Corporate Spotlight: stila’s Living Beauty, Sarah Lucero

Currently serving as Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry for stila Cosmetics, Sarah Lucero is without a doubt a #GoddessBoss. Given her rockstar status, charismatic spirit, and experience with The Foundation for Living Beauty, we asked if she’d be willing to chat with us to kick off our first corporate spotlight. We covered everything from yoga retreats to brow pens, and how The Foundation for Living Beauty serves as a source of community and strength for women journeying with cancer. Our conversation unfolds below.

How did you get involved with The Foundation for Living Beauty?

My friend Janice, who was the head of PR at stila at the time, had arranged this event. Women were getting their hair done and their makeup done by stila, and were getting totally pampered. At the time, I was still going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, so for me it was great that she had aligned stila with that group. I’m so grateful that she did that.

I know that Janice had wanted to align with an organization like Aime’s, which asked the question: for women going through this right now, how do we help them during or after their experience in a way that’s less stressful?

On that same day, I got to meet Aime, mingle around, and meet these amazing women who were getting their makeup done. It was an emotional experience for me, yet it was this interesting environment that was both healing and comforting at the same time.

With The Foundation for Living Beauty, Janice found this great opportunity, stila donated money, and then through me and my situation it was the perfect timing and organization to align with in every way. I’m incredibly grateful that it all came together.

How did The Foundation for Living Beauty help you during your journey with cancer, and how has it impacted you since then? 

Number one, it connected me with so many other women going through something similar, which was comforting and a relief to know, in a way. When you’re going through cancer—or even after—you don’t know how you’re feeling. Especially afterwards, everyone’s like, “Yay let’s celebrate, it’s over,” and you’re still facing it.

It’s very lonely, and having a community of women who understand that without having to say or explain it is a blessing. It’s a relief to know that it’s ok to feel that way, even if you can’t quite articulate it. The Foundation was a community of support and strength that I didn’t even think I needed.

Number two, the yoga retreats… Tari Prinster who leads them is such a gift. The retreats taught me how to navigate my body, learn to trust my body, and feel strong again without fearing surgery or scar tissue or feeling unsure about something.

Meeting people just through the retreat, having the classes, learning the basics of nutrition and which things to incorporate now—the knowledge is exceedingly important.

There are so many different ways The Foundation has helped me and is still helping me. It’s a completely new way of life, and when you’re exploring something new and unfamiliar, your confidence has been shot down. So everything is a little bit different. That’s hard in and of itself. Things change, but having The Foundation has helped me find my confidence again in so many ways, which is incredibly healing.

More than that, the retreats and programs they have—even if it’s just a one day makeover—remind me to take the time. Be in the moment. Look at what’s happened or is happening—don’t ignore it. It reminds me that healing is a process that takes time, however long it needs to take. I’m just realizing that now.

It’s all great, but the healing emotionally and mentally is a long time coming…which is ok! But knowing I have that support, it’s less scary. It may be unfamiliar, but it’s ok. I have a group of people I can ask or reach out to and not feel judged. If I want to know how to navigate something, see what they did in a particular situation, or share my own tips, it’s a safe space.

I also love when people do something that is missing or needed. A big corporation can’t find that little missing link, but these are the things that are important. They are right now, and your money is going toward something that is helping someone—whether they’re going through it, or after. It’s lifelong wellness.

And caregivers are an important thing too. These people have been around helping, and sometimes you forget about what they went through. There should be more for them, but there’s not.

What’s one stila product you can’t live without?

Number one, the brow color Stay All Day pen. It’s an eyebrow pen. I was actually able to lab-test that product, and product development gave me them when I was going through chemo. I got to test it, and it works! Now I use it every day, so I love showing women how to boost their brows naturally.

My other one is called convertible color. It’s a cream blush you can also use as lipstick. It comes in a compact, and gives your face a glow and your lips a flush. It’s definitely a makeup bag must-have.

Thank you, Sarah, for your support and willingness to share your story with us!

 

Pure Alternatives to Manicure + Maintenance Favorites

We recently had an incredible chat with stila guru Sarah Lucero and inspirational author Kris Carr on Twitter. They both tweeted out some of their favorite low-toxin nail polishes, included on the list below. This got us thinking about pure alternatives to traditional beauty, manicure and wellness products.

Here are some ideas they shared and some others we love.

Looking for nail polishes that are non-toxic, plus free of fumes and chemicals? Here are Sarah and Kris’s pretty picks.

LEARN MORE: RMS Beauty: “6-Free Polish” , The Detox Market: “Acquarella, La Luna

 

One of our favorite sites to browse? Lush Cosmetics. Fresh, vegan and made by human hands daily, it’s always an adventure to see the creative, bright bath bombs, soaps and shampoos they invent. If you’re looking for an affordable birthday gift, Lush is the way to go. Even better, take a day just to wander through their store, relaxing as you smell their various samples, out to explore.

 

LEARN MORE: Lush “Titsy Totsy Bath Bomb

 

If you’re looking to cleanse, tone or protect from things like the elements and bug bites, essential oils can take you surprisingly far! We love Doterra’s blog for DIY ideas – learn to make cuticle cream, scrub, after sun spray and more from a variety of plant extracts.

LEARN MORE: Doterra DIY Blog 

Serendipity: The Gift

At The Foundation for Living Beauty, we believe in serendipity. The kind that brings creative minds together at coffee shops, or, as it were, brings Living Beauties together – 40,000 feet in the air.

Debbie at The Gift event

When photographer Cynthia Perez first approached the foundation’s staff as they met in a cozy Pasadena hole in the wall, the universe had truly conspired. The staff had been dreaming and designing a photo series to showcase the bravery and courage of Living Beauties, particularly through their physical scars. Meanwhile, Cynthia was looking for a new project, hopefully one that would allow her to give back after considerable success in the photography community. A match made by fate.

Over the next few months, the women designed more than a photo project – they designed an experience that enriched Cynthia as much as it did the subjects in her photos. The brave Living Beauties, in fact, were more than still subjects. They were engaged, courageous and healing women, who bore both their bodies and their souls: Some were still working through the changes that cancer had presented and participated in hopes of closure and self-acceptance; Others took part in the project in order to share their stories with other women who might have questions about certain procedures or experiences, including mastectomies. Despite the highly personal, intimate nature of each photo session, the Living Beauties were forming incredible bonds even they could not predict. Together, they got to the root of not only cancer’s difficulties and challenges – they also found its unexpected gifts.

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In preparation for The Gift, a cocktail event introducing the photo series at Pasadena’s Armory Center, the staff interviewed many Living Beauties who had participated in the photography project. Cynthia had generously traveled across the country to photograph Living Beauties, and one Living Beauty in New York was still debating whether or not to fly across the country and celebrate her photos in person. After speaking with our staff on the phone about the experience, Kim felt a fire in her soul. She had to be there, and immediately booked a flight.

‪As she sat on her flight to California, Kim began speaking with a bubbly, kind flight attendant. When the flight attendant asked what brought Kim to California, Kim explained that she had participated in a photo project through a foundation for women with cancer. The flight attendant’s name was Debbie. Incredibly, the two women had never met, but Debbie was also a Living Beauty. And she was flying to The Gift.

Temple City Dental Care Brightens Teeth and Lives

 

There’s nothing like a beautiful smile, and Temple City Dental Care is spreading them in more ways than one.

Now through June 30th, the team at Temple City Dental Care is offering Opalescent treatment, the best teeth whitening system available, at half off for only $150. Part of the proceeds will be donated to children through the Smiles for Life Foundation, and the other half will be shared with…The Foundation for Living Beauty!

Denise Williams-Jones, the office’s scheduling coordinator, first heard our Executive Director Nancy Davidson speak at a Pasadena networking event. “I was in tears. I knew we had to work with them. We’ve worked with different nonprofits over the years, and I knew we had to choose to support these women. Nancy really moved me to participate.”

Williams-Jones brought her story back to Dr. Von Bulow, who soon found himself enjoying lunch at the office while learning more about the foundation. “This is something that has touched everyone. We’ve been doing this program since 1998, and when we met Nancy, it was a no brainer to support these women.”

Adds Denise, “We have been asking, what do THEY need or want? And we’re making it fun. For every milestone in our fundraising, we’re going to spray Dr. V with a super soaker! Maybe we should pie him in the face…”

One loyal patient listened in the lobby, and shared that she in fact had already participated. “The same day they told me about this, I had a close friend get diagnosed. I felt I could do something in her honor this way.”

Serendipity.

Call 626.285.3161 to schedule your appointment, or visit templecitydental.com.

Facilitator Friday: Caspar Poyck

Each week we’ve been celebrating Facilitator Friday on social media as a tribute to the many talented individuals who support our Living Beauties. Today, we asked psychosomatic therapist Caspar Poyck to help introduce his one-day workshop, How, Why, When and What We Eat, scheduled for February 18th, 2017.

When we first asked Caspar about his experiences as a nutritionist, he was quick to make a distinction between traditional nutritional counseling and his craft: “First and foremost I am NOT a nutritionist. Rather, I am a psychosomatic therapist and have related that science specifically to eating in a modality called Digestive Therapy,” Caspar explained.

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In fact, Digestive Therapy helps to evaluate and address eating from an extremely comprehensive perspective. Caspar went on to explain how his process considers some key elements that are often overlooked when individuals evaluate their dietary habits. “When we think of resolving our food related health issues we often look at food and nutrition, but have you ever noticed how people who start dieting usually end up yo-yo-ing ? Do you ever wonder why people who follow the newest fad diets and cleanses end up with a lifestyle instead of a remedy ? Why is it that many people who are determined and exact in their focus on avoiding foods they are sensitive to most often become allergic to more foods instead of less ?”

“The most important, and most often overlooked, part of our relationship to food is our emotions!” answers Poyck. Emotions affect HOW we eat and emotions affect everything from blood pressure and heart rate to digestion and allergies. A person will run from diet to diet until the REAL issues are addressed.”

Caspar’s February 18th workshop, a collaboration with nutritionist and lifestyle coach Julie Hefner, endeavors to help participants consider these issues and more in their own lives. The workshop is open to the public for a fee of $199, with a $50 deposit due to register. It will be held at The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa.

Check out more information on the workshop below!

 

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The Gift: Ida Rosenberg

A beloved Living Beauty, Ida Rosenberg describes her cancer journey as one of empowering discovery, both of others and of herself. “The biggest gift I got [during this journey] was becoming friends with women I would have never previously had the opportunity to know. They have so enriched my life and you really can’t put a single value on that.” In fact, The Foundation for Living Beauty’s community of women and focus on positivity led Ida to recognize her own strengths as a rock and optimist. “The fact that I found out I had the ability to touch people and make a change in their lives through a positive outlook was empowering. I considered myself a survivor from the second I was diagnosed. I believe my positive outlook healed me faster and healed my family as well.”

Through her emotional healing process, Ida also came to peace with new elements of her body, including those carved by cancer. “Every warrior has scars, emotionally or physically. Mine are on my body. It’s a sign of strength: To show my scars only shows my journey and the fight that I fought.”

The Gift offered Ida an opportunity to not only showcase her scars, but also celebrate her womanhood. While Ida approached her photo session for The Gift with peace, she felt even more comforted and encouraged by our photographer, Cynthia Perez. “Cynthia was great,” Ida explained. “When she first started taking pictures, the fabric I had brought with me was more in front of me and I was a silhouette. By the time we were done, the fabric was behind me and I was in front of it. I think that speaks volumes. For me to feel comfortable and bare all, that shows how she put me at ease and made me feel better and better about what I was doing as we went along. Then I felt totally free.

Purchase Tickets to The Gift

Wonderful Meditation Podcasts

When a busy week of work, travel or treatment feels overwhelming, it’s important to take a moment of peace for yourself. The Foundation for Living Beauty loves building grounding retreats for our women. Between those retreats, continue your moments of meditation and self-love with some of our favorite free podcasts. They all have different voices, perspectives and reflections, so you can find the best fit for your quiet moments!

If You Can’t Sleep:

Stin Hansen’s wonderful playlist (Fittingly entitled “ZZZZZZ….”) is an excellent choice for nights when it just feels tough to doze off. Stin gives gentle reminders that each project, worry or even joy has its own time and place. The calm music will also sweep you away into a good night of sleep. Download her podcast here.

If You’d Like A Beautiful Getaway or Love Nature: 

As one of our favorite meditation groups, the Meditation Society of Australia gives your moments of reflection and visualization an extra peaceful twist. Perfect for mornings or naps, their Cliff Visualization podcast brings you straight to the edge of a stunning Australian sunrise and leaves you feeling weightless. Download the podcast here.

If You Want to Take Yoga With You

If you’ve fallen in love with yoga, check out Yoga Download podcasts. Some are videos, and some are simply audio guides, but each podcast gives a variety of yoga poses for many purposes. Whether you’re a beginner or simply want to stretch, there is a wealth of free guidance! See their selections here.

If You’d Like a Quiet Moment to Focus on Breathing

Jesse and Jeane Stern have a variety of incredible podcasts, but their piece on Transformational Breathing can be done anywhere and is truly simple and grounding. Download the audio episode here.

Are there any other meditation focuses you’d like us to search out? We’re happy to help! Let us know which you enjoy, too!

Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Meets its Healthier Match

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it might seem like there is chocolate on every shelf, every counter and every menu in town. It’s one of our favorite tasty treats, but it is also packed with sugar and even caffeine. We did some digging and came up with a brilliant alternative for baking, trail mix and snacking.

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Carob comes from a tropical plant and has much less sugar than chocolate. Plus, it is naturally sweeter, so it needs less artificial ingredients to become a palatable treat. Carob is also low in fat and has plenty of calcium and fiber.

Markets like Whole Foods carry carob chips, which look almost identical to chocolate chips. Use them for low-sugar baking, melt them down into a warm drink, use them for a healthier fondue, throw them into trail mix or make protein-packed nut clusters.

Here are our favorite carob-worthy recipes and treats:

DAIRY AND CHOCOLATE-FREE HOT (COCOA) CAROB

TRAIL MIX IDEAS WITH CAROB

VEGAN CAROB BANANA BREAD

CAROB-COVERED RAISINS

Therapy on the Trails

Sometimes, clearing your mind also means freeing your body from its normal routine. For therapist Nicole Shannon, the power of time outdoors can be healing and deeply powerful. Below, she tells us all about her Trail Sessions, where traditional therapy intersects with exercise and relaxation on hikes.

Trail Sessions Therapy sends your therapy on a hike. It adds the vast benefits of the outdoors to those of traditional psychotherapy. It puts your healing of mind and body in motion. Wellness of body and mind are so closely connected, that engaging your body in the healing of your mind naturally accelerates results. The trail becomes a dynamic work space for your body and mind. I encourage letting go of technology to embrace the natural beauty around us while doing physical activity. Trail Sessions Therapy was developed out of the belief that one’s emotional health is closely tied to their connection to nature and time spent outdoors. The ground beneath your feet will center you. The direction will unstick you from where you are stuck.

The trail hiking therapy sessions emphasize the distance you cover emotionally. It will focus on your strength and empowerment. Every step is a manifestation of your progress, every inhale is energy, every exhale is letting go of what does not serve you.

While the trail can seem daunting and steep you will not walk it alone. You have already shown courage by reaching out and putting yourself on the trail. I will help you find your footing, overcome obstacles and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. You will hike into a stronger and better you.

You set the pace and I will match it. Slower, meditative walks allow for clearing of the mind and free-flowing contemplation. Faster, power sessions facilitate targeted break-throughs and emotional responses. Trail Sessions Therapy adapts seamlessly and instantly to your ever evolving path to growth, wellness and healing.

If you’re interested in booking a session with Nicole, email nicole.shannon.lcsw@gmail.com for rates and more information.

And a Healthy New Year.

Resolutions are popping up everywhere, and often have a stigma of being unrealistic or unfulfilled. But at FFLB, we believe in the power of positive goals, wishes and self-belief. Resolutions can be reframed from restrictions, “no’s” or “should not’s”.  Resolutions can be full of joy and self-encouragement.

WE are going to continue a joyful community of Living Beauty.

We can all give our bodies time to rest, time to recover, time to be challenged and even time to be pampered.

We can all give our hearts and minds moments of peace. Meditate, embrace yoga. Look out the window and admire the rain. Pray or reflect. Build treasured friendships. 

We can all embrace the power of food and hydration. Learn about antioxidants, vitamins and protein. Try new recipes to get a great taste of unique ingredients.

Resolutions don’t have to sound like limitations. They can be joyful and inspiring. And they can be made together. Here’s to a 2016 filled with infectious joy and love.