Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Following my new interest in beauty blogs (I know, I can't believe it either) I'm planning to do a series of posts about glasses. I have worn glasses since I was 5 years old, and due to a condition called blepharitis (basically really really dry eyes) I can't wear contacts or have that laser surgery. So I have recently embraced my glasses as important accessories which I need to change with my mood and clothing, much as you might think of jewellery. Of course, for this I will need to take photographs, ugh, so time consuming, so it will have to wait. But I promise to do it soon.

In the meantime I thought you might like to check out two beauty blogs which I have recently discovered and which are prime examples of the way beauty bloggers should, ideally, be wielding their power. They are both Sydney gals, which makes it doubly fabulous.

Here is Swatchgirl's post about a new Sportsgirl nailpolish. I rarely see negative feedback in beauty posts, so thanks Swatchgirl for keeping it real. It seems that most bloggers would much rather review items which are sent to them and which they like, kind of. So a lot of posts go something like this: "Look what just arrived in my postbox - three lipsticks by X! Wow, so cool, you'll love them and I really love them too, because they're fun colours and moisturising." Boooooring. BUT, I get it, because blogger can't afford to buy all the products they'd like to try. The whole point is that you get sent stuff for free, which means that those products ALWAYS come with strings attached. A free product can never be given the same objective appraisal as one you had to pay for with your own hard-earned cash. No such thing as a free lunch ladies.

I wonder if there are any really rich beauty bloggers out there who review stuff they buy. Now that would be an awesome blog!! How generous would that be?

Moving right along Fantasy Lane.....

Fifi is my latest love. Not only is she a Sydney gal, but she actually writes about the clothes shops at my local shopping centre. After reading this post, I raced to my local Sportgirl and bought that striped skirt and it is BLOODY AWESOME thankyouverymuch. Perhaps I shall take a photo of me in the skirt one day?

I hardly recognise myself.

E x

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm And Lift!

I found a scientist (with a PhD in wound healing) who has a beauty blog.

I am jubilant.

Seek and ye shall find.

I shall now wait patiently for her review of the scientific studies behind Jurlique's new cream. She says that she will report more once she sees the criteria they used for assessing skin firmness.

I love this woman.

The blogworld never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

An old-school blogger goes to the Nuffnang Blogopolis

I flew down to Melbourne on Saturday to attend this event. I'm intrigued by the new direction of blogging and wanted to see what it was all about.

Well, dear reader, it's still all about community, but with a whole lot of money thrown into the picture as well.

It's not a bad picture, really it isn't. But it is very different from the blog world I discovered 5 years ago.

The monetising (such a great word) is not a sell-out, really it isn't. It simply refers to a change in the AIM of the average blogger. The average blogger can now see her blogging (yes, the majority of bloggers are still women) as a legitimate career. I have no doubt that our grandchildren will be shocked to hear that we ever thought the job "blogger" was any different to journalist, photographer, food critic or teacher.

That being said, it's an end of an era in which a group of women shared their lives and stories while hidden from the view of the vast marketplace. If you have a popular blog nowadays you would be foolish not to make money from your talent and very hard work. But this will also necessarily mean that you'll be advertising products. Sigh.

This is most obvious in the world of the mummy-blogger and the beauty-blogger.

I could have used a mummy-blog in the early nineties when my babes were born, but alas it was not to be. So I'm so very happy for the mothers of 2011 that they have these fabulous blogs to which to turn for support, advice and laughter. Now they'll also be advised on the best nappies, formula, food and bath-bubbles. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's a business, and that's fine. Just a little sad, but only if you're still living in 2005 (as I do, from time to time, purely for the purpose of nostalgia).

Concerning beauty blogs. Let me state from the outset that I LOVE BEAUTY BLOGS. I like the big ones and the small ones, I love the arm swatches and posed fingernails and close-ups of lips. I love the camaraderie and joy and exuberant love of life. But most of all I love how SUBVERSIVE they are. Because, dear reader, beauty bloggers are starting to control (rather than follow) the market. They are bypassing those glossy magazines with the airbrushed ads and the snotty, up-selling department store counters and they are truly making history.

I asked Nikki from Stylingyou (one of my new beauty blogger crushes. I have many.) what she saw as the beauty blogger future. She responded by saying that it will be "explosive," and I absolutely agree. She backed this claim up with two of her personal experiences in the industry. Firstly, she was recently asked to speak to a group of beauty PR reps; that's right, they asked her to explain the new industry to them! Secondly, she cannot get any glossy mag to publish an article about beauty bloggers because they are seen as direct competition. 'Nuf said.

But. There's always a but.

Beauty blogs can be used for evil as well as for good. As the line between product sponsorship and personal style becomes blurred so does the definition of female beauty. In a world of cosmetics in which there exists a product for every perceived flaw (and I'm emphasising the word "perceived" here), will beauty bloggers at some point take a stand? Draw a line in the sand and refuse to cross it? I hope so, but I haven't so far found anyone who will bravely proclaim where a woman's beauty stops and a marketer's ploy begins. I'm not sure any of us know that yet.

So here is a ray of hope, and a tiny bit of encouragement to any beauty bloggers out there. Maybe more of a challenge than mere encouragement. I challenge beauty bloggers, once in a while, and only when they are genuinely moved to do so, to notice the NATURAL beauty of a woman's face and to document it in a post. I still want all the products, because I love that stuff, and that stuff makes me feel prettier and happier a lot of the time. But with a dash of the real stuff thrown in too, because that's what it's really about.

On that note, I'd like to present a portrait of Adele Horin (an Aussie journalist):

Painted by Stephanie Brown:

Which I found after I was inspired by Adele Horin's article celebrating the true beauty of the late, dear Margaret Olley:

A truly beautiful woman.