The (Horror) Story of Cosmetics

So, I’ve been making my own beauty products for a little while now. It started when I was researching cosmetics in the middle ages…and realized that from the beginning of time women have had the choice between safe cosmetics and cosmetics that are harmful to their health. I wrote a little bit about that here.

Even in the times of the Romans there was pressure to achieve an “ideal” beauty standard that most of the women had to work very hard at. To get the prized unibrow, they drew them in. To smell nice, they used scented olive oils. To appear pale (difficult for these naturally olive toned women) they used powder made with lead. Yep, the poisonous stuff. It looked (sort of) ok at first (as long as they didn’t mind the greyish tint, or go out in the rain, or sweat), but eventually it caused their skin to pit (akin to corrosion) and lose elasticity. Then, of course they just piled more on (and on top of little patches made of linen placed over the pits) to hide the effects of the harmful cosmetic. Ugh.

If that sounds horrible, wait until you learn what we are marketed as healthy/happy cosmetics today:

To learn more about which cosmetics have toxic ingredients read about safe cosmetic choices at this website http://safecosmetics.org/ and search the cometics safety database for the brands you use or are thinking of using to see what’s really in them: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Urban Farmers are my Heroes

Luke Keegan started with eight raised beds (6′x4′) with reclaimed redwood from a barn. The Dervaes family started much the same way.

For over a decade, the Dervaes family have proved that growing your own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful even in an urban area. they harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics (permaculture) practices, solar energy, and biodiesel in order to reduce their footprint on the earth’s resources.

Read about them here: http://urbanhomestead.org/

Keegan started his very own garden of Eden on his small front lawn in the busy port city of Oakland, California. He has given me the inspiration I’ve been looking for. Keegan posted what he calls Operation “ the Lawn” to the photo sharing network Imgur, sharing the story of how he replaced his drab lawn with a flourishing edible garden!

Read his story here: http://imgur.com/a/JihrB?gallery

 

If they can do it, I can do it 🙂

The Story of Stuff, or Why I Only Shop Secondhand

I read the following statement certain that I could not be moved to make such a pact:

“Warning: The Story of Stuff Project could cause you to make a pact with your husband to not buy anything new for a whole year, do your shopping on Craigslist and at thrift stores and to cringe when entering Walmart/Target/Fred Myers. Is this a joke? Definitely not. I am here to tell you it happened to me.”

So, I watched the video, because I like learning new things…even if those things aren’t really applicable to me or my lifestyle. I mean, I buy stuff, but not too much. I recycle and have taken strides over the past 12 months to start growing my own food and eating sustainably. So when I watched this it really opened my mind to a larger issue (plus my favorite magazine just had an article entitled “Do we buy too much stuff”:

The Story of Stuff

“Some people say it’s unrealistic, idealistic, that it can’t happen. But I say the ones who are unrealistic are those that want to continue on the old path. That’s dreaming. Remember that old way didn’t just happen by itself. It’s not like gravity that we just gotta live with. People created it. And we’re people too. So let’s create something new.” — The Story of Stuff

Will I make a pact? Maybe (probably!). Will I put the principles of reduce/reuse/recycle into high gear in my life? Absolutely. This is too important (spiritually and physically) to get wrong.