Fashion & Beauty

We are all familiar with the idea of the tampon tax, which is where state governments tack on an extra tax for feminine hygiene products. While the state of Florida is the most recent state to abolish this “pink tax,” women across the nation are still being forced to pay extra for genderized items.

And it turns out that this extra tax isn’t limited to drugstores and cosmetic aisles, as the world of pharmaceuticals is seemingly following the trend of having women pay more for specific treatments.

Take Rogaine, for example. For many years, Rogaine has been a popular treatment for hair loss for both men and women. Hair loss across the nation is incredibly common — 21 million women experience hair loss and 35 million men endure some level of hair loss or baldness. Rogaine is an over-the-counter hair loss treatment that is applied topically to stimulate hair growth and is also available in a generic version, Minoxidil, at stores across the nation.

However, while both drugs are relatively the same, one University of Pennsylvania doctor noticed that the price for the women’s treatment was astronomically higher than the men’s version. Confused, he set out to determine why.

Dr. Jules Lipoff, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine was browsing the shelves at his local Target when he saw that women’s Rogaine was priced significantly higher than the men’s located right next to it. He thought this was simply a fluke, but he decided to research pharmaceutical prices nationwide to see if this pricing problem was the same across the country.

Lipoff and his researchers compared prices of Rogaine and its generic counterpart at 21 pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Indiana. They found that, unfortunately, the drug is always priced higher when marketed for women, especially in larger, nationwide chains such as Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart.

The findings, as reported by Time, show that despite men’s and women’s products having identical formulations, the women’s treatment was priced 40% higher. The average price for the woman’s foam was $11.27 per ounce when men’s was only $8.05 per ounce.

After Lipoff’s findings were published in JAMA Dermatology, a spokesperson for Rogaine made a statement saying that when both products are sold wholesale to pharmacies, they are sold at the same price, leaving it up to the retailer to make their own pricing. So with this in mind, Lipoff asked the retailers directly and they denied to give a public comment on their pricing structure.

Additionally, the researchers looked at the active ingredient in each product to see if they were actually as similar as they were advertised to be. They found that the men’s formula is sold at a 5% strength, while the women’s treatment is only sold at 2%. So with this in mind, there is even more of a discrepancy in marketing a product for women at a higher price when they are getting less from it.

Lipoff explains to Time, “On one hand, we see that women are paying more than men for essentially an identical product. And on the other, we see that they’re paying the same as men for something that’s not as effective.”

With these findings in mind, Lipoff and his team believe that even though he has only looked at one small section of the market, his findings “may reflect the larger issue of gender-based pricing” for many types of health care.

So ladies, we still have a long way to go. But luckily, Lipoff and his team are breaking barriers and making it easier for us to be heard when it comes to that dreaded pink tax.

Image Source: AveryScott

The world of beauty is a big place — globally, the beauty industry is worth $400 billion dollars, and back in 2016 there were 16,710 day spas in the U.S. alone. However, despite being a massive worldwide industry, many understand that not every demographic has been given a fair representation.

Take Shea Moisture, for example.

Back in April 2016, Shea Moisture released their #BreakTheWalls campaign with the goal of making their beauty product marketing more inclusive. The brand, which is an African American and family-owned company that primarily targets women of color, focused a lot of its marketing efforts on shining a light on the lack of diversity in the beauty aisle. These commercials went over well among socially conscious consumers, but the brand recently launched an ad that caused quite the stir.

That’s because one of the brand’s new commercials features mostly white women with little focus on Black women, the brand’s original customer demographic.

The new commercial shows several white women talking about their “hair hate” issues: A blonde expressing how she never knew how to style her hair and a redhead who shared why shame led her to dye her hair.

Almost immediately, Shea Moisture fans took to social media to declare their disappointment in the brand. Many viewers were shocked to see the same brand that created #BreakTheWalls was now leaving out the women they market to almost exclusively. Critics complained that the brand was playing into the same old beauty brand standards that routinely leave ethnic hair out of the equation.

Fans were also upset that Shea Moisture presented a tone-deaf story about “hair hate”, given that Black women largely face discrimination in the workplace, from society at large and even in their own communities, when they choose to wear they hair in its natural state, not a challenge that is comparable with indecision about styling or being teased about color.

CNN Money reports that soon after the release of the commercial, Shea Moisture pulled the plug on the new ad campaign and released an apology on their Facebook page.

“We really f-ed this one up,” Shea Moisture explained in their statement. “Please know that our intention was not — and would never be — to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.”

Additionally, Richelieu Dennis, the founder and CEO of Shea Moisture, explained to CNN that the brand’s main focus is still women of color, and he apologized for any offense caused by the controversial advertisement.

However, Dennis did explain that Shea Moisture is branching out to offer products to women with every type of hair, so some of their marketing efforts will be changing. Until then, Dennis promised that Shea Moisture remains committed to addressing the “challenges that women have and continue to have with the societal norms of beauty.”


By now, eco-friendly fashion is nothing new. But while a lot of brands have succeeded in making textiles from recycled goods, they don’t always translate into wearable pieces. Unfortunately, eco-friendly doesn’t always mean fashion-friendly, too.

Retailer H&M is somewhat of an expert in green fashion, having launched several environmentally friendly lines in the past. But with the recent debut of their sixth Conscious collection, the brand has stepped up their game and has managed to create beautiful, high-end luxury pieces with an environmental twist.

With this collection, H&M wanted to show that sustainable clothing doesn’t have to be boring, outdated, or vaguely bohemian in aesthetic. The designers instead aimed to make their materials — some of them made from trash recovered from beaches — look delicate and expensive.

Arguably, one of the collection’s showstoppers was a plisse pleated gown made from a material called Bionic. Like much of the collection, it’s made from recovered shoreline waste, which is then formed into a polyester textile. While discarded plastic bags make up more than 10% of washed-up debris found on the U.S. coastline, each of H&M’s gowns is made from 89 recovered plastic bottles.

Since plastic waste is an ever-growing issue in the U.S., prompting everything from plastic bag bans to movements to take back the tap (water), H&M wants to make the idea of sustainable fashion much more mainstream.

In a phone interview with TODAY, Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor at their Sweden office, explained, “I think people still have a bit of a misconception when it comes to sustainable fashion — that it is beige skirts and linen things that used to exist in the 1980s and 1990s…We show that sustainable fashion can look this good.”

This year’s release also shows you don’t have to be a grown-up to embrace the green fashion movement. For the first time, H&M also released a sustainable children’s range, complete with tulle dresses and structured jackets.

The brand has also stated a company goal to use only sustainably sourced or recycled materials in all of its offerings by 2030. Currently, the brand uses those materials in only 26% of all its products.

But they’re taking their lofty ambition seriously. Sustainable fashion, according to Johansson, is “the only way we can continue to exist in the future.”

The brand is also doing its part to encourage innovators to find new ways to use recycled goods to create new textiles. They’ve even dedicated an entire award to the cause. This year’s Global Change Award competition picked five winners, including Vegea, an Italian-based company that makes leather from grapes. Leather is actually one of the longest lasting natural materials on the planet. In 2008, archeologists found a 5,500-year-old pair of bespoke leather shoes, which they said were still “remarkably well preserved.”

Other Global Change Award winners included American duo Akshay Sethi and Moby Ahmed, who use microbes to naturally degrade polyester, and Ann Runnel of Reserve Resources, who developed a digital marketplace for leftover textiles.

If nothing else, H&M proves the old adage that one man’s trash can be another’s treasure — and for many clotheshorses, it’s especially spectacular when that treasure can be hung in their closets.

As the beauty industry continues to profit off of socially constructed insecurities, the vast majority of women may feel pressured to remove their body hair. Last year one million people sought laser hair removal in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. With an image of perfectly hairless skin in mind, women are pouring resources into these types of treatments just because they feel like they have to.

One fitness blogger is trying to change that.

In a recent viral video, blogger Morgan Mikenas shared that she has not shaved her legs or armpits for a year. With more than 700,000 views and counting, Mikenas says in the video that she did this to become more comfortable with her natural self.

“I haven’t shaved my legs for over a year, and I will never go back. The purpose of this video is not to shame people who do shave,” Mikenas wrote in the video description. “I just want to speak on how it’s helped me become more comfortable within myself, and maybe inspire others to do something that makes them feel confident.”

Pop Sugar reports that Mikenas said that she was bullied in middle school for having hairy legs. She said in the video that she did not feel beautiful when she had hair on her legs.

“When I would let my leg hair grow out in the past I would feel dirty, I would feel kind of ashamed because I just didn’t feel feminine,” she said. “So, then I would feel obligated to go shave my legs so I would feel good and feel sexy, but not anymore. Honestly I frickin’ love my hair, I love my body hair, I love the hair that grows on my body. I just like being my most natural and human self.”

Mikenas isn’t alone. According to recent surveys, about 99% of American women remove some amount of hair from their bodies, and many do so every single day. Mikenas clarified in the video that she is not trying to pressure anyone to stop removing their body hair. Rather, she is aiming to encourage her followers to embrace their true selves.

“I’m not trying to make all of humanity just stop shaving their armpits and leg hair anymore,” she said. “I just want to inspire others in what works for you, what makes you feel the most comfortable.”

I share a lot of photos of my daughter. A lot. And while I do love shooting photos of her because she’s gorgeous, I promise that’s not the only reason I do it. I take hundreds of photos of her every week because she is a brand rep.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a brand rep is a person who represents your brand online by providing high-quality photos wearing or using your products and sharing them with their own followers.

If you are a business owner who is struggling to get high-quality photos of your products, keep reading.

I got Juliza started brand repping about a year ago, and it is very different from the blogging model I was used to. In my previous interactions with brands, unless we had an agreement beforehand or they contracted and paid me, there was never a guarantee that I would post about any products they sent to me. They were taking a chance in hopes that I would, like many brands and businesses do with influencers, or they’d just pay for the privilege if they wanted guaranteed exposure.

Many small businesses can’t afford to send free products to influencers in hopes of getting a social media or blog post in return, or they’re not willing to take that risk. Brand repping removes much of that risk.

How Does Brand Repping Work

Instead of randomly sending product to influencers, brand repping allows brands to form a relationship with a rep, or even a team of reps. And when a rep takes on the responsibility of working with a brand and signs on as an official part of the team, we are promising to uphold our end of the bargain:

Reps get free or steeply discounted products in exchange for high-quality photos of those products in use, and help promoting the brand.

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Before million dollar brands come here thinking that you can get free photos out of folks by employing this model, please understand that the reason this works without a lot of friction is that we are working with small brands. We want to help the small shop community succeed, which is why we are willing to exchange photos for no promise of payment.

If you can afford to pay influencers to work with you, you absolutely should reward them for their time and effort.

How to Get Started

Working with brand reps isn’t rocket science, but there is a right way to approach it. The first thing you should do is head over to Instagram. This is where the majority of the brand rep community lives, and it is the best place to find reps to work with your brand, as you can easily see from their feeds whether their photography style fits your needs.

Start by searching hashtags for reps:
#brandrep  |  #brandreppin  |  #brandrepsearch  |  #repsearch

Need a step-by-step guide?

I’ve got you covered. I took the time to write a comprehensive eBook guide for small shops and brands who are looking to work with brand reps to get amazing photos that will help you grow. And it’s a steal compared to the hundreds or even thousands of dollars you’d spend hiring a photographer.


$19.95 Add to cart

For just $19.95, you get:

  • A breakdown of all the tiers of brand repping, and why all reps are not made equal
  • A step-by-step guide to hosting a rep search, so reps will come to you
  • Details on several other ways to find reps, if you don’t want to do a search
  • Guidance on picking a team that will help you grow
  • A guide to writing a rep contract, including a sample contract

This is an introductory price that is only available for a limited time! Compare that to $100+ or even $1000+ to hire a photographer.

$19.95 Add to cart

Still need convincing?

Take another look at the photos in this blog post. I shot every single one for my daughter’s role as a brand rep. The brands represented get to use these amazing photos on their social media pages and websites to help sell their products. There are tons of other reps out there with similar or better photography skills.

A post shared by Juliza Ann (@julizaann) on

The photo above recently went viral, and as a result, the brand received tons of interest in her clothing and new conversions.

If you are struggling to get sales for your small brand because your photos are less than stellar, building a team of brand reps is a great way to get amazing images for a low cost. What are you waiting for?

Buy the guide for just $19.95 and save hundreds!

$19.95 Add to cart

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week, and we’re just a few short weeks away from Christmas. This is my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I get to dress up myself and my kids in fun, stylish clothes for holiday photo ops. We love everything from Christmas PJs to fancy dresses for our yearly family Christmas card.

At Carter’s, I know I’ll be able to find fabulous outfits for my toddler at a great price for every occasion. Whether you’re looking for traditional holiday staples or a more modern, trendy looks, there’s something to fit every taste. And more importantly, I know I can trust Carter’s clothes to be comfortable and high-quality — both incredibly important when dressing a picky toddler.

Here are the three amazing looks I found:

Look 1: Christmas PJs

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My family loves Christmas pajamas. I get a kick out of picking out a pair that each member of my family will love to open on Christmas eve. Juliza loves tutus. So when I spotted this set, I knew it was perfect for my princess.

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She is in love with them, as expected. Carter’s has a ton of different styles of girl pajamas to choose from, including some made of cozy fleece. My tutu-loving child got a set that is absolutely perfect for her.

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Look 2: Holiday Outing

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We spend a lot of time on the go this time of year. There’s always shopping to be done or family to visit, and some days, we just want to get out of the house. This look is perfect for any of those.

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These fabulous plaid leggings are fleece lined, so they’ll still work even when the weather in Georgia turns from cool to straight up cold. And this vest is one of Juliza’s current favorite pieces. She wants to wear it All. The. Time.

There are a million ways to wear each of these pieces, so I can’t wait to mix and match them for maximum wear throughout fall and winter.

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Look 3: Family Christmas Card

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Somehow, year after miraculous year, I manage to successfully talk my family into posing for a photo, which I use to make our yearly Christmas card. Not only that — I manage to get them into outfits that coordinate with the color palette we’ve chosen for our decor. This year, we chose silver and gold (in lieu of gray and yellow to match our living room. Christmas decor in those colors is all but nonexistent).

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When I found this gorgeous two-piece set, I scooped it up immediately because I knew it would be perfect for our family photo. The fabric looks and feels luxurious, cream with a gold embroidered pattern. Juliza also chose an adorable beaded bracelet set to go with her “princess dress”, as she called it. I dare say the girl has great taste.

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The hardest part of shopping at Carter’s is choosing what to buy, because there are so many stylish options. If you’re obsessed like I am, you don’t want to miss their upcoming Black Friday deals. They’re offering a “Dash In to Win” sweepstakes, where the first 100 people to arrive at your local Carter’s or OshKosh store will win promo cards. The Dash In to Win Sweepstakes will be held on Thanksgiving or Black Friday (11/24 – 11/25) – depending on whether your local store is open on Thanksgiving. Be sure to check www.carters.com/store to find out which date the sweepstakes will be held at your store.

And because I love you, here’s an awesome coupon that you can use to make the great deals you find even better.

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You can use the coupon in store or at carters.com. You’re welcome 🙂

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Boden as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Back-to-school time is an exciting time in our house. I’ll admit — most of that excitement is probably mine. After spending a whole summer cooped up with the kids, I will fully disclose that I do look forward to getting at least one of them out of the house with stuff to do for most of the day. But besides that, my daughter and I love shopping for school supplies and — more importantly — new school clothes.

OK. We can argue about which is more important another time. We just like shopping for clothes, and going back to school is the perfect excuse to do so. So finding a new place to shop is a bit like hitting the lottery around here. Finding Boden and their Mini Boden line feels like a jackpot.

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Boden is an amazing clothing retailer in the UK, and their Mini Boden line makes it really easy to outfit your kids in on-trend, stylish clothes that can be mixed, matched and styled in a variety of ways. And if you click this link to their site, you have a chance to get 25% off your order. The Back to School collection will have your kids headed to class dressed to the nines in clothes that will last. Because let’s be honest — as fun as it is to shop for the first few weeks, there’s no point in buying clothes that won’t last beyond that. Mini Boden offers fashion that is great to look at, but also made of durable, quality fabrics and materials. That much become clear when my daughter and I received the two outfits we picked from the collection.

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This dress is the stuff my daughter’s dreams are made of. She loves the low fit-and-flare silhouette, and the sequins make her feel fancy. And one of her favorite feelings is definitely fancy. Even better: It meets the school dress code. It’s just long enough (fingertip length is the requirement), and there are no spaghetti straps to contend with. Plus, paired with a sweater or jacket and some leggings, she can still wear it when the weather starts to turn cooler.

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The sneakers are another amazing find. Who doesn’t love gold glitter, amirite?

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The second outfit can only be described as cute (+ heart eyes emoji, like 6 times). This adorable corduroy pinafore skirt feels like back-to-school perfection, and we paired it with a basic striped tee in a coordinating color. Except that the shirt is anything but basic. The fabric is actually pretty heavy, and it will be an amazing transitional piece when fall starts approaching winter.

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Overall, the Mini Boden collection did not disappoint. Between the abundance of colors and patterns, and the variety of styles, from whimsical to sophisticated, it is a great place to outfit your kids as they head back to class.

And this is what you get when you mix a silly kid with cute clothes:

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Win a Boden Gift Card

#BacktoSchoolwithBoden Giveaway

I-C will randomly select 3 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

I decided to grow out my naturally curly hair way back in 2009, and I have never regretted that decision. I have never felt more like myself than I do with natural hair. But one of the biggest adjustments was learning how to care for it, and that there is a difference between what I do and the products I use in the winter and what I do during the summer. So when Walmart asked me to share some summer beauty tips, my hair was my first thought. If you’re struggling to care for your hair in the heat of the summer, here are some of my favorite tips for keeping it beautiful and manageable.

Moisturize, then moisturize again

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Once upon a time, I thought my hair needed oil for moisture. Once I went natural, I quickly learned that what my hair needs instead is water. A lot of water. In the summer, when there is no worry of getting sick from walking out the door with a head full of wet hair, I like to spray it with either straight water, or a water-based spray like Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Refresher Spray (available at Walmart) at least once or twice a day, preferably at night before retwisting. This is especially true for my youngest daughter, whose hair is very prone to dryness. A quick spray and retwist leaves her hair well moisturized and glossy the next day.

Add oil after water

When I wash my hair in the summer, I like adding a light penetrating oil throughout my strands to help seal in the moisture from the water. My hair tends to prefer olive or avocado oil, but coconut oil works for a lot of naturals as well. After washing, simply squeeze out excess water, pull the oil through your hair from root to tip, then condition as you normally would. This process leaves my hair soft and well-moisturized, exactly how I like it.

Lose the Split Ends

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I admit that I have a hard time with this one myself. I am not a fan of cutting my hair. But in my experience, holding on to my broken, uneven ends just makes my hair prone to tangles and make it difficult to retain length. This becomes even more true in the summer when I’m more likely to become lazy with my hair and ignore an issue like this. I’m in need of a trim right now, in fact.

Deep Wash After Swimming

For the most part, I co-wash my hair, meaning I wash primarily with conditioner. But during the summer, when we’re more likely to go swimming in chlorine or salt water, it is important to wash it out thoroughly and deep condition your hair. My favorite clarifying shampoo is Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo, and I love using their Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner for deep treating my strands.

What other tips do you have for naturalistas who are trying to care for their hair in the scorching summer? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.