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Feb. 15th, 2015

Things That Smell Good

This is a really interesting article about how American perfume preferences differ from perfume preferences of people in other countries. I like to wear perfume, although I sort of got out of the habit when I worked in foodservice (apparently scents can cause problems with taste of the food, so if we got caught wearing perfume the sorta-boss would yell at us), and I haven't quite managed to get back into wearing it all the time.

The article does go a bit off on a tangent in the bottom third of the article (and never does really explain where she got some of her ideas, or what the back up for it is), but overall it's really interesting, and I thought I'd share it with you guy.

Sep. 6th, 2014


In case anyone is interested, I know have a MakeupAlley account, in case you actually give a damn about what makeup I'm wearing and what I think about it. I have some reviews up already, so if you're interested go ahead and check it out!

Sep. 2nd, 2014

People > Animals, or Racism Isn't Okay Because You Like Bunnies

You guys know me, I don't like to get involved in this kind of kerfuffle. But today, I saw something, that even though it happened six months ago now, pissed me off so much that I had to say something, I couldn't stay quiet. Honestly, I'm furious, at a whole lot of people.

It started when my mom told me about a weird encounter she had in the Sephora in the mall where we live. I had asked her to buy me some concealer. Unfortunately they were out of the kind I usually get (that works on my ghost-white skin- seriously, I'm like half a shade darker than printer paper so finding American makeup that works on me is a challenge) so she was looking at some other brands that had a wide range of colors, hoping there might be one that wouldn't look alarmingly orange if I used it to cover up a zit. One of those brands was Tarte. She was trying to decide if the light concealer was going to work for me when another customer came up to her and told her, and I quote (well, my mother's rendition of what the other woman told her): “You shouldn't buy that shit, the company's owned by a bunch of MURDERERS.”

My mom's reaction was basically “WTF.” And so she asked the other woman what the hell she was on about. The woman's response? “Oh, the woman who started the company sold it to the Japanese and they torture animals to death!”

By this point my mom was kind of weirded out, but the woman continued going on and on and on, telling my mom that she should give her her email address so she could send her some information on animal testing and how horrible it is. My mother politely declined, came home without buying anything, and told me what had happened. So I looked it up.

Yes, in March of this year, Tarte Cosmetics was purchased by Kose, a Japanese company that manufactures, among a lot of other things, cosmetics. Some of Kose's brands include Anna Sui, Paul&Joe Beaute, Rimmel, Softymo, and Happy Bath Day, all companies I own (or have owned in the past) items from.

And people went berserk, because Kose, according to Japanese laws, sometimes conducts animal tests. Apparently this is way more of a hot-button issue than I thought, because I haven't seen that much invective directed at a corporation since... ever, probably. And a lot of what I read was really disgusting- and this was on moderated pages, at that. Some of what was still there would have made WWII propagandists go “guys, that's a bit far, don't you think?” I really do not want to see what the comments that said “removed” said. And no, I will not be linking to them, I don’t want that shit on my blog even indirectly.

Considering I have a lot of Japanese friends, I was... disturbed, to say the least. Comments saying that they hoped Japanese women who bought Kose cosmetics had acid dripped into their eyes were all over the place, comments about wanting to vivisect Kose customers, comments about wanting to torture the founder of Tarte Cosmetics “the way the animals would be tortured...” it was really disgusting, alarming, and truthfully, enough to probably get the comment writers on an FBI watch list. I hope they ended up on an FBI watch list, because some of them definitely seemed more than willing to go do something atrocious in the name of “saving the animals.” What I want to know is- do these dumbfucks not realize that they're talking about torturing people to death, in the name of saving some lab rats? I'm sorry, but I view threats to my friends and myself (since I own and use Kose products) to be quite a bit more serious than the fate of some rats. Do you take medication at all? Even Advil for a headache? Then you've used products that were tested on animals. The people who were ranting and raving about this call themselves “cruelty free.” Really? I'd say wishing horrible torture on women from a different culture is pretty fucking cruel.

Here in the US, we seem to be a lot more sentimental about animals than people in most other countries. In fact, in most places in the world, people would be absolutely horrified to know that Americans are slapping stuff on themselves that hasn't been tested. I spoke to many of my friends while I was working on this article and a lot of them were very disturbed at the idea that American companies are allowed to sell products that have not undergone the safety tests that are required in their countries. One of my friends, S, was very alarmed when I told him I used products that have been certified as “free from animal testing.” “You put that shit on your FACE?!” he yelled at me. “What happens if you get chemical burns or something?! How do they know it’s safe?!”

Look, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think animal testing should be conducted if it can be at all avoided- some things, like medications, really do need to go through a very stringent testing process before they can be given to people, even for testing. If the medication immediately kills the mouse or whatever, you probably don’t want to give it to people. I think, for the most part, cosmetic animal testing is unnecessary. But different countries have different laws for the safety of their citizens. There are some popular cosmetic products that are available in Asia and Europe that are not available here in the US, at least not through actual brick and mortar stores, because they would require more testing by the FDA before they could be sold to Americans. And I can tell you right now that they probably wouldn’t test the stuff on FDA employees. I think we can all agree that unnecessary animal cruelty is a bad thing. The difference is, that depending on the country of original, the standard for necessary vs. unnecessary will be different. I’m not sure where we should draw that line, either.

But I do think we should draw the line at making terroristic threats. And I’m pretty sure threatening to kill people because they use a makeup product you don’t like can fall under the heading of terroristic threats.

May. 1st, 2013

BB Cream!

I am so thrilled to finally find a foundation-type makeup that actually works on my skin and doesn't make my printer-paper white self look like I'm auditioning to be a Snooki impersonator. And oddly enough, it doesn't come from any of the major brands here in the United States, nor is it something even really well-known in the United States. Instead, it comes from Korea and Japan.

I am talking about BB cream!

This is what I've been using since I ordered it from Amazon, and it is simply the best makeup I've ever tried. It clears pores, evens out my wonky skintone, and doesn't make me look like the Annoying Orange. It is expensive for the small amount you get, but in my opinion, it is definitely worth it. I'm really looking forward to trying different brands to see how they work as well!

And no, I'm not getting paid for this, I'm just so happy that I finally found something that works that I just had to share it with the world! Sorry if you guys don't actually care, we'll be back to normal soon.

Jun. 29th, 2012

So pretty...

I found these really, really pretty eye makeup looks inspired by The Avengers. While I'm not half bad with applying makeup, there's no way I could do the more impressive ones (like the SHIELD logo or the design for Thor)- how she managed to do that without stencils or pre-printed eye makeup sheets I have no idea, but I want to learn from her. In fact, on my next day off I'm going to mess around a bit, try to recreate some of these (at least, the ones I think I might have a chance of managing to do). I especially like the Hulk and Loki designs, and Iron Man is pretty as well. I don't have any red eyeshadow, though, so that one might be out of the question for now (at least until I have enough time to go to Sephora and pick up some new eyeshadow colors).

I can just imagine the expression on my boss's face if I showed up for work with those eye makeup looks. Actually, the Big Boss would probably like them, honestly. My pseudo-boss, on the other hand? Probably not so much.

Jan. 17th, 2012

List of companies/organizations that support SOPA

The List Of Shame

You won't be able to access this list in a few hours, because Wikipedia is shutting itself down to protest SOPA and PIPA (the Senate's version of SOPA), but it's an interesting look into who supports censorship. Some of this is really disappointing to me- no more Clinique or MAC cosmetics for me, I'll just have to spend the extra money and go with Urban Decay or Shiseido. But that's not too big of a deal, I don't need to wear cosmetics as something integral to my daily life. However, some things are going to be harder to cut out. Like textbooks- this next semester most of the textbooks I need are going to be published by a subsidiary of Cengage, which is a major supporter of SOPA. Come on people, who the hell pirates textbooks anyway? Why do you support censorship- I thought the book publishing industry was supposed to be against censorship, since, you know, it kind of affects their bottom line? But whatever. Textbooks, alright, I can bum them off someone I know who already took the class or get them on eBay or something. I don't have to give money to the textbook companies.

But the thing that makes me so enraged about this whole thing is the fact that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and Pfizer. I can't just not take my medication. While I won't die if I don't take it, I will turn into a complete head-case, paranoid and depressed and hyperactive. That's not a good outcome for anyone, especially not for me, because I might end up in the loony bin again. So I'm stuck having to make a choice regarding my health or my principles. And as much as I hate to say it, because it makes me come across as an opportunistic leech, I think I have to choose my health in this case, unless I can convince my doctor to get me on the generic brands of my medication (which, HA HA HA, yeah right, you pretty much need an act of Congress to get that old fart to do anything to your prescriptions, even if what he's put you on is making you violently ill). I'm not happy about it, and if I thought I could get away with it, I WOULD lose the medication. Unfortunately, though, I do need to be able to work and attend class without thinking everyone is going to attack me. Fortunately I have a three-month  supply of the medication I need to take, so I won't have to give any more money to the companies for another three months. HOPEFULLY in that three-month time frame, these companies and organizations can be talked into taking themselves off this list of supporters, because if not, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Goddamn it, world, stop making me choose between my health and my morals! I don't like it, and you wouldn't like it if I abandoned both!

Dec. 17th, 2010

Attack of the Kiosk People

Have any of you ever gone to the mall, intending to do some nice shopping, and then get attacked by vulture-like kiosk people? Yeah. It happened to me again today, and it's happened in the past. Now I have some nail buffer thing and this Dead Sea mud lotion from Israel, and I'm out $30.

Usually when kiosk people attack me, I use the Lithuanian I retained from my childhood to pretend that I do not speak English. Unfortunately, this guy jumped me right as I got off the phone with my friend. Obviously, since he doesn't speak anything other than English, I was speaking English, and the guy heard me, which meant I couldn't fake not understanding him. My brain also froze up, so I couldn't use my other excuse- I have a child back at home and if I buy this crap I can't afford to buy him food for the next week, and I didn't think of that. So the guy keeps talking to me, asking me about my life, and before I know what's going on, he's stuffed the package of nail buffer and lotion into a bag and ringing up my purchase. I was still shell-shocked. Next thing I know I'm walking away with some very expensive mud. I could have gone outside and dug up a bottle of mud for free.

It's actually not very common for me to go out in places where there are aggressive salespeople- I'm very reticent in nature, so dealing with people does not come naturally to me. It's not the first time this has happened to me, either- I've ended up with really shimmery eyeshadow from a kiosk (that wasn't so bad, it was only $11, and I routinely pay more than that for eye makeup), facial peel (that was more problematic- it was $65 and burned my skin off, and they wouldn't take it back), and a cell-phone cover that actually worked pretty well. It kept my Pwned Phone safe for five years (that phone had gone through the washing machine, dropped from two stories up, dropped in a pool, and all kinds of other disasters and survived just fine). Anyway, it's just something else annoying to add to my litany of grievances. Look, Kiosk People, I know you all have to make a living, but seriously, I don't need all this random crap. Especially not mud. Because I can get that anywhere.