fair trade. really?


All throughout cafes, supermarkets, and even clothing stores, “Fair Trade” seems to be a catch-all term for: this product is ethically made. But what if that wasn’t the case?

This summer, I have had the privilege of interning for bonJOY, a subscription box startup that features fashion, beauty, and lifestyle goods that support survivors of human trafficking and empower women globally.

Part of my internship was to research topics within the realm of ethical shopping and human trafficking that particularly interested me. One of the questions I sought to answer aimed at discerning the true meaning and impact of Fair Trade, in the context of Fair Trade certification.

bonJOY recently posted my findings on their blog in this article I wrote. Essentially, what I found was that the Fair Trade label isn’t enough. Not only does it not guarantee that all workers along the supply chain of that product are fairly reimbursed (migrant laborers are particularly at risk), but also Fairtrade International is not the most transparent organization out there.

As consumers, we must be vigilant in discerning what is truly good from the marketing buzzwords and labels that make us feel like we are doing our part.

As a side note, I also loved that I could utilize my new watercolor calligraphy skills to make the graphic for the article!


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is MATCHCo foundation the future?


I somewhat impulsively ordered the MATCHco Custom Tinted Hydrating Formula ($49 but $39 with a discount code) last week after seeing it in this Best Summer Foundations video by YouTuber Serein Wu, and I so far have no regrets.

The difference with MATCHCo is that you download the app on your iPhone and scan your wrists, forehead, and cheeks to create a custom foundation shade that is supposed to be perfect to your skin tone. It does sound a bit gimmicky, but the my result was a perfect match.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 4.39.46 PM
Photo Courtesy MATCHCo

The packaging of the bottle is nice with frosted glass and a well-functioning pump. It even says that  the formula was made exclusively for me on June 6!


The only complaint I have is that the white box the foundation came in was quite smudged from the gold tissue paper (as you can see in the images below) but that’s a very minor issue.


Also, I wish the bottle were full, as it clearly is not, or that the bottle were smaller so that it could be full, otherwise it seems like a waste of packaging.


The foundation has a light to medium coverage and a natural finish that doesn’t look cakey at all. Basically, it’s my ideal foundation. It is also extremely blendable and feels like a tinted moisturizer when you apply it. It’s scent-free, SPF-free, and uses some great ingredients which you can read all about on their website.


The formula is definitely not perfect for all skin types, but it’s great as an everyday foundation. I’m really looking forward to seeing more uses of smartphones to get the perfect shade for not only foundation, but also blush, bronzer, powder, etc. Custom makeup is the future, and I can’t wait!

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