{affiliate} I’m so thoroughly pleased with my new Fitflop Wonderwellies – I got them from Mr BBB for my birthday (I did ask for them!) – that I thought I’d show you them. They’re so far from the plastic tubes I’ve had in the past in terms of comfort and warmth and they’re definitely needed for the muddy morning walks. They’re expensive, but feel so and to my eye, look so and I like the way you get a slight lift in them, as well as proper grip and durability.

I don’t really know what this year is going to hold for me – it’s hard to say. It’s definitely going to be a pivotal year for ‘influencing’ – everyone is over it and brands can see that it’s not the money raker it used to be. The thing is that many brands now employ a system to decide who they work with that just works on numbers – whether that person allies with the brand is neither here nor there. With this lack of personal touch, influencing is purely transactional and it shows. So, of course, the very people that brands want to reach are tuning out which in turn affects sales. Since all beauty brands are (obviously) about the money, it’s not really working for them. But, there’s no Plan B. I hear along the grapevine that some bigger brands are somewhat regretting their decision to be transactional but it takes a long time to put the brakes on when you’re a global company.

Speaking of Plan B, plenty of influencers don’t have one either. While one of the greatest things about social media is that it’s available to everyone and a great leveller – if you’re making a living on it then I have every respect because it’s not as easy as it might seem. But, a Plan B is probably the most valuable thing you can invest in right now. In the interim, those who have the most attention from brands will get more of it because they’re still translating to the best sales. Remember when brands were actively looking for new talent? Not so much now – there literally isn’t time, in the face of so much pressure, to seek them out and take a chance. Eventually, even the stars will dim. And I don’t know what happens then!

I took more of a back seat last year – there are some brands I don’t expect to work with again but we will see. I went back (briefly) to journalism to discover that the attitudes I hated are still alive and well and I’ve never been so sure that I did the right thing all those years ago in starting my own place in the world of beauty. I think I will take even more of a back seat this year – the brands I work with on a commercial basis are the ones that I trust, with whom I have a solid and usually long-standing relationship and feel comfortable translating what they do to you. The absolute majority of what I do is not paid for but you can see how that’s not viable for ever.

I know what many people think about bloggers/influencers/instagrammers now – I don’t blame them – but I can at least learn (and want to do so) from open conversations where the issues lie. The bottom line is trust – there IS something ugly about watching people receive and receive especially if it’s done in a way that makes others feel uneasy (unboxing, perhaps?) about the ensuing reviews and ethics surrounding it. If indeed there are any reviews. What I think beauty influencing needs is purpose – tips, proper reviews, critical thinking and ideas with a dash of understanding that what you write and show should be for the people who read or view it. Not a show and no-tell. Speaking of show and tell, please use the comment section to ask me anything about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of blogging if there are things you’d like to know…why we use affiliate links or how to declare terms fully.

And now I’ve rambled on, I’m climbing back into my new boots (£75 HERE, non-affiliate HERE) where this post started (I literally have just gone with my immediate feelings here! It just started as my new boots…) to move a plant in my garden!

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.