P aris B is no stranger to the beauty blogging scene – in fact, she’s probably the biggest (and most legit) beauty blogger in the country. Five years and thousands of product reviews later, she’s established herself as a beauty authority, and rightfully so. Her fans come from Malaysia, USA, Singapore, Canada and more! If I’m tempted to buy the latest beauty product in the market, I turn to Paris B’s blog to find out whether I should part with my money.
When I read that Paris was planning to take a hiatus, I was like ‘nooooooooooooooooo!’, but thankfully all is well again, because she’s back (phew!). Emmagem caught up with Paris over a casual chit-chat and hears her side of the story.
Are there any challenges of being a blogger in Malaysia?
I find it frustrating that as a beauty blogger, you’re often expected to wax lyrical about a product that just doesn’t work for you. I tell it as it is. If it doesn’t work for me, I say that it doesn’t work for me. I believe that as a beauty blogger, integrity is very important. My policy is clear-cut – I might try a product, but if I find that it sells itself short, or if it’s a really bad product, it’s my prerogative to not write about it.
Do you think the blogging scene in Western countries is different from the Malaysian blogging scene?
Definitely! I think Western bloggers have set the bar pretty high – they’re really passionate about what they do. Also, the PR scene is quite different there. They really do take care of their bloggers. Bloggers are acknowledged as ‘online media’ over there, but locally I think there’s much room for improvement. We’re not just some quota that needs to be filled when it comes to event invitations. We’re human too, and we have feelings.
What’s your take on blogging ethics?
I don’t think it’s right to get paid for a product review. Is it really necessary to stick a tube of moisturizer down my cleavage (as I’ve seen someone do) to ‘sell’ a moisturizer, or take hundreds of photos with the product next to my face? For some, it might be the thing to do, but personally, it’s not my style.
How do you find motivation to continue blogging?
I think at the end of the day, it boils down to two things: are you doing it for the money, or are you writing because you love to? My blog has never been about the money, it’s always been about sharing my thoughts with people who, like me, love all things related to beauty, and it will continue to be that way. I love the interaction I have with my readers, and we’ve become fast friends through the blog. Along the way, I’ve heard things from others, like how those who write for free are spoiling the market for those who are looking to make money from their blogs. I feel that it’s ultimately up to the blogger to choose how she wants to progress, but it’s just wrong to impose your thoughts upon others because we believe in different things.
As a blogger, you spend a bulk of your time on the Internet. Are you an avid online shopper?
I’m always on the lookout for online stores that offer free shipping to Malaysia! I found Shopbop, which ships to your doorstep for free if you purchase over 100USD, and my package arrived in three days – how great is that? However, I still love the thrill of stepping into a proper store and receiving the royal treatment, especially if I’m planning to splurge on something I’ve set my eye on.
How is mywomenstuff going to progress from now on?
One of the reasons why I decided to take a hiatus was because I needed to take time off and think: where do I go from here? Prior to this, I’d been stressing myself out about the direction of the blog. Taking a week off really cleared my mind and helped me see things in a better light. Now, I’m going do things my way. I’m writing for my passion, and I will no longer be obliged to give in to things I don’t feel comfortable with.
In your opinion, what is the winning combo for a successful blog?
We’re very visual creatures – I think good photos mean a lot. From a reader’s point of view, I would want to see true-to-life colours and details. For example, a blurry photo of a LOTD (look of the day, in beauty blogger jargon) taken using a phone camera with an Instragram filter just isn’t going to cut it. Also, good writing is also an important factor to bear in mind.
Paris B’s column, Simple Blogging Tips for Beauty Bloggers, gives us an inside look on what goes on in the world of beauty blogging. Her candid way of addressing these issues is indeed an eye-opener, and shows that even in an industry where lipsticks and face powders reign supreme, it isn’t just frou-frou and glamour. Keep the blogging spirit alive, Paris!