The Beauty Blogger saga

By Hand On The Hip - Priya Raghuveer - 5/23/2018

Hello loves!

I would like to start this post with a really funny story. A couple of months ago when I was staying at my parents' house, I had this panda face mask on that I had picked up from Thailand. All of a sudden, my brother walks in and he is in splits. He had no idea why I had something that looked like a panda's face on my face! That also reminds me of another incident when my mum jumped in shock this one fine day she saw an activated charcoal mask on my face. I mean, anyone would freak out if they saw someone with some black stuff all over their face. I've had so many weird instances where either my cook or my maid or my roommate has had to see me in a scary looking mask and wonder what happened to me. Maybe next time I should hand over a disclaimer well in advance? Hehe! Welcome to my world! That's just the way things work when you're a beauty blogger.

Promotions for one of the brands I endorsed
Who's a beauty blogger? What's the difference between fashion blogging and beauty blogging?  Well, fashion bloggers promote outfits, looks and basically, just clothes whereas a beauty blogger tries different skin care, hair care, makeup products and services and kinda tests them out and promotes them. It's a great forum to get access to some fabulous products, but it definitely does not pay your bills. But if you are looking at this as a hobby or a fun thing to do, then there's nothing wrong in branching out a bit. There are a lot of things you need to factor in before you get started and as always, I'm here to share my experiences and learnings.

  • First and foremost, do write to brands you wanna try out on yourself and make sure you know why you want to try it. For instance, I know that I want to try as many organic products as I can because I'm a real supporter of all things natural. So you need to know your reason to contact a specific brand and then reach out to them.
  • Once you've received the products you need to promote, don't forget to start with a patch test. Do remember that these may or may not be fully tested and if you have skin that reacts to just about anything badly, then a patch test is a must!
  • Get to know your skin better! It's always good to know what kind of skin you have, whether it's oily or dry, the climatic conditions of the place you're in that might affect your skin etc. so that the products sent to you are in sync with your skin type and surroundings.
  • Promoting beauty products really tests your skills as a photographer. For me, it has always been fun creating pretty flatlays and placing the products in an innovative way.
  • Follow the instructions on the product while you're using it. It's a brand new product and you don't wanna break the rules and mess up your skin.
  • If you experience breakouts or rashes, it's time to stop. You're not meant for this!
  • Drink loads and loads and LOADS of water when you're testing new products on your skin.
  • If something goes wrong the first time you apply a certain product on your face or hair, there's no need to give it a second chance. You can either discard it and write a neutral review or just give it away to someone who could use it.
  • You have this massive responsibility of being an influencer and your advise means a lot to your readers. Make sure you don't mislead or misguide them just because a product is willing to pay you for it!
  • You need to always be on top of your Instagram game. Most brands ask for Instagram promotions and hence you need to know how to shoot Instagram friendly pictures, write short reviews and basically, just promote them on your Insta page.
  • You need to know how to work on multiple platforms. While some brands might be okay with an Insta post, some others might ask you to shoot a video. 
Some of the Insta stories showcasing how I use all the beauty products I receive
Some of the pictures I took for brands I collaborated with
Over the years, I've developed an interest to promote beauty products and have completely enjoyed the whole process. But there are pros and cons to everything and I would like to address them in this post.

Pros

  • We get a chance to try cool, new products for zero charges or like 99% off. I love how all of my face washes and moisturizers have been absolutely free.
  • Some of the products may not have been even launched yet and it's amazing how get the first few samples of these products.
  • We get an opportunity to learn about different ingredients that are used to make beauty products and learn what suits you best. I had no idea hemp seeds or activate charcoal were used in skin care products.
  • We are exposed to a whole new world with different types of products and brands and is a great learning experience. I've been introduced to some really cool brands like Savar, Arbonne, Herb Island etc. that are not easily available in the market yet.
  • The best part of being a beauty blogger is the complimentary services you get form certain spas and beauty parlors. It's just the best! 
  • Organic skin and hair care products are becoming quite a thing lately. I have always wanted to try them out, but being a beauty blogger has helped me promote these products and go the non-chemical way. I like that I am indirectly helping the environment.
  • You can be adventurous with your makeup and bring out the Picasso in you and no one's going to object =D

Cons

  • We are constantly testing new products and that could cause a lot of harm to our skin or hair. If you have sensitive skin, this is just not the path you should tread on.
  • 99.9% of the brands that a beauty blogger collaborates with do not pay and only send free samples, unless of course, you're a well-established super-blogger. So if you're thinking of making this your career, forget it!
  • Sometimes it gets really challenging when a product sent to you is absolutely crappy and you don't know how you can say no to promoting the brand after using the product.
  • Putting out an honest review for your readers can be quite hard because you don't know how the product might work for others since each person has different skin or hair type. You don't wanna be responsible for someone developing an allergy or something.
  • People who live with you think you're absolutely nuts as you have weird colored products on your face almost every other day.
  • Being a beauty blogger by default makes you a beauty products addict and sometimes, more often than required, we end up going on a shopping spree at Sephora or Nykaa and end up promoting products for free.

I hope you now know whether you want to start beauty blogging or not. All in all, I really enjoy having the opportunity to experiment with new products and services. Pampering yourselves for free and expressing your views to the world - now who wouldn't like that, right?

Have a lovely day!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

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