Posted on Monday, at • bought • 217 views
And for another round of the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar! (Part of me thinks, I should do something like this in a month other than December. Another part of me thinks…I don't want to do two of these a year.) I started this because during the holiday season, when so many beauty blogs seem to be gift guides, I wanted to give - and let's be honest, have - a place where there was a theme, there could be gift-guide-like posts, but it was also about remembering and sharing. Within loose guidelines, the participants would get to share what they want. And thus this idea was born. It's undergone some tweaks and changes through the years, as certain ideas worked and others did not.
Who's me? I am female, 46 years old (yep, I'm older than the internet) and thoughout my life I've had several short-term relationships with makeup. It never lasted, because I didn't have money to buy quality products and so, naturally, I wasn't thrilled with the results. I'd go from trying to wear shadow and eyeliner and mascara and lipstick to mascara-and-liptint, then eventually would even give up the mascara. Then I'd let all the makeup sit untouched for over a year, and it would start to go off. Eventually I'd throw it out, a few years later the cycle would begin anew.
Things changed in 2007. I started experimenting with a prestige makeup brand that sold loose-powder everything. This let me get some product, apply it using a brush, and put back the rest of the product…without ever once putting a brush or an applicator directly into it. This meant that even if I had another “meh” phase, this makeup wouldnt' go bad. I started buying more of this makeup off of Ebay, and slowly branched out to trying and buying from indie brands who, like BE, sold the loose powder makeup that I preferred. Additionally, I now had a job in tech, it paid well, and I held on to it for several years so was not going through many periods of low income/low employment. Things went well. I started to notice that, between BE and indies, there were some dupes and some near-dupes. It would be kind of nice, I thought, if there had been a site that compared colors between BE and the various indies, so that anyone else who wanted to see a good consistent comparison of BE's Trust to similar indie-eyeshadow offerings, might have a place to go.
And so I created it.
I've been blogging at one URL and another since 2001. I've had web sites since the days of Geocities (and Angelfire and Xoom and Tripod and Crosswinds and…) I've had Sparklecrack Central up and running since January 2009, which makes this my current second-longest-continually-active site. I have plans for all through 2016 and into 2017. Organizing, scheduling, and planning are very soothing to me, so this site also serves as a calming activity for me and a release valve: where so many other things in my life are not under my control, or are subject to others' input, this site is 100% mine. If I woke up tomorrow and decided to shutter the site, or even send it dormant for a time, there would be no companies that I would have to notify, no deadlines that I'd have to rearrange, no revenues that I'd be potentially foregoing, nothing. Just get up, post a “taking a sabbatical BRB” notice et voila. Shutting this site down, or even significantly changing its direction or posting schedule, would have zero effect on my income or professional commitments. That's the real reason I resist going pro: Everyone needs areas in their life where I can just do their thing and not worry about huge consequences if the shape or scope of “their thing” changes significantly. For some folks, that's gardening, or restoring autos, or scrapbooking, or sewing. For me…it's this site.
I like to read about peoples' thoughts and experiences with makeup, and so that's what I try to write about when I do my writeups. I like reading good tutorials, but aside from a few things, I think I'm rather Bob Ross-ian about makeup: do what makes you happy, don't worry about perfection. Therefore, what I know about technique is a bit on the lean side…so I don't write too many tutorials. I firmly believe that there are some terrible products, but there are no “best” products. There are only what products are best for you - and that list of “best-for-me” products does change over time, as your personality and preferences changes. Whether it changes a little, or a lot, it's all good.
I don't know if I have many favorite posts of the past year. I do have several milestones. I've started a series to write up and photograph all of the BE kits that I have (or, at least, that I have the color-pieces for. There's more crossover than most people realize.) I've written a few longer posts, but not too many. I was hoping that 2015 might be the year that I would have more time to do more long-form op-ed posts. Then, around August, I took stock and said to myself, “Well, maybe in 2017.” Now, I'm thinking, “Maybe in the second half of 2017…” I did enjoy writing up the types of products that I buy from indies, versus corporations. I sometimes feel that you can be a lover of indie makeup, or a lover of storebought finished products, but both sides seem to think that you Can Not Enjoy Both. I got a good amount of eyeshadows and eyeliners nicely photographed - that is no mean feat! I also enjoyed that process because I got to re-introduce myself to so many of the shadows that I own. (I'm going to need to come up with some kind of rotation system where I always have a sub-portion of my shadows closer to hand, so that I use them all - or at least, most of them. Then I rotate in the next batch. Then the next.)
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