Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pro-Talk!!! Questions Professionals Should Always Ask

Knowing how to blend and create a beautiful winged eye liner is great! But will it land you the right job not knowing about product ingredients or commonly used terminology in the industry.  You have to be able to talk like a pro and act like a pro.

Why? Well let me share with you a quick story.
In the beginning of my career when I started to work for a certain cosmetics company I used to be intimidated by a couple of artist who spoke so professional and very articulate. The words coming out of their mouth even convinced me to buy whatever it was that they where selling to their clients. DING! The light bulb went ON in my head. I said to myself- YOU KNOW ADRIAN, they are not the best makeup artist here, but what is it about them that captivated the client to want to come back time after time to see "them"? Ah-ha! It was simple- Product Knowledge! It was about educating the client that was so captivating and won the client to come to them time after time.

With that said- You really have to know your STUFF! Inside and out, backwards and upside down! Learn as much as you can and always ask if you don't know.

Below are a few questions you should get familiar with, because your clients will want to ask you the same thing!


1. What does "HYPO-ALLERGENIC" mean?
Hypo-allergenic means that the product is less likely to produce an allergic reaction. You need to know that now these days most cosmetics have a LOW probability of causing an allergic reaction.

2. What does SPF mean?
SPF is an acronym for Sun Protection Factor which is a numerical ranking that refers to the amount of time it takes for the skin to become reactive to a sunburn. So if a product has 15 SPF means that the preparation when applied to the skin, may allow the user to be protected up to 15 times normal amount of time it would take them to burn with out no protection. In other words The SPF number tells you how long you can stay in the sun before getting burned. If you normally start to burn after 15 minutes of sun exposure, an SPF 15 product will let you stay in the sun for approximately 15 times longer (or 3 1/2 hours) without burning.

To ensure protection from UVA rays your sunscreen should be labeled “Broad Spectrum” and contain at least one of these ingredients: Avobenzone (also known as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane)
Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide, Anthelios SX, Helioplex (Is the Neutrogena blend of Avobenzone and Oxybenzone), Outside the United States, Mexoryl SX and Tinosorb are also used.

15 + 15 does not equal 30 – Layering SPF products does not increase the total number or the effectiveness.

3. What is the difference between a SUNSCREEN AND A SUNBLOCK?
A sunscreen is an active ingredient that absorbs 85% of the UVB wavelengths (290 -320 nm) example: Octyl Methoxycinnamate.
A sunblock is an opaque sunscreen ingredient that reflects or refracts ALL wavelengths of light in the UV and visible range. for example: Titanium Dioxide

4. What does OIL FREE mean?
Oil Free means free from oil, mainly free from lanolin oil. However, most foundations and concealers and other liquids/creams contain natural oils such as jajoba or orange oil as a emollient to prevent water loss.

5. What does NON-COMEDOGENIC mean?
Means that that particular product will not clod pores.

6. Why do some products use ALCOHOL in them?
Alcohol can be beneficial on a skin care product. Ethyl Alcohol is commonly used as a toning and cleansing agent in some products. It effectively tones and cleanses oily to normal skin, then evaporates leaving no residue behind. Alcohol can also be used as a solubilizer in some products.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) defines an active ingredient as a category 1 ingredient which is utilized all over the counter (OTC) drugs and is safe and effective at the amount specified for use.
When you turn the product on its back side, you see a list of ingredients. The 2-4 FIRST ingredients are the most commonly used ingredients of that particular product.

8. Can cosmetics cause acne?

Some skin and hair care products can cause acne. To help prevent and control acne flare-ups, take good care of your skin. For example, use a mild soap or cleanser to gently wash your face twice a day. Choose “non-comedogenic” make-up and hair care products. This means that they don't close up the pores.

9. Are cosmetic products with alpha hydroxy acids safe?
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) come from fruit and milk sugars. They are found in many creams and lotions. Many people buy products with AHAs, because they claim to reduce wrinkles, spots, sun-damaged skin, and other signs of aging. Some studies suggest they may work.
But are these products safe? FDA has received reports of reactions in people using AHA products. Their complaints include:
  • severe redness
  • swelling (especially in the area of the eyes)
  • burning
  • blistering
  • bleeding
  • rash
  • itching
  • skin discoloration
AHAs may also increase your skin's risk of sunburn.
To find out if a product contains an AHA, look on the list of ingredients. By law, all cosmetics have ingredients on their outer label. AHAs may be called other names, like glycolic acid and lactic acid.

10. What are “cosmeceuticals?”
Some products can be both cosmetics and drugs. This may happen when a product has two uses. For example, a shampoo is a cosmetic because it's used to clean the hair. But, an anti-dandruff treatment is a drug because it's used to treat dandruff. So an antidandruff shampoo is both a cosmetic and a drug. Other examples are:
  • toothpastes that contain fluoride
  • deodorants that are also antiperspirants
  • moisturizers and make-up that provide sun protection

11. How long do cosmetics last?

You may not be able to use eye make-up, such as mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow for as long as other products. This is because of the risk of eye infection. Some experts recommend replacing mascara three months after purchase. If mascara becomes dry, throw it away. Don't add water or, even worse, saliva to moisten it. That will bring bacteria into the product.
You may also need to watch certain "all natural" products that contain substances taken from plants. These products may be more at risk for bacteria. Since these products contain no preservatives or have non-traditional ones, your risk of infection may be greater.
If you don't store these products as directed, they may expire before the expiration date. For example, cosmetics stored in high heat may go bad faster than the expiration date. On the other hand, products stored the way they should be can be safely used until they expire.

12. What's in cosmetics?
Fragrances and preservatives are the main ingredients in cosmetics. Fragrances are the most common cause of skin problems. More than 5,000 different kinds are used in products. Products marked “fragrance-free” or “without perfume” means that no fragrances have been added to make the product smell good.
Preservatives in cosmetics are the second most common cause of skin problems. They prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in the product and protect products from damage caused by air or light. But preservatives can also cause the skin to become irritated and infected. Some examples of preservatives are:
  • paraben
  • imidazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • phenoxyethanol
  • formaldehyde
The ingredients below cannot be used, or their use is limited, in cosmetics. They may cause cancer or other serious health problems.
  • bithionol
  • mercury compounds
  • vinyl chloride
  • halogenated salicyanilides
  • zirconium complexes in aerosol sprays
  • chloroform
  • methylene chloride
  • chlorofluorocarbon propellants
  • hexachlorophene

Sources to find out more? GO HERE:


  1. Thanks your always so full of info and willing to share!!!!

  2. You are so welcomed! The better WE are off educated the better service we can provide. :) Thanks for reading and commenting! Take good care! xoxoxAdrian

  3. While I knew a lot of this information, some of this was very new to me. This is such critical information and this is the information makeup artists need. Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to be a subscriber.