Q&A With Makeup Artist Tierney Messmer

I have a fun post for you today! About a year and a half ago I met Tierney Messmer, a professional makeup artist in Rochester NY. I met Tierney through my good friend and photographer, Miranda. I was visiting Miranda out in Rochester, and got the opportunity to model for her on a photo shoot! Tierney was the makeup artist that day, and she did such a beautiful job. Since then, I’ve been following Tierney on social media and admiring her work.

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At the beginning of the month I was thinking of new posts I wanted to introduce to my blog, and one of the ideas I had was to start a section devoted to opinion pieces. Every day there are new products and ideas introduced to the beauty world that are meant to improve your life in one way or another. Some of these products and concepts make sense and are proven to be effective, while others are downright ridiculous. I’ve been known to hold some strong opinions and to stand up for what I believe in, and my thoughts on beauty are no different.

To start off this new series I want to talk about Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop. Paltrow is a strong believer in herbal medicine, eating a clean diet, and living a natural lifestyle. Goop is basically the Internet version of Gwyneth Paltrow where you can purchase all the same makeup, clothing, and minerals that Paltrow uses and recommends to her friends and family. However, with such high price tags and an almost condescending tone to the product descriptions, the lifestyle site feels quite elitist. As a middle class woman who can only dream of being able to afford a $2,000 coat one day, it feels as if I’m being mocked on the website.

A recipe for coconut kettle corn claims it’s the perfect snack to “satisfy those pesky salty/sweet cravings without all of the refined sugar,” as if cravings are a burden and something to be ashamed of. The description for the Winter scented candle – “This is a scent composed entirely of rare, all-natural elements imbued with the power to entrance, heal, and transform. The olfactory fingerprint of each individual plant, where it was grown and how it grew gives this perfume its character, its mystery, and its beauty. It is pure, alive—the real thing.” – makes me wonder if I’m buying a candle or attending a yoga retreat. Really, it’s all a little confusing.

With products like Brain Dust, Inner Star Mist, and a $500 oversized grey sweatshirt, I have to wonder who’s buying all of this stuff? Not just in the literal sense of purchasing the items, but actually buying into them. Do people honestly believe that Inner Star Mist, a concoction of water and flower essences, is going to increase their self-trust (whatever the f*** that is) and “support authentic expression”? Or that a drawstring bag of stones is going to heal you and bring out your inner goddess? Since when did taking in oxygen, an autonomous bodily function, become so difficult that a product called ‘Rhodiola’ is now available to assist you? After reading up on Rhodiola, I found nothing suggesting that the herb increases oxygen intake. It helps reduce fatigue and may potentially increase longevity, but it doesn’t increase oxygen intake. On top of all of that, the herb can be bought for $9 for 60 capsules as opposed to $55 for 75g on Goop…

It’s not that I’m entirely against everything Goop stands for. I strongly believe in living a healthy lifestyle, daily exercise, and eating foods that are good for you. What I don’t believe in is ripping customers off with exorbitant prices as well as possibly endangering those who don’t know any better concerning what they’re purchasing. Whether it’s allowing people to buy a product that is physically harmful, or publishing an article full of false information, Goop is endangering their audience.

Goop recently made available a jade egg meant to be inserted into a woman’s vagina to increase chi, strengthen the vaginal muscles, and take away negativity, among other things. This is after they recommended steaming your vagina for 45 minutes and claiming that bras cause cancer. Jade is a porous material, that when left in the vagina for hours on end, as is suggested by Goop, can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome. A jade egg isn’t going to balance hormones or cleanse the vagina (which, by the way, is an organ that naturally cleans itself). I highly recommend  reading Dr. Jen Gunter’s response to the jade egg to learn more about how much of sham they truly are.

I read a comment about Paltrow that summed it up best; she’s not selling the products on Goop just to make a profit, she’s selling them out of pure ignorance and belief that jade eggs, flower water, and a bag of rocks will heal you from the inside out. She’s not just using her star status to pull one over on you and me, she’s using her status to promote false claims and bogus products unknowingly. No Inner Star Mist, jade egg, or organically sourced candle is going to make you love yourself any more, cleanse your vagina, or transform you in any way. Take a yoga class, practice meditation, go to the damn gynecologist! Those things will improve your health, both mentally and physically, not an overpriced lifestyle website started by a privileged actress who can afford to drink a $200 smoothie every morning.

Audrey Knizek

P.S. Anyone catch the reference in the title of this post? 😉