Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, or This is a Really Long Post about a Really Good Book



Buy one for yourself and one for the cosmetics-loving lady in your life.

Wow. Up until now I’ve been reacting to brand emotion, “it’s all natural”  hype, my own sketchy knowledge of ingredients, a love for essential oils, and a few misconceptions about synthetic ingredients, as well as lumping together ingredients that sound the same (did you know sodium laureth sulfate is much more gentle than sodium laurel sulfate?, and [though I knew this one before] behentrimonium methosulfate is not a sulfate. Go figure. So if you find it in your shampoo and you’re avoiding sulfate, you’re fine.

I got the book I posted about last week. I know Nate keeps popping into my posts, but we were reading at Barnes and Noble, and drinking yummy machiatos, and browsing on our tablets, and I kept not wanting to go home, even at 11:00 pm, because I didn’t want to leave behind my book. “Aw, you should get it.” Nate said, “It will save you money. You love it.” (Do I really need my best friend encouraging me to spend more money on beauty-related items?) I now know he just didn’t want me to give back my tablet. His was dead. And he knew if I was happily buried in my book I would not ask for my tablet back. Nate is a  quiet, soft-spoken, shrewd kind of guy, and often abounds with ulterior motives underneath his gentlemanly I’ll do anything for you demeanor. But it’s very wise, and it works for both of us.

Well I guess it would have worked out better for me if he would have paid for it out of the Christmas gift fund. So in this case, the book had better pay for itself.

Well it already has. In fact I think this book might change my life. But I’ll have to wait and see.

I read voraciously for hours. I read through all my brands – yes Paul does a product by product review of every product from almost every major brand you can buy at Target, Ulta, Sephora, CVS, etc. I also read the chapter on what the basics of dealing with Acne prone skin are, and the major myths many consumers are led to believe. I definitely feel like I’ve had the scales removed from my eyes on many major points, and I walk through the aisles of a beauty store with a whole new vision.

This book is put together by a team of dermatologists and experts in the industry, including Paula Begoun. They really open up your eyes to the many false marketing claims and misleading marketing tactics in the industry. Going to the beauty store without this book is like going to war without ammunition! Haha, ok maybe not. You’re not going to war. But you are going to a place that promises to take away all your skin and hair problems but empties your wallet instead. That’s why we all blog – we are held together by a common bond for love of formulas that actually do work and that give back at least what they cost.

I’ve heard this one before but haven’t believed it until now. The only reason for eye creams, Paula says, is to sell you less product for more money. She describes what it is that eye skin really needs and gives lots of examples of face creams that do just as good of a job, because they contain the same moisturizer, cell communicating ingredients, antioxidants and sun protection as the skin around your eyes need. “Repeat a lie often often and the world will believe it.” How many just take for granted that you need eye cream? I did. I’m skeptical. Really. But I’m going to try what Paula says. (I’ll let you know how it goes. Eye creams are usually .5 oz versus 2 oz or so of face cream.)

I think one thing that gave me confidence in this book and how it could be useful to me is the fact that I read lots of reviews of products that for the most part agreed with my eventual findings AFTER having spent a ton of money on the product. In other words, my stand-by repeat purchase products (such as Sonia Kashuk Fresh as Water Remove and Tarte Tinted Moisturizer) get pretty high reviews in Paula’s book. And Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer for acne prone skin, which made me break out and felt very heavy and oily, got a rating of POOR from Paula’s team, for the same reasons I suspected, too oily and irritating. Whoever thought cayenne pepper was a good idea for acne? (“What was YES TO thinking?”) So if someone can tell me what I’m going to love/hate before I buy it, that’s a good thing.

Paula didn’t always line up with what I thought was a good product – but she gave good reasons (never use toner with alcohol, it’s been proven over and over again to break down collagen the drying factor irritates already sensitive acne prone skin), and I am happy to have an expert to guide my way.

Buy on Amazon.

Oh and she has a website! You can read all the reviews and get lots of advice.

Beautypedia is where you’d get the reviews in the book.

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