I don’t really consider myself an expert on beauty blogging but after more than 3 years (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long; time really flies when you’re having fun 😉 ) I have learned a thing or two about it and thought it would be fun to share them with you:
1. It’s more time-consuming than you think
If you’re inspired, you can write a review or a post where you share some beauty secrets in just 10-15 minutes, but writing is not the only thing a blogger has to do. You also need to take good photos of both products and your looks (more on that later), or if you decide to use stock pictures, spend hours trying to find decent ones you can use without infringing anyone’s copyright; engage with your readers on social media sites (something I rarely seem to find the time for these days :oops:) replying to comments and emails; learn HTML and CSS so you can edit the layout and make it look just the way you want to; promote your blog.. And there’s always something that goes wrong behind the scenes that needs to be taken care of and you have no clue how to fix it! But beauty blogging is also a lot of fun and you make great friends along the way!
2. It’s almost impossible to get a picture with accurate color (but you have to do it anyway)
You can take 100 pictures of a product, in different settings and under different lightening conditions, and still don’t come up with a single picture that shows the accurate color! Taking a good picture in summer, when there is a lot of natural light, is easier, but in winter, it can really become impossible. You can wait for a week for the sun to show up and it never does, or if it does, you are at work or something and by the time you get home and get everything ready, the weather is crap again! You can’t wait forever but you can’t even post crappy pictures where the color is very different from how it looks in real life as that would be useless for the readers. That’s why some bloggers (me included), sometimes use GIMP or Photoshop to edit the colors to make them look as accurate as possible.
3. You discover weird products and treatments
Creams containing snail slime, fish exfoliating feet, massages performed by snakes, lip tattoos in all kinds of designs and patterns, crystals for your vagina.. something new (and sometimes totally unnecessary) seems to pop up every week…
4. Macro mode will show mistakes invisible to the naked eye
You can spend ages doing your makeup and hair, plucking eyebrows hair, blending eyeshadows, brushing unruly strands of hair, applying foundation, covering pimples etc until you are sure that you look perfect, but when you see the photos you’ve taken with macro mode, you’ll always find something wrong. A brow hair escaped the tweezers, eyeshadow isn’t as well blended as you thought and that eyeliner line is not that straight after all..
5. You start recognizing products from brands you have never even tried
When I started beauty blogging, there were so many brands I didn’t know or had very limited knowledge of. I knew for instance about MAC, but not having a store near me, I hadn’t tried much from the brand and wasn’t able to spot a fake item from a real one. Now, I can see the difference just by taking a quick look, even if it is a product I don’t own myself. And when I open a magazine and see a picture of a makeup product, or watch TV and see someone applying makeup, I can tell what they are and what they are using even if the names and brands aren’t mentioned.
6. It’s almost always possible to find a drugstore dupe of high-end products
Drugstore brands have really upped their game in recent years and it’s now possible to find cheap dupes for pretty much every high-end product. Granted, they may not come in such pretty packaging, but it’s not that hard anymore to come across inexpensive eyeshadows in muted colors that have a smooth texture and good color payoff, lipsticks that are actually moisturizing or foundations that don’t make your face look like a mask. You don’t really have to spend a lot on good makeup products these days, although it’s nice to treat yourself to a luxurious item every now and then.
7. Follow your instinct
Beauty bloggers receive all kinds of emails and offers. Most of these are legit and give the blogger an opportunity to share with readers brands and products they wouldn’t otherwise be able to cover and get a feel of how the industry works. But others just don’t feel right.. like people asking to use your content, on which your worked very hard on, on their site and offering only a link back to your blog (why should I let anyone else benefit from my work without getting almost anything in return?!), or people asking to buy products they saw you mentioned on your blog even when it’s clear that you don’t own them (what’s the deal with that, don’t they know the difference between a blog and a shop?!), or PRs offering products for review but want to know what you write in advance to make sure you don’t say anything negative about them even when they don’t work (these piss me off the most)… It is your blog and you don’t have to work with anyone you don’t want to. If it doesn’t feel right, just turn the offer down.
8. You can’t please everyone
There will always be someone who won’t like your blog. They may unsubscribe from your feed, stumble on your blog and go away after 5 seconds because they have decided they don’t like it, and sometimes they may even criticise you because you use bright eyeshadows or review mostly high-end products or something.. You just cannot cover every brand, review every product, and your writing or makeup style may not appeal to everyone. Keep doing your own thing, develop your unique voice, share what you like and your passions and you’ll find lots of like-minded people will follow you. As for the others, they will find other blogs that better suit their needs. It doesn’t mean your blog sucks, but just that you can’t please everyone all the time. And that’s just life.
What did you learn from beauty blogging, both as a blogger and a reader?