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Spending Too Much on Cosmetics? Read This!

November 22, 2009

We’ve all done it — fallen for the lavish promises in cosmetic ad copy. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to look younger, have smooth, flawless skin and fabulous (or for some of us, frizz-less) hair?

The problem is, a lot of products don’t quite deliver what they promise, no matter how much they cost. If you’ve got a collection of useless stuff and don’t want to keep adding to it, here are a couple of websites that can help.

The Beauty Brains is the home of “a group of cosmetic scientists who understand what the chemicals used in cosmetics really do, how products are tested, and what all the advertising means.”  You can submit questions about specific products or search the archives for their take on hundreds of different items, ranging from skin lotions and shampoos to permanent make-up and laser treatments.  Their reports are enlightening and often pretty funny, especially when they deconstruct some of the outlandish claims in ad copy.

Makeup Alley is another one of my favorites. There are probably hundreds of sites like this, where users weigh in on their experiences with specific products, but I’ve used MA for years and never been disappointed. You can search by most popular products in a specific category and age group and to see what other people think about something you’re tempted to buy.  Or you can add your own thoughts on something you’re happy — or not — with.

There’s also a “swap” feature, which might come in handy post-holidays as a way of getting rid of the magenta glitter lipstick your office “secret Santa” dumped on — I mean, gave — you. Unless, of course, your pooch has a penchant for getting her glam on!

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