The meaning behind Skincare line Tu’el name is a quirky and creative one – it stands for “two L’s,” since its current co-founders are Lisa and Lori Nestore. In actuality, the brand was created over 30 years ago by the Nestores’ mother, Eva Friederichs. Friederich had created Eva’s Esthetics, and was one of the first American professional skincare lines used by estheticians at spas and salons across the world. Friederich was a legend in her industry, and founder of the first advanced training institute for estheticians in America. Her signature line contained natural and botanical ingredients, and set the bar for skincare products.
Lisa and Lori Nestore
After Friederich retired, her daughters Lisa and Lori took over, modernizing the brand and naming it Tu’el. Growing up with their renowned mother, the sisters know the ins and outs of the business, and inherited a healthy dose of their mother’s passion for beautiful skin. Tu’el uses high performance botanicals to treat all skin types and conditions. The products balance and improve skin health and overall appearance, with an emphasis on not just making you see the difference, but allowing you to feel it as well.
What makes Tu’el stand out from the litany of other skincare lines is their focus on pores and the integral role they serve in having healthy skin. “We like to refer to ourselves as The Pore Stars,” says Nestore. “For us, it’s all in the pores, and our mother showed us that determinijg skin types is the first step to setting the stage for healthy skin. She taught us to determine skin types by looking at your face in a mirror.” Since everyone has different pores, each skin type must be treated with differing botanical plant extracts to result in perfectly balanced and glowing skin.
The Nestore sisters reveal that the methodology behind the pore analysis was taught by their mother. “The skin along your jawline has no visible pores and looks relatively smooth with little texture. Compare the skin along your jawline to the skin next to your nose,” instructs Nestore. “Does the texture look the same or do you see larger pores next to your nose? Now look at your entire face excluding your nose and choose your skin type from the images on our website. Now you know your skin type!” By determining the exact skin type through pore analysis, they enable customers to effectively treat their skin condition. A lot of the frustration that customers might otherwise have from not knowing their skin type is then solved.
The family truly takes on business endeavors together. Not only is Tu’el birthed from the Nestore sisters’ mother, but there is also a related company, Youth to the People, that is run by Lisa Nestore’s son, Greg, and their nephew, Joe. Youth to the People is based on a similar concept as Tu’el, but combines superfoods and science. Working with family in such close quarters, however, doesn’t come without its share of conflict. However, their family dynamic is strong enough that petty arguments don’t last long.
“We get in one good argument about once a year that lasts about ten minutes and then we’re over it,” says Nestore. “We have such different roles in the company and have total respect for each other’s position. There is a lot of passion here at Tu’el.”
The Nestore sisters grew Tu’el mainly from profits, with an occasional mom loan. They were able to do so in part because it was an extension of their mother’s line, which had been used by professionals for over 30 years. Her name garnered some serious hype within the upper echelons of beauty. Their greatest challenge in launching the skincare line, remains to be capital requisition however - an inevitable obstacle for most lines in the saturated beauty industry.
“Being raised in beauty salons, we’ve worked in a female-dominated industry, so neither of us have had much gender discrimination at all,” explains Nestore. “We both feel that if women were to truly come together we could rule the world. We love empowering women.”
The most rewarding aspect of owning a successful skincare line isn’t the profit they pull in, but the reactions they get from their satisfied customers. “It’s the overwhelmingly positive reaction Tu’el products and its formulations, and our approach to treating skin that is most gratifying,” says Nestore. “It’s seeing what our mother originally created and seeing that evolution, while retaining what the core of the brand is.” And that core is central to Tu’el products and to its success: clean products without any fillers or harsh chemicals.
Deep Pore Cleansing System
The brand isn’t stagnant, however – the team already has its eyes set on the future, with plans for new products and different directions. Their ongoing goal is to improve their formulations by making them more natural. Tu’el recently launched two new acne products: Rehab Acne Serum and Make Amends Cream. These two new additions are supplements to their acne line and are targeted to help heal and clear up the skin, without damaging it. They are also delving into the realm of anti-aging products, since it is a burgeoning market.
Their success can be in part attributed to the fact that they always had a philanthropic cause they tried to achieve: to make everyone feel good about their skin. And with their emphasis on all-natural, specially formulated botanicals, it’s clear that they’ve achieved this objective.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.