Ways beauty companies are secretly scamming you

Oh, the beauty industry. That
eager friend who’s always there, waiting for a chance to give us advice — in
the cosmetics aisle at Target, in between the pages of the latest Cosmo, and
pretty much everywhere else. And as much as the beauty industry has so many
wonderful things to offer — I’m looking at you, Urban Decay Naked Eye Pallete —
we can’t blindly trust it.
“There are a lot of
products out there that are not worth the money,” Joy Chen, CEO of H2O+
Beauty, told me in an interview. The question is, how do we separate the useful
products from those that are totally bogus? Here are eight beauty industry red
flags to look out for, according to the experts.
What do celebs like Kim
Kardashian, Lea Michele, and Kerry Washington have in common? Well, apart from
being simply gorgeous, these ladies are all killing it in the lash department.
To achieve a similar look of our own, many of us turn to mascara, lash
extensions, and a slew of other products for assistance.
One thing you might want to skip,
though, is lash primer — at least according to makeup artist and beauty blogger
Hillary Kline. “Quite honestly, I have never had good luck with lash
primers and don’t really see a noticeable difference,” she told me in an
interview. “If you use just mascara and an eyelash curler, you should be
good to go. A lash primer is just an unnecessary step.”
expensive mascara
While mascara may be the
secret ingredient to achieving longer, fuller lashes — or at least ones that
appear to be — Kline says you don’t have to spend half of your paycheck on a
tube of mascara to get results. “I feel as though the drugstore mascaras
have great formula and are just as great as the ones you can find in the
higher-end product section,” she told me.
We all want to look good. And
after reaching a certain age, for many of us, looking good equates to looking
younger. That’s why so many women don’t hesitate to drop major cash on any
product that claims to be “anti-aging.” In fact, according to 2015’s
Anti-aging Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and
Forecast report, the anti-aging market is slated to be worth a staggering
$191.7 billion by 2019.
What might be even more
shocking, however, is that many products promising us a younger looking
complexion might actually be totally bogus. “There are no wrinkle creams
that are going to get rid of wrinkles,” Bryan Barron, co-author of The
Original Beauty Bible, said on the beauty website Paula’s Choice (via Today).
Kline agrees. “It would
be so nice to buy a facelift in a bottle, wouldn’t it? If you want an
anti-wrinkle cream, it has to have active ingredients,” she told me.
“Most claim that they are “anti-wrinkle” but more times than
not, they are just fancy jars of moisturizer.”
Living in sunny and very humid
Miami, especially in the spring and summer months, I don’t have to be outside
for long before my skin is a bit “dewy” — and not in a sexy J. Lo
kind of way. In an attempt to solve this problem, I excitedly bought a pack of
oil-blotting sheets. Unfortunately, I ended up with a trash can full of
oil-soaked sheets and an equally greasy face. Talk about a beauty fail.
Celebrity makeup artist,
Christina Flach, who’s also the CEO of Pretty Girl Makeup, told me that she
isn’t a big fan of oil-blotting sheets, either. “We all thought this was
the most magical product to come on the market but it’s just toilet seat covers
chopped into tiny cute little squares that fit into our handbag,” she told
me. “No one wants oily skin when they are out and about. It’s just as easy
to pop into the powder room to get a toilet seat cover and blot our face.”
remover cloths
Let’s face it. Washing off
makeup is one of the least enjoyable tasks that we ladies face, in a given day.
The endless scrubbing, the eternal raccoon eyes…none of it is fun. The thought
of anything that could help make this process less annoying brings a smile to
my face.
Enter the famous makeup
remover cloth. Worth it? Unfortunately, Flach says, no. “Another total
waste of money,” she told me. “Get a warm wet washcloth and use
coconut oil, which I think is great for a million different reasons, to remove
your makeup.”
Flach says, not only is
coconut oil effective at removing all the gunk from your face, it doubles as a
natural moisturizer. “Lord knows what is on those wet makeup remover
Like wrinkles, cellulite is a
dreaded enemy that most of us women deal with. Hopeful that those pesky thigh
dimples will meet their demise, we endlessly try different solutions, from
laser treatments to creams. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix.
“My darling, there is no
quick way to get rid of cellulite other than exercise and a healthy diet,”
Flach said. “It’s criminal that there are incredibly expensive creams
promising you the world. There are no shortcuts or easy ways to be thin, other
than discipline and hard work.”
While there may be products
out there that do help keep your lips moisturized, Flach says DIY lip
exfoliators can work just as well. “If you want to save money, you can
make your own lip exfoliator using some coconut oil mixed with a tablespoon of
brown sugar for instantly moist and gorgeous lips,” she said. “If you
have chapped lips, you need to drink more water. Chapped lips are one of the
first signs of dehydration.”
body lotion
I love me some fancy-scented
creams. From sweet coconut, to a delicious floral number, there isn’t any body
lotion I won’t try at least once. The problem is, I hardly ever use creams more
than once because they usually wreak havoc on my skin. Apparently, I’m not
“These can be drying out
your skin instead of helping to soften and moisturize,” Rachel Delia,
co-founder of Flask Natural Products, told me in an interview. “The first
ingredient in many common body lotions is water, which is known to dry out
skin. This is often the reason we apply lotion after a shower. Other top
ingredients include alcohols, which further dry and irritate skin.” Instead
of using water and alcohol-based soaps, Delia suggests pure coconut oil or
cocoa butter, both which are natural moisturizers derived from plants.
is more
When it comes to getting the
most out of your beauty products, the experts suggest that less is more.
“Generally, you should seek out products with a shorter list of
ingredients. Even if you’re not always sure which additives are unnecessary
(and potentially harmful), selecting for fewer additives overall is a step in
the right direction,” said H2O+ Beauty’s Chen. “Additionally, basic
ingredients, such as water or plant extracts, are much less likely to irritate
your skin — they can even add to the effectiveness of a product.”
Chen also says that while some
products are worth the splurge, you should do your research. “You should
prioritize products that have been clinically tested, to ensure that they’ll be
effective,” she said. “Preventative products are also worth splurging
on. For example, it’s always better to delay aging rather than try to reverse
changes that have already happened.”
Flach agrees, saying,
“Beauty products to splurge on, are products that you’ve done your
research on. Get to know the brand, the product, and its credibility. Read
reviews and do your homework before you pay too much money for a basic product.
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.