I don’t really pick up a lot of beauty books, but I was compelled to get No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. Prior to being interested in beauty, I came across this duo through Quarterly, which is a really awesome subscription program. No More Dirty Looks was one of the “curators” in Quarterly. Fast forward to a few years later, and I meet them again, but in a different environment.
Some time in 2012, I became severely interested in makeup and cosmetics for reasons still unknown to me. It just became a fun thing, I think, to be a part of this new way to geek out. The thing is, I was so ignorant about and ambivalent towards the ingredients that make up all of these cosmetics. I began being more conscious of animal testing, opting to mainly support cruelty-free brands, but that eventually branched out into an interest in “cleaner” beauty.
Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt are both journalists who started on the greener path when matching Brazilian Keratin treatments left them a little worried. A Google search led them to find out troubling information about this treatment and what the culprit of their unrest was: formaldehyde.
Since then, they’ve been swapping out the products they’ve sworn by and repurchased repeatedly, opting for more natural alternatives. I haven’t finished reading No More Dirty Looks, but the tone of it is great. Friendly and conversational, more of an “inform yourself” than a preaching Bible on the merits of natural ingredients. A lot of the dirty work has been done for you—one part of the book contains a list of common “unsafe” ingredients, the side-effects of these ingredients, and their “risk factor.”
The book also discusses many aspects of daily life in which we are in contact with potentially harmful ingredients like makeup, hair care, nails, and body, even lifestyle and diet. I haven’t reached some of these parts just yet, but getting a bigger picture of this monster was great. Like most things, “ethical” consumption is a grey area. These issues are complex, and I feel like there really is no solid, single answer that fits everybody’s life. However, I also feel like it’s important to educate yourself and be aware before making potentially dangerous decisions, and I feel like this place is a great place to start exploring your options.