The Power of Plastic: Schwarzkopf Gives a Million Chances

Schwarzkopf – an international brand known for its incredible colour and hair styling products, but they’re big on the environment too! The Henkel-owned hair care pioneer has decided to clean up the planet with their Million Chances initiative, a partnership between Schwarzkopf and the Plastic Bank. The Plastic Bank is a globally recognised organisation that reduces plastic waste by providing opportunities for local volunteers who remove it from their environment, an effort primarily focused on countries that lack an effective waste management infrastructure. Ultimately this means less plastic polluting our oceans (and fewer disturbing videos of animals with rubbish wrapped around their throats…).

David Katz, founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank, commented:

“Our chain of collections in Haiti engages the poor to be able to provide a way for plastic to be used as money. The sale of social plastic provides an income for the world’s poor.”

The Plastic Bank has been operating since 2013, but this joint venture will see Schwarzkopf focus on Haiti. They will offer the local girls and women an opportunity to collect plastic and exchange it for goods and services at their collection centres. The project is a perfect way to care for the environment and those that inhabit it.

Marie-Ève Schröder, the Corporate Senior VP of International Marketing for Henkel Beauty Care, said the following:

“In a country like Haiti that is shaped by poverty and the lack of prospects, you need a fair bit of patience and have to invest a lot of time and dedication to be successful with your cause. That’s exactly what Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative is doing here and over the course of the partnership with the Plastic Bank. In particular, we are focusing on the daily needs and problems of girls and women.”

There are many incentives to using the service, including areas to charge their mobile phones, unlimited access to the internet and a quiet place for children to study in an environment conducive to learning. The money they earn provides a steady income, which can then used to put children through school. In a country where school is fee-based, and the cost of transport, books and mandatory uniforms is almost impossible for many to cover, an opportunity such as this offers tremendous opportunities for the local children. It offers them the support, freedom and confidence to do what most of us take for granted – a chance to just get on with their everyday lives.

The impact this project will have on the lives of those in Haiti who utilise this resource is undeniable, and Schröder agrees:

“Environmental issues, poverty, not enough educational opportunities and jobs – these are only a few of the challenges that women face on a daily basis. What’s more is that often the women have to raise their children all by themselves. I am sure that we can help girls and women here in Haiti and offer them a way to be more self-confident, as well as providing better chances and future prospects with Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative.”

The Plastic Bank have created a brilliant initiative to positively impact both humanity and the world, as their recycled “Social Plastic” can be processed and supplied to companies as a direct result of the hard work put in by the locals. Who knew plastic pollution had its benefits? Yes, I know it would be great if the plastic in our oceans wasn’t there to begin with, but this is a great way to rectify our mistakes. A negative becoming a positive, and it’s helping struggling communities along the way! It’s not often you see large companies taking initiative and using their power for good either, and it’s great to see Schwarzkopf giving back to a world that it continuously benefits from.

To read more on this wonderful project or to find out how you can play a part, please visit

Author: Charmaine Musonza


One Small Step for Revlon, One Slightly Larger Step for Modelkind

It’s no secret that the fashion world is in dire need of diversifying its talent. It’s imperative that brands work towards including more models who aren’t your “industry standard,” and not in a way that feels as though it’s an awkward attempt to roll with the so-called trends – this isn’t a trend. That means more non-white, plus size, disabled, transgender or gender nonconforming models, and not just for the season. The list is as long as there are variations of human beings, and all of them should be able to see positive representations of themselves within the media.

Look at companies like H&M or Wycon and it’s not hard to see what happens when a company gets it seriously wrong, ending up on the bad side of their customers. Both were recently in the news due to major misjudgements that received worldwide backlash. H&M for the heavily inappropriate “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie they placed on a young black boy (whilst his white counterpart was branded a “Jungle Survival Expert”), and Wycon for a black nail varnish they named “Thick as a N****.” Mistakes so undeniably offensive, so ridiculously baffling it makes you wonder just how these ideas made it through the wringer. How many of these shocking blunders could have been avoided with something as simple as having a more racially diverse workforce to educate the team? It all comes down to a lack of understanding of the experiences and struggles of others, and that can only be remedied by including those individuals in the conversation. How else are you to know the needs and desires of those different from yourself? Our power as consumers is that we get to be the driving force behind the products we see around us and the notions that those products promote. Brands need to understand that as their audience changes, so must they. It’s simple, adapt or face desertion.

Changes have gradually been made over the years, but we still have a long way to go! Fortunately, Revlon have chosen to be part of the solution and have hired plus size model Ashley Graham as their latest brand ambassador. This will be her debut beauty campaign and a welcome continuation of her recent success, which includes multiple magazine covers and her position as a judge on the iconic show America’s Next Top Model. She will join fellow models Achok Majak, Rina Fukushi, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam, Raquel Zimmermann and Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot for Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign, which hopes to “empower women through community building, catalytic experiences and inspiring conversations”.

Following the announcement, Graham commented:

“I am thrilled to be part of this timely and ground-breaking campaign with different types of women across races, ages and sizes, and to leverage this platform to continue to create positive change. To Live Boldly is the mantra of my life. Every day in the mirror I say to myself, ‘I am bold, I am brilliant, I am beautiful,’ and together with Revlon, we can inspire all women to do the same.”

It’s amazing to see models like Graham breaking new ground and bringing light to the issues that matter, especially in an environment that still isn’t particularly accepting of them. The more we talk about diversity, both within fashion and society in general, the more we all learn to accept and celebrate our differences. Hopefully we’ll continue to see prominent brands and their representatives working to promote more inclusivity across the board – perhaps then the rest of the world will follow suit.

Author: Charmaine Musonza



NYX Partners with Samsung to Launch VR Venture

NYX and Samsung have joined forces on a new and exciting venture. The surprising partnership will see the duo using virtual reality to broadcast make up tutorials showcasing their current beauty products – all presented by leading beauty vloggers Kristen Leanne, Karen Sarahi Gonzales and Mykie (Glam & Gore). Users will be able to learn more about the products that pique their interest, and will also receive promotional offers on the items featured within the tutorial.

Mehdi Mehdi, the VP of Digital at NYX Professional Make Up, said the following:

“We aim to seamlessly incorporate digital into everything we do, and see virtual reality as the new frontier in the beauty industry.”

Us humans are naturally quite a greedy bunch. We always want technology bigger and better than before (I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for the hover boards from Back to the Future), and it’s no secret that VR has really taken the world by storm in recent years. If companies want to stay ahead of the game, then it’s vital they work to create a more dynamic experience for their customers. Now that the everyday consumer can afford to use these products within their own home, its increasing popularity has really opened doors for companies hoping to provide a more personal and immersive experience.

Some of you might be wondering if this experience is really for you. Can virtual reality and make up successfully mix? Do we even want them to? Well, those phone applications that allow you to try on certain products after uploading a selfie are technically offering a similar service. In a very basic form with way less flash obviously, but you get the idea. If you’ve ever wished for a more comprehensive version of that then you’ve got nothing to lose, and we all know watching people use VR headsets for the first time is often a very comical affair. Why else would those YouTube compilations have so many views? I know I’m not the only one watching them…

Select NYX stores have been hosting the experience since the 18th of December 2017, and nationwide installations will continue throughout 2018. Pop along to one soon and let us know how you got on!

For more information on this project, please visit

Author: Charmaine Musonza

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The (Potentially Quite Skewed) Truth About Looking Good

The date is Wednesday 10th January 2018, and the BBC broadcasts a study in which it tests just how effective our beauty products are compared to the claims their respective company makes. Does paying more always equal an increase in benefits? Do our products really do much for us at all? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m fairly  certain most of us know that the products we buy probably won’t work the incredible miracles we love to fantasise about, but it’s nice that there’s a television show to reiterate the obvious.

The University of Sheffield is the arena, and the contenders? Nivea, Clinique and Embryolisse, all carefully selected to showcase the high street, mid and luxury markets. Over a three week period we watch 25 volunteers with “healthy skin” split into 3 groups, each applying one of the unlabelled moisturisers to just half of their face. At the end of the three weeks the experts test the skin of the volunteers just like they did at the beginning of the experiment, checking for hydration and noting how well it generally acts as a barrier.

What the results showed: The skin of the volunteers using the Nivea and Clinique moisturisers experienced a temporary increase in hydration, whilst there was no noticeable improvement for those using the Embryolisse product. The expert suggested that this may be because the Nivea and Clinique products contained glycerine, a humectant used in most skincare items. For those of us who don’t know what a humectant is (raise your hands, don’t feel ashamed – I’m right there with you), it’s a substance that absorbs or helps another substance retain moisture. Even though two out of three of the products showed a positive result, the overall conclusion of the study was that healthy skin wouldn’t actually  see any long-term improvements from using a moisturiser.

So, what can we take away from this? You know, other than temporarily having all of our hopes dashed… Well, for starters, this experiment only lasted three weeks and included a very small pool of test subjects – not exactly a rigorous trial with a ton of weight behind it. Secondly, there was a real lack of diversity within the group of volunteers. Yes, there were some Asian participants, but most candidates were white – how does a study such as this benefit the millions of people of colour who buy skincare products? Most of the information provided wouldn’t even apply to their skin. Not to mention the total lack of attention paid towards other factors that could alter results, such as their daily diet or the weather.

The show itself could have been very educational, but disappointed many beauty fans by falling short of the mark and discrediting brands without any significant evidence to back up their claims. The tone throughout almost felt patronising, as if the everyday consumer wasn’t particularly clued up. We don’t all just reach for the shiniest packaging (although a pretty box is always  appreciated). With the current rise in social media, it is now easier than ever for beauty enthusiasts to share their secrets – budget or extravagant – with anyone who will listen, so maybe we should stop looking to shows like these for inspiration. Find those in the community that cater to your needs and believe in the products you enjoy, because at the end of the day all you need is a little confidence – that’s the truth about looking good.

Author: Charmaine Musonza


Who IS Barry M?

Barry M is a cult-favourite colour cosmetics brand and has been around for over THREE decades! But who IS Barry M?

Well, throwback to the 1970s when a young man began selling a range of beauty products on a stall on Dalston’s Ridley Road Market! His name was Barry Mero, and after expanding to a shop on Brixton Market, the rest, as they say, is history, and Barry M was officially founded in 1982.

Spotting a gap in the market for a more diverse range of nail polishes, Barry began by creating 72 vibrant shades – more than any other colour cosmetics brand before! Barry M was also the first brand to offer black lipstick and white eyeliner.

All products have ALWAYS been cruelty-free and vegetarian, and Barry M is a proud certified Cruelty Free brand!

Barry M is now run by Barry’s son, Dean, as Barry sadly passed away back in 2014.

The brand has grown from strength to strength and offers one of the largest colour collections of any cosmetics brand! Barry M can be found in the UK and Australia. Shop online here.


Estee Lauder Acquires Too Faced Cosmetics…

Estee Lauder announced last week that it is to make the biggest acquisition in its history with the purchase of cult cosmetics brand, Too Faced.

With a majority stake sold back in 2015 to private equity firm General Atlantic, Too Faced was reportedly valued at $500 million. Seemingly, the brand appears to have almost tripled in value, being sold to Estee Lauder for $1.45 billion in an impending deal set to close before the end of December.

Too Faced was founded back in 1998 by former Estee Lauder employees Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson. Famed for its kitsch packaging and highly pigmented products, the brand has gone from strength to strength over the years and is renowned for its commitment to being 100% cruelty-free and its extensive offering of vegan cosmetics.


Pai Skincare’s New Arrival…

Petit Pai is the new skincare range for babies from the organic skincare brand, Pai Skincare.

The range consists of Apple & Mallow Blossom Face & Body Cream (£20), and Apple & Mallow Blossom Hair & Body Wash (£18), and also a Try Me Set (£8).

All products are fragrance-free and are formulated to maintain the optimum pH of babies’ skin. The key ingredients used in the range are apple seed oil and mallow blossom.

Image credit: tec_estromberg

Image credit: tec_estromberg

Glossybox Appoints President for North America

Monthly beauty box subscription service Glossybox, which delivers luxury beauty samples, has appointed Britta Fleck as its President & Managing Director for North America.

Since its launch, Glossybox has grown exponentially, now offering its subscription service across ten countries. The company sends a box of sample-sized cosmetic products to its customers each month, as well as beauty tips and ideas.

Prior to joining Glossybox, Fleck worked as Head of the Music Division at Filmpool and founded eye C music – a joint venture with MME & Helkon Media. She has worked for the Glossybox since its 2011 launch, initially working as its Senior Vice President of Global Brand Relations. She has also worked as a Trend Expert and Managing Director of North America for the company.

Fleck will be responsible for driving growth and increasing consumer awareness of the Glossybox brand both in the US and internationally. She says she plans “to bring a unique global perspective on beauty to this new appointment. My core focuses will be strengthening our business in the U.S. market as well as managing Glossybox’s overall positioning.”

Image credit: Veanad

Image credit: Veanad

‘Second Skin’ Polymer Could Make Wrinkles A Thing Of The Past

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a novel material that could be used to temporarily tighten the skin and smooth wrinkles.

The wearable film has shown promise in a series of small trials where it was applied to wrinkles, under-eye bags and patches of dry skin. It is said to improve skin’s elasticity, reduce appearance of wrinkles and could be used to cover birthmarks or treat conditions such as eczema.

The ‘second skin’ is applied in the morning, then peeled off and disposed of at night.

Daniel Anderson, Associate Professor at MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, explained: “It’s an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, provide cosmetic improvement and potentially deliver a drug locally to the area that’s being treated.”

The technology has been passed on to start-up company Olivo Laboratories, which will focus on its development. The team will initially focus on medical applications for the polymer in treating skin conditions.

Image credit: Sophiaaaaaaa

Image credit: Sophiaaaaaaa

Unilever Drops Palm Oil Supplier…

Unilever has suspended all contracts with one of its palm oil suppliers over claims of deforestation.

In what is arguably the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) most significant intervention in its 12-year history, the organisation has suspended the certification of one of its founding members, IOI, a Malaysian palm oil company which supplies palm oil to more than 300 companies. Mars and Kellogg’s have also dropped the supplier.

This means that IOI and its trading division IOI Loders Croklaan will be temporarily prevented from selling palm oil it produces post suspension as certified sustainable.

RSPO suspended IOI Group’s certification following a complaint concerning land clearing and deep peat clearance. Unilever said: “This suspension puts IOI in breach of our policy. In line with our grievance procedure, we are now in the process of disengaging with the supplier and have set a time bound plan to do this over the next three months.”

Unilever has committed to sourcing palm oil solely from regions with climate and forestry initiatives and have publicly pledged to source 100% of its packaging materials from sustainable sources.

Greenpeace first documented IOI’s alleged destruction of orangutan habitat and peatland forest in our 2008 report Burning up Borneo. Since then, IOI has been in the spotlight over accusations of deforestation, including repeated outbreaks of fires in and around its concessions last year.

Image credit: SarahYeomans

Image credit: SarahYeomans