Can we agree to disagree about cosmetics?

Oct 4, 2012
by: monishan

Why do I think the topic of cosmetics is so interesting? Well as a girl who doesn't wear makeup I still would like to know the do’s and don’ts. What's “in” or what are the pros and cons of buying and using these cosmetics. I used to think that all women had the same idea about makeup cosmetics, but over this month I've read four articles and watched one video on others' perspectives on cosmetics. They really helped me a lot and changed my mind on a lot of things. Both sides are very convincing, but I've learned to agree that just because you would want to look, smell and feel pretty doesn't mean the thing you buy cannot be healthy for you. Some think beauty is a pain, and it pays to be pretty. But I feel if looking as pretty as a magazine model harms my body, then I'll pass.

A few things that I do know is that cosmetics are just like clothes. You get what you buy. You buy something expensive and the value of it will be worth it. It won't tear, break apart or anything else. But if you buy cheap, then it will look cheap and the value of it will be cheap. Not everything is worth its price either. You don't always have to buy the most expensive or the cheapest. There are many different cosmetics in different price ranges, and they work just as well as the most expensive ones. Also certain things go in and out of style, like lipstick. I remember a point of time where you couldn't see anybody without black lipstick, then it was red, and now it's pink. Trends are what they are called. Then there were most people who would use a solid color eye shadow. Now you MUST Have a rainbow over your eyes. As women, we should have a choice on rather or not we want to buy makeup. Not everyone knows how safe or unsafe every makeup cosmetic product they buy is.

The first source that I used in my research was called a column in the Economist,“Cosmetics Difference," "Avon in South Africa", This Article basically shows the positive In cosmetics. It's about the women of south Africa and how once before becoming an Avon women they had no way of making a living for themselves or families. But once Avon gave them that chance a woman name Alice Mthini Spoke out and talked about her Struggled to support herself and her family for years and the moment she became an Avon lady. “I have now made enough to put my kids through private school, and she also bought myself a new laptop and a car as well. (although I have yet to learn how to drive it).” She's excited that she's no longer in a struggle and shower herself with expensive things, and give her kids a great education. The Avon women Selling of cosmetics is a great way of letting women make a living for themselves when most really don't know how to do anything, and or don't have the proper education for it. The Avon women or south africa became very successful and their income were above average of black women in their communities, and close to the average of a black south African male.

My second source, “Nails with personality” was from a girl name Britney, a student at bash her article about how nail polish color or designs shows the kind of person your are. I can relate to this article because as I said before I change my nail polish color every single day if I can, its a part of my fashion and Britney feels the same way. "Nail polish in fashion has been normally a tradition with women." Just like me most women use it daily, or others go and get there done by other every other week or so. Pedicures, manicures, Tips Etc. I can relate because I too spend a lot of time and money on nail polish. I'm not very picky when it comes to colors as long as their very bright and match my outfit for the day. But the design has to be something that can't fit my personality. Another thing she said that made me think was “There are many different colors that could justify you on your mood.” I Thought about what this means and again I can relate. I dress to go with the mood I'm in for the day and change my nail polish color to match my outfit. For example, if it's a rainy muggy day, I’ll wear dark colors such as brown or black things like that and my polish has to match those colors.

My third source is from another student by the name of Emily Burden Everyone thinks just because makeup makes you look pretty that it's always a good thing. Her article stood out to me because she showed a bad side of make up cosmetics. One thing she said that stood out to me was " In today's society, makeup is what women use to be seen, to be known, to get attention." I think people do it for the wrong reasons. Adults do it to look younger and teenagers do it to look older and they're getting the wrong attention. another thing she said that I'm sure not everyone knew was " many companies that still test on animals." "put the tested product either in their eye, or on their exposed skin".People feel it's better to test out animals on things and not to just put it on shelves or to test it on humans because animals so-called “Don't Have Feelings” but even though I understand why they're doing it this way that is still the most cruel thing you can do to an animal. Just Like humans animals do have feelings too.

My fourth source was a video call “The story of cosmetics” This video also shows the bad in cosmetics as well. It tells you how women uses more cosmetics products than men a day but there are many toxic things in though ingredients that can kill you day by day because you use them daily. For example almost every cosmetic product men and women use has “carcinogens in it which causes cancer, and Neurotoxins, and Reproductive toxins , which is Proven to mess up brain development and reproduction in animals.” It Makes me wonder about everything i use on a daily my soaps, lotions, face wash, perfumes, air freshener anything. The really bad part about this is each human being is target at least 3,000 times a day with advertisements to buy the products.

My last source Was from another article "Economics lesson in cosmetics," The author Rebecca Stevenson is basically telling us the good and bad in the economics of cosmetics and what's in now, and what do people prefer in cosmetics, Brand color, price etc. For example “Nail polish does seem to be the new lipstick” she says. Just like lipstick nail polish comes in different shades of colors and people love them, but at the moment nail polish is in and lipstick is out! some think you can wear any color lipstick just because. I feel it every lipstick shade goes with every skin color. But with nail polish you can choose any different color you like. Me ? I change my nail polish color every single day. Stevenson also tells us how certain brands and colors go on sale online and don't even reach shelves in stores because they're sold out quickly. Rebecca also spoke on something else on cosmetics. She spoke on how unsafe certain things are in cosmetics. such as Botox and plastic surgery. Bother things cost way too much money and yet you're putting your life on the line. Most people prefer Botox thinking its safer than the real plastic surgery but it's not. They both harm you in the same matter.

I learned so much from each source. They showed me a lot about prices and what things are worth. regardless if it makes you pretty , look good smell good, and or feel more confident about your self. It makes me question is any of that worth ? The cruelty to animals and ourselves as well. I don't think so.

Sources: (2007) Story of Stuff (2007, OFFICIAL Version). [video online] Available at: [Accessed: 1 October 2012 ]. (2010). The Story of Cosmetics (2010). [video online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 October 2012]

Stevenson, Rebecca. Economic lessons in cosmetics - money - business | (2011). Economic lessons in cosmetics - money - business | [online] Available at: [Accessed: 5 Oct 2012]. My Annotatons on this article:

Unknown. (2012). Avon in South Africa: Cosmetic difference | The Economist. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2012 October 5 ]. My Annotatons on this article: