Upcoming Changes / Future of the Blog

July was a strange month with personal developments that required my focus. This bled into August. I reached a decision, but only now have capacity to communicate it and start executing.

Future of Beauty Skeptic

I reached a decision about what to do with the blog.

I am working on relocating where it is hosted – but the process to do so is going to mean there will be down-time associated with it. Between now and Labor Day, BeautySkeptic.com may be periodically unavailable as I migrate hosts.

Why is This Time Different?

Last time I did this, the provider I moved to offered fully automated, turnkey service, I need to do a great deal of this manually – and some of it is learn-as-I go, because while I do work in tech, I am not a Systems Administrator.

What Does This Mean?

All said and done, it means that after the migration is done, you will still be able to access the site and contents a you did before.

For me, it means I have significantly less financial overhead to keep this site live. It isn’t that I want to wash my hands of the project, but the combination of where it was as a priority + how much it was costing just to keep it online + the administration of keeping it online + content creation combined made me consider shuttering it.

Since I’m defraying cost, I think the other elements will be much easier to digest. :)

Brief: Lume Deodorant Minis

Lume Deodorant Minis

Today, we’re revisiting a recent topic: Lume Deodorant. I’ve tried, and like, the unscented cream version. Target sells Lume Deodorant Minis, though, and I figured that would be a halfway decent way to try one of the other options.

I picked up one of the Lume Deodorant Minis in Clean Tangerine. This time, I got the mini stick which comes in a small, slender tube not unlike the Native minis’ older packaging. Certainly very travel or purse friendly. I really dislike having fragrance on my hands, so the squeeze tube was not an option.

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I Quit OTC Retinol, and So Should You

I quit OTC retinol and so should you

Last year, I shared that I incorporated retinol into my skincare routine. If you’re a beauty enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of retinoids for your skin. Retinoids are a type of vitamin A derivative that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, and improve skin texture. However, not all retinoid products are created equal.

I have since quit OTC retinol products that you might buy from Sephora or the drugstore (…or, anywhere, really). If you use over-the-counter retinol products, you should quit them too – and I’ll dig into why below.

First, I covered it a bit in this post, but let’s revisit difference between retinol and retinoids:

The Difference Between Retinol and Retinoids

Retinol is a type of retinoid that is available OTC in skincare products. Retinoids, on the other hand, are available in both OTC and prescription-strength products. Prescription-strength retinoids, such as tretinoin and adapalene (which is available OTC now but was previously Rx-only), are more potent and effective than OTC retinol.

The Problem with OTC Retinol Products

One of the biggest problems with OTC retinol products is that they may not maintain their potency over their shelf life.

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Four Years After Invisalign

Four years after Invisalign, and six years after I started Invisalign, I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve discussed my experience with. A recent rehash prompted me to think that I should revisit the topic here, too, since I wrote extensively about it (indeed, there’s a whole section of the site as noted by the above link) dedicated to it.

How My Smile is Doing

Four years after Invisalign, my teeth are in good shape! I haven’t had any post-treatment problems. Even though it has been four years after Invisalign, I’m still happy with now much easier it is to just, you know, bite into food. It’s easier to care for my teeth than my pre-treatment teeth were (e.g., flossing is easier). It’s easier to do other cosmetic things like use Whitestrips (which, if you must use them, are most cost-effectively purchased at Costco).

And I’m still very happy with my smile!

Four years out, I stand by my earlier assessment of it being worth the money.


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Target x Ulta Partnership

Did you know about the Target x Ulta Partnership? I’ve been a little out of touch, so I didn’t until a disappointing experience with Target in February.

I’d been wanting to try one of the Stila Convertible Colors for YEARS. Like, 5+, but I had a trouble pulling trigger on the $25 cream blush compact. I noticed that Target is carrying some prestige brands, but didn’t think much of it. I saw a Target Circle offer for 50% off some Stila products, and this was on the list! Score.

Maybe not

My order arrived, and this was the condition of the product when I unboxed it:

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Take That, Undergrad

Take that, Undergrad

Two weeks ago, I completed my undergrad STEM degree, summa cum laude. 🎉 I am appropriately proud, especially since I worked full-time and managed to graduate an entire semester earlier than I predicted in this post. Through a pandemic. Through a job change. Through the accumulation of 5 non-academia professional credentials.

“Omg what will you do next?”

Take a fucking nap. Take many naps, I hope, probably with my Manta mask.

No, seriously.

I am thankful. My mental health is better. I’m working hard to build a more sustainable–in every sense–life. I am tired. I am wiped out.

I’ve heard a lot of, “You should–” with well-intended but unsolicited input on what I should be doing right now. The only, and I do mean *only* thing I should be doing right now is resting.

Maybe clean up my back porch, gazebo, and yard so I can enjoy some time out there with something tasty in this.

Longer term, I am going to start a graduate program this fall. Ideally, I want to wait until November (they allow unusual start dates). This past week, I got news that I won another scholarship towards that, which is incredible. If I win another high-value scholarship that requires I enroll sooner in order to get the funding, I’ll start sooner.

I’m excited about it because it is a competency-based program that allows for self-pacing and acceleration. Basically, if you know a topic, you can take write its papers and/or take its exams immediately without busy work and mandatory discussion boards and bullshit. If you don’t, there’s material for you to learn it. Due to my experience, I can zip through a lot of the content quite quickly.

I have some content planned (drafts in progress), so look forward to some more here soon.