Archive for ‘Health & Beauty’

October 1, 2012

Monday Inspiration

One of the rare stories that I find on my Facebook newsfeed that I feel compelled to share. What an inspirational story about an amazing woman and some of the amazing (and surprising) responses the story has generated. While the story made me feel somewhat ashamed of my vanity, more importantly it was a reminder that true beauty comes from within and through your actions.

I’ll re-post the story here, but you can also read it at Jezebel.





Reddit Users Attempt to Shame Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled

 Lindy West

A Reddit user going by the handle “european_douchebag” posted a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The user’s apparent confusion stems from the fact that the woman—bound by her religion not to cut her hair or alter her body—has an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair. The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.

But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

And then, THEN, something even more miraculous happened—the original poster apologized:

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.

/r/Funny wasn’t the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.
Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am
Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.
Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.

Holy shit, internet, I don’t even know you anymore! I never thought something would come out of the seeping necrotic abscess that is Reddit that would actually make my day better, but wow. MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES THIS DAY.


So did mine.


August 20, 2012

Green Product Love

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been slowly trying to switch my beauty products stash to more natural and green options. I’ve become increasingly keen on using natural products that are not only good for me, but for the environment and, in turn, mankind. I know this might sound like a bunch of hippie talk, but with more and more green options that actually work coming onto the market, why not try to go green?

I’ll be honest, though, some of the products I’ve tried have been hits and misses. For example, every “natural” conditioner I’ve used has not given me the silky softness that regular conditioners do. I have no idea what chemical or ingredient is responsible for the softness, but, for now, I can’t let it go. haha.

I have however found some awesome products that I’ll share with you as I stumble across them.

Now, going “green” or “natural” usually means having to pay more. But in the end I think it’s worth it when you’re talking a few dollars over months and months of use. And it actually makes me waste less.

Anyways, that’s my go green spiel for today. And here are a couple of awesome finds from my local Sprouts market, which is an awesome find in itself! If there’s one near you, you definitely need to check it out!


Mineral Fusion Brush Cleaner

I use a brush cleaner spray to freshen my brushes between the more thorough cleanings. I wanted to try this Mineral Fusion cleaner after I read about it’s gentle formula and natural disinfecting. I have no idea how this natural formulation, which includes grapefruit seed, rosemary, orange and eucalyptus does it, but it cleans my brushes beautifully. Better, in fact, than the one from Sephora I had been using. And it has a nice fresh scent.  I picked up this cleaner for about $10.

I feel so much better about using my brushes after they’ve been refreshed so naturally.





PeaceKeeper Eco-Easy Vegan Nail Polish Remover

I was pretty skeptical about this product when I saw it on the shelf. I love switching up my nail polish and have always opted for non-acetone removers, as they are more gentle on the nails. But how could this product, which is basically made from natural fermented sugars, rosemary and spearmint, tackle my layers of polish? I decided it would be worth a shot and now I’m a believer.

This remover takes off polish gently, so it’s not so different from using non-acetone. You’re left with a shine (from the sugars? essential oils?) and the slight scent of rosemary and spearmint. Not the immediately dryness of acetone. I think it’s safe to say my other polish removers can go.




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August 13, 2012

Air Purifying House Plants

No sourcing so I can’t attest to the accuracy of this, but good to know and something to consider! Especially if you live in the city.



1. Bamboo Palm: According to NASA, it removes formaldahyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.

2. Snake Plant: Found by NASA to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde.

3. Areca Palm: One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness.

4. Spider Plant: Great indoor plant for removing carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldahyde from the air.

5. Peace Lily: Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores. Also know to remove formaldahyde and trichloroethylene.

6. Gerbera Daisy: Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen over night.


{via Reconnect}


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July 16, 2012

Beauty DIY

I’m an autumn girl, for sure.  I love the balance between lingering summer heat, the beginnings of cool breezes, changing colors, mild temperatures, and all that good stuff.  To be honest, if I had to choose, summer may be my least favorite season.  Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of stuff to love about summer.  But weather-wise, it’s the pits.  Primarily because I hate being hot and I hate, hate sweat.

One of the downsides to sweating for me is random acne flare-ups that I don’t get any other time of the year.  Particularly on my back.  No bueno.  So, I’ve found a couple of homemade solutions for tackling those pesky pimples, which is great because lately I’ve been interested in finding more natural alternatives/brands.  I haven’t tried them yet, so I can’t personally attest to their effectiveness, but I think they may be worth a try.  They sound super simple to whip up and can be made with ingredients you probably already have.


{click on links or photos for instructions}



Strawberry Acne Mask

Benefits of the Ingredients:

Strawberry – A natural source of salicylic acid. SA is a common anti-acne ingredient used to clean out pores and get rid of blackheads without over drying the skin. Also used as a natural exfoliant.
Honey – The antibacterial properties in honey benefit acne-prone skin by reducing breakouts and healing current flair ups. It’s also a natural humectant so it locks in necessary moisture to keep skin hydrated and soothed.
Lemon – A natural astringent that tightens pores and brightens the complexion (because lemons are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants).Also an ingredient commonly used to even out skin tone (good for minimizing the appearance of acne scarring).








Aspirin Acne Mask

Benefits of the Ingredients:
Aspirin – An anti-inflamatory so it will immediately reduce redness. Contains salicylic acid which is one of the most commonly used ingredients in acne products as it cleans out pores and exfoliates the skin (which is ideal for sloughing away fine lines and wrinkles too).
Honey – The antibacterial properties in honey benefit acne-prone skin by reducing breakouts and healing current flair ups. It’s also a natural humectant so it locks in necessary moisture to keep skin hydrated and glowing.






April 27, 2012

Crafty, Crafty.

Here in Los Angeles, our weather the past few years has been increasing schizo — we shiver one day and sweat the next. When I first created this post last week, it had sorta felt like Spring with lovely sunshine and temps at around 80. So to celebrate, I put together some Springtime-y DIY’s.

Alas, we sweltered over the weekend then passed the rest of the week with rain, gloom and chilly temps. Ah, well. Spring is bound to come at some point, right?


Posy Parasols:  How sweet are these parasols? Would be so cute for a little girls party or for flowergirls at a wedding.

Martha Stewart Posy Parasol DIY



Pinwheels: Lots of pinwheel DIY variations to try!

Tip Junkie Pinwheels DIYs



Au Naturel Lip Exfoliator: You can refresh and renew dry winter lips with this DIY natural lip exfoliator.

Au Naturel Lip Exfoliator



Cupcake Liner Flowers:  So clever, those peeps over at Martha Stewart. These bouquets are really quite lovely!

Martha Stewart Sticker & Cupcake Paper Flowers


Happy Friday!


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