Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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[Tips] Cosmetic Ingredients You Should Avoid

April 23, 2014

cosmetic-ingredientsSo back when I started my blog (Beauty Cleric), it was actually called “The Beauty Scholar.” I chose that name because I was going through a silly crisis where I was afraid to use any makeup/skincare product because they all had harmful chemicals! I have since calmed down, though. =)

Although I don’t avoid “bad” makeup ingredients altogether, I do still care about what’s in my products. Before I purchase something, I at least take a look at the ingredients label. I don’t buy only natural/organic products, but I try to steer clear of some of the bigger red flags. In this post I figured I’d cover some of the ingredients that are said to be bad for you. You can of course make your own judgment calls about what products to use/not use, but I just wanted to make everyone aware. Before a couple of years ago, I had no idea there were potentially harmful ingredients in my makeup…I also didn’t know that the FDA doesn’t monitor makeup ingredients!

Without further blabbering, here’s a list of ingredients you may want to avoid!

Oxybenzone

This chemical is commonly found in many sunscreens, which is problematic since we should all be wearing some form of sun protection to prevent skin cancer! Oxybenzone has been linked to problems with cell development, allergies, and hormone disruption. While many still believe oxybenzone is safe in small amounts, it is better to just avoid the ingredient altogether if you’re concerned and choose a more natural sunscreen. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreens.

Parabens

Parabens come in several forms with the three most common being methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. There are several other types of parabens, so you should try to avoid any product that contains the ending “paraben” in any of the ingredients. Parabens can be found in a large number of beauty products ranging from cosmetics and skin cleansers to deodorants and toothpastes. While there has recently been an increase in the number of “paraben-free” products, there are still many brands which use these preservatives. The danger of parabens lies in their alleged tie to increasing one’s risk of breast cancer. They have also been linked to hormone disruption. Look for alternative brands and products that carry the “paraben-free” label, and if you must use products with parabens, check the label to ensure that more than one type of paraben is on the ingredients list. Parabens are less harmful when mixed together!

Fragrance

Lots of beauty products list“fragrance” somewhere on their labels, but did you know that there can be as many as 200 ingredients mixed together to form the fragrance? The multitude of ingredients mixed to create fragrances for products are not on the ingredients list and are instead covered by one just word… This means there can be many hidden and potentially dangerous chemicals in your products! It is best to look for “fragrance-free” products in order to avoid the dangerous chemicals that are often used in synthetic fragrances. Many of these chemicals can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and possibly hormone disruption.

Phthalates

(Don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I have no clue!!)

This ingredient is not usually listed on the label, even if it’s in the product. However, if it is, you may want to think twice about using that product. Phthalates are used in some cosmetics to help prolong colors and scents, but they have been linked to hormone disruption and birth defects. Pregnant and nursing women should take  special care to avoid products with this ingredient. Look for abbreviations such as DBP, DEHP, and DEP–these abbreviations indicate the use of phthalates.

Summary

Anyway, as I stated above, I’m not so strict about my products as I used to be when it first scared the daylights out of me. I do still read the labels and try to find safer alternatives when I can. I also like to order cosmetics from Korea, because I know that in many other countries in Europe and Asia, cosmetic ingredients that are okay in the US are banned! I usually feel safer with foreign products!

If you want to check the safety of ingredients or specific products, you can try looking at the Skin Deep database. They list harmful ingredients and rate products on their safety.

Thanks for reading!

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[News] Free Almay Makeup at Walgreens!

March 12, 2014

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So, if you follow this blog you know I love makeup. But another one of my hobbies is extreme couponing! I also have a blog for that (where I list my hauls each week) that you can check out here.

Now, I understand couponing is not for everyone. BUT, when you can make use of some simple coupons, you can score free makeup! Even if you don’t normally coupon, this is a great deal.

Over on my coupon blog, I just listed my Walgreens haul from yesterday. I figured I’d make a post here too in case anyone wants to go grab some of the good Almay deals at Walgreens! Below, I will explain how to do it in case you don’t know how to coupon.

Everything you see in the picture above (the makeup removers and the eyeshadows) I got for FREE! Plus, I received a coupon for a free Almay cosmetic bag (which will be shipped to me soon). The eyeshadows are the Shadow Softies, so I’m excited to try these out and give a review of them! I may go back and get more. They were picked over at my Walgreens, but I’m planning a visit back home on Friday, so I will check both Walgreens stores there too!

Here’s how to get some free makeup at Walgreens this week:

First, you need to print the Almay manufacturer coupon. You can do so here. That link will take you to coupons.com and the Almay coupon ($5 off any purchase of 2 Almay products) will already be selected. If you have never printed coupons before, you need to download the coupon printer. Then you can print 2 copies of that Almay coupon.

If you have access to more than 1 computer, you can print more copies. It is limited to 2 per computer. Where I work, I have access to four computers, plus my home computers, so I print a lot of copies!

Next, you will need the Walgreens coupon for $2 off Almay products. This can be found in the March Savings book, a monthly coupon book Walgreens prints. These are located at the front of any Walgreens store, and you can find them at any time of the month. Just look at the table of contents in the front of the book to find what page the Almay coupon is on. This coupon will deduct $2 from EACH Almay makeup product you buy! (It only has to be scanned once, and it will deduct the appropriate amount of money).

If you can print a lot of the manufacturer coupons and plan on buying a lot of makeup at Walgreens, you can also cut the “points booster” coupon out of the Walgreens weekly ad. This will give you 5,000 points if you spend over $25. The $25 must be reached AFTER all Walgreens discounts and coupons are applied. However, you can use the manufacturer coupons to bring that $25 total down. If you don’t have a Walgreens card, you can sign up for one and link it to your smart phone. You can sign up online (I think!) or in store. Once you accumulate 5,000 in points, you can redeem them for $5 off of your purchase. The more points you accrue, the better the dollar amount rewards are.

Almay foundations, primers, concealers, blushes, powders, eye makeup, and makeup removers are on sale at Walgreens this week: buy 1 get 1 50% off. You can use this sale price, plus the Walgreens coupon, plus the manufacturer coupons to score free makeup! You can also get those 5000 extra points! And if you buy at least 3 Almay items, you should get a coupon (print out at the cash register) for the free cosmetic bag.

So go to Walgreens and look at the makeup. Pick out what you want, and calculate how much the items will be before you go to the register. Be warned: Walgreens does NOT typically give overage on a coupon, so you manufacturer coupons may beep at you at the register. Mine did not, but yours might, especially if you are only getting the Almay products. If this happens, ask the cashier to adjust the manufacturer coupons down. You can get items for free at Walgreens, but they don’t apply the overage to the rest of your purchase.

FOR EXAMPLE: If you buy 2 makeup removers at $5.99 each, one will ring up as $5.99 and the other will ring up as $2.99, because of the 50% off sale. That totals to $8.98. When the Walgreens coupon is scanned, it will deduct $4 since you bought 2 items. That leaves you with $4.98. You can now use the $5/2 manufacturer coupon. HOWEVER, the coupon is for $5 off and the total is only $4.98. Therefore, the cashier may need to adjust the coupon down to $4.98 instead of $5!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. I’m happy to try to help! I was able to get the free cosmetic bag, 2 packs of makeup wipes, 2 eyeshadows, and 4 of the eye makeup remover wipes all for FREE! (Plus I’m planning on going back for more!!) I just got really excited about this awesome deal and wanted to share.

 

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Tips for Applying Makeup in a Hurry!

February 21, 2014

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So…I’m often running late for work (and used to run late for school too….old habits die hard!). I used to be pretty quick about getting all of my makeup on, because I just can’t do the whole “natural no makeup” look or literally go out without any makeup. It just isn’t gonna happen =) If you can pull that off, lucky you! If you can’t, here are my tips for speeding up your makeup routine!

Tip #1—Prepare the night before.
If you know you have to get up early for work or school, make sure you organize your makeup the night before. Wash your makeup brushes and have your products out and ready to go! It also helps to keep clean makeup sponges around at all times along with some cotton swabs & makeup remover for easy clean up. I like the Almay Eye Makeup Remover Qtips. They’re pre-loaded with makeup remover in case you mess up! Also, the Elf Makeup Remover Pen works well.

Tip #2—Use cream foundation or a BB cream.
If your skin doesn’t mind cream products, use some type of cream foundation (or stick concealer) as your main face makeup. Cream products are not as messy as powder or liquid products, so it is much easier to apply them when you’re in a hurry! The cream product should give you a nice smooth canvas to work with as well. If you can use the lighter coverage BB creams (or have some of the more full coverage Korean BB creams) then stick to these, even though they’re liquid. They go on quickly and blend into the skin within a few moments.

Tip #3—Use neutral eyeshadow palettes.
Having a palette instead of single eyeshadows will make it much easier to apply your makeup quickly. Also, keeping a nude palette is a good idea since the colors can go with anything. Look for a good brand that has very pigmented shades such as Urban Decay, Wet & Wild, Covergirl, and Stila. This way, you can have your eyeshadow on in a couple of swipes instead of
having to build the color up! Neutral shadows are also easier to work with and blend quickly.

Tip #4—Use multitasking products.
If you use one product to serve several functions, your makeup application will be much faster. Buy blush or bronzer compacts that have multiple shades in them—use the lightest shade as a highlighter and the darker shades for blush or bronzer. You can also use the darker shades of eyeshadow in a palette as a substitute for eyeliner. Find products that you can use in different ways, and make them part of your quick makeup routine! If you like soft pink eyeshadows, you can even use your blush for your eyes instead.

Tip #5—Use a clear or nude lip gloss instead of other lip colors.
It can sometimes take a while to apply lip liners and lip sticks. Any colored lip product is going to require more maintenance and take longer to put on correctly. You can cut some time out of your makeup routine simply by opting for a clear gloss or lip balm. Sheer lip products such as lip butters that still give a little bit of color are good options too.

Tip #6—Always curl your lashes.
If you wear mascara, make sure you curl your lashes before application! Curling your lashes helps to put them all in place so that the mascara will go on more smoothly and quickly. You’ll waste time if you try to put mascara on without curling your lashes and have to clean up the clumps!

Tip #7—Use makeup products with SPF.
Even if you’re getting ready in a hurry, you shouldn’t skip the sun protection! Look for foundations, concealers, and lip products that have SPF in them. Use these to eliminate the step of applying a sunscreen before foundation.

I hope some of these tips will help you when you’re running late!