Why I gave up on beauty blogging
Well, folks, it looks like my house isn’t the only thing I’m (possibly, hopefully, maybe) leaving behind this year: last week I also made the decision to close down my beauty blog, Hey, Dollface!, so if you’ve tried to access it recently and have wound up here instead, well, now you know why. Welcome to Forever Amber! Here is a very long ramble about why you’re here rather than there, and what you can expect for the future…
I say I made this decision “last week”. It’s actually something that’s been on my mind for a couple of years now, and I know it won’t have come as a surprise to any of the readers Dollface had left, because the site had been sadly neglected for a very long time.
The neglect wasn’t an intentional thing. Although Dollface was the smallest of my four blogs, I always enjoyed the posts I wrote for it (I can talk about beauty products for almost as long as I can talk about dresses, apparently…): the clue to why it had to go, though, can be found in the words “four blogs”.
I had four blogs, people. And that’s just too much for one person to manage. Even with the best will in the world, I just don’t have the time to give all of them the attention they deserve, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Not unless I grow an extra pair of hands, or discover some missing hours in the day or something, anyway. Something had to give, and over the past few months, it had become increasingly clear that thing would have to be Dollface: not just because it was the smallest site, or because I was struggling to find the time for it, but because almost as soon as I started it, I realised I wasn’t cut out to be a beauty blogger.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: I love my beauty products. I really do. It’s just that I love other things more, and if it comes down to the decision between a new dress and a new product, say, the dress is always going to win. The other issue I’d found with beauty blogging is that, as a pale-skinned redhead, it can be really difficult to find products that actually work for my colouring: foundation that doesn’t turn me orange, hair products that are designed for redheads, and not just for blondes and brunettes… that kind of thing. I know I’m far from alone with this issue, and that no matter what your skin tone, it can be hard to find the right match for it, but I find that most of my beauty-product-buying energy is devoted to those endless searches for the perfect products (Because as you all know, no sooner do I find them, they’re instantly discontinued…), which means there’s not much left over for anything else.
I’ve never really been into eyeshadow, for instance. Or nail polish. I don’t experiment much with my makeup, and once I’ve found a product I love, I will stick to it until it’s discontinued. (So, a few weeks, then.) I refuse to apologise for this as a regular person: we can’t all be budding make-up artists, after all, and as much as I’d like to (there are few things more fun to me than a trip to Sephora, seriously: I’m like a kid in the proverbial candy store…), I just don’t have the time/energy/disposable income to cultivate the kind of interest and expertise that most beauty bloggers have. As a beauty blogger, however, almost as soon as I started Dollface, I realised I was out of my depth. I couldn’t offer people advice and suggestions unless they happened to have EXACTLY the same colouring and skin/hair type as me, I wasn’t interested in writing about new products which I knew I’d never buy, and Rubin would probably do better “nail art” than I ever could. This is all perfectly fine if you’re a regular person, of course: if you’re a beauty blogger, though, well, it starts to get embarrassing, and I was very aware that there were SO many blogs out there that were doing such an amazing job of writing about beauty, whereas I really just wanted to be able to talk about the products I tried myself, all of which tend to be variations on the same things: red lipstick, foundation for pale skin, mascara that makes you look like you’re wearing false lashes… and that’s pretty much IT, people. Seriously.
At the same time, though, I didn’t want to quit. It felt like a failure, and God knows, no one likes to feel like they’ve failed, especially when the thing they’ve failed at forms part of their business and livelihood. So I thought about it for a very long time, and I came up with the idea of turning my “weakness” into my “strength”, and giving myself permission to only write about the products that worked for me (or didn’t, as the case may be): I would turn Dollface into a blog for redheads/pale skinned people. It couldn’t fail!
Except… it kind of did. And it was purely because of my lack of time and energy for it. I had lots of ideas: I just didn’t have the time to actually get them down on paper (or on screen, rather) on anything more than an occasional basis, and one thing 7+ years of blogging has taught me is that sporadic content isn’t enough to keep a site going. I realised it doesn’t really matter what the subject mater is, or how many new looks I gave the template: four blogs are just too much for one person.
So now I have three, and you might be wondering if THAT won’t be too much for one person, too. It’s a good question, but so far the answer is that no, I’m actually finding it quite manageable, and it has taken a lot of guilt/weight off my mind to be able to simplify things a little. I didn’t get rid of Dollface, completely, either. We’ve imported a large part of the archive into this site (You’ll find the posts under the BEAUTY and HAIR categories, and there’s also a “beauty” link in the header, for Dollface readers who don’t want to read about my stupid life and outfits, and just want to go straight to the make-up.) Going forward, I will continue to write about the products I use, but hopefully that won’t seem too odd, given that this site is essentially my diary, so it’ll be no surprise to anyone that’ll it’ll continue to be aaaaaallll about ME. Ahem. It’ll also help give you all a heads-up on what’s about to be discontinued, so there’s that, too.
If you’re a Forever Amber reader and didn’t even know I HAD a beauty blog, let alone one that I was thinking of giving up: don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into a review site, or anything even remotely like that. My beauty posts will probably continue to be as sporadic as they were on Dollface: my hope is that they won’t seem out-of-place here because I’ll be talking about the products I use and love personally, so it’ll be a compliment to the fashion stuff, rather than a completely new direction. Actually, some of the most popular posts on this site are the ones I’ve written about products for red hair and my messy bun tutorial, and I quite often get questions about hair and make-up stuff here, so I’m hoping the occasional beauty post won’t be too annoying to people. As it happens, over the past year or so, I’ve often found myself writing a post for Dollface and thinking it would be a better fit here (This one is a good example of that), where I’ve written quite a bit about “gingerism” and the issues redheads can face in a country that hates them. There’s actually quite a bit of crossover between the two sites anyway, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to try and merge them, rather than allow Dollface to limp on, getting a new post every few weeks, and with its readership slowly dwindling away to nothing.
Anyway! I realise I’ve COMPLETELY over-explained this, and that, in all likelihood, most of you are shaking your head right now and going, “Dude, it’s your site, do whatever you like with it. We’re just here for the Rubin photos, anyway,” but I wanted to let you know why you might start to see beauty posts pop up here every now and then (and why you might come occasionally come across a post in the archives which DOES seem totally out of place here, and where I keep referring to myself as “Dollface” or something like that. I did my best to only move across the posts that were my personal reviews of things, and which I thought would be the best fit with the rest of the content, but I know there are at least a few which slipped through the net…), and also why there are now a few more adverts on this site. I also wanted to write it, though, because it’s one of those things I JUST HAD TO WRITE DOWN so I could forget about it and move on.
Now that I’ve done that, I guess all that remains is for me to thank you for listening. Now, on with the show…