I have been receiving quite a bit of beauty products in the last couple months, through the generosity of others, and they’ve been accumulating to the point where I can start opening a drug store or something. There’s only so much beauty products a gal can use at any given time and it will take a long while for me to go through all of them. I’m kinda linear (and OCD) where I can’t just open every single product just to use a teeny bit and then leave them all half-used on the shelf, then open another new something else. :[ Who does that!?!?
Anyway, recently I started having this uncomfortable nagging thought that my blog is turning into a product catalogue or a press release document copy machine, both of which are something I very much want to avoid. That is NOT the direction that I want to take my blog to. I’d like to stick to writing about stuff that is personally meaningful to me, be it the food I eat, the products I use, the clothes I am lusting after, the vacation destinations I daydream about, the designers I am inspired by, etc. My blog is a platform for me to have a voice and share my lifestyle/personality, so it’s up to me to cut out the clutter from time to time (seriously, how many times do I have to blog and post pix of myself using a sheet mask, eh? I find the pix boring, you find the pix boring, so there… *yawns*) and maintain the balance of sponsored/advertorial posts and personal-interest posts.
Most of the time, personal-interest posts will take precedence over sponsored posts… unless we are talking about advertorial posts, in which case show me the $$$ and I will pull all the necessary stops to devote time and write about your product/endorse your brand. I will explain more at the end of this post on why I feel that brand advertisers ought to consider a paid advertorial in addition to providing product samples for review, if they want a more in-depth writeup of their products. In the meantime…
Many of the products I have received in kind are from brand managers who genuinely want me to sample and review them. I sincerely appreciate the generosity in extending these products to me and hereby apologize that I have not been able to accomodate everyone/everything. Nonetheless in the spirit of sharing information with my blog readers, I have decided to consolidate as many as I can and introduce these products in a “beauty buffet” manner with a brief caption/commentary. Brand managers, I thank you for your understanding. :)
Now it’s time to hit the buffet!
Albion Skin Conditioner Essential: Hailing from Japan, this is the brand’s bestseller for years ever since it was introduced in 1974. This milky toner restores healthy, trouble-free skin and is very calming to use, thanks to its botanical astringent ingredients. Available at Takashimaya. Brand website for more information.
Excia White Series from Albion: This series addresses pigmentation irregularities and blemishes of the skin; key whitening ingredients are Vit-C derivative and Kojic acid. Shown above: Whitening Rich Milk, Circulating Watery Cleansing Cream, Circulating Essence Foam, Whitening Crystal Cocktail (serum) and Whitening Lotion. Available at Takashimaya (Sept 2012). Brand website for more information.
DHC Medicated Q10 Skincare Range: Formulated with Coenzyme Q10, well-known for its anti-aging properties, DHC’s first medicated Q10 skincare series that contains a maximum Q10 concentration of 0.3% (ten times more than any other conventional item) to effectively boost skin repair and help reduce a considerable amount of free radical damage. Shown above: DHC Medicated Q10 Gel, DHC Medicated Q10 Milk, DHC Medicated Q10 Lotion, DHC Medicated Q10 Cream, DHC Medicated Q10 Eye Cream and DHC Medicated Q10 Pack Sheet Mask. Available at Watsons. Brand’s website in Japanese.
Nip + Fab Bodycare: Full range of body beauty-fying products that targets stubborn cellulite, flabby tummy, dry hands, dry legs… smoothen and firm them up without needles. My fave is the Nip and Fab Dry Leg Fix and I’ve been using it frequently after every shower to keep legs smooth and moisturized. Available at Watsons or online at the brand’s website (free delivery in Singapore for orders over $30).
La Mer The Moisture Collection: This brand has become a symbol of luxury and beauty’s ultimate indulgence. Following the worldwide success of their star product, Creme de la Mer, the brand now adds The Moisturizing Soft Cream to their moisturizer collection. The Moisturizing Soft Cream has a softer, souffle-like texture suitable for Singapore’s tropical weather. Shown above: Creme de la Mer, Moisturizing Soft Cream, Moisturizing Gel Cream, Moisturizing Lotion, Oil Absorbing Lotion. Available at La Mer counters (Tangs, Takashimaya, Centrepoint Robinsons). Brand’s website for more information.
Cetaphil RestoraDerm: Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers are recommended by more dermatologists and pediatricians than any other brand. This new range is suitable for those suffering from dry, itchy skin. Shown above: RestoraDerm Skin Restoring Body Wash, Body Moisturizer and Intensive Moisturizing Cream. Available at Watsons. Brand’s website for more information.
Benta Berry Super Moisturizing Face Cream for Girls: Soothing, nourishing and intensely moisturizing, the cream melts into the skin to protect and restore radiance. This non-greasy formula provides an comfort and softness all-day-long . Its delicate fragrance was designed especially for girls by a famous perfumer. Available at Argly Duckling online store. Brand’s website for more information.
My Scheming Deep Cleansing Pore Minimizing Mask: Best-selling brand in Taiwan, this mask boosts collagen, reduce fine lines, deep cleanses and improves skin condition by boosting moisture. Made of 100% Japanaese natural pulp is soft and breathable. Available at Watsons. Brand’s Facebook page for more information.
Ruby Kisses HD Nail Polish: Made in Korea, these hi-def polishes have high impact brilliance and shine that won’t fade, dull or streak even in strong sunlight. Long lasting and chip resistant, these little guys go on, stay on and shine on. Available in 18 shades at Watsons. Brand’s website for more information.
Skinbiotics: In 8 weeks, Skinbiotics promises to protect against UV damage, refortify collagen and elastic, renew skin firmness and moisture, and repair damaged cells and DNA. I am still in week…. 2, so I don’t have much personal input on the efficacy of this product yet. Brand’s Facebook page to see what other bloggers are saying.
Lac Taut Collagen Orange Drink: This collagen drink contains premium, low molecular weight collagen peptides that are rapidly absorbed by the body to dramatically and intensively improve skin elasticity and strength to unveil younger-looking, firm and luminous skin. Thick, syrupy, orange flavor reminds me of the Vit-C syrup my mom forced to drink when I was a li’l girl. Brand’s website for more information.
Incanto Lovely Flower by Salvatore Ferragamo: Definitely the younger sister of Incanto Bloom (which I wrote about here), this girly perfume evokes a bouquet of fresh flowers with notes including bergamot, wild strawberry, redcurrant, peony, jasmine and benzoin. Available at Sa Sa and Sephora.
What is a Beauty Buffet?
Beauty Buffet is a concept I came up with on the fly, to roundup many of the product samples that advertisers have kindly sent to me for review. As I have written at the beginning of this post, even though I appreciate and genuinely feel gratitude for the opportunity to try and review these products, it’s become unrealistic for me to write an in-depth review of every single item I receive because there’s only so much products that I can use at any given time. Say, a bottle of facial cleanser typically lasts me two months or more. I also don’t wear a lot of makeup and even though I try to put on a face mask daily, there are days when I don’t have the dedication to put on anything on my face other than just the minimum basics.
There are occasionally skincare brands and beauty products that I am personally curious about and interested in acquiring samples of. Back in the US, I could walk to a cosmetic counter and request for a sample, no strings attached. There are also weekly leaflets and coupons distributed freely in the mail to redeem free samples online or at drugstores, again with no strings attached. Sampling is fun, until it becomes a requirement for me to do a blog review which, in my case recently, 1. I can’t write about it when I haven’t used the product, 2. I am expected to write glowing reviews of the product.
Sorry but I’d like to reserve all rights when it comes to reviewing the product honestly. At the very least though, as courtesy I will try to mention it on this blog if I can’t try/haven’t tried the products — hence a Beauty Buffet roundup. Brand managers may or may not like what I have to write, but this is the reality that they have to understand when they send product samples. Some people have sensitive skin, some people display no visible improvements to their skin condition, and so on and so forth; isn’t the whole point about reading up on product reviews online to get the full spectrum on why it works or doesn’t work on some people? There will always be raves and rants, and in all cases, people rave and rant for different reasons anyway.
Now. I come from an advertising design background and have online marketing savvy, with 15 years of professional experience under my belt. I understand very well that bloggers are social media influencers with a broad readership reach, so it is natural that brand managers are eager to collaborate with bloggers to extend their brand/products via this avenue. In this case, that’s where a paid advertorial comes in. If professional copywriting and positive product positioning are the objectives, then that is none other than advertising and advertising costs money. That’s legit.
So my point is this:
Product reviews — I will get around to it when I get around to it, and I reserve all rights to write and review honestly; I may rave I may rant, I don’t know until after I’ve tried the product out.
Advertorials — I will honor your guidelines, product positioning and highlight all the selling points that you wish to inform the public/my readers about; I will keep it strictly advertising-based and will adhere to the deadline you have specified.
In summary, this isn’t so much about bloggers being exploited or what (some people are happy copy-pasting press releases and dumping it into their blogs lock stock and barrel; I don’t have an issue with that as long as they’re happy doing so in exchange for their freebies). My personal concern lies in not wanting *MY* blog to look like a product catalogue, which at the end of the day, I’m not interested in reading. It’s also not the kind of online legacy I’d like to leave behind personally. Let’s imagine this universal digital archive that someday in the future people refer to, like the way we check out books from the library now. I don’t know about them “copy-machine” bloggers, but I’d like to imagine — and much prefer — that when the future folks look up “Moonberry”, the associated articles related to all my online engagements will be majority lifestyle/personality-based rather than product-based. Ya know what I mean?
PS: I know this entry alone looks like a product catalogue already, but hey, better consolidated altogether in one post rather than a dozen individual product posts, imo. :P