The Guardian ran a feature last week on How To Start Wearing Make-up; in it the author made a bit of a sweeping statement about beauty blogs.
“For tricks on application and unexpected product finds, the best thing to do is to find beauty columnists and bloggers you trust, though God knows that isn’t easy. To be brutally honest, many beauty blogs consist of little more than selfies and uncritical gush about whatever free products the blogger got sent that morning. But there are good ones out there.”
She then goes on to recommend a couple that she likes (no argument there – they’re great blogs) and thinks would be good further reading for her own readers. She also mentions Sali Hughes, and god knows, we all pretty much worship the ground that Sali walks on for her absolute no-nonsense, to the point and tart reviews of beauty – not unlike like blogs, that mostly tend to bypass the bullshit and get straight to the matters that count – like does it work? Is it good value for money?
However, much as I don’t ever like to hear beauty bloggers brought down to the ‘selfies and gushing’ level, the author has a point. And, while I’m not loving how she said it (she goes on to recommend a couple of magazines but neglects to mention their free products or ad-related gushing) it seems really sad to me for all the genuinely committed and hard-working bloggers that it boils down to this is how they’re seen. It just goes to show that ‘loving’ everything doesn’t really pay off in terms of credibility and, going back to where we started – giving honest, open and useful critiques of beauty products – might not be a bad plan.
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I’ve no criticism really of the writer in question – she called it as she sees it – other than that she neglected to say that journalists are also on the receiving end of free products – but it’s a little bit of a wake-up call for all of us. You cannot turn the blogging clock back but I for one don’t want to be known as a ‘yes blogger’ or a ‘selfie’.. erm, whatever that is!
The only thing I would say is that it is my sense that the author doesn’t really know beauty blogs – or maybe has chosen very unwisely in her choice of reading. Otherwise, she would know, then, of the very real, serious and tremendous dedication that goes into some of our most respected beauty blogs. She would know that every time bloggers are grouped together in such a way, our hearts sink. Nobody wants a divide, but I think it would be fair to say that there is one and to hold our heads high in the beauty community in general is not always easy. It’s like teachers say, “a few have spoiled it for everyone so the whole class will do detention.”
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