Women love to talk, and they share what they like and what works. I’m a member of some beauty swap clubs and it’s enlightening to say the least to read what is popular, and what people hate. For instance, I found some people boycott You Beauty Box because it’s associated with the Daily Mail. While I’m not a fan of the paper, I will buy the boxes if they have good offers. Just as people have cancelled subscriptions to various beauty boxes due to poor and rude customer service, women will share these experiences in private on social media, and it makes a difference. I also read other blogs and the comments people make, as well as the comments on my own blogs, and I wish PR companies would take note, because these are the real people who buy products or boycott brands.
Here is a comment from a blog I read from time to time. Now, the blogger actually deleted one of my comments once when I asked if she could really rate a beauty box when she hadn’t gone through the ordering process or experienced delays or issues with customer service. It was only when another reader asked where my comment was (because what I addressed, which was a lack of customer service, had happened to her) she claimed she didn’t know, but I knew she deleted it as it was still on my disqus account. I reposted it and she was forced to respond to the comment. This comment sums up quite a few of the amateur bloggers out there, and this was deleted shortly afterwards, so I took a screenshot as I knew it would be deleted. Please note this was not my blog!
I’m also amazed that people do trust the advice of bloggers with no experience, when it’s at the best of times bad advice. I watched the LookFantastic video of what bloggers thought of the advent calendar and their tips, and I hope people didn’t watch it and take the advice.
Reading some of the posts from my Facebook groups, I’m astonished at how people do behave. One thing for sure is that free gifts rule, and people will set up multiple accounts to get them. People will also sell the samples they get free for extortionate prices, but these groups are also good to see what companies are a rip off, to get referral codes, and to share discount codes. I’ve found a few myself, and swapped some items that I had no idea people would like. Some are also a little naughty and write to customer services and pretend something was missing from their beauty box to get an items sent to them. I won’t do that, (karma) but when I don’t get a response from a PR company for a sample to review, then it’s their loss!
Beauty editors that sit in an office don’t always have experience of the products or what the public actually want. Many write reviews based on the press release (and rely on them) from the beauty companies. without actually knowing what they are writing about. I’ve seen it more recently and when it’s coupled with vernacular slang, it just smacks of unprofessionalism. There are lots of bad beauty habits around, and they really shouldn’t be encouraged. Yes, I was a beauty counter girl for many years and some counter girls don’t have good habits or have been trained properly, but there are some who have experience, more so than a beauty editor. The cosmetic houses train their beauty consultants, and many are therapists (like myself), but also have experience of real people and their issues and know how to solve them.
Think twice before you take on the advice from a blogger (that has no credentials or experience)—are they getting freebies for the article, and do they actually have a clue what they are on about? Enthusiasm is one thing, but experience means they know what they are talking about. In magazines, don’t take things at face value because there is a lot of misleading information out there. Having an opinion on whether a moisturizer feels nice, or if a lipstick stays on is all well and good, but when people delve into the realms of making false claims that can be dangerous. I met one of my first beauty editors on a major magazine when I worked as a fashion intern, and asked her how she got her job. She told me her sister was the editor of the magazine and gave her the job, and then admitted she hadn’t a clue or had any beauty experience!
I know I can be brutally honest, but when something can be improved a company should take it on board. I also am aware that I am very unlikely to get any free beauty boxes given how critical I am of them, and can only recommend a couple that I think offer value for money. I’m also very critical of websites that make false offers, and I won’t recommend those either. The beauty world sugar coats many things, and we can all get carried away, but don’t get sucked in withe the advertising spiel, and if you do find a great freebie, please share it.