Wednesday, December 21, 2016

10 Misconceptions about Beauty Bloggers as told by Rivet Licker

We're all one and the same when it comes to beauty communications. A blog, a YouTube video, a social media #sponsored post; whatever platform; somebody in the public is going to make assumptions about what we do, how we act, where we congregate. I don't speak for everybody, but in my experiences as an almost socially incompatible human attempting to communicate thoughts I have when washing my face, I had a lot of assumptions myself, until I met the people who play the same field. 

The life you THINK I live.
1. Beauty Bloggers are shallow and won't talk to you.

First and foremost, the biggest thing that I thought the “beautiful people”, the ones who really know makeup and beauty, had a very superficial view of the world. I was so, so, very wrong on that note. Until I came into this field, I hadn't met many other bloggers without having poor expectations of how they would treat me (due to automatic feelings of inadequacy in most social settings) – especially those with large followings. I was never a conventionally pretty person, so I didn't think much of myself and felt that the hierarchy of beauty was left to those who also have the fame, or at least, money. Being in the field and playing the game, I have come to meet the REAL beautiful people – people who have outer beauty, but mostly, inner beauty; the light of kindness. The bigger bloggers and influencers I have met are lovely people, and they can be cliquey, but that is probably more so due to the fact they go to events more often or are managed by the same agency (and attend regular workshops). I probably don't have enough in common with them (or the social competency) to be part of their “squad”. We're more like acquaintances – I have my blogger friends and they are the best people.

2. You have to fit a conventional beauty standard (or at least achieve it through cosmetic procedures) to be a Beauty Blogger.

No, you definitely don't. You don't have to fit any “standard” because there isn't one, well, not among us, anyway. Some bloggers are fit or also do modelling on the side, or are involved in fashion, or just generally look good, but we're mostly just average people writing about stuff that is interesting to us. You're probably thinking of the actions that take place in some make believe world where trash tabloids posing as “real journalists” are on their quest to body shame each and every famous person they can get their mitts on. They're the ones who make the “standards”. I'm happy with how I look – how I function is a totally different story and that needs to be worked on.

3. You have to be female to be a Beauty Blogger (or at least a gay male).

No, you do not. A passion for beauty surpasses sexual preference and gender identity infinitely. Sure, your readers are going to be primarily female, but it doesn't exclude males of any orientation, and other genders enjoying your content. You simply have to have the knowledge of the subject and a means of communicating it. It's no different from working as a freelance writer for X subject.

4. All Beauty Bloggers look, act and sound the same.

No, we don't. Some may strike in facial/hair/style similarity and mannerisms (how many times have I fallen into the mistaken identity game and thought X was actually Y, but Y doesn't even go here?). We are not the same homogeneous face, hair and body. In the mainstream world, yes, there is an element of stereotype for a Beauty Blogger; however, between us, subtle differences arise and we all express ourselves in our own ways. I believe diversity in beauty blogging is now at its peak, and still growing.

5. Beauty Bloggers are perceived as being incompetent in anything not beauty related [aka *insert cognitive slur here*].

Sure, we are “ditzy”! Let's momentarily forget that applying makeup requires an artistic flair and knowledge of colour theory; written communication skills are utterly important when talking to PR and brand representatives; the practice of photography/videography/multimedia is crucial to quality content - these skills don't come overnight, but they do come with time and practice. Let's also forget that some people do have a life outside of beauty – the professionals and suits, the labourers and tradespeople, the retail workers, the students, those who have kids, those care for family members... I'm qualified as an Electronics Technician; so much for being a “ditz”, even geniuses use calculators.

6. Beauty Bloggers brag about getting “free stuff”.

This is the one I am going to defend the most, because if I didn't get PR samples, I would be relying heavily on going into severe debt just to bring content to the table. Receiving a PR sample of products makes the difference between being able to pay my bills (and eat every week), and not being able to afford being alive. I manage my personal finance quite well (i.e. I don't go out much or “party”) and have not needed any outside help. If I do have a little extra disposable cash, I might splurge and buy a product. I clearly state how I acquired a product when talking about it on my blog so as not to mislead my audience into thinking I'm a misconception 9.

7. The work is easy, you just talk about beauty products.

The skills mentioned in misconception 5 are incredibly paramount to having a successful blog (or channel), along with the ability to research credible information, writing blurbs about brands, summarising information about a product, being the sole creative entity that successfully manages all facets of running a blog (or channel). When I was doing YouTube, I eventually got to the point where I was annoyed with editing videos that I couldn't even handle opening iMovie anymore. Alas, I now come to you in text form [font: Verdana]. It's a bit of an easier thing to do – and no “Umms & Ahhs” all the time!

8. You have to be a millennial to be a Beauty Blogger.

No – the biggest emerging blogging and vlogging niche is beauty for the over 40, by the over 40. They've seen many more trends come and go, and kids can't be advising seasoned adults on what products and techniques they should use (unless they're qualified therapists). I'm on the home stretch to 30 myself – smack-bang in the middle of Generation Y. My statistics show that most of my audience is actually between 25-34, with 18-24 year olds following behind. Just saying, if you're from Generation X and you have a passion for beauty; you have an audience.

Instagram insights on 20/12/2016.

9. Beauty Bloggers are paid shills and will try to shill anything.

In essence, unless a post is labeled “#sponsored” (some territories require statements of disclosure under trading law), it's unlikely a blogger is making money from posting a flatlay or using the product (you know the spiel of #spon; Detox Tea, Teeth Whitening systems, Green Juice, and a multitude of other “wellness” bullshit). Maybe some actually like the products and offer *HERE, USE MY CODE 10% OFF* affiliate programs. Just another statistic to add and it is a shame that there are a minority of bloggers that do shill purely for the money (because they can and want to), and I definitely have received emails proposing that I do. It would be really nice if the brand acknowledged that I'd rather test the product and share my thoughts than up and right away bombard my audience with an affiliate discount code. As I say, “I'm not here to push sales, I'm a writer”.

10. Beauty Bloggers live extravagant lives most people can't afford.

Sure, I like to treat myself to fine food and wine, the lap of luxury, and a host of wealthy company. The truth is, I kind of live in mediocrity. I'm at home with my parents; we just happen to live in a nice suburb because my [working class and immigrant] grandparents bought the house in the 60s for a reasonable price. I've never traveled outside of Australia. I drive a 15 year old Camry that has seen better days. My outings often include attending doctors appointments, seeing a massage therapist, doing a grocery shop, coffee, and school. I don't even see my friends that often anymore because I don't feel up to socialising. I don't have the means or the spoons to be out all the time - I'm quite indulged by my work, and that's about it. 

The life I actually live.


  1. Hahah this is so good! So many people assume all of these, but it's so not true!! Love this post xx

    Laura || xx

    1. They assume, yet they deny that we exist, lol!
      Love your face, Laura! <3

  2. I love this post. So many truths addressed right here!
    I've personally struggled with misconception #5. I'm hold a master's degree in project management and I feel that people will roll their eyes and judge me for being a blogger on *gasp* beauty related stuff. Lol! Some of my own family members don't know about my blog.
    And that's why I feel weird even approaching people and letting companies know of my existence. So thank you for writing such a wonderfully hilarious post.

    1. Omg - project management was the WORST part of electronics engineering. I worship you for surviving 3 years of it!!!

  3. Love love love your post. Thank u for the honesty post about us bloggers.

    1. There is some integrity left!!! Thank you for being an inspiration to me :)