Tuesday, 3 February 2009

{Beauty Tuesday}: Beauty Interview with Mary Jo

I'm going to kick start the new series {Beauty Tuesday} with a beauty interview, with a beauty editor! That's right, as well as being a fashion designer with her own line and the writer of the amazing style blog Trust Your Style, Mary Jo is also a beauty editor! Enjoy my lovely readers!

Q: Could you give us a summary of your experience with beauty products?

I'm lucky to have inherited good skin, but I've always loved skin care products since I was a kid--for birthdays I'd beg my mom to get me the same department store products she used (Elizabeth Arden's Anti-Aging Skin Care regime).

When I first became a beauty editor about four years ago, packages arrived daily from skin care companies and it felt like Christmas every day of the week. That's also when consciousness starting increasing about organic beauty products and I got really interested in learning everything I could. It's a bit like Pandora's box, once you find out how unregulated the beauty industry is and how potentially hazardous certain ingredients (like parabens) are for not just your skin, but your health, you can't go back. Most people use on average 26 products a day, and there are ingredients in these every day beauty products linked to cancer, birth defects, etc.

I became obsessed with the Skin Deep website, which lets you plug in the products you use and find out how they rate in terms of safety. Some of the major companies I first wrote about had great socially and environmentally conscious programs in place--I very much enjoyed working with them and meeting some of the top makeup artists in the world--but I also began to learn that most of these larger companies were making products that contained known carcinogens and other questionable ingredients. I knew I had to take responsibility for my readers and look to smaller, more niche brands that contained more health-conscious ingredients.

For the first couple of years as a beauty editor, it was still pre-"Green Chic" and I had to keep making a strenuous case to write about organic products because it really wasn't that popular. I would add cheat-sheet lists to my articles that you could print out and use whether you were browsing for skin care products at Whole Foods or a top department store. I really felt there needed to be a way to help people figure out if there were harmful ingredients in the products that called themselves "all-natural," a term that can be very misleading. And now, after trying most everything on the market, I can't say that I use 100% organic products as it's actually a bit more complicated in terms of what's really going to work for your skin and health.

Realistically, I do the best I can, but sometimes the quality of organic products is just not what I'm looking for. It's a double edged sword because "green" products are not always the most effective; ie, I've tried organic shampoos that have left my hair gunky and dirty and creams that didn't moisturize my skin adequately. Organic lip gloss, blush and nail polish does not always come in the color you're looking for or last in a practical way. Of course there are exceptions, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't use non-organic products here and there. There is also the whole global warming issue to consider--having adequate Broad Spectrum SPF with both UVA/UVB protection is extremely important to prevent skin cancer and pre-mature aging, and perhaps outweighs the "organic/all-natural" issue.

Q: What is your skin type and what do you look for in skincare products?

What I look for in products as a beauty editor and what I wear in real life are completely intertwined. I do try to walk my talk the best I can. I'm approached by a lot of companies to cover their skin care products and have learned to be very selective. When I'm working on my column for Affluent Magazine, I have to take into consideration the reader--these are the wealthiest citizens in the US who travel by private jet. They can afford to buy any product they want, so it needs to be something that is truly spectacular, even if it's not the most expensive product on the market. I always try and make sure that it has health as well as beauty benefits. Since I have dry sensitive skin, (one of the hardest skin types to take care of) I always try and cater to readers who have difficulty in finding a good product that won't make their skin break out.

Q: What is your top beauty secret or product?

Ole Henriksen's Micro/Mini Peel system (1) will make you look like you just had a facial and is a great fix when you don't have the time to actually go for a real one. His products are not organic and we have had a long discussion about the need to have effective ingredients in products and weigh out the need to jump on the "all natural" bandwagon. I truly respect Ole and believe in his work. The Micro/Mini Peel system would be my secret weapon in a pinch for glowing radiant skin, second only to the Sensitive Skin Facial at his Ole Henriksen spa.

Tied in this category is Kimberly Sayer of London. I swear by everything that Kimberly Sayer of London makes. Her products use Certified Organic ingredients and I don't know what I'd do without them because my skin has never broken out since the day I started using them. I use her Eye Lift Gel (3) under her Anti-Oxidant Daily Moisturizing Cream - SPF25 (2) during the day.

At night, I always take off my makeup with Kimberly Sayer Gentle Face Cleanser (4) in the shower and then follow up with her Aromatic Night Repair Cream. I do this religiously day in and day out.

Q: Name 3 other favorite skincare products and why?

1) Lately I have also been using AB Sun SPF45 by Craig Austin, MD during the day. I'm in the sun a lot and this product has both Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection. It has been discovered that SPF products must be Broad Spectrum in order to prevent skin cancer. I like it because it's not too sticky and for most of my life, I've been too lax with sun protection.

2) Peter Lamas Soy Hydrating Shampoo and Soy Balancing Conditioner, both with Certified Organic Botanicals. I tend to use his shampoo and conditioner most of the week because it's gentle and it makes my hair look and smell good. Not only is Peter committed to creating healthy beauty product alternatives for people, but he worked for years as one of the world's top makeup artists and really understands how not using quality products can ravage one's skin. He is also one of the nicest people I've ever met and I've loved the opportunities I've had to interview him.

3) About once a week I will use Kimberly Sayer Gentle Almond & Lavender Face Scrub. I love the way it smells and it's perfect for sensitive skin.

Q: If you wear makeup, what are your top 3 favorite products?

1) Tarte Natural Beauty Cheek Stain--I think it looks natural only a little better.

2) 100% Pure, it's a Natural Mascara and comes in lots of great colors--this is one of the few mascaras that doesn't get hard and clumpy on my eyelashes. I tend to be an eye-rubber and this one is so mild, it mostly rubs off.

3) Nars All Night Long Lip Gloss--a heightened natural lip color.

Q: (optional) Are there any other products that you love but have not mentioned above?

1) Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion with sunscreen SPF 15 UVA/UVB protection

2) Opi Nail polish--I can't help myself, they are constantly changing colors to keep up with the latest fashions and send me big batches of new colors to try. It's a bit like being a kid in a candy store. If I had to admit a terrible sin, it would be that I'm dying to try the new Chanel Nuit De Russie nail polish developed by Karl Lagerfeld.

3) Soy pure Night Rejuvenating Body Butter . It's 99% natural and will smooth your feet while you sleep--it's miraculous!

Thanks so much Tina for asking me to join you!

WOW! Wasn't that amazing! I have learned so much and is dying to try out the Kimberly Sayer of London range! Thanks so much for revealing your beauty secrets Mary Jo ;)

Next Tuesday I'll be back with another interview and will also start my tried & tested posts too, hope you are all having a good day, it's freezing here (snow melting) but sunny so I'm happy! xx

(images from stated source & also tobi.com, lovelula.com, drugstore.com)


vicki archer said...

Off to find Kimberley Sayer! xv

Anonymous said...

Are we surprised that Mary Jo has the most thoughtful and helpful beauty advice ever? Of course not! I totally feel her on the organic vs. effective issue and I'm so thankful that there are beauty editors like her out there who are pushing for products that meet both needs. The more demand there is from consumers, the more incentive companies will have to develop products that are kind to the planet and to our health, but that don't sacrifice efficacy.

Thanks Mary Jo and Tina!

paula said...

i have heard a lot of good things about tarte. may need to try it too.

Couture Carrie said...

Oh I love Aveeno!


christina said...

Mary Jo is absolutely beautiful and so talented as well. It's no surprise that her advise is so thoughtful and useful. I can't wait to try every one of those products. Love the new series...wonderful interview!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much Tina for inviting me! And sorry if it got a bit long-winded--I get carried away by the whole organic debate...hope you like Kimberly Sayer--I think you will if only for the way it smells!

Mary Jo

Julia said...

I love her! Thank you so much for this great interview!

Lynne said...

I use that cheek stain (in a different colour) - it's great!

Gabbi said...

This is incredibly informative and a bit scary. I only use about two of the products she recommended already but will definitely have to think about switching some of my daily regiment products now. Thank you!

Winnie said...

Ahhh I am curious about those Chanel polishes, I only own two but love them for their chip-resistance.

Anonymous said...

Tina, I love this new series that you're starting and I'm so glad you decided to do it! Can't wait to keep checking back in the weeks to come :)

Also, I received my cosmetic bag in the mail today. It is so lovely, thanks so much-you're too sweet!

Anonymous said...

i also love aveeno and the nars lipgloss!

Callie Grayson said...

great interview! I will have to find Kimberley Sayer, just might have to try :)
I look forward to next Beauty Tuesday post!!!

Kendy said...

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Today while I was surfing the Internet, I happened to visit this interesting site gel-nails selling really cool glitter gels for nails. I bought 2 shades of glitter nail gel to highlight my nails for a special party. These gels really made my nails look so impressive and trendy and I would love to revisit this site to try out other nail decorating products they are offering at great discounts.

I thought this information might be useful for anyone looking for genuine nail decoration stuff and may not know where to buy them from.

Ella Gregory said...

Great interview. I love skin products. The instant cold of the snow has really messed up my face. It's so dry at the moment and I even have a spot - so not fun!
Lots of water today I think.

Improvedliving said...

Off to find Kimberley Sayer! xv

hair care products

Courtney said...

You can't beat getting beauty advice from a beauty editor! What a great way to kick off the new series. Thanks Tina and Mary Jo.

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