Loving Makeup But Being Lazy: The Struggle

Loving Makeup But Being Lazy: The Struggle

I refuse to commit two hours to contouring.
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I love makeup. Makeup is one of the most fun, creative things I can actually somewhat do. (Don’t ever ask me to draw. Trust me, it's for your own good.) I love looking at the newest trends, admiring beauty guru’s rainbow highlighter—seriously, that stuff is magic—and shopping for new shades of whatever I can get my hands on. However, one thing I love more than makeup is sleep. As a college student I tend to get up an hour and a half before I have to be in class, and considering I need an hour of that time to drive to campus, catch a bus, and walk to class, I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to make myself presentable. I enjoy applying makeup every day, but it is always the most time-consuming part of my morning routine. Here are some of the struggles of loving makeup but being too lazy to wake up early enough to do it well.

1) Eyeliner

Wings are the devil. I personally love them, (and need them; my eyes are so small I need the wings to elongate my eyes) but it’s a miracle if I spend less than twenty minutes just doing eyeliner. Draw a wing, check. Draw the other, and suddenly it’s three times as large and a quarter inch too long. Wipe it off, start again. I’ve actually rubbed my skin raw from removing messed-up eyeliner. It’s the most important part of my makeup routine, and I’ve nearly been late more times than not because of it. Wings will be the death of me, but I’m never going to stop doing them.

2) Mascara

Definitely not as difficult as eyeliner. However, every time I apply it to my lashes I have the inevitable fear of clumping, leading to removing mascara (and in turn some of my eyeliner, see above) and reapplying, hoping my eyelashes will cooperate this time. God forbid I accidentally stab my eye with the applicator brush, causing not only burning pain, but eye watering that leads to black ink running down my face, quickly transforming me from a halfway-decent human being to something out of a horror movie. Cue the removal again, and I’m back at square one. Rarely do I have a catastrophe such as this, but when I do, it’s armageddon.

3) Eyebrows

One of the biggest trends in makeup: having that perfect arch and an ending point that could stab a man. There are as many shapes of eyebrows as there are people, but similar to eyeliner, getting the two to match up is often a struggle. And for beginners it can be just as hard to find a pencil that actually matches. (I had red hair and black eyebrows for a while—it’s okay, I’m cringing too.) But it is one of the few things I can guarantee gets easier the more you do it, so as long as you keep practicing, soon you’ll be a brow master. Maybe one wing is three inches and the other a third-inch, but your eyebrows will slay.

4) Contour

Mostly bronzer/shadow. It’s fun to do, and the results can be staggering. But in my opinion it is one of the most difficult parts of your typical everyday makeup, and definitely one of the most time-consuming. I personally avoid foundation and contour, mainly because I’m so terrified it’ll break me out. (And honestly because I’m super lazy.) But I have done it multiple times before, and I’ve drawn some weird contour lines. I’ve had a cheekbone halfway down my cheek, a jawline on my neck, and temples so sunken in I looked like a skeleton. So make sure you practice a lot before you go outside, especially when it comes to blending. You’ll either over-blend it and your efforts will be pointless, or not blend enough and it looks like someone smeared dirt on your face. All I can say is good luck.

5) Lipstick

Lord, this matte trend has been the death of my lips. I love it and think it looks so gorgeous, but every matte lipstick I’ve bought became less of a cream on my lips and more of an extra layer of skin that peels. It dries my lips up so bad that I can rarely wear it much anymore. Not to mention the struggles of actually applying it. Messing up can be super easy, especially if you’re like me and have exceptionally small lips. Getting that perfect Cupid’s bow, being mindful of your teeth, and getting an even application are only a few struggles of lipstick. That’s why I’m mainly a ChapStick kind of girl; non-tinted, moisturizing, and if I smear it all over my face, no one will see, so no one can judge me. I’d rather have that than a pink smear up the side of my cheek.

What makeup issues do you struggle with? How long is your daily routine? If you can commit the time, I applaud you. You’re the real makeup MVP’s. Get that contour and flick those wings. You look fabulous.

Cover Image Credit: http://annettecook.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/how_to_apply_makeup.jpg

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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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Space Force Or Space Ploy?

What if the the announcement to create a sixth branch of the US Military is a powerful ploy.

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The US President Trump announced recently his decision to create a sixth branch of the military and hinted at calling it "…Space Force…" adding that "...it is vital that our military maintains its dominance and competitive advantage in that domain..." Ultimately the president's order on Monday seemingly mandates the Pentagon to begin drawing up plans for this new branch, though a Congressional vote is required to make it official. "Establishing a service branch requires congressional action…" as noted by Rep. Michael R. Turner who chairs for the House of armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.

Let us not forget back in 2007, China demonstrated their Anti-Satellite (ASAT) system by destroying one of their own aging weather satellites. The United States could not ignore the implications and realization of it’s space assets vulnerabilities.It is arguable that with China’s established space program Strategic Support Force (SSF) in 2015, tasked with space and cyber operations could be a major cause to this shift in the United States. But, let us not also forget that in 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which allows United States citizens to own space and asteroid resources as private property. What happens if these legally purchased and or owned sections of space are threatened? There must be a governing body to protect these interstellar investments.

But, is this recent and boastful act but the president a clever economical ploy from a noted clever business man? While the world is in estranged toil, China arming up and buying up natural resources like there is no tomorrow and angry over recent declaration of new sanctions; Russia is in a Cold War with the USA, again; The Middle East still isn't really all that fixed, who would have guessed that; and North Korean still at a standstill though things seem to be leaning towards the positive. Could this not be a cleaver ploy to divert the world's attention? Perhaps postponing a all out conflict, in traditional since. In creating a sixth branch of the military and pushing it forward in full swing it's not hard to believe that the rest of the world's major players would fall-suite right quick.

In doing so it would create a massive space race, the likes of which no one has ever seen. Who will control the space around our planet! This recent announcement may very well send the world into a different kind of war. As countries begin to pool their warfare resources towards their space programs and defense. Depleting their resources and man power, ultimately straining their economies, diverting them from possible trade war or open war here on the ground. But who knows. Arguments and turmoil over what exactly the Space Force is expected to do are likely going to be part of political debate for decades to come. All we know for sure is that even though President Donald Trump says he is creating a sixth branch of the military he needs congress to vote it in. Only time will tell as we move forward in the coming months.

Cover Image Credit: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JqshWc3vcPg

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