Sunday, February 03, 2008
As you may've noticed, we’ve been starting to do more beauty coverage on the 'Binge lately. Why? Because eyeshadow is like crack to me, and, as I told Mary-Kate, I realized one day that I have about 20 lipglosses in my bag at any given time, so I might as well do something constructive about it.
On that note, last night I went to a dinner thrown by MAC and met some wonderful beauty bloggers and editors including, but not limited to...
+ Erika at Makeupbag.net
+ Fellow New Yorker Anne of TheJetSetGirls.com
+ Marina of Makeuplovesme.com
+ Amber of Beauty Blogging Junkie
+ SpoiledPretty's Daneen
+ Shannon of GottaSpa and MakeupMinute (she lives on top of a mountain!)
+ Canadian Beauty's Henna
+ Kristi of Beautiful Decay mag (she has extremely awesome hair that in my wildest dreams I could never achieve. Wah! Annoying.)
+ And the fiesty, fiery Julia of All About The Pretty
We laughed, we boozed, we exchanged cards, and yes, there was lots of talk about “that New York Times article.”
When I read it the other day, I found it fairly ridiculous. (The beauty bloggers I spoke to (there were a few who were quoted in the article and pretty much poorly represented) all agreed that they DON’T write positive reviews about products they actually hate (if they hate them, they either don’t blog about them or they SAY that the product sucked) AND that of all of the products they receive for free, they spend exponentially more on products they’re going out and buying anyway. It’s the job of PR people to send out products out to review. Companies are getting smart and listening to bloggers. But beauty bloggers would be going out and buying products even if they weren’t receiving them. And they’re putting their share of cash back into the industry too (and, yes, you could argue that the industry doesn't need any more money, but that's not the point here).
I loved that Julia of All About the Pretty railed against the article, saying that what wasn’t highlighted was the $300-some-dollar Chanel face cream she walked into the store and bought.
And BeautyBloggingJunkie has aggregated a ton of responses from beauty bloggers here.
The products beauty bloggers buy often get as much attention as the ones they get for free. (Music bloggers go to free shows all the time – and there’s no backlash about that, as well there shouldn’t be. If they see a show for free and the band sucks, they still sucked, you know?)
The NY Times piece also seemed to make these women out as though they sit around on life-sized white powder puffs, wearing silk robes, drinking (free) champ, looking like a pre-Sunset Boulevard Gloria Swanson while their live-in makeup artists apply free buckets of NARS eye shadow by the shit-ton or something.
But from the women I met, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth – these women are working day jobs (some have more than one), they have kids, they're supporting themselves (and others), and they’re going to Fashion Week on their own dime. For almost all of these women, beauty blogger (like most blogging) is a labor of love. It's a relief. And like Gottaspa’s Shannon said: even if she never got free products, she’d still be buying products.
Anyway, it was great to meet these women – they’re smart, funny, well-informed women who know how to hustle. They’re basically running online business for free. No one’s paying them. They’re working for free because they love it, and they’ve turned their passions and hobbies into communities and constructive creative content they can share with others, which, at least for me, is most of the fun of – and the point of -- blogging.