Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Beauty Bloggers Backstage - Sparklecrack Central

This month, I got to interview the lovely and charming - and patient! - LiAnn of Sparklecrack Central.  I love her blog as it's an astonishing fount of information about all things mineral, and nail varnish, who could ask for more?   Also, hers is possibly the best named blog out there.  Well, after this one, of course ... [cough]  Without further ado, I bring you LiAnn:

1) You run a multitude of great sites, how on earth do you find the time?

Gnomes, clones, and alternate dimensions.

No, actually, I've been installing scripts, working with HTML and CSS, and
running multiple sites of one variety or another since the early 1990s -
so while the nature of the sites may change and site projects may come and
go, the mechanics are kind of second nature by now. What changes are what
content's being prepped, and any other organizational facets (like herding
cats for Beauty Blogs' Backstage :D )

2) Mineral makeup, why?

Because most pressed makeup (and all liquid makeup) contains
preservatives, and has a definite shelf life. You swipe the applicator
through it, bacteria gets deposited in the medium (the
eyeshadow/foundation/blush/whatever), the bacteria grows in the medium and
on the applicator, and eventually - after a few months or years, even if
they're not used much after the first few times - the medium might be
unsafe for continued use. Plus pressed powders can crumble after either
rough handling or the passage of time; and when that happens they're
messier to store and sometimes can't be stored without some juryrigging.
Mineral makeup, specifically (for me) loose-powder makeup, is largely
inorganic so bacteria can't grow as easily so the makeup is effectively
"good" for longer; it's easier for me to work with to get the effects I
want; and because it starts out as a loose powder, I can easily repackage
it or even repot into smaller jars - for nice-neat-uniform storage (yay,
OCD!!), for travel, for giving some to a friend, whatever. (I know that
companies spend a lot of money on their packaging, and so they -=really=-
don't want to hear that last. But there you go.) I've spent a lot of money
these past three years on makeup; but each year I've spent less money; and
unless a product performed extremely poorly (I'm thinking of Ulta's
mineral eyeshadows and a few other ultra-cheapies), I didn't have to throw
anything out. They're like investment-clothes-shopping: I buy an item like
a loose-powder mineral eyeshadow or blush, and I'll be able to use it
safely for years, even decades to come.

I still prefer non-"mineral" lipstick, because I use lip products rather
infrequently, when compared to eyeshadows and blush; and without
preservatives, the lip stuff will start to "sweat" and go off in a year.
(And my fridge is already full of my nail polishes; I don't want to add my
lipstuff, too. I need room in there for milk and eggs and food and

3) 3 Desert Island items (not makeup-related)

My books (if I can only pick one: Cyteen, by C J Cherryh); SPF 85
sunscreen, so I don't fry or get skin cancer; and a sat-phone to call when
I'm quite ready to head back to civilization. (I have a strong practical
streak....which apparently doesn't extend to moderation when buying

4) Who inspires you?

Anyone who lives their principles, quietly goes about their life
exemplifying said principles, and neither gives nor takes crap from
others. It's not easy sometimes, because we all have that part of
ourselves that really wants to "correct" others or give them information
we don't think they have, and we honestly think they would be happy to
have; but every adult has both the right and the responsibility to make
their own choices and deal with the results thereof. It's one thing to
give someone information about this, that, or the other thing -=when they
ask for it=-. It's another thing altogether to assume that someone is
either so stupid or so overwhelmed with everything else that they can't
possibly know X, or so insensitive that they have to be guilted into doing
Y. It's hard to resist the voices that say, "You're right! Now tell
everyone so that they can be right, too!" But people who do manage to
resist The Drive To Be Right more often than not, ESPECIALLY with humans'
pack-mentality, inspire me. They make it easier for me to do the same
thing, to extend to others the courtesy that is so often denied to all of
us in ways so small...that we may not realize.

5) If you could have dinner with anyone (throughout history), who would
you pick?

Someone who can cook well and is willing to clean up. Julia Child and her
kitchen staff, possibly. Or Alton Brown and -=his=- kitchen staff. With
either of those two, I'd be looking forward to quizzing them during the
prep as much as I would be eating and enjoying the food. :D

6) What is your favourite movie, and why?

Real Genius, because that virtually -=was=- my college experience,
surrounded by geeks and pyrotechs and wisenheimers (but minus Ick, who
made the "exploding" homemade dry ice); or Blade Runner, because of the
story, the issues, the concepts, and the cinematography.

 7) Finally (and most importantly): Kittens or penguins?

Kittens!! Both are cute (good), both have herring-breath (not so good),
but penguins just aren't great cuddlers.

So there you have it.  You can read the utter drivel I wrote in response to some great questions from Liann here: (sorry LiAnn!)

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