31 March 2010

Spoting Fake Cosmetics

If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. In attempt to save money on my "habit" I began to check for my must have products on eBay. Type "MAC eyeshadow" in to the search box and you will be surprised at what you find. Seven pigments for $12.99 when they are priced $19.99 EACH at the store and on the website? A tweleve color eyeshadow pallet for $13.50? MAC does not even make a twelve shadow pallet, and never has. A MAC Pro 120 pallet, currently up for auction at $41.50 with EVELEN bids? These eyeshadows sell for $14.50 a piece, we all want to believe we could have 120 shadows for forty bucks but it just isn't going to happen.

Most of us think that counterfiets are only something to look out for with high end designer purses and accessories, but it seems that the fraudulent cosmetics industry is booming. I honestly cannot imagine a factory set out to print fraudlent lables and nearly identical packaging  to sell a jar of pigment for less than two dollars, but obviously it is happening. This seems like a harmless endevor but a matter of health comes in to play. With these counterfiet goods you have no way of knowing where they have been, what types of chemicals have been used or if the product is safe. Applying something directly to my face that could be harmful is not on my agenda.

An article by Lucinda Mendel goes as far to say that by buying these products we could be "funding terrorism and organized crime". She discusses the conditions of the factories that may produse counterfiet beauty products and the idea that children may be exploited in doing so.

In order to save money on our favorite brands and not exploit our foreign brothers, I have looked in to alternative methods of bargain shopping. A website that I have come across that I see as a God send for the makeup lovers is Makeup Alley. You are able to create an account and list all of the makeup items that you do not currently use, or maybe have multiples of, and also make a list of the items that you wish to have. Others MUA members will match their swap items to your wish list items and the two of you make plans to do a swap. You are awarded tokens, similar to eBay's feedback that allows other swappers to see that you are a trusty swapper. There are also blog sales held where your favorite bloggers put their old or unused makeup up for sale on their blog often for very low prices.
I leave you with the hope that you stay thoughtful about buying cosmetics online. Keep in mind the idea that a very low price may come at a very high cost. Check out alternatives to eBay, like Makeup Alley and blog sales, there are ways to be price savvy while staying safe.

28 March 2010

Buying Practical Makeup

I was forced to do a bit of spring cleaning this past weekend and the bathroom was my most dreaded area of the apartment. My makeup, hair care, skin care, perfumes and lotions cover every square inch of the counters and cabinets. When asked to give up some of beauty products I thought, "this is impossible, everything is different, I use all of it..." I was wrong. If I have learned anything from this years' spring cleaning, I have learned that everything that I buy, everything that I must have is something that I undoubtedly have at least one comparable item of. My coveted lipstick collection consists of ten of my FAVORITE colors... the funniest thing is that no one would be able to tell the difference in shades except me, because every color is nearly identical. This prompted me to check the stock description, this is sickening, "pale muted peach beige" "beige pink with pearl" "pale muted peachy-beige" "light beige with rose" "light beigey-pink". How many tubes of black mascara does a girl need? SEVEN, I was disgusted. Black eyeliner? FIVE. Oh, and the light pink lip glosses? TEN.
I decided from now on, I will have a new way of looking at my makeup purchases. I will have one of each item in a makeup bag (rather than a Rubbermaid drawer large enough to be used as a dresser) and when I am tempted to buy a new item I will ask myself, "is this already in the bag?" No more nude lipstick, pink lip-gloss, black eyeliner, black mascara, or brown eye shadow. I think a large part of the reason we have so many products that are similar is because we are looking for something better, but I'm starting to realize "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The products that I go back to again and again are ones that I've used for years, most of which can never be replaced. A lot of money has gone to waste in vain attempts to replace a product that works perfectly well.

22 March 2010

Chanel's Skin Art

This past weekend was the Cigar City Tattoo Convention in Ybor City. A good friend of mine traveled to Tampa to represent his tattoo shop from San Fransisco. In line with this event, completely coinsidently, Chanel also released their much anticipated Les Trompe L'oeil temporary tattoos.

I absolutely love the idea of tattoos and I think most people's are beautiful, I have just never had the ability to commit to something so permanent. Tattoo artwork is the most powerful form of self expression, and a wonderful way to define your identity. Everything that we hope to accomplish with makeup could be done the same with a personal tattoo. Chanel's temporary tattoos are a bit extreme, in my opinion. They are priced at $75 for fifty-five tattoos, but I'm sure we all realize that we are paying for those coveted "C's". An ordinary pack of 55 tattoos would be no more than $5. The idea that this beautiful design would just wash off after one day of use seems shameful. I find the idea kind of revolutionary; a well respected, relatively conservative name brand is promoting body modifications. In my opinion, this is huge. I have had many conversations with people about tattoos in my generation and how it will be common for grandparents to have chest pieces and full sleeves in fifty years. I think that Chanel is recognizing this change and cashing in on the idea tattoos are a familiar sight within their demographic.

I think such a highly regarded brand name was taking on a big risk in promoting this body art. Though it is common younger generations, older generations (usually the ones with all of the money :P) are not fond of tattoos to say the least. It could be detrimental to their spring fashion line when the models walk the runway sporting chains down their legs. Chanel made a bold move and it wont be long until critics jump on this fad.

01 March 2010

Back to MAC Program

I have successfully used up six MAC products. This would normally be very sad, seeing as I will now need to repurchase these items, but MAC takes away the pain, just a bit. The company offers a program called "Back to MAC" in which you take in six empty containers back to MAC and recieve a free lipstick of your choice. Seeing as how I have a wish list of about ten MAC lipsticks that I can't wait to get my hands on I am extremely excited about this trip.

The website is a bit more picky on what empties they will accept: eye shadow pan, eye shadow quad, eye shadow trio, lipstick tube, lip gloss tube,  foundation bottle or compact, mascara tube, eyeliner, blush or base pots and pigment jars. However, I have found that the retail stores will take back just about anything that says MAC on it. Empty face wipe containers, brush cleaners and eyelash cases are all things that empty quickly so it's good to know that we can "back to MAC" them. The website also allows you to recieve any lipstick, with the excpetion of the Viva Glam because the proceeds benefit charity, where the stores give an option of any liptick, eyeshadow, or lip gloss. It is a tad confusing that the company is inconsistant with this program because not all of thier customers are getting the same choices, and also because not all stores follow the same policy.  On their website, MAC describes the program:

Because we share your commitment to the enviornment, MAC accpetc returns of it's primary packaging though the Back to MAC Program. By returning six primary packaging containers to a MAC counter or MAC Cosmetics online you'll recieve a free MAC lipstick of your choice as our thanks to you.
I think the program offered is pretty commendable considering a big corporation such as this does not need to offer any insentives, people will buy the products regardless of any type of "deal". There is actually an entire section on the MAC website dedicated to GIVING BACK. This section describes their charitable programs such as the Back to MAC ProgramViva Glam, Kids Helping Kids, and MAC AIDS Fund. As if their products aren't enough to make MAC irresistable, they step up and look out for others as well.
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