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Caveat emptor

Last month’s column concluded that you might as well call your shampoo “Toxic Tresses” because it, like most health and beauty products, contains a mélange of toxins, carcinogens and hormone disruptors.

There’s a history behind the insanity that allows corporations to sell “health” items laced with poisons and pollutants. Before the last century, Cleopatra maintained her legendary beauty by rubbing her skin with olive oil and outlining her eyes with kohl. Ancient ayurvedic beauty regimens include the use of sesame oil, ghee (clarified butter), chickpea powder and avocado—all natural substances.

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Jody and I meet Josh, Sean and Antonio in front of the Palais, early in the morning the day of our premiere. There are already people there, holding large signs that say “invitation, please,” and a few die-hard paparazzi scanning the crowd for famous faces. They dismiss mine immediately.

A young French woman leads us to a door around the back of the building. The hallways are dimly lit with concrete floors, and we take so many twists and turns that I am totally disoriented. We move through the passage at a brisk pace; the ID card that hangs around my neck whips around in front of me.

“Feels like ‘Goodfellas,’” says Antonio.

I nod.

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