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Ask Sherry: First time investor purchases, Natural skincare, and How to make more money or start as a freelance consultant

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

You can ask any question using the form here.

As a baby investor. Would you recommend ETFs or individual stocks or what would you recommend as a first buy?

Index fund ETFs. You don’t know anything about investing, presumably. Why take the risk and jump off the deep end by guessing/gambling on a single company?

Be diversified by buying into an index fund ETF and gain exposure into hundreds of companies in one single purchase.

Hi, I would like to know if Paula’s choice is free of parabens, free of ethanolamines, free of phthalates, free of PEG compounds and free of formaldehydes.

You can check each of their products individually. They list every ingredients on every single product they sell.

You can also ask them. They’re super helpful.

But no, they are not 100% natural cosmetics or skincare if that helps, in some products they do use what you are mentioning I think.

They do have a more natural line however, it is located here:

I like to use natural cosmetic if possible 100% natural cosmetic products as I suffer with Rosacea a bit. Can you recommend some really good and safe brand for me and my teenage daughter? Thank you Pavla

From my experience, I already tried to go natural a few years ago and my skin was ruined with breakouts and acne scars. That’s not to say that will happen to you, but after discovering Paula’s Choice and then trying to go 100% natural, I went right back to Paula’s Choice and haven’t wavered since.

As a result, from personal experience I hesitate recommending any brand for skincare to be frank with you. The issue is that some ‘natural’ brands, or pretend-natural ones like Fresh, have been some of the worst for my skin, breaking me out crazy and ruining my skin for weeks.

Just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it is effective or it works well.

I only use Paula’s Choice, and can only really wholeheartedly recommend them because they aren’t “natural” but they are very good to your skin in terms of not irritating it (I have eczema, a skin condition that is an autoimmune disease), and this brand doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

In addition, you can return anything you buy from them that doesn’t work out – I do not know any other brand that is so focused on making sure you get the right product.

I’d contact them via chat or email and ask them for product recommendations. Again, their natural line is more natural, but I do not think it is 100% “coconut oil + water”, if that’s what you are looking for.

If you are not sold, and truly want to avoid those products, you could try googling “natural skincare”, and there are lots of recipes out there for honey masks and cleansers, yoghurt masks, sugar scrubs, etc.

I already tried things like coconut oil makeup removers and so on, and it was all a hot mess for my skin however, what happened to me, MAY not happen to you, but I thought I’d mention it so you are informed:

Other natural skincare brands you MAY want to consider for makeup and skincare are:

  • Audre Leigh – Local brand, she does face oils but I have not tried any
  • Josie Maran – A brand I have liked in the past and would use again today

Those are the only two I’d really be able to confidently recommend.

I’d 100% avoid Fresh. It is the worst brand I have ever tried for my skin. They look cute and have great marketing but they were terrible.

I’m currently working in a 80k job in a major Canadian city. I want to make more but I really don’t want to manage people. I’m in a field I’m not sure if consulting is possible (consumer insights and analytics). Any tips? Thanks in advance

The only tip I can give you is generic advice.

If you don’t want to manage people but it seems like that’s the only way you can move up the salary ladder, you’ve answered your own question.

You can technically be a consultant in any industry, it is just a question of demand for your services.

There are people who are marketing consultants, so I can’t see why someone who is in consumer insights and analytics couldn’t be a consultant.

What is more likely, is you need decades of experience, experience in big companies, higher-up contacts in companies like executives, and a network who will actually hire you as a freelancer for it if you want to go out alone into the industry.

You could always try consulting companies and see if they’re hiring. There are a ton of management consulting companies I am sure handle this arena and could use consultants with that kind of expertise.

Other options would be to go to LinkedIn, search keywords in your industry and see who pops up, and browse their profiles to see who they work for, what they do, etc.

You could also try Fishbowl (app) and pose the question under the Consulting industry.

Good luck.

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You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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