Today is another installment in my Thursday Chats, where I try to start a conversation by discussing “issues” within the beauty community. I’ve decided to post one blog post in this series per month, which should give a decent gap between these types of posts. Last month’s topic was PR Packages. Today, I wanted to talk bout the topic of beauty bloggers buying things “for the blog”.
What do I mean by “buying things for the blog”? For me, this means a beauty blogger purchasing beauty or skincare products solely for the purpose of reviewing it on their blog or to have it in pictures on social media, and not really because they were interested in the product to begin with.
Why Do Bloggers Buy Things “For the Blog”?
I can think of a few reasons why bloggers might buy things just for reviewing purposes. The first is that having access to the product before or right after its launch means that the blogger owns the product while the hype surrounding it is at its peak. The earlier you can get your hands on a product, the more views you’ll likely get, as people are still researching and deciding if they are interested in getting it themselves. Plus, I don’t think the hype created by bigger bloggers or YouTubers help; if they have it, everyone else wants it, too. No one wants to be late to the game when it comes to trying out a new release, because if you review a product six months late, everyone has already moved on to the next best thing and most people are no longer interested in reading reviews of old products.
Another reason why I think some bloggers do it is because it gives them more content to write about. One purchase can produce a haul post, a review of each item they bought, as well as a few posts on looksusing the product (if it’s makeup). However, there’s only so many times you can talk about a single product, so it might feel like there’s a constant need to inject your collection with something new in order to get more content.
Regardless of the reason, I think there’s definitely a pressure for bloggers to buy things “for the blog”. It’s probably pretty natural for a blogger to feel like they have to buy products as soon as they release in order to get a review up before everyone else – I admit that I feel that pressure myself sometimes. I try really, really hard not to get sucked into it, and I feel like I’m getting better at resisting temptation. I rarely ever buy hot new releases just to be a part of the hype anymore, unless it’s something that I truly want, and often I’ll review a product much later after its release (the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette, anyone?) With that said, I can’t pretend that the desire to buy products for blogging purposes doesn’t get to me, because it does, more frequently than I would like to admit! It’s actually how I came up with the topic for this blog post – I feel it, so there must be other bloggers out there who feel the same.
Sometimes when I’m browsing at makeup, it feels like a constant internal battle of “should I buy it or should I not?” Part of it is fuelled by the simple desire to own a new item – I would likely lust over the product even if I wasn’t a blogger. But if I’m honest, part of it is also because I want to blog about it, or to understand what other reviews of the product are talking about. Usually the rational side of me wins, – the side that tells me I already own too many lipsticks/highlighters/eyeshadows and I can’t justify buying another one, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort to talk myself out of buying a product. Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between whether I truly want the product, or if it’s because I’m getting sucked into the hype.
Personally, I don’t think that buying products for blogging purposes is wrong, but my opinion of it is that it’s a vicious cycle, and that once you get in the habit, it’s hard to know when to stop. In a way, I’m almost sad that I feel the need to stay ahead of the game. Like most other bloggers, I blog as a hobby, and I don’t think anyone should feel the pressure to spend money. In the long term, is it reasonable for bloggers to continuously keep up with these new releases? I suppose like any hobby, one does need to spend some money cultivating tools, but as a blogger, I’d rather have that money go towards things like a new camera, a website design, or something to improve my blogging skills or the blog itself.
To get past this constant cycle of buying, it’s our job as bloggers to come up with more creative content other than to haul and review, then rinse and repeat. I’m completely guilty of getting into that cycle (or more accurately, just hauling and then not even reviewing). A lot of people are doing “Shop my Stash” posts, declutter posts, or Project Pan posts lately. Nova from SuperNovaBeauty came up with the idea of doing a Palette Roulette every week, which I think is absolutely brilliant (see her latest post on her Palette Roulette here). These types of posts geared towards using up what you already own have been around forever, but they seem to be more prevalent these days, and that’s awesome! It means people are consciously thinking about the things in their collection instead of going out to buy new items and creating more clutter at home. It’s nice to see a wider variety of blog posts out there, and I hope it continues. I know one of my goals for this year is to create a better variety of posts instead of haul after haul (although I’m still buying, ’cause who can resist makeup and skincare)?
Tell me, do you buy makeup products solely for your blog? Is this issue just something that’s in my head? Let me know what you think about this topic!
Source for Featured Image: Ivory Mix