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Friday, February 1, 2013

The Older I Get...

I saw an article on Refinery29 today that started me thinking. Yeah I know WATCH OUT, she's thinking! We all know that rarely ends well.

Here's the article: Refinery29 Does Liking a Luxury Brand Make You a Beauty Snob

It reminded me of so many other discussions and comments I've seen on various other sites. And sometimes some of the responses really get my panties in a bunch and it just reminds me of that old quote:  It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.-- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

As a redhead full of opinions, I've opened my mouth a fair amount of times removing that doubt. But the older I get, the more I learn...the more of the "big picture" I see. And the more I realize that there are a LOT of ignorant people in the world. I'm also pretty convinced that the louder someone squawks about some perceived "injustice" or another, the fewer brain cells they have to rub together. I'm not sure exactly what set me off this time, but when people judge others, and by this I don't just mean form their own silent opinions in their heads based on whatever knowledge they have to work with at the time, I mean judge harshly and vocally without having enough information, I get worked up.

The one that gets me the most is "that person" who feels the need to go on whatever site they can find and proclaim loudly what an awful person someone is for having a handbag that costs $$$$. They could've spent all that money on the homeless! Really? What have YOU done lately for "the homeless?" Someone who can afford a $$$$ handbag is usually the person who is wealthy and someone for whom (percentage of their income) is the equivalent of me spending $20 on a bag from Walmart. Now where are the people crying foul there? After all, I could have carried my stuff around in a free plastic bag from the grocer and spend that $20 "on the homeless!" It's the same amount of ridiculous. And not only that, people for whom $$$$ is the same as my $ are usually wealthy people who, either out of necessity or out of the kindness of their hearts spend a LOT of their time and $$$$ on various charities. When is the last time "that person" on the other side of the computer got off their duff and volunteered at a homeless shelter or gave up that fake Coach purse (yeah - you ain't foolin' nobody) in favor of a $20 Walmart bag so that they could donate $$ to "the homeless?"

Anyway, my response on the article I posted above was this:


I am an equal-opportunity beauty product user. If a $7 mascara looks as good as a luxury brand $45 mascara and doesn't make my lashes fall out, I will use it. There are certain Chanel and Dior nail polishes that have a formula far better than ANY drugstore brand polish and there are Chanel and Dior nail polishes that are blown out of the water by a $1.97 bottle of Pure Ice. Consumers need to be smart with their choices and not be in EITHER camp when it comes to the products they use. I have as many spendy brands as cheap ones because I've taken the time to pick and choose what works for me. I would never buy JUST for the label and I would never settle for a cheap product if the quality wasn't up to par. I have gone cruelty-free (with nail polish and I am working on the rest of my beauty products going CF) and Sally Hansen could put out a gorgeous bottle of polish with the perfect formula for $7 and I would still buy a $30 bottle of cruelty-free polish over that. So, as in life, things aren't totally black and white. Great topic!
OH and as an aside, people who judge others based on their own narrow perceptions really bother me. I've seen people put someone on BLAST for spending too much when for all they know, dropping $300 on a beauty cream to that person is about the same thing (percentage of their income) as another person spending $3.00 on a beauty cream. There are people in the world who make substantially more money than I can wrap my head around and I've come to discover that those are the same people to donate a greater portion of their time and money for charitable causes, yet they get vilified for the expensive bag on their arm or the Chanel beauty cream in it. Just remember, there is always someone better off than you and there's always someone worse off.


I'm not really what I call a "beauty blogger" because I just review nail polish and not foundations and lipsticks and such. But I can tell you as the "informed customer" I try to be, there are FANTASTIC beauty bloggers out there and to not use that wonderful knowledge when making your own decisions is a mistake. Find yourself some beauty bloggers you trust (hopefully I am a nail blogger you can trust <grin>) and check them out and see what they have to say about products you're considering.



So...what are YOUR opinions? C'mon, SPILL!






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49 comments :

  1. Those are very great points you make and when YOU open your mouth, you don't prove to be a fool. You prove to be very level-headed and thoughtful.

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  2. I do judge people when they buy luxury items. Not that could have fed the poor. But I judge people when they can't clothe their own children and buy $200 shoes or $500 purse. I don't care if rich people spend their money. But when my SIL comes digging around my mom's pantry for food, because she says she is poor, in her designer outfit and shoes and purse I get miffed.

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    1. I agree completely! That's totally different that the people I'm on about. Those are the kinds of people who buy a label JUST to try and impress people they don't even know. It's like take care of your own family's needs first!

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    2. Oh gosh this so much. My mom used to work for social security and she was always telling me these stories of women coming in with massive debt and dressed to the nines trying to get food stamps or subsidized housing or something. If you have the money, great, spend it on what you want but if you're buying these things at the expense of everything else? Then yes, I judge you. I have an aunt that my mom basically supports because she can't keep a job and is in massive debt from being one of those women who'll charge a $500 handbag and then feed her a can of offbrand soup or something. My mom actually lent her my car when I was in college and couldn't afford parking ($800/semester?!?!?!) and she completely ruined it.

      It's just really hard to know on the internet who the people who are buying these things without a second thought because money is no object, who the ones who save up and decide to splurge (*clings to my YSL envelope clutch*), and who the ones who are just racking to debt are. And of course the internet so loves to judge and rant and attack.

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  3. I completely agree. I think people a lot of the time feel angry that THEY can't be the one spending $300 on a beauty cream. They would probably be no more likely to spend more helping people than they already do if they had the money. There are plenty of ways to help people without donating money and it makes me wonder how many of those people screaming about how much someone spends on something actually do to help ANYONE aside from themselves.

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  4. and another thing. They don't know how much that person did or didn't spend helping others. Some wealthy people spend quite a lot of time and money helping people and some don't! I also agree with Mimisan, but that is a different situation. That's called being a bad mother/person. A wealthy person who doesn't use every extra cent to help people isn't a bad person, they are just a normal person, with more money. I've at times felt the jealousy of not being able to afford things but I don't hate wealthy people for having money. We're not communists, we shouldn't be so quick to try or want to take from the wealthy. Wealthy people pay more in taxes, donate more, help strengthen the economy and are generally the ones who create jobs. Okay, now I'm starting to rant!

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  6. In my opinion, it is nobody else's business what anyone spends their money on. I have no problem with people owning a $$$$ purse or makeup or whatever it is as long as it is in line with their income and their giving as well. I grew up with people that judges (and still do) celebs on the red carpet for having certain clothing, jewelry, etc. because, yes, "they could have given that money to the poor." Well guess what, they donated more to charity this year than you make in a year so get over it.

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  7. I agree with you. Everyone is different. Don't judge others when you don't have the complete full picture. It's none of "that person"'s business anyway how one spends their money.

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  8. What a great joy to read this post!!! Thank you for your common sense and your openess, it is so refreshing and authentic!!! You ARE a favorite blogger of mine and I truly appreciate your across the market picks - this is what spices up each and every of your posts. With regard to your topic: I am bored over my head by these "good-talkers" and while I certainly cannot afford a $$$$ handbag I am happy for those who can and enjoy using it. Same for creams, clothes, shoes. Unfortunately a huge number of Homo sapiens feel compelled to preach their morals - conveniently in a safe environment and on topics like fashion or cosmetics - yawn!!!! And I am with you with cruelty free, this seems to be a less attractive topic to these people somehow.... Or that the fake Coach bag was made by children in a filthy hole at the other end of the world!!!! To end this comment on a positive note: plenty of manufacturers have implemented ethical standards and are keen to stick with it, I am happy each and every time I discover a new one.

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    1. I'm verclempt! ♥

      It's making my day to find like-minded people out there because honestly, it's sort of depressing seeing my facebook feeds lately. I may be wrong (a LOT) but I figure at least I thought for myself instead of being lazy and stupid and letting others think for me.

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  9. There is a difference between feeling miffed and jealous because someone can afford to pay $880 for a single bottle of nail polish -- and I can't or don't choose to-- AND noticing the sadness and inequity of a society in which some very few people can afford that $880 polish while other people in one's region or country cannot afford to feed, house, or clothe their children. I happen to be in a line of work where I've seen it all-- both mothers with children with terrible health problems that insurance won't cover-- and wealthy celebrities with homes on private islands whose so-called philanthropy is very self-serving. The reality is that some of the largest industries which give a few people great wealth are subsidized (at least in the U.S.) by taxpayer dollars. Personally, I am someone who has done a ton of volunteering and service-- and I like pampering myself with beauty purchases-- sometimes perhaps a little too much. Sometimes I do feel badly about it-- that I have what I have-- when I can see what many people have to go through-- through no fault of their own. People like to admire the haves-- and believe that they could never be among the have-nots. It's just human nature because we want to feel safe and okay. But the reality is that most people are at greater risk of joining the have nots-- then they are likely to become extremely wealthy. Envying others is not the most effective or kindest way to restore balance and fairness to a society-- caring is.

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    1. Spoken by someone who actually DOES care, unlike so many of the people I'm talking about. The envious people spewing viciousness are "those people" that irritate me. Not the actual people who do care and are doing something about it other than sitting behind a monitor crying foul. Thanks so much for your comment. ♥

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    2. Thank you for starting this discussion. I so love that we get to talk about stuff like this in our nail world. <3

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  10. I always like when you are 'thinking' because it's well thought out and a good read.

    I guess on this issue I'm middle of the road. I don't think it's bad that others can afford something that I can't. Even with a low income I could save up and buy the expensive polishes if I wanted to, but I don't want to. I don't have enough free $$ to buy the top brands, but if given the choice between drugstore brands, and the next level up I pass on the drugstore. It's not that I don't have fantastic nail polishes from lesser brands, it's just that when I spend any money at all I'd rather get something that has a higher chance of having a good formula. With a bit of a higher price tag you're paying for better quality control in most cases, and prettier packaging (both of which I appreciate). While the less expensive brands might be just as high of quality, it's less of a gaurantee than with a higher end brand.

    I also think that most people who condemn those who buy expensive bags/cosmetics don't really care if you give money to charity or not, that's a ruse. They're just jealous that since someone is able to buy a more expensive product that makes them better than them. This is partially due to the sort of people who have these debates. I'm not trying insult anyone, but most anyone who is interested in beauty products is essentially paying for items that we don't need, cosmetics aren't a necessity.

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    1. Exactly. Cosmetics aren't a necessity, although when I look into the mirror first thing in the morning it tells me otherwise! Which is why I can still take medicine that is tested on animals or wear leather (because "I ate the cow") and want to be cruelty-free with my beauty products. Thanks for your post! ♥

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  11. Great post. And I love the discussion going on here as well. I do think it is no one's business how they spend their money, but for those who openly judge the wealthy it certainly is an indicator of that person's mindset and insecurity when they verbally attack someone out of jealousy. A secure and healthy person has no need to do that. It is likely these people are unhappy with themselves and need an outlet to make themselves feel better by attacking those they feel inferior to. Sad really.

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  12. I really appreciate this post. There's a big difference between having an opinion and respecfully voicing it or just being mean. I'm horrified by the attitudes and cattiness I see on Facebook. Personally, I never feel it's my place to comment on how much someone spent on anything. Mostly because it's none of my business :). But also because I can't make an informed decision about someone else's purchase.
    It also irritates me when people tell a business owner (and everyone else) how to run their business. Suggestions are one thing, but demands are ridiculous. If you don't like their policies, don't buy their product. I can't believe how much I've seen this happen to indie polish makers.

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  13. It's true girl, all what you're saying. You know I am a middle class mexican so I probably see a lot more poor people everyday than you. However, no matter how heartbreaking that is, the truth is that you can't live your life feeling guilty for what you've earned. Does that make me a bad person? I mean I try to be kind to others, help when I can, pay what's fair to employees... But from where I see it some people are poor by choice. Either because they don't want to work or because they made wrong choices in the past.

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    1. I doubt that you see a lot more poor people. I'm in South Texas! Great post - thanks!♥

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  14. Nice topic! As someone who is lucky enough (at this point anyway) to be making more than the average US income, my feeling is there is something slightly obscene about paying more than a few hundred dollars on any one item of clothes or accessories. It just seems wrong, no matter your income. I have no problem with paying for quality but I don't think the money that is made on these things goes to the people it should: the artisans who made them. I'm sure they are paid but do they enjoy a larger income because the goods are higher priced? I doubt it. I am all about paying living wages to everyone on the planet, shopping locally when possible, and thinking globally. That being said, I totally want some handmade shoes! That to me would be worth it, if they were personalized to my feet. Also, services like hair color and styling can also be worth a higher price. Don't even get me started on diamonds though!

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  15. I am sorry for deleting my last comment. I was the odd one out, and felt embarrassed. For the record, I had said that I agree here, and particularly with the points that it's impossible to know the person buying the luxury goods, and that it was thoughtless to judge them simply because they had a certain bag. Nothing wrong with it!

    But I also said something else - and I'd like to rephrase that and add something.

    There seems to be a culture sometimes where luxury and spending is *over* promoted, and over idolised, a little too much, in my view. There is nothing wrong with beautiful things.

    But somehow, sometimes, this culture can have a harmful effect with people who are mentally weak. Sometimes, this is where you see people who have reached extremes like Mai and Mimisan described above, spending all their money on luxuries or shopping. Those people can't be excused for what they have done - but they are mentally weaker than others. There seems to be a culture sometimes of "she who shops and has the best stuff is No. 1". And it is hard for some people to resist temptation to spend money they don't have to follow that.

    I don't actually want to say that the culture is to blame and not the people for such examples.

    I know that wasn't the original topic. Sorry. I am being honest, and its a little confusing to try and describe what I'm thinking. I would love for any of you to reply with your thoughts (even disagreeing)

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    1. People with the mentality that the person who has the best "stuff" is a better person or someone to emulate aren't people I care to be friends with in the first place. I like nice things and I even have a few nice things but I never put myself in a position to struggle in other areas because of them and I NEVER forget that they are just things.

      And situations DO change - you never know what tomorrow will bring. I guess my point is that people generally can't have enough information to even think they are in a position to judge anyone else because of something superficial. That expensive bag could have been the result of years of no manicures or professional haircuts or new clothes - a goal reward for hard work and thrift. Or it could have been a gift from a loved one that they will carry until it literally falls apart.

      I do think certain "cultural" aspects of what we see and hear everyday certainly influence all of us to varying degrees. But it's up to each one of individually to make the choice for ourselves what to "fall for" and what to avoid. Personal responsibility above all.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful post! ♥

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  16. I agree with you it is your choice to buy a expensive or cheap one. U don't need a label u need something u like because it fits you. there are so many pretty polishes from drugstore brands and cruelty free. I made my mind to go on a 100% cruelty free. it is going pretty wel but it is not a easy job.

    One thing is liking a $$$$$$ purse if you can afford it and don't put your self and family in trouble. But I always think there is a tomorrow, so I wont spend too much U never know when U well need that money for something that can present and U need to spend that money on that. Fix a car, and operation. etc. If people are impressed by your belongings , You don't need that people into your life, cause one day if don't have it they wont be there anymore. I do prefer people who are by me for me and not for what I have and I can spend. Wealthy people can also loose their money you never know. But who you are is a value that don't change with money .


    I like your blog mostly cause you care for other and you show dad being a person who tries to go cruelty free. yes four legged and fur have also feelings

    I follow blogs for many reasons, some cause they are funny and you can have a chat , some cause they are artistic , some cause they know how to write.
    different reasons.

    People can always give their opinions the trick is how to bring it. You don't need to be hateful and offensive to give your opinion. You can always say it gracefully and respectful but giving good arguments and giving good points.


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    1. The thing is, like I said in my response to Susan above, usually people don't begin to have enough information about the person about whom they are spouting off even HAVE an opinion, much less express it in a mean way simply because they feel empowered behind their monitors in the safety of their own homes. It shows a weak and ignorant mind at the very least and more likely also an entitled and jealous mind.

      And to think, this basically started over drugstore vs high end mascara discussion!

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    2. indeed , mostly it start with a lil thing that seems so unimportant,

      thank you for your response.

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  17. In terms of beauty products, I will spend for quality on items that are worth it, but I have just as much drugstore makeup. And while luxury items are still "luxuries" to me, there are times when I like to save up some money and treat myself. I don't see anything wrong with splurging occasionally on a great bag or pair of sunglasses. They last for years and make me happy every time I use them. The important thing is that these luxury items don't come at the expense of anything else- at 23 I am proud to say I don't have student loans or a credit card debt. I have savings and own a home. So if I want to save extra money for a bit and buy something nice for myself, I'll do it.

    tl:dr- If you've got the money, spend it however you want. But don't spend what you haven't got!!!

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    1. You sound like a Dave Ramsey fan! I am a huge fan of not spending what you don't have to buy crap you don't need to impress people you don't know.

      That said, if I have it and want to spend it on 73 pounds of pink sparkly corrugated cardboard, that's no one's business but my own.

      Thanks so much for your post! ♥

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    2. "...if I have it and want to spend it on 73 pounds of pink sparkly corrugated cardboard, that's no one's business but my own."

      There's bound to be a nailpolish for that this season lol.

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    3. http://twinkletwinklelikeastar.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/spa-hobbies-pastimes.html

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  18. love your intro, sounds like me all the way. that being said, I'm going to open my mouth :P

    In my experience, it's usually the opposite: the people with the $$$$ pair of shoes can't afford to buy their own kids lunch. They have TV, cars, the most expensive clothes but then they're on welfare.

    I do appreciate everything you've said though :)

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    1. LOL! I definitely know people like that. I guess I was thinking on a larger scale though. I think we're all irritated by people we know (meaning we know their situation a little better than just some random person on the 'net) who neglect their responsibilities to buy "stuff." It's the grasshopper and the ant story all over again and I get pretty tired of it and then get called names because my "compassion" doesn't meet with their whole "the world has to be FAIR" outcries and just forget any sort of personal responsibility.

      But, more what I'm talking about here is that I've seen people who are uber wealthy be vilified mercilessly for the $120K birkin (not celebs showing off the latest "in thing" but REAL wealth) when for them, it's the equivalent of me spending $20 on a bag from Walmart. And they probably give more to various charities yearly than we make in a decade. But hey, they must be evil, right? And of COURSE they're snobs because they're wearing a lipstick with Chanel written on it.

      Anyway, thanks for your post! ♥

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    2. There's also a welfare mentality. People have developed a strong sense of entitlement. Sometimes, the fact that people can get food stamps and other government assistance makes them feel like they SHOULD take it. There is many things wrong with the system...but I'll shut up because I can go on forever about that!

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  19. I think whatever people buy with their money is their business, provided that they are taking care of their children, paying their bills, or whatever. I like some luxury products - I love my Deborah Lippmann polishes and I have tons of purses - way more than I "need." And I've had some people give me attitude for that. I don't tell anyone what to do with their money and I think more people should just learn to mind their own business and keep their opinions to themselves. There's lots of people with way more than me and if they can afford it - good for them! I really hate when people act like they've done something wrong just by being wealthy. Most the time it just seems like jealousy.

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  20. Hello everyone,to the topic above i have only one rant(sorry but english is my second language so if i make mistakes......).The most aggravating thing for me is when "Christians" judge others in any form because in the Bible it is written "Do not judge" as one of the 10 commandments.So why judge?If you don't like ,don't look and spend your time doing something useful for you or others .I like your blog and your thinking .Best wishes

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  21. I don't get the whole thing of people getting upset over others buying higher priced items instead of 'giving to the poor'... I know that a lot of poor people don't have money because the drew short straw in life, but what about those who choose to be bums??!! I'm originally from Poland and I was poor... We ate chicken only on a weekend, that was a delicacy for us... We would split a stupid Snickers bar into 4 parts because we couldn't afford 4 candies so the whole family could have a little bit... But it was my choice and determination to study my ass off, learn English and get scholarships to good schools in the US... Instead do being a bum on the streets or play with guns like so many other young people do, I chose to spend my time studying so I am where I am right now. I am not wealthy but owning a $$$$ bag would not make me poor... I dare those bitches tell me that I should give my hard earned money away to the poor instead of celebrating my own dedication by getting an expensive bag or cream!!! This topic just makes me so hot!!!! ;)))

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  22. *snort* I love how you express yourself...go get em!

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  23. I could care less how much a product costs, as long as it is organic and toxic-free (and works) it's going to be mine!

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  24. Great post! I agree with most all of your points. While I personally wouldn't be able to justify some extreme spendiness for myself. I do agree in theory that you should always spend your money on the best product for what you're getting.

    Thanks for sharing!

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