Sometime around the beginning of everything ever, humanity started drafting its long-running list of dangerous, idiotic things done in the name of youth and beauty. In ancient Greece, where blond hair was valued above all, women lightened their tresses with arsenic … which later became a popular ingredient for face powder. Venetian cerise, a skin-whitening cosmetic considered the best of its time, contained white lead that would eventually cause sores, organ damage, and death. Similarly, the first kohl was made of dark lead, which Egyptians proceeded to put in and around their eyeballs. Because that’s a good place to put lead. And let’s not even start with Elizabeth Bathory, the freakin’ Blood Countess, who bathed in and drank the blood of hundreds of virgins to keep herself looking youthful. To Liz’s credit, she lived pretty long for her time period. Maybe she was onto something? Keep reading »
The following might seem a bit crazy, but sounds a heck of a lot more appealing than sticking a needle into your face: Skin care addicts are now turning to beauty products containing bee venom as an alternative to Botox. These products don’t come without pain, however. The ingredient “stings” the skin, increasing blood flow to the face, which causes rejuvenation and improved elasticity. Bee venom is not a new thing to the health and beauty market. (It’s been around for centuries.) Apparently, it’s also marketed in capsule form as a pain reliever for arthritis (kind of counter-intuitive considering what we’ve just learned). You can also find it in soaps as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient. At the very least, bee venom is natural, which makes us more inclined to try it as we’re more and more cautious of the chemicals in our beauty products. [Daily Mail] Keep reading »
Animal rights activists are currently hating on Elle Macpherson because she admitted to using rhino horn powder as a beauty treatment. Talk about weird beauty products people eat (collagen coffee, anyone?), the supermodel engages in a rare practice of ingesting ground-up rhinoceros horn, which, she says, tastes like “crushed bone and fungus in a capsule.” Besides the ick factor, rhino powder is illegal because the animals are an endangered species and on the no-poach list. Macpherson’s admission is pretty careless considering she’s previously been engaged in animal rights causes and projects. So, what gives, Elle? [New York Daily News] Keep reading »
People, what ever happened to the gym? It’s really quite simple. If you want hot arms, just do a crap ton of push-ups and call it a day. OK, easier said than done, and because of our couch potato culture, it’s unsurprising to discover that there are some scary quick-fix beauty treatments to sculpt your guns. The lesser evil-sounding of the two: injections of a gel called Restylane Vital to improve your wobbly hanging curtains by “restoring elasticity,” which is shot into several places in your arm. Those with fear of the needle can look to a horrifying procedure involving “radio-frequency energy to shrink the collagen within skin cells while stimulating new collagen growth.” The worst part is that it’s apparently super painful. Reports the Daily Mail: “Treatments had to be tailored to what patients could tolerate. CPT, the new version, stands for ‘comfort pulse technology’: a vibrating hand-piece that delivers the treatment means that the pain it causes dissipates more quickly through the skin, so that a larger area can be treated at once.” Like that sounds any more comforting.
Also unsurprising: these treatments will cost you an arm (or both) and a leg. [Daily Mail] Keep reading »
When it comes to media jobs, beauty editors have a pretty sweet gig. They’re literally paid to be pampered and try out all the latest and greatest beauty innovations on the market. Of course, being a professional guinea pig has consequences. Facials gone wrong, terrifying injections, and weird cellulite treatments that don’t even work are par for the course. During my stint covering the market, I got Botox in my armpit to see if the treatment kept people from sweating (it didn’t and the area turned into a bruised welt), numerous facials that broke me out, a scary pummeling by a topless woman in a Turkish bath, and a seriously excruciating series of bikini area laser treatments that left me wondering if I had been rendered infertile. And that’s just the beginning of my list. Keep reading »
While it’s not clear if they actually work, facials tend to focus on two things: relaxing or acne-fighting. Most treatments involve a cleansing of the skin, followed by an extraction of blackheads and whiteheads, and finished off by a mask or, in more severe cases, a chemical peel of glycolic acid to remove the top layer of the epidermis. However, facials can get creative. Get ready to flex your face at some of the weirdest. Keep reading »
Bird droppings, placenta, snail slime…. It’s not a page from Papa Smurf’s spell-casting playbook, but a list of what could be, should be or is part of your beauty regimen. Plenty of companies synthesize substances—snake venom, human sperm—to put in products, but these six grody ingredients are the real yucky deal. Keep reading »