A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Women’s News: Women’s Advocates Try to Shift the Marissa Mayer Conversation

Women’s News: Women’s Advocates Try to Shift the Marissa Mayer Conversation

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Karen Hanton

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Karen Hanton

Inspiration Of Style: WHY I THREW AWAY $1,000 IN LUXURY MAKEUP

Inspiration Of Style: WHY I THREW AWAY $1,000 IN LUXURY MAKEUP

Inspiration Of A TV Legend: Sherman Hemsley

Inspiration Of A TV Legend: Sherman Hemsley

Inspiration Of Style: WHY I THREW AWAY $1,000+ IN LUXURY MAKEUP

There comes a time in every junkie’s life when they must make a drastic change. Mine came when I peered into a trash bag that I had forced myself to fill with high-end luxury beauty products. Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent — Oh, my! I admit I had to fight the urge to reach back in… maybe just one more eyelid contour or cheek highlight before I said goodbye forever… I wondered if there was a cosmetic rehab I could join? After all, these products had been my friends. They’d helped me feel confident after breakups, refreshed after sleepless nights, and pretty when I felt out of shape. I didn’t want our relationship to end, but I knew it was toxic.

I decided to quit my addiction to toxic cosmetics in search of cleaner, more naturally formulated ingredients cold turkey. I rid my home, purse, and car, of any products that didn’t specifically say they did NOT contain harsh chemicals. Out went my beloved Chanel lipstick (reported to contain high levels of lead), my favorite Bobby Brown Bronzer (yup, phthalates), my deodorant (aluminum), so on and so on…

For some reason, it didn’t occur to me until a few years ago, that while I was eating clean (even macrobiotic at times), I was lathering my skin with potentially harmful parabens, phthalates, sulfates, lead and thousands of various chemicals. Our skin is our largest organ; anything we put on it has the potential to absorb into our blood stream. If you haven’t read anything on the subject, I suggest this article by the VP for Research at The Environmental Working Group called “Why This Matters- Cosmetics and Your Health.”

While I felt relieved that my liver and kidneys would be able to function better, my dull complexion and lackluster smile almost caused a relapse back to my old chemical-filled beauty bar. I called my sister and, like any good sponsor, she reminded me of the importance of my plan (and the fact that we digest one to two pounds of lipstick in our lifetime) then led me to the natural grocery store. I was sad to say, while healthier, I was underwhelmed. Some of the makeup collections left my skin looking matte and actually made me appear older, highlighting lines instead of diminishing them! Others seemed to disappear within an hour or two, requiring repeated reapplication.

I’m happy to say that in the end this addict’s recovery ends well. I’ve been clean now for over two years. After trying out various products, I’ve finally found brands that work as well or better than the ones laced with toxic ingredients. The brands I’ve found keep a luxury product look and feel, which, let’s be honest, is one of the best parts of the makeup experience. I want my makeup to be housed in beautiful packaging, transport me with inspiring brand messages, as well as have great efficacy. I put these cosmetics on my skin daily. It’s an intimate relationship, one I want to be able to rely on. Every season, I’m happy to report, I notice more brands testing the non-toxic waters with new products. Here are some of the best available:

1. Aveda. I’ve been a fan of this brand for years, but didn’t realize it doesn’t contain synthetic ingredients. After calling the headquarters, they assured me that ALL of their products are derived from plant-based sources. I was happy to know that I could return to my favorite Rosemary Mint shampoo and Botanical Kinetics Hydrating lotion and have successfully added several of their cosmetics (my current obsession is their Petal Essence Face Accent) to my regimen. Aveda’s staff is highly knowledgeable and the company is known for having one of the best in-store experiences. Prices range from $8 to $77.

2. Naked Princess. A relatively new cosmetic line with THE BEST clean lip gloss on the market. Beautifully packaged with a wide array of lip plumping colors in eight shades of nude, and a sweet taste make this lip gloss a necessity in my book. Their luxury lip & body products, many of which are housed in keepsake packaging, are safe for sensitive skin, and remind me of my favorite high-end brand names, sans the chemicals and guilt. I hope this brand widens its line to include more color cosmetics! Naked Shine Lip Gloss & Objet d’Love Lip Treatment are their best sellers. Available online and at various boutiques and luxury hotel spas. Prices range $22 to $56.

3. Tarte Cosmetics. This natural line is one of the best cosmetic lines I’ve tried. Its highlighters, bronzers, and blushes are amazing and Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara is one of the few that don’t sting my eyes and leaves lashes looking full and plump. Best sellers are their Tarte Cheek Stain, Maracujca Blush and Glow Brightening Luminizer. Also available at Sephora. Prices range from $16-$65.

4. Korres. An all-natural line from Greece offers some of the finest in clean makeup. Their skin-perfecting primers are super lightweight and never make me break out. And, their Lip Butter Glaze is a delicious way to get supple, kissable lips that shine. Ladies on the go must try Pomegranate Cleansing Wipes to remove eye and face makeup in one-step. I now use whenever I travel (or when tired/lazy). Can also be found at Sephora. Prices range from $14-$62.

5. Mineral Fusion. These minerals are on a mission to actually work! Foundations, powders and bronzers that leave your skin glowing, not matte and dull like so many other mineral-based products. Flawless coverage, age-defying ingredients, and slick packaging almost makes you forget you can purchase this line in a natural grocery store. I use their Sheer Tint with UV protection daily for light, dewy coverage. Finish with Hydration Mist to set foundation or to hydrate skin throughout the day. Available at many Whole Foods Markets. Prices range from $9-$30.

Clean luxury makeup is becoming more in demand, which is leading to safer cosmetics that rival any of the less healthy brands. I hope that these independent brands’ commitment to less toxic products will inspire top luxury lines to formulate cleaner cosmetics. I realize it typically costs a company more to formulate without the use of toxic chemicals (they stabilize and preserve makeup), which is why I hope if more people join me in choosing paraben and phthalate free products, major luxury brands will take note. Like many women, I’m always on the lookout for new safe and amazing cosmetics.

What are your favorite paraben-free/phthalate-free or natural beauty products?
Shannnon Bindler is a freelance Style Editor for Reign, an online lifestyle magazine, funded by Naked Princess. Reign is an open editorial platform and curates editorially independent content.

Inspiration Of A TV Legend: Sherman Hemsley

Let’s take a moment and acknowledge the death of a television icon. RIP, Sherman Hemsley.

By Claire Noland

Sherman Hemsley, a comic actor who vaulted from a supporting role on Norman Lear’s groundbreaking 1970s sitcom “All in the Family” to a lead role as George in the spinoff “The Jeffersons,” was found dead Tuesday in El Paso. He was 74.

The death was confirmed by the El Paso Sheriff’s Department, his agent, Todd Frank, told The Times.

As George Jefferson, Hemsley bantered with his white neighbors Archie and Edith Bunker in Queens on “All in the Family.” On “The Jeffersons,” Hemsley showed sparkling chemistry with Isabel Sanford, who played his wife, Louise, as the African American family began “movin’ on up to the East Side” of Manhattan.

The series was the first to feature an upscale African American couple in prime time. It was also the first to cast an interracial couple. Hemsley earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his role as the irascible business owner. Sanford, who died in 2004, was his foil as the strong-willed and level-headed “Weezie.”

The spinoff ran on CBS from 1975 to 1985 and when it was canceled it was the longest-running prime-time series on the air.

Hemsley later starred as Deacon Ernest Frye on “Amen,” which aired from 1986 to 1991, and made other TV appearances during a long acting career.

He was born Feb. 1, 1938, in Philadelphia, where he trained at the Philadelphia Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Karen Hanton

Karen Hanton MBE is a British entrepreneur formerly founder and Chairman of Toptable, a restaurant booking enterprise in the United Kingdom.

Hanton is a native of northeast Scotland, but moved to London soon after her Highers. She pursued a career in training and human resources, but at age 29 founded the IT staffing firm Mortimer Spinks. After selling the company to FTSE 250 Executive Search firm Harvey Nash in 1997, she bought and staffed a restaurant business in Fulham, which in 1998 inspired her to found Toptable. She owned just under half of the company’s shares. The company became profitable in 2005, after surviving years in the red, which Hanton attributes to the rise in consumer broadband accessibility.

At the 2005 Institute of Business Advisers Annual Conference, Hanton presented closing remarks about the four principles of successful of business management to which she ascribes: “keep it simple, have clear objectives, don’t confuse reasons with excuses and be prepared to tweak your ideas.”

toptable.com was sold to Nasdaq listed Opentable.com in 2010 for $55m.

She is currently an Investment Partner at ProfoundersCapital and investor in JustAddRed.

Hanton has received significant public recognition including:

  • Financial Times/Moet Hennessy Extraordinary Achievers Award
  • Named as one of today’s top 30 entrepreneurs in New Business Magazine
  • Named one of the top 100 most influential people in the first decade of the internet in an NOP/e-consultancy poll

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

Women’s News: Women’s Advocates Try to Shift the Marissa Mayer Conversation

Hey everyone, what are your thoughts on this story?


Some say the troubles of rich and powerful women are distracting from working moms’ real problems

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced that she leaves work at 5:30 every night to have dinner with her kids, women oohed and ahhed with admiration. Former State Department Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic about women’s balance between their personal and professional lives became the most-read article ever on the publication’s website. Now, Marissa Mayer has announced that, as Yahoo’s newest CEO, she is not only pregnant, but will be working during her maternity leave—a plan that has inspired much debate among working women.

[Read: should there be gender quotas for corporate boards?]

The problem, say some women advocates, is that the conversation about whether women can “have it all” is being driven by women who already have so much.

“What [Mayer] does, what her circumstances are, has zero to do with what everybody else’s situation is, or the vast majority of everybody else,” says Sharon Lerner, author of The War on Moms and a senior fellow at Demos, a left-leaning think tank.

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Lerner wrote about what she considers to be a wrongheaded discussion of women’s workplace issues.

“The truth is, I’m just not that worried about Mayer, though everyone else seems to be,” she wrote. “I’d say that the formerGlamour woman of the year—who was Google’s 20th employee, will earn a pay package worth a reported $59 million over several years at Yahoo and is married to a successful entrepreneur—is in a good spot, whatever she chooses. I’m pretty sure her son will be fine, too.”

Remarkable women at the top of the ladder get recognition, but it may be appropriate to consider any worker with paid family leave as remarkable. In 2011, only 11 percent of U.S. private-sector workers and 17 percent of state and local government workers had access to paid family leave, according to the Labor Department.

[Read how daily deals can hurt businesses]

A vast majority of workers do have access to unpaid leave—86 percent of all workers—but unpaid leave can pose its own difficulties.

“For many women who don’t have a right to maternity leave, especially poorer women, when they have children, they have to either take a very short amount of time off…or quit theirjobs,” says Emily Martin, vice president and general counsel at the National Women’s Law Center.

According to the Census Bureau, nearly 59 percent of women who worked before pregnancy are back at work within three months.

Access to paid leave has also grown more prevalent. The percentage of first-time mothers who used paid leave crept over 50 percent in 2006-2008, according to the Census, up from 37 percent in the early 1980s and 43 percent in the late 1980s. This includes the use of sick, vacation, and other paid leave, as well as maternity leave.

Lerner is optimistic about expanded leave for new moms, noting that some states provide models for expansion of that leave. California women can receive temporary disability insurancepayments for four weeks before and six weeks after giving birth, and New Jersey also has a program allowing workers six weeks of cash benefits to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child.

However, those who go back to work after their time off can find themselves spending large shares of their paychecks on childcare—particularly those who are part of low-income families.

According to Census Bureau figures, families with children under 15 with working mothers making childcare payments spend an average of $138 per week on childcare, or 7.8 percent of the family’s monthly income. But when the family makes $1,500 to under $3,000 per month, the family spends 20 percent of its income on childcare. When the family makes less than $1,500 per month, childcare eats up nearly half the family income.

It’s not just about income; marital status also is a heavy factor in a family’s well-being. As of 2010, 34.2 percent of people in families with a female householder and no husband present lived below the poverty line, more than double the rate for all families (13.2 percent).


By these standards, it seems like the Slaughters and the Sandbergs of the working world have little to complain about, with their high-paying jobs and supportive husbands. But that’s not to say that women at the top have it easy. As of 2011, women only led 18 Fortune 500 companies and only held around 16 percent of board seats at those companies, according to research firm Catalyst.


While many moms cannot exactly identify with the lifestyles of their rich and powerful peers, it can be hard to ignore the desire to follow in their footsteps.


“I think it captures our attention because we would hope that the women who have really made it to the top and have really proven themselves through incredible talent and luck and determination, that those women, at least, should have the answer, should have figured out how you can do it,” says Martin.


Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at dkurtzleben@usnews.com.


A Message From The Creator

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President. You realize that you control your own destiny.

-Albert Ellis

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