Travelling with Bling. Jewellery Hack for dancers.

What a great way to travel with all your belly dance bling without tangles. Of course something with bigger sections may be needed for a lot of us! How do you travel with your jewels? Any great tips to share? Please comment below.jewellery idea

Stop Revlon & L’Oreal using dangerous ingredients! Sign the petition.

Yep, in case you didn’t know, there is very little regulation of the ingredients you can put into cosmetics. The situation in Australia is that the ” TGA only assesses cosmetic products that make therapeutic claims”. This means make up companies can do pretty much as they please and its not until the consumers complain that change occurs. The situation in the US is similar “Right now, cosmetics companies can put just about anything in their products – even chemicals associated with cancer and endocrine disruption”.

Revlon and L’Oreal are both sticking to using old formulations for their make up that contain dangerous ingredients.

Click here to sign. You have until October 11 2013.

The petition that I am directing to you highlights why I have been advocating the use of safer and more natural cosmetics on this website. Dancers use more make up than the average consumer and are therefore at greater risk to exposure to dangerous ingredients. Belly dancers especially tend to use loads of eye make up and foundation. It is imperative that we tell the manufacturers that it is not ok to put carcinogenic substances in our make up.

Belly dance cosmetics

I was experimenting with different looks this day and had a whole heap of make up out that I don’t often wear – including Revlon eye shadow!! Argghh!

I have used both L’Oreal and Revlon in the past. As regular readers know,  I have been working hard to find safe alternatives to old favourites – I still use a bit of Revlon eye shadow every now and then for example although I certainly will be phasing that out after reading this list of Revlon and L’Oreal ingredients ……

DMDM Hydantoin – strong evidence that it is an irritant to humans
Butylparaben -Human endocrine disruptor – strong evidence
Isopropylparaben – Human skin toxicant or allergen & endocrine disruptor- strong evidence
Isobutylparaben – Human skin toxicant or allergen & endocrine disruptor- strong evidence
Propylparaben  – Human skin toxicant or allergen & endocrine disruptor- strong evidence

Other companies are more ethical and are updating their products or are already committed to predominantly natural ingredients. Don’t forget to check out my reviews of cosmetic and skin care products! Here are a few you may like to read

Lavera natural cosmetic lipstick review 

Best stage eye shadow yet! Natural make up review.

Sometimes you just have to give a bad review! Natural cosmetic review of Butter London Nail polish remover.

Belly dancers beware – just because a make up artist or other dancer uses a product, it doesn’t mean it is safe. We all have busy lives and can’t possibly research every purchase. Many people are unaware of the poor regulation of the industry and assume that everything on the shelf is safe – sigh… if only that were true.

In issue 48 of Bellydance Oasis (my favourite magazine btw, I highly recommend it) it unfortunately has a dancer recommending the use of Revlon powder blush. Most versions of Revlon’s powder blush contain one or more of the toxic 5 above – yuk!  The dancer then goes on to say she uses L’Oreal colour riche lip stick. I wasn’t able to find details on the specific shade she mentions but I checked other browns in the colour riche line and they have some of the most toxic ingredients I have seen in any product I have ever reviewed or researched. Ingredients that get the highest toxicity rating of 10 (for being carcinogenic). WOW!! Over the course of the average womans life she consumes large quantities of lip stick – often kilos of the stuff. It really does matter what you are applying to your skin and lips. You don’t need to poison yourself for the sake of beauty.

Please sign the petition so that eventually all products on the shelves are safe to use and we can pick freely without another thing to worry about.

Discount on fast, easy photo retouching

Got some great photos of yourself, fellow belly dancers or students that are pretty good but could do with a bit of work?

It all can be done using photo programs like photoshop etc but you need a fair amount of time per photo and quite a lot of knowledge on how to use the program.portrait pro logo

About 2 years ago I stumbled upon Portrait Professional. You can download a free trial for either Mac or PC and see what it does for yourself but what I like about it is that it is dead easy and fast.

Before Portrait Pro


So part of the reason that I haven’t posted much lately is that I have been swapping from PC to Mac and its taking me some time to work out how to do everything the apple way. BUT because I had to re buy the mac version of the program I was left with this little coupon. I don’t get any advantages from telling you but if you like the program you may as well get the discount!

“Give your friends the coupon below (which they need to enter in the coupon box at the bottom of the buy page) and they can save 15% off the cost of any edition of Portrait Professional. ”

After using portrait pro


I prepared a much more obvious example of its use (below) and have struggled for nearly an hour to find where the files were put grrrr (so annoying working out a new system!). I finally succeeded though. In the example above I just rushed through and used the presets. Normally I would use it subtly and just correct a bit of lighting and remove any untimely blemishes . I am not a big fan of it resculpting faces but hey if you are into it then it can do that too.

Original picture - just a casual snap shot at the beach - no portrait pro.

Original picture – just a casual snap shot at the beach – no portrait pro, just a bit of lipstick.

I don’t use it for all my shots. When you have good lighting, make up and a good photographer it is often not necessary but it is nice to tidy up those that are almost a good picture but not quite.

Using Portrait pro for a more natural look. I.e. no face or hair sculpting.

Using Portrait pro for an improved but relatively natural look. I.e. no face or hair sculpting. Basically I fixed the lighting on the face and brightened the eyes and teeth. Photo: R. Conroy

What would have been a good idea to do here is to extend the skin smoothing to the torso as well but I only did the face as I was just doing for an example for this post. All photos took less than 5 minutes to alter – even if you have no background knowledge of how to do it, it is very easy.

Glamorous preset and hair smoothers used form portrait pro. I think it is over done for a beach scene but I did it so you could see the differences.

Glamorous preset, face sculpting and hair smoothers used from portrait pro. I think it is over done for a beach scene but I did it so you could see the differences.

So have a look at the free trial program and see if it is for you. If you like it then use the discount code above and save some money.

What programs do you use for your dance photos? Please comment below with your dance photo related tips or tricks.

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