Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration finally introduced standards on labeling products regulated by the FDA with the term “gluten-free”. This long-awaited standard on gluten-free labeling has been augmented by the increase of individuals diagnosed with celiac disease. With nearly 3 million Americans suffering from celiac disease, a disease where individuals cannot process gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, this seems to be an important regulatory milestone.
The published FDA guidelines define food and drugs with less than 20 parts per million of gluten as “gluten-free” and thus provides manufacturers with a specific standard to follow in regards to labeling products. Here are the specific details which allow a product to be labeled as gluten-free by the FDA definition (as posted on the FDA website):
an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains
an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten
an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten
The new FDA standard for gluten-free labeling poses many interesting outcomes for both consumers and manufacturers. Many gluten-free advocates have applauded the FDA in their release of the labeling guidelines as there will now be a greater reassurance among the gluten-free community when purchasing food and drugs. It is also reassuring for food manufacturers to actually have a standard to use and to produce products reflecting upon a specific definition.
However, like other FDA standard guidelines, such as labeling products as organic or cruelty free, there are still many loose ends where manufacturers can misbrand their products and use the “gluten-free” labeling standard to their advantage disregarding a consumer’s health. For example, the FDA even declared that water, fruit, eggs or vegetables may be labeled “gluten-free” because they do not specifically contain any gluten. Hmm…
The new standard on gluten-free labeling applies only to voluntary labeled products regulated by the FDA and manufacturers will have one year after the rule goes into effect to comply with the new definitions.
If you’re like me, an average 20-something-consumer trying to be healthy in the midst of false advertising, empty product promises and sneaky trade secrets, you didn’t question any personal care products on the local drugstore shelves nor truly thought about the ingredients because after all, if they can be sold to the public then they’re safe, right?
So very wrong, but my old mindset and educating myself on this topic truly showed me how social awareness is at a shocking low when it comes to knowing more about harmful ingredients in personal care products and why our government and brands we trust have ignored the facts and not taken sufficient action. Just accepting what is placed on shelves is not enough. Reading great books like No More Dirty Looks, listening to health experts and researching ingredients is an eye-opener.
I suggest everyone do their own research and self-education because it is not enough to just expect our lawmakers and billions of profit-seeking companies to control our consumerism. YOU can make your own decisions, so make some healthier ones.
Which brings me to this Friday’s Au Natural Factual: Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) & Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES).
Queen Bey’s infamous locks: having hair like Beyonce’s is probably not a result of totally natural products.
Did you know that your scalp is the most absorbent part of your body? All of those hair products that you use to tame and clean your mane seep right into your scalp, into your bloodstream and most of those chemicals (though a percentage will be excreted) stay in your body for good.
Two harmful ingredients in many personal care products are Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and Sodium lauryl ether sufalte (SLES) and because they are so commonly used are often referred to as sulfates. These 2 sulfates are classified as surfactants or detergents (compounds which lower the surface tension between liquids or between liquids and solids) and are the 2 most commonly found sulfates in personal care products like shampoo and conditioner for their cleansing and emulsifying properties and because they are relatively inexpensive to use. SLS and SLES can be found in many other products that foam and cleanse such as, toothpaste, body wash, soap and exfoliators.
Due to their harsh penetration properties, SLS and SLES can strip hair and skin of moisture and are common eye, skin and scalp irritants and can also result in acne, rashes and canker sores. Sulfates are also endocrine irritants and can be a possible carcinogen after repeated and prolonged exposure. The biggest concern with SLS and SLES is that when blended with other chemicals (included in your personal care products), they can produce hazardous by-products. Two contaminants that can blend with sulfates and are of the most concern are 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide. 1,4 dioxane is a known carcinogen with research citing it is also toxic to the respiratory system and an irritant to skin, eyes and/or lungs. Ethylene oxide has also been classified as a carcinogen and more specifically, a developmental and nervous system toxin.
Like every chemical and the possible risks, we should try to avoid products with potentially harmful chemicals like SLS and SLES.
There are many good organic and natural hair products in specific, that do not include SLS and SLES in their formulation.
The more we use products with these chemicals, the more we are stripping and corroding our hair and skin of its moisture and natural state.
Avoiding sulfates can reduce your reliance on harmful aftereffects and will result in healthier, vibrant hair and skin.
I love the products the ladies of No More Dirty Looks list for hair that are sulfate-free and are good for your hair! Check out some of their ideas here
I’ve always been an eyeshadow-lover and before I learned about more natural makeup alternatives, it was always the product that gave my skin trouble. In particular, after regularly using a plethora of amazingly colorful, pigmented and chemically harmful products, I was on my way to the dermatologist with itchy and dry eyelids.
When I discovered I had eczema on my eyes, I vowed I’d find a healthier alternative to mainstream eyeshadows without sacrificing color pigmentation or quality. I was also on a hunt for a less wasteful option to eyeshadow palettes. How many empty or half-used clunky, non-reusable palettes did I have in my drawers? Let’s not go there.
And that’s when my constant web-surfing and online research brought me to the Texas-based company, Red Apple Lipstick. Though the company’s name highlight’s their gluten-free lipstick line, there is much more to Red Apple Lipstick than just their natural-based lip products. All Red Apple Lipstick products are 100% gluten-free. You’ve heard of gluten in food, but gluten is often used as a binding agent in cosmetics and is the source of many allergic reactions as well as gastrointestinal problems.
What attracted me to Red Apple Lipstick was that they offered gluten-free, mineral eyeshadow in individual magnetic pans (to be put in reusable palettes like the Z-Palette) AND they also offered pre-made or customized Z-Palettes featuring their eyeshadows. There are not many companies out there selling natural-based eyeshadows in refillable, reusable palettes nor in individual pans. I excitedly purchased 2 individual eyeshadow pans and 1 pre-made Z-Palette named “Autumn Harvest” which came with 4 eyeshadows. (I also purchased 3 lipsticks but will save that for another post.) I ordered during the July 4th holiday weekend where the company was offering a great 20%-off promotion and limited edition lipstick colors. They have frequent deals and are always offering bonus items with every purchase.
My shipment arrived in a timely manner and in quite cute packaging. The lipsticks were individually boxed and in a small canvas pouch with the Red Apple Lipstick logo stamped on it. The Z-Palette had simple, useful instructions on how to apply the brand’s eyeshadow as well as details about the ingredients. The eyeshadows themselves were securely packaged in separate plastic containers with small magnets to keep the pigments in place during shipment and were wrapped in green tissue paper. I received a free floral makeup bag with my purchase in which the eyeshadows and a bonus lip balm were packaged.
All eyeshadows are 100% gluten-free and contain natural ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter and candelilla wax. Each eyeshadow product contains different ingredients so check the website for specific details.
The colors included in the “Autumn Harvest” palette ($56 including palette) I purchased were a neutral, brown-leaning selection: Iced Mocha (shimmery, light taupe), Violet Vixen (sheer gray-purple w/silver shimmer), Vamp (smokey brown-red) and Lucky Penny (metallic gold-copper). The other 2 colors I ordered for a pop of color in my palette were Midnight Lagoon (deep sea-green w/blue reflects) and the usually sold-out, Olive This Color (shimmery deep-green). Each individual pan is $16.75.
Swatches (L to R): Iced Mocha, Vamp, Violet Vixen, Copper Penny Midnight Lagoon, Olive This Color
Did the eyeshadows measure up? I was looking for great quality, pigmentation and ingredients that were better for my sensitive, allergic eyes. I was pleased with the color payoff from one swipe though most of the colors seemed to be sheerer than I expected. Perhaps the colors I chose were on the sheer side of the formulation. The good thing is that the shades I purchased are buildable in color. I found it took about 2 or 3 applications to the most visible pigmentation. The eyeshadows have a smooth, blendabletexture and are not irritating to my skin. I did detect a small amount glitter fall out when applying, but mostly from the sparkliest colors (Iced Mocha and Violet Vintage).
I love the idea of choosing the colors I actually want to use as well as having the option to reuse my Z-Palette and purchasing more colors! Red Apple Lipstick has a variety of purchasing options ranging from a pre-made palettes containing 2, 4, 6 or 9 shadows, create-you-own palettes, or individual eyeshadow pans without a palette. Prices range depending on the option you select.
I would recommend trying out Red Apple Lipstick and I really like the eyeshadow options available as well as the fact that they are all created with natural, gluten-free ingredients. I will definitely be trying some more colors from Red Apple Lipstick soon!
What do you think about reusable eyeshadow palettes like the Z-Palette? Have you tried any Red Apple Lipstick products? What are your favorite natural or organic eyeshadows?
Guess what? My birthday is this Friday! I cannot believe it will already be August, the summer is just flying by and I am not ready to be one year older…okay maybe it’s not all that bad!
Of course I was easily able to round up some of the products I’m currently lusting after for my very own birthday list. Now if only I were to get all the things on this list…(Are you paying attention, family and friends? haha) Looking back, I could have been a bit more extravagant in my wishing but what can I say, I’m trying to be realistic even in my dreams…
1) Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow, $54– I’m a lover of cream blushes and there’s nothing I love more than blushes that also double as bronzer. This beautiful suble tan is said to be perfect for light to medium complexions and is easily blendable, plus the ingredients are 95% organic and how could you not love the super-chic packaging?
2) Kjaer Weis Mascara, $38– Okay, I’m on a Kjaer Weis-kick but this mascara has been raved about by almost every beauty-loving eco-chick and is said to be lengthening, long-lasting and luxurious. As far as organic mascaras go, it is the “creme de la creme” and is also refillable (refills are sold separately) so as to avoid bacteria buildup. So cool!
3) RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Promise, $36– I’ve said it before but I love multi-use products and this RMS Beauty product is one I’ve been dying to try. The Lip2Cheek is a cream product that can be used as a lip or cheek tint. Promise is described as a “warm salmon with a subtle warmth” so I believe it’d be a great pop of natural color on my pale skin, perfect for the remainder of summer.
4) ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Bang Bang, $24– I’ve been dying to try ILIA’s Tinted Lip Conditioners as my lips are normally dry and this specific product is supposedly very moisturizing and soothing. Bang Bang is a popular colors as it’s a beautiful, sheer red that is easily buildable.
5) One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster, $48- I’d really love to add some serums to my skincare routine and this One Love Organics serum sounds amazing. The claims are that it “counteracts dullness, puffiness, and unevenness with a intelligent combination of organic ingredients and omega acids. Plus, the zesty lemon peppermint scent provides a natural mood boost.” All the ingredients are soothing to the skin and are organic/plant based including Vegan-sourced Omega 3 fatty acids which “smooth lines and defend against environmental damage.” I also love that the skincare line partners with different artists and designers for unique, attractive packaging designs.
6) RGB Nail Polish in Pool, $18- I’m really more of a nude nail polish color kind of girl but there’s nothing like a beautiful pop of color and from a five-free* nail polish line like RGB (*Contains no Formaldehyde, no Toluene, no DBP, no Formaldehyde Resin, no Camphor). Maybe it’s the influence of the summer season but I’m loving this aptly named, bright baby-blue color in Pool. Perfect against tanned, summer skin whether lounging outside or out on the town. This is also from RGB’s Summer limited edition nail color line.
7) Bdellium Tools Green Bambu brush set, $89.10- There is nothing more that I love than beautiful makeup besides beautiful makeup brushes. Not only are these brushes super cute (they’re green-colored!) but they are made from soft, synthetic, vegan bristles and sustainable bamboo handles. This set includes 15 professional-grade eco-friendly brushes for face, eyes and brows in a nice rollup pouch.
8) Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $50-$70 depending on size- I’ve been lusting over all the products from Pai Skincare as many beauty bloggers and makeup artists have raved about this organic, London-based skincare line that focuses specifically on sensitive skin types. I have very sensitive, reactive skin and am curious about this cleanser, a top-selling product. It’s recommended for all skin types but works specifically well for dry and sensitive skin. The formula is alcohol and detergent-free which maintains the skin’s natural oil balance and doesn’t irritate skin. It has hydrating properties, while replenishes the skin with Omega 3 and Vitamins A, B & E and also acts as an eye makeup remover.
9) Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder, $20- I love the concept of mineral foundation, though I’m always hesitant to try it due to my super-dry skin (it has never been a fan or mineral or powder-based foundation). Alima Pure is one of the best natural, mineral makeup lines and I think their Satin Finishing Powder sounds just divine for setting my makeup. The powders come in 5 colors to suit most complexions and the names are just as pretty: Yuki, Keiko, Hanae, Ami, Sayomi. I also love that this product is free of many yucky ingredients: “no bismuth oxychloride (BOC-Free), no carmine(ci 75470-Free), no nanoparticles, non-comedorgenic (won’t clog pores), high pigmented”.
Have you tried any of these products? What’s on your current wish list?
By now we’ve all heard about argan oil one way or another as it’s having quite a moment in the natural and mainstream beauty communities.
Known for its many nutritive, cosmetic and medicinal properties, argan oil is derived from the kernels of the argan tree, which is endemic to Morocco. This is why the oil is now also widely known as Moroccan oil. For centuries, the people of southwestern Morocco specifically, the Berber tribe, have traditionally used argan oil as a staple food ingredient and for medicinal purposes.
Map of Morocco
Besides being adaptable to the harsh environmental conditions of Morocco and the Sahara desert, the argan tree is also listed an endangered plant species and is under the protection of UNESCO (Unite Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). As it is derived from an endangered plant and only grows in such a small, specific location, argan oil itself is considered one of the world’s rarest natural oils.
An argan tree in Morocco
With its growing appeal and many nourishing benefits for skin, hair and body, argan oil is currently in high demand from companies all over the world. Claims in using argan oil are that it strengthens hair, revitalizes and moisturizes skin and is a delicious addition when cooking food. The main ingredient in argan oil is Vitamin-E, a great natural resource for healthy skin, and also comprised of 80%fatty acids.
As with all natural oils, there are also many products on the market claiming to be “Pure Argan Oil” but also include a mixture of chemicals. Be aware of false claims and research products carefully. Check out this list of what to look for in recognizing impure argan oil here.
Traditionally, the Berbers collected undigested argan pits from the waste of goats that climbed argan trees and ate the fruit. Mainly a job for women, the pits were ground and pressed to make the oil used for cooking and in cosmetics. Today, the argan oil you will find in most cosmetic and personal care products are from harvested nuts straight from the tree. (No need to worry about the goats!)
Berber women processing argan oil
The sustainable sourcing of argan oil and the Fairtrade connection that has been created with the local Berber women adds a positive light to the idea of using argan oil and its environmental impact.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the social and economic benefits from the argan oil industry in Mororco could also be life changing for many locals. “It’s hoped that poor rural women in particular would benefit from expansion of the argan oil industry in an arid region with few industries and employment prospects.”
With this newfound hope for the argan oil industry, Bloomberg Businessweek states an increase in exports and eventual sales in Morocco:“Morocco’s exports of argan oil have more than doubled in the past five years, to more than 700 tons”. However, due to the endangered status and slow-growing nature of the argan tree, scientists are challenged with the future of argan oil’s overexposure and rising demand.
Have you tried any products containing argan oil? I’m looking forward to purchasing some pure argan oil for my hair!
When it comes to celebrities and beauty, there aren’t too many in the limelight that promote natural/organic makeup or feature themselves wearing it. Nor are there many public figures who advocate for the use of less chemicals and irritants in personal care products without looking like a total-granola-hippie.
Miranda Kerr- beauty behind the words
And then there is Miranda Kerr: the Australian model, celebrity-married, darling of our day. I’d heard she created an organic skincare line, Kora Organics, but it was not until a recent interview posted by Into the Gloss, that I truly took notice of Kerr’s lifestyle and her insight on beauty.
As a model in the industry where your face and your body is under constant direction and slathered with so many harsh products, it’s a wonder that Miranda Kerr has a good outlook on natural beauty and natural living.
From looking at the website, Kora Organics products seem to be free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates as well as it is Australian made and owned. Products are vegan and not tested on animals as well as certified by ECOCERT Greenlife.
Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr
Though many celebrities may come up with a fashion or beauty line as more self-promotion, it seems that Kerr had a respectable mission in mind when creating Kora Organics:
“I started Kora because I was looking for a certified organic skincare line that gave me results and was aesthetically pleasing. I couldn’t find one. I’m not against non-certified products, obviously—I use them all of the time for my job—but I try to minimize my exposure to chemicals. It’s a balance.”
I do empathize with this, finding certified organic products that are effective and aesthetically pleasing are definitely things I always try to check off my list when shopping! And like Kerr states, though it’d be ideal to be totally free of exposure to chemicals, in this day and age we all must find a healthy balance.
“You don’t have to be 100% strict with yourself. It’s about balance, being kind to yourself, and knowing what works, but not feeling like you have to do everything. For me, it’s 80% health-conscious and 20% indulgence. I try to avoid saying ‘always’ and ‘never,’ because we’re human beings, and it’s not always possible. But to be educated and aware of what you’re doing before you do it is the key.”
I too share her ideology that we cannot always be 100% natural or 100% strict in using chemical-free products but it is most important to be self-educated and aware of the ingredients we are using for our bodies.
For myself, I’ve been working towards using less chemically-heavy products and using as much natural ingredients as possibly in my daily life. I believe it is difficult to truly be 100% natural in all aspects of my life but having an awareness of what I am putting on and in my body while understanding the biology of personal care products and educating others is most important to me.
As a lover of sustainable architecture and design, I stumbled across a beautiful example of integrating new and old into an urban landscape.
On the rue Godefroy Cavaignac in Paris, h2o architectes were the lead architects behind a social housing project to restore and expand an unfinished 19th century building which did not comply with the city’s current hygiene and safety standards. An added challenge was to renew the curb appeal of the street while blending and preserving the Parisian spirit amongst the existing historical cityscape. Especially in such a bustling city such as Paris with it’s deep ties to culture and history, this is an important example of preserving a city’s past whilst combining the modern to better benefit the city and its inhabitants.
The visuals depicting the outcome, a new apartment building and community space, are stunning. Not only were they able to maintain the history and style of the existing buildings, but the expanded building provides inhabitants with open space and an enduring integration with outside elements thanks to balconies with space for gardening, large bow-windows, and an exposed planted patio which is also visible from the street through a transparent wall.
A beautiful example of how urban landscapes can be expanded in a sustainable way through the creation of new structures while appreciating and incorporating the traditional surroundings and the city’s history.
Happy Friday! I’m going to be starting a series every Friday (or every other Friday, depending on my schedule) called,Au Natural Factual Fridays.
I’m excited to delve into this topic where I’ll highlight ingredients, additives, and chemicals prevalent in our food and personal care products (and ones that may be highly talked about) and why you should be familiar with them. I’ll give you basic facts and share tips. Let’s see how this goes!
Remember: everything we put in and on our bodies have potential risk for harm but it’s up to you to become educated and make your own choices when it comes to personal care and dietary habits. I’m just here to share information with you.
This Friday’s we’re talking about:Omega-3.
Omega-3 (or Omega-3 fatty acids) are a group of fatty acids that are usually discussed in terms of supplemental health.
Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t produced within the body so we obtain these nutrients through food and supplemental products as they have been proven to be essential to body development, basic bodily functions and overall good health.
Fish oil capsules: a source of Omega-3s
Omega-3s are classified into 3 different types according to the sources they are derived from. They are: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). ALA Omega-3s are often found in plant oils while EPA and DHA Omega-3s are both commonly found in marine oils. Examples of ALA Omega-3s you may be familiar with are: flaxseed oil, canola, soybean, and Echium oil. While EPA and DHA Omega-3s are found in fatty fish.
There are many health benefits that researchers have found regarding the intake of Omega-3s ranging from the reduction of heart disease, stroke, Cancer prevention and decreased risk of degenerative diseases. See this detailed list of tests performed by the Mayo Clinic showing proven and unproven benefits: http://tinylink.net/93574
Recently however, Omega-3s have made headlines as the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shared a study which found an increased risk of prostate cancer in men with high blood levels of omega-3s either through regular intake of fish oil supplements or eating cold water fish (eg. Alaskan salmon, mackeral, or sardine).
While the risks and benefits of Omega-3s are still being further researched and understood, it has been concluded that adding more Omega-3s (at your own risk) in our everyday consumption generally benefits your health.
With data showing low levels of Omega-3s among must individuals, specifically low among the average American, and because these are fatty acids our bodies cannot create, eating a source of Omega-3s is important but reliant on your actions. Try to add at least one source of omega-3 fatty acids in your everyday diet by consuming foods with Omega-3 rich ingredients such as walnuts, canola oil, soybean and more regular (but controlled) amounts of fish.
How I start my day with Omega-3s!
My new favorite breakfast cereal from Nature’s Path is a great source of ALA Omega-3s!
Do you eat foods with Omega-3s on a regular basis? Do you plan to include them in your diet and how? Any suggestions? Let me know!
Note: This is not a sponsored blog entry of any sort, I was not influenced or paid by 100% Pure. I am just expressing my love and excitement for a brand I like! 🙂
A favorite natural beauty brand of mine, 100% Pure, has recently announced a new skincare line called, Pure Forever. This new line adds to the brand’s already-awesome arsenal of cosmetics and skincare products made from organic and naturally-derived ingredients. The mission of 100% Pure is to offer products that are “truly 100% pure-no synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins.” The brand is also committed to being a vegan, cruelty-free brand that does not test on animals.
The Pure Forever line is marketed as the brand’s new luxury skincare products featuring a interesting lineup of facial scrubs, moisturizers, serums, eye creams and cleansers similar to the regular 100% Pure products however, with new ingredients, luxe packaging and higher price points. The Pure Forever line was unveiled last week on 100% Pure’s Facebook page: “We developed this line of luxury skincare products for purists without limits. These highly potent formulas are all natural, 100% vegan, and gluten free. Launching exclusively on our website & in 100% Pure retail stores only.”
Currently featured Pure Forever products from 100% Pure
Claiming to be highly potent, the new Pure Forever products definitely make me curious to try while the new ingredients and chic-er packaging surely has me itching to purchase something. With products such as “Matcha Green Tea Cleansing Foam”, “Vegetable Detoxing Facial Mask”, “Mushroom & Peptides Firming + Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream”, and “Pomegranate Moisturizer”, they almost seem to delicious to be true! With an increase of organic/natural luxury skincare and cosmetics that may not deliver in terms of benefits ( many only seem “luxurious” in packaging and pricing with no real benefits), I’m curious to see if 100% Pure delivers something different to the organic/natural stage.
Pure Forever products
The prices for Pure Forever products are a bit higher than their normal product line, starting at $32-$45 for facial cleansers/scrubs, $45-$55 for eye creams, $48 for moisturizers, $65 for the anti-aging serum, and $58 for a night repair balm. Considering there are many high-end organic skincare lines out there, I think there are more expensive and often times less-effective products than 100% Pure products.
One of my earliest memories of shopping for makeup was during the summer before 8th grade. I had triumphantly received a gift card to Sephora for my birthday as a gift from a friend. With only a mundane knowledge of sparkly lip gloss and neon nail polish, I dragged my mom to the makeup haven that was Sephora to make my very first “upscale” makeup purchase.
Always the researching geek, weeks prior to our Saturday shopping trip, I scoured my teen glossies and read up on which hot makeup products I would want to purchase. And that’s when I first laid eyes on what would be a 10+ year obsession with…. the famous Nars Multiple Stick.
I am a sucker for products that allow me to multi-task; highlighter/pen duos, a purse that is a clutch, wallet and crossover bag in one, a dress that can be worn 20 ways (see: American Apparel)–you get the idea. So, as a teenager with a limited knowledge of (and experience with) makeup, the coveted Nars Multiple– a tinted lip, cheek and eye product in one beautifully packaged stick was like an epiphany to me. It also seemed like the best bang for my (gift card) buck.
As I pulled my mother towards the Nars section in Sephora, and stood face to face with my holy grail, an eager Sephora associate stepped up to us and politely asked if we needed any help. I told her that I was looking to purchase a Nars Multiple because I loved how multifunctional it was. She wrinkled her brow, frowned with disdain and said “But you’re so young to be using a Nars product. Why don’t we try something alittle more…fun? You’re too young to be trying something so boring.” I was confused, was she telling me I shouldn’t buy the one thing I had been obsessing over because she was assuming the interests of my age demographic? She explained that the Nars brand was usually purchased by older women or girls who had more makeup experience. My adolescent heart took a dive and feeling ignorant of the associate’s “educational” statement about what I should be buying as a teenage girl, I listened.
The associate steered me over to all things “fun”, sparkly and brightly colored courtesy of the hot brands of my youth: Urban Decay, Hard Candy and Stila (brands I actually grew to love). She brushed on some opalescent green shadow to my lids (“Mold” by Urban Decay), swatched a bubble-gum pink polish for my stubby nails (Hard Candy polishes which hustled teenage girls with the removable plastic, jeweled finger rings housed on top), and picked out an equally bright pink Stila lipgloss. Satisfied with her handiwork, she asked if there was anything else I could do and through my glazed eyes I watched her proudly walk away.
Not knowing what else to do and with a bunch of popular makeup products in my hands, I purchased everything the pushy associate had given me, the Nars Multiple only a faded dream in the back of my mind. While we headed to the register, I added one more product to my makeup spoils, one that made me rest easier on my guided decision to erase the Nars Multiple from my heart: the ever-popular Stila Convertible Color in Peony. Still a classic today, the Stila Convertible Color helped mend my broken heart over the Nars Multiple as it is a 2-in one cream blush and lip product housed in a cutely colored compact mirror.
Years have passed and though I’ve been distracted by other coveted makeup products, I’ve still been dreaming about owning my very own Nars Multiple. I wonder about when I do purchase one soon (maybe for my upcoming birthday), if I will feel justified for that time when a Sephora associate told me to buy makeup better suited for my age or if I will feel no differently and just accept the fact that I didn’t listen to my heart’s one strong opinion in a shopping matter…