How to Deal with Sycophants

Greetings readers, how has it been?

Perhaps you deal with this at work, but today I will be talking about the butt kisser, brown noser, bootlicker, yes-man, vampire, blood-sucker. No matter what you call them, they can be a problem when their behavior becomes more than a compliment.

In my work outside of work, I feel like I experience nothing but it. That is, I witness the unfettered flattery of people in power, not that I’m receiving it (ha ha). I can’t help but wonder if it’s because of where I live. There is a strong sense of the importance of money and so, just a dismissal of the inequalities, injustices, and outright immorality that that mentality can cause.

Obviously we all need it to live in this farkakte world, but incorporating greed and competitiveness into your values and worldview is a symptom of weak self-esteem. If you don’t or refuse to see reality, you are not putting in the effort of thinking critically, thereby making you vulnerable to relying on bias. You do not need to be greedy if you (1) really think you are living a modest life (2) have put in the reading or other time into learning that marginalized people aren’t a threat to your status or belongings. There’s no scarcity because of them; any resource shortage is due to hoarding by elites.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, it seems like my “community” is rife with these fake f*cks, as Jay-Z says. And honestly, I’m not sure how to deal with them. I’ve heard from people whose issues and impact reach more of the population that, “You don’t need everybody. You just need to find the people that are on your side.” But since our issues impact a much smaller population, I’m not sure this approach will work. But is it worth spending time on people who have no interest in your values? If they can actively harm you and your friends?

So I’m trying to look into how to deal with these people. Because it is incredibly depressing when, as I said, it seems like they’re all there is. This post will address the tips in this article which does take more workplace approach. Regardless of the tips, it has provided the interesting insight that such suck-uppery is toxic and leads to low productivity. In addition, the boss is put in the position of not receiving honest, valuable feedback.

Evoke Reactions

This tip just seems like it’s saying to test the sycophant. However, it again presents an idea for which I’m grateful: nip it in the bud! Buttkissers go beyond the compliment. Sid says they will appreciate the boss’s idea to no end, but I’d go further and say it’s about the boss. People in positions of power/status need to have the self-esteem to recognize it and not exploit it. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can count on them.

Stay Alert

This sounds like it’s saying that while sycophancy is broad, it’s also for specific reason– gain. They’re also gossips, so try to remain unemotional around them because they will use it.

Withhold Your Opinion

This is pretty straight-forward as a blood-sucker won’t know what to agree with if you or the boss don’t offer it first.

My Takeaway

This article offers two more tips, but they’re more applicable to the office. In my opinion, these tips would work for me better as simply (1) being aware and (2) stopping the behavior early. Under Being Aware, I’d say to consider any position/status you have and if people are simply leveraging their proximity to it. You honestly have no right to complain about people only wanting you for your statuses if you intentionally surround yourself with yes-men. Additionally, you can test for this kind of behavior, but if you suspect it, refrain from engaging too far or emotionally. Ideally, if you are in a leadership position, you can cut off the behavior.

It may seem rude or hypocritical of me to decide people are buttkissers. I’m not saying certain people are, but I’m sure we can all relate to thinking they are, no? As aforementioned, I am just trying to deal with it myself, and these are my notes and me trying to figure it out! I might read another article that makes more sense next month! Furthermore, I wonder if sycophancy may be related to the chameleon effect and/or trauma. This is another reason to try to remain unattached and objective to them, although, one’s past trauma does not excuse any they perpetuate onto others.

Thanks for reading,
❤

Are You Friends with Co-workers?

Hello besties, how are you doing?

Here I am again talking about work. I know that when I felt unable to do something there might be a little resentment toward someone that keeps talking about it– but you know, please don’t ever call such people jealous because there might be factors they just can’t control.

On the other hand, this is my blog where I express myself. Work– unfortunately, lol– takes up a good chunk of my time which for an obsessive brain, means it takes up thoughts, emotions, and maybe even physicality? (and so, more time)

For example, I couldn’t stop grappling with the following ideas, so I’m trying to get them out and ask for your thoughts in a post with stock photos rather than something fun with original pics.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

There’s this kid at work. I call him a kid (in my brain) because even though we’re adults, I’m pretty sure he’s 10 years younger than me. This is younger than my brother! I actually interact with young people (this is the weirdest phrasing… “I interact with the humans”) in my movement organization, but even that is kind of like work. It’s definitely less formal than a job– we have each other’s numbers and some of us follow each other on social media. But it can be kind of weird to share real personal stuff or even the mundane memes that you share with your friends with org members. You are there to work toward a goal.

And even then, I definitely try to be aware of what is appropriate or not. Besides anxiety saying that everyone hates you, has their own life, etc., I wonder if that’s why I didn’t say much to this kid? I definitely try to be friendly, but is such an age gap appropriate? Are work friends in general appropriate? I’ve heard it’s best not to be friends with co-workers just in case something goes foul. I definitely wouldn’t mind having friends, but I’mma be real with you: look, I live in Florida. I don’t really want to be spending my free time with people that have certain viewpoints that make me feel unsafe.

Photo by Jopwell on Pexels.com

I’m actually in a state because this co-worker leaving! I’m not bawling over someone to whom I barely spoke. But it’s like… change. You’re happy for someone for getting out of the stinkhole. I’m actually even a little proud of myself for just bringing up the subject because it was something I overheard rather than him telling me. And again, I’m uncomfortable asking people about themselves because I’m afraid I won’t know what’s too personal or what might be for them.

But here I am writing a whole post kind of about this co-worker. People don’t know what they mean unless you tell them, right? He was like the first person I met at my first job (is that a title I just made up? Lol), and it’s been nearly a year! So I felt I should say something. And I’m pleased I found of something that I thought was appropriate and wasn’t too much about me.

There’s also the change aspect. Who will replace him? What if they suck? And a kind of selfish aspect. As said, I spent a lot of time thinking about my end; they could totally think I’m an old wierdo. It also does kind of makes me feel like a loser (younger person getting out of the stinkhole that you’re still in). I can’t say that I my job is miserable, but it busts open the change aspect for yourself. If I get out of the stinkhole, what if the new place sucks too or is even worse?

So how do you navigate or cope with such feelings? Should I bother “missing” or just be happy for them and proud of me? Are you friend friends with your co-workers? Should I ask mine more about themselves?

Thanks for reading!
mars
❤

Thrifted Work Fits

Hi readers, how’s it going?

I honestly don’t want to keep talking about work, but I’m tired! I know I don’t work full-time, but I did 6 days last week, and I have to wake up early! There is just something so liberating about not having to set your alarm…

pinterest pin of a woman in casual business attire titled "Thrifted Work Fits" for the website hariharian.wordpress.com

I meant to post this last year (!!!) when I first started and bought a couple of pieces at a thrift shop before I had any money. I don’t work any place fancy, so I still don’t 😅 But at least now, I have some if I want to buy clothes but don’t want to spend a bunch especially on something for work.

Thrifting has also kind of helped me keep spending in check because I’m trying to find items that fit but I feel comfortable wearing and in case of work, I can be a bit active and move around in them. If I can’t find something that checks all those boxes, then I can’t spend 🤷‍♀️ Now if only I could find such a trick for exercising…

So here’s what I got in my first batch!

Slide 1

Top: Apt. 9 size large $3.95
Pants: Target size 14 (not thrifted)

Technically, this top fits, but unfortunately, I didn’t notice while I was trying on, that it’s kind of peplum-y? So, I feel like it adds weight around my stomach which I don’t need or want 😭 Also, the sleeves might be a little short if you’re self-conscious about your arms.

Slide 2

Top: Apt. 9 size large $3.45
Pants: G by Giuliana size 12 $4.95

I never wear bright colors, so I was branching out with this mustard and actually loved it!! until I noticed there are stains on it 😑 I’m folding the blouse in the pic because having a waist looks better in pics but I am definitely not that comfortable in real life!! I really love these pants though because they’re a dark color but have this bold pattern that’s still professional. Let’s call it, “profesh.”

close-up detail of a white Worthington blouse pattern of touching black circles that create red diamonds inbetween

Slide 3

Top: Worthington size large $3.95
Bottoms: Old Navy size 16 petite $5.99 (from ThredUp)

Okay, I love this top! The sleeves are kind of like bell sleeves, provide coverage but are flowy. It might sound blasphemous, but the pattern also reminds me of a kufiya. These pants are big, and I’m 5’3-5’4, so I thought I would try Petite sizing because all of my pants are too long. These are the Pixie ankle pants and too short for my liking!

SLIDE 4 is just the ON pants and top from slide 1 with a cardigan my sis-in-law gifted me. Great to pick versatile pieces that can also layer!

This look is just the gray Target pants and a large Allison Brittney blouse ($2.45). It fit but I don’t really like it anymore because I feel like it accentuates how uneven my chest is 😷

INTERVIEW FIT

Blazer: Merona size 14 $9
Top: Mossimo XXL
Pants: Target size 14
Shoes: Cole Haan $12

Yeah, this wasn’t really thrifted, but I got the blazer and shoes on Poshmark! I love this outfit because it has a bunch of neutral but versatile colors. The top is actually a tank top which I thought would be ok with a blazer since I’m naturally anxious (and sweaty). Turns out I really did not need to “dress up,” but maybe it worked to my advantage 😅 I love the rolled-up sleeves, giving the jacket a casual look.

Learn about my job beginnings and maybe relate!

I don’t want to be hauling every week, but I do have another part 🙃 Just so that I don’t have to do laundry in the middle of the week! And now, I do have a tripod (!!) so maybe I can remember to take pics someplace more interesting that my mom’s 😛 But then you all won’t see her chunky tabby 😸

One day ’til pay day!
❤

Pureauty Naturals Eye Cream

Hey, how are you readers? Getting enough sleep?

Not having a “real” job for several years, I’d gotten used to staying up and sleeping in late. But now, my job– which over the holidays didn’t really have a set schedule!– starts at around 7am! Not only am I a night owl, but I think that part of why I am is that it’s so peaceful and quiet 😌 Combined, I do lose sleep and have some bad dark circles. Like: I’m-embarrassed-to-even-show-you, bad.

So I’m willing to try almost anything for them. When I saw this eye cream from Pureauty Naturals on Tomoson, I figured, why not?

I was provided this product complimentary for review purposes.

It looks like it has some pretty natural ingredients and no parabens. Hyaluronic acid, cucumber fruit extract, and caffeine are key factors and sound like they would help combat dark circles, anti-aging, and puffiness. It’s an interesting blue color and texture that actually reminds me of this Bliss hydrator I have. It’s like that kind of stuff that’s between a lotion and gel.

One of its benefit claims is that it’s not greasy and a little goes a long way. These were true for me, and I found that even the 1oz size provides a lot of product.

So it is quite refreshing, It feels nice and doesn’t irritate my eyes. However, I can’t tell if it’s done anything. I’ll admit that I don’t think I have “puffiness” or wrinkles (at least, noticeable lines) and my bags aren’t as severe, so maybe the refreshing aspect helps those issues. I still have undereye shadows though.

Before & after using Pureauty Eye Cream, no filter/editing

The packaging is quite nice; it comes in a box as well. It’s alright, but it’s just a little disappointing that something that addresses dark circles doesn’t. Products just call themselves “eye cream” without making any specific claims, so I think that if you’re interested, try to find it at Walmart or on sale.

This product was sent to me free of charge to share my honest experience.

❤

Working with Anxiety

Pinterest pin: woman in pumps. Title: working with anxiety.

What’s up readers? TGIF much?

As I said in my last post, 2020 was a stressful time for me, personally. For actual years, I secluded myself and felt that I too anxious to work. I could create a reason why I couldn’t do any position– I wasn’t qualified, someone else needs work more than me, I don’t have any connections or references, I was scared of robberies. I had previously applied to jobs, and once, someone called me back, but my car was in the shop, so obviously they were like, “Sike!” and I was embarrassed. I didn’t understand how anyone who was introverted or anxious did it.

Change of Scenery

A lot of these feelings are still true. I would Google how to work or what work can you do with anxiety and never really found anything helpful. I would hate to tell you to have a home life that gets so bad that it’s worse than your fear of working, but that’s really what it was for me. It was and it isn’t fair to have been expected to care for someone that didn’t care for me– and I don’t mean to like: treat everyone like crap until they’re nice to you. But if starting work (because, yeah, it’s definitely starting as opposed to working in general) has you panicking, if it’s possible, perhaps you need something that propels you to have to work.

Start in a Pandemic/Workers Market

Again, this “tip” is kind of tongue in cheek. I’ve been working a few months now, and sometimes I think, “How did I trick them into hiring me?” I can only guess that they were desperate for workers during this time especially since some people may actually be making more on unemployment (although others may not be collecting anything at all and a testament to how low minimum wage is in particular for the “essential workers” that have to work in a pandemic). I also started during the holidays so even though my position was only part-time there were days I worked full-time, and one week I even had overtime.

Join a Club First

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like a black sheep because of my political and cultural alignments– yes, even as a child! So I’ve always longed for people I could not only be friends with but feel safe with. Unfortunately, because of where I live, it was extremely difficult. There weren’t chapters of organizations in which I was interested in my state. If this happens to you, sign up or join the club/org anyway!!! I cannot stress this enough. Some groups may already know other individuals near you and may try to connect you. If not, you can still try to get involved and may still meet others with similar interests.

As you may have guessed, public speaking is definitely something I don’t do in my free time, but my club has put me in positions that I think have allowed me to grow and be proud of (the latter I can’t necessarily say about work). My point is that I had these beloved experiences working regularly with others that wasn’t “work.” My club partners are incredibly supportive and it’s not an environment like school or work where I’m anxious about failure. The organization gives me something to look forward to outside of work as well as experience that helped me get my job.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Because this is my first “real” job (that is, something with a W2 or whatever, though not something that I can necessarily support myself on), I was incredibly nervous about my interview. I could not tell anyone why they should hire me (yes, I live to serve 🙄) and spent way too long trying to think of and memorize too many questions. My interview ended up being “What’s customer service?” and “What’s teamwork?” Neither were questions I practiced!! Lmao. Customer service I just kinda made up on the spot, but because of my club’s work with other similar groups, I was able to craft something I think was more meaningful.

Know Your Limits

I know that there was no way in heck I was going to apply somewhere I didn’t know where it was. It’s not that I hate driving, but driving in my city is atrocious. Another limitation if you’re anxious is working with people which is unfortunately, pretty impossible for those first jobs. But maybe you can find something like a stocker that’s more limited. Another thing is when you want to work or if you’re in school or have family obligations. I’ve ended up working more early in the morning which I kinda hate not being able to sleep in, but! it’s incredibly nice being done in the middle of the day. And when you work afternoons/evenings, you might spend the whole day dreading that you have to work, and it feels so much longer. 🤷‍♀️

Research the Company

I think that anxious people tend to be hyperfocused, no? Like: we have to prepared for every circumstance just in case. So, we’ve probably seen the articles saying to research the company and bring up how much we love this or that initiative blah blah blah. While that can’t hurt, if this is just a part-time job, I would try to see more of who management is if you can. Maybe you know someone who works/worked there. Not to be weird, I’m intimated by men in authority positions 🤷‍♀️ I think that there’s a great relief factor in that my bosses were women. However, that’s not to say all women will be so!

So I’m sure this didn’t actually help 😅 but even though I feel like I somehow tricked my employer into hiring me even though I’ve never really had any reprimand and always getting praised, I think that anxious people should acknowledge imposter syndrome and just kind of live in the now.

I know that it’s hard to not obsess over especially if it’s not just a part-time job or they’re otherwise busting your ass. But something the Internet said for when you’re depressed about work is to connect with your co-workers. If you have any tips about that, I would love to hear them because I still am intimidated and awkward. But an elderly co-worker had already told me to not worry too much. It’s incredible to me that these actual grannies and grampas are still working just to get out of the house. Don’t they have hobbies? 😅

ABAB
❤

Life Update

Hello readers! How have you been this nearly half year? I’m so glad you’re still here!

I will just get into where I’ve been for the last 6 months. My dad has/had throat cancer. He had to get surgery to have his voice box taken out. He said that he would have to spend 1 week in the hospital recovering.

Honestly, I can understand having to spend longer Like: doctors probably just say an average, things can come up. Maybe my dad himself thought it’d be a simple operation or didn’t want us to worry. But he ended up having to spend an additional week.

However, he did not tell his wife and I that he would have drainage and a feeding tube. While it was fortunate that we were able to visit him in the hospital during this pandemic, it was only once (that we thought at the time) where we were dumped upon all these supplies and information. This was after his first week, and he seemed very out of it. I was very concerned that I would have be nurse from 1 hour of training. Again, fortunately, he was able to stay that second week after which he could feed himself.

When my dad was released, he still had this drainage stuff attached to him which had bandaging that would have to be stuffed in to be replaced. I did not see how to do this, but we were supposed to have a nurse come the next day. My dad couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital, and apparently, may have done too much too soon because before bed that night, he and his wife were trying to change the bandaging, and he passed out. It was traumatic because I wasn’t in the room but heard my stepmother screaming, she called 911 and made me speak to them. I felt a little guilty because the hospital later released him as probably just doing too much and the operator/responders made it seem like it wasn’t an emergency, but what the fuck do I know!? Is fainting an emergency? I’ve literally never been to a hospital except to be born and visit others. He would’ve had to go the emergency room anyway because in the commotion, his feeding tube came out.

THAT WAS THE FIRST DAY. The second day, the nurse came and changed the bandaging. Even though I did not see how to do this, my stepmother asked me to do it in the evening 😒 My dad’s feeding tube came out again. We tried to go to a closer hospital than his usual, but they wanted to use something different to which than he was accustomed. They also said that the drainage looked infected, but they couldn’t change it! So he ended up going back to the his usual hospital until the drainage healed.

It’s been a very stressful time especially considering that I don’t particularly like my dad, and his wife is worse. I can’t imagine him taking care of me in such a situation, and his wife, you know, the person I just said asked me to change her husband’s bandaging? She literally told a nurse that I’m “not reliable.” Like: Jesus Christ! I can understand that she may not have used the right word/got lost in translation, but she makes me sound like a fucking drug addict. I appreciate all she’s done, I mean, she was the one calling everyday, but she is still a shitty person. Like: your husband can no longer speak, and she whispers at him? Complete psychopath!

It’s taken/taking adjusting. For some reason, I expected my dad to be bedridden, but he still communicates and goes out and about. I forget how long each stage is, but gradually you’re able to go from the feeding tube to clear liquids, soft foods, and then regular foods.

Before my parents divorced, we went to the Philippines when I was a kid. Back then I was scared of cockroaches but didn’t want to be rude and scream when one was flying around my aunt and uncle’s hut (I mean, it’s not like we never had roaches in our cement house in the US). Years later, I’d hear something like you have to change your environment to get over something.

I cannot be a caretaker for someone that doesn’t care for me at least in this capacity. Maybe if I could live on my own and visit every so often, but that’s just not a possibility at the moment. I’ve spent years feeling too anxious to work, but this has really propelled me to my first job. This probably sounds selfish, but I’ve found that in so many situations you have to do something because nobody else is going to do it.

So I will talk about that next time! Thanks for reading and sticking with me and happy belated new year!

❤
Mars

Pacifica Well-Being

Hello readers, (how) do you practice self-care?

To be honest, I don’t really know myself. I feel like the common idea of it just being one’s spa day robs it of the weight of its activist origins. One’s 9-to-5 is one thing, but the stress of trying to change the forces of the world is a whole other story! Some people may find the collectiveness of that work invigorating though. So facial masks may also work for some, but maybe you may still need a safe environment, therapy session, or simply getting other needed medical care.

Did you know that besides skincare and makeup natural brand Pacifica has some collections centered around wellness? I was able to snag a few items by Influenster, and even though they weren’t things I would’ve got myself, I’m glad I was able to try them!

Pacifica Dream Sleep Beauty Gummies

Dream Sleep Beauty Gummy

I sleep terribly. I am always sleeping during the day and partying with my cat at 3am. So I was thinking of trying a new melatonin, but since I am usually on vampire time, I don’t want to take it regularly or get dependent or even immune. Since this gummy also has L-theanine and chamomile, it is great for such situations.

They really helped me get ready for bed and fall asleep. However, I think that they work best if you take them right when you want to fall asleep. I was able to “power through” them when I wanted to squeeze one more thing in my day, so they ended up being useless that time.

You take 2 gummies per serving. They taste pretty much like any gummy that aren’t coated in sugar, but they are shaped like little fruits!

Rose Quartz Pre-Wash Dry Brush

When I first saw it, I was skeptical. It seems like this might have more impact or results if you don’t regularly exfoliate. It’s supposed to sweep away dead skin and “debris” as well as energize. I would say that it can do the latter, but it’s just kind of weird to fit into my schedule. It says “pre-wash,” but I’d prefer to use it after I wash my face or be able to do it at any time.

Big Waves Soft Hold & Volume Hairspray

I gave this 5 stars on Influenster pretty much based on its amazing coconut and vanilla smell. But I will probably knock it down one because it really is a soft hold. It kind of reminds me more of a dry shampoo. Pacifica though, true to its ethical brand image, doesn’t use an aerosol spray but an interesting twisting cap that can lock in as “on/off,” so helpful from the spray going off in your bag!

Eye Bright Vitamin C Serum Mask

Again, I’ll be honest: I flubbed up on this and totally used it incorrectly. It already comes in a tray, and I didn’t realize it has mesh that’s meant to be taken off… duh! I do plan to buy it myself and use it right some time because even with the mesh still attached, it worked! I’m not sure about this, but I feel like undereye brightening products I’ve tried clash with my warm undertones and make them look bruised 🤕 This provided some noticeable lightening, but obviously didn’t magically cure my dark circles. So I’d love to try them again to see if it’s still not too harsh without the mesh.

Lavender Moon Body & Pillow Mist

This is another interesting item. I don’t think I’ve ever tried another aromatherapy product besides my essential oils diffuser. But I’m quite pleased with this. I wouldn’t really like to smell like this (the hairspray on the other hand…), but it’s very relaxing and helped me fall asleep. The only thing I had a problem with is that its spray nozzle comes out in more of a straight spritz than a mist. But it’s easily solved by pouring some in another bottle. I think you can prolong its use this way. It’s pretty big bottle!

Mars Unboxes

How you do to relax or recharge your batteries?

❤

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Support the PHRA!

Hi hi hello readers, have you got a second?

I’ve taken on another (unpaid) role (instead of getting a job but who wants to work rn anyway??) which has my anxious ass communicating with people? What a concept! And so, I’ve much less time to put together a cutesy story around this in order to seem acceptable and charitable rather than angry, scared and personally involved. But someone on the internet was hellbent on being wrong and rather than wasting time arguing with them, I much rather do something constructive.

The Philippines makes the Western news nowadays for crude President Duterte and his brutal drug war, the number of deaths in which are disputed, but even the government’s count is over 5,000. But besides talking a big game (including perpetuating rape culture), what has he done for the most oppressed Filipinos?

If you hadn’t heard of how the US Drug War has gone and thought it would be a solution– you might think the problem would be solved by now. But this is what happens when you go after not just small-time dealers but criminalize using drugs rather than addressing why people may feel the need to turn to using or selling. You end up slaughtering toddlers and poor people that can barely afford their family’s coffins (cw: within 2 scrolls there’s a large photo of a dead body).

Since the 1970s Ferdinand Marcos administration/dictatorship, the Philippine government has depended on commodifying and exporting its people to work outside of it to send money back to make up its economy. OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) are hailed as heroes, but it’s as about as much lip service as the praise for essential workers is here in the US. There are tons of fees, taxes, and other costs to do this, and again, you would think with that the billions of dollars accumulated, so many Filipinos wouldn’t be impoverished. But millions are hungry while those in government gain billions. This sends the message that the Filipino people are not worth investment.

They are fit solely for being killed in the streets, being packed into prisons like sardines, separated from their families and put in precarious situations just to survive. Nobody can stand up for the Philippines when they neglect cultivation and depend on overseas remittances. A leader hasn’t implemented autonomy by allowing the military of the same wealthy countries preferential treatment over their population.

( * US irony dance break * )

It’s possible to point all of this out and not want the US to play world police. I acknowledge that I don’t have first-hand knowledge and that news outlets can have agendas. However, even though he may have cursed and a few trolls may have benefited by Duterte, the Philippines cannot be free if it isn’t free from the valuing of wealth and status over Filipino lives (if going out and conquering is the highest form of that, afterall).

US Imperialist cartoon
School Begins

The US has an atrocious history and present itself including that involving the Philippines. If you could care less about another country, consider that the US gives millions of dollars to the Philippine army— which harasses and bombs indigenous people. But the main thing is that a country particularly a small country that’s been subjugated by powerful others deserves the right to control itself.

This is why groups are urging US citizens to tell their representatives to support the Philippine Human Rights Act. This aims to repeal that US funding and a piece of its compliance rather than “intervention.” I believe that you can simply sign the petition, but it’s always great to call, follow or get in contact with organizations like those on the page and meet with lawmakers especially if you aren’t in the US.

Thanks for reading!

❤

July 2020 Empties

Hey hey readers, can you believe that it’s August?

I would like to formally issue a big curse to everyone’s who has ruined this year for everyone else. Not just in big, unfortunate terms, but even just everyday moments that we’re missing out.

As I said in my Skincare Routine post, I accumulated a bunch of stuff. So I’m actually using products and finishing them! These were empty before quarantine, so I’m still not any better at recording my reactions so no video 😁

Bliss Ex-Glow-Sion Eye Cream

Also from my Routine post, I received this from Bliss’s testing panel. It contains niacinamide and vitamin C which sound good for lightening but didn’t work for me. One thing I should start noting is when I start using a product because it sounds like niacinamide may take a few weeks to notice, perhaps even longer than this product lasted. I have very bad dark circles though, so if yours are just from one night and you’d like something without parabens, SLS/SLES, or animal testing, this may be worth a try!

Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Mask

Burt’s, obviously, is another brand for natural types. This item is 100% natural, without parabens, phthalates, SLS or petroleum. I got it in a lip-themed Target beauty box which they are discontinuing! 😩 This sheet mask is a bit different than face masks. Face masks– that I’ve had– are wet and feel refreshing. The lip mask was obviously more oily.

You leave it on for 5 minutes. I’m not familiar with almond or meadowfoam seed oil, but it definitely smells like something you’d expect to be “natural.” It’s like sweet cereal or oatmeal. I would say it’s hydrating, but I don’t typically have dry lips, so I can’t really say how long that lasts. You might be able to get the same results with DIY oils or balm.

affiliate links
Affiliate links
Bliss eye cream | Burt’s Bees lip mask
Smith & Sinclair tablets | Biobelle mask

Smith & Sinclair Alcoholic Gummies

PopSugar’s Dabble sent me a few of these, and they’re embarrassingly delicious. Again, perhaps you can make something similar on your own. But I am barely a social drinker! I don’t even know if its 5% ABV is a lot or not, but I don’t think so 😅 So it may be good for people that don’t have alcohol in the house. They also have “mocktail” gummies without any alcohol.

Que Bella Radiance Boost Mask

This was a cream mask that was in another Target box. Masks are why I’m not good at empties! The only thing I noticed is that it was, in fact, shimmering. I feel like some people may find that irritating 🤔 It has cocoa and shea butter if you would like something that’s supposed to moisturize and make you glow.

Free & Lovely (Bodycology) Lavender & Amber Mist

So I think that when I first got this, I thought it was a very sweet but musky smell which is exactly for what I’m looking! Something that’s a bit more advanced than just plain vanilla. But as I used it more, I realized that this smells exactly like– I’m going to date myself here– Juice Bar Cotton Candy Spray.

Juice Bar Cotton Candy Spray

Do y’all remember this? LOL. I don’t think they even sell Free & Lovely in stores anymore which is a shame because I would’ve loved to have smelled their other scents. And they were free of animal testing, parabens and the like.

I can’t tell you what it is, but I also finished the moisturizer/possible serum I was sent by a survey site. Now I’m testing a different facial cleanser, I’m out of eye cream, using just a Bliss serum, and sometimes a face mist. Simpler now! But honestly, I would still like an eye cream. Also, I bought some collagen lotion to perhaps replace that, but the safety seal wasn’t sealed??? Do you think I should use it???

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black owned brands pin

Black-Owned Brands: Beads Byaree, Harriett’s Bookshop, Morning Moon Made Gifts, Bevel, Adjourn Teahouse

black owned brands pin

Hello readers, how are you?

I haven’t posted in a month! I can’t believe I kind of miss it. Even though I’ve no idea what’s going on with this new WordPress format, I love typing and sharing. So here is the latest batch of Black-owned brands! I usually try to keep to my blog’s theme of skincare, beauty, and fashion, but there have been a lot of threads and posts lately. You can always find those and more brands on my Pinterest board.

Beads Byaree

Beads Byaree has some of the most creative jewelry I’ve ever seen. Creator Areeayl Goodwin says pieces come from a place of whimsical imagination, but I feel like there’s something empowering about the clothing and accessories as well.

Harriett’s Bookshop

Harriett’s in an independent book store in Philadelphia. Named after Harriett Tubman, it aims to celebrate women artists, authors, and activists. Not in Philly? You can buy from them online especially helpful for small businesses during Covid.

Morning Moon Made Gifts

ellie b started a great Twitter thread that prompted others to share their favorite “cottagecore” brands. L (@bonchnass) contributed Morning Moon Made Gifts‘s etsy which offers lovely macrame home goods including plant hangers, coasters, and wall hangings. Perfect for your new quarantine plants!

Bevel

 

Interestingly, I think that most brands I’ve shared are in fact, women-owned as well. But if you’d like something more masculine, Bevel is geared toward male skin and hair care needs, touting the first face serum created for Black men. I don’t really think that female skin would notice though, right? 😅 Because high quality design and features (sulfate-free shampoo, aluminum-free deodorant) at great prices has me want to try them… for myself!

Adjourn Teahouse

 

Keeping with the cottage theme, I saw Addie’s Black-Owned Organic Tea Brands post shared a few times and haven’t even checked out everybody, yet. So I’d definitely recommend it if you’re more of a fan of tea. I just had to include it and Adjourn because the tea is so pretty! It doesn’t just look nice but is also sustainably-sourced.

I’m sure a lot of the posts and threads I mentioned came about in effort to support the Black community after high-profile and racist murders of Black people including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Armoud Arbery by cops and vigilantes. Like voting, buying this way is debated, so I don’t intend for this to be related or an action for these people but just to highlight indie businesses that may not receive the same attention and perhaps divert money award from larger brands that can invest in bigoted systems. So maybe it is kind of related, but you’d like to do something like contact your representatives or donate to protestor bail funds, I created a Black Lives Matter board with a bunch of resources. It’s organized too! As to not be so overwhelming.

Did you find anything to your interest? Share your favorite brands and check out previous posts in the series.

Thanks for reading!
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