Bonjour! It’s no secret that bloggers and youtubers make money off of promoting companies and their products, I just find it sneaky when they aren’t upfront about it, or hide their disclaimers or put them in obscure places where the average viewer/reader can’t easily see them.
So I am on snapchat (fakefrenchgirl) and I follow a few of the same people I follow on youtube– mostly girls who talk about hair and makeup. Anyway, one of the girls I follow, who has about 100,000 youtube subscribers now, is always snapping about what she gets in the mail from major beauty brands and how she is always at beauty events in the LA area, which is all fine and good. I kinda live vicariously through her and she’s hilarious. So I was watching one of her videos this week and she was talking about how she just went to Ulta Beauty and bought all of this new skincare stuff but then spent 90% of the video talking about the doctor who developed the products, which is unusual for a “beauty haul” type video. Then I remembered that I just entered a giveway on twitter that she promoted with the prize being this particular skincare brand. Not really a coincidence. She didn’t say in the video that she was working with that company or had been sent products from them. She said she bought it at Ulta, that’s it. I scrolled down to the very end of her video description and it says in about three words that she’s working with them.
So I watch another “Ulta Haul” by another youtuber and she (surprise surprise) bought all of the same skin care products from the same doctor’s line. At the bottom of her video, she says she works with a PR company and her video was sponsored, which I feel is more honest, but I don’t think very many people read the full description box of those videos.
Earlier in the year, I went to a bloggers brunch in LA and one of the girls said she worked at cosmetics company (you can find their stuff in the drugstore). Then she went on to say that it’s common for youtubers to be sent things from companies like her’s and then for the youtuber to just put them in a random store bag and then make a video saying they bought them from that store and to be paid for it. The larger your audience and the more well known you are, the more you are paid for doing this.
A lot of the makeup and wigs I have bought recently are because of youtube videos I have watched and blog reviews I have seen. I actually do really love my purchases, but at the same time, I feel like I am constantly being lied to, and not really sure if what I am seeing and hearing is true. I am still going to watch just as many youtube videos and read beauty blogs, but I am going to be way more mindful and keep my eyes out for “this is a sponsored post” or similar sentences and to get reviews from a variety of sources before I purchase anything else. I suggest you do the same, if you aren’t already. You just never know how much of what you read and hear is actually true, even from likeable bloggers/vloggers you follow on social media.