The best eco-friendly beauty products to glow any day of the week
Woman Putting Makeup on Face · Free Stock Photo

The holiday season is our favorite time of year. Although 2020 has been strenuous for all of us—you can still celebrate with presents, games, food and booze—but the best part? Glamming it up for the festivities. We're talking mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, shadows, glimmer, highlighters and that extra sparkle and festive cheer. There is no reason that you can't shine with all the fun holiday makeup and save the world while doing it.

Using truly natural, vegan, organic and cruelty-free makeup is a great way to treat your skin and go green—feel good that you are reducing pollution and waste and look flawless in the process. No more toxic chemicals that clog your pores, cause breakouts and make you feel discouraged. From makeup to skincare, here are our favorite eco-friendly products that will put a smile on your glowing face.



Thrive Cosmetics

Amazon

Thrive Cosmetics is our favorite vegan products for this holiday season. It matches with everything and leaves your eyes looking bright and shiny. Although on the pricier side, it's well worth it. The Brilliant Eye Brightener is a cream-to-powder highlighter that brightens the eyes and makes them pop. It uses your skin's natural oils to provide long-lasting, skin-balancing hydration using omega-6 + omega-9 fatty acids. For every purchase, the company also donates to help a woman thrive. There are seven colors to chose from and they won't disappoint. You should also try the Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. It's won countless awards at Glamour and Allure. Not to mention, all the products are vegan and cruelty-free!

Prices begin at $32.00 on Amazon

Dose of Colors- Strawberry Pop

Amazon

This beautiful, festive liquid lipstick is cruelty, vegan and paraben-free. It applies like a cream, but it dries quickly for a brilliant matte finish. It's the perfect shade of red that will flatter all skin tones—making your lips feel full and luscious. It's also made from synthetic beeswax, which uses mineral waxes to make it completely vegan. We can't think of a better color to ring in the New Year.

$15 on Amazon


E.l.f. Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow

Amazon

This glittery eye coverage, which comes in eight different shades, is the perfect way to celebrate in style. It's $5.00, plus it's cruelty-free, vegan and 100% free from phthalates, parabens and other dangerous chemicals and bleaching methods. It even won Allure's Best of Beauty Award. It's an easy application, lasts all day and easy to take off at night. You can't go wrong.

$4.99 on Amazon


Reusable Makeup Remover Pads



Amazon

These 100% organic bamboo cotton pads can be used to remove daily wear makeup. All you have to do is add your favorite cleanser or face wash to the pad. Then you gently message your skin in small circular motions to get off all the makeup for the day. It works like a charm and the perfect makeup remover. The packaging ships in cardboard, so you can reuse the box or recycle it. The cotton pads are washable and come with a tiny laundry bag, so there's no more throwing away product and causing waste. It's a wonderful alternative to using store-bought pads, which can be costly. You will save money and reduce waste in the process. It's a win-win.

$12.99 on Amazon


Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream

Amazon

Although this day cream is expensive, it gives your face a glow and has a lovely scent and provides smoothness—making your skin feel healthy and radiant. We honestly fell in love with this moisturizer! It uses 100% natural and organic ingredients and improves texture and tone. The light, nourishing day cream works great to put on after facial toner and before any makeup. It never feels greasy or heavy and you'll always know that your putting clean products on your skin. It's a must-have.

$45 on Amazon


Ciate Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Vegan Liquid Eye Liner




Amazon

This is the go-to eyeliner. It glides on smoothly and boldly, leaving your eyes with the perfect black pigment. It never smudges and doesn't ware off easily. It's honestly one of the best eyeliners you've ever tried. And it's vegan.

$23.99 on Amazon


Mineral Fusion Liquid Foundation


Amazon

You may recognize this product from Whole Foods, but it's also now sold on Amazon too. It's one of the safest cosmetic brands out there and is EWG Verified with over 100 licensed products. It leaves the skin feeling smooth, silky and natural looking—not to mention it's age defying, hypoallergenic and cruelty and vegan free. Once you apply it, it has a light finish and stays in place all day. It never settles into fine lines and doesn't leave your skin feeling oily. It offers great coverage that's formulated with antioxidant-rich blend of Vitamin C, green tea, pomegranate, and skin-firming peptides. Your skin will be happy and healthy.

$20.49 on Amazon


Yubi Miracle Brush

Amazon

This patented makeup brush is designed with wings that grip your fingers and allow you to control your perfect makeup look. It's soft and gentle on all skin types and give you flawless makeup results. The vegan bristles are made of plush synthetics that provide zero shedding and work on even the most sensitive skin. It's also cruelty-free and hypoallergenic and has rave reviews from InStyle, Self and other beauty magazines. It's honesty the perfect brush for applying your favorite foundation or bronzers.

$23.40 on Amazon


Naked Cosmetics

Amazon

Sparkle is always a must for any make-up set. It's also perfect for the holidays. Use it on the face and body to get the most radiant shimmer and glow. This product is100% oxidized Mica, and does not contain talc, oil, wax or other fillers that can be harmful to your skin. It's also vegan and cruelty-free. The bonus? It also lasts a really long time. We've had ours for over ten years. You only need a little bit and it goes a long way. You can celebrate your New Year sparkling the night away.

Starting at $14.99 on Amazon

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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