Posts tagged ‘beauty blogger’

Beauty Rant: Cosmetic Counters

One of the reasons I became a beauty blogger is because I hate the feeling of being intimidated and overwhelmed at the cosmetic counter.  My hope was to get familiar with how the industry works to overcome this fear.  And generally speaking, my experiences blogging have really helped.

I don’t go to the mall often.  I have a learned aversion to shopping malls, and as much as I want to see the pretty packages and tubes of cosmetics, mall shopping is torture to me.  Another problem I have is with confrontation.  With my own children and husband, confrontation comes naturally.  But, with someone who I perceive as having authority, confrontation is another thing.  I have a very difficult time expressing a strong opinion.  This is particularly true when I desire to communicate my discontent or negative feedback.  Generally, if I don’t like something, I will choose to avoid talking face-to-face with a real person about it.  I have “changing the subject when the tension gets high” down to an art. 

Recently, this trend has changed for me.  Now, when I meet people at the cosmetics counter, they have become my new allies in the quest for good beauty stuff.  Instant soul mates.  I usually ask them tons of questions and have a great time talking with them.  What product really stands out?  What is your favorite product?  Have you heard of this line?  Which line carries your favorite foundation?

And then there is today.  Today, I needed to shop at the mall.  I left my entire lot of children with my oldest and slipped out of the house!  Sweet childless freedom.  I casually strolled into the shopping mall. No stroller. No crowds. Just me in a big air conditioned space.  First I went shopping for some bare necessities, and casually stopped by the cosmetic counter at Dillards.  My Dillards experience proved to be so disappointing in comparison to the Sephora I visited last weekend in Vegas. 

I noticed a new line I hadn’t seen before.  I walk over and dabbed some of their serum on the back of my hand.  I thought to myself, “Interesting consistency. Do I smell citrus?  Must have some alcohol in it too. Kind of reminds me of…”


A cosmetic saleswoman with a bright white lab coat asked me if I needed assistance.  Another customer simultaneously asked the saleswoman about the Clarisonic Face Brush on display.  “As Mentioned on Oprah” the signs say around it.  The saleswoman gave the sales pitch for the Clarisonic Brush, quickly announcing, “This is the most amazing skincare item!”

When I responded, my troubles began.  I said, “Actually, I like it okay; I don’t think it is all they claim it to be.”

The saleswoman shot me a look of surprise, and then beamed daggers at me.  “Everyone here loves the Clarisonic; it helps our serums really sink in, instead of just staying on the surface.”

“Oh really.  Well, I am sure it does help exfoliate your skin.”

“If you tried this, you would really see how it makes a difference.”

“I have one of these, I used it for a while, and it is very nice.”

“What kind of brush did you use?”

“One for sensitive skin and the other for regular skin.”

“I meant to say, what kind of setting did you use on your Clarisonic brush? Low or high?”

“Gosh, I didn’t realize there were two different settings.”

“You must have had your brush on high!”

“Okay, thanks…” 

I wanted to stay and browse, but I didn’t want to keep this conversation going, and I felt about 3 feet tall.  Why on earth do I let a salesperson or any person make me feel this way!?   I made some kind of excuse and got out of there.

Does this ever happen to you?  I guess I need more beauty blogging therapy.

July 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm 20 comments

All about Cosmoprof

Here is a brief summary of my day at Cosmoprof.   

Cosmoprof North America – the only all-encompassing business-to-business beauty trade show event in North America! Organized by product categories, there are four pavilions that cover the entire spectrum of the beauty industry. Visit the Cosmetics Personal Care Pavilion, Packaging, Contract Manufacturing & Private Label, Spa & Wellness and Professional Hair, Nails & Tools to see trends and newness from within all segments of the beauty industry. Strong international participation solidified by the presence of country pavilions give you the global perspective on emerging trends.     

8am-10am  PBA Annual Business Forum (Keynote speakers, James Carville and Mary Matalin)

To be honest, we went to hear the keynote speakers and didn’t know anything about the PBA.  The Professional Beauty Association or PBA is made up of salons, spas, distributors and manufacturers dedicated to improving their individual businesses and the industry as a whole. 

James and Mary were fabulous, witty, and offered keen observations on how this Presidential election is unprecedented and will be referred to historically for generations to come.  The two of them made several cracks at their odd ball relationship.  Mary quoted Dennis Miller when he called her husband, “a snake oil salesman who actually looks like a snake.”

This early morning meeting was the highlight of our entire trip!

10am- 4pm  Cosmoprof

We entered the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to pick up our badges and walked into the white- carpeted immense pavilion with 100’s of booths promoting every type of hair care, nail care, skin care, spa equipment, and salon tools imaginable! 

The exhibitor’s objectives are to get buyers interested in purchasing their product.  Being a beauty blogger and a bit of a beauty product junkie, I was curious about anything that stood out as original and innovative.  Each company wants to stand out with the next big breakthrough product which can differentiate their product from what is already out there.   I observed and admired the hard work that all these exhibitors had put into this show.   And oh-ho baby, this Cosmoprof show did not disappoint!

Here is a list of some of the people I met with and will be reviewing their products in the next few weeks. 

Curly Q and Curls Hair care – visit with Mahisha, who developed a naturally curly hair care line for children and adults.  I cannot wait to try their “Milkshake” leave-in conditioner.

Pencil Me In” Healthy Eyeliner – Linda created a beautiful palette of glide-on eye liners that have a built in pencil sharpener.  Brilliant idea and offers them at a great price ($6 a piece).  I am sending Mo one to review and cannot wait to hear what she has to say about it!

Mommy Makeup with the CEO Debra and Jeremy (many thanks for the VIP pass to Cosmoprof).  Debra developed a goof-proof cosmetic line to assist busy women who want to look their best.  Many of her products are “multi-taskers” and serve more than one purpose to keep our daily beauty routine to a minimum.

Brazilian Keratin Treatment – the founder and beautiful Marcia created an alternative way to smooth and straighten hair temporarily, and claim that this product is safe on all types of chemically treated hair. 

LillyPilly Australia – Simon demonstrated and explained that the antioxidants from the Australian native LillyPilly fruit make this skincare lotion unique.

Cyclic Nano – A collagen based cleanser uses Nano Silver Technology, and claims anti-aging and skin clearing qualities.  I really enjoyed my visit with Edwin and Edward.

Napoleon Perdis – with the gifted Gloria, who is the “Official Makeup Artist” for Napoleon Perdis and gave me a fabulous cosmetic makeover!   She announced that Napoleon Perdis is launching a new television reality show this fall, “Get Your Face On With Napoleon Perdis.”  This show will be searching for a new cosmetic Protégé for the company in the US.   NP has also created a new, more affordable NP “Set” cosmetic line that will soon be sold at Target stores.

Miss Oops! – Makers of Miss Oops ® JAKs TM , the Miss Oops ® Boob Tube TM, and Miss Oops ® Pucker Protector TM.  My 14 year old daughter Amanda put the Boob Tube to work while wearing a sundress yesterday and this product helped cover-up some of her cleavage, and made me feel so much more at ease.

GINGI – their skincare philosophy is that quality and simplicity is the root of success and uses only the purest water and the finest highest quality natural ingredients available.

Cures Skincare by Avance – Denise discussed with me how CURES primary focus is on skin conditions and not on skin types. CURES has created services and treatments that claim to treat the root cause of the condition, offering long-term results.

SK1N Probiotic Systems – a skincare line that is the first to incorporate the use of probiotics to combat acne.

Smart Beauty– Funky and creative temporary and semi-permanent hair color sprays, including a bikini color kit!  I accidentally introduced myself to the women working there as a “beauty booger” instead of a “beauty blogger,” and they didn’t let me live that one down.  Oops!  They gave me some deep russet highlights and made me feel like a million bucks.  They had the coolest buttons at their booth like, “I am a natural blond, and I can prove it!” and “Hell yeah I color my hair!” 😉

Viktoria De’Ann Cosmeceuticals – Viktoria hired a team of chemists that worked for several years to develop a new way to deliver peptides into the skin.  She uses all natural ingredients and has kept her products at reasonable prices.

Goldfaden Skincare a high end skincare line that incorporates Red Tea.

I had such a wonderful time meeting and learning about what these companies had to offer.  In the next few weeks, Mo and I will be using and reviewing these products and let you know what we think about them!

July 14, 2008 at 11:01 pm 11 comments

Mythbuster Beauty Review: Baby Quasar and Baby Blue

Warning! The photo rejuvenation devices I am about to review are expensive! You may be better off being blissfully unaware of these rather awesome devices. I give you this warning because once you read about what the Baby Quasar and Baby Blue Photo Light Devices can and do for your skin; you will covet them until you finally own them!

What are the devices: Photo Rejuvenation and Acne Clearing Devices

How they work: The Baby Quasar (or BabyQ, as it’s affectionately called) is designed to deliver four light wavelengths (that is amber, red and infrared). The Baby Blue delivers only blue light. This is a picture of the Baby Quasar. The Baby Blue looks exactly the same, but emits a blue light.

What the devices do:   By following a series of photo rejuvenation sessions for six weeks, the Baby Quasar can enhance the skin cells’ circulation, stimulating collagen production and healing. The Baby Blue emits a blue light that kills the p. acne bacteria. Used together, they can reduce the inflammation and redness associated with acne or sensitive skin. The red light causes the release of nitric oxide, which is essential for healing. These devices are meant to enhance and improve the effectiveness of your skincare serums and treatments. Light Therapy is best for individuals with sun damage, redness, broken blood vessels and brown discoloration, including freckles.

My experience:

I was told to start by using the Baby Blue device first followed by a Baby Quasar session for six weeks to achieve the maximum benefits. I used both devices every other day for six weeks and each session lasted for about 35 minutes.

Both devices were easy to use. The warmth from the light felt good against my skin and there was no pain involved. I found the light therapy sessions very soothing, especially after using the Baby Quasar. I noticed that my blemishes seemed to heal more quickly and the number of my breakouts diminished while using both devices. I generally used the Blue Light as a spot treatment on areas where I tend to break out (nose, cheeks and chin), and the red Baby Quasar over the entire face.

I noticed that the Baby Quasar significantly helped diminish my skin’s redness. It was very soothing to my skin. Over the six weeks, I noticed more firmness and softened lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead. My pigmentation issues have improved and are less noticeable on my cheeks and chin. On my cheeks, I noticed some very dramatic improvements including some pigmentation spots fading and completely vanishing.  I have been trying to clear up some very deep small whiteheads on the apples of my cheeks for years, and while using the BabyQ and Baby Blue, these small whiteheads have slowly been surfacing and disappearing!   I have also noticed diminished pore size around my cheeks, chin and nose.

In short, I loved the Baby Quasar. You are going to love what these devices can do for your skin!

You will need to avoid shining the light directly into your eyes or around mucous membranes. I did get a few strange sores after exposing my nostrils to the light. Other than that, I noticed no other side effects or adverse issues while using the Baby Quasar and the Baby Blue devices.

Where do you purchase, and how much:

The price of these devices is very high. The Baby Quasar costs $449 plus $20 s&h at the Baby Quasar site. However, if you look at the cost of going to an esthetician or clinic for Photo Rejuvenation Therapy or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) a series of five treatments can cost between $1,000 – $2,000. To have a device that can be used at your convenience and indefinitely, you can see how these devices can be a deal. The Baby Quasar devices have a one year warranty from the manufacturer, and the company provides excellent customer support. You can also share the devices with other family and friends.

Special Discount Code: Baby Quasar is offering a promotional code, ‘mythbeauty’ that will give you an additional 10% discount off any Baby Quasar device.

Conclusion: The improvements are subtle and take time, but I have noticed some real benefits while using the Baby Blue and Baby Quasar. I highly recommend using the Baby Quasar.

[Here is picture I took today with a bit of makeup, (but really not that much), and no touch-ups! My skin isn’t perfect, but not bad for a 39 year old mother of five.]

If you are serious about getting the most out of your skincare, purchasing the Baby Quasar would be definitely a step in the right direction. BabyQ really rocks!

July 10, 2008 at 4:00 am 17 comments

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