You’ll doubtless have seen the stuff about LIPSTICKS BEING OUT TO KILL YOU which is all over the interwebs.

Yes, they’re at it again.

They didn’t manage the last time, with that last bout of clobbering you with lead. But, brave souls whoever They are, they mixed up their adages:

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.

Don’t try harder. Try different.

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.*

As a global conpiracy by Forces Of Evil, that last leaden one was subtle. Maybe too subtle. Lead poisoining c/o face products, especially whitening creams? Done to death, so to speak, over the last several centuries. Lead through water-pipes? Not for a while, most of them have been replaced. Good old-fashioning whacking someone with a solid block of lead, a statue, a bit of broken-off piping? Still turns up from time to time. A bit crude, though.

But Death By Lipstick: now, that’s a splendid plot device, not just for bumping off one individual, but for grand plots against humanity. Or, more precisely, womanity. Inc. honourable honorary ladies, and indeed men who wear makeup, and all shades between. Lipstick rights for all! Add colour to humanity! And sparkle and glitter too. Livens the world up and makes it more cheerful, especially in mid-February.

Lead failed the first time. But it’s risen again, like a phoenix from the ashes, like hope, and justice, and all right and rightful things. The awful terrible They are back again with a vengeance.

* (OK that last one’s not a “proper” vox pop adage, but good old Beckett taking vox pop, doing something beautiful and crafty to it, and returning it / having it turn itself back to vox pop. C/o Worstward Ho.)

If we’re talking conspiracy, here’s a few:

  • They’re out to kill all women via lipstick. No coincidence that the information was released and percolated and permeated around the place during a key phase in the American pre-election process.
  • Big questions remain, though: is “they” the Republicans or is it the Democrats?
  • Is it the one making it look like it was done by the others?
  • Is it a pressure-group, holding the nation to ransom: holding women to ransom vis their lipsticks, and thus hoping to influence over 50% of the vote?
  • Is it lipstick manufacturers?
  • Is it the makers of the dyes used in lipstick, or other cosmetics?

Conspiring? never: just following nature’s course, drifting wherever the winds take me. I’m just an innocent old bag, full of hot air. Lipstick-coloured, lip-shaped, and driven by men: pure coincidence.

  • A cunning plan: just make women worried, hope they’ll feel in need of safety and protection, and that they’ll therefore vote right-wing
  • Or: women, feeble creatures already and the weaker sex as we all know, will dissolve into dribbling pools of molten feebleness. Lipstick will be the great trigger for total psychological meltdown. Women will do what they should have done all along, and at least give over their votes to their husbands (or other nearest proprietary menfolk: fathers, brothers) as is right and proper. Ideally, there will be mass outpourings of remorse and women will cast aside their votes: a “we are the 50+%” movement returning to that Golden Age when women knew their place, and were ladies, and did not have these vote things. See, votes are very serious and sensible things; but women are silly foolish pathetic creatures; so votes for women are a folly, and the whole institution of democracy is cast into disrepute (and folly).
  • A simple cunning plan: get women worried about lipstick, then have one or other party make a grand announcement that will relieve the worry and then get the female (and cross-makeup-ing) vote.
  • It’s a set-up, leading up towards a report on corruption and worse in the FDA. Which will then be blamed on the current administration. Or on the FDA being in the pockets of certain companies. Who will in turn have certain politicians in their pockets. Pockets within pockets…
  • They’re out to kill all lipstick-wearers. Because it’s a sin and a clear sign that the wearer is a whore. You might as well have SLUT tattooed on your forehad. With a target in the middle of it. A plot to cleanse the nation of such impurities. A first gentle step towards The Handmaid’s Tale or Butler’s Parable series.

More simply: oh, look, it’s the blinking EWG again. LOL. Maybe also tick off some of the items above.

Also, I can feel smug as whoeever did this work eithe failed to include my lipstick or it proved to be acceptable/accepted. That’s Lipstick Queen Medieval, for all you shameless hussies and unrepetant harlots.

As you might imagine, the topic turned up about a billion times on MUA’s Makeup board:

So people got a bit sick of seeing and hearing about it (especially the “OMG Did you know?” variety). Also, some trolls, and past trolls, and people out for the lulz. Fair enough: make yourself LOLlable (what does that make you? a Lullard?), be an out and proud Praiser of Folly, take yourself and your folliesthatseriously, and you should expect some people to take up pins against The Balloons Of Pride.

But then, you get this sort of thing. A bit more complicated, sophisticated, and subtle.

Did you guys read about this lead in lipsticks stuff….++


The 10 lipsticks containing the largest amounts of lead parts per million, according to the FDA:

• Maybelline Color Sensational (Pink Petal) 7.19
• L’Oréal Colour Riche (Volcanic) 7.00
• NARS/Shiseido Semi-Matte (Red Lizard) 4.93
• Cover Girl Queen Collection, Vibrant Hues Color (Ruby Remix) 4.92
• NARS/Shiseido Semi-Matte (Funny Face) 4.89
• L’Oréal Colour Riche (Tickled Pink) 4.45
• L’Oréal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor (Heroic) 4.41
• Cover Girl Continuous Color (Warm Brick) 4.28
• Maybelline Color Sensational (Mauve Me) 4.23
• Stargazer Lipstick 4.12

message by ShadyPinesMa

Oopsie daisy…

And then, kudos for being able to take that with a pinch of salt and retain one’s sense of humour. MUAers made of less stern stuff would have left and run for the hills:

Maybe taking revenge by finding out what the favourite lipsticks were of each of the ravening beasts tearing you to shreads, and buying up the entire current supply of it. Or arranging to have storage warehouses destroyed in a freak accident.

Aha. We have a new conspiracy-scenario: this is indeed a plot, and a twisted one at that. Some folks swear by a”trademark” favourite lipstick. It’s them and part of their identity and character. It brings them luck in love. This is a simple case of territory-protection and jealousy. Prevent anyone else using your lipstick, because they’re scared of it. It becomes not just a lipstick that happens to look good on you, but your very own personal lipstick. A tactic to fight off any possibility of competition. Maybe what we have here in the other side to Fortune 500, a very 1950s sort of affair, with wives of F500 bosses preventing any gold-diggers getting their claws into precious hubbies. Alternatively, it could just as easily be a Top 500 of gold-diggers and their favourite lipsticks. At the very least we see here a large-scale defensive move; at most on the offensive to increase territory: harem-building, be that polyandrous or queer-polygamous.

Back to MUAing, and commendable courage:


Damn right. People ought to be polite, civil, and courteous. There are 101 ways of saying “yes, we’ve met this already” that aren’t unnecessarily mean, mean-spirited, and vicious.

On the subject of vice: allow me to remind you of some virtues. The four cardinal ones. Temperance. Prudence. Justice. Fortitude.

I’m sure the three theological ones can be brought in here too. Let’s see: Charity’s easy: love, humanity, kindness, sympathy, mercy. Hope: that your patience and time will be rewarded, don’t despair (or do so with respect to others), keep up the good work just in case. Faith: belief in beautification, makeup, The Gods Of MakeupAlley, and/or Lady Folly herself.



Yes you bloody well ought to read the bloody board before asking questions:
(a) as in anything else in life: ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE OPERATING MOUTH
(b) here, expand that ENGAGE BRAIN stage: check in case your question’s been asked recently. Saves you time writing and posting a question, by the way.
(c) it’s a minimal courtesy to those who’ve posted stuff up there: shows you bother to read the board and treat it with the respect it deserves, as an information resource.
(d) this is an information resource, communal knowledge. Imagine it’s an online dictionary, or Wikipedia, or any other reference-work. Like with them, type what you’re looking for in the search box.
(e) The people who run MUA have bothered to put in all sorts of bells and whistles that enable and encourage you to search it. They didn’t have to do that. They did as a service for users, for all kinds of searching styles…

(a) the deadly sin of SLOTH: the way you’re acting suggests laziness. It’s all too much effort.
(b) LUST: you want it all, and you want it now!
(b) and taking other people’s work (and goodwill, and generosity in answering you) for granted: others’ DILIGENCE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS; alas, the seven heavenly virtues and their opposite numbers don’t quite map onto the cardinals & theologicals, but you get the gist…
(c) add in PRIDE: entitlement: I’m too arrogant / special to do that kind of work. I’m above it. Work and research and thinking (not to mention: making my own mind up) isn’t my sort of thing. I’ve got better things to do with my time, like go shopping and troll elsewhere and whatever else the Valley Girl of 2012 is up to.
(d) all of which adds up to: disrespecting others and their work. Knocking them when they complain: ANGER and ENVY
(e) GREED and GLUTTONY: using MUA in a take take take way, without giving anything back.
(f) The kind and charitable interpretation would be that you’re just plain stupid. Lacking in the technical competence, gumption / sense, and reading-skills to perform a basic search. Lacking the reading-skills, concentration, memory, and analytical abilities to sort through that search (be it using a search function, or just reading the most recent posts on a page).

I mostly read MUA on my phone, and I know how easy it is just to scroll down a bunch of stuff fast. And board searches are possible on a mobile device. Want an individual tutorial? Contact me and we’ll discuss rates: not doing that sort of thing as a public service any more, you can jolly well pay consultant rates for research just like anyone else… I may sometimes feel charitable, and sometimes force myself to, but FFS this is actually work and I’m not a charity.

That kind of comment? Or worse, a question on something really obvious and that’s been asked and answered a million times? I used to answer, patiently. Wasted effort in many cases; but not all, which keeps me doing it. See, while patience is a virtue, taken to excess it can stop being one. I admit: I’m lacking in temperance. As failings go, it could be worse.

Then I went through a snark phase. Then I went through (what I thought, flattering myself rather, was subtle snark…) copy-pasting the URL for “search for this thing on MUA.” I’ll still add comments that link to old posts I’ve favourited, and indeed maintain those favourites lists—they’re public, though there is a private/my eyes only option—for the benefit of others, and so that I can copy-paste in seconds.

But often I just don’t answer at all, unless I can see that this is a completely new person and they asked nicely. So: round and round in circles it goes.

We’ve had too many trolls. And far, far too many spoiled brats.

Had something like this post appeared on the Green or Skincare Boards: a year ago, I’d have done all sorts of thing. Now? I’d just leave it be.

I might add a LOL, in case it’s actually meant to be tongue in cheek. That’s my version of giving the benefit of the doubt: assume it’s not serious, and better still a joke, unless there’s specific information right there in black and white spelled out to the contrary. I know most people assume something is meant straight, at face value. Part of this is my job, but basically my starting-point in reading many things these days is to assume the contrary.

Makes reading the news much more fun and less depressing.

Think about it. It’s a great philosophy of existence. You’re far better off and your life will be happier if you see a joke where there wasn’t one (bonus joke!), than if you don’t see one that was there (you sad git!).


Colin’s Beauty Pages: click image for link to full blog-post

COMMENT #4: just enjoy your lipstick. You only live once. As Colin says (see his post, c/o link above), there are far easier ways to do away with yourself. Please don’t… well, of course, unless you really want to, it’s your life and your decision, and I respect that…but seriously: there’s a lot to live for. Including lipstick. In moderation, in its place, not OTT, remaining vigilant in case you’re straying over into over-venerating Folly.


What I’ve found myself doing on MUA, increasingly. Read discussion-boards on smartphone, the limited version, logged out of your account. Only log in once you’ve read as far as you feel you need to (keeping up with what’s happening on your favourite boards; seeing if there’s any interesting new stuff, or new questions, or things that have gone dramatically in a wrong direction: erroneous information of a sort that matters, people fighting who don’t need to, trolls not yet kicked out). This means that any responding you’re doing is when you’re rereading after logging in. Makes a massive difference. Kind of sort of part of this, which is wisdom indeed, and the opposite of folly-praising:

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