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Beauty Within, Event Photography, Fashion, Fashion Shows & Events, Global Awareness, Lifestyle, Mind and Spirit, Photo Diary, Photography, Travel, Trends

Georgie Badiel Foundation L’Africana Benefit Event

 

 

Photo Credit Faultless Magazine 

Georgie Badiel is an activist, supermodel and former Miss Africa from Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in West Africa. As a young girl, she had to walk for miles to fetch water from the well, carrying the pail of water back on her head. It was very hard for her to focus while going to school due to the never ending thirst and extreme poverty in her country. Despite the odds, she is still very thankful that she continued to pursue her education and eventually started a career in modeling to build a better future for herself.

 

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A 6 year old girl in Burkina Faso walking for hours to fetch water from a well. Photo credit Georgie Badiel Foundation.

 

She has come a long way to be the successful woman she is today and now she is using her position as a top model in New York City to give back the gift of clean water and sanitation to her country and Africa by founding her very own nonprofit charitable organization – The Georgie Badiel Foundation.

 

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Water is absolutely crucial for the survival of all forms of life, from plants, micro-organisms, insects, animals and us humans. As we know from biology, the adult human body is made up of at least 60% of water and 75-78% in infants. So it’s no surprise that babies and  children are the first to die from thirst. In Burkina Faso alone, at least 6,000 children die from dehydration and unclean water. No matter how impoverished and far away these people are, they deserve the access to this very basic necessity to survive.

 

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Other than building wells to provide water and installing water purification systems, the Georgie Badiel Foundation also empowers young children and women to go to school.  They plant trees to protect the country from desertification. To curb starvation, they also provide grains for the villagers to plant and also educate them on how to maintain the wells so they will be able to sustain themselves.

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Georgie Badiel is also a good friend of mine. Despite her accomplishments and what she has gone through, she is a very humble, soft spoken person with a heart of gold! She among the strong and successful women that  I look up to. Beauty definitely shines from determination and compassion. When I heard about her foundation I was more than happy to volunteer for her great cause!

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Photo Credits to Georgie Badiel Foundation

The foundation’s summer fundraising fashion event was presented by Major Model Management. It was a glamourous celebration of  African culture, fashion, music, cuisine and art. It was hosted by fashion model Madlena Kalinova and Jozef Naggiar to tell the audience more about the foundation and the plight of the people in Burkina Faso and other poor countries in Africa.

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The beautiful models from the agency were decked out in stylish African inspired outfits. It was a heartwarming sight to see women of every color wearing the “Gele” also known as the African head wrap in the fashion presentation.

 

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The history of the “Gele”  can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Nubian empire. Powerful people such as priests, queens and kings used to only wear them. In West Africa today, other than wearing them for protecting their heads from the sun, the people also wear different styles of head wraps for special occasions. A more elaborate headdress  is also a symbol of power and status in West Africa. Perhaps another great way to support the artisans who make them in Africa is to incorporate these stunning head wraps into our wardrobes. They definitely make a more exotic fashion statement than a sun hat and you’re also giving back to the world!

 

 

 Other special guests who are renowned in the fashion industry also showed their support for the foundation. Katia Sherman, the president of Major Model Management and  Macdella Cooper, the founder of The Macdella Cooper Foundation which is another charity organization that gives back to Africa by educating and motivating disadvantaged children, youth and women  spoke about how we can show compassion and help out people in the poorer regions in Africa. Mariam Fofana who is one of the ambassadors of Burkina Faso was overjoyed to share her experience about how the Georgie Badiel Foundation has helped out so many people in the villages.

 

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Finally, they held an auction to raise money for the foundation by auctioning off some exquisite works of art from some of the popular, up and coming artists in New York City such as Vika Costa Art Work.

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It was such an eye-opening  and heartbreaking experience to learn more about the poverty and fight for survival for the less fortunate people in other parts of the world. We are very lucky to live in more developed countries where everything is available at our fingertips and we tend to not appreciate what we have. Let’s use our blessings as a way to reach out to these people who deserve a fighting chance to live. With one click of a button thanks to our trusty smart phones and internet, we can make a quick donation, no matter how small. $25 is what we often pay for a decent meal in the city, to them it could mean so much more, and they can live another day.

To learn more about The Georgie Badiel Foundation check it out on the link below

georgiebadielfoundation.org

By the way Georgie Badiel, along with Susan Verde also wrote a storybook called The Water Princess, which is based on her struggle for survival in her village and how she pursued her dreams. You can get this inspiring book here www.amazon.com/Water-Princess All proceeds go towards her charity of course.

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Remember, Water Comes First. Water is the Gift of Life. Let’s appreciate, save it and share it with the rest of the world!
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Beauty, Beauty Within, Event Photography, Fashion, Make Up, Skin Care, Trends

Jay Manuel #DiscoverYou Nyc

 

 

If you’re a fan of America’s Next Top Model you’ll recognize Jay Manuel as the show’s former creative director and judge of Canada’s Next Top Model. He’s also a celebrity makeup artist, fashion and lifestyle beauty expert. He believes that “beauty is deeply personal, purely individual and surprisingly public.”

 

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photo credit to JayManuelBeauty.com

 

Jay Manuel’s #Discoveryounyc event marked the launch of the new Filter Finish Collection from his makeup line Jay Manuel Beauty, a premiere cosmetic line curated by cutting-edge glamour technologies. It was also a celebration for women to discover their true self-image. Three signature styles from his make up line are Iconic, Classic and Avant-Garde, all of them unique and glamorous looks to make you shine!

 

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Photo Credit : JayManuelBeauty.com

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The event started off with a presentation and Q&A session with Jay Manuel as the moderator and a panel of influential people in the fashion, technological and beauty industries such as Asmau Ahmed the CEO of the app Plum Perfect, Elisabeth Halfapp the founder of the Mind Body Program called Exhale, Victoria’s Secret photographer Russell James, entrepreneur Jodie Patterson and On-Air Beauty & Lifestyle expert Milly Almodovar. They shared their insight on beauty, fashion tips and how to express your personal style with confidence.

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Jay Manuel himself. He is so warm, gracious and cheerful in person! I asked him for tips on how to look great in front of the camera. His answer was “ Be genuine with your emotions. If you want to smile, think of something happy. The most important aspect of your expression is in your eyes.” So there you go ladies! A picture perfect tip from the expert of America’s Next Top Model, himself.

 

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For the rest of the day we were pampered with amazing beauty, hair, nail and makeup services. Jay Manuel Beauty experts provided makeovers and beauty consultations. We also got to sample some of the exquisite products from his make up line. A unique aspect of Jay Manuel Beauty is that it uses crushed diamonds, pearls and precious stones to nourish and make the skin glow! I also love how the packaging is so sleek and compact so it won’t take up too much space in your make up bag. There’s a diverse, dynamic range of colors and shades for your eyes, lips and face to suit your skin colour.

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Photo Credit: JayManuelBeauty.com 

And the best part is, Jay Manuel Beauty has their very own phone app developed with the Plum Perfect phone app technology which you can use to take a picture of yourself to find which products from his makeup line can enhance your best features. And you can also receive Free customized samples that will be delivered right to your doorstep!

 

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Photo Credit: JayManuelBeauty.com

The Peel Bar: Beauty Rx by Dr Schultz treated my face with a professional glycolic facial peel. Within just 2 minutes it removed my dead skin cells, making my skin glow and super smooth. Other than booking an appointment for a facial at The Peel Bar, you can also get The Progressive Peel Kit that you can use at home to get the same results for only $69.95!

 

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Pai-Shau, a hair-care line provided their incredible hair styling services. Pai-Shau’s products are infused with Exotic Tea Complex and advanced binary technology to rejuvenate and protect the hair. I received a sample bottle of the Biphasic Infusion, a hair serum that instantly moisturized and detangled my frizzy hair. I really loved how Stephanie Parziale, the creative director of the brand, glamorized and added dramatic, voluminous waves to my hair!

 

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SweetTess Creations satisfied our sugar cravings with their elegant desserts and Maven provided refreshing cocktails for the event.

 

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Jamberry pampered our hands with adorable manicures. Jamberry Nail Wraps are  a great alternative to gel manicures as they are customizable with over 300 designs, easy to apply at home and require zero dry time. Their unique nail stickers that can last for over a week or two!

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Photo Credit: JamBerry.com

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I had a fantastic time at the event! Not only did I get to meet one of my beauty inspirations Jay Manuel and learn great tips from fashion and lifestyle experts, I also had the chance to get pampered with state of the art make up, beauty and hair services!

 

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To find out more about Jay Manuel Beauty and discover your personal beauty looks to let the real “you” shine, visit his website on the link below.

www.jaymanuelbeauty.com/

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Photo Credit: Jaymanuelbeauty.com

 

 

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Beauty Within, Global Awareness, Lifestyle, Mind and Spirit, Personal reflections, Photo Diary, Photography

Peace and Love For All #PrayForFrance

 

I was very saddened to hear  about the 84 innocent lives lost in Nice, France on Bastille Day due to yet another terrorist attack. My heart goes out to their untimely deaths, the injured, and the grief that their loved ones have to bear. It is also troubling to see what the rest of the world is coming to, such as the political issues of how the nations are getting divided, threatening to get rid of immigrants to make their nation great and “pure” again, how some people are fighting one another due to racial discrimination, the increasing level of hatred and violence, the denial of climate change because we keep destroying our very own planet which in turn causes more natural disasters, deaths of animals and humans.

 

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If only we learn how to understand, accept and love one another regardless of our religion and race, the color of our skin, where we came from, our gender identity, level of education, how much money we have etc, the world would be a better, peaceful place. We as human beings tend to think we are the only supreme beings on Earth. We lose sight of compassion due to our egos to prove we are better than everyone else, claim our religion is better, seek “happiness” by pursuing power, money, gratification and fame. I don’t want to judge anyone as we are here just trying to survive and deserve to find our own happiness and love.

 

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Religion was created by man, different people from other parts of the world worship their own God but who are we to judge and condemn others just because they have a different faith from us? That said if we look at the Ancient Scriptures and try to read between the lines of all of the religious books, from the Holy Bible to the Quran, they all say the same thing – We are all supposed to respect, love and accept one another, not to kill, destroy or prove we are better than anyone else. They also warn us that the “earthly desires” we seek in this physical world – be it power, money, possessions, control, lust, “romantic love” for example will blind us from finding true peace and happiness.

 

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We as humans, all have the gift of life and a conscience to choose between what is right and wrong, and the full capacity to love one another. We don’t have the right to take another life, or our own lives for that matter especially to ruin other people’s lives. We are all going to die eventually anyway, it could be today, could be tomorrow, or until we grow into a ripe old age.  When we die, all of what we have in this world and who we are with will not come with us! To seek “salvation” just because we read the book according to our religion we choose to follow but don’t try to understand what it really means,  think that we can judge/condemn everyone else (or kill other people with different faiths), believe that we will be “saved” and just sit around without trying to help or understand everyone else, is selfish! This is why there are still wars being fought and terrorism is sprouting its evil roots onto people’s minds who are unstable, isolated, angry, depressed and feel the need to “glorify” themselves by causing destruction. And no, I do not condemn Islam. I grew up with Muslims as I lived in a multi racial country that respects and teaches us to understand all forms of religion such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, just to name a few.   Their  values are the same as everyone else who wants peace and to respect one another.

The hidden meaning behind seeking a relationship with Our Maker, is to serve him by helping and loving one another, to keep an open mind and respect the Earth that He gave to us, not to destroy it due to greed and conquests. We need to maintain a healthy balance of living and being spiritual. To find peace and happiness we have to repent and seek for forgiveness, even towards the people who have hurt or discriminated against us in the past. Praying and meditation helps a lot, to let go of the pain and anger and to be “present.”

 

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At times when I look at animals and their behaviour, I feel that they are better than us humans. The predators only kill to survive. They only attack to protect themselves, their territories, mates and off-springs. They try to stay together and protect one another. Animals, including some of the wild species are capable of forming loving bonds with humans. Nature can really teach us how to just “be” if we take a breather from our own heads and observe what she has to offer! Our lives our so short, lets make the most out of it.

 

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I am writing this as I was really moved by the issues that are plaguing our lives, and our planet, and the path towards our own destruction. I hope some of us can really look at reality and reflect on what we can do for each other every day. May we all eventually learn how to love and accept one another.

 

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Beauty Within, Global Awareness, Lifestyle, Mind and Spirit, Personal reflections

Who I am Underneath It All

 

I am going to be honest with you. I was having second thoughts about sharing this part about myself.

 

I write about what most people in our  world see as “beautiful” and covetable such as fashion, trends, beauty, health, food, celebrity news and photography as I am also a contributer for another online magazine.

 

However, I realized that I have to be true to myself and to others, and to not fear judgment from everyone else online. Let’s face it, We are all judged based on our looks, what we do for a living, how much money we make and our lifestyle.  Social media has amplified our visibility to connect to the world therefore, we are all under the influence and pressure to present ourselves in a way that our life is perfect. I am not judging anyone. As humans, we all seek attention, popularity and we are all naturally selfish and mostly vain. I am vain too, and what I do for a living as a model and fashion blogger also has a strong influence on how I have to present myself to look “beautiful”.

 

You are welcome to judge me as just another “model” from who I appear to be in my pictures and some of the posts that I write about. I know I can come across as just another girl who wants to seek fame and attention. But contrary to what most people may think, I branched out into acting and modeling initially because I have always hated myself. I never saw myself as a beautiful person. I could only feel happy when I was in front of the camera, and pretend to be another person. I am a shy person by nature, as I was put down, and experienced abuse a lot as a kid, I don’t really like to talk to people or get close to anyone due to what I experienced in my past.

 

Here it goes – I was raped at a young age. I was touched inappropriately by someone that I trusted ever since I was four years old. Another time was when I was seven and got lost in public, a stranger who pretended to want to help me, took it further. I had a hard time learning how to value myself. Even when I was a teenager and started my modeling career, I was also taken advantage of at some of my shoots. I never really fought back as I was so used to it. I barely told anyone about what I went through and how much I hated myself. Not even my family, who I wasn’t really close to as they had their own issues to deal with, I don’t blame them, I was just afraid of getting judged. Modeling and acting was a therapeutical way for me to express and reinvent myself through art to mask the pain I have felt throughout my entire life.

 

Now that I’m older and left home to live across the other side of the world to find myself, I am thankful to still be alive, survived what I have gone through and to have grown so much as a person. I have obviously changed my priorities in life, which is why I branched out into photography and writing apart from just modeling.

 

But the purpose of  writing this blog other than talking about just fashion, lifestyle, beauty is to share my journey of healing and seeing the beauty that is left in this world. Which is why I have found a profound love of photography, as it really lets me see the world differently and appreciate the simpler things in life.

 

I see beauty in every single person, in nature, in animals and what’s on the streets. I believe that we are all capable of finding peace no matter what we have through, we become more beautiful as we age, as we grow, as we reflect on what makes us who we are today.

 

You are most welcome to come along on this journey with me, of finding our purpose, and a sense of acceptance not just with ourselves but towards other people, whoever hurt or loved us. I am still finding my way in this world and how to heal myself. But I have this naive belief and hope, that sharing is caring, we are all put into this world for a reason, we are all connected, we are all made to love and accept one another regardless of our faith and where we came from, how much money we have, what we have been through.  We all bleed, cry, and just want to be loved and have a good life! Everyone has their own personal struggles and issues, in their own way.  So I hope that what I share can inspire others to feel better about themselves.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And I can’t wait to continue to tell my story. You are most welcome to share your life stories with me too. Let’s start a movement in this crazy world we live in and learn how to support one another. Much love to all.

 

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Beauty, Beauty Within, Event Photography, Lifestyle, Skin Care, Trends

SK-II #ChangeDestiny Pop-Up Studio Event

 

SK-II is a popular beauty brand from Japan that is now world renowned for its anti-aging, moisturizing and skin evening benefits.

 

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I’ve been fortunate enough to get invited to SK-II’s #changedestiny Pop-Up Studio launch in SoHo, New York to learn more about the story behind the brand.

 

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The development of SK-II began when scientists noticed that the elderly workers at a sake brewery still had youthful hands in contrast to their wrinkled faces. They then realized that the secret of their soft hands must lie within the yeast that was used in the fermentation process. After experimenting on at least 350 yeast strains, they have developed Pitera, a clear essence rich in amaino acids, minerals and organic acids that also mimics the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors, hence enhancing its skin renewal, translucency and smoothness.

 

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It’s best selling product is the facial treatment essence a moisturizing toner and serum containing more than 90% Pitera essence which  slows down the aging process and promises a youthful, crystal clear complexion within 28 days. The line also includes a range of products from facial creams, serums, eye creams and masks that addresses skin concerns such as firmness, elasticity, whitening and luminosity.

 

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The new line SK-II Luxury Pitera which contains the Skin Regenerating Activ which optimizes skin cell renewal, Pitera 8X, the highest concentration of their anti-aging ingredient and Rose Absolut. This strengthens the skin’s vitality and moisture barrier to protect it from the test of time.

 

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Some of SK-II’s loyal users and ambassadors are; critically acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett, popular Chinese actress Tang Wei and Japanese actress and singer Ayase Haruka. Apart from their success and talents, they all have the same flawless, youthful and crystal clear skin! In fact I have used SK-II’s facial treatment essence before and I still have compliments for having a clear complexion and been mistaken for a 16 year old on several occasions at the age of 25!

 

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Sk-II has also launched a new social media campaign and movement called #ChangeDestiny, where vloggers and women around the world share their stories of overcoming their challenges in life to pursue their passion. Destiny isn’t a matter of chance but it’s a matter of choice and becoming who you want to be despite the odds.

 

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In fact, I have shared one of my personal stories on an online fashion magazine about surviving rape from the age of 7 and turning my attention to art, acting and writing as a form of therapy. Despite everyone’s objections, I moved alone to New York to pursue my dreams on a higher level and I have  progressed into the fashion industry as a host, model, writer and photographer. It is enlightening that having  the courage of revealing my story has inspired women and artists that I have met. We have the power to change our destiny no matter what other people do or say! The answer is within all of us!

For more information on the #changedestiny campaign you can view it here on http://www.sk-ii.com.sg/en/changedestiny.aspx

And my article for the online magazine is on http://www.511styles.com/change-destiny/

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*Credits to photographer Jeffrey Boyle who created my Beauty shot at the top of this post.

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