All posts by Holly VanWert

Holly is an intersectional feminist, cat enthusiast, gamer, and stress baker living in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a longtime blogger, sporadic poet, and the founder and editor of Woman Tribune.

Do You Know What’s in Your Cosmetics?

L'Oreal cosmetic display Very few people read the list of ingredients on the back of a cosmetics box. If you’re animal-friendly, you may check to see if there is a line that reads “not tested on animals,” which is most of the time at the bottom of the box, but not too many people read through the list of ingredients printed on their beauty products. In the same respect, what do all those grossly large and confusing words mean anyway?

If the word squalene seems familiar to you, it probably is. Squalene is a very common emollient used in beauty products such as lotions, creams and glosses and is used by big name companies such as L’Oréal Paris. However, squalene is being phased out of cosmetic products as of late due to the vast decline in numbers of deep-sea sharks.

Squalene, which has been an in demand ingredient for beauty products is found in large quantities in the livers of deep-sea sharks and due to the sharks being caught and killed purely for this ingredient, cosmetic companies are seeking the aid of olive extracts to replace the deep-sea shark liver oil. However, if all companies switch to olive extracts, simple supply and demand may be in trouble, as there are only so many olives to go around to big companies.

In 2006, L’Oréal eliminated squalene from their skin care products replacing it with a plant-based substitute and plan to eliminate the ingredient from 12 other lipsticks that they produce. Asian-based cosmetic companies may not be going the same route, though, as shark squalene still remains in very high demand.

So the next time you’re picking up your favorite skin care item, lipstick or gloss and you see squalene listed in the ingredients you can now say you not only know what it means, but know that the company has decided to continue to use deep-sea shark oil in their product and have not opted for either olive extracts or plant-based substitutes. Help eliminate the cause for concern over the dwindling numbers of deep-sea sharks.

Photo by CrowChick

Changing Table to Drink Cart Baby Furniture Makeover

baby changing table For those of you who have old baby furniture stowed away in storage that you swore you would give away to charity, GoodWill, or to expecting parents but never got around to it, fear no more! There is now a way to not only keep furniture you spent good money on maybe years earlier, but actually reuse it and get a lot of use out of it now.

If you have an old baby changing table, Better Homes and Gardens has a wonderful idea to work it back into your everyday life without even hinting towards what it’s purpose used to be.

drink cart Take your ordinary baby changing table, get a little creative with it and apply your own personal taste. The table’s waist-high and size and shelves makes it the perfect object to make over into a drink cart. The exterior can be polished, painted, and decorated and it’s shelves give perfect space for bottles, glasses, and snacks. Attach some wheels to the bottom and you’re good to go for your next entertaining event or relaxing night at home.

If you’re not the type to have a drinking cart or don’t have a need for one, your changing table can also be remade into a decoration piece or microwave stand for your kitchen. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Have fun!

Photos via Better Homes and Gardens

‘Sex and the City’ in Theatres May 30

Sex and the City movie I stumbled upon this a few days ago and I immediately got all sorts of excited.

I was a late bloomer when it came to jumping on the Sex and the City bandwagon. I began watching reruns after the show was over and was in syndication and since, watched every episode I could find online. Since then, I have repeatedly reveled in girly goodness while watching episodes and I cannot wait until the movie comes out.

It’s probably old news to the hardcore Sex and the City fans, but it definitely deserves an announcement of some kind and perhaps I’ll reach those who didn’t already see it. And so I present to you, the the very first trailer that came out! (Although there are others, this is the best and virtually spoiler-free)

Embrace your crazy, unapologetic, over the top girly side!

Photo by furyofthefilmfan

Colorado and Missouri Wage War on Women’s Rights

someecards_idiots Television, radio, and newspapers; wherever you get your news information from, all people seem to be able to talk about are the 2008 election. This upcoming election is very important, especially considering the war on women’s rights that is only getting more heated and more severe as the election looms closer; especially with the panel of Republicans that have been assembled.

According to US News and World Report, 11 different abortion bans have been introduced to states legislatures just in the past year. With that and with the upcoming election, anti-abortion activists are introducing a variety of ballot initiatives in hopes of abolishing a woman’s right to have control over her own body and reproductive rights.

In the state of Missouri, The Elliot Group, an anti-abortion group which is based out of Illinois, is attempting to introduce a ballot entitled Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortion Act; nice name, huh? Because women are not able to make informed decisions about their bodies and uterus without being coerced.

If The Elliot Group is successful in receiving their mandatory 90,000 signatures on a petition to instate this initiative, it will appear on the 2008 voter’s ballot and the state of Missouri will face an initiative which would require doctors to review abortion-related “medical literature” which will undoubtedly consist of myths made up and enforced by anti-choice activists and literature that is commonly used in crisis pregnancy centers to scare or enforce the so-called immorality of the act of abortion. The doctor will also be required to investigate the background and lifestyle of women seeking abortions as well as prove that it was medically necessary to perform the abortion to save the woman from death or disability that would have occurred if the abortion had not been performed. Furthermore, they take the extra step to insult women across the country by saying that abortion causes long-term physical, psychological and emotional problems; none of which can be scientifically proven. This legislature would also provide absolutely no exception whatsoever for rape and incest victims.

Colorado for Equal Rights, whose name itself is laughable, is working towards adding a ballot initiative to the November 2008 ballot that will amend the state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person.

Ah yes, fertilized egg–person; omelet–living, breathing, talking, functioning, college-bound human being! Yes, I can definitely see how they go hand-in-hand.

If this initiative is passed, it will then threaten the use of emergency contraceptives used by literally millions of women across the country. Voters in Colorado will have that to think about if Colorado for Equal Rights gains their needed 76,000 signatures in order to place this initiative on the 2008 ballot.

So think hard women voters of Missouri and Colorado. Even if you do not live in those two states, there are a number of different bans on abortion in a total of 15 different states.

Photo by someecards