Thursday Chats: Feeling Embarrassed about Blogging

Hello, everyone! Today is another Tuesday Chats post, which is a series I started where I discuss topics within the beauty community. Today’s topic is about feeling embarrassed about being a blogger. This post is actually inspired by my blogging friend New Lune, who blogged about the same topic about a month ago.

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Photo source: Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

It’s funny because when it comes to blogging, everyone always tells you to promote your blog in order to increase traffic to your blog. Use Instagram, use Twitter, use Pinterest, engage with other bloggers, etc, etc…we’ve all heard the advice. Yet I feel that when it comes to real life, we tend to clam up about our blogs. In my own personal experience, I’ve tried to keep my blog quiet with the people in my real life (more on this later), and I’m willing to bet that many of you who are reading and are bloggers are the same. I don’t see this as a good or a bad thing – it just is the way it is.

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Thursday Chats: Beauty Brands Launching Sister Brands

Hello, beauties! Today is another post that’s part of my Thursday Chats series, where I talk about hot topics within the beauty community. Today’s topic is beauty brands coming out with sister brands. It’s not a new concept, but we’ve been seeing it a lot in the past year.

Many beauty companies are owned by about half a dozen big parent companies, including Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Proctor and Gamble, LVMH, and Shiseido, to name a few. You know how everyone raves about Bite Beauty but hates on Kat Von D? They’re actually both owned by the same parent company, Kendo, who also owns Fenty Beauty, Marc Jacobs, and Ole Henriksen. There are also smaller parent companies, such as Seed Beauty, who owns ColourPop, Kylie Cosmetics, and KKW Beauty. Of course, many independent beauty labels still exist out there, but your every day makeup consumer probably doesn’t know that some of their favourite brands are either created by larger parent companies, or end up being acquired by them.

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Thursday Chats: The Pros and Cons of using Hyped-Up Skincare Brands

Hello, everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a post for my Thursday Chats series…mostly because I haven’t been able to think of a topic, haha. If you’re not familiar with Thursday Chats, it’s a series where I talk about “issues” within the beauty community in order to get some discussion going. Today’s post is all about using skincare that is really popular on social media – we all know what brands these are, because we see them over and over again! This has been a thing in the beauty industry for years, but has become more prevalent and noticeable in the last few years because of the internet.

As you will see from the pictures in this post, you’ll notice that I own a lot of products from hyped-up brands – and these are only the ones that I currently own. Luckily, the vast majority of them are minis that were purchased in a set, because I didn’t want to invest in a full size without knowing whether it would work well with my skin. Still, the fact that I own these means I’ve been sucked in by continuously seeing them on social media! After trying so many hyped-up products, and I can confirm that while some of these products have quickly become favourites, others have done more damage on my skin than good. After thinking about my buying habits, I’ve thought of a few pros and cons about trying skincare that gets raved about on social media. Are these products worth it, or are they overhyped? Do people actually think they’re good, or are they just raving about them because they got sent PR? I think the answers to these questions are very individual depending on the user!

Close up shot of Herbivore skincare products

IT MIGHT MESS WITH YOUR SKIN

Let’s set the scene: lately, you’ve been seeing a ton of people on Instagram talking about a skincare product and how it’s so hydrating, how it has made their skin so glowy and clear, and your interest is piqued. You buy yourself a mini to try, and a week into using it, your skin is all red and you have weird bumps and texture all over your skin…just great! I have to admit that this has happened to me on a few occasions, even though I bought products that were recommended by bloggers I trust.

One of the biggest problems with trying skincare willy-nilly is that you run the risk of damaging your skin. Even if someone has the same skin type or skin issues as you, it’s possible that the ingredients in the product just don’t work well with the unique makeup of your skin. I’ve also purchased hyped-up products that didn’t end up doing anything for me at all. Just because it’s popular on social media doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee that it will solve your skin issues like it does for other people!

 

YOU SPEND EXTRA MONEY

Buying hyped-up skincare because you see everyone using it on Instagram might mean you’re spending money on things you normally would not have, because you’re trying something out of curiosity to see if it’s really worth the hype. On top of this, a lot of highly raved skincare brands come with a really high price tag. While The Ordinary is popular largely due to how affordable it is, brands like Drunk Elephant, Summer Fridays, Tatcha, and Glossier are really pricey for the average consumer. For some products, you could be spending upwards of $100+ just to see if it’s as good as everyone says it is, at the risk of being disappointed.

Close up shots of Drunk Elephant skincare products from The Littles Kit

 

IT MAKES YOU THE SAME AS EVERYONE

Something that’s really tough about being a content creator is finding your own voice or standing out in a sea of a million other content creators. If you’re using and taking photos of the same thing highly-hyped products, your product reviews will end up blending in with everyone else’s, and your Instagram feed also ends up looking very similar to all of the other accounts out there.

Close up of The Ordinary products

YOU MIGHT FEEL LEFT OUT

While all of the points so far have talked about the negatives of trying popular skincare, one of the downsides of not trying highly raved-about skincare is feeling like you’re out of the loop. In a way, this is a pretty silly one because we should never waste money and mess with your skincare just for the views, but we all know how fast-paced the beauty industry moves – if you don’t try a product while it’s still trending, you’re out! Whether it’s makeup or skincare, I don’t often try trendy things right after they first release, so I know firsthand how annoying it is when I constantly see the same brands being hyped up on social media when I don’t plan on buying it in the near future, if ever.

 

YOU MIGHT MISS OUT

If you’re anything like me, you might scroll past all of the IG posts or blog post reviews that feature popular brands because you think people are raving about them just because they received PR from the brands, or that the products are overhyped and not as good as people say. This kind of thinking can also make you miss out on some really high-quality products. For example, I’ve held off on buying a jade roller because the whole idea of it seems a bit ridiculous to me. Am I missing out? Quite possibly, but I guess I’ll never know because I don’t plan on buying one.

YOU MIGHT DISCOVER NEW PRODUCTS THAT YOU LOVE

Putting aside all of the bad aspects about trying hyped-up skincare, one of the major positives is something that I think makes us all continue trying new skincare or makeup: you might discover something you’ll absolutely fall in love with year. In the last year or two, I have tried a bunch of hyped-up skincare, and luckily, I have found my fair share of products that ended up working really well for me; for example, the Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm and the Herbivore Pink Cloud Moisture Creme were clear standouts last year. Other products, not so much (I won’t go into these as they’ll be in future reviews coming up).

Are you a user of skincare products that are highly raved about on social media, and did they work out for you? Share with me your experiences in the comments!

Thursday Chats: Blogging as a Full-Time Job

Last week, I watched Samantha Ravndahl’s Q&A video where she talks about the “influencer” industry and her job as a content creator, and some of the things she said really made me think. The topic of this Thursday Chats blog post is a result of her video, which is rare because I wrote it in a week. Normally it takes me a few weeks to gather my thoughts together coherently enough for a Thursday Chats blog post! 😆

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Thursday Chats – Beauty Brands & Social Media

Hello, everyone! Today’s post is another installment of my Thursday Chats series, where I talk about issues within the beauty community. Today’s topic is the relationship between beauty brands and social media. With the prevalence of social media these days, particularly Instagram and Twitter, consumers are now able to easily follow and connect with beauty brands. There is no denying that brands are increasingly reliant on social media. I’m willing to bet most of us who have Instagram follow our favourite brands on there to keep up with the latest releases, am I right? While there are really good things about being able to interact with brands on social media, it’s also a double-edged sword.

THE GOOD

Social media is a really good medium for brands to cultivate their relationship with their customers. Not only does it allow brands to give consumers a sneak peek of upcoming releases, but it helps to create a ton of hype for these releases. They do this through sharing information on their own Instagram page, as well as through content creators. Personally, I feel like social media has caused brands to up their game in terms of packaging – your products need to be Instagram-worthy in 2018!

In terms of consumers, social media easily allows customers to interact with brands. I really appreciate it when brands make an effort to respond to customer feedback or questions on Instagram or Twitter – I’ve found that The Ordinary in particular is really good about that (although their remarks can be pretty snide based on what your comment was, but that’s a discussion for later in this post). I personally don’t really interact with brands often, but I love being able to see sneak peeks of products.

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Thursday Chats: The (Un)Realities of Social Media

Happy Thursday, everyone! We’ve almost made it to the end of the week! Today’s post is another installment in my Thursday Chats series. This one is a discussion about social media, with a focus on the makeup/fashion/lifestyle community in particular. I tried to be as concise as possible, so I’m sorry if I get rambly!

I think by now, we’re all aware that a lot of the posts we see on social media are not real. Rather, a lot of it is staged snapshots of people’s lives. Much of the content you see online is highly set up, curated, and edited to showcase that “ideal” lifestyle. However, even armed with this knowledge, it comes as no surprise that social media has a negative impact on our mental health. Not only is it addictive for many people, but it is also leads to dissatisfaction with our own lives.

On the surface, social media is a resource used to connect with friends and family and to show other people what we get up to in our daily lives. Unfortunately, like with all technology, it comes with a dark side (Black Mirror, anyone?). In terms of social media, it has inevitably become a means of comparison. We see these beautiful life moments that other people are sharing, and we’ll unconsciously compare our lives to what we see online. It can make the best of us feel that our own lives are inadequate, and can become a breeding ground for feelings like jealousy or inferiority.

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Thursday Chats – PR Trips

Today is the third installment in my Thursday Chats, where I discuss “hot topics” within the beauty community. As you can tell from the title, this month’s topic is PR trips. Just a disclaimer: none of these photos are mine, and they are all credited to the original source. There will always be that one person who tells me I’m gorgeous because they thought I was Tati (or whoever), even though I linked to the original source 😂

So, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term, what is a PR trip? It is a trip in which an influencer is invited to travel to another city (often a vacation hotspot and/or trending city) where they will participate in activities organized by the brand. The flight, accommodations, and activities are paid for and provided by the brand (likely partnered with other companies such as hotels or brands that will provide swag). The influencer may or may not be paid to attend the trip.

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Thursday Chats – Buying Things “For the Blog”

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.

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Thursday Chats – PR Packages

Lately, I’ve been thinking of starting a new series called Thursday Chats, where each post focuses on different issues within the beauty community. I first discovered makeup videos about 10 years ago, when I was in university and stumbled upon a (now OG) beauty guru doing makeup on YouTube. Since then, watching videos and reading blogs about makeup has become a hobby ever since. Two and a half years ago, I decided to join the beauty community even further by starting my own blog. Blogging and making beauty YouTube videos has changed significantly in the last few years, and I would love to have a discussion to see what everyone’s else’s opinions on some of these things are.

I thought I’d start the series off with what is probably the hottest topic in the beauty community these days: PR packages. Let me be clear about something right off the bat: while I don’t really receive much (if at all) PR myself, I have absolutely no problem with other bloggers receiving them. Unless a blogger makes a lot of money off of their blog and/or is somewhat well off to begin with, it’s impossible to continuously buy new releases to review without slowly depleting your savings.  It’s a win/win situation: PR samples are a great way for bloggers to get new releases without having to spend as much of their own money, while the brands get marketing for their products.

While I think that PR samples certainly have their place and function within the community, I see them as a good thing with unintended consequences:

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