Thursday, December 17, 2009

UK Bans Photoshopped Oil of Olay Ads

I've been on a bit of a truth in advertising tear recently, and here is yet another story to get me fired up. 1960's supermodel Twiggy is part of a UK advertising campaign for Oil of Olay products. Well, as you can see from her ad above, she's had had some computer work done. I wish they would ban Photoshop junk like this here in the States.

Guardian Twiggy Article

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog Disclosure Policy

I have been reading disclosure policies on many blogs per the new FTC regulation (which basically says that if you receive any kind of compensation - from money to freebies - you need to point that out to readers). I've posted several times before that I buy everything out of my own pocket, don't accept any kind of freebies, and am not paid to endorse any product or company. Maybe I should change my name to The Pocket Change Princess.

Paraben Free Princess Blog Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 13 December 2009 / Updated 12 December 2014

This is a personal blog written and edited by myself. I write it for my own purposes.  I am not a doctor, chemist or makeup expert.  I am just another consumer trying to figure out the good from the bad on the store shelves.  I believe that manufacturers do not have our health and welfare in mind when they create and sell their products.  I spend a good deal of my free time searching out new items I consider to be 'worthy' of my readers.

I purchase all items reviewed myself.  I am not paid to endorse or negatively review any products.  Opinions and experiences are my own unless otherwise stated.

In November 2011, I added Google Adsense to the website.  I have fought against any type of advertising on my blog for years, but I simply don't have the disposable income to constantly buy and try new products.  Any proceeds gained by these ads will go toward the purchase of products for this blog.

To get your own policy, go to

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hair Coloring Horror: Why You Should Always Patch Test

Here is a hard lesson learned on why you should patch test a new product before smearing it on any part of your body. Also, hair chemicals are bad, mmmkay? There are natural hair coloring products out there. But, bottom line is this could happen to anyone with any product, so be careful and act immediately if you start noticing any discomfort, skin change or other reaction. I always keep Benadryl and Hydrocortisone handy, because you never know.

Also, parents this girl is 15. Parental supervision is needed when using any product like this.

Link to Story

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mascara Ads Now Coming Clean in the US About Using Falsies?

I am catching up on my November Allure magazine and I spy a pretty picture of Drew Barrymore hawking Cover Girl Mascara. As usual, her lashes are beyond 'just mascara', which has been a HUGE pet peeve of mine for years. Lo and behold, I spy a disclaimer in tiny print that says: Lash inserts used prior to application to add fullness but not length. Knock me over with a feather! I have never understood how cosmetic companies got away with using obviously fake eyelashes in their mascara ads.

I scratched my head for a moment and wondered WHY Cover Girl finally started admitting they use falsies on their models. Then I remembered a post I did a few weeks back about the FTC cracking down on companies that made unsubstantiated claims, including going after their celebrity spokesmodels. The UK has had a similar law in effect for a while and has busted Rimmel and L'oreal in the past.

The ASA (similar to our FTC) laid down the law on adding disclaimers to ads: "We told L’Oreal to include a disclaimer in future ads featuring models wearing false eyelashes, irrespective of whether those lashes were individually inserted to bring lashes to a consistent standard or whether they were a full set of false lashes. We also told them to ensure future ads made clear that the "up to 60%" claim referred to the appearance of the lashes, not to an actual extension in the length of lashes that could be achieved by using the mascara.

We also told L'Oreal to take greater care in future to provide us promptly with accurate information."

I'm going to start checking for the fineprint on ALL the cosmetic ads I run across to see if I can spot some more disclaimers. More fun than hunting for Easter Eggs!

Retraction & Apology: Zoya Lip Gloss Promotion - Updated

Update: Zoya sent me a PM on Twitter saying that my lip glosses were packaged in the old tubes and that the current formulation was safe. Those of you who have been around for a while will remember my last Zoya ingredients run in around the same time last year. I ended up talking to the vice president of the company who assured me my products were safe and promised that they would start posting their ingredients on the website. Well, that never happened. If you purchased the glosses, decide for yourself. Zoya is saying they are Paraben free. I just have an 'off' feeling about this and am tossing mine. I don't need the stress of wondering if my lip gloss is poison or not.

I can't decide on which emotion is stronger right now, but I am going to settle on disgust. A couple days ago, I put up a post about a promotion that Zoya is doing with their lip glosses. I just received mine today and excitedly tore open the package. The colors were beautiful but I was left stunned when I read the ingredients on these. I had bought a combo pack of polish and lip gloss last year and the gloss didn't contain this garbage.

I sincerely apologize if any of my readers took advantage of this deal. Zoya takes pride in not having dangerous chemicals in their nail polish. So, why are they trying to kill us with their lip gloss?

Zoya Hot Lips Glossy Lip Balm Ingredients:
Microcrystalline Wax
Palmitic Acid
Tocopheryl Acetate

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me' by Paula Begoun $8

I used to LOVE Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, back in the day before I educated myself about Parabens and other dangerous chemicals in our products. I completely disagree with her stance on them and that she uses them in the products she now sells on her website. However, she does put out a useful book to what products work and don't work based on ingredients. It's always an interesting read, but I haven't purchased an updated copy in nearly a decade. On her website, Paula is offering the 7th edition for $5 - the 8th edition will be out soon. She also has a $3 flat shipping offer, so you can get the book for $8. I ordered a copy of it yesterday. I wasn't willing to pay $20 for it, but for $8, I'll bite. That's cheaper than I can find it anywhere used.

Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me 7th Edition Link

Zoya 3 Free Lip Glosses (S+H)

RETRACTION!! I ordered 3 of these and upon receiving them, see the entire ingredients list. They are FULL of Parabens. When I purchased glosses as a set last year, they didn't have all this crap in them. I apologize if I misled anyone with this promotion. Please contact Zoya to return them.

Zoya is trying to drive everyone nuts again. This time, it's their lip gloss giveaway. You still have to pay shipping on these, but it's the cost of one of the glosses. They are nice and thick. I am picking up some for Christmas (ugh). My picks were Blog, Rumour, and Gypsy. Shipping was $6.95 for all 3

Code: lips

Here's some nice color swatches on another blog to help you decide: KarlaSugar

Details: Promotion link from the Zoya blog.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FTC to Require Bloggers to Disclose Payments for Reviews

*Soapbox* (Paraben free, of course) Not pointing a finger at any single person, but one of the reasons I stopped watching hauls and reviews on You Tube is that I know a majority of them are reviewing products they were given for free by the manufacturer. I have no issue with that - as long as they explicity say that 'X provided these products at no cost for me to review'. That is frequently not the case.

All of the products I review on this site are paid for out of my own pocket. Sometimes my postings are pretty thin because I just didn't have the money to spend on new goodies. As I have said in previous posts, I don't accept freebies or sample products because I don't feel I can fairly assess something that has been given to me. There is always the expectation of a favorable response and that I will encourage others to purchase. I feel bad for turning down some very nice people, but I want to keep my blog independent. That's the way I roll.

I don't know how this will shake out in the blogging and You Tube community, but I can say it's about darned time! Read the FTC long version below. Celebrity spokespeople can now be held liable for unsubstantiated product claims. Is this the death of the celebrity infomercial?

Here's the FTC long version: FTC Press Release


The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.

But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.

The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

The rules take effect Dec. 1.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Paraben Soup: Germaben & Phenonip

Slacking again, I know. I have actually been trying out lots of products from different online e-tailers. Small business folks who make and sell their own bath and body products. Folks on Etsy, etc. Well, I was tempted into a website that is having a sale and was loading up my cart because I didn't see any Parabens or Urea on the ingredients list. What I did see was Germaben II and Phenonip. That annoying little voice started squeaking, so I looked them up before placing an order.

Germaben II: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Phenonip: Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben

Well, that's just full of all kinds of fail. I guess there are so many of us Paraben dodging that chemical companies are now creating their own brews and slapping a pretty name on them. There are probably more of these preservative mixes being used out there and I will update the bad list as I find them.

Another lesson learned, especially for me. Once you have been reading labels and are familiar with the general mixes of products, always research any ingredient that you don't recognize. I emptied my cart and send a polite note to the store owner explaining why she just lost my business. Some people just aren't aware of the Paraben concerns, so we need to speak up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Elegant Minerals - 50% Sale

Elegant Minerals just sent out a code for 50% off everything on the site. Sept. 15-16 only. There is also a special section for Halloween makeup for kids.

From the e-mail:

September marks 6 wonderful years serving You - our wonderful customers.
We thank all of you who have helped us grow into one of the
Premier Mineral Makeup Companies.

We now have women and stores all over the world switching to Elegant Minerals.
Thanks to everyone for recomending EM.

To help celebrate, we're having a 50% OFF sale!
Two Day's Only!
Sept 15th & 16th 12a-12am CST

Just enter birthday2009 into the coupon box during checkout.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

GDA: TJ Maxx Clearance Sale

I had read that people were making incredible hauls from TJ Maxx over on Makeup Alley. Crazy prices like .30 and .50 for full size products. I decided to check my local one out. I didn't have the luck of some of the posters, but I found a few useful items that passed my ingredients test.

The brushes in the green bag are wood and boar bristle. I bought 2 sets. $1.00 each.
Juice Organics Moisturizer. I have wanted to try this for a while. $3.00.
The tin contains fizzing bath sea salt. $.70.
Faith in Nature Seaweed Conditioner. $1.00.

Remember to read your ingredients if you go on an expedition!

Cool Product: Epistick Hair Remover

I just received a nifty thing in the mail. It's called an Epistick and you use it to remove facial hair. It's basically a spring wire with plastic handles. Those of you who remember the original Epilator will recognize how this works. You bend it and twist it as you work up your face.

It seems to do a fantastic job with little face hairs. I just zipped through one side of my face before posting this. Personally, I did not think it hurt. There was a slight pinching feeling, but that was it. These products are recommended for facial hair only. I don't know how it would work elsewhere. If you get one of these, I recommend giving it a good wipedown with alcohol. I do the same thing with razor blades before I use them.

I bought mine off of E-Bay for $2, but you can buy the 'official' version of this which is called Bellabe for $16.99.

Here is a great video demonstration I found of how it works. Very simple.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BOO on Walgreens!

This week, Walgreens just unveiled their new website. It's just about impossible to navigate. My browser locks up with all kinds of script errors. But, that's not my biggest complaint. They have removed the frigging INGREDIENTS listings for their products. For years, they have been the go-to website when you wanted to check out a product's ingredients before chasing it down in a brick and mortar.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freebie: Burt's Bees Acne Product Sample

I just saw this while flipping through my current copy of Allure. Burt's Bees acne freebie. It doesn't say exactly what you will receive, but I took from the Allure ad it would be some of the acne serum. White willow bark (salycilic acid) extract. Look in the upper right for the green tab. It will take you to a short Start Sampling survey.

Burt's Bees Freebie

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: SUKI Concentrated Balancing Toner

I purchased a bottle of Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner after reading rave reviews about it on several skin boards. It was supposed to really help acne prone skin.

I've been using it for over a month now and can't see any difference in my skin. None at all. I spray it directly on my face, chest, and upper back after my shower in the morning and after I wash up before bed. It has the vague smell of stale lemon juice. The bottle is very nice, thick glass, but not good for spraying at angles.

For me, it certainly isn't the wonder juice everyone raves about. Maybe I take better care of my skin than other people who have tried it, I don't know. After I purchased this, I read about making your own version using apple cider vinegar and crushed aspirin. I may try that after I make it to the bottom. But hey, it's a really nice bottle.

Grade: C (I want to grade it lower than that because it costs so darn much!)
Price: $30
Size: 4 ounces
Pros: Has great reviews from other users, nice bottle
Cons: Had zero effect on my skin, bottle can't be sprayed at angles

Marketing blurb from their website and the ingredients list:

what a super potent anti-inflammatory, bacteria-fighting, vitamin C tincture
who all, especially combination to oily, acneic, rosacea, eczema & dermatitis
key actives standardized white willow bark for active 15% salicylic acid, natural vitamin C polypeptide liposomes & organic roses in our high potency organic botanic concentrate™
solves breakouts, redness, irritation, inflammatory symptoms, oil-balancing issues & bacteria production
benefits reduces inflammation, purifies pores, relieves redness, itchiness & irritation, balances ph, cleanses cuts, soothes sunburns & preps the skin for treatments & moisturizers that follow

Active Ingredients: white willow 15% active salicins + vitamin c polypeptides
Ingredients: organic roses (rosa centifolia) infused in purified, filtered water (agua), organic concentrated aloe vera (aloe barbadensis), organic rose (rosa canina), lavender (lavandula angustifolia), calendula (calendula officinalis) & chamomile (anthemis nobilis) extracts, natural vitamin C polypeptide liposomes, standardized white willow bark extract (salix alba), organic seaweed extract (algae), aroma (pure premium steam distilled essential oil)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ELF 75% Off Studio Line Products

Edit: In case you are new to this blog, most of the ELF makeup is full of Parabens and MCI/MIT. This includes all of their $1 makeup and the majority of their body products. There are a few items that do not contain highly objectionable ingredients, but may contain talc or bismuth which can be irritating to the sensitive skin.

I'm sitting here trying to make a cranky face for posting another ELF deal, but I can't quite get there. I think their cheaper products are awful and contain everything I warn against, but I really like their Mineral Lipstick. I feel so dirty. Anyway, they currently have 75% off their Studio Line products. These are quite a step above their regular $1 fare. Extra bonus on this deal is that you can get free shipping at a certain $ level and Bing Cashback (formerly Windows Live).

I bought a brush set, several individual brushes, eyelash curler, eyeshadow singles (talc, but acceptable), and threw in one of their blotting papers to get me over the hump. I figured anything I didn't like could go up for trade at Makeup Alley. Avoid anything liquid in the Studio Line. It will contain MCI and MIT. Avoid the blushes and face powders as well. Mineral oil. Yuck.

Deal Code: WWYB75S
Free Shipping: When your total is $18.75 after code (translates to starting total of $75).
Bonus: 10% Cashback if you go through Bing Cashback. People on SlickDeals are reporting they are receiving the 10% o their original total, so $7.50 cashback. You need to go through the ELF store listing on Bing:
2nd Bonus: Maybe. There is a deal on the ELF homepage if you spend $20 to get free Marie Claire OR a rebate back instead. I don't know whether this is before or after code.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reader Mail: Yes to Carrots - Not So Fast!

Wanted to share this e-mail from reader K. Take this as a warning about some of the reactions you can have when you use products with questionable ingredients. The Yes to Carrots brand seems fine, except for them using IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA. That's one of the dirty cousins. Aside from releasing Formaldehyde, it is also a known allergen. More here. Bottom line, if you are having any kind of skin issues, you need to pull out all of your products and read your labels. You could very well be causing your own misery.

"First I want to thank you for your blog! I found your blog two weeks ago while researching my one year old's skin problems. We were getting ready to leave for a family vacation, so in the rush I picked up the first paraben free lotion I came across at Rite Aid. It was the Yes to Carrots brand and we took it with us on vacation. Two days later my son and I both broke out in an awful itchy rash. I was shocked because I thought I was going in the right direction with the paraben free lotion. So I went back to your sight and read more and discovered that Yes to Carrots has a nasty cousin in it: Imidazolidnyl Urea. So I followed your link on it and realized that is exactly what was causing this rash on our arms. We have switched two days ago to Burt's Bees and the rash is already going away!

I was wondering if you would post something warning against using Yes to Carrots and the reaction that Imidazolidynl Urea can cause.

Thank you again for your wonderful blog!


Check It Out: Naked Natural for UK Readers

This was forwarded to me by a reader. Naked Body Care has some interesting products and decent ingredients. They list all of their ingredients, so read carefully. I did notice MIT and MCI in a couple of face washes, but those were the only offenders. They also have an online offer of 50% when you join their Facebook. Definitely worth checking out.

Product Reviews: Recent Product FAILS

I've been sitting on my cranky for a couple of weeks. I have gone through a string of products that I purchased and have been using that disappoint or are flat out fails. I have learned some important lessons about not believing all the reviews on product sites and try before I buy.

Mascara: Physician's Formula Organic ($9.00) vs. Tarte Lash Hugger ($18)

Ingredients for both are on linked sites above.

I have been using the PF Organic mascara exclusively since it came out. I love it and my lashes are in better condition now for using it. My tube is starting to dry out a bit and I had been reading great reviews for the Tarte mascara, so I decided to try their brand, at twice the cost.

The PF Organic is definitely the winner for me in this contest. The Tarte mascara is very blase to me, especially for the price. I have a hard time actually getting this mascara on my lashes. I don't know if it is the twisted brush or the product itself. It takes three times the strokes to get the same amount of product on as one stroke of the PF Organic. Acceptable to some people, but not when I am trying to get out the door in the morning. The mascara itself darkens and lengthens but does not build the lashes. It wears off throughout the day so that when it comes time for face washing, there is very little left. I don't see any mascara flakes, it is just gone. Tarte has lots of great reviews over at Sephora, but it was substandard for my needs.

PF Organic Pros: Acceptable price, gorgeous container, good brush, thick product, couple strokes needed for full look, lasts all day. Cons: Need to use makeup remover (I use oil), spots on lids, smears if wet, never actually 'dries', product seems to dry out faster than conventional Paraben-ated mascara.

Tarte Lash Hugger Pros: Good at lengthening, easy to remove, did not spot or smear on me. Cons: Pricey, does not thicken, time-consuming application, fades throughout the day.

Shampoo: Esencia by SAMY($8)

Ingredients on above website.

I hauled this back in March and finally got around to using it. It was free after rebate from Walgreens. I did receive my rebate on it, so that pleased me. I love the bottle design on this. Very sturdy and that cute ball head that pops up. The shampoo itself is just meh to me. I am halfway through the bottle and put it back in the closet. I am now back to my hair miracle Aloe 80 again. A couple days after I started using Escencia, I noticed that my hair was more difficult to comb out after a shower. By the end of the week, it started getting matted again and I had to spend precious early morning minutes working out the tangles. Esencia claims to be 96.3% natural. Must be something in that 2.7% that my hair really hates. Not many reviews around the web for this. Most everyone was talking about how it was free. You get what you pay for.

Esencia Pros: Low lather, smells nice, cute bottle, was free. Cons: Regular price a bit steep, my hair hated it, accompanying conditioner contains Urea.

Mineral Foundation: Meow Cosmetics (23.95)
Puss: 2-Frisky Chartreux Full Size

Remember that haul I did a couple weeks ago on that giant container of Meow foundation? Hated it! Really banging my head against the wall on this one. $24 down the drain. I will be posting this on MakeUp Alley and hope that someone will want to trade me for it. I'm instituting a $5 rule. If something costs more than $5, I am going to buy a sample first. No more buying blind. Meow doesn't take returns. Lesson here: try before you buy. Don't listen to great reviews.

The product itself is standard mineral foundation. I tried it twice and did not cause any itching or irritation. The product is almost a perfect match for my skin color. I am very pleased with Meow's ability to create product that close to true skin tone. My complaint about this foundation is that it doesn't provide any coverage. None at all.

The variety I purchased was the Pampered Puss for sensitive skin. It is supposed to provide 'medium /heavy layerable coverage'. I put on 3 layers of it and I still looked bare faced - with powder on. This is great if you have perfect skin, but if you have anything at all to hide, it's worthless. After 3 layers, I still had to go back and dust on a layer of Everyday Minerals (which can make me itch) and that gave me the coverage I wanted. Just baffled and aggravated. It was like putting air on my face. This might work well as a finishing powder, but I certainly wouldn't recommend a Meow product as a foundation.

Meow Foundation Pros: Good price for a lot of product, easy to match skin tones, powder feels lightweight. Cons: Lack of coverage - buildable or any other kind.

Monday, July 27, 2009

ELF - 75% Off Mineral Lipstick

I haven't tested this yet. Just saw it in my mail. 75% their mineral lipstick. I've been curious to try it. Says there are no limits on the order.


It works! I just ordered 7 lipsticks for $15.70 shipped. We will see.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Well, I'm Horrified.

"100% pure and natural snail extract"

Oh, boy! How could you pass up a temptation like this? Of all the crazy products I run across, this one is now at the top of the heap. There is an entire line of snail juice products available at Walgreens.

Aside from the 'dear God, they are using snails!' aspect, the ingredients are complete junk. Mineral oil and Parabens. I read through the reviews posted for these products and they all sound phoney, which is nothing new for product reviews. I'm sticking to my Jojoba oil!


Aqua , Mineral Oil , Stearic Acid , Cetearyl Alcohol , Snail Secretion Filtrate , Cyclopentasiloxane , Dimethicone Crosspolymer , Propylene Glycol , DMDM Hydantoin , Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate , Triethanolamine , Methylparaben , Propylparaben , Parfum

Monday, July 13, 2009

Haul: Peacekeeper Lippies

For their July 4th special, Peacekeeper was offering a B1G1F along with free shipping on certain lip products, so I finally bit. I have been trying to buy their popular nailpolish remover for 2 months now and I can never catch it in stock, so I figured I would try something else in the meantime.

I picked up a lip gloss in Eternal Equity and a lipstick in Paint Me Accepting. The total was $14 for both shipped. They now offer free shipping on all items, so I will probably be back to try something else.

My swatch photos were miserable, but the product photo does a good job at showing the colors. I like both colors very much. On the website, they recommend particular colors based on your hair and skin. These are the redhead colors.

I really like the design of the lipstick tube. It has a fat bottom so it sits flat and steady, no teetering on the edge of the sink. The color is smooth and solid, doesn't appear to move around much at all. Kind of iffy on the lip gloss. Like the color and a standard doe foot brush. It is castor oil based and I can really taste it on my lips. It also has a bit of grit to it. I can deal with the castor oil, but the grit may be a deal breaker. It's not super gritty, but just enough to be annoying.

My LOL moment came when I saw the shipping box. This box is much too big and too nice to ship a couple of lippies in. I would have expected an envelope. Reminded me of Amazon where you buy a toaster and they ship it in a refrigerator box. But, it will definitely be reused the next time I need to send something out.

PeaceKeeper Cause-Metrics is the first cosmetic line to give all of its after tax distributable profits to Women's Health Advocacy and Human Rights Issues.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Haul: Meow Cosmetics Foundation

Received my first product from Meow Cosmetics today. They were having a free shipping sale about a week ago so I finally bit. I was always a bit put off by the extensive variety (sometimes too many choices are a bad thing) and crazy cat names for their products, but that is their hook.

This is a huge 30 gram jar (jar is 85 gram size, 30 grams of product). I bought the 'Pamered Puss' variety that is for sensitive skin in '2-Frisky Chartreux'. Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides. It was $23.95 shipped with two samples thrown in.

I thought it would be interesting to show this compared to an Everyday Minerals container. The EM is 8 grams of product ($12), Meow is 30 grams of product. I hope my skin likes this foundation, that's quite a bit to get through! LOL.

Makeup Alley Haul: Ecotools Brush Set

Just got this in a MUA trade. I had purchased a set earlier in the year for a Christmas present. This one is mine, all mine! There was even a .50 off other Ecotools products inside. I hear rave reviews for these. They are synthetic and made with bamboo and recycled aluminium for the ferrels. Once I had them out of the package, I was surprised they were so lightweight. They are full size, but would work nicely as purse brushes.

I haven't washed these yet, but they feel wonderfully soft. I need more makeup brushes like a hole in the head, but I just had to try these out. I really like the cotton and hemp roll that comes with them. Can be washed and re-used with other brushes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why you shouldn't use baby shampoo to clean brushes

..or on babies, for that matter. It seems that everyone on blogs and You Tube like to clean their brushes with baby shampoo because they believe it's gentle. I keep preaching that liquid castille soap is the best and safest product to use to clean brushes - and yourself.

While Johnson's is bold enough to put 3 Parabens in their baby lotion, they did not put any of my big list in their shampoo, or so I thought. I ran across an interesting press release from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics about how they are pushing Johnson's to clean up their act in the States. Sorry, but there is no excuse for putting chemicals like this in baby products.

Now remember, the FDA does not regulate the cosmetics industry, they are self-regulating. Take a moment and think on that. Some of the cringe-worthy highlights:

"The chemicals in question are 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process, and the preservative formaldehyde, which is slowly released by a chemical called Quaternium-15 to kill bacteria. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde both are probable human carcinogens; formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant."

"Tests by an independent laboratory commissioned by the campaign, Analytical Sciences of Petaluma, Calif., found Johnson's baby shampoo had 210 parts per million of formaldehyde, and about two dozen other products out of 48 tested had similar or higher levels.

Johnson's baby shampoo also had a low level of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical banned by the European Union that was also found in three Aveeno baby wash products made by J&J, Johnson's moisture care and oatmeal baby washes, and about 25 baby and personal care products made by other companies."

"Last month, Sen. Kerstin Gillebrand, D-N.Y., introduced a bill directing the FDA to regulate such products made for children."

"The campaign's letter to Weldon states that other companies make similar products "by using ingredients that do not have contamination concerns." The letter also notes J&J products in Japan do not release formaldehyde because it is banned in products there."

That last bit is my favorite out of the entire article. Johnson's doesn't use dangerous chemicals in their products sold in Japan and the European Union because those governments have tougher regulations and standards. Meanwhile, back in the United States, we have to look after ourselves.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Holy Cow! No Split Ends!!!

Somebody better give me a drumroll, because it's a big day for me. When I decided to go Paraben Free, I did it for my health, I never realized that it would end up helping my hair as well! I haven't had a trim in nearly 6 months and I don't have a single split end on my head.

Back story:
I have mid-back length red hair. In my pre-Paraben days I would use Aussie or Pantene products and still have to spray my hair with a silicone product in order to get a comb through the knots. It was terrible, so bad in fact, I cut off about a foot of it last year because I was tired of the split ends and rat's nest tangles.

Since then, I had my Paraben Purge and started using Jason's brand shampoo and conditioner. I changed over to Aloe 80 a couple months ago because it has even fewer ingredients. The difference since using more natural products has been astounding. I used to get little sore spots on my scalp, all the split ends, rat nests and flyaways. I have none of these now. My hair is naturally wavy and the curls have really picked up. My hair is very shiny. It actually looks shinier now than when I was using the silicone shining spray.

Sorry to the organic naysayers, you can't deny hard evidence. I have to laugh at myself now because I always believed Aussie was a 'natural' product. In comparing ingredients listings, the difference is obvious. Compare the ingredients for my old Aussie shampoo and my current Aloe 80:

Water ,
Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , PPG-2 Hydroxyethylcoco/Isostearamide , Sodium Chloride , Citric Acid , Sodium Citrate , Fragrance , Sodium Benzoate , Tetrasodium EDTA , Polyquaternium-10 , Humulus Lupulus Extract Hops , Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract Australian Ginger Extract , Prunus Serotina Bark Extract Wild Cherry , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Sodium Xylenesulfonate , Red 4

certified organic aloe vera gel, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and aloe vera gel,cocamidopropyl betaine and aloe vera gel, cocamide MEA, glycerin, sodium chloride, Certified Organic AloeSorb, lemon (citrus medica limonum) peel oil, hydrolymethyglycinate, rosemary (rosmarinus officialis leaf) oil,sodium cocoyl apple amino acids, terasodium EDTA, potassium Sorbate, DL pantheol (vitamin B5), L-Lysine HCI, Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A) Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ELF Brushes at Dollar General

Popped into DG for some cards and saw a small display for ELF brushes and eyelashes. I was very surprised since I only find their bad cosmetics at Big Lots. They had a couple face brushes and the good eye brushes. No more paying out the nose for shipping when I want a new brush!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nail Polish Remover Recall

I am currently digging around for an effective, natural, and non-stinkly polish remover and ran across this post over at All Lacquered Up. I swear I have seen this on the shelves of my local dollar store.

Photo from the website.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 29, 2009 -- Personal Care Products of Bingham Farms, MI is voluntarily conducting a nationwide recall of all lots of Personal Care non-acetone nail polish remover, conditioner enriched with gelatin, 6 fl. oz., UPC 4815592076, because it does not meet product specifications and has the potential to cause chemical burns to the fingers of users.

The product has been sold nationwide in small discount retail stores and retailers are being instructed to remove the product from sale and to return it to Personal Care Products.

Personal Care has received two complaints of burns to the fingers resulting from the use of the product.

Any person who purchased a bottle of Personal Care non-acetone nail polish remover, conditioner enriched with gelatin is urged to return it to the store of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact Personal Care Products at 1-248-258-1555, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. EDT.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Haul: TJ Maxx & Marshalls

TJ Maxx and Marshall's have almost identical merchandise, so I went on a Paraben Free expedition to see what could be found. I only drop by about one a month since their product turnover is a bit slow.

I picked up more Rachel Perry products. A couple of toners and another face scrub. Her products have really grown on me and the packaging is so unusual, it stands out. Perry products were $4 - $6 each, regularly $15 or so. I still see her older versions of these online and they do contain Parabens, so always check your ingredients.

I also bought a 8 ouce Dani body lotion. They have several scents available, I picked Mango. Certified Vegan and Organic ingredients.

Rachel Perry Perfectly Clear Toner: Ingredients: Active Ingredients: SD alcohol 40, Camphor, Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol, Peppermint Oil.

Also Contains: Purified Water, Polysorbate 20, Echinacea, Panthenol(vitamin "B"), Comfrey Root (Allantoin), Sage Extract, Clove Oil, Irish Moss Extract, Citrus Oils, Essential Oil.

Haul: NYX Pearl Shadows

I posted a few days ago about the NYX sales going on. When Cherry Culture had their NYX at 50% plus free shipping on any order, I finally bit.

I bought 25 of the 29 (?) available colors. I passed on the pinks and odd ones. Some of these have ingredients labels and some don't, but since they all look the same, I am 'assuming' they all have the same ingredients. I haven't had time to get into them and play, but I have been watching other folks play for a couple of years now.

I think these are a great deal at $1 a piece. Can't be much more than the actual cost. I just wish NYX didn't have Parabens in their other products. I loved their lipsticks before I knew what was in them.

Loose Pearl Eyeshadow Ingredients:
Mica (and) Iron Oxides (and) Titanium Dioxide

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Haul: Target & Makeup Alley

This is a miscellaneous combo haul. I did a trade on Makeup Alley for a couple of Silk Naturals lippies in Nectar and Rhapsody. The samples were extras. Everyday Minerals, Adorned with Grace, Joppa Minerals. I've never tried Grace or Joppa before, always something new to get into!

I picked up this bag of 8 scrubbies at Target for $2. I used one last night. Pretty much a generic Buff Puff pad. When you wear them out, they are great for scrubbing the sink and the tub. Reuse and recycle!

Check it Out: Garden of Wisdom

I run across some of the coolest products reading posts over at They were having a discussion of Mandelic oil and how it can knock out blackheads. Someone mentioned they buy their products from Garden of Wisdom, so I had to go check it out.

I could wallow around in this website for hours if I had the time. All kinds of wonderful, natural products. I am overwhelmed with goodness. For the DIY folks, tons of raw materials to mix your own.

Their products have lots of good reviews over at Makeup Alley, so definitely check this site out! I did get a sampler of the Mandelic oil, I will let you know if my nose finally clears up...

Gotta B Urban Brushes

I'm sure this is old news to some of you, but I just ran across this brand while hauling at TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I found a bronzer that was the size of a small pancake for $6. I didn't buy it because it was too dark for me, but the ingredients listing was okay. As I was digging around for info on this brand, I kept finding blog posts about their brushes. Apparently, they are pretty good quality for the price ($4 - $9). They look in the range of Essence of Beauty to me, which are great little brushes. So, keep an eye open!

Kabuki image from

You Tube brush haul I found:

Spell Cosmetics Memorial Day Contest

Memorial Day Weekend Contest Details!

If you are a Youtube follower of ours, you heard about this weekends Contest and Free Gift giveaways at Spell. If you are not a follower on youtube then here are the details for you!!

1. All orders of $20.00 will receive a FREE eyeshadow, (Your choice) and a FREE Mini gloss(Your Choice). The colours can be added to the "Comments for Spell" section of your order form

2. In addition, Every order will be entered into a random drawing, the winner will receive a mini contract to work with Spell and create your own Shadow Colour and Gloss Colour, they will then be added to the online store and sold for the entire summer. You will receive your own commission on the sale of your items.

This Contest runs from Thursday Morning May 21st and ends Monday May 25th at Midnight!

Spell Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Makeup Alley Hauls

Okay, one more post before I start working my second job. The past few weeks, I have been trading makeup, perfume, etc. with folks on Makeup Alley. If you aren't familiar with the site, check it out. They have thousands of product reviews and lots of nice folks who like to trade this for that. It's a virtual beauty swapmeet. I've been a member since 2003, but never thought about trading until I started having problems finding the Paraben Free products I read about on other sites. My experience has mostly been positive. Only had one problem swapper who sent me expired items I had to throw out. This is my haul from two other traders.

Sample - Givenchy Ange ou Demon perfume sample. Always curious about it, but haven't broken into it yet.

New Kiss My Face Sheer Organic Shimmer in Topaz. This is just like the Burt's Bees products without such a strong peppermint kick. This does have peppermint flavor, but they tuned it down with vanilla and chocolate. Flavor free, anyone?

Zoya Nail Polish in Susanne and Sachi. Think I will like Susanne. Sachi is a bit hot pink for me.

Bare Escentuals / Bare Minerals Mineral Lipstick in Generosity. Cleaned it well with alcohol. Nice color, smooth. Like the tube. Surprised.

Britney Spears Fantasy - Well, I was 'curious'. Har-har. Seriously, one spray and this was gacking me. I felt like I was being suffocated in it. It finally died off after a couple of hours. Really cute bottle, though.

Kathy Hilton Perfume - This is an extra that a trader put in my box. I thought 'Hilton, ew'. The stuff under Paris' name is just awful. Believe it or not, this is the best perfume trade I have made in a while. It is nice, classy and hangs around for a long time without being overwhelming. Color me su-prised!

Wire Turqouis bracelet - I really didn't want this, but a trader really wanted one of my items, so I swapped for it. This is another favorite trade as well. It hugs my wrist perfectly and makes me feel exotic. LOL. It's crazy how the things I really didn't want end up being the ones I like the most!

Naturally Victoria's Secret

Don't do it! I reader notified me of this product line a few weeks ago and I have just been all over the internet trying to find the ingredients listing for these things. Impossible to find unless you are reading the product box. BUT, I did just discover another fantastic blog called Feelgood Style - Beauty With Integrity. The author ran into the same problem I did, but she managed to solve the case (post includes ingredients list - ewww). You really need to read her post to see the hoops she was put through trying to find what exactly was in these 'natural' products. Good reading here.

Using Office Supply Organizers For Makeup

I know, I know. But, some people out there have never tried using desk organizers for their makeup. They are a fraction of the price, work just as well as the ones sold specifically to organize makeup. Caboodles makes something similar to the above for twice as much. Oh, their version comes in pink, I guess that explains the price difference. O_o

I ran across a great post on Spektra that shows mesh containers being used for storage. I prefer mesh products for storage because you can see through them and they allow for air circulation, so you don't end up with stale smelling containers.

Enjoy the splendor below: Mesh: It's How I Roll
Image from the above post.

ELF Just p*ssed me off!

Grrr... Shoulda known better. Received an e-mail this morning from ELF with the title '75% OFF e.l.f.' for a special 2-hour sale from 2-4 EST this afternoon. I didn't post about it because the title said 75% off but the coupon inside said 50% off their mineral makeup. Um, okay. Which is it? I wanted to try their mineral lipstick, so I blocked off some time this afternoon to (hopefully) buy them at the 75% off price. The site was being hammered and I spent 20 minutes just getting product into my cart only to have ELF dump the whole thing when I tried to check out. Added everything again and found that only their Mineral50 code was working, not the Mineral75. They have 50% off codes all the time, what was the point in the super special 2-hour sale?

I found a discussion on a deals board I read and someone had called ELF and was told the 75% was a typo. Yeah...

ELF Shenanigans

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Good Guide Website

I just ran across this one while looking up the ingredients for some MAC Pigments. They have ingredients and reviews for all kinds of products, from canned fruit to deodorant. Definitely worth the look, especially since many items have the label and ingredients listed. It's fascinating reading!

The Good Guide