They’re designed to grab attention and focus concentration for only as long as most readers can muster nowadays. And they purport to offer useful and pithy advice that you can use – either right away, no matter your location or activity, or sometime soon, like when you go to the beach next week.
And they’re always packaged in number form, though not always in multiples of 10.
But are so-called Beauty Lists worth even a cursory glance? Even when viewed as lightweight fluff or entertainment, can anything good come from scanning a slideshow about the 12 Best Ways to Massage Away Your Wrinkles? And even if you come away with a factoid you didn’t know before, how much better would it be to turn your attention to something more thoughtful, and less obviously geared toward making you a captive audience for advertising?
Beauty blogs, even those with lists, tend to come across as more genuine and better informed. And any advertorial interest is usually obvious. Often, it’s disclosed or disclaimed outright.
Here are a few beauty blogs worth looking into (not listed in any particular order) – at least more worth it than chasing any beauty list (which this isn’t of course; you get that, right?):
Makeup and Beauty Blog
Run by a self-confessed “friendly neighborhood beauty addict,” the Makeup and Beauty Blog offers to-the-point product reviews punctuated by lots of close-up photos, some featuring the writer herself, who shows readers what a lipstick or rouge looks like on her very own face. And not in some schmaltzy, Public Access cable kind of way. The look of the blog and its organization immediately entice a reader to give this woman’s advice a shot. Her writing style comes across as informative and plainspoken – with plenty of humor thrown in for entertainment’s sake.
Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic
And she means it. So much so that a couple of entries sampled at the Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic site took about 15 seconds to read. Which can be incredibly refreshing when you only want a simple answer, like how Jennifer Aniston gets her red carpet look. All of the entries are written by a woman named Christine, who says she really is a doctor (lending an important aspect of credence to her reviews), and also says that she only has about 15 minutes herself to get ready once she steps out of the shower each morning. As she aptly notes, “I like to look at the science behind a product to see why something will (or won’t) work, and to educate others. Hearing about pores opening and closing is like nails on a chalkboard for me, the pores can’t do that!” For an industry based on artifice, coverage rarely gets more genuine than that.
A Girl’s Gotta Spa
Launched in 2005 and still going strong, A Girl’s Gotta Spa features a team of six bloggers, including founder Shannon Smyth, who discuss various ways to help women feel better about themselves, whether by sampling a new product, giving a nationally advertised diet system a try or learning how to ease the strain of being a caregiver. Whatever the level of product pushing, it’s more than balanced by an obvious concern for a woman’s overall well-being. Score another one for the refreshing department.
Staying on top of what’s been trending for the last 48 hours is a task for either the beauty obsessed or a major international news organization. In some ways, it’s hard to tell which applies when it comes to this site. Some stories, like one about Oprah’s latest hair-don’t, are only for junkies, while others, such as how to get supermodel-like hair, feature 10 links to other sources. One thing’s for sure about Bellasugar – there’s no shortage of information, photos or links. And little, if any, of the home page content looks dated.
The title, naturally, is meant to get your attention, while also serving as a reminder that many readers who follow beauty products have an insatiable appetite for them. Some of the reviews on the Product Whores site are appended with disclaimers that acknowledge that this or that company’s PR rep sent the writer a sample of the product being reviewed. At least you know who, um, solicited whom.
A Mom in Red High Heels
Tammy Gibson, the mom in question, obviously is determined to keep her look smart, sexy and sharp – all while diligently keeping to the mommy track. As Tammy writes, “When a woman becomes a mom, she should not give up on herself as a woman. Becoming a mother does not mean she suddenly becomes last on her priority list! In fact, she should make every effort to pamper herself often. She should fix herself up each morning and feel good about how she looks. She should wear stylish, well-fitting clothing and keep a modern hairstyle. She should wear red high heels as often as possible.” It’s a great attitude that comes through just as sincerely in Gibson’s blog writing. Not to mention a viewpoint that beats the hell out of wearing a red hat. Just sayin’.
Cult of Pretty
Rather than churning through the endless product offerings out there and pumping out review after obligatory review, Ann Colville Somma prefers to focus her attention on products that grab her attention in a major way. Because she works in the beauty industry, Colville explains, “I look past hype straight to ingredients and efficacy. Ok, maybe sometimes I just look at how kick ass the packaging is : ) But at the end of the day, I buy and use some of the best stuff out there — and sometimes it costs much less than you’d think.” Sometimes that’s due to the fact that Colville proudly declares her allegiance to “the best beauty products you’ve never heard of.” Who doesn’t like something new and undiscovered now and then – especially when it’s passed a test drive from an industry veteran?