Cosmetics 101: The Basis of Your Beauty Regimen

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Looking good should always be a priority and not just for women. Cosmetics help you do that. When you make an entrance, there should be something distinctive about you, whether it’s your fragrance, skin or lipstick.

Thing is, you always leave people with something to remember you by. So why don’t you make it something spectacular?

This is where your choice of cosmetics comes in. if you have been nonchalant about it before, it is time to step up the game.

Every day, all day, people do their best to look fabulous. Whether it is for themselves or others, there is always a plan to augment looks. So how do you do that without cosmetics?

Now, you have to know that cosmetics are not just makeup. No, they are a lot vaster than that. A cosmetic is any product or substance that alters, cleans or enhances a person’s overall appearance and smell.

So if it makes your face glow, it is a cosmetic. If it makes you smell heavenly, it is a cosmetic. If it changes the color of your skin, it is a cosmetic. Your hair care products are cosmetics. So whatever you use to take care of your body, even your sunblock, is a cosmetic.

Cosmetics are as old as…well, old can be. There is no time frame to it because the earliest Egyptians used them to alter their appearances in a positive way.

Even though in those times, they were known to have harmful side effects, it didn’t stop usage. As time went by, modifications have been made and now, cosmetics are an essential part of our everyday existence.

Note that you are not meant to ingest any cosmetic. They are usually made with natural as well as artificial substances, chemicals if you will. So if you do ingest any, be sure to seek professional medical help immediately. Let’s keep their use strictly external, shall we?

What Makes Up Cosmetics?

This is a question with a very vast answer. But it is necessary that you know what comes under the umbrella of cosmetics. Why? There are people who tend to frown when you say you sue cosmetics.

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This is because they have this view that cosmetics are makeup accessories only. And because they do not use makeup, for whatever reason, there is something wrong with those who do.

However, this guide is intended to educate as well as inform. Let us take a look at some, not all, of the products that come under the term ‘cosmetics’.

The list of cosmetics can be really long because a lot of items come under that name. However, most of them listed here are self-explanatory:

Skin care creams and lotions

These are your day-to-day creams. When you get out of the shower, you apply some to nourish or moisturize your skin. In most cases, people have different creams or lotions for face, body, feet and hands. All these fall under cosmetics.

Cologne

Usually worn by men, it is made up of about 4% essential oils. These keep it potent for about two and a half hours. It adds to the overall positive effect from a person hence, it is a cosmetic.

Bath salt

This is a substance which is crystalline and dissolves easily in water. It is perfumed and softens water, making bathing more enjoyable than normal. It is mainly used for soaking in tubs.

Body butters

Everybody’s skin is not the same. Some have it drier than others. A body butter locks in moisture, making changing seasons more tolerable for different skin types.

Colored contact lenses

I bet you did not see this one coming, did you? Some colored contact lenses are recommended while most are cosmetic items. But yes, they enhance your looks so they are cosmetics.

Lipsticks

Ladies, these are an essential part of your makeup kit. Your makeup is not complete if you have not applied some lipstick. Remember that all makeup accessories are cosmetics.

Concealers

These are used to blot dark circles under your eyes and hide all kinds of blemishes.

Aftershaves

Used by men after shaving to keep away irritation and infection if there are cuts. They usually smell great, too.

Eye liner

It enhances the eyes and brings out the color, making them sharper and brighter.

Gels

There are different types of gels, apart from hair gels. For example, there are eyebrow gels, used to keep the hairs in place, especially if they are scanty.

Hair colors

This is common everywhere. Whatever color you wish your hair to be to make you look amazing, it is available for you.

Nail polish

Have you ever wondered what the world would have been like if there weren’t nail polishes? It is not that we cannot do without them but, let’s admit it, they are the best. They add brightness and beauty to your look.

Lip stains

These are not lipsticks but serve the same purpose. Just don’t leave your lips bare, please? If lipsticks feel too heavy or concentrated for you, you could try one of these.

Lip liner

It is meant to add color to your lips. It can also be used to outline the edges of your lips to make lipstick application easier and better. Some use it as a base for lip gloss.

Hair spray

This is meant to keep your hair protected from excess wind and humidity. Still wondering what cosmetics have got to do with summer? Well, here you go.

Primer

Used as a base, it makes the application of foundation and makeup smoother. It also helps hold everything together, keeping it on your face for a long time.

Cosmetics Primer

Mascara

It makes your lashes fuller, plumper, longer and colored, giving a shimmer and allure to your eyes.

Hand sanitizer

This is an important part of your everyday life. If you have no immediate access to water to wash hands, you could use this to tide over. Sometimes, even when you wash your hands, you need it for extra fortification. Why is it a cosmetic? Why, it cleans you and smells great.

Moisturizer

It makes the skin soft and supple, leaving room for nutrients to be effective.

Shampoo

Used for the hair to clean, retain moisture and feed with vitamins and minerals.

Face powders

These are used to give your face an even and matte finish after your concealer and foundation.

Toner

A toner helps to wipe every underlying grease and makeup off your face. Cleansing and washing are great but a toner goes that important extra mile. Besides, it tightens your pores, giving your face a flawless look and feel.

Baby oils and lotions

Babies are not left out of this. They get clean and have their skin taken care of, don’t they? Their soaps, oils and lotions are their cosmetics.

Foundation

Just like the foundation of a house, makeup foundation offers support and evenness to your face. It makes it one color and reduces obvious blemishes.

Cosmetics foundation

Lip plumper

If you have been bothered about having thin lips, this is for you. A lip plumper adds volume to your lips so that your lipstick or lip stain can be shown off better.

Deodorants/Anti-perspirants

Summer, or any other time of the year for that matter, would not be complete without deodorants. I mean, we all need it one time or another. They do not just keep the sweats away, they add to your great fragrance.

Eyebrow pencil and wax

Give precision to your brows with pencils and your face would look sharper. Eyebrow wax keeps hair growth minimal because it pulls the hair from the roots. This means that it would take a longer time for hairs to grow back, leaving you with a smooth brow.

Sunscreen

This is a must-have for everyone this summer. It keeps the UV rays from giving you sunburn while allowing you get a tan.

Eye shadow

There are so many beautiful colors that you can get from a palette. There are also so many other colors you can get from mixing the ones you have. Oh, the sweetness of variety! Eye shadow makes the eyes glow.

Contour powders and creams

These give your face a different shape. For a slimmer, more defined facial structure, get one of these.

Cleansers

A cleanser removes makeup alongside dirt, oil, dead cells and any other type of pollutant from your face. It also helps to prevent acne and pimples by unclogging your pores, allowing your skin to breathe.

Face mask

It is used to moisturize, clean, hydrate and smoothen your face. It works deeper than any other facial cleansing product because it sits longer and penetrates.

Cosmetics mask

Acne creams

These are meant to prevent and treat acne and pimples. They are gentle on the skin so that no further irritation is caused.

Exfoliators

Exfoliators get rid of dead cells, open up your pores and gives a glow to your skin.

Factors to Consider When Buying Cosmetics

Some people have the most amazing and fabulous skin. No matter what they use, they come out looking great and smelling like roses. They make the rest of us shake our heads in wonderment and ask “what are they doing that I’m not?”

Everybody just cannot have it good like that. It is the way it is. But you can do something about retaining the good you have going for you. This can be done by being more attentive to what you put on your hair and skin.

You would be amazed at the number of people who do not read labels on products before using. And there are others who buy things because they are used by celebrities or because everyone else uses them.

So what factors are absolutely imperative to consider before you buy any cosmetics? Bear in mind that there are thousands of products available so you are not necessarily restricted in what to use. Branch out and see what else is on offer. You would be surprised.

Ingredients

First of all, know your body. If you are allergic to any substance, you should be aware of it. Even if you are not, you still have to be careful about what you use.

That it looks good on your friend or colleague does not mean it is right for you. There are certain ingredients commonly found in cosmetics that are harmful to the skin.

People have been known to react adversely to ingredients like hydroquinone, parabens and chemical dyes. So read labels; if you’re not sure of what you are looking at, ask someone or surf the internet. The bottom line is to keep yourself safe.

Purpose

What is the reason for buying that cosmetic product? For example, you cannot buy a bleaching cream if you have no plans of changing your skin color. And you cannot buy concealer if you have no plans of using it.

Stick to what you need and be sure of why you need it before you buy. Even if you do need it, how often are you going to use it? If it is not often enough, then you probably do not need it.

If you wear makeup often, a cleanser and a toner should be your best friends. And do not leave off using them for only special occasions except you have sensitive skin.

The best thing to do here is to be certain of your regular beauty regimen. Then make a list of all what it entails and buy. Anything outside the list should be seen as frivolous.

Preference

What do you prefer? Or rather, what does your skin prefer? You see, you may like one thing but your skin would absolutely reject it. It can be frustrating, I know.

Other times, though, your skin likes just what you like. Yippee! Get to buying based on what you prefer, not what is in vogue. Your sensitive skin may not thank you for the wrong products.

For those with normal skin, you are freer to use products. After all, your skin needs little care regimen. That is part of the beauty of having normal skin. But you still have to apply caution. Some products with a high concentration of some chemicals may irritate your skin in the long run.

Price

The price of any product, whether important or not, is necessary to know. If a product is expensive, you should know that the price does not make it effective.

Again, if it is cheap, it does not mean it won’t work. Gone are the days when price determined the effectiveness of a product. Besides, its inexpensiveness could mean fewer ingredients. And fewer ingredients could mean less harmful chemical substances in the product.

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In other words, keep within the lines of what you can afford. There are countless cosmetic products for everyone within your budget.

Don’t worry that you may not find what you need with what you can afford to spend. It may only take a little more searching. And the internet is one of the best bets to find the greatest items, based on reviews.

Fragrance

Cosmetic items like sunscreen and lotions have some of the best and softest fragrances. And this is all good and fine until you wear some of them into a wooded area.

Insects are easily attracted to smells so be aware of what you are putting on. Even on the beach, some lotions would unduly attract sand flies or other insects. More times than not, it is best to buy those that hardly have any smells or no smell at all.

The same rule applies to your everyday lotions, creams, cologne, perfumes and sprays. As unimportant as this may seem, there have been countless cases of discarded cosmetic products due to smell. Keep your choices within what you can hardly on all fronts, including fragrance.

4 Awesome Tips for Staying Safe with Your Cosmetics

It is always welcome to know that what you are putting on your skin is safe. I mean, you have to use some of these products every day, right? So how do you make absolutely sure that you are safe, apart from knowing what your skin needs?

  • Do some research

Do not depend on what other people have to say. Your smartphone is not smart for nothing. Find out things for yourself. Pick up the ingredients in your favorite products, one by one, and read about them. That way, you would know if you are doing more harm than good to your skin or hair.

  • Learn to make homemade skin care products

Or hair care products. You will find that it is not difficult to come up with something that agrees with you.

Generally, honey, oatmeal, turmeric, carrot and papaya are some of the finest natural ingredients you can find. Therefore, make masks and scrubs using some of them. The absence of any chemical is to your advantage.

  • Keep things simple

Complicated beauty regimens do not guarantee the best outcome. Sometimes, less is more. Besides, simple regimens have not been know =n to hurt anyone. So why don’t you try simplifying things? See how that goes and take it up from there.

  • Do not always scrimp

“There is no price for awesomeness…or attractiveness, for that matter.” As much as it is not advised that you break the bank to buy these products, do not scrimp.

If you cannot afford it at any given time, leave it for later. Do this instead of settling for ridiculously cheap products that may do you more harm than good. You would be glad you did.

Ijeoma Chukwuemelie

I am your girl-next-door but there is nothing normal about me because normal is boring. I read a lot and I have a very active imagination. I like to travel, especially to places with ancient histories. There's so much to see, it's almost unbelievable. There is absolutely no price for awesomeness...or attractiveness, for that matter. And I am both.

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