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Go beyond green with eco-friendly beauty trends

Go beyond green with eco-friendly beauty trends
(ARA)Green living doesn’t have to mean forgoing the latest looks, especially when eco-conscious beauty is the hottest thing going. Formulations driven by nature, practices that are kind to the earth and minimal packaging are all cool ways to celebrate the warm weather.
Here are some of the hottest eco-conscious beauty trends going:

Fresh as a Rose

The classic and perfect rose inspires some of the hottest colors and scents of the season. Cheeks blush in pretty shades of pink for day and bold fuchsia for evening while glamorous pink lips perfectly accompany spring smiles. For an all-over ethereal glow, the Roseflower Radiance Stick from The Body Shop is a soft, natural and preservative-free way to achieve a dewy spring glow. Match spring’s romantic mood and sweep the silky, sheer golden pink highlighter along the cheekbones for a subtle shimmer that enhances the complexion.

* Style Highlight
Made with rose oil from the “valley of roses” near the Atlas Mountains, The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Body Butter melts on contact with the skin for superb hydration and releases the delectable fragrance of roses harvested at dawn, at their fragrance peak. It also features rich Community Trade ingredients from Ghana and Brazil.

Pastels and Pinks
This season, eyes shimmer in paparazzi-friendly pastel greens, pinks and golds. Celebrity makeup artist Chase Aston says a soft gold eye shimmer is fresh and modern and is perfect for an allover eye, from lash to brow. For a contemporary effect, a cool mint green swept along the top lash line and underneath the lower lashes sings spring.

* Style Highlight
To take this runway look to night and capture a perfectly imperfect smoky eye, take a black eye definer pencil and line along top lash line, then dip an eye color brush into midnight blue eye color and smudge over eye definer line,” says Aston.

Waste Not
What is on the outside of a beauty product is just as important as what’s within. Look for sustainably-harvested and fairly-traded ingredients as well as minimal packaging made from post-consumer materials. And when you’re done with a container, remember to recycle it!

Wild Accessories
Reduce, reuse and recycle are today’s hottest buzzwords. Raid your closet for vintage jewelry and accessories or hit your local thrift shop for a bold bargain that pops. When the sun is shining, remember to protect yourself from UV rays with a stylish round pair of sunglasses.

Beauty that Gives Back
Being good to the Earth also includes being kind to the people who inhabit the planet. Everyday products and practices can make a big difference, so look for beauty that gives back.

*Style Highlight
Purchasing a product like the preservative-free Tantalizing Lip Butter from The Body Shop and MTV means a donation is made to the Staying Alive Foundation -- a charity saving lives by empowering young people around the world to protect themselves and their communities against HIV and AIDS. Now that’s beautiful.

And when you’re done all your beauty shopping
, you need an eco-friendly and stylish bag to carry all your goodies home in.

Try The Body Shop Bag for Life, which is a reusable, organically grown cotton bag produced without harmful pesticides.
For more information on eco-conscious beauty, visit or CLICK HERE.

The Wedding Cake: A Ceremony by Itself

The Wedding Cake: A Ceremony by Itself
by: Joy Cagil
Beautiful elegant fall cake Pictures, Images and Photos
When my son and daughter-in-law held a knife and cut the first slice out of their all traditional, butter-cream frosted, lavish, and very expensive wedding cake, I couldn't help smiling. If we had been in the early Roman times, the wedding cake would not be one huge, tasty, decorative creation, but many small, possibly cupcake-sized, salty wheat cakes. In addition, the guests wouldn't be eating the cakes but throwing them at the bride or crumbling it over her head for fertility and single women would try to catch the crumbs for the same reason they catch the bridal bouquet today.

In the olden times when children didn't make it to adulthood due to childhood illnesses, fertility was important, and that is probably the reason the wedding cake tradition was born. Later on during their empire, Romans turned their salty cakes into sweet cakes. This time, they made a slightly larger bridal cake with many smaller cakes surrounding it. The smaller cakes were brought as gifts by the guests. These cakes everyone ate, but still crumbled some of those over the bride.

After the Roman conquest of the British Isles, Roman customs influenced the natives who baked dry cakes for their weddings and drank their ale with them. In old England and Ireland, there also was, and still is, the custom of a groom's cake, dark in color and made of dried fruit.

When the English sent their pioneers into the new world, they also sent their customs with them. First European settlers in the Americas made fruitcakes for their weddings because their preservation was easier.

The fancy wedding cake with several tiers was created through the initiative of the French, and although scorned by the English at first, it was later adopted and became the norm through all Europe. The wedding cake, owing to its long history, became an individual affair for a modern wedding party, with different shapes and styles and with a rich variety of flavors, fillings, and icings.

A wedding cake, after the vows, has become a vital part of wedding ceremony in our day. It is assumed that a wedding cake reflects the style, elegance, and delicacy of the couple's upbringing, in addition to their enthusiasm for their marriage.

Not only the ingredients and the making of the cake, but the ceremony of its cutting has become another reception by itself. Traditionally, the bride and the groom cut the cake together, with groom placing his right hand over the bride's right hand to cut the first slice. Then, they feed each other that first slice while everyone applauds. Sometimes, the top tier is saved for the first anniversary or the birth of the couple's first child, whichever comes first.

In some new world weddings nowadays, smearing each other with the icing has been taking hold as a custom, adding hilarity to the reception. My favorite wedding cake anecdote is a real one that may have seemed like a disaster at the time; however in hindsight, it has become an amusing joke. Yet, since the marriage has lasted, the incident might have been a good omen.

Several years ago, we attended a large wedding reception. Over the several steep stairs to the main reception hall, the wedding cake had to be carried rather than wheeled. I don't know why nobody thought of a ramp but two waiters, one on each side, took the cake up the steps.

Suddenly, a waiter tripped and the cake fell on the floor, but with luck or heavenly intervention, the top two tiers stayed intact. A pandemonium broke out with the bride's mother fainting and maintenance people scurrying about. Since the reception hall was part of a big hotel, the management came up with their version of a wedding cake. Several small cakes were arranged as the bottom layer with the two top layers of the original cake placed over them.

Judging from that experience, I think it might be a good idea to have a just-in-case second cake. After all, cakes are loved by most anyone and they don't go to waste.