I'm taking a leaf out of my friend CharlestonGirl's book who explained her blogging philosophy last week (scroll down to the last part of the post). Long time readers probably already know how I work, but between the many newcomers and the subtle shift in the blogsphere, I figured it's time to talk about these issues and how they pertain to my blog. Some of this is a repeat of things I've said in the past here and here, some may be new.
- My blog is first and foremost personal. I blog about things that interest me and are at least vaguely related to beauty, perfume, and fashion. Sometimes it's brand new items that were just released (or about to be released), sometimes it's discoveries that are new to me, occasionally it's a perennial favorite. It's fun to chase the newest and hottest, but I can only be bothered up to a certain point.
- I don't buy items that I suspect are going to suck and I don't accept them for consideration. The same goes for colors and textures that clearly aren't a good match for me. This keeps the good/bad reviews ratio pretty high, which might be a bit boring. But I have only so much money and skin space at my disposal and I'd rather use them on good stuff.
- When I come across a product that disappoints me I make an effort to figure out the problem and really try to make it work to avoid user errors that result in injustice. I test makeup over several primers and use different brushes and techniques. I've learned a lot in this process, and can make almost everything perform reasonably well (truly crappy products notwithstanding). Sometimes it isn't worth the hassle. That's where "meh" and "too high maintenance" reviews come in.
- I buy a lot of cosmetics. Much more than I would have if I weren't blogging about beauty. Still, I can't buy e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g and frankly, I don't want to. I only buy products that I think I'll put into good use. That's also my rule when a brand offers me products and asks that I put in my color requests.
- Speaking of which, yes, I accept press samples and products for consideration, but I never ever seek out a brand, chase PR people or pitch myself and my blog to anyone. There's nothing wrong with doing that, and putting myself out there more would have been a smart move. But that's not who I am and not what this blog is about. I have great relationships with several brands, but I make a point in maintaining a certain balance in which things are offered and I consider them.
- There's always a question of how objective a blogger can be when the product was provided free of charge. I can only talk about myself here, so in no way does it apply to anyone else other than me: Obviously, when a brand (or a PR company) keeps in touch, provides ample of accurate info ahead of time and, yes, sends packages of items I want to try, it gives me a certain fuzzy feeling towards them. But it can't make a bad or mediocre mascara good all of a sudden, and I make sure to tell you about it. Just as I report about any product's strengths and weaknesses, whether I paid for them or not. Furthermore, considering the amount of stuff I already own and have at my disposal, a free lipgloss cannot and will not make me gush about crappy products. They say that everyone has a price, but I hope it's clear that mine is a bit higher than a lipstick.
- When a product or a service were given to me free of charge I always disclose it. End of story.
- The one thing I occasionally register for/request is a press pass for relevant events (Elements Showcase, IMATS, The Makeup Show).
- I don't cover and review every brand, not even every luxury brand. Usually it's due to lack of interest in the concept, aesthetics or color story. I also avoid companies when I object to their business practices. Long time readers know exactly what I'm talking about.
- I sell ad space. Mostly through Google and occasionally directly to stores or brands that are a good fit for my audience and are willing to pay my rates. Other than Google AdSense I don't belong to any ad network and do not serve any agenda other than my own.
- I don't sell anything else. Not posts or links, not products. I'm not sponsored by anyone, I'm not affiliated with anyone and I don't sell products directly or indirectly. I don't accept content (="guest posts") from commercial entities. I feature articles written by my husband or my friends when it's relevant, all of it original and independent content that complies with my terms of service.
- I don't work with brands or for them, I don't participate in campaigns, I don't promote anything.
This policy has made me not very popular with companies that see bloggers as nothing but a channel for their press releases. I'm also a persona non grata with those who seek 100% control over what's written about them. I don't care because a) I can still afford to buy my own perfume and mascara, and b) there are enough brands that respect my policy.
I get terrifying amounts of spam comments. That's why I had to bring back that dreadful captcha. I hate it, you hate it, but we all hate links to porn, Viagra, and fake Louboutins even more.
- I moderate comments mostly for spam and people who think my comment page is their free promotional space. I'm fairly liberal in what I allow, excluding a) profanity, and b) personal attacks on my readers. I think of myself as more or less fair game and have no problem with comments disagreeing with me, even when they're less than polite. I publish legit comments even when they make me cringe. I only ask that you remember that my mom reads this blog (and your comments). Please try not to hurt her feelings, ok?
I think that covers the important points, but you're more than welcome to tell me what you think, ask questions and make requests. Keep your feet warm and enjoy your weekend.
Photo of Amelita Galli-Curci typing while wearing a hat and a fur coat (the equivalent of my yoga pants and slippers) via Wikemedia Commons.