There are a lot of beauty blogs on the internet.
Creating a new one is sort of like shouting into the void. I suppose blogging in general is; it’s assuming that anybody wants to hear your voice, that you have anything to add to the mix.
I want this to be the beauty blog I always wanted to read. One day I realized that I could sit around waiting for someone to create the exact blog I’ve always wanted, or I could do it myself.* Considering that the first scenario seemed extraordinarily, overwhelmingly unlikely, well – here we are. Sometimes you really do have to be the change.
I am interested in cosmetics. I didn’t say “I like cosmetics”, because I think it goes beyond that. I’m interested in the cosmetics industry, in the function of cosmetics in the lives of individuals and in society at large. I’m interested in the marketing and consumption of cosmetics. And, on a more basic level, I just like buying lipstick and smearing things on my face. Sometimes it’s as simple as that!
I know the bad sides of the cosmetics industry. Most of us do, by now. It’s racist, it’s misogynistic, people get rich making women feel bad about ourselves. Hell, I’m even wary of beauty blogging and vlogging. What started out as a hobby has turned into a marketing tool for cosmetics companies. These things are real, and they are insidious.
But, of course, most things aren’t black and white. I worked in cosmetics, and it was the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve seen what makeup can do. I’ve seen the artistry, the creativity, the immense technical skill people possess. I’ve made people’s day simply by helping them pick out their perfect red. And, personally, I’ve gained a new set of skills, a hobby, and another tool I can use to express myself.
Perhaps some people use makeup to cover up their “flaws”, to hide, or to appeal to men. But there are so many of us out there who love the colours, the textures, the formulas. We love collecting knowledge, we love trying new things, we love putting red and green and gold on our faces. And I can’t speak for every other person who wears makeup, but I know that when I put dark purple lipstick on, I’m not hiding and I’m definitely not trying to appeal to any man. (I wouldn’t blame someone for doing that anyway, when it’s pushed on us that that is our value.)
I want this blog to be critical when that is required, but more than anything I want it to be bursting with my genuine love for cosmetics. I don’t want it to be another cog in the marketing machine; I want it to be engaging and genuine. I want my voice to be unmistakable. I want the feminism that permeates every aspect of my life to be present here.
Like I said, I want this to be the blog I was waiting for. I hope it’s one that you like too.
*This blog would not exist without the work of Aisling Brock, my very talented and exceedingly generous friend who designed, hand-drew, and coded it. Isn’t it lovely?