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The Never List

If you read my last post, “Do You Know the Skin You’re In’, you’ll remember that I challenged you to look up the ingredients listed on the back of your favorite beauty products. Chances are, you came across a list of long, hard to pronounce words.  If you are like me, you want to know what those words mean and how they affect our bodies.  

Our skin is our largest organ, covering about 18 square feet of the human body. It protects us, keeps us warm, cools us down and is our first defense in fighting off illness or disease. That is why we need to be extra vigilant in taking care of our skin.

In an effort to educating the public about the toxins and chemicals found in our everyday hair and skin products, Beautycounter has compiled a ‘Never List’. This is a list of ingredients that you will never find in Beautycounter products. I needed this list while I was pregnant.  I was so extra careful to take care of my skin and the growing boy inside of my belly. Now that I am nursing, I will carry this list with me to make sure my beauty products meet this standard.  Doing Better starts with Knowing Better…so here is a sample of Beautycounter’s ‘Never List’. 

Animal fats, oils, and musks: tallow, rendered beef or mutton fat, oils or musks from animals like mink, emu and sharks that are procured after an animal has been killed. Found in: soap, salve, shaving products, lubricants, paints, and all types of cosmetics.

Benzalkonium chloride: a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.

Benzophenone and derivatives: a possible human carcinogen and hormone disruptor used as a fragrance ingredient and to absorb ultraviolet light. Found in: nail polish, sunscreen.

Bisphenol A (BPA): a hormone disruptor that may also alter DNA, used in plastics and resins. Found in: plastic bottles, lining of aluminum food cans, possibly in eyeshadow and styling gel.

To see the full list, click here:

I am looking for a few passionate individuals who believe in putting safe ingredients into the hands of everyone.  If this sounds like you, I would love to have you join my BusyBellas team at Beautycounter.  If interested, please email me:

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella


More Make Up Tricks and Secrets

Although I am not a make-up artist, I’ve had many years of practice and experience.  I was once a television personality for more than ten years in markets all across the country.  I didn’t have my own make-up artist,  but I was still expected to look like my face had been done by a professional.  So….I had to learn how to do it myself.  I’ve developed some tricks and techniques that have worked for me.  Maybe, they will work for you too!

1.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER apply foundation WITHOUT a moisturizer AND a primer.  It helps to set the tone for a smooth, flawless make-up application.  I also have very oily skin, so the primer helps to control my oil and shine.  The primer I’ve been using for years is Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 by M.A.C. Cosmetics.  It’s a little expensive but soooooo worth it!

2.  I have two sets of liquid foundation that I get custom blended from my aesthetician.  One is for the summer, the other for the winter.  Of course, this time of year, I am at my lightest complexion…so I use my winter blend.  Although, I brush a little bronzer on my cheeks and my neckline to give me a warmer glow.

3.  My under eye concealer is lighter than my foundation. Not only do I use the concealer under my eyes, but I also use it on my eyelids to set my eye-shadow and on my brow bone as a natural highlighter.

4.  The area around your eyes is extremely thin and delicate and usually the first place to shown signs of aging.  So, I treat this area very carefully.  I only use my ring finger to apply my eye cremes and a natural bristle brush to apply my eye make up for the lightest amount of pressure and application.

5.  I only use liquid eyeliner on my my upper eyelids which can be tricky if you are not used to it. I have not used a pencil in YEARS and I NEVER line my lower lids.  Not only does it make my eyes appear smaller but the tugging on the lower lids can lead to more wrinkles.  (I’m a little OCD on the wrinkle thing! ) One thing that helps to steady my hand is to open my mouth slightly during the eyeliner application.  You may look silly doing it, but it helps to relax your eye muscles and makes it easier to apply long, smooth strokes.

Do you have any make-up tricks that work for you?  If so, please share!

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

Penny-Wise Pampering

We all like to be pampered from time to time.  I always look forward to my facials and massages and I try to book them as often as possible.  But I don’t want to break the bank doing so.  The average cost of a massage, facial or other body treatment can run you upwards of $100 an hour.  That’s no small change, especially if you are on a tight budget.  There are ways, however, to be pampered without the hefty price tag.  Consider the following ideas:

If you are really in need of a massage after a long day at work, consider going to a massage school for your service. You can get an hour long Swedish Massage or a Deep Tissue Massage for a fraction of the cost.  It’s a win-win for both you and the massage student.

Facials, waxing and manicures are other services that can be done for a discounted price at a reputable beauty school.  Usually these students are willing and eager to do an outstanding job, so they can establish relationships with future customers.  Why not give them them an opportunity to give you moisturizing facial, manicure or pedicure at a good price?

Does your nail salon also offer massages?  My nail salon does and the prices are about 20 to 50  bucks cheaper.  Plus, the massages are excellent!  It may be worth looking into.

Some day spas may offer you a discount or special price if you plan on purchasing several services at once.  So for instance, you may be able to negotiate a bundled, less expensive price for a manicure, facial and a massage during one visit.  It can’t hurt to ask. 🙂

Take advantage of spa week deals or e-coupons online.  Sometimes spas and hotels run special promotions if you register your services online.

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella