What Is the Cost of Beauty?

As technology and times change so do the many moving parts in the fashion and makeup worlds. The creation of new styles, blends, colors, organics, applications, all for women to look and feel beautiful in our daily lives. There is no question that is an important item. However, what is the cost of beauty?

Each year, worldwide over 100 Million animals die in the process of cosmeceutical testing. Translation? Simple, animals are subjected to lengthy agonizing processes of torture and experimentation in the building of new, sleeker, cosmetics. Most women have no idea the ramifications to animals when many companies adopt this type of testing for effectiveness, however, in the year 2014 we can no longer ignore the pain and suffering of animals for the benefit of beauty.

To better understand the process and the need for cruelty free makeup, let’s see just a few examples of the type of testing that currently happening to animals:

  • Dogs are force fed products to test the effects of toxicity upon ingestion.
  • Monkeys have chemicals slow dripped into their eyes so tissue analysis can be performed.

Just for a moment you need to consider the pain. Animals are NOT given any sort of sedative or pain killer. The overwhelming majority of these tests leave animals in a state of permanent disfigurement and pain, and obviously death. The question is, why do we do animal testing that we would never perform on ourselves? Could you imagine the outrage if 100 million humans had their rights violated to be treated as “lab rats?” It would never happen as we have a voice. Unfortunately for animals, they don’t have a voice in the process until now.

It is time for manufacturers and companies to take a stand and support cruelty free makeup. Makeup that the public wants without the harmful testing involved. Here is an amazing fact, the FDA the Food and Drug Administration does NOT require testing on animals of cosmeceuticals. Yet, companies still do? Why? There is no voice by the consumer expressing outrage of the unnecessary testing.

When you are shopping next time regardless if it is mascara, lip gloss, skin care, just know there is a 92% likelihood that an animal or animals have been tested on for that product. The voice today does not come in the form of petitions or social media. Although they are effective forms of voice. The most powerful voice for the animal and product is through money. Money spent on companies and products that ensure a cruelty free process. Purchase cosmetics from companies that produce cruelty free makeup like: e.l.f. NYX, Manic Panic, and Lime Crime. Assume for a moment that companies, who are testing on animals, saw a hit to their bottom-line by an average of 3% or higher, what would they hear? They would hear there is a different process entirely to achieve the product they want, the product you want, and keeping unnecessary animal testing at bay. You have the power of information and the power of voice. So what is the cost of beauty?

Locating in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe Is Key to Efficient Sales Fulfillment and Business Success

Freight and courier transportation of goods is booming driven in large part by the surge in online e-commerce transactions. We continually hear reports of online sales growth, where customers are shopping with their keyboards rather than walking in stores.

Heading into 2014, the likes of Amazon.com report record sales order activity and courier companies are boasting millions of parcels delivered – daily – across Canada and the US. As much as there is a need for old fashioned brick stores, the proportion of sales online continues to grow and outpace traditional shopping channels.

For suppliers trying to fulfill customer orders on behalf of retailers, it means locating distribution in the right place and keeping the right inventory levels. What is “the right place”? It means being able to fulfill orders quickly and get them to the consumer within the promised time. Today, there is little tolerance for delivery times in excess of 3-5 business days. Within Canada, most courier hubs are within the major urban centres and close to all transportation networks (rail, air, major highways).

If a supplier had to locate distribution one point within Canada, where would it be assuming the product is in demand equally across the country? In this case, it would be within the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto is the epicentre of an area termed the Golden Horseshoe region within Ontario. Over 26% of the Canadian population lives in this area which translates into over 9 million people. Further, nearly 40% of the Canadian population lives within Ontario (nearly 14 million people).

Locating where the customer is just makes sense, and courier deliveries within the Golden Horseshoe are often next day (at no extra charge); which helps retailers offer low or free shipping rates. Free shipping is highly attracting to online shoppers, often helping win sales. Your fulfillment location will help you offer the most competitive online pricing.

Finding a Canadian 3PL for Ecommerce Warehousing and Distribution

For online retailers looking for drop ship distributors (that is, warehousing and fulfillment partners that can warehouse and ship consumer orders on their behalf) in Canada, third party logistics (3PL’s) makes a lot of sense. The online worlds means the reach of your marketing can vastly expand beyond your local area, while providing you the ability to locate distribution in a prime location closest to the largest consumer population base.

Executing utilizing a third party warehousing and distribution/fulfillment partner closest to customers and within proximity to a courier hub is ideal. Mississauga is home to Canada’s largest airport (air freight), it sits on the edge of Lake Ontario (sea freight); and also provides a vast rail and roadway network. Selecting warehousing and distribution space just west of Mississauga, within Halton Region, is a good choice. It balances relatively affordable warehousing rates while being in the heart of the Golden Horseshoe and Greater Toronto Ontario area.

When considering establishing warehousing and distribution to serve Canadian customers, it is clear that location matters and clearly can positively influence your online sales growth and success.

Business Acquisition Opportunities in 2014

The M&A market has now had a few years of stability. Companies continue to make money and the underlying macroeconomic trends support higher levels of business confidence. Despite new healthcare regulations and calls for higher taxation in Washington, most business owners are heading into 2014 with a few good years under their belts and increasing optimism. Many companies are ramping up business acquisition opportunities in 2014 as a way to increase their growth. There are a number of reasons why companies are doing this. Firstly, interest rates continue to be at historically low levels and loans are widely available. Strategic business acquisition can be easily financed at low rates. Acquisitions continue to represent the best way to jump start organic growth at most middle market companies. They provide valuable assets such as customer portfolios and new product sets they can take years to accumulate on their own. They also bring teams of quality employees that have special skills not easily sourced in the labor markets.

The best business acquisition opportunities in 2014 can be found in old line businesses, such as distribution and service companies who are not fully monetizing the value of their customer accounts or product portfolios. For example, many companies have strong customer relationships selling a single service or product but are unable to expand their offerings to provide a fuller spectrum of product offerings. These companies lack innovation capability and more than likely lack visionary product design leadership in their organization. Some companies have hard to assemble product lines and offerings but lack the ability to bring these products into new channels such as federal government channels, new territories and online marketplaces. These companies often are steeped in product knowledge and customer service but lack the channel development vision. When a company’s revenue levels off and an owner reaches a certain age, the probability of future growth diminishes.

The best sectors for business acquisition opportunity today are in the IT Consulting, Direct sales distribution and Healthcare service sectors. All of these sectors have experienced significant change over the past several years due. IT has gone from a localized consulting model to a cloud based offshore model. With the cloud becoming omnipresent, IT delivery channels have been structurally upended. Distribution companies that have historically used direct sales to drive growth are now dealing with adoption of new technologically based sales and marketing tools. Customer’s today want to deal with fewer suppliers and are organizing managed purchasing platforms that may cut out certain suppliers. Most direct sales based distributors need to adopt new technologies such as skype, video conferencing and hand held tablets into their sales process to keep their sales force on the cutting edge. Health care companies particularly in the service side are under attack from technology and regulatory changes. Most health care service companies such as home care or outpatient practices have been run as lifestyle businesses. They are not equipped to deal with changes in reimbursement let alone large scale industry reorganization into accountable care organizations. While these sectors are all different, they all are wrestling with the same issue – how to become more efficient in a technology dominated world where the old fashioned way of doing things is no longer good enough. These sectors present the best business acquisition opportunities in 2014.

Condo Picks for Silom and Sathorn Areas of Bangkok

Some of the best Bangkok condo and apartment rentals have been found in areas not usually associated with large residential communities. The Wish @ Samyan is one such place.

Wish @ Samyan Condominium, Silom

Located just a few minutes’ walk from Samyan MRT station, the Wish @ Samyan is a new building with a swimming pool, fitness studio, and car parking as standard.

Because available land is scarce in this district, it has meant that renting a condo is often expensive and not usually very good value for money compared to other parts of Bangkok. However, the Wish @ Samyan offers accommodation in the usually pricey Silom area at affordable rents. For example, a one bedroom unit will cost just 15,000 THB/Mo. There are also reasonably priced two bed options available for those needing more space.

Like many new condominiums in the capital, the Wish @ Samyan has smaller units than older buildings, but the rooms here are very well set-out, stylish, and nicely designed, thus providing residents with modern, comfortable living spaces.

Wish @ Samyan – The Conclusion

The Wish @ Samyan is just a three minute walk from the Samyan MRT station making it a commuter’s dream location. There are 24 storeys offering about 500 units. There is a sky garden, swimming pool (including a children’s pool), and a gymnasium on the 19th floor.

This condo development has opened Silom up to a whole new range of tenants. People who are now renting here would have previously had to either increase their budgets by at least 30%, or settled to live further away from the MRT /BTS and major roads in order to get an affordable home with the same or similar specifications as the Wish @ Samyan.

Villa Sathorn Condominium

The next property on our list is the Villa Sathorn. This building opened its doors towards the end of 2010 and has grown in popularity ever since. Located only 50m from the Krungthinburi BTS station, Villa Sathorn is incredibly convenient. Although tipped by our own regular Bangkok blog articles as a winner from the outset, it took the market a lot longer to realize its virtues. In fact, we even included Villa Sathorn in our best condos to rent back in 2011.

However, since 2011, Villa Sathorn has gone from strength to strength in popularity. If you are looking to rent a condo here, you have four room types available, namely studios, along with one, two, and three bedroom units. This choice of accommodation means that Villa Sathorn caters for a wide range of the market. Other features that help Villa Sathorn stand out from the competition include a swimming pool, fitness center, raised parking, and a large roof-top garden (an usual feature for most condominiums in Bangkok).

As nice as the above features are, the most outstanding and attractive characteristic of this building are the stunning views that residents get from their windows; especially at night when Bangkok’s skyline presents itself in spectacular fashion. This high rise construction is situated in an area of mostly low-rise buildings, which makes the mammoth 40-story tower appear even taller as it looms over neighbouring structures.

Of course, Villa Sathorn is located over the river in the Thonburi area of Bangkok, but with the rapid expansion of both the BTS and MRT lines, people renting here now appreciate just how easy and close to central Bangkok the condominium actually is. In fact, it is very possible to travel from Villa Sathorn to Siam square BTS station in just 20 minutes, and only 10 minutes to Bangkok’s CBD on Sathorn road and the nearby Chong Nonsi BTS station.

Villa Sathorn – The Conclusion

The unobstructed pride of place that Villa Sathorn finds itself, gives way to truly breathtaking, panoramic views of the city. Factor in that this condominium complex is located within 500m of the Chaophraya River, and just 50m from the Krungthinburi BTS station, easily secures its place on the 2014″best of Bangkok condos” list.

Winter Fashion: Top Picks For 2014

With Christmas only a few weeks away, a few of us will be scrambling around and making that mad dash to find the perfect present. Gift giving is no easy task particularly if you have an infamously fussy person in your life which is why a little help and support can go a long way.

I am sure you all agree, as I do myself, that it is often us men that can be the most fussy of the bunch. After years of receiving ties and socks with shocking prints and beer glasses and board games that we probably will never play; my aim is to ensure that you the gift giver, actually get on the right path and give something memorable and worthwhile this year.

It is never too late to find a gift that is appreciated and most importantly; actually used which is why I have put together my top picks that will either give you the right answer or at least nudge you towards it.

With winter well and truly underway, keeping warm is what matters to even the most fussy man and hopefully my top winter picks will help…

  • Paul Smith Socks- If you are insistent on giving a pair of socks then why not give a designer pair that scream quality and style? The Paul Smith socks are made from soft cotton and nylon and are available in a range of stunning signature stripe designs that are sure to change the way you look at socks forever!
  • Paul Smith Scarf – This long running British brand is renowned for its quality and those loveable signature stripes which is why their selection of scarves is a must have for any man this winter. My personal favourite is the navy mixed pattern, wool blend scarf but there really is an incredible selection to choose from so you will easily be able to find one for you.
  • Hugo Boss V-Neck Jumper- A jumper is always appreciated but a stylish, quality designer jumper can finally make you the gift giver that actually gave right. Made from 50% polyacrylic and 50% virgin wool; this is quality at its best. My personal favourite has to be the one in this season’s hottest colour red however there are plenty to choose from.
  • Hugo Boss Leather Glove- Another Hugo Boss selection on my list but the brands quality really cannot be debated. Gloves are a simple gift to give but when of real quality and made with 100% goat leather like these particular gloves are; you will be sure to impress with a gift that will last for years to come.
  • Armani Jeans Hooded Jumper- Another jumper on my list but this one stuck out for me because of its beautiful design, quality and the essential funnel neck that is ideal for keeping the warmth in. Available in a range of colours my personal favourite is the green for its outdoorsy feel but whatever you chose, this is style and comfort at its best.

These are my personal choices but hopefully, if they don’t exactly hit the nail on the head they at least give you an idea of what you can give to your loved one this Christmas. Think practical with the winter weather but keep style and comfort in mind and you will no doubt find something that will make even the fussiest man, a happy one.

Chinese Year of the Wood Horse 2014: Amazing London Celebrations!

London Lions

I really enjoyed this weekend’s London Chinatown’s Wood Horse Year’ 2014 Celebrations. Performing with the 12 ft pole and 10 foot attached ‘ Shaolin Fists’ banner (with Shaolin Fists Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe) through Soho and Chinatown’s narrow, congested streets and alleyways for over 5 hours during Sunday Feb 2nd was most exhilarating.

Our Troupe’s three Lions Danced together non-stop in around 40-50 fortunate venues during my 5 hour plus shift manipulating the 12 ft pole and 10 ft flag in martial arts fashions. Fortunately, I was able to avoid all the hanging Chinese Lanterns, flags, banners, signs and even trees in our way during this period.

Cardiff Dragons

Further congratulations, too, to Grandmaster Yap Leong and the Team for their Saturday Feb 1st Premier League Performance for billionaire Vincent Tan at Carditt City FC’s Ninian Park Stadium (where I’ve often performed myself). They helped the home side to good fortune and victory over Norwich City (if you believe in Feng Shui, as you should, that is) and so at least two out of three of the UK’s constituent capital cities were buzzing with Chinese New Year activities, this weekend.

Just My Cup of Tea!

I have long been aware of the stunning range and varieties of Chinese Teas, their nutritional values, potential contributions to Martial Arts training regimes and overall health. Now some of the most delicious types and combinations are available on a take-away basis.

‘Up Bubble T’

I thoroughly enjoyed Chinatown’s new popular phenomenon: Chinese ‘Bubble Tea’ with its lovely suspended grass-jelly bubbles, huge range of flavours (including energising and chillaxing ones) and styles plus big, big servings. A brilliant range is available from ‘Up T’ Boutique Tea House in Little Newport St (near Leicester Square Tube Station). These can be accompanied by delicious pork dumplings amd buns.

Service, led by Jenny, is first rate. ‘Up T’ opens between 11 am-12 pm seven days a week and amongst several similar spots recently established in London Chinatown, is located most conveniently close to a major Tube Station (Leicester Square) being less than 100 yards from its main entrance.

Overall

I considered it a pleasure and privilege to be able to participate so fully in London Chinatowwn’s 2014 Wood Horse Year Celebrations, representing not only myself but various other groups to which I belong. I wish London’s Chinatown community a Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Horse and would like to thank them for an amazing and enjoyable festival.

When She Gets To Choose What You Should Wear!

Before marriage, every guy gets to choose his own clothes and the traditional continues till the last day of his marriage. If you were the one to pick the suit for your wedding, then you must have realized that things have changed a bit after marriage and now the ball is in her court. Of course, women always have better taste than men and thus, they are the ones making picks when it comes to getting dressed for a party or some special occasions. Most men feel happy about this change as they no longer have to worry about what they should buy and wear on different occasions. Their better halves are there to do all the work up. Well, before things go easy and convenient for you, there are still some days left of your bachelorhood and you must be looking for a perfect suit for a wedding. As the tradition says, groom cannot see his bride’s wedding gown and bride should not take part in selecting her groom’s suit. If such traditions have left you in a whole lot of confusion making you feel stressed, then you can always consider opting for our online tailor. With us, you need not run from one place another searching for a perfect suit, and you can do everything from the comfort of your home.

Shopping for a wedding suit on EXCLUSIVE SUIT 4 YOU represents a hassle-free method of buying wedding outfit. We provide customized tailoring without having the clients step out of their home. Another benefit of opting for  EXCLUSIVE SUIT 4 YOU is that you get your suit stitched and customized to match with your bride’s wedding gown. Of course, you need not see her gown, but a glimpse of final presentation that we will design for you will help you get a good idea about what she is planning to wear.

For instance: if she is planning to wear a white gown, you can always choose to go with gray, black, brown or even all-white fabric for your suit. It is very important to choose the right shirt, tie and other accessories to match the standards of your bride’s bridal attire.

Apart from color, the design and style of the bridal gown that you should put into consideration when getting your wedding suit designed. Remember the bride should always be the center of attraction of the wedding and if your lady is opting for simple designs, there’s no way that you should go with heavy embellishments or other styles of suits like long tail or tuxedo. Get in touch with your bride’s one of the bridesmaid and ask her about the style, design and color of the wedding gown so you can have similar suit prepared. This is a good way to dress in something that will completely compliment your bride and make both of you look stunning together.

The Threat at the Time Came From Japan and the Introduction of Quartz Watch Movements Quartz Watches Were Cheap.

Its history dates back to 1846 where experiments done to create anti-magnetic watches were first recorded. As mentioned earlier it was Vacheron Constantin that first developed these watches; in 1915 they introduced the first anti-magnetic pocket watch. This additional features has driven Swiss watch brands to produce their own watches for better time-telling performance despite other disturbing factors. The creation of the anti-magnetic watch is another creative genius that makes swiss watches direct  for everyone, even in occupations where typical watches are compromised. If you want information on the best Swiss watch brands and where to buy them, you can read our complete watch reviews which will give you the things you need to know from brands, stores and basically everything to guide in purchasing your luxury watch.

Even Rolex, a long-established luxury brand in Switzerland, ended up introducing quartz movements in its watches. Two trends emerged at the time, however, that marked a turnaround in the Swiss watch industry. The other trend was towards high-end jewellery watch making. That too caught on as manufacturers helped revive a fascination in the movement of a watch. Although less accurate than quartz, these watches have become symbols of fine craft and careful work. Diamond watches never lose their appeal. Business watch styles are generally more functional and less ostentatious. Some stores offered wide variety of discounts watches when you shop. Some store give discount on watches in distinctive selection. Other stores give discount when you buy luxury watches wholesale.

Most discount watches can be found in the internet. Buying cheap watches can also be an asset because you can sell it if you need money for emergency. There are also people who collect watches and this is the time for you to buy when they offer discount watches. First and foremost, luxury watches cost much because of the functionalities, design and mechanism that goes with it. Some luxury watches are passed on for generations and still function properly like the time when it was bought. For designer watches, they usually carry the same aesthetic design and mechanism that luxury watches have. While these watches are usually a bit cheaper than luxury watches, they still carry a higher price tag compared to popular brands.

How to find discount luxury and designer watches?
First, is to look for discount luxury watches and designer watches online. The advent of ecommerce allows online stores to purchase products like watches right from the manufacturers. Usually, products like watches are 20% to 30% cheaper online as compared to brick and mortar stores. Another way to find discount watches is to look for discount websites. Discount websites usually keep a number of luxury watch and designer watch vendors in their website. Always remember that luxury watches and designer watches are a bit expensive, if you find an offer that seem too much, shy away from you.

A Good Protocol For Mind, Body, and Spirit: Try It – And You’ll See, This Is So

Here’s a protocol worth following, my friends. It’s one I believe will ensure your energy reaches levels unknown, to most – who might view it as ‘too simple,’ to warrant a second look. It’s one that has served me well for years. And should you do as I have, and follow it with consistency? Well, I’d ‘wager my life’ on it:

It will do the same, for you.

Rise at dawn. Meditate upon the vision of the person, you’d like to become. Exercise, ‘as if your life, depended upon it.’ As in large part I’d contend, so it does. Drink pure water, when thirsty. When hungry: Forgo prepackaged, processed, Man-altered ‘foods.’ As most have been linked to one health issue, or another. Eat of garden, instead. Oh, and flesh ‘foods’ – or ANY derived of fellow being? Be wary of them! As, near every degenerative illness known to Man can be traced to some form of death, in diet.

For good, compelling evidence on matter, read Dr. Campbell’s, The China Study. In which it is proven I’d contend, FAR ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ That cultures embracing a flesh-based diet tend toward illness, and eventual disease. Whereas those consuming a more, plant-based fare, enjoy vibrant good health, by comparison.

More:

Enjoy silence, not ‘clatter.’ Be to bed early. Read, rather than watching TV. Star-gaze, if night is clear. Meditate upon day’s work; give thanks for opportunities seized. In short? Where possible, embrace pure and simple, in lieu of unnecessarily ‘cluttered,’ or complex. And, for best results: Repeat, daily. As it was no less than Greek philosopher, linguist, poet, Aristotle who once claimed, ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.’

Agreed. And the above protocol? In my experience, it produces excellence in body, mind – even spirit! – like no other. Try it (a few days concurrently, of course). And you’ll see:

This is so.

Jeff Sekerak

(*Copyright 2014, J. Sekerak. *Consult your doctor – not to mention your good, ‘old fashioned’ common sense! – before engaging in ANY diet or fitness protocol. Use your intuition as well. As in my opinion, it rarely ‘goes wrong.’)

Spring (Fashion) Forward: 5 Of the Best Trends for the Season

The spring season is the perfect time to experiment with color and whimsical clothing pieces. Chic accessories are also ideal for the season. Check out some of these spring fashion trends to determine which ones are right for you.

Eye-Catching Bracelets

Bracelets, like this birch accessory from Coco and Duckie is the perfect finishing touch to any spring outfit, whether you’re wearing a pastel business suit or a poet blouse with jeans. Other bracelets made from gold or silver, or bangles embellished with ribbons and bows are on trend for spring as well.

Black and White “Branded” Clothing

Black and white is a classic color combination that will never go out of style. This spring, you can experiment with this trend by purchasing white or black sweatshirts featuring name brands like DKNY or Ralph Lauren that you can wear with anything from a leather skirt to distressed jeans. Black hightop sneakers are a must-have for the season as well. Brands like Ash, The People’s Movement and Dolce Vita have created a number of chic sneakers that will make attending a casual event with friends even more fun this spring.

Tribal Outfits and Jewelry

A short, sleeveless dress with leather fringe or a sundress that resembles a dashiki definitely belongs in your spring wardrobe. Tribal-inspired clothing is fresh and colorful, and is especially eye-catching when paired with pieces like a suede necklace or wooden bangles in varying shades of brown. Tribal tops and dresses also look great with sandals that tie mid-calf and boast a neutral shade like black or brown.

Metallic Clothing and Shoes

Shirts, skirts, flats and heels with a metallic sparkle to them are the perfect way to add character to any spring outfit. A pair of gold heels is a sophisticated and daring addition to a little black dress, and a silver top can immediately make black or white trousers more interesting. If you have warm undertones in your skin, you’ll likely look best in metallic shades like bronze and gold. If your undertones are cool, silver and platinum shoes and clothing are best.

Crop Tops

If you want to show off the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym this spring, the crop top is for you. You can wear these cotton or mesh tops with high-waisted jeans for a look that shows off your toned abs in a subtle way and is reminiscent of 1990s fashion. Or, wear a silk or knit crop top with slacks and a blazer for a look that is both edgy and polished. Crop tops in pastel colors are especially fitting for spring, as the soft shades of yellow, pink, blue and green are a welcome change from the stark grays and dark blues of fall and winter.

As with all trends, remember to try before you buy. To look your best this spring, you should know exactly how a clothing piece or pair of shoes will look on you when before leaving the store. This gives you an accurate idea of how you can incorporate your new purchase into your wardrobe, and ensure that you’ll walk into any springtime event ready to make a fashionably positive impression.

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