ethical conduct, particularly in business and politics, doesn’t seem to get much more than lip service anymore. if you step all over someone to get what you want — lie about them, attempt to undermine their reputation and/or their livelihood, manipulate their friends/customers/supporters, etc. — hey, it’s all good, as long as YOU get what you want. /snark
this post is going to sound somewhat random and convoluted, but there IS a logical thread running through it, so pls bear w/me.
I’ve been searching for new lipstick for several weeks now: my favourite makeup company, Aromaleigh (AL for short), has discontinued all of their lip products and is clearing out their remaining inventory. it’s a business decision, and one that was difficult for the owner, Kristen, to make, but I understand why she did it, even if I don’t like it b/c it means I’ll no longer have one-stop shopping for my cosmetics. plus I really REALLY liked her formulations, and I have serious doubts about finding other lippies I’ll like as much. but the fact remains, AL’s lippies are going away. sooo…how to find new lippies?
I have no interest in joining any of the myriad makeup forums out there b/c from what I hear they tend to be fraught w/drama, gossip, cattiness, back-stabbing, and a whole riot of other behaviours that any sensible person would generally classify as infantile, destructive, perhaps even sadistic, and I just can’t be bothered w/any of that. period. so makeup forums, nix.
the one makeup review site I’m a member of (which also happens to have a forum, but I’ve never frequented it for the aforementioned reason) doesn’t seem to have much of anything on indie makeup companies unless you already know what you’re looking for. that doesn’t help me b/c 1) I’m not interested in drugstore or dept store cosmetics, and 2) I don’t know which indie companies have lippies that are worth checking out to be able to look them up on the review site. yes, I insist on buying indie. at any rate, I don’t have time to be foraging all over the internet trying to find other somewhat moderatly reliable makeup review sites, either. so ix-nay on makeup review sites as well.
what did that leave me with? I couldn’t think of anything but blogs. hey, blogs are good! I like blogs. <G> and I already have at least a couple of bloggers I’m following who post fairly frequently (or even almost exclusively) about makeup, most of it indie makeup. YAY! so I decided to check their blogs.
I was NOT prepared for what I found at Fresco Phyrra’s blog. it appears there’s another indie makeup company, Stardust Cosmetics, whose owner Jenna Whitman seems to have intentionally and maliciously been working for months to sabotage another indie makeup company and undermine the reputation of its owner. and who is her target? my FAVOURITE makeup company, Aromaleigh!! I read all of the screen caps that links were provided for (yes, there are screen caps showing the timeline of events/communications, just click on my link to Fresco Phyrra’s blog above and you can see them yourself), and I was shocked. dumbfounded, really.
here’s the kicker: Jenna used to be part of the AL forum community as moonsugar. she used to post some really beautiful makeup looks, and I admired her artistry and skill myself. then suddenly, around early 2008 I think it was, she just…disappeared. I even remember posting not too long after that something about missing moonsugar’s pretty pics and friendly posts.
fast-forward to mid-2009. I was poking around online looking for raw micas for a personal project, and after following a few links from where I don’t even remember where I started, I ended up on the home page of…Stardust Cosmetics. I was actually ANGRY when I saw that it was Jenna, b/c I felt like she’d probably lied to all of us on the AL forum, taken advantage of our kindness and generosity, used us and tried to befriend us just to build her customer base, and that she’d stabbed Miss K in the back. I saw that she had a blog, which I decided to quickly skim, and I was sad to see that several women I knew from the AL forum were actively posting on Jenna’s blog as her customers — t’would appear her scheming had worked. I closed the Stardust tabs on my browser and never looked back.
I’ve never communicated w/Jenna and never bought anything from her company b/c I felt like her behaviour was less than honest. people like that have no place in my life. but “less than honest” hardly describes the conduct I’m now seeing, captured in pretty damning images of blog posts, forum posts, emails, etc. from Jenna and an alter ego she created, I can only assume to hide behind and to try to build her own (Jenna’s) credibility by agreeing with and validating Jenna’s posts. INSANE! what I see now is duplicitous, malignant, underhanded, unethical, even probably illegal behaviour. it’s appalling that a business owner could say to her competitor, “you inspired me to start my business,” and then turn right around and actively work to undermine the business she claims to admire!
my favourite part is where Jenna apparently takes issue w/the fact that Miss K, as erstwhile head of the Mineral Makeup Mutiny, briefly remained anonymous (for three whole days, actually), altho’ Jenna herself adopted a false identity (Sheveritas — “she truth”?? — AS IF! more like Shefallacia — “she fallacy”) and skulked around the internet for MONTHS. what a flaming hypocrite! it’s also interesting to note that some of Jenna’s more recent communications seem to be attempts at backpedaling, and several of her Sheveritas posts in various places have now been deleted — it certainly looks like she KNOWS what she’s been doing is wrong. and then to try to portray herself as a victim?? how revolting!!
back to the bloggers: it’s not just Fresco Phyrra, either. I followed a link in Phyrra’s post to Noel’s blog, where a similar timeline is laid out. I checked Robyn’s Nest, too, not b/c I suspected she might have something to say about Stardust Cosmetics, but b/c I’m still looking for lippies and I thought Robyn might have some useful info. Robyn has a similar post about Stardust! these are all women who knew Jenna, who even bought products from Stardust Cosmetics, and who are now understandably upset by the actions Jenna has apparently taken against another business owner, someone they also know and shop with, b/c they feel like Jenna lied to them and used them. I can’t say I blame any of these ladies for retracting any previous endorsement of Stardust or for saying they’re getting rid of all of the products they bought from Stardust. I’d do the same if I was in their shoes. and then I’d take a shower, b/c that kind of disgusting behaviour makes you feel dirty just being exposed to it.
frankly, I have no idea what Jenna thought she’d accomplish w/lies and deception, but finding all of this out has actually served to reinforce my own admiration for Miss K, who appears to be the victim of a vicious and calculated attack, evidently for no other reason than b/c she happens to have what the other person wants — professional success — and I will continue just as faithfully as ever to buy as many of my cosmetics as I can from Kristen and AL, not just b/c I love her products, but b/c I know she is honest and I can trust her.
ethics is a really sore spot for me right now b/c of what’s going on in Utah re: ethics in politics and the bottom feeders who’re trying to manipulate a bad situation to their own advantage. I refuse to be silent on that issue, and I will not stay schtumm on an issue of business ethics, either. ethics matter — ethics are the professional values and conduct that say, “just b/c I can do something (b/c it isn’t technically illegal) doesn’t mean I should.” I’m sick to death of people who seem to think that ethics are only for the weak or the feeble-minded. and every politician or political candidate I support, every business owner who gains my custom, better have a respectable code of ethics and stick to it, or I will call them out. full stop.