Tag Archives: Beauty Schooled

[Mission Statement] What’s Going On With This Blog

2013 marks my fourth year of blogging, and when I look back over how this blog (and this whole website, and my career and my whole life while we’re on the subject) has evolved during that time, it’s a little amazing to me.

But what may amaze and delight me may be confusing to my lovely readers. As in, I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers in the past few months — and a lot of new un-subscribers. Ouch… except I understand why. People often come to my site because they’ve read a specific story that I’ve written elsewhere — and then understandably get bored or turned off when they realize that I don’t blog 24/7 about that specific topic. (Be it MLM marketing scams or lighthouse renovations or what have you.)

So I thought it would be helpful to all you readers, new and old, if I sketched out a clearer mission statement for this blog and kept it posted right here on the top of the blog page, always and forever. (Or until everything about this site evolves again and that no longer makes sense.)


Filed under Uncategorized

Tagged as , , , ,


Backstory: How Beauty U Led to Mary Kay

Investigative Fund: Why I Went to Beauty School by Virginia Sole-Smith


Another coda to The Pink Pyramid Scheme — and more free online content for y’all! The Investigative Fund asked me to blog about why I went to beauty school in the first place, since that is, of course, how I met my first Mary Kay ladies and stumbled on to this story.

Regular readers here might think you already know the whole Beauty Schooled story, but this post is still worth a read — because I talk about the enormous gap between what women spend on beauty ($200 billion in 2009, the year I enrolled at Beauty U) and what women can earn when they sell beauty. As you’ve probably guessed by now, it’s not a hell of a lot whether you’re hosting Mary Kay parties or waxing eyebrows in a salon. And since beauty workers are almost always also beauty consumers, too … there is math here that is just not adding up. Read more. 


Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, For Extra Credit, Makeup, Mary Kay, Press

Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Something I’m Up To: The Economic Hardship Reporting Project

I know, I know. This blog has been a little… quiet… as of late. Does it help to know that I’m thinking about you guys a lot more than I’m actually writing posts? Probably not, and there’s nothing more irritating than those blog posts that are really just “ahhh! soo busy!” excuses, so let’s not even go there. I am tweeting and Facebooking a bunch, and you knowing I’m Pinterest-ing, and hey, I’m even on Instagram now… so at least we’re all keeping up in all of those places.

I’m dropping in now to tell you about one of the things that is keeping me so busy (in an awesome way): The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which is an exciting new journalism nonprofit founded by best-selling investigative journalist Barbara Ehrenreich and the Institute for Policy Studies. Its mission, per the About page, is this:

to force this country’s crisis of poverty and economic insecurity to  the center of the national  conversation. Unemployed, underemployed, and anxiously employed Americans need to know that they are not alone, that the current economic crisis is not their fault and that they are not always getting the information they need to find solutions.  Just telling compelling stories of individuals and families isn’t enough. We want to link such stories to the large picture, as we explore extreme — and deepening — inequality and the decline of the middle class.

And here’s me, over on the contributor page, with a little hint for you about what I’m working on…


Filed under Career Opportunities, Government Watch, Press

Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,


Beauty Schooled is on Marie Claire!

"The Price of Beauty," by Virginia Sole-Smith Marie Claire

Because I know you never get tired of reading about me performing bikini waxes. But this piece, which just got published on MarieClaire.com, is actually about the art of the upsell.

Which I’ve touched on before — like over here — but never in quite this much useful detail. It even includes a handy sidebar on how to get the spa service you really want. And people, it is big news for a women’s magazine to do a story like this, even online. So click, check it out, and pretty please, leave some comments, tweet it and Facebook Like It, if you do?

Filed under Beauty Schooled, Press

Tagged as , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Beauty Schooled on The Beheld!

Virginia Sole-Smith Q&A on The Beheld

My new blog friend Autumn Whitefield-Madrano writes an awesome and thoughtful blog called The Beheld, which you should already know about because I link to it allll the time in the Price Check and on Twitter.

So there was much hopping about with excitement when Autumn asked to interview me for The Beheld about the Beauty U project and other beauty-related matters. Check it out here.


Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Standards, Career Opportunities, Press

Tagged as , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Beauty Schooled and Safer Nail Salons on Lemondrop!

Screen grab of Lemondrop nail salons story

So, I told you guys a little bit about San Francisco’s new healthy nail salons ordinance last week, but now! I’ve got a brand spanking new piece about it up over at the lovely Lemondrop.com. This story has some more dirt on the whole regulation situation, plus ideas on how consumers like you can help support safer salons and get your toes prettied up all at the same time. Which means everybody wins. So what are you still doing here? Go on and click right over!


Filed under Happenings, Press

Tagged as , , ,

Leave a comment

Beauty Schooled is Over on No More Dirty Looks Today.

It’s like when the sitcom actors do cross-over appearances on each others’ shows during Sweeps! First they guest posted here. And now I’m over there. And it’s a really kick-ass post, so make sure you read it. Here is a taste, to get you excited:

I had all of these questions. Why are salon workers getting sick? What could happen to me from using all of this crap? When am I ever going to lose this last ten pounds? Why do I even think I need to lose ten pounds? What on earth is up with Brazilian waxing? And why would so many of us rather not make eye contact with the woman we pay to do that for us?

I decided to go to beauty school, because I thought by crossing that invisible wall between me (the beauty consumer) and them (the beauty workers), I might find some answers to these questions. I did and I didn’t. (Check out my new Beauty U page to get the full story from start to finish.)


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Press

Tagged as , , ,

Leave a comment

Join Beauty Schooled for the Next Feminist Carnival: Beauty Edition! [Deadline March 29]

Carnival Action Photo by Shannon Taylor (catching up again)

I’m so excited to announce that Beauty Schooled will be hosting Feminist Carnival No. 16: Beauty Edition on Wednesday, March 31.

As you might recall, I participated in Feminist Carnival No. 11 over at Gender Across Borders back in January. It was so much fun that I decided to get in on the hosting action myself. In case you’re new to the whole concept: A blog carnival is kind of like a link roundup on steroids. It’s a chance to feature some of the best (and often otherwise undiscovered) feminist thinking and writing going on right now in the blogosphere, all in one place. (And then we all link, Twitter, and comment like crazy so chaos and merriment ensues! Sequined masks and fried dough consumption optional.)


Filed under Press

Tagged as , ,


    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!