As compounding pharmacies in the centre of the ongoing meningitis outbreak are inspected and closed, the loss of life toll rose to 28 on Tuesday, with 363 illnesses reported across 19 states. Three new fatalities — two from Michigan and one from Tennessee — have happened because the last tally issued by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday. The latest numbers come times after Massachusetts officials closed another compounding pharmacy after inspection revealed conditions that might threaten the sterility of its products. Based on the New York Times, Waltham, Mass. -based Infusion Resource voluntarily surrendered its license more than the weekend
after inspectors found “significant issues with the environment in which medications had been being compounded,” Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, director of the Bureau of HEALTHCARE Basic safety and Quality at the Massachusetts Community Health Department, said at a press briefing. While she didn’t release details of what the inspection discovered, Biondolillo did say that patients have been receiving intravenous medications at the pharmacy, violating condition legislation. The pharmacy shutdown followed news of unsanitary conditions at the Framingham, Mass., service of New England Compounding Middle, the plant at the guts of the ongoing meningitis outbreak. On Friday, federal investigators stated their tour of the plant found foreign, “greenish-black” material in a few vials of the injectable steroid suspected as the reason for the illnesses. The contaminated product was one of a host of potential violations found out during a recent inspection of the New England Compounding Center’s plant in Framingham, Mass., U. S. Food and Medication Administration officials said during a Friday press briefing. “The investigators observed approximately 100 vials of the steroid medication, which purports to become a sterile
injectable drug, that had a greenish-black foreign materials and a white-colored filamentous [containing filaments] materials inside,” Steven Lynn, director of the U. S. Food and Medication Administration’s Office of Manufacturing and Product Quality, said throughout a news
meeting Friday afternoon. Vials from the great deal Lynn described were shipped by the company to customers this season, this individual said. The FDA examined 50 of these vials and all were contaminated with fungus, he added. The FDA also found the company was not able to keep its “clean room” clean, Lynn said. “A clean room is a space designed to maintain a managed environment with low levels of airborne particles and surface contamination,” he explained. Based on the report, the business failed to keep the air conditioning equipment in the clean space running at night, which is regular practice to keep the room’s humidity and temperature control. During the past, the company itself had discovered mold and bacteria in the clean space, Lynn said.”Furthermore, the investigators observed a dark, hair-like discoloration in a transition room that connects right to a room utilized to formulate and fill up the injectable items,” Lynn said. Massachusetts officials said last Tuesday that that they had begun a criminal investigation into New England Compounding Center. They added that the business functioned as a medication manufacturer, producing drugs for broad make use of, rather than filling person prescriptions for person doctors, in violation of its state license, CBS Information reported. According to published reviews, state information show that the brand new England Compounding Center was plagued by problems dating back to 2006. Those records, obtained by the Associated Press under a open public documents ask for, showed there was proof inadequate contamination control no written regular operating techniques for using gear, among other complications, at the service. New England Compounding Center and Infusion Source are both compounding pharmacies. These pharmacies combine, combine or alter elements to create medicines to meet the specific needs of individual individuals, according to the FDA. Such personalized drugs are frequently necessary to fill special needs, like a smaller dose, or removing an ingredient that might result in an allergy in an individual. Compounding pharmacies aren’t at the mercy of the same FDA oversight as regular drug manufacturers are, but some members of Congress now say the meningitis outbreak highlights the necessity for more regulatory control. Meningitis is a potentially fatal irritation of the liner surrounding the mind and spinal cord. Federal health officials stated the other day that fungus found in steroid injections made by the company matched the fungus from the meningitis outbreak. The officials stated they’d confirmed the existence of the fungus, Exserohilum rostratum, in unopened vials of a steroid made by the brand new England Compounding Center. The steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, is injected into patients for back again and joint pain. The company has since turn off operations and stopped distributing its products, wellness officials stated. The CDC and state health departments estimate that roughly 14,000 patients may have gotten steroid injections from the three lots, and almost 97 percent of them have already been contacted for medical follow-up. All of the fungal meningitis patients identified so far were thought to be injected with methylprednisolone acetate from the Massachusetts pharmacy, based on the CDC. Seven of the 363 cases involve what the CDC phone calls “peripheral joint an infection,” meaning contamination in a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. These joint infections aren’t regarded as dangerous as shots close to the spine for back again pain which have been linked to the potentially fatal meningitis infections. The FDA stated it had been advising all health care professionals to check out up with any patients who received any injectable drug from or produced by the New England Compounding Center. These drugs include medicines used in eye surgical procedure, and a heart remedy purchased from or made by the business after May 21.The CDC on Tuesday had the following state-by-state break down of cases: Florida: 23 cases, including 3 deaths; Georgia, 1 case; Idaho, 1 case; Illinois, 1 case; Indiana: 45 situations, which includes 3 deaths; Maryland: 20 cases, which includes 1 death; Michigan: 93 cases, which includes 7 deaths; Minnesota: 10 instances; New Hampshire: 11 instances; New Jersey: 18 cases; NY: 1 case; NEW YORK: 3 cases, including 1 death; Ohio: 14 situations; Pennsylvania: 1 case; Rhode Island: 1 case; SC: 1 case; Tennessee: 74 situations, including 11 deaths; Texas: 1 case; Virginia: 44 cases, including 2 deaths. Wellness officials said they expect to see more cases of the rare type of meningitis, which is not contagious, because symptoms may take a month or more to appear. Infected patients have developed a variety of symptoms approximately one to a month following their injection. Individuals who have acquired a steroid injection since July, and also have any of the subsequent symptoms, should talk to their doctor as soon as possible: worsening headaches, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness in any part of the body or slurred speech, the CDC stated. Infected sufferers must be treated with intravenous medicines in a hospital.
Broccoli sprouts, cabbage, ginkgo biloba and garlic may actually have a job in preventing a number of cancers, researchers survey. The research, which focuses on chemical substance interactions between compounds found in foods and your body’s cells and DNA, suggests the addition of the foods to the dietary plan can confer health benefits, the researchers said. The findings were to be presented Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research’s conference, in Baltimore. In the first study, Akinori Yanaka and colleagues from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that in 20 people, a diet rich in broccoli sprouts significantly reduced Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) illness. H. pylori, a bacterium, is a reason behind gastritis — swelling of the stomach lining — and is a major element in peptic ulcer and belly cancer, the researchers said.”Despite the fact that we had been unable to eradicate H. pylori, to have the ability suppress it and reduce the accompanying gastritis by means as basic as consuming more broccoli sprouts is good news for the many people who are contaminated,” Yanaka said in a prepared statement. Sulforaphane, a chemical substance found in broccoli sprouts, is apparently the active cancer-fighting agent. Sulforaphane apparently helps cells defend against oxidants, the extremely reactive and toxic molecules that harm DNA and kill cells and potentially lead to cancer, the experts noted. Another study with broccoli sprouts found that when an extract from the sprouts was applied to the skin of hairless mice, it counteracted carcinogenic responses to ultraviolet light exposure, a reason behind skin cancer.”Just whenever we stopped exposing the mice to UV light, we started applying broccoli sprout extract,” stated Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova, a postgraduate fellow at Johns Hopkins University. “We found that only 50 percent of mice treated with the extract developed tumors, compared with completely of the mice not really treated with the extract,” she stated.”The topical application of the extract could be developed to be a potential agent against UV light-induced skin cancer,” she added.
Dinkova-Kostova’s team is learning whether ingesting broccoli sprouts for the sulforaphane might also function in protecting mice from getting skin cancer. Her hope is to discover if either ingested or topical sulforaphane can shield people from skin cancer. “This plan is most likely worthwhile to be developed for protection in humans,” she stated. In the third study, researchers recommend that cabbage and sauerkraut may protect ladies from breast cancer. Data collected from the U. S. component of the Polish Women’s Health Study showed an association between eating cabbage and sauerkraut and a lesser threat of breast cancer. The result appeared to be highest among ladies who eat high quantities starting in adolescence and continue to do therefore throughout adulthood. The most protective effect appeared to result from raw or briefly prepared cabbage, the experts said.”The observed design of risk reduction indicates that the breakdown items of glucosinolates in cabbage may affect both the initiation stage of carcinogenesis — by reducing the amount of DNA harm and cellular mutation — and the advertising stage — by blocking the procedures that inhibit programmed cellular loss of life and stimulate unregulated cellular growth,” lead researcher Dorothy Rybaczyk-Pathak, a professor of epidemiology at the University of New Mexico, said in a prepared declaration. In the fourth study, experts from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston discovered that ginkgo biloba appears to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.”There are herbs used in the treatment of cancer, although there isn’t much scientific evidence to support their use,” said business lead researcher Bin Ye. “Our study looked at ginkgo use in females with and without cancer.”We within a population-based study that 4.2 percent of cancer-free women reported taking ginkgo biloba regularly,” Ye said. “However, only 1 1.6 percent of women with ovarian cancer reported taking ginkgo regularly.”In laboratory studies, the experts discovered that substances in ginkgo biloba — ginkgolide A and B — had been the most active elements contributing to this protective impact. “We discovered that the proliferation rates using types of cancer cellular material was inhibited by 80 percent,” Ye stated.”This mixture of population and laboratory research suggests that ginkgo biloba might have value for preventing cancer,” Ye stated. In the final study, researchers discovered that garlic may help defend against carcinogens produced by meat cooked at high temperatures. Cooking meats and eggs at high temperature ranges releases a chemical substance called PhIP, which might be a carcinogen. Studies have shown that breast malignancy is higher among women who eat huge amounts of meat, although fat and calorie consumption and hormone exposure may donate to this increased risk, the experts reported. However, diallyl sulfide (DAS), a flavor element of garlic, seems to inhibit the effects of PhIP that may cause DNA damage or transform substances in your body into carcinogens.”We treated human being breast epithelial cellular material with equal levels of PhIP and DAS separately, and both together, for periods which range from three to 24 hours,” Ronald D. Thomas, associate professor of fundamental sciences at Florida A&M University, said in a declaration. “PhIP induced expression of the cancer-causing enzyme at every stage, up to 40-fold, while DAS totally inhibited the PhIP enzyme from becoming carcinogenic,” he stated.”The finding demonstrates for the very first time that DAS triggers a gene alteration in PhIP that may enjoy a significant role in preventing cancer, notably breast cancer, induced by PhIP in well-done meats,” the researchers reported. All of these findings seriously the heels of a sixth study, reported in last week’s problem of The Lancet, that discovered that individuals with a genetic susceptibility to lung malignancy could cut their risk for the disease by consuming vegetables from the cabbage family members.”We found protective effects with at least every week usage of cruciferous vegetables,” said lead researcher Paul Brennan of the Worldwide Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. One expert said the results of the six research are interesting. And while it may be time before they possess any practical applications for people, that should not really quit us from adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet.”An comprehensive body of epidemiologic evidence suggests consistently, if not really decisively, that generous usage of fruit and veggies is associated with reduced malignancy risk,” said Dr. David L. Katz, an associate professor of community health and director of the Avoidance Research Center at Yale University College of Medicine. Further research should provide “a clearer picture both of what foods reduce cancer risk, and how,” Katz said. “Understanding in each one of these areas will lead to new insights in the other. A refined capability to use diet in preventing cancer will ensue.””That is an exciting prospect,” he added. “But excitement in what may come should not distract from what’s already in hand. Even with gaps in our knowledge, the case for increasing fruit and vegetable intake to promote health and prevent disease — malignancy included — is usually compelling and strong.”
Homeopathic treatments could receive better scrutiny from the U. S. Food and Medication Administration soon, as their growing recognition has led some critics to call for tighter regulation. The FDA on Tuesday wrapped up two times of public hearings on homeopathic treatments, in which the agency took testimony on whether it will regulate the natural remedies the way it does over-the-counter drugs. If it does, the makers of homeopathic medicines would need to demonstrate the security and performance of their items before they could be sold in medication stores and natural food shops. The FDA would also review each products’ labeling, to weed out false or misleading claims. The agency last reviewed its regulation of homeopathic products in 1988, when it issued a policy instruction that allowed the natural treatments to be positioned on shelves with no pre-market approval, said Cynthia Schnedar, director of any office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Medication Evaluation and Study.”The marketplace has grown tremendously for the reason that time,” Schnedar said. “It was a multi-million dollar market at the time, and now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. In addition, we’ve seen some emerging security concerns with the products. Because of the duration of time, the development of the industry and these emerging issues, we thought it had been time to take another seem.”The agency has issued nearly 40 caution letters since 2009 regarding the safety of various homeopathic items, Schnedar said. In ’09 2009, the FDA issued a warning after receiving 130 reports of patients losing their sense of smell after utilizing a Zicam product — a cold-fighting homeopathic nasal spray that contained zinc, she said. A year afterwards, the agency issued a recall for homeopathic Hyland’s Teething Tablets, a product that used belladonna as its active component, she said. Babies had begun showing symptoms of belladonna poisoning, and lab function exposed that the tablets included inconsistent levels of the potentially deadly herb. And the FDA warned asthma sufferers earlier this year to avoid homeopathic products that promise to take care of asthma symptoms. “The products have not really been evaluated by the FDA for security and effectiveness,” the agency said at that time. Critics of homeopathic items argue these remedies should endure the same type of regulation as the over-the-counter medications with which they reveal shelf space. They say there’s no evidence that homeopathic drugs really work. In addition, there are issues that the medications may contain a mixture of things that could prove harmful to users.”Not only do homeopathic remedies undergo non-e of the FDA review that conventional drugs are at the mercy of, but they aren’t regulated even to the degree that dietary supplements are,” Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a co-employee professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University INFIRMARY, testified at the hearings. “Disease statements are disallowed for health supplements, but homeopathic remedies could make the same disease treatment claims as conventional medications.”Practice traces roots to 18th century GermanyHomeopathy can be an alternative medication developed in Germany at the end of the 18th century, according to the U. S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Wellness (NCCIH).Homeopathic remedies are derived from plants, nutrients and animals. Examples include reddish onion, arnica, crushed entire bees, stinging nettle and belladonna. These ingredients are diluted and then taken in many forms, including sugar pills, ointments, gels and creams, the NCCIH says. Homeopathy is becoming a big business in the United States. Adults spent almost $3 billion on homeopathic medicines in 2007, according to the NCCIH, with an estimated 4 million adults and 910,000 children counting on these natural treatments. Many drugs called homeopathic are marketed in major shops as natural, safe and effective alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter medications, based on the FDA. Science provides found little evidence that homeopathy works, and its tenets run counter to basic technology, critics contend.”A number of the key ideas of homeopathy are not consistent with fundamental principles of chemistry and physics,” the NCCIH says on its site. “For example, it isn’t possible to describe in scientific terms how a remedy containing little if any active ingredient can have any impact.”Despite this, the government has remaining the homeopathic drug marketplace largely unregulated. When the FDA developed its formal process to examine over-the-counter drugs in 1972, the agency specifically excluded homeopathic medications, even though they are categorized as its jurisdiction.”FDA deferred overview of drugs called homeopathic because of the uniqueness of homeopathic medicine and mentioned that FDA would review them as another category at another time,” the agency said in its open public hearing announcement. “To time, FDA has not reviewed this course of products for protection and efficacy.”Homeopathy’s champions say current oversight ‘functioning well’Supporters of homeopathic medicine testified through the hearings that they find simply no reason to now step up regulation of these natural products. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) “believes that FDA’s current regulatory approach to homeopathic products is working well,” AANP board member Amy Rothenberg said during her testimony.”The low cost of these medicines, and also the consistent quality of product, make them appealing to both physician and affected person,” said Rothenberg, who’s a naturopathic physician. “Over decades of use, we’ve not found complications or variability with quality of the homeopathic item, and no toxicity has been reported.”But others testified that it is period the FDA stepped into the fray.”We’re able to spend hours discussing the extensive, decades-long scientific examination of homeopathy, but suffice to say the empirical evidence against homeopathy is certainly overwhelming,” said Michael De Dora, director of open public policy for the Center for Inquiry, an advocacy group having said that it promotes cause and scientific integrity in public areas affairs. “Apart from a placebo effect, homeopathic products haven’t any effect in treating ailments.”De Dora testified that his group is concerned that many people put their lives at risk by treating their illnesses with homeopathic cures rather than scientifically proven procedures. There’s also a few concern that homeopathic drugs might not be as safe as touted, Fugh-Berman stated. Because homeopaths think that “less is more,” that implies that a low-dosage homeopathic remedy actually contains a greater amount of the active ingredient, she testified. For example, the homeopathic cold remedy called Cold-Eeze contains 13.3 milligrams of zinc per lozenge, Fugh-Berman said. “At the suggested six lozenges a day time, that’s about 80 mg/zinc daily, or 10 moments the recommended daily allowance for mature females and eight occasions the recommended daily allowance for men,” she stated, noting that excessive zinc intake can cause toxic results. Taking too much zinc might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain and fatigue, based on the U. S. Nationwide Institutes of Health. And too much zinc taken over an extended period of time may also double the chance of prostate malignancy. The FDA will accept written or e-mailed comments on homeopathic medicines until June 22. Beyond that, the agency has no timeline for the completion of its review, Schnedar said.
Expanded findings from trials that led to U. S. authorization of the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil find it extremely effective in avoiding precancerous lesions of the cervix. The vaccine prevents infection with four strains of the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading reason behind cervical cancer. In two research involving nearly 18,000 girls and women, Gardasil proved almost 100 percent effective in avoiding precancerous cervical lesions linked to those strains. The new studies also found that Gardasil is much far better when given to girls or women before they become sexually active — bolstering current recommendations from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 11- and 12-year-old ladies should routinely receive the vaccine as part of school vaccination efforts. Moves by says to mandate vaccination of girls have met with strong opposition from conservatives and some parents. But doctors state the new results, reported in the Might 10 issue of the brand new England Journal of Medication, support those condition mandates.”All vaccines are going to function best before you have the condition,” explained Dr. Kevin Ault, a co-researcher using one of the trials and an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University in Atlanta.”There’s lots of good, practical reasons to give the vaccine to 11-year-olds,” he said, like the fact they have strong immune systems and are already getting photos against other infectious diseases. “But that’s among the best reasons: they are unlikely to have gotten the virus at that time,” Ault added. Another study, published in the same problem of the journal, points to a potential new reason behind both women and men to worry about HPV: throat malignancy. U. S. experts say the virus — most likely transmitted through oral sex in this case — is just about the number one reason behind throat malignancies, which affect about 11,000 Americans every year. HPV’s link with cervical cancer remains the largest concern, however, since it is the second biggest cause of cancer death amongst females worldwide, killing an estimated 240,000 women every year. The CDC now estimates that a lot more than 20 million U. S. men and women carry cervical cancer-connected HPV. In Ault’s study, called the FUTURE II trial, researchers at greater than a dozen medical centers globally tracked the potency of Gardasil in more than 12,000 women aged 15 to 26.Although genital HPV will come in at least 15 strains, Gardasil aims to avoid infection with 4 strains — 6, 11, 16 and 18 — which jointly are thought to cause 70 percent of cervical malignancies. The three-year trial discovered that three standard doses of vaccine were 98 percent effective in stopping high-grade “dysplasia” — abnormal, precancerous cell growth — of the cervix in women without prior exposure to strains 16 and 18.Not all dysplastic lesions improvement to full-blown cancer, Ault explained, but almost all cervical cancers will go through this precancerous stage. He called the analysis results “reassuring” for individuals who hope Gardasil may prevent girls and ladies from ever obtaining infected with the most highly carcinogenic strains of HPV. Gardasil was somewhat less impressive when ladies who had recently been exposed to HPV 16 and 18 through sexual activity were included in the analysis. If so, the vaccine achieved 44 percent efficacy in preventing precancerous lesions, Ault’s group stated. Vaccinated women with a prior history of HPV 16 or 18 “had a fairly similar rate of dysplasia as women who did not have the vaccine,” stated Dr. George F. Sawaya, a co-employee professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, and co-writer of a related commentary. One worry can be that with types 16 and 18 eased from the picture by Gardasil, additional HPV strains may somehow fill the gap and trigger dysplasias. “There’s some evidence that that may, actually, be the case,” stated Sawaya, who is also director of the Cervical Dysplasia Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital. A second international research, led by Dr. Suzanne Garland of the University of Melbourne, Australia, echoed the results of the FUTURE II trial. That three-year trial, called Long term I, tracked the incidence of genital warts and vulvar, vaginal and cervical cancers or precancerous lesions linked to HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. The study included nearly 5,500 females aged 16 to 24. This time around, vaccination with Gardasil was 100 percent effective in stopping warts, lesions or malignancy in ladies who had by no means been subjected to the HPV strains targeted by the vaccine.
Efficacy dropped to 20 percent when the experts included women exactly who had recently been infected with at least one of the targeted strains. Both FUTURE trials — that have been funded by Gardasil’s maker, Merck & Co. —
lend support to movements simply by some U. S. declares to mandate the inclusion of the vaccine in college immunization applications. Some parents have withdrawn their children from immunization efforts, citing safety issues. But, both into the future trials have up to now turned up little in the way of adverse unwanted effects from the vaccine other than the occasional transient fever or soreness at the inoculation site — issues that can occur with any shot.”I would hope that big research in the brand new England Journal of Medicine will go quite a distance to relieving people’s fears about safety,” Ault said. “There have been 2 million doses [of Gardasil] right now given in doctors’ offices around america and there will not look like any big safety issue,” he added. Sawaya was a little more cautious, pointing to the fact that among the nearly 18,000 ladies studied did create a very rare vulvar cancer. “That finding gives me pause,” he said. “Although we can’t draw conclusions in one case of anything, it raises some awareness that we do have to be cautious.”Parents and conservative groupings have also suggested that program vaccination with Gardasil might increase premarital sex among teen girls.
“I think it’s just the opposite,” Ault said. “Research have shown that the more teenagers know about risk, the not as likely they are to take chances. Just because you put a bicycle helmet on your own kid, they don’t really then venture out and enjoy in traffic.”HPV might also prove dangerous for a complete new reason, according to the outcomes of a third research published in the same issue of the journal. Predicated on new research, scientists at Johns Hopkins University now think that HPV is responsible for the vast majority of oropharyngheal (throat) cancers.
Individuals would typically contract oral HPV infection through oral sexual intercourse, they said. In its research, the Hopkins group examined throat tumors from 100 newly diagnosed patients, comparing them to biopsies from 200 healthy control participants. They discovered that oral infection with the 37 types of HPV tested boosted odds for throat cancer 12-fold. That far outranks the danger from smoking and drinking, both risk factors previously thought to be the primary culprits behind throat malignancies.”The true importance of this research is to make doctors realize that individuals who usually do not smoke and drink are still at risk of head and neck cancer,” said study writer Dr. Maura Gillison, an associate professor of oncology and epidemiology.
Too often, she said, physicians overlook the probability of cancer in nonsmoking, nondrinking patients with chronic sore throat or an unexplained neck mass.”That means it can be five, six several weeks before the disease helps it be onto the doctor’s radar screen,” Gillison explained. Therefore, could an HPV vaccine protect females — and males — against throat cancer?Gillison said it’s prematurily . to tell, “but I’d certainly hope so. In fact, we are currently in the original phases of talking about how to appear at whether Gardasil could prevent oral HPV contamination.”
How did that go?
Well as you may or may not have realised (‘cos, y’know, I hardly *ever* talk about it), on 1st February I opened my own bijou yoga + wellbeing studio in central Cambridge.
Over the last 11 months I have turned a very worn out, dirty and run down office into a haven of peace + serenity. I have a little tribe of people who love being there to do yoga, get treatments, chill out. And I have another amazing (and rather unexpected) tribe of therapists who work there and help me out and share the space and just generally rock.
So Community, check!
As for peace, well, every time I think what an incredibly stressful year it’s been. Every time I think about how I haven’t stopped thinking about work for a micro-second this year. Every time I think «man, it’s really not been very peaceful», I have to remember the sense of utter peace and letting go I get every single time I open the door to that studio.
So Peace, check!
And now suddenly, as if from nowhere, 2014 is just around the corner
And it’s time to chose a whole new word.
At first I thought about «Ease», but it didn’t sit right. I didn’t quite know what I wanted from it.
Then I thought about «Simplicity». 2014 is already shaping up to be quite a year, and I know it’s one where I have to simplify – both in terms of my business, my home and my life.
But it still didn’t feel quite right.
And then I treated myself to one of Amy’s Goddess Readings and there was my word, right there on the reading she had done for me.
I want to be able to trust in my work and my intuition
I want to be able to trust in the universe.
I want to be able to trust in my business.
I want to be able to let go of control, to trust the process of flow and change that is life and to live by the words I say to my clients again and again.
«Just let it flow».
Last year was a lot of wonderful and momentous things. But it was also a lot of worry. And most of the things I was worrying about, it turned out, didn’t need to be worried about.
And so this year I would like to be able to be proactive about the things I can do something about, and just let the rest go.
Let it flow.
Do you have a word for 2014?
“Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband.” – Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall), How to Marry a Millionaire
There’s a lot of old school movies that I love, but How to Marry a Millionaire is easily in my top three. There’s something about the writing, the cast (Monroe! Grable!), the clothes, and most of all: Lauren Bacall. As much as I love a good classic film noir, there was something about Bacall in a comedy that really hit all the right notes–between her dry delivery and superb timing, there’s a lot of reasons I always come back to this movie as one of my favorites.
In one of the ways to better marry (Eh? EEEH? Get it?) the makeup and vintage portion of this blog together, I’ve decided to try and make it a monthly challenge going into 2018 to do a makeup look similar to that of a particular starlet. I’ll do my best to also recreate the hair, but given that mine is feral, I’m not going to get worked up over it. Starting off, this series, I’m going to go off this movie to start and go with my favorite lady, Lauren Bacall.
Bacall, prior to being a leading lady was a model. She had gotten her start in 1944 with her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not. From there, she worked on several other films with him (primarily in the film noir genre) before How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. The movie itself is about three bachelorettes in New York attempting to find millionaires to marry before stumbling on love with men they least expected.
Though Bacall’s makeup is not particularly noteworthy in the movie, I’ve found an ad for her makeup I particularly like. This ad emphasizes a lot of blush–which is something I struggle with in terms of placement and amount (and exactly why I got for sheerer formulas). As this is something I want to get better at, this is why I focused on this particular one for a recreation look.
Looking at the picture, there’s some evident things right off the bat: this was likely something done in the very late 1940’s, early 1950’s. The eyes are generally clean (albeit, hooded) with a small, winged liner. It was all done in black. Blush was strong and on the outside of the apples of the cheek, but laid on thick. The lips were stereotypical red, but with a hint of shine.
The skin was very clean; Bacall had defined cheekbones so there wouldn’t be as much need for contouring and there was likely none of that present in this look for this advertisement. If I squint, I can pick up on maybe a very slight amount on her nose, but that’s only if I squint. Another observation is that her brows were very thick with a defined arch. This is definitely something that is within my skill set, but would force me to be cognizant of application, which is the name of the game here.
I always start with a normal skincare routine, but after having let it settle, I always go to the priming steps. In this particular case, I wound up using MUFE Step 1 Primer in Redness Reduction, BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask, and the Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Primer. These products lay the foundation for a smooth, vibrant canvas.
Once they were set, I started with the eyes. The MUFE Artist Shadow in M500 as a base (this has since been discontinued, but has a sister shade in M500 in the new Artist Color Shadow in M500 which is slightly more yellow-undertoned.) After extending that up to the brow bone, I used MAC Omega in the crease. After that, a bit of MAC Nylon in the tearducts and inner eye to make it appear larger. (A trick Marilyn Monroe used to use!) From there, tightlined with the Marc Jacobs gel pencil eyeliner and the Physician’s Formula liquid eyeliner to get the smaller cat eye shape.
Once the eyes were complete, I moved onto my face. I started with the YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch for a color corrector for my under-eyes. After that was done, I used about 3 pumps of the MUFE Water Blend (my beloved) to even out my skin tone. From there, a healthy amount of MAC Blushbaby for a natural looking blush with a bit of the MUFE Artist Face Shadow in S112 for sculpting under my cheeks to give the appearance of a more chiseled cheekbone.
The finishing touches were Benefit Roller Lash in dark brown (used in upper and lower lashes). Then, the last little touch: BITE Beauty’s lip pencil in 076 to outline the lips and MAC Chili on the lips, with a patting of MAC Nylon in the center to make it look more “glossy.”
And below is the outcome from several angles:
And that concludes this month’s attempt. Each month will be a different Hollywood starlet, and I haven’t picked February’s, but I’ll be working on something I can replicate. Let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts.
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
Bette Midler is one of those actresses that can do it all: she can sing, she can dance, she can act. She can even executive produce! In the same way, MAC Omega is one of those eyeshadows that is a triple threat.
MAC Omega has been a staple in my collection for a while now, and I think it’s definitely worth showing off how great it is and the ways it can be used (assuming your coloring lends itself to using it in such a way; I acknowledge this post is not likely to work for darker skintones. Depending on your skintone and hair color, ones to possibly look at would include MAC Swiss Chocolate, Soft Brown, Soba, Saddle, or Wedge. Maybe even Carbon for eyebrows.)
Here are the ways in which I use this:
Of all the eyeshadow colors I have, this is my favorite. It’s subtle, and like a lot of MAC eyeshadows, requires some building to really get the color to pack a punch. Personally, I prefer my eyeshadows this way; it means less error when applying (more pigmentation means more room for error; issues with fallout, overdoing a color, or staining the skin when trying to remove excess.)
In this current makeup climate, YASS QUEEN BUTTERY PIGMENTATION FROM THE GAWDS HUNTY kind of attitude and formula reigns, but I’m happy that MAC has kept their eyeshadows as they have. They’re tried and true, and you can find a *ton* of swatches for almost any shade across many skintones.
It’s by sheer luck that my hair color is almost identical to Omega. Omega is the perfect amount of ashy that works for those of us on the taupe/ash blonde/very light brown spectrum. I find that it works both as a subtle powder, or can be built up to a POW! in your face, Liz Taylor-inspired brow.
Again: this is another one of those situations where sheer luck by having the “right” (as in workable) skin tone comes into play that this is something I can even consider using as contour. That being said, the ultimate goal of contour is to replicate a “shadow” from cheekbones or make your chin look more pointed.
MAC Omega is the one eyeshadow shade they can pry out of my tiny, cold, dead hands. It’s such an excellent multitasker that I can’t imagine parting with it now or in the future.
What about you; do you have any product like this in your collection?
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
As a follow-up to one of my first posts, I decided to bump up a level with my lactic acid use and test out the 10% version.
In general, the product is not too significantly different. It comes in the same kind of container (glass bottle), same dispersing mechanism (glass dropper), the color of the liquid is pretty similar. The cost is even similar at $6.79 compared to $6.50 for the 5%. All all, if you’re wanting to make a change and move up a step with your skincare routine while still being gentle, this is not a bad option.
There are no specific claims that The Ordinary makes for this product on their website, interestingly enough.
All it really states is that it is an exfoliant, which is true. The rest of what they write is something that I would expect to be lost on someone who isn’t entirely sure of where to start, which makes me think this is intentionally a product for more experienced folks. It piques my interest they don’t really make any specific claims on their website; I can’t tell if that’s a deliberate marketing move to bolster their “scientific approach,” (which is a specific marketing tool in and of itself, much like the greenwashing of “natural” or “organic” products) or if it’s that they don’t want to make any claims they can’t deliver on. However, the Sephora website gives a little more insight into what it intends to accomplish:
So now that we have an idea of what this intends to do for your skin, I’ll share my experience and whether or not this actually managed to accomplish what it claims (at least, according to a mix of both The Ordinary and Sephora):
- Chemical Exfoliant (or uneven texture): ✔️ Yes. I definitely do not have issues with my skin looking or feeling as flake-y when using this product. Within about an hour of initial application, skin feels very soft. Definitely true to my experience.
- Uneven skin tone: ❌ For me, my skin tone has a lot of red/pink overtones and is reactive easily. Given the higher percentage of lactic acid, I would actually say this probably increased redness for me. That isn’t necessarily a knock on the product because this is an individual reactiveness, but this was my experience with it so I can’t give it a positive mark.
- Fine lines and wrinkles: ❔ I don’t have wrinkles (yet) and I don’t have fine lines that are strong enough to determine the effectiveness of this, so I’m going to go with inconclusive for now.
- Dullness: ✔️ Yes. I would definitely say this helped to brighten my skin and make it look slightly more radiant.
Compared to Sunday Riley Good Genes and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + 2% HA
- More gentle, less reactive than The Ordinary at both the 5% and 10%. (Though, not significantly enough to warrant the cost difference at the 5%.)
- On par with the 10% for brightening/radiance factors.
- Slightly less effective at exfoliation than the 10%.
- Ultimately, still not worth the cost differential of almost $100.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + 2% HA is…
- More gentle than the 10%, but very slightly less so than the Sunday Riley Good Genes.
- Less brightening/radiant than both Sunday Riley Good Genes and the 10%.
- Comparable to the Sunday Riley Good Genes for exfoliation, but slightly less than the 10%.
- Better as a first step at trying lactic acid/chemical exfoliation than 10% and Sunday Riley Good Genes.
Some other things worth mentioning about this is in the initial post, I remarked on how The Ordinary 5% had a particular smell. In October 2017, the formula was changed slightly for the 10% and the 5% where they changed the grade of lactic acid that had no odor and also removed the carrageenan from the formula (the carrageenan did not impact the smell, but the viscosity.) I suspect I had one of the newer ones because the smell on it is non-existent.
Now that I’ve made a comparison between the bigger players on the market, there are a few things I’d like to do once I finish off this and the exfoliant back-ups I have. Some things I intend to do next once they’re polished off:
Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic: It’s in an 8.5 oz bottle with a pump (!!) and is a lactic acid exfoliant. This one should take me a while to burn through before I give a review, so it probably wouldn’t be likely until late(r) 2018 for a review on this.
Mandelic acid: this is supposedly an even gentler exfoliant, so I think this will be my next step after the REN.
I’m also sure between then and now, there will be plenty of new things added to the market for me to give a shot. But for now, this is what I expect to be doing and working on in the next several months.
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
For those unaware about Project Pan, it’s a challenge to use up products within your collection; the “pan” being the silver part that shows once the product has been used up. In 2017, I half-heartedly started a Project Pan that I barely indulged in; though, I did wind up panning the Burberry Lip Velvet.
This year, now that I have this space, I intend to take it a little more seriously. I have picked several products of different types, and her are the products I would like to do my best to finish off:
Lipstick: MAC Brave
Lipstick: Besame Red Velvet
Eyeshadow: MAC Omega
I chose these products for several reasons; partially, I wanted to follow through from last year. Some I would like to be able to use up and get out of my collection so I can try something new, but it isn’t something that I dislike enough to throw away. In other cases, I actually really enjoy it, but have struggled to finish products in full and want that satisfaction. Or, it’s an attempt to pare down items in my collection to something more manageable.
I’m someone that struggles with using up products; while some people work through a lipstick in a matter of months, I’ve had MAC Brave for almost two years now. As I don’t have a particularly large collection, this helps with using the products I have.
Ideally, my goal is to check in quarterly, and the last update to come at the end of 2018 with discussions on successes and failures and overall thoughts when completed. I will show progress through measuring (when able) and pictures of use for comparison with the date marked.
For now, I intend to focus on those three products. However, if in the process that either the product becomes unusable or can’t be finished, I will substitute something in its place.
In addition to this Project Pan, I’ll also be doing a Reverse Rouge Challenge with a few other ladies that blog. For as long as VIB Rouge at Sephora has been around, I’ve hit it every year. VIB Rouge is a status of buyer at Sephora that spends over $1000 per year. The perks are OK; free make-overs (so long as you schedule in advance), free 2-day shipping (though, as of 1/1/18, this changed to 3-day without any warning…), and early access to products.
This is something that I have decided I will not actively pursue obtaining again, but if it happens, it happens. This year will likely be largely repurchases and for a lot of the products that I do use and like, I can really only get them through Sephora (e.g. Make Up For Ever, Kat Von D, etc.)
The Reverse Rouge Challenge, on the other hand, will be using up at least $1000 worth of products at the end of the year. This includes makeup, skincare, hair care, nails, and other tools that you may use. Destashes also count towards the total. Again, much like Project Pan, I will intend to be updating this quarterly (though, it will likely get its own post going forward instead of being amalgamated with Project Pan.)
Those are the current ground rules I will be working off of this year for this Project Pan and the Reverse Rouge Challenge. Are you planning on doing a Project Pan or Reverse Rouge Challenger this year? If so, what are the products you’re planning on using up?
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
‘Tis the season for all the good beauty and pinup bloggers to give their riff on their resolutions going into 2018, and particularly inspired by Renee at Bad Outfit Great Lipstick, and so too, I throw my hat into the ring.
This year, one of my bigger goals is to get my finances in order. I have a car loan, student loans, and there’s plenty of things I know I can be doing to get my ducks in a row to be better prepared for any future emergencies, etc. Being in good financial health is one of the keys to being healthy, especially in America (and for those of us with high-deductible health plans!)
With that in mind, there are some key ways I intend to strategize to handle my expenditures and curb impulse spending in the next year:
1. For any new release, waiting at least 30 days and at least 2 reviews from “trusted” folks.
As far as beauty goes, there are few things that get me excited like a good new foundation launch or, sometimes, the occasional lipstick launch with colors that haven’t been heavily produced (still waiting on my retro, orange-based coral of my dreams…) And as much as I love my MUFE Water Blend, I also like trying other stuff and I fall prey to the mentality of “B-b-b-but what if I find something I love more!”
There have been times I have jumped the gun and bought something sight unseen before having the ability to try it. Living in Louisville (as opposed to my former home in the Chicago suburbs) means I will not get access to try all the beauty things my heart desires. With that being said, because I may not get access to try new products firsthand, I am forcing myself to wait at least 30 days after the initial launch and require at least 2 reviews from trusted folks.
While I generally don’t follow a lot of YouTube beauty folks, I do have a few on Instagram or other blogs that I follow. I find their reviews tend to be more comprehensive, tried for a longer period of time (as opposed to a single day), and test for more variation in formula. Additionally, I find their photography is less likely to be photoshopped or influenced by heavy lighting.
If after both of these situations have been met and I am still interested, ideally, I would like to be able to get a sample from Sephora or try out at Ulta before buying. And from there, if all is good–the purchase is allowed.
2. A set amount for true vintage clothes; $200.
I have a confession, my friends. It is not something I am proud of, but I have to cop to and get this off my chest. I–am terrified to wear my true vintage clothing. There’s several reasons for this: the pieces that I do have, I actually really love. They fit well, they’re cute, but–if I ever tear or wear them to excess, I will not be able to replace it.
And that’s ri-goddamn-diculous of me. That’s the entire point of clothes! To wear them!
So, for this year, I am putting a strong cap on my true vintage clothing spenditures. I have to get over this, and to do it, I’m going to force myself to actually wear them and get over that. And if I don’t, I have at least one or two people I know that will sell the pieces on my behalf. If I do wind-up selling, I’ll allow the amount it sold for to roll over and be added to the $200.
3. Try and explore more looks with makeup and being more adventurous
I am confident in my ability to do a cat eye (after many years of practice), I can apply eyeshadow relatively comfortably–but I don’t really do a lot of variation beyond that. One of the things I would like to do this upcoming year is do a monthly vintage look recreation–it will get me out of a rut and try and force my hand at learning new styles with my products I already have.
It’ll also tie my love of vintage looks with makeup and keep things a little more cohesive around these parts.
4. Quit the yo-yo weight bullshit.
For those unaware, I am 5’0″. When you are smaller, you tend to reflect weight easier. A pound difference gets easily reflected in my face, and also: on my hips. A pound makes the difference between whether I’m throwing an angry, teary hissy fit in the bathroom that I can’t fit into my clothes or whether I’m wearing a lot of the clothes I’ve bought that fit me when I’m <=110 lbs.
I’ve decided my new threshold weight will be 112 lbs.–any time I come creeping up on this, I have to go to the gym and eat better. This will allow me to fit into the clothes I have better, reduce a lot of the yo-yoing (my previous was 115 lbs.), and be more active on the whole.
I imagine for some people, this is one of those things where they’re rubbing their fingers together and rolling their eyes; it’s not lost on me. People don’t like it when someone who is generally considered petite waxes on about their problems, but it’s annoying to keep repeating the cycle and keep having those moments where all I can wear is jeans but I really want to wear the nice clothes I’ve bought.
When I can wear the pinup clothes I have–I feel better. I look better. This will also help me wear a lot more of my actual vintage clothes too, as a lot of them tend to be tighter fitting.
5. Focus on things I have by focusing on more outfit-related posts.
This one is more pinup-focused than beauty; I want to show off more of the outfits that I have instead of purchasing more than I actually need. I’ve done a pretty significant outfit cull this year to allow for room for the clothes I want to wear. I also inherited some clothing from my grandmother upon her passing, and would like to make some posts dedicated to her memory.
Additionally, now that I have a camera, I think this should be easier to accomplish by myself than needing to rely on other people to take pictures of me. (Which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to do more photoshoots; I definitely have people I love working with and would like to do a few more shoots with in the upcoming year.)
6. Make more purchases at Ulta than Sephora when possible.
Truth be told: I’m not a giant fan of Ulta despite their better rewards program. Their stores tend to be poorly maintained, poorly staffed, and poorly educated (not every Ulta is like this, but of the multiple I’ve been to in several states, this is a recurring issue.)
But given that they do have 20% off coupons more frequently and a rewards program that offers “cash” (as in points translate to money that can be redeemed on purchases, not actual money) in lieu of fancy deluxe samples, I am more inclined to spend there.
This means a better return on spending. So, for brands where I can get it at both places (e.g. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bumble and Bumble, etc.), that’s where I will purchase from. However, many of my preferred brands (e.g. Make Up For Ever, Kat Von D, BITE Beauty, etc.) are all Sephora exclusives.
Right now, I have horded away enough points for a nice little spending spree, but I intend to save up for the Dyson hair drier.
7. Project Pan
There was a half-hearted attempt on my end to do a Project Pan in 2017 that got left by the wayside, but as I now have more of an outlet than Instagram for these things, it’s definitely something I intend to pursue harder. I will be posting about this and the items I intend to use in about a week or so.
8. Replacements only no buy until April
In the spirit of getting my finances in better health, I’ve decided to put myself on a no buy up until April (with replacements only being the exception.)
This is for a few reasons:
1. I generally have a small collection as is and want to use more of it up. This is the year I would generally like to finish both a lipstick and eyeshadow.
2. I have a nice amount of products that could stand to be reviewed individually and thoroughly, that aren’t products reviewed to death by the hype-osphere.
3. Saving money never hurts.
I’m allowing replacements only because I generally don’t stock myself with extras in most cases. I don’t have back-ups of anything except my night-time moisturizer and exfoliator. Everything else is bought after running out.
I did receive a gift card or two, so that is something I would allow myself to use because it’s not my own money, but in general, I am trying to keep my spending and unnecessary purchases low this year.
Those are my plans going into next year. What are your goals? Are you going on any specific plans or how will you be challenging yourself?
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,