supernatural summertime 03

Hello and welcome to Beautiful with Brains!

I’m Gio, a 30-something beauty junkie from Europe. I love makeup. I’m a skincare fanatic. I’m obsessed with sunscreen. I love shopping and in my free time you can often find me at some cosmetic counter checking out the latest releases. I especially love it when I find a great bargain!

In 2008 I created Beautiful With Brains, a beauty blog for smart women who want to look pretty while conquering the world. Here you will find lots of makeup, skincare, and haircare tips, product reviews, and information about cosmetic ingredients. I think it is important to know what we put on our skin (and hair) every day. Knowing more about ingredients allows us to make us smarter choices, and buy those products that best target our skin concerns while leaving those that don’t work on the shelves.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading and twisted information about cosmetic ingredients online (some of which is quite scary), and it’s not always easy to figure out what ingredients have an undeserved bad reputation and which ones is best to avoid. I’m doing a lot of research on ingredients and sharing my findings, based on scientific research and studies, on the blog to help set the record straight and help you make informed decisions based on science, not fear.

I also believe that beauty comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. The beauty industry wants us to believe that we should all look a certain way to be pretty, successful and loved. But that’s nonsense. You’re already pretty and worthy of love just the way you are. That’s why I don’t see makeup simply as a way to prettify yourself. Makeup, to me (and I guess to you too if you’re here) is a way to express your personality and your mood.

Skincare may have its rules, but when it comes to makeup, experimenting is the key word. I love trying out new products and techniques, and coming up with crazy colour combinations. I’m often rocking bright and bold looks even to the supermarket (although when I don’t have much time to get ready in the morning, I opt for something simple and neutral). Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You never know what will suit you until you try it. And if you don’t like the result, you can always wash it off. ;)

I’m also a history nerd and an avid book reader. So, here you’ll sometimes find books reviews, as well as the occasional post about the history of beauty. I think it’s fascinating to discover how the ideal of beauty changed throughout the centuries and to what lengths women and men went to achieve the, usually unrealistic, standards of their times.

I would love to hear from you. You can chat with me on Twitter, stalk my pins on Pinterest, find me on Google Plus, like me on Facebook, follow me on Bloglovin’ or drop me an email at beautifulwithbrains[at]gmail[com]. You can also subscribe via email, and receive new blog posts directly in your inbox. Whatever you prefer. :)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back soon,



33 Comment

  1. Hi Gio! How are you? I was wondering how much the Art Deco eyeshadow base is (and if there is one near you) I would like to try it out but unfortunately we do not have it here in the US!

  2. Hi
    I just had a dermalogica “age smart” facial with a multivitamin power masque and am now – 3 hours later, still applying cool compresses to the red swollen patches under my eyes and on the side on my face!
    I was told “oh it’s just a reaction. it”ll go away” by the salon. But when?
    And this happens after I tell them I have sensitive skin!
    What’s in that product??

  3. Hi Kym,
    I’m really sorry you had such a bad reaction. The people at the salon should have ben mor careful, esp considered you told them you had sensitive skin. These are the ingredients in the dermalogica age smart multivitamin power recovering masque:

    Matricaria(chamomilla Recutita) Extract, Glyycerin, Sodium Polyacrylate, Butyelene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Deproplene Gylcol Dibenzoate, Ppg-15, Stearyl Ether Benzoat, Algae Extract,betalucan, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyucereth-7 Triacetate, Di-c12-15 Alkyl Furnarate, Panthenol, Tocopherylacetate, Babassu(orbignya Oleifera) Oil, Avacado9persea Gratissima0 Oil Unsaponifiables, Stearyl Alchol, Phospholipids, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Linoleic Acid, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Beta-carotene, Lactic Acid, Dimethicone, Grape(vitis Vinifera) Seed Extract, Lemon(citrus Medica Limonium) Peel Extract, Licorice(glycyrrhiza Glabra) Extract, Comfrey(symphytum Offcinale) Extract, Burdock(arctium Majus) Seed Extract, Chamomile(anthemis Nobilis) Oil, Propylene Glycol, Soduim Pca, Allantoin, Menthoxypropanediol, Dea-cetyl Phosphate, Sorbitan Stearate, Carbomer, Sclerotium Gum, Tetrasodium Edta, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Annato(ci 75120).

    That’s a pretty long list! It’s usually best to use products with a lot less ingredients on people with sensitive skin as that way, the chances of having a negative reaction are slimmer. But anyway, do you see any ingredients you’re allergic to?
    There are quite a few ingredients in this that could have given this reaction like Propylene Glycol or Parabens. Lactic Acid, although one of the best AHA to be used on sensitive skin, can cause skin irritation. It seems to contain lots of natural ingredients as well, but even those can cause irritation and allergy.

  4. Hi there,

    Just wondering if you’re based in the UK at all please? We do the PR for Clynol, and I wasn’t sure if you’d be interested in reviewing it…

    Lisa x

  5. Hi! As your blog is truly interesting, I added it to the ‘favourite net places’ section on my blog (it’s new, please check it, if you have the time). I hope you don’t mind it, but if you do, just let me know, and I’ll remove it :)

    • Eli, thanks for adding me to your blog, it’s very appreciated and I’m glad you like my blog and find it interesting. I hope to see you around more often. I’ve checked your blog and it’s great, you’re doing a very good job, keep it up. I’ve subscribed to it through google feed reader, by the way. :)

  6. Hi Giorgia,
    ur website is awesome!!!! i mean this is truly the frst blog which i hv liked to the deepest core of my heart. i can soooo easily associate myself to u n watver u say here. most of the beauty blogs r just based on senseless talks about either one product or the other. bt u hv such an intelligent way to observe evrything. n i must add u look absolutely gorgeous. pixiwoo channel on youtube is my only favorite youtube channel, n nw if i talk abt blog world, urs is no.1 in my opinion.
    all the best for future work too.
    Shruti. :)

  7. Shruti, awww thank you! You are so nice, you’re making me blush! :) I’m so glad you enjoy my blog, I work so hard on it and it’s good to know it is appreciated. I hope to see you around a lot. :) I love the pixiwoo girls too, they are so talented and lovely! Their channel is one of my absolute favourites as well.

    I see you have a blog too, looks awesome, I’ll check it out now. :)

    • :D thanks dear.. i would wait to hear from you on my blog. :) and ur hardwork shows quite apparently. i mean when i first time visited this blog, it was only after just 2 minutes that i knew I M GONNA LOVE IT. it is indeed awesome. *thumbs up* for the good work. n yep i m surely like hell gonna keep coming back. hv already subscribed to u, n nw reading ur previous posts. :) <3 ya!

      • Shruti, thanks hun :) I hope you enjoy the old posts as well. And I’ve subscribed to your blog too so I’m always updated whenever a new post is published. Expect some comments from me on your blog soon. ;)

  8. Just adore your website! Love that you have taken the time to set the record straight, I sometimes get so confused by some of the information on ingredients out there. Looking to enjoy the rest of your website. Also, totally love the idea of having a website devoted to beauty and cosmetics with a brainy slant. Suits me! Thanks.

    • Wendy, aww thank you! You are so kind. I’m glad that you like my blog. I think it is important to know what we put on our skin but there is just so much misinformation about cosmetic ingredients out there unfortunately. Hopefully this blog will help to set things straight.

      I hope to see you around often. :)

  9. Hi Giorgia,

    That’s an awesome blog you have out there, I had a question about hair fall, do you have any suggestions or remedies to prevent hair fall?


  10. Hi Giorgia,
    I noticed you’ve mentioned iprovenzali products. I tried iprovenzali shampoo last year when I was in Italy and it was unreal. I’m visiting Rome next week for two weeks, I was wondering if you have any advice on where I might look to find their products? Certain drug stores? I’m determined to find their shampoo.

    Thanks, Dave

    • Dave, hi. I hope you will have a wonderful time in Rome. I use one of the I Provenzali shampoo and it’s really good, I agree. This brand is sold at most supermarkets and beauty stores (such as Upim, Aqua & Sapone, Crai and Auchan) so it shouldn’t be difficult to find their products. Hope this helps. :)

    • Umar Siddiqui, are you flat irons, curling irons or a blowdryer? They can all dry hair, so should be used as little as possible. Also, you should always use a conditioner with silicones after shampoo. It will make hair soft and smooth. Hope this helps.

  11. hi! Georgia, please can you tell me this type of cosmetic ingredient: TRETINOIN +HYDROQUINONE i used this face cream after 3 days my face peeling skin off but i continually used until 10 days then i noticed that my face became clear, radiant and look young. but after i consumed that cream my face turned as usual and normal just like before. should i continue to used this cream? with out defect while getting old? thanks again!

    • Shineonme, the effects of any cream are just temporary and only last for however long you are using it. So yes, if you want the cream to be effective and make your skin look clear and brighter, then you should continue to use it.

  12. Hey Gio! Your skin tone looks a lot like mine. I’ve been trying to figure out whether I’m warm/cool/neutral and you seem to identify yourself as neutral, which is helpful to me.

    What’s your favorite foundation? Have you ever found any really close matches?

  13. Hi gio…u ave got an awesome blog place.:-) I ave a query….I’m plannin to used dis de pigmentation. Cream which contains Kojic acid dipalmitate and arbutin together with vitamin e.Its not a spot treatment cream and also the product says it shd be applied all over the face and neck.can dis be used as a day cream with sunscreen?thanks for puttin up sucha informative blog up here.u rock.:)

    • Vaishu, yes, it could be used as a day cream with sunscreen, but I’m not sure how effective this formula would be for hyperpigmentation. Kojic acid dipalmitate is often used in place of Kojic Acid because it is more stable, but there really isn’t any proof that it works to treat dark spots. Arbutin has skin lightening properties, but only when used in concentrations that range between 3% and 7%. In addition, a lot of companies use plant extracts that contain arbutin rather than pure arbutin and, again, it’s unclear how effective these are. You may wanna check out these ingredients to treat hyperpigmentation: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2013/04/30/7-ways-to-treat-hyperpigmentation/

      And thank you. I’m glad you enjoy my blog! :)

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