Category: common sense

Paula’s Choice

There’s been a spate of PC stuff on MUA of late. There is some suspicion that this is a foray by said company into Social Media for the purposes of drumming up Word On The Street, Buzz, and eventually sales. Whether by company employees, or by loyal fans, or by paid social media professionals, or out of work actors. This is not a new or unusual marketeering tactic.

I’m neutral on much of this. I first bought Paula’s Choice products over a decade ago, at which time they were a godsend because it was hard to find cruelty-free fragrance-free basic bland functional skin stuff in the USA. (Being where I was at the time.) They kept costs down by being online-only, saving on storefront and staffing costs, and indeed loss of profits if selling through distributors in other shops. Their customer service was impeccable. They gave away decent-sized samples with every order, which you could choose; and they also sold sample-to-travel sizes of products; both of which allowed to you try stuff out before committing to full sizes. Otherwise I was stuck with importing stuff whenever back in Europe. And with what little I could find in drugstores, health-food stores, etc. that was appropriate to my skin. Then PC changed and got all fancy.   Continue reading

some reading

From Colin’s Beauty Pages:

Two amusing ads:

C/o “Dove Soap” (Colin’s Beauty Pages, 2013-12-30):

And then this: a case for ignoring the messenger and their identity, and focussing on the message:

“The Whole Foods Banned Ingredient List is Wholly Flawed”

From Chemists’ Corner (2013-12-04) c/o “Beauty science news of the week,” The Beauty Brains (2013-12-15). Just looking at betaines, but that’s already an impressive start. The rest of the list: Whole Foods Market – Quality Standards: Unacceptable Ingredients to Premium Body Care (2013-09-30).

Your truly indulged herself in some previous griping regarding an earlier list: “Whole Foods and green-washing” (2011-08-23). And then there was “F-” (2013-04-02). She’s had plenty occasion to grumble about the place. But still shops there, as W(t)F sells some useful basics that would cost more and be less eco-friendly to order online from across the border. And they have some nice people working there (also some dangerous nutters, but that’s an anthology’s-worth of Whole other stories), and seem to provide a pleasant safe employment-haven for the hipper end of the social Spectrum Organics™.

Foal Hoods

Foal Hoods

blog post of the week

(OK, originally posted a year ago. But still.) This came to my attention through a link via another link on a discussion board. It’s nice. No, it’s excellent. Well-written, wise, witty, to the point, and true. I agree with everything here, even though my own buying and deploying decisions have differed.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.13.29 AM

Oh no! Who Put ‘Sad’ and ‘Guilt’ In My Lotion?” Stuff I Put On Myself (2012-10-09)

[...] I get questions about this stuff all the time…  variations of which chemicals to avoid, how to avoid animal testing, how to find natural products, blah blah blah.  People really want to pick the right thing, so it does what they need AND doesn’t cause them guilt and/or anxiety about poisoning/abusing themselves or animals or the whole planet.

I am going to preface this by saying that my feelings on these topics aren’t going to be popular.  That’s fine!  We can all think different things and still be pals!

I’ve read a lot about cosmetic industry standards, terminology and what you have to do to be allowed to use certain terminology, and I am married to a chemical engineer who will always spend 45 minutes explaining the minutia of any little question you ask about chemicals, and also will go all Mr. Wizard on you and lay it down if you slip up and say some buzzword that is essentially bullshit marketing.  Dude can even tell you what’s in the tanker truck by looking at the little number on the back.

Unfortunately, much like with everything else in the world, it is sobering and depressing to actually know what’s up.

[Read on... ]

vitamin C serums (6)

Are you being ripped off?

Want to see how your serum measures up against the competition?

Looking for a vitamin C serums with specific actives? This might be the case if, say, you’ve tried an l-ascorbic acid one and your skin has reacted: maybe try out one based on magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Or if you have a vitamin C serum you like, and you’re wondering if there’s a cheaper dupe. Or one based on the same functional active, but with more of it. Or less of other things like added fragrance. Or that’s cruelty-free. Has a less silly name. Comes with less marketeering, sales pitches, sketchy pseudoscientific pubvertising, and branding foolishness.

Or maybe you want to spend more money, on a smaller bottle, with a prettier label.

Anyway. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking, this post might help.  Continue reading

the gift that keeps on giving

PART ONE (OF THREE)

No further comment, and I did not comment or otherwise contribute to the discussion below. It was clearly a lost cause, insofar as the serious material content was concerned. The non-serious teeters on an uncomfortable edge, given the limitations of the principal troll here. Screenshots aren’t linked to anything, just the images. Those who recognize the format (and perhaps, indeed, pseudonyms) will know where this came from. Others should be able to figure it out for themselves from previous posts.

From a week ago: to allow some critical distance. Main reasons for posting:
1. Trollwatch
2. Observation of assorted trolling styles
3. A nice example of the limits of reasoning, that is, when confronted with human limitations / limited humans
4. Open question: what are the limits to tolerance, and to suffering fools?
5. And another one: humour’s limits?

Where do you draw the line, when dealing with someone who says things that are foolish and ignorant (who knows, the person saying them may be a troll, and not in fact an ignorant fool), but who also expresses paranoia? Convinced about conspiracy theories. Cultish. Led by blind belief (not reason, or intuition, or other forms of active thought).
Bearing in mind at the same time
(a) that these words may be by a troll, who has created an online fiction;
(b) and that this is an individual who sells her own beauty products, regularly shills, does not accept or comprehend that this is against the rules on this particular online forum, and therefore: is a troll;
Bearing these two other factors in mind: this persona’s utterances could be sincere simplicity. Genuine. Honest. And just plain stupid. Yes, a fact’s a fact: people’s brains vary, as do their levels of assorted kinds and expressions of intelligence. Some people are stupid. Some people might not be stupid, but they say stupid things from time to time. Some people say stupid things all the time. Some people say stuff when Under The Influence that they wouldn’t usually say; IQ and reactions are impeded by alcohol–on the other hand, in vino veritas. And some people, regardless of their smartness, lack emotional and / or social intelligence.
There could also be mental health and well-being issues (given the paranoia).
Whatever is going on here, or whatever combination of factors: as my granny always said, “One should not mock the afflicted.”

(All those things having been said: sometimes things are also still funny. That’s another of these things some of like to think of as and call “facts”: in this case, a fact about what makes people laugh, and why, and how, and what’s going on in and behind that reaction of laughing.)

Questions 4 and 5 and that last paragraph were basically why I didn’t comment. As my only comments would have been these, meta-comments, and thus technically “off topic” according to this discussion forum’s rules. Therefore: not to be posted there. I like rules, especially sensible ones and ones that are good for people; that help and protect and nurture and benefit them. That includes shutting people like me up when they need to be shut up: it’s good for me.

Oops, famous last words, once again, on “no comment.” Following on from that last comment on my shutting up: over and out from me.

PART TWO

image1
image
image

PART THREE

And lo: as ever, as soon as I take screenshots, everything changes. And then I have to take screenshots all over again. The life of an archivist is not an easy one. I had a meander back, thinking to myself that this might be the sort of thread that got a bit over-excited and exciting, and might be worth following. In the squeamish surreptitious way one discreetly follows reality T.V., and hates oneself for doing so.

In this third and I hope final part: twists in the tale, blurrings of the border between fiction and reality, and then bam: the whole discussion-thread was Disappeared, some point before 11:00 a.m. Pacific Coast time. Given that I’ve been all prim and proper and discreet about not naming sources or linking to URLs, and have cropped screenshots, you may well be wondering: did she make it all up?

I wonder much the same thing myself, about much that is on the discussion forum in question. I often feel like I’ve walked into a parallel universe or a fictional world, over there.

Add to that the fact that fact is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make this up. I couldn’t, anyway: which might answer anyone wondering if I did. Sorry, I didn’t: I’m just not that good a writer.

Life’s too short. Other better more useful stuff to do. Reconciliation to get on with and suchlike.

FFS: first world effing problems online.

On the other hand, part of truth and reconciliation is that truth part: ensuring that all stories are told, from all points of view, by all concerned. Recorded and preserved. That history be properly written, as histories: plural. Not as one single history, that is, the story of the victor. And stories may each have elements of truth, or they may all be true, even if contradictory. That’s a human fact, and very human, and marvellous. Often also a marvel.

In this case, the “true history” of the victor, the powers behind this discussion forum? Erasure. Didn’t happen.

UPDATE: famous last words again… I have censored out parts of some screenshots, further to a request to do so, as they are now the subject of moderator / administration action against the party/ies concerned. This is in deference to nice people. And I don’t mind, as the bits whited out weren’t really germane to the main argument. If anything, they were irrelevant tangents to the main points of discussion and Points To Ponder: trolling, tolerance, and the limits to them and to online discussion.

That grand finale:

imageimage5

bonus post: on layering moisturiser

From one of my favourite blogs, Lab Muffin, timely tips for winter survival:

See also, from last year:

Current moisture layering on this skin here:

  • dampness c/o water, left on skin at end of shower or otherwise after washing
  • oil (meadowfoam and hemp seed mix), patted onto skin
  • eye area and lips: oil/wax balm (Silk Naturals lip balm: olive, avocado, hemp, jojoba, cranberry, & castor oils + beeswax, carnauba, candelila)
  • shea butter (East African/Nilotica), as needed: usually lips, eye area, hands, feet, elbows

(Shea butter post no. 2–sources–still coming up: scheduled for Sunday morning!)