Chemicals and your Health – Part II

  1. BPA and Hand sanitizer: A toxic mix

BPA/BPS is found in receipts. It mimics estrogen activity and can cause the following:

  • PCOS, infertility, premature delivery, miscarriage, and other reproductive effects in women
  • Reduced libido and sperm quality, and altered sex hormone concentrations in men
  • Altered thyroid function
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Impaired liver and kidney function
  • Impaired immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Neurobehavioral deficits such as aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and impaired learning (3)

“Hand sanitizers and other skin products (e.g. soaps, sunscreens, lotions) contain “dermal penetration enhancers” that are designed to enhance the delivery of the active ingredients they contain. Previous studies have found that dermal penetration enhancers can increase the absorption of estradiol, a chemical very similar to BPA, by as much as 100-fold.”



  • Avoid using hand sanitizer and other skin products like sunscreen or lotion prior to handling receipts.
  • Avoid handling receipts even with dry hands for long periods of time. If you are a cashier, make sure to wear gloves.
  • Use glass and stainless steel containers at home for food storage. Be aware that the lids of Mason and Kerr brand canning jars contain BPA. There are BPA-free lids, but they still may contain chemicals with estrogenic activity, and I’ve been told they’re made with formaldehyde. Weck makes 100% glass jars that are a good alternative. Crate and Barrel sells them here. My favorite stainless steel containers are from Lunch Bots.
  • Use glass, stainless steel, or silicone instead of plastic for freezer storage. Seethis article for recommendations.
  • Use a stainless steel water bottle (like the Klean Kanteen) instead of plastic bottles.
  • Don’t drink bottled water from plastic bottles, especially when they’ve been exposed to sunlight.
  • Parents: use glass baby bottles instead of plastic. Evenflo is a commonly available brand you can buy at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc. and online at Amazon and other retailers.

2. Chemicals in Makeup and Cosmetics 

3. Chemicals in shampoo, soap and lotion 

4. Aluminium in anti-oxidant and anti-perspirant 

  • Readily absorbed by skin (especially freshly shaved pits), can lead to cancer and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease

5. Chemicals in your sunscreen

  • Aluminium is present. But be careful of zinc oxide/titanium dioxide too. If in nanoparticle-form, they can penetrate the skin and cause other problems.

*First published here on January 1st 2016*

Beauty Masterpost: Ingredients to avoid in beauty products

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
    1. Damage eyes, severely irritate skin
    2. Endocrine disruptor, carcinogen 
  • Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral oil, Petrochemical, *Paraffins, Terms ending in “anol”, like isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol, methyl alcohol or methanol, butyl alcohol or butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol
    1. Absorbed through the skin; toxic to brain, kidney, respiratory system
  • Parabens (ethyl, butyl, methyl, propyl, isobutyl)
    1. Imitates estrogen -> causes breast cancer
    2. Found in many products
  • Alcohol (benzyl, ethyl, isopropyl [SD-40], methyl, SD alcohols)
    1. Very drying for the skin; makes you more susceptible to bacteria
  • Water
    1. Not toxic, but very drying

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Tips for building a professional wardrobe in college?


1. Stock up on basics; button ups, skirts, nice pants (anything from white/black jeans to business pants), and basic flats/heels. I don’t recommend spending an insane amount of money on these items because there are so many stores from Target to J.Crew that have these items for reasonable prices! I get all of my button ups and skirts that are about knee length at J.Crew because they always have great items on their sale rack and they take a student discount!

2. Splurge on items that will last you forever; blazer/blazer and skirt set, dress pants/blazer and pants set, etc. These items will last a very long time in your closet and go with so many different basics! I’m not saying go out an spend $5,000 on a Chanel tweed jacket with matching skirt; stores that specialize in business attire will work just fine! My favorites are J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor.

3. For shoes, I recommend a nude pair of flats, a black pair of flats, a nude pair of heels, and a black pair of heels. Then from there you can add more fun pieces. You can find these styles of shoes basically anywhere! My favorite brand of affordable classic heels are Madden Girl, my favorite brand of flats are Tory Burch, and my favorite brand of high end heels are Valentino, Prada, and Louboutin!

Just build your wardrobe little by little starting with basics that you can wear on an everyday basis, but that you can also dress up for a business casual or professional look. I highly recommend J.Crew, if that is your style and in your price range! You can find everything from button ups, skirts, blazers, dress pants and more there. There are always great sales and I always find great items on the sale racks! Tip: J.Crew pixie pants are amazing because they are leggings, but look like nice black pants on. Those pants are an example of something you could buy that you could wear on a daily basis as leggings, but also dress up for a professional look!

After you have all the basics, you can start to splurge on more expensive items that will last forever! For example, if you have your eyes on a pair of Louboutins, a pair of Madden Girl black leather heels will work just fine for now, then save up for the more expensive shoes and replace your basic ones later on! This works with all basic items!

When in doubt, search on Pinterest for Business Casual and Business Professional outfits! I have a whole board on my Pinterest dedicated to Post-College fashion, and there are so many fashionable examples!

Hope this helped:)
from Tumblr

5 Reasons To Switch To Natural Fiber Clothing [Link]

5 Reasons To Switch To Natural Fiber Clothing
from Tumblr

How to find your personal style [Video]

from Tumblr

Things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing [Video]

A great video on the things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing (seams, stitching, threads, button-holes, fabric etc)
from Tumblr

Interesting Beauty Tips

  1. Using Chamomile tea on sensitive skin
  2. Use old coffee grounds on cellulite. Place grounds on affected area, kitchen wrap for 30 mins and then wash them off
  3. Not interesting, but never neglect your hands and neck in your beauty routine. They age the fastest

Sources: (1,2) Womenshealthmag

Elegant Shoes – How To Choose Elegant Heels That Will Go With Almost Everything

If you do not have a big budget to spend, all the more you have to select your shoes carefully. Buy basic colours like black, beige and navy in classic styles.

For everyday shoes, choose a low to medium shoe with a solid heel. Calf court shoes for the afternoon. Leave the high heels for evening wear.

The most elegant heels all closed pumps. They always go well with almost every outfit in the classic colours. I think elegance is designed to prevent ‘too much fuss’. With such shoes, you don’t have to worry about getting professional pedicures too often.

If you have big feet, stay away from white or chunky shoes. Depend on where are you going, opt for a slim heel to give an illusion of smaller feet.

Ankle straps draw attention to your ankles and gives a ‘break’ in the silhouette. Personally, I avoid shoes that ‘cut’ off at the ankle, such as ankle boots, ankle straps, sandals that have a high back. I’ve also noticed that they make your ankles look a lot bigger than they really are, so wear them if you have skinny legs.

The only way to wear an ankle strap I’ve found if you are wearing a very frilly short cocktail dress where it can be paired up with silver or shiny black strappies.

Of course, with any shoes showing skin or nails, they must be buffed or have the perfect pedicure.

Walking Shoes:

I’ve gone through many ‘walking shoes’ in mainly off-whites, beige, black and navy. Ballerinas or ballet shoes and loafers make the perfect shoes for the casual ensemble.

Ballerinas are very sweet and feminine. These elegant shoes are very slimming for the feet especially those who have wide feet. They tend to be a bit too flat for me, but now there are ones that has a firmer heel. It helps to get a shoe-padding insert as well.


I usually like to wear with linen pants.


P.s. No matter how elegant heels they may be, do not attempt to walk for long hours or shop in them. They hurt your back, posture and are not good for your health.


The Dress Shoe:

I am in favour of the medium heel as it helps you have better posture and not look sloppy. Also, since its a dressier event, a medium heel would suffice. Sometimes a low heel creates an impression of negligence.


A very popular city shoe are known as ‘court shoes’.


I prefer the classic fashion – closed pumps. They are conservative, do not show skin, they give a proper ‘balance’ to your outfit by not distracting and taking eyes to your feet.

They are not as available as they used to be but I’m sure you can find them in good shops. It is your responsibility to invest in a good fit and material.

Other alternatives are medium heels though I favour the ones with a backing. Without a proper back to secure your whole foot, your walk may become sloppy as you either have sweeping movements or have the tendency to take long strides.

The Evening or Cocktail Shoe:

How formal a cocktail shoe will depend on the material, the heel, and its colour. If you love high heels, this is the right time to be wearing a high heel without looking ridiculous.



It is very lovely to match the colour of your elegant shoe to your dress or your bag (not both), or have matching material to your bag or dress.


For extra feminine elegance, invest in elegant shoes made of satin or silk when you have some spare savings. They are very lovely.


Bright coloured shoes always add a little spark to your outfit. These elegant shoes can be very chic. If you do love your shoes, ensure your entire outfit is of only one or two colours that blend with each other and not contrast, then add a little pair of red heels at the end.

It’s been said that too high a heels are vulgar. While that is true, I do feel that wearing high heels is more accepted these days than in the past, but please confine them to wearing them only to dressy events, not to ski slopes, mountains, gardens or anywhere in the country.

Choose Shoes Carefully:


The height of your heels affect the way you walk. Check yourself in the mirror when you walk in those heels. Also, though it sounds silly but train yourself to walk, not with a runway walk, but a walk that is a little “still.” It is distracting to see someone bopping up and down or swaying side to side or ‘marching’.


I find it helpful to stick to boutiques and brands that I know who can offer reliable elegant shoes. Sometimes I find it very helpful to identify a salesperson who is very good at fitting a shoe to your feet and I tend to shop only when he/she is working.

Elegant Shoes – How To Choose Elegant Heels That Will Go With Almost Everything

Elegant Bags

Proportion Guidelines for bags:

  • Keep the size of the bag proportionate to your body
  • If you are tall, do not have bags hugged under your arm
  • If you are short, do not carry too large bags or bags that hang very low from your shoulder
  • If you are petite, do not carry too large bags that may cause you to look like a bag lady
  • If you are of a larger size, do not carry bags that seem grab your body too tightly. Also carry a bag that has a softer look, opposed to a boxy bag.

For elegant bags

  • Keep them clean
  • Get rid of bags that lose their original shape
  • Do not collect clutter in your bag! It is extremely inelegant to have a lady digging in her bag for her phone or keys.
  • Carry the appropriate bag for appropriate event! Do not use an evening bag for the day. Likewise, do not use an office/work bag to an elegant dinner.
  • Do not overstuff your bag. If the things you need can’t fit into your bag, you might be carrying too much. Maybe you don’t need that extra stuff. If you need it temporarily, for instance, bring back your friend’s sweater, dig out one of those shopping bags from designer shops and use them till you have delivered the goods.
  • Do not place your bags on the floor as much as you can. They carry dirt back into your house.
  • Never empty the contents of your bag in public. Ever ever!



Elegant Bags

Jewelry and Fashion Accessories Etiquette

Accessories ‘breaks’ the shape of the dress or solid colors, which can be a good thing. It adds sparkle to a plain outfit, or creates an interesting look by giving a color contrast.

For example, wearing a long chain gives you a long neckline and helps you look taller and slimmer. A lopsided look occurs when you wear say, a short strand of pearl necklace with a narrow V-neck top. The ‘shape’ does not flow.


Wearing a short strand of pearls or a necklace brings attention to the neck or the collarbones, which is very desirable.

  • Sometimes wearing dangling earrings can be distracting with your hair tied back in a pony tail, especially if it swings back to and forth as you speak. When worn well, it can look very chic emphasizing the ears and neckline.
  • If in doubt, only wear one piece of jewelry at any one time.
  • To achieve a very fail-proof elegant look, wear pearls.


Jewelry and Fashion Accessories Etiquette