Every time I attempt to do a product review, there's hesitation: I'm one of thousands of bloggers out there pushing products. It's an era unlike the one I came of age in: We had one or two media outlets for exposure to beauty products: Television and magazine advertising. Today there is the Internet - from Youtube to beauty blogs to v-logs and beyond - and the mantra seems to be, "buy, buy, buy." Literally anyone can now get on the Internet and promote products, do how-to videos, etc. The groundswell seems overwhelming in swatch and haul videos.
There is one beauty blogger I follow who will simply buy a product because the packaging "looks pretty" or she saw it really quickly and thought, "I just have to have it." Because I'm older, I can step back and be aware of two crucial things: She has a large following, which means she's likely sponsored (this means she is paid or given products to endorse). It's a very different reality than most of her audience's: Her bread and butter comes from a more-is-more mentality when it comes to product consumption. For many of us, this mentality will simply drain our wallets.
If I was a lot younger and more impressionable, this would be a damaging concept to be constantly exposed to. I'm not holding the bloggers accountable for this, but simply saying the consumer still has to be savvy about the possible motives of those he or she follows. It's like with advertising or any product promotion you see.
I will rave about products I truly think are great and warn about products I don't like, but I always do so with some reservations and a cautionary: Do not buy a product that you can't afford to pay for with cash or that would be a big chunk or your monthly budget. Also, if I am given a freebie to review by a company, I'll be honest and say so (it rarely happens, but it has occasionally). Most of the products I've reviewed have been paid for with my own money at full price. I like the autonomy of this: I don't feel like I owe the company a good review, nor do I feel like my promotion was bought. That said, since I'm buying these products, I can't review as much product as some bloggers are.
While I love sharing good beauty finds, I want to maintain a sense of reality that most of us are experiencing: This is still a very unstable economy, and being smart and conservative with your money is the wisest thing to do. Being beautiful doesn't mean constant spending on the latest fads: It's often about stretching your products, researching them carefully before you buy, and budgeting for them.