The Cost of Misinformation in the Beauty Space (Ventech Talk)

Ventech Beauty Misinformation

This was a talk I gave on 15 September 2021 for Ventech’s panel on Scientific Literacy and the Price of Misinformation. I talked about my insights on debunking myths over the last 10 years of Lab Muffin (yeah I’m old), how there’s financial incentive for many brands to bust beauty myths and communicate science, and the larger public health implications …

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Beauty Expo Australia 2018

Beauty Expo Australia was on September 8th and 9th this year, at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. This is one of my favourite events each year! As well as a trade show, there are presentations and demonstrations galore. Educational sessions are the highlight of the expo for me! There are dedicated education sessions that go for 75 minutes each …

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Beauty Expo Australia 2017 Round-Up

Beauty Expo Australia 2017 Round-Up

Beauty Expo Australia 2017 Round-Up

Last month I went to Beauty Expo Australia, the biggest beauty industry event in Australia each year. For the past couple of years, the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour was being renovated and the Expo had to be moved to Glebe Island, which is an absolute pain to get to (there were complimentary buses and ferries, but as you can imagine it wasn’t efficient at all!). This year it was back in Darling Harbour, ten minutes’ walk from Town Hall Station. There were 21% more people this year than last year, and 45% more floor space, so the move back has been a resounding success!

Beauty Expo Australia 2017 Round-Up

The main drawcard for me are the presentations and education sessions. There are free shows on all day on all aspects of the beauty industry. This year there were four stages at the “Hub”: anti-ageing, make-up, grooming and nails. There are paid education sessions as well, which are longer and more in-depth. The sessions included microblading, peels, skin firming, men’s grooming, eyelid-enhancing make-up, brow shaping lessons, social media marketing, and nutrition. Being a beauty science nerd, I went to as many of the technical talks as I could. While there were a couple of dubious claims (one speaker claimed that shallow breathing and high GI fats caused acne), there were also a lot of really fantastic talks – Rae Morris always gives excellent make-up advice, and I really enjoyed the presentation from Ultraceuticals founder Dr Geoffrey Heber too on the delivery of actives through skin.

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My Refugee Week Ration Challenge Experience

Refugee Week Ration Challenge 2017

I did the Refugee Week Ration Challenge this year, where from June 18 to 25 I ate only the rations that a refugee in a camp in Jordan would receive through the Act for Peace charity. I did this to raise money for this important overseas aid program, and so far I’ve raised $1287, which is enough to send 35.5 Syrian girls to school! There’s still time to donate if you’re interested – the link is here.

A lot of people were curious to see how the week went, so here’s what happened…

Preparation

I’m getting my rations together. In addition to the food that came in my refugee ration box, I have a couple of “food stamps” to cash in, and some extras that I’ve managed to earn through fundraising (thank you so much to the kind people who donated!) There’s essentially no fresh food, and way more carbs and less protein than I’m used to.

  • 1920 g of rice: I… hate rice. I know this makes me a bad Asian, but my parents used to force me to eat more rice so I’d grow big and strong. I bought both medium and long grain rice for this challenge to give myself some variety, but I’m not sure changing the shape a tiny bit is going to make a difference. I’ve never voluntarily cooked rice before either, except for risotto.
  • 400 g flour: This is a bit more exciting but it’s plain flour, not self-raising, and there isn’t that much to mix it with.
  • 400 g tinned kidney beans: I’m not a huge fan of beans, but it should at least taste a little different!
  • 85 g dried chickpeas: Really not into these, and I’ve never seen them in dried form before, so at least it’ll be an experience!
  • 170 g dried lentils: The one time I cooked lentils they got charred to a crisp (the only time I’ve properly burned food). Bodes well.
  • 125 g tinned sardines: I started eating sardines a while ago to boost my omega 3 intake, but got bored pretty quickly.
  • 300 mL vegetable oil: At least it’s not a carb!

Refugee Week Ration Challenge 2017

This works out to be under the minimum energy requirements for the average adult, but it’s what refugees survive on (and sometimes there isn’t enough to go around, so they have to share!).

I’ve also earned some extras through my fundraising efforts:

  • 50 g sugar: 50 g of sugar is REALLY LITTLE, you guys. It doesn’t even fill two shot glasses. It’s 12.5 teaspoons which sounds like a fair bit, but that’s less than two teaspoons a day. I’m planning to mix it into rice porridge with cinnamon and milk powder to make desserts.
  • 120 g protein: Lean mince. I decided this would be the easiest to split up over the week, and I’ve decided to start with less and ramp up in case the week gets too unbearable.
  • 170 g vegetable: At first I picked frozen spinach, again because it’s easy to divide and cook and nutritious, but later on I’ll have a change of heart and switch to onion.
  • 70 g milk powder: This was a reward for joining a team. It actually smells delicious, and it’s so fluffy that 70 g looks like heaps! It’s equivalent to half a litre of milk.
  • 12 teabags: I’m usually quite picky with my tea and drink looseleaf oolong, but to make it more authentic for the challenge I’m going to be drinking teabagged oolong – quelle horreur! (I can’t quite make the switch to black tea, but this brand of oolong is super cheap so I feel like it’s fair.)
  • Unlimited spices: Because I’ve joined a team, I get to use their chosen spices as well, yay! We’ve decided on chilli, cumin, stock powder and cinnamon. I put them into little baggies so I can have them on hand, because the food looks terribly bland. It looks a bit shifty.

My Refugee Week Ration Challenge Experience

  • 2 teaspoons coffee: A reward for having a team of 4. I’m not a coffee drinker so this is for flavour only.
  • $5 treat: I split this with two other teammates so we have $1.67 each to spend on a treat of our choice.

The organisers helpfully sent out a meal plan, which looks like this:

My Refugee Week Ration Challenge Experience

No surprise, there’s way too much rice for my liking!

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Beauty Expo and Australian Beauty Industry Awards 2015

beauty-expo-1

Last last weekend I went to Beauty Expo Australia. It’s a trade-only event for people in the beauty industry, and as well as a plethora of stalls with massive discounts, there’s also informative education sessions with industry leaders, and live demonstrations of all the latest technologies.

beauty-expo-1

I attended an amazing lecture run by the very knowledgeable Chiza Westcarr, all about skin care, in particular hyperpigmentation and acne. I took pages of notes, and learned so much! Did you know, for example:

* dermal (deep) pigment can’t be treated with peels
* microcomedones mature in 8 weeks
* stress can change the sebum your skin secretes (sebocytes which produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones)
* you can calculate your risk of pigmentation from peels by referring to the ethnicities of your grandparents

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Spa & Beauty Expo 2: NAILS! Meeting Jeff Pink and inkjet nail printers

This is the final installment of my Spa & Beauty Expo posts! After my haul and expo experience posts, this one’s all about the nails 🙂 The Spa and Beauty Expo was more nail-centric than I anticipated, since I barely saw three polish brands at IMATS last year. There was a celebration of nail technology, old and new, with most …

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Spa & Beauty Expo 1: All the things, Expo-going advice and bloggers galore!

I posted my haul yesterday, but the point of an expo isn’t hauling, its everything else! So onto my round-up of the Spa & Beauty Expo, with everything except nails (that’s tomorrow’s post!). I battled the expo with a bunch of Sydney beauty and nail bloggers – Jen (The Nail Polish Project), Rose (Every Little Polish), Michaela (Lather Rinse Repeat, …

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