update

to my MakeupAlley notepad: which is now updatable without crashing. Albeit, as is all too often the case, if you’re not using a Windows OS you can’t avail yourself of wysiwyg editors and you’re back with old-fashioned hand-scripting. Oh well. Does the job.

Revamped notepad now reflects what’s on here. Most of it shouldn’t need updating for a while. But–golly gosh–I first put together that MUA notepad five (yes, 5) years ago. My MUA-birthday was on the 24th; I admit to having lurked for 2004-07 on another account (which I deleted when I “went active”), with which all I did was read reviews and board discussion, as a passive MUAer. But five years is an eternity in internet terms. Even more chilling, for anyone scared of aging: I built my first website and made my first Wikipedia edits ten years ago, first blogging shortly after, and first online chat (gulp) twenty years ago.

Makes you think. Encroaching old age. Senescence and senility, or wisdom and venerability? Me, I’m looking forward to Second Childhood. And to all my colouring changing, which will mean being able to wear all sorts of ginger-inappropriate things with impunity:

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Oh yes, that notepad.

Here it is, copied over just in case (relative links = to this post, not to MUA; links to MUA product reviews do all still go to MUA though), and with apologies for any remaining glitches—to be expected, to be honest, given that the whole thing is about 9,500 words long…

LAST UPDATED: 2012-08-24 *

(back to gingerrama profile)
(back to MUA home page)

CONTENTS:

Delia Smith's chocolate mousse Delia Smith's chocolate mousse Delia Smith's chocolate mousse

PRE-NOTEPAD QUICK LINKS

These are just some things I’ve found useful over the years, and I’m sharing them here in case they’re useful for anyone else. Possibly just as a starting-point for your own research. Not intended to be prescriptive or restrictive or comprehensive or anything like that

Some useful places to look up ingredients:

Top-ish ten of some other useful online skincare places:

MUA notepads with lists of useful MUAer notepads:

Some more MUA notepads I’ve found useful, for information & external links:
The ones that follow below helped me out with my specific skin; there are many more that are very useful for other skin conditions, but less so for mine. Call me a selfish b!tch if you will. For comprehensive lists of notepads, and the things for which they’re useful, see the set of links immediately above here (MUA notepads with lists of useful MUA notepads):

More saved useful stuff, FAQ and their FAnswers, board discussions, lists, references to information-sources in the outside world, etc., etc., etc.:

  • CRUELTY-FREE BRAND LIST: the first of multiple parts, compiled in May 2012 and updated through July, just for mascara though all of the brands listed also make other makeup and most of them make skincare and some haircare too
  • “GREEN”-ISH BRAND LIST: post linking to several earlier ones for “greener” but still human sensitive-skin compatible skincare, some hair-care too; all are cruelty-free, information correct at date of posting but may have changed subsequently. That post later acquired an introductory statement of sorts
  • “GREEN”-ISH BRAND LIST: HAIR, post with a short list of unscented shampoos and conditioners and links to earlier posts with longer links, some unscented, others scented, all of them cruelty-free and sensitive-human-friendlier
  • FAVOURITES on my profile page

back to the top

INTRODUCTORY PREAMBLE

POINT OF NOTEPAD:
To keep track of what I’m using, and in case my skin, hair, colouring, etc. seem anything like anybody else’s: in which case, some of the stuff below might help somebody else out. Not meant to be prescriptive etc…

WHAT’S IN THE NOTEPAD:

  • STUFF: things being used currently
  • CHOCOLATE: chocolate proper plus some chocolate-based desserts, recipes for which are at the end of the notepad
  • LINKS: most items on the notepad are liked to their MUA reviews; some links are to MUA board posts

ABOUT MOI

AGE:
39

SKIN:
sensitive–(structurally/physically) thin, fragile, delicate, fine (fine-grain, no visible pores)–irritable, reactive (ex. photosensitive), some allergies–on/off eczema–no acne, but subject to irritation breakouts–no wrinkles but gradually acquiring lines of expression: as befits age, experience, and hopefully also wit and wisdom–normal to slightly dry–Baumann type DSNW (for whatever that’s worth).

HAIR:
shoulder-length, fine, thick/dense/lots of it, slightly wavy, normal to dry, natural (not dyed or retexturised, dried naturally).

COLOURING:
PPP < NW10, some freckles, some blue-purple shadows in inner eye corners–grey/green eyes–red hair.

Otherwise boringly healthy, medium-sized, and in reasonable condition. Sorry, nothing interesting to report for MUA purposes.

PRODUCTS:
stuff used = a mixture of DIY and ready-made, and of “green” and “green-ish,” primary considerations being that the stuff works and is cruelty-free. If I have a choice, I’ll give preference, within reason (i.e. not at an insane price), to the more ethical version available. That is: ethically responsible company, using plant-based and sustainably-sourced ingredients, fair trade, fair labour, carbon-neutral, local, and otherwise generally ticking various ethical boxes. The reason for doing so is that I am a hippy-dippy tree-hugging granolarama sanctimonious pontificating nut. And a ginger nut at that. As we all know, gingers have no souls. So either I’m an over-compensating fool, or this is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

APPROACH and technique: layering.
Three reasons:

  • Just as with separate shampoo + conditioner or separate moisturiser + sunscreen: better functionality for both purposes than a 2-in-1; in my experience, 2-in-1s are never “the one product that does it all” but tend to be at best 1/2-and-1/2.
  • Parallel with clothing: there’s greater flexibilty in having a wardrobe of garments of different weights, warmths, etc. and layering them. Allows you the freedom to adapt to circumstances: some areas being drier than others, variations from day to day, changes in weather and seasons, etc.
  • Dry dehydrated skin: what seems to work best is sandwiching a layer of water under a layer of oil, and if need be repeating in double-deckers, triple-deckers, etc. (more on this further down in EXTRA STUFF (2): DRYNESS).

NO NO NO:
I don’t use any of the following, due to incompatibility with (my sort of) sensitive etc. skin:

  • scrubs, Clarisonic, Pretika, Mia, other physical exfoliants: hands & facecloth is as much as my skin can take
  • retinaldehyde: though skin can handle the small amounts of low-dose weaker less usable retinol in rosehip seed oil
  • AHA except a very mild version of lactic acid, in the form of yoghurt)
  • BHA except a low concentration of salicylic acid if I get a zit–not happened in a long time though
  • and basically generally chemical exfoliants and peels
  • and a bunch of known irritants / reaction-triggers, compiled over the years: c/o doctors, plus trial and error.

My skincare is very very very vanilla. But: it works for my skin; and better boring than exciting, when exciting means reactions, damage, and pain.

NOTEPAD PROPER

Amedei Toscano Black 70% chocolate

back to the top

HEAD

(& other parts from the bust upwards)

MORNING 

This usually takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how asleep I am and how long is spent under a shower in an attempt to wake up. And depending on whether (5-8 minutes) or not (3-4 minutes) hair is washed. Turning water off while conditioner soaks in and so on (unless still half-asleep: ethics wake up with rest of thinking-parts-of-brain, not yet a conditioned reflex). 

SUPPLEMENTS (with a nice cup of tea and a sit down, first thing in the morning): 

  • Vitamin D
    2 x 1000 IU tablets = 25 mcg vitamin D3–cholecalciferol–vegetarian, from lanolin c/o sheep wool; any brand
  • + Vitamin C
    Ester-C 600 mg veg caps = 600 mg calcium ascorbate + 100 mg citrus bioflavenoids–vegan; Solgar or Sisu 
  • + food
    repeated as needed throughout day

CLEANSER 

  •  Everyday Shea unscented moisturizing body wash
    • applied using hands, then rubbed around gently (mild exfoliation) and removed using a facecloth a.k.a. washcloth a.k.a. flannel; the cotton towelling variety, cheap, quite thin, square, about 20 cm L & W; changed every 1-2 days approximately, all facecloths washed in regular laundry at the end of the week.
    • recently: olive oil soap, a.k.a. savon de Marseille, ex. Kiss My Face

ANTIOXIDANT LAYER
One of the following or some combination of them:

  • witch-hazel hydrosol/water
    • steam-distilled, water-based, no alcohol: a different beast from drugstore/chemists’/pharmacy usual 14% vol witch-hazel (NB the alcoholic one is cheaper and most people are fine with it, and many actively prefer it); from Garden of Wisdom or Soapcraft.ca
    • application: via palms of hands, applied all over face + eyes + throat, remainder to backs of hands
  • also used previously/recently: Silk Naturals Vitamin C Peptide serum, Replenix Power of Three serum (see also here), Silk Naturals Soothing Oat serum,
  • and rosehip seed oil: NOW (slightly refined, cheap) or the Pai CO2-process seed oil & fruit extract blend
    • More about rosehip oil, how it works, comparisons of different types, and a very rough buying guide in this product review; links to MUA product reviews here.
    • used like a serum
    • applied to damp skin: 1 squirt/2-3 drops, all over, including eye area, using hands, no tools (for anything else on this NP, if no application stuff is specified, it’s either just using good old clean hands, or using tool supplied with the thing, ex. mascara wand…)
    • eye area–especially the undereye–patted on and pressed in very gently.

MOISTURISER: FACE & EYES
A very bland unscented moisturiser:

  • currently and for the last while: DIY multi-purpose oil
    • more on it further down
    • right now it’s a blend of meadowfoam seed oil (Mountain Rose Herbs) + sweet almond oil (grocery store / online) + extra-virgin olive oil (good-quality food kind, with a fresh “green” taste; my usual one is from Crete c/o local Greek deli, bought by the 3 or 5 litre can)
    • application: small dab, rubbed and warmed-up between fingertips, dotted all over inc. around the eyes, and pressed in (= the Dr.Hauschka method: works for all known moisturisers)
  • recently: Chagrin Valley Whipped Squalane Face & Eye Mousse, Ayelet Renewal Good Night cream (from Etsy)
    • application: same again
  • if a lot drier: I’ll mix something in or add something on top. For those various somethings–there’s an escalation depending on extent of dryness and whether it’s eczema too–see EXTRA STUFF (2): DRYNESS, a little further down.

MOISTURISER: EYES & LIPS:

  • DIY multi-purpose balm = refined shea butter + extra-virgin olive oil + beeswax, made from NOW shea butter (refined, no hexanes) melted together in a bain marie / double-boiler with Badger unscented balm (the one in the tin–similar to the tube lip-balm, slightly more minimal: just olive oil and beeswax). Pour into tins / other containers of your choice, put something on top to protect from other smells, refrigerate until set, add lids on top and you’re all set.
    The shea will be an unpopular choice: most people prefer the raw unrefined kind, I’m one of a minority who prefer the refined one (cinnamate allergy).
  • application: pat on and press in gently under the eyes and towards the outer corners–the areas that feel driest and dry out fastest: observe where eyes accumulate temporary wrinkles by the end of the day, apply there.
  • also used recently: Dr Bronner Magic “All-One” balm, naked or baby unscented verision = jojoba oil + avocado oil + hemp oil + beeswax

SUNSCREEN: FACE & EYELIDS:

SUNSCREEN: LIPS & UNDEREYE:

  • a non-whitening moisturising ZnO-only lip sunscreen, preferably unflavoured: currently BurnOut SPF30+ in coconut flavour or Loving Naturals Clear SPF30

alter eco 73% chocolate with cocoa nibs 

EVENING

I should explain and apologize that I’m not very good at the whole night-time ritual business. I’m very good at wanting to go from day/clothed/awake/vertical to night/PJs/asleep/horizontal as quickly, efficiently, and lazily as possible. Unfortunately, I am not Wallace and don’t have Grommet and brilliant gadgets to help. Practice makes perfect, though; decades of daily practice have knocked the record for total time for the whole process down to 2 minutes (I cheat in that garments are flung off and get folded the next day). Usually more like 5 minutes.

CLEANSER

  • (I’m lazy, cheat, and usually don’t actually wash my face properly at night. If I make the effort, or feel I really ought to because I’ve been reapplying sunscreen through the day, am particularly grubby, or otherwise have more layers of encrustation on my hide: then I’ll use the same cleanser as in the morning. Sometimes twice.)
  • witch-hazel hydrosol
    • applied using a reusable cotton pad, and some more (as a hydrating toner) by pouring a small quantity into palm of one hand, rubbing hands together, and patting over face; all over, eye area too. Quantity: skin dry afterwards = too little, skin dripping wet = too much. As with water.
    • used like a 2-in-1 cleanser and toner everywhere except eyelashes, leave mascara on until shower the next morning

EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER

  • (at night if not being lazy, otherwise the next morning)
  • the DIY oil
    • tools: reusable cotton pads (from Etsy); each is used once then chucked in the wash, all of them get washed at the end of the week. Works exactly the same with the usual standard cotton-wool pads.
    • method: soak pads, hold over closed eyes for 30 seconds, then swipe; this usually removes most stuff

MOISTURISER

  • DIY oil as a.m.
  • + rosehip oil around the eyes (undereye, outer corners)
  • + DIY multi-purpose balm, in undereye area, on lips, and on any dry patches on face and elsewhere off-face

back to the top

EXTRA STUFF:
IRRITATION, ALLERGIES, ECZEMA, DRYNESS

Here are some things that have helped me over the years; might be worth a try for others. This section carries heavy caveats.

First and foremost: if in doubt, if anything has been going on for a week, if symptoms worsen over three days: GO TO THE DOCTOR.

No promises, no guarantees.

What worked for me won’t necessarily work for anyone else. How my eczema works (genetic, with me for life until gene therapy can change that, but its external expression and extent changes with environmental and other influences: in good phases, there’s nothing) isn’t necessarily how yours does, and its biochemical process may be different. Many skin conditions’ workings are not well known. Some are medical mysteries (and I refer you to elf_107, the mistress of medical skin mystery). Many skin conditions are blanket / rainbow / umbrella labels, grouping together common external signs (like much biological categorization). One skin condition can look very like another, if all you can see is a standard textbook skin reaction or some sort of breakout: could be several forms of acne, seborrheic dermatitis (a.k.a. “SD” on the skincare board), rosacea. Or a combination of them, and a combination of causes and contributing factors. Sensitivities can vary depending on location, air, water, hormonal fluctuations, stress levels (and hormones again), sleep, general health. They can come and go. Can start and stop anytime: something that’s been fine for ever can suddently stop being tolerable. And vice versa. There’s also a whole spectrum of irritable intolerant reactions: from slower grumblings that build up over a week or two, to instant massive swelling + rash + redness + pain + skin coming off (and extreme histamine over-reactions, asphyxiation, cardiac arrest, etc.).

In short: skin sensitivity varies and your mileage may vary.

See also: relevant Skin Care and Green Board posts and discussions saved in my FAVOURITES > TOPICAL TIPS: for sensitive, irritable, reactive, fragile, eczematic, dry skin

EXTRA STUFF (1): SEASONAL ALLERGIES

EYES

  • eyebright (euphrasia) sterile aqueous solution eye lotion (ex. Dr.Hauschka eye solace)
  • apply to closed eyes using pads, allowing some of it to go into eyes. Hold pads over eyes for a couple of minutes

NOSE

  • unscented lip balm or other heavy waxy stuff
  • apply to inside of nose, as a first step of defence against pollen, spores, etc. from invading, sticking to hairs inside nose, and triggering reactions

SKINCARE
 & other stuff applied topically

  • back to basics

DIET
& other stuff ingested

  • eating local honey
  • I’ve found nothing that works for autumnal spores, mould, etc. apart from trigger-avoidance 😦

DRUGS

  • antihistamines: currently doing very well with cetirizine (branded version = Reactine or Zyrtec)

EXTRA STUFF (2): IRRITATION, REACTIONS, ECZEMA, & INTOLERANT FUSSY SKIN

The information in this sub-section is an abbreviated excerpt from the full “in case of emergency” post over on my unmentionable bl*g*; my old user’s manual to sensitive skin is there too.

Ten tips:

1. Check your water, soften it if necessary (Brita filters on taps, shower head, better still at the tank).

2. Use as little water as possible when washing, and tepid–slightly cooler than body temperature.

3. Only shower once a day max.

4. Use very bland unscented products. No actives. Minimal skincare. Hair: when my skin’s been in a bad way, I’ve usually just stuck my hair in plaits/braids or a bun for a couple of days, and got someone elsee to wash it for me (head backwards over sink, minimal contact between products and skin, and using Free & Clear or other unscented minimal shampoo & conditioner).
When I’ve been really dry and eczematic, I’ve actually used emollient creams/balms/barrier-repair creams (Allergenics, E45, Elave, Glaxall-base-alikes, A-Derma Exoméga, etc.) for cleaning skin–feels like a cold cream or creamy cleanser–rather than a detergent-based actual cleanser.

5. Leave skin damp, apply oil, let that air-dry; while still slightly oily, apply balm/cream to seal in moisture. Oils used: mineral, sunflower, safflower, sesame, almond are my reliable ones that are always OK, never any reactions.
If in full eczematic mode, I’ll also use borage-seed oil. Buy the capsules (meant to be ingested), cut one open, spread on skin. Great stuff.
If skin is suffering horribly: mineral oil.

6. Smooth all potions & lotions in the direction of flakes & scales, not against them; if they’re very rough and raw, just pat down on top of them. (And no scrubs, exfoliation, etc.: if skin is raw and hurts, just–no!)

7. No perfume or scented products. Inc. deodorant–rec. Mitchum unscented smart solid (men/women, same stuff); or the deodowich.

8. Keep a diary/logbook of what you use, how much you sleep, what you’re eating, symptoms felt (with times and description), also take photos of skin morning and evening, same time every day. It often helps doctors.

9. Change laundry detergent and household cleaning products to fragrance-free minimalist ones. No fabric conditioners. Wear rubber gloves when doing the washing-up. Keep windows op0en when hoovering (better still, get someone else to do it while you’re out…).

10. Avoid excessive heating and air-conditioning.

All of these for SO / flat-mates / rest of household too. Total quarantine.

Some things to put on skin —on irritated patches, breakouts, zits, etc. or all over larger expanses—in alphabetical order. Note that not all people can use all of these things, all skins are different, reactions vary, and reactions may change (ex. from time to time I can’t use aloe, or only in limited doses):

  • alcohol: two forms and uses:
    (1) rubbing alcohol / surgical spirit / isopropyl alcohol / isopropanol: for disinfecting. May sting. (May also trigger skin reactions: rash, inflammation, etc. It’s OK, if you’re me this just happens dramatically then it goes down and all is well.)
    (2) the drinkable sort, for its usual purpose and extra easing of pain. May help encourage sleep if taken in hot toddies before bed.
  • aloe vera juice: preferably squeezed straight out of the plant leaf. Or keep some fresh juice in the fridge (often found for drinking purposes in the medicinal section of health-food stores, or in the diet/bodybuilding department elsewhere). Avoid things that claim to be long-life and/or are gels: check ingredients. NBBB: “gel containing 100% aloe vera” ≠ “100% aloe vera”. If the stuff is refrigerated and the only ingredient is aloe vera leaf juice, you’re good.
  • antihistamines taken orally
  • antiseptic cream/ointment, if you’ve scratched at itchy bits, now have open wounds, and risk infection
  • arnica lotion, cream, etc.
  • that old childhood classic, calamine lotion
  • calendula ointment/cream
  • chamomile in creams, DIY poultice, tea compresses, etc.
  • comfrey in a poultice
  • corticosteroid / hydrocortisone cream/ointment, used sparingly, seldom, for a very short time, and as a last resort; under medical supervision, in case of interactions with other medication or diet
  • cream: barrier repair cream / emollient cream
  • frozen peas & ice: brings down swelling
  • honey: spot-treat locally, especially manuka honey but also other raw unpasteurised ones, on wounds, infected patches, zits
  • neem oil
  • oats: fine-ground powdery meal for washing face (mix with water to a smooth paste) or as a mask or poultice (mix with yoghurt etc.), seek it out and its components in product ingredients; use in sock (dangled over running tap) for a bath
  • oil: avocado, borage/starflower seed, hemp, meadowfoam seed, mineral, safflower, sunflower, sweet almond. More on these oils and others in the next section.
  • water: tepid/body-temperature. Out the tap if your water is soft; otherwise get a central filter installed (the kind that uses salts), or fix Brita or similar filters to individual taps (for both washing and drinking/food-use). Or distilled, on skin. Or bottled mineral water, if you’re stuck. Bit of a luxury though.
  • witch hazel distillate or hydrosol, water-based, no alcohol. Unless you know for a fact that your skin is fine with the standard 14% vol kind. Actually: let’s be practical. If you’ve not tried the stuff before, get the standard alcoholic one and see how your skin copes, because it’s much more common and easy to obtain, and it’s cheaper.
  • yoghurt as a mask: full-fat yoghurt, the kind whose ingredients are just milk + bacterial cultures (so: NO skim milk powder, milk proteins, stabilizers, gums, etc.). I usually get organic, sheep or goat rather than cow if possible (but that’s as much for environmentalist reasons as anything else).
  • zinc oxide cream/ointment of the diaper/nappy rash, baby butt paste sort

 

EXTRA STUFF (3): DRYNESS

As before: layering. This may mean a multi-decker sandwich: dampen skin, moisturise, and so on. Layering flexibly: varying thicknesses of layers and location, depending on skin needs: some areas might have one light layer, others several heavier ones.

On days when the weather is massively colder, drier, and/or windier:

  • face & eyes: add shea butter on top of regular moisturiser; on face, in areas that dry out faster (forehead, cheeks, bridge of nose)
  • Vanicream SPF 60 (ZnO + TiO2)

When skin is drier, which might or might not coincide with whatever’s going on with the weather: adding or substituting something from the assorted stuff in the emergency tool-kit. They’re listed in approximate order of increasing seriousness: 

  • the DIY multi-purpose skin oil
    • a mix that varies–currently just meadowfoam seed oil and extra-virgin olive oil
    • has been known to contain the following oils:
      • apricot kernel
      • argan
      • avocado
      • borage a.k.a. starflower seed (from capsules is cheaper)
      • evening primrose
      • hazelnut (too dry on me when used alone)
      • hemp seed
      • jojoba
      • macadamia nut
      • meadowfoam seed
      • mineral: brilliant stuff, I’ve used this for my entire life, with skin in all sorts of conditions. No, it’s NOT crude oil (that’s as different as water is from bleach: chemisty 101); and no, it WON’T suffocate your skin. Nor will any other oil, though an oil–be it animal, plant, or otherwise derived–might well clog your pores: the downside to the upside that is forming a barrier on your skin, trapping moisture, assisting your skin in its own normal / natural barrier functions
      • olive (extra-virgin): yes, it’s high oleic but right now it works well on my skin. Age has some advantages: I can use a widewr range of oils
      • peanut (refined)
      • plum kernel
      • rice bran (too light and dry on me used alone, but good in a mix when skin’s been outbreaky with hormone-swings, back around age 30)
      • rosehip seed, and rosehip seed oil + fruit extract mix
      • safflower: if your skin is more clog-/acne-prone and/or irritable: look for high polyunsaturated fats (this is the most usual thing you’ll see on food-grade oils), within which look for a greater proportion of omega-6 fatty acids, within which linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA): NOT high monounsaturates and higher oleic acid. This usually means going for the cheaper sorts of oil: the more expensive cold-pressed first-pressed etc. organic (which has many other splendid qualities, of course) tends to be high-oleic for this particular oil.
      • sesame
      • sunflower (with the same comments as safflower on fatty acid ratios)
      • sweet almond
    • where to obtain them: a mix of supermarket cooking variety (ex. that sunflower oil) and cosmetic-grade from health-food shop
    • whatever brand is cheapest at the time
  • heavier-duty oil
  • other creams: I might not always be using something for its labelled intended purpose, looking instead at ingredients, feel, finish, effect on skin; and tweaking them like anything else according to my own needs; so this includes face, eye, and hand creams; men’s post-shave soothing creams and balms; body lotions and creams; massage stuff; etc… See my product reviews in the respective categories too.
  • emollient cream or balm, barrier repair cream
    • brand: I’m not fussy as to which one, so long as it works, is cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain my usual/current irritants; many pharmacies/chemists/drugstores and supermarkets make decent own-brand knock-offs and Variations On The Theme Of Cream… aaand for some of them, see my product reviews in the respective category/ies
  • heavy-duty waxy stuff, solid balms and butters, unscented/unflavoured lip balms

What I do with that stuff above–all over or on localised dry patches.:

  • if a little drier:
    • mix a dab with RHO-serum under moisturiser
    • or mix in with moisturiser
  • if a lot drier:
    • substitute emollient cream or balm for usual moisturiser
    • and substitute it for usual cleanser: works like a cream cleanser / cleansing balm
  • dry undereye skin, or drying out very fast through the day:
    • on top of eye cream, apply some heavy waxy stuff
      • scoop out a teeny dab, melt between finger-tips, dab on and press in
      • doing this as soon as I feel dryness starting (skin feels tight, can be itchy, feels like it’s about to rip; in a more extreme case, feels raw, slightly rough to the tough–yet also papery–and actively hurts)
      • following up at the end of the day: through winter, adding waxy stuff around the eyes and on other drier areas every night
  • dry lips:
    • add a layer of heavy waxy stuff
  • if being flaky (this is what my skin does when it’s very eczematic, for instance):
    • under moisturiser, substitute borage seed oil:
      • cut open a capsule, pour oil into palm of hand, rub hands together, apply oil
    • instead of moisturiser, substitute an unscented basic emollient cream or balm
  • if very dessicated:
    • spray on an extra layer of water on top,
    • then seal it in with waxy stuff

Substituting, if irritable, allergic, eczematic, or otherwise upset:

  • Cleanser: oil (sunflower or mineral: the blandest possible) or emollient cream/balm
  • Toner: water
  • Moisturiser: oil or emollient cream/balm; waxy stuff on lips and around eyes

EXTRA STUFF (4): IF I’M FEELING FLOWERY

This goes against all my usual avoidance of scents in skincare; though there are quite a lot of essential oils that my skin is usually OK with (in actual perfumes, applied to pulse points) and a few that are OK on my more reactive parts (ex. face). And this next bit probably sounds mad. Or merely feminine / femininely mere. At a rough guess, cause and mechanism = hormonal. Sometimes at certain times of the month, I have a preference for flowerier skincare. I’ve been tracking the pattern with interest. Seems to be towards end of cycle; mid-cycle, I feel more minimalist (maybe trying to release more of my own scent? yummy…) and sceptical, cynical, bitter and twisted, anti-fancy-stuff, and probably more generally grouchy and grumbly than usual. Which is saying a lot. And completely compatible with being silly and exhibiting a sunny disposition.

Anyway: at the flowerier times of month–in those months where there’s a flowery phase–this is what gets substituted:

EXTRA STUFF (5): EVENING / SPECIAL OCCASION

Same as a.m., except no sunscreen.

PRE-CLEANSING

  • if I’ve been wearing and reapplying more sunscreen, or using a heavier-duty more long-wearing one like Vanicream: 
  • with the DIY oil
  • + then washing as per usual

DIFFERENT CLEANSER

  • if I’ve been wearing and reapplying massive quantities of sunscreen, or on the odd occasion when I wear more makeup: substitute usual cleanser for:
  • a creamy cleanser ex. Earth Science ADE Creamy Cleanser
  • application: use as normal (wet face, massage on cleanser, rinse)
  • or a cleansing oil ex. Garden of Wisdom or Silk Naturals 
  • application: rub some cleansing oil directly onto dry face, then apply water, emulsify, rinse. 

Delia Smith's molten chocolate puddings 

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REST OF BODY

CLEANSER 

  • Everyday Shea unscented moisturizing body wash
    • applied with hands then massaged around using hands and a facecloth / washcloth / flannel

SHAVING STUFF 

  • the DIY multi-purpose oil

MOISTURISER

  • the DIY  oil
    • application: if less dry: in shower, leave on for about a minute, rinse off
    • if more dry (errm, usually): at end of shower, leave to absorb
  • a cream/balm
    • on hands, elbows, any dry bits, and all eczematic patches (even if currently not active)

SUNSCREEN

DEODORANT = Gingerrama’s Deodowich ©

  • a unscented potassium alum a.k.a. crystal rock spray deodorant: the mineral salts in aqueous solution. Better IMHO than the rock or the roll-on versions of the same; weirdly, Lafe’s stick doesn’t contain the all-important-to-the-stuff-working KA(SO4)2.
  • + Chagrin Valley coconut silk cream deodorant: there are more and more like this, which is the nice: coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda, and cornstarch. Most have added scent.
    or else zinc oxide nappy/diaper rash cream or any leftover unused ZnO sunscreen, bought for experimental purposes and that proved to be unwearable; current one = Avalon Organics zinc diaper cream
  • + if the weather’s very hot and humid, or if doing exercise or otherwise being very sweaty indeed, I’ll add a layer of unscented baby / body / dusting powder (errm, when I remember)

SCENT

  • Pacifica solid in Mediterranean Fig
  • or Roxana Illuminated Perfume solid in Green Witch ,
    Hedera Helix ,
    or Q
  • I can’t use alcohol-based scents, rashes ensue; and my skin chemistry turns many scents either very sweet, or to stale dessicated antique musk, or if I’m really lucky: both. The ones above are some rare and beautiful exceptions.
  • or (E)au naturel(le) 


EXTRA STUFF

= much the same as extra stuff for face, above

  • Substituting, if being very irritable, such as in spring allergicky season:
    • Cleanser: oil or emollient cream
    • Shampoo & conditioner: Free & Clear (made by PSI, who also make Vanicream)
    • Moisturiser: oil or emollient cream
    • Sunscreen: Vanicream SPF 60
  • Additional or changing moisturiser, used as needed on hands, feet, and any dry patches; a whole arsenal follows arranged in ascending order of severity and seriousness: 
    • richer oil: 
      • either used alone or added to the usual multi-purpose oil, as circumstances dictate 
      • borage seed oil if being flaky and eczematic: the edible capsule form: take one, cut it open, apply oil; 
      • hemp seed oil
      • avocado oil
    • emollient cream or balm
    • a heavy waxy balm
    • olive oil 
      • (plain old kitchen-variety EVOO)
      • rub and soak (hands, feet)

I’ll usually shower in the morning; very quick showers after exercise; and if the weather is very hot and sweaty, will have main shower in the evening and just a quickie in the morning, as it were. 

 Nigella Lawson's Molten Chocolate Babycakes

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HAIR

PRE-WASH CONDITION
Occasionally: to deal with dryness and frizz. Applied to wet hair, left there for a couple of minutes while washing face & removing tubing mascara. On the lengths of hair below the ears–not scalp and near hairline, or it greases up fast.

  • a hair oil: currently = the DIY multi-purpose one.
  • Previous experiments with one only or blends of more than one, varying proportions: argan oil (Mountain Rose Herbs), olive oil (plain old kitchen-variety EVOO), avocado oil

SHAMPOO

  • currently: Avalon Organics olive & grapeseed unscented moisturizing shampoo
  • recently: Get Lathered unscented solid Shampoo That Rocks (from Etsy), Free & Clear (for the newer formula, reviews are here; and the older one here)

CONDITIONER

TOOLS

  • The Body Shop old wooden hairbrush with wood quills (FSC wood)
  • Kent comb: plastic, hand-cut, with fairly wide-spaced largish teeth–about 20 years old, no idea what the model’s actual name/number is; looks like lots of other plastic combs with handles seen in lots of shops. Used on damp hair to detangle after washing

EXTRA STUFF

DRYNESS, IRRITATION, ECZEMA

  • unscented very mild shampoo and conditioner, ex. Free & Clear
  • washing hair as little as possible: when I’ve had bad scalp issues, I’ve usually stuck my hair in plaits/braids for a few days until scalp has stabilized
  • dry scalp: massage in oil, gently: I’ve used borage, hemp, argan, avocado; and Plain Jane mineral, sunflower, and sweet almond for this in the past.
  • emollient balm / cream as conditioner, on hair that’s touching skin (ex. back of neck, where it’s quite sensitive at the best of times… and in the best of ways…)
  • see also: other things for skin in the main EXTRA STUFF section above, for application to the scalp, back of the neck, behind the ears, etc.: that skin is very like facial skin, and on me it’s the thinnest and one of the areas around my whole body where eczema appears first

OIL TREATMENT

  • the DIY multi-purpose oil
  • or olive oil
  • or else borage, hemp, or argan oil 
  • on the scalp itself, if skin is drier or more eczematic 
  • pre-wash with oil as needed, during a dry/eczematic phases about one or twice a week
  • applied all over, mainly the lengths and ends of hair, and left on for at least 30 minutes before washing hair

SHINYLOCKS

  • apple cider vinegar rinse: diluted 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water, in an old “sports top” plastic water-bottle (any squeezy bottle will do); for more on it, see MUA reviews for Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (that’s separating out the ones that mention “hair,” main P’Ville entry is here) and Apple Cider Vinegar (unlisted brand, hair)
  • my use of this is limited by my skin’s tolerance-levels: even diluted:
    • semi-DIY clarifying shampoo: mixed in palm of hand with regular shampoo, on my second shampoo, then applied to hair from there
    • final rinse after conditioning: the vinegar supplements the cuticle-flattening powers of cold water; smoothed hair cuticle = less tangly + reflects light = shiny

SORT OF STYLING STUFF

  • if hair is drier and frizzier: a drop of the DIY oil , argan oil, or the DIY balm
  • post-wash
  • on ends and any frizzy bits, while hair is damp after shower

DRY SHAMPOO

  • CONFESSION: it’s unutterably skanky but sometimes I don’t have time to wash my hair and it’s no longer adequate to put it up or in a plait. Yes, even though I can usually get three days out of a wash; yes, I am that lazy and/or disorganised and zombie-like in the morning.
  • using a fine-spun body powder: usually whatever I’m also using as a body powder, as the occasional third layer in the deodowich), best one I’d used as a dry shampoo–but not that great for its main purpose–better than actual dry shampoos like Klorane, Ojon, Batiste, etc.–was the pricey Dr.Hauschka Body Silk Powder

Dennis Cotter's olive oil chocolate mousse

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MAKEUP

These are either being used currently right now, or are in The Bag and have been used at some point in the past month. First one in the list is current everyday thing at this very moment…

LEVEL ONE: EVERYDAY NORMALITY

Skin currently in decent shape; but I refuse to leave my burrow and encounter fresh air outside, let alone people, without a minimum coating of black mascara. Down to roots of lashes, looking vaguely convincing as though tinted. Can go from alien to human-ish-oid in an easy comfortable 10 minutes (with tea), current record is 6 minutes.

MASCARA

  • Reviva Labs mascara or Herban Luxe waterproof vegan mascara (from Etsy)
  • application: a rapid once-over, all over; top and bottom lashes, upper and lower sides; probably more like two coats on upper lashes, but no going back over lashes in another full coat. Smudgeproof for everyday purposes, and nearly waterproof.

EYE CONCEALER

  • Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay waterproof concealer: close dupe for Clarins stick concealer

LIPS

  • everyday YLBB: Silk Naturals Kisser Slicker in Birthday Suit or their Black Label Aria
  • pinked up: Silk Naturals Kisser Slicker in Raindrops on Roses
  • and next stage up: Lipstick Queen Medieval or Silk Naturals Kisser Slicker in Bitten

LEVEL TWO: ONE STAGE UP

EYELINER

MASCARA

EYE & OTHER CONCEALER & FOUNDATION

  • FACE Atelier Ultra foundation 50/50 mix of #1 (Porcelain) and #0 – (white). I bought one of each (#1 & #0 -) of the PRO smaller plastic pump-top bottles, mixed them in another container, then rebottled them.
    I loathe and despise foundation, but sometimes there’s these weird social obligations to use the damn stuff. This is about the best solution I’ve found. Dead easy to apply, doesn’t feel or look like you’re wearing foundation, results only noticeable in photos, really.
    My previous favourite was Silk Naturals mineral powder foundation kit in Ebony, ratio 1 scoop Ebony & most of the bag of white; it’s too dry on me right now, though.
  • application: eyelids & inner corner next to nose; plus dots down the middle of my nose, chin, forehead
  • using this as full-facial slap if there’s any risk of someone taking photos of me
  • method and tools–quick and dirty: clean finger-tip; pat some onto back of hand, apply with the finger from there

FACE

  • Silk Naturals perfecting powder (translucent)
  • decanted into an old loose powder container (Laura Mercier finishing powder: has neat internal swivel top)
  • applied all over with hands à la Clinique-powder-rubdown + a teeny bit applied with a small brush–same kind as used for eye concealer–under the lower lashline: helps prevent mascara smudging, if done before doing eye makeup
  • I’ve also experimented with a cheap DIY version of this, made up while waiting for fresh supplies of the SN lovely stuff:
    silk powder + serecite (mica) + very small quantity of silica microspheres
    (my skin’s on the dry side; add more silica if you’re oilier).
    Source for raw materials: Garden of Wisdom. I didn’t follow a recipe but approximated, based on the SN ingredient list and what felt right when mixing. Poured into large ziplock bag. Thrown, mushed, and squidged around. Some decanted into the old loose powder container, the rest kept in the bag. I’ve subsequently added zinc oxide powder to it (approximately 1/4 quantity)

LIPS

LEVEL THREE

There is a Level Three: full-out war(paint). Used so rarely that its materials live in a box at the back of a drawer behind the laundry drying-rack. Out of sight, out of mind.

equal exchange chocolate

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OTHER STUFF

I don’t want to call all that stuff above a routine. Sounds too… rigorous? Regular, regulated, religious, repressive? Worrying, given the proximity between “regimen” and “régime”? Quite aside from any absolutist, tyrannical, or cultish associations: the implications of organization and discipline–be that imposed by external authority or self-discipline–would be very misleading. That stuff above doesn’t always happen, doesn’t always happen in that order, and can take any length of time from 10 minutes to a good hour or so. Bearing in mind the sleep factor, as well as caffeination and chocolate-hunting urges and emergencies. 

For other stuff used–not necessarily being used right now–plus extra tweaks to cope with irritation, allergic reactions, zits, eczema, dryness, and other Grand Special Occasions: see product reviews, board posts, favourites (on profile page), and written about elsewhere.

I am often to be found on the Skin Care and Green boards. It sometimes feels like too often, but fortunately work, real life, and writing elsewhere often conspire to thwart my over-boarding activities. Long live the Hive Mind, Knowledge Collective, and joyous exemplary utopian anarchist community that is MUA! And if it all gets too serious, earnest, solemn, and generally a bit much: thank heavens for café. Where I admit to lurking…

A NOTE ON MASCARA

(Non-gingers and others not blessed with pale lashes might want to skip this section…)

Mascara is very important to me. I’ve worn it nearly every day (other than some lash-tinted days) for 25 years. I’ve tried, used, and abused a lot of different ones. And I’m fussy. Besides the usual criteria (cruelty-free, tested on sensitive-skinned humans, no daylight robbery, no BS, etc.–see ALSO section further down the notepad), my requirements are:

  • No irritation to eyes or skin; no fragrance, no fibres, none of my other usual irritants
  • A good brush that actually gets every lash and gets down to the roots, all over and around the lashes, under and upper sides. All a matter of taste–like dark roots showing on hair–but I prefer not to have pale roots showing. While smaller is great for getting down to the lash-roots, most of my favourite mascaras have traditional brushes. But no to (American) footballs, giant furry caterpillars, curved spoolie things, and those rubber-tipped horrors
  • No clogs or blobs or gunkiness on lashes. No spider legs or dryness. I’ve found dry lashes are more fragile and prone to falling out.
  • Shouldn’t be too wet either: never drying, lashes sticking to my glasses, smudging, etc.
  • The effect/resulting “look”: simply YBB. Lashes shouldn’t look thinner, sparser, and shorter than before I put on mascara; then again, I don’t like thick, clumpy, heavy, and phoney either
  • Nice on and to lashes: they should feel soft and supple and, well, like lashes; not dry, stiff, and crunchy
  • No smudging or flaking or otherwise needing touching-up or worrying during the day; must, I insist, still look impeccable by the end of the day, around about 16 hours after application.
  • Must stay on and be waterproof for most everyday purposes. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where it’s usually damp and it rains quite a lot.
  • The tube should last a respectable time, around 3 months, without drying out or going off or otherwise becoming unusable.
  • Must must must contain decent preservatives that kill bugs (but no formaldehyde releasers): this is mascara, and these are the only pair of eyes I have. FFS.

SWAP

I’m not really actively into swapping; the swaps I’ve done have been individual-to-individual and casual. As it were.

ETHICS

Hippy-dippy sentimental sensitive type: I only use and buy cruelty-free, ideally also ticking as many other ethical boxes as possible too:

  • responsibly-produced and -sourced ingredients; from sustainable and biodiversity-supporting agriculture
  • sound and low-impact manufacturing practices
  • Fair Trade, fair labour practices, and respect for human rights
  • properly (scientifically) researched, and tested on humans especially those with assorted varieties of sensitive skin
  • sensitive-skin-friendly
  • “clean and clear” in the sense of freedom from marketing, advertising, and sales BS
  • showing due care and attention to customers and their intelligence; including writing in grammatically-correct Plain English; I have severe linguistic and logical allergies
  • honest: not manipulating or spreading ignorance, pandering to fashion and its follies, fear-mongering, or contributing to urban myth
  • minimal packaging, and minimalist design; I have a mild version of the Cayce Pollard allergy; recyclable containers and packaging, recycled too where possible
  • fair prices: again, not cynically abusing consumers 

I’m also a vegetarian–including on beauty products, as far as humanly possible (which is pretty far these days)–but not a vegan as I can’t live without cheese. What with being a sceptic–and pro-science, pro-reason, anti-bunkum (all perfectly compatible with being a greeny, by the bye)–I don’t believe in many things; but I do believe this: life without cheese is not worth living. And of course chocolate. On which:

RECIPES FOR THE PHOTOS ON THIS NOTEPAD:

Delia Smith, A very chocolatey mousse 

Delia Smith, Melting chocolate puddings

Denis Cotter, Olive oil chocolate mousse

Nigella Lawson, Molten chocolate babycakes 

This last one below isn’t really a recipe, except insofar as it might be a recipe for happiness (and maybe an elixir of eternal youth and magic beauty-potion): chocolate. At least 70% cocoa solids. Eat daily. At least once daily.

chocolate stackchocolate stackchocolate stack

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* This notepad was first written in 2007 and has changed over the years. It’s not necessarily up to date: the most up-to-the-minute version of the brave-little-routine-that-isn’t-one is maintained off-MUA. The notepad was completely revised, redesigned, reorganized, rewritten, and otherwise rejigged in April 2011. If you came here looking for material that used to be here on the old 2007-2010 version–the user’s manual for sensitive skin, manifesto, stuff on physical sunscreens, etc.–rest assured, it’s not been deleted or died, it’s just moved elsewhere (I can’t post the URL here as that would be against MUA rules; it can be found by Googling “Ginger O’Rama”). Reasons for move:

    • easier to manage and keep updated
    • this notepad was so overloaded as to have become cumbersome and unwieldy, often crashed when being updated, and had generally become unmanageable
    • streamlined slimline version is more like what most MUAers do these days with their notepads, being about current stuff in the here and now; and less like an old-fashioned journal/scrapbook hybrid (which, arguably, isn’t that old-fashioned and is more of a classic form: ex. Pinterest)
    • both in conceptual and in practical–coding, system–terms, a notepad can’t be a blog, or several years’ worth of archives, or indeed an online database or encyclopaedia or virtual library… after all, that’s what the whole of MUA is and what it’s for!

POST-NOTEPAD APPENDICES

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APPENDIX I: TOP TOPICAL TIPS–RESEARCH 

As with everything on here: suggestions only. Everything in this next section has been worked out by trial and error, that is, through my own errors (including asking stupid questions). I have made plenty of them, still do, and will probably/certainly continue to make mistakes. Hopefully continuing to learn from them along the way.

  • If in doubt, or checking, or even just asking: do some searches. Research–and the collection, sorting, arrangement, analysis, and critical commentary of its results–is good for you, not least as a life of it may contribute to staving off the ageing process (brain only, no claims made for effects on the top or any other layers of the epidermis):
    • Google 
    • Wikipedia 
    • and, of course, here on MUA
    • for tips on searching (with apologies to grannies and egg-abuse), see this post
  • Merely looking up the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database ≠ research.
    • IT’S NOT RESEARCH. It’s an insult to the word and what it means, and to anyone who does actually do proper research–online, in labs, on the street, etc.
    • OK, to be fair, it’s a start. But that’s all it is.
  • Research is a skill and also an art. 
    • The first part of The Art is asking the right question: choosing the best search terms with which to interrogate the database, a.k.a. the sum total of human knowledge that is The Glorious Interweb.
    • The second part of The Art is also a virtue: patience, attentiveness, care, carefulness. In reading through as much as is humanly possible of the search results.
    • The third part of The Art is knowing which results are useful, relevant, pertinent, important, significant, and otherwise “good”; and being able to tell the good from the less- to non-good fast, from an item’s first words, thus reserving time and energy for more research and reading. This Part of The Art is a combination of instinct, intelligence (in the fuller, older sense that includes “understanding”), wisdom (including trusting oneself and one’s good judgement), and practice.
    • The fourth part of The Art is reading: in the larger sense that includes all activities involving eyes (and/or other receptive senses) open and brain switched on. 
    • The fifth part of The Art is love: of information, of knowledge, and of research itself. For Research Is Also Enjoyable. And a marvellous virtuous thing: it’s good and it’s good for you, and it can be a happy activity and also lead to further happiness. Perfect.
  • Asking questions on the boards: again, skill and art:
    • No-one answers your question?
      • Maybe it’s unanswerable. Or unclear. It can be embarrassing and difficult to say “sorry, I can’t answer that” or “I don’t think anyone can answer that”
      • Or maybe everyone’s busy answering other questions that are easier to answer
      • Or that question’s already been asked many, many times; or very frequently
      • Or maybe… just maybe… it might have been–gasp–a stupid question. Some combination of foolish, thoughtless, hasty, ignorant, and lazy. Maybe people are being polite and kind in not answering. Rather than cruelly saying “that was a stupid question, and that’s why I’m not answering it” (also, that kind of comment makes the respondent look mean, and at least as a bad as the original poster who asked a foolish question).
    • What to do next?
      • Don’t panic. Everyone asks stupid questions: it’s normal and human. Besides, questions are always good (even if stupid: and sometimes they’re good precisely because they’re stupid, as “stupid” can also have the virtues of innocence).
        Better to ask questions than not to ask questions. Often a question seems intelligent right up to the moment you press “post message” and then brain engages. If your question is genuine, a sincere quest for knowledge, well-meant, innocent of all other motives (as many trolling questions look deceptively sweet and innocent!): all will be well and the truth will out (eventually: alas, the preponderance of trolls means increased wariness).
        I’ve asked stupid questions plenty of times, and frequently have to go back and edit posts or responses to clarify something that wasn’t clear (worse: sometimes was misunderstood; worse still: misconstrued and twisted). Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. It’s OK, it’s part of the whole learning / growth process: you come out of it bigger and better 🙂
      • Wait politely.
      • Think.
      • Consider reformulating your question, and asking it again in a different way (with some explication saying you’ve reformulated your question in case it was unanswerable / unclear / foolish).
      • Read through at least a page or so of posts, to see if indeed your question’s been asked recently.
      • Do some keyword board searches to see if the topics in your question have been discussed (recently, or even less recently…)
    • People answer your question really quickly but foolishly?
      • Eeeps. You may have asked a stupid question and received stupid answers.
      • Worse, you may have triggered a troll to awaken from napping/hibernation.
      • With a bit of luck, other MUAers may come to the rescue and help out with less-stupid answers, combatting stupidity, and beating trolls back into their caves. 

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APPENDIX II: HOPEFULLY USEFUL INFORMATION: THE MUA DISCUSSION-BOARD RULES, AND SOME UNOFFICIAL SUPPLEMENTARY SUGGESTIONS

1. THE MUA DISCUSSION BOARD RULES 

Each board has a specific subject matter (except for the Café) and dialogue/posts must stay on that subject only.

The following is prohibited on all MakeupAlley boards: vulgarity/profanity, sexually explicit discussions or posts, soliciting/advertising in any capacity, religious posts, harassing or obscene posts, swap talk or RAOK posts, off-topic (OT) posts.

Members who violate any of the above may be removed at any time without notice. All posts are subject to our review and may be removed at our discretion. Please use common sense and good taste when posting. Thank you.

This is at http://www.makeupalley.com/board/ . There’s variations at the top of every board, too.

Full rules: see “Your conduct” and “Message board […] rules” in the MUA “Terms of Use”: http://www.makeupalley.com/content/content.asp/s=0/c=TermsOfService/ . This is at the bottom of every MUA page.

2. MUA ON TROLLS

Q: What is a troll and what to do when you spot one?

A: A troll is basically one who posts messages intended to insult and provoke. For each person who responds, the poster (the troll as a person) will consider that person [sic] 5 easy rules: 

(1) Don’t read posts from or about trolls; 

(2) Don’t read email from or about trolls; 

(3) If you can’t resist reading, don’t respond; 

(4) If you can’t resist responding, do so by email, not by posting on a public forum; 

(5) If you are compelled to post a response, if you just can’t stop yourself, at least do the rest of the readers the favor of adding the troll’s nick to the subject line, so they can avoid reading that post.

Source: http://www.makeupalley.com/faq/. This is at the bottom of every MUA page.

trolls: also available in edible chocolate form!

3. ALTERNATIVE USER’S GUIDES

4. ALTERNATIVE MUA BOARD TEN COMMANDMENTS

Ginger’s Notes To Self, tidied up into more coherent form.

    • “Use common sense and good taste when posting” (so sez MUA)
      • –the one rule that rules them all.
    • Be nice, polite, courteous: always: no matter what.
      • Generosity of spirit, benefit of the doubt: it IS possible for someone to see the error of their ways, become a Reformed Character, and be rehabilitated and reintegrated into civilized society. 
      • In the absence of any concrete evidence to the contrary, assume that a post or comment is made in good faith. Otherwise–well, that way madness lies… See also Violet912’s wise words on guarding against neurosis (rule #12) and add to them: avoid paranoia, bullying, abuse, cruelty, damage, and mean-spiritedness. Some things are more important than MUA. Your mental health is one of them.
    • Do not feed trolls.
    • Do not go off-topic.
      • This can be tricky. It’s one of my greatest failings at the best of times, because I’m flippant and facetious by nature. (Lucky old me. Lucky you.)
    • If in doubt, don’t respond.
      • Don’t respond if you have the slightest hunch a post or comment might be Bait, intended for you–and particularly you personally–to Rise To It; an attempt at an entrapment manœuvre that aims to get have your account deleted.
    • Tell the board moderators:
      • Send them a quick message (see “Contact us,” at the bottom of every MUA page); OK, not so frequently as to bug them–that might itself constitute trollesque activity–but when necessary: URL of message or thread + explaining why you think this is trolling or otherwise out of order / Not Done / Bad Form + if it’s a repeat offender, their MUA name and a brief outline of part history.
      • Nothing wrong with naming and shaming, if it’s done properly and if it’s true. It’s not brown-nosing: it’s potentially preventing a situation from escalating, and it can protect others.
    • If you can flag, do:
      • responsibly–this is a privilege, not a right–and with no comment on that post. And do also send a message to mods saying why you’ve flagged. 
    • The only OT-esque comment I’ll make will be to change the subject to alcohol.
      • If you see me doing this, it’s signalling either “chill out” or “troll alert, do not feed” or both. Please do join in. It’s also an excellent way to swap cocktail recipes.
    • Discretion is the greater part of valour.
      • Beware, and be wary, of TMI. Trolls aside, this place is public.
      • Keep a sense of perspective: it’s only MUA.There’s more to life. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t reply or comment. Worrying and obsessing is rarely a worthwhile activity: on anything, anywhere, let alone here. (Don’t get me wrong: I love MUA and being on here. But.) 
    • Know yourself, and know your bad habits: I HEREBY PROMISE that I’ll no longer start off my discussion-board responses with the irrelevant ethical stuff, legal-style. Nor end a response with interminable caveats, provisos, footnotes, other apparatus.
      • This is very hard for me, because I’m a pathological nerd; compassion for this sad affliction would be appreciated. I’m trying, the best I can. (Poor old me. Poor you.)
      • But: If you see, at the very end of a response, something along the lines of this–“I wouldn’t buy/use it myself, but that’s for other reasons (more on NP)” –that’s shorthand for:
        “I’m being careful not to go OT or to insult someone else’s choice. Your choice may be different, and it’s your choice, and I respect it. It’s a free world. Individual decisions like these *must* be respected, for all individuals, otherwise they’re not proper individual free choices. I’m aware that these ‘other reasons’–ethics–are immaterial to a product’s functionality and efficacy, and therefore could be construed as being OT; but I do have serious conscientious objections and can’t and won’t silence them completely. This statement is an uneasy compromise, but it’s the best I can do, in all conscience.” 

These are just my own notes to self, for nagging at myself and checking I’m not being (too much of a) silly b!tch. Sharing them here, in case they’re vaguely useful to anyone else. And keeping them here is handy for my own reference: for reality-checks, to make sure I’m not going OTT and taking things, MUA, and myself too seriously…  

… VANITAS VANITATUM OMNIA VANITAS:
the appendix to the appendices

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