The Story of Cosmetics and my confession…

Brace  yourselves, darlings. This is one video that may shock and scare you. Fact is, I’ve know a lot of what was mentioned but this the video really help put things into perspective about the products that we are using.

Can I be honest? I am super conflicted. While I own, use and review many real deal natural/organic, paraben-free products (aside from hair color, my hair care routine is predominately all natural), I still like to try out “conventional” products. Not to mention, those are the products that are most requested by Clumps of Mascara readers. I mean, think about it…how many of you would still read Clumps if I ONLY reviwed natural brands and products? My goal is to appeal  to many different women all over the world and let’s be honest…there is only a small number of us that use only natural products.
At the same time, I do not want you all to think that just because I rate a product as “GOOD”, that it means it is safe. Because, the truth is…a lot of them are not. In the future, I think I am going to incorporate more notices about the ingredients that are in the products that I review. That way, at least then, you can make a sound judgement on if you really want to purchase it or not…despite how beautiful the posted pictures are.
I want to be apart of the solution…not the problem. What do you think I should do? I could definitely use yall’s opinions and advice. I want to continue bringing you funny, engaging and informative reviews on ALL products but I also want to be sure that you are aware of products that can potentially harm your beautiful skin and health from the outside in.

I know natural and eco-friendly products may not be affordable and accessible for all, but I will make it my duty to host giveaways and find the best and affordable brands and products that give you the look you’re going for…safely. I

Leave me your thoughts in the comments or email me ( 

Love y’all,
Thanks to my eco-beauty/lifestyle bloggers for being such inspirations. Especially you, Simply Natural!
  • ummsultan

    thank you for posting this…I saw this a while ago. I too love love love my products, but I only use organic products and food with my family but my makeup no..It hard since they self police themselves! I would read if you had an all natural beauty site..after all are there any sites like that now!!!

  • Jezi M

    You may want to do more research rather than trusting what one woman says without really elaborating.

    It just spreads panic without any REAL evidence, which is always a bad thing.

    Yes, there are some bad chemicals out there, but lets not forget that EVERYTHING is a chemical, water, air, everything around you.

  • LaNeshe

    I think it would be beneficial for you to make one point that lists common dangerous ingredients in products. Then when you do your future reviews, you could list what ingredients are in them and just link back to that post so people can get an understanding of the ingredients.

    I think it is honorable that you care and are honest.

  • B

    ummsultan–> Thanks lovely, you rock!

    Jezi M—> As an educated writer, it takes more than a video to sway me into believing anything. Helping others become more aware of what's in their products does not equal panic. But rock on with your opinion!

    LaNeshe—> I realllly like that idea. :)

  • kateypie35

    Unfortunately, this does not shock me, as I already knew it, and anyone who did not know it is living in some kind of denial bubble. Sorry, but seriously.

    Did you ever research what is in our FOOD? Our drinking water? The air we breathe? For example, watch King Corn and weep.

    Me personally, I just do the best I can to choose wisely when I can, but then I don't think about it anymore. That is my own brand of denial, but so be it.

    I cannot live life happily if I am constantly trying to cut out all toxic chemicals. I personally believe that is physically impossible in this day and age, unless I move to a Yert in Greenland, but even then there is still the AIIIIR. And I can't obsess over it, or I would never sleep.

    I think you have to do what is comfortable for YOU. If YOU cannot feel good about reviewing or promoting non-natural products, then DON'T. If having a disclaimer that states the toxic ingredients makes you feel better, do that. If going completely natural is what your heart feels, do that. Maybe your readership might shift, but there is a HUGE market of people who want to be more aware and go natural but don't know where to begin. You could actually be helping a lot of women by researching and promoting the "healthier" brands they didn't think to try.
    Do what makes YOU happy, and others are sure to follow!

  • Jezi M.

    My opinion about panic is an opinion, but the video has some flaws.

    A lot of blogs are just re-posting this video without really commenting much on it rather than "Hey! Look at how many chemicals are in our products!"

    Being aware and sensationalizing an issue are different things. The video does not elaborate about the specific chemicals other than "they are bad, lets legislate it!" Unless you are avidly following the footnotes and checking each one.

    As a Biochemistry major and researcher, things like this kind of irk me, because it causes a knee jerk reaction by people, rather than using actual science.

    Sorry to vent, I really appreciate your blog and your respect for alternative products, it's not an issue to focus on just 'natural' companies and products.

    I just wanted to comment because this is the 4th time I've seen this video on a major blog.

  • B

    K-Dawg—> I guess I will always be a part of the problem because I drive everywhere. HA! I know what you mean…as much as we may want to, it's almost impossible to live 100% natural. Like, you…I'm trying do to the best I can while sharing what bit I know with others. Reviewing only all natural products sounds ideal but I love conventional products too. Hence why I think I will always stand right in the middle. You da bestest!

    Jezi—> My decision to consider "details" about all of the products that I review did not come about just from this video. I'm no biochemist, but I am also no dummy. I try to educate myself on what are in the products I use and review. And I've been doing this for quite some time. Fact is, a lot of them are NOT safe. My goal is not to freak out my readers by saying, "LOOK HOW PRETTY THIS LIPGLOSS IS…BY THE WAY, IT HAS LEAD IT IT AND WILL PROBABLY KILL YOU IN 5-7 YEARS." I simply want to inform by making readers aware. As mentioned, I plan to continue to review conventional products as they appeal to me and my readership.

    However, I see where you're coming from. From your point of view (someone who is in that discipline), I can see how the video lacks substantial evidence. But as with anything, one can not help how the content they release to the world is perceived. I'm sure the film maker's intentions were to help and inform in the simpliest way possible. But that may be my naivety and ignorance in all things biochem that says that.

    Either way, no need to apologize. I appreciate your opinion as it has given me a lot to think about. And the fact that you consider me a major blog, well, I feel like I've won an award. Thanks!

  • Jen

    Hmm… Well here goes my laywoman's point of view. Take it for what it's worth. LOL
    When it comes to cancer, for the most part we don't know what causes it. So whether someone is a biochemist or a biologist, they can't say definitively what will or will not cause cancer. It's all a toss up. Also, every body is different, and reacts differently to different chemicals.
    So if it makes you feel better to inform your readers, then I say go for it! I think that's better than not saying anything at all. We've spent decades doing that already.

    As a personal choice I don't use antiperspirants anymore, and I choose not to slap SPF on my face every day either. But that's just me, and I can live without them. But I still choose to use shampoo, lipstick, and everything else under the sun. LOL The only thing I can do is hope for the best. But that's life.

  • Cosmolude

    I think it's great that you will have a disclaimer about what chemicals the products that you are reviewing. Then people can choose whether or not they are interested in using them.

    I used to read a lot of blogs and forums about natural hair care where people were talking about only using "natural ingredients" and saying which ingredients were supposedly bad for hair. Then I started reading a more science-based natural hair blog that where the author would actually research ingredients and provide links or quote the resources where the information was found. Some of the ingredients aren't bad; people just use them incorrectly or products just have bad formulations.

    As for makeup, I don't use a whole lot of natural or organic products. I don't use all natural hair products either. But if I did, I'd probably want to be sure that the products I was using were really natural and not just say organic on the label.

  • theetinygoat

    one one hand, i'm glad to see that consumers are asking questions about what is in their products. on the other hand, most of what they uncover when they begin to research is total crap.

    i consider myself be reasonable familiar with social/cultural and scientific things, and here's my spiel on natural beauty products and their crusade against the evil evil cosmetics industry who is out to get us. as was stated in a several comments above, we don't know what causes cancer. different types of cancer are caused by different things. there is little to no evidence that things like parabens cause cancer if you are not a labratory mouse being force fed six times your body weight of these chemicals. secondly, EVERYTHING is a chemical. it doesnt matter if its a natural chemical or a factory made chemical. your body will like/tolerate some and it will dislike/not tolerate some. there are plenty of naturally occouring compounds which are irritants or toxins and should be avoided. what i mean is, natural is not always good. thirdly, it is worth mentioning that most information you will find online is going to be heavily biased one way or another. be very very critical of your source. a journal of dermatology will be a more credible source than a natural products seller.

    so what does it all mean? if you like natural products, use em. they can have many benefits like sustainable packaging and production practices, and you are often helping a small business owner. if you cant find a natural product that you like, use what you are comfortable with. read labels. research things you are unfamiliar with. make your own decisions based on your knowledge, not on the current freak-out of the week.

    just sayin'. :)

  • Expanding Beauty

    I see your dilemma and especailly when you are getting requests, I think a list of ingredients and their toxicity would be helpful because while most people like these products they are unaware of some of the harmful ingredients used and I think once we have more knowledgable consumers who demand safer ingredients then the industry will have to change. I have the same issue with products that test on animals which rule out pretty much every drugstore brand except NYX and E.L.F. and it gets frustrating at times but as you said when you've made the choice to be part of the solution then you have to be part of the solution.

  • theetinygoat

    Hey Expanding Beauty,

    your comment reminded me to check out which drugstore (or drugstore priced) brands are not animal tested, since some have changed in the past few years. its actually a lot better than it used to be- almay, avon, black radiance, prestige, and jane were the most common ones i saw. others like l'oreal and cover girl are iffy because while the brand itself does not test finished products, the ingredients may be at some stage.

    here is PETAs current list:

  • Stacy Malkan

    Thanks for your post Brittany! I personally am an incurable optimist and I believe we should be able to use whatever products we want, without worrying if they're safe for our health. I believe the big beauty companies have the innovative capacity to make great, effective products without using toxic chemicals. It's absolutely possible and it's already happening with some companies. The problem is, we have a system that allows companies to hide the true toxicity of their products — they can use any chemical, with no required safety assessments, without listing all the ingredients on product labels, and they can call the products "pure" "natural" "organic" or whatever they want, with no standards.

    It's way more confusing than it needs to be for consumers. That's why I support the proposed Safe Cosmetics Act, which would put some safety systems in place and give consumers tools to make informed choices. See

    About Annie's video, I wanted to point out that everything in the script is fully footnoted here:

    On the topic of cancer, it's true that it is almost never possible to know why somebody got cancer, but we do know that certain types of cancer (such as the hormonally-related cancers of breast, prostate and testicular) have increased dramatically in recent decades — and there is a lot of strong evidence pointing to chemicals as the reason why. Given this picture, it's wise to avoid putting carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals on our bodies when possible.

    Thanks for the great discussion about this topic!

    Stacy Malkan
    author of "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry"

  • Askmewhats

    B! Great post, I have a lot of reader requests for product reviews that I don't use! this post enlightened me and your readers for sure

  • Michelle – Ethnic Skin Care

    It is very responsible of you to point out that while some products are good, they aren't always safe.

    Synthetics in skin care products can cause a number of skin reactions (especially in women of color).

    However, it's not the one time or occasional use that causes a problem. It's the every day consistency of using the products that are heavily chemically laced.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Anonymous

    OMG, the old "lead in the lipstick" spiel again. Go to Snopes for a debunking of that. It's been going around for 20 years and anyone who throws that up immediately loses their credibility with me.

    To make a long story short…we'd have to eat bottles of cosmetics/shampoo for the chemicals to make the same impact that a glass of water does.

    If anything, a sustainability proponent like herself should be advocating not overbuying personal care products – and that includes not pitching something because it has 0.00000000000001% of lead – and she doesn't mention this at all. Instead, she advocates buying "natural" products and pitching what you have, which is as un-green as you can get. Then again, that's something endemic to the whole "green" movement.

  • Anonymous
  • Girlfriend

    I love this post! I often visit the Environmental Worker's Group Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database website. Here is the link You can find out which cosmetics and skin care products are safe and which are harmful. All you do is type in the name of the product and the information will appear. Check it out if you are interested.

  • Anonymous

    Honey, do watch the rebuttal. Btw, I adore your blog!

  • DJLondyfollowsChrist

    Thank you for posting this sis! I love the series of vids from the "stuff" people! The are so informative and they really want to make you change the way you live.