For those not in the loop on the subject of this post, here‘s a good primer.
If you pay much attention to the indie makeup world and the blogs devoted to it, you know that the community has had its fair share of shitstorms: the dubiousness of Lime Crime, Glittersniffer, Bitchslap, Orglamix; the temporary closings of Aromaleigh, Fyrrinae; the sometimes suspicious relationships between bloggers and entrepreneurs. Let’s add another to the pile, shall we?
Le Gothique was a blog run by someone who called herself Georgiana Grey, a feature of which was reviews of independent cosmetic companies’ products. Often going by just “Grey” (knowing she was an AFI fan, I assumed this to be a referential pseudonym), the author never showed her face, preferring to make her avatars and icons photos of her tattooed feet, encased in either boots or high heels. One didn’t know who Grey was or what she looked like, only that her lobes were stretched, her body was inked, and her makeup swatches were clear.
I’d been reading Gothique regularly for about a year, commenting on the occasional posts, appreciating the swatches and honest reviews. Well, the reviews could be a bit harsh-seeming, so I’d decided that Grey was someone I wouldn’t want to get on the nerves of. Still, she came off as pretty personable, hard-working, and generous. She organized international makeup swaps, took book donations for a local organization, and hosted a number of giveaways. Being a selfish bastard, I love giveaways, so I tended to participated in them–and a while back, I even won one! My prize was a few limited edition Wet n Wild eyeshadow trios. I emailed Grey my address and promptly forgot about my incoming package.
That is, until Grey mentioned in a later post that she was having shipping difficulties. I remembered that I never got a reply to my email (something to expect, no?). The post noted that anyone expecting a package from Grey should email her about it, so I followed suit. But, again, I got no reply. This time, I took notice.
Some time passed, and again Grey mentioned that she had shipping difficulties–but now, packages were being returned to her, torn to shreds. I felt bad for her. She had put so much effort into giving people nice things, and I knew she had anxiety problems (much like myself); being insistent about my own missing package would stress her more, so I said nothing.
It wasn’t long before I stopped getting notifications on new Gothique posts. An update error? No, the website itself showed no new posts, either. A breather to de-stress? Seemed likely. An illness-related hiatus? Unfortunately, a possibility, due to Grey’s history of hospital visits. Benefit of the doubt given, I hoped for the best and waited.
Waiting being an effective memory eraser, I again forgot about Gothique and Grey. So I was shocked when I went to Lillian’s blog and the latest posts were about Grey. Oh crap, I forgot. Has Grey’s status been revealed? Oh, yes, it was. And guess what? She’s disappeared before. Under a different identity. By faking her fucking death.
I was dumbfounded. I read all the posts I could, then went to sleep. When I woke up, I wasn’t entirely sure that I hadn’t dreamt the whole thing. Read the posts again, and yep, Gina really was the Knitter Who Didn’t Live.
Considering all the people who were apparently scammed by Gina Silva, I’m lucky to not have paid for what I was expecting from her. But we in the makeup community all lost a blog, most of us lost someone we trusted, and some of us lost someone considered a friend–for the second time. Gina, if you’re reading: I don’t know why you pretended to die, took people’s money, and left without any direct explanation to your readers. I hope you reimburse everyone possible, and if you decide to pop up on the Internet again, are more honest about your identity. And I hope you seek help for any problems you have and apologize to your former peers, collaborators, and friends.
And if you ever want to send me that package, just let me know.