I couldn’t say goodbye to 2017 without sharing photos of what was without a doubt the most beautifully packaged makeup collection of the year. This review has been sitting in my drafts unfinished since October because the Quo Fall 2017 collection* didn’t blow me away, but scrolling through my unpublished articles tonight (wild NYE, I know), I thought it would be a shame to let all that photography work go to waste. Who doesn’t love a bit of sleek black marble?
The thing that’s both exciting and anxiety-inducing about blogging is that you’re expected to produce great content very quickly, either because the collection is limited edition, or because the products were sent by a brand that you want to work with again in the future, or because you want to boost your organic traffic as the most anticipated products of the year are being launched and searched for. For content to be relevant in an industry that churns out thousands upon thousands of products every year and is increasingly demanding editorial-quality work, it’s important to write well, to write quickly and often, and to have the brightest, most beautiful pictures possible.
And I struggle with it all.
I’m very lucky that I get to write both as a hobby and as a full-time career, but it does mean that it’s impossible for me to feature all the samples that I receive through the year. I say no to a lot of samples, but curiosity often gets the better of me and things just seem to multiply over time. Apart from the initial unboxing on Insta Stories, they might never get featured anywhere at all.
Behind the scenes, there are drawers and boxes full of press samples that I know I will never write about, either because they didn’t work for me, because I liked other products from the same collection better, because they were sent to me but don’t really fit my taste or my brand, or because real life got in the way and I ran out of time to test them and produce the content.
I used to feel like I was drowning in press samples to the point where it gave me nightmares, but I’ve since learned to accept that there’s just no point in writing about something I have no feelings or opinions about just for the sake of it. It doesn’t help the brand, it’s not good for me, and it’s not fun to read either.
I’m always thankful when I get to try something new, but of course, not everything is going to work for me or hold my attention for more than a minute. There are literally millions of options out there when it comes to skincare, makeup, fragrances and hair care because…well, not everything works for everyone.
I give up on “old” content more often than I’d like to admit, but I’d rather take my time to fully test a product and write articles and posts that I’m proud of and can stand behind, rather than rush it. I value the quality and the honesty of my work above the number of posts I can produce to keep PR companies happy. There are bloggers, editors, and writers out there who are producing high quality work very quickly while keeping up with their demanding full-time jobs and social lives, and I love reading them. I want to be them. It’s possible for some, just not for me. What can I say, I like a Netflix binge more than most. And my job. And sleep. I often have to remind myself that as much as I love my hobby, my hobby is not my job.
Every press sample that I receive has to be photographed in case I want to feature it since it makes for prettier pictures, and that takes a ton of time, not to mention luck — have you ever set up a photoshoot just for the sun to disappear and not come back for three weeks? A lot of that photography work ends up being wasted, even if it’s some of my best, because I don’t want to dedicate hours of my life to editing pictures and writing copy for something that didn’t improve my life in some way — or made it so much worse that it’s worth telling you about it.
My point? I have a lot of beautiful photos that never see a WordPress draft either because I didn’t get on with the product, because I liked it but didn’t have much to say, or because it’s simply too late in the game for the information to be relevant to anyone.
You won’t be able to find this collection in stores anymore, but I’m proud of the photography work I’ve done. So there it is anyway. Here’s to accepting our limits and sharing the work that we’re proud even if it’s too late!