Z Palette Scandal

I own a Z Palette that I won in a contest a few years ago. Since then, I’ve made a few posts mentioning it, and some of their other products. No more. The recent Z Palette scandal resulting from their disgraceful PR-nightmare is too much for many former customers, myself included.  Z-Palettes will not be mentioned or featured on this blog henceforth.

I can empathize with the frustration that one would experience on the receiving end of criticism for a new product launch. After receiving some skeptical and critical responses on an Instagram post – not even on their OWN Instagram, mind you, but on TrendMood’s, ZPalette lashed out. The results were jaw-dropping.

The Unbelievable Z Palette Scandal

This is a screenshot of just SOME of the responses they sent to Instagram users on TrendMood’s post about their new Z Potter (overpriced induction) device. Instagram users had expressed a ton of thoughts ranging from excitement to uncertainty and skepticism to criticism. The job of a social media manager, however, is not to strike back with acidic replies:

Z Palette Scandal

These are fairly tame. The list of things they felt it appropriate to respond with included calling young ladies cheap dates, insulting people’s financials, or suggesting that they are somehow less evolved. Here’s some examples of the classy replies from the brilliant soul manning the Z Palette Social Media desk:

  • You look like a cheap date, but we’re not messing with you.😂”
  • “Listen to some Jim Rohn — it’s not that it’s expensive, it’s that you can’t afford it.”
  • “If that’s a stove to you, I wonder how big your kitchen is.”

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Unpopular Opinion: On Urban Decay Druggie at Sephora

Over the past week, I’ve seen entirely too many articles decrying Sephora for selling an eyeshadow named, “Druggie.” I anticipate my opinion on this matter to be fairly unpopular – and while I welcome dissent and discussion in the comments, let’s keep it civil.

Making Light of It

Those upset say that the shade name is insensitive; that it makes light of the losses so many have experienced related to addiction. There’s even a Change.org petition with over a thousand signatures begging Sephora to pull the shade. They even go so far as to suggest alternate names.

Urban Decay Druggie

 

Interestingly enough, these articles and people are largely targeting Sephora, like they made the damn shade name. Fun fact, people: Sephora doesn’t own Urban Decay or Urban Decay Druggie eyeshadow or the After Dark palette. Efforts would be better focused there, or at their parent company, L’Oreal.

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Instagram Makeup in the Workplace

In December 2015, I wrote about my feelings on, “needing,” to don warpaint for the office. That opinion hasn’t changed.

In the last two or so years, I’ve seen a dramatic rise in what I’ll call Instagram makeup being worn in public. Okay, cool.

…but Instagram Makeup in the workplace?

Wear makeup to work if you want to, don’t if you don’t. But for the love of cats, get a sense of what is appropriate for work.

Instagram Makeup ... at Work?Skilled? Yes. Work appropriate? No. (pic found on Pinterest)

Last week, in my non-creative office I saw two different women with full-fledged smoky, glittery cut-creases, not unlike what is depicted above. WhatThe problem isn’t unique to my office, though. Many offices, judging by what I see while out for lunch during the work week, have this disconnect. That’s not to mention other work environments where a full-blown, beat, drag-inspired glam face of makeup is not appropriate (read: most of them). Just like shorts-suits or miniskirts, where did the idea that this is appropriate for work come from?

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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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