Monday, March 21, 2016

Be An Educated Beauty Consumer

It's important to be an educated, informed beauty consumer. Beauty marketing has really evolved over the past couple of years. Back in my day, there were a couple different ways to find out about products. Friends and Family might share their favorites, you could read about it in a magazine, or commercials. These days we have all that plus all social media -Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest,Blogs and Makeup Forums. It really promotes consumerism. Which can be a good...or bad thing. But I'll save that for another post.

Today, I wanted to talk about how it's important to be a smart consumer. With Google at your fingertips, it's very easy to be a smart consumer. But scrolling through social media comments has me convinced that most people just can't be bothered. Here are some reasons why you should be bothered. 

1. Rebranded Cosmetics- If you've been watching youtube for a while, than you know there have been companies that have come and gone in popularity. Or are still very popular. Interesting enough,  they all sell very similar if not the exact same stuff. These brands are Coastal Scents,  Morphe, BH Cosmetics, and Crown Brush.  Basically Crown Brush does private labeling and produces cheap eyeshadows, brushes, etc. I've never been tempted by the larger palettes because I believe in quality vs quantity. And if I want something affordable I prefer Wet n Wild or something else I can just pick up in the drugstore as opposed to ordering online. But if one of the larger palettes appeals to you, definitely cross check these brands for the best prices and shipping!

Make-Up isn't the only thing that is rebranded. I've noticed a lot of hair companies are doing the same thing. They buy hair products such as conditioner, shampoo, moisturizer in a gallon size or larger and pour them into smaller bottles. Some people are comfortable supporting brands that do this, but I'm personally not. If you are going to sell me a product (especially at a high cost!), then it better be something unique. Not something that anyone can rebottle and sell! It's very easy to find if a company is doing this. Usually you can just google a few ingredients and find who they are purchasing from. And if they don't list the ingredients that's usually enough of a red flag for me to just leave the site. Speaking of missing information, if product size or information such as where it's made is not listed- I'm not interested.  

2. Ingredients: My freshman year of college, I did a paper for one of my classes on the link between hormones in hair products and cancer. From then on I was very interested in ingredients. For years I would research ingredients, acknowledge I didn't want to use them...but still do so!

Lately parabens are the latest buzzword ingredients to avoid. But something to think about is usually if the product doesn't have parabens, it has something else in to to preserve it...but is that ingredient really any safer? I notice a lot of companies using phenoxethanol, and I remember reading a few years back it is linked to neurotoxicity and it releases formaldehyde. But it's safer than your products growing mold and as long as you use it in small amounts you should be fine. Or will you? If you use a lotion, shampoo, soap and other things that contain it, is it possible it builds up in your body? I don't know. But it helps to find out as much information as you can and make your own informed decision as to whether you want to use it or not. I decided I would switch to natural soaps, lotion, facial washes, moisturizers and use whatever makeup. But who knows, I might switch to natural one day for that too!

3. Sponsored Beauty- There are a lot of beauty "guru's" out there. Some are honest. Some are not. Some will try and sell you a very average or below average product as the BEST EVER, because they make money off you purchasing it. The biggest give away to that is they want you to click their link or they have a discount code. Or sometimes it's a sponsored video and you notice multiple gurus covering the same products. Definitely do your research and find some unsponsored reviews before you take the plunge!

4. Know Who You are Supporting- There are quite a few companies on my no buy list. For instance, Jeffrey Starr and Kat Von D. I've heard some rumors of them being racist. And I don't support racism...EVER. Other companies like Makeup Geek I also won't support. I don't like the way the CEO responds to people about her company. Plus I've found a lot of lies and contradictions about the ingredients and where they are made. There are a couple other companies on the list but I'll save that post for another day.

I almost forgot to mention animal testing. A lot of companies still test on animals. I think testing on animals is wrong- but I'm guilty of still buying a couple products from companies that do test. Don't judge me! I do support cruelty free in all my body and skincare though. I'm taking baby steps! But some companies are cruelty-free, yet their parent companies are not. So some of their profit will go to a company that does test. Just something to be aware of.

5. Do Your Research- I really want to try out some Indie brand makeup. And one day I will get around to it. Some Indie brands are great and they have wonderful reputations. Others, not so much. Some bully customers or sell unsafe products. I came across two companies that were selling soap dyes as eyeshadows. And eyesight is nothing to play around with!  Some people had chemical burns on their eyelids! All the information you could want to know is just a google away- or sometimes just talk with the owner.

So in conclusion, be informed and know what you are using on your body and what companies you are supporting.

That is all!