Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Starting The Year Off With An Apology January 24, 2015

Filed under: Esthetics/Estheticians,Recommended Websites — askanesthetician @ 11:23 am
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I meant to write this post at the end of December, 2014 and now it’s almost the end of January, 2015.  Anyone who has been following this blog for a long time might have noticed that I have been posting less and less.  My newest subscribers might be wondering if I ever write new posts so I feel like it is time to offer an explanation.  Normally I don’t share that much about my personal life on my blog, but in this case if I don’t share some personal information my readers might just think I’ve stopped blogging.  Rest assured I still love the idea of blogging, I just don’t have the time I used to in order to devote myself to writing new posts that are up to (my self-set) standards.  In the middle of June, 2014 I had a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and she is home full-time with me until September, 2015.  If you are a parent yourself than you know that being home with a baby means every moment that the baby is awake you are pretty much with the baby.  So much for blogging during the day.  Then in the evening once the children go to sleep (I have an older son as well) I think “now I’ll write!”, but I’m exhausted so once again, so much for blogging.  As the picture says above: please bear with me.  I don’t lack for ideas of what to blog about I simply lack for time and energy at the moment to follow through with writing posts.

Another reason I don’t have time to blog regularly is that happily in September, 2014 I started working as the skin care expert (their words, not mine) for about.com.   While some of the topics I’ve covered for about.com have been covered in my blog as well others are new like a post I wrote about chia in skincare products.  If you haven’t already looked at my articles you can check them out here.  If there is a subject or question that you would like covered in an article for about.com please let me know by commenting below.

What I do have time for is posting to my blog Facebook page.  There I share skincare related articles that interest me.  I also continually pin articles and tips to my Pinterest skincare page.  I’m still completely and totally obsessed with Korean skincare products and make-up.  I have a Pinterest board for that as well, of course.  Recently I ordered quite a few Korean skincare products to try; once I do try them I’ll be sure to share my thoughts and experiences here.  I’m still reading books about skincare and hope to write a review or two sometime soon.  Lastly, I’m always thinking about how to grow my business and how to improve as an esthetician and wouldn’t you know it I have a Pinterest board for that too.  🙂

If you are a newish reader of this blog be sure to use the search option in order to find posts for topics that might interest you.  I’ve covered a wide range of skincare related topics (plus some make-up and nail topics) over the years so I might have already written about a subject you want to learn more about.

Once more please bear with me for now, I’ll be back to regular blogging before you know it.  In the meantime keep in touch with me through Facebook or Pinterest.

Belated Happy New Year to all my readers!  Wishing you health, prosperity, happiness, joy, and peace in 2015.

Image from http://www.zazzle.com

 

Check This Out: What I’ve Been Reading January 30, 2014

Lately I’ve read quite a number of interesting skincare related articles so I thought I would share them with my readers.

First up I wanted to talk about a website not an article, actually.  Caroline Hirons is a well-known esthetician in the UK.  I had actually looked at her website quite some time ago, but I recently rediscovered it through a tip from my loyal reader Rae (be sure to check out Rae’s blog Scatterbraintures!).  There is a lot of skincare information on this website.  I recommend reading the “cheat sheets”  (found on the right side of the home page) for solid, practical skincare advice.  If you do not live in England, I don’t, her product recommendations are not very relevant unfortunately.  While I do think that most of the skincare information that Hirons shares is great, there two things in particular that I disagree with her on.  The first is that Hirons keeps bashing products that contain mineral oil.  I wrote a long post in my blog about how mineral oil isn’t bad for the skin. If you haven’t already read my post (Why Does Mineral Oil Have Such A Bad Reputation?) please give it a look in order to get another perspective on this controversial skincare ingredient.  Secondly, Hirons seems to be a mission against foam cleansers (she claims they are needlessly drying and strip the skin).  I happen to disagree with this opinion as well.  I currently use a foam cleanser and do not find it drying at all.  So as with all skincare advice though I really do think that Hirons has mostly great skincare advice to share, be sure to keep an open mind and don’t think that everything she writes is true.

Now on to the articles I want to share:

If you’ve read any interesting skincare related articles lately please share links below!

Image from awesome-desktop.com

 

Follow Me! August 17, 2013

Filed under: Recommended Websites — askanesthetician @ 7:30 am
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I haven’t had any time lately to write new blog posts (since my son is on vacation in August I can’t seem to find more than 10 minutes by myself, and I need more time than that to write a blog post), but I am still updating the Ask an Esthetician’s Facebook page and pinning on Pinterest (my Skincare board should interest followers of this blog).  Find me on Pinterest under “Hanah Tetro”.

So please bear with me and follow me these other ways until I can be back to more regular blogging.

I hope everyone is having a great summer!  Don’t forget your sunscreen 🙂

Image from http://www.sweetiesal.com/2013/03/ways-to-follow-sweetiesal.html

 

What I’m Reading OR Was I Wrong to Say Thank You? September 6, 2012

This post was supposed to be a compilation of beauty blogs and beauty related articles that I recently discovered (most of  the blogs I found through one of my favorite beauty blogs Gouldylox Reviews) when things took a turn for the worse for me on the very popular peer review beauty site Makeup Alley.  I’ve been thinking for days about how to approach this issue and if I should even blog about it, and I’ve come to the general conclusion that I should write about my experience  so that I can hopefully get some feedback and explanations from my readers about what happened to me and perhaps my experience might be helpful to others.  I also thought this might be a good opportunity to present some information about my motivations for writing this blog and why I like blogging.  (This is fairly long post so I hope people will hang in there until the very end.  I would love to get feedback on what I have to say here.)

Let me explain a few things about myself and my blog.  I started this blog nearly three years ago because I noticed that there was a real lack of concrete and true skincare information on the web yet there was a lot of misinformation out there, because I wanted a way to share my skincare knowledge with more than just my friends and family (at the time I was looking for a job as an esthetician and had few clients to share my knowledge with), and I found that having a blog was a great way for me to both research and organize my thoughts about skincare topics that interested me.  I also loved the idea of “meeting” people from around the world, hopefully, with whom I had a common interest yet no other way of finding one another.

When I started writing my blog almost no one read it except my mother and my husband, but slowly my readership began to grow.  Is my readership now large?  Am I inundated with free product samples?  Am I receiving recognition from outside sources?  Do I make any money from my blog?  The answer would be no to all four questions.  I even asked myself the other day – “if people stopped reading your blog would you still write it?”  And then I concluded “yes, yes I would keep writing.  I like writing a blog about skincare enough that even if no one read it I would still keep writing”.

Anyhow, I’m getting side tracked.  Because my readership isn’t large and I would love to see it grow I try to thank people when I see that they mention my blog somewhere.  I don’t know 99% of my readers and truly appreciate each subscriber and each mention of my blog since my great hope would be for this blog to be more successful.  Though my readership is small through my blog I’ve come in contact with really great people from all over the world; one of the things I had hoped for when I started this blog as I mentioned above.  Though at times I’ve received negative and outright rude feedback and comments from people for the most part my blogging experiences have been extremely positive.  (By the way, the rudest comments I have received have almost all been in connection to my post from years ago about Paula Begoun.  Some of the people who commented didn’t even seem to actually have read what I wrote before they attacked me, but since I wanted to be impartial I published their comments nonetheless.  Paula Begoun certainly has many very loyal fans out there.)

WordPress allows me to see what websites refer readers to my blog, and as such I always pay attention when I see that more than a few readers have found my blog from one source.  Quite a few months ago someone mentioned my blog in response to a question about favorite skincare blogs on Makeup Alley.  I was very pleased and flattered to see what was written and wanted to thank my reader in that forum but never got around to it.  Then just this week  the same question was posted and my same reader once again mentioned my blog. Yet again I was excited and flattered and decided that this time I really needed to thank the reader publicly.  And why not?  I wasn’t planning on writing something about my blog, I just wanted to let this reader know that I greatly appreciated their support since each mention of my blog on that forum brought new readers to my site and potential subscribers.  I genuinely thought a public thank you was in order.  I had done this before in other blogs that mentioned mine.  I wasn’t a member of Makeup Alley, something I had planned to do for a long time but never got around to, so I signed up for the website and posted my thank you.  A day or so later I looked back at the thread from the forum and was shocked by the comments that I found after my thank you.  Users accused me of using the site to promote my blog (all I wrote was thank you for your support and didn’t mention my blog or provide a website address for my blog) and that somehow me and the user who wrote about my blog were in cahoots together in order to promote my blog.  Then a user wrote that if I did not take my comment down it would be flagged for being inappropriate and would be removed.  And that is exactly what happened much to my great shock.  (You can see the whole thing for yourself here)  Once I saw what had happened I posted an apology and explanation in the forum, but received no feedback or explanation about how thanking a reader is actually promoting or advertising my blog.

Could someone explain?  I know that Makeup Alley has extremely devoted users who seek to maintain the integrity of the site.  This is the reason why I had eventually planned on joining and using the site; I just never found the time to do so (for more information about Makeup Alley see this New York Times article Someone Just Like Me Said, ‘Buy It’).

I am just completely flummoxed by why my thank you received the hostile response that it did on this site.  Have I grown too used to hearing nice comments about my blog and on my blog?  Am I being too sensitive?  Or was the response I received one that is normal for these forums?  I would love any response and/or explanation someone can provide me with.  Have other people had such negative blogging experiences as well?  Please share below.

I decided to contact my reader who posted about my blog on the message board.  Louise wrote me back a lovely and kind email.  In response to my question about why other users would be so quick to jump to conclusions about my intentions when posting in the forum Louise wrote the following:

 I think that is one problem with online discussions, you can’t hear a tone of voice or see a facial expression, and you can form an entire opinion about somebody that could be totally off. I am sure I am guilty of it myself.

I do know that I am not the only person to encounter unfounded negativity on forums and online chats.  Just as I was writing this I came across something that Gouldylox Reviews published about her online experience:

Question of the Week: – What compelled you to start a beauty blog?The power of Bare Escentuals compelled me, I suppose. My father had just passed away and Loxy sent me for a day of relaxation at a spa. Afterwards, I went to Ulta, where I fell in love with BE. I then started friendships with loads of ladies on chatboards about mineral makeup. Sooner or later, as they usually do, the chatboards turn evil and eat themselves. I only chatted with one, much smaller group after that, and sooner than later, fell away from my happy little group of mineral loving ladies. Not really having anyone else to discuss makeup with, I started blathering to myself on this blog, basically to hear myself chat about how much I loved this or that sparkly thing.

Ok – so perhaps it is a universal experience to find nastiness on chatboards?  But really – in the words of Rodney King (may he rest in peace): “Can’t we just all get along?”.  Truly I don’t understand it.  Additionally, I remembered the really great post that Rae from Scatterbraintures wrote about haters months ago (it helped me then and it continues to help me).  Here’s a section of the post that applies well to my situation:

Haters don’t care about you.  They might care about how you look, what you say, or what you do but they don’t actually care (in the real sense of the word).  Since haters don’t care, you don’t need to care about them too.  You can go about your life without giving a sh*t about them. The best part is, the world will not end even when they exist.  …

Learn from them
This skill is especially useful if you have internet haters. Real life haters normally won’t tell you to your face what they think about you. On the other hand, internet haters are behind a computer, where they get their audacity from to be able to tell you what they really think. This could be valuable information you can learn from.  Example: If someone called you a FAT bitch, maybe you should take time to think about your health, or better yet, think about why you got so affected. You might have self-esteem issues you need to work on.

So if I am to take Rae’s advice, and remember what Louise wrote as well, about learning from internet haters I realized that I learned, once again, not to jump to conclusions about the motivations behind other people’s comments and actions.  I learned to give people a chance and that saying “thank you” is still a good thing.  Tolerance is something we should all try to practice more often.

But let me put all this negativity aside.  I am trying to be more positive in my life as things change all around me.  I’m in a holding pattern now as I wait for the entire contents of my house to make it from my former home to my current home so in the meantime I have time to read.  Here are the beauty blogs I have discovered lately and some articles I’ve been reading.

Blogs

    • Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic  – the name of the blog alone just makes you want to take a look.
    • Makeup and Beauty Blog –  very funny and she constantly mentions her cat which I love.
    • Makeup Geek – I can’t wait to learn new makeup looks from this site.
    • Madame B Fatale – this blog from Australia has great make-up and hair style tutorials that are fun to look at even if the actual looks aren’t ones that I would try myself.

Articles

Happy reading!

 

Image from http://www.thisisyourconscience.com

 

The Science Behind Spa Treatments July 25, 2011

 

Global Spa Summit, an annual meeting of spa professionals and leaders, has launched a new web site that aims to present science based evidence for why popular spa treatments offer many health benefits.  The site is called Spa Evidenceand according to an article on Skin Inc. the portal:

consolidates clinical evidence about 22 key spa therapies, including yoga, reflexology and aromatherapy, from four existing databases: Natural Standards, the Cochrane Library, Pub Med and the Trip Database.

Through the website you can look up information and scientific studies about such diverse topics as yoga, ear candling, foot reflexology, and reiki.  So now the next time someone questions why you need that massage you can use science to prove to them to your health benefits from it.

And if you are wondering what certain spa treatments are, not to mention if spa lingo confuses you, be sure to check out The Associate Skin Care Professionals online Skin Care Glossary for explanations on a whole wide variety of spa related topics.

 

Remember Sassy Magazine? Check out this Website June 2, 2011

If you recognize the magazine cover above then maybe you were something like me growing up.  I’ve written in this blog several times about my great love for glossy fashion magazines, but it took one article in The New York Times (Jane Pratt, Unbound and Ready for the Web) to remind me of the most significant glossy magazine from my teenage years.  The article describes the long-gone but not forgotten Sassy as “the anti-Seventeen”, and I can’t think of a better description myself for this now defunct magazine.  My magazine obsession began with Teen and Seventeen, but I could never relate to the girls in those magazines.  I looked nothing like them, wasn’t cool or popular, and had terrible skin.  When I found Sassy I found a magazine for girls like me.  The magazine really felt like it was written for intelligent teenagers who didn’t want to be like everyone else, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t mind being a little quirky.  Sassy introduced me to music, movies, and books that weren’t necessarily mainstream but were cool.  The fashion was funky and fresh.  Damn!  Why did I throw my old issues away???  After reading The New York Times article I spent an afternoon feeling really nostalgic for both Sassy and even a little bit for that time in my life which is crazy since you would have to pay me millions (or even billions) to relive those years.  Suffice it to say, Sassy had quite the impact on my life.  I mean they put Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love on the cover of their magazine (long before Love cleaned herself up briefly).

So the article in The New York Times is all about Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy and later of Jane (personally I never liked Jane as much as Sassy though I wanted to).  It turns out that Pratt has recently launched a new lifestyle website – xoJane.  Just like the magazines Pratt edited in the past this website has an edge.  Some of the content is not for the faint of heart.  I liked the fact that The New York Times article described it as “the anti-iVillage”.   Well I just had to check it.  I concentrated on reading the articles in the beauty section which are written in a cheeky, irrelevant, intimate tone.  If you want scientific facts about skincare and make-up look elsewhere (like this blog, of course), but if you want to feel like you are getting beauty advice from your slightly bawdy yet very cool girlfriend be sure to check out the articles on this site.  I also liked the fact that the authors of the articles really responded to reader comments though I was a bit shocked by how rude some of the reader comments were.

I really wish teenage girls today had a magazine like Sassy.  Just remember – just because you don’t look like the girls in Seventeen or Teen Vogue doesn’t mean that you aren’t cool.  All the clichés are true – believe in yourself, don’t let others define you, and college is much better than high school.  Now if only I had saved those Sassy magazines.

Update:  It turns out that there is a revival of Sassy in the works.  Read all about it.

 

Online Sources for Skincare Information April 25, 2011

Knowledge is power and though I would love my readers to look to my blog first for all their skincare concerns and questions even I have to admit that sometimes you might find the information you are looking for via another online source.  Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of good online resources for information about skin and skincare.  So in no particular order here are some online resources:

  • As I have mentioned too many times to count in my blog, Allure magazine is one of my favorite glossy magazines.  The magazine recently retooled their website and the “skin” section is definitely worth checking out.  Allure always has lots of up-to-date skincare and beauty information which they convey in a very easy to understand way.
  • WebMD has quite a few resources for information about skincare and skin issues.  One section is all about skin conditions and another is all about skincare concerns, skincare products, cosmetic surgery, anti-aging, etc.  They even have a whole video channel for information about skincare.
  • If you are interested and concerned about the ingredients and safety of your cosmetics you might want to check out the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database which contains tons and tons of information about product safety.  Just be aware that not all experts agree with the EWG’s findings and advice.
  • Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia is now free.  You’ll find all of Begoun’s product reviews on this site. 
  • Check out Dr. Leslie Baumann’s online Skin Type Solution Library which is collection of her articles about skincare, ingredients, skin science, and skin typing.

If you have a favorite online resource for skincare information please let everyone know by posting a comment below.

 

How to be a Savvy Skincare Product Consumer January 23, 2010

How can you be a savvy skincare product consumer?  I think the answer is actually pretty straightforward – don’t believe the hype and know your ingredients.  Of course following through with those two rules is easier said than done.

It is hard not to get caught up in the hype over skincare products.  We all want to look our best, and when we see an ad for the newest cream, lotion, or serum, accompanied by a beautiful photo, rational thinking quickly disappear.  If you have some sort of chronic skin issue like acne, redness, or fine wrinkles you can be especially vulnerable to the lures of cosmetic advertising.   It is important to remember that cosmetic advertisements purposely use promising but vague language and plenty of pseudo-scientific jargon to lure in customers, and it is actually legal for them to do so. 

Yes, it is actually perfectly legal for cosmetic companies to advertise their products using the above mentioned vague and pseudo-scientific language since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require cosmetic companies to prove their claims.  The only restriction the FDA places on cosmetic companies is that they cannot claim that their products can bring about a permanent change to the skin, but even this prohibition is easy to get around if you are creative.  Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulate advertising, but, once again, if you use vague enough language you can pretty much say anything you like about your product.  As such cosmetic ad are filled with phrases like “appears to”, “looks like”, and “may experience”.  Additionally, the results of “studies” that you see listed in advertisements?  As bogus as they come.  Don’t believe a word!

Ok – so you can’t believe a word of what is written in an advertisement for the newest cosmetic product and the photo in the ad is so photoshopped it barely looks like a person anymore – what are you supposed to do now?  The simple answer to that is – learn how to read labels.  You have to learn about ingredients and know the chemical names of ingredients.  It is also very important to note that ingredients are listed on skincare products in descending order – from the largest quantity to the smallest.  That means if you want to buy a serum with a high concentration of Vitamin C in order to fight free radical damage and to perhaps increase collagen production in your skin don’t buy the product where Vitamin C is found at the end of the list of ingredients.  In order to know that you have an effective amount of an ingredient in a product remember that the ingredients that make up the majority of the product will be between the first 5 to 8 ingredients listed on the label. 

Not believing the hype and learning about ingredients will help you be on your way to being a more educated consumer.  Yet there are so many products out there and even when you are armed with a good amount of information and the right attitude you can still be overwhelmed and confused.  I believe one way to remedy that situation is to always read about new research, ingredients, and products.  I know that not everyone is interested in this subject as much as I am so luckily there are lots of different resources out there, depending on your level of interest.

Recommended Reading

Sometime soon I will devote a whole post to Paula Begoun because I have so much to say about her and her work but in the meantime I will recommend a chapter of her book The Original Beauty Bible “Understanding the Hype” where she goes into much greater detail than I have about cosmetic company advertising, beauty myths, and the psychology of cosmetic consumerism.  Begoun also has a short article on her website addressing this subject.  Paula Begoun calls herself “the cosmetic cop” and though she is neither an esthetician or a doctor or a chemist she has set herself up as a consumer advocate and skincare expert.  I certainly don’t agree with all of Begoun’s skincare tips or even all her product evaluations, but her work is important because she is basically one of the only cosmetic consumer advocates out there.  Begoun is also important because she has been able to reach a large audience and many, many people take her advice as truth.  I actually follow her research and even use some of her Paula’s Choice products.  On her website you can access an ingredient dictionary and sign-up for her weekly e-newsletters that cover a wealth of skincare issues.  But please don’t take her word as the final word on skincare issues!  Though Begoun’s opinions are generally well researched they are still her opinions.  Keep educating yourself.

In an earlier blog post from January 14th I listed a number of websites and magazines that normally offer sound and interesting skincare advice and information.  Reading any of those will certainly increase your knowledge about skincare products and ingredients.

Other Ways to Find Good Skincare Products

 Get a facial and have the esthetician recommend products.  Go for a consultation with a dermatologist and ask for advice.  If you have a friend who has beautiful skin you could ask them what products they use.  Of course there is a risk in doing that since your friend’s skin might be nothing like yours.  If you are thinking of buying a specific product look at the reviews for that product on amazon.com, sephora.com, or beauty.com.  Seeing what other consumers have to say about a product can really help you make up your mind about whether to buy something or not.  Certain companies do sell sample sizes of their products.  That is always a great way to try a product without making a great financial committment. 

Bottom Line:

Before purchasing the newest cream, lotion, or serum take a little time to do some research.  Both your skin and bank account will thank you.

 

How To Be A Skincare Recessionista January 18, 2010

I love a bargain.  Long before almost everyone in this country tried to find ways to save a few bucks on everything I was shopping sales and clearances – in stores and online.  The sight of a sign that reads “half off”, “clearance”, or “sale” immediately attracts my attention.  I clip coupons, and I look for deals.

Anyone who wants to take good care of their skin has faced the dilemma more than once of seeing a product they have wanted to try but then not bought because of the price.  Truthfully, I can’t say that I cut corners when it comes to the products I use on my skin, but I have found both a number of products and a few ways to save on skincare while still being able to try new products and watch my bank account balance.

Low Cost Skincare Products that Work

  • Save money on your cleanser.  Try Cetaphil cleanser.  If you have children at home use this on them too.  There is no need to buy a separate cleanser marketed for children – Cetaphil will do a great job.
  • I use Trader Joe’s Moisturizing Cream – Extra Dry Formula on my body (not my face) after showering.  It is a wonderful, unscented moisturizer that costs about $5 for 16 fluid ounces.  Highly recommended!
  • You already know that you have to use sunscreen each and everyday, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find a good one.  Try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer or Neutrogena Age Shield.
  • Make your own body scrub so that you can exfoliate your legs, arms, and stomach.  Take household sugar and mix with olive oil.  Add fragrance if you want.  It’s that easy.  You can also use coffee grinds as a body scrub.  I know it might sound a bit weird, but it works.  One warning – the coffee grinds scrub can be messy in the shower.
  • Try using Aquaphor Healing Ointment as your lip balm.  It is very moisturizing, and since you can buy it in a small tube it is easily portable.
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics are incredibly cheap; most cost just a $1!  The brand has a very wide range of products and color options.  You can order online through their website, and Target now sells a few e.l.f. products as well.  I bought the e.l.f. beauty encyclopedia eye at Target for $5.  It includes 14 eyeshadows.  If you love to experiment with your make-up but don’t want to break the bank to do it you should definitely check out this make-up.  By the way, sign-up for their email updates and coupons.  I get at least one email coupon a day from them.
  • I don’t use skincare or make-up products that have been tested on animals.  That also means that I only use make-up brushes with synthetic bristles.  I found Eco Tools brushes, which are cheap and widely available, to be great.

Deals, Deals, Deals – In stores and Online

Most stores and websites offer free membership programs that are a shame to pass up.  Once you sign up you’ll get coupons both online and in the mail, free products or samples, and discount offers.  Here is a sampling of some of the deals that are out there.

  • Sephora.com and Sephora stores.  It is free to sign-up to be part of their “beauty insider” program.  Once you accumulate 100 points you get free products.  Even if you don’t spend a dime but are just a member of the program you will get a birthday gift.  Last year I received three mini lip glosses that I love.  Sephora constantly has sales and deals that are definitely worth checking out.  Sephora also has their own line of make-up that is lower priced than the premium brands sold in the stores and online.  I use the Sephora brand waterproof eyeliner and really like it.  Sephora always has special kits and packages of premium cosmetics that could save you money.
  • Ulta.com and Ulta stores.  Ulta has the same sort of deal as Sephora – their own Ulta card that is free to sign-up for, their own line of in-house, lower priced make-up, and special deals and kits of premium cosmetics.  I get a coupon in the mail at least once a month from Ulta.  I also find lots of interesting products on clearance in Ulta stores.  Last week I almost bought a Smashbox make-up kit with about four products for all of $6.50 until I talked myself out of it.  And remember to save your receipt.  If you take a brief online survey after making a purchase at Ulta you are entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift card.
  • And speaking of Smashbox their website offers deals that are not found in stores.  For instance their “let’s do lunch” special where on Tuesday and Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm you’ll get a free gift with purchase.
  • I’ve already mentioned New Beauty magazine in this blog but be sure to sign-up for their daily product giveaways online.
  • Both Allure and Lucky magazines are constantly giving away free products.  It is always worth it to see what they are giving away.  You never know – you may be the winner!
  • I’ve signed up for beauty.com email updates and newsletters and now receive all sorts of discount offers via email.  I’ve tried a few new products because of these deals.  For instance, I received an email from beauty.com saying that if you bought any Perricone MD product you would receive a free full size of that brand’s firming neck cream.  I had always wanted to try a Perricone MD product, but I never could afford it.  So I bought the cheapest Perricone MD product at beauty.com, an eye serum for $20, and received a full size neck firming cream as well for free.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that I thought either product was anything special, but hey I satisfied my curiosity.  Recently I also bought some Peter Thomas Roth products at 75% off through beauty.com once I received an email notification about the sale.
  • Sign-up for groupon.com in your city.  You’ll get daily emails about deals in your area.  The Chicago groupon always seems to have deals on spas and salons.  Plus if you recommend that friends check out groupon.com you’ll get a $10 credit the first time one of your friends buys a coupon.  I have a $40 groupon credit currently because of that deal.
  • If you like the make-up brands DuWop, Too Faced, and Stila check out the website beautycrunch.com which sells those brands and a few others at discounted prices.  The cosmetics are the real thing; they are just discontinued products or overstocks.

One last word – if you are on Facebook become a fan of any the above mentioned sites in order to see deals.

And have fun shopping!  There are always deals out there!

 

Recommended Reading: Great Sources for Skincare Information January 14, 2010

I like to keep up with latest news and innovations as it pertains to skincare.  Luckily there are plenty of readily available resources for doing so.

Magazines:

New Beauty bills itself as “the world’s most unique beauty magazine”, and it certainly lives up to its name.  This glossy, photo filled magazine, which you can easily find at Barnes and Noble, does not have articles in the traditional sense.  Instead it divides topics into categories and provides basic, important, and interesting information about each topic supplemented with lots of product recommendations.  At first you might think that this non-traditional way of presenting information wouldn’t teach you anything, but at second glance you realize that you received a great introduction to all the topics presented.  I like that some of the products presented have both a review by a “normal” person and by an “expert” – doctor, esthetician, etc.  Though subjects vary in each issue there is always information about skincare, cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, hair, cosmetics, and fitness/diet.  I always learn something new when reading New Beauty.  One thing does bother me about New Beauty, lots of different products are presented in the magazine with a text that reads like the marketing or PR release about the product.  So though New Beauty can be a great source for learning about what new products are out there I would do a little more research on the products that are presented without a review before buying them.  Bottom Line:  A fun read that teaches you a lot along the way.

Allure  I’ve been a fan of Allure for a very long time.  If you love make-up this is definitely the magazine for you.  But if you are more interested in skincare than make-up Allure has plenty to offer.  I like the fact that they generally consult dermatologists when reviewing new skincare products and that their articles about skincare, and they always have multiple articles about skincare in an issue, are well researched and clearly presented.  For instance just in the January issue there were articles about how to care for chapped lips, dry hands, and sensitive skin.  In addition there is always a section in the magazine about skincare research and new ingredients.  Bottom Line: If you are interested in skincare and like or love make-up Allure is the perfect magazine for you.

Skin Inc. is a must read for skincare professionals.  It may be of interest to the non-professional since there are always articles about skincare ingredients and spa treatments.  Bottom Line:  Be sure to read this if you are part of esthetics industry or thinking of becoming an esthetician.  If you don’t fit into either of those categories look at the website before subscribing.  Note – this publication is not available in stores.

OnLine

New York Times – Thursday Fashion and Style Section – Skin Deep articles.  The topic of the articles in this weekly section vary tremendously but always somehow relate to the beauty/skincare industry.  For example this week the article is about Mark, the less expensive Avon make-up brand.  Last week there were three short articles about products and books.   Bottom Line:  Always worth a read.  Though topics vary they are always interesting.

The Skin Guru on Yahoo! by Dr. Leslie Baumann.  Written by a very well-known dermatologist this blog is always interesting and informative.  Dr. Baumann is always on target with the latest skincare concerns and innovations.  I just have one problem with Dr. Baumann – she doesn’t like estheticians and makes her opinion very well-known.  That upsets me since I truly believe that the work estheticians do only complements and helps the work of dermatologists.  Of course I also believe that estheticians have an important role in educating and helping the public when it comes to proper skincare, especially sun protection.  Since Dr. Baumann is so well-known I wish she would temper her negative message about estheticians.  Nevertheless I enjoy her blog a great deal.  Bottom Line:  If you are interested in skincare this is a must read.

FutureDerm.com  is written by a medical student.  The posts are interesting and topical.  Bottom Line:  Well worth a read if you are interested in skincare.

This is just a sample of sources for great skincare information.  In another post a will recommend some of my favorite websites.

Please feel free to recommend some of your favorite skincare resources.

 

 
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