This weeks #bbloggers topic was chosen by Sophie (@beautycfw); What do you think makes for a good review? What do you think is essential?
It seemed like a popular topic and from what I can gather, beauty bloggers got a lot out of this hour!
The clear messages, mentioned by many people:
The main point, which came up time and time again was that it is vital to be HONEST, whether its sent to you or you have bought it. If you are worried about bad feeling between you and a PR company, @Thechapblog recommends telling them that your review won't be such a good one.
Photos are a must, and readers prefer photos taken by yourselves rather than stock photos, many people trust the review more with original photos.
Take photos in different lights if you can; this provides a more accurate impression of the product
EXPLAIN - don't just say it's 'amazing' or its 'rubbish,' we need to know why
Chatty styles of writing seem to be preferred but also try to be concise and to the point
Include your hair and skin type within the post; or have it in another section and link to it. What works for one skin type, may not for another! Also mention whether the packaging says it's suitable for sensitive skin.
Some product reviews can benefit greatly from before and after photos; especially foundations, to show the coverage etc.
Price of the Product - this is vital to most people, they also want to know whether it is worth the money or not.
Where to buy the product - links to store websites can also be very helpful as some people do not have easy access to some products in their local towns/cities. Maybe mention international availability if you can.
Description is important; tell your audience what the product looks like, smells like and feels like
Some products need to be tested over a period of time to get a good impression; especially skincare. Many bloggers suggested using these types of products for around 28 days before reviewing. That way you will know the effects on your skin; whether good or bad.
Products such as Nail polish should be reviewed after around 3 days, and foundation for a day to be able to assess staying power.
Swatches are good, but try to use the product in its intended place to give readers a more accurate impression... especially lipstick as it can look very different on hands than it does on your lips!!
Individual Tips and Opinions:
@Makeup_Savvy: Accurate swatches that look that the exact shade of the product and if you can't you should link to another blog that does!
@MissBuBu26: If you've been sent a PR sample of a product not yet launched, state it! Saving others the hassle of trying to find it in store
@nnj4eternity: include -in quotes- what the manufacture claims the product does, then I say if I agree or not! I think it adds a little extra!
@beauty_diaries: If I do review any earlier I call it a 1st impression post & do a follow up 3-4 weeks later
@cutthroatonline: I'm a big fan of texture descriptions and pictures, especially in skincare products like exfoliators.
@H_beautylicious: 1-2 sentences don't cut it for me on reviews; i like nitty gritty, detail - gives me a real feel and understanding for a product
@fashionCHICsta: Don't forget the ancillary products: Talk about included applicators (even if you didn't use them). If the included applicators are crap - tell me so I can buy something else WHILE i'm at at the store, not a second trip
@TheChapblog: I think you have to remember that a review is that persons personal opinion. If they hate it you might love it, may work for you
@breezeybeee: I like comparison posts too, or at least recommendations to what could be similar but at less/more price
@londonlipgloss: at the end of the day whether u bought it or not u are influencing other peoples decisions, so be honest and maintain integrity
@notamakeupsnob: I don't really like reviews of Limited Edition products which are no longer available - they're a bit pointless in my opinion.
@MrLippie: If you're going to write a review, try & make it personal. It's not a science paper - it's your experience & opinion
@beautycfw: I like reviews that recommend what skin types the product would be best for!
@prettyboutiquex: I like it when reviews are laid out in sections or paragraphs, makes them ALOT easier to read!
@FashionCHICsta: Include discussion about the vessel in your review: Does the cap lock tight; will it leak or will product to dry out?
My personal favourite tweet from a company: @MUACosmetics said 'We love to see honest reviews on our products - even where it may be a little less positive it gives us something to work on'
There were a few hazy points such as 'should you include a rating of 1-5'... there was no real majority feeling so I say if you like doing it, carry on!
When it comes to length of reviews, a few people said that it's a good idea to summarise as well as go into the detail as some people want to read the nitty gritty whereas others just want to know the important points.
On a final note: Many people also asked about what products they should review, and to that I say: Review what you want to review, don't do something because everyone else is; be original... I think your readers will love you for it!
This is not a definitive do's and do not's list when it comes to reviewing, each and every blogger has their own style; if it works for you then there is no reason why you shouldn't carry on!
I hope you can take something away from this weeks #bbloggers chat, I know I definately have!
Here is the full Week 14#bbloggers Transcript
(provided by Liloo @tsunimee)
If you would like to join in #bbloggers, find out more or suggest a topic go over to Beauty's Bad Habit
Please feel free to comment on how I could improve my summation of #bbloggers chat! I'm a beginner, don't forget, guidance is welcome!