Ever wondered if beauty bloggers get all the stuff they write about for free? The answer is yes, most of it. And it's nothing compared to print publications. Here is one blogger's account of the stages of shock, awe, hoarding, and blase acceptance a blogger goes through when she (or he!) gets into the beauty racket.
Get a paid beauty blogging gig and have it be awesome. Get to review all the products you’ve always loved and hopefully send business to independent retailers and manufacturers with ethical business practices that care about the earth and animals and consumer health. Stop having to ever buy shampoo or nail polish. Spend hours doing your makeup like celebrities going to the Oscars just to go to Target and look at more makeup, and have it be your job.
Run out of cool quirky alternative beauty brands whose ethics you agree with to talk about, as there’s about five of them. Figure you’ll start hitting up the PR reps at bigger beauty brands. Be seduced as well as disgusted by the hugely wasteful excess shipping material and pretty, pretty packaging of their products and the fact that they send you full size versions of every item in their line. The PR girls are so nice. Why do people hate PR girls? They ask about your weekend and your favorite color of nail polish and send you gifts and cards at the holidays.
Air kiss at fashion week. Begin twice yearly pilgrimages to this mecca of excess right at the point when they’re about to stop being so free with swag. Need an extra carry on for all your loot and be simultaneously giddy and aloof about it.
Read Confessions Of a Beauty Editor by Linda Wells, the editor of Allure, Beauty Confidential by one-time roman à clef beauty blogger Nadine Haobsh and her follow up Confessions of a Beauty Addict, and Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup by Jean Godfrey-June, the beauty editor of Lucky and patron saint of beauty writers everywhere. These books will blow your mind, providing both a reality check about what the business is truly like and an unfiltered view of the industry as it was coming into its own.
See your European coworkers and beauty bloggers you follow on Twitter be sent on things called “press trips” to spas in exotic places like Morocco or Los Angeles and be jealous. Run out of your favorite mascara and be unable to ask for another because you already reviewed it, and be not important enough to just be sent it on the regular because it’s your favorite. (Bet Linda Wells doesn’t ever run out of her favorite mascara.) Get annoyed when that cult beauty brand you have a great relationship with stops sending you every product they ever make. This is where the entitlement sneaks in.
Become genuinely annoyed at the amount of makeup in your possession. Remember you’re an internet freelancer, not a corporate-owned print media glossy and you don’t have the space to devote an entire closet in your home to “a beauty closet.” Have boxes and boxes of unopened makeup you keep meaning to give to friends. Pawn products off on everyone who enters your home. This is when the beauty blogging racket begins to normalize. You are jaded, but you are also a knowledgable powerhouse.
Start buying shampoo again (though you will still probably never have to buy another lip gloss).