Posts Tagged ‘any’

Are counterfeit cosmetics safe?

December 27th, 2013

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Tatyana says… I have been sent two fake makeup palettes that are meant to be Urban Decay, and these fakes are really ubiquitous. As I am a scientist as well, I did notice fairly quickly a few ways to identify fakes besides the aesthetics and scripts with lot numbers. One of my fakes did have an obvious ‘Beauty with ay edge’ typo on the box and insert. Anyway, I love makeup, and I love the hyper-pigmented, super saturated colour that Urban Decay often employs. I do realise some of the cost of cosmetics is in the development and quality control of the product, but is there any significant difference in the quality of the pigments? I do know that the costs of pigments for fine arts painting can be significantly different, and I have always assumed that is due to the nature of the pigment, for example, yellow ochre, cheap, some of the bright, lime greens (I can’t remember the name right now, something like phallocyanate green), expensive. As well, some young women just think it is great to be able to get cheap fake cosmetics, they don’t think there is an issue. Can you elaborate on some of the issues with fakes please? As well, is there any distinction between fake cosmetics and what a lot of them are calling ‘cosmetics from Hong Kong’.

The Beauty Brains respond:

In the US (and many other countries) pigments are certified to ensure that they don’t contain any dangerous contaminants. This requires a more elaborate process of manufacturing and record keeping but it does ensure that colorants are safe. Some counterfeit products made outside of the US (or other regulated countries) have been found to contain pigments with high levels of lead, for example. While trace levels of lead are common (and not very dangerous) high levels of lead does pose a problem. So it’s possible that some unscrupulous companies are selling these cheap knock-offs rather than using pigments that have been properly quality control checked.

From what I understand, a number of these counterfeit products come from China so I assume that the term “cosmetics from Hong Kong” is just another way to refer to such fakes. (Of course that is not to say that ALL fakes come from China or that every Chinese product is fake.)

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Christina’s Cold-Weather Holy Grails + Daily Skincare Routine

November 24th, 2011

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By Christina, Skincare Contributor

Christina is a professed skincare and makeup junkie living in La Belle Province (aka Quebec, Canada). When not reading beauty blogs and magazines, stalking the beauty aisle of her local pharmacy fawning over new products or making her girlfriends spend way too much money at the beauty counter, Christina is studying full-time to obtain a masters degree in marketing, with a research focus on multicultural marketing and advertising strategies in the beauty industry. You can follow her on Twitter @cbellevue25.

Christina’s Cold-Weather Holy Grails + Daily Skincare Routine

This year, du jour au lendemain, the weather in Montreal became very cold all of a sudden. As a result, I’m quickly stashing away my summer products and winterizing my beauty routine for the coming months. I have combination skin on the sensitive side, therefore it is important that all year round, my skin stays matte, acne-free and properly hydrated especially the skin on my cheeks and around my mouth, which tends to become very dry or dehydrated. For the longest time, I felt those objectives were contradictory, although with time and experience, I have finally been able to develop a solid skincare routine that has allowed me to reach all three of these goals simultaneously, much to my (skin’s) relief.

Here is my updated Fall/almost-Winter daily skincare routine with some of my colder-weather holy grail products that you might also want to look into if you share some of the same skin concerns as I do:

In the AM: Keeping my skin moisturized is key (face & body)

In the morning, I wash my face in the shower with a pea-size amount of AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam ($50.00) to remove any leftover night cream or sebum. This foam cleanser smells delightful, is gentler than any of the other foam cleansers I’ve tried in the past and the tube lasts forever it is a definite must-have for me.

To hydrate my face, I like using La Roche-Posay Tolériane Fluide ($26.95) mixed in with a small scoop of Philosophy Turbo Boost Vitamin C Powder ($35.00) for antioxidant action. I swear by this La Roche-Posay moisturizer, simply because I find it is the perfect moisturizer for combination to oily skin with sensitivities: it’s light, oil-free, fragrance-free, and it sinks right into your skin. For sensitive skin on the drier side, another good option in the Tolériane range is La Roche-Posay Tolériane Ultra Intense Soothing Care ($34.95). I also use this cream whenever I feel my skin is very dehydrated. What I like about this product is that it has a thicker consistency and offers excellent long-lasting hydration, yet it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy after applying.

Before applying my powder foundation, I prep my skin with a dab of Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive Mattifying Cream + HD Primer ($24.00) applied with a foundation brush for an even application. I discovered the Nurturing Force brand when I attended The Makeup Show in NYC this summer, and it turned out to be one my favourite skincare products ever. This cream is made with aloe vera and is silicone-, paraben- and alcohol-free which is great news for any skin that is sensitive or that cannot tolerate silicone-based primers very well. It is a wonderful product for any skin type, and it does an excellent job of keeping your face fresh all day, not causing any breakouts and increasing your makeup’s staying power like nobody’s business.

To keep my body moisturized, I will usually wash with a body cleansing oil in the shower. I love La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lipid-Replenishing Anti-Irritation Cleansing Oil ($14.00) because you get to wash and oil it up at the same time, how amazing is that?! I also keep my favourite body butter, Belle Butters Orange Dream Cream Butter ($12.50), in the bathroom and apply it on my knees and elbows right after the shower. Little tip for all the natural hair ladies and gentlemen out there, this shea and orange butter cream is a fantastic multi-tasker, because you can also use it on your hair for twist-outs/braid-outs with great definition (especially on type 4a and 4b hair), or to seal in the moisture.

Anywhere I go, I always carry a tube of my favourite hand cream, L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream ($10.00), because ashy is to-tal-ly unsexy!

Check out Christina’s evening and night time routine! 

In the PM: Removing my makeup gently and properly is my main focus

I will usually start by gently removing my makeup (face and eyes) with my favourite makeup remover ever, Bioderma Créaline H20 Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin ($33.49). Models love this stuff, and for good reason: this cleanser is gentle and it works wonders to remove (lots of) makeup without having you rub your eyes or your skin considerably to get it off. To clean my face, I follow up with my trusted Clarisonic ($149.00) with a pea-size amount of AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam ($50.00) on the brush. To finish off, I’ll swipe a bit of Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($21.00) on my face with a cotton pad to ensure there is no makeup residue left.

Nighttime: Treating and helping my skin renew itself is my primary goal

Depending on how my skin feels (or if I’m not too lazy), I like using some of my favourite facial masks once or twice a week to treat my skin before going to bed. I use either Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask ($32.00) to soothe and hydrate my skin, the fantastic Belle Butters Oil Neutralizing Butter ($12.50) to help control sebum production on my T-Zone (here’s a great review from Krissy of Addicted to All Things Pretty if you’d like to know more about this product), or Darphin Mild Aroma Peeling ($50.00) to exfoliate if my skin feels a bit rugged.

Right before bed, I apply Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum ($85.00) all over my face and my neck. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in terms of evening out my skintone while giving me a smoother skin texture since I’ve started using this product a couple of months ago I seriously love this stuff and will repurchase once my bottle is finished.

Next up is a thin layer of Karin Herzog Vita-A-Kombi 1,($54.00) a cream that contains a 1% pure oxygen and Vitamin A patented complex. This is a staple in my night-time skincare routine because it helps with so many things, including minimizing fine lines, hydrating skin, reducing skin sensitivity and promoting quicker skin healing; I’ve been using it for many years and I currently have no intention of using anything else it is definitely one of my lifetime skincare holy grails, because it does everything it says and more. I highly recommend this product, and if you’d like to get a trusted second opinion, you can also read Temptalia’s review on this cream (PS: I agree with Christine, it is best left for usage at night because it does have an old-lady smell). Additionally, the Karin Herzog brand is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, so you know this is “royally” good stuff.

Lastly, I gently pat a bit of Vagheggi Rehydra Eye Contour Cream (AUS $33.30) around my eyes and on my brow bone to reduce puffiness the next day. Then it’s off to bed on my satin pillowcase to prevent sleep wrinkles the next morning.

Voilà! That’s my daily skincare routine with some of my must-haves for the colder months to come. How about you, how do you winterize your skincare routine? What are your skincare must-haves?

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Tips On Wearing Makeup and Glasses by Bobbi Brown

June 22nd, 2011

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Inspired by her very own tortoise shell frames, Bobbi Brown launched a gorgeous Tortoise Shell Collection (which I will review) and shares with us the following pointers on wearing makeup and glasses.

#1 Less is definitely more.
Wearing glasses draws attention to your eyes, so keep your eye makeup simple. Stick to neutral shades and save the bold colors for your lips. Don’t forget corrector and concealer – a must for all women, but especially if you’re wearing glasses.

#2 Eye liner is essential.
Adjusting liner thickness is important when you’re wearing glasses – if your frames are thick, apply a thicker line to the upper lash line so that eyes stand out. If your frames are thinner, a softer line works great.

#3 Make sure the brows are defined.
Eyeglass frames draw attention to the brows, so be sure to keep your arches well groomed. Pluck or trim any scraggly hairs and fill in holes or sparse spots with a brow pencil or powder shadow.

#4 If your prescription makes your eyes look bigger…
Use a light hand, and be sure to blend everything carefully – the last thing you want is to magnify any mistakes. For shadows, go with neutrals shades. Liner should be delicate and thin, with one coat of mascara to open up the eyes.

#5 If your prescription makes your eyes look smaller…
Be sure to line your eyes all the way around. Use a liner that is darker than your natural eye color to create contrast, which will help define the eyes. Finish with two coats of mascara for a frefreshed look.

Looking for more tips on how to rock your makeup while wearing glasses? Check out my list!!

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Does Mineral Makeup Have Any Special Benefits?

June 18th, 2011

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The Left Brain says…I was interviewed by a writer for WebMD who asked me questions about mineral makeup. I was curious what your beliefs are about mineral makeup are (because I’m curious to see how effective the marketing behind these products has been.) So, I asked the Beauty Brains Forum to share their beliefs about mineral makeup. Here is what they had to say…

Less irritating

I use it because it’s less occlusive than liquid makeup and it does not contain irritants (like chemical sunscreens) that aggravate my rosacea. But the same could be said for any powder makeup. –Sarahf

I think most consumers would agree with me in that they have come to know “mineral” as meaning a product containing natural, hypo-allergenic ingredients, as opposed to old-fashioned powders that may still contain skin-irritating synthetic ingredients. –Juliearnt84

Better oil control

I use powder mineral makeup but mostly just because it IS powder and on my oily skin that works better. A definite plus is that it doesn’t break my skin out. That being said it doesn’t work for me at all unless I use a primer under it. Go figure. –Lindygirl1960

The only benefit with mineral makeup I find is my forehead tends to be less shiny. I use liquid mineral makeup then put powder over that. Otherwise, it’s just the same, if in some cases not worse, than non-mineral. In the end, I think it’s a lot of hype. If it wasn’t for the fact that an hour after washing my forehead is shiny enough to signal airplanes at night I wouldn’t bother with mineral makeup at all. –JamiSings


Oh and another reason…. it is powder and therefore does not have to fit into the 3-1-1 bag for travel! –Lindygirl1960


Well…I use mineral make up, because it is actually the only make-up that doesn’t contain ingredients that I am allergic to… But if I didn’t have any allergies I would go for all the ‘normal’ make- up. I don’t use it simply because it claims to better for the environment or that it would be non-toxic.Those claims do not sound very valid to me. So yes, I am very happy with mineral make-up, because it makes it possible for me to wear make-up (I could not live without…) without getting scary allergic reactions. –Kosmo

Better coverage

I just like the coverage I get…I think I can get the same coverage with regular powder makeup, but honestly I haven’t really tried. Almost every brand now makes some kind of mineral claim on their powder makeups that I haven’t noticed any powders without it! So that’s why I continue to use it. –LoveMyTwinGirls

Liquid foundation was making my skin dry and I never really got the same finish each time and thats in any texture very runny, thick or mousse (the mousse was a disaster and the blush too!). The powder oddly stays all day and it also gives a more natural finish. They had just the perfect shades of eyeshadow that i’d been looking for and it just so happened that it stays all day. –Bluecurls

Compelling Advertising

Marketing mind games was definitely part of the reason I decided to try some… cute name, pretty website, pretty product descriptions haha but hey the products work. It wasn’t about it being mineral it was just they had such good reviews and I was sick of horrible cakey skin.-Bluecurls

I admit, I started using mineral powder makeup because I saw a commercial of the “pioneer” brand on tv and thought it was a miracle. I totally bought into the “safety” aspect, and the “amazing coverage” messages. That was about 5 years ago…Now that I am Beauty Brains savvy, I don’t care whether it has minerals or not. -LoveMyTwinGirls

What do YOU think about the benefits of mineral makeup? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.
And thanks to all the members of our Forum for their great contributions!




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