5 Awesome On-The-Go Items From This Month's Ipsy Bag

5 Awesome On-The-Go Items From This Month's Ipsy Bag

"The bags are genuinely made for you and your preferences"
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I'm not sure how this sort of trend started but monthly subscription boxes are a huge thing these days. Personally, I am a huge fan of them because it gives you the chance to treat yourself and it's also like Christmas every month when you get your special subscription box in the mail. A subscription service that I am currently a part of at the moment is Ipsy. Ipsy is a makeup subscription box that was created by one of the first makeup youtube guru's I ever learned some wonderful makeup skills from, Michelle Phan.

With Ipsy you pay $10 a month for up to 5 sometimes full and sometimes sample size makeup products from well known makeup providers (Tarte, Benefit, Ciate). Which seems way to good to be true if you are a makeup lover like me.

One of the coolest things about Ipsy is that the bags are genuinely made for you and your preferences while following a fun little theme each month. Take my account for example:

this is my coloring and skin concerns that I gave them to follow so they do not give me something that totally conflicts with it. After I gave them that information, I told them what I wanted out of my Ipsy experience by answering a couple more of their questions.


From there on out they give you fabulous products that actually follow what you want.

Let's take a look at the items that I got this month to give you an idea of what exactly I'm talking about.

As mentioned earlier, each month has a designated theme to it and this month's theme was "Metropolis".

Each bag comes with it's own little makeup bag and they are all different designs each month. For this month I really loved the look it had going and, not to sound to nerdy, it reminded me of something you would see out of "Divergent".

The whole point behind this month's theme was to rock a look that is meant for the kind of days where you are out and about while maintaining a rocking good look that you can easily touch up within minutes.

1. Trust Fund Beauty Lip Gloss in Method to the Madness or Blame Game

Here we have a nice almost nude colored lip gloss that does a good job of the whole no makeup, but it's still there look.

As someone who loves to wear more bright lipstick colors this one was a bit out of my makeup comfort zone for me because I don't like it when neutral colors just make it look like I really don't have lips. Luckily this one proved me wrong about trying out nude lip colors though, because it gave me a nice light rosey coloring that makes my own natural lip coloring kind of pop out as well.

2. Pacifica BLUSHIOUS in Wildrose


I am still a bit iffy on whether I like this shade or not, since my skin tone is a weird mixture of super pale but red faced all the time. Which means I have to be careful when it comes to blushes. With this blush a little goes a long way and I keep forgetting that when I see how red it will make my cheeks look if I pile to much on.However, I do love how it easily it just glides on as well. Plus it's 100% vegan and cruelty free, which is awesome to know

3. theBalm Cosmetics Bahama Mama

Contouring is still a thing I am trying to master and this bronzer has helped me out a lot on trying to perfect that skill, with how easily it blends. If you are like me and have been afraid of bronzers because you don't want to end up accidentally looking like your on the Jersey Shore, I think this would make a great starter bronzer. The only downside is that you get what feels like less than a thimble amount, so use it sparingly.


4. Jelly Pong Pong Coffee + Coconut Lip Scrub

Oh my gosh the smell of this lip scrub is amazing! The scent reminds me of drinking a nice sweet coffee in Hawaii. Granted I've never been to Hawaii so that's only guess work, but anyways all I'm saying is that if I could get a perfume in this scent I would never stop wearing it.Plus it actually taste really good when you put it on your lips. This was the first lip scrub I've ever used and with that in mind it makes me really glad that this was the first one I've ever used.

I like to use it help get off any chapped or dried skin on my lips before putting on any lipstick to make my lips look a bit smoother and get a more matte look, and it does do its intended job of that very well.

5. Ciaté London GELOLOGY Top Coat

I am one of those people who has fake gel nails and gets them done about every three weeks. With that in mind that means I really don't have an opinion about this item because I haven't been able to use it at all. According to the website's description of this product all you have to do is "paint on this top coat and you’ll get the same salon-worthy shine, long-lasting wear, and that plump and full look that you just can’t get from plain polish".

Say for instance though, that you get something that you don't want from your monthly bag, like how I received the top coat gel nail polish. You can actually go in and review your products that you received and let them know what you like and do not like about those products. In return you get points that you can use to try and purchase reward items with and you can actually notice in your next month's bag that they listened to your review.

If you're curious about what other kind of subscription boxes are out there you should check out Cratejoy, a website that provides info on tons of other subscription boxes ranging from receiving candies from around the world, book club boxes, and more beauty boxes once a month from a service.

Cover Image Credit: My photos

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5 Companies That Still Use Slave Labor

Let's talk about the modern slave trade.
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Growing up in a country where freedom is always a right and expectation — whether you live in the United States or one of the other 86 "free" countries — it is easy to believe that, compared to the well-known 1800s slave trade, we are doing pretty well when it comes to civil liberties, freedom, and overall social welfare. Documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, meaning that the vast majority of nations have agreed that every individual has the right to basic human dignity.

Despite this significant progress, however, there are 45.8 million people enslaved today, more than any other time in world history. The United States Department of Homeland Security has launched the Blue Campaign in light of this growing industry, hoping to raise awareness of the human trafficking that persists in local communities. Additionally, you can watch this video for a summary on the Global Slavery pandemic. I will write about the problem of human trafficking in the United States on another day; however, global slavery affects us whether it is in our city or halfway around the world. In fact, companies that you purchase from every single day use slave labor for their work instead of paying employees a fair wage.* Don't believe me?

Here are five companies that are using slave labor to make their products TODAY, and where you should shop instead.

Nestle

Nestle is one of the largest companies that has consistently carried out human rights violations all over the world. Not only did they illegally take water from California during the drought in 2015, but in the 1970s they got third-world mothers to use infant formula by selling it at reduced prices, and then when the mothers could no longer breastfeed, they raised the price of formula so much that many children were malnourished and starving.

Their most recent problems revolve around slavery in the cocoa industry. In 2009 several former child slaves sued Nestle because they were trafficked and forced to work on Nestle farms in Cote d'Ivoire. Another suit was filed by former child slaves in 2014, stating that "Studies by International Labour Organization, UNICEF, the Department of State, and numerous other organizations have confirmed that thousands of children are forced to work without pay in the Ivorian economy." In 2016, the Fair Labor Association executed an assessment of Nestle in Cote d'Ivoire. They claimed that 70% of Nestle farms were not trained on the prohibition of forced labor. Further, they stated that "there is no process in place to monitor, report, and remediate cases of forced labor at the farms." With this in mind, they did find evidence of potential forced and uncompensated labor. Additionally, they found evidence of child labor—many of these children never enrolling in school — in which children were getting paid little to nothing, and often working in dangerous conditions.

INSTEAD: buy from Ben & Jerry's or Theo. They will satisfy your sweet tooth and are Fair-Trade guaranteed.

Nike

Nike has REALLY cleaned up their act in the last several years, but with a standard of no slave labor, they still have quite a way to go. In 1992, activist Jeff Ballinger published an exposé in "Harpers" that revealed the story of a child in Indonesia working in disgusting conditions, and for a mere 14 cents per hour (far below the minimum wage in Indonesia at the time).

Since then, Nike has begun to report supply chain information. The most recent report claims that, in 2016, only 86% of their factories were up to the minimum standards they set. Though they give a good indication of how far the company has come, these standards are set by Nike and assessed internally, making it difficult to compare standards to a universal one.

INSTEAD: shop at Patagonia! All products here are Fair Trade Certified!

Starbucks

Starbucks claims a mission for ethical sourcing, meaning their company policy requires them to abide by a standard of "ethical sourcing" that they have created. They only have two Fair-Trade coffees available for purchase. After the development charity Oxfam reported that Starbucks was depriving Ethiopian coffee growers of $90 million every year, Starbucks was challenged by the public eye to “clean up their act,” and did so by creating their own “ethical sourcing” standards, that they implement themselves, and certify 99% of their coffee with. Whether or not these standards are viable, they are not Fair Trade Certified at this time.

The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of locations and goods that use forced and child labor. Starbucks lists coffees from countries such as Guatamala, Kenya, Costa Rica and Panama; however, none of these single-sourced coffees are certified by them as “Fair Trade.” Rather, they are all regions that are known to use child labor.

INSTEAD: buy the Starbucks Italian Roast and Café Estima; they are certified by Fair Trade! You can also order online from Café Justo, Jurang and Equal Exchange —entire companies dedicated to producing Fair Trade coffee.

H&M

A 2016 report stated that as of December 31, 2015, 31 out of 72 H&M suppliers were using illegal contracts. In other words, these contracts allowed for wrongful termination. Now I know what you are thinking: the current system of hiring/firing in the U.S. is full of problems, and it takes way too much work to fire a bad employee in most cases. Well, the situation in countries like Cambodia and India are a little different. Often times, employees of H&M will be forced to work for excessive overtime hours—far beyond the legal limit—with no increase in their weekly take home pay. They are also often working in sweatshop conditions, with no breaks and unsanitary environments. Moreover, the contracts allow the factory to fire a worker for refusing to work these long hours. In fact, a garment worker in Cambodia stated: "We often get sick around once a month. We don’t eat enough and work too much trying to maximize the piece rate. Also, we don’t stop to go to the bathroom. We often work through lunch breaks or go back into work early, so there is hardly any time to rest."

INSTEAD: shop at one of these other retailers that are guaranteed to have fair-trade labor!

Walmart

Well, this one is probably the least suprising yet. According to a 2016 report by the Wage Alliance on Walmart's value chain, Walmart refused to sign the 2013 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that 200 companies signed following the collapse of Rana Plaza. It also stated that all 14 factories in Cambodia were studied, and they all violated local overtime laws consistently, with some forcing 14 hour work days without overtime pay "in sweltering heat, without adequate supply of clean drinking water or any breaks." These same conditions were expressed by workers in factories in India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The report continued to list countless instances of workers given severely less than they were promised, or even cases where owners of factories fled without paying workers at all.

INSTEAD: OK, I know it's hard to pass up Walmart prices. However, here is a full list of companies that are fair trade. Even if you start small, I know you can find a way to cut back on your slavery footprint! Want to know how many slaves work for you now? Visit the Slavery Footprint mission to find out.

*I use the term “fair wage” because many people who are enslaved are trapped in a cycle of debt bondage. This means that an individual or family works for pennies per hour to pay off an ever-increasing debt. Oftentimes this debt is passed down for generations. To learn more about debt bondage and other forms of slavery, visit the non-profit End Slavery Now, here.

Cover Image Credit: iragelb / Flickr

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5 Reasons Kat Von D's Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner Is The Best

Winged eyeliner, sharp enough to kill a man.
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My love for eyeliner began circa 2009 when middle school me fell into the scene phase, a much darker time. Luckily since then, I’ve flourished into a better version of myself and no longer look like a raccoon. (No seriously, who allowed me to apply eyeliner on my upper lid, lower lid, and an intense wing back then?) Never less, over the many years of trying different types of eyeliners, I can genuinely say that Kat Von D’s eyeliner is the best liquid eyeliner and you can not convince me otherwise.

1. It's waterproof.

I’m sure you’ve all seen at one point eyeliner companies marketing their products as waterproof. The inevitable question is, how waterproof is waterproof. Sometimes the product will be marketed as waterproof but comes off in a smudge from a tear; Sometimes the product is fulfilling but feels as though the product is suffocating and pulling at your skin.

Okay, now let's imagine a product that is truthfully marketed with all the good things that it has to offer and solely that. The tattoo liner by Kat Von D is exactly that. The product survives during heavy rainstorms, hours of crying over your favorite character dying, sweaty days at the gym, etc. All of this was tested by yours truly, therefore I fully support my holy grail of liquid liners.

2. The flexibility of the Tip.

Nothing is better than having the perfect brush tip as the applicator. The tip to Kat Von D’s liquid liner isn’t too thick, nor too thin, it holds the capability of applying a sufficient amount of product and allows flexibility in the movement which doesn’t cause the product to bleed out while trying to achieve the winged look. A triple threat is taking form in an eyeliner pen created by Kat Von D, and you deserve nothing but the best.

3. It's vegan.

As if it couldn’t get any better, her tattoo liner is cruelty-free, which means no living creature had to be put in harm in order for me to wear my eyeliner. Quite frankly, I think we should be aiming for a future where animals aren’t forced into suffocating cages in a toxic environment being blinded, mutated, and tested on for the sake of my winged eyeliner.

4. It's smudge-proof.

One of the main components of choosing the perfect eyeliner is making sure it’s smudge proof. Nobody wants a liquid eyeliner that’s going to smudge away at the hands of a teardrop, eye rub, or dryness. The tattoo liner has already proved itself as waterproof, it only made sense that it would be smudge proof as well.

One of my worst habits growing up was rubbing my eyes viciously. I’ve always worn glasses and due to that fact, my eyes are constantly really dry, thus, me rubbing my eyes viscously more often than I should. Yet, my winged eyeliner is still intact.

5. The finished look keeps you looking on fleek.

Most importantly, the finished look looks like a product created solely from the hands of the universe. The hype was all worth the talk. Unlike other eyeliners, there are slim to no cracks in your fierce wing. While applying the liner, it is a glorious pigmented look at first and then slowly over the drying process, it becomes the matte black signature winged eyeliner look I strive for. It’s all that I’ve ever wanted.

Everyone has their opinion as to what they believe the best liquid eyeliner is, I just know that Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner is the best.

Cover Image Credit: Gustavo Spindula

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