reviews: some experimental failures

OK, a first one would of course be the Viagra Paradigm. Today is the 1st of May. A good day on which to reflect on alternatives, and maybe do more than sit around doing so at home in an armchair. If it’s a nice sunny day, why not go and do something actively and proactively about it? Might involve some singing too, and that’s very good for you.

may day

Preamble and/or irreelevent digression over, back to folly-praising business and beauty products.

1. Coconut oil on face, neck, chest:

  • Sank in really fast
  • But skin didn’t feel as moist as it does with other oils that also sink in fast on me (hemp, meadowfoam, mineral, sweet almond, etc.)
  • No immediate contact dermatitis reactions
  • But: within an hour, skin felt dry
  • and, on face, started to itch slightly, and when I felt it, there were the start of bumps. So I washed it off one side of my face and left it on the other (I know my skin well enough, I think, and its reactions, to know at what moment to run and remove the stuff; also, I was conducting this casual experiment at home with a bathroom next door).
  • Three hours after first application, on coconutted side: bumps now visible and some redness. So I washed it off, applied cool compresses of witch-hazel distillate and arnica, had a cup of tea, and waited.
  • Within half an hour, skin back down and in usual state.
  • Neck and throat/chest area: fine, but slightly dry
  • Conclusions:
    • not moisturizing enough (for me)
    • clogging / zit-generating on face
    • low-grade very minorly irritating on face, but not a Class 1 reaction, far from it

I’ve also been using this very successfully on my hair, including some of it being on my neck, throat, bosom, back etc. for short periods while I wash the oil out. Some gets on ears too while it’s sitting on hair, and that’s been fine (in that I’ve not noticed anything: no news is good news, with my skin).

More updates on the coconut-oil-on-hair experiment in next post…

2. ABBA gentle shampoo

  • result: clean hair, itchy scalp, bumps on neck

3. Laura Mercier tightline cake eyeliner in Mahogany

  • lovely colour, rich mid-brown
  • but does not apply as well as the previous version, nor as Nvey Eco’s cake eyeliner (which is a darker brown, but perfectly wearable if applied lightly, behind glasses, etc.). Reformulation FAIL, dear Laura…

4. And a lesson in home economics, or, another take on bewaring false economies:

Dr. Bronner’s balm. Two versions:

  • “lip” tube/stick, 0.15 oz / 4 g, $2.99
  • “body” tin, 0.5 oz / 14 g, $4.99


  • lip balm
  • eye-area moisturiser
  • intensive moisturiser for dry areas: hands, elbows, feet, etc.

Why I like it: nice ingredient list (jojoba oil, beeswax, avocado oil, hemp seed oil, vit. E); good company with good ethics: animal rights, human rights, and planet rights. Not just my-body-is-a-pure-temple organic-wash BS for selfish overmoneyed fools.

may day

I bought the tin: reasoning that it works out cheaper per ounce. 14g at the 4g-lipbalm price would cost $10.50, making it more than twice the price than the tin.

That was under a year ago, and I’ve only used about 2/5 of the tin (i.e. between 1/3 and 1/2). So this stuff should last me for years…


The stuff has now gone off.  Which means that I actually paid $4.99 for about 5g of product… which works out more expensive than if I’d bought the lipbalm version instead.


If I’d only bought that tin of the balm and used it constantly, and no other balm, and carried it around with me too: then I’d probably have used it up by now. Because in the last year I’ve also bought and been using:

  • Dr. Bronner’s balm in the tube
  • Madre Bees lip balm (tube again)
  • Badger Balm, unscented version in the tin
  • NOW refined shea butter (and, on several occasions earlier on, last one was probably more than a year ago: unrefined raw shea; disaster on my skin)
  • DIY balm (= Badger Balm melted together with that shea butter)
  • Weleda Everon lip balm (does what all the others do, except not so good as an eye cream)
  • um and yes I tested out a few other lipbalms too but don’t tell anyone it was very naughty of me… especially the expensive ones, and extra-specially the expensive ones that were no good, smelled and tasted heinous, zittified my lips and mouth-area, etc.

Reasons for having more than one product on the go, all doing more or less the same job:

  • experimentation: ex. Madre Bees vs. Badger
  • laziness/disorganization: having a tube at home in the bathroom, one by the bed, one by the kitchen sink, one in bag, one at work, maybe another couple in other bags and coat pockets and so on
  • flightiness: aaand the day that stops will be the end of The Praise of Folly…

Moral of the story:

  • Man, know thyself:
    —if you’re capable of buying one thing, cleaving unto it and forsaking all others, and carrying it around with you: then buy a tin of balm
    —if you’re not, then don’t: buy smaller tubes/sticks
    —or only buy stuff that has a very long to infinite shelf-life.
  • Money, and saving it, and spending it wisely, is important: not as a thing in itself, but in what it represents when used.
    —You should feel something if you earn it yourself: happiness when you feel your money’s gone a long way and you’ve got good use out of it; a sad feeling when it hasn’t; somewhere between heavy-heartedness and anger when you waste it. Though hopefully not too much kicking yourself, let alone abject self-loathing: that’s where telling yourself you’ve learned a lesson, and repeating that lesson to yourself later—”ah, this situation is like that tin of balm, I remember what happened than and what mistake not to repeat.”
    —If you don’t feel any of these things, you know, emotionally, as an internal sensation, in your gut as well as your heart and mind sweaty palms and various points between along your nervous and endocrine system? Then you don’t know the value of money and you are wasting it. Beware the perils of being someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. On which see the various “because I’m worth it” posts.
    —It’s important, ethically and politically, not to waste products that other people have worked to make. Respect them as fellow-workers. Acknowledge their time and effort. Duly dignify the sweat of their brows. And today of all days, a day of solidarity.

may day

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