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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Science Time with Jeanne: Experimenting with Beauty

Most of the time, when you hear the words "experimenting" and "make-up" together, you usually think about trying some wild and crazy combination -- why not an electric blue and fuchsia smokey eye? But that's not the case here.

We've been seeing in our stats that people are looking for science experiments based on fashion and beauty, particularly with cosmetics. And it is just about that time of year for science fairs (besides, you know, our weekly one!). And so I got to thinking -- what kind of science experiments would be good to perform with beauty products?

You know, of course, that I had to ask the experts. When it comes to answering any sort of scientific question about cosmetics, haircare, skincare, and what's in them, The Beauty Brains are your best bet. So naturally, that's where I turned to. I submitted a question through their website, and got a great response from Right Brain.

I'm sure the Beauty Brains will have a better, more comprehensive list of fun beauty science experiments in time, but until then, here are some suggestions from Right Brain and me:

- Experiment with different products and different temperatures: what happens when you freeze lip gloss? Hair conditioner? Body lotion? Shampoo? What if you microwave them?

- How do different make-up removers work? Try this by swatching make-up on your arm and testing the different make-up remover. You can also do this with waterproof and non-waterproof mascara and see how the varying make-up removers work with the different formulas of mascara.

- You know those laundry detergent commercials where they show two shirts with identical stains and how one soap is better than the other? Try it with shampoos and body washes.

- Ever tried dyeing fabric with natural dyes, like beets, onion skins, or teas? How do different fabrics (silk, cotton, wool, polyester) take different types of dyes?

- Have some mystery fabrics lying around and you don't know what they are? Try burning them. Everyone loves a science experiment that uses fire!

As for me, I'm going to be conducting a science experiment of my own, starting tomorrow and going through February to mid-March.

I am going to test the "replace your mascara after six weeks due to bacteria growth" theory.

Every morning for the next six weeks, starting tomorrow, I am going to apply Maybelline Great Lash in "Soft Black". At the end of six weeks, I'm going to swipe the mascara into a petri dish prepared with agar. In a second petri dish, I'll be swiping a brand-new just-opened mascara. This way, I can see how much bacteria was present in the mascara when I first opened it. And so I'll be growing the bacteria from two tubes of mascara -- a brand-new one and one after six weeks.

There will be photographs. It will probably be pretty gross. But I'm actually pretty excited... except for the part where I have to wear Great Lash every day for six weeks. Still, these are the things we do for science, right?

Thank you again to the The Beauty Brains for the great suggestions and help!!

images from sephora.com and drugstore.com

1 comment:

TheBeautyBrains said...

Good luck with your experiment - let us know how it turns out and maybe we can blog about your results!

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