Beauty advice is sought everywhere. It’s not just limited to the makeup counters in department stores, or the girls in Boots, but with the growth of the internet it’s increasingly available on everywhere from Instagram and Snapchat, to YouTube and Periscope. With the growth of blogs and social media platforms, beauty has once again become democratic: it’s accessible to all, no matter your socio-economics, location or demographics. Ten years ago beauty was somewhat elitist, being only available to those that could afford professional advice or spent their weekends chatting to counter girls in Selfridges; fast forward to 2016 and it’s never been more democratic, with everyone from your next door neighbour to world class celebrities sharing their top tips for looking and feeling great. However, does that make the advice any less valid? Does not having a degree in cosmetic science or training in administering botox mean your opinions and learnings don’t have value? Increasingly the bloggersphere has come under fire for offering up ‘incorrect’ or ‘unsubstantiated’ recommendations and advice, with recent conversations on certain threads accusing those with 5, 10, 20 years experience in the field of being a phoney – simply because they’ve ‘learned on the job’ rather than undergoing formal training. So the question is, do you really need to be an expert to be a beauty blogger… Or does the whole concept explode the notion of being an expert at all?
BLOGS PROVIDE OPINION, NOT ALWAYS FACT
It’s vitally important to understand that blogs provide individual opinion and insight, not necessarily fact. The very nature of these online hubs provides a vast array of accessible information and personal experience, versus the corporate messaging and often glossy-magazine-edited versions we would see otherwise. If you want to know whether that new shampoo really does what it says, or whether it’s worth investing in a £28 lipstick, a blogger will undoubtedly give you an unfiltered and honest opinion. However, when it comes to advice about skincare or ridding yourself of acne, it’s worth understanding the credentials of the blogger and their background before you trust them implicitly. I think there’s a huge difference between recommending a lipstick and dishing out advice on battling a skin condition, but equally it’s about finding bloggers with whom you can build trust and relate. Which leads onto my next point…
DIFFERENT SITES OFFER DIFFERENT INSIGHT
I like to think that you come to LBQ for a dose of opinion, insight and raw honesty; I have a background in product development, advertising and in-store promotion and continue to work with a lot of brands on their marketing efforts. I know what I’m talking about. A young girl with a passion for nail polish and lipstick absolutely has her place, but it’s a very different offering to mine. Similarly, makeup artists or dermatologists-turned-digital-influencers provide insight that I can’t compete with. Put simply, different sites provide different roles within your overall beauty information repertoire – it’s just about understanding how they all slot together.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE COUNTS FOR SOMETHING
electrician undergoes an apprenticeship and learns on the job, does that
make his experience and knowledge any less valuable than someone who
has spent three years studying at University? Blogs are written by those
absolutely passionate about their subject; they’ve often spent years
testing and playing with products, doing their research or working
practically in stores or with customers. Years of experience (whether
that’s just learning from books, spending all your money on eyeshadow or
working as a nail technician) counts for something. I’m no makeup
artist and I don’t have a degree in science, but I have worked in the
beauty industry for over ten years – writing the backs of shampoo
bottles and working on European ingredient legislation, amongst other
things. I may not know everything, but I bring something different to
the table that I hope can help others.
IT’S ABOUT MAKING YOUR OWN DECISIONS
Like anything you find online, you don’t read one article and take it as gospel. You do your reseaarch, read varying opinions and make an informed decision off the back of that. The internet and social media makes beauty accessible, aids discovery and allows those with a similar passion to connect; it’s not about preaching what’s right and wrong, it’s about providing advice to those who may want or need it in the hope it can make a positive difference. The key is to never believe what one person alone has to say, in the same way you wouldn’t believe a random person walking up to you in the street and saying the moon had imploded. Use your information wisely and you will be all powerful.
What do you think: do you need to be an expert to be a beauty blogger?
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