Miscellaneous, Personal
Comments 75

All the Things: On Beauty, Buying, and Blogging

Softly Sometimes has been alive for a fraction of the time that most websites (and beauty blogs) have been up, and frankly, I feel a little bit bored with it.

I haven’t really grown tired of “beauty” or “blogging,” but I have grown tired of buying. Or at least, some aspects of it. I’ve been on a low-buy since April and I haven’t really bought a lot of beauty things since then. However, when I resubscribed to the Le Métier de Beauté Beauty Vault VIP 2014 round, it made me think about my relationship with “beauty,” or rather, beauty products… and why I often feel the need to have and to own.

To be fair to myself (heh), my case of the grabby hands has toned down quite a bit since freefalling into the world of beauty, as we have all come to know it. Whenever I asked a person unfamiliar with the world of beauty blogging the “What’s your beauty philosophy?” question for Nosy Beauty, I feel kind of weird because I don’t want them to think that this frilliness is what beauty—actual beauty—means to me. That’s another story, but I do still wonder what kind of person blogging about beauty has made me.

TL;DR VERSION:
My perspective on both Softly Sometimes and beauty blogging in general has been shifting fairly often recently. The direction I’m headed towards is nothing groundbreaking or radically in opposition to my current perspective; just a clearer view of the “bigger picture.”

PLUS, an important question:
What do you want to see more of on Softly Sometimes?

So. What was the point of this? I’m not really sure. I do know that I want to do many things besides blogging about lipstick and eyeshadow. There are people who do this beauty gig full-time, and that’s fine, but that’s not me. And that’s okay, too. Like what Tina has shared in one of her most recent posts, I also feel like I’ve distanced myself from a lot of the things I loved. And that happened because I poured a lot of my time and energy into this little corner of happy that I’ve been working at for almost two years.

Another No Makeup Makeup Look - Products

I don’t think that beauty products are necessarily at fault for this distance, obviously, but I do think that my own pursuit of making Softly Sometimes a great beauty resource has indirectly caused me to neglect a few of the other things that I used to enjoy. And while I do want to find some measure of success with this blog, since I have been working really hard on improving it and making it better, I do not want to forget to try making the rest of myself better.

I think that blogging is really wonderful, despite its bad rap (mostly from people who don’t understand, I promise), and I have no intentions of leaving it any time soon. However, while I still have a lot of ideas for posts that don’t involve hauling, and buying, and reviewing, I think what I lack is the energy and motivation to treat this as something enjoyable and fun. Sometimes it honestly kind of feels like a chore. There was a brief period where I posted everyday—sometimes even twice a day—but I saw that my content was suffering because I would put up silly posts to fill my daily post quota. And I don’t want my blog to be updated… but kind of shitty, you know?

Speaking of which, “blog,” as a word, is really silly and really fucking stupid, but I thought to myself that all of the other alternatives like online journal are just as bad, if not worse. Despite that incredible and immediate hurdle right there, I want to take this blog seriously, in that I want to make it good, but I also don’t want to take it very seriously, in that I want to make it fun for me and for you.

mui-addiction-cheek-sticks-cover

I don’t want to constantly be pressured to buy things because I WANT TO TRY IT, DAMMIT, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to own every new thing that they come out with. We all have a single face. ONE FACE. How many of the foundations we have can we actually use up? If we already have holy grail products, then why do we not stop looking for other things to try?

On the other hand, I don’t want to internally convulse every time I feel like I kind of might want to buy a beauty product—GASP! SHOCK. Everything has become so dramatic these days. Give me a break if I see a lipstick shade I like, Lord have mercy on us all.

I do think that buying stuff and hauling in general are being made into bigger deals than they should be, but I also think it’s because people are so freaking quick to buy buy buy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with buying things especially if you can afford all of the things—by all means, #treatyoself—but I do think that there is much to be said about picking items really, really wisely instead and maybe not pandering to every new collection that comes out because you “just had to.”

UD Naked - Cases

(I suppose this is a kind of PSA for myself. Blogging is supposed to be fun and a stress reliever. I’ve been feeling like I have to have it in constant surveillance, but guess what? I don’t. The numbers don’t matter nearly as much as the content you put out. And the fulfillment you get out of it, whether it’s a personal sense of accomplishment or just that swell in your chest when you get to write about something you ended up really, really loving. Or the eloquent irritation you manage to churn out when you meet a truly shitty product. Your blog needs to grow, but so do you.)

With all of that out of the way, I’d like to ask a few questions:

  1. What are your thoughts on any of the things I’ve touched on? Do you have a blog? Content vs. constancy—what do you value more?
  2. What would you like to see more of on Softly Sometimes? Any particular posts you enjoy? Anything you think needs updating? Are you sick of my face?
  3. Where are you on the stingy person-BUY ALL THE THINGS scale? I think I am maybe in the middle-ish. Closer to “stingy person” territory, though not terribly so.

The thing that makes me feel okay with all of this, despite the obvious issues, is the knowledge that I can stop whenever I want to. The thing that makes me feel even better is knowing that right now, I don’t have any plans to.

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75 Comments

  1. jadegrrrl says

    This is so refreshing to read, I am completely over the reckless consumerism I see on some blogs/youtube channels, it’s actually sickening to me. I think making well considered purchases every now and then is fine but buying every frikking thing on some whim to have it all is really just worrisome.

    • Thank you so much! It is sickening, whenever I try to curb makeup purchases, I watch makeup collections, lol.

  2. You sound like me before I did the great purge of 2012 and turned minimalist lol. I spent my money so fast on shiny beauty products and collections because I felt like I needed to have it and that I needed to talk about it and contribute to the beauty community in some way with my reviews.

    I realized that I needed to get a hold of my shopping and my lifestyle (because these things were going unused and expiring so in the end being so wasteful) and I made the big change.

    Now I’m not saying go minimalist haha but when I gave away my collection or threw it out I noticed what I really gravitated too once the clutter was gone.

    I stuck with the things that really worked or made me happy. I only buy a new item when the previous item runs out. I have my staple liner, staple lipstick, finally found my holy grail foundation and now I’m working on my staple skin care products and minimizing that too. When I blog, I do show what I just bought or am using but I also introduce other aspects of my life too, like my sims gaming, my love for sailor moon, my recipes, my fotd, ootd (also minimalist) what I’m reading, what movies I saw etc.

    I find more joy in having no boundaries in what I want to blog about versus when I said, “this shall be strictly this or that!” Also it’s not catering to an audience since it’s your life but the audience comes when they’re interested. So I also feel there is no pressure. I feel more connected to the community/audience too.

    I personally call it a micro blog because it can be as little as a photo posted or a photo posted with one line and that’s it. Boom and done and moving on with my daily life haha.

    The only thing I don’t touch on are my passionate opinions about topics because I try to keep my blog a very stress free environment. It is where I run too when things get stressful in real life and need a healthy outlet.

    I also like to keep my posts curated completely by me. If I took the photo then that’s what will be shared. Meaning I don’t post fashion photos from runways or magazines/ads but focus on me and solely me and my own fashion/beauty/recipes etc.

    I’m brand new to your blog but I love it and see however you choose to go with it as a positive.

    On the scale, I’m in the middle. I research and research before I can’t do anything else but to try it out myself. I look for samples prior though. But in the past someone could easily just tell me in the store that I look good with this or that or this is a miracle product and I buy it. Now I’m so aware of the ingredients, when someone is looking for a sale, when research falls flat etc and I save a lot of money this way LOL

    • I REALLY WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE GREAT PURGE OF 2012. But yes, I had a lip gloss expire/go bad on me and I felt SO bad. Haha. Imagine if all of them start going bad on me. Utter devastation.

      I think my current disposition right now is arming myself with daily staples (foundation/base, concealer, powder, brows) and then being more mindful of “color cosmetics.”

      Softly Sometimes was really for beauty since I blog about other things elsewhere. 🙂 It’s great to be a niche blogger since it’s easier to build an audience, but there really is that tendency to feel like it’s repetitive and suffocating.

      I’M THE SAME WITH BUYING. I used to be so easily convinced, lol. Now, not so much. Yay us!

  3. I’ve gotten past beauty blogging lately. It’s fun sometimes but, I’d rather talk about the things that I want to talk about! You should do whatever makes you happy. 🙂

    • Hey Sam, thanks for the comment! I have been enjoying reading your non-beauty posts. 🙂 I have a separate blog for my non-beauty exploits, so it kind of feels redundant to post about here, too, but that’s something to consider!

  4. Great post Carina! I actually feel that, sometimes, in my effort to make my blog awesome, I forget the reason as to why I wanted to blog in the first place. There have also been times when I felt pressured to buy stuff because that’s what everyone is blogging about. But then I realized, I created my blog because I wanted to share my love for beauty and that love does not necessarily equate to spending my hard earned money on beauty products. As for what I want to see more from your blog, I really enjoy your makeup looks. They look so quick and simple yet so put-together. 🙂

    • Thank you. 🙂 Oh no, don’t feel pressured! Haha whenever I buy something because I keep seeing it, I usually have a REALLY REALLY strong want for it, but I don’t ever feel pressured to buy so I can talk about it. Hehe. Thanks for the input, I’m happy some people enjoy my simple looks 😀

  5. Oh this is a good post. I am more on the stingy side compared to other bloggers and bloggers. I like to do a mix of content and consistency. I think I would want to see how you use your product and go through it. I’m an empties fanatic

    • Thank you so much. 🙂 I’m pretty undecided about empties, but I’ve been collecting some from the last couple of months so maybe I’ll share them at some point 🙂

  6. I’ve been pondering this topic for a long time actually and will be addressing it myself in July. I say, do whatever makes you happy because ultimately people read your blog for YOU, not your stuff.

    I never considered the idea of a beauty philosophy but will definitely do so from here on out.

    Also, love the “treat yo self!” reference :):):)

  7. The beauty blogging world is immensely prone to herd mentality. If you see a lot of bloggers raving about some item, it’s very easy to rationalize getting it yourself as well. That’s one of the pitfalls that I’m very wary about, but once I’ve convinced myself that quality is definitely better than quantity I think I have a better grip on the temptation to buy.

  8. Hi Carina,
    1. I have a blog and I do feel the pressure to deliver in both quality content and high frequency. I’ve been doing a lot of bullet points lately, as I find some readers prefer succinct reviews. But if I try something particularly nice, I don’t mind writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about it. I have some “sell-out guilt” for getting beauty products just to try them out or because they’re new, but I try to balance it out with posts that just make me happy (gardening) or FOTDs that use makeup I’ve had for a long time.

    2. Dupes. I’d love to posts about dupes in any blog.

    3. I definitely started out on the absolutely stingy side of the scale because I used to strictly limit myself to drugstore items. Only late last year did I begin to broaden my horizons (and spend more than I should). Trying to tap my stingy side again though.

    • Hello! 🙂 1. I can’t ever do bullet points, I’m a wordy girl through and through! Although, those are really easy to read and digest, though.

      2. The problem with ‘dupes’ is that I often find that it’s so rare to find true dupes. I also have a lot of makeup but not nearly enough to warrant a dupes post.

      3. I’m rarely impressed by drugstore stuff. Some are great, but I find a lot of them disappoint me, so I usually rationalize my big purchases by thinking “for $10 more you can get this one,” and thus begins my doom, lol.

  9. Hi Carina, thank you for this post! It summed up all of my thoughts that I found hard to put into writing. I’ve made beauty blogging my world for a time and it felt great, no regrets. I set it up as an outlet, but agree that it kinda feels like a chore especially when you get attention and stuff, which btw, was never the point of it all, at least for me. My time became tighter because I wanted to make sure I have time to shoot and blog. It exhausted the shit out of me. I had to stop because it also happened at the time when so much stuff was/is going on with my life. I needed space. And I also want to do other things too like tennis and learn how to drive etc.

    I don’t want to quit blogging but I don’t want to make it my life. It caused me so much time and money! I don’t even know where to put my stuff and most of them I haven’t used! Haha! So yeah, I’m just taking a time off, but I don’t know for how long. I don’t want to force things coz if I do, I’d totally lose interest and quit for good.

    Hay, it feels nice to know lang that I’m not alone on this. Haha! I hope to get back on track or maybe plan a different action plan coz I can’t be as active as before given the ton of work I have outside the blogging world.

    Hehe 🙂

    • Aw, thanks Tina! 🙂 Me neither, I just liked writing about products I like and how I use them, etc. It really is fun, no? I hope you’re doing well! I honestly miss your posts and I always check for new ones, but no pressure hehe. I think that real life trumps blogs any day, but I’m the type of person who thinks that it CAN be done, so I’m going to try. I think I just need to figure out my capacities and look for a happy medium. 🙂

  10. Hi Carina, thanks for this post! It summed up most of the things running through my head, like priorities, blogging, etc. It’s now making me think even more.

    I’m all for quality content more than the constancy. I also tried blogging daily and with work, I find it nearly impossible to produce quality posts on a daily basis. I take hours when writing and that’s just the writing part. The photos, tracking of FOTDs, research, consume even more. My bf told me that I take too long to produce a post but I never wanted to post something that I’m not happy about. I really just wanted to write for myself, have an outlet for the thoughts in my head. I want to stay true to that.

    I love your more educational posts. Like how you did this look, how you used this product. The reviews also because you really review the products well. Your posts show that you really used the products and not just posted something. 🙂 Honest reviews are really helpful these days especially since we (I) tend to spend so much money on makeup. And online shopping.

    I’m more of in the middle but now closer to being stingy. I feel like I’ve reached a point where I realized I’ve been collecting more than using. A pseudo wake up call for me happened when in our recent trip to Japan, my best friend was literally scraping the last bits of lipstick in her only tube that she used daily so that she’ll allow herself to buy the next one. She finished the trip without her purchasing anything yet. I ended with a Givenchy lipstick bought at duty-free. When I already had 3 other lipsticks with me then and more waiting at home. That incident really made me think and thus, I went into a pseudo- makeup ban which I am thankful for having kept since we returned. (That was in April). I only bought a brush set since as my birthday gift to myself. My bf though got me 3 more lipsticks plus 1 back2MAC because I’ve been consistent in keeping my ban.

    PS. I really have to say that I’m a huge fan of how you write. 🙂

    • Hi Katsy! 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment.

      It’s true, I think though that I have to get used to planning ahead and really coming up with a content plan (lollll) that will allow me to update consistently and frequently. I think I need to set aside a day for planning posts and writing drafts. I know that Real Life is hard and priority, but I feel like I could maybe make it work? Haha. I don’t know. It really is different when you plan out posts and make a good one that you’re happy about no? I forgot where I read this but someone wrote, “Your blog is only as good as its last post,” and I find that to be true to some degree.

      Thank you for your input. 🙂

      Haha yeah, I’ve dialed down on the buying also, I didn’t even ask my girlfriend to get me any beauty thing from Japan. IMAGINE THAT

      P.S. Thank you! ❤

      • I want to go back to Japan just to do makeup hauls haha. Aside from the food and well, everything else. 😀

  11. It kind of sucks that my buying problem is not brought about by blogging.

    Anyway, if it means anything, I read your blog because I like how you write beauty-related stories and how you process and express your thoughts about products. I read about the stuff you write about even if I’m not interested about the product itself.

    I want to see more of the same thing, I’m ok if your posts are not as frequent anymore. It would be great to see you grow in ‘beauty’

    I’m not a stingy person for sure. I can’t say I’m on a buy all the things scale. What I do know is, I’m not usually interested in new releases. I want to do the hunting myself and create my own private feeling of hype.

    • Same hahaha I’m just a hoarder-impulse buyer at heart. I didn’t feel ashamed of that before, so I don’t know why I kind of do now that I blog about these impulses?

      Thank you, Rae, your comments and input always mean something to me 🙂 I feel the same way about your posts! It’s always nice to see a fresh perspective because it’s so easy to kind of fall into the same pattern as everyone else since this “industry” is so saturated with bloggers now.

      I’ve toned down on my attraction to new releases, but I love unearthing a gem. 🙂

  12. Great post Carina! I do feel that way sometimes. And I often feel guilty when I’ve got messed up draft and I don’t touch them in weeks haha but lately I’m easing up and just posting whenever I feel like it because I figured if I keep guilt tripping myself into blogging, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as when I first started. I find that doing collaboration posts with Rae and Victoria and other bloggers motivates me as well.

    I’m never sick of your face! ❤ I really like reading your challenge and top picks posts.

    As for being stingy, I think I’m also in the middle. I have a list of products I am pining for but it’s under control. I like that now I am learning to think before I buy. I have so much right now and I’m focusing on using them all up.

    • I get you, Elaine! At the same time, I want to challenge myself and make this place worth something, you know? It’s definitely not the kind of issue where I will blog about something that completely disinterests me but will potentially get a lot of hits, but it’s more of looking for things that I find cool + might be helpful for some people.

      I’ve been using up a lot of stuff 😀 Mostly skin care and body/bath stuff, though.

  13. Love this Carina! This sums up everything that I’ve been feeling since late last year haha! I look at my drawer and think, kailangan ko ba talaga ng ilang bote ng foundation? And blushes? Then I think about the expiration dates and nakakaloka lang isipin.

    Content > consistency all the way. Do more tags, etc less reviews siguro? I love reading your blog, so I hope you still continue writing! 🙂

    • HAHA I always love your makeup picks, though! If that counts for anything. 🙂 I miss your posts, tbh! I’ve dialed down on the reviews because they’re not the most fun for me to write, but I’m very picky about tags! Thank you for the comment 😀

  14. Jennifer says

    It’s interesting that you bring this up, because I’ve been asking myself the same things with regards to my book blog. Recently, I decided to start a few new series on the blog in the hopes of poking it out of its inactive stupor, and already I’m starting to worry about how much time maintaining the blog will take out of my already limited non-work/free time. I’m in a similar situation—I know of other bloggers who make their blogs a full-time thing, but that’s not me and that’s not what I want to do with From Elliott. But on the flipside, I don’t want FE to fall on the wayside while I attend to other things in my life, like reading, writing, drawing… In the end, I think it’s a matter of balance. And for me, it’s also reminding myself over and over that there’s simply not enough hours in the day for me to do EVERYTHING that I want to do. If I want to maintain my other activities, and a healthy social life, I won’t be able to go all out on FE. And likewise with said activities. I don’t like compromising and having to say “no” to certain things, but I know I need to if I want to juggle everything. Otherwise, I’ll need to drop something and I definitely don’t want to do that.

    I dunno. I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule for how to create quality content while maintaining constancy. I think it’s a balance that each blogger has to figure out on their own thru trial and error. And I’m sure you’ll find it for Softly Sometimes in due time. 🙂

    P. S. — On the spectrum of stingy to BUY ALL THE PRETTY THINGS, I’d say I’m in the middle … but leaning towards stingy. I’m pretty minimal with my make-up, and with the exception of eyeshadow and lipsticks/lipglosses I don’t ever buy multiple items of the same product at any one time.

    • LOL my book blog is a whole other story, but I figure that branching out and really thinking of things other than review posts might be good for it, too. 🙂 I can’t make my blog a full-time thing because there’s not nearly enough traffic, but like you said, I want to be able to keep it up, because I am proud of my blogs, for what they’re worth. (Maybe not much, hahaha.)

      You are correct re: the balance and I’m currently looking for a happy medium. I think posting every other day might be mine.

      P.S. I think I just have a nerd love for products and that’s what causes this “dilemma” of mine re: consumption and purchasing.

  15. TLDR warning.

    I think your post + previous comments have said pretty much everything going on in my mind as well. I was just ranting to Liz last week about the amount of makeup I have: “I only have one face!” It just got to a point where I looked around my bathroom (and closet) and thought, Seriously? This is ridiculous. Before, I couldn’t try new makeup before photographing it. If I did, I felt guilty. The act of trying new makeup should be pleasurable and exciting, and when you’re constantly asking, “How smoothly does it apply? Is the pigmentation alright? Is the color true to pan?” just so you can report back to people, it can remove a lot of the pleasure from the experience.

    In my opinion, you have to choose whether you want to be a beauty resource or if you just want to shoot the shit about beauty. If you want to be a destination where people can consistently find dupes, swatches of the latest products, and thoughts on a collection, then a certain amount of time and investment needs to go into it. The spending becomes justified because this is a resource for others. But if you want to have a personal beauty blog, excessive buying just seems purposeless.

    The problem is that the benchmarks we have for beauty blogs are those who have gone pro, and who have standardized the “beauty resource” formula that most other beauty blogs follow. And this formula depends a LOT on spending. While it may work for blogs with big ambitions, it doesn’t really suit the second category of blogs, or bloggers who like makeup but have no desire or need to accumulate lots of it.

    Sometimes the cost of blogging about a passion is to surrender some of your own pleasure so that others can have that experience. Does that make sense? It’s how I feel about anyone who blogs/vlogs/documents their life on social media. Maybe the people who really made it big with their blogs find it easier to justify maintaining it, because it’s not just a hobby: it’s (sometimes a main) source of income. I think that’s why I stopped blogging so much, because I wanted to put on makeup without having to explain it to anybody, to buy things because I genuinely wanted to get them and not because I was feeling the hype, and and in general to live life for myself, yaddy yah.

    But to answer your questions:

    What are your thoughts on any of the things I’ve touched on? Do you have a blog? Content vs. constancy—what do you value more?

    I would read your blog post on compost if you wrote one, but I am definitely more interested in the looks/thought pieces you put than the new products. I value content over frequency, which I know does not comply with the demands of media publishing today.

    What would you like to see more of on Softly Sometimes? Any particular posts you enjoy? Anything you think needs updating? Are you sick of my face?

    Moar posts about makeup in the context of your life and work! Never sick of your face.

    Where are you on the stingy person-BUY ALL THE THINGS scale? I think I am maybe in the middle-ish. Closer to “stingy person” territory, though not terribly so.

    I used to be bad, but now I am good. I’m relying heavily on reliable products and looks that I can do quickly. I want to have the makeup equivalent of a French wardrobe.

    • Sorry, I feel like such a shit because I said “you said everything I was thinking” and then proceeded to word vomit even more.

    • I wish I could “like” your comment. I’m going through a similar blog identity crisis, and you’ve made me realize that I don’t want to be a go-to resource on all things beauty. I really just want to shoot the shit (love your phrasing!) about cosmetics because I like talking about it. I’ve never considered myself an expert, so I don’t feel comfortable writing authoritatively on it. I just like blathering on about it to other people who enjoy talking about it, too.

    • HAHAHA SAME. Since this post, I’ve been regaining my love for the FUN of makeup, and not the fun of buying makeup, if that makes sense. But it’s true, when it starts to feel like you’re doing it for other people, it starts to get not-fun. This sounds selfish and funny, but that’s how I feel, even when it comes to non-beauty things.

      But again, true, I’ve realized that I don’t want to be a Great Beauty Resource in the way that a lot of big blogs are. I don’t want to be a directory or a dupe spreadsheet, dammit! Hehe. My favorite blogger formats tend to be the ones that aren’t so review-y anyway. I appreciate those ones a lot, but I think it’s accurate to find out where your blog aspirations lie. I’ve never been one to want to be a “full-time blogger” in that the blog ends up working like a magazine, even with my personal blog.

      I LIKE YOUR BLOG, THOUGH. I MISS IT. 😦

      1. A blog on compost, coming right up! I like constancy, though, but I think I need to find a happy medium, where I don’t post everyday, but I also don’t go a week or a month without posting. I personally don’t like it when blog posts are erratic, especially when I like the blogger, but I do understand that Real Life comes first. I think the challenge here is to find a) a schedule that works, and b) a blog content plan (lol so srs) that isn’t forced or put on. I don’t want to be a GBR (Great Beauty Resource!) but I like exploring content and formats, etc. Which is also why I liked your blog, because it was different from a lot of the other ones I’ve been finding.

      2. Yay! What life? What work? Loljk.

      3. HAHAHA I AM THE SAME. OH EYESHADOW? LET ME SWEEP THIS ONE SINGLE ONE ACROSS MY LIDS. I like fun looks from time to time, though, and I’ve said this before but I like the actual ritual of putting on makeup. WHAT A LOSER.

      Speaking of a French wardrobe, I’ve been downsizing!

  16. Hey Carina, you know what? I feel the exact same way and I sometimes feel like I’m just there to encourage people to buy buy buy! and spend spend spend! And it’s not really me, nor what I do. I’d like people to actually save money too LOL To keep things fresh and to cater to this other side of beauty blogging that doesn’t involve talking about the latest products or hauls, I slip in discussive topics or sharing tips, which I have noticed, is well accepted by most people. I suppose it gives people more to think about than whether we liked that new lipstick or eyeshadow eh? 🙂 Do what you love, it’s the only way to keep going, especially when you aren’t doing this full time. I’m slowing down myself, for similar reasons and I think it’s healthy for us all. Maybe it’s just beauty blogging moving to a different direction and I’d like to think, a healthy, less obsessive, less consumer focused one 🙂 All the best! x

    • Hey Paris! So happy to see you here. I know, I love seeing your non-review posts. Always thoughtful, and the comments are always nice to read through. I do agree that I love how people are slowly starting to be more mindful of their purchasing habits, at least the ones that I’ve been reading!

  17. Ditto on most of the issues brought up in this entry. Great read! I hoard a lot of makeup, but I find trying, and testing and posting is such a tedious task for myself that’s why I am thankful for beauty bloggers like you where I can admire all things beautiful and wonderful about makeup that I am too lazy to do.

    I actually think you purchase some pretty mid to high end stuff, which I love seeing. I like how you focus on CF too. I have a blog (that requires serious updating). I value content!

    I love Nosy Beauty, the History posts and anything to do with eyeshadow, and blush (and LMdB!). I like how you’re one of the beauty bloggers who make less makeup work so well. You don’t actually have to stuff your face with all the stuff to make the make-up work. Not sick of your face.

    I think because I have so many other interests that require my financial attention (food! shoes! bags! technology!) that I am a little bit more stingy on the makeup side. I don’t have a Chanel/Tom Ford/Guerlain/Givenchy (yet) and would probably only limit myself to one or two of those brands given the chance to purchase them.

    • Aw, thanks Justine! 🙂 It’s okay, we can love stuff and be lazy about talking about them. Haha.

      And thanks. Yep, I’m not too into drugstore stuff, and I don’t mean that to sound snooty but I think the better-performing ones tend to be non-CF so that’s also a deciding factor on my buying habits. I’ve looked into a CF brand that’s affordable, though, so that’s exciting for me 😀

      Haha I thank the lawwwwd that my only luho right now are makeup and books. I haven’t ventured into shoes/bags/technology cravings, phew. Food, though.

      I LOVE Chanel, Tom Ford, and Guerlain. Givenchy is something I’d love to try, but as it turns out, all 4 are not CF, so I’m in the clear at least for those brands. Haha my makeup loves that are CF are a bit pricey though, haaaa.

  18. Hi Carina!

    Wow! I’ve been feeling the same way, I have a beauty blog too but I find that I couldn’t quite keep up with “shooting” the products. I could write about it but taking product photos and FOTDs Became a chore after some time. I’m just posting sporadically and refocusing on writing about my travels.

    I think I’m not cut out to be a full time blogger?

    Anyway, I want to see more of your Made Up History please, that’s one of the unique things going around Softly! Just keep writing, you write beautifully!!

    To answer Question numero tres, I’m also in the middle-ish but my recent trip to Seoul tipped me to BUY ALL THINGS. As I was reading your post, it made me realize that the beauty products I have bought ate a huge chunk of my savings. Huhu. So maybe I’m near the BUY ALL THINGS mark?

    I am still mindful of expiration dates though and vowed never to buy BB Cream until it’s all used up. I wish I can say the same for the blush but alas I currently have 7 (!) and their expiry dates are almost the same.

    • Hey Patty, that’s okay, I think sometimes it’s hard to sustain interest in some things unless you’re really, really, really into them. Thanks for the input. 🙂

      I am definitely not a BUY ALL THE THINGS type of person. I think I became dangerously close to being one, though. I am not that strict on expiration dates unless it’s mascara, so I don’t consider my buying stuff hoarding, because it’s not yet at a place where I just store stuff and forget about them. My real weaknesses are color cosmetics anyway, so the products that tend to go bad quickly (i.e. liquid foundation, concealer, lip balm) are stuff I use on a daily basis.

  19. Ana says

    Great post Carina and very good questions. I may not be the right person to get feedback from, or at least just read what I wrote with a pinch of salt.

    I used to have a blog and I decided to close because I couldn’t deal with the pressure anymore (and I wasn’t a big blogger, no more than 100 subscribers). I started getting obsessed with buying stuff I had no need for. Buying for the purpose of comparing, buying because I wanted to have new content, buying because it looked pretty, buying because it wasn’t widely available so I wanted to give other people some info before they decided to buy. After a couple of years I realised I had way too much makeup and I had neglected all the other things I loved in my life. And not even enjoying the stuff I bought, since many things would be forgotten after swatching and posting about it.

    This year I decided to work for myself and build my own business. It made me cry when I realised I could have saved that money to use in my business, it would have easily paid my graphic designer freelance. So I gave the blog up, because it was consuming my life and stopping me from enjoying other things.

    Now I resumed my love for reading and running, and my spare time is spent on my business, not on taking pictures of makeup.

    I became a very, very discerning reader of beauty blogs. It may be drastic and harsh and condescending, but it helps me control my impulses: I decided I only wanted to ready people who made selected purchases and really used their makeup. So I banished from my reading list blogs that buy every new collection, or that buy every shade of a release or that always use new products and never blog about things they already owned or that don’t ‘repeat products’.

    So I have a very small reading list, of which you are part, and I hope you continue to blog since I really like your attitude. Yes, go ahead and post about other things, life is more than makeup and beauty is more than beauty products. Well, as long as you don’t ‘switch’ to blog about the new handbag purchases and whatelse 🙂

    Now basically I read you, drivel about frivol, wondegondigo, thandiekay, mywomenstuff, dia de beaute (brazilian, but very good) and I think that’s about it.

    Sorry if I don’t have a very positive answer and not very much related to your questions, so feel free to disregard.

    Good luck with your blog, it’s really good!

    • Hey Ana, thank you so much for taking the time to write a comment. 🙂 I buy a lot but I’ve always been careful about the “buying for the sake of buying” syndrome, and I don’t think I ever really bought a lot of things just to test them out or to compare. I do tend to put aside a lot of what I buy after swatching and posting about them, though.

      Sorry to hear about that, but I’m happy you have decided to build your own business. 🙂 I am working on other things as well, but I’ve been thinking of how to make this blog better and also take a backseat as well. Is that possible? Maybe not, but I’ll still look for a way to keep this up because I love it too much.

      I do agree that we read influences us. I have deleted some blogs off my reader, too, that often just post recent releases, but I kept a few whose writing style I truly enjoy and whose opinion I respect. I also don’t click reviews of brands I know I won’t buy/try (not CF), so I don’t feel too bad. I think it’s important to be discerning of the information you choose to take in, so I get you. 🙂 Happy to be a part of your reading list and thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment (even if you didn’t think it was!)! ❤

  20. bellyhead says

    Carina, wonderful and honest post. I share many of your feeling in complete exactitude! I have a blog and I am kind of bored of blogging actually. The endless cyclical nature of buying/photgraphing/posting has started to become not as exciting as when I first started. I also see that my interests in makeup are so narrow (by brand selection / quality -generally neutral, sedate) that I can’t imagine very wide appeal that would keep readers very interested very long.

    I love seeing when you do a series on ONE palette (like a giant palette like a Naked or a Nars one) because it shows off your creativity. I’m totally not sick of your face at all! Hope you are not sick of posting it. I also love when you do looks inspired by artwork. That makes me swoon totally since it deconstructs the art into vital elements and translated to your face. I love those and admire the creativity it takes to do those. And more peeks into other people’s beauty philosophy and makeup bags. 🙂

    And to answer you last question, I am definitely NOT stingy about spending and probably a big free-spending lunatic. Lunacy is my general tendency, but over this last year or so of blogging trying to reconcile my nature versus all the weird reasons why I spend money.

    Anywhoo…looking forward to more of your blog in the way that makes you happy. I will be reading.

    xxoo

    • I AM ALWAYS INTERESTED, SHUSH.

      I’ve actually stopped myself from being anal and using the stuff before photographing them. HEH. Relinquish control, Carina. Relinquish it!! Thank you so much for the input; those are definitely my favorite things to post about. It’s not that I hate posting reviews, it’s just that they’re something I sometimes have to drag my feet to do whereas all the others are exciting things to me to post and write about 😀

      It’s OK, we’re all allowed to be mad about something, I think. 🙂

      ❤ Thank you Belly.

  21. Yvane says

    I do actually enjoy reading up your posts on products you have tried. One reason being some of them I’ve only heard about because of you.

    When it comes to buying to products, I might be on the closer to the stingy side at the moment as I don’t go out as much at the moment hence limiting my reasons on putting makeup on.

  22. Hi there. I’m glad that you don’t plan to stop writing here. I’ve been reading beauty blogs for several years and after that long, they all begin to sound the same. Yours is one of the handful that stand out (especially among the local blogs. I’m quick to recognize a post that’s mostly for PR and that makes me tired of reading, fast) and which I genuinely enjoy reading. Really.

    I liked the art to beauty posts that you did. Those were interesting, fun, and different. I also like “practical” posts like the 20 days of lipstick or just ways to encourage using or rediscovering the stuff you already have. And also anything about local beauty brands? Like, indie or small stores? I love finding locally-made handmade products that have to do with beauty, writing, and trinkets.

    For the other questions, content over constancy of course but I think you already know that? On the buying scale, well, I’m a moody person and that applies to my makeup buying habits. Sometimes I get bored with it and I don’t buy any for months, sometimes I just have to have, but more often I buy when I really, really want something. Also, I’m not sick of your face.

    • Thank you so much for the kind comment. 🙂 I think it’s really easy to smell a PR post, so I usually don’t do them (if it’s a copy-paste thing) or I put my own twist to it.

      Thank you for reminding me of my Made-Up History series! I just wrote a new one, hope you can take a look. 🙂 I love local beauty products, too, but I think it’s a bit hard to explore good ones since there’s not a lot of available information on them, unless they’re new brands like Happy Skin, which is pretty upfront about testing and ingredients and stuff like that.

      Same, I am pretty moody, but I find myself going back to non-crazy habits, phew.

  23. I love everything you post (period)! I am so guilty of spending. I am on the stingy side. I am quite ashamed of posting a lot of hauls on my instagram. I recently decided to just spend/maybe spend only during my payday. To not browse on beauty sections everytime I go to the mall. Browse, and not check out on any online beauty shops I frequent to. I am also going to blog more about how to use my makeup, empties, and shopping my stash. 🙂

    I love this post!

    • Thank you Juvy! ❤ I always enjoy your comments. 🙂 I don't understand! You're stingy but you spend a lot? I think that maintaining distance is the way to go. 😀 I haven't been buying a lot of stuff because I don't go to makeup counters that much anymore and I don't really shop online a lot, either. I mean, I still buy stuff but not nearly as much as I used to.

  24. taylorasalways says

    I love the brutal honesty in this post! I could not agree more on several of the points you brought up. While I do post about beauty sometimes, I simply cannot afford new products to review all the time. I’m definitely stingy when it comes to my money, and while I do work hard for it and I do deserve treats sometimes, those treats don’t always end up being beauty products (although I did buy two things from MAC this past weekend…).

    My posts lately have been focused on myself and who I am so that not only will my followers get to know me better, but I get to as well! I’m doing a challenge with WordPress’ 365 Writing Prompts – a series of various questions, silly and serious, in order to get you to write! They really do make you think too, and I highly suggest trying it! It brings a lot of enjoyment back into blogging, because I was definitely where you are a few months ago.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Hi Taylor, thank you so much for leaving a comment. I think it’s OK to treat yourself to a few things that you have been really wanting but buying stuff for the sake of reviewing is really wasteful and a dangerous habit, in my opinion. 🙂 That’s great for you! I actually have a separate blog for my non-beauty stuff, so there’s that. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

  25. So very well said. You know, I really love how you internalize and then explain things. You have a very deep yet relatable way of looking at things, which is why I super enjoy your non-formulaic posts.

    What are your thoughts on any of the things I’ve touched on? Do you have a blog? Content vs. constancy—what do you value more?
    ~I felt the same content dilemma you did, shortly before my first hiatus. I felt sick of how formulaic everything was feeling. I definitely did not want to quit writing but the blog began to felt like a duty and a chore. I think the pressure to maintain your “standing” in this ADD world creates a deceptively productive pressure that doesn’t really produce anything more than fluff posts. I think you should focus on content but keep a sort of professional pressure to constantly post. It’s tempting to say just post whenever you feel like it, but even the most inspired people practice writing everyday, diba?

    What would you like to see more of on Softly Sometimes? Any particular posts you enjoy? Anything you think needs updating? Are you sick of my face?
    ~I get where you’re coming from but I think this is an irrelevant question. We’re hanging on to every word you say so don’t ask us what we want to hear. The most important “lesson” I learned during my hiatus is that the best content is the sincere curation of my own beauty experience, whether it be a misadventure, a rant or an impassioned unboxing. I just want to read more of your beauty experiences, whatever form they may take.

    Also, not sick of your fez.

    Where are you on the stingy person-BUY ALL THE THINGS scale? I think I am maybe in the middle-ish. Closer to “stingy person” territory, though not terribly so.
    ~I had a disgusting semi-hoarding phase but I’m back to my stingy self and I love it. I like sticking to my HG stuff and casually (not manically) exploring, thankyouverymuch.

    • Yay, thanks for the kind words, Tellie! I am really feeling torn about this nga e, content… Like, I want to keep things casual and not force content, but I also want some semblance of professionalism (is that even the right word?) as well. As for the types of posts questions, that was more of a query of curiosity because I want to know what kind of posts people enjoy reading, that’s all. 🙂

      I love explooooring; I think that’s my sickness haha.

  26. I felel yhe same that you in sometimes, but is when I´m unhappy or sad, My blog is like other world to me where I´m happy and good.so that feelings gone fast of my mind~
    xx

  27. I’m a new follower to your blog – I don’t care for the term ‘blog’ either, especially as I associate ‘beauty blog’ with girls in their 20s and I am not in my 20s, 30s or *gulp* 40s.

    I started my blog because I was tired of seeing fresh faced girls reviewing anti-ageing products and I thought I could do better, and I think I have, but ONLY because I’m more age appropriate than they are.

    I too, understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes blogging feels like homework and I step back and think what I’m doing is frivolous and shallow, but then I get over it. Blogging is only a small slice of my life, something just for me in a house of noisy men.

    I’ve got to say also, that there are so many clever young women out there who write intelligently and take stunning product photographs. I don’t know how they do it, I’m beyond jealous, but I admire them.

    We’re all just claiming a little part of the net aren’t we? I think that’s OK.

    • Hi Ann-Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment for me. 🙂 I think it’s really refreshing to see older women take part in beauty discussion, so I’m always happy to see new more mature people blog about their experiences.

      You’re right; the only way through it is to get over it. I think I’ve been internalizing a lot of this way too much. Sometimes, I feel like it’s frivolous just because of what I see on the news everyday. I do think, though, that at the end of the day, it’s pretty much a harmless thing to be occupied by, so you’re right. It’s OK. 🙂

  28. I read your blog because I trust your beauty instincts and choices. You always have good points when you talk about makeup. Honestly, there are blogs that I read because I like their photography style or the look of their blogs, but yours I read because of the content. I enjoy reading your posts.

    I like the looks you create and the series that you do. I would love to read more of those.

  29. Pingback: Thank you, some news + a quick review of 3 Concept Eyes x Pink I’m Good Mascara* | Softly Sometimes

  30. beanysweets says

    I have been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I am going to comment. To answer your question, I do have a blog which has been up for quite sometime, as well as being refurbished more than once. Next, is that I feel strongly about content over consistency. The numbers do not really matter as long as you like what you post, and you feel satisfied in knowing that what you put up is good and makes sense. By all means, blog about something else, involve the places you have been to that you think are worth sharing. Share pictures here and there – it’s supposed to be an outlet, and I think this way, your blog can evolve, and at the same time, you can grow with it as well. Good luck.

    • Hello! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. 🙂 I really appreciate it when people do, so thanks esp. for this topic. Hehe. I have a different non-beauty blog, but I’ve tried to incorporate some of my other interests here sometimes, too!

  31. I like your blog because you write beautifully, and I feel like you are very honest when it comes to your reviews and your features. It’s actually refreshing to read blogs that have some kind of advocacy or cause!

    • Thank you, Lea. 🙂 I really appreciate it. I don’t know if I have an advocacy, though, hehe.

  32. This post was so honest, and reading through the comments, I can see how many people were affected by it. Take heart: You’re not alone.

    I’m actually grateful that I haven’t started my blog yet. I’m still in the planning stage, and I hope to have it up by 2015. Part of this is because I’m pacing myself. I’m about to have a baby this year, so I want to dedicate the rest of 2014 to learning how to be a new mom. When I started thinking about getting a blog, I was like ‘Aha! A new mom, new journey, new things to write about!’, but then I thought, not only has it been done, it’s been done well by other people and I know being pressured to write something won’t do me, the blog or the baby any justice. So, even though it mentally hurts sometimes, I decided to take it really slow and plan everything out: each month, each post, things I want to buy, events I want to attend. It helps that I get uber-OC about planning, haha!

    A blog planner was and still is a huge help to me. This is the template I’m using, if you’re interested: (http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/blog-planner/) but I’m sure there are a lot more out there.

    I’m a newcomer to your blog, but so far, everything I’ve read seems true to your voice. That makes you unique and you should be proud of that. If you need to, you can take a breather and think about where you really want to take this blog. You don’t have to worry about us readers; we’ll be here waiting 🙂

    • I actually have a different blog for non-beauty things, but thanks for the comment and kind words. 🙂

  33. Yep that’s all the things I’ve been thinking. I was doing pretty well for maybe a month where I wasn’t into buying much of anything. It actually felt really good, kind of freeing ya’ know?! Buuuut then came YSL bleu celadon polish and trying to hunt that puppy down because it was sold out everywhere – not sure why but it sparked the beauty rush again. I’m REALLY trying not to get sucked in as much as I was last year. Think I’ve done better, but overall I’d like to consume less. When I think of consuming less I love the idea of it and it kinda makes me smile inside, but then I have a slight panic of OMG what the heck do I blog about then?? I dunno…it’s a tough balancing act between feeling like you aren’t fanning the flames, yet feeling like you have enough interesting product to blog with. I don’t really do FOTD’s or tutorials so that takes some post options away. I’m plugging away for the moment, subsisting on posting less frequently and trying to come up with some ideas lolol 🙂 I’ll figure it out, but in the meantime…sigh…seems like it’s a never-ending circle…

    I hope you find your happy zone and know you are not alone!! And congratulations on being part of the BNT Girls Network!!! Yay yay!!! xo 🙂

    • HAHA I think that no-buys are dangerous because we feel deprived and proud of ourselves that when we “finish” a no-buy, we end up going ALL OUTTT.

      I think it’s okay to haul stuff and buy; you can really tell when a person is trying to be a more thoughtful consumer and if s/he wants to just show off or “have,” you know? I am trying not to stress about a “blog schedule,” though. Somehow a more organic blog structure seems to be better for me, my personality, and my relationship with beauty.

      Thank you so much, and I wish you the same. 😀

  34. Hi Carina! I just saw this post (I have a massive Bloglovin backlog), but I just had to comment even if I’m late to the party.

    I’ve actually been lurking around your blog for quite sometime. I think I found your YouTube channel first though and discovered your blog from there. I’ve been reading it ever since because you have such a unique perspective on things. Each post is different, and you somehow manage to keep your entries interesting even if you talk about the same products over and over. I especially love your Friday fives. Plus, you have awfully pretty pictures and I love how artsy the overall feel of the blog is. I don’t think you should change anything! Maybe you just need more variety if you’re getting tired of things. Your blog is awesome and you gotta keep it going, girl! 🙂

    This post struck a chord with me because
    I started out wanting to make my blog a fashion and beauty blog. I used to be the editor of a fashion/beauty website and after I left that gig I felt like I needed to write about those things (which have become dear to my heart) elsewhere. I ended up turning the blog into one where I talk about ALL of my interests/obsessions because I realized I wouldn’t be able to keep up with just those two topics alone. While I’m definitely not a stingy person, I’m also not the all-out splurge-all-the-time, do-hauls-everyday kind either. I only like buying what I’m genuinely interested in at the moment, and I don’t want to end up buying stuff just because I want something to blog about. Honestly I also spend way too much on books and clothes and toys and food (among other things), so I don’t buy makeup as often. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I have other non-beauty-related things on the brain. 😉 My rule-of-thumb now is to just post when I genuinely have something to post about. I sometimes wake up obsessing over a book, so that’s what I write about that day. Other days I can’t get lipstick out of my mind. Most days I don’t feel like blogging at all. It’s definitely content over constancy for me.

    I think that’s a healthy perspective on beauty blogging. If we’re obsessed/excited about a product, then by all means we should write about it! If we just have to get something because it’s the new thing or it’s what everyone’s raving about, then I think things could get boring pretty quickly. Everyone is talking about that new thing and everyone is thrilled about the same holy grails after all.

    Okay, wow this has gotten totally TLDR haha. Thanks for putting this topic up for discussion! You mentioned a lot of things that I’ve been mulling over and over for some time now. 🙂

    p.s. This is my first ever comment here I think! I’m shy when it comes to blog comments but this post got me out of hiding. 😛

    • Hi J! Thank you so much for this comment. 🙂 I’m late to replying, hehe.

      Yes, I’ve been trying to switch it up a little. It’s not because I’m bored but I want to see what else I can write about since I don’t want to GET bored with it, if that makes sense. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter and also on makeup and consumption. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I enjoy buying stuff, but I’ve also been conscious about making good decisions when it comes to purchasing stuff I obviously already have a lot of (cough, makeup. Cough, books.

      Yes, I find myself skipping over product reviews or posts that feature “overexposed” products of the moment (i.e. Benefit Push Liner) that get sooo much buzz.

      Please don’t be shy, I love getting comments, especially when they’re thoughtful like yours! x

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