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A Message from Your New Beauty/Health Advisor
This is Mariluz Fontanez, cosmetologist and your new beauty health advisor here on Lumigrate. I am delighted to have been invited to write in this forum. As a professional makeup & hair stylist, I've dedicated over 14 years of my life polishing and mastering makeup artistry and hair design. I like to describe my style as "avant garde", cutting edge, innovative and creative. Always trying to reinvent myself as an artist and offer my clients the latest techniques and products in the market.
Just seven months ago, on Friday, March 5, 2010, I woke up feeling "flu like symptoms" that sent me to the doctor. My blood work results came back stating I had tested positive for the Epstein Barr Virus. I thought after 4-6 weeks I would be back to normal like my doctor said but instead I continued feeling extremely ill. My body felt like a "train ran over me", my skin was so dry -- I even developed psoriasis. My hair lost its shine, my nails were brittle and at some point they fell off like flakes. I felt as if I was rapidly aging. It was so depressing to see myself in the mirror and see just a shadow of what I used to look like.
As a professional in the beauty industry, I am expected to always look my best. I was determined to get to the root of the problem and regain my health. I went to every specialist and was tested for every single symptom I was experiencing. After ruling every possible illness out, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
My quest to wellness had just begun, and like many others, I had a voracious need to learn more about the syndrome. I looked for information online, bought all the books, saw all the videos and joined support groups. I would go with a list of questions to my doctor's visits.
I immediately understood that fibromyalgia was MISunderstood and there were way too many "Why's?" yet to be answered.
This is when I decided to take matters into my own hands; to listen to my own body and find my own healing. One thing that was way too clear to me was the need to change my diet and old habits. I knew I needed to detoxify my body. Going the natural route and taking a more holistic approach made immense sense to me. As I was researching online, I came across Deirdre Rawlings, N.D., Ph.D. and her book "Food that Helps Win the Battle Against Fibromyalgia" I tossed every junk food, soda, sweet, processed and filled- with-additives food I had in my pantry and took the book with me to the farmers market!
My body almost immediately began to respond to the new healthy food choices. The vitamins and supplements were a great addition as well. It was no longer a diet, it became a lifestyle for the whole family. My skin and hair was renewing itself. Those were the most evident changes that proved to me "I must of been doing something right!".
Although I'm still learning to manage my symptoms, I know I'm taking control over this syndrome by making smart decisions.
It became my goal and personal advocacy to educate people about fibromyalgia. This is when IFAC (International Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign) was born. The theme "Beauty from Pain" was my inspiration.
It is all about turning a negative into a positive...to bring "Beauty from Pain".
My job is so rewarding. It allows me to help others feel good about themselves and boost their self-esteem. It is also an empowering and influential position because people usually look for your professional advice and tend to "follow it to the T". This is a constant reminder of keeping informed and educated as to which products to use and recommend to my clients.
Just recently I had a very uplifting and insightful conversation with Mardy Ross about synthetic cosmetics and its toxic elements. High levels of toxins in the system seems to be a common denominator among those who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She instilled the need in me to pay more attention to the products in terms of ingredients, whereas I was looking at them more in terms of resilience, longevity, consistency, high pigmented coloring, waterproof resistance, and appeal --- everything a Pro looks for to achieve the "perfect" application.
I was so grateful to be reminded that it's never too late to learn no matter your expertise and years of experience. Fibromyalgia syndrome has come to open my eyes to a whole new dimension of beauty. It has made me even more conscious of the need to pay attention to what we put into our bodies, not just what we eat but also what we expose our skin to.
Ever since the conversation with Mardy, I have become so enthusiastic about finding the BEST organic products out there to begin using on my path to healing. I also want to make the transition from the products I have been using and are highly demanded by my clients to including endorsement of Nature- Eco friendly, organic products. I would like to translate this vision into IFAC - the International Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign (join us at facebook: http://www.causes.com/causes/514018) along with the "Beauty From Pain" awareness campaign. Please follow the following link to YouTube to view our video on Beauty from Pain at www.youtube.com/watch. I am discovering a whole new perspective by creating conscience about makeup and hair products.
I currently am studying and reviewing new products to put together a makeup tutorial and skin/hair products review video for all of you.
My goal is to continue to provide the same quality and artistry required to recreate a professional look with products that are actually good for your skin.
I want to remove the stigma organic products have of being "boring products" for a more mature consumer and bring edginess and a high sense of fashion to these products so they could appeal to all these young girls who run to makeup counters and drugstores driven by magazines' ads totally clueless of the side-effects. It's all about creating awareness in a very attractive, creative way.
The following is a list of the topics I will be discussing in this forum. I encourage you to make this as interactive as possible. I am here to answer all your beauty/health questions.
1. Nothing like Mother Nature.
Isn't it contradictory that all these great "Vitamin infused" shampoos that are supposed to make your hair so silky and smooth are all made of synthetic ingredients that with everyday use eventually will damage your hair? Natural hair care products are wonderfully safe and effective to use for your hair. Organic hair shampoos, conditioners, leave on balms and other hair care products that contain plant-derived ingredients from nature provide the best care for your hair without fear of allergies or irritations to your scalp because these products are mild and hypoallergenic. Coconut oil, for example, is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals and so using a hair product with coconut oil will surely amp your hair’s strength and vitality. Many organic hair products contain aloe vera, Shea butter and other plant-based extracts. These ingredients have different effects and benefits and so you can choose the product to use for your specific hair concern.
This topic will also discuss some "natural home made skin/hair treatments" tips from around the world.
2. Hair comes The Bride...
Brides dream of the perfect wedding, and the perfect wedding of course comes with the "perfect bride". They undergo all kinds of pre-wedding treatments to make sure they will have that special "glow" and be picture perfect when they're ready to walk down the isle.
Usually these treatments involve chemical peels, botox injections, hair relaxers, hair extensions, spray tanning or tanning beds. Ouch!
This topic will discuss all the alternative natural treatments and products you could use to achieve a healthier, natural skin glow and gorgeous supple hair that will leave everyone in awe!
3. Green means Go!
Go Green! Since these products are organic, using them would not harm the environment. The ingredients of these products are highly biodegradable and so you wouldn't be polluting the surroundings by using them. Synthetic products have ingredients that care for your hair at the expense of the environment.
I will also include a video reviewing Eco friendly products and how they're taking it beyond its ingredients to its packaging.
4. The price of Beauty
When you compare the benefits of organic to chemical-based products, you will find that organic products are way cheaper in the long run. Why would you pay insane amounts of money for things that would eventually deal damage to your body?
Think about all the money needed to be invested in those so called treatments to repair hair or skin damage. Organic products provide care and nourishment to your hair for a cheaper price, and so they can give you the best value for your money.
I will begin my first topic, "Nothing like Mother Nature" in the following weeks, so please keep coming back to this forum for more.
My wish is that through this wonderful site, Lumigrate, I am able to bring light and a whole new perspective to cosmetics.
I will leave you with a video that basically summarizes my purpose...and leaves you wanting to come back and discuss it some more in this forum.
Beauty & Health
Mariluz Fontanez, cosmetologist with over 14 years of experience in the beauty industry. Mariluz holds a Bachelors degree in Communications; majored in Film/TV Production and minored in Public Relations. She was recently diagnosed with CFIDS/Fibromyalgia and it is now her passion and personal quest to put her skills to good use by making a huge impact in the media through an educational, fun interactive Fibromyalgia awareness campaign: "Beauty from Pain". Together with Dr. Mark Guariglia, Mariluz has created IFAC (International Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign), a support group on Facebook www.causes.com/causes/514018 with a very optimistic approach in health and overall wellness. Mariluz finds Lumigrate to be the perfect venue to bring light to this campaign and help so many affected by this syndrome.
This forum is provided to allow members of Lumigrate to share information and ideas. Any recommendations made by forum members regarding medical treatments, medications, or procedures are not endorsed by Lumigrate or practitioners who serve as Lumigrate's medical experts.