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Travel Amenity Kits

We’re thrilled to introduce a skillfully collaborated collection of Bella Lucce’s bestsellers, now offered in TSA-friendly sizes tucked inside chic cotton travel bags. Our new Travel Amenity Kits enable you to take your favorite Bella Lucce luxuries for face and body on the road no matter where your travels may take you. Whether you’re off on an adventure by plane, train or automobile, we wish you happy travels!

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From Morocco With Love

Shop Bella Luccè's nonprofit to discover a treasure trove of handmade Moroccan luxuries and learn how adding beauty to your life can change the lives of indigenous Berber people.
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Latest Obsession
Inspirational Jewlery from LuluBug

My teenage daughter recently left for a summer service trip to Thailand. I was scouring Etsy for a piece of inspirational jewelry to give her when I stumbled upon LuluBug. I’m smitten with her whimsical, original designs in sterling silver. My Chloe scored a locket that said “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams…” but I’ve got my eye on several other pieces as well. Who could resist the “You are my sunshine” necklace?

Ingredient of the Month
Crushed Freshwater Pearls

Crushed Freshwater Pearls: Celebrated by Asian women and ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia for more than 3,000 years, pearl powder has a rich history and a myriad of legendary tales about its use at the Imperial Palace. Created by pulverizing real freshwater pearls, it is reputed to boost skins brightness and is rich in both amino acids and trace minerals.

Find it in: Shiitake & Green Tea Antioxidant Serum, Detoxifying Giinger-Wasabi Masque, Orchid & Crushed Pearl Body Creme

Food For Thought

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

- Steve Jobs

Home Spa Rituals
Lavender- Honey Milk Bath

3 tbsp. Dried Lavender Flowers*
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk or Buttermilk
1/3 cup Honey

Process lavender flowers in a blender until they become a powder, turning off the blender and scraping down the sides as necessary. Whisk together lavender powder, milk, and honey in a glass bowl, then pour into a jar. Before each use, shake the jar and pour half of the mixture into the bath. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes enough for 2 baths.

*Dried lavender flowers can be found in the spice section of gourmet and specialty stores. (Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board)


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A Day in the Life on Capitol Hill…

August 4, 2010

On Monday, I was honored to engage Congressional officials in a discussion about the impact of the H.R. 5786 on small beauty companies. I was joined in DC by Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Beauty Network, Leigh O’Donnell of The Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild, Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale and Anne Marie Faiola of Brambleberry. We met with five staffers from the offices of co-sponsors of the House Bill (specifically: Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Ed Markey, Tammy Baldwin, and Barney Frank) and Sen. Feinstein’s Senate office. Here’s my take-away from those meetings:

Anne Marie, myself and Donna Maria in a cab on the way to Capitol Hill

1. The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has had the ear of these legislators for quite some time. It’s abundantly clear that the bulk of this “junk science” is coming directly from CFSC. These meetings were a terrific opportunity to combat some of the misinformation that’s been saturating DC for the last few years. A prime example? One staffer asked us why we wouldn’t just agree to stop adding lead to lipstick. That’s a line straight out of CFSC’s playbook. Though I tire of hearing that one, it opened the door for a discussion on the issue. In fact, no one is adding lead to lipstick. Manufacturers don’t maniacally toss in a 55-gallon barrel of lead into each batch of lipstick just to see what will happen. Lead is found in the mineral pigments used to make red lipstick. The pigments are mined from the earth, which contains lead as a natural mineral. Unfortunately, Mother Nature left us precious few options for creating that brilliant red lip that so many American women have taken a shining to. (The only other viable option is crushed beetles- no joke). The staffers seemed a bit shocked by this revelation, as well as the fact the amount of lead detected in lipstick in that infamous CFSC study was less than the amount of lead found in the average glass of American drinking water. You know, the variety we’re advised by medical professionals to down 8 glasses of per day? To add insult to injury, the FDA already regulates the amount of lead inherent in personal care products, so today’s cosmetic landscape isn’t the “Wild, Wild West” that special interest groups have made it out to be. It’s clear the “studies” they based this legislation were ill-advised and designed with a specific agenda in mind. We opened the door to introduce logical, fact-based science, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to unravel some of the damage that’s been propagated over the last few years.

2. It’s clear that these staffers did not fully understand precisely how H.R. 5786 would practically impact the industry. For example, if I began marketing a massage bar tomorrow with just 3 ingredients, the label would look like this: Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, Lavender Essential Oil. That’s it! A clear, easy-to-digest label for consumers that precisely states what’s in their 100% natural, 99% edible product. Under this new bill, that same cosmetics label would look like this:

Olive Oil (Tri-Glycerides of Palmitic, Di-Glycerides of Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic, Arachidic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Squalene, Beta Carotene, Campesterol, Methylenecholesterol, Stigmasterol, Sitosterol, Fucosterol, 28-Isofucosterol, Stigmadienol, Brassicasterol, 7-Cholestenol,Ergostadienol, Avenasterol, Triterpene Alcohols, Tirucallol, Taraxerol, Dammaradienol Beta-Amyrin Germanicol, Butyrospermol, Parkeol, Cycloartenol, Tirucalladienol, 4-Methlene 24-Dihydroparkeol, 24-Methlenecycloartanol, Cyclobranol, 4-Methyl Sterols, Esters of Tyrosol, Esters of Hydroxytyrosol, Vitamin E (Tocopherols), Carotenoids, Oleuropein), Cocoa Butter (Tri and Diglycerides of Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Lead, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Isoleic Acid, Beta Carotene, p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid, Vanillic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Syringic Acid, Phenylehtylamine, Theophylline, Aliphatic Esters, Aromatic Carbonyls, Caffeine, Theobromine, Diketopiperazines and Alkylpryazines), Lavender Essential Oil ( Cineole Octanol, Octanone, Alpha Bisabolol, Alpha Cadinol, Alpha Humelene, Alpha Phellandrene, Apha Pinene, Alpha Terpinene, Alpha Terpineol, Alpha Terpinyl Acetate, Alpha Thujene, Alpha Thujone, Beta Bisabolol, Beta Pinene, Beta Thujone, Borneol, Bornyl Acetate, Camphene Camphor, Cineolealpha Terpineol, Carvone, Caryophyllene, Carophyllene Oxide, CIS Alpha Terpineol, CIS Alpha Bisabolene, CIS Carveol, CIA Linalol Epoxide, CIS Ocimene, Citronellal, Citronellol, Coumarine, Cuminaldehyde, Eugenol, Furfural, Geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Geranyl Butyrate, Hexanol, Hexyl Tiglate, Isoborneol, Lavandulol, Lavandulyl Acetate, Limonene, Linanlol, Linalyl Acetate, Methyl Heptenone, Myrcene, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, Oleanolic Acid, P Cymene, Rosemarinic Acid, Sabinen, Terpinenol, Terpinolene, Trans Carveol, Trans Epoxy Linalyl Acetate, Trans Linanol Epoxide, Trans Ocimene, Ursolic Acid).

Do you feel any safer? Any more informed? Or just totally overwhelmed? It’s the exact same product, but you’ll need both a chemistry book and a magnifying glass to make sense of that label. Can you imagine fitting all that on an 8 ounce bottle? Along with the existing requirements of net contents, applicable safety statements, manufacturer’s contact information, directions for use, and on and on and on. I wish you could have been there to see the faces of the staffers as we passed around the handout with that “expanded” ingredient list. I think we’re beginning to illustrate that what’s fabulous in theory may be disastrous in practice.

3. We talked repeatedly of the impact the new fee system would have on small business. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard lately (from small cosmetic companies, from consumers and from legislators) “…but the bill specifically excludes fee for businesses grossing less than a million dollars per year.” There are several problems with this position. Chief among them: $1m in sales isn’t a small business. It’s a MICROBUSINESS. I know that number sounds huge when you’re making cosmetics at your kitchen table, but it’s minuscule in practice. A “small” cosmetic company- by industry standards- is a business grossing $7m or less per annum. What about the businesses making $1-6.9 million per year? They’ll be slammed with new fees. Just how much, we can’t say. Why? Because H.R. 5786 specifically omits any description of the actual fee structure. The bill jut gives the FDA the authority to institute a fee structure on any business grossing over $1million in order to cover the cost of all the new buildings, researchers, paperwork and enforcement. Privately, the FDA will tell you that it’s HUNDREDS OF MILLION of dollars. Sounds like those fees will be rather steep. It breaks my heart to hear young cosmetic companies say “Whew…well at least I’ll never have to pay fees because we don’t gross a million.” Why? Well, I’d hope that the moms who are working full-time jobs and taking care of their children and trying in the wee hours of the morning to launch their dream businesses (inbetween juggling all their other responsibilities) aim higher for themselves than to launch a company that will never come close to grossing a million dollars per year. And I literally shudder when I hear that sigh of relief escape their lips, because it’s at that very moment that I realize they have yet to understand that everyone above them in the cosmetics “food chain” will be passing those hefty new fees right on down to the little guy. As a microbusiness, you might not be cutting a check to the FDA but believe me- you’ll be paying those fees. We stressed that fact again and again to legislators.

It wasn’t our first meeting with these staffers and I’m certain it won’t be our last. But we’re the David against the Goliath right now- CFSC is backed by many millions of dollars in grants from EWG and they have well-placed connections in the mass media arena that are all-too-happy to give them a platform for their scare tactics (nothing boosts ratings like a dash of fear mongering!). We need a consortium of cosmetic companies and the consumers who love them to take action right now. Kayla assembled a great list of action steps, which I’m sharing here.

Action Steps:
1. If you own a cosmetics business- large or small- visit the Oppose SCA websitefor templates of letters you can forward to your representatives
2. Sign the Oppose SCA Petition
3. Write Congress
4. Write Your Senator
5. Vote “Oppose” on Open Congress
6. See Your Representatives & Senators in Person During Summer Recess August 9 - September 12
7. If you are on Twitter, please follow the #OpposeSCA hashtag.


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Fabulous post Lela! I have shared it with several groups on LinkedIn and posted a tweet.

It’s disappointing that legislators are misinformed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and are not accepting of the science.

We posted an article today on Personal Care Truth about the Dactylopius Coccus {beetle}, which is responsible for crimson dye

I’m here for the long haul and will continue to fight misinformation and fear mongering. I hope logic and the truth will prevail!


Great post, Lela. Thanks for your diligence and hard work on this issue.

And, what a wonderful picture of you, Donna Maria and Anne Marie! So vibrant.


Fantastic post Lela. I was right there with you when the lead discussion came up and I was surprised (and disappointed) to see that the very people working on the bill and helping to write it did not understand basic chemistry and cosmetic formulation. It was eye opening. But, with more education and understanding, hopefully we can help legislators understand how damaging this bill would be for the entire industry.

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