Please seek expert advise from a dermatologist or a skincare expert if you feel conflicted with all of the different product reviews, or have specific skin needs/concerns.
Give a new product enough time to see results – sometimes it might take from 1-3 months to see the results of a new product in your skincare routine.
Cleanser – should see results immediately – up to 4 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and moisture levels.
Toner – should see results immediately – 2/3 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and hydration benefits.
Serums – should see results in 3-5 weeks if it’s a hydrating/anti-aging product, 2-3 months if it’s a skin brightening/hyperpigmentation product, 1-3 months if it’s an acne-targeted but not prescription product.
Eye creams & Sunscreens – should see and feel immediate results. Pay attention to improvements in fine lines and texture.
Don’t overuse physical exfoliants – rubbing in the beads can cause irritation and skin sensitivity, make sure you’re gently gliding the product over your skin or use a chemical exfoliator on a cotton round instead.
Don’t remove clay masks with a cloth – the skin will look red and feel irritated when removing a dried-out clay mask. Instead, keep removing it with water until it’s gone.
Rinse off the micellar water – especially cheaper products are formulated in a way that can cause dryness and clog pores. Also, make sure the micellar water is not your only makeup-removing step.
Don’t rely on popular skincare websites to check skincare product ingredients – they’re not a trustworthy source, they list all of the ingredients and give them a rating. But we have to look at the formulation as a whole with dominant and recessive percentages, “it’s the dose that makes the poison” (referring to alcohol in products being seen as a drying agent). Also, the ingridients are mostly uploaded by users, not companies, which can be misleading.
You might not need to use a specific product at all – understand what all active ingredients are doing for your skin and whether you need it or not. Figure out what you need for your personal skin concerns and benefits you want to see.
Remember that skincare can only do so much – don’t rely on skincare alone to fix your concerns, take into account your diet, exercise, water intake, genetic conditions, and always seek professional help if you feel the need to.
The plainly packaged line markets itself as a “botanical” brand by an unseen facialist from Romania who founded the company in 1967. It’s sold in popular stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie and has managed to get a fair share of celebrity and social media endorsements over the years.
But “disappointed” customers is an understatement. The number of people who reported feelings of dry, itchy, red, irritated, and broken out skin after using Mario Badescu products is significant enough to constitute a trend. Considering this is a brand claiming to use only “simple, gentle, fresh-botanical-based ingredients,” it’s even more intriguing to dive into.
Mario Badescu has been hit with legal repercussions for the excruciating, disfiguring results of some of its formulations. In 2013, the brand settled a class action lawsuit brought against it for failing to disclose the inclusion of strong steroids in at least two of their products. The steroids, hydrocrotisone and triamcinolone acetonide, can trigger enlarged capillaries and dermatological misery, including skin atrophy. This is where the skin becomes so thin that it easily perforates, leading to infection, diseases, fungal growths, rashes and blistered skin that oozes, burns and peels. Of course, this looks as awful as it sounds. Worse, skin atrophy can cause problems with other medical issues; even removing a bandage can rip open the afflicted skin.
Should You Try Their Products Now?
According to beauty guru and self-proclaimed Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun, the answer is no. Out of the 60 Mario Badescu products her team reviewed for Beautypedia.com, 55 achieve only one or two stars out of five. Five nabbed three stars, but none made it to four. Phrases like “incredibly irritating” and “no-go” are found all over in the detailed reviews.
More worrying, Begoun’s team found inaccurate assertions about product formulations. “This does not contain any type of AHA, as claimed,” Beautypedia notes of the brand’s Kiwi Face Scrub. Her examiners were scathing in their audit of Mario Badescu Glycolic Skin Renewal Complex, saying: “Lubragel CG on the ingredient list is a trade name for the film-forming agent glyceryl polymethacrylate (think hairspray)…Why does Badescu ignore FDA and European ingredient regulations? Perhaps he’s ashamed of his formulas?”
The products are not the brand’s only problem. As noted by Hirons and other industry players, Mario Badescu doesn’t seem to invest many pennies in user-friendly packaging. Meanwhile many cult brands prove you can deliver superb skincare in protective, functional packaging that is both streamlined and easy for customers to use (think PIXI). Mario Badescu’s approach seems to be taking the highest possible margins for poor products contained in the flimsiest, cheapest vessels available.
Overall, always make sure to read labels, evaluate claims, and do at least a cursory Google search before investing in any brand.
Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara – the packaging hasn’t even changed that much since 1971, but popularized in the 80s. It was the first water-based mascara, making it much easier to remove and having a faster drying time after initial application; it’s also free of chemicals and oils to avoid irritation.
Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Lipstick (since 1950s) – it’s a blue-based red, making it universally flattering on many different complexions, but depending on your skin undertone it may pull a bit more raspberry or true red.
Carmex Original Lip Balm (since 1937) – one of the best tried-and-true products to bring the chapped/dehydrated lips back to life overnight. The first jar of Carmex sold for $0.29!
Coty Air Spun Transluscent Powder (since 1935) – gives the skin an airbrushed, flawless finish, while having a neutral undertone (which is hard to find still to this day). The first Coty Air Spun Powder box was introduced in 1925, and it was revolutionary because it was the first to be spun by air, giving it a finer texture and greater fluffiness. The only thing that repelled people from it was the scent, however, now they make an unscented version!
Noxzema Skin Cream (since 1914) – it wasn’t marketed as a skin cleanser until the 1950s, when a company secretary realized how beautiful it made her skin look.
Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser (since 1846) – one of the oldest skincare products to exist today, it does a great job at removing makeup, leaving the skin very moisturized. The term “cold cream” comes from the cooling feeling it leaves on the skin.
If using a cream brozing/contouring product, don’t apply it directly on to your face (it can erase your base makeup and be harder to blend out). Pick up the product with your brush either directly from the product or the back of your hand, this allows for control over placement of it on your face and for a build-up to a desired intensity.
Play around with different colours and looks when you have free time. You never know what looks you could create! You might find something that you like and something you don’t. You might incorporate some into your daily makeup routine.
Learn how to properly line/overline your lips. Analyze the shape of your lips and only overline in the areas where there’s a more slim portion, and line the rest as regular. If you feel like you need to overline all over – please do! Makeup has no rules.
What are some of your makeup tips? Let me know in the comments below!
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding skincare “tips & tricks” and product recommendations. I really enjoy James Welsh’s YouTube channel, as he’s a skincare expert who can be trusted to go to for advice.
In his videos, he explains why certain skincare tips work or don’t, what skin type should incorporate what techniques, and more.
Some of the best tips from his videos that I continually practice:
Never use lemons or limes in your DIY skincare – they really dry out the skin!
Don’t place your masks or other topical treatments on your eyes – the skin on the eyes is very slim and sensitive, the chances of damaging the eyes are very high.
Always use eye protecting goggles when using light therapy treatments.
Apply actives after the moisturizer – a moisturizer creates a buffer before the toner, retinol, etc.
3-Finger Sunscreen Method – apply a strip of sunscreen on the longest three fingers and apply to the face and neck, blend in with a sponge or a puff for the product to properly sink into the skin.
You can use the same cleanser to double cleanse – these days most cleansers contain ingredients to properly deal with makeup residue, environmental pollutants, and more.
Wash your hair before you wash your face and body – ingredients in shampoos and conditioners tend to clog pores if left not washed off, which can lead to breakouts and acne.
A simple 3-step morning and evening skincare routine that works best with your skin is all you need! Our skin changes and our routines should change accordingly. Having a basic routine to rely on is especially important when trying out new products to figure out what is causing an issue or bringing a benefit not seen before.
Consistency is key. At least do the basics and bare minimum even if your entire routine consists of 6 or more products.
Skincare is a really good anti-stress procedure – take the time to enjoy that face mask after a long day, make it interesting and exciting as a portion of “me time”.
Some of the myths he debunked in his videos:
To gain the benefits of certain products (fruits, ingredients) when using as a face mask – you should apply a mask that has been specifically formulated with a proper concentration of your desired ingredient. Simply placing that ingredient in a DIY mixture of some kind, or directly onto your face, will not give you the desired result.
There really is a difference between SPF 30 and 50. SPF 50 in chemical formulation is closer to SPF 60, therefore, there’s almost two times more protection using SPF 50 than 30.
Retinol does not thin out your skin. Skin cells undergo a natural renewal process, at some points being thinner than usual, however, it does become healthy again. Retinol sticks to proteins in the skin to deliver its many great qualities.
Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is not bad for you. It comes from crude oil (algae) and is only problematic without proper refinery, like in the 80s and 90s. Now, however, these mineral molecules are highly refined and stripped of carcinogenic particles.