Let’s Discuss: Are Beauty Bloggers Credible?

Hey Everyone,

Let’s say you’re a newcomer to a beauty blog. You’re a little unsure who this person is, you don’t know if what they’re saying is true and perhaps you feel a little insecure that you’re trusting new media. What I want to argue for is why? In fact, The Straits Times recent Urban article published last Friday, “Beauty and the Blog” did spotlight Singapore’s top beauty blogs but subtly qualified them as unqualified for the beauty scene.

What do I think? It’s freakin’ ridiculous. Do you know why exactly they did that? Unless you have no background in media whatsoever, the media channels of today are in a big competition for funding and advertising. Blogs not so much but blogs yes so much are becoming threats to mainstream media – whether it be News, TV or even online media portals. Blogs are supposed to be special interest but publications like Urban and The Straits Times are making us look like liars. In their recent article, they spotlighted a 29 year old, not a credible survey source, just a random 29 year old for their main quote. This random 29 year old executive stated, “Magazines are more credible than random blogs because journalists do more research and provide objective opinons.” Apparently, she was quoted because she uses $1000 creams. Of course that woman who is able to afford that $1000 cream represents the whole of Singapore. Not.

Before I burst into flames, I just wanted to say how horrible that comment is. How horrible it is that the article was supposed to inform viewers of a new upcoming online trend but the fact that they bashed us is so immature and you know what, is so “press” of them. Look, I’m no stranger to hate. My last interview thanks to SPH Razor TV was called by the journalist, “I eat less to shop more”. I don’t. Look, you can go ahead and trust a media channel that manipulates sources and information to gain more views. You can go ahead and trust a beauty journalist who makes a claim that a product that they haven’t even tried before is great while when you flip the next page, an advertisement of the same product appears. Be my guest.

In fact, asking a person who has already worked in media whose name I won’t disclose, said that she was told by her editor to be more biased in her article to say more good things about them. When she said that she couldn’t because she didn’t even try the product, the editor just told her to “make it up.” We might be blogging about make-up, but we sure aren’t making anything up.

I’ve already highlighted how much time I spend bringing you the best and the truest content here. I’m always reading, reading blogs, doing my own tutorials, using my skin for you to try out a product. I don’t care where you got your information but for me, the credible source for a review is from someone who demonstrates that they have already tried the product. Once they have tried the product can they produce an accurate review. I don’t see that in Urban. Do you? What makes bloggers not be able to write objective reviews? I’m not going to lie, it depends on the blogger, but I’m protective of what goes up. In fact, I’m very protective. You can’t say that about bloggers. You just can’t. The whole thing is objective – we give the good and the bad.

Perhaps it’s other blogging genres that have given us a bad rep. Other blogging genres which show bloggers as unreliable, prissy, and unknowledgeable – I’m not going to lie – usually it’s in the lifestyle section. I want to tell you that not all blogging is the same. I’m Roseanne. I’m 20. I go to Uni. I’m a hopeless romantic with probably negative luck in love and I like to eat. I think I’m part dog sometimes, I don’t wear heels and I’m a normal everyday girl who takes the public bus, the mrt and I like bubble tea. So, you know me. I’m not prissy, I don’t put flowers in my hair and I really work hard for what I do. I’m just like you. It’s like you’re saying that you don’t have the authority to judge whether a product is good or bad. You’re insulting yourself. I really do care about this. I really do care about my blog. Most of all, I really care about you. I’m a person, a human being and this is my blog. These are my opinions and I don’t do lies, I don’t do biased stuff, I don’t do that.

So to say that beauty bloggers aren’t credible is something that hurts me because this is what I’ve created. You’re saying that 3 years and constant ongoing preparation and hard work isn’t credible? If you call me un-credible, I want to see Urban publish their editors wiping off their heavily powdered faces and showing me their bare faces and then with product on before they publish any review.

I want to see surveys and statistics. In fact, The Straits Times just published an article the prior week that included this specific research. “According to research BlogHer Inc and Devries Public Relations … beauty bloggers are twice more likely to drive beauty product purchases than magazines.” I don’t care what one random 29 year old said.

Look, it’s common knowledge that magazines and newspapers are run by advertisements. You choose who you want to follow.

What do you think about this?

Love,

Roseanne

21 comments

  • Irene Soh

    it appears to me that this just seems to be a very bad case of sour grapes effect on their side to begin with.

  • FacesBySarah

    you took the words right out of my mouth.
    well said babygirl.
    im so proud of u for knowing whats really gng on. i read the article too n felt a lil iffy about it and thought maybe it was jsut me who felt that way. but im glad im not alone.

    magazine publish products WITHOUT so much as to opening the product to do a swatch, so i never EVER trust a magazine when they say smthg is good. Who do i trust? My peers. my fellow beauty bloggers , people like you and me who give readers a credible and honest review on the products we use.

    im glad u made ur stand. good for you :)
    you’ll always be number one in my eye, bbgirl ♥

  • AtelierGal

    The article/interviews didn’t sit well with me one bit. That “Freebie” question especially. They are making us out to be out mainly for free stuff, and indirectly putting those in the magazine(including the writer herself) on some high pedestal. Sure you’re employed to write for a magazine, and PAID to review products. Does that make you incredible? NO! Not one bit!

    Publications are feeling threatened by us, thus the constant bashing though they make sound as “sweet” as possible without adding fuel. One magazine writer I spoke to related that her editor despises beauty bloggers, and said along the lies that we hanker for freebies but lack substance. I don’t think it’s fair to paint everyone with the same brush.

  • Runwaytoparis

    Well said!

  • OhSoSmitho

    I totally concur with AtelierGal that publications feel threatened. Only the other day I was reading some article in a glossy magazine talking about bloggers attendance at London Fashion Week and how proper journalists did not want them to be there. Why is this? Is it because they are afraid that the bloggers can write just as well as professional journalists / blog readership is increasing and magazine circulation is decreasing? As Irene Soh states ‘sour grapes’. Keep blogging everyone :)

  • lacedivory

    so what, the press can’t deal with a bit of competition? come on. they can be better people than that!

  • forensia

    like you mentioned, whenever we see an article abt a certain product in either a mag or beauty column, we flip the page and see an ad of the very product.
    Magazines are paid to say good words abt the products. Have we ever seen a honest direct review from a magazine saying that the product is bad? I don’t think so.

    Saying us beauty bloggers are out for the free stuff is ridiculous.

    – Magazines get paid, get the products then write about it. And companies also pay alot more to them for the advertisements.
    – Bloggers get products from trial, we test them on our face and then write about it. We are not paid, we put our skin at risk. We write to share, I would say. Not write to psycho you to buy.

    It’s true that traditional media is kind of losing out to new media, but instead of trashing out on us which represents the new media part, they shld seriously find some ways to make use of new media to maintain instead.

    I mean even TV channels are making use of new media these days, why can’t the Print side of media stop being so conservative.

  • Rinny's Beauty Diary

    Looks like the magazines are afraid beauty bloggers are driving away their advertising revenue. The things that the article said are pretty upsetting – a lot of bloggers put time and effort into their posts and for the most part, do not receive any compensation. Unless your blog has thousands of subscribers, chances are you’re putting more money into your blog than you are getting back in return. I have been offered numerous opportunities to write sponsored posts, but if they are not relevant to my blog subject or audience, I turn these offers down. It is bad journalism on their part to lump all beauty bloggers into one category and make such overgeneralized statements.

  • Anonymous

    it’s obvious what the quote’s agenda is; the issue to me is not why it’s there, but hopefully, most readers can recognize it for what it is–media literacy is more important than what the media says IMO–whether it is for mainstream or alternative media like blogs because in all fairness, we’ve all seen beauty blogs filled with advertising agenda too

    in some mainstream media channels, any articles about competitors come with a disclosure clause at the end of the article saying ‘xyz is a competitor of ourcompanyinc.’. it’s not that well-established in the lifestyle scene and not in singapore, but i do think this is good practice.

    -s.

  • rougedeluxe

    I think the quote should be “bloggers are twice more likely to drive beauty product purchases versus magazines.”

  • effloresce

    I agree with a lot of what this post says, and I would believe or trust in beauty blogger reviews far more than magazines or traditional print media any day. Sure, there are some bad eggs, but it’s pretty easy to spot some of them after awhile and I just don’t ever, ever read their blogs again. But the vast majority of beauty bloggers are trustworthy, honest, knowledgeable (far more so than the beauty eds of many magazines) and provide lots more information than magazines (e.g. comparison photos with dupes, lots of looks with the products, swatch photos etc). I really enjoy reading your blog and keep up the great work!

  • roseannetangrs

    Agreed everyone! It’s not that I hate newspapers and magazines but I think it’s more than necessary that we co-exist and not push each other like this. It’s just immature. :)

    Thanks everyone for your support, means a lot. Beauty bloggers for the win!

  • sylvia AAweb

    Congratulations on being featured! I didn’t think the article was so unreasonable. In the end it was just the opinion of one woman. All the bloggers got the opportunity to explain how the reviews are trust worthy. I think it’s true to say that magazines certainly cannot always be trusted as they need to please their advertisers. Likewise not all bloggers can be trusted as they may get paid or want to earn commission. It’s important to find the good bloggers and follow someone that you know you can trust.

  • roseannetangrs

    Thanks for your opinion Sylvia :) The quote was unreasonable that’s all :) they didn’t have to highlight it as the main quote just as we don’t talk about the faults of magazines and newspapers until now :)

  • Ange Demon013

    I think blog readers are no fools and can make their own decisions on who’s more trustworthy. When I started to read product reviews on blog, I look at:
    – does the blooger looks like me? (same skin shade, same skin condition, living in same environment)
    – check the blogger’s review style. I found out that each blogger has their own style of reviewing. One would focus on results on her skin, the other on ingredients, outcome and experience. I checked some magazines’ said-to-be blog posts – you have no idea who’s the one from their team who wrote it. They just say “it’s awesome for my skin, without stating their skin condition or pics” or listing any ingredients that some people might be allergic to.
    -any new handy tips or offering a new perspective on products or life.

    By reading your post, it looks more like magazines and other traditional media are trying to downsize their competition found in beauty bloggers.

    As for me, I started my own blog for my friends and family who always ask me for advice on beauty products or how I’ve been. I still find it weird that I get followers from other countries that I never met read my blog. But I decided to not change the contents of my blog so as how to attract more followers. I will stick to what I want to publish and just publish any posts as if I was talking to a close friend. Just saying that your followers will know how to separate lies from truth when reading biased media articles.

  • roseannetangrs

    So true love :)

  • SereneC

    I actually disagree with the quote from the so called 29 year old. Reviews in magazines and newspapers are actually mostly product placements, rarely, if ever, will you see any negative reviews. Also, each product gets covered by one or two mere sentences at most. That’s more like a recommendation than a review to me. Hence I do not have a high opinion of their credibility. Such insidious advertisement does not work on me anymore.

    As for if a beauty blog is credible, well, I take everything written with a pinch of salt as my skin tone, reaction, situation, etc is bound to be different from the reviewer. If I like a product I wouldn’t just take one person’s word for it, I would normally do a search on google and read a lot of reviews before determining if it would be a good match for me.

  • roseannetangrs

    Totally true SereneC! :)

  • purrbliss

    yeah, i know right?!! i stop trusting magazines’ words on blahblah is good when i realised they are being paid to say that. lucky i was only 14 or so when i found out and couldnt possibly have spent a lot of money on the claims of magazines due to the lack of money.

  • roseannetangrs

    Yeah I need to know where their thoughts came from as well!

  • AngMoGirl

    To even remotely claim press writes more “truthful” articles is ridiculous! Magazines are slaves to brands, and their reviews and features are as dependent on money coming from the brands, as human beings are dependent on air.

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