Talking to my best friend about her scalp skin cancer experience

I was busily humming away in my own bubble of concerns when my best friend Suzie sent me a text saying we should hang out and oh also she had skin cancer on her scalp.


Given that I run a skincare blog and Suzie wants to help other people avoid the same experience, we decided to record a conversation about what it’s like to discover that you have skin cancer on your scalp, the surgery process, and things learned along the way. We’re not experts at anything other than Ugly Betty trivia, so we’re focusing on what it’s like to navigate scalp skin cancer as a patient.

Here we are in 2011 at my wedding!

Suzie was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in February of this year and had surgery soon after. She has healed very well, but she’s bummed to have a pretty big scar on her head that’s hard to cover up while waiting to see if and how her hair returns.

One’s risk for skin cancer varies quite a bit, so ask your dermatologist or GP if you need to get regular checks. I’m about Suzie’s color and I don’t think anyone in my family has had a spot removed despite a wild disregard for SPF/love affair with our closest star, but my dermatologist pushes strongly for an annual exam. I groan and comply, but I won’t hesitate to strip down in the future after hearing about what happened to my bestie.

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Vanity’s Bonfire: Thoughts on Accutane, post-treatment

I have a few thoughts racing through my head right now, all related to Accutane:

One: I think my skin hasn’t been this good since I was a teenager (I had nice skin as a teen. Of course.).


Three: I could really go for fucking a wall. Not on a wall. Fucking a goddamn wall.

I will explain.

But first, some Renaissance.

Ludwig von Langenmantel, Savonarolas Predigt
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The Sunday Riley Fake Review Scandal x the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Sunday Riley Fake Review Scandal x the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

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 things happened 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.

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