Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Nov 2013, 14:45 p.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2013 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I hereby recommend to you the super-readable, witty, on-point analysis of cosmetics ad claims at "Brightest Bulb In the Box: Beauty for Critical Minds". Much thanks to terriko for the link to BBItB! If you liked Constellation Games, you might imagine Robyn as a genderswapped Ariel Blum. If the aliens show up, she may demand to try and test their cosmetics. I had no idea I wanted to read beauty blogging until I came across Robyn.

I love her perfume reviews, e.g.:

This is the most generic perfume ever. Like, if you didn't care about perfume and just sort of imagined something boring, this is what it would smell like.

If this scent were being worn by a fictional character, it would be Ann Veal from Arrested Development.

Robyn also makes her research available free-as-in-blush, e.g., testing "What Methods of Foundation Application Use the Least Product?" or "How Much Do Your Eyeshadow Brushes Matter?". Most recently, she got out the chi-square to compare two different monthly subscription boxes a few different ways.

But I especially want you to check out her resveratrol and Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm posts. Her commentary on "light-defusing spheres" especially made me guffaw. Other tidbits:

"DNA repair, optical blurring, oil free"? One of those claims just doesn't belong. (And it is the last one, because it makes sense.)...

First, I want to deal briefly with "reseveratrol". Juice Beauty spelled the name of their supposed active ingredient incorrectly. What they mean to say is resveratrol, which is a phenylpropanoid that is found in the skins of grapes.... If you are a yeast cell, congratulations on your literacy. Maybe check out this resveratrol thing. If you are a human, though, you should know that at the present time, there are NO peer reviewed journal articles that suggest that resveratrol has any effect on people....

Also, Robyn's leitmotif "your face" (e.g., "Your imperfections really would be less noticeable in diffused light, but the solution to that is to avoid uncovered bulbs in your house, not to put this stuff on your face.") reminds me of Danni, who says "your face" a lot and whom I miss.