Additionally, there emerged a second promotional strategy of catering to newly recognized niche markets. Lipstick manufacturers had periodically tapped into both music and naturalist subcultures, but never with the concentration seen in the 1990s. Grunge culture that accompanied alternative music initially posed a threat to cosmetics, as grunge centered on rejecting beautification. However, cosmetics speedily managed to capitalize on grunge, using a strategy best exemplified by Urban Decay, which devoted its entire line to abnormal colors with defiantly unattractive names like “Gunk” and “Roach.” A fashion for “bare faces with off-kilter lipstick colors” also sprang from the marketing machines of lipstick manufacturers as an ideal way to merge grunge sensibilities with lipstick sales. Those taking bizarre beauty products to their most radical offered glow-in-the-dark lipstick and other makeup, but the FDA put an end to this, because the makeup’s glow came from an unapproved color additive, zinc sulfide. Similarly, lipstick began to target the naturalist market by incorporating trendy “natural” ingredients and allegedly gentler formulas. Many lipsticks began to boast vitamins and herbs. Advertisements suggested, without actually stating, that hemp included in lipsticks would provide a high for or mellow out users. St. John’s Wort within lipstick received similarly suggestive marketing as capable of providing a magical or medicinal mood boost. Revlon began a “New Age Naturals” line, while Estée Lauder started an entire botanical spin-off brand called Origins. Even those manufacturers who did not bill their lipsticks as infused with plants and herbs, at least added “hypoallergenic” offerings. Such marketing of “natural” and “hypoallergenic” cosmetics bothered the FDA, as the descriptors have absolutely no concrete meaning. “They [cosmetics manufacturers] could wave a tube of plant extract over the bottle and declare it natural. Who’s to say what they’re actually using?” vented John E. Bailey, FDA director of colors and cosmetics. Often the ‘natural’ ingredients are merely the standard chemical ingredients renamed, and, when manufacturers do actually use unprocessed ingredients, it just leads to preservation problems anyway. “Hypoallergenic can mean almost anything to anybody,” Bailey also commented. Indeed, hypoallergenic means nothing more than that the manufacturer feels a product less likely than other products to cause allergic reactions, with no clinical testing of this manufacturer hypothesis required. As explained by a prescient New York Times journalist when the term ‘hypoallergenic’ began surfacing:
Hypoallergenic cosmetics do not differ greatly from others, if at all. Virtually all cosmetics have been stripped of the major allergy-provoking offenders.” [Also, since individuals differ in sensitivity], even a product marketed as hypoallergenic can sometimes provoke an allergic reaction.
A prior FDA attempt to officially define “hypoallergenic” and similar terms had already been struck down by the D.C. Appellate court in the 1970s though. So, the FDA did nothing beyond grouse about the cosmetics companies’ disingenuous terminology during the 1990s. With the FDA having thrown up its hands on the issue, the lipstick industry continued to design and market products with more skill than scruples, while the business world waxed enthusiastic about lipstick’s profit potential.
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THIS IS BRILLIANT ON SO MANY LEVELS
THIS IS BEAUTIFUL
Excuse me, I think you’re forgetting a few people
And last but not least…
OH. MY. GOD.
IT GOT BETTER
It got so much better
"So one of our owners Judi was walking on the beach this morning cleaning up the junk that washed into shore and finds a bottle with a message in it. There is also some sand and 2 one dollar bills. Once we get it open and read the notes we find out that it is in fact NOT sand. It is the ashes of this woman’s husband of 27 years named Gordon. She writes that He loved to travel so she sent him traveling in a bottle with a note and money for someone to call home and tell her where he landed. He started at Big Pine Key in March of 2012 and then went to Islamerada where someone found him. They added a note and sent him traveling again and he landed on our beach in Key Colony. Judi called the wife in Tennessee who was excited to know of Gordon’s travels! Judi added her note, we put him in a rum bottle (you know added a little fun to his trip) with the three notes. We added another dollar in case Gordon travels far and a long distance call is needed. We will be having a memorial service or celebration of his life on our beach later today before sending him on his way again. Only our sister Judi could find a dead guy on our beach!”
Humanity: one awesome story at a time. Gods speed, Gordon. May the tides and currents take you to shores you only dreamed of in life.