Pristine Beauty

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ZIP IT!!!!

 
UGH! Don't you wish there were days when it was acceptable to zip up your face in public? Wouldn't that be awesome for everyone to have their own special face bag? Maybe in NYC where I grew up this might not seem so freakish but boy there are days when it would be nice to just zip it up and go on my merry way. Especially, back in the day when I had horrible cystic acne and it was picture day at school or when I was being treated for those painful red bumps with Retin-A and my poor little face was red and peeling off. HECK...Even these days when I think my face is looking a little more old and wrinkly.  No need to face the world just break out the bag. HEE...HEE


I was thinking to myself the other day that I really have come a long way in my confidence level. Don't get me wrong, I am still harder on myself that I should be like most of us are. We are our own worst critics aren't we? NOTHING compares to my life as a teen. The acne was terrible. It seemed like it took forever for my face to fit with my enormous teeth and my style was just awkward. People tell me I was cute but I never felt PRETTY. For me it actually took a long time before I felt really good about myself. Even when I was modeling I often wondered why I got jobs that others, I thought were more attractive than I, didn't.
 
It sounds bizarre but it really wasn't until I was diagnosed with cancer that I really began to feel super confident. You might ask why considering I had a bilateral mastectomy and  had to undergo some pretty crappy treatment that left me feeling not quite myself for a few years. But going through that made me appreciate what I thought I was lacking BEFORE the cancer. It would have been great if it didn't take a deadly disease to make me realize what really mattered.
 
 
Please don't think I walk around carefree with little concern about a crazy hair that popped up on my chin or some other odd thing my magnifying mirror alerts me to on a daily basis and I still can't WAIT to read all the new anti-aging treatments in New Beauty Magazine OR catch up on all the fun facts my beauty blogger friends have to dish daily. These things are girly, fun and frankly things I love in life. Sure, I still occasionally want to whip out the face bag and zip it up...but not all the way. Just enough to show the fabulous smoky eye I learned to perfect from watching a You Tube tutorial ;) 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What A Sucker!

Yeah, I was the kid that grew up with my dad getting our food from the co-op. I was also the kid that had the natural peanut butter sandwich on granola bread with the brown banana. When we went shopping I longed to buy the box of cereal that  looked really cool. They were always colorful and inviting. I could care less about what sugary goodness was inside. It was really the outside of that cereal that was calling my name.

 I am a sucker for packaging. I love anything that looks exciting and fabulous and although this blog could be about all the money I have wasted on useless products over the years, sadly it is not. It is about something much more important and depressing.

I have a confession to make. I am sitting here at my desk with an aching in my stomach that I wish would go away. Most of you know that I am a vegan. I rescue the pets that I make part of our family. I am a member of PETA and ASPCA and I was proud to say that my products are cruelty free....until today.

You see, I received a phone call from a loyal customer who was telling me how much she LOVED Take A Whiff! and recently purchased 3 to share with her friends. She told me that although she loved the product so much, she was not going to purchase it any longer. "Why?" I wondered...She told me that it was because I was packaging my deodorant in fur and how could I do this. I said " No! You are mistaken. We do not use fur in any of our packaging. The fur on our little pouches is faux." She was very confident that this was not true having been in the business of researching this specific issue. I immediately pulled up the manufacturer that we purchase this item and it states that fur was in fact synthetic. Not willing to take any chances all of our bags were disposed of immediately.

I read that many countries like China that manufacture in mass amounts for the US say the fur is "faux" for fear of not making a sale. In all actuality that fur comes from raccoon dogs or other animals.

A feeling of despair and sickness has taken over my body. I have done some research since our conversation today and have found that fraudulent mislabeling occurs more frequently than many of us would ever think. All this time I have thought I have been treating my customers to a tiny bit of glamour and fun. I mean who doesn't want to open a box full of pretty things? Instead, I have unknowingly contributed to cruelty toward animals that is deplorable and should be stopped.

I hope and pray that the few bags we have used over the past few months come from synthetic fibers. I know in my heart that my intentions were good. My eyes are opened now and I am no longer naive to the packaging industry. I should have known better. I mean I have always been unsupportive of the fact the cosmetics industry can put whatever they want on a label....true or not. I now know this, even if it says "FAUX" it is no friend of mine. Animals are my friends. I do not eat them or wear them because I love and respect them.

Today, Pristine Beauty products are once again cruelty-free.

Thank you Karma (Your mother named you well)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Passwords...Passwords....and more PASSWORDS!

WHEN WILL IT END!!!!!

I am sure some of you have been wondering why I haven't written a blog in months! Well, to tell you the truth I couldn't remember my password to log in. SERIOUSLY!!! We have passwords for EVERYTHING... our computers, banking, accounting software, Paypal, Ebay, credit cards, Facebook, YouTube, GOOGLE, Yahoo, cell phone, MyPCbackup, business assistance sites, UPS, FedEx, USPS, Go Daddy, and many, many more!!! It is a wonder I can remember my own name(which I wish I could change), but that's a whole other blog.


I am sure there are those of you out there that have a method for the madness, but I don't. On many an occasion, I have meditated, prayed and stared at the computer screen in deep concentration for the tiniest of clues, but nothing...nada...zilch! Actually, in the beginning, I thought I had a good thing going with this special book where I kept all the passwords and then someone would kindly give me a scare and tell me certain passwords were easy targets! Promptly, I would scribble out my old passwords  and replace them with my new hardcore "no hacker will ever figure these out" codes. Yeah RIGHT!!! A couple of bank thefts later, needless to say my "special book" looks like a 3 year old's scribbled gibberish.

There has to be a better way, and if there is I have not discovered it. Some may use the same password for everything. Maybe I will try this one but yet again I heard this was a NO! NO!

I bet you're wondering how I got onto my blog now...well funny thing is I am not sure I am really on my true blog for Pristine Beauty. The whole page layout looks different. I could be creating a whole new blog that will shoot out into cyber space and never be heard from again. You see, after much trial and error, frustration and a flat out conniption, this password was accepted so as my head spins around and I let out a hardy crazed laugh my blog begins or ends right here....God PLEASE let this be the right password!

***Oh yeah...my husband while reading just decided to inform me that the password issue I am having ...well, there's an APP for codes. Gee, Rod thanks for keeping me in the loop....grrrrrr

Friday, January 11, 2013

YAY!!!! So all of you know that Pristine Beauty is all about problem solving or solving MY problems which seem to be somewhat universal considering our following. That said, we are so proud to introduce Suga Suga WOO! WOO! which is a facial exfoliating polish to our line. I have been hounded to come out with a cleanser and that has been formulated and will be introduced very soon; but to me, I thought this product was a MUST HAVE - so here is. I will be doing a video for this product, as I do all of the products, in the next day or so. It will be posted on our YouTube Channel and subsequently uploaded onto the Suga product page for reference.

You know, the key to great looking skin is a clean healthy diet, but it is also exfoliation and hydration. We have taken care of the hydration with our Hooray For Brallywood Butta, but now we can exfoliate AND hydrate with Suga Suga WOO! WOO!. We are excited about the product because it is different than most other facial exfoliators on the market. Not only is it generously sized like all our other products, but the ingredients are naturally cutting edge. We mix extra fine sugar with Shea butter, coconut oil and sunflower seed oil, which in the right consistencies will not clog pores, are easily absorbed and loaded with vitamins. Then, we pack it full of seaweed which balances, hydrates the skin and adding a protective barrier on the skin for any free radical damage that might come our way. Maqui Berry or Chilean wine berry is our power punch and has the highest antioxidant power than any known super fruit while drenching our skin in vitamin C. This is a cutting edge ingredient and we are lucky to introduce it into our pretty polish! We knew this had to be extra special so we added MORE antioxidant power of additional Vitamin C and rose hips seed oil. Our customers always comment on the scents of our products which ALL come from natural sources like essential oils and extracts. We call the scent of the SUGA "Candy Mint". It is a mix of vanilla and Peppermint. Mint has an amazing way of soothing the senses and making you feel refreshed, but at the same time it contains natural vitamin A and has been known to strengthen the outer layer of the skin and for someone like me that is getting older....this is GREAT!!!

As usual the packaging is recyclable. I try to use glass as much as I can. I know that some people prefer the plastic for fear of dropping in the shower, but when I can get it and I can modify it for a product I will use it. Even though our packaging is BPA free you just KNOW with glass that there is not a chance of chemicals leaching so the suga comes in a glass jar with a BPA free lid! We have also added a little scoop because I prefer not to dip my hands into a clean product and I thought I would pass that along just incase you prefer that way of using the polish as well.

I will give ways I use it in my upcoming video. I have had the pleasure of using this for a while now and paired with the Brallywood, my makeup has never gone on smoother and my skin has never looked fresher. My husband LOVES it, so it's good that the size is generous because I have a feeling you'll be sharing.

XO
**I promise to write more!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Charlotte Blaire to Malini Shanmuga and back again....

Ah yes...my life has been quite a tangled web of crazy goodness! I came into this world as Charlotte Blaire Dalton (can't get anymore "American" than that) and inbetween became Malini Shanmuga (pretty much can't get anymore "Hindu" that that). You see, when I was little and my parents got divorced my dad immersed himself in the Hindu religion, and being little and not mature enough to make life altering decisions, my sister and I followed in the footsteps of the the father we admired and respected.

My dad introduced the Hindu religion to us bit by bit at first. Being little kids, he would teach us songs in Hindi. I remember a couple I LOVED: Parvati Putra, Ganapati Ohm, and Ganesha Saranam. At the time I had no idea what the songs meant but they were fun to sing and so I sang them a lot! We were living in Philipsburg, NJ during this time period. Shortly after the divorce and our short intro into our new found religion, my dad informs my sister and I that he had been advised by the Guru (Master Subramunya) that he would like us closer to him and the monks in California. I was like 6 so I had no clue what a Guru was and who this man was telling us I had to leave all my friends but when your little you go with the program. My dad sold his Fiat and bought a green truck and a huge towing trailer and we packed up our stuff and drove across country...picking up hitch hikers and playing "Punch Buggy" the whole way. It was a BLAST!!! We had a top on the back of the truck and when my dad needed a rest from the drive we all camped out in the back.

During our cross country adventure my dad proceeds to inform my sister and I that we were going to have our names legally changed to Hindu names. WHAT?!!! I am 6. My name is Charlotte Blaire Dalton. My sisters name is Ashley Elizabeth Dalton. How can this be? What do you mean change our names? Well, dad said if we were going to be true Hindu's that when needed to walk the walk. The Guru told my sister to look through a list of Hindu names that begin with a "D" and I had to pick a name that started with "M". My sis picked Dana (Pronounced Donna in Hindi) and I picked Malini. I picked that name because it sounded so much like Melanie. My dad went from Ben Dalton to Prashad Shanmuga. So there you have it. The Griswold family just went from nerdy Americans to American Hindus. We had to work HARD to train ourselves to call each other Dana and Malini. We practiced  and practiced and practiced.

Our travels across country ended in Brownsvalley, CA. It is a little town in the foothills of Cali, right outside of Sacramento and a 3 hour drive to San Francisco which is where we would drive every 2 weeks to our Hindu Temple. The drive to San Francisco were my favorite parts of living in California. I fell in love with the steep hilly streets and diverse culture. As time passed, my sister and I began to understand the rituals of the temple. We learned the names of the main Gods (Shiva, Ganesha and Muruga). Every Sunday after temple we would all sit together and read Hindu comics. I learned so much from those comics. They taught me that women are powerful beings. You see, in the Hindu religion there are Gods and Goddesses. and the Goddesses were bad-ass women! I also learned a lot about morals and the importance of living a good life and being a good person...KARMA is huge in the Hindu religion. What comes around goes around is something I will never be able to unlearn or forget.

Our trips to the temple is also where I met the Guru for the first time. Master Subramunya. Sure I was 6 and I really didn't "get" that I needed to have great respect for this guy. He kind of gave me the creeps. There was something about him that just wasn't right. All this time I heard he was super spiritual, pure and as close to the Gods as you can get. My dad would tithe a lot to the church. My sister and I even tithed 10% of our allowance each week to the church. Don't get me wrong, to tithe is important and it taught us respect for money and the temple but it was still a drag when your little. We did meet others in the church that were American like us who were devotees or Master Subramunya as well. It was very cultish.

For the next 3 years we lived in Brownsvalley, Ca. I can't say I loved it, because I hated it. We lived in a little green trailer on 12 acres of land. There were creepy bugs everywhere, we had a goat named Sadi that we had to milk every morning, kids made fun of our last name on the bus (a bus we had to get up at 5:30am to wait for) and we lived so far from civilization (corner store). It was all just not my speed. I need people, stores and friends in close proxcimity to my house. THEN....one night my dad tells us that the Guru wants us to move again. This time to NYC! "You mean we can get outta here?" I thought maybe this Guru wasn't so bad. "Let's GO!" So off we went on another cross country trip back to the east coast with the green truck and the massive trailer, picking up hitch hikers and playing "Punch Buggy"!

We were introduced to the big city with kids catching rides on the back of our truck through the city and my dad freaking out. Our new house was actually in use by the Hindu monks. We were going to live right across from the temple on Bowne Street in Flushing. Soon after we arrived my dad informed us that we would quietly be changing our names back to Blaire and Ashley. You see, the Guru that I had a weird feeling about the whole time, ended up being a real bad dude. He was using the money all us American Hindus were tithing and using it for first class plane tickets, lots of alcohol and was having relations with the monks in the monastery. (Don't worry, I found out the details when I was older and not little. My dad just told us we were going back to the way things were which was fine with us). It was almost like we were never Malini and Dana, that is how easy it was to go back to Blaire and Ashley.

For a long time I prayed but I never indulged in church. I believed in God but I wasn't sure how to practice the Christian religion. I did though know the kind of church I felt most comfortable in and that was a very formal ritualistic setting. After doing much research I took classes and was baptised Catholic. I LOVE being Catholic and my church so much. I feel so comfortable and welcome. That is not to say that being involved in the Hindu religion was a negative part of my life; on the contrary. The Hindu religion is beautiful and its beliefs taught me things that I bring with me into my current Catholic belief system. Being Hindu taught me to never judge and to accept people no matter where they come from. Who knows where I would be and what I would have become as Malini Shanmuga? Perhaps, betrothed to be married to someone the Guru chose for me and home schooling our kids. Instead, Dharma for Charlotte Blaire Kessler is living a full rich life Catholic with my husband and daughter. THAT is Pristine Beauty to me.

People are often surprised when I tell them I used to be Hindu and had my name legally changed. Perhaps, I come off very normal or a simpleton. To that I say NEVER judge a book by its cover. There might be something kinda cool lurking under the nerdy exterior. Meditate on that. OHM!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Change your life....NO JOKE!



Many of you know that I spend a lot of time demoing at stores. Some might think that I am just peddling products but for me it is so much more.

I recently did a demo and a woman approached my table thanking me for what I was doing. I get this a lot and "what I am doing" is nothing short of trying to make people aware that there are options to being and staying healthy, not only personal care but in other areas of your life, by making a few simple choices. This is not a chore for me and I actually LOVE doing it. I think taking time to talk to people about the advantages of living healthy rather than selling the goods is OK with me. You see, one of the charities Pristine Beauty donates to is the Cancer Prevention Coalition founded by Dr. Samuel S. Epstein (author and distinguished professor at the University Of Chicago). They are trying tirelessly to alert people to carcinogens in not only personal care but in so may other things we encounter in our everyday lives.

Please do not stop reading this because YOU have never had cancer and it hasn't happened to you. The fact is, you don't know if it will and if there are choices you can make that will not only make you look better but more importantly make you FEEL better wouldn't you do it?

The woman I met at the demo was very emotional because she too was a survivor of cancer and was just overwhelmingly crushed that her oncologist and other doctors have never brought up the issue of diet and exercise. It is true for me, too. My doctors never spoke to me about what I was eating or if I was exercising. I think I never really focused in on that fact because I always had been a huge veggie lover and avid exerciser. Besides the cancer, I was in good shape, I thought. Yet, why aren't there books at the oncology office like The Raw Foods Bible, The Engine 2 Diet (which is NOT a diet but a way of life) and Eat To Live rather than Woman's day and Good Housekeeping? Why isn't there a nutritionist on staff or lifestyle expert to consult with? Our lives have already changed dramatically so why not change it for the better? We are there to live, right?

Well the truth is, we are in charge of our destiny. You could say that we see our "cancer doctor" to prescribe the right treatment and shouldn't that include the right diet and exercise? But it doesn't and that is unfortunate. There are actually little candies in a jar as I check out at my doctors office. My goal is not to bash the oncologist (I happen to love mine!)because when you get Chemo your mouth gets incredibly DRY which might be the reason for the special treat as you leave. Who knows?

I can't begin to tell you how I got cancer. Why I was diagnosed young and don't carry the breast cancer gene....who knows?! I will tell you that the MOMENT that I heard that cancer was in my body, my goal was to get rid of it and my mission was to make decisions in my life that would impact my health for the better. People ask me all the time what I do to stay healthy.

Here is what I do:

I am vegan (was not before cancer)

I eat an almost raw food diet and love it. (was not before cancer - Raw Foods Bible is fantastic for learning)

I exercise 5 to 6 days a week (Tracy Anderson, The Bar Method, Element Ballet Conditioning and Physique 57)

You do not have to be vegan or eat raw to make significant changes in your health. I am lucky that I was born LOVING veggies and fruits so eating them is not gross or a chore. If you do not find them enjoyable try and introduce yourself to more every week. The more you eat them, the more you will learn to like them. Your body will begin to detox from the artificial preservatives and saturated fats. You will begin to feel better the healthier you eat. You will begin to notice that the burger and fries you splurged on the night before makes you FEEL different the day after. You might think twice when ordering it again. Adding a little exercise into your day will not only prolong your life but your body will thank you. You see, one body is all we have in this lifetime. We need to preserve it and treat it with respect. When you are treated with disrespect there are consequences. Trust me, you don't want something to bite you in the ass later on.

Most of my customers have NEVER had a health issue. They just don't want one. Know this, you are NOT invincible. Smarten up. The produce aisle is your friend and so are your sneakers. You don't want to be faced with....
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda














Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My final destination is....


I have been asked quite a few times how I find balance in my life since my cancer diagnosis. People say, "You are so positive and you seem so happy. How do you do it?" Well, we are all given free will in life and there is one thing we have total control over and that is our mind. I choose to think positively and focus on the present which as long as I am not 6 feet under is pretty darn great. You see, you can train your mind to always be in harmony. Don't get me wrong....I have not arrived at complete harmony YET, but I am working hard to get there. When I read books from authors Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer and spiritual leaders like the Dali Lama, Paul Coutinho SJ, they teach me to come closer to this goal. But you have to WANT to be happy. Your goal has to be wanting MORE. I have never wanted anything more in my life than to find true happiness because when you are happy, you make everyone around you happy. I feel like we all want the same thing in life...happiness, love and harmony but we won't attain these things if we don't want them and willing to work for them.
Thank goodness I grew up in a family that believed in the "Power of Positive Thinking". Even though my parents divorced really early in my life they both truly believed this way and so no matter who I was with at the time and something crappy happened to us, to them our cups were always half full. For a long time I thought they were nuts.

I mean, there was this one time when me, my sister and my dad lived in California on 12 acres of land in a tiny green trailer. My dad didn't have a job but was trying to make this new found career of being a well driller work out. In the process of learning how to run the big well drilling rig he chopped off his thumb. During that same time frame he bought a motorcycle because it was cheaper on gas and got in a huge accident with my sister, had broken ribs and got a hole in his arm. We were so poor that we bought our clothes at LUCKY'S grocery store and my sister and I cut each others hair. But you know what, I never felt poor, ever. I knew we were poor now because I am an adult and kinda remember it all but I mostly remember being really loved and really happy. We might not have had money but I never went without. I don't remember wanting the newest Barbie like my little girl does. I think I was just as happy to find a something like it at a garage sale on a Saturday morning. All that positive thinking rubs off on you after a while.

I don't want everyone to think that I have never cried over my cancer diagnosis or felt sorry for myself about things in my life. I have been very sad at times. Bad things happen to everyone. Cancer was my "bad" thing. But you have to push through it and when bad thoughts creep in "starve the thought". That is, when you are thinking something negative, change the thought immediately to something happy. I think about Dylan my daughter or my wonderful husband or the fact that I am healthy now. The more you do this the more you will train your mind to make those thoughts not welcome. Your focus will be positive. Your life will be different. Postive...Happy....Harmonious

**My next couple blogs will be on how a vegan, predominately raw food diet has changed my life. Myexercise routine and choices you can make in your life to live healthier.