#BeautyRecap: September 27, 2016


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Shoppers attend the opening of Sydney's first Sephora store at Westfield Pitt Street Mall on December 5, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. This is the first Sephora store to open in Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Sephora launches makeup lessons for teens

La Mer to launch Skincolor de La Mer makeup collection in the US on October 3rd
WWD.com, LATimes.com

ColourPop garners criticism for naming darker contouring shades “Yikes”, “Typo”, and “Dume”

Macy’s partners with beGlammed to provide at-home beauty services

Colourpop apologises for contouring shade name choices

Too Faced brings back Peanut Butter palette

Kim Chi and Sugarpill Cosmetics collaborate on donut-scented lipstick

Vintage-inspired cake mascara is making a comeback

Patent issued to Therapon for silicon particle claimed to provide a potential SPF of 5000

CVS is hoping to compete with Ulta and Sephora

LXMI Pure Nilotica Melt, the balm from a Sephora Beauty Beautcamp entrepreneur

Dupont and SIMP develop new mascara brush

Ireland Baldwin, Corinne Foxx and Alessandra Garcia star in Wet n’ Wild campaign

Geneu offers DNA-matched beauty products

Nail contouring is now a thing

Birchbox turns 6 years old, to revamp mobile website

Esquire and Farouk collaborate to launch the Esquire Ultimate Grooming Collection haircare

Lingerie company Land of Women launches skincare collection

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics partners with app Perfect365

AOBiome launches clinical teledermatology trial to study bacterial treatment for acne

How social media stars are changing the way L’Oreal markets

K-Y Duration Spray, is coming soon – so you don’t have to

Bobbi Brown and Uber team up to give 10 minute makeovers in New York and Los Angeles

CosmoSafe, a self-education and certification platform, receives prize in Miller Lite “Tap The Future” competition

Swatches of the new NARS Unrestricted Eyeliner

Credo to open store in Williamsburg, New York

Lovelyloot app helps you organise your beauty collection

Review of Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte lipsticks

Chloe Morello and Ciaté London expand availability of popular eyeshadow palette

Kylie Jenner to launch second Kyshadow palette “next month”

Celebrities and Interviews


“How Jessica Alba created a $1 billion empire”

Victoria Beckham goes to Selfridges London to launch her collaborative makeup line with Estee Lauder

Kim Kardashian West livestreams her make-up routine, hints at possible future products

Paris Hilton has a new perfume, and a skincare line is in the works

An interview with David Beckham about his tattoos and his love for Biotherm Homme

An interview with Uzo, makeup artist for Nars

Jaime King and Jamie Chung attended WEI Beauty’s Detoxifying skincare line launch


2012 Seoul Farmers Market Saturday 10:00 am - 17:00 pm Gwanghwamun Public Yeolin Madang Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Jeon Han ---------------------- 2012 서울 농부의 시장 매주 토요일 10:00 - 17:00 광화문 시민열린마당 문화체육관광부 해외문화홍보원 전한

South Korea agency to define criteria for ‘natural’ and ‘organic labels for cosmetics

“Retailers big and small want a piece of the thriving Korean beauty business”

Spider enzymes developed by South Korean researchers makes its way into skin care products

Shiseido launches new makeup brand ‘Playlist’ targetted at people in their 20s and 30s

Shiseido hosts 4D exhibition in Hong Kong to promote Ultimune line

Japan tourist boom not enough to boost sales at Japanese department stores

Japan’s Sensai launches two new products for wrinkle treatment

Mary Kay opens Administrative Management Centre in Shanghai

Drew Barrymore explores the South Korean beauty market on trip

Cos9, owned by Claires Korea (makers of Guerrison), wants to become a top 3 contract manufacturer with new underground factory

Etude House plans to have more than 345 overseas stores by 2020

Indonesia’s LiveWell Global to meet with South Korean beauty companies

Kanebo unifies skincare products under one brand

South Korean beauty companies jump into contract manufacturing
YonhapNews.co.kr, KoreaHerald.com

Wipro Consumer Care acquires Chinese FMCG firm Zhongshan

Song Jae Rim “gifts” cast of ‘Our Gab Soon’ Laneige skincare products, who he models for

Indian FDA finds mercury in L’Oreal products

L’Oreal India rejects Indian FDA’s claims that mercury was found in its brands’ products

Priyanka Chopra rumoured to spend over 80 000 Rs a month on her beauty regime

Australian Olympic swimmer launches Milk & Co. skincare line for swimmers in India



Women own 50% of health and personal care businesses in Israel

African-American buying power reaches $1.3 trillion USD

NDP Group report: Internet marketing surpasses print and broadcast for makeup

“Are cosmetic procedures becoming normalised for young Australians?”

“Is indie beauty ‘good’ business for women entrepreneurs?”

Global aloe market continues to expand

Global skin lighteners market forecast to grow at 9.29% CAGR from 2016-2020

Global serum market forecast to grow at 3.88% CAGR from 2016-2020

The global hyaluronic acid market is expected to reach USD 13.4 billion by 2024

Indian skin care market expected to double by 2021

Virtual shopping, mineral eye makeup, and 3D printing are the top 3 trends impacting the global eyeshadow market according to Technavio

Shiseido creates 3-piece exclusive collection for travel retail in Cannes, France

“Aussie men are not all ugly trolls and they’ve got the receipts to prove it”



L’Oreal Clarisonic to outsource manufacturing and eliminate 120 jobs

“Procter & Gamble losing ground in America’s bathroom cabinet”

Estee Lauder interested in Becca Cosmetics after previous deal falls through

e.l.f. cosmetics shares soar 56% after IPO
WSJ.com, Fortune.com

Bellami Hair acquires Mirabella Cosmetics

Clorox, owner of Burt’s Bees, announces annual sales reach $5.8 billion USD

Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda’s compensation increased to base salary of $1.9 million USD and increased performance compensation

Deirdre Devaney to head up beauty at Aer Rianti International

Prisma Media acquires Beauté Addict website

La Prairie Group appoints Jean-Marc Loi as regional director for travel retail in Asia

GlaxoSmithKline appoints Emma Walmsley as CEO

Unilever plans further investments in Pakistan

Estee Lauder appoints Beth DiNardo as global brand president of GLAMGLOW

Ron Robinson joins Influence Nation, ahead of their acquisition of his company BeautyStat

Nerium names Deborah K. Heisz as president and COO

Conair acquires SalonQuest, which makes the brands Aquage and Biomega

Sustainability and Outreach


European Court rules that products tested on animals outside the EU still fall under marketing ban

Tata Harper Skincare receives US FDA warning letter over drug-like claims

Dr Zein Obagi’s ZO Skin Health receives US FDA warning letter over drug-like claims

Sarkli Repechage receives US FDA warning letter over drug-like claims

US FDA requests that dermatologists report adverse effects from skincare and cosmetic products

Dr Bronner’s to donate $660 000 to campaign to legalise marijuana in US states

US Senate holds hearing on cosmetics safety

US FTC bars Grey Defence from claiming their supplements can prevent or restore greying hair

Estee Lauder helps light up Johannesburg during Breast Cancer Awareness month

UK shops fined for selling products containing banned O-aminophenol

Malaysia to launch ‘Made by Muslims’ logo for food and personal care products

Estee Lauder commits to plastic microbead removal by 2017

European ombudsman looks into complaints raised by PETA UK over animal-testing loophole

L’Oreal USA announces recipients of Women in Science fellowship

Moulded fibre could replace plastics in personal care packaging

Interesting Reads


“Guys can now get a Scrotox – Botox for wrinkly balls”

Arsenic pills and lead foundation: The history of toxic makeup

Pantone announces Spring 2017 colour report

“Talcum powder: a look at the product at the center of talcum powder lawsuits”

L’Oreal’s technology incubator in San Francisco, makers of the Lancome custom foundation machine

“Why the ‘ethnic’ aisle is merging with the ‘beauty’ one”

Oud, the cosmetic and perfume ingredient that costs $9 200 AUD a kilo

“Face value: Renée Zellweger and the enduring ageism against women in Hollywood”

“Let’s start making makeup manly”

“Beautycounter CEO: Congress must act now to protect the public”

Why a ‘double cleanse’ is the best thing you can do for your skin

“The issue with ‘exotic’ beauty compliments”

“Dermatologists reveal the skincare products they can’t live without”

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#BeautyRecap: September 20th, 2016



Nordstrom opens at the Toronto Eaton Centre

Marie Claire UK launches beauty store ‘Fabled’ online and in-store in the UK

Glossier launches “The Supers” a collection of three serums

Walgreens launches teledermatology platform

“Why Lush Cosmetics thinks it can launch a TV channel”

Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada now carries Pixi Beauty

Michelle Phan’s IPSY hosts creators day in New York

Etsy brand Herbivore Botanicals now available at Sephora and Nordstrom.com

In second part of #BreakTheWalls campaign, Shea Moisture challenges concept of ‘normal hair’

A preview of Tanya Burr’s new makeup collection

Venus Concept unveils Venus Freeze Plus in US for treatment of wrinkles

Charlotte Tilbury debuts in Scotland at House of Frasers

Swatches of BECCA’s Blushed with Light palette

Beautycounter collection debuts at Target

Smashbox collaboration with Erin and Sara Foster debuts

Caudalie Face Lifting Soft Cream: What happens when a Harvard scientist makes a cream

Milk Cosmetics addresses foundation shade range controversy

L’Oreal announces Youtube “Beauty Squad”

Trest Beauty app leverages social reviews to recommend hair salons for textured hair

“7 beauty discount codes from Youtubers”

LVMH opens perfume workshop in the city of Grasse

Saks Fifth Avenue to open new location in New York Financial District



China’s medical aesthetic industry grows to $75 billion USD

Song Hye Kyo featured in new campaign for Laneige lipsticks

New launches from Innisfree, Laneige, Etude House, and more

Chinese tourist caught stealing cosmetics from duty-free counter in Bali

LG Household & Home fine-tuning plans for new plant in Cheonan, South Korea

Changhi Airport ranks 3rd in world in shopper spending

K-Beauty gaining market share in the UAE

Kolmar Korea acquires U.S. cosmetics maker PTP

KIKO opens flagship store in India

South Korean plastic surgery clinic gives Pikachu make-over

K-Beauty expo to be held in Bangkok

Review of Cle Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder


Ken Research finds all sectors of skincare grew moderately in the US

Study of how Kenyan women spend money finds beauty comes second to food

Emerging trends affecting the serum market from Technavio

“Beauty and fitness continue to merge”


Pallone and Lance reveal new regulation proposal to strengthen the US FDA

Smuggled cosmetics discovered in bid to evade taxes in Bangladesh

L’Oreal’s Softsheen-Carson hair relaxer subject of lawsuit over claims of baldness

Outreach and Sustainability

Dr. Bronner’s resigns from Organic Trade Association to focus on other causes

Canadian organizations create #DayofAction campaign to end cosmetic animal testing

L’Oreal highlights its research work on developing non-animal testing methods

L’Oreal building solar projects at Kentucky and Arkansas manufacturing plants

Rosie Batty partners with Lancome for domestic violence campaign


Unilever acquires Seventh Generation

Bitch Slap! cosmetics acquired by PDC

Coty appoints Publicis as its lead media agency globally

Unilever offers $1 billion for Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company

Mode Media shuts down, leaving many bloggers unpaid

“e.l.f Beauty’s IPO is not very attractive”

Beautycounter hires new executives

John Lewis sees 75% drop in profits, despite rising sales in beauty

Interesting Reads

“3 Brand Building Secrets From Beauty Expert Michelle Phan”

“Unilever Buying Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Is Latest Old Company Trying to Find New Life”

“DIY beauty: the return of the apothecary trend”

“Are skin serums miracle workers or the purest distillation of beauty industry BS?”

“5 makeup tips from Kevyn Aucoin”

“Extreme beauty treatments, like IV drips”

Michel C. Bergerac, former CEO of Revlon, dies

ASOS criticised for using Black model as “prop” in foundation photo

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KindofStephen around the Interwebs

This blog isn’t the only place that you’ll find me!

I had the chance to hang out at Soko Glam’s office with Charlotte Cho. We chatted about skincare, the future of K-Beauty, and she made sure that I pour my milk in before my coffee!

As you may or may not know, I’m a regular contributor on Soko Glam‘s The Klog


Here are the direct links to my three latest articles on The Klog

The Best Natural Ingredients For Acne
Why Asian Sunscreens Work Better
How Air Pollution Affects Our Skin

I’ve also been interviewed for the following articles

Wendy Rose Gould‘s article on Popsugar

What Are Copper Peptides: This Unexpected Skin Care Ingredient Might Be the Answer to Fighting Wrinkles

Tracy E. Robey‘s articles on Racked

Max Clinic Cirmage Lifting Stick: Can This Viral K-Beauty Product Really Erase Wrinkles?

Oil Washing Could Be the Solution to Your Hair Woes

I’ve also been mentioned a couple of times by The Snailcast podcast by Tracy of Fanserviced, Jude of Fifty Shades of Snail, Chel of Holy Snails, and Cat of Snow White and the Asian Pear!

and finally, K-Beauty retailer OhLolly featured an interview with me! 🙂

I hope you take the time and check out some of the links, and I also hope you keep in mind that these articles may not be as in-depth as the posts on KindofStephen.com, I have been working on tailoring my writing style to appeal to different audiences – I’d appreciate your feedback!


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#BeautyRecap: September 13th, 2016



NYX launches Liquid Suede lipstick vault

MAC to launch ‘Liptensity’ line of lipsticks

ModiFace app’s new update can now detect skin conditions like rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and dryness

Glossier launches The Supers Serum

Aldi launches Lacura in Australia, a sub $20 skincare line

e.l.f. cosmetics to open three stores in California

Read More

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What lies beneath the “SCIENCE!”

OK, this post is going to be a bit more personal – because frankly this is something that’s been on my mind for quite some time and I think really needs to be discussed.

There’s a big problem in science-based beauty writing – especially from retailers, and I think it boils down to one big issue: Bias.

Science writing has always been difficult. It’s the translation of an experiment or analysis that’s very specific, distilled down to its essential point, and then presented in a way that will attract clicks.

“Moon leaf extract treats acne” is a much more appealing story than “Moon leaf extract reduces ratings on an acne severity grading scale compared to a placebo…in this study on Japanese people…but there was no effect on the Caucasian people in the study…it might also be due to changes in the weather – we don’t know. This is a preliminary study and another group should replicate it to validate our results. P.S. Our moon leaf extract may have been contaminated.”

You tend to lose all the nuances of a study once you summarise it into a single sentence. Often those nuances are important. This is something I worry about when writing for other websites and when I’m quoted in articles. Editors want clean and strong facts, and readers or customers want definitive and clear advice. Now add on to this the issue of bias, when most of us sit down to write we have a goal or idea and, we consciously or not, tend to focus on research that supports it. Writing a piece on green tea? I may read the supportive studies more closely or dismiss and be overly nitpicky with the studies that showed negative or no effect. Promoting a product that contains green tea? That bias presumably becomes stronger.

We’re humans, it’s hard to be impartial. I’m biased, I certainly have conscious ones and I definitely have unconscious ones. Do I like niacinamide based on its research? Or have I spent more time reading about niacinamide because I’ve been told it was well-researched? Do I favour my own formulations over others and do I lose out on improving my own formulations because of this bias?

Cosmetic research as a whole is neither vigorous nor impartial. It’s often funded by the manufacturer or a brand that is promoting its use. Most research on cosmetic ingredients extends to a single study – that will never be replicated. Most cosmetic research isn’t even done on humans – it’s performed on cells, on models, on animals, on plates of plastic. Most cosmetic products are studied in isolation.

It’s really difficult to take this loose, ephemeral, wishy-washy data and give a hard answer – that is unless you’re comfortable leaving out the gaps in the data, confounds, and specific conditions in the study, and unfortunately some science-based writers and retailers are. I get it – it’s not a great feeling to have someone reach out to you for advice and give them an answer that is at its core a long winded sigh of ‘Mayyybbbbeeeeeee’. That I can sympathise with, I can’t sympathise with people or companies who misconstrue or occlude information to position themselves as an expert or to sell a product.

I’m considering taking “skincare expert” out of my headline because I don’t think I am one – I’ve been told an “expert” just needs to know 1% more than the population, but I don’t think that’s enough. I think “expert” implies someone that has answers – and answers I do not have. What I do have is results from other people’s research, an opinion, and a desire to share both.

I want to be very clear: I know there are many writers out there that do seek out research, are curious, do their best to read it, understand it, and explain it to their readers. I also understand that not everyone has journal access or a relevant background. To them, I say get in touch with me – and I will help you get access to the paper and explain concepts. My issue is with the writers and companies who do have access, who twist and misconstrue, who leave out information that doesn’t support their view, those who are satisfied without questioning their conclusions, who write too confidently, who are OK with presenting a question as a fact, and who should know better.

So to my fellow writers, these are my suggestions to help our readers and customers make better beauty and skincare decisions

Clear and functional sources

Be proud of your sources, don’t source-puke a long list of unclickable, poorly formatted text in the hopes that people will be daunted and just trust what you wrote. Don’t just link to the journal’s homepage or a textbook. Take the effort and help people find where you found your information.

We live in the age of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), it’s a permanent link that will always point to that resource – even if it gets moved to a new location. Use them! Or at least stick to a style guide for your sources, the ACS style guide is commonly used.


Source and quote material that is relevant to your topic. Don’t source tangential things to try to make your writing look more researched. Was the experiment performed on humans? If not, you should point that out. Was it performed on humans, or animals, or cells? Was it a review of other research?

Often results from experiments on cells or animals are presented in a way to make us expect the same results when applied to our skin. Unfortunately, these results don’t always predict the results we can expect on humans. These types of studies can be useful in discovering how or why an ingredient works the way it does or if it’s possible for an ingredient to work – but they can’t replace results observed on actual people.

A review of ethanol’s effects on liver cells has been presented as evidence that ethanol applied onto the skin will cause the same damage – while there is a possible mechanism, that study isn’t strong evidence. Our skin acts as a barrier, ethanol evaporates quickly, other skin components like hyaluronic acid may reduce the effect, and human skin cells may respond differently than liver cells – these are just some factors that can change ethanol’s effect when put on our skin – but aren’t often mentioned.

Scrutinize yourself

We all make mistakes and we don’t all have editors or peers who can double-check our work. Saying something that isn’t common knowledge or you’re unsure of? Take a quick hop into Google and confirm it, otherwise, you might mischaracterize copper gluconate as a copper peptide.

If you’re citing research, read it! Finding a line that supports your point and skipping the rest of the paper is irresponsible, can be misleading to your readers, and most of all you’ve done yourself a disservice by missing out on some valuable knowledge.

Search broadly

Research is not an easter egg hunt. Searching for “Vitamin C+ Hyperpigmentation” won’t give you an unbiased and complete result. Because of the way paper abstracts and titles are written, searching for “Vitamin C + Hyperpigmentation” will likely only return results where Vitamin C was found to have a positive effect on hyperpigmentation. 

Instead try a broader search like “Vitamin C + Cosmetic”, “Vitamin C + Topical”, or “Vitamin C + Skin”.

Stop “SCIENCING!” the shit out of things

It is absolutely OK to not know something, or to not have an answer, or to have an opinion that isn’t researched. You can be honest with your readers and customers, I think they’ll appreciate that. Your opinions as a person or brand are valuable – as long as they’re transparent. Don’t use science as a veil, science is a process of discovery and learning – not a marketing angle or sales tactic.

“It’s important to keep in mind as you study chemistry or any other science that scientific theories are not laws of nature and can never be absolutely proven. There’s always the chance that a new experiment might give results that can’t be explained by present theory. All a theory can do is to represent the best explanation that we can come up with at the present time. If new experiments uncover results that present theories can’t explain, the theories will have to be modified or perhaps even replaced.”

— John E. McMurry, Chemistry (7th Edition)

Be honest

I think this is something that I can improve on as well. I will try to make it clear when I’m unsure about something and when I come across research that doesn’t “prove my point”.

Along those lines, I’d also like to thank you, the reader,  for your wonderful questions. There are often times when I get a new insight from a question, or it makes me realise that there’s a gap in my understanding.  I would love to give you answers to all of your questions, but I don’t have them. Sometimes I can only show you a map, but I can’t mark out the path. My broad advice is to let go of the notion of a “perfect routine” or “perfect product”. While the search for the perfect routine or skin care product isn’t a mythical quest – we’re not there yet. We don’t even know for sure if it’s better to apply a moisturiser before or after sunscreen – we have some educated guesses, but no strong proof! We’re even further from an answer that would apply to all sunscreen and all moisturiser combinations.

Skincare, as it is now, is a field of ‘maybes’. Maybe some of those expensive and rare botanical extracts have amazing anti-ageing effects and maybe it’s just the glycerin in your lotion that’s making your skin glow. Many skincare questions don’t have real answers yet and there’s even less information on whether or not an ingredient is better than another.

You should think about what your ‘evidence filter’ is set to. Is skincare fun and exciting for you? Do you have the budget and time to try newer and more novel ingredients? Then set your filter wider, enjoy the cornucopia of beautiful and fun products out there. Enjoy the process of applying them to your skin, of searching for them, of reading about other people’s experiences with them.

If that’s not what you want, then set your filter tighter, use ingredients that have more research on them – like a sunscreen with strong UVA and UVB protection and prescription retinoids. Take fewer risks and spend your money on skincare that has been shown to work for most people. You may be missing out on some truly effective ingredients, but you’re also avoiding ingredients that are just marketing.

In the long-run who will benefit more from their skincare routine? The person that seeks out the many novel and exciting products, or the one that picks the few researched and qualified products?

We just don’t know.


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#BeautyRecap: September 6th, 2016


People stand inside a Lush cosmetics store in Berlin, Germany, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Lush relocates its UK staff to Germany after Brexit

Fresh celebrates 25 years and launches new Vitamin Nectar line

Morphe Cosmetics opens store in Burbank, California

Kat Von D Beauty to launch in the UK and Ireland

Sikasso De Suisse launches cosmetic line for people of colour

Marc Jacobs expands in the UK with John Lewis partnership

Read More

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