But Don’t You Want a Little More Color?

Fairest-ones-of-them-all:

If you had a dime for every time some well-meaning friend, family member, or beauty-counter employee told you they were going to help, “give you a little more color,” (likely with a mismatched foundation shade), would you have enough money to buy an Urban Decay Vault?

I’m not surprised.

The US, for a while, had an obsession with warm, medium, bronze-y skin. It’s why the self-tanner industry, to which I contribute, is comically massive. It’s why tanning beds, which are horrifically bad for your long-term health, are so damn popular in spite of the well documented and shared risks. I’ve said before that I think I am flattered more by my skin in its tan-ish state – but I don’t know if that’s a sincerely held thought or if it’s influenced by the society in which I live. Perhaps a bit of both, but I can’t truly ever know.

We all know what ultra-fair skintones accepting being, ‘given a little more color’ can end up as – a complexion that looks orange, dirty, or just flat-out too tan. None of those looks do favors for anyone! I’m not discouraging you, if you do want a little more color, from seeking it – but there’s a way to do it. and buying NC35 when you’re NW10 is not it. And if you don’t speak MAC, this photo of swatches that Soundly Sensible Beauty shared will clear it up for you:

MAC Studio Fix Foundation Swatches from Soundly Sensible Beauty - 'But don't you ~want~ a little more color?'photo from & credit to Soundly Sensible Beauty

Friends

I find that this sort of thing comes from friends who have been influenced by, “gurus.” While YouTube beauty gurus can often produce makeup that suits them, many of them are not makeup artists. Many of them are not familiar with color theory, or working on face shapes or features dissimilar to their own.

It isn’t uncommon to see the selection of a shade too dark or tan for them. Just say no.

Salespeople

If you’re a beauty salesperson, you should assume your customer wants something matches them unless they say express a desire for a little more color.

Shopping for foundation is, in itself, is an agonizing process. If your salesperson is trying to push you into an obviously too dark shade because, “but don’t you want a little more color to warm you up?” you do not have to accept.

In most cases (not all, of course) I’ve witnessed, they mean well – they assume everyone endeavors to fit into that popular aesthetic. This is either because a) that aesthetic appeals to them or 2) a ton of their clientele requests it. If they make this assumption, politely decline and tell them something like, “This one isn’t for me. I am looking to match my skin tone and don’t want to modify it.”

DON’T:

  • Apologize for your skintone. (Folks of color, this overall topic may not mean as much for you – but this single point does. Your skin is not an inconvenience for which you should apologize!)
  • Apologize for declining a sale of a clearly wrong product – even if your salesperson is sweet as can be and seems to have the best of intentions.
  • Accept continuous suggestions of ‘warm you up’ shades after you have clarified your purpose.
  • Buy something that looks wrong!

It isn’t your responsibility to make a salesperson happy or feel validated. You are a customer, you are paying for products and services. Full stop.

The Bottom Line

Instagram isn’t real life. If you prefer foundation that doesn’t match your skin, more power to you. I’m not arguing with your personal choices, but I am saying that not everyone needs to mimic them. Let our fair-skinned friends embrace their skin.

Why I’m NOT buying Holiday Palettes

Too Faced Everything Nice - Why I'm NOT buying Holiday Palettes anymore

The holidays are nigh. Some stores are already playing Christmas carols (quelle horreur). That means holiday palettes are upon us.

To date, I’ve purchased one limited-edition holiday palette: Too Faced Everything Nice. TFEN was novel and fun, but I ultimately ended up depotting it into a Z-Palette. Frankly I don’t use what survived very often, and am currently making a concerted effort to Project Pan it.. I have higher quality shadows I reach for more often.

Why? It’s a have a few, simple reasons:

Holiday Palettes, Sets, LEs are Guaranteed Sales

When something is a sure thing, companies are a bit more, “flexible,” when it comes to quality. (Read: Flexible is code for, “compromising,” as in a brand may pursue a cheaper formula or manufacturing process.)

In plain English: Unfortunately, brands generally resort to lower-quality formulas in their holiday value/LE palettes. It isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but think – if a ten-shade palette from a brand normally costs $45-50, how can they offer you 20 for $60 with a similar (even if slightly smaller) pan size? It’s obvious – the formula isn’t the same. They’re cutting corners to increase their profit margin.

Is it Bad?

Not really, and I’m not even seeking to criticize it as a practice. As far as I know, there aren’t any non-profit cosmetics companies out there. Businesses are in business to make money. By itself. that’s neither good nor bad – it just is.

I’m personally not up for paying prestige pricing for, at best, drugstore quality products. Case in Point: Too Faced’s normal formula is nicer than the formula I received in TFEN. Also, the (in?)famous BECCAxJaclyn Hill collaboration that resulted in some sub-par palettes being released…whoops.

While those collections can be fun, if they aren’t on par with the brand’s current formulas and manufacturing, why are we so eager to drop money on the products?

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Hysteria Over Chemicals and Putting Natural on a Pedestal

For a long time there has been hysteria over chemicals in beauty products.

And for an equal period of time, that hysteria over chemicals has been annoying AF.

There seems to be a lot of shade being thrown at non-‘natural’ beauty products. Lots of, “I don’t want chemicals in my makeup,” or, “My shampoo is natural and chemical-free,” or, “OMG, my holy grail face wash has chemicals in it, so I have to switch.

No Such Thing

…as a chemical-free product. Period. End of story. Literally everything, including whatever crunchy goop you’re slathering on your face, is composed of chemicals. Everything. The banana-kale smoothie you somehow gulped down at breakfast, your favorite computer, you, me – made of chemicals.

I hope I didn’t blow your mind with that, but if I did…good! Every realization like this helps reduce the blind hysteria over chemicals.

Ending the Hysteria over Chemicals

First, consider these five words:

Chemicals are not inherently bad.

…and then these ones:

Just because something is natural does not make it effective let alone good or safe for use in or on our bodies.

Both are truths, and it’s really all you need.

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Polished Professional? Switch to Gel Polish!

By 2012, I was well-immersed in my polish obsession. I did my own nail art and was changing colors every 2-3 days for a quite a while. I had all the fun goodies, – art stripers, dotting tools, the whole nine yards. That spring, though, my career picked and I had less free time; by necessity, those pursuits fell by the wayside. My nails were still polished, but art was reserved for special occasions. Even using Seche Vite top coat, I was only getting 4-5 days out of a manicure, tops. I hadn’t the time. That Christmas, my now-husband got me a Sensationail LED-cured gel polish kit. I haven’t looked back.

glittergel_01

Switch to Gel Polish!

Does the following statement hit home?

I do not have time in the middle of my average week to do touchups, let alone a full manicure in its entirety.

That’s definitely my reality, and I’m not even a parent! In my case, going to work with obvious, chipped, untidy polish would be akin to going in with unbrushed hair. In that case, it would be better to go in without polish. Personally though, having a tidy manicure makes me feel put-together.

Whether you visit a salon or prefer to do your own manicures (more posts about manicures here, here, and here), properly applied gel polish is a no brainer for busy women. How long does the average manicure take (DIY or salon)? 45 minutes, minimum. Longer depending on the dry time required for the polishes you choose. When your time is at a premium, can you afford that twice or more a week? I can’t.

If you prefer to go polished, like I do, and you could paint your nails once a week or less often, wouldn’t you? Gel polish makes that a reality!

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Seems Legit: Galaxy Lash

I don’t tend to buy a ton of makeup from Amazon. Generally, my criteria is that it must be shipped from and sold by Amazon.com, or at least sold by a highly-rated third-party Amazon seller. I check reviews, I only buy products that pass muster. That doesn’t mean I don’t come across random and questionable products. Case in point? Galaxy Lash Serum

Seems Legit: Galaxy LashSeems Legit: ‘Galaxy Lash’ Serum

I’m skeptical of lash serums in the first place, but a three-star-rated, normally $89-but-on-‘sale’-for-$41 serum for sale by some random third party…

…that is shamelessly, unabashedly, ripping off Samsung. Seriously? Why would you even do that? Oh, wait, it’s because the product is shady as hell and you (company) can’t even be bothered to establish your own brand.

samsunglogo
Oops

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