While International Women’s day has already passed, here’s a look at the brands that took a stand and showed support. Most of the companies that took part donated a part or all of their sales to various charities that support women and women’s rights around the world. Some companies continue to donate on a regular basis and upped their donation amounts and percentages for the occasion.

 

L’Occitane

This brand donated 100% of the proceeds from their sales of the L’Occitane Shea Butter Solidarity Balm. The money raised to benefit the women from Burkina Faso who harvest the shea butter used in the brand’s products. L’Occitane is recognized by UNICEF for their efforts to raise literacy and promote secondary education among its Burkinabe workers.

You can check out their line of products here.

 

Ginger Chi

Ginger Chi is a brand stepping into the spotlight with their line of skin care products and the increasing popularity of their anti-aging jade rollers. 13% of their proceeds earned from the jade rollers were donated to Women for Women International (WFWI).

Jade rollers are available for purchase on their web store.

 

Winky Lux

With their unique brand of organic and cruelty-free products, Winky Lux has taken the markets by storm with their spunky packaging and vibrant range of makeup products. On Women’s Day, they donated 20% of their profits to Global Connections 4 Women, an organization that supports scholarships for female entrepreneurs.

Winky Lux products can be purchased here.

 

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden hasn’t stopped with just Women’s Day. They launched their limited edition Red moisturizing lipstick and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to UN Women. On top of this product, they are also donating $1 Million dollars to the same organization.

Get yours here.

 

Elemis

With their natural line of skin care products aimed at both men and women, you find something for everyone on your gift list. On Women’s Day, this brand donated $46,000 of the sales made from their Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. This product is another limited edition and comes with a special keepsake box that is designed with a beachy theme.

You can get yours here.

 

Function of Beauty

While most companies that participated in the event, very few gave their consumers a choice of where their money would be donated to. Function of Beauty, which is a company that produces personalized hair products, allowed customers their choice of charities including No More, Step Up, and Breast Cancer research. 100% of the proceeds from their sales on the shampoo and condition were donated.

 

QVC

A widely recognized brand that sells a wide range of products, QVC donated a portion of their beauty sales towards a minimum donation amount of $325,000 to NEST.
Check out their selection of products here.

 

If you’re interested in donating to any of the organizations listed, you can visit their websites:

Women for Women International
UNICEF
Global Connections for Women
Breast Cancer Research
No More
Step Up
UN Women
NEST

 

With so many different cosmetic brands out on the market, consumers can feel overwhelmed with their options. However, not every brand is created equal and not all brands can cater to all of the different skin tones. Fear not! There are more and more brands on the market that are coming into the spotlight for their diversity in their products. Right now, there is a lot of focus on the brands that are able to cater to shades of skin that are harder to match. While there may not be as many as there should be, these brands are owned and operated by women of color determined to diversify the market for those that have a hard time finding cosmetics to suit their needs.

Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty was founded by none other than Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Rihanna is better known in the world for her musical talents but she has been storming the cosmetics market with her own brand of makeup. After becoming fixated on her mother’s lipstick, Rihanna found a love in makeup and began to use it as her own form of self-expression. She started this line after noticing that there was lack of product for certain skin tones. Rihanna worked for years to create formulas and products that worked well on and for hard to match skin tones. Her line aims to be all inclusive for anyone who picks up any of her products. Each of these items is designed to be lightweight and nearly effortless to use. Of the line, Rihanna has said  “Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

You can purchase Fenty products from the Fenty website and from Sephora retailers.

Fenty Beauty | Twitter | Sephora | Instagram

 

Mented Cosmetics

KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, both Harvard Business School graduates, began this company in their kitchen. The two women started the company with their own skin tones in mind, having found it difficult to find nude lipsticks to match. The name ‘Mented’ is simply a shortened title for ‘pigmented’. Their line ranges from eyeshadow palettes to lip glosses. However, it is their line ranged line of nude lipsticks that have put this brand on the market and gained the attention of many major cosmetic bloggers. All of their products are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.

Mented Cosmetics | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

Carol’s Daughter

Brooklyn native Lisa Price began her venture into the cosmetics world in 1993 at the suggestion of her mother, Carol. 25-years later, this brand has blossomed into a force to be reckoned with. They’ve been picked up by Target and L’Oriel as their sponsors and their products are being sold with 30K retailers. This line of products specializes in hair and skin care, the options for each are broken down to fit your needs as a consumer. If you happen to find a product you like, you can find the collection that goes along with it on their website as well.  

Carol’s Daughter | Facebook | Target | Ulta | Instagram

 

Of course, these are only a small sample of the companies on the rise that are created and operated by women of color. However, there are more and more that are being picked up by retailers like Target and Sephora that are opening up the market for woman who find themselves with skin tones that are hard to match.

When it comes to a woman’s beauty routine, there can be a lot of products and tools involved. These can range from brushes for your hair or face to hair styling tools. Keeping these products clean is essential to the health of your skin and hair. If your make-up tools are dirty you can risk skin irritation and even acne breakouts. Product buildup on your hairbrushes and hot tools can dry out your hair and even cause damage to the tools themselves. You can also expect a less stress on yourself as well since having clean tools each use will be more pleasant to look at and use. Here are some basic cleaning tips for the tools you might use on a regular basis while getting ready.

 

Make-Up Tools

Now, this has been touched on more in depth here and includes the benefits and time frame of how often your make-up brushes and blenders should be cleaned. For now we’ll just look at a few cleaning options for these tools. You can start by soaking your beauty blender in warm water overnight. This will loosen the caked on product and after you rinse it out it will nearly like new. Clean your shadow and blush brushes with gentle soap and water and let them dry in a open place. Never seal your wet and used tools in containers or plastic bags as this will encourage the growth of bacteria and increase your risk for infections.

 

Hot Tools

A problem we all face is the buildup of gel, hairspray, and other such products on our flat irons and curlers. This buildup with will prevent an even amount of heat from being distributed onto your hair. When this happens you risk damaging your hair since you’ll find yourself using the tool over the same strands of hair more than once- something advised against if you can help it. An easy cleaning solution for both of these tools is the trusty mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Make a paste on your tools and rub it in gently, The gunk and buildup will come off in no time and you’ll save yourself from having to replace these items every time they start to look worse for wear. You might also try straight rubbing alcohol. This is particularly useful on your sticky curling irons.

 

Hair Brush

Just like your hot tools, hair brushes will also get a buildup of product but it’ll be coupled with old hair and dead skin that collects in the nest of the bristles. Take the time once a week to clean out your brush. Start by removing all of the built up hair. At that point you can use a gentle wash of warm water and shampoo. If you’re using a wooden handled brush, it is best not to soak it to avoid ruining the wood finish. Opt to just swish the bristles in water and let them dry.

 

Toothbrush

Okay, this might not seem like a super important part of your beauty routine but toothbrushes are what keep your smile bright and your mouth clean. If your toothbrush isn’t cleaned properly you could be looking at bacterial buildup that can lead to serious tooth problems down the line. The easiest cleaning method, aside from rinsing after every use, is to soak the head in hot salt water. You can also soak the head in antibacterial mouthwash for 15 minutes to kill any lingering bacteria.

 

Hanacure Facial Mask

While we talked about different kinds of facial masks, there was a brand that stood out as a true contender on the market right now. The Hanacure facial mask is still young in its lifespan, only having gone live in January of 2017. It originates from South Korea, a country that has been a leader in skin care products, and is inspired by the lotus flower which is a symbol of purity and rebirth- fitting for a skincare line of this caliber. Hanacure has spent over 20 years perfecting their formulas to create the perfect products to help skin look younger and healthier with each use. Their claim is that with dedicated use, this facial mask will continually improve your skin in a matter of 30-minutes per use.

The Hanacure facial mask addresses multiple signs of aging, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. It can also ease the effect of Hyperpigmentation- when melanin forms deposits in the skin and causes it to become dark in some areas than others. You can also use this along with your current skin routine to heighten the effects of the mask. While results might not be obviously instant, use for 4-weeks, just 30-minutes for each use, the results will become more and more noticeable. Continuous, regular, use will only provide more benefits.

When purchasing the kit, you will receive a package with 4 Lifting Serum ampoules, 4 Gelling Packets, and a reusable application brush. The mask is a two-step system that begins with the lifting serum. Start by mixing the lifting serum with the gelling packet and apply to your skin. The website suggests minimizing facial movements to gain the full effects and testimonials have suggested that facial movement becomes difficult as the mask sets. The tightening is a result of the carbon dioxide in the air infusing into the formula. One of the more exciting benefits of this mask is that you don’t have to peel it off. Instead, you can rinse with warm water and follow up with your regular moisturizer. The formula this product is made of includes a blend of peptides and botanical extracts that soothe irritation and brightens and moisturizes skin.

Since its launch, this product has been difficult to get a hold of. The popularity it gained right off the bat is another testament to its effectiveness. If you do decide to give this product a try, you can opt for the 4-week package and it will run you $ 110 with shipping. There is also a single use option that costs $29 with shipping. You’ll only receive one Lifting Serum, Gelling packet, and brush if you chose this is the option for you. Going with the single-use start kit you can see first hand how this product will work for you. Their website has more details on the science behind the product complete with before and after pictures from actual clients. Right now you can only find the 4-week and Start Kit in their web-store but we’re betting there are only more great things to come from this company and their skin care products.

If you’re interested in testimonials, their Instagram is full of them from real consumers.

If your aspirations lay beyond being a stylist or make-up artist, there are a lot of hoops you are going to have to jump through. Being a business owner is no easy task and there is a lot of hardship involved but if you have the drive and passion to do what you love, it will all be worth it in the end. Whether your aim to own a studio or start a cosmetics line, being aware of the time and effort you will put in is key. Too many people are discouraged within the first but with some determination, your business thrive. Here are some tips to keep in mind when times get tough.

  • Don’t be Afraid to Jump in
    • The biggest mistake you can make is to not take a chance. Just because you don’t have as much experience as someone in the business for ten years, doesn’t mean you should wait. If you have a good business plan there is no reason you shouldn’t take any opportunity you come across. You also don’t always need work experience to start. Gaining experience through your own journey will be worth more than working for someone else.
    • Find your ‘Minimal Viable Product’ and market it as much as possible. If it fails, use it as an opportunity to make your next product. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from trying to put out something that will be even better than the last.
  • Solve a Customers Problem
    • You want to go into your business with your customers in mind. While you may know what you want to put out as far as products go, consider how they benefit your customers. Is your product one they have been searching for but can’t seem to find? Are you offering services that are uncommon for the area you want to set up in?
  • Find Your Secret Weapon
    • This might seem obvious but make sure you find something that makes you stand out. How you treat your employees can have a large impact on your business if word gets out about their work environment. On the same note, if you products contain something that is worth noting, take advantage of that. Market on it.
  • ‘DROOM’
    • This is a phrase that will seem like a no-brainer: “Don’t Run out of Money”. No one anticipates this to be a problem but it is one that will come hard and fast if you don’t budget right. Only buy the essentials and pinch a penny where you can compromise. As soon as you run out of money you’ll find yourself in a hole you might not be able to get out if. Just be careful.
  • Get Through Your First Year
    • The first year for anything is the hardest. Business is no exception. The first year is filled with poor sales and spotty marketing but it is also the best way to make your next year better. Learn and grow with the things that did well and the things that did not. As long as you don’t become discouraged you’ll find your success.
  • Find a Good Partner
      • Starting a business on your own is hard work. If you’re working alone there is a lot of burdens to bear and it might seem like an impossible task to take on. If you can find someone to share the load you’ll fly higher. Find someone to partner with that you absolutely trust and someone that balances out your weaknesses. If you have a talent for marketing but lack of accounting, find someone with talents for it and recruit them to be your partner.
  • Nothing is Great Forever
    • Just because business is great now, that doesn’t mean it will be the same forever. Businesses have a lot of ups and downs with a lot of slow seasons that will be hard to get through. Always look for new ideas to keep your business flow high enough to stay afloat if the business is in a slump.

Face Masks

We all know face masks have had a steady rise in popularity recently, especially with the charcoal peels making waves around YouTube. With so many different options, it might be hard to choose which one is the best to use on your skin. In the end, it will really come down to what you’re trying to achieve with the mask. Are you looking to remove blackheads buried in your skin or are you trying to remove the excess oil from your skin? There are so many different options that it is good to go into the process knowing what you are getting, making sure the quality isn’t lacking in the product you choose.

Caffeine-infused facial masks are great for easing the puffiness from under your eyes while it works to brighten your complexion. If coffee isn’t your thing, there is another option for tea drinkers. Masks that contain kombucha (black tea ferment) can help to prevent wrinkles and make your face softer and smoother. This is because of kombucha in an advanced antioxidant. Cloth masks give are going to give you softer skin while delivering large amounts of active ingredients into it. Of course, we have to mention the charcoal masks. Using a mask with active charcoal will act like a magnet and get deep in your pores to remove dirt and stubborn blackheads. These masks can give you some acne relief for up to a week between each use.

If you’re short on time but are looking for quicker results, there are instant face masks that provide hydrating vitamins within minutes. For quick eye treatments, there are also 15-minute eye masks that reduce puffiness and restore your skin. Try out clay masks if you need to draw toxins out of your skin and reduce oil production that can cause acne breakouts. Experts advise not using these more than twice a week and not letting them dry completely or else you might face skin dehydration and irritation.

Peel-off masks are good for stimulating the blood supply in the skin around your face to give it a healthy glow as well as some added hydration. Use a thermal mask that heats up during use to help your skin breathe easier and feel refreshed after use. Letting your pores open will give you a good chance to clean them and avoid breakouts. Vitamin C masks help to boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of brown spots. You can also find anti-aging and skin tightening properties as well.

As if you needed more reasons to use these face masks, there are some overall benefits to them in the long run. You can look forward to unclogged pores with extended use. If your pores are clean and clear you’ll have fewer breakouts and fewer blackheads to worry about. Look forward to that aftercare glow after each use as well. To extend that healthy skin feeling, pair your mask with an equally hydrating and stimulating moisturizer. Face masks will also reduce fine lines and tighten your skin up. Bye, bye wrinkles.

Winter Nail Care

By now you may have noticed that, with the winter having set in, everything has become significantly more brittle. Everything from your hair to nails has become more fragile and susceptible to damage that might take a while to repair. When it comes to nails, they are one of the more noticeable areas to take on breakage and, in some cases, a more annoying area to take it on. When the temperature drops, the air around us loses moisture and that is just the start of the damage. Nails are made up of flattened dead skin cells containing keratin and, on average, healthy nails contain 18% water. During the winter the moving between hot and cold environments remove even more moisture from your nails and leave them dehydrated. And we all know that dried out nails are more likely to break, split, or chip- all of which are not ideal. Especially after a fresh manicure.

Now, it’s not just the dry air that is making your nails more breakable. This can also be caused by the hot showers we take. The water on our bodies is evaporated into the steam and that includes what little of it absorbed by our nails. Also weakening your nails is the day to day household chores. The chemicals in the cleaning products and dish soaps eat at your nails integrity and add to the problem. Dermatologists recommend using rubber gloves when cleaning. This not only protects your nails but also your skin.  

A good first step to keeping your nails healthy is to apply winter hand creams or lotions that are rich in urea. Urea is a humectant that helps hold moisture in the skin. After each hand washing, make it a habit to apply the hand cream and massage it into your cuticles to help stimulate healthy nail growth. At night it isn’t a bad idea to also add rubbing your cuticles with cuticle oil on top of your moisturizing routine. Start by soaking your nails in lukewarm water for 10 minutes max and then apply the oil.

It is then recommended to keep your nails trimmed down. Longer nails are more likely to snag on clothes and cause tears that will ruin the shape of the nail. File your nails two to three times a week to keep them free of snags and cracks. While you should not let your nails go naked in the winter, avoid using nail strengtheners. They are only going to add to the problem of your nails not being able to stand up to elements during the colder seasons. On the same note, watch the nail polish removers you use between color changes. These are just as damaging unless you opt for acetone-free alternatives. It will take a little more effort to get the paint off but will be better for your nails in the end. You can also add Biotin supplements to your diet. Not only will it make your skin and hair healthier but it will make your nails healthier as well.

 

Wine culture has been a growing trend over the last year or two and wine based products have hit the market hard. We’ve seen everything from wine for cats and dogs to wine ice cream and the list keeps growing. What we can add now is wine makeup and I’m not talking about cute makeup palettes named after wine. No, no. These products are made WITH wine! Well, wine grapes and that’s as good as it gets. It isn’t news that there properties within wine grapes that beneficial to a human’s health cosmetic companies have been taking advantage for a while now. Found in these wine grapes are Polyphenols and Resveratrol which are both powerful antioxidants and the grapeseed oil is a great skin protectant and hydrate. Now, while these are mainly found in skin creams, there are a few companies that are cornering the market on lip care infused with wine grape properties.

Bite Beauty was founded by Susanne Langmuir who believes that it is just as important to consider that what you wear on your lips is also being ingested. Now, that might sound pretty gross but it’s true. Little bits of the products are worn away by eating, drinking, talking, and rubbing your lips together. Every time you reapply a product that means the previous layer was worn away and where do you think a portion of that went? Langmuir decided that the products on the market were not up to her standards as far as packaging and product quality went. As such she and her team developed products that include the resveratrol found the skin of wine grapes. This took quite some time as resveratrol was not compatible with the oils waxes found in lipstick. Each gloss or lipstick contains 5mg of resveratrol, about the same amount you would find in 5 glasses of wine.

All of Bite Beauty’s products are also edible, made from 100% food grade ingredients all the way down to the dyes. The intensity of the color you pick will depend on how you apply the product and the colors come in a large range to suit every look. You can also look forward to this product being smooth and creamy as opposed to how dry some other lip products can get. Bite names all of their lip products after wine variants and all the packaging is different for each option. Currently, these products are exclusively sold at Sephora and can be purchased in-store or online. Right now this line has 77 products to offer that are not exclusively the wine based products.

OenoBeauty founder Julia Polloreno thought she might one day be a sommelier, interested in how wine was made in every variation. Instead, she launched OenoBeauty in 2012 after 3 years of development. She made it her personal mission to create products that were all natural and included the components from the wine grapes. The brand is completely self-funded and all the of the products are natural and organic. The quality of the ingredients meant the products themselves were in development longer as to not compromise on the integrity of the brand Polloreno was trying to build. As of now, the brand only has lip glosses and blushes for now but Polloreno hopes to expand her line further in the future. OenoBeauty can only be found online here but there are high hopes for a major retailer to pick up the brand soon.

Labiotte Beauty is a Korean cosmetic company that has launched a line of lipsticks, glasses, and stains produced with red wine. What sets this brand apart from the previously mentioned brands is that, instead of using just the wine grape components, they are also using red wine extract. Their lip line includes mattes, lip tints, and tinted lip balms. Their packaging is also one of a kind. The lipsticks come in packaging that looks like wine bottles and the lip balms come in pots shaped like wine glasses. If you don’t want to stop with your lips, Labiotte also has a wine inspired mascara line that is made with the same red wine extract and is supposed to keep your lashes healthy as well. This brand offers eight different shades of lip products, all with wine-inspired names, ranging in their lightness to dark in color. Labiotte Beauty’s website can be found here but be advised that is in Korean and the English website they sell through it currently down.

In the growing world, there is rapidly developing technologies.  They are often designed to make everyday life easier but they take a lot of development to do so. This year at CES 2018, Henkel, a 140-year-old German brand will be showcasing a brand new technology that will change the way salons handle hair care in the future. The Salon Lab Ecosystem has been put through the tests in Henkel’s Salon Labs to be sure what they are developing is going to make a big impact on the hair care and design market.

What this device is designed to do is to is analyze the molecular structure of your hair by running the plates over a small section.  The SalonLab Analyzer can determine the moisture content, strength, and true color of your hair. From there, the information is sent through an application accessible via the SalonLabs Consultant app. This app is currently compatible with IOS and the salons using this system will be outfitted with IPads. The app provides information such as the treatment, color, and products to use depending on the information is gathers. While you are in the salon, this information can be sent to the SalonLab Customizer. This amazing machine will custom mix a shampoo and conditioner that is personalized for your hair type. It is dispensed into salon sized portions or even small take-home bottles.  If you prefer, the app can also send the product information to Amazon and have it delivered within a couple of hours.

The salon will ask you to come back after a few weeks time if you persist in using the customized products to make sure the treatment is working. If not, your stylist can make adjustments to the recommendations to find you a formula that is better suited to your needs. The SalonLabs Consultant app also provides augmented reality snapshots with personally selected hair color recommendations. This allows the customer to see what the color will look like before it is applied to their hair. Using this technology can give customers more confidence to pursue more dramatic color changes without the speculation at the end result.  Just like with the shampoo, the SalonLab Customizer also creates and dispenses the correct hair color according to the option you pick.

The SalonLab Customizer is installed in-store and collects the data gathered by the SalonLab Analyzer. The Customizer machine has access to hundreds of natural ingredients and essential oils to create the signature product just for you. If you do opt to take your customized product home, the machine will even print out a customized label.

The Henkel products won’t be available anytime soon but there should be more on their commercialization within the coming days. It has been speculated that they will be available to UK markets in the latter half of 2018, followed by US shortly after. These products will not be available widely at first but will be available in select stores. More information about the company can be found at their website, Henkel.com.

New Year’s Resolutions are as easy to make as they are to break. We’ve all been guilty of making a resolution with every intention in the world to carry it through and then come January 2nd, it goes right out the window (I’ll start that diet next Monday, right?! Right?!). While it is never a bad idea to set goals for yourself, start with things that within your power to reach right now. For instance, starting a new beauty routine for the year. Taking care if your body and your skin is just as important as anything else you might be thinking of adding to your list so here are some resolutions you can make to up your beauty game.

Working on Your Brow Game
There is so much work that goes into taking care of your eyebrows as it is. Between shaping and filling and maintenance it might seem daunting. A lot of women are already up on their brow care but if you’ve missed those last waxing or plucking sessions, this new year is the perfect time to get back into those good habits. Besides, once you start, and keep up, with your brows look, it’ll only get easier as you go. Along the way, you might yourself a new look you might have been missing out.

Keeping Your Skin Protected
More than ever, the number of cases of skin cancer is on the rise. Now, don’t get too freaked out by the ‘C’ word as this isn’t an instantaneous occurrence. The more often you skip out on grabbing the Sunscreen, the higher your risk becomes, especially during the sunnier months of the year. That’s not to say you should skip out during the winter, though. Your skin may not get as much sun but it is exposed to harsher, dryer elements that can just as easily damage your skin.

Catching Some Extra ZZZ’s
Now, this isn’t exclusive to your beauty routine. Getting a good night’s rest has a lot of benefits. Getting your recommended daily amount of sleep will not only sharpen your mind and provide some weight loss benefits but it will also make your skin look so much better. What is more exciting than waking up feeling rested to take on the day AND having clearer, healthier looking skin?

Not Looking Perfect All the Time
Okay, hear me out: It is OK to skip your makeup and routine if you aren’t feeling up to it. There is no real pressure for you to look perfect all of the time and if there is, you might want to take a look at where that is coming from. If you wake up and feel sick or you’re running late, or you just don’t feel up to the task, no one has the right to blame you and you shouldn’t let yourself feel stressed out about it. Not everyone is going to look 100%, 100% of the time.

Cleaning Your Makeup Kits
We’ve already talked about the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes and blenders here but it is worth mentioning again. Keeping the tools that are constantly in contact with your face should be cleaned pretty regularly. The longer you go without, he more dirt and bacteria can build up. In turn, that will all be scrubbed into your skin and around your eyes and can have so many side effects.

Protecting Those Locks
Where some women take pride in their makeup game, there are also women that take pride in their hair game (or both!). If you find that you use a lot of heat-producing tools on your hair, you’ll want to use protection. There are many products on the market that can protect your hair during your styling process. Going without can lead your hair to become dry and damaged. When it gets to this point there might a lot of work involved in getting it back to it’s normal, healthy state.

There are many, many more resolutions you can make and if you choose to, choose ones that are suited to your needs. If you feel the need, you can pick ones that are more skin oriented or hair oriented, it’s all up to you!