Tag Archives: Pretty Price Check

Pretty Price Check (07.22.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.

Story of Cosmetics

Just a quick price check today, to say a big happy birthday to the Story of Cosmetics video and No More Dirty Looks (the book!), both of which turned one year old this week!

I know we’ve spent a lot more time talking body image lately, but the eco-health risk of beauty products is an issue still close to my hear. Because the industry is not always so straight-up with us about what’s really going on. And that means we just don’t know enough about the toll these products are taking on our friends in the beauty industry, especially nail salon workers — as well as beauty consumers like you (hi, Brazilian Blowout).

The good news is that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 has just been reintroduced to Congress — and it has a few key improvements over last year’s edition (which, if you ask me, was already a heck of a good start!). Here’s the scoop on the new bill, from my peeps at the Story of Stuff:

When we released The Story of Cosmetics a year ago this week to rally support for the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, we weren’t terribly surprised when the Personal Care Products Council—an industry front group—called the movie “a repugnant and absurd shockumentary.” After all, for years the multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry had been

largely left alone to decide what was safe to put in their products. You know, things like lead in lipstick. Neurotoxins in body spray. Carcinogens in baby wash.

Why ruin a good thing, right?

But we were taken aback by the number of small personal care products manufacturers who raised concerns about the Safe Cosmetics Act, which would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that ingredients are fully disclosed.

Tens of thousands of Americans run small personal care product businesses—making everything from soap to hand cream. Many of the owners of these companies have experienced health issues from personal care products they used themselves, experiences that inspired them to make some of the most healthy products on the market. Quite a number of these companies had been supporters of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics—the co-producer of our movie—with many signing the Campaign’s Compact for Safe Cosmetics pledge.

In response, our partners at the Campaign launched a year-long effort to understand the concerns of these small personal care businesses. Campaign staff held in person meetings and organized phone calls. Rather than dismiss the criticism as the work of a small but vocal group or impugn their motives, the Campaign listened and brought their suggestions to the bill authors.

Then this spring, the sponsors of the Safe Cosmetics Act—Representatives Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin—went to work to come up with a version of the bill that addressed small business concerns, which centered around the proposed FDA registration process and fees, which the mom and pop shops felt would overwhelm their businesses. The result is the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, which exempts businesses with under $2 million in sales from registering and exempts businesses with under $10 million in revenue from the fees mandated in the bill but still ensures that cosmetics ingredients are safe for consumers, workers and the environment.

It turns out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ hard work is not only good politics, it’s good news for all of us.

Current law—if you can call a bill last updated in 1938 ‘current’—allows the cosmetics industry to make its own decisions about what’s safe. The FDA can’t require companies to assess cosmetics ingredients for safety and can’t require that all the chemicals in cosmetics are disclosed to consumers. It can’t even require product recalls—as we recently learned when a popular hair straightener, called the Brazilian Blowout, was found to contain dangerous levels of formaldehyde.

Still, if the small business support for this year’s bill is any indication—not to mention the almost 800,000 views on The Story of Cosmetics over the past year—the public is ready to give the beauty industry a makeover.

This week, shortly after the bill was reintroduced, the 1,600 member Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild released a statement supporting the bill, as did a major ingredient supplier, Wholesale Supplies Plus. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling natural brand of certified Fair Trade soap, issued a press release calling on Congress to pass the bill, and the WS Badger Company has penned the helpful piece, “Five Reasons Why the Safe Cosmetics Act Makes Sense for Small Businesses”. Look for more business support coming soon.

So celebrate a cleaner beauty industry by telling your Congresspeople to support the new Safe Cosmetics Act
and checking out the so-awesome-I-bring-it-beauty-shopping-with-me NO MORE DIRTY LOOKS: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics.

Plus, ooh, memories: Check out the time when Alexandra and Siobhan guest-starred right here on Beauty Schooled. Big love!

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Check Your Own Pretty Price. (Here is the Fun New Thing!)

So as you know by now, I was so into the awesome sharing that went on when we talked about our weight the other week. And thus, I’ve been brainstorming ways we can have more great conversations like that here on the blog. Because I really like talking to you. You’re so interesting and smart and pretty!

Shameless flattery accomplished, here is the plan: Every week (or thereabouts/when I can be asked), I’m going to pose a Check Your Own Pretty Price Question, hopefully inspired by some newsy price check bizness or maybe just my own internal musings. And you are going to answer and we are going to discuss!

So here we go: Continue reading

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Pretty Price Check, plus Fun New Thing! (07.15.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.

Nail Art Awesomeness

  • The New York Times has 10 interesting takes on why wild nail polish has gone mainstream, including an awesome one on why no more formaldehyde helped. Can I just say how much I heart nail art? Happy sigh.
  • Tom Hanks is 11 years older than Julia Roberts, his love interest in Larry Crowne — and Amanda Marcotte is noticing he’s not the only dude getting to rob the cradle on the big screen right now. Which is not to hate on May-December relationships, but more to ask we we can’t see older actresses getting these parts and even — wait for it! — looking their actual age?
  • 10 percent of babies aged 0 to 2 are overweight. People are upset about this. I feel sort of like how I feel when the vet says my cat is fat. Which is to say I mostly think it’s cute and also: Chill, people. (via Jezebel and yes, yes, I know, comparing cats to human babies is yet more proof I’d be a very questionable mother.)
  • Kate Middleton might only weigh 95 pounds now. Except this is probably shamelessly inaccurate, sloppy journalism. And also, what if we all just relaxed about the princess and her weight? (Via The Examiner and Peggy Orenstein’s Facebook page where I was a little surprised to see the comments go in a rather disturbing “that is so sick” direction, sigh…Hate the game, not the player, people!)

Fun New Thing! Is so fun. And I was going to tack it onto this post, but I’ve decided it’s so very fun, it deserves its own post. So get excited… and I’ll be back later this afternoon to tell you more!

[Photo: Multi coloured leopard nails! by terri_jane via Flickr.]

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Pretty Price Check: Enough With the Fat Hate (05.13.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.

Ragen Chastein Dances With Fat Photo by Richard Sabel

It seems like everywhere I turn this week, the news is about how much our culture hates fat people. So this a special theme edition of the Price Check. Because people, this has got to stop.

  • My beautiful friend (and amazing blogger and dancer — that’s her above!) Ragen Chastain received over 260 hate-filled comments on her blog this week from evil Internet Trolls who think she should die in appalling and violent ways. (And if you think she must be some strange, isolated example, check out #thingsfatpeoplearetoldon Twitter — and prepare to lose your mind.)
  • Kirstie Alley, the formerly Fat Actress, won “Dancing With the Stars” this week despite admitting she was eating just 150 calories while dancing for hours per day. Naturally, the world is celebrating her dancing-fueled weight loss instead of worrying about her health. (Via ABOUT-FACE)
  • Psychologists found that 72 percent of overweight and obese individuals depicted in the media are stigmatized, often appearing shirtless or headless, according to a study (PDF) published in the Journal of Health Communication. (Via Good)
  • As I reported yesterday on Never Say Diet, when new research showed that only 69 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight (down from 77 percent last year), nutritionists threw up their hands in a state of panic that we might just be accepting our fat selves and preparing to die. (Note that 69 percent means that more than half the population is on a diet.)

This is on top of a major, multi-country study published in the journal Current Anthropology in March, which found that fat stigma is increasing around the world, even in countries where larger bodies have previously been celebrated. (See Tara Parker-Pope’s column and Michelle Segar’s blog post for great analysis on why increasing fat stigma will do nothing to actually “fight obesity.”)

And the Seattle Times is reporting that Georgia just launched a new “Stop Childhood Obesity” campaign featuring fat kids saying things like “Chubby kids may not outlive their parents,” and “Big bones didn’t make me this way. Big meals did” and generally ensuring that they’ll be teased on the playground for the rest of their days.

So. What the f*ck is going on? Continue reading

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Pretty Price Check (Shoe Edition)

The average woman owns $660 worth of shoes that she never wears, reports Jezebel. That’s 11 pairs out of an average of 20 total.

I’ve talked before about my own shoe issues, plus it’s spring closet-cleaning time, so I went and did the math on my collection. Continue reading

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Pretty Price Check (04.29.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.

Maddy's Place 5 Year Old Makeup Guru

  • $70 unworn sweatpants were destroyed upon return to Victoria’s Secret, reports The Hairpin. Look, VS, I think pants that say “Pink” on the butt are hella tacky too, but that kind of waste is stomach-churning.
  • 30 percent of anorexia sufferers never recover, say some experts. But as this New York Times story points out, the definition of “recovery” is vague at best.
  • 50 percent of girls aged 3 to 6 think they’re fat, reports Sadie Stein over on Jezebel. I’m just going to have to let that one sink in. It’s a little too sad for witty banter.
  • $6000 jaw shaving surgery is becoming all the rage among China’s new middle-class says the New York Times. More fun news: China’s new plastic surgery industry is highly unregulated, leading one expert to call it a “medical disaster zone.”

And for those of you still coming down from the Royal Wedding pageantry high — Peggy Orenstein has your antidote.

PS. I’ll be taking Monday off in honor of the other headline-making event happening this weekend — my 30th birthday! See you Tuesday with new Never Say Diet action.


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Pretty Price Check (03.04.11)

The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of what we paid for beauty last week.

First up! You still have 48 hours to take a picture of pretty self, all made up with clean cosmetics and enter it in the No More Dirty Looks Clean Makeup Challenge. The prize is $100 gift certificate to Spirit Beauty Lounge. Where you can get a heck of a lot of pretty for that price. So get on that.

Next:

  • $3.8 million: What you’ll pay for the world’s most expensive purse. And it doesn’t even look big enough to hold your cell phone. (Via The Cut)
  • 97 percent: How many of us have negative thoughts about our bodies every day, according to the latest “Wait? Women have body issues? And the sky is blue?” survey by Glamour. (Via BlogHer)
  • 18: How old you’ll have to be to use a tanning bed if New York and other states pass their Teen Tan Bans. Fun fact: 80 percent (or something) of skin cancer-causing sun damage happens before the age of 18. So this makes pretty good sense. But of course, the industry is offended by the notion that they put children’s health at risk. (Via MyDaily)
  • 14: The number of states that have banned those pedicures where tiny fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Public health officials in the UK are investigating to determine whether this practice is downright revolting, or just icky. (Via Jezebel.) Continue reading

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