Sunday Ramblings…

photo of me, This Country Girl, #thatsnotme campaign

I know I have never done a post like this, but I thought in an effort to branch out, I am trying a new series called “Sunday Ramblings.” In a hectic world, it is nice to sit at my computer on the weekend and regroup my thoughts. The series will be a StoryTime style post where I process  write about things that have happened during my week. Subjects I want to address, things I have seen on Instagram that I would like to add my two cents to, mainly just a way to talk to all of you!

Anti-Aging?!

There is an amazing conversation happening on IG, long overdue, about Aging in the Beauty Industry. I watched an excellent InstaStory Saturday night. Jennifer (@momof6pluspup) went makeup-free to drive home the message of having self-confidence, (beautiful) lines and all. I can’t help to think about how I also have way more self-confidence now at 33 than when I was in my early twenty’s. I can’t be alone. When we finally gather our self-confidence, strut into Sephora, we take a look around to see photos of very young girls on each brand’s campaigns. Nothing wrong with pouty young lips trying to sell lipstick, but a 25 year old trying to sell “anti-aging” skincare products?!

Caroline Hirons hit the nail on the head for me with her blog post, #thatsnotme. I recall a time when I was a teenager where every girl in magazines, photos in a store, or in commercials, did not look like me! Of course I wanted to look more like them, like my friends. I wanted my skin to be lighter, my hair blonde, my nose smaller, and my cheeks to look “normal.” Of course now I realize that those Native American features are what make me unique, but it wasn’t because I felt empowered by the Beauty Industry to feel that way.

I know I don’t feel like an older woman, but I don’t even see anyone my age in beauty campaigns. I have actually noticed the face of beauty campaigns for years because the lack of diversity. Growing up I specifically remember not seeing ads in magazines of someone with my skin color. Someone that isn’t porcelain or chocolate, but someone in between. I do feel they have improved in this area, so maybe they are listening?

I know this is a conversation that didn’t just start this week, or with the September issue of Allure declaring their ban of the word ‘anti-aging.’ However, this is something I thought of whenever Influenster sent me an Age-Reversing Concentrate. I looked at the hashtag that I had to use when posting about my product I received and saw a bunch of young girls that the product had been sent to. Can’t wait to read how it smoothed their fine lines and wrinkles! I have actually seen for myself quite a few women that write reviews on Influenster that are mid to late 30s. Wouldn’t they be a better fit to test out an Age-Reversing Concentrate? Don’t even get me started on the name.

Venn Skincare Age-Reversing All-in-One Concentrate
Venn Skincare Age-Reversing All-in-One Concentrate. Provided complimentary for review by Influenster.

Free Stuff?!

Everytime I would see an unboxing or a post on IG that said “product gifted by brand,” I thought How Cool!! How lucky are they! I mean, who doesn’t like a gift?! Now I find myself struggling with the concept. I received my first “gifted package” this week. One from Influenster and one from a company that contacted me. I am very grateful to be sent these products, and I knew there was a possibility that someone would reach out to me when I started my blog. However, I have let my own thoughts about how I feel about gifted products cloud my excitement.

I have never really had a problem with people using Affiliate Links. I understand it is a small commission that person will receive, plus if it is a product you were going to purchase anyway, what’s the harm? If you don’t support that particular person, then you don’t have to click their links. Simple enough! On the other hand, I have my own thoughts on people being sent products to review. The problem I have with it I haven’t noticed on Instagram, but on YouTube with bigger “Influencers.”

The problem is, no one likes to say something negative about a product that was sent to you for free. I mean, I understand the conflict. Especially being on the other side where a company very kindly sends a product complimentary, it is hard to politely say “I just don’t like it and can’t recommend it!” Let’s keep it real people! There’s no way you love every.single.product. that is sent to you!

I think this mentality has scarred me with respect to gifted products in a sense. If it is someone I trust already, not a problem. However, if it is someone I feel like I don’t know (i.e. bigger Influencer,) that review holds no weight to me. I guess it just scares me that people will think of me in this way, too. I feel I haven’t done anything for anyone to distrust me, but have I done enough to earn trust? 

Too Many Products?!

There’s a problem I have been grappling with this week that goes beyond trust and credibility

Makeup of the Day post from Instagram @mybeautyful_journey
#motd

though. I had to face the cold, hard truth the other day as I was reorganizing my skincare products. There’s a reason why I felt the need to reorganize, I have too many products! The realization hit me like a cold blast of wind on a winter day, “How will I use all of these products?!” The problem goes back to when I started posting my routines on Instagram. I would see other’s routines and think “Oh, I really need to try that cleanser, too!” I am notorious for not finishing products.

Now that I have this lovely blog, I want to try more products. I want to try new products that are recently launched, compare old products to new ones, or just to try something for my own selfish reasons. But do you see how that compounds the problem? I use to joke about being a skincare hoarder (and makeup…let’s get real, Heather.) It’s really not funny though, it’s wasteful.

There’s a lovely lady that I admire very much, Marcia (@skinminimalist) She has implemented a rule for herself that if she wants a new product, she must finish a similar product first. It is a wildly popular hashtag, #1empty1newbie. Genius. While I will not commit myself to something I know I will inevitably fail, I will be more mindful of my purchases in the future. Plus, I have a handful of products I would love to see relocated to a loving, new home! Perhaps my wastefulness can make someone else’s day…Just not Mr. Country Girl!

I have a plan that makes me feel better today, but my purpose in sharing this rambling post is to remind others to take stock! During this notoriously difficult Holiday season, where there is sale after sale, discount codes, and amazing gift with purchases, let’s show some self-restraint. I know I am preaching to the choir here, perhaps I am writing this to remind myself later.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3…

On the complete other side of the spectrum….I am currently in the process of testing the

Collection of new acids, Lixir Skin, Colleen Rothschild, and Drunk Elephant.
New Acids! Lixir Skin Night Switch PHA/AHA 10% (Left,) Colleen Rothschild Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum (Middle,) Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial mini (Right)

remaining Paula’s Choice acid exfoliators that I have not tried yet. Why?! To write a very large blog post (cause apparently that’s how I roll) of all of PC acids. After a very popular IG post, plus a lot of questions regarding acids in general, I have decided to start testing other acids as well! So after I finish my PC acids post, I will start working on a comparison post about other brand’s acids. Anyone have any recommendations?! Besides PC, Drunk Elephant, and The Ordinary, I really haven’t traveled too far down the acid rabbit hole. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! What acids would you like to see me try out, review, compare, etc.

This post has been a lot of fun to write, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it! Learning that my voice matters and what I have to add may be valuable has been a liberating journey to travel. You may not agree with everything I say, but that’s ok. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and ramblings too! Can you add anything valuable to any of these topics? Sound off in the comments! Until next time, Have a great week!

Stay Happy & Beautiful-

Heather

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