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    Shirley Pinkson of W3LL PEOPLE

    #WCW – Meet Shirley Pinkson, co-founder and makeup guru of W3LL PEOPLE. Shirley’s previous professional background came from conventional, big brand cosmetics, working for names like MAC and Nars, and teaching their artists in the U.S. and Europe. Eventually she went from promoting conventional cosmetics to creating her own brand (with two other partners) that are natural with chemical free ingredients. W3LL PEOPLE ensures all products are safe and sustainable with high quality performance. From packaging to the product- the brand’s trademark is minimalist and natural. Her brand was also named ALLURE Best of Beauty.


    It was such an honor to have a one on one makeup session with Shirley where I was able to learn about the background of her beautiful brand. However, the fun part was obviously getting my face colored by Shirley! One of the first thought that came to my mind when foundation was placed on my skin was that I couldn’t even feel the foundation! My favorite from W3LL PEOPLE are definitely the multi-purpose ones because I can literally create a look with just one product. Okay, enough of the fan-girling. Let me show you the natural look Shirley had done for me! Products used will be listed below!


    Products used to create this glowing natural look:

    1. Face: Narcissist Foundation Stick Shade #3
    2. Under-eye: Bio-Correct Concealer – Fair
    3. Blush/Lips: Universalist Multi-Stick Shade #5
    4. Glow: Healthy Eating & Bio Brightener Stick

    And that is it! What is more awesome is that you can use your fingers to blend the products. No brush required. :) Give it a try! If I were to create this look myself again- I would probably skip the foundation unless it’s a special occasion. :)

    Remember, LESS IS MORE. Feed your skin, not harm it. <3



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    7 Ingredients to Avoid in Toothpaste

    Last week, A Missouri state jury ordered pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to 35 years of usage of Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, which are both talc-based. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. Now that the big question has risen- are conventional beauty/health products actually safe? I felt the sudden urge to write this blog entry. So here goes!

    Do you realize that you are potentially putting toxic chemicals in your mouth daily? One of the first product that I switched out since learning about natural products was my toothpaste because: 1. conventional toothpastes contains toxic ingredients that are harmful to the body and 2. it is essential to my daily oral hygiene. Here are 7 ingredients that you need to avoid and a few brand of toothpastes that I have tried and would recommend!

    1. Triclosan

    Invented more than 40 years ago, Triclosan was first used in 1972 in hospitals for surgical scrubs to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. Its use has since expanded into antibacterial soaps, body washes, toothpaste, and cosmetics. It is also found in products such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and toys. Triclosan in toothpaste is marketed as an essential ingredient to help fight plaque and gingivitis but at worst, it could alter hormone functioning and upset the sensitive balance of bacteria that keeps your mouth healthy. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan to a range of health related adverse events and environmental effects from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and antibiotic resistance. Depending on the company creating the product, Triclosan can also be branded as Microban® Additive B, Irgasan® (DP 300 or PG 60), Biofresh®, Lexol-300, Ster-Zac or Cloxifenolum.

    2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant, detergent, and an emulsifier. In toothpaste, it is  responsible for the foaming action but it also interferes with the functioning of your tastebuds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. Phospholipids is a subclass of a large and diverse group of organic compounds called “lipids,” they are building blocks of cellular membranes. Phospholipids perform vital functions within the body. These important cellular barriers support all cognitive function, cardiovascular health, nerve health, liver function, and digestion. SLS has been linked to skin irritation; manufacturers actually tried to get approval to use SLS as a pesticide to kill plants and insects, but was denied because of its potential environmental damage. Although SLS is not recognized as a carcinogen itself, one of the main problems with SLS is that toxic solvents, including carcinogenic nitrates are used in the manufacturing of SLS which can remain in the product.

    3. Artificial Sweeteners

    Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are often added to toothpastes. Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. Some argue that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. In fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract; however, methanol created by aspartame is not bonded to anything that can help be eliminated from your body.  Another issue is the fact that the human body are not equipped with a protective biological mechanism that breaks down methanol into harmless formic acid. Once consumed, methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas such as your brain, where methanol is converted to formaldehyde and can cause damage in your tissues.  

    4. Fluoride

    The fluoride controversy has been ongoing for about 50 years now. Fluoride in toothpaste is believed to prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel; however, it’s been receiving increasing scrutiny in recent years. Research has shown that fluoride toothpaste if the largest single source of fluoride intake in children and is a major risk factor for disfiguring dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition that affects the teeth caused by overexposure of fluoride during the first 8 years of life. Most common symptom is color discoloration of the teeth (stains ranging from yellow to dark and surface irregularities). Swallowing fluoride can accumulate in your tissues overtime and produces serious health effects including neurological and endocrine dysfunction.

    5. Propylene Glycol

    Propylene glycol is a type of synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. In toothpaste, Propylene glycol helps retain moisture and prevent the toothpaste from hardening. The Material Safety Data Sheets for propylene glycol warn that the chemical can be rapidly absorbed through the skin, with prolonged contact leading to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.  It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Did you know that the United States Environmental Protection Agency won’t allow workers to handle propylene glycol without wearing rubber gloves, yet it is a common ingredient in health care products.

    6. Diethanolamine (DEA)

    Diethanolamine is an organic compound synthesized from a reaction of ethylene oxide and ammonia; used in toothpaste to create the foam reaction when you brush your teeth. It has been produced in large industrial quantities since the early 1930s as a wetting agent in shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, and creams. Diethanolamine is also used in the manufacture of textiles, pharmaceuticals, and herbicides. It has been recognized that diethanolamine creates health risk upon exposure, especially in health care products where it is applied directly and repeatedly to the skin. Research has shown that, over time, DEA will chemically react with other constituents in the products to create an extremely carcinogenic chemical called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). Reports of NDEA’s adverse affects on human health links to cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder. Studies have shown that NDEA is carcinogenic and toxic in 44 different species of experimental animals on which it has been tested.

    7. Microbeads

    Thanks Obama for signing a bipartisan bill that prohibits selling and distributing products containing microbeads! Microbeads are basically really tiny plastic particles in products such as face soap, body washes, and toothpaste. Plastic microbeads are designed to wash down the drain so they do not dissolve at all! There are two problems to this: 1. If you’re using toothpaste with microbeads, at worst, you are probably harvesting toxic plastic in your mouth because they get trapped in between your teeth. 2. Plastic microbeads poses a great threat to the environment. It absorbs persistent organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals that move up the food chain when the toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it! Watch out for these following plastic pollution ingredients as well: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate.  


    Continue reading…

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    Tea Time, Your Time

    Last weekend, my friend and I visited David’s Tea after an intense cycling class at Velo-City! Surprisingly, she said it was her first time at David’s Tea! I became inspired to post this and hope you will find this helpful!

    To me, tea time is a simple therapeutic ritual for connection and healing :)

    Believed to have originated in China during Shang Dynasty as a medicinal drink, tea was originally defines as pouring hot or boiling water over leaves from the Camellia Sinesis plant. This phenomenon spread to England in the 17th century and shortly thereafter tea was hailed the national drink. India is now believed to be the largest nation of tea drinkers!

    Traditional tea from Camellia Senesis plant is categorized depending on the way it is produced and are widely sold in varieties such as oolong, green, white, and black. They all have a caffeine pick-me-up and antioxidant properties. Beyond caffeinated brews lies the world of calming and therapeutic herbal teas such as peppermint, rosehip, and chamomile. Tea’s healing properties have been taken a step further with “medicinal” and “super-food” brews.

    Tea prep is just as important as the leaf itself. Aim to use filtered water, as boiling does not remove fluoride from tap water. Desired temperature for steeping tea ranges from 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Tea Guide:

    Camellia Sinesis: Known for its cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavor. With caffeine content, powerful antioxidants, and protective properties, the extent to which oxidation is allowed to occur has an amazing effect on the finished product. Varieties include:

    Green: Green tea leaves have undergone minimal oxidation. There are numerous varieties and to new a few are Japanese Sencha, Genmaicha (with roasted brown rice), Buddha’s tears, Jasmine, and powdered Matcha. Green tea is revered for its weight loss properties, enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants.

    Oolong: A traditional Chinese tea, Oolong is produced through a unique process including subjecting the plant to strong sunlight before oxidizing, then curling and twisting the leaves. Oolong tea functions as an antioxidant and reduces stress. It has the ability to protect teeth against decay and protects bone mineral density!

    White: White tea is the least processed of all teas. It is simply dried in the sun (unoxidized), leaving it with a subtle and delicate flavor that comes from the tea plant’s young leaves and buds. White tea aids in maintain healthy and youthful skin and helps to reduce premature aging!

    Black: Black tea is the most processed of all teas. It is wilted in the sun, often crushed and fully oxidized, black tea is the most commonly consumed tea, usually as English Breakfast of Earl Grey, though it often serves as the basis of many chai blends. Black tea is known for its energy boosting properties!

    Herbal: Herbal tea refers to any beverage made from the infusion of herbs, spirces, or other plant material in hot water. Astounding varieties from fruits and herbs blend with licorice, ginger, lemon, turmeric, and nettle are just slowly being introduced! Herbal tea are generally caffeine-free with countless positive effects.

    Rooibos: Rooibos grows naturally in South Africa and makes a unique tea. Hot drinks such as red expressos, lattes, and cappuccinos are becoming more popular consisting of concentrated Rooibos served like coffee. Caffeine-free, high in antioxidants, and minerals, this tea has a soothing, mellow flavor.

    Chai: Masala chai is India’s warming blend of Ayurvedic herbs and spices, often served steeped with milk and sweetened. There are now green, cacao, and caffeine-free dandelion varieties. Very easy to make at home with lots of cinnamon and very therapeutic too!

    Dandelion: Dandelion is rich, dark, and smooth- a potent liver cleanser and caffeine-free coffee substitute. It is made from the roasted root of the dandelion plant!

    Now you are a tea expert! :)

    These are just some of the teas I have tried but definitely introduce me to your favorite ones!

    P.S- photo does not belong to me!



    My Favorite Citrus

    The evolution of citrus! From left to right are my favorites: Pomelo, Grapefruit, Navel Oranges. The impressive health benefits of Pomelo include its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, reduce cramping, prevent anemia, boost bone strength, reduce signs of premature aging, prevent cancer, protect heart health, aid in weight loss, and boost oral and dental health. It isn’t a widely known fruit but here is why- it takes 8 years before the seeds can begin to flower and bear fruit!!!!! How fascinating is that? I can’t help but feel the appreciation from every bite.

    Then there is grapefruit! The health benefits of grapefruits are extensive and nearly unmatched by any other fruit. A glass of chilled grapefruit juice, especially in winter, helps seriously boost your levels of vitamin C, which gives grapefruits a high place amongst various citrus fruits. It’s packed with the benefits derived from various nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and lycopene. Along with these, it also contains calcium, sugar and phosphorous. It assists the human body in fighting various conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, excess acidity and many more. Pomelo and grapefruit actually taste very similar except there is more flesh in Pomelos due to its size!

    Lastly, the navel orange! The antioxidant vitamin C is the main nutritional ingredient of navel oranges. Beta-carotene is another antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage. Navel oranges also contain calcium, which promotes strong, healthy bones and vitamin B6 to boost production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream! The high potassium content helps maintain balance of electrolytes in cells, and its magnesium helps keep blood pressure at an acceptable level. I love to eat navel oranges whenever I am craving for sweets. It’s sweet and tangy! I love it!

    Which is your favorite?