Friday, January 25, 2008

Beauty Blogs Making Headlines

Women's Wear Daily has a semi-interesting article about beauty blogs, their growing influence on consumers and the way companies, retailers and traditional media are coping with us. Some are learning to live with it and even develop respect for independent opinions, others are launching their own blogs, trying to reach out more directly by skipping the usual purple prose of an ad campaign.

Here's the link, but you need a subscription to read the full article.

I had to stifle a little giggle when reading this quote by Stacy Baker, editorial director of Sephora: "A blogger has to know what she's talking about and have the résumé — or at least citations — to backbone her opinion,".
(For the record: My issue with Sephora was never with their beauty products, of which they still offer a great selection. My gripe is with their perfume department that is sinking deeper and deeper into the realms of Pink Sugar and the lowest common denominator)

What do you think? What bothers you more: lack of formal beauty credentials or the obvious obligation traditional media has to its advertisers?

Image: The Little Writer by Raccoon with a Cigar, from deviantArt


  1. "A blogger has to know what she's talking about and have the résumé — or at least citations — to backbone her opinion,"

    (Pardon my derisive snort)

    You don't have to be a chicken to recognise an egg Ms. Baker, and you don't have to have an MBA to see that Sephoras selection of scents is at best pedestrian. Macys selection is edgier. Get over it.

  2. Imagine being a man, (no interest in make up, already have ONE moisturizer that's also good as after shave), and you want to smell some exciting perfumes; would you consider going into Sephora? Or would you bring your un-resumèd ass somewhere else?
    Pardon me the citation.

  3. What credentials do you need other than passion and experience with the products? The point of independent blogs is that they offer non-paid reactions to products and services. And anyway, an opinion is just that - an opinion. If you're being honest about yours, it's as valid as mine or anyone else's. If you're the type who makes gurus out of others, I suppose you could put certain bloggers on a pedastal, but if you don't, I think you can gain a lot by hearing the different voices. Sounds like the Sephora woman and others in the field are a bunch of scaredy cats. Then again, this is the first time in history that their industry has been confronted by such direct feedback and opinions. Before, they might hear from a customer here and there, but never a block of them. It must be a little startling. - minette

  4. I still can't believe myself that the first Guerlain fragrance I ever bought, L'Heure Bleu EDT, was at a Sephora less than 5 years ago. These days that same location doesn't even have Shalimar anymore, let alone L'HB or its like.

  5. Tom- I wonder if the same people who talk about beauty and fragrance bloggers "credentials" also refuse to read Perez Hilton because Mario Lavandeira wasn't a celeb before he started the blog.

    Edwardian- As far as I'm concerned, the fact that I have male readers (other than the ones related to me by blood or marriage, that is) who visit, comment and email me even when I'm writing about lipgloss and powder, is a huge compliment.
    I hope I'm contributing something of worth to the beauty/fragrance discussion, and since my readers seem to be a group of interesting, insightful people, that may just be the case :)

    As for Sephora, when we remember that the chain is owned by LVMH things become a bit more clear.

    Minette- Thank you for commenting. You've brought some excellent points. I definitely agree with you, especially about this transition into a new era. It'll be interesting to see how things change and develop over time.

    MHarvey- L'Heure Bleu at Sephora...Sounds almost fictionary, except that I do remember those days. Once upon a time they even had Chanel makeup at many locations.

  6. Gaia, the way you write about lipgloss is so interesting and entertaining that sometimes I want to try wearing some ( ok, maybe not). But your reviews are fascinating whatever the subject, good job.

  7. Good questions. I think a blogger needs to know what he/she is talking about but if all he/she is talking about is his/her own opinion, what qualifications do you need for that? I have actually worked in both the beauty industry and in journalism but neither of those credentials make my blog the tiniest bit more interesting, relevant, or readable. I, for one, am incredibly happy to have access to reviews by people who are AND who are are not "legitimate" industry insiders.

    Also, Sephora blows.

  8. Edwardian- Thank you. You made my day.

    Heather- I know what you mean re: opinions. Since when does one needs to have official papers to justify tastes and preferences?
    Your blog is such a rich addition to the blogsphere, but I suspect that would have been the case even if you were a tax attorney ;) (no offence to any tax attorney reading this. I'm sure some of them smell great)


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