Pledge of Elegance


Feb 03, 2017

New Year’s resolutions for life, liberty and the pursuit of beautifulness. If the stats are to be believed, a paltry 8% of those who declare New Year's goals in January actually succeed. We're chalking it up to post-holiday exhaustion. So in true LXMI fashion, we embarked on the road less traveled, devoting the first month to percolate and plan—here's to beating the system and following through.

PURCHASE WITH PURPOSE

Shopping shouldn’t be a guilt-ridden pleasure. This year, seek out fellow brands that really give back, favoring long-term empowerment over the quick fix that’s charity. Take FASHIONABLE, a Tennessee-based accessories emporium (it’s run by a GQ Leader Award winner and unveiled its maiden brick-and-mortar outpost in Nashville last month) whose scarves, totes and bracelets were crafted by Ethiopian women avoiding the country’s perilous sex trade. Or Hiptipico, an ethical fashion label that provides Guatemalan artisans access to the global style sphere. Luxury and social impact aren’t mutually exclusive—just ask industry leader, LVMH, who recently offered the Harvard Business Review a detailed glimpse of its sophisticated sustainability program. 

FEMMES FIRST

No matter its seemingly infinite objectives, the Women’s March on Washington and its half million participants led us to believe in the change-making power of diverse, female-focused coalitions (Couldn’t make it to D.C. in January? Check out writer Jia Tolentino’s detailed recap for The New Yorker). It’s a glaringly obvious equation: women’s rights = human rights. In the spirit of that sentiment, we declare 2017 the year of the female entrepreneur and innovator: support her, mentor her, or better yet, aspire to be her. After sifting through the latest edition of Forbes’s freshly released 30 Under 30 List, our eyes and ears are on Erika Jensen, the 27-year-old cofounder—and body positive advocate—of The Flex Company, a path-breaking startup that combats period pain with disposable menstrual discs. 

ALL HAIL THE HYBRID

If the viral success of #nomakeup was an indicator—search the snappy hashtag on Instagram, and it’ll yield over 13 million unconcealed faces from virtually every pocket of the globe—an all-natural beauty revolution (led by unofficial ambassador, singer Alicia Keys) is upon us, as this this candid Egyptian essayist also reveals. The one skin-fix that even the barefaced brigade will likely sanction: crossovers, aka nourishing hybrids that pair the coverage capabilities of traditional cosmetics with the hydrating muscles of anti-aging creams. So in 2017, skip your painstaking, multistep ritual and reach for a skin savior that expertly multitasks instead.

ROUTINELY REBOOT

Don’t wait to crash and burn to restore your internal settings—make self-care (a term that traces its roots to poet Audre Lorde, who once claimed, “caring for myself is not a self-indulgence, it is self preservation,”) a recurring part of daily life. Build confidence with apps like Shine, a personal cheerleading service that sends compassionate, motivating texts; recalibrate with tools like Headspace, an express meditation and mindfulness platform. For more inspiration, check out this sampling of wellness vacation ideas, which range from the straightforward, like a no-nonsense digital detox, to the more elaborate, such as an artsy escape in California’s Ojai Valley.

CALL FOR CLARITY

As a beauty buyer, vote with your wallet—back products that deliver on promises, and ensure the companies behind them, be it big-box stores or artisanal startups, are compatible with your personal values (technology can assist with your investigation process). Last week, Target raised eyebrows for releasing a statement outlining a “new chemical strategy” that will require the store’s fragrance and beauty brands to disclose a complete list of ingredients by 2020. But the retail behemoth’s revamped policy is merely a sign of the times: we’re a generation that expects—no, demands—transparency.  




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