As a cosmetic chemist, a skin expert and a makeup artist, I have been asked many questions by consumers and editors. Below is the Q&A for the commonly asked questions and my professional opinion.
- Is red-lipstick the best hack for under eye dark circles? Heck NO! Red lipsticks contains certain dyes that can be irritating on the eye area. The pigments are regulated by FDA. Unless it’s an all-over color stick (tested to be safe around eye), do not use a red lipstick as a concealer. Your better option is to use a powder or cream blush. Additionally, lipstick usually contains high level of wax. You do not want to clog the pores on the thinnest area of your face- the under eyes.
- Should I stick with one brand or can I mix brands? In general, it is preferred to stick with one brand because when companies do testing, they often will do testing with the companion products to make sure there is no adverse reaction or pilling on the skin. Exceptions are products which you do not use every day, such as facial polisher or mask, you can use whatever brands that please you. For hair products- in general, fragrance is key in hair care. You want to keep the consistency of scents. Additionally, almost all hair companies conduct their performance claims based on the use of their shampoo AND conditioner so they can entice you to buy more.
- Do I really need to use a hair conditioner? If you are on a budget, please splurge on the hair conditioner and skimpy on the shampoo unless you are using a cleansing conditioner. The number one function of shampoo is to clean. As long as you are using a good conditioner, it is okay to use any value-priced shampoo for your hair.
- Why should I use a day and a night cream? The day cream is designed to protect your skin. The night cream is formulated to nourish and repair you skin. The functions are very different. It is best to use a separate cream. If you absolutely has to pick one, get the day cream as it should have the SPF protection, granted you do not have much “damages” to repair.
- Is department store brands better than drug store brands? A lot of times, you are not only paying for the product, you are paying for the packaging too. While every cosmetic brands have different practice, I found mass market color cosmetics work just as well as department stores. However, when it comes to skin care, I prefer brands with clinically proven claims and not just stories of green marketing.
- Should I be buying only natural products? Everything is a chemical, including water as you can spell out H2O. The question is really- is what I am buying SAFE? When companies boasts of its naturalness, it does not equate to better or more effective. As long as Repeated Insult Patch Testing (RIPT) has been done and the toxicology profile has been reviewed, you can feel safe to use it. Nature does not equate better but only a piece of mind, in YOUR own mind.
If you have any beauty questions, please feel free to comment.