I know, I’m late with this – I took a proper break from blogging over the holidays and reckoned that nobody would much mind. Plus, it’s taken me a while to formulate some thoughts. When the most pressing thing in a fortnight is what day the bins get emptied it’s like a juice cleanse for the brain. I definitely feel sharper and more mentally energetic for having a clear break from being so tied to on-line. So, random thoughts in no order…
One thing I do know is that, coming up to the 10 year birthday of BBB, is that I’ll be doing it a bit less. I’ve taken it as far as I can and think there’s something to be said about being more relaxed. I’m not chasing stats, I don’t feel there is any more ‘building’ to be done or any reason to promote growth. I’m absolutely satisified with just keeping the readers I have happy and continuing to have beauty conversations without any other agenda than that simple thing.
I also know that I’m not running around after brands in 2018! I can’t control the randomness of PR, the constant dropping off mailing lists or being expected to sell my soul for a lipstick sample. If brands want to appear on BBB that is perfect, but other than buying products if I really, truly feel they should be on here, I’m not prepared to do the dance any more. If you knew what it took to get a Fenty or Kat Von D sample, you’d be propping me up in an armchair and applying a cold compress to my forehead. Inevitably, I think, that will mean less content.
I’m also going to use my ‘mute’ button harder! I’m pretty free with it as it is, but find I probably don’t use it quickly enough. One of the issues I noticed last year was the rise of the ‘aggressive self-appointed mentor’ on social media. I’m all for empowerment but from time to time I feel some are more about self-validation than the greater good and it’s all too easy to get caught up in someone else’s loud method of dealing with their own issues. We don’t need any stats or research to tell us that social media can be hard on mental health – if you’re on it every day, it’s plain to see and I feel it’s important to filter out anything that upsets your balance. Use the Graham Norton tipping chair method!
Trend-wise, the rise of ‘natural’ is going to be huge. It’s where all the investment is going both in ad spend and product development. However, be a wise consumer – just because it’s in a pink package with some clever words wrapped around it doesn’t mean it’s natural in the sense we understand it. I need to create a definition for my own clarity. Sustainability is also big for this year – ensure though that what a brand gives with one hand, they’re not taking with another. It’s all very well to take ingredients from sustainable sources, but if you’re over-packaging, over-freighting and underpaying workers, it’s a same problem, different day kind of thing.
Look out too for plenty of wrinkle rinsing from brands targeting older women. They’re taking the ‘anti’ out of ageing and replacing who you should be not with a crease free ingenue but a bareback riding, stunt-doubling, ballet dancing, mindfulness practicing, marathon running paragon. By the end of the year we’ll wish for a bit of insulting packaging again 😉.
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Does this mean you’re slowly stepping away from blogging or…? Because I can feel myself screaming “you better not even think about it”. Because we need you, you’re an important voice amongst all the crazies.
Thank you, that’s so kind of you. I’ve been on ‘level critical’ for about two years I think! It’s a very tricky environment in its way and sometimes I am 100% game on and other times I’m completely the opposite wondering why I’m having yet another conversation with a PR that could be my child telling me how best to look after my skin, or being ‘allowed’ to receive a product to do their marketing for them. Haha.. you’ve set me off now!
And that’s what I love about your blog, your no-nonsense approach, that it’s about your readers, and it’s honest.
Thank you so much – it’s lovely to get feedback like that xx
Thanks for your work Jane and Happy New Year.
I always enjoy your opinion pieces.
Thank you so much – happy new year to you!
Happy New Year
Fab that you had a wonderful break . I look forward to your content under your new regime.
I am going to be much more discerning in what I read. I like your independent voice so you blog will be top of my list
Ah thank you so much!
A very Happy 2018.
You’ve inspired me these past 10 years.
Thank you Jane.
Thank you Socky – it’s lovely having you on board! x
Hi Jane, I was brought up to value quality, not quantity, so I am happy with the less but better approach. I’m losing faith in the honesty of some other bloggers to be frank, I just get the feeling they’ve been “bought”. I enjoy your style and content, so more power to your elbow! And before I forget, Happy New Year!
thank you so much! happy new year to you x
Good for you! I really appreciate your blog and have recommended it to lots of other people as it’s one of the few that tells it like it is. If a product doesn’t work, you say so, and if a product isn’t for your type of skin/hair etc you get someone you trust to test it for you. All sponsored posts are marked as such and even then it’s balanced rather than gushing because they paid you. Definitely a woman after my own heart! Please don’t stress yourself out trying to get samples or post a certain amount. If a company doesn’t want to make it easy to tell your many followers about their product then I don’t want to buy it as it’s as if they looked me up and down at the counter and said no, I don’t think you are the sort of image our make up/skincare should project. Happy New Year to you and your family and best wishes for 2018.
Ah thank you so much – it’s so lovely to get feedback like that! Part of the bigger problem is that if you don’t fit in with what messaging brands want you to pass on, or you question it, or voice your actual opinion, it’s just easier for PRs and brands to go elsewhere where people don’t apply critical thinking. I see why they do it, but I also feel quite insulted on behalf of readers who would be horrified at the behind the scenes. Happy new year to you too :-))
One day when you can, it would be very enlightening to hear what goes on behind the scenes with certain brands.
I think I’d have to be very sure that I’m done doing what I’m doing before I could do that – I would LOVE to say and actually do say as much as I can! There is definitely a Beauty Babylon waiting to be written!
Absolutely. Don’t burn any bridges!
Happy to hear the blog will still continue & I think you’re absolutely right to pass up on chasing around like a blue assed fly to score the shiny new trends. I honestly think that can be left to the ‘sell their soul’ hoardes. Your posts are a gift in that they’re real & trusted, & any brand that doesn’t want to be a part of that is doing themselves a disservice, not you.
Love what you do & thanks for not giving up on it. It’s much appreciated xCx
You’re always so supportive – thank you for it. Communications like this are exactly what keeps me going – I feel I have friends far and wide on the other side of this blog and that’s not something I can easily say goodbye to.
I’d love to read your review of the new Premier Cru range by Caudalie!
I have it here, but it’s so hard to review skin care – I’ve been using one brand (on a sponsored basis) for the past few months so I can now start to incorporate other things but Premier Cru is quite far down the list.