A thought popped into my head one day late last year. What products are beauty bloggers talking about? I read about a dozen beauty blogs and I know what they cover, but are they representative of the overall beautisphere? I decided to apply a bit of science to it and carry out some research. If anyone wondered why my blog was a bit quiet in December, I can now reveal what I was up to.
I have selected 100 blogs and Youtube channels that I hope constitute a reasonable sample from the large chunk of the internet that specialises in make up, personal care, body decoration and all things slappage in general. I have got 50 blogs and 50 Youtube channels. I think the ratio should probably be more skewed towards Youtube to reflect the amount of influence, but practically speaking reading blogs is a lot quicker than watching videos.
I have picked a mixture of well known and smaller scale reviewers. I don’t want to reveal who exactly is on my panel, but quite a few of the names will not come as a surprise to anyone who is interested in this kind of thing. But the majority have some kind of audience but don’t pull in huge numbers of readers or viewers.
Creating this panel took quite a long time. There are many blogs that are started and then abandoned. Some morph into personal journals. I also needed to exclude ones that were obviously intended simply as money making ventures. Youtube reviewers, or beauty tubies as I call them (there doesn’t seem to be a generally agreed name yet) in particular were a nightmare to find. I began to dread the opening lines “hi everyone, sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while but….”
But I now have my panel that I hope reflects what I am looking for and I am meticulously going through the posts and videos and compiling a list of what products people have reviewed. I’ll let you know what I have discovered in a future post. But I have already learnt a lot even before I have fully finished the exercise.
For a start, boy are people interested! There doesn’t seem to be any category of product that someone somewhere hasn’t taken the time to share their opinion about. And there are so many brands out there, some of which I had never heard of before. All of them get some attention. I was expecting to see colour cosmetics get more coverage. Lipsticks and eye shadows make for nice photos and there is quite a lot to be said about them. Fragrances are under represented for the opposite reason. How exactly do you describe a smell?
Some things came out of it that I wasn’t particularly looking for. Anyone who thinks educational standards are declining should look at beauty blogs. Almost all of them are written in beautifully worded and expressive English with very few spelling and grammatical errors. (Though do watch those apostrophes!) The text-speak generation doesn’t seem to me to have lost the ability to communicate or to use language correctly. In fact it made me a bit sheepish about my own writing skills.
But the most striking thing is just how many products beauty bloggers and beauty tubies look at. British Beauty Blogger recently made the point that niche brands are doing well against a background of falling sales across the board. I wonder if the growth of the curious beauty blogger out to find something new to write about might be a factor in this?
Anyway, I’ll get back to work crunching the numbers to answer my question so I can do a post that reveals what UK beauty bloggers and beauty tubies are talking about.