I forgot to announce it but we are on our annual summer hiatus! That includes the podcast as well as this blog. Oops. It’s been a rough year and some things (like telling everyone we were going on summer break) fell through the cracks.
Which brings me to my story. Tl;dr (but i hope you do read!): go to Brilliant Glass Skin on Etsy for absolutely amazing all-natural, vegan, sustainable skin care products made by hand by Dr. Johanna Groene. And as it turns out, she’s doing 25% off sample sets this week for 4th of July! Act fast! (this is a coincidence: she does not know I am writing this post!)
OK, so. I don’t exactly run a tight ship in my life, although my ace team of editors and assistant Rain keep The Professor Is In on track for our lovely clients! But where I’m in charge, things can get pretty chaotic.
So when I was invited by Johanna to give a talk to some grad students about 2 years ago (before the pandemic), what with one thing and another, including the pandemic, I ended up agreeing to do the talk about two years after the initial contact, while forgetting to confirm one basic non-negotiable: payment.
As you know, I firmly oppose working for free. I think this “sacrificial” ethos is the downfall of the academy and the foundation of adjunct exploitation. I make specific exceptions ONLY for Black and Indigenous graduate student groups, as part of my personal and professional anti-racist practice. But other than that, I require some degree of payment, although I will always be as flexible as I can possibly be to work with anyone’s budget, especially when it’s a student group. (So if you’ve wondered about inviting me, please do! I am never offended by budgetary constraints and really will try to work with your budget!)
Anyway, because of the length of time that had passed and the pandemic etc. etc., I found myself discovering to my extreme surprise that somehow or another, with the talk imminent, I had agreed to do it for free!
Johanna could not have been more lovely, accommodating and candid (and apologetic about her non-existent budget) at each point in the correspondence, so the mistake was entirely mine. And because she was SO APPRECIATIVE, I just…. didn’t have the heart to back out. So, I decided to chalk it up to experience and go ahead and do the event.
It went great and I found it gratifying. I was glad I did it. And that was that.
So imagine my surprise when, in a casual follow up exchange where for some reason I alluded to my love of skin-care, Johanna informed me that actually, on the side as a #nonac side hustle, she makes and sells her own line of all-natural and vegan skin care products, and would I like to visit her site and select a few as a token of appreciation for the talk?
I WENT IMMEDIATE.
Turns out I loved the look of almost everything. I ended up with a list of about 20 things I would love to try! So I said: please just send me a few items from this list that you’re able and willing to share without any financial strain.
A week later, a box arrived at my house with EVERYTHING. Every last thing I’d loved from her shop, and more! It was a big box.
I started trying them immediately. And, they are wonderful.
So here, dear readers, I am telling you about the products I love, in no particular order. Of course I still use my beloved Sabbatical Beauty products that I’ve blogged about endlessly. And I love luscious Odacite serums, and Perricone Cold Plasma SubD Neck Cream. When I know I’m going to be wearing makeup, I still depend on Sabbatical Beauty serums and Donkey Cream moisturizer and my trusty and pricey Clinique Smart Custom Repair Eye Cream. Because the texture of the Brilliant Glass Skin moisturizer and eye cream, both of which I really really like, don’t necessarily play well with makeup.
But when I want to just feel really cozy and weekend-y and like I’m doing a DEEP WATER of my “face garden,” I turn to Brilliant Glass Skin and I just adore it. The products smell like one of those hot summer days – cut grass and deep shade and sun baking on the lakeshore – and just feel like…. heaven. I know “glass skin” has been the thing for awhile and it’s even in her shop name, but to me it feels like “suede skin” and I can’t explain why exactly this is so great, but it’s just luscious and satisfying and gratifying and beautiful. And don’t believe me: see the 5-star reviews on her site! “Apr 11, 2021; 5 out of 5 stars; If you have made to this seller’s shop, you were probably searching for the best skin care products out there. You have come to right place. Now don’t buy her products piece-meal like me–just buy everything. I pinky-swear you will love her products. Shortly, I will be placing another order.”
One note: she does use a lot of Shea Butter. I find this wonderful and perfect for my skin, but I do wonder if it might be a bit much for younger/oilier skin. Luckily, Johanna offers samples! I recommend you take advantage of her July 4th Sample Special for $12.99
My four absolute favorite products:
Other products I tried and liked (although for serums I returned to my first loves from Sabbatical Beauty: Asian Powerhouse Serum, Marine Serum, and Dorian Grey Serum):
Bedew Raw Honey and Aloe Skin Cleanser
Set and Refresh Priming Refreshing and Setting Spray
Brilliant Lifting Mask *Private Collection* Firm and Tightens Skin, Jowls and Bags
Brilliant Facial Filler Dupe *Private Collection*
Brilliant Boosting Facial Serum *Private Collection* Build Collagen, Plump Skin, Reduce Wrinkles
Brilliant Botox Dupe *Private Collection* Wrinkle Relaxer
Green Dream Matcha Serum Stick (I had to extract this and put into a container as the cardboard delivery system, while very ‘green’, didn’t really hold up. But I love the product for a deep mask!)
24K Hair Conditioner (I’m very fond of this!)
Deep Conditioning Lip Balm
French Eye Spa Treatment with Blue Cornflower and Matcha Tea Bags (I wanted to love this but found it… mystifying. But it’s certainly refreshing!).
Johanna also makes products for men, and for babies! She also customizes orders – ie, adjusting her formula to make a cream lighter or creamier; all you have to do is ask! And best of all: offers refills in biodegradable bags so you do NOT have to buy new jars or bottles! Yay!
Lastly: she makes a 3-in-1 color stick, which I have not tried. The reviews are great!
So, what is the moral of this story? Honestly, I don’t know. But what i can say is: this unexpected gift has turned into the nicest “payment” I can imagine! And I am delighted to pay her generosity forward by sharing Johanna’s products here on The Professor Is In. Please do tell her I sent you!