Category Archives: Beauty

A Celebration of Sisterhood at the 2018 Essence Festival

Photos courtesy of the Essence Festival

The National Urban League hosted its first “Women in Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” luncheon at the Essence Festival last week, providing attendees with a spirited and empowering experience. The event included an intimate conversation with twelve-time Grammy®-nominated artist Ledisi, moderated by NYC’s 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, an inspirational moment with five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel singer Erica Campbell, and a performance by R&B star Keke Wyatt.

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Actress Kim Fields, 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, r&b songstress Ledisi, and Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd pose for a photo on the red carpet at the National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

The luncheon kicked off with NUL executive Rhonda Spears Bell, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, welcoming the excited crowd. Wanda Jackson, National Urban League SVP & Chief Talent Officer, then took the stage to introduce WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu and twelve time Grammy®-nominated vocal powerhouse Ledisi to a huge round of applause. Moderated by Déjà Vu, the luncheon attendees were then treated to an intimate conversation with Ledisi who talked about some of the prevalent issues professional African American women face today. Speaking to the importance of celebrating sisterhood, Ledisi offered the festivalgoers insight and advice through her own experience as a rising star in the entertainment industry. She then answered a more light-hearted round of personal questions about her day-to-day life, much to the delight of attending fans.

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National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

Photo Credit: Jennifer DeTiege/Red Carpet Images

Following Ledisi, five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell delivered an impassioned speech to the audience about the inherent strength and power that comes through sisterhood. The enthralled crowd listened closely as she spoke about motivation, mentorship and the importance of helping one another succeed. The luncheon then capped off with National Urban League CEO and President Marc H. Morial speaking to the crowd before an exhilarating performance by popular R&B songstress Keke Wyatt, who performed three songs, “If Only You Knew;” “Nothing In The World;” and “Y.O.U.” Other attending celebrities and influencers included actress Kim Fields, BET co-founder and Nopsi Hotel owner Sheila Johnson, supermodel Beverly Johnson, Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd, actor and choreographer Darrin Henson, and fashion stylist Memsor Kamarake.


The Fenty Beauty Review by Rasine Hamilton


Rasine Hamilton, Beauty Contributor, PANACHE | Photography by Rasine Hamilton

Professional Makeup Artist (@rasicharyn) offering Glowing✨ Soft Glam to Brides, Beauties & Professionals Islandwide✈️🌎. Airbrush Makeup Available. BOOK NOW!

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Pro Filt’r Foundation Shade 370 | Shop Here

We can’t review this foundation without mentioning their extensive 40 shade range, a makeup industry first for a brand launch, yet alone for a celebrity brand. This foundation has a natural matte finish, doesn’t dry down cakey or settle into your lines or pores. Its thin, liquid consistency covers well. It is definitely medium-buildable coverage, but I would only build in the sections that need it. The bottle is 1.08 fluid ounces, which is .08 fluid ounces more than an average foundation bottle.
I apply the foundation over well moisturised and primed skin for best application and results. In a tropical climate I would suggest if you’re overly oily, mattify with a mattifying primer only in those oily areas. Set it with a light translucent powder if oily or in a tropical climate.
This foundation can be applied with either a buffing brush or sponge (damp), I would say try both methods to see which you prefer as I have seen people love it ether way.
I would rate the foundation 4 out of 5, it is definitely in my Top 3 foundations of all time. The only thing my HG has over it is lasting power; my HG gives a few more hours. I would wear my Fenty as a daily foundation if I wore makeup everyday.
PSA, I suggest trying to test a shade in person because all these shades have some people confused. If possible get a sample in a few shades, try them out on different days and wear them so it dries down on the skin to its truest colour; this is really the method you should use before buying any foundation, really, but even more so this one.

Photo courtesy of Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ‘Trophy Wife’ | Shop Here

This is the unique gold, green, bronze highlighter that everyone heavily anticipated in the brands` initial launch. Also, the product that inspired Rihanna’s outfit for the US launch in New York.
Finally, in hand, this gem was met with mixed reviews because of the unique green shift that it had. I personally didn’t care, but I could see where everyone was coming from. This highlighter is best for medium to dark skin tones. I actually wear it 98% of the time I wear makeup, but I use it lightly over a champagne gold/nude highlighter. It is great for highlighting or bronzing your body when wearing cold shoulder blouses, beachwear and much more.
The Killawatt highlighter can do more than just highlight. It`s great for shadow all over the lid and for an inner corner highlight. The compact is so big that you’ll have product to last you forever. I must also commend the size of the mirror in the compact, great to apply makeup on the go.
This highlighter has obvious glitter particles and is not for the faint of heart. The powder itself is finely milled and applies very smooth. For a highlighter, I give it 3.5 out of 5, because I like it but it depends on how it`s used. But it gets brownie points for having the ability to use it in several days.

Photo courtesy of Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick’Trippin’

This cream stick is really a tube filled with wonder. I think its more a Makeup Artist’s dream than for a makeup enthusiast. I say this because even though it is quite easy to use for cream stick, there is a learning curve.
My favourite way to apply it is with the use of a small buffing brush; I swirl the brush on the tip of the stick to warm it up and to collect some product, then I lightly buff and press it on the top your cheek. The highlight given is good enough to wear on its own, especially for those that don’t like a blinding highlight, unlike me *covers face*.
Contrary to the above, my favourite way to wear this is over my bare skin, with a little concealer in spots that need it. Its the best for a natural highlight because the shade is gold with a pink shift, so the pink adds a flushed look. On the website, the shade is described as a golden-glazed apricot to be specific.
The lasting power is pretty good, even if it`s on my bare skin. It gives a solid 5 hours before starting to fade. I contribute the lasting power to the drier consistency; the drier consistency also doesn’t tend to move around the product below it, but I wouldn’t apply the stick directly to the makeup – use the brush. I give the stick 3 out of 5 stars.


Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ‘‘Fenty Glow’ | Shop Here

This universal shimmering rose nude as described on the website, is said to be a lip gloss fit for all skin tones. I must say I’ve seen several persons with a plethora of skin tones wear this gloss and it really does work. The gloss on me is not very rosy but you do see a hint of pink when applied. It is moisturising, shiny and lasts for a good while especially for a gloss. The moisture lasts as well even as the high-intensity shine wears down.
My favourite way to wear it is with a natural pink lip pencil underneath to amp up the pink in the gloss itself. There is somewhat of a sheen but it is not a metallic or glittery gloss. I would use this gloss on others of different skin tones with a nude base to add colour. The gloss on its own is great for a natural, no foundation look.
I rate the gloss a 5 out of 5 because it performs amazingly and does exactly what it`s promised to do. The applicator is a doe foot but bigger than what we would be used to. The packaging is compact because it`s not too long but it is a bit chubby; I don’t have a problem fitting it in my wristlet for on the go purposes. If you are a lover of gloss, you will love this gloss!

Photo courtesy of Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Colour ‘Uncensored’ | Shop Here

In a world filled with liquid lipsticks, could Rihanna really release something life changing?
The teasing of this product drove everyone crazy!…well almost. I must admit that I did not intend to purchase this Fenty Beauty staple. I was going to wait it out and see. I wanted to see reviews on it before taking the leap, I was so calculated, all of a sudden *covers face*. So I strolled into Sephora 1 week after it launched, with a game plan that did not include this lipstick, but I could not help browse the shelves as usual. The consultant says to me “have you tried the Rihanna lipstick?”, to which I said “no.” She convinced me to try it and I was mind blown!
The consistency was so thin, weightless is the best word to describe it. But the consistency would make you think it isn’t pigmented, well you would be wrong. Its so pigmented, that on your first application you’re bound to make a mistake and use way more than you need.The packaging is so amazing and so is the applicator. I took out the applicator, wiped off the excess and went to apply, I never had to dip the applicator in for more product at all. I could draw a straight line and the lipstick application was thin but very pigmented and it wore so comfortably.
So other than obvious differences to the run of the mill liquid lipsticks that I listed above, the Stunna does transfer, it transfers on the glass you’re drinking from, the napkin you wipe your mouth with BUT it never affects the vibrancy of the perfect universal red. And that is what really matters. I don’t find it transferring if you kiss someone on their cheek, so it all depends.
This lipstick most definitely gets a 5 out of 5 stars for me. Here’s why; it`s versatility – it looks amazing on every skin tone I’ve applied it to or seen wear it. Its comfort, its pigmentation, its wear, its packaging…need I say more? |P



Davina Bennett graces the cover of PANACHE!

PANACHE Issue 1 Covershot-Social Media

PANACHE 2018 Issue 1

PANACHE Magazine Issue 1 2018 (Volume 11) features the Afro Queen, Davina Bennett, Miss Universe (2nd Runner-Up) in our breakthrough issue. This wonderful magazine also showcases our review of Fenty Beauty, Shaggy & Friends, The Chronology Tour in Jamaica, The Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit, PX Headphones, Joy Spence’s Appleton Cocktails and more!

Photography by Craig Harley

Davina Bennett… The Afro Queen

Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett might not have won the first place crown at this year’s Miss Universe pageant, but she definitely made a lasting impression. The 21-year-old philanthropist chose to take the pageant stage with her natural hair, an afro, instead of the common blowouts and extensions we see time after time on pageant stages.

Afros and the natural hairstyles of people of colour are still frequently considered unprofessional or deemed inappropriate so Bennett’s act of wearing her true hair is a statement against the norm. Bennett chose to use her platform and provide representation to the countless faces at home watching who share her natural hair texture, but rarely get to see the attribute reflected in beauty pageants.”- Chloe Hall,

PANACHE Issue 1 Covershot-Social Media

PANACHE 2018 Issue 1


A few months now have passed since the Miss Universe Competition where Davina was awarded 2nd Runner-Up and proudly represented Jamaica. Amidst her crazy schedule of appearances and photo shoots and interviews were honoured to get a moment and reflect on all that has transpired and the what the future holds.

A lover of her parish Clarendon, she calls it her “favourite chill spot”. A foodie at heart, like a true island girl she loves her seafood. Davina by any measure is a stunning beauty with a regal air about her when she walks into a space. She is the perfect model in front of a camera lens and needs little or no direction- she loves the camera and it certainly loves her back.

Our Miss Jamaica has a mantra that believes “a positive mind with positive thoughts will bring positive results.” An inspiration to many herself to so many, she recounts, “Yes I am surprised that I have inspired so many people because of what I did on the international stage.” She shares that her greatest inspiration has come from her grandfather.

Read our full interview with Davina Bennett below:

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Creative Direction & Interview by Tricia Williamson | Photography by Craig Harley | Makeup Artist: Rasine Hamilton |Art & Design by Oneil Banton | Photoshoot Assistance by Chantel Bailey | Dress: Uzuri International & Tia Clothes Girl 

PANACHE: Everybody loves your hair, your crowning glory so let’s begin there… What would you say was a turning point in your hair journey- was it ever a love/hate relationship?
Davina Bennett (DB): I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with my hair because it’s sometimes hard to maintain and handle on my own, but I love it because it inspires others to just be themselves and embrace their natural looks and it plays a significant role in the representation of one’s self-value.

PANACHE: The wearing of your natural hair at the Miss Universe pageant was a redefinition of international beauty standards. What made you decide to wear your hair naturally and free (no ponytails, no flat iron needed)?
DB: I decided to keep the natural hair to break the stigma and perception of how beauty queens should look.

PANACHE: What products do you use in your hair to keep it so lustrous and beautiful?
DB: My favourite products to use are from ORS Olive Oil, from their moisturizers to their shampoo and conditioner. I am also a fan of natural products like castor oil and coconut oil.

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PANACHE: What advice would you give to someone who wants to go natural?
DB: I would advise them to give it a try and embrace their natural beauty.

PANACHE: We love your beautiful skin, what is your beauty regime?
DB: For my skin, there is not one specific regime but I tend to use a lot of natural body oil products mainly from Kihara’s line and drink plenty of water.

PANACHE: Jamaica supported you before, during and after the Miss Universe pageant, what did the outpouring of love mean to you?
DB: The love I’ve received thus far is indescribable; I am humbled and grateful to have been received so well by the public.

PANACHE: From Pop Sugar to Allure to People to Essence to Elle international media have fallen in love with you and your Afro-American, you’ve ignited a fire in natural hair movement. What was your reaction to all that press and attention…even #AfroFriday here in Jamaica?
DB: All the love from the press is still overwhelming and I am filled with such gratification from all the exposure…I’m still pinching myself!

PANACHE: You looked stunning in yellow and red, do you have a favourite colour?
DB: Thank you, my favourite colour is gold.


PANACHE: When someone says to you “How can you be the physical representation of your country?” What’s your response?
DB: Our motto is out of many one people and that is significant as we are a melting pot of different ethnic backgrounds, cultures and religion and I am a testimony of this. My family line is a mixture of Indians, Africans and even Afro-Latina and the greatest thing is that they all coexist in one love just as the people in Jamaica.

PANACHE: How did your friend Jermaine Dyer motivate you to enter the competition?
DB: Jermaine Dyer motivated me by being positive, by helping me and guiding me along the way and the constant talks about how great I am and how much greater I will become.

PANACHE: What was the reaction of your Mom and Dad when you told them you were going for the crown?
DB: I wasn’t with my parents physically to see their reactions but it was always my dad’s dream so he was over the moon, my mom, on the other hand, was a bit hesitant because she knew I was afraid of speaking in front of a large audience and she was wondering if I was really ready.

PANACHE: People see the glitz and glamour, but tell us about the work that you and the team put in behind the scenes from speech sessions with Paula Ann and more… The hard work and guts begin the glitz…
DB: It was a team effort that involved so many individuals. I had plenty of speech sessions with both Paula-Anne Porter-Jones and Fabian Thomas, Hard-core gym time with Debbie Hall from Spartan Health Club, Dance & Movement with Marlon Simms of NDTC, Stage Presentation & Runway sessions with Yendi Phillipps, Etiquette sessions with Angelie Martin-Spencer, Current & World Affairs Training with National Directors Mark McDermoth and Karl Williams and even makeup classes with Oneil Baugh and Dawn Lindo from D’Marie Institute. Styling was also vital and so we had a few fittings that created the perfect wardrobe. Karl and Mark also did an excellent job in getting local designers and boutiques to contribute to the wardrobe as well as putting the pieces together.

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PANACHE: On August 27, you posted ” I did it” with a portrait of tears of joy… What was that moment like for you…being crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2017 now that you reflect on it.
DB: It was a wonderful feeling to have won the Miss Universe Jamaica title because I felt like I was always losing and needed that victory to prove to myself that I could do anything once I worked hard and I did just that.

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PANACHE: You once said you knew what it meant to “fail and work twice as hard”. What major challenge(s) have you faced in life and how did you rise above it?
DB: I have faced many challenges, medical problems, a struggling career, robbery et al… I overcame all the adversaries because I had a good support system from both family and friends.

PANACHE: As our queen, you represent Jamaica by being yourself, authentic and bold- how would you like to inspire other young girls?
DB: I would like to inspire other young women to keep fighting for what they believe, never give up on themselves and to know that they are beautiful just the way they are.

PANACHE: Tell us more about your foundation, it’s work and the goals you have for 2018?
DB: The Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf is to spread awareness for the Deaf community and eradicate the barriers of communication. The goals for 2018 would be to continue on that path with new projects and partnerships along the way.

PANACHE: You are very passionate about the work of your Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf. Your emotional reaction to your friend and mentee hearing clearly for the first time with an hearing aid was powerful. Please share more about that project of distributing hearing aids to 500 people across Jamaica.
DB: The hearing aids were not distributed by me but by the Starkey Foundation, I was a Patron and witnessed the work they were doing, and I got so emotional when Britney was given the hearing-aid and heard me for the first time.

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PANACHE: What changes would you like to see in Jamaica to better support those who are hearing impaired?
DB: I would like for the Deaf community to be granted equal opportunities as those in society from their educational facilities and system to their social everyday duties. I’d like to see more of them being employed.

PANACHE: As an Ambassador for Ending Bullying, what positive impact do you see yourself having in that capacity?
DB: As an End- bullying Ambassador I can certainly relate to being bullied because I too was a victim and this platform has allowed me to not only share my experiences but how I overcame bullying. My message is to love who you are and embrace yourself.

PANACHE: You are a social influencer, who/ what are some of your favourite accounts to follow?
DB: I love to follow other influencers like Oprah and Rihanna.

PANACHE: Social media has its pros and cons… It has been a great platform for fans to show their support and for you to raise awareness of worthy causes. So as an Ambassador to End Bullying, what advice would you give for youths on social media today?
DB: I would tell the youth to love themselves, to understand that all names are temporary and they are all uniquely made.

PANACHE: Is there any style or dress that you love the most from your collection?
DB: I would have to say my favourite dress would be my yellow final gown worn on the final night of the Miss Universe competition. The first time I saw it and fitted it, it brought tears to my eyes…tears of joy!

PANACHE: Name one fashion trend you hope never comes back?
DB: I am a lover of fashion and appreciate all kinds however I think it’s safe to say (and I know many females will agree) that I hate to see men wearing sagging pants…it’s not sexy at all!

PANACHE: Your current role aside, what would be your dream role?
DB: My dream role was always to be an international model.

PANACHE: How do you deal with negative people?
DB: I don’t focus on negative people so I don’t normally allow their energy to consume me.

PANACHE: Where do you see yourself in three years?
DB: I see myself as a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur.

PANACHE: What would you say to the next young Jamaican girl looking to enter the Miss Universe competition next year?
DB: I would say, give it a try, don’t be afraid of your voice, help make a difference and wow the world. |P

PANACHE Issue 1 Covershot


On the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, in the shadows of the Pitons, surrounded by waterfalls and rainforests, there is a place called Choiseul that epitomizes an authentically natural way of life. A place where life simply is natural and not a goal to which people aspire. Where, day-to-day, people are connected to the earth’s bounty and nature’s inherent beauty. This is natural beauty. This is the spirit of CHOISELLE.

Photography by Choiselle

As a young model in New York City, Nydia Norville quickly discovered the toll that urban living can take on our skin – and spirit.

Seeking a solution to chronically dry and troubled skin, brought on by the frantic pace of city dwelling, she found that the remedies recommended to her featured lengthy lists of synthetic ingredients and chemicals not found in nature and only seemed to exacerbate her concerns. At the other end of the spectrum, the more natural “back to the earth” alternatives left much to be desired, aesthetically speaking, and didn’t appeal to her modern sensibilities and appreciation for understated elegance.

Thus began her journey of discovery into the potent powers of natural botanicals and a passion for formulating nature-based skincare solutions that were, at once, effective, aesthetically pleasing and elegantly packaged.

“Match the Nature of your skin with Nature.”

Choiselle skin care is deliberately formulated to eliminate the need for harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances that aren’t compatible with our skin’s nature.

At the heart of each formula is a bounty of vitamin and nutrient-rich botanicals, oils and plant butter with intensive reparative, protective and restorative capabilities. Because our skin care is brimming with deeply hydrating, moisturizing and nutrient-rich ingredients, a little goes a long way and provides long-lasting benefits even after bathing and showering.

Formulating without water means that we can stabilize and preserve our all natural formulas without the use of harmful parabens.

Organic Ingredients
Wherever possible, Choiselle uses certified organic, skin compatible ingredients to assure the highest level of purity and efficacy.

All Natural Fragrances
Only pure essential oils are used to fragrance our formulas. These extraordinary compounds- volatile molecules that are the life force of the plants, have incredible healing powers in addition to balancing emotions and lifting the spirit.|P

More than just beads… Story & Myth

Words by Kinisha Correia & Photography by Niesha Brown

The pure energy of good vibes, consciousness, whimsy and the unique celebration of stunning earthiness behind each Story & Myth bracelet and necklace has made the brand a steadily-building vortex that has gracefully washed over the locally-made, and undeniably chic fashion scene in Jamaica.


More than just beads, Kristie Stephenson, Story & Myth’s founder, has carefully crafted the line to uplift and empower its wearers. Each bead symbolises inspiration, strength, hope and faith, with the aim to inspire those adorned by them to rise above fears, setbacks and life’s inevitable challenges.

“We have such a beautiful island and some of us don’t really appreciate it…”


A strong believer in the metaphoric power of a culture’s longstanding stories passed down from generation to generation, Kristie often shares folklore and ancient mythology to illustrate truths around self-empowerment, inner strength and divine protection, as well as calls for a collective push towards a more socially and environmentally conscious community. This belief in the potency of cultural tales is what sparked the creation of the line’s Story & Myth name.


The tale of the River Maid, for example, is what Kristie explains is the Jamaican version of the mermaid myth, which she says reminds us of the importance of preserving our natural resources, while also representing the beauty and strength of feminine energy.

“The River Maid is a freshwater mermaid and the guardian of Jamaica’s waterways, streams and canals, and all its fish she considers her children.”

“The River Maid is a freshwater mermaid and the guardian of Jamaica’s waterways, streams and canals, and all its fish she considers her children,” she shares. She explains that in parts of rural Jamaica many will tell you they have encountered the River Maid and will even say they’ve seen her visit the church. Kristie says that the story of this mermaid-being can be traced back to African origins, brought to Jamaica through the transatlantic slave trade.


The River Maid is not to be feared, Kristie says. “We have such a beautiful island and some of us don’t really appreciate it. You often see plastic bags and garbage in the rivers, but if we think of the River Maid as a symbol of all that lives in the waterways, maybe we’d be more conscious not to destroy them. The River Maid asks us to take care of our natural resources and environment.”

The mermaid is a figure of female strength, and mermaid stories can be found in almost every culture of the world, Kristie shares. As a Story & Myth bead-wearer, a lover of water and nature who wants to remind herself of her personal power as a woman, may be drawn to select a mermaid charm from the line’s collection.



Kristie uses other popular Jamaican imagery and folklore to explain the significance of many Story & Myth charms, to remind people of their inner strength and the interconnectedness of cultures and people.
“The lion charms are tied to Africa, Ethiopia and Rastafarianism. If you notice, a lot of gate entrances in Jamaica have lions heads on them. The lion symbolises strength and authority,” she says. A Story & Myth lion charm bead can be worn by those who want to remind themselves of and embody the traits of authority and strength.

According to Kristie, the crocodile symbol is also another powerful charm, encouraging creativity, balance, the ability to go deep and resurface.

“The crocodile is an ancient creature representing a deep connection to Mother Nature and wisdom. It represents ultimate power and protection. Its back is like an armour and can deflect bullets, but its underside is vulnerable. This speaks to duality and balance. Being associated with water, they can see clearly into emotional worlds and encourage us to look but not be seen. Having acute senses makes them successful predators, which has been paramount to their continued survival, outlasting some now extinct animals,” Kristie says.
The Patoo or owl charm, another strong symbol in Jamaican culture, is associated with prophecy and divination. The owl is a messenger, able to see in the dark, invoked when one needs to see the truth. The Story & Myth owl charm can be worn to remind us of or bring forth the truth.

Beyond her firm focus on positive intentionality for those who wear Story & Myth, Kristie has also woven goodness into all aspects of her socially and environmentally conscious business model.

Each bead is made by local artisans – many who have physical disabilities – providing much-needed income for the makers and their families. Also, the line’s main bead, Job’s Tears, grows by waterways and are recycled into the eco-friendly, sustainable works of art that are each one of Story & Myth’s beads.

As a profoundly thoughtful, purpose-driven entrepreneur who has built success through dedication to positivity, Kristie is indeed an inspirational, creative woman in business to be celebrated for her desire to have a true impact on the world. |P

Exploring Clean Beauty

By Latoya Jones

 Just recently, a co-worker of mine had car trouble because his regular gas station attendant had put diesel in his vehicle instead of the gas he usually purchases.  This mistake cost him time away from work and money he probably had better use for.

This mix-up got me thinking, if a car- an obviously inanimate object- could cough and sputter and refuse to drivebecause of something like a gas mix up, then what would happen to our bodies- the most complex of ‘machines’ if we consistently fed it the wrong things or consistently used products that have dangerous side effects.
It wasn’t too long ago either that my research for a piece just like this one unearthed the little-known fact that 60% of everything we use on our skin gets absorbed into our bloodstream. Yikes! That said, it’s no wonder we are plagued with so many illnesses and health issues. This prompted me to explore a more organic way to beauty. Below are some common ingredients to avoid in many of our most popular beauty products with alternatives that are a lot cleaner.


This component is found in many beauty products and essentials like deodorant. Repeated aluminium use and exposure are tied to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. When buying items like an antiperspirant, try to purchase an aluminium free option. Tom’s aluminium free deodorant is one of the more affordable ones on the market at a mere $5.00USD per bottle.


Paraben is found in many a deodorants, lotions and lipsticks and has been shown in studies to mimic oestrogen in the body and has also been found present in many breast cancer tumours. Again, no one is sure what levels of Paraben content in a product is ‘safe’  so regarding this ingredient, it’s probably just best to be safe rather than sorry. Even mainstream brands like Tresemme have come to embrace paraben free products.


This ingredient has been labelled legally as a carcinogen (the same stuff that’s present in cigarettes that make them bad for you) by the Food and Drug administration in the U.S.A. Formaldehyde is said to be present in nail polishes, eyelash glues, shampoos, lotions and hair straighteners. When checking for formaldehyde in products, it may also be listed as ‘formalin.’ It is not sure just how much formaldehyde is too much so consumers are advised to use products that may contain formaldehyde in well-ventilated spaces to minimize inhalation.


Sulphates are those things that give many soaps and shampoos their lather. In other words, it’s what makes it soapy or foamy. While sulphates are somewhat good for removing build up, its harsh chemical makeup strips natural oils and moisture from hair follicles and skin cells thereby worsening conditions like dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema. While some companies have switched out sulphates in their products, they aren’t necessarily using replacements that are better for you either. Your safest bet as a consumer is to look for products that are fruit or vegetable based.

Whoever said beauty has to hurt was wrong.  There just simply is no beauty product or routine that is worth compromising the quality of your lifestyle in the long run. It is the purchases of the more informed consumer that is bringing even mainstream brands to their knees. Start today, by changing what you can for a healthier tomorrow.

Photo credit: Tresemme