Using apps to purchase products is nothing new these days. With a few clicks on your smartphone screen, you can have everything from computers to toilet paper to groceries delivered quickly and without human interaction. At this point, Amazon has become the go-to app for almost all purchasing. But while Amazon sells a bit of everything, some apps have decided to go with a more focused approach.
Case-in-point: Shop Hush.
This website and app promises cosmetics at ridiculously low prices. Lip colors for $1, nail polishes for $3, and eyeshadow palettes that seem impossibly cheap. After hearing about the brand Bad Habit Beauty [Link to former article?], I decided to try some of their newest palettes. The catch? They only sell on Hush.
From the beginning, I noticed an interesting “feature.” On the website, several of the items were shown as sold out. However, once I downloaded the app, they were miraculously available. Is it a case of updating systems? Or did their ploy work because I now have the app on my phone? Regardless, I got what I wanted and paid (delightfully) with Apple Pay! That meant my card number was safe and secure, as the retailer only gets a one-time use token and none of my information aside from my shipping address.
Immediately, I got the standard information about my order and a notice that delivery might be delayed 8-10 days because of the holidays. It was January, but I guessed everyone has to play catch-up at some point and shrugged it off.
Imagine my surprise when the next day I get an alert on the app that my order was being packaged. And by that afternoon, it had shipped! My delivery date was a mere four business days away! A total of six days from ordering to arrival.
And the best part? It arrived on time, and Hush notified me (much like Amazon) every step of the way. The app would quietly ping me to let me know that my order was leaving the warehouse, that it was in transit, and that it was out for delivery. The notifications were unobtrusive and informative. So I knew exactly when to run down to my mailbox to receive my goodies. In fact, the notifications were so accurate that the post man was just closing my mail box as I jogged up to open it. Talk about timing!
Now, if you’ve ever ordered makeup online, you know there is always a risk. Something could broken, missing, or incorrect. But I really and truly had zero issues with my Hush order, even though the shipping was free. The items were packaged really well with tons of bubble wrap, snuggled together to prevent any bouncing around.
As for the products: Bad Habit Beauty is a brand I trust, so I knew those palettes would be good (and they absolutely are, especially for the price). But what about the rest of the products on the app?
The lip color I got is an unnamed warm red made by KleanColor. This brand is known for being sold in most drugstores (notably Walmart), so it’s not normally known for quality. The smell is a pretty intense artificially sweet smell that I can’t identify.This liquid lipstick is quite pigmented, and stays well, although it doesn’t ever truly dry down. It stays sticky while it’s on. I might layer it with something, but hey, it was free.
The nail polish is a mirror effect color called “Champagne” by the company Santee. This is a brand that doesn’t seem to have much of a presence outside of online marketplaces. But the nail polish is a lovely color, a shimmery beige that is work appropriate while still being fun.
Hush also sells some brands that I know and love, like Skinfood, My Beauty Diary, Holika Holika, and Scinic. I feel that as long as you research the individual brands, Hush is a great resource for buying cosmetics and skincare ingredients. Unlike Amazon, it seems that everything is done through Hush so there is no worry about shady vendors selling counterfeit goods. My items arrived in pristine condition, packaged well, and with free shipping to boot.
All in all, shopping on the Hush app was a delightful experience, and I will happily buy from their marketplace again.
BY JESSICA REDWINE
Winter can wreak havoc on skin of all types. The combination of dry, cold outside air and central heat can destroy your moisture barrier and strip all of the hydration from your skin. So if your skin has been feeling tight and dry this winter, you’re not alone.
One ingredient that can help combat this itchy problem is hyaluronic acid. This powerhouse moisturizer holds onto water very effectively and is found naturally in several layers of the skin. It’s a very powerful humectant, so it will help keep your skin nourished, hydrated, and glowy through the harsh winter. Because of the molecular size, it’s not going to replace drinking plenty of water. But as part of a complete skincare routine, hyaluronic acid can make you look younger, healthier, and less tired.
Below are some products that make the most efficient use of hyaluronic acid. This means they are the best molecular size to allow for deep hydration. These products also partner up hyaluronic acid with other heavy hitter skincare ingredients for a product that’s sure to become your holy grail.
Avene PhysioLift Day Smoothing Emulsion ($48)
Great for its molecular size, this product soaks in deep to reach multiple levels of your skin. It’s guaranteed to hydrate and plump skin without leaving it greasy or sticky. Light enough for every day use, it’s great under makeup.
CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM ($17)
Combining hyaluronic acid with sunscreen seems like a no brainer. Cover all of your bases at once with this delightfully hydrating morning moisturizer that will also protect your skin from the sun. HA meets hydrating ceramides for a touch of extra moisture.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream ($20)
This great budget option gives you all of the moisturizing benefits of hyaluronic acid without breaking the bank. It absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a residue behind. In addition, HA is partnered with olive extract for a one-two punch to hydrate your dry skin.
Nip+Fab Hyaluronic Fix Moisturizer ($10)
Perfect for hydrating freshly shaved legs or dry elbows, this budget-friendly product allows the rest of your skin to feel as nourished as your face. After all, winter dries out everything, not just your face and neck.
CosRX One Step Moisture Up Pad ($19)
For those with little time in the morning (or for the days you wake up late), this product gives the moisture of a heavier cream with the speed and ease of a toner. Each little cotton pad comes soaked with hyaluronic acid, propolis, and several other skin-loving ingredients that will give your skin the hydration it craves.
CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream ($21)
If your skin is drier than the Sahara desert, look no further than this rich-but-not-heavy cream that will hydrate even the most undernourished skin. Pairing HA with sea buckthorn extract, this cream is a like a long drink of water for your face. And somehow, it accomplishes this nourishing magic act without leaving your skin oily or greasy.
BY JESSICA REDWINE
If you were unable to obtain the Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario, you are not alone. Many people were disappointed by how quickly the product sold out, and then were further let down when ABH refused to rerelease the eyeshadows. Makeup fans everywhere were left with only online images of the beautiful shades and looks.
But one company is here to shake that up, and at a price that’s easier on the wallet.
Bad Habit Beauty is a Los Angeles brand that’s relatively new to the makeup scene. They were founded in 2016 by a team of makeup artists who sought to create high quality makeup at rock bottom prices. At first, many in the makeup industry were dismissive of the brand. But as more and more reviews came out, people began to take notice.
Now the brand has several eyeshadow palettes available, ranging from classic warm browns to lurid purple shimmers. But more importantly is how well Bad Habit Beauty is duplicating other shadows and palettes.
Previously considered the mark of shady businesses, the dupe market is now a thriving resource for those who can’t afford high-end brands or can’t find limited edition sets. Bad Habit Beauty is once again stepping into the duplicate game with their Artistry palette.
Available soon on Hush, the palette looks to be an exact dupe for the ever-popular ABH Master Palette by Mario. Packed with warm oranges and shimmers, the colors are very on-trend in the makeup world right now. In addition, Bad Habit Beauty consistently puts out quality product that is pigmented, easy to apply, and has very little fallout.
If this palette follows with their others in terms of quality, it can be assured that it will be a hit among novice makeup users and creative artists alike. Especially when the palette retails for $12, as opposed to ABH’s $70 color collection.
Bad Habit Beauty is a brand that is making waves in the beauty industry, and for good reason; it’s a budget-friendly makeup lover’s dream. This new palette is sure to captivate and help the brand gain more recognition in an industry that is teeming with brands competing for the top spot. Here’s hoping this new Artistry palette is everything that it could be and more.
While we wait for the release of the Artistry palette, here are some other sets guaranteed to please.
BY JESSICA REDWINE
In this day and age, nearly everyone has realized how important it is to wash your face in some form or fashion. But when you think about your makeup, sunscreen, and other products that come into contact with your face, how clean is your skin really getting from that foaming cleanser on your counter?
It turns out, not that clean. Evidence suggests that a cleanser and water isn’t enough to remove sunscreens, makeup, and other particles that build up on our skin over the day. Enter, double cleansing. Double cleansing starts with using an oil or balm cleanser to remove the daily layer of product on your face, and then follows up with a traditional foam cleanser to deep clean the skin and prepare for moisturizer.
This trend first started popping up in South Korea, where daily sunscreen use is a very vital part of every beauty regimen. Skin is meant to be protected, and that’s one of many reasons why Koreans are known for their beautiful, glowy skin. Now double cleansing, and even oil cleansing, is showing up on western shores with brands like Neutrogena jumping on the Asian-Beauty bandwagon. But how does it work?
1.Science suggests that like dissolves like. That means that oil based sunscreens and makeup, along with the oils on skin, can be dissolved with another oil. This is why cleaning the top of your range hood with oil works so well and is recommended so highly on Pinterest.
2. Oil cleansers won’t strip your skin. If you’re suffering from dry, dehydrated skin, you can’t use too much oil to remove the day’s grime.
3. Oil cleansers emulsify with water. This means that when the cleanser comes into contact with water, it will turn milk in appearance and rinse right off. So if you’re using the right product, don’t worry about your skin being an oil slick after your first cleanse.
4. If there is oil left on your skin after your cleanse, the foam cleanser helps to remove it and clarify skin before you continue with your routine.
5. A good oil cleanser shouldn’t cause your skin to breakout. Most recommended oil cleansers are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t cause acne. But your skin might react differently to different things, so be sure to test in a small area before you slather your face in any skincare product.
If you're not ready to take the plunge and buy a dedicated oil cleanser, there are some other options for you. Namely mineral oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil. But I can’t recommend buying an official oil cleanser enough. Here are some that we suggest.
BY JESSICA REDWINE
Kendall and Kylie Jenner are no strangers to controversy, and their most recent collection of t-shirts is no exception. Advertised as vintage styled rocker tees with a Jenner twist, the shirts featured photos of famous musicians with the Jenner’s Instagram photos superimposed on top. Fashionable? Not according to the internet.
Especially when it came out that the images on the shirts had been stolen. The girls appropriated the images of artists such as Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Jim Morrison, and Ozzy Osbourne to promote their brand, but they did so without contacting the artists or paying the licensing for those images.
In the case of Biggie Smalls, they didn’t even attempt to reach out to the estate that his mother currently controls. As she said in an Instagram post of her own, “This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!”
Sharon Osbourne, never one to shy away from confrontation, also posted a blurb to social media to discuss the use of her husband’s image on the shirts: “Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know…lip gloss.”
It seems that the stars aren’t the only ones upset. Twitter was in an uproar over the shirts, dragging the sisters through the mud until, eventually, the shirts were pulled from their site. Kendall and Kylie even took to the internet to issue an apology.
"These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in anyway. [sic] The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry.”
While it seems the girls are apologetic, this is yet another case of insensitivity and appropriation. Especially in the case of Tupac and Biggie Smalls, where they took a copyrighted image and threw their own logo on top, using the fame of another for profit. It’s a small part of a larger narrative that is very telling toward the fashion industry as a whole.
Over the past several years, many brands have been brought to heel by the internet for cultural appropriation. While companies are becoming more aware of the issues and are showing a measure of sensitivity, there is still a disconnect between the fashion industry and those who stand up for the rights of people everywhere.
As long as there is cultural appropriation, the internet will be there to help correct and inform those who are unaware of the damage that such activity can cause. In the case of Kylie and Kendall, hopefully this will help them to become more aware that appropriation (and outright theft) are not going to be tolerated any longer.
BY ALEXIS HILL
Recently, the makeup industry has made a significant advancement---- creating tones that are for different shades of darker skin. L'Oréal is known to be one the leading companies to represent diversity of skin tones in their line of foundation, True Match, along with other well-known brand, such as Lancôme, Smashbox, Dior, Bareminerals, Covergirl, and MAC following close behind. These changes in the skincare industry are very recent, being closely linked to POC movements, such as #UnfairandLovely, and demands for representation in media; dark-skinned POC now possess a more influential voice than in prior years. However, there continues to be an uphill battle for accurate representation, as dark-skin models are often not featured to represent their tones. Instead, they are represented on lighter skin, some makeup lines even use blackface, such as Jeffree Star, Kim Kardashian, Illamasqua, and Seoul Secret.
The concept of applying makeup seems mundane to most, but serves as a challenge to those with darker skin, Clover Hope, a senior writer at Jezebel, shared her difficult experience with shopping at Sephora in comparison to her friend, in her article. “Having spent most of my life wearing solely mascara and a resting bitch face, this was my first time hunting for just one decent cream or powder amid the cascading options available for skin tones ranging from white to very white to kinda brown.”
Dark skin POC are often faced with the challenge of mixing various powders and foundations to create a shade that may or may not be relatively close to their actual skin tone, because diverse options are still non-existent in many countries. Usually, these countries are large proponents for the use of skin bleaching and blatantly use excessive advertising for lighting creams to engrain lighter skin as better, persuading citizens to eventually adopt this exact mindset. In turn, dark-skinned POC, usually girls, are significantly affected by this perception as society has taught dark skin to be subpar to beauty standards. Even relationships become significantly limited due to the extreme effects of colorism, and leads to self-hatred and an intense desire to change in order to meet societal beauty standards.
You might ask yourself, how could self-hatred infiltrate an entire community?
However, the lack of representation for dark skin is not a recent issue, nor is it just a 'trendy topic'. Colorism, the primary issue, is a form of prejudice and discrimination that has existed in POC communities for an unfortunate amount of time, its effects on older generations being extremely prominent, as they are usually completely desensitized behind the true nature of their words----spewing hatred without fully understanding its repercussions within their own family. There have been countless times I've experienced colorist remarks used as insults by family members, correlating dark skin to poor hygiene and evilness. “My mother says anybody too dark is evil” I remember hearing my 10-year old cousin say. I was heartbroken and angered at the mindset he was being taught.
Unfortunately, this is a common link within POC communities. Colorism is usually presented at an early age, comparing darkened skin with stereotypical tropes and lightening skin with social acceptance and beauty. Studies have even shown the direct link of colorism and opportunities, “Even 20 years after civil rights legislation was passed, light-skinned black men who were college educated only had a 10.3% unemployment rate, compared to 19.4% of dark-skinned black men with college education. Skin tone - in effect, proximity to whiteness - was linked to economic privilege.”
Although dark-skinned POC has made a significant breakthrough in mainstream media, breaking the vicious cycle of colorism is only in its beginning stages. Together, POC must continue working to dismantle the restraints of being perceived solely on skin tone.
BY JESSICA REDWINE
Asian skincare is a growing trend around the world. Online companies as well as brick and mortar stores continue to pop-up, selling Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese products globally. What makes Asian skincare special? A focus on hard-hitting ingredients and a customizable approach to skin. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for your skin, and Korean skincare especially uses a number of single, powerful solutions rather than one mediocre one.
In our previous post on Korean Beauty, we discussed Vitamin C, the wonderful brightener that can help even your skin tone and reduce the appearance of scars and post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. This month, we’re talking about snail filtrate!
Yes, snails. The slippery, slimy creatures you find in your garden or (in certain restaurants) on your plate. But wait, before you run away screaming, let’s discuss the power of snail slime.
1. Snail filtrate is packed with skincare heavy hitters like hyaluronic acid, proteoglycans, and peptides that are well researched for being popular skincare additives. These occur naturally and are normally used to keep the snail safe from UV radiation and dryness. When applied to human skin, it does much the same thing for us as it does for the snails.
2. Snail filtrate is gathered from common garden snails, which are a pest in most countries. Some unscrupulous manufacturers put the snails on an electrified grate to extract the slime, but as awareness of these practices are growing, more humane treatments are arising. The added bonus is that humanely extracted snail slime is produced in great quantities, is purer, and doesn’t hurt the snail in the slightest.
3. Snail slime is concentrated after extraction, as in its pure form it is around 90% water. Some brands, like CosRX, pride themselves on products that are 96% snail filtrate, which leads to better results on your skin.
4. Snail mucin is also known for its healing properties. For snails, this helps them recover from scratches they receive from crawling around on the ground all day. For humans, snail products help with cellular regeneration, which can help the skin recover from sunburns, scratches, or blemishes.
5. While snail cosmetics are increasingly popular and are very safe, don’t think that you can just stick a common snail from your yard on your face. The snails mucin in a jar on your bathroom counter is purified, treated, and combined with other ingredients to make them safe to use.
6. Snail products are all the rage in many parts of Asia right now, and you can even find it popping in American-made cosmetics as well. It’s a growing trend that doesn’t show any signs of stopping, and with good reason. Snail slime is a great, all purpose skincare ingredient that works for almost every skin type and concern for overall skin health.
Here are some products we recommend if you’re ready to take the plunge into the slimy side of skincare.
BY KIMBERLY ROSE
An international and completely vegan company for 35 years now, Arbonne is the perfect go-to for all things makeup, skin care, bath and body, hair and nutritional needs. Everything is made with botanically based ingredients and they’re always coming up with new products and new ways to impress. If you’re looking at a lifestyle change and a transparent company that you can trust – Arbonne is the place to go.
2. Kat Von D Beauty
While not fully vegan yet, Kat Von D’s beauty empire is on its way to greatness. Kat Von D Beauty has always been cruelty-free, but recently she announced her plans to have the company go 100% vegan and people could not be more thrilled. If you’re searching for her top-notch vegan makeup now, just check out the #VeganAlert section on her website!
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills
Founded in 1997 by Russian-born beauty expert Anastasia Soare, the global cosmetics company Anastasia Beverly Hills has completed our search for the perfect eyebrows with their unique and cruelty-free products. They’re best known for their perfect creation of the BrowWiz, but the brand will cover all of your makeup needs and wishes.
4. Hourglass Cosmetics
Known for its unique luxury brand, Hourglass Cosmetics has redefined the beauty world with its modern color collections, sleek packaging, minimalistic design, and mesmerizing shine you’ll find with each product. And while the brand has guaranteed to make anyone feel like royalty, it has also guaranteed to be cruelty-free for our favorite furry creatures. So at the end of the day – you can feel fancy and rest easy with Hourglass Cosmetics.
5. INIKA Organic
100% Australian owned and organic, INIKA is the perfect cosmetics brand for healthy, natural makeup. They don’t mess around when it comes to being a qualified company in several areas, as they are certified vegan, organic, cruelty-free and Halal. They have a range of options for beautiful shades and light-feeling makeup, so you can rely on INIKA for healthy-feeling skin.
If you’re on the search for vegan or cruelty-free makeup, it’s important to do your research and make sure the brand is 100% transparent. While the following brands are technically cruelty-free, the companies who own them are not. Too Faced, owned by Estée Lauder, is a fan favorite with its iconic mascara and flirty bronzers – but Estée Lauder is still known to practice animal testing. So while you might be supporting Too Faced, your money might be benefiting the bigger company that owns it. The same goes for Urban Decay, owned by L’Oréal, and Tarte Cosmetics, owned by KOSÉ.
There are several resources online for finding cruelty-free and vegan brands, but PETA is the most reliable source for finding the transparency that other websites lack.
BY DEJA KEHINDE
In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped at least once in their lives with many of them taking place before the age of 25. However, women aren’t the only victims. At the beginning of this year the city of Atlanta adopted the FBI’s gender-neutral definitions of rape leading to rape cases doubling from 2016 due to the addition of cases in which the rape victims were male.
Latif Rashad, owner of the Atlanta based clothing brand, Wisdom, recently announced the summer 2017 lookbook featuring tees that support the movement to “End Rape Culture”. Since founding the brand back in 2010 at Redan High School Rashad and his team have curated pop up shops, fashion shows and exhibits all over Atlanta and even New York City teaching spectators to “Know Yourself”.
The initial release last month included hand-made white tees which read “End Rape Culture” across the chest. Following the success of the first batch, Latif added color to his vision with stripes. He initially thought the phrase would be too edgy for his customer base comprised of mostly high schoolers but it has allowed the brand to expand and gain followers, receiving love from local supporters and even recording artist David Banner.
“We’ve met victims, women and men, who have thanked us for giving them a voice” Rashad said. As of now Rashad’s goal for the brand is to “keep leveling up” as they prepare for a fashion show in August which will consist of handsewn couture.
The lookbook was designed by Latif Rashad and features model Erykah Scales sporting the black, blue and black striped tees with photography by Jay Neilson. According to the Wisdom ATL website more striped tees are coming soon so stay tuned for more! A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to the The Georgia Network To End Sexual Assault.
BY EMANI COLLINS
Makeup lovers, we all have our favorite products stashed somewhere deep inside of our cosmetic bags. Can you choose just one?! It is so much fun learning about the various options that MAC, Sephora and many others adorn us with. With new palettes, lip glosses and tools being announced daily, I decided to ask makeup connoisseurs about their favorite brands and products. Open up your Notes app to have these names saved. I am pretty sure that you would be interested in purchasing these products if you don’t have them already!
10. E.l.f. Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes
In order to apply these wonderful products, you must be equipped with quality tools. E.l.f.’s Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes will have any and everyone feeling like an expert! With the set, you will get a Smudge Eye Sponge, Concealer Brush Blush, Brow Comb and Brush, and nine more important applicators! Find the set at elfcosmetics.com for $12.00.
So, now that your notes are drawn, I would love to hear about your favorites if they didn’t make the list! Comment below with products and/or suggestions that we can all benefit from! Until next time, beauties.