Beauty Thoughts X: A Bittersweet Goodbye & Some Ranting
It's been awhile since I've written a bunch of beauty drivel, so here we go...
I've used these for around 2 1/2 years, and with a heavy, heavy, heavy SIGH I say adieu to the last of my Medicell Advanced Moisture Eye Mask Duo. First reviewed, HERE, I have yet to find an eye mask that does what this does - phenomenal, lasting moisture with the much added benefit of making my eye area look airbrushed. Seriously.
Unfortunately, these were discontinued and I savored every last one and used them as sparingly as possible. If anyone has an eye mask recommendation, please let me know! I'm on the hunt!!!
THE BIG BUSINESS OF BLOGGING
Blogging has gotten to be big business and is so glossy and revenue driven that I hardly recognize it anymore. It's no longer people sitting around their messy living rooms, simply chatting about things they like or don't like - it's blogger blasts (you know, where everyone posts about the same thing within a few days of each other), constantly coming up with ways to make me click their ever-increasing revenue/affiliate links, trying to hide the fact that something is sponsored or an ad...and most annoyingly, pandering to PR instead of giving honest opinions that really help someone decide whether or not to buy a product. Where's all the honesty gone??????!
I miss the old days!!!!!
Ultimately feel I can't relate to most of the people I used to love reading and watching and I don't trust most of what I read or hear. I might as well be reading magazines. And to be really, really honest...most of the people I watch or follow I do so mainly to keep somewhat current with product and where blogging/social media/influencing is going.
I get that some of it is meant to be inspirational - I do love me some Olivia Palermo, artsytecture (on IG), and all the amazing cooking things I'll probably never make but save all the same because, you know, one day! Maybe! But when it gets to the point where influencers aren't relatable, that's what's frustrating. BTW, I don't care for the term influencers, but for lack of anything creative to call them I'll leave it at that. I miss feeling like I'm chatting with my girlfriends.
Sure I might go on the occasional, fun vacation...but more than likely it's not going to be an uber luxury anything. Unless I find out I'm actually a trust fund baby - hey, I'm adopted so it could happen ha ha! And while I might buy a luxury beauty product, accessory or clothing item (probably on sale) my life isn't chock full of couture and luxury duds. I don't go to fancy parties on the regular. Or really ever, for that matter. 2/3 of my month is spent in a Flight Attendant uniform, the other 1/3 is usually spent in jeans or lounge wear which doubles as sleep wear. And I much prefer staying at home in my lounge/sleep wear.
All this to say, inspiration is one thing. But all these influencers make it seem as though this high flying lifestyle is normal. Which maybe for them it is, but for an average viewer/reader like me it's simply not normal. At all. And it's tough to find people that don't project that image. It's tough to find influencers that are on my level of normal.
I unfollow and re-follow people all the time. I get to a point where I get really annoyed, unfollow about 1/2 of my feed...get bored a few months later, and re-follow the same accounts...then circle round and round and round.
THE BLACK HOLE
And on that note...social media and YouTube is such a time suck. I know it. You know it. We all know it. If I took all the hours spent on my time wasters and directed it elsewhere, I could probably be a ballet dancer by now. Or a tech genius. Or do something amazing, and really cool. Ok, maybe not. BUT I could definitely do more important and positive life things like working out consistently, reading more or cooking up some of those thousands of recipes I have saved.
My question is: do you find yourself in the same time wasting black holes that I do, time and again? How do you manage to climb out and do more important things? I'm totally serious here...one of my goals this year is to spend less time on my phone, but so far it's proving to be a very difficult addiction to break!! So please, give me your tips and tricks!!
INSTAGRAM IS A MESS
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I love scrolling through all the pretty pictures, but I hate the big business of it all (as explained above - I would rather pay to NOT see ads). I love seeing pretty pictures, but I hate seeing the same accounts over and over and over - I follow accounts for a reason, not simply because they might be popular. I'm sure Instagram isn't going to change the algorithm back to the way things were, so I suppose it's all neither here nor there. Sigh.
Growing on Instagram has been tough going since the algorithm change way back when. Despite my social media protestations, it would be nice to see growth. I love talking to people, making connections and feeling like I'm part of a community (I'm an introvert at heart so it's a social outlet for me). Plus it's fun to think I have my own little community within my account...and the more people I can talk to about beauty and other stuff, the better!!
And admittedly, it feels nice to have more followers.
The past several months I've been working to post more regularly and to have more visually varied pictures. It's still slow going. Which is ok, but sometimes I feel like it's 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. So...I did a little experiment and turned one of my pictures into a sponsored post.
YEAH, YEAH. I know, I know!!! I hate ads, right?!!! At the same time, I thought it might be a good once-in-awhile way to get more exposure and growth. When I looked into the details and saw how many views IG estimated I'd get (9k-24k for $30), I thought hey let's experiment and see what happens???!!!
Currently, I have 1098 followers. For a single post, roughly 1/3 of the 1098 will ever see that post in their feed.
I set up the ad for 7 days, with a $30 budget. Again, IG estimated 9k-24k people would see my post (unfortunately I didn't screen shot that part, but if you go through the motions of setting up an ad without paying you'll see how high the numbers are).
Here's where I ended up after 5 days:
From what I understand, after 5 days my post was only shown on 1620 timelines. Out of those 1620 timelines, only 1552 people actually saw my post. What the WHAT????? That's a far cry from 9,000. And a big waste of $30 - ok, I actually paused the ad at 5 days and 'only' paid $25 (I won't un-pause it after seeing these terrible results). But still. The way things were going I doubt I'd get 7448 more views in 2 days. And several of those views were from me...because my own ad showed up on my own feed <insert eye roll>.
And that was over 5 days. FIVE. I would've done better posting on my own each of those five days than with this ad.
I don't know how Instagram comes up with those initial numbers of people who will see your ad. I think for smaller IG'ers like me it's a total sham, and I have a theory that the ad algorithm is much like the regular algorithm that relates to your feed - the smaller you are and the less engagement you have (likes, comments, clicks) in general, the less likely your ad will be seen regardless of IG's initial estimates.
THE ARTICLE THAT GOT BEAUTY BLOGGERS IN A TIZZY
The above person wrote the following article: The Skincare Con, Link: HERE.
Even if you aren't a Caroline Hirons fan, I think she was spot on with her response, HERE (scroll toward the bottom).
I don't think I can say it any better than Caroline did, but I would like to add this:
How can a woman who clearly cares about her appearance (obvious makeup, groomed brows, and lovely picture instead of showing herself in rollers and a dressing gown) basically give the entire beauty industry and anyone who cares about their skin a big ol' middle finger?????? PRETTY DAMN HYPOCRITICAL.
I think this was meant to stir the pot and rile people up. Oh, and to get those clickedty-clicks by naming popular products and brands. Any publicity is better than no publicity??? And pretty much the whole thing was opinion. Write an article like that and you'd better have done your research. Or at least tried some of the products you mentioned yourself to see if you noticed any changes, and then write what you thought about the changes and how they made you feel.
I hope for her sake that she never has to deal with eczema. Or adult acne. Or hormonal acne. Or dermatitis. Or sun damage. Or any one of the other numerous skin afflictions. Maybe she'll be super lucky and have the skin she has right now, forever.
AND I certainly hope no one ever disparages any of her hobbies, interests, passions or things she cares about the way she has sucker punched skincare and anyone who uses it. I don't care what she spends her money on. Why is she so incensed about what anyone else spends their money on?
I do apologize for publicly calling someone out. I wasn't sure if I should or not, but I didn't want to stay silent because I feel like this was a blatant attack on a huuuuuge cross-section of people.
Flat out, this was not responsible reporting.
Thoughts? Opposing views? Tell me what you think! :-)