Impressions of Autumn

Tiffany Banman - Pure Anada Social Media Manager 

As the word Autumn gets tossed around in September, I can’t help but get the feels all over. For me Autumn isn’t just a word, it’s an emotion. A warm, sweet, crunchy, fragrant, spicy, fuzzy feeling. 

I got to thinking about what the Fall season represents and one word seemed to encapsulate my thoughts – change. This word evokes various reactions from various types of people. For some people, change is refreshing, inspiring, and new. For others, change means breaking out of their comfort zone, facing the unknown, and the unpredictability of new things. Each personality faces change in different ways. 

I would like to think of myself as an extrovert and most people are sure that I am, but in all reality, I know that I am a born introvert. As an introvert I have experienced both sets of emotions listed above. Fall used to throw me into some sort of depression. It just threw me off. I couldn’t see the beauty of everything around me dying in Fall. It somehow felt like a piece of me was dying with the scene around me. My heart and mind couldn’t wrap itself around dark, dreary, and cold. I would hold onto every ounce of Summer and every single last ray of sunshine. I would begin to dread the onset of Fall as early as August and anxiously wait for the first leaf to change colour, watching so carefully to NOT see it that I was first one to spot it every year.

I can’t really trace back to the exact time that Fall changed for me, but it did. I guess one September, I purposed in my heart to at least try and feel what everyone else was expressing. I got tired of the fear that gripped me every year. It was time to make fear work in my favour – to let it wake me up, not shut me down (a little quote from Divergent there – can’t help it) I began to realize that change is a good thing, a necessary part of life, that variety is the spice of life – in so many more ways than just seasons. 

Now when the air changes and leaves begin to crunch under my feet, I breath a little deeper and step a little harder to get the full effect. 

For those of you who naturally transition into Fall, I’m sure you’re wondering what all these “changes” are that seem to be unnoticeably happening around you. Let me tell you, so that you can embrace them on purpose along with me. So, what all changes in Fall? 

The atmosphere, obviously. There is no air as pure as the air in Autumn. A walk during this time of year is probably the best thing for your heart, your mind, and your soul. I was talking to a friend the other day who goes for a run every night. She was confused because she can’t seem to commit to a gym membership, but she has no problem lacing up and hitting the streets for a run each night. She posted a picture of the Fall colours in her town and expressed how she realized that it was the scenery she gets to enjoy everyday that motivates her. Who can enjoy nature at the gym? Unless you consider the smells and sounds from those working out around you – I guess that’s nature too 😊…Moving on - Who’s all on the Pumpkin Spice Latte bandwagon? Can I get an amen? Every Coffee Culture & Starbucks gears up and braces themselves for the hoards of women (and men) that get their daily fix of this sweet and spicy offering. Autumn means breaking out the leggings, socks, and oversize, chunky sweaters. It means candles and baths, soup, pie, and Thanksgiving. It means craft markets and early Christmas shopping. For me and my work team, it means a trip to Winnipeg (on the boss) to watch a football game! Score!...or…touchdown? For my Dad and my brother, it means the start of a new season of NHL. Take some time to look around during this season and realize what Fall means for you.

Routine changes in the Fall. For Mama’s, it means back-to-school shopping. Maybe it means their youngest facing their first year of school and their first bus ride. Not always easy for Mama to pack that lunch, strap on the backpack, and watch that little one take on the world. Bittersweet emotion and huge change. For students, the carefree summer and YOLO attitude is forced to take the backseat as they refocus on the big picture and their goals. For our Dads who are working outside, it means coffee in a thermos is no longer an option, but a welcome necessity. It means gloves and scraping off the first frost. 

Relationships change year-round and at every turn of life, but I guess this stands out to me because I faced a sad parting with a friend in my teen years that happened to be in Fall. I also went through a break-up with a boyfriend during this season – killer. People change, don’t they? But we change too, and sometimes without even noticing it. Sometimes, these partings with people in our lives are the result of us growing out of them or just a necessary parting of ways so both parties can continue to grow in different directions. I read a quote about Fall that sums it up: “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” As hard as it is to say goodbye to people who’ve contributed to your life, seasons are inevitable, and life doesn’t wait for us to catch up. Just remember that the closing of one door means the opening of another. Face the unknown with anticipation and realize how much your attitude about a situation can change its outcome.  Autumn, the season that teaches us that change can be beautiful. 

Fall is easily a time of reflection and re-evaluation. A reflection of the whimsical, spontaneous days of summer and a re-evaluation of goals as you face the last four months of the year. For me, Fall is somewhat of a reawakening. A chance to put everything back into focus for the last bit of the year. To really make it count, to take it all in, to really live. To take it all in at home during family dinner, at work as I’m smashing projects, at social events when things are hopping, and especially during those Fall nights when I look up at the sky and the stars are at their brightest and on display just for me. Remember, you only get one life, it’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible (last quote from a movie, I promise. That one is from Me Before You) I hope this blog post inspires you to look at Fall in a new light. 

Ethically Mined Mica

Candace Grenier - Pure Anada Founder & Formulator

Is your makeup ethical?

I remember the day in 2014 when journalist,  Adria Vasil contacted me about THIS ARTICLE  she was writing for NOW Toronto.  News was beginning to spread that 70% of the world's mica supply is mined in India, much of it linked to child slave-labour.  She asked me what I knew about our mica supply chain.

Being so immersed in the day-to-day aspects of growing our company, I was ashamed to admit that I wasn't aware of this practice and the possibility that our suppliers were involved in this scandal.   I was horrified to think that Pure Anada could be indirectly linked to child slave-labour.  Kristen, our makeup artist was sitting in a desk next to me and asked the sobering question, "If you find out the mica you use in Pure Anada is mined by children, what will you do?"

Mica is an integral part of our colour cosmetic formulations.  It's one of the ways Pure Anada products achieve their colour and dimension.  Our philosophy is to only use pigment from natural mineral sources.   Simply eliminating it from the formula wasn't an option.  Finding another supplier also seemed like a grim prospect when I heard that Lush decided to eliminate all mica from their formulas and replace it with synthetic (plastic) shimmer and FD&C (petro-chemical) dyes.  This wasn't the direction I wanted to take Pure Anada either.

It crossed my mind that this could be the end of Pure Anada! The ethical treatment of people is of paramount importance to me.  It's my heart's desire that all humans are treated fairly, with respect and dignity.  While the treatment of animals and the sustainability of natural resources are also important - people (of all things) take priority.

My first course of action was to email our mica-supplier, and hopefully they could enlighten me on their sourcing and production practices.  Much to my great relief, their response was SO much better than I could have imagined!  Not only were they NOT involved in child-slave-labour, they were pro-active to build and support the communities where they mined mica.   The statements below were part of the report I received (our supplier name is not disclosed for proprietary reasons).

****** strongly opposes child labour. As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, the company is actively engaged in eliminating child labour. The ****** Social Charter explicitly bans child labour. We demand that our suppliers act accordingly, stipulating in our contracts with them that they do not employ children.

Besides our strategy to ensure control along the entire mica supply chain, we are working in parallel to improve the social and living conditions of families in the mica mining region. As a means of support, we have established educational and health care programmes. To ensure sustainable results of these social programmes, ****** is collaborating with expert partners locally in India.

****** started to evaluate the need and options for social activities in 2008. In the meantime three schools, two vocational training centres and a medical centre have been opened and are financed by ******. All activities have been well accepted by villagers and their children. Progress has been made constantly showing the high demand for these offers.

Our supplier then went on to explain in detail, the schools, hospitals, vocational training centres and child-friendly villages they have funded and continue to support, including photos of each one.  Here are some samples: 
Medical Centre in Saphi 

Sarita - Medical Nurse

School Children in Tisri

School in Tisri

I was thrilled (and still am!) to know that our mica supply chain is not only clean, but supportive of women, children and families in India.  Another reason to keep doing what we love to do!  Thanks for supporting our brand.  

Want to support other ethical makeup companies?  Check out World Vision's Good Makeup Guide and watch this fun video they produced below! 

Eyeliner Application

Kristen von Riesen - Pure Anada Makeup Artist 

Eyeliner is a tricky business. When done well, it accentuates the shape of the eyes and makes your lashes look fuller. When done poorly, it can draw negative attention to the eyes, such as making them look small, making dark circles look darker, or giving you a black eye. So let’s address some eyeliner techniques!

First of all, there are a few variables that affect how to wear eyeliner:
Eye Shape
Hair/Skin Tone

How Age Affects Eyeliner Application:

Let’s address age. I find on both extremes of the age spectrum (pre- and young teen, and elderly), it is most flattering to keep the eyeliner a soft color - such as grey/charcoal, brown, navy, etc. Stay away from a harsh shade such as black as it tends to age a person. For young girls, it can be fun to use soft or bright colours too! Try purple, gold, or green for a pop of colour. Then you can get away with little to no eye shadow, keeping your look more simple.

For you more mature ladies, keep the eyeliner to the top lid only or if you really prefer liner under the eyes, smudge smudge SMUDGE! No thin harsh lines under the eyes - it will age you and make your eyes look smaller. This rule basically applies to all women, however I find it especially affects older women.

How Eye Shape Affects Eyeliner Application:

Eye shape: There are many eye shapes under the sun! Here are a few tips on applying eyeliner for various eye shapes. Keep in mind that dark colours can make eyes look smaller, and light colours make them look larger.

Therefore, for small eyes, keep the line nice and thin - particularly on the upper eyelid. And avoid using any dark liner in the waterline. By either not using liner under the eyes, or by applying a very smudged line under the eyes, you will create the illusion of larger eyes.

For hooded eyes (where not a lot of the moving eyelid is showing), also keep the line on the upper lid thin. 

For large eyes or heavy-lidded eyes, feel free to apply a thicker line. It also looks very flattering to smudge the line (both on the upper and lower lashline) for heavy-lidded eyes. If you like the look of liner in the waterline, go for it!

Eyes that are a bit close-set, focus the liner on the outer half of the eyes - like a cat-eye/winged liner look. This will draw the eyes apart. And the opposite goes for eyes that are wide-set - focus the thickness of the line toward the inner corners of the eyes, and avoid a winged liner.

How Hair and Skin Tone Affect Eyeliner Application:

This one is pretty simple - the lighter the hair and skin tone, the lighter the eyeliner *should* be. I say *should* because I don’t want you to think this is a hard and fast rule and that you should never ever play with darker colours. I have seen some super fair redheads wear a thick winged liner with loads of black mascara and it looked amazing! 

That goes for all of my “rules” I’ve just listed! Don’t take makeup application too seriously. These are guidelines as to what is most flattering, however there are always exceptions. As I usually say, have fun with makeup and use it as a fun tool to accentuate your beauty and personality!