Fashion & Beauty


It’s no secret that receiving flowers is something special. In fact, a full 92% of women remember the last time they were given flowers as a gift. But did you know that flowers can do a whole lot more than just sit on a shelf and look pretty?

That’s right — flowers can be used for anything from perfume to potpourri. They’re also great when used in your health beauty routines as well! While these claims here are by no means medical statements, here are some interesting things you can use flowers for that you may never have considered.

Dandelion

Get rid of bloating

Dandelion tea is a diuretic, so it is a great drink to sip on if you’re experiencing a bit of extra bloat. Just remember to supplement with a glass of water or two because you can easily become dehydrated by drinking too much.

Pain reliever

There’s a good amount of fatty acids and antioxidants in dandelion, so stocking up on some dandelion oil to apply to scrapes and bruises is a good idea.

Rosemary

A natural deodorant

Rosemary will naturally get rid of odorous smells, so applying it with some apple cider vinegar will give you a chemical free deodorant. All you need to do is dab it on with a cotton ball.

Easy mouthwash

The same scent-zapping idea goes for mouthwash. Boil dried rosemary leaves in water for about 30 minutes, strain, and refrigerate. You’ll have a natural mouthwash that tastes good.

Hibiscus

A shoe polish

Known as the “shoe flower” in many Asian cultures, the hibiscus produces a really beautiful oil that can bring a shine to your shoes in no time.

A hair conditioner

This same natural emollient helps to retain moisture and help bring dry and damaged hair back to life. You can do this by adding a couple drops to your conditioner to use every day or slather it on as a leave in treatment.

Sunflower

Prevents infection

In a random, but controlled, trial, massaging premature infants with sunflower seed oil three times a day resulted in a 41% reduction in sepsis.

Hydrates skin

Sunflower seeds have a copious amount of vitamin E in them, which is known to have incredibly hydrating properties. Adding it into your moisturizer is an easy way to get a hydration boost in the cold weather.

Lavender

Fights acne

Lavender has some anti-bacterial properties, so it is great for fighting off breakouts. You can also use it to tone down and soothe any redness in the skin caused by pimples.

Purifies

This flower also is deep cleaning, meaning it can really dig deep into your pores. Making a facemask with either dried lavender or lavender oil will purify, clean, and hydrate your skin.

So go see what you have in your garden, and get creative. Your beauty routine will thank you for it!

It’s been said that clothes don’t make the man, but many of us have a real attachment to our clothing. A certain piece can completely derail our self-confidence or possess the power to pick us up when we’re feeling low. And without a doubt, fitting into our favorite pair of jeans or outgrowing a beloved item from childhood can have significant emotional ratifications. But while you shouldn’t necessarily judge a pair of jeans by its cover, so to speak, there may be more of a reason to do so if you’re trying to go green. Some of your most-loved garments might represent a direct threat to the environment.

Around 66% of men say they feel more confident when they wear suits — but they might not be quite so confident about knowing the ecological impact of their duds. That said, high-quality menswear isn’t really the biggest offender when it comes to non-eco-friendly clothing. In fact, the more casual items in your closet are most likely going to be the worst in that category.

Take your basic cotton t-shirt, for example. Most of the t-shirts folded in your drawers started as cotton grown on a farm. This process alone requires an excess of water and pesticides. After it’s harvested, it’s treated, woven, and dyed, sometimes in facilities in other countries. Then, it’s woven by hand (typically by workers who are paid poorly for their work) before being transported over to our American markets. That transportation component shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Apparel production makes up 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. So even if you think the product isn’t technically a “fast fashion” item, you’re likely still contributing to the problem. Although cotton is considered to be a high-quality, breathable material, its inexpensive and versatile nature means that you’ll probably end up owning numerous items when one would likely do — thus contributing to the cycle.

This might prompt some to say, “But I buy items made of rayon or viscose — they’re better for the environment.” Unfortunately, experts are now saying that these man-made fibers really aren’t as eco-friendly as you’d like to believe. It’s true that they’re made of natural plant materials, which some say makes them a better alternative to petroleum-based synthetics. But in many cases, rayon and viscose actually get their start as old-growth trees located in endangered rainforests.

It might shock many consumers to know that their clothes are essentially made of something similar to the paper we use every day. To make these fabrics, a dissolving pulp mill will add chemicals to a tree and create what’s known as dissolving pulp. This pulp is transported to a viscose producer, where the material is made into a fiber and then sent to a spinner or dryer. Then, it’s made into a textile and sold to the brand that makes it into the dress or top you find on the hanger in your local department store.

If this information is surprising to you, you’re not alone. Most designers (and even some sustainability experts) aren’t even aware of the process, either.

Nicole Rycroft, who founded a nonprofit that works with businesses to create eco-friendly alternatives to using old-growth forests, told Fast Company, “To be honest, even we were surprised when we found out about the link. All of the brands have been shocked. Some of them weren’t even aware that rayon actually came from forests.”

Fortunately, it looks like Rycroft’s nonprofit, called Canopy, has the potential to make a huge impact. The nonprofit has already won commitments from 105 fashion brands to go rainforest-free. This decision would represent $130 billion in annual revenue. This past spring, Canopy announced a commitment from VF Corp, whose brands include Nautica, the North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Wrangler. Gap Inc., which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, also committed to the cause, saying they’ll be old-growth-tree-free by 2020.

For their part, some brands are trying to become more eco-friendly on their own. Everlane, arguably one of the most ethical brands on the market, recently announced the release of its first denim collection. Normally, a manufacturer has to use 1,500 gallons of water just to make a single pair of jeans. But Everlane has created a closed water system that recycled 98% of all water used (due to the 0.4 liters that are lost during evaporation). They also developed a method that extracts the “toxic sludge” created during denim production (which usually seeps into the surrounding ground) that can then be turned into concrete to build homes. In addition, the brand says they’ve reduced energy usage by 5.3 million kilowatts of power per year by using solar power and has reduced their CO2 emissions by nearly 80%.

That said, Everlane is the exception, not the rule. Although 52% of people worldwide say they make purchasing decisions partially thanks to packaging that shows a brand making a positive environmental and social impact, the reality is that it can be very tough to know exactly where your clothes are coming from. While it may take a little more effort (and at times, a little more money) to fill your closet with sustainable options, you’ll at least have peace of mind — and more than likely, higher-quality clothing — when you buy from eco-friendly brands.

The average American office worker prints around 10,000 pages every year. However, in Austin, Texas it isn’t paper that a group of workers are printing. Just off of Steck Avenue is Shanna Moll’s hair studio, where stylists are using a cutting-edge tool to print hair.

While Moll’s studio does provide hair care services, it isn’t the studio’s coloring or shampooing that sets them apart from the crowd. It’s the 3D printing the studio has been using to create hair prosthetics for those experiencing hair loss.

“The only thing better than this,” Moll said to ABC News KVUE, “is if God himself came down, put his hand on your head, and said ‘here’s the hair you’ve always wanted.'”

Moll works with Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories, an Italian scientific research center working to develop effective treatments for hair and scalp disorders.

Clients in Moll’s studio have their scalps measured using fiberglass and plaster to create a cast of the area affected by hair loss. After the mold has been taken, Moll designs around the fiberglass and sends it to Italy. In Bologna, the cast of the client’s scalp is translated via 3D printing onto a replica skull.

From there, CRLabs uses a patented, biomedical polymer to form the base of the prosthesis. The base is FDA-approved, antibacterial, and adapts to the client’s body temperature. The polymer is then given a customized pigmentation that is transferred directly onto the 3D mold of the client’s scalp to match their skin tone.

The hair used for the prosthesis is unprocessed hair classified by ethnicity, length, color, and wave and is matched to the client’s hair sample provided by Moll. The hair strands are then grafted onto the prosthesis by hand one at a time following the direction of the hair line.

The technology is completely customized to the client. “There’s bumps and grooves,” said Moll about the prosthesis. “If you have a scar, it will show up.” Once the prosthesis is sent back to Moll’s studio, Moll then applies the prosthesis to the client’s hair using an FDA-approved, hypoallergenic fixing agent. The prosthesis holds to the client’s scalp for up to four weeks before needing a touch-up by Moll.

“You just treat it like your own scalp and hair,” Moll said. “The only maintenance is coming in every four weeks to take the system off. At that point, I clean the system in a sonic bath.”

Cindy Quay, one of Moll’s clients, is just one of the 21 million women in the United States suffering from women’s hair loss. “I wore wigs for three years,” she said. “And then I went to a system that was put on with little microbeads.” Quay is only a few months away from receiving her own customized prosthesis.

The cost of the prosthesis typically depends on the client’s hair loss and needs. However, a typical hair prosthesis can run anywhere between $3,000 to $10,000.

Companies such as L’Oreal are working on their own way to create hair loss treatments using 3D printing while others are focusing on treatment through stem cell research.

As more and more female hair loss treatments become available, CRLabs’ hair prosthesis isn’t just fascinating to learn about. It’s also a life saver.

“When you give a person back their dignity and their self-worth and their confidence,” said Moll, “that doesn’t compare. It just doesn’t compare.”

Photo: Shanna Moll

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.

|| PAUSE ||

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.


$24.95 Add to cart

For just $24.95, 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.

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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 $24.95 and save hundreds!

$24.95 Add to cart

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