Category: Reflections

Makeup and Skincare


This year has been a intensive learning year for me in regards to makeup and skincare.  Since joining Mary Kay in April I have been taking more interested in my outward appearance.  Turing 37 I know that I’m no longer having the skin that I had when I was in my twenties.   It is time that I pay more attention to my personal grooming and I have been actively researching and testing out to find out which brands/ items are suitable for my skin.

I know that it is very important for a woman to take care of her appearance and to look presentable and good for her man. One has to look good to feel good.  There are lots of positive attributes to looking and feeling good.  I’m sure you agree with me on this point.

When I was in my twenties I didn’t really care about personal grooming. I never really had any issues with my skin and did not have the habit of daily maintenance. Fast forward today I know the importance of sun protection and keeping my skin in good condition. I have started cultivating good sun care habits in the kids too by ensuring that they cleanse their skin daily and apply sunblock before leaving the house.

I start out in April embracing Mary Kay and tried out their whole range of products from eye care to makeup. Through testing all the products I got to know the functions of the various products . They do have many different products which can help improve your skin quality. There are unique products like their lip spa kit and a there are products which have been ranked #1 in various beauty magazines in Asia.

However upon detailed research of the ingredients use in the items many products within Mary Kay are not paraben free.  It may not be an issue to some but for me personally if there is a cleaner alternative I don’t need to subject myself and my kids to potential toxicity which ill effect may surface in time to come. What FDA recommendation as safe levels are certainly questionable in my opinion. There are many grey areas regarding the issues of the use of certain chemicals within the composition of a makeup/skincare product which can be mind boggling at times.

The conclusion that I have come to after months of research is that only selective Mary Kay products are safe for use. The others are “use at your own discretion”.  My stance with my current Mary Kay clientele is to let them know what is the makeup of the products they are interested in and let them decide if they want to continue using/ purchasing the product. Getting sales or increasing my customer base is not an immediate priority of mine as being honest and truthful about the product.

Staying in ASIA we are often exposed to the harmful rays of the sun and it is important to use a good sunblock and constantly reapply it when we go out for long periods of time. The weather and climate that we live in also leaves our skin dehydrated. Many times we are unaware of the needs to hydrate our skin properly as we wrongly assume living in a high humidity climate we do not lack water in our skin.

I’m come to the conclusion that a Water based sunscreen would work best for me and the boys.  At the moment we are using Coola sunscreens that we purchased from iherb quite a while back. I’ll be testing out sunblock from Ininisfree once we have used up our existing stock as it is more affordable and sustainable in the long run for my pockets.

Frankly speaking I’ve been looking around for alternative products to Mary Kay which are “cleaner” and more pocket friendly in price. I’ve been looking at other American brands, Japanese and Korean cosmetics and skincare products.  The range that we have in the market nowadays is really overwhelming.

What I have realized is that not all products from a single range maybe suitable for use. I have to selectively choose the star products from each range which is suitable for my skin condition. As a result I have been testing  skin care products from Clarins, Laneige, Ininisfree, Shiseido , UV AQUA White, Sukin and Renew.  I ‘m also looking at makeup from BHCosmetics, ELF, Ininisfree, Lancome, Essence, Kate among others.   I guess it will take a few more months to conclude my testing and finalize what I want  to use in my daily personal grooming routine.




Oxybenzone, Phenoxyethanol and My thoughts



It has been six months since I’ve joined Mary Kay as a  Independent Beauty Consultant.  During this period of time I’ve learn a lot about makeup and skincare through lessons and research.   I’ve learned about the various types of skincare products available in the market and how they work on your skin.

It’s interesting to learn that not all products are made equal and even though certain well known brands have stellar products you still need to pick and choose carefully from their range.

Apparently not all products are equally good.  Even though brands have their award winning product it doesn’t mean that the particular product is free from  questionable chemicals which are used as ingredients.  Groups  like the EWG have done extensive research into the toxicity of the different types of cosmetic products.  What they reveal is contradictory to what the FDA has been saying about the safety of using certain ingredients in these cosmetic products. This  information has left me quiet skeptical about the validity of the FDA as a reliable consumer watchdog.

I’ve started looking into the ingredient list of the items which I use to understand them better.  It is certainly important to know whether the products that I am using are helping or harming my skin.   Even though  I am still quite a newbie when it comes to skincare and makeup I’ve certainly learned a great deal these few months.


What I have learned about the chemicals in Sunscreen. 

Oxybenzone primarily functions as a photostabilizer and sunscreen. Among the vast selection of sunscreen active ingredients, It is a chemical which  has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage.

Phenoxyethanol –A preservative found in nearly every type of cosmetic and various cleaning products. Proven organ system toxin in animals (even at low doses), and suspected to be carcinogenic. Some studies say that it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive

I was attracted to Mary Kay by it’s range of skincare ( am still am) and have been using a wide range of products from the brand. However what I was surprised to know that all of their sunscreens have  Oxybenzone which makes them less then desirable for usage.


mary-kay-sun-care-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-50-z1Mary Kay  Suncare Sun Screen Broad Protection SPF 50 

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 5%. Other Ingredients: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ammonium Hydroxide, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Linalool, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Trimethicone, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenylisohexanol, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum
mary-kay-timewise-day-solution-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-35-z1 Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution  SPF 35

Ingredients: Active: Avobenzone 2%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2%, Oxybenzone 4%,. Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-25, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Plankton Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 Disulfate, Sorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-75, PEG-150, PEG-8 Cetyl Dimethicone, PEG-4 Laurate, Laureth-3, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Hydroxide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol.


np_sunProtector Mary Kay Sun Protector SPF 35/ PA ++

Ingredients: Water, Homosalate, Dimethicone, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Syrene/ Acrylates copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl carbonate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Glycerine, Cetereth-25, Dimeticone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/ C12-22 Alkyl Methacryate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Ethylene, Dicocamide PEG- 15 Disulfate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Aetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenayed Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, PPG-15 Stearly ether Benzoate, Disodium Etda, Ethylene Brassylate, Proppylene Glycol, Peg-4 Laurate, Sorbic acid, Isobutlyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Iodopropylyl Butylcarbamate, Ethyl Linalool, Methylendioxyphenyl, Methlopropanal ammonium Hydroxide, Phenyisohexanol, Cyclamen Aldehyde. 




It will be safer to opt for Mineral based sunscreen that uses Zinc Oxide/ Titanium Oxide. Preferably one that is free from parabens too.  Even though the harmful effects of these chemicals have yet to be proven I think it is best not to take any chances as there are sunscreens around which do not have any of the listed chemicals inside and certainly safer for myself and the kids.


Deliberating on Strengths


I have been doing quite a lot of  self learning in these couple of months. As part of my focus on CHANGE for 2015 I needed to know what my strengths and weaknesses are.  Even though I have an idea of what they are I was  interested to know if I have identified the areas correctly. 

I did an online test and these came up as my top 5 strengths. ( In no particular order)


Planner Strategize Strategize; Plan and identify relevant obstacles (to avoid them). People with the Planner talent create alternative ways to proceed. Given any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns or issues and find a functional path.
Information Excavator Information Input To dig and validate information. People with the Information Excavator talent have a craving to know more. Also enjoying the collection and archiving of information.
Confidence Self-Confident Self-Confidence to lead or create new ways. People with the Confidence talent feel assure in their ability to manage their own lives; possessing an inner confidence that their decisions are right.
Stucturer Disciplined be Disciplined and create routines to avoid rework. People with the Structure talent enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
Group Relations Relate Relate in order to integrate groups. People who are with the Group Relations talent enjoy close relationships with others; finding deep satisfaction in working hard together with friends to achieve a goal.


It is interesting to know what ones strength is so that one is able to capitalize on it.  To focus on your strength you will know where it is possible for you to excel easily.

As you can see from the chart above my main 5 strengths are

– Planning

-Information Excavator

– Confidence

– Structurer

– Group Relations

This means that I enjoy planning, searching for information and processing it. I love following routines and thrive with a schedule in place.  I also enjoying developing close relationships with others.  I found this analysis quite accurate.

To get a clearer and more professional assessment I took the Gallup Strengths Finder test and my top 5 themes came up as  Input, Learner, Responsibility , Focus and Deliberative.   The results for the two test were similar and it only confirmed my previous findings.

I’m a person who loves to increase my knowledge and have a craving to know more. There is a very wide range of topics and subjects which I am interested in. I’m constantly reading up and do get many different books to review on a monthly basis.

Being able to fuel my passion in reading have given me a chance to broaden my horizon. I have also been able to learn many new things which I have tried out and put into practice to enhance myself and the family.

I have been setting yearly and monthly goals which I try my best to follow through. I find that this helps me to keep focus and on track.  You can read about my resolutions for this  year  and my focus on CHANGE over at my main blog- Dominique’s Desk.

It is said that when one focuses on their strengths they are able to excel and do even better.  Now that I know what are my strengths I’m going all out to further improve on my strengths  and

Do you know what your strengths are?