Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Being Polite Or Only Giving Readers Half the Truth: Cosme-Haul Commentary On Some Beauty Blogger Policies

Lately I’ve noticed a trend among beauty bloggers that I find a little…disturbing: many bloggers are adopting a policy of only writing positive reviews. If they try and don’t like a cosmetic product or service, they just don’t write about it. 

While that may be polite (especially to the cosmetics company or PR reps), it strikes me as unfair to readers and even a little dishonest. The bloggers who do this are only giving readers half the truth, and they’re telling the cosmetics companies only what they want to hear.

Readers have no way of knowing which companies contact a blogger or which products are sent to them for review. By not writing about a product or service you don’t like, readers are in the dark. They don’t know if the reason you’re not writing about a product or service is because you don’t know about it, haven’t tried it, or just haven’t had time to write about it yet. I don’t think it occurs to most readers that a product isn’t covered because the blogger doesn’t like it.

I don’t care that “everyone” does it. That’s not good journalism. 

It also tells me that in the blogger’s eyes, their relationship with the cosmetics company is more important to them than their readers. 

Our readers come first, so that will not happen here. We’re not “everyone.”

If Cosme-Haul’s policy of honesty in reviews means fewer relationships with cosmetics companies or their PR firms, I’m OK with that. While no one wants to alienate anyone and it’s obviously nice to have relationships, the fact is, I’m not doing this for the cosmetics companies. I’m doing this to share reliable information with readers who want to know whether or not to spend their hard-earned dollars on a makeup product. That comes first. 

The brave companies who want to use feedback to improve their products get it. They understand that if you’re surrounded by “yes people,” you never improve. (That's not a license to be mean about a product, of course. There's a big difference between skewering something and stating what you don't like and how it can be improved.)  

By writing this, I’ve probably angered a beauty blogger or two. That’s OK. I don’t write for other beauty bloggers. I write for you, the reader who wants reliable information. 

Thank you for your readership! As always, connect with us on Twitter to share your thoughts.

Randi Reed
Founder, Cosme-Haul