Once upon a time I used to walk through department store cosmetics floors and feel so tiny as I passed the shiny, impressive cosmetics stands and perfectly polished beauty sales consultants who radiated sophistication, class.. and ego.
These powerful women seemed to know something I didn’t; they had a wealth of knowledge that was alien to me. With their perfect makeup, flawless skin and serious attitude, these women seemed intimidating and unapproachable.
Masking their boredom with robotic friendliness, when they would subtly hint that I try or test something, it would just make me want to head for the nearest exit, for although they seemed to be almighty beauty wisdom keepers, there was something about these highly respected brands that I didn't trust.
Another reason I would avoid cosmetics consultants and stores was because I was embarrassed by the fact that I felt utterly clueless about anything beauty related. The task of simply trying to find the right foundation colour made me feel overwhelmed and borderline panicked. And the idea of testing and choosing lipstick, blush and eyeshadow colours made me feel like I might pass out from confusion (slight exaggeration but you know what I mean).
So as you can imagine, with the combination of my distrust of sales assistants, lack of practical beauty knowledge and lack of self-confidence, I kept as far away from cosmetics floors as possible - except for once every 3 months when my Clinique foundation ran out and I'd creep up to the Clinique counter, show them my empty bottle so they could fetch me the right colour, pay for it and then make my escape - yes thats right, even remembering my foundation colour or number was too much for me.
When I was feeling extra creative and confident I would waltz up to the beauty isles of Priceline, chemists or the supermarket and have a quick look through the beauty products. I didn't want anyone to see me or witness my inadequacy or the embarrassing truth that I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, I was even anxious about being judged as shallow, superficial or vain for wanting beauty products in the first place! Ultimately, it was the massive range of choices that would defeat me.
Every now and then when a friend would recommend a certain product, for lack of a better idea I would eagerly get on board and blindly follow their advice (we women love sharing stories and advice about the latest beauty product or treatment don't we?)
However the most empowering and responsible thing you can do is simply learn how to read and understand ingredient lists so you can make informed decisions. For the truth is that the more uninformed, confused and insecure you are, the more these companies can profit from you.
These days I can waltz into cosmetics stores like a boss: I know more about ingredients than most sale consultants do. I know exactly what I want and why. I can no longer be fooled and ripped off by misleading labels, advertisements and misinformed sales assistants, or drawn into over-hyped products by well meaning friends. I know what is tested on animals and what isn't. I know what is actually going to nourish my skin, and what is toxic sludge. These days, buying beauty products is straight forward and enjoyable.
If you would also like to learn how to navigate cosmetics like a boss... try a Cosmetics Truth Party : learn everything there is to know so you can become fully informed, and make a fun night of it while you play with our epic organic cosmetics collection.
With love, Libby x