Before we start, since this is a post all about reviews, conspiracy, and hiding shit: an account of my involvement with the luxury skincare brand Sunday Riley. I reviewed Ceramic Slip 1.0 unfavorably in November 2016. [Added after hitting publish because I forgot about it: In the same month, I wasn’t blown away by Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, but didn’t hate it.] I reviewed Good Genes favorably in March 2017, but didn’t like the price. Later in March 2017, the brand’s PR reached out and offered to send me press samples of some of their products. I accepted. I published a comparison of 17 lactic acids — a post attempting to find a Good Genes dupe — in April 2017. I tested the press sample products briefly and didn’t end up reviewing any of them because I couldn’t commit to using them long enough to form an opinion. I think most of them live in my skincare cabinet or a box nearby. I always intended to test them systematically and write reviews, but then thingshappened and yeah. I’m a deadbeat press sample recipient, sorry world.
As a whole, I think the Sunday Riley brand is geared more toward convincing consumers via sensory experience (weird fragrance combinations, tingling, tightness) that something good is going on in their skin than actually delivering results in line with the price. I mean, that’s a lot of brands, but the SR hype would suggest otherwise. The fact that the brand is helmed by a cosmetic chemist has convinced people that they make good stuff and that the price tags are somehow justified (but aren’t all brands…connected…with a cosmetic chemist??). I like Good Genes, but I think it’s wildly overpriced (to the point that I spent something like $500 of the blog’s budget to try to find a dupe). Outside of Good Genes, I can’t find a Sunday Riley product that I like enough to use two nights back to back.
I haven’t had contact with Sunday Riley’s PR since mid-2017, when the brand announced the launch of the Saturn mask, which is where the real tale begins.
A Slate article by Rebecca Schuman called “Radical Self-Care: Meet the feminist academics who love K-beauty” posted today mentioned me and fanserviced-b:
I wasn’t contacted by the author to discuss or confirm any of this. I made no statements on a relationship between radical feminism and skincare–ever–before the post went live. I’ve never even talked on my blogs or social media accounts about most beliefs I hold aside from those relating to kpop boybands and Asian beauty products. I’m pro-Jongin x chicken, in case you’re wondering.
The things that are true: I’m Tracy and I have a PhD in History.
I reacted very strongly to this use of my name and that of the blog, if misspelled, because I was shocked that someone would presume to speak for me when–as readers, shops, and brands know all too well–I am perfectly capable of using my own voice. The Renaissance women I studied sought to speak with their own voices, but in the present day I wasn’t even given that opportunity.
The article functions as an example of why I don’t identify with radical academic feminism: for all the world-upending rhetoric, the right to speak for oneself is afforded only to those within its walls while the women outside–my fellow beauty bloggers and me in this case–aren’t afforded the same privilege.
Don’t get me wrong, I love puppets. I even have a lookalike puppet. That doesn’t mean I want to be used as one.
It seems that I need some self-care, thankssss. Here’s my journey through tonight’s 10-step 12-step self-care routine.