Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pale lips and bronzy cheeks...

Why is it that whenever I go to a makeup counter, I am always looking for that "perfect nude" lipstick..despite the fact that every nude lipstick in my 30+ years of life has either bored me to death or made me look as if I was at death's door?

Why is it that despite my pale olivey-yellow acne prone complexion, I always take the time to admire the shimmery bronze-y blushes that only accentuate large pores? I always want to do a deep dark gray smoky eye, even though dark grays muddy my complexion. Inexplicably, so many of us are drawn to products that might be "trendy" at the moment, but completely clash with our own unique, individual features. I see far too many women trying to be "edgy" or fashionable in their bright neon tangerine lipstick, or chalky, uneven pasty pink lipgloss. And don't get me started on the spider lashes I have been spotting lately. I have yet to see anyone who actually looked good wearing any of that.

I so admire women who don't like to get stuck in a rut, behind the times when it comes to style and fashion...My mom (and best friend) is always trying to see what's new and what she can try next to "update" her look. But she doesn't try to be someone she's not. And I think it's rubbed off on me; that's why I have always been ready to accept the "limits" of my own features/looks. Don't get me wrong. I will do dramatic eyeshadows and colors. I am bold with eyeshadows and lipsticks...probably bolder than I should be at times.
Makeup washes off, and the only way you learn/know what's good on you is by testing it out.

Test it all good lighting I might add. It's important.

At some point you'll figure out what the limits are. The bottom line is...refuse to cross the line into fashion victim. I think style is about letting the best you come through...not the best label, not the best "current color trend"...the best you.

Hope you all had a great weekend :) I will update soon with some favorite things...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

An introduction...and The Beauty Review Bandwagon (rant)

Sorry this is a long one, I promise they won't be as long in the future!

Hello out there! I was sitting here for the longest time thinking about how to begin this first blog and introduce you to what may be coming in future posts. I'll start with an intro to the blog: I am in my mid 30s ; took a break from makeup for 10 years, rediscovering in January of 2009. I have a very dull/monotonous day job and I was in a "funk" so to speak...seeking an outlet, a new hobby. Boards, blogs and youtube tutorials re-introduced me to makeup as an artform and creative outlet, and here I sit writing to you all with my very own blog. It's been an interesting year...where I have learned a lot about the workings of the internet message boards and tutorials...controversies and trends.

I know there are *many* blogs out there now, and you may all think, what could possibly be the benefit of yet another one, coming from someone like me, who doesn't claim to be an expert of any kind? I am not offering an expert advice column. I won't be selling you stuff or accepting gifts or even having contests and giveaways (uh oh did I just lose all of you? lol). This isn't going to be my side business...I already (co-)own a business (non-beauty related) and wouldn't have the energy or time to start something on the internet. This is just my corner of the web to discuss the looks, trends, products that inspire me, make a real difference for me/enhance my life, and even to discuss the "beauty industry" on the web. I may even be critiquing some "themes" in selling makeup *gasp*! So if you have a problem with rants/ warned.

And with that, I will begin with a post I put up for discussion on one particular beauty board on the net, that drew up some heated discussions. Please do tell me what you think.


Lately it seems like a bunch of you-tubers and beauty bloggers will all decide to review the same product around the time at least 10 others have already reviewed it. How many reviews saying the same thing do we really need to see? Honestly, if peeps had something *new* to add to the conversation that's one thing....but to just say what everyone else has already said? Why?

I think that's why I am becoming skeptical of product reviews from anyone...even trusted sources for tips/tricks etc. If everyone starts hyping something I start to think "they must be getting free product for good reviews". Seriously, take the case of Sigma brushes. I have nothing against them, and in fact I have ordered from them before and just did again. It's just one example lately....I am not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I am not saying that "gurus" are lying. I am just saying that the redundancy is making me skeptical and turning me off to product reviews in general... I am skipping blogs and vids and such because of it.

I do appreciate all the effort and time that so many put into reviews/tuts/blogs and I usually love watching them. I am just starting to feel like sometimes things are over-promoted...overly starts to feel like a never ending infocommercial when you see the same review 30 times from 30 different people. I know some have said "I don't have to review anything I don't why would I lie?"....that's not my issue and I am not accusing anyone of doing anything malicious. All I ask is before doing a review, do a search on youtube or google...or just check out your fellow bloggers/youtubers to see what they have been up to...Just check on how many other people have already done that review-and said basically the same thing- recently.

I think it's obvious that some bloggers and "gurus" are sent a lot of stuff for free...I mean where do you buy OCC liptars or Sigma brushes? They were new products/brands that needed to get word of mouth going, so they sent freebies to people. And there's nothing wrong with people accepting that IMO as long as they are honest about it...As some have said they don't "have to" review a product or hype it if they hate it.

Example: It's especially funny when a bunch of them get something before it's even available to the public and act as though they paid their own money for it. I do think it makes a difference as to whether you think something is "worth getting" for the quality...when you have to pay for it with hard earned cash. I am far less critical about a product I receive as a gift than I am about something that cost me a lot and ended up being mediocre, at best. And sure I am going to be enthused by someone sending me a gift for free..I might get so excited I would write a great review before really using that gift for very long.

There are some gurus/bloggers who deal with/promote an online retailer that sends them stuff quick and for free, but take months to send a product to the cash-paying customer (if they ever send it at all)...I see several gurus touting an online retailer that has terrible customer history according to posts I have come across on Specktra. Some of them just aren't dealing with the same "reality" that the cash paying public has to deal with...jmo

I also  love how some are bent out of shape about having to reveal what they get for free...The reaction by and large seems to be "It's so stupid because you all know by now that I am honest with you always"...welllll

#1 Nope, don't know them personally, and a review IS different when you have to pay your hard earned cash
#2 If you're honest, you shouldn't have a problem telling us when it's free

Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with reviewing products that were sent for free. It's the hype that seems to come along with that trend that bothers me. With the example of the 88 palette or the OCC liptars or even Sigma brushes...they aren't available in stores. So we go on the word of "gurus" and bloggers who have been sent the products to "try out". I respect and understand that we all have different tastes/expectations and what you might like I may not...really I do get that. But say ONE gave it a good review. And then 10 or 20 other reviewers did too...and some of them suggest these products are the best thing since sliced bread...It becomes like "wow that must be really amazing stuff, I've GOT to try it". That's where the hype really grabs at people and gets them to purchase stuff/try stuff that ends up being....less than great in some eyes. It's not that anyone was "lying" but the power of hype, without criticism really misleads people.

But maybe, just maybe, a product isn't "perfect" in every way. Maybe a brush or two they got has shed several hairs...for example. Maybe the pigmentation or texture was off on some items...and not others. Maybe there was a funny scent. Maybe the company didn't package the items well and they were bent on arrival and had to be reordered. What if that information was left out of a review because "overall" a guru liked the products or the people who sold them. What if they just don't want to hurt the feelings of these new entrepreneurs who are so excited and so kind to ship their products for free? Now that's where it gets tricky for me. The hype gets passed on and some of the truth doesn't get passed along with it. That's all I want: the whole truth. I swear that some of the reviews online of Sigma brushes are scripted LOL! They all say the same thing....the same way...Sooo strange. Again, I think the biggest issue is just people repeating glowing reviews that have already been done 44 times before, and not adding any new info....I think the people with the wider audiences are usually the first to do the reviews and that's great. But why are there 20 copycats after the fact? I have to think it's probably because they're trying to get free stuff.

I have sensed a sort of "entitlement" from attitide of "well just skip it then"...As if I didn't think of that already? There was a time when I liked watching vids and now I don't because of the redundancy of those types of infomercials. I hope it isn't wrong to say I wish things were different so I can watch/enjoy vids again.

Ok phew. Just getting that off my chest. Trust me I am not one to rant THIS much too often, and I don't take this hobby so seriously. It's just the one thing that I really wanted to speak out about. With that out of the way, I can assure you that in the future this is gonna be a FUN place lol.

You don't have to agree with me, but please do try to respectfully disagree ;)