Sometimes it really seems like you need to be rich to get into beauty blogging/’vlogging! It’s not cheap buying the cult favourites that everyone seems to have their hands on (think Guerlain Meterorites, Anastasia Beverly Hills products… every week theres an expensive new ‘must have’ thing!).
Personally, I have no problem admitting I can’t afford to keep up with all the latest trends, but it means I have to be a bit creative coming up with blog content. I’m not the first blogger to lament about the ‘buy buy buy’ mentality that the internet seems to promote, and I won’t be the last, but there are still plenty of ways to generate content for your blog that don’t involve spending lots of money. Here are some ideas that I hope you will find useful.
“Shop Your Stash”
This has become a popular term for going through your current collection and swatching what you already have and trying new looks. This can be a great way to discover makeup you forgot about, products you didn’t like at first but have grown on you, makeup techniques or styles that are out of your comfort zone, or things you could destash and get rid of (perhaps you could sell them on one of the many makeup destashing sites to generate some $$).
This isn’t everyones cup of tea. Successful makeup tutorials require a certain level of photography skill, you will need to take clear, unfiltered, unedited photos of your face to display your makeup look. You will also need a steady hand and decent makeup application skills for this! Still, makeup tutorial posts are popular, and worth considering if you enjoy creating new makeup looks. You could do it as a written post with lots of step-by-step photos, or consider doing a Youtube video (“vlog”).
Face Of The Day/Nails Of The Day/Get Ready With Me etc
This is another type of post that costs absolutely nothing! If you’ve already done an awesome makeup look for the day, why not show it off on your blog. You could showcase your whole face – or whole outfit even, or just feature your nails, eyes, etc. If you enjoy vlogging, you could take your audience through the whole getting ready process. Make sure you tell us which products you use!
OK, I know I said these are posts that won’t set you back lots of money but a giveaway doesn’t have to. Just a small prize once in awhile doesn’t have to break the bank (does that mean The Dream Factory have a wee something up their sleeve next week? Um…maybe ;)). If you subscribe to beauty boxes you might have some unused things that you don’t really want, or maybe when you pick up your next amazing beauty bargain you could grab a spare to share. Hosting giveaways is fun, your readers will enjoy it and you will probably get some new readers too, and it’s nice to just give something back.
These tend to get used as affiliate spam, but they don’t have to be like that. I’ve done a few posts like this in the past and never used affiliate links in them. These posts can be a good way to show your readers whats new or exciting in the beauty world, without you actually having to fork out money for them. I think people are divided on whether or not they want to see posts like this, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them at all. Just make sure every second post isn’t one!
I found this concept so weird when I first saw it. Why do I want to see your empty bottles? Just chuck ’em in the bin! But actually, empties posts can be really interesting, and a neat way to write mini-reviews on products you’ve used recently. I don’t get a lot of ’empties’, so I’ve only ever done one post, but have a read of that to get an idea of what I mean.
Some bloggers are affiliated with PR companies, or directly with makeup companies, who give them press releases to post. These are basically advertising statements about new product releases and events. ‘PSA’ (Public Service Announcement) is a post to inform readers about something of interest – like a sale, GWP (gift with purchase), etc. So if you’ve found out some interesting news in the beauty world, share it with your readers! Doesn’t cost a cent either.
Makeup Related Arts and Crafts
This isn’t for everyone, and I think some people will feel that a beauty blog should strictly be makeup and nothing else. However, I personally think now and then it’s nice to have something a bit different, and recently I posted a tutorial for making a keyring using nail polish. While it’s kinda off topic, I still plan to write more craft tutorials anyway, as long as they’re vaguely beauty/fashion related.
Interviews and Features with other bloggers and makeup lovers
Most beauty bloggers are friendly and happy to help each other out! There is no need to for bitchiness and competitiveness, and there are plenty of ways to network. I confess, as someone with no interest in social media, it makes blogging that bit harder, but there are lots of Facebook groups and other blogger networking opportunities out there. Read other beauty blogs, comment on them, and get to know a few people. I’m sure many of them would be happy to be interviewed on your blog – it’s exposure for them, generates interesting content for you, and it’s a chance for the two of you to network and bond. I’ve met some very nice other bloggers, and would always love to meet more!
Borrow cosmetics from family/friends to review, or politely ask at shops for samples
So you’ve shopped your stash, and still run out of things to write about? Why not borrow (with their permission, haha) cosmetics from friends and family. You could also try asking at pharmacies or department stores for samples – whether or not you tell them why you’re asking is up to you. I think some would be happy to oblige, and others won’t, but there’s no harm in politely asking. I’ve spent a large part of my life working in beauty related retail, and I know most of my workplaces wouldn’t have had a problem with me giving you a few extra samples. You could also try emailing companies and asking if they have samples you could try. Politeness is always key!
“Manicure Mondays” “Toenail-Art Tuesdays” “Wacky-Eyeshadow Wednesdays” … you see where I’m going with this. Kind of like FOTD/NOTD but with a theme to challenge and inspire you a bit.
This isn’t usually something I’m into, but I did do one recently (Imperfect Beauty). There are plenty of beauty related topics that you could share your thoughts about, lately I’ve been hearing about Em Ford and her ‘You’re Disgusting’ video and I think that has raised some interesting discussion. Or you could talk about your views on current beauty trends – “the cut crease, should it stay or should it go?”, “To Dip, or not to Dip?”, or recent ‘scandals’ in the beauty scene.
These can be a lot of fun, and a good way to meet other bloggers. It can work both ways – you could blog for someone, and they could blog for you. I did my (so far only) guest post on Luna’s “Toxid Lotus” blog last November, of my Femme Fatale collection. I’m keen to guest post again, so hit me up if anyone wants to go a guest post exchange 🙂
You may also want to consider joining free affiliate programs to earn some money on the side or get free makeup to review. Most bloggers don’t make huge amounts (or any!) money on their blog, and it isn’t a task to undertake as a get rich quick scheme, but there are opportunities out there for you to make just a little extra to help you out a bit. Currently I am affiliated with I-herb, Born Pretty and W2Beauty, although to be honest I’m not very engaged with any of my affiliate programs at the moment.
Beauty Review is also a great site for beauty lovers to join, they have competitions, the chance to review and earn points, and also provide the opportunity to network and blog. I’ll be upfront, if you click my link there and sign up, I get 50 points, just being honest with you! I haven’t used the site that much but I did win a nice little prize in December. So if you’re a blogger with not much money, there are a few ways Beauty Review could help you out.
So hold onto your wallet and get on ya keyboard!
I have not been sponsored or compensated for this post, I am affiliated with the companies that I clearly disclosed in this post. Images have been used for free from, and in accordance with the terms of Morguefile.com.