BAFT: Sponsorships in Makeup Blogs / Vlogs

Let’s face it: sooner or later, all the well-known / popular beauty vlogs / blogs will be wooed by the big cosmetic companies with sponsorship and free makeup in exchange for promoting their products. It’s the new form of marketing strategy: rather than have a stranger talk endlessly about the latest item, why not have a familiar face do it?

Familiarity increases vulnerability. That’s just the way the world works.

There is an old thread on reddit’s Makeup Addiction (link here) where redditors discussed their favorite and non-favorite Youtube beauty vloggers. One of the key reasons for the dislike? Sponsorship. Some redditors couldn’t tell if a beauty vlogger genuinely liked the product or did it for the money or freebies, whereas the more seasoned ones knew right off the bat and unsubscribed in protest.

But what really got me to consider this topic for this week’s BAFT was a chance reading of a fellow beauty blogger’s site, where she was consistently accused of selling out to cosmetic companies for free makeup.

I checked out Viviana Does Makeup after seeing it featured on a Yahoo! Beauty article about beauty products and she mentioned a product that she liked. Out of curiosity and willing to discover more in the beauty blogging community, I checked her website out and read some of the comments.

They’re no longer there now (as of 10:26 P.M. February 3, 2016), but while on my break I noticed that some comments continuously accused Anna (apparently her name isn’t Vivianna) of peddling certain cosmetic products more than others because she got sponsored by the company selling it. Her response was in Arabic (I wish I screencapped the comments, but since I was using a work computer, I didn’t want to get in more trouble than I already risked), so I didn’t know what she said. But whatever it was, I’m sure it wasn’t something that Anna wanted her visitors to know if she had to respond in Arabic.

Which has me wondering: why are some vloggers so willing to throw away their credibility for free products? I mean, all the hard work they did to get out there and get noticed while the rest of us struggle (me included), gone in a finger snap to get paid for positively reviewing cosmetic products?

A Redditor did point out that a good chunk of YouTube beauty vloggers do it as their main source of income, following in the steps of Michelle Phan. It made my heart sink – I can understand that getting a regular job isn’t a cakewalk in the park nowadays, but to destroy the trust that you have with your audience to make ends meet?

For that matter, how are they even able to get the newer products, especially if they’re not one of the popular vlogs out there?

It makes me wonder just how many of us beauty bloggers are able to do this as a hobby. Sure, I’d love to be able to earn money and get free stuff just blogging about beauty products – who wouldn’t? Not that I’m trying to discourage people from creating their own beauty blogs: just don’t expect to have a meteoric rise like Michelle did. She got to the top by being the first on the scene.

As I pointed out in “The YouTube Makeup Bubble,” there’s just too many vlogs vying for viewers and subscribers. It’s only a matter of time before the makeup vlogging / blogging culture bursts from over-saturation.

There’s just too many people in the grind trying to make it to the top. And if you have a job that allows you to buy makeup to your heart’s content AND do a beauty blog? Count your blessings – you and I are one of the few that have that luxury.

Stay blooming, Beautiful Blossoms!

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