July 15th, 2018
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Increasing specialization has been a theme of content sites on the Web, for much of the last 20 years. It’s interesting to realize that both readers and writers have an interest in cosmetics diaries. The comments on that post, by Sophie Kleeman, are interesting, and reviewing cosmetics is exactly how Emily Weiss launched her empire. I’d write something like “I’m surprised Jezebel doesn’t spin this off as its own blog” but Jezebel is now owned by Univision, which is run by idiots, so I’m not surprised that they don’t know how to take advantage of their opportunities.
I have few regrets from my period of employment at Gizmodo Media Group, but never writing a product diary has always been high up on the list. I read them obsessively—one of my favorite creepy interests is watching other people’s beauty routines, and product diaries are basically that, but in blog form.
So, when I saw Julianne recently, I drunkenly confessed this to her. Like the patient angel she is, she was like, “Uh, you can just write one now.” I was like, “WOW, ARE YOU SERIOUS?” And here we are! Amazing.
Truthfully, though, any product diary I would have written back then would have been embarrassing. I spent the vast majority of my life treating my skin poorly. As a teenager, I used things you’re never supposed to put anywhere near your face (rubbing alcohol). As an adult, I stuck to products that weren’t suited to my skin (clay masks) and I was slack about the necessities (moisturizer and sunscreen). Like seemingly every other person on the internet, I finally started paying attention last year. This was due to a few things: caving to capitalistic trends; the connection I’ve always perceived between proper skincare and being a real grown-up; the need to control something while the rest of the world falls apart.
Since then, I have made up for lost time at an alarming pace. I try new stuff constantly. My friend Jenny describes my approach as “intrepid,” which I think is just a nice way of saying that I devote far too much energy to looking like a newborn baby. For now, my life can be summed up as a constant battle with myself over whether to restart my Sephora Play subscription.
I slather on Weleda’s Skin Food moisturizer, which I recently started using and cannot recommend enough. I have dry skin and usually need some sort of hydrating serum, but this moisturizer is enough on its own. (Apparently Rihanna uses it, so if you don’t trust me, at least trust her, because she is perfect, and finding out we had this in common was the best day of my life.) It’s affordable—a tube is about nine bucks at my local Fairway—and you only need a little bit because it has the consistency of a balm. Then I put on some sunscreen. Right now it’s an old tube of Shiseido WetForce I stole from my mom. I also use some of the Ordinary’s squalane oil on my cheekbones to give them a nice sheen. At some point during all of this I put on deodorant and brush my teeth with Sensodyne toothpaste, because my teeth are sensitive little bitches.
A good science project, especially for young women: get a bunch of high school students to go to Sephora. Give them money to buy one or two items. Have them write a hypothesis about how the item might work (as in “I hypothesize the moisturizer works by adding fats to the spaces between my skin cells, thus creating a smoother outer surface.”) Then have them test the hypothesis, perhaps take photos with a good photo microscope*, or refracting light off the surface of someone’s skin. Have them write up the results and post the results to a blog.
* If your response is, “You are so funny, high schools don’t have the money for those kinds of microscopes” my answer is to simply raise taxes till the high schools have enough money to offer good science labs.Source