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Top five cosmetic products in Canberra that work.

FashionPeacock 17 August 2011 29

cosmetic assortment

It’s funny the things we become attached to, like cosmetics and grooming products. Working in and around the cosmetic and makeup industry for over twelve years now I’ve tried so many things and to be honest, most products, especially cosmetics don’t do what they say they will and many can be harmful (more about this in coming articles).

This week I’m sharing my top five products that actually work, and you can get them all in Canberra!

    1. Lucas Paw Paw ointment – pick this little gem up anywhere, even the service station. This all natural Australian made ointment is one of the best beauty products out there. Use it anywhere and everywhere, face, lips, hands (makes a great cuticle treatment), feet and I’ve even used it on my dog!

    2. Cetaphil gentle cleansing lotion – this gentle cleanser removes all makeup and is great for sensitive skin. Dermatologists often recommend it for psoriasis. It’s available at most chemists.

    3. Swartzkopf blonde toner – I’ve used all kinds of expensive toners and this one is still the best I’ve ever tried. Costs about $13 and you can get it from places that sell hair products.

    4. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – A little more expensive at around $60 but an amazing product. Best makeup base I’ve ever used and can also be used as a pick me up mask. My tip – shop around for Clarins. Try a chemist, they have nicer staff and often better deals.

    5. Napolean Cake Liner Sealer – This is the product that cosmetics companies hope you never find out about! Mix this little wonder liquid with any, that’s right ANY cheap powder eyeshadow and BAM! Instant waterproof liquid shadow, which, once dry won’t budge!! Napolean is available from the concept store in the Canberra Centre and other selected stockists.

[FashionPeacock trained in Queensland with Napolean for makeup and then worked for Clinique and Clarins for a number of years.
She works as a freelance makeup artist now and does not have any associations with any companies.
She has been in and round the cosmetic industry since 1996]


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29 Responses to Top five cosmetic products in Canberra that work.
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jessieduck 9:40 am 06 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

Or a clothes brush! Where do you get those these days? I’m reduced to using a soft shoe polish brush to get crap off my clothes. (dust and stuff, not actual crap).

To de-pill jumpers I use a think called a Sweater Stone from the US- best thing ever.

Wily_Bear 7:22 am 06 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

Or a clothes brush! Where do you get those these days? I’m reduced to using a soft shoe polish brush to get crap off my clothes. (dust and stuff, not actual crap).

The cheap dollar type shops sell clothes brushes- not the best quality, but they generally suffice. Failing that, some sticky tape works really well, especially the wider packing variety.

EvanJames 10:56 pm 05 Sep 11

Or a clothes brush! Where do you get those these days? I’m reduced to using a soft shoe polish brush to get crap off my clothes. (dust and stuff, not actual crap).

Palifox 7:40 pm 05 Sep 11

i’m a bloke and not a big user of cosmetics. I’ll vouch for the Paw Paw stuff on chapped lips though.

One thing I do like to use is pre-electric shave lotion but it is almost impossible to get. Over a few weeks I tried every likely shop in the Woden Plaza and and a few other places as well and drew a blank. I can have after shave by the litre but it does not do the same job. Eventually tracked it down to the Shaver Shop in the Canberra Centre. Likewise cleaning / lubrication spray for shavers has vanished from the Woden Plaza despite the Phillips shaver web site advice it was stocked by DJs. I have not seen a men’s hair brush in years either. Meanwhile the dress shops proliferate.

rebcart 12:43 pm 19 Aug 11

FashionPeacock said :

They work for me, that’s all I’m saying and I’ve spent years trialling different products.

I recommended it as a makeup base, and I have slightly oily skin. The fact that it can be a little drying makes it an effective makeup base as it prevents shine and helps makeup stay on.

People with dry skin generally don’t need to use a base/primer, just a good moisturiser.

I wasn’t suggesting you use it as a moisturiser. It probably sits about mid range when it comes to makeup bases/primers.

Ah, n=1. Gotcha. I think that’s usually ok for make-up, where the result is visible, but for actual skincare products I prefer something more substantial, which is why I mentioned Beautypedia.

You didn’t suggest use as a moisturiser, but you did suggest it as a mask. I don’t know about you, but when I see ‘mask’ I think ‘something absolutely loaded with super ingredients, but too annoying/strong/expensive/other reason to use every day’. So, if it’s average instead of super good, recommending it over other products doesn’t sit right with me. YMMV…

FashionPeacock 7:27 am 19 Aug 11

When you say these things work, is that because they REALLY work, or just because you think they do?

They work for me, that’s all I’m saying and I’ve spent years trialling different products.

4. Clarins Beauty Balm:
“Beauty Flash Balm is an extremely average moisturizer that contains absorbent rice starch, which can be problematic for dry skin.” Also it’s ridiculously overpriced.

I recommended it as a makeup base, and I have slightly oily skin. The fact that it can be a little drying makes it an effective makeup base as it prevents shine and helps makeup stay on.

People with dry skin generally don’t need to use a base/primer, just a good moisturiser.

I wasn’t suggesting you use it as a moisturiser. It probably sits about mid range when it comes to makeup bases/primers.

AnnieBGood 4:47 pm 18 Aug 11

I’ve worn make-up for years and have yet to find anything better than water to remove it. I do use
“wipes” to get off waterproof mascara but that’s all. Best beauty treatment I know of is to keep out of the sun. Olive oil is a good moisturiser too.

Erg0 2:02 pm 18 Aug 11

Henry82 said :

Erg0 said :

, but after trying (almost) literally every other hand cream I could find for my contact dermatitis, it seems the only non-prescription stuff (available in Australia) that actually works.

Hi jenny, have you tried silic 15? (by a company called ego). Its a very good barrier cream for dermatitis and eczema. I use it occasionally for the latter.

Pawpaw, Cetaphil (or its QV alternative), and Silic 15 is my list.

Thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out when I’m next in need of a top-up.

Henry82 1:47 pm 18 Aug 11

oops ErgO not jenny

Henry82 1:46 pm 18 Aug 11

Erg0 said :

, but after trying (almost) literally every other hand cream I could find for my contact dermatitis, it seems the only non-prescription stuff (available in Australia) that actually works.

Hi jenny, have you tried silic 15? (by a company called ego). Its a very good barrier cream for dermatitis and eczema. I use it occasionally for the latter.

Pawpaw, Cetaphil (or its QV alternative), and Silic 15 is my list.

jennybel75 1:01 pm 18 Aug 11

Erg0 said :

jennybel75 said :

Lucas pawpaw is great, and it does have a paraffin base, yes, so not all natural.

Potassium Sorbate 0.1mg/g, according to the tub on my desk. I dismissed it as hippy crap for quite a while, but after trying (almost) literally every other hand cream I could find for my contact dermatitis, it seems the only non-prescription stuff (available in Australia) that actually works.

Yep, it has the potassium sorbate as a perservative. The base is the paraffin wax and the pawpaw makes up the rest.

INFP 1:00 pm 18 Aug 11

1 Vote AGAINST the magic of Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment…..

now i love this stuff too… it is more natural than other products available, and has cured chapped lips and moisturises fantastically, so i have been using it for years.

However. This year I had a terrible flu which left the skin under my nose really red, sore and dry from constantly blowing a runny nose (oh and crying, due to certain bad events in my life that have happened). I used Lucas’ for weeks and weeks, smothering it on thickly all day and every night before bed. It didnt heal at all, and my flu had long gone (so there was no more cause for skin irritation).

Then my mum said to use Vaseline. I used it twice and it healed my skin completely. After weeks of using PawPaw and no resullts.

So yeah, PawPaw is good for a lot of things but sometimes Vaseline kicks its arse in my experience.

rebcart 12:28 pm 18 Aug 11

FashionPeacock said :

Beautypedia is a great resource – heres the link http://www.beautypedia.com/

I get a lot of info from there too. REMEMBER that the site is run by the owner of a cosmetrics company so whilst its informative its not always objective. (Paula Begoin – Paula’s Chioce)

I’m pretty sure that if it were misleading about the effectiveness of other companies’ products, they would legally rip her a new one. At any rate, she gives so many good ratings to so many varied products that you can get pretty much anything you need without looking at her personal line.

@Amanda Hugankis – please let me know what it is about hydrogenated oils that makes them more natural than petroleum jelly. Would you have a problem with petroleum jelly made from sperm whales?
Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on why petroleum jelly is bad for babies to ingest in tiny quantities, and hydrogenated oils aren’t, consider how much media attention has been given to the detrimental effects of ingesting trans fats.

Amanda Hugankis 11:06 am 18 Aug 11

The Lucas’ pawpaw salve is almost certainly petroleum based. I once phoned the company (and yes, very hard to track down the manufacturers of this). They ARE Australian based.

And they ARE very rude. I was basically told its none of my business, and if I suspect that its nothing more than Vaseline with some pawpaw extract then I was free to not spend my money!

Given that many women use it for cracked nipples while breastfeeding believing that its ‘all natural’ and okay for their baby to inject … I think it should be something that is made clear on the packaging. Having said that, it may not be of any harm to babies injesting it this way, I’m not sure. But people should at least be free to make that choice (I guess they can now, many people won’t use something unless they know all the ingredients). But petroleum based skin care does have its place … it comes down to personal choice. A choice that can only be made if you have the information on which to make that choice.

I use Simmons PawPaw salve (also Australian) and am led to understand that its simply hydrogenated vegetable oils and waxes. It has the same consistency and I get the same results. You can’t get it everywhere though (many health foods and some chemists carry it, even Supabarn was at one point), comes in a jar and tube, they even have a menthol and peppermint version for an alt. to Vicks Vapourub. For a small tube its about $7 and YMMV but I get about a year from a tube.

FashionPeacock 11:06 am 18 Aug 11

Beautypedia is a great resource – heres the link http://www.beautypedia.com/

I get a lot of info from there too. REMEMBER that the site is run by the owner of a cosmetrics company so whilst its informative its not always objective. (Paula Begoin – Paula’s Chioce)

p1 11:04 am 18 Aug 11

5. Napolean Cake Liner Sealer…

I think I used a product with a similar name to stop my shower tiles leaking?

harvyk1 10:55 am 18 Aug 11

Yeah, until I got the Paw Paw ointment I had all sorts of problems with chapped lips. The lip balms I was finding I was needing to use more and more often to stop the problem. Switched to the Paw Paw and it was like instant relief which worked for a much longer period of time.

The other stuff in the list I’ve never heard of, nor would I ever likely use them.

Erg0 9:13 am 18 Aug 11

rebcart said :

Oh good, so the pawpaw DOES have a little preservative in it. Though it’s certainly still much, much better to use the tube than the jar.

I keep it in the fridge, myself.

I actually think that the main reason it works well for me is that it has a very thick consistency and acts as a barrier – I don’t think the pawpaw itself has any magical properties. I used a petroleum-based cream in New Zealand (imported from Japan) that worked similarly well.

rebcart 9:02 am 18 Aug 11

Erg0 said :

jennybel75 said :

Lucas pawpaw is great, and it does have a paraffin base, yes, so not all natural.

Potassium Sorbate 0.1mg/g, according to the tub on my desk. I dismissed it as hippy crap for quite a while, but after trying (almost) literally every other hand cream I could find for my contact dermatitis, it seems the only non-prescription stuff (available in Australia) that actually works.

“Used as a preservative due to its ability to inhibit mold and yeast growth in cosmetic products. Potassium sorbate is also used as a food preservative throughout the world. It has weak activity against bacteria, which is why it is almost always used in conjunction with other preservatives.”

Oh good, so the pawpaw DOES have a little preservative in it. Though it’s certainly still much, much better to use the tube than the jar.

rebcart 8:55 am 18 Aug 11

When you say these things work, is that because they REALLY work, or just because you think they do?

I always use Beautypedia.com before I buy any sort of cosmetic or makeup product. As a scientist, I really appreciate that that website looks not only at the real research and all the ingredients lists, but also concentrations and pH (so I don’t have to spend time doing it myself!).

Of course, it doesn’t have all the products in the world and is heavily US-based, but let me see what is says, huh?

1. Lucas Paw Paw Ointment:
Not reviewed. Well, it IS Australian-only. But, I can tell you straight away – NATURAL IS BULLSHIT. The second biggest bullshit marketer of products in the world (the only thing worse is the claim ‘chemical-free’, what, are you selling a vacuum?). Arsenic is natural. Cyanide is natural. Foxglove is natural. And also, humans using tools to transform chemicals into other ones is natural (cooking food) so I don’t see why people see humans using tools to transform chemicals into other ones (in labs) as unnatural.

Also, the product feels it doesn’t need to tell its ingredients other than pawpaw and petroleum jelly to anyone, so I can’t tell you jack about whether anything else in it is good or bad. If it has no preservatives, who knows what protection from bacteria you have. Always use the tube packaging, because with jar packaging you’re always dipping your dirty fingers into it AND exposing it to air.

According to the research: “[Papaya] Extract that is the source of papain, which theoretically can have exfoliating properties on skin, although the majority of the research was not performed on skin. Papaya can be a skin irritant. “

2. Cetaphil – I used to use this, because what you said is true. But…
“This is a cleanser we have recommended for years, but no more. In many ways the formula has become dated and is now a poor representation of the best of the best when it comes to facial cleansers. Part of what led us to this reconsideration (well, beyond the wealth of beautifully formulated water-soluble cleansers) is the amount of sodium lauryl sulfate in this so-called “gentle” cleanser. Although the amount is likely 1% or less of the product’s contents, there are many other cleansers available that don’t use this potentially problematic ingredient and that are far better for skin.

There is little reason to consider this over dozens of other options plus this cleanser is not adept at removing makeup.”

3. Schwarzkopf Blonde Toner:
Not reviewed. *shrug* In general, most hair products are either good or average, with the majority falling into average, because there’s not much you can do to dead hair fibres.

4. Clarins Beauty Balm:
“Beauty Flash Balm is an extremely average moisturizer that contains absorbent rice starch, which can be problematic for dry skin.” Also it’s ridiculously overpriced.

5. Napoleon Eyeliner Sealer –
Not reviewed. There’s no ingredients list online that I can find, so I can’t make a check as to safety/irritation, but I’m happy to take your word that it works as intended.

[rebcart is an actual chemist and biologist, who has NO links with any makeup/skincare companies in any way shape or form, including Beautypedia. She hates bullshit, anti-science and weasely claims, and uses the cheapest products that get a high rating on the Beautypedia website]

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