My Ramblings About Product Reviews

Nothing to Disclose

Today as part of Talk to Me Tuesday series I wanted to rant about blogging. Recently my blog feed expanded tremendously, and I currently follow probably 10 times more blogs than I did last year [that’s hundreds of them!]. However, I’m not only following the bloggers I love and respect, but also those that I think are doing something wrong, just so I can see a clear example of what I should not and will not be doing here on Glamorable! I also use it as an opportunity to research their readers, usually through comments, just because I’m always curious to see what kind of audience such blogs would attract.

One thing that particularly irks me is product reviews. Very often companies contact dozens of bloggers with review opportunities, which is why you might notice that suddenly almost every blog you follow seems to be posting about the same thing. I understand that makeup, skin care, hair care, really, any personal care products work very differently for everyone, however, when a product has obvious flaws, wouldn’t it be natural to mention them in your review so the readers have a better idea? I try to always list any of the cons I can think of, because what is nothing for some, could be a deal breaker for others.

Here are just a few examples of what I’m talking about:

  1. Pigmentation – I believe pigmentation has never been a subjective matter, a product is either highly pigmented or it isn’t. I also don’t like the phrase “pigmented for the price”, which some bloggers use when reviewing drugstore products. Just because an eye shadow costs $2 doesn’t mean the bad pigmentation is somehow any less unsatisfying; and lately drugstore cosmetics evolved so much, you can easily find cheap makeup comparable to high end brands in terms of color payoff and overall quality [my favorites lately are Milani, L’Oreal, and Hard Candy]. Which brings me to my second point…
  2. Price Bias – Just because something is expensive [which is a relative term], doesn’t make it a con, unless you run a couponing/deal blog. Some bloggers write lists of Pros and Cons for products, [and don’t get me wrong, I love that because it makes the review appear so much more objective], however, I don’t think price should belong anywhere on that list. From a reader’s perspective, if I am looking for reviews on a specific product, chances are I want to buy it aka I’m prepared to spend my money on it, so I couldn’t care less what the blogger thinks about its cost. I have to admit, I used to factor in the price in my earlier reviews, and even used the phrase “good for the money” more than once or twice, but I have learned so much since those days and grew out of it.
  3. Free Product Leniency – Of course the brands would be happy to receive a glowing review, but what if the product is less than stellar? I’ve seen some bloggers write positive reviews anyway, but most commonly they would just not mention the bad parts at all and only focus on the pros. Usually it means the blogger simply felt like they didn’t want to disappoint the brand, but the reader is clearly on the losing end here. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many brand relationships I have ended just because I refused to post about their products, after receiving them for “editorial consideration”. I usually contact the company and tell them exactly what the flaws were, but if a brand can’t take criticism, it’s not a brand I want to work with anyway, because if they refuse to listen to consumers, their products will never improve. Actually, this is the reason why you don’t see too many negative reviews on Glamorable! It takes me several hours to write a comprehensive review from start to finish, a time better spent for writing about things I liked and loved instead, so all the glowing reviews you see on this blog are genuine [pinky swear!] 🙂
  4. Dishonesty – The worst of them all. If you received an anti-aging moisturizer to review, don’t write two days later that it removed all of your wrinkles…

I’m sure there are more things I could rant about, but that’s all I can think of right now. Remember last week I mentioned that I’m a terrible complainer? Well, this is me complaining! 🙂 I’m not going to give you any specific names, because honestly it is not mine or anyone’s place to tell someone what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their blog. Remember, blogging has no rules. However, I also have the freedom to express what I like and dislike, and this is ultimately what this post was about. If any of you feel that what I described above is how you do things over at your blogs, I hope you don’t feel offended, because that wasn’t my intention at all. Everyone is different, and your audience clearly loves what you do, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading.

Did you ever buy a product after reading a raving review only to be disappointed with your purchase later due to obvious flaws the blogger didn’t mention?

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