Why the hesitation to use natural/food grade ingredients in cosmetics?

I never really thought of this before. It’s kind of logical to me. In a battle of best cosmetic ingredients between natural and chemical, natural is just better. If I can eat something, like coconut oil, and then also use it on my hair to moisturize, that’s a win win situation…I have always thought that if it is safe to go into our bodies, it is safe to put on our bodies…but I recently found out not everyone thinks this way…There is a point of view that cosmetics should remain a chemical science, and that putting food on ourselves is just well, kinda dirty. Where did I get this idea from? A man working at a hair supply shop told me this, when I mentioned I used a bit of coconut oil for my dry ends. He said the problem with food grade is that it mixes with microbes and such on our bodies and can easily become rancid and/dirty.

Hmm…Dirty? I never realized this point of view before, and while I think the shop guy might be right to some degree, I still think it’s an exaggeration at best. The outsides of our bodies can take a bit of dirt and microbes. Our own bodily oils are teaming with loads of bacteria and such, it’s all over us…adding food grade ingredients does not necessarily add to the microbial community…maybe it would if we never showered…but the average person in North America probably showers at least once a day; not enough time for coconut oil or any food grade oil to become rancid, and thus dangerous to our health. Advocating for chemicals and chemical preservatives to remain the standard for quality hair care, is a bit unfounded. Many of the chemicals in cosmetics are known to be drying, irritating to the skin, cause allergic reactions, and even have traces amounts of carcinogens. Yikes.

The trend to go natural is so strong actually, that many big cosmo companies now say they have squeezed natural ingredients into their formula. I’ve seen so many times the advertising and labeling of big brand products claiming to use honey, botanicals, fruits, natural oils and butters. The ironic thing is the natural inclusions are often very denatured/altered and it’s a very minute amount that’s used. Why moisturize with a vat of silicones and trace amounts of cocoa butter, if cocoa butter is the actual desirable ingredient? I have to toot my own horn when I say I make a solid lotion at Dream E that is a third made of cocoa butter and all natural other ingredients, except for a small amount of fragrances. But 95% natural is better than 1% natural any day in my opinion.

At my local Shoppers Drugmart: look at all these chemical and chemically preserved products! Don’t get me wrong, I still use them sometimes…but if I had a natural alternative, probably not.

I think as a society, the culture is moving away from chemical dependencies as a whole in general. I do feel that people prefer food that hasn’t touched pesticides, and are organically grown without fertilizers…Society seems to want more natural things in bodies, so why not reflect this view when it comes to cosmetics, if possible? Don’t get me wrong I like my chemical stuffs too, I use at least a dozen different chemical make-ups everyday; I wrote an article singing the praises for a superstay lipcolour formula that has the lasting power of car paint enamel! But when I can, I readily choose natural: I remove make-up with coconut oil. I use olive oil to amp up my hair conditioner…Vitamin E capsules used externally for my face at night, sugar face scrub, glycerin setting spray…anything that is food for internal can be also be food for skin or hair…

So here is the food isle at my local drugmart: I have been known to use many food grade items for cosmetic purposes: sugar, honey, yogurt, olive oil, coconut oil, cornstartch…etc. just to name a few…

In the end, I don’t think food grade ingredients at their purest, simplest form can ever be harmful. Think about in the past, before industrialization…people had to resort to what was around them to take care of their skin. Shea butter from the shea nut…is still used for cooking and moisturizing skin in many places of the world, with amazing healthy results…nut shells for exfoliation…cocoa butter, aloe vera…all of these plants derived food ingredients are still widely used on the body externally…and there is no scientific study or test needed to formulate and manufacture then truth that they work well. It just makes sense they do because sometimes Nature knows more about beauty, than chemical Science does.


Valentine’s Make up: Plum smokey eye with peach lips and dewy skin…

So, I was trying to think of a shorter, catchier title for this post…but alas, this eludes me! I’m just writing an article on make-up styles for Valentines this year…and want to share with all this idea: A smokey eye…but with a twist…it’s a lot lighter and softer than the traditional smokey charcoal eyes, instead it is more about pewter and plum tones, colors that add darker colors to the eyes without overwhelming them. Instead of being a vampy vixen on a night in the town…I think plum smoke is more along the line of “fashion student bored and trying to spice things up”…

So here is my tuturial on how to get this look…

  1. Start with a previously moisturized face.  Then mix a heavy moisturizer, like a night cream, with a pigmented bb cream/foundation in the palm of your hand. Use a ratio that makes sense, around 1 part moisturizer, 2 parts foundation. Spread the mixture evenly on your face. Now you have a dewy complexion. Set with a light dusting of illuminating face powder. If you have a glycerin spray, or a dewy make up setter, spritz that all over the face now.

    A mixture of heavy face cream and pigmented bb/foundation leaves skin naturally glowy…set lightly with illuminating face powder
  2. Eyebrows need to be filled in, and an eye shadow base in a neutral skin tone must be applied on both the upper and lower lids. Then get a highlighter shadow (a light shadow that shimmers and reflects) and do the brow bone, the lower lash line and inner eye corners…

    Brows filled in, and the eye shadow base is on…shimmer highlight in the right places…
  3. Now you are ready for the dark colors: Do a light even sweep of the pewter color on the whole upper lid, just to the brow bone. Now switch colors…do a purpley plum color on top of the pewter shadow also to the brow bone. Line the bottom lid thinly with the same purpley plum shadow and diffuse all hard edges of shadow with a clean blender brush.

    I used the NYX full throttle palette. But plum and pewter shadows can be found anywhere…
  4. Line the top lid with a black soft eye pencil. Set the pencil and smudge it a bit with black shadow and an angled fine brush. Line the lower lid thinly just on the outer corners with black shadow as well.

    This is two shadows on top of eachother; a must is a blending brush to soften the edges of color.
  5. Mascara: A good, black, non-clumping formula mascara…two generous coats on the lashes before drying.
  6. Lining the smokey eye top lid with a black liquid liner; I like to use pen liners since they make getting the cat eye flick so much easier.
  7. False lashes: These are optional, but kind of a must, for giving flirty drama.
  8. Blush. Use lots of this…on the apples of the cheeks, extending up to the temples on the sides of the face…down stroke for the temples, up strokes for the cheeks. Choose a nude peachy pink lip color.
  9. Top with lots of setting spray or a glycerin spray. This helps with the dewyness, and reduces the powdery look.
    The finished product. On camera, it’s not really visible that it’s a smokey eye, but it is, just more subtle!  

    And there you have it…a very simple, one tone eye color and NO contouring necessary. You will look like yourself, but better, with a cute smokey eye this Valentines Day. Ask me in the comments if you have any questions and Happy Valentines…xoxo.




Hair coloring obsessions and other thoughts on my birthday…

So recently I’ve been coloring my hair like crazy…check out my post about soap capping. It’s been a goal of mine now to have ashy, cool toned hair colour, because well, as a dark haired asian girl, that is near impossible. Black is my natural color, and that’s as cool toned as my hair wants to be. But as I age and become more pale, black hair is actually too harsh for my skin tone (plus the occassional white that hair creeps in). But when I try to lighten even just a few shades, my hair screams a bright red/orange tone, even harsher than black hair for my complexion. I actually had to go through a lot of chemical processes to get it to be the cool toned light brown I have now and I’m ashamed to say it, since I kind of fried my hair with a chemical soup to get it…But now I think I got it, and really don’t care if it’s not exactly the colour I want…me needs to let go.

So this is just part of the chemical soup I subjected my hair to trying to make it ashy: developer, bleach lightener, permanent colors…additives…etc.

Today is my birthday, I’m another year older, and I’m really thinking today about how unimportant hair color is…all the cosmetic procedures, chemicals and efforts us girls put into altering our natural appearance doesn’t add up to much. When the truth is, nobody cares about the color of my hair…I recently reviewed some lipstick on here and to think I about it, I doubt anyone really cares about my lip color either. It’s fun, but that’s it…The truth is, cosmetics and fashion is a past time I enjoy…but not ultimately what people care about in me. My dad’s obsession for example, is seeing me eat more, eat healthily and sleep.  Ha ha. Really that’s all he cares about. Most people just want others to be healthy and happy. So I know that taking care of oneself’s mind and body is ultimately the most important thing to do…

Time to say sorry to my body and hair for everything I put it through for the sake of my vanities.Whether it is soap capping twice in one night to lighten it, or putting in harsh dyes and toners to perfect my hair color, or not eating bagels since they make me bloat…I have start seeing as to how I am pretty mean to my body…and it’s time to say sorry. How do I say sorry to my body? Some ideas I have are:

  • Don’t wear make-up on my off days, I just moisturize your skin and drink lots of tea
  • Do have that pastry/cookie/candy I’ve been thinking of
  • sleep in that extra two hours…I will never run out of chores/work that I gotta do, but I know I can always do it later
  • give my hair a hot oil conditioning treatment and not worry about what it will do its color
  • Feed your mind: Do something that has NOTHING to do with being gorgeous. (no fashion/make up stuff) Write an article or read a book about something cerebral. Create something that will bring value to your health, or learn something about the world your never knew.
  • Don’t look at trends and covet them on social media. Look at yourself and what you want to accomplish and achieve…

Remember the important things in life…and be happy. That’s what I’ve been thinking about on my birthday today. Nothing is worth doing if it doesn’t make us healthy and happy. It’s really easy to get caught up in getting the latest fashions and make-up trends, and cosmetic procedures…but knowing when to stop is key.