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Celebrity Profile – Dr Cathy Leibman and Mrs Christina Decker

 The LCAS editor got to talk to Cathy Leibman and Christina Decker about their successful profit social venture, ethical muse, which has been much talked about in 2012.  We also want to know the secrets to their beauty regime as they look so young whilst at the top of their game and their thoughts on cosmetic surgery.

ethical muse (and, yes, it is deliberate that there are no capital letters in ethical muse) has been the buzz word for much for 2012 and the new collection for 2013 is already much talked about – their collection was retailed at the One and Only Hotels, Atlantis, Boom & Mellow, The Change Initiative, The One and many more locations.  ethical muse in 2012 also got the chance to meet with Oscar winners Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth and his wife, Livia Firth and many other celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Freida Pinto, Bryan Ferry, and Amr Waked- star of Salmon Fishing in Yemen as part of their campaign – so we asked Cathy and Christina more about their story and what drives them.  The Editor got a chance to go behind the scenes with Cathy and Christina who are exceptionally inspiring women to ask them more about ethical muse and to dig on your behalf into their health and beauty regime to find out why they look so good.

Congratulations ladies on the success of 2012.  Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.  You both look so young, healthy, and gorgeous – how do you keep so fit?

Cathy (pictured left): Thank you.  I will be climbing Kilimanjaro next month, so have quite a strict regime at the moment.  Aqua-aeroboics once per week, climbing stairs another day , and then 2 days working on cardio and circuits.  On the weekend,  a run of around 5 km using interval training.

If you could give teenage girls one piece of advice on how to look and stay young, what would that be?

Christina (pictured right): Use sunscreen – especially on your neck and hands.  And, you are never too young to start using a good quality eye cream.

Cathy: Keeping active by doing something that you love.

What is your favourite detox juice?  Could you give exact measurements so our readers can make it at home?

Christina: It’s not a detox juice but I do have a special recipe that has been making me feel great daily for the last 5 – 6 years.  I brew green tea every morning, let it chill, add mint, a lemon slice and a packet of stevia, 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed and lots of ice.  I drink it out of a large Starbucks cup. After I am done with the tea, I refill that cup at least 4 more times during the day with water.  I get the health benefits of drinking plenty of water and the bonus is that its great tasting because it mixes with the leftover lemon and mint.  It’s all fabulous for the skin – especially the green tea.

Cathy: A glass of watermelon juice, just watermelon.  It’s delicious, sweet and refreshing.  More importantly it contains lycopene, an antioxidant that not only neutralizes free radicals which can cause tissue and organ damage, and it is also a great source of potassium which helps regulate blood pressure too.

Do you have a night time cleansing routine?  What products do you use?

Cathy:  My night time cleaning routine has been the same since I was a teenager.  The only difference now would be the use of anti-ageing creams for a more mature skin. I always remove makeup using MAC’s eye makeup remover, and QV cream.  I use Eau Thermale Gentile Purifying Scrub while in the shower, and finish up with Sheiseido’s Future Solution LX Balancing Softner, and Eau Thermale’s Ystheal + Emulsion which contains both an anti wrinkle and antioxidant.  I use the similar cream around my eyes, but if I have more dark circles and puffiness then I use the Eau Thermale Eluage.  I moisturise my lips with Vaseline petroleum jelly.

Christina: I make a homemade mix of half olive oil and half castor oil.  I use that every night to wash my face.  I gently massage onto my dry skin and then take a warm washcloth and wipe it off.  That is all I use to clean my face at night.  To take off my eye make-up I use Clinique or MAC make-up remover.  After that I use the same products as Cathy.

Do you make your own face masks at home with natural products such as honey, oats and salt?  If so, what is your recommended one to try.

Cathy: I don’t make my own facemasks but I do recommend a personalized Shiseido facial at the Shuiqi Spa & Fitness at the Atlantis, The Palm.

What is one makeup item you need to have with you at all times?

Cathy: Eyeliner!

Christina: Well, there are two, but one is technically not makeup.  Blush and perfume.  Can’t start my day without both of them.

Do you have a special diet or do you have foods that you avoid for health reasons?  Do you believe in organic food?

Christina:  There is nothing that is completely off limits for me.  I love food too much and don’t like to feel that I am depriving myself, but I am very thoughtful about what I put into my body.  The one food that I try to avoid is gluten.  I also make sure to eat more fish rather than meat.  But that said, I would not pass up a fabulous steak or a plate of pasta or bread!  I just try not to make a habit out of eating those things too frequently.  Luckily, I love all vegetables so I try to make them a big part of my diet.  I do try and buy organic whenever there is the option to do so.

Cathy: I believe in the adage, ‘Eat in moderation’.  I absolutely believe in organic foods.  I feel that there is a move back to basics – in our lives, choices of how we live and what we eat.  Why should we want to put chemicals in our body?

What are your thoughts about cosmetic surgery?  Is that something you might consider in 5 – 10 years time?

Cathy: By definition, cosmetic surgery is aimed at maintaining normal appearance, restoring it or enhancing it using surgical or medical techniques.  It is
an objective decision on what is defined as ‘normal’.  I love the idea of cosmetic surgery.  I regard it as maintenance, not that I have ventured there yet.

Christina: I think it is an individual’s decision and women (and men) should respect each other in their decision to have procedure done or not.  I am all for anything that enhances ones confidence and if it’s a little nip and tuck so be it!  I’m not sure I would consider the surgical side, just because I am a bit fearful of being put under, but would definitely consider fillers and botox.

We love 2012′s ethical muse products – they were such a success and all your lines were sold out.  What can we expect from 2013?

Christina:  Cathy and I were both born in the year of the Snake so we are positive this will be another favourable year for ethical muse.   But in addition to it
being the year of the Snake, it’s also the year of rubber and paper for ethical muse.  Lots of exciting things to share soon!

Cathy: Yes, I agree with Christina.  2013 is all about rubber.  You will have to wait and see.  We are excited about the prospect of producing an upcycled product in the UAE.  By doing so we will be reducing our carbon footprint, reducing waste and contributing to the local economy.

Tell us why the Masooli School in Uganda is held so close to your hearts that you would dedicate most of your collections to help that particular cause.

Cathy: This is a project that I personally implemented in collaboration with the Nnabagareka Development Foundation in 2010 and loved sharing it with Christina last year when I took her to Uganda.  No matter how many words are spoken to you on the subject, how many books you read or how many photos you see, one cannot describe the feeling of hope and empathy when you are with these students.

Let me share one story with you.  In 2011, one of the final year students sat for his final exams and did not do well.  Basically, he scored so badly that he did not have the opportunity to continue to secondary school.  George is an orphan, whose mother died of malaria and he has never known his father.  He lives with his uncle, a driver at the local market who already has 18 children.  We asked George if we could sponsor his tuition for 2012, would he consider returning to Masooli and repeating P7. What were his options at aged 14 to have completed his education?  He was hesitant  and he was embarrassed, but in January he had a lot to smile about.  He scored a Division 2, which means that he now has the opportunity to continue his education in secondary school.

We will launch the ‘Travelling Muse’ in the middle of 2013, which is a trip to Uganda highlighing our supply chain.  We will visit the artisans who make our recycled paper beads, and participate in a purposeful way at the Masooli school.

If you had to teach each child in the developed world one message what would that be?  

Christina: Do whatever it takes to stay in school and educate yourself.  It can change your legacy and the legacy of your community.

Cathy:   In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’




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