The Truth About Beauty Blogging.

This is a different post. It is not a rant. Just an assemblage of opinions. I like that word, assemblage.

First off, I love blogging. I started way back in early 2010 and had no clue about the blogging world I was about to enter. I am so thankful for every single person who reads my posts, leaves a comment, and clicks that little follow button. The truth is, I didn't start blogging to gain notoriety, fame, popularity or acclaim, I did it because I felt that I had no one to talk to about my thoughts, at the time that is. I wanted to create my own personal space where I could blather on about whatever the hell I wanted, and no one could criticize, but where I felt better about being able to post something, be it a picture of something that inspired me, or a short paragraph about how I was feeling that day.

Fast forward a year and a half and I have realised that the blogging world is different to what I once thought it was, and it is no longer just your personal space, because as you gain followers, you realise more and more people are interested in what you have to say. You share your personal space with these lovely people that follow you, and you connect with people in a different way. This isn't a soppy post, or one of which I deem to be illusory or sentimental, because although I hold my hand up and say I am truly touched by the people that actually care about what I have to say, there are some things about the blogging world which really irritate and vex me.

This is not a personal attack on anyone, purely my own opinion, before you think I am some acrimonious bitch who feels the need to devote an entire blog post to a rant about a specific person. This is not it.

Recently I have felt that the beauty blogging world in particular has become a sort of competition, a race to see how many followers one can get. No one really cares about how many followers a person has, it is quality over quantity. I am more likely to read a persons blog posts before I decide to follow them rather than see how popular they are. In saying that, there is actually an abounding number of blogs that I have found recently that I truly enjoy reading, and these girls have had little or no followers. These girls shouldn't have to feel like they need an abundance of followers to be successful blogger, although unfortunately I think that's what it comes down to. There are some blogs that have thousands or hundreds of followers that I don't care to read, because the quality of the content doesn't appeal to me. Each to their own I say. If you are reading this and you don't have many followers, all I can say is, don't fret, don't panic, don't think you are unsuccessful, because out there, there is someone that does want to read and listen to what you have to say, they may just not have found you yet.

Another thing. The subject of the infamous giveaway. I am aware I just held a giveaway for makeup goodies, so don't think I am about to contradict myself when I say this, but holding mass giveaways solely for the purpose of gaining followers really gets my goat (Its starting to sound like a rant now, isn't it). It was my first ever giveaway, and I held it as a thank you to all the girls that were following me, I wanted to give something back to them, (you!). All of a sudden I am bombarded with entries from bloggers I had never seen, heard of, or chatted to, and as my followers count went up by 200, (crazy!), it dawned on me that many people only follow you to enter your giveaway. That is most definitely NOT to say I am any less grateful to those following me, so please don't think that, it was just a realisation of sorts. I too am guilty of following a blog solely for the purpose of entering a giveaway, as I think many of us are, but I think I was just surprised because 1. Most of the entries were from girls that only recently became my followers, and 2. News of a giveaway really travels fast! Honestly, I won't be surprised if some of my followers actually un-follow because of my bluntness, or because they haven't actually won my giveaway, but sometimes I think things need to be said, and hopefully you will fathom my honesty. (I don't sugarcoat nothin'!)

Free stuff. You've heard about it, i've heard about it, we've all bloody heard about it. Yes it IS amazing to get free products from companies, hell I love getting free products from companies. Does it happen often? No. When it does happen do I take every product i'm offered? No.
Again, this isn't a personal attack on anyone, so if youre reading this and you get free stuff from companies, don't assume I'm talking about you, I'm probably not. This is a collective/general thing. I have been offered various products to review in the past, both for my blog and my YouTube channel, and when it first occurred I lapped up the chance to get a bitta free makeup. Who wouldn't right? It was from the company ELF, and they offered me an assortment of products, and even though I hadn't heard much about them, was I going to turn them down?! Hell no. Before I reviewed the products, it occurred to me that I myself have purchased other products made famous by YouTubers 'reviewing' them, but really they were telling all their viewers how fantastic they were, when really, some of them truly weren't. I made a pact with myself to always be perfectly honest with my subscribers and followers about products that were sent to me for free, as I knew first hand how dissatified one felt when they had purchased products that had been raved about which really weren't all that. I reviewed my ELF products, liked some, disliked others, and was perfectly honest about it. End of story. Since then I have been wary and watchful of products that have been offered to me. If I think the product is absolutely ridiculous of course Im going to say no. I was also recently offered products from a particular company but ineptly, there was a catch. There's always a catch. I was asked to blog about the products, before I had received them. I couldn't receive the products until I did a lavish blog post about them. Was I going to do that? Of course not. I don't believe in selling or advertising something to my followers which I myself don't even know anything about. Maybe it's because I have a conscience. I want my followers to be able to trust what I have to say, not take my word as the only word, but know that I'm not going to take advantage or abuse the situation. Yes, free stuff is amazing, but what is more important? Making yourself look pretty by slapping on free makeup, or your loyalty to your followers that take the time to actually read your posts? They don't have to follow you. They follow because they like what you have to say. Don't abuse them!

Lastly, on the subject of free stuff, I feel so privileged and honoured to actually be asked to consider reviewing products, that I turn into this shy, thankful and forever grateful muppet. What gets my goat (ok, this is a rant), is when people take advantage of that, and go out of their way to request free stuff. I think personally it's downright rude. What do these companies owe you? Nothing. You don't work for them. You're not affiliated with them whatsoever. So why do you feel that you have the right to free products? You don't. It's not a competition. Whoever gets the most free stuff wins? Thats comical. That's another thing about the beauty blogging community, some bloggers turn it into a competition or just a big bitch about eachother. Please note I know it may sound like im bitching about bitching, but I am NOT bitching about anyone here! Just blabbering. I am quite sick of bitchiness in the beauty blogging world, and little sly comments/remarks. We all write posts because of our love for all things beauty right? I do it because I don't feel like my friends are into it as much as me. I have no one in the ahem, 'real world' to blather on to about makeup as much as I'd actually like to blather on about it. Us beauty bloggers, have one thing in common. That we all love talking, using, and trying makeup, all of us, that's why we post about it. So why should the one thing that brought us all together be turned into a competition. There are enough petty cliques in the real world, some of us are here for that reason alone. Because we feel that there is no one else who understands our obsession for all things beauty related. If we all have that in common, why turn it into a petty teenage clique? I have made so so so many friends in the blogosphere, I have met some truly amazing people, and it feels pretty cool to be able to consider them my friends.

I know this might not be everyones cup of blog tea, but sometimes I feel that things need to be out there. Take from this post what you like, but as previously mentioned, this was just a bundle of my own personal opinions.

If any of you have anything to add i'd love to hear it!

Hope you all are having a lovely week :)


  1. Great post Aoife. Luckily I haven't had any bad dealings yet since starting my blog but I know it's out there. I am hesitant to hold a giveaway though as I feel like majority of bloggers now are just holding them to gain more followers and I don't want my loyal followers to feel like that's what I am doing. Eventually though of course I will want to hold one to show my appreciation for my followers and I hope a "real" follower wins..

    I can't believe that company asked you to blog about the products without even seeing them! That is madness, I wonder if any blogger would do that! I hope none of the ones I am following would.

    Hannah xo

  2. it's so refreshing to read such an honest post! i recently started blogging and i agree with many of the points you made
    also i think what that company asked is completely ridiculous and unethical, it really makes you think about the reviews that you come across and how truthful they really are!

  3. I really agree with you, I don't see it as a game to get followers, if someone follows me I get excited, go see my mum and am like omg someone gives a crap about my blog, they're not followers to me they're people who care about my blog (I hope they do anyway) and it makes me happy when the same people from my followers leave me a comment on every post I do cuz I feel like they've followed my blog because they like it. If im not following someone I wont follow them just to enter their giveaway, I only follow people whos blog I'll want to read every day. It realy annoys me when people comment and I can tell they havn't read what I've said and have they've just looked at the pictures.x

  4. Great post Aoife. I started blogging in June because I wanted to channel my free time energy into sharing something I like. I have yet to be asked to review something by a company, sent free stuff or gain a mass of followers, and does it bother me? Not at all. As long as I'm enjoying blogging then that is what matters, and if a handful of people enjoy my blog too, then that makes it even better. Really enjoyed this post.xxxx

  5. Great post - I started blogging around the same time as you and I'm glad it's not just me harbouring the same opinions, particularly about some PR people who want us to post about their products without even trying them.

    I also agree about the content on bigger blogs which can be lacking some times. I used to follow some amazing bloggers but as they've gotten bigger (and maybe as my knowledge of the system increases) I can tell they now spend their lives at press days and regurgatating press releases, and their reviews are all so positive and gushing without even the odd comment like "not a fan of the consistency... etc).

    Glad to have found your blog!

    Lauren from Lauren Loves xxx

  6. I think this post is fantastic. You have written a lot of things that I have been wanting to say myself for quite some time but haven't been able to find the right words to do so. At the end of the day none of us are any "better" than eachother. We are all just passionate people availing of a free online service to communicate ourselves with. I have no idea where some people find their sense of entitlement to free products from companies, it's a privilege and not a right! Also I find the whole incessant giveaways thing Is ridiculous! You're buying *numbers* that mean absolutely nothing! It's like Farmville (remember Farmville?) where you could use real money to buy Farmville money to play in the game with-- but that money meant nothing!! Why spend hundreds of euro on prizes "I sneezed today- let's have a giveaway" just to get followers who mean nothing! I'd rather have 10 loyal readers than 10,000 free loaders looking for freebies.
    these people will never learn.
    *end rant*

  7. I agree 100% with everything you have just written (which must have taken up a lot of your time, so well done for that)

    I wonder if people (follower focused/money mad/give-awayers) ever come across a post like this and actually triggers them to cop the hell on!

    I have nothing else to say but "hear hear".

  8. ^ "I sneezed today- let's have a giveaway" hahahaha!!!

    Great post darling, totally agree with you. I get happy seeing my follower number rise because its so interesting/shocking to know people want to read my blog, but I don't live for the number. I've gotten offered free items and said no to 50%, only accept those that I have genuine interest in, something I probably would buy myself. I find it easier just to leave those people at it xx

  9. Brilliant post Aoife, really well written too.

    My follower number always shocks me but honestly I couldn't care what it is as I already know who my genuine readers/commenters (not sure that's a word but you know what I mean,) are and they always mean more than the ones who just follow for the purposes of a giveaway.

  10. I was realy glad to see your post and that other people feel the same :). I don't have twitter as my phone is, shall we say vintage? haha. I wear w7 bronzer atm as it was like £2 at the outlet where I live :) x

  11. My names Georgie by the way, first blogger I've told!x

  12. I've just written a huge comment...and then I saw I was in my sister account :( so it got deleted. But I have to say I agree with you. I'm not gonna lie, I followed many blogs because of giveaways, but I really like to read the honest opinions :) when all they say is good things, It get's annoying and I just want to unfollow.

    So thank you for being a honest blogger :) I'm sure all your readers appreciate :)

    (I kinda wonder how many new followers took the time to read this post :P)

  13. You would not believe how refreshing it was to read such an open, honest post on what could be a controvesial topic. I could not agree with you more,I'll follow a blog due to content only, follower count - irrelevant!

    Thanks so much for this post, heres to hoping everyone gets to have a good read of it :)

  14. Aoife, I really liked this post. And honestly, I agree with pretty much all that you said. I am a mummy blogger turned beauty/random blogger. I guess I have no true niche. But I started my new blog because I found that the mummy-world was competitive. I've since learned it's not just mummies.
    I have 37 followers to my blog. I *did* actually recently hold a small giveaway; not necessarily to gain followers {although I did feel like I was constantly talking to myself!} and I had only three people enter. I was okay with that, I know my small little random blog only appeals to some, and that suits me fine. I often find that those with ten thousand followers never get around to replying to comments personally -- which I prefer to do.
    Thanks for being so honest, I really like that :)
    e. Xx

  15. Thanks Aoife, interesting reading x

  16. I really loved reading this post! Completely honest and very true! I have a couple of blogs but my newer ones have less than 5 followers. It really doesn't bother me in the slightest bit. I only blog for me and maybe to share somethings with my friends. I like your attitude doll :-) x

    Ps.... great to see a fellow Irish blogger!!!

  17. This is a fantastic post. Before I follow a blog I usually spend a few days reading and re-reading al the posts on the blog to see if I like the style of writing and the validity or the posts.

    Have to admit I have fond a few nice blogs thru the competitions they run, but I don't always enter as the prizes don't always interest me.

    Congrats on staying true to your opinions. This is YOUR blog! you can do and say (mostly) what you like :)

  18. I'm mostly a "look at pictures" type of blog follower. (Always in search of inspiration) but this post I just felt I had to take a closer look at. And I have to say that I agree with waht you are saying.

  19. This is a really great post. I do feel like there is pressure to have followers but I'd much rather have followers that actually want to read what I post!

  20. I read this post while I was on the train yesterday so couldn't comment then but I completely agree with everything you have said - for a long time I didn't have my followers on show because I didn't want to be a part of the popularity contest but then one of my readers said that she liked to be able to see the other people that followed too (which I guess is true!) so I've popped the gfc gadget back on.

    Great post missy! xx

  21. I know I'm late on reading this post but have only just came across your blog. I feel the same way and appreciate your honesty on this and find it quite inspirational in some ways. Glad I have subscribed x


  22. Honestly one of the most honest and thoughtful posts I've ever read. I agree with all your points. There are many very amazing people who write beauty/fashion blogs and I love the community, however, as with any community there are some bad eggs. But that doesn't detract from those who are genuinely kind and honest.

    - Rhi xx

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