Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Harmful Ingredients Should be Removed from Cosmetics in the US: An Essay

Hello! Here's a rough copy of an essay I am writing to convince people that the FDA should hold American cosmetics to the same standards as European ones. I'm going to send this to politicians to sow them that some people care about what they put on their skin. I encourage anyone and everyone reading this to write their own reasons why the government should regulate personal care items or at least send them my essay.

Have you every tried to learn what the ingredients on the labels for shampoo actually are? Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, and cosmetics, utilize preservatives to maintain freshness. Without preservatives, these products would quickly develop bacteria, dry out, and produce an odor as they decay. Instead of using a wide variety of natural preservatives, companies often opt for synthetic preservatives that scientists created to be more cost effective and longer lasting. However, further testing concludes certain synthetic preservatives parabens harm consumers. Some chemicals cause cancer and infertility, yet companies continued to sell products with these chemicals. In the European Union, over one thousand chemicals are banned for use in cosmetics ("European Laws"). The United States currently bans eight ingredients from beauty products and restricts the amount of three more chemicals ("Ingredients Prohibited & Restricted"). The government place more regulations on the personal care and cosmetic industries to eliminate carcinogens and other harmful ingredients that can lead to death by adopting the European Unions’ regulations on the cosmetic industry.

According to the Federal Drug Administration of the United States, a cosmetic product legally may include a safe amount of the three ingredients, including mercury ("Ingredients Prohibited & Restricted"). However, the FDA cannot ensure all consumers come in contact with less than the certain “safe” amount of these chemicals. For example, mercury accumulates over time in humans from air near coal-burning factories and food as well as cosmetics and contributes to at least 143,000 deaths worldwide (Kennedy and Yaggi). Different people can tolerate different levels of mercury and other chemicals in their cosmetics based on their exposure elsewhere ("Health Effects of Mercury"). The FDA cannot guarantee people stay under a dangerous level of exposure to harmful chemicals if they allow them in cosmetics because they cannot control other factors. Thus, the government should not allow harmful chemicals in cosmetics at all.

Makeup and other personal care items do not merely sit on top of the skin. The skin absorbs harmful chemicals, the lungs inhale airborne particles from powders, the mouth ingests chemicals from lipstick and other lip products. Nanoparticles in powders and sprays absorb easily into skin (“Top Tips for Safer Products”). Once the chemicals breach the skin, they move to the bloodstream. As blood flows through though the body, it distributes harmful chemicals all over the body.

Most women continue using cosmetics during pregnancy. In pregnant women, harmful chemicals can diffuse from the mother’s blood to the fetal blood. In developing fetuses, mercury exposure can cause neurological damage, leading to low intelligence and lack of coordination.  ("Health Effects of Mercury"). Parabens mimic the effects of estrogen. Exposure to parabens as a fetus has been linked to infertility in males ("Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer"). Cancer is not a disease; it is a disorder where cells divide rapidly and uncontrollably as a result of mutations in the cells DNA. The cancer cells do not preform any beneficial function to the body. Instead, they restrict the ability of noncancerous cells to preform their intended function. Without treatment, the cancer invades crucial areas of the body until their victim dies. Carcinogens do not simply “give people cancer.” Instead, they cause mutations in the cells DNA, which may cause the cell to become cancerous. Exposing babies to carcinogens not only increases their risk of developing cancerous mutations, but also potentially life-threatening mutations. By regulating cosmetics according to the European Union standard, we stop exposing innocent children to chemicals that could cause them death or life with a disability.

Because parabens mimic estrogen, they may cause breast cancer. Estrogen is a hormone that causes cells in the breast to divide. The addition of parabens can artificially trigger unwelcome division. After many parabens-induced divisions, cells may make a mistake while copying the DNA and the cell could wind up with a cancerous mutation ("Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer"). Breast cancer is the second most common cancer after prostate cancer and it has the third most deaths after Lung and Colorectal cancer. Over 40,000 Americans die from breast cancer every year, yet the government won't take a simple measure to protect American consumers ("Common Cancer Types"). Most Americans knew someone who died at the hands of cancer; this is not some obscure disease. Yet the government has yet to take the simple step of removing carcinogens from cosmetics.

The economic consequences of regulating cosmetics are insignificant compared to the consumers' safety. The companies will have to spend money reformulating their products. However, giving companies ten to fifteen years to reformulate their products minimizes the impact on the economy. The government could offer incentives to companies that reformulate their products before the ten or fifteen year deadline. Still, the costs of reformulating may get passed on to the consumer, leaving people with a lower income less access to cosmetics. As unfair as this sounds unfair, keeping low-income women healthy and alive is more important than their access to cosmetics. Makeup is not a necessity; people do not need makeup to live. Forgoing makeup is safer than to expose yourself to the carcinogens and other harmful chemicals. The price increase won't even be very significant. Companies reformulate products anyway, so their scheduled reformulation that they put away money to fund could fall in the ten or fifteen year regulation period. Some large companies sell products in Europe and the United States but use different formulas; the European formula is different to exclude restricted ingredients. The European division could share its formula with its American counterpart. Obviously they would not share with different companies. Some people may argue that natural preservatives cost more than the harmful ones. However, expensive companies like MAC, LancĂ´me, Dior, and Chanel use harmful chemicals like parabens, but Burt's Bees offers relatively safer products for a fraction of the cost. While the lip product with the highest lead concentration is Benetint by Benefit Cosmetics, a product that retails for thirty dollars, Wet 'n Wild sells a lead-free lipstick for two dollars. In fact, some of the world's largest makeup companies, Revlon and L'Oreal, pledged to gradually reformulate their products to meet European Union standards ("Nonprofits: Endose the Campaign"). These standards are not harsh; the EU still has a competitive cosmetic industry with a variety of products ranging from cheap to luxury.

The United States has banned ingredients before that were deemed harmful. Recently, the FDA has moved toward banning trans fats from all foods because they increase risk for cardiovascular disease (Jalonick). Trans fats are common in cheaper foods, and food is necessary for life. Not only will this move cause many companies to reformulate, but it also has economic repercussions for farmers (Knutson). This shows the FDA has placed safety above economic interests and raising the costs for consumers if the evidence and public opinion are against that harmful component. They must stay consistent and do it will all substances shown to cause harm.

The United States should restrict ingredients used in personal care products, such as shampoo, soap, and cosmetics. Investigators linked many of these chemicals to cancer. When women who are pregnant or may be pregnant in the future (chemicals like mercury can linger) use products with these chemicals, they can inhibit development of vital systems, like the nervous system, or cause unviable genetic mutations. The government should take precautions, like a ten to fifteen year deadline, when making this transition to safer cosmetics to minimize repercussions. To move the FDA to action, people must write to them expressing their concern with the number of harmful ingedients in cosmetics.
Works Cited
"Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer Risk." American Cancer Society. N.p., 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
"Common Cancer Types." National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
"European Laws." The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Safe Cosmetics Action Network, 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
"Health Effects of Mercury." United States Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., 9 July 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
"Ingredients Prohibited & Restricted by FDA Regulations." U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 June 1996. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
Jalonick, Mary Clare. "FDA to Ban Trans Fats." Huffington Post 7 Nov. 2013: n. pag. Huffington Post. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
Kennedy, Robert F., Jr., and Marc A. Yaggi. "Mercury Poisoning Is a Growing Global Menace We Have to Address." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Knutson, Jonathan. "FDA Ban Would Affect Area Farmers." Grand Folks Herald 19 Nov. 2013: n. pag. Grand Folks Herald. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
"Nonprofits: Endose the Campaign." The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Safe Cosmetics Action Network, 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
"Top Tips for Safer Products." Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Environmental Working Group, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

*If anyone wants links to the websites I used, just ask.
**Please comment with any additional arguments you can think of!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tarte on HauteLook

Hello everybody!

Tarte will be on HauteLook tomorrow (Wednesday 11/19). The item will go up at 8 pacific standard time or 11 eastern standard time. For those of you who have never been on HauteLook, you must me a member to get access to these deals. To sign up for free, click here. HauteLook typically offers individual products or tiny sets at a discounted price (not like the QVC Today's Special Value which is a big set). But beware, once the product is gone it's gone.

Here's the link to the actual products:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nail of the Day: Ciate Paint Pot in Vintage

Hello everyone!

I did my nails yesterday, so I wanted to show them to you and talk a little about Ciate.

The polish above is a Ciate Paint Pot in Vintage. I bought this as a mini in last years Mini Mani Month at Sephora. However, Sephora does not sell this color. To get this color, shop here at Nordstrom to get this color.

These nail polishes are three-free (or do not have formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene).

The color is a darker off gray, leaning a tiny bit toward green in my opinion. As for application, I used a strengthening nail base coat, followed with two coats of polish, and then topped it off with a top coat. Normally I say use thin coats, but this polish applied better when just wiping one side of the brush while it being removed.

Verdict: I wish Sephora carried more colors of these guys. The $15 price tag may seem expensive, but one bottle that can be used so many times is the price of one manicure. If your into a DIY price but a professional look, these are great!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

Hi everyone!

Really quickly before I start my review, bareMinerals is giving out one free loose powder eyeshadow (your choice of color) to anyone who goes to a boutique today (Thursday November 7) or tomorrow (Friday November 8). You do not have to make a purchase, but you do have to present a special email which I have. Email me at if you are interested and I can foreward you the email needed to get this amazing deal.

Here's my first review on a relatively new product. BareMinerals released this product in June 9, 2013. Like most products, it makes some hefty promises. Does it live up to the expectations it sets for itself?

This product claims to be a thickening, volumizing, high drama mascara. It's unique brush (see below) is a curious innovation.

There are many positives to this mascara.  Natural mascaras tend to be on the drier side, which causes flaking. This mascara can be described as more of a wet product. This may not work if you have super fine lashes and want a lot of curl, but I feel the wetness is a good thing. This product will last and not dry out before it's three months are up.

This mascara is hands down my favorite bareMinerals mascara. The other ones don't really do anything for my short, thin sparse lashes. I prefer more dramatic mascaras, so imagine how I felt when I heard bareMinerals was coming out with a "high drama" mascara. This mascara looks much better on my lashes then their Flawless Definition ones. The color is definitely super black. The balance between volumizing and legthening is pretty perfect for my lashes (comparable look to Tartes Lights, Camera, Flashes! Statement Mascara which I will review tomorrow). I can build it up to a beautiful point.

The only real downside to me was the smudging. I definitely had some raccoon-esqe smudging under my eyes. I know bareMinerals sells a waterproof topcoat for it, but I try to avoid waterproof because it's kind of rough on my lashes. After cleaning up the smudging about an hour or so after application, I had no more smudging issues.

Another slight inconvenience is that the new spiral brush, as awesome as it looks, is pretty terrible at doing lower lashes. It's not a big deal, but just a little heads up.

Verdict: Four stars out of five, taking a star off for the smudging

Shop this product!

How it looks on my lashes after 8 hours of wear
    *I did use a curler this morning before applying.
The brush and its cool spiral design

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Product Reviews?

If you said earlier that you bought some of the products, why haven't you posted any reviews? some people might be thinking.

I did buy the products that I claimed to, and they are sitting next to me as I type, but I haven't exactly opened the boxes yet. I went a little crazy on the new holiday collections for birthday and holiday gifts for myself, but I am restraining myself from opening them until my birthday or the holidays. Its a rough battle, but I'll survive.
You would be surprised how much I'm dying inside to not be able to open them.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gift Idea: Sephora Favorites

Say what? Most of the products above are not natural! So why are they on my blog, you might ask?

Each one has one or two natural products (Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee, sorta the Sephora Collection Falsies, Origins Eye Cream, Josie Maran Argan Oil, Bite Pencil, bareMinerals Lipstick, and Tarte Lipstick) that I plan on taking out of the set for myself.

The other items I will break up and gift to my friend throughout the year. These sets are always the best deals Sephora has on bulk items all year, so I stock up during the holidays. It's so nice not scrambling trying to figure out what to get friends and family members during the year. Really, do you think anytime else in the year you could get 16 lippies (4 full-sized!) for $60?

Shop here!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ciate Mini Mani Month at Sephora

I was so excited for this year's Ciate Mini Mani Month ($58). I bought last year's and I loved it. Their formula took a bit to figure out how to apply, but once I got a hang of it this stuff would last forever! I could go two weeks with minimal, minor chips (with a base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat). Last year's colors were so varied and included summer, spring, fall, and winter colors. Some colors were staples, others were trends. I could easily say that purchase was five stars, even though I didn't use any of their Caviar polishes (I could tell they wouldn't work for me as much as I use my hands).

This year's product is different. Looking at the picture, so many colors look exactly the same. I don't know if they were intended to be used for an ombre effect or what, but when I look at those they look exactly the same. Blah! Also, this years set has a bunch more effects, which I'm not a fan of. I can't get used to the idea of shaking straight up glitter onto wet nail polish. I applaud Ciate for yet again being trailblazers of nail trends, but I can't get the image of a little kid playing sprinkling glitter on glue for an art project (and making a mess) out of my head.

Verdict: I still love Ciate and would definately purchase a future set from them, but I think I will be skipping on this year's Mini Mani Month.

Feel free to comment if you've bought any of the sets I've mentioned and disagree with my opinion :) or anything else you would like to say/tell/ask me

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tarte TSV Bow and Go November 18th

Hi guys!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that QVC will be airing a Tarte Today's Special Value on November 18th. They call it "Tarte Bow and Go" because it is packaged in three beautiful boxes for gifting and even comes with an actual bow. It will cost $49.98 on paper, but with tax and shipping (which I'm kinda mad I have to pay for because every other company I've bought online from like Sephora, Tarte, bareMinerals, and Amazon has a deal where you pay $X and you get free shipping) comes to around $62.

There are videos on Youtube showing/swatching the colors (I love prettydaysies and curlywavydiane). I just want to discuss what I think of the kit.

There are three parts to the kit, and all the products are full sized.

The first pink box on top has four Lipsurgence lip cremes. They do not sell these individually, but I  guess they might start to sell them soon (within the next year?). I don't know this for sure, but I'm making a guess based on what Tarte has done with other products. If they did sell them individually, they would probably be $24 like all the other Lipsurgence products, so this part is worth like $96.

The second box has two chubby SmolderEYES pencils in Brown and Fig. Both of these colors are in the regular line, so I can say for sure that they are each worth $22. One is a matte brown and the other is a shimmery rosey purple. It also has two Light, Camera, Lashes! mascara, each worth $19. This box is worth $82.

The third and final box includes 16 eyeshadows. I would try to estimate the worth of this one, but its kinda priceless. The shades are pretty evenly distributes between light highlights, medium lid colors, and darker shades for the crease and outer-V. The shades lean toward natural colors, with a few pops of green, purple, and pink.

The Verdict: I bought it. It really is a phenomenal value. If you even just like one of the boxes, individually any of them are easily worth the $62 price tag, and you can gift the other two with the handy included bow if you like. I know already that I will give the Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara to my mom because its her holy grail mascara.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Holiday Sets- Bite Beauty

Hi everyone :)

I guess it's that time of the year again. Magic, mistletoe, and (most importantly) value sets!!! I love the holidays in makeup because so many companies are giving us the best deals of the year.

Generally, my shopping habits are divided into:

60% value sets (eyeshadow, lippies, blush, eyeliners)
35% rebuys/staples (mascara, foundation, powder, concealer, primer)
5% innovations (contouring stick anyone?)

So, during the holidays I basically stock up on eyeshadow, lippies, and blush for the rest of the year. Thats how i justify spending so much hahaha ;)

Today, I will be going over my thoughts on the holiday sets by Bite Beauty. They exclusively sell lippies. Their lip products are food grade, which honestly make sense since you end up ingesting most lipgloss and lipstick. Generally their products exclude many hard metals like in other lipsticks (lead, ect.) but they do have FD&C food colorings (bleh!) and mica.

Bite Best Bite Set ($25) is a great deal. For a dollar more than a single pencil, you get four minis that are over half the size of a single full sized. The colors are varied (a nude, my-lips-but-better, bright pink, and red) and perfect for the holidays. I've never tried their pencils. Also, I don't have any of these colors in another formula. Inside the nice, reusable tin even has a mirror!
Verdict: I bought it for Holiday. However, I am restraining myself from opening them yet.

Bite The Lip Kit ($38) and Bite Collectors Edition Lip Layers Set ($98) are a different story. I'm pretty new to Bite Beauty (I've only bought their tin set last year and recently this year) and was disappointed in the number of repeats. I only have eight total Bite products, but three of the eight colors in the top set are repeats and four of the twenty bottom colors are repeats. The formula of their lipsticks is nice (more long lasting than most non-drying ones) but these just aren't worth it with so many other great lip sets out. Also, I don't really like the double sided thing very much. I'd be happier with some minis.
Verdict: Probably won't buy unless I get a ton of gift cards for my birthday

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hello everyone!

As my title indicates, I'm a makeup addict. I normally use higher end makeup, but I also use drugstore products when they are similar quality for less than their high end siblings.

I also favor natural makeup, as in ingredients. My grandmother died of breast cancer. Since scientists have identified a strong genetic link in breast cancer, I do my best to decrease my risk of developing it.  Avoid ingredients like parabens in my cosmetics is something I do to better my health.

As time progresses, I aim to inform on awesome product releases, review products I've tried, and share information I've gathered on the dangers of various common cosmetic ingredients.