Showing posts with label FAQs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FAQs. Show all posts

Friday, March 08, 2013

Full Disclosure

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.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Some readers emailed* to ask about the little banner I added to the side bar, so here it is in full size and with a little explanation.

The blogsphere is not exactly an exclusive club. Everyone, their mother-in-law and her hamster (no disrespect to hamsters) can blog. The internet is big enough for everyone, and as long as they don't do anything illegal (like stealing my content and trying to make money out of it- those are known as "splogs"), nobody cares.

I have no problem with official company blogs- those have their place and when you read them you don't need to guess who's behind it. They often give valuable information about the company, the way it works, and have well-written original content with full disclosure. The same goes for blogs of independent artists and artisans who write about their creative process and the making of their products. There are actually a few of those in my blogroll. They are awesome people and great bloggers. I also want to make it clear that I'm not talking about blogs that sell ads. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, most of my friends do it, I'm considering doing it soon to somewhat in cover the costs of maintaining a beauty blog. I need to eat, as do the nice people who make pretty makeup.

The thing I can't stand is being grouped as a blogger with those who sell posts, push products and get a cut of sales that are made through their "reviews". Featuring nothing but regurgitated press releases is also not blogging and presenting that as original content or worse, a review, is even uglier.

All I wish is for a better way to distinguish real blogs from commercial websites, especially since some of them are run by former bloggers, who now serve another interest and should be viewed as such. This is why I make it a point to label The Non-Blonde as a real beauty blog, independent, unaffiliated, non-commercial, featuring nothing but original content and honest reviews.

If you're a blogger who wishes to identify yourself as such, feel free to take the button and put it on your site. If you need to change the title and wording (to fashion, perfume or anything else, let me know and I'll send you the appropriate file.

For more information about my blogging guidelines you can read the FAQs.

The original picture I used by Erwin Blumenfeld appeared in Vogue in the 50s (taken from The photo editing and butchering is mine.

*I'm criminally behind on replying to emails. Hopefully this will be remedied in the next few days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Non-Blonde: FAQs, Policies, Guidelines

I've been getting more and more questions and inquiries regarding the behind-the-scenes of beauty blogging and the way I do stuff. I figured it's about time to post something official and try to put all the answers in one public place. Here goes:

Who writes this blog?
The Non-Blonde has only one writer and editor. That would be me. Everything you read here (unless, of course, I'm quoting another source, which I always credit) is mine.

Can I write for The Non-Blonde? I'd do it for free!
Thank you, but at this point I don't have any plans to open this blog to more writers. Guest appearances by my husband notwithstanding.

Who pays you?
No one.  I'm not paid to write or review anything. I get some income through ads on my side bar, but it's not part of the content.

Do you sell posts or links?Can we place our content on The Non-Blonde?
No, no, and no.
No paid content, ever.
And no wire hangers.

Do you accept (free) products for review?
Yes, if it's something I want to try. However, accepting a product doesn't guarantee that I'd end up blogging about it. I only write if I have something to say, good or bad. I figure that if I'm bored, my readers would feel the same.

Do you write negative reviews?
Have you read this blog?

Seriously, when a company gives you freebies, does it mean you'll write a good review?

What makes you an authority about beauty and fashion?
Absolutely nothing. I'm a former math teacher with a business degree and strong opinions. I have a passion for makeup, cosmetics and perfume and nearly 25 years (eek!) of (obsessive) experience as a user. Still, what you read here is nothing but my very personal opinion. Your mileage may very likely vary.

Can we do a link exchange?
If you like this blog, you're more than welcome to put a link to it on your own site. It's a great compliment which I deeply appreciate. I might do the same if I feel like it.

What about all the other links you have on your sidebar?
If they're here, it means I really really like them.

Can I copy your posts/take your feed to use on my own site?
You can link to me, but if you want my actual content and writing featured on your commercial site, you'll need to pay what I charge as a freelance writer. Contact me for details.

Can we meet in person?
Only if you're not a creepy stalker.

Are you for real?
What you see is what you get.

I'm not a doctor, nor am I a health professional. None of my recommendations can be taken as a medical advice. If you have a skin, hair or another health problem, please discuss it with your physician. I am not responsible for any result or consequence of your decision to try a product that worked for me.

Privacy Policy:
Anything you share with me remains completely private. I don't sell or disclose your information. Never ever, not in a million years.

Image: . Botched up manipulation by me.