Girls, I say this with the utmost sincerity, if you do not read this book you will probably spend the rest of your life poisoning yourselves. I don’t mean to use scare tactics on you (damn you tobacco industry, how we despise your commercials) but every woman should read this book about the UGLY side of the cosmetics industry. Many beauty bloggers may not want to tell you the truth since they’re fine and dandy getting free samples but I feel an obligation to share with you what I learned after hearing from Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda (which he has since sold to Estee Lauder), speak at the HBA Beauty Expo this year. He suggested every member of the audience read Not Just a Pretty Face and when I took him up on his offer I had no idea what I would find…

Since I was a little girl I’ve loved makeup. I was the little girl in her mom’s high heels with lipstick smeared around my lips. Come middle school, a trip to the department store or Sephora was a quick fix for whatever was plaguing me that day. A fun new eyeshadow to match my outfit for a party, the perfect shade of pink lipstick to attract Mr. Right. Not Just a Pretty Face reveals the secrets that are being kept from us. Trust me, you want to know them. I’m no conspiracy theorist, in fact I’ve spent most of my life avoiding the news in ignorant bliss in my land of Elle Woods LaLa Land. I always thought, whatever, who cares, it’s shampoo it’s not like I’m eating it, right? Little did I know the damaging effects repeated use of deadly chemicals could be…

This book though gets down and dirty about the truth behind your lipstick, your shampoo, and your health. Did you know that the cosmetics industry is self-regulated? Did you know who sits on the board and who “regulates” the entire industry? The very people who are financially driven to keep dangerous chemicals on the market. And I quote the Vice President of Legal counsel of Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association (now called Personal Care Council) when asked by an audience member at a beauty conference how the FDA determines if a cosmetic product is “safe”: “This is left up to the company. If a company says their product is safe, it can go on the market. So think again before you believe that saying FDA approved means anything when it comes to cosmetics. In essence the beauty big wigs are choosing themselves what ingredients are safe for us. I mean I’m no Erin Brockovich it’s easy to find all this information once I learned where to look. You owe it to yourself and your sisters, friends and mothers to learn.

Find out about how the European Union has banned chemicals that US companies fought to keep in their products even though evidence has shown how dangerous it is. Find out how companies like Estee Lauder and Revlon sell products flaunting the pink ribbon but refuse to take out chemicals in their makeup that may be causing the very disease they fight “so hard” against. It’s sickening actually.

Girls, we need to stop outsourcing our trust and find out what we’re putting in our bodies.

Visit CosmeticsDatabase.com, ResponsiblePurchasing.org, BigGreenPurse.com to find out how many toxic chemicals are in the products you use everyday. Did you know that I use nearly 15 products before I leave my house in the morning? How many do you use? Find out safer alternatives. I mean really is that fake fragranced chemical shampoo really worth it?

Now, I’m certainly not advocating that you “green up” your cosmetics bag overnight but there are little ways you can start. Like, get organic lipstick. Horst spoke about his research from the Mayo Clinic, which basically showed how toxic many lipglosses are and how putting something on your lips is the quickest way to get it into your bloodstream. Nice, right? He has since started a glorious brand called “Intelligent Nutrients,” which I just received samples from and have just begun testing the products…stay tuned on that! His speech though was truly inspirational and I am truly enamored by him.

Some quick tips that will help reduce toxic exposure:

Avoid products with the words fragrance on the label-You’ll see once you stop for a little, the scent of artificial fragrance will grow to make you nauseaus.

Avoid parabens

Don’t reuse plastic bottles even once!

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