Open Thread: What Are You a Snob About?

What are you a snob about?If you read our post earlier this week about brain candy books and other fun summer reads, you probably had one of three responses: (1) “Hmm, I should check out some of these,” or (2) “Eh, not my type of book,” … OR (3) “Ugh, why does anyone read those kinds of books, anyway?” Some of us are just book snobs — and all of us are snobs about something or other, right? We thought general snobbery would be a fun topic for a open thread on the day after a disorienting middle-of-the-week holiday, so here’s the question: What ARE you a snob about — and what are you decidedly NOT snobby about? Did you used to have things in the first category that, over time, moved into the second category? How about vice versa — have you gotten more snobby about anything as you’ve gotten older and wiser? 

Earlier this year, we got almost 100 comments on our “What are you drinking in 2018?” open thread, so clearly many readers are very discerning about wine, cocktails, and so on — and Kat readily admits that she’s a gin snob. (She wrote that book post, so she’s obviously an equal-opportunity reader; she also notes that she generally prefers simple Folgers coffee rather than fancy stuff.) So let’s hear it, ladies: What are YOU a snob about? Clothes, bags, jewelry, or shoes? Makeup and skincare? Food, restaurants, cookware? Wine, tea, coffee? Musicbooks, TV, movies? Home decor(Just in case it needs to be said, there are no right answers here! We just thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on what purchases are worth the splurge and what aren’t…)

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Small Political Actions to Take Each Week — No Matter What Party You’re In

small political actions to take each weekWhether or not the current issue of separating immigrant families at the border has contributed to your outrage fatigue or spurred you into taking action (and/or brought you to tears, as it did even for an on-the-air Rachel Maddow), you may be looking for small political actions to take each week to make your voice heard — no matter what party you’re in.

In the meantime, you might find it helpful to read our posts on the benefits of meditationhow to relax after a stressful day, how to take a partial social media break, how to focus on work (when other things are going on) … and, for very simple stress relief in general: coloring books for adults. If you want to get even more involved, check out our resources for women running for office.

Here are four websites that make it easy to learn about small political actions to take each week — plus one bonus site that helps you make a difference in other ways. If you know of any other groups with small political actions to take weekly or daily, we’d love to hear about them!

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The Best Solutions for Gaping Shirts

the best solutions for gaping shirtsSince it’s been a while since we last discussed this particular workwear issue for those of us on the bustier side, we thought it’d be a great time to talk about the best solutions for gaping shirts. Last time, we gave some DIY options for gaping blouses, including recommendations for sewing, taping, and pinning to close up the gaps — and more recently, we’ve talked about the best women’s dress shirts and dress shirts for for women with large breasts, as well as the best workwear for different body types, blazers for busty women, and clothes for the curvy professional.

Here are some suggestions from readers on the best solutions for gaping shirts (other than walking around with a folder in front of you all day like the model in the stock photo, that is):

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The Best Cruelty-Free Beauty Products (Reader Favorites!)

the best cruelty-free makeupAfter putting together our Slow Fashion Shopping Guide and sharing more recent posts on brands offering stylish vegan shoes for the office and clothing and accessory brands for the stylish vegan professional, we thought it was time to take a look at cruelty-free makeup — so today we’re featuring the best cruelty-free beauty products, as well as a list of resources to help you find even more.

Labeling a product “cruelty-free” typically means that it hasn’t been tested on animals, but you may also encounter other phrases: “not tested on animals,” “against animal testing,” etc. Here’s another complicating factor: Animal testing within the U.S. has thankfully become rare, and the E.U. has banned animal testing of both cosmetic ingredients and finished products, but in China, imported cosmetics must be tested on animals. If, say, your company’s mascaras are tested on animals, you can’t sell them in Europe — but you can’t sell them in China without testing them on animals, either by your company itself or by the Chinese government. To make it easier to find beauty products that are cruelty-free — and to check the brands you’re currently using — we’ve listed many online resources at the bottom of this post.

Psst: Have you seen our post on beauty empties — the products you finish and then buy again?

Here are Corporette readers’ picks for the best cruelty-free products, from drugstore to higher-end brands:

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Coffee Break: Custom Business Tote

We recently heard from a reader who shared a recommendation for Glaser Designs, which is based in San Francisco and creates customized work and travel bags. She emailed to say, in part:

I was in desperate need for a great looking and great functioning briefcase for years. Finally I found the BEST company on the planet for this that first interviews you about how you use a briefcase — your needs — and then, with you on SKYPE designs one that fits for you.

We’re picturing the Business Tote — the example on their website measures 17″ x 3″ x 4″ and seems like a nice choice for a basic, classic tote for work. It has a dark green grosgrain lining, which is a nice touch, as well as bottom metal studs, two zip pockets at the top, and a key ring inside. To customize a bag, you can talk to Glaser Designs via Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts (or visit their San Francisco studio), and discuss your preferred size, color (for hand-coloring with water-based dyes), lining, top stitching, and strap length. (The company also offers other leather items, such as duffel bags, padfolios, and passport holders, to name a few.) Business Tote

Tool of the Trade: When to Trust Online Reviews (Fakespot Review)

when to trust online reviewsI sometimes wonder, “What would I do without online reviews?” because I rely on them so much (for example, as a very frequent Amazon Prime user). When I’m looking for a new bra or shoes or a flash drive or a book (ha, remember when Amazon was about books?), I note the average rating and often read a few of the reviews. At Amazon, I’ll often use “4 stars & up” as a search filter. Recently, I was looking for something for undereye circles, and besides the usual suspects, my search turned up a bunch of products from brands I’ve never heard of — and they had thousands of positive reviews. (Some of the products appeared to be the same ones as others sold under different names, which seemed like a red flag). Around the same time, I came across a site called Fakespot, which proposes to solve the problem of how to spot fake reviews on Amazon and other sites. It quickly analyzes online reviews for Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor (especially relevant after its recent controversy), and Apple’s App Store, and grades each one from A–F. A indicates 90%+ reliable reviews and reviewers. After it takes into the account the real vs. questionable reviews for a particular product you enter, Fakespot gives you an “adjusted rating.”

I tested out Fakespot for a few of those eye serums I saw and got some interesting results regarding when to trust online reviews for beauty products:

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