Top 5 Eyebrow Mistakes

SImple Grooming Errors to Avoid

Top 5 Eyebrow Mistakes

Boom Boom Brow Bar is a chic boutique spa in the West Village in NYC. Known for its kitsch factor and amazing brow services this expert spa is quickly becoming the go to place in NYC for the perfect brow.

Recently they published the Top 5 no no's when grooming brows.

I could not agree with this list more.

Here is the Boom Boom Brow Bar Top 5 Brow Mistakes reposted:

1. Over Plucking — brows that are too thin, have gaps, are too short or start too far from the center of the nose. Put the tweezers down and see a PROFESSIONAL!


2. Bleached Out Brows — don’t let the sun or hair color bleach/lift brow color, brow disappear. Keep them bold by tinting or filling in with powder.

3. Constant Picking — hair gets on different growth cycles and critical eyes tend to be obsessive and do damage to shape/density. Get monthly shaping and be done with it!

4. Losing the Arch — the best brows have a slight arch, if holding a brush parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of the eye (the iris), where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of the arch should be. Lose it and it will take time to recover.

5. Using a Pencil — REALLY?? Those days are over.





Can a Cosmetic Be Organic?

The Answer Is: No!

Can a Cosmetic Be Organic?

As part if my ongoing work I visit many eco-health/organic spas and stores.  I am a big proponent of high-quality, safe cosmetics and whenever I make a personal appearance I am invariably asked about the organic nature of cosmetics products.  It's a difficult question to answer.  For two reasons:

1.  I don't want to confuse consumers — as in overly explain cometic manufacturing law
2.  I also don't want to tell untruths — as in only tell half the story of the nature of finished products
Here is the real deal on "organic" cosmetics.  No greenwashing, no marketing story, no factual errors.  Cosmetics cannot be organic.  Yep, it's that simple.  Here's why:
In order to be certified organic a product must carry the USDA Organic Seal (in the USA) or the CFIA Seal (in Canada).  Neither the USDA nor the CFIA has jurisdiction over cosmetics manufacturing.  By definition of law neither of them can issue their seal to a finished cosmetic.  That does not mean some ingredients, used in a formulation, cannot carry the seal but the finished good itself cannot.  Often when a cosmetic has either seal displayed there is language to create a caveat.  For example (and this is very common) "Contains USDA Certified Organic Ingredients" or "Made with 97% USDA Certified Organic Ingredients" or some such variation of this statement.  Containing certified organic ingredients is not the same as being organic and cosmetics, when manufactured under the FDA and Health Canada Monograms, are required to carry some very specific synthetics in order to be put on store shelves.
Only the FDA (in the USA) and Health Canada (in Canada) have jurisdiction over the manufacture of cosmetics and there are some very specific manufacturing guidelines all companies must follow.  Especially when it comes to allowable natural ingredients.  Under the cosmetics manufacturing monograms there are certain ingredients that must always be synthetic in a cosmetic formulation:
1.Colour additives
2. Preservatives
3.Skin identical ingredients
As soon as a synthetic is introduced "organic" cannot be true anymore.  Moreover, the USDA and CFIA Seals are only allowed to be applied to food items to denote production free from hormones, GM ingredients, pesticides or antibiotics.  For all other consumer packaged goods the USDA and CFIA Seals only denote the product "contains" organic ingredients.  This is an important stipulation.  Without getting into the debate of how food receives its certification (that is another topic altogether) it is important to note that cosmetics, if produced under the legal guidelines, simply can't be organic.
This debate rages in the industry.  Even last night I was told this information is incorrect (by an owner of a cosmetics company that produces "organic" skincare).  His comment to me was "Well this is a yes and no situation."  
I am not sure what that could possibly mean:  yes cosmetics can be organic and no organic cosmetics are not possible?  
Science and marketing are not the same thing and marketing departments have done a very good job of exploiting the USDA and CFIA Seals.  While no company is actually lying about the content of their organic ingredients the misleading nature of posting these seals on non food products implies something that is not true.
You can read my expanded thoughts on this topic by visiting my personal site.  
I would really love to hear your questions about cosmetics and the so called "organic" nature of them.
Write to me or leave a comment below.

Best High and Low Cosmetics

The Beauty Buster Guide to High and Low Cocsmetics

Best High and Low Cosmetics

Any regular reader knows I am an advocate for high quality, affordable cosmetics. Affordable, of course, is a very subjective term and I, like anyone, enjoy splurging on luxury goods now and then.

What I do not like is spending extra money and not getting great quality.

Here is a shortlist of some of my favourite cosmetic finds. High and Low. You decide which ones are correct for you. Yes, all of these items are in my bathroom right now.

Shampoo and Conditioner

High: Sisley Botanical Shampoo ($95 for 200 mL)

By far my favourite shampoo. The formula provides added body, tone and shine. It is so gentle it can be used daily but I find it is so effective I only need to use it twice a week. Rosemary purifies the scalp removing oil for days, chamomile decongests hair and prevents product build up, hops gives shine and body and kokum prevents my colour from fading. Low detergent so it does not suds as much as other shampoos which in turn prevents the hair from drying out. So concentrated one bottle lasts me 10 months.


Low: John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Conditioner ($12 for 250 mL)

A daily use conditioner (even when I don’t shampoo my hair) that protects my colour and helps create manageability and anti frizz during humid weather. Formulated by one of the most world-renowned hair stylists (I would argue John Frieda’s reputation is second only to Vidal Sassoon) the products are as high a quality as any expensive salon brand out there. Formulated with actual; pearls and sweet almond oil this moisturizing conditioner protects and preserves colour as it rehydrates the actual hair shaft.



Body Care

High: Guerlain Terra Cotta Scrub ($81 for 150 mL)

Guerlain has always been a favourite for body products. While I am not a fan of their skincare (over-fragranced, basic formulas that offer no real benefits) they really do have some amazing body care. This particular product is multi-purpose and multi-benefit—which to me is worth the money. Less products with more results. An exfoliator and shower gel with the added benefit of moisturizing oils so no lotion is actually needed after using this treatment. It also ensures summer colour fades evenly without depositing any self tanner to the skin at all. One tube lasts me the entire summer. The secret is a blend of round micro-beads, natural rice particles, and a fine powder. Upon contact with water, the oil-based gel transforms into a body milk that works to remove dead cells, massaging the skin and leaving it satin-smooth and radiant. Once the skin is sunkissed, the Terracotta Scrub enhances the tan by increasing its intensity and luminosity.


Low: Roger and Gallet Lotion ($20 for 200 mL)

On those occasions, when my body skin is very dry, I reach for this lotion. Formulated with many of the very same ingredients found in high end, expensive formulas this milky lotion is intensely hydrating without being greasy. Also it comes in a variety of scents so I can match it easily with my fragrances. The light, fast-absorbing formula provides lasting moisture, as it strengthens the natural hydrolipid barrier.


Nail Care

High: OPI Nail Envy ($30 for 15 mL)

I have used this product for nearly 20 years. It saved my nails when I was a nail biter. Used weekly this strengthener created diamond hard nails that never chip, break or crack. This product also makes a great base coat and top coat for nail polish and comes in both a shine and matte formula. A blend of keratin and calcium prevent damage while reinforcing the nail’s natural density.


Low: Arbonne Skin Conditioning Oil ($15 for 15 mL)

Technically a skincare product I use this exclusively as a cuticle treatment. A blend of multiple NMFs that prevent hang nails, split cuticles and dry fingers. Results last almost a full week and this little bottle lasts almost one year with weekly use. Most high-end cuticle oils are exactly the same type of ingredients for 2 or 3 times the price.