A while back, makeup artist and beauty blogger Renee wrote a blog entry asking if beauty blogs could still be trusted. In recent months, or maybe years, blogging has been put in the spotlight for the right and wrong reasons. Bloggers making a decent living out of sponsorships, non-disclosure of said sponsorships resulting in possible misperceptions, blatant lying, plagiarism and so on and so forth. Even our local government has stepped in with an attempt to regulate how bloggers work.
But the thing is, what about you, the reader? How trusting are you? Do you do your background checks before buying into what a blogger says? Do you go back to believing a blogger if a product he or she has previously endorsed didn’t work out for you? You see, blogging works both ways, and ultimately, everyone has to be smart about it.
There are two kinds of bloggers: the full-time bloggers and the ones that are not. There isn’t a real term I can come up with for those who are not full-time bloggers, because these can fall under any category, such as a blogger who does it part-time, one who does it as a pure hobby, one who does it in the hopes of one day becoming full-time. The difference between a blogger that blogs full-time and one that does not is that the income for the former depends wholly on how well their blog does. They can go on to make a living by giving courses, selling ebooks and all that, but the sales of these services and products still depend on how successful their blog is.
Which brings me to my next point: sponsorships. This seems to be an icky topic because people generally don’t like it that bloggers are paid for endorsing something. I don’t understand why though. If someone can be paid for working as an employee under a company, rendering his or her services, why can’t bloggers be paid for, well, blogging? Blogging for a particular brand or company means that the blogger is being employed for the duration of the campaign for that brand or company. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What’s wrong is when the bloggers lie, and their readers believe them. Sponsorship then becomes an ethical issue. Which brings me to my next point, in that if a blogger lies, you need to be able to tell. Case in point: when a blogger posts on Instagram that a product that has yet to be launched is her favourite beauty product ever, and that she can’t live without it, you know she can’t be telling the whole truth. I mean, she’s lived her whole life up till that point without it, hasn’t she? But she has done her job of blogging for the company, and now you have to do your job of deciding whether you will buy/recommend it or not.
“Nobody sensible simply wants more trust. Sensible people want to place their trust where it is deserved. They also want to place their mistrust where it is deserved.” – Baroness Onora O’Neill
I don’t think bloggers cannot be trusted. Personally, I have met and know many bloggers who blog with integrity and will only recommend products that they themselves use in the long run (or until their wallets run dry). There are bloggers who will stick to their guns and only blog about cruelty-free products. There are bloggers who will only review services that are sponsored. There are bloggers who will not. The thing is, there isn’t only one type of blogger that you can or should trust because the world of blogging is huge and always evolving. And that’s the beauty of blogging.
You should use blogs as a source of guide to help you make your decisions but at the end of the day, the decision always lies with you. Bloggers will never force you to buy something, so it’s unfair when people blame bloggers for things that don’t work out for them. Bloggers just tell you what it’s like for them (and what it could be like for you), and you, my dear reader, you hold the key in your hands. You have the power to decide if you want something or not because you know yourself best.
Laced Ivory as a Blog
I wouldn’t say I will never accept sponsorships. I do, though not all are paid. But I don’t blog about everything that I am sponsored because not everything that is given to me works for me. And if I can’t use a product, what’s there to blog about? I feature, from time to time, products that have been sponsored or sent to me as gifts (either from companies, or from friends), and if I don’t review it, that means either I haven’t tried it, or I did and it didn’t suit me. Simple as that.
I love sharing good products to people I care about, which means that when I profess my love for something, I really like it and I use it over and over again. That’s why you’ll see some of the same products on repeat in my blog, Facebook and Instagram posts. I also love discovering new products from new brands, which is why I share beauty hauls on my blog and YouTube channel as well, hoping that you might discover something new like me, and maybe one day you’ll end up liking them.
I try as much as I can to weed out marketing ploys and dive right into the product make, so that when I review something, it is a review of substance and not just a recommendation based loosely on what a company says about their product. You know your skin best, how it reacts to certain substances or textures, and which type of product would work best for you under different circumstances. There are so many factors that come into play where beauty is concerned, and I’m just here to help you along the way.
I really hope you don’t lose hope in blogs because there are so many good ones out there that can give you the help you need. There are many sincere bloggers out there who do want to make the world a better place by doing what they do best.
Because not everything is about flying first-class to an exotic location, or being able to afford an endless supply of Givenchy.