Finance and beauty. These are two words you probably never see together in the same sentence. Now finance and blogging, that’s a whole different story. Search these two words on Google and you’ll get about 47 million results.
What do I mean about beauty blogging almost becoming a financial burden? I was on the bog when a thought came to me (don’t you just love it when inspiration hits out of the blue? Yep, even when it’s toilet time :P). Whenever we buy beauty products, do we really buy it for ourselves because we like it or do we buy it simply “for the blog”? Are we spending a lot of money, buying entire makeup collections purely just to review them on the blog? And I’m not even talking about the added cost of running a blog!
I say this because many a time, I do. When I started blogging about beauty 6 years ago, we didn’t have products sent to us for editorial consideration. In fact, the only thing I was sent in the first year was a small bottle of hand lotion from the US (even then, I was already mighty chuffed because OMG SOME COMPANY IN THE US KNOWS MY BLOG!). So what do we do? We buy our own stuff. You want to review something? Buy it, try it then write about it. It started to become a habit of mine that lasted till now. If I see something new that captures my eye, my first thought isn’t “Oooh I can’t wait to try that! I wonder if it’ll look good on me?“. It’s “Oooh something new for the blog! I can write about this!“.
So what started off as a project I wanted to do for fun became quite a bit of a financial burden. I had to set a budget for beauty products each month. I never had to do that before I started beauty blogging. Even though I was already earning money, I was still buying skincare products (I wasn’t much into makeup back then) as though I needed something new each month (I didn’t) and it didn’t break the bank. When I started blogging, all of a sudden, I was thinking differently. Every single beauty purchase must be accounted for the blog. Was it blog-worthy? If it was, even if I wasn’t not sure I’d like it, I got it.
Although I wouldn’t say it became a huge burden on my finances, it did put a strain on it. The strain grew when I moved to Australia simply because there’s just so much more new things to try. I still had a lot of Malaysian readers (still do, thank you very much!) and I wanted to show them what Australian beauty brands were about.
By then, I was lucky as it was just about the time when brands started to notice bloggers. Even though I did get sent products for review from time to time, I was buying a lot of beauty products with the justification that it’s “all for the blog”. In fact, I’m still doing it. The problem is, I cannot write them off as business expenses because I wasn’t making enough money on the blog to offset them. Gah.
After some time, I wouldn’t deny that sometimes it does take the fun out of buying beauty products for myself to try. The only times I purely enjoy buying makeup for myself and not just for the blog are when my friends and I do shopping sprees from overseas. A few of us gather our purchases in one order to share the exorbitant shipping fees. It’s like shopping together in our pyjamas. It’s fun and for a moment I stop thinking that I’m getting stuff just for the blog.
A lot of the beauty blogs on my reading list have participated in Project 10/50/100 Pan challenges as a form of beauty shopping ban and to complete at least 10/50/100 products of their own before they buy anything new. It’s not an easy challenge to undertake and I take my hat off to those who succeed in these because it can take ages to finish makeup products and still be constantly tempted to buy more. It’s a good way to control our spending in so many ways. We don’t buy what we don’t need. We finish up what we have first. We think harder in creating more interesting blogging topics around what we already have without needing to buy the next new fad just to blog about it. I don’t think I have that much self control to do a Project 10 Pan but err, how about I finish up one item at a time first? No?
I still set a budget for myself each month for beauty purchases. Whether it’s for myself or the blog, I am not to spend over a certain amount of money. Not exactly a fun thing to do and yes, if I blew this month’s budget, it will have to wait till next month. Even though Chanel waits for no man. Or woman for that matter.
What about you? Do you sometimes find yourself buying beauty products just for the blog and not because you really like them? Has blogging about beauty put a strain on your finances?