Thursday, October 29, 2009

Natural Beauty Enhanced: Vapour Organic Beauty

I'm pretty skeptical about "natural" beauty products. First, nature isn't always a good thing. Things that people are allergic to, like peanuts and pollen, are natural. And it turns out that a lot of things that are put in "natural" products, like peppermint oil, are skin irritants. Second, just look at the list of ingredients on some of these products. They don't look very natural. But they get away with saying they are natural because they were derived from something natural. Of course, they skip the fact that it took chemicals to turn the natural ingredient into something you would want to put on your skin or hair. And last, an awful lot of this emphasis on "natural" doesn't seem like very good science. They try to scare us about certain chemicals, based on very little evidence, and then they say that some natural ingredient will solve all your problems, again based on very little evidence. See Paula Begoun for more on this subject.

All of that being said, I do like to support companies that are environmentally aware and I think that there are probably some "natural" products that are better for the environment and for us. There is a new line out called Vapour Organic Beauty that I would love to try out. The products look really interesting , the packaging is very sleek and they even have some credibility behind their nature-y claims. The USDA has certifed their Lux Organic Lip Conditioner, so we know that it is actually made of organic ingredients. In fact, sll the products are at least 70% organic.

But the important question is does it work? Let me know if you have tried out any of these products. I plan to try out a few myself, and I will let you know.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Comfy Duds: Clothes for Travel

I love to think about traveling. I like to think I'm a good packer, and I can spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to pack and what I need to buy for a trip and how organized I'm going to be. But the truth is I often wait until the last minute to do the actual packing, and I don't really do such a great job after all.

Also I have the "rule of one" when I travel. This means that I will always forget one important thing. No matter how much planning and expert packing, I must forget one thing that will cause me annoyance throughout the trip.

With all of that in mind, I am starting to think about traveling at Thanksgiving. We always go see my mother-in-law. It will be a quick trip and we will fly. Oh, and this is very important, I have two sons. They are 3 and 6. So I am always struggling to find something cute to wear while traveling that is also practical and comfortable. You can check out Star's Airport Style for ideas about what I probably won't be wearing.

So what should I wear? I generally try to steer clear of the tunic and leggings look, but I'm wondering if this would be just the occasion for leggings. I know, Tim Gunn would say no.

I've also been dying to buy these jean-styled yoga pants. Could I get away with these at the airport? (Sorry, Tim. Please don't have a heart attack).

Or should I just tough it out and wear a pair of jeans? I guess they aren't that uncomfortable.

Any suggestions?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moments of Zen: The Mystical Arts of Tibet

Tibetan monks making a temporary "Sand-Ma...Image via Wikipedia

Today through Thursday there are Tibetan monks, sponsored by Richard Gere, in my place of work. I bet you didn't think it would be cool to work in an academic library, like I do. But it turns out there are a lot of cool things that go on here and this is one of them.

So you may be curious about what they are doing and why they are here for several days. They are sand painting. To learn more about this, you can visit their Web site.

But basically, they painstakingly place millions of grains of colored sand onto a table using a metal funnel to create a beautiful pattern called a mandala. The mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.

On Thursday, they will destroy the painting and share the sand with the audience. I really want to get some of that sand. It seems like it would carry some very good karma.

Anyway, I just thought some of you might be interested in this. If there is no mandala sand painting going on near you, check out on YouTube.

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