Here I am. AGAIN. Wondering WHY I bother to do what I do. It happens every week lately tbh. But tonight I’ve had 3 glasses of wine for the first time in THREE WEEKS because I can’t drink wine all that often these days. I don’t sleep if I do. #fuckyoumenopause

But tonight? I had a horrible Healthy Choice Frozen Dinner that was just chicken and vegetables -no carbs man- and I just had enough. So, I opened up the good ol’box’o’wine from Costco sitting on the floor. And that was a feat and half because the mother-effer who’s job is to stick the spout on the bag of wine inside the box, fucked up big time. I almost couldn’t find it… but it was there in the end, on the WRONG SIDE OF THE BAG OF WINE. #WTH #stopscrewingwithmyWINE #MoreProofThatNobodyDoesTheirJobWellLatley

ANYWAYS. Let’s get to it. Three glasses in and I am here. Pissed off AGAIN. Why?

TIRED. Tired of big-ass-bloggers blogging about makeup products and NOT SWATCHING THEM. What the FUCK is that all about? I came to your site to read about and SEE the new Armani Lipsticks-fucking every shade you got I see in that awesome shot of them all sitting in front of your computer or whatever. But you’re too fucking lazy to show me the shades. SWATCHES. Remember those things? Why do you even bother writing the post? Oh, I know…to make sure you KEEP GETTING MAKEUP FROM ARMANI.

TIRED. Tired of people just spouting off #PRBullshit that was created by some copywriter who most days can’t even spell Cereal. Thanks for just telling me and everyone else who bothers to read your blog exactly what I can read on the side of the fucking box that product was packed in. You are a true gem and so talented. Remember when blogging was about our VOICES? And what we, the bloggers THOUGHT about the products? Yeah, but that might not go over well with the PR who sent you that stuff. Which brings me to my next TIRED point.

TIRED. Tired of PR asking for a review of something. And then when I do that review for you, but I happen to voice my concerns about ingredients…valid concerns and valid points…hey…I know my skincare by now. I’m almost 50. I know ingredients. I know which work, and which are there for FLUFF and STUFF. And when I write my honest review which you apparently USED to ADMIRE about me? But oh…because this time it’s got a little scratchy point you don’t like…you don’t even ACKNOWLEDGE IT. #YouCanAlsoTakeMeOffYourListNowToo #IamNoBrandsLieMachine #AndItsAshameAsIHadanotherBlogPostReadyToGo #YourLoss #ButProbablyNot

TIRED. Tired of competing. I didn’t start this blog to compete with anyone for the free stuff. But it does piss me off when someone who GETS all the FREE stuff doesn’t try as hard as I know I would to review the stuff they get for just showing pretty pics on Instagram. And oh, most of their followers aren’t real. When you apparently have that many followers on IG, you’d think you’d get a pretty sizeable chunk of them liking your photos of all that pretty and free makeup you get, but you don’t. #notfoolinganyonebutPR #ButIguessThatsthePoint #SoBRAVOtoYou

There’s no solution to my TIRED. I’m not looking for one anymore. I’m just ranting like I always do. Putting my concerns out there to get a feel for what’s going on in the blogging world. And I know the way I feel is in the minority these days, but I don’t care and I’ll keep saying it: Blogging ain’t what it used to be. I keep saying and telling you all this every so often, because someday, maybe even soon, there won’t even be ME to warn you, that is-the those of you who actually care and read blogs.

I need some McD’s Chicken Nuggets now…

Hey how YOU doin’?

Thanks for listening to my last rant….I’m a ranty blogger, what can I say? And when something bothers me, it bothers me A LOT, and I need to talk about it…errr…write about it haha.  But, like a few of you told me-I shouldn’t care what anybody else is doing. And… you are right. I’m gonna be more like Dumbledore in these comics I love:

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From now on, I’m just gonna ignore the stupid stuff, and just stick to doing what I do best: being Tracy. I love all of you A LOT. I’ve even gotten emails from some of you, which has made me feel SO MUCH BETTER, so thank you everyone. I’m just gonna put some blinders on, and move forward and stop worrying about other people’s integrity. I don’t know why I have in the past, but I guess it’s because I’m descended from Kozaks and we can’t stand any kind of bullshit. I honestly should have been a cop or a lawyer-that would have appeased my injustice hating soul!

Like I said in my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot more about life. When you are my age, you kind of start to wonder how much time you’ve got left hanging around this solar system. And when you start thinking like that, you start wondering about what you WANT to do with that time you got left. This pretty much sums up my #lifegoals right now:

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These are the things I want more of in my life! And these are the things I’m going to write more about on Beauty Reflections. And still beauty, because heck that’s still something I love. I’ve revamped my header menu which now reflects the topics that Beauty Reflections will be about from now on. Makeup and skincare is still up there, because hello, that’s my hobby still and I do like finding products that actually work and sharing them with you all. But there will be changes oh yes indeedy.

Disclosure Timey!

Like I’ve said before, makeup don’t pay the bills, yo. I don’t ‘live’ off of Beauty Reflections, but I do have bills to pay for the blog(self-hosted blogging isn’t cheap and everything is in US dollars so add 30 cents onto every dollar for me). So I hope you understand that occasionally I might do a sponsored post, but I always clearly mark them that way. And I usually only do them for things that I like anyways, so they’re never something that I wouldn’t WANT to write about and share anyways. I have a sponsored post coming up in a couple of weeks about a new toothpaste that I signed up for. It’s a toothpaste hey, what’s not to like right? 😛  And I have one more Brandbacker post to write(they don’t pay me-I just get a sample) but it’s for the brand Farmacy, and I love their products and use quite a few of them already in my skincare routine. But, in all honesty, that sponsored toothpaste post will be the last one you’ll see for a long time, as I’ve opted out of most ‘sponsored’ networks now, except for ShopBop. That one I will keep for the time being(although I think it’s going to disappear soon because I don’t really give them much traffic) as it helps me keep Marky clothed in expensive California. Christ, jeans are freakin’ expensive! AND LASTLY, as for PR products, I don’t get a lot these days, so I’ll continue to work with those brands that still love me and aren’t afraid of honest reviews, which is like FIVE BRANDS I think….HAHAHAHA. #kickedtothecurb #thatswhatIgetForSpeakingMyMind #IDontCare #MyLastFuckIsGiven

So cheers my friends! And if I’ve disappointed you with this direction-hey-it’s not like there aren’t 3 million other beauty blogs that churn out review after review out there in the interents ya’ know. Go on, find another, it isn’t all that hard I promise. I just can’t keep up anymore with the beauty blogging newness, so this won’t be the blog to look for reviews on most of the new products that keep coming out. #beinghonestfeelsGOOD

But, if you’re interested in watching this ranty, wine-lovin’, zumba’ dancing, mountain loving crazy lady age as gracefully and as beautifully as she can while reflecting on life, makeup, sunsets and just having fun? Then you’ve found it:

The New Beauty Reflections. 

“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same.” ~Charles Bukowski

Now, I don’t drink a lot. I can’t. If I could, I’d like to think I’d be like Bukowski and Kerouac-drunk 24/7 yet an amazing writer. But, I have ulcers-have had them since I was 17. It’s a familial problem, courtesy of my dad who passed on his sensitive gut to some of us. So, when I do imbibe, I like to make it count and WRITE A BLOG POST. Because apparently when I drink, WordPress(bless their sober hearts) tells me that my writing scores near 90% in the ease of understanding category(this one scores 88.4% so far). Yeah, WordPress has ALL kinds of tools like that. Helpful? Maybe. But, now I know why Sir John A. Macdonald(Canada’s 1st Prime Minister) was drunk in Canadian Parliament most days: “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.” During the election of 1863, Sir John A. Macdonald threw up during a campaign speech and when his opponent pointed this out, Macdonald shot back with this answer. I read that to Marky and she said: he sounds like you-no word of a lie. So yeah, I sometimes feel that WordPress ENCOURAGES my wine-ranting posts…  not that I really MIND….  😛

So where am I going with this talk of booze and writing? Well, I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you this: I’M REALLY HATING BEAUTY BLOGGING. AGAIN. YUP.

When I started this blog, it was just me. And my money. And my silly little thoughts on what I bought. I’ve come a LONG way since then. I”m not the same timid Tracy that’s for sure. Like most beauty bloggers, it took some time to feel comfortable with this hobby and feel like it was OK to be myself online. Once you overcome that self-imposed obstacle, this gig does get better. And FUN. Because you finally get to be you! And some of the internet LIKES loud, snarky YOU! YAY!!

Then, PR brands start to notice you! WAHOO. That’s what we all want, right? Not to have to spend money all the time! We now have free stuff to blog about! We can blog about beauty and makeup and skincare and haircare till the freakin’ cows come home!

FOR A PRICE.

Well, with SOME brands. Not ALL are like that. And I don’t get it. Some brands demand NOTHING from you as a blogger. It’s like this: Take our product FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. If you like it-tell us! Whatever. It’s all cool. We like you, so, if you like us then feel free to blog about this lotion. No pressure. We just love you and your writing, wine-induced or not.

Those brands I LIKE. LOTS. What some PR don’t understand is that for most of us-including me-blogging is a HOBBY. Not a job. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: FREE MAKEUP/SKINCARE DOESN’T PAY THE BILLS YO’.

PR is getting increasingly harder to deal with. And I’m at a loss as to why. Some of my friends have had brands pitch to them, and then after the blogger has said sure-they say stuff like: We want your unedited pictures so we can use them nilly-willy. Hope that’s ok with you!

It’s NOT. 

Or I’ve had this happen: HI! We like your blog and would like you to review blah blah blah product. It’s blah blah blah cool and does this blah blah blah stuff. Interested? SURE I SAY. Oh, but then we’ll need a weekly post to update your progress, and then one final big post to show your results, OK?

NO. IT’S NOT OK. TAKE YOUR PAPERS AND PEDDLE THEM ELSEWHERE I SAY. (I may be aging myself with that saying there, because seriously, does ANYBODY actually buy a newspaper these days?)Like I have time to devote FIVE freakin’ blog posts to your one bag o’ STUPID? Nope. Not even if I was a prestige enough blogger to get-I don’t know-every freakin Guerlain and Chanel product ever made! And,I’m just pulling out brand names out of my wine glass there, because I could really care less about Guerlain and Chanel if I’m being honest…any brand for that matter. I hold no allegiance to any brand. Every one of them has hits AND MISSES. And I’m not about to sell my tortured makeup soul to get free BULL CRAP from anybody anymore.

Oh, and the LIES lately. Like this week! Perusing my Instagram feed and finding out that there was an event by…ahhh…who gives a crap…BEAUTY UNITED this week in Toronto, of which I am/WAS a member since it’s conception. And then seeing all of my friends flown in for the event and wondering, hey—-how come I didn’t get an invite? And then discovering that others didn’t get invited…even those who live 3 hours away. YET the excuse given was that only NEW Beauty United Members were invited, and those who lived in the GTA-Greater TORONTO area as well. RIGHT…. that’s what I see people from Montreal, BC, AND MY CITY EDMONTON there….

And then when I call you out Ms. PR-you say oh, can we talk over the phone? SURE. I’ll let you speak. BUT all the stammering, and stuttering…and then finally getting you to say you MISSPOKE…well, in my world that’s called LYING. BYE BYE. I don’t work with liars. Take your free Covergirl and shove it up your…. you know what. You say you value everyone equally, yet your actions speak otherwise…. LIES…..all of it. I’m so SICK of this kind of crap. SICK.

And so, three glasses of wine later has made me make THIS DECISION: I AM TAKING BACK MY BLOG.

I WILL NO LONGER WORK WITH BRANDS/PR THAT OPERATE ON LIES AND TREAT ME LIKE I DON’T MATTER. BECAUSE I DO. I KNOW I DO. 

And that means things are gonna change around here A LOT…brands like Aveeno,Vichy, Avene, Avon, Deciem…I trust and LOVE working with. They treat me like a valued writer. And I appreciate that! Here’s an example of a brand that rocks: Coppertone,to speak of a PR that I’ve recently dealt with. We had different opinions, yet were able to resolve them with no hurt feelings! And a great post on sunscreen was born because of that! I love that! Because I’m not a blogger that just takes PR material and rewrites it. I research the ingredients, try to make sure the science is all COOL before I post. I’m not a beauty drone. I have a brain and I like learning about ingredients and how products work. I’m not just some machine that spouts off HEY LOOK AT THIS SHIZZZ SO BUY IT HEY. Plus Coppertone dealt with me as a JOURNALIST… I almost died when that PR called me a journalist…ME? TRAKEE?? A JOURNALIST? And she said yes, you ARE one. THANK you so much. You made my YEAR. A PR who values bloggers….RARE.

But if you’re a brand trying to pitch me…and demand stuff….or LIE to me… GO AWAY. Go stalk some poor innocent, new blogger out there that’s DYING to try your product and bend over backwards to prove their worth five times over. I DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE. SO F$$K off. Like YOU L’Oreal. SO DONE WITH YOU I CAN’T EVEN SAY IT LOUD ENOUGH ON HERE. I’VE TRIED AND TRIED TO PLEASE YOU BUT NO MORE, I AM DONE AND DONE.I HOPE YOU CAN TELL I’M YELLING AT YOU. BECAUSE I AM.

BEAUTY REFLECTIONS IS MINE. ALL OF IT.  If you can’t handle the truth???!! Go elsewhere. Lies are easily bought these days in the beauty blogging world. And if you are a fellow blogger? Don’t come here and comment on my post telling me your PROS about PR…Get BENT. I’ll just delete your comment…and I don’t CARE if I call you friend. Blogging for the brand is NOT blogging…that’s why we started blogging…to say what WE thought, not to please a brand. That argument won’t fly here with me. I don’t care WHO you are. Go away. I don’t need to deal with anymore CRAP this week thank YOU VERY MUCH. My life is hard enough as it is and I’m near menopause…so DON’T even try me. I’ll rip you a new one without even breaking a sweat…I PROMISE.

So, what does this mean if you’re a regular reader? Well, I don’t know right now to be honest. You’ll see more of what I buy I guess, which will become less and less because to be honest? I don’t wear a lot of makeup anymore. SKINCARE is where it’s at people. Oh, and posts from brands I LIKE dealing with. It’ll probably mean less regular posts, but HEY THEY’LL BE SO WORTH IT, RIGHT? RIGHT. Stick with me folks…we’ll change the beauty blogging WORLD. Maybe… 😛 And in the end, I honestly don’t care anymore what anybody thinks or wants… I’ll keep plugging away at what I am doing and if you like it? YAY I LOVE YOU. You know I do.

Have any PR Horror stories to share? HERE’S THE PLACE DUDE. SHARE AWAY.

Elwood Blues: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake Blues: Hit it!

Yup. I’m hitting it folks. FULL SPEED.