black community has contributed a lot to society, however, it gets rebranded as ‘an invention’ or ‘a trend’ curated by non black celebrities or influencers. I remember a sign from one of the Black Lives Matter protest that says something like ‘You enjoy our culture, but hate our People.’ This article was not written to tell people to stop participating in the culture, but rather, appreciate and give credit where credit is due.


References:

“The PROFESSIONAL skincare tip that will … – YouTube.” 11 Jan. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9yyZ9PysjI. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Four Pioneering Black Cosmetics Entrepreneurs – LiveAbout.” 16 Feb. 2018, https://www.liveabout.com/black-cosmetics-pioneers-2442513. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Annie Turnbo Malone – Historic Missourians – The State Historical ….” https://historicmissourians.shsmo.org/historicmissourians/name/m/malone/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Things Black Culture Popularized | Jackie Aina – YouTube.” 11 Oct. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7tjVVAGSQ. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Y2K bug | National Geographic Society.” https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/Y2K-bug/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Times people thought the world was going to end – Insider.” 24 Jan. 2019, https://www.insider.com/apocalypse-end-of-world-predictions-theories-2019-1. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Huge Moments In Fashion History That Were Inspired By Black Culture.” 6 Oct. 2020, https://www.elle.com/uk/fashion/a34244867/fashion-inspired-by-black-culture/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Minstrel as Costume – Scalar.” https://scalar.usc.edu/works/birthofanindustry/minstrel-as-costume. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “2019 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report – American Society of ….” https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2019/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2019.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Kylie Jenner Plastic ….” 29 Sept. 2020, https://screenrant.com/keeping-kardashians-kuwtk-kylie-jenner-plastic-surgery-timeline/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Shaping Lips with Fillers – NCBI – NIH.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4645142/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“How do dermal fillers work? – The Victorian Cosmetic Institute.” 17 Aug. 2016, https://www.thevictoriancosmeticinstitute.com.au/2016/08/dermal-fillers-dermal-fillers-skin/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Revenue of the cosmetic & beauty industry in the U.S. 2002 … – Statista.” 24 Nov. 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/243742/revenue-of-the-cosmetic-industry-in-the-us/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“How beauty brands failed women of color – YouTube.” 14 Nov. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch/v5e4gwDGrNk. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Beauty queen: how Pat McGrath became the world’s … – The Guardian.” https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/aug/06/beauty-queen-how-pat-mcgrath-revolutionised-makeup. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Pat McGrath’s Best Makeup Looks in the Pages of W | W Magazine ….” 21 Jul. 2018, https://www.wmagazine.com/gallery/pat-mcgrath-best-makeup/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “The Makeup at Valentino S/S 2020 Was Like Gold Face … – The Cut.” 30 Sept. 2019, https://www.thecut.com/2019/09/valentino-spring-2020-makeup-pat-mcgrath.html. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Beauty Bakerie: Cruelty Free Cosmetics & Beauty Products.” https://www.beautybakerie.com/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

“Sugar Homes – Beauty Bakerie.” https://www.beautybakerie.com/pages/sugar-homes. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “Beauty Bakerie Founder Cashmere Nicole Interview – Refinery29.” 6 Nov. 2018, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/beauty-bakerie-founder-cashmere-nicole-interview. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “The Changing Faces & Mindset of Black Entrepreneurship … – Medium.” https://medium.com/@BlackMage1987/the-changing-faces-mindset-of-black-entrepreneurship-dd000dbffb1. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.

 “My experience being a black entrepreneur – YouTube.” 10 Apr. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66ak9PWUyuc. Accessed 31 Jan. 2021.