There is so much going on in the world, and right here in SA at the moment that this post almost seems trivial but the beauty blogging industry is an industry and sometimes voices need to be heard in order to move forward and grow.

With the whole “fake followers” debacle from last week, bloggers and readers are pretty pissed at the fakeness of the industry. Blogging started because readers wanted a middle-ground. Someone they could relate to and find a space where they weren’t force-fed ads every time they wanted to read about a new product. Yes, bloggers need to make money so some ads are required. Blogging has grown and adapted but how does one stand out in a sea of newbies. How do you make your voice heard. After six years running this blog I feel like I’ve stuck to my guns and to writing about what makes me happy. I have turned away many brand proposals because they don’t fit with my site and my readers won’t relate. There is authenticity in this industry and authentic bloggers will stand out.

I’ve seen countless readers on Social Media point fingers at beauty bloggers for not covering bad products. Firstly, I don’t know that many people who would want to read review after review of products that didn’t work. Perhaps there is a niche market for blogs like that out there. Any takers? I for one would rather focus on the good and give my carefully nurtured space on the internet a more positive outlook.

So why don’t beauty bloggers write more negative reviews?

Most professional bloggers won’t write negative reviews for two main reasons. Yes, PRs and brands “don’t like it”. But most bloggers won’t not do it because that means their “freebie” gravy train will come to a stop. Please, if by now we don’t yet see that blogging is not about perceived “freebies” but is a thriving industry and most blogs are businesses. However, a number of bloggers are afraid that in some cases writing something negative or even posting about a bad product on SM will affect the relationship and paid gigs between brands and bloggers. Which is nonsense. Most PR and Brand managers know by now if you don’t feature the products they sent you then you didn’t like them. Also I know of a number of bloggers who will email directly and tell the brand they didn’t like the products and won’t be reviewing them. No bad blood. This is business after-all. And if the PR takes offence to that and blacklists you then do you really want to work with such an inexperienced company?

The second part, which is the case for myself, is why would I want to give a platform to a bad product. Most readers don’t have time to waste reading about bad products. If a respected blogger doesn’t like something then the simple fact is that they most likely won’t post about it. If you unsure about a product then email or tweet your favourite local beauty blogger, if they’ve tested it (but not reviewed it on their blogs), then if they are worth their weight in this industry they will likely respond and tell you that they thought it wasn’t good or perhaps it is a good product and they just haven’t yet posted a review on their blog. In no way is that slandering a company, simply being a good blogger.

Recently, a local beauty blogger posted a pic of her face covered in a setting spray that didn’t work. She mentioned that it was trash and this sparked a number of people commenting asking what product it was to which she did not respond. In fact she deleted the image. Now this is a blogger I actually really like but I did feel a bit jilted. Why take the time to take the pic, post to social media about how trash it was and then not mention what the brand or product is. She didn’t have to link the brand. Just give her readers an answer so that they don’t waste their money. After all readers actually go out and spend their hard earned cash.

As bloggers let us open the door to readers and transparency. That doesn’t mean that we have to post negative reviews on our blogs but just be more aware that readers trust our guidance, not everyone has the time or money to test 20 mascaras a week. To readers, bloggers are human and will make mistakes at times. We don’t have a whole team helping us out and even brands with big teams behind them, yes, Pepsi can truly mess up.


  1. Ain’t this the truth! The worst for me has been when I’ve been asked to give my honest opinion or write about something with my voice but then be asked by the brand to change it so it fits in more with their voice. Not cool. I also just don’t post bad reviews on stuff I don’t like. If it’s mediocre then I’ll still talk about it but not when it’s terrible. Not worth my precious online space.

  2. Thanks, Abby. As a blogger, I totally relate to your sentiments in general. That being said, as a reader who likes to read beauty blogs, what I rather enjoy seeing on the odd occasion are “Hits and misses” posts. I don’t believe having straight up negative posts on individual products are the way to go, but hearing a blogger’s own personal experience with something they tried is actually valuable, especially if the product didn’t live up to their expectations.

  3. I agree on the hits and misses.

  4. Now I want to know which setting spray and who the blogger was! lol.

    Great post. I’m a newbie blogger (hobbyist) so I’m enjoying all the debating going on at the moment.

  5. Great post!! I feel the same as you!
    Personally, I aim to elevate peoples lives with my content, which means I focus on what I truly love and use genuinely and often.
    However, like you, I have turned down a number of products/clients (paid too, which hurts a little) because they haven’t aligned with the essence of what I do, what I’m about or my brand.
    I am however, always honest, but in a really positive way – with the brands I do work with! I want my audience to always know that there is authenticity and I’ll say things like: It didn’t work as well as it suggested for me personally, but I like xyz – as an example.
    I would hate to lose any credibility and I take putting my name to something, very seriously. I know of a blogger who was promoting something and so many women had allergic reactions. Turns out, she had never touched the product herself, but claimed she used it daily! EEEEK!

    Keep doing what you’re doing – I love your posts – even if I am rubbish at leaving comments – sorry about that! These fake accounts and fake bought followers are outrageous and frustrating to those of us who put blood, sweat and organic tears into our products!

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