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Recently, I had a terrible allergic reaction on my lips to the Primal Elements Lip Plumper. Shortly after putting it on I had severe swelling, bumps, peeling, on and on. My dermatologist prescribed cortisone cream that seems to be working it will be awhile until it’s completely healed. Do you have an idea of what could have caused a reaction. Maybe the cinnamon? Do you have any suggestions about lip balms that will be safe to use in the future.

The Left Brain provides lip service:

We’ve written about lip plumpers before, so I looked at the ingredient list of this product and have some theories about which ingredients might be the problem.

Spicy hot?

First, you asked about cinnamon. That’s a good guess because Cinnamic aldehyde, a component of cinnamon oil, is known to cause allergy contact dermatitis. Symptoms include a rash, intense swelling, and redness of the affected area.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the likely culprit for your lip gloss because Primal Elements doesn’t contain cinnamon oil, it contains Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate which is a sunscreen. While the name sounds like cinnamon, it’s not. Some people are sensitive to sunscreens, however, so you could look at the ingredients on other products you buy and see if you’ve used this one before.

Icky irritants?

What else? Well, Menthol and Camphor are mild irritants that could be causing the problem. And Benzyl Nicotinate is added to give your lips the tingling feeling that lip plumpers are supposed to provide. You might be reacting to that.

–  –  –

The Beauty Brains bottom line:

If you look for a lip gloss that doesn’t have ethyl methoxycinnamate, menthol, camphor, benzyl nicotinate and that has a different fragrance, that should help.

Does Blinc Kiss Me Mascara Work

Amy Asks:

I have recently purchased Blinc’s Kiss Me Mascara. It works, via their product description, as “tubing” your lashes instead of “painting” them. Let me tell you, it’s beyond cool to take of my mascara at night and physically see it coming off in tubes from just “water and pressure” as the directions advise. My eyes water when it’s cold out, so I’ve found that my standard mascara doesn’t work in frigid temperatures. I’ve resorted to a fiber mascara, but I do like this tubing since it is easier to take this off. Can you explain how it works?…Like a good reader, I do know how “standard” mascara works.

The Right Brain Answers:

Hairspray in a mascara Unlike most mascaras which are made with waxes, Blinc’s Kiss Me is formulated with acrylate polymers. These polymers are similar to the ones used in hairsprays and they’re what give Kiss Me its ability to form tiny tubes.

94 - Marvelous Makeup Two kinds of strength When you apply any mascara to your lashes you’re coating the tiny hairs with a layer of product. When you try to remove the mascara, two factors come into play: cohesive strength (how well the mascara sticks to itself ) and adhesive strength (how well it sticks to the eyelash.) The coolness of Blinc Regular mascaras, even LashFusion, have a low cohesive strength and a relatively high adhesive strength. That means when you try to remove regular mascaras they come off in little bits and pieces. Kiss Me mascara, on the other hand, has a high cohesive strength and lower adhesive strength. Therefore, the mascara tends to stay in one piece as it slides off your lashes. That’s why it looks like tiny tubes. That is cool!

–  –  –

We see the color of passion reflected all over fashion and cosmetics. Everyone has (or should have!) a sexy red lipstick or nail polish for special romantic occasions. (Revlon’s Poppysilk Red Lipstick and OPI`s I`m Not Really A Waitress nail polish come to mind.) These products and many others exist thanks to the miracle of modern chemistry which has given us colorants such as FD&C Red No. 40 and D&C Red No. 33.

Of course, we weren’t always lucky enough to have such a rainbow of reds to choose from. Originally red dye came from a more natural, yet more disgusting, source: crushed insect bodies. The cochineal insect be precise.

–  –  –

Today, modern chemistry can synthetically create a wide variety of red dyes so we don’t have to rely on picking bugs off cacti to make our pucker look pretty. And that’s just one more reason to be thankful for cosmetic chemists!

Jan Marini Admits It - Age Intervention Eyelash Product Does Not Grow Hair One of the most popular topics on the Beauty Brains is the Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash. People always want to know, “will this product make my eyelashes grow?” “Is it worth $160 for less than 1 ounce of product?” No evidence for lash growth We’ve looked high and low but have not been able to find any scientific studies that would support that this product will make your eyelashes grow thicker and longer. But that hasn’t stopped people from leaving comments telling us how wrong we are. They insist that there is a special off-label glaucoma drug that Jan Marini uses in the product to make eyelashes grow.

Or they insist that they’ve used it and it makes their eyelashes grow. While we’re skeptical, we continue to look for credible research that shows this product really works.

Passionate comments Here is a recent comment that prompted some more research. Jim writes… Everyone has a right to their opinion, but blatant misinformation is not only inaccurate, but harmful.The new Age Intervention Eyelash product does work. Jan 96 - Marvelous Makeup Marini Skin Research replaced the original prostaglandin analog with another customized prostaglandin analog that actually appears to be even more effective than the original. There was never a patent issue and Jan Marini Skin Research has patents pending on both the original and new formulations. The product has enormous positive media attention along with a huge celebrity following.

Physicians throughout the US and abroad have validated the tremendous efficacy of the formula and continue to recommend it to their patients. There is no doubt regarding the amazing results. In addition, the company has excellent safety studies. This continued bashing and misinformation needs to stop. A loyal and informed fan.

Patent pending?

Well, there are certainly some testable claims here even though no references were given. First, we looked at the claim that they’ve got patents pending.

Well, a search at the United States Patent Office reveals no such patents pending for Jan Marini.

Second, “the product does work.” This we agree with. Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash does work, just like every other mascara you can buy.

It DOES NOT work to make your eyelashes grow longer or thicker and we have excellent proof.

What does Jan Marini say?

Just look at what the company says on their own website about the Age Intervention product. We quote “Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner is not intended to stop, prevent, cure, relieve, reverse or reduce eyelash loss or to promote the growth of eyelashes” The company admits that it will not grow your eyelashes! What more proof is needed?

Word of mouth Third, that a product has a “huge celebrity following” and is endorsed by Marvelous Makeup - 97 unnamed physicians throughout the US is not proof of anything. Everyone is susceptible to glitzy marketing and wishful thinking. And if you’ve spent $160 for a cosmetic to make your eyelashes grow, you probably don’t want to admit that you’ve been fooled. It’s ok, no one wants to but it happens.

How Does Eyeliner Work?

The authors of some of the other beauty blogs have asked us to explain how eyeliner works. So here’s how ‘liners make you lovely!

Types of Eyeliners Eyeliners are formulated into two basic types: pencils and liquids. While the details vary, both types use these same basic ingredients.

Basic Ingredients The Base is the backbone of the formula. In the case of pencils, its the waxy/ greasy matrix that forms the core of the pencil; in the liquids its the water/oil emulsion in which the rest of the ingredients are suspended.

Typical base ingredients include waxes and oils, emollients (spreading agents) and in the case of liquid type, water and emulsifiers.

Colors Colorants used in eyeliners (and other cosmetics used around the eye) must be approved by the FDA (in the United States). Colorants that can be used in products for other parts of the body aren’t necessarily safe enough to be used around your eyes.

Typical colorants include iron oxides and ultramarine pigments. Carmine is another colorant you see from time to time. It’s a red color made from crushed insect bodies. Mmmmm!

98 - Marvelous Makeup Control agents These are added to eyeliner formulations to make sure the product meets specifications when it’s manufactured and that it maintains high quality afer manufacture. These include chemicals that control the pH, or acid/base balance of the product, and that keep the product free of bacteria and mold.

In some oil based formulas, an antioxidant may be added to keep the waxes and oils from going rancid.

Typical control agents include tocopherol (also known as vitamin E) used for its antioxidant properties as well as Citric Acid, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.

Featured ingredients Several things can be added to eyeliners to make them more appealing to consumers. These ingredients don’t change the way the product works or the way it looks, but marketers add them because women think they are helpful.

For some reason aloe vera is a very typical featured ingredient.

Now you know, what next?

There are two ways that understanding eyeliner ingredients could be helpful.

Let’s say your favorite eyeliner is being discontinued. If you know what kind of base ingredients to look for, you might be able to pick a replacement without having to try so many new products.

On the flip side, if you’re getting irritation or an allergic reaction to your eyeliner, you might be able to figure out what ingredients to stay away from when you shop for a new one.

–  –  –

Karina’s Question:

Could you please tell me what the ingredient is in foundation that makes your face look much whiter in photos?!?! Is it just one ingredient, or a combination?

Could you recommend any brands which don’t do this? Thanks.

The Right Brain Responds:

Karina, we’ve never heard of this problem before, but we can make an educated guess about what’s happening.

Flashback from sunblock One common ingredient in foundations is titanium dioxide. It’s very opaque and so it’s good at concealing skin flaws. But it’s also good at scattering light rays. In fact, it’s used as a sunblock for this very reason. (For example, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Make up contains 2% titanium dioxide.) So, our guess is that the brand you’re using has more titanium dioxide that’s reflecting a lot of white light which shows up in your photographs.

Of course, it’s also possible that talc or one of the other white powders in the formula could be causing the problem too. There’s no way to be sure without testing.

The Beauty Brains bottom line It’s just a guess, but you could try looking for foundations that do NOT have titanium dioxide on the ingredient list. We can’t recommend any specific brands, but you can check the ingredients on Drugstore.com.

100 - Marvelous Makeup Scientific Proof That Make-up Really Helps Many women spend countless hours a year putting on cosmetics and making sure they look just right before going out. Did you ever wonder if it was all worth it? Is the make-up really making you look that much more attractive?

According to a team of psychologists out of the UK, it is.

In their study, they found that men are more attracted to women with more coloring on their face. And they suggest that there is a good biological basis for this fact. They theorize that women with higher levels of estrogen naturally have more color than those with lower levels. And a higher level of estrogen is indicative of a more fertile woman. According to evolutionary theory, men should be inclined to find more fertile women more attractive.

Marvelous Makeup The experiment involved measuring hormone levels of a group of volunteer women and then having those women rated for attractiveness by another group of both men and women. It turns out that the ones who were rated highest in attractiveness were also the ones who had the highest level of estrogen.

The Beauty Brains bottom line Of course, you probably didn’t need a scientific study to validate the use of make-up. People discovered the benefits centuries ago. But we here at the Beauty Brains are happy to know that it really isn’t all just a waste of time. And it’s also nice to know that the chosen career of this Brain is playing a crucial role in the noble quest of successfully propagating a diverse population.

Rouge on people, rouge on.

–  –  –

Sandy Says:

On the back of my daily cleanser (Alpha Hydrox Nourishing Cleanser to be specific) it instructs to apply with an “upward motion”. Is there any actual reason for this, or was it just thrown in to seem more “special”? Should I be applying other products in a certain direction/motion?

The Right Brain Responds:

We aren’t aware of any real scientific need to apply facial cleansers with an upward motion. Our guess is that it’s marketing speak to make the product sound more special. Maybe they think that since gravity drags your skin down (making it saggy and wrinkled) you can push your skin up to get rid of wrinkles. Who knows what they really mean.

How You Apply Cosmetics Can Make A Difference Does your application technique ever make a difference? Yes, in some cases it does. Sunscreens, for example, need to be applied with very even, smooth strokes because they won’t work very well if they don’t evenly coat the skin. Same thing is true for sunless tanners if you don’t apply them consistently you’ll end up with streaks. Some types of make up have similar application issues you need to be careful when applying wrinkle concealing foundations to make sure they fill in those fine lines evenly.

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