On current events, I feel as devastated as my Cajun friends in Louisiana about the purposeful flooding in Louisiana, the first in 40 years, which will devastate some so others can avoid the wrath of Mother Nature. I don't think it's fair that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided with officials from Louisiana and other states to open the flood gates on which people counted, to "save" cities down-river. I am fully aware of the suffering in New Orleans from Katrina - and my empathy is unbounded - but I can't condone what's being done to the farmers who barely make a living off the land and poor people in the Cajun countryside of Louisiana. Many of those about to be flooded - or already flooded - had no flood insurance because of the levees. Perhaps they should have, but they didn't. Will the government compensate for their monetary losses? Nope. Who will help them? I will financially, but I'm a drop in a huge bucket. I cry for them and the abandoned pets, farm animals, and wildlife in the states being flooded.
One incredibly generous and heartwarming tweet came from Bourne Natural Beauty in Australia, who offered to donate for those being harmed. I tear up when I think of her generosity and that of others who are helping and will help the folks who are about to lose everything. I'll be looking to help people, but also an animal rescue organization on the ground helping abandoned animals - the silent sufferers who are sometimes forgotten by society at large.
Then there is the world of beauty, which should be beautiful, but is filled sometimes with crazy ideas and crazy women craving attention. Just a few of many examples follow. See, I can return to topic. I call this beauty baloney.
I am a voracious reader. I read magazines, blogs, online sites, newsletters, e-mails - everything I can find related to beauty. I have learned so much by reading, and I love tips about fabulous products. I also like to talk to experts, so I take every opportunity that comes my way to attend special events at the stores.
Twitter is a wonderful thing! I have grown to love it as a source of information, a community, and great entertainment. I wonder why I was originally reluctant to join. I love others' beauty blogs - I have so much fun reading them.
In social media land, I love to follow people and companies in the beauty industry, including lots of other bloggers. The beauty "tips" you read range from helpful to tread-worn to sheer nonsense. One of my most recent laughs was the recommendation that you match your mascara to your clothing each day. That came from a "beauty expert" with almost 6,000 Twitter followers. Scary - but if you see any lemmings running around your office wearing green mascara to go with their green spring outfits, you'll know why. The expert went on to recommend - all in 140 characters - that you dust your mascara with powder before you leave home. Yikes!
Seeing that tweet made me think about all the bad or useless beauty advice I've read on Twitter, in magazines (top offenders for overselling skin care), and even on blogs. The experts (I don't include myself in that expert category) often get it wrong.
I finally figured out, after many years of reading magazines, that the editors' monthly choices for the "best makeup" are really new products they couldn't have used for a long time. They are usually brand new products, and sometimes they aren't even available. There is nothing more frustrating than going to every store in town looking for something that you finally learn hasn't even shipped to the stores. There's nothing wrong with alerting us to fabulous makeup (or any beauty products) that will be arriving in stores; that's a great service. Just don't make us think we can buy it now!
Eye creams have many virtues, but they can't remove under-eye bags that are caused by fat that has shifted downward with time. Removing bags cannot be achieved with cosmetics. It takes surgery. The appearance of under-eye bags can be lessened with injectables (facial fillers) around them to plump the skin where it is sunken around the fat. You'll need a physician for that. Eye creams can tighten the skin slightly, with caffeine and other ingredients, but they will never make fat melt. The same principle is true for creams that are supposed to dissolve the cellulite on your legs. Don't spend a lot of money on those creams. A temporary firming is all you will achieve.
Now, to the subject of beauty bloggers. There may be thousands of us, and my feeling is the more the merrier. I love reading blogs, and some of my favorites are relatively new. Unfortunately, there are a few beauty bloggers - fortunately not many - who trade on their "blog power" in a self-serving way. They feel entitled by their perceptions of power. Some examples? You tell me if this is acceptable behavior.
- Slam individuals who depend on their jobs in the industry because you were unhappy with your treatment, not caring or trying to understand why things might have happened the way they did.
- Purchase products to blog about them, with swatches and glowing reviews, only to return them once you have profited from them. Do these few bloggers not realize they are harming the sales people who help them - or worse that they are unethical?
- Break U.S. federal regulations by not sufficiently disclosing in a feature that the product reviewed was provided gratis. It's not OK, in my opinion, to put a general disclosure statement on a blog that from time to time companies send products for review - and consider that a disclosure. Many bloggers object to the federal requirement - I'm not sure why. Yes, we are singled out for unusual treatment, when magazines aren't. Oh well. I disclose gratis products in every feature I write - and I don't mind at all.
- Pester beauty companies and/or stores for gratis products. I'm enormously grateful for what is sent/given me for free, but I've got good reason to believe (and proof) that some bloggers take advantage of the generosity.
- Copy other bloggers' features in their entirety and publish the content on their own sites without permission. During the last six months, I have found my complete blog posts on four other "blogs"! Charlie is there, my arm is there, my opinions are there - in one case without any attribution. Gaia and Kari have also suffered the same fate. It's frustrating because many of those blogs are beyond reach in countries that will not enforce U.S. copyright laws. Grrr!