This blogger got into 'green' beauty for an extremely personal reason.

Liz Mimran was a teenager when she started losing her hair.

This is, obviously, not a common problem for someone so young to have.

"I tried every possible hair care line and supplement on the market [to stop the hair loss], but to no avail," writes Liz in an email. "Worse, some products only aggravated the problem and irritated my scalp."


Since this was before all-natural products had become a staple of the mainstream beauty market, Liz decided to research homeopathic and holistic remedies to see if they'd make a difference.

Liking what she read, she began to dip her toe into the world of "green" hair care. She started using products that contained less, if any, synthetics, as well as homemade concoctions.

Liz Mimran. Photo courtesy of Liz Mimran.

And slowly but surely, her hair got healthier.

"A couple of months later, my hair loss diminished tremendously and my hair felt less greasy and fragile," Liz writes. "It did not happen overnight, but it worked."

That was it for Liz: She was now a green beauty product convert.

Two years later, she start blogging about her experiences to help others.

Her blog, Smells Like a Green Spirit, is a fun, down-to-earth guide for anyone interested in trying the sustainable beauty lifestyle.

Coucou, c’est moi 👋🏻. Thank you all for your sweet messages regarding my previous post. It means everything💚 This year my enthusiasm for highlighters reached its pinnacle and I do plan on doing a huge highlighter round up like the one I did with the eyeshadows. On my face, I am wearing the @w3llpeople biocorrect concealer. The coverage is just excellent. On my cheeks, @lavera_naturkosmetik natural mousse blush in soft cherry. Lavera has mastered the art of creating a whipped texture that stays on. Last but not least, @rmsbeauty luminizer in Champagne rosé. Rms is spoiling us with all these highlighters. Champagne Rosé has a pink iridescence to it that looks super cool on the skin. Also pretty as a lip topper. Happy Monday lovely people!

A post shared by Liz (green/eco writer 🌿) (@lizthegreenspirit) on

"I try my best to help people navigate the world of organic and natural beauty and avoid some of the mistakes that I made when I first started my green journey," Liz says.

For example, just because a brand claims its product is "100% natural" or "organic" doesn't mean it is.

Sometimes brands greenwash, which means they claim to be eco-friendly through advertising and marketing but don't actually implement practices that minimize environmental impact.

Since Liz began exploring actual green, sustainable products when they weren't facets of cosmetic stores or beauty magazines, it was more of a challenge for her to find things that were the real deal.

Today, she gets notes from readers having the opposite problem — there are so many green products on the market that they simply don't know where to start.

So Liz gives the following advice: "Read the labels, take your time, and listen to your body. Certain ingredients are natural but that doesn't mean that your skin will react positively to it."

Liz is far from the only millennial to pledge herself to sustainable beauty. It's a movement that's become firmly embedded in the younger generations.

In fact, according to Fast Company, 90% of millennials say they'll buy from a brand if they believe its social and environmental practices are legit.

And they have good reason to feel this way. According to the EPA, 30% of the trash in landfills is packaging. Beauty products are a $500 billion industry, so its packaging contributes significantly to that percentage. The more beauty brands commit to making their packaging more sustainable, the less they'll compromise our planet.

Due to climate change and a whole host of other environmental issues, millennials are living in an endangered world. As such, it's often appealing to them to purchase products that don't make things worse.

While Liz wholeheartedly believes investing in green beauty is about saving the planet, she also thinks it's important to focus on what we're are putting into and onto our bodies.

"I believe that the internet and access to [tons] of information has contributed to raising awareness of the significance of living in a more mindful way," Liz writes.

This attention toward personal well-being goes hand-in-hand with sustainability, which is why consumers like Liz look for products that highlight it when purchasing and recommending products.  

But it's not just about what they're made of — it's how they're packaged too.

Save water. It makes rainbows. For this year's #worldwaterday, @stopthewater launched their third project aiming to provide clean water access to regions in need. This year, they are committed to bring clean water in the south of Madagascar with their #waterkiosk project. 2/3 of the population lacks access to clean water. I've been using this Lemon Honey soap for a few years now and hands feel nourished and clean after each use. It's an amazing product by a outstanding brand. Their special rainbow edition (500 mL) retails for 21.90 Eur. 10% of the proceeds of each soap goes directly to the #waterkiosk initiative. Available on @stopthewater website. . #goodwaterprojects #stopthewaterwhileusingme #savewateritmakesrainbows

A post shared by Liz (green/eco writer 🌿) (@lizthegreenspirit) on

Eco-friendly packaging is just as much a part of what makes a product sustainable as what's inside. Thankfully, Liz is noticing beauty brands making efforts there too.

"There's still a long way to go, but I have the impression that brands now understand that a product has to be eco-friendly from head to toe in order to 'earn' the sustainable/ethical label," Liz writes.

Since she's a known beauty blogger, she gets loads of products to review, so she's even more appreciative of repurposed or 100% recyclable packaging than the average buyer.  

Liz hopes her generation will continue to demand transparency from beauty brands as more and more go green — and not just for her skin's sake.

Holding companies to such high standards will not only keep us looking and feeling better, it'll help reinvigorate our planet. While they may be younger, millennials and generation Z understand that better than most because they're seeing firsthand the effects that decades of the alternative have made.

So, perhaps we shouldn't call green beauty a trend but rather a necessary shift.

After all, environmentalism as a whole isn't fashionable — it's the cornerstone of our future.

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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."

via The BC Cancer Foundation

Testicular cancer typically affects men between the ages of 16 and 44 and is the most common solid tumor to occur in men of this age group. These tumors grow rapidly and can double in size in just 10 to 30 days.

The disease is potentially fatal if not discovered early and accounts for about 11%-13% of all cancer deaths of men between the ages of 15-35. An estimated 9,60 people were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2020, resulting in around 440 deaths.

So it's incredibly important for people with testicles to check themselves regularly.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.