Friday, August 13th, 2010

10 Things I Learned from Beauty Blogging

Charlotte over at Lipglossiping had an excellent post on five things she learned from beauty blogging. I absolutely loved it, and I tweeted out five of my own – and then I asked for people to share theirs… and it was amazing to read all the answers. Would love to hear yours, and I’ve included five more of mine!

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  • You learn to see shades of color you never knew before. 2 colors are identical, but you will see the nuance that makes them different.  Your boyfriend will look at photos of five red lipsticks and say they’re all the same, but you will see that one is a little bluer, one isn’t as opaque, while two have a sheen.
  • You learn that no matter how perfect your makeup looks, macro mode will always show you something different!   Eyeliner might look on point in real life, but then you see it in high-res and it’ll tell a totally different story.
  • You learn to forget about price tags. $14 used to be expensive, $20 used to be your “max,” and now $60 doesn’t seem outrageous.  And it gets easier to justify an indulgence.  “But it’s for the blog! For readers!” Even if it’s really because you just want that bad boy…
  • You learn the art of micro-organization. How to store and store and store. And re-do it all. And get sick pleasure from it!  The Container Store will become your best friend.
  • You learn that products actually have “good sides” and “good angles” to photograph. And that some products are divas!  You’ll love to photograph some products and loathe others.  You’ll look at them and just know they’re going to be difficult on the set.
  • You learn that there are some really weird products on the market. Like the Vajacial.  And hair dye, post-Vajacial.  You will even consider testing one of these really weird products all in the name of blogging.
  • You learn that you can’t play ultimate frisbee because it will annihilate your swatching hand! NOT THE SWATCHING HAND!  (No, seriously, I broke a bunch of nails on the hand that I use for nail swatches.  Sucked!)
  • You learn that there are fifty different ways to describe a finish, texture, color, etc.  And you’ll still opt for generic words like beautiful, stunning, pretty, gorgeous.
  • You learn how to do five things at once… and get them all done on time.  Sometimes with the help of ample amounts of caffeine.
  • You learn that until you can get your grubby little swatching paws on a product to swatch it for yourself, promo photos are pretty to look at but don’t tell the real story.

    Here are lessons learned by some friends on Twitter! Would also love to hear yours :) (As readers or bloggers!)

    Bloggers

    • @happyheart_29 How sweet everyone is in this community! Who knew you could have so many lovely friends that you’ve never met!
    • @RockSlam discipline-how not to tear open packaging & use the product the minute you exit the store *must keep intact for photographs*
    • @cutegingerbread common interests can make people bond so much that live all around the world of all ages, like the beauty community =] also, every person is unique, different hair/skin/nails/etc..what works for one may not work for all
    • @BigFashionista Ive learnt that what someone else LOVES, you may hate. &Thats OK, we don’t all have to love or hate the same product x
    • @callitbeauty_ don’t bother doing the right eye when creating a look b/c out of every 10 photos taken, only one will turn out remotely ok.
    • @MUByM Ive learned not to be so modest and shy when it
    • @VampyVarnish It’s way more time consuming that you think it will be! comes to makeup!
    • @Ce_esenciales I recognize MAC e/s and brushes without having one single item from that brand and living 1400 km away from the nearest store. :)
    • @eaumg I have learned that shimmer swatches are difficult to photograph, never enough time to try everything. And if you talk about Kim Kardashian then you’ll get tons of spam! And it really is like a full-time job.
    • @FabDiva20 What I learned is to be yourself and how to do put more detail in product reviews.
    • @Alliebunni How to use more adjectives than just “nice” or “pretty”
    • @shesonthemove that smokey doesn’t necessarily mean black eyesadow all the time!
    • @lazybeautiful It’s a lot more work than it seems, but more fun than I could imagine!
    • @tina_mbc That it’s impossible without a camera!!!
    • @TheGlitterGeek That not only do readers want to read beauty-related stuff, but also what’s going on in your pet’s life. :)
    • @mvogt I’ve learned that I am not the only one who spends near entire paychecks in an entire month/week(ssshhh) on makeup and products
    • @Catanya What I’ve learnt about beauty blogging is that: There’s so many pple around there crazy about makeup & beauty stuff just like me!
    • @LadyMerencara glitter can be fabulous as an everyday look if you are over 30.
    • @cateyez713 that it can be extremely difficult to get a picture with accurate color – but it’s imperative that you do
    • @annabellemakeup that its impossible to try and own every item that you wish you could review. Love all that you have :)
    • @Vixen381 I have learned NOT to use a pigment brush to blend eyeshadows lol!
    • @PhuongK i’ve learned that even if you don’t buy the LE stuff, the world won’t end. there will be even better stuff in the future!
    • @kimhaeyung that u can be inspired by anything.
    • @OxfordJasmine A review will never be complete, a year later I still find out something new and interesting from a product I thought I knew!
    • @bowsandwhistles you can actually remember the names of about 50 different MAC eyeshadows!
    • @Wiccakat19 that its amazing what so many people will be in love with,how contagious it can be and will always have at least one enabler
    • @agirlsgottaspa I’ve learned a lot about the industry itself and behind the scenes stuff I never knew existed.
    • @danielleninaa I’ve learned that youtube can teach you alot about makeup, but in the end, you have to learn through experience and expiriments.
    • @KarlaScarpiera i have`d learn to love more and more MAC products and make in general, and so many ways to mix the colors with the tutorials =)
    • @beauty411 Beauty blogging can be alot of work, but you make great friendships!
    • @BigFashionista Most important thing I have learnt? Its only make up. since blogging Ive learnt about Juarez, animal cruelty & other atrocities
    • @pochahotness honestly I’ve learned confidence…just get a little braver each day!
    • @misscarlyy_ there’s always a better beauty product out there!
    • @SCforM That guys read them too! (I’m talking to you, @shauntechguy – come visit!)
    • @cuteyiota92 I’ve learned how amazingly friendly the beauty blogging community is! And that eyeliners that don’t disappear really do exist..
    • @saucyfbabya I’ve learned to embrace my features & improvise w/ affordable products. Makeup is fun & meant to be played with. =]
    • @kanadian00797 i’ve learnt that people might give you slack about how much makeup to wear/own, but what matters is your opinion of yourself :)
    • @PrimeBeauty50 I’ve learned that blogging is damn hard work and a lot about the beauty industry. Also meet some wonderful women!
    • @Nancy_Siledhel That if my guy laughs at my obsession with makeup… that’s a deal breaker
    • @XxXThundaKatXxX beauty blogger tip #1: never throw away your receipts!!!
    • @makeup_blogette enjoyed making friends who are as crazy about MU as you do, and knowing exactly which product or color you are talking about~ also gave me a tiny glimpse into all e tough work that goes on bhd e scenes of a photoshoot, it can be so hard to get a good pic!
    • @makeupbyCrystal There is so much love & sisterhood in the beauty community. I love it all; the interaction, sharing, learning, & touching lives.

    Readers

    • @anachronistique As a reader? To be more adventurous!
    • @HovercatMittens I’ve learned swatches are super helpful!
    • @MMunoz07 I’ve learned you can’t always afford the items what are hot right at that moment
    • @iKristen I’ve learned as on observer/reader that MAC is not the most expensive makeup, it’s actually affordable
    • @bellyrockin I’ve learned from reading blogs and seeing swatches that colours shown on the MAC website can be very different from the reality
    • @missdjm I’m not a beauty guru but I <3 them. I learned that Im not the only 1 w/ blemishes, gurus make it ok to be imperfect & luv urself

    Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

    Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

    61 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned from Beauty Blogging

    1. Kailey

      mine is in there! kanadian00797!

    2. This is such a great post! I agree with many of the things you have listed especially the price point one, lol. Before I was hesistant to even fish out $20 for a lipstick but now? $40 is justified easily, lol. As an avid reader of blogs I love how there are so many opinions and it is such a rich and diverse environment. I have also learned to be smarter about buying things!

    3. Clemence

      Very funny… And so real!
      As a reader, there are some points which are also available!
      And the most applicable for me is about amounts! One year ago (yes I’m not an old beauty addict), I used one cream, one make up remover, a khol and an old foundation (a L’Oreal not very…). Oh and a macara. And nothing cost more than 20 €. Now I buy 100 € serums, 50€ eyeshadows… And I can’t stop! I always see new and beautiful things! And even if my “beauty cupboard” is full.

      We are damned! ^^

    4. Rach

      I love your last lesson and agree whole heartedly. You totally have to experience it yourself before you can truly know the product.

    5. Allie

      This just made me giggle. Thanks for all the hard work. You make looking for good products a lot easier!

    6. Meg

      I learned not to be ashamed of my love for makeup:) barely any of my friends get it and this website helped me learn that there are a LOT of other people like me. Thanks Christine for helping me feel not alone in my love for makeup:)

      • Yes, SO very important to realize we are not alone in our… love for beauty!

      • Cherokee

        Meg, I am with you. I don’t have friends who get excited over new products and MAC launches. They don’t get the tingly feeling when walking into Sephora like me. However, on beauty blogs especially Temptalia, there is no shame to our game.

        I’ve learned to develop my style of wearing makeup and embracing it. I’ve always been a product junkie but never with makeup. I’ve learned how to try different makeup products and try to make them work.

    7. Julia

      I’ve learned that if you love a certain type of product and use it a lot, then it’s ok to own multiples of it. I own many body scrubs and body lotions, but I use and love them all!!

    8. Imelda

      hi I’m fairly new to your chanel and i love it. you are so thorough, but i have a question you often talk about mac’s 226 brush and ive been going crazy looking for it it’s long gone do you know if mac will repromote it soon thanks??

    9. I love everyone’s responses on the things they’ve learned from Beauty Blogging! It’s very true that it’s very hard work but it’s worth it since you get to chat with wonderful bloggers that share the same passion as you do.

    10. Kathryn

      I LOVE this post! It’s all so, so true.

      I’ve learned that YES, YOU CAN OVER-BLEND! I’ve also learned that I may have green eyes but still can rock orange eyeshadow if I want, that you just need *one* more eyeshadow when you think you’re done (hehe), and my boyfriend may mock my beauty addiction, but that just makes him open to be attacked with my next attempt at special effects makeup. Don’t mess with the beauty addicts. ;)

    11. what a great post! I’ve been beauty blogging for about 6mths and I learn new things every day, and push myself harder every day to write better, take better photographs, and try to control my bank balance :)

    12. As a novice blogger on makeUp – not to throw bills, categorize by expiry, ‘take care’ of them and urself, wear lesser otherwise!

    13. Awww cute post. My fave was about products being divas and ‘difficult on set’.

    14. Christine, you’re so right on point about everything! I’ve found that as a blogger and a chronic swatcher (<—- not a real word until now, haha), I used to take millions of pictures, trying to capture the most perfect shot. I used many different angles, different lighting, and different locations. I'm so anal with taking pictures because capturing the true color of cosmetics isn't always easy and if it's not right, why bother? After doing this for a while, I'm still a perfectionist, but I've learned that I can take just a few pictures and still get my perfect shot.

    15. Oh, this is fabulous…and so damn true!

    16. Annie S

      As a reader, I’ve learned that a brand name is not everything. Although a product may cost a fortune and come from a high-end brand, it can end up being horrible and vice versa… although a product is cheap and from the drugstore, it can be amazing!

    17. Annie S

      Another thing I’ve learned is that the words “best” and “absolute favorite” don’t really exist…. theres always something out there that will be bigger and better

    18. Yumi

      I’ve learned to be a smarter shopper now that I know what I should expect, get, and deserve! Unfortunately that doesn’t mean I shop less…it’s quite the opposite, I spend way more after reading beauty blogs but that’s okay hehe. It’s also taught me to budget and prioritize, and given me extra incentive to work harder so I can afford everything I want. :)

    19. Avatar of Shontay shontay

      All of this is so true! The worst and most discouraging is realizing your make up isn’t so perfect when reviewing your photos. That is so annoying after you’ve worked so hard.

      • Especially if you take photos, do something else (e.g. REMOVE IT), and you don’t LOOK at the photos until after :/

        • Avatar of Shontay shontay

          I’m 100% guilty of that. I take pics after being out all day and the only thing I wanna do is wash my face so I don’t look at my pics until after.

        • Dianna

          Christine, which products doe you like/dislike to photograph/deal with for blogging?

          • Certain packaging doesn’t seem to hold up well – like Burberry’s gunmetal packaging always looks like it’s noise-ridden, which is really annoying. I think it’s more annoying because so much photographs *well* that you’re flabbergasted when something turns out terribly! A few nail polishes can be hard to capture, too (Estee Lauder’s Surreal Violet was one from recent times).

    20. Avatar of Etaoin Etaoin

      Ooh, I commented on the original post, feel ahead of the trend now! I usually check lipglossiping everyday, I love her sense of humour and photography. I’ve heard say that beauty blogs can be repetitive, now I only read four, temptalia included but I like different things about them all and the writers all have a different way of looking at things. Even a review of the same product can be different! I think i should probably start my own blog because I enjoy reading other people’s so much. I’m not sure would it be beauty because there are so many and i don’t think i could bring anything to the table… i’ve always wanted to do a book review blog, I’ll have to have a think about it!

    21. Hend

      Hha very funny!,
      and yea pink is pink and red is red for men!
      no blue based reds no orange reds ! :D
      Im new to beauty addiction !! I was more a skin care junkie
      but now thanks to beauty blogs I can see swatches and get inspired to
      try more shades and more products !
      I <3 temptalia !

    22. As a blogger I’ve learned that pictures are the most important feature, and those pictures need to be the closest to life in colour as possible. A photo editing program to make the photo slightly cooler or warmer so the colour is true to life is a excellent resource! And comments are like addictive drugs lol.

    23. 1. I feel like my money is better spent, with all of the analysis. I think about my products more, and have a MUCH more methodical approach to “Getting to know” a new color or product. It makes it easier to cross out products that behave similarly to my existing ones, even if I AM seeing the slight nuances and variances.

      2. Yep, it’s DEFINITELY easier to justify far more expensive purchases. I’m still a little embarrassed to have finally paid 30$ for a lipgloss.

      3. It brings out my argumentative side. Now, rather than playing devils advocate in debates with people, I just stare hard at beauty product claims, and arrange the most precise test I can to(hopefully) prove they are WRONG. REGARDLESS of if the product was something I felt I “needed”, or corrected an existing “flaw”.

      4. You REALLY learn you weak spots. I avoid writing about Nail Polish, and fragrances, because I’m not very useful with either! My nails are bitten to the point where I’ve NEVER seen a polish naturally wear away. So the idea of photographing my nasty hands is a little bit painful, and I can’t wear unusual nail art with my dress code at work. Fragrances, I don’t have the nose for. I can’t single out notes, most of the thoughts I can offer are generic “It smelled like Old Lady. It gave me a headache. It smelled fruity. I smelled it hours later. It was too strong. I couldn’t smell it five minutes after applying”. I think people have far better places to go to read about that stuff, so I really don’t try!

      5. You learn to banish your shyness about asking for samples. While i DO feel awkward reviewing products I haven’t actually purchased, I’ve learned to LOVE the sephora lady who offered to pick random samples for me to write about. Thanks to her, I’ve played with and written about SEVERAL products I’d have never given in and bought sight unseen, including shades of Tarte Lip Stains, and several shades of MuFE cream blushes. I have a MUCH better sense of what colors I actually want to OWN since I don’t have the pressure to buy BEFORE reviewing. Now the hard part is weeding down. I’ve fallen in love with FAR more than I would have, just left to my own “eh, this one looks best to me in this lighting, at this moment”.

    24. Avatar of LU LU

      These are all so true! Like when I talk about your blog I say Christine blah blah blah to my friends and there like wait, you actually know her? I’m like well, I’d say I do, I avidly read her blog, but I’ve never actually met her. You make friends that you never would have thought you would make.
      I also love that I’ve found out its normal to want to spend all your money on beauty products, I’m not the only alien on the planet who feels that way (Nobody in my family/friends understand). LOL.
      Then the price thing; I use to think spending money on beauty was a luxury, buying covergirl eyeshadow was expensive! Then I ventured out and now MAC is my affordable go-to! I can’t imagine paying LESS then 14.50 for a quality eyeshadow, and then when something like NYX and Inglot come along its so exciting!
      Also, beauty is now a necessity. My family thinks I just plop stuff on my face too much, but its just: cleanse, tone, spot treat, and moisturize, twice a day. My acne wasn’t as bad as most, but I constantly had at least 9 huge zits on my face everyday for years before I started my skincare regimen. Now they are gone, and I never get pimples that big anymore, nor that amount! My acne scars aren’t so bad, but makeup makes them go away, so it makes me feel so much more confident.
      And lastly being a reader has taught me to have fun with makeup. Just the other week I finally did a bold, bright blue eye for a wedding and loved it.

    25. Kym

      I totally agree about the price. I easily spend hundreds on makeup.

    26. Amy

      This was REALLY interesting. What a strange and wonderful world, this beauty blogging!

    27. What I learned? My biggest lesson was that it’s not all fun and games. That people can be threatened, insulted, hurt, intimidated by their readers and by companies whose brands they sometimes review. That blogging, any sort of blogging, truly puts you out there… and that you had better develop a thick skin and a cool head sooner rather than later. It teaches you a lot about professionalism.

      Also, I learned that there are fetishists with fetishes that I hadn’t ever even considered. :)

      I feel terrible having the only negative thing to say about beauty blogging. I love it but sometimes, I do find myself reaching for the aspirin… for my head, not for my face.

    28. Oh, I’ve just seen this and I’m giggling! I’ve been coming up with more all weekend, but they’ve mostly been covered here!

      The whole “relative spending” thing is crazy. It was only 2 years ago that I would have laughed my head off at the thought of spending nearly £20 on one eyeshadow. Which is exactly what I did this weekend.

      Great stuff collating all the suggestions!

      Oh, just spotted the one about not ripping things open or swatching until you’ve photographed them whilst still pristine. That one KILLS me! But it’s so true!