Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Purely Cosmetics Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness runs all through October. In support of this very important cause, Purely Cosmetics will be donating 10% of all sales during the month of October to breast cancer research. Instead of asking me when I may be running my next sale (which are not often anyway to keep them special), please use this month to place any orders and help someone else in need.

While you're at it, help give someone a free mammogram. It's easy. Just visit the Breast Cancer Site and click on the big, pink button that says "click to give". You won't be donating personally, but each click will add to the donations given by their sponsor companies. Click daily, please.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

OMG OMG - This is better than being on Oprah!

Anyone who's into makeup knows who YouTube Guru EnKore Makeup is. I'm not going to say another word (mostly because I'm speechless!) - watch on!

Now if you don't have the time to watch the whole video, you can read up on it on Koren's blog.

Just to show you how nice of a guy he his, he made me a special brush roll for my birthday. I'm determined to make it a best seller, so go check out Robyn's Blue Temple Brush Roll!

Monday, September 14, 2009

How I $pent my weekend...

Most of my beauty blogger pals have been attending New York Fashion Week, making me envious of the hob-nobbing and parties with every well known brand on the planet, getting treated like royalty (one even winning a necklace from Tiffanys!), while I toil away.

OK, I can't feel too sorry for myself. I spent (literally, as in moolah) Saturday attending a Spa & Esthetics show. By the time I left, I looked like a bag lady - I'm not one to pass up a deal; who cares if I don't need it? This is a crappy pic taken with my cell while trying to juggle car keys, water bottle, purse and Lord knows what else of just some of the haul I walked away with at the end of the day:

I bought Zoya nail polish when I rarely do my nails, but it was only $18/6 bottles! If you wanted the overstock shades, you could get those for only $12 for 6 bottles. Picked up some Fake Bake in eleventy-seven different forms (spray, mousse, lotion....) because my daughter can't stand it when her tan lines from being a swimmer prevents her from wearing spaghetti straps or low backed dresses. One small bottle would have done just fine, but noooooo.... let's buy the kit with one of everything! I now have more samples of different moisturizers, anti-aging creams, masks, etc that I'll never have to buy a full sized jar for months! Let's not even talk about the Clarisonic brushes and their face washes in Back Bar (big, half gallon jugs with pumps in 'em) sizes. Let's just say I'm well stocked for the next year or ten.

I bought these great microfiber towels, made with bamboo charcoal from Hollywood Face. OMG, these are to die for! They are the fluffiest, softest, most absorbent towels I've ever seen in my life. I purchased them to use to dry the inside of my blender jars (gotta get those puppies super dry immediately after washing them), and trust me, I'm going right over to their website and buying them in the washcloth and bath towel sizes. If they'd make sweat pants out of them, I'd buy those too. Here's what they say about bamboo charcoal: "Bamboo charcoal is made by heating bamboo at a temperature of more than 1,000oC, then grinding them into nano-particles to combine with filament yarn. The bamboo charcoal component of this textile gives it absorption properties that reduce moisture, inhibit bacteria, and eliminate odor." They also claim that bamboo charcoal releases negative ions, shown to relieve stress and boost energy levels, improve circulation, and facilitate relaxation. I don't know how true that is, but makes another good reason for them to make sweat pants and sweatshirts from this stuff. I can tell you that I was able to dry out my blender jars in one fowl swoop; there was absolutely no mooshing water around. Just sucked it right up.

And since I had all this new nail polish lying around, had to do my tootsies today too. I was so focused on the great deals and trying to choose 6 shades from 300 options, I didn't really pay very close attention to Zoya's products at the time. But I did when I pulled them out this morning. The gal had been talking about how Zoya is the only nail polish made for natural nails. Which meant nothing to me, so I listened with half an ear. This stuff is good stuff! It's free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. Now go look at your nail polishes - bet you can't say the same thing about them! Even their nail polish remover doesn't have any of those ingredients (that's the purple stuff in the bottom right corner). According to the Zoya website, their polish "has been awarded as the longest wearing natural nail polish by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine". Ok, mine's only been on for a few hours, so can't tell you about that. But I really, really like how it's formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene free.

So there ya have it. Go check out both the Zoya polish and the Bamboo Charcoal towels! You will not be disappointed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ingredients: What's beneficial for your skin type?

Yesterday, BionicBeauty did an excellent post about Acne Tips for Teens. Having a teenage daughter who suffers from bad acne, I was immediately drawn to her well researched information. If you suffer from acne, whether you're a teen or an adult, I highly recommend reading it.

It also got me to thinking. Consumers are getting more savvy everyday about the ingredients in their makeup products, but how many know what the actual purpose of common ingredients? Many know that sulfates, phthalates, and parabens aren't preferable choices in our makeup and skin care products. Even with natural ingredients, not every ingredient is necessarily beneficial to every skin type - if you have oily skin, you're going to want a higher concentration of certain ingredients, while if you have dry skin, these will preferably be lower on the list.

Minerals that have high absorption properties, more suitable for oily skin than dry:

  • Silica - the sole ingredient in the ever popular Makeup Forever High Def Finishing Powder, can give a soft focus, has great slip (tactile feel), and is translucent. On the flip side, it can be very drying. If you already have dry skin, you wouldn't want to see silica in a concentration of higher than about 3%, which would put it very far back in the ingredient listing.

  • Bentonite Clay - of all the clay minerals, this one has probably the highest absorption ratio. it's so absorbent, it's often used to clean oil spills. Works fabulously in our Oil Absorb primer, but dry skin should avoid at all costs. Even those with slightly oily skin should only use on extra oily days, or just in areas of your face that are oil-prone (such as your T-Zone).

  • Kaolin Clay - is one of those most common clays used in makeup. It's lightweight and has great adhesion. If used in small amounts, it's safe for all skin types. It's great in eye shadows to help prevent creasing, and makes a wonderful mask. Too much in an all-over face product (foundations, primers, finishing powders) will be too drying for those without oily skin.

  • Calcium Carbonate - another highly absorbent ingredient, found in chalk and limestone. Good for oily skin, bad for dry skin.

  • Calcium Silicate - found in Bare Escentuals new matte foundation formula, this is basically a combination of calcium and silica. If calcium carbonate and silica are both drying ingredients, you do the math.

Ingredients safe for all skin types:

  • Silk Powder - what I call a "smart powder", silk has dual properties of both pulling moisture from the air to keep your skin hydrated, while simultaneously absorbing excess oils from your skin. Perfect for combination skin! It provides essential amino acids for the skin. Silk also reflects light most closely to natural skin.

  • Pearl Powder - long known as an "Ancient Chinese Secret", pearl powder (made from crushed Mother of Pearl) also helps keep skin hydrated and evens skin tone. It also provides nutrients for the skin.

  • Jojoba Oil - although called an oil, technically, Jojoba is a wax. It mimics the skins sebum. For those with oily skin, you're not stripping yourself of natural oils, causing your body to produce even more oil. It's non-comedogenic, absorbed quickly by the skin, and is moisturizing.

  • Carnauba wax - not to be confused with the car wax! Carnauba has water resistant properties, helping keep your makeup on even through sweating on those hot days. It also helps keep your colors true throughout the day (ever notice that some makeup tends to change colors on you?).

  • Boron Nitride - originating from the mineral borax, boron improves adhesion and yields a smooth application. Depending on the particle size, boron can be nearly invisible to giving that "dewy glow" without using irritating bismuth oxychloride.

Scary sounding ingredients that aren't:

  • Tocopheryl Acetate - aka Vitamin E

  • Bisabolol - known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties

Stuff to be leery of:

  • Food grade powders, such as rice powder and cornstarch - gives soft, silky feel to products, but usually must be used in conjunction with preservatives, as they are a haven for bacterial growth if exposed to moisture (like steamy bathrooms or wet cosmetic brushes), and many have limited shelf lives.

  • Micronized particles - this differs from nanoparticles, which are known to cross the blood-brain barrier. However, the long term safety of micronized ingredients is still debatable. Use with caution.

  • Silicones - many love the feel of primers made with silicone. To me, it feels like I'm applying a thin layer of Vaseline to my face, and can't stand it. More importantly, you're creating a barrier between your skin and the air, not letting your skin be able to breathe. It's like wrapping your face in Saran Wrap.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but some of the more common ingredients found in cosmetics.


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