Chatter: Funny How That Works – An Update

Two weeks ago after hulking out on some school obligations, I found the motivation to put some work back into the site and started posting again. The third item of business, in fact, was getting the Euphoria Makeup post OK to publish.

A few days after I started scheduling content, my state issued new guidelines requiring telework when possible. Frankly, it was already mandated, but the new order made it a bit more black-and-white. So, I have returned to working from home after two months back in the office (which itself was after two months of working from home).

This means that I can, “get away,” with wearing ridiculous bright colors if I find the inspiration to slap them on my face at 6AM. I only did it a few times before; but hey, it was fun so I might get to give my Electric palette something to do. In the dismal world we all find ourselves in at the moment, some frivolity is nice.

So – for fun (?) here’s some insight into what I’ve been up to:


In May 2019 I embarked on an adventure to earn a degree. I work in a field and role that conventionally requires one but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been contrarian. It occurred to me that I have probably maxed out on how far I can go without one (unless I get entrepreneurial); since I desire further advancement, it is a necessity. At the start, I figured I’d be able to do this half-time at best and that it would take me about four years to get the first leg (an Associates) done. “That sucks,” I figured, “but it’s a necessary evil at this point.”

I sold myself short.

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Chatter: Pro Only Product

ChatterPro Only Product

Time for a rant. If you happen to enjoy beauty and product and all that jazz, chances are you’ve encountered a pro only product of which you’re fond…even if that product really doesn’t require professional handling.

It’s frustrating to learn that the flavor of the day is only for sale at CosmoProf (hi, PolyGel when it first came out) or through the pro only product supply-chain and vendors (hi, OPI Gelcolor).

The Rub

In my case, I am most-often frustrated by the lack of availability of nail products. Although in many cases certain US states and certain countries mandate licensure to render services on clients, they don’t necessarily regulate the types of products that can be sold. The industry (in the US, anyway) is largely self-regulating regarding the sale of cosmetic products. This isn’t purely a bad thing; it can help service providers maintain business, for example. I can appreciate that to an extent. In other cases, it’s because the general public is … not bright. After all, the FDA just needed to remind people that drinking bleach is bad.

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Monday Musings & Priority Shifts

Monday Musings

It’s been a while since I shared a chatty post with no major, overarching theme. Maybe Monday Musings should be a thing.

How many people, in real life, put highlighter on their shoulders, anyway? I mean even people going clubbing. Is this a thing? What if you need a jacket outside? Why?!

Consider for a moment that there are folks out there who execute DIY brazilian waxes. Bravery or insanity?

Wet Brush owners – have you used one of these? Both my mom and I have been eying them up. It’s easy enough to clean our own hair out of our respective brushes, but occasionally fuzz and whatnot makes its way onto the damn that is nigh-impossible to extricate without infinite patience and…tweezers.

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The Haul-idays / No Buy / State of Things

No Buy


Since the sale I bought C Firma during, I allowed myself to spend a little more on beauty-related products during the holidays.

In addition to the MiroPure Straightening brush, I bought:

  • Another hair tool to try. There’s no universe in which I would have dropped money (>$125!) on a Beachwaver but I got the InstaWave for $25.
  • A few more Gelaze colors to play with. I hadn’t purchased any gel polish in nearly a year!
  • Some extra Clarisonic brush heads. There was a Cyber Monday sale – got two Radiance heads for $24. Not as excellent as my usual purchase of 4 for $64 (4 pack for $81 + 20% off).
  • A new (to me, not new release) Real Techniques brush. I didn’t really have anything to use on my whole, finished face to blend any edges that I missed, and for $4 on sale I figured it was fair.

Holiday Stuff

In all, I found myself yet again underwhelmed by the holiday offerings put out by most brands. It does look like Fenty Beauty rose to the occasion (still haven’t tried anything from Fenty, though), but everything else fell flat to me. Even Urban Decay who, in spite of my occasional criticism, I generally enjoy, swung and missed (me).

The only thing I found myself tempted by were the new Heavy Metal glitter liner shades – but given that I have few opportunities to even wear the one I own (Midnight Cowboy), I refrained from adding more to my collection. Glitter eyeliner, after all, is not appropriate for work.

State of Things

Now for some general, “state of things,” updates on things I’ve talked about but not super-recently.

No Buy

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Steam of Consciousness & Chatter

Earlier this week, I received a digital copy of my ClinCheck treatment review. I’m beyond excited about it, and even though I’m fairly self-conscious about my teeth, I shared it on Instagram. How millennial of me.

A post shared by Beauty Skeptic (@beautyskeptic) on

Each stage is a new tray!

Tomorrow, I have an extraction. Tuesday, I get my first Invisalign aligner trays. To celebrate that, let’s take a brief break from my usual, structured content.

Every now and then we all have a thought we want to share for the amusement of others or to get their opinions. I tend to experience them in bursts, but since my husband obviously has no interest in beauty-related-anything, I don’t commonly have an outlet. Sometimes I take to Twitter when it occurs to me, but I’m just not engaging enough on Twitter, ha.

In no particular order…

Ever apply a self-tanner with a color guide or instant bronzing effect and wonder, “Who the hell did they met that this shade would be flattering on, ever?”

Seriously. It wasn’t orange, it wasn’t bronze, it wasn’t brown – it was the least-possibly-flattering mix of all three with just a touch of green thrown in. I am pretty sure humans just don’t come in this color. Prodigious.

I was applying a gradual sunless tanner that also had an instant effect and this occurred to me while I was smearing it unattractively all over my face. My husband looked on in horror. “Don’t worry, it comes off,” I explained. Horror turned to confusion. “…it stimulates melanin production, so what you see now is basically just dye.”

Afterwards, the natural coloring that develops is pretty nice. But maybe don’t go out in public with Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel on your face.

I really enjoy having painted nails. After executing a manicure, I sat there, supplies before me, pouting. Why? Because it was 8:30PM and I just spent 20 minutes and still had about hour to go if I wanted flawless polish. The world is cruel.

You know who didn’t have to wait for painted nails?

Sailor Moon.

I called it a night, finished drafting posts and went to bed with naked nails.


…But like why invest in product development and R&D when you can throw lavish influencer party-vacations with luxury presents that aren’t even affiliated with the brand? Or, remarkably, invest in ways to slightly lower cost (and price to boost popularity WITHOUT sacrificing handsome profit margins)?

Just sayin’.


A girlfriend of mine with badass hair tried Overtone conditioner to help revive her hair since she got screwed over for her next color appointment. The regular conditioner made her color-treated hair soft and punched a little more life into it after one use. She expects that the Weekly Deep Treatment will do more for her, though.

This first picture is her fresh from the salon…


…and this second one is eight weeks later with Overtone. It’s no secret how difficult it is to maintain red, so these are great results!

My silver-haired girlfriend (yes, she’s still rocking the silver!) will be pleased to know that 1) it works and 2) it is both cruelty-free and vegan.

As for me, I’m shocked and entertained that it isn’t only intended for maintenance. Their photos suggest that you can color with it, check it out:

I’m not up for Exciting Hair at this point in my life (in fact, I have another balayage appointment soon – I’m such an exciting human) but I really enjoy watching the transformations. Out of curiosity, I’m going to look into real-life attempts; I think it would be interesting to see if it can live up to its claims.

Here’s to an undoubtedly lame weekend with gauze in my mouth and the first uncomfortable step to a straighter smile. I will be changing gauze, eating applesauce and mashed potatoes, pouting, taking ibuprofen, folding laundry, and writing this weekend – what are your plans?

Chatter: Content, Consequence, and Controversy

Grab a cup of coffee or tea – I’ve got a wall of chatter for you today.

What a shame it is that a content creator cannot issue a straightforward (not harsh, nasty, or spiteful) review of a product. Or, perhaps, she can – but not without being lambasted for being a bully, or for, “sabotaging swatches,” or for, “having it out for,” or, “being jealous AF of,” whoever collaborated on the product.


Let’s call a spade a spade. Jaclyn Hill has a bit of a blemished history when it comes to collaborations.

  • 1995, her shade with scandal-ridden Gerard Cosmetics. Sure, the lipstick was apparently fine – but when things went sideways with the whole Manny and Jen fiasco, she could (and should) have been more tactful regarding her choice (which I agree with) to end her relationship with Gerard.
  • Champagne Pop, from Becca, flew off the shelves to a ridiculous degree. The spinoff palette, unfortunately, was a failure. Because Jaclyn for some reason refuses to hire competent PR people (read: not her mom and sister) to help her navigate such sticky situations, she bombed spectacularly when she unceremoniously turned the blame at Becca.
    Sure, it was Becca’s manufacturing process. But when your name is on a product, you are at least partially culpable. There’s also plenty of constructive ways to respond to ugly situations without saying, “It’s their fault! I’m innocent!” Yeah – real professional.
  • Then, Morphe. There was talk for over a year about a second Jaclyn collab palette with them…when info should have been released, it was withheld despite a leak. When it should have launched, it was delayed with little-to-no acknowledgment, let alone explanation, as to why (beyond wishy washy excuses and denials of it being what was leaked). Eventually, it launched – and spoilers: it was exactly what was leaked. The shadows aren’t a special formula, and as far as I can tell (from the few people honest enough to create content without either a) being in Morphe’s pocket or b) trying to impress brands, or Jaclyn, or whomever) it isn’t worth the price.
    I haven’t bought their products, I don’t plan to, so I can’t comment on quality from a first-hand point of view. I can say, however, that I’m not surprised.

Over the years, there’s been a cult of personality developed around Jaclyn. Now, there’s a fairly venomous fanbase who seems to think she can do no wrong. They are so active, so pervasive, that they are attacking content creators who are even just vaguely critical. Not even critical of Jaclyn herself, but suggesting that Product X, although decent, is not quite worth Price Tag $Y. Not saying, “don’t buy this,” or, “this is garbage,” or, “wow, what a failure,” just, “From a value standpoint, there are better options,” and, “there seem to be some inconsistencies in how this product is being presented – here is how I got these results.”


In a sub-industry inundated with nothing but positive reviews, even fans cannot deal with even the slightest hint of honest yet sensitive criticism. Dare to tell the truth that something didn’t blow you away? You’re obviously a hater, just jealous of others’ successes.

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