I just wanted to let y'all know that I was in The Straits Times, Urban, today! The article is called: Meet Singapore's Top Beauty Bloggers, Beauty and the Blog! Renee, Mag and Sesame were also featured! Exciting stuff. Thank you so much Renee, Lucilla, Virgina, so many of you for your care and concern in getting this article to me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here it is!
All image credits to the beautiful Renee, who happens to be on the front cover. Give her blog a visit at www.beautyfool.net
To everyone viewing this page for the first time, why hello there. I hope you enjoy your stay here. Muahahaha. I sound like an evil villain. Hmm..what do I think about this article? I, as a blogger, seem to have an opinon about everything don't I? And thankfully as a blogger, I'm allowed to express what I think.
First of all, this is great. Thanks to Gladys for liasing with me for this interview eventhough I was in Melbourne. What I didn't specifically appreciate was the bold quote in the article saying that us bloggers weren't credible because we didn't do "enough research". Excuse me? I do research every single day. It's non-stop research to bring you the best content here on roseannebeauty.com I assure you. I reckon I do more reasearch than your beauty writer. Hear me out, I read magazines all the time. I love the magazines but here's the thing, I don't see Urban or any other beauty editor showing their naked faces in their articles. I see a flowery description and a price tag and to say that we aren't credible sources are lies. Heck, I would know I AM a beauty columnist for Meld Magazine. We are people like and you me. We aren't forcing you to buy things, we are simply telling you what we like and don't like. Who is this random 29 year old anyway, I want to see a survey! Haha. Well, anyway, I take it as a media backlash, a competition between today's media channels to protect Urban and The Straits Times. And the eye-liner and eye-shadow thing, that's the only thing you change on an eye-look. I'm not going to start putting glitter on for an everyday uni look. You, my viewers, can trust me or not, you know I really wouldn't care what you think. You know me well enough. I love you gals and guys.
The answers were not direct quotes from mua. They were summarized versions. Look, I don't do this gig because I want to feel powerful, confidant and beautiful, I do it beause I want to help you feel that. I hope you know that, that little excerpt made me sound a little narccissitc. I'm not really like that at all. In fact, Here's the RAW interview, what they really asked me and what I really said back:
The Straits Times Interview Questions
1) Your full name:
Singapore PR. I feel more Singaporean than anything though. I was born in Malaysia and moved to Hong Kong when I was about 2 years old, and moved to Singapore when I was 5 years old. I’ve stayed in Singapore since then. I studied at the Singapore American School since I was 5 and I graduated from there before attending university.
4) Social media platforms you're on:
Blog address: http://www.roseannebeauty.onsugar.com
Others (Facebook Page): http://www.facebook.com/roseannetangrs
5) Reach (how many unique visitors a month?):
So far, I have over 520,000 views on YouTube and over 400,000 views on my blog. I have over 5,700 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
6) Do you have an international audience? If so, from which countries?
Yes, from all over the world! It’s pretty amazing. I’m most popular in Singapore, Australia and the United States, but people from Serbia to Ireland to Russia to Greece to Japan to Korea are also visitors. It’s really an international audience.
7) Is blogging your full-time job? If not, what are you currently doing? (You're a student right? Which University do you study at and what are you majoring in?)
Blogging isn’t my full time job, but one day I do wish it to become my full time job. Yes, I’m currently a student at the University of Melbourne. I’m doing a double major in Finance and Marketing.
8) When was your blog started?
I started in March 2009 so it’s basically been 2 years. It didn’t really get serious until 2010.
9) How did you get started on beauty blogging?
I always had an interest in blogging. In fact, if I recall properly, I had a xanga blog since I was 12. Of course, it was the kind you’d see on Disney Channel, filled with musings of the day and pretty pointless content. Those were the early days of blogging though when you’d start a blog just because your friends had one.
Not like I love talking about it but I only started really being interested in beauty products after I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. At that time, I was a senior in high school and I was in charge of many organizations, including the Medical club and Community Service Council, which overlooked Singapore American School’s over forty service clubs. I led about 8 meetings a week and at that point, breaking up with my ex-boyfriend was an absolute earthquake. I didn’t know where to look, who I was and I looked to make-up to really bring my self-confidence back. I remember the 15 or so minutes of the day getting ready for school when I would put my make-up on and those were the minutes that were truly mine. It was not demanded by anyone else’s attention, it was not pushed and shoved with feelings of remorse, it was mine and makeup helped me climb over a dark period of time.
Because I was able to see make-up in a different light, not only to me was it a form of expression or a fun creative outlet, it meant something. It made me confident, beautiful and powerful and I really wanted everyone else to feel confident, beautiful and powerful. Thus, through product reviews and beauty tutorials, what I’ve created (the roseannebeauty blog and the roseannetangrs youtube channel) aims to help women feel more confident, beautiful and powerful.
Of course when you first start out, you don’t think your content will get anywhere and I didn’t actually start seriously blogging since 2010. I actually started first on YouTube when I uploaded my first video which was a haul. I had a blog just to showcase the content on my YouTube channel until I found the beauty in blogging and here I am, blogging. You really never know what’s in store for you actually.
10) How much time do you spend on your blog in a week? (number of hours)
About 4 or 5 hours a day minimum. Yes, my mum does nag me a lot. It depends what I’m doing for the day. I know that I haven’t gone a day when I’m not doing something for my blog, even when I’m on “holiday”, I make sure I have some sort of internet access. That’s the thing when you also run a Facebook page because I have this policy where I try to and will respond to every comment because I know that if I need help, I’d like the person to respond back so it’s like a 24/7 call center, post center, haha. I have a blackberry and iPad too so that helps when I’m on the go.
I spend 4 or 5 hours on a normal day to answer comments, emails, comments on my Youtube channel, Facebook page comments, twitter comments. The works. I might look into search engine optimization. It’s a very carried away, spur of the moment don’t bother me kind of thing that you don’t even realize when four or 5 hours pass.
However it’s a total different story for a day I want to shoot for blog posts. That takes up the whole day with the makeup, shooting, editing, watermarking, uploading and finally writing. Sometimes I shoot pictures for the week so then I’d do the rest of the remaining steps throughout the week when I’m free. It’s quite a lot of work but it’s the kind of work you don’t feel. With beauty blogging, people don’t realize that it’s a one-woman show. You’re the model, photographer, make-up artist, writer, editor and publisher all in one. Especially with beauty blogging, we do reviews as well and that takes up even more time. It sometimes gets overwhelming when companies push a whole load of products to you expecting you to review them. It’s ridiculous sometimes.
11) Where do you get ideas on what to blog on?
Make-up and beauty products are such versatile subjects. Not only are you able to publish the basics of make-up that everyone should know, it’s like an art form. That means you can get creative and generate tutorials or content based on your own creativity and methods for things that people might not know about. I do beauty news as well when I gather all the interesting information from magazines for the season and I publish that to showcase the trends or I create my own how-to tutorials to wear different products. I guess it’s from your head or different web beauty sources like magazines or when you’re on the street and you notice something new that you’d like to share. You kind of mix and match later on like if it’s a well-known product that I’m reviewing, I would ask everyone else on my Facebook page whether they have tried it out and I would publish the review as a You and Me Review with their “mini reviews” at the back of the review so it wouldn’t be just me.
12) What satisfaction do you get from being a beauty blogger?
An awesome amount of satisfaction. I say that you know you're in love with what you do when you don't stop and think "Why am I doing this", you just keep on doing it until one day you look back and realize how far you've come. It's a wow moment and I can tell you that this is what I love doing. If you love what you do than that’s the satisfaction, it’s pretty much the greatest satisfaction. But, you get to help people and that’s so invaluable because I know that when I first started make-up, I didn’t have a 24/7 post center to go to so I make sure I’m there when they need me. It’s so wonderful meeting other bloggers too that you can hang out with and talk about make-up the whole time with and being friends with your viewers as well as your blogger friends. It’s very fun. Sometimes I get noticed on the streets. In Australia, they’re more outgoing and will come up to you to say hi. From the streets, to even the gym changing room to when I bought a vacuum cleaner, it’s a crazy feeling when someone comes up to you. In Singapore, more people will see you and then go back home and message you that they saw you. It’s pretty cool, culturally.
13) So far, what is your proudest achievement as a beauty blogger?
Honestly, I’m proud of every post I publish. I really do put a lot of thought and effort into each one and they’re individually my proudest achievements. When you get into the press, it’s a bubbly heart feeling because you don’t really see yourself as this high profile blogger, I see myself as myself, the same person who started out like everyone else with zero followers and zero views and then all of a sudden you realize how far you’ve come and it’s quite a magical feeling.
14) Best freebie/ prize you've received as a beauty blogger:
Well, I’ve gotten sponsored quite a bit of products. In fact, I just received two Kanebo skincare ranges and more than enough KATE makeup but I have to say that my best freebie was the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Makeup and brush. I wouldn’t have known such a wonderful product if Elizabeth Arden didn’t sponsor me for a review. Till now, I still use the same foundation every day and I have two unopened ones in stock because in Australia, it’s really expensive so I get some of my makeup duty-free when I leave Singapore.
15) What does it take for a product to be featured on your blog? (Free products for reviews?)
Are there any fees involved? If so, how much per post?
Or does the product simply have to be awesome to deserve a spot on your blog?
Honestly I’m trying to get into the mode of being paid for my posts. I know that sounds controversial and if you do feature this question, then please let me explain fully. Whenever a company wishes to sponsor me, I always state that it is an honest review that I’m giving about the product. I will by no means lie or make my post an advertisement rather than an opinionated piece. Because of the number of companies that are wanting to shove me products and make me review them, sometimes I feel like a guinea pig. It’s getting ridiculous because I feel like I’m being taken advantage of. I have hundreds and thousands of views and my numbers go up daily. The products only cost them about a hundred dollars but they’re getting that reach for free whereas if they were to consult a magazine or newspaper or even TV, they’d have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars.
I might not be as popular as a magazine, TV or newspaper, but I offer credibility and a targeted audience because I make sure I stick to my values and I’m 100% honest. That’s the only way I roll. Not only is it the reach that they will be getting, I risk my face. I’m not a lifestyle blogger, I don’t get to go to Universal Studios and frolic around when I get sponsored, I have to use a product that’s supposed to do great things but sometimes it breaks me out and I’ll be carrying the scars for a week. Plus, it’s not like I can just upload pictures of Universal Studios and add a few paragraphs on how hot I looked that day or what I was wearing when I was on Galactica, I actually have to showcase a bare face, showcase how to apply it and take all those pictures with an all rounded review.
Again, you’re the model, the make-up artist, the photographer, the editor, the writer and the publisher and even the PR agency all in one. It takes time to review a product, takes about a month to totally get an idea to publish an accurate review. It’s like giving a blood test but you don’t charge for the equipment, the effort, the numbers (although I hate referring to my viewers as numbers because they are real people), the time and all they can really offer me is just to add my collection. I have enough sometimes. I really think all beauty bloggers should charge so we don’t get taken advantage of in this relatively new media outreach outlet. A standard compensation fee should be necessary but necessary only when you state that it will be an honest review. Companies actually prefer your honesty because they want a decent overview on how they can also improve which is nice. I haven’t charged yet, but it’s a thought.
16) Which beauty brands have you worked with on your blog as part of the brands' marketing strategy?
I have worked with Elizabeth Arden, The Body Shop, Kanebo, Kate, Biotherm, Bobbi Brown, Physiogel, Shiseido, Urban Decay, Erno Laszlo New York, Dermalogica, Leaders Clinic Korea, Touche Elite Singapore, HealthWellness Singapore amongst others. I’m also a Celebrity V.I.P for The Beauty Club (www.thebeautyclub.com.au) and I help them review products. They’ve sponsored me make-up from Dior, Chanel and Benefit amongst others.
17) About how much income do you generate from your blog in a month, be it from advertising or tie-ups with beauty brands? (e.g. $300 to $500 a month?)
Currently I do not earn from my blog. I’m going to change that though because one day I would like to make a livelihood from what I love doing and what I love doing is this.
18) Do you think blogs will eventually replace regular beauty magazines as the go-to guide for consumers?
I don’t read beauty magazines anymore, I don’t read magazines anymore period. Perhaps it’s because I’m a very online orientated person, but I don’t really trust magazines. I feel like they make claim that it’s a wonderful product on their pages but I don’t see bare faces using them. I don’t see how it applies. I just see the bottle, the price and a flowery description. I don’t think the writers of the magazines have tried every single product that they put on their pages. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see those pictures out. Maybe that will do for clothes, but something that I will be applying on my face, I’ll need to know what the product is like from everyday people like you and me. Whenever I have a lemming about a product, I’ll scour the net for blog reviews or YouTube reviews. I just feel it’s much more credible. Who knows, though?
1) You mentioned that sometimes when beauty brands push you a whole load of products and expect you to review them, you feel like a guinea pig and taken advantage of.
a) So what exactly do the brands do to pressure you to review their products?
Some brands may tell you exactly when they want a post out or when they would like a status update to occur. I think that is ridiculous that they’re demanding deadlines when they’re just giving us product. I did an honest review of a pair of contact lenses and stated that it felt uncomfortable in one of my video reviews. The company emailed me back telling me to remove the video. I already stated that I only do honest reviews regardless of what they give me. The video is still there. I have very strong values in honesty and I stick to them. Another sponsorship told me that if I put in a good review for them, they would add an additional pack of blotting sheets for me. I declined their offer immediately and without hesitation and told them that it was awful that they thought that bloggers would lie to their readers, not only that but lie to their readers for just for an extra pack of blotting sheets. It was insulting.
b) So how do you deal with that problem? (Tell the pushy brands you won't review their products? )
I politely decline their offer.
c) How do you choose which products to review when brands offer them to you?
It’s a combination of brands that I’m interested in or I think my viewers would appreciate a review on.
What's the process like when beauty brands approach you to ask you to review their product? Do they email or call you first for your approval to send stuff over etc.?
Brands will email me about their brand first either by inviting me to an event or wanting to meet me to introduce me to new product launches usually at a café or restaurant. I do a lot of my meetings at Cedele when I’m back in Singapore actually. If it’s a private meeting, I have some tea with them and they talk about the new product that they are sponsoring me with and I take down notes and ask questions about what the product is supposed to do and then I tell them how long the product will take me to review and when to expect it live. Events are really fun because in blogging, you make a lot of beauty blogger friends and we are usually all invited to the same event so it’s like a mini party.
2) You said you're thinking of getting into the mode of being paid for your posts. What's the price range you're thinking of for per post?
This information is confidential. I hope you understand.
3) Your answer for my question on whether you think beauty blogs will eventually replace beauty magazines is very interesting ;) But you haven't exactly answered the question...
so do you think beauty blogs will replace beauty magazines eventually?
I don’t know what to say. I think magazines are great, don’t get me wrong, but everyone’s increasingly getting online. I think it’s still nice to have a magazine in your hands. I don’t think they’ll fully replace each other but rather just co-exist.
4) What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about bloggers?
That we are prissy girls on our computers doing nothing all day. We’re opinionated everyday people out to help others by sharing our experiences through lots of hard work. Bloggers always feel a time – crunch balancing work and their blog. Try being the model, the tv personality, the producer, editor, writer, photographer, and customer service line all in one! Brands approach me because they’re interested in what I think and they know that I’m honest and will give them a well rounded review on how they can improve as well as the areas in which they are doing well in. They know that I do my reviews and hauls professionally and very well.
5) On average, how much do you spend on buying beauty products for reviews in a month?
(and do you make it clear in the posts on which products are bought with your own money and which are gifted? I tried to go through your blog to see but I got distracted by all the stuff that's going on. So why don't you tell me :)
Yes I do make it clear. I will usually say so and so company gave this to me to try out or if I bought it, then I will say I bought it. I choose not to disclose how much I spend monthly. I hope you understand.
6) What happens when you really want to review a beauty product but you can't afford it? Will you ask the brand for it? Please elaborate on your answer.
Definitely not. If you don’t have the cash for it, it’s not meant to be.
7) What is the worst thing about being a beauty blogger?
I love being a beauty blogger, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I honestly can’t find a worst thing.
8) I'm sure you know by now that there is alot of hype/ claims/ puff built around beauty products by the brand and PR companies? So how do you cut through the fluff and get to how good the product is in your blog?
I actually use the product. The results can’t lie, not matter how much fluff the brand has created. I try each product I need to review for at least a month before publishing my opinions. My reviews often show how to apply the product and how it shows on the skin afterwards. My skin is pretty fast to breakout reactions though. I will deem it as a breakout if it continues for 2 weeks after using the new product. If so, I stop using it immediately. No product is worth carrying acne and acne scars for, even for my readers.
9) What is your favorite skincare product currently?
My favorite skincare product has to be Oxy Acne Wash from your local Watsons. It’s my default cleanser. When I’m not trying out a new skincare range, I’ll use this one. It helps my skin keep steady.
10) Your current fave make-up product would be Elizabeth Arden's Pure Finish Mineral Makeup right?
Now that’s hard to say. I have so many favorite products; I don’t want to just feature one. That’s like saying I have to pick a favorite brand. I absolutely love the NARS eye-shadow duos and blushes, the M.A.C mineralized Skin finish Natural and the KATE super sharp liner.
From the recent giveaway on what you like most about roseannetangrs and roseannebeauty - reading this: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150122455104601&set=a.329130369600.149555.319351314600&theater made me really want to give you all hugs. To show my apprectiation for you all, I've done a few shoutouts for you to thank you so much for support:
Thank you so much for your kind support, comments and everything! You really mean the world to me. With you, I shall push through this blogging beauty journey even furthur. I will continue my honesty, effort and quality in this blog and of course a personal touch! Thank you.