Blogging Stuff I Can’t Stand Anymore, So Things Are Gonna Change

“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same.” ~Charles Bukowski

Now, I don’t drink a lot. I can’t. If I could, I’d like to think I’d be like Bukowski and Kerouac-drunk 24/7 yet an amazing writer. But, I have ulcers-have had them since I was 17. It’s a familial problem, courtesy of my dad who passed on his sensitive gut to some of us. So, when I do imbibe, I like to make it count and WRITE A BLOG POST. Because apparently when I drink, WordPress(bless their sober hearts) tells me that my writing scores near 90% in the ease of understanding category(this one scores 88.4% so far). Yeah, WordPress has ALL kinds of tools like that. Helpful? Maybe. But, now I know why Sir John A. Macdonald(Canada’s 1st Prime Minister) was drunk in Canadian Parliament most days: “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.” During the election of 1863, Sir John A. Macdonald threw up during a campaign speech and when his opponent pointed this out, Macdonald shot back with this answer. I read that to Marky and she said: he sounds like you-no word of a lie. So yeah, I sometimes feel that WordPress ENCOURAGES my wine-ranting posts…  not that I really MIND….  😛

So where am I going with this talk of booze and writing? Well, I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you this: I’M REALLY HATING BEAUTY BLOGGING. AGAIN. YUP.

When I started this blog, it was just me. And my money. And my silly little thoughts on what I bought. I’ve come a LONG way since then. I”m not the same timid Tracy that’s for sure. Like most beauty bloggers, it took some time to feel comfortable with this hobby and feel like it was OK to be myself online. Once you overcome that self-imposed obstacle, this gig does get better. And FUN. Because you finally get to be you! And some of the internet LIKES loud, snarky YOU! YAY!!

Then, PR brands start to notice you! WAHOO. That’s what we all want, right? Not to have to spend money all the time! We now have free stuff to blog about! We can blog about beauty and makeup and skincare and haircare till the freakin’ cows come home!

FOR A PRICE.

Well, with SOME brands. Not ALL are like that. And I don’t get it. Some brands demand NOTHING from you as a blogger. It’s like this: Take our product FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. If you like it-tell us! Whatever. It’s all cool. We like you, so, if you like us then feel free to blog about this lotion. No pressure. We just love you and your writing, wine-induced or not.

Those brands I LIKE. LOTS. What some PR don’t understand is that for most of us-including me-blogging is a HOBBY. Not a job. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: FREE MAKEUP/SKINCARE DOESN’T PAY THE BILLS YO’.

PR is getting increasingly harder to deal with. And I’m at a loss as to why. Some of my friends have had brands pitch to them, and then after the blogger has said sure-they say stuff like: We want your unedited pictures so we can use them nilly-willy. Hope that’s ok with you!

It’s NOT. 

Or I’ve had this happen: HI! We like your blog and would like you to review blah blah blah product. It’s blah blah blah cool and does this blah blah blah stuff. Interested? SURE I SAY. Oh, but then we’ll need a weekly post to update your progress, and then one final big post to show your results, OK?

NO. IT’S NOT OK. TAKE YOUR PAPERS AND PEDDLE THEM ELSEWHERE I SAY. (I may be aging myself with that saying there, because seriously, does ANYBODY actually buy a newspaper these days?)Like I have time to devote FIVE freakin’ blog posts to your one bag o’ STUPID? Nope. Not even if I was a prestige enough blogger to get-I don’t know-every freakin Guerlain and Chanel product ever made! And,I’m just pulling out brand names out of my wine glass there, because I could really care less about Guerlain and Chanel if I’m being honest…any brand for that matter. I hold no allegiance to any brand. Every one of them has hits AND MISSES. And I’m not about to sell my tortured makeup soul to get free BULL CRAP from anybody anymore.

Oh, and the LIES lately. Like this week! Perusing my Instagram feed and finding out that there was an event by…ahhh…who gives a crap…BEAUTY UNITED this week in Toronto, of which I am/WAS a member since it’s conception. And then seeing all of my friends flown in for the event and wondering, hey—-how come I didn’t get an invite? And then discovering that others didn’t get invited…even those who live 3 hours away. YET the excuse given was that only NEW Beauty United Members were invited, and those who lived in the GTA-Greater TORONTO area as well. RIGHT…. that’s what I see people from Montreal, BC, AND MY CITY EDMONTON there….

And then when I call you out Ms. PR-you say oh, can we talk over the phone? SURE. I’ll let you speak. BUT all the stammering, and stuttering…and then finally getting you to say you MISSPOKE…well, in my world that’s called LYING. BYE BYE. I don’t work with liars. Take your free Covergirl and shove it up your…. you know what. You say you value everyone equally, yet your actions speak otherwise…. LIES…..all of it. I’m so SICK of this kind of crap. SICK.

And so, three glasses of wine later has made me make THIS DECISION: I AM TAKING BACK MY BLOG.

I WILL NO LONGER WORK WITH BRANDS/PR THAT OPERATE ON LIES AND TREAT ME LIKE I DON’T MATTER. BECAUSE I DO. I KNOW I DO. 

And that means things are gonna change around here A LOT…brands like Aveeno,Vichy, Avene, Avon, Deciem…I trust and LOVE working with. They treat me like a valued writer. And I appreciate that! Here’s an example of a brand that rocks: Coppertone,to speak of a PR that I’ve recently dealt with. We had different opinions, yet were able to resolve them with no hurt feelings! And a great post on sunscreen was born because of that! I love that! Because I’m not a blogger that just takes PR material and rewrites it. I research the ingredients, try to make sure the science is all COOL before I post. I’m not a beauty drone. I have a brain and I like learning about ingredients and how products work. I’m not just some machine that spouts off HEY LOOK AT THIS SHIZZZ SO BUY IT HEY. Plus Coppertone dealt with me as a JOURNALIST… I almost died when that PR called me a journalist…ME? TRAKEE?? A JOURNALIST? And she said yes, you ARE one. THANK you so much. You made my YEAR. A PR who values bloggers….RARE.

But if you’re a brand trying to pitch me…and demand stuff….or LIE to me… GO AWAY. Go stalk some poor innocent, new blogger out there that’s DYING to try your product and bend over backwards to prove their worth five times over. I DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE. SO F$$K off. Like YOU L’Oreal. SO DONE WITH YOU I CAN’T EVEN SAY IT LOUD ENOUGH ON HERE. I’VE TRIED AND TRIED TO PLEASE YOU BUT NO MORE, I AM DONE AND DONE.I HOPE YOU CAN TELL I’M YELLING AT YOU. BECAUSE I AM.

BEAUTY REFLECTIONS IS MINE. ALL OF IT.  If you can’t handle the truth???!! Go elsewhere. Lies are easily bought these days in the beauty blogging world. And if you are a fellow blogger? Don’t come here and comment on my post telling me your PROS about PR…Get BENT. I’ll just delete your comment…and I don’t CARE if I call you friend. Blogging for the brand is NOT blogging…that’s why we started blogging…to say what WE thought, not to please a brand. That argument won’t fly here with me. I don’t care WHO you are. Go away. I don’t need to deal with anymore CRAP this week thank YOU VERY MUCH. My life is hard enough as it is and I’m near menopause…so DON’T even try me. I’ll rip you a new one without even breaking a sweat…I PROMISE.

So, what does this mean if you’re a regular reader? Well, I don’t know right now to be honest. You’ll see more of what I buy I guess, which will become less and less because to be honest? I don’t wear a lot of makeup anymore. SKINCARE is where it’s at people. Oh, and posts from brands I LIKE dealing with. It’ll probably mean less regular posts, but HEY THEY’LL BE SO WORTH IT, RIGHT? RIGHT. Stick with me folks…we’ll change the beauty blogging WORLD. Maybe… 😛 And in the end, I honestly don’t care anymore what anybody thinks or wants… I’ll keep plugging away at what I am doing and if you like it? YAY I LOVE YOU. You know I do.

Have any PR Horror stories to share? HERE’S THE PLACE DUDE. SHARE AWAY.

Elwood Blues: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake Blues: Hit it!

Yup. I’m hitting it folks. FULL SPEED.

 

  • Liz

    Haha, good for you. This is why I don’t accept PR samples anymore. Plus a dozen other things you didn’t mention like how most of them don’t even thank you for your FREE marketing services, don’t respond to emails, hate answering questions (or replying with marketing drivel, not real answers), pitch you first and then have the nerve to question your stats and number of followers… It goes on and on. I don’t even care that there are nice PRs. Expectations to review by certain deadlines or stay brand-friendly is just too much and we’re not paid employees or cheerleaders for brands. Come to Toronto this summer. We’ll drink together and forget all this crap.

    • LOL you make a strong argument for sure. So far, some brands still seem to value my work, so I’ll continue working with them as they don’t demand a thing. Once they do, I’ll be like you. ON MY OWN…ALL BY MYSELF…which actually is a pretty great prospect truth be told. Maybe I want that NOW. I don’t know. If you’re a PR, CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE IS YOUR CHALLENGE.

  • I loved this! I laughed and I now want a glass of wine. I feel if you do state upfront your policies (for consideration only) and they want to change terms after you’ve accepted you can write off that brand as being shady. If that is the case, it’s a shame, as they could have had an awesome product! There are a lot of bloggers who do want to write for the free swag, in which you can quickly suss it out and read them or not read them. Ultimately if you write for you it’s gotta feel authentic! Power to you!

    Also massive double high fives. Because skin care IS where it’s at.

    • DUDE you hit my magic happy spot-SKINCARE IS WHERE IT’S AT. Love ya’! Thanks!
      I agree! My policies are stated on my About ME page, yet some brands seem to ignore that. Well, IGNORING YOU now.

      • I know! The longer I have the blog, the more the products just decline (that could also be attributed to team no spend) but I’m looking forward to all the cool editorial changes! They seem like a wonderful, fabulous step in the right direction (for your blog+your skin).

        Super unfortunate about the not reading your page, but that’s an easy decision. You don’t want to work with (for?) someone who can’t be bothered to know your policy! Thanks for an awesome read!

      • Thanks! You made my day and I’m so happy that everyone is approving my changes.
        Right? Like why do I have that page even! Makes me wonder. If they can’t be bothered to read it, why should I give them my free advertising? Not anymore!

  • I actually had to jump on my laptop so that I could respond. You freaking go! I used to work with a few PR back when I ran one of my older blogs. I was sooo excited over one in particular because it was a brand I absolutely LOVED and respected. Yeah, well the PR turned out to be a psycho! She started harassing me and how I worded things, but under another name. So one day I went into my WordPress dashboard and searched the IP and found out that the nitpicker was actually the PR! The company made it right in the end, but truthfully I couldn’t be bothered with them anymore. All respect lost. Kind of makes me not want to get into that kind of a situation again. Ever!

    I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and truly respected your thoughts on products. Lots of your recommendations have made it to my wishlists. But now? I respect you and your thoughts even more. I can tell you’re one to keep it real. Unfortunately you don’t see much of that anymore. Keep being you, Tracy! I like you. 🙂

    • Hahaha you are the BEST. Seriously. Your PR story is frightening! I can’t believe that happened! PSYCHO PR, Qu’est-ce que c’est: fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better, Run run run run run run run away 😛
      Thanks that means a lot Lisa! It truly does! Makes me feel I’m doing something right in life for once! xxoo

      • Annnnnd now that song is stuck in my HEAD! Hahahaha! 🙂

      • HAHAHA sorry!! That song was on repeat in my head when I was writing this post LOL! I have to share the ear worm with someone! xx

  • Go Tracy!!!! If that was happening to me I’d tell ’em to go shove it too!!! I’m so lazy when it comes to all the PR stuff and have never even bothered to put together a media kit – I figure either they like what they see or they don’t and whatever happens, happens. In a lot of cases I don’t get as enthused unless it’s a product that I’ve personally selected and bought with my own money anyway so it’s not much of a loss at all. I’m with you sister – BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND WRITE WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT. Whatever that is – I’ll still be here! Just letting you know too that I’ve got plans for my own blog that I’m brewing up for the new year. I think this is the start of exciting times Tracy!!! xoxo

    • Thanks my friend! You are doing it right lady! Keep on doing it!
      I hope you are right! I can hardly wait to see what you’ve come up with! I hope I can be as original as you!

      • My phone buzzed right as your reply came through so here I am again! My change of direction isn’t an original one but it is one that is close to my heart so I can only hope that I will be showing more passion in 2016! It’s still beauty stuff but beauty with a conscience. I’m allowing myself a full 6 months to get all the research down (much as I did way back before I originally started) and get ready! xoxo

      • I can hardly wait to see your new vision! It’s going to be as awesome as you I know it! xx

  • I just wrote a nice long comment that I promptly lost logging into Disqus. I’m clearly not qualified to Internet in any way.

    But I think that anyone who combines Bukowski, The Blues Brothers and Sir John A in one post is clearly the sort of person the internet desperately needs.

    As the author of a tiny blog about too many subjects, getting hounded by PR people isn’t ever part of my day. But as a person who works in marketing/ PR, I think that the demanding, pushy model of doing business is a doomed creature. No one can stand dealing with those companies!

    Anyway, this was smarter and funnier the first time I wrote it. Or maybe I just think it was. Regardless, I’m going to stop, right after I tell you that I will be watching excitedly to see whatever you decide to do with this space.

    • Disqus does that too often lately! And it doesn’t matter, because this comment is SO GOOD.
      LOL thanks hahaha-I appreciate that so much! All three are my heroes LOL.
      Thanks! I’m so glad someone like you who works in the biz agrees with me-means a lot! xx

    • “…not qualified to Internet” – Kate, that was hilarious!! 😀

  • Dear Tracy, first thing first – I’m sending you a big hug! <3
    And I'm with Lisa. I was in my bed reading tweets then jumped out to leave you a comment on my laptop. A phone doesn't work in a special occasion like this! 🙂
    I have far less interactions with PRs and brands, but there are scheiße everywhere. Of course, I have my favorites to work with and they are the same as your favorites. Then there are scheiße – one who wanted me to review their service for 3 months after trying for 3 months but wanted my CC info(what?!), another who pitched me then disappeared after saying "We will send it as soon as possible!", and the worst – "We love your FASHION blog. Do this and that for free. You actually don't get to try anything".
    I say the whole BU thing was really poorly handled! You know I did a review on their new products not too long ago. For me it was like they contacted me to ask if I wanted to try them, I said yes, but a post was not demanded. Of course, they sent them to EVERYONE so I didn't feel special or anything (LOL) but that was about it. Now I'm sure, whoever that PR was, tearing her hair out! ;p

    Anyway, I thank you for this honest and passionate post. Your advice has been taken closely to my heart and conscience.

    Good night! xoxo

    • Hahahaha I love it! HUGS!
      I’ve gotten emails like that too-fashion blog? Stupid form letter is what that is! Instant DELETE for me. Or the ones that want you to COMPETE for something-NO.
      I will never feature another Covergirl product on my blog ever again. Ever.
      Thanks for sticking with me Lena! You are one of the best!

    • Yes, Lena!!! Your FASHION BLOG is AMAZING! ;D ;D ;D I’ve gotten that, too! It’s like ok clearly this is an email template. Maybe you should at least take a 2-second gander at the blog, or hey, at least the “ABOUT” page and see what type of blog it is before you embarrass yourself by showing the blogger you didn’t care enough to do even a modicum of research.

      • I get pitched more on “Fashion” than beauty (*sobs*), sometimes I think I should blog about fashion. LOL. But no, no. ;p

    • I thought I replied to you but it disappeared? I think Disqus can’t handle all the comments on this post hahaha!
      BIG HUG LENA to you too!
      I think the Covergirl PR you guys have is different in the US. But I just don’t understand the lying-just come and tell the truth! It’ll set you FREE haha!
      And the Fashion Blog crap hahaha-I used to get a lot of those too, but they’ve kind of stopped lately. I think my snarky posts of late has scared them off!

      • Thank you for taking time and leave me another reply. I read it and I see it’s still here! But more the better. *hugs you again* <3

  • Efrain

    You know what? I love snarky Tracy.

    But also I really love your blog because of what you’ve said in this post: you remained like yourself not like the puppet PRs would love and send free stuff.

    In fact today I was thinking why I prefer reading blogs than magazines, and even there are only some blogs I really like reading: all of them are written by women who don’t care about what people say and stay true to themselves, but also they’re some of the nicest people I’ve met on internet.

    Yes my friend you’re one of them, even though you won’t be writing a lot I prefer a few but quality posts, not only magazine information.

    About PRs, you just don’t give (sorry for the bad word) a fuck of them, sometimes they don’t even know what the product is for, but also they have a lack of politeness when you’re giving free publicity.

    Finally now I’m afraid you’re a skincare junkie and you would forget your blush love.

    • Thanks my friend! Puppet! that’s exactly the word. I have no strings on me, so stop trying to control me!
      I’m so glad we met! And hahaha, I won’t forget about blush I promise!

  • rachlovespenguins

    I don’t enjoy reading regurgitated press drivel any more than you enjoy being expected to write it. I love that you are you. <3 Now would you pass me some of whatever it is that you're drinking?!? 😉

  • Lily

    Teehee you mentioned my case 🙂 I wrote him an email to very politely tell him to shove it, basically. How stupid do you think I am to send you unedited photos? You can BUY them from me if you want, right? *wink* And even putting a widget on the post. That’s uncalled for. Linking to the site is fine but no widgets for anyone. So I told him it’s not what we initially agreed on, and if he’s not OK with an honest review my way, then he could send someone to come collect the stuff. I’m not wasting international shipping for some dude who tries his luck in such a sneaky way. No reply yet though!

    • I did! OH, I forgot about the widget-they asked me to do that too, but I never put it in the post LOL. I remember after them asking me to put it on and I just said ya, whatever and still haven’t HAHAHA. Good for you! Bloody photo thieves.

  • Lots of high fives and virtual hugs and I am raising my mai tai to you right now because you go woman! Tell ’em! No one deserves game playing like that. This is your space and I can’t wait to see where it goes…after all, you are one person that has taught me that skincare is important! So I’ll be a loyal beauty reflections reader for however long you wanna write awesome stuff for us!

    • Thanks!! I’ve never had a Mai Tai LOL!! I have to try more drinks like that hahaha!
      I’m glad you value skincare now that’s awesome! I can’t tell you how many people would walk into Sephora when I worked there and not think twice about plunking down $200 on makeup, but on skincare? NOPE. If you take care of your skin, you won’t HAVE to wear so much makeup! That’s how it works.

  • Go Tracy! You are such a smart and brave woman and I really applaud you for that! It’s scary how many bloggers will and do suck up to PR just to get free stuff and who cares about the truth, right? Well people do and readers do value honesty more than frequency of your blog posts! So you’re doing the right thing. In my short journey with blogging I haven’t had that much contact with PR people but I had some. I have always stuck to being truthful and one brand dd not like it either. After writing an honest review they didn’t say a single Thank you for featuring them (esp since the review wasn’t all bad)…It’s a tough word out there but you need to fight for what’s right! Cheers to you Tracy (raising my 4 am cup of coffee)! You are an amazing person!

    • Aww, thanks Agata! That’s so sweet of you!
      Yeah, some PR are ok with honest reviews-I’ve had some tell me thanks for the honest review, but then never send another product LOL. In the end, it’s just not worth it. I’m so stressed lately and it has to change.
      Happy Friday love!

  • Oh Tracy, I feel you! I’m becoming more and more frustrated with blogging too! It’s all the lying and the two-facedness (totally a word) and the unfairness! Too many brands and PR companies are way out of line these days! It’s like you said: FREE STUFF DUN’ PAY MY FRICKIN’ BILLS, DUDE! So unless you’re gonna pay me – which for some reason you can’t though you are clearly throwing moolas at other much smaller/lazy blogs to create (half-assed) content for you – you can’t make any demands. Unless someone is employing me blogging is a hobby. I totally get that you want to take back your blog, Tracy Beauty Reflections is yours and yours alone! And you can do whatever the funk you want with it. Thank god there are still brands and PR folks who see you as more than just potential free advertising and really value what you do.

    • Thanks Melissa! I can’t take it anymore. Something’s gotta change, and I know they won’t so it’s ME that’s going to. In the end, it’s me who’s fallen for the bull, so it’s me that has to fix it.
      Yup-only the brands that I trust and love will be on here from now on. The ones that realize my blog is worth their time. And that’s just a handful, so yup. It’s mainly ME from now on. I’m the PR I deal with LOL!

  • I’ve never dealt with PR before nor have I been given any free products, so haven’t had any of this experience. You’re right, it’s your blog, started for yourself and should continue only for your enjoyment. I used to put myself on a schedule just to make sure I posted regularly, but it changed how I felt about my blog, so now I just post whenever I feel like. Thanks for the honest post!

    • You are welcome!
      And exactly, then it becomes a job almost and not as fun. Keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s YOUR blog.

  • Preach it, my Canadian blogging sister!!! My blogging is so sporadic due to my full-time job as a high school Language Arts teacher, so I rarely get contacted by companies (which is fine by me…like you said, blogging doesn’t pay my bills and it’s just a hobby. My illustrious, lucrative, high-rolling public high school teaching job on the other hand ha ha…), but I love that you have spoken out against these shady companies, and thank you for sharing the *good* companies with us so that we’ll know to support them! Cheers (raising my coffee cup to you now because it’s too early for wine lol) to you, Tracy!

    • Hahaha thanks!
      Those are a couple of the ones that I’ll still work with, the others can all go to that inner circle of hell where all the bad PR go…. 😛

  • Oh God Tracy, I saw that on your Instagram and I know how you feel. Here is how I operate: if you don’t treat me like an A-lister, I will not treat your brand like one. Why are some brands featured time and again (still in a completely honest way. If your eyeshadows are sheer, I SAY YOUR EYESHADOWS ARE SHEER) on Mostly Sunny and others barely at all? It most probably lies in that. These are the brands I’d buy from. I have to say I am lucky, because the best brands (in my book anyways) here have the best PRs. They send samples and never even ask you why you haven’t written about them yet, and THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. No money has changed hands here. If you don’t like the result you are getting from me, just stop sending me stuff and that’s all there is.

    I’ve never said this out loud, but if you want a horror PR story, I’ll give you one. At the end of last year, I was told by a PR to “dial down on the catstagram (this is verbatim).” She was basically saying my account is too small and why don’t I just use the same photos I use on my blog? They are great, while my catstagram isn’t. Instead of saying something like “build your Instagram account and eliminate irrelevant content,” she went straight after my cats. They are my CHILDREN. They are FAMILY. It takes A LOT for me to have bad blood with someone, and most of the time I can let it go after a while. 6-7 months later I am still seething when I think about this particular episode. It’s just that nasty. Guess what? My account has at least tripled in size since then, and you will not see that brand up there. I know I should let it go, but I can’t pretend nothing has happened. It was vicious, it was vindictive, it was personal. I did not deserve it. I will keep posting cat pictures every single week or whatever the heck I see as relevant, so take that!

    • Exactly Sunny! You are so right!
      OMG NO-that’s horrible and SO RUDE. And good for you for not giving that brand the time of day again. Some things can’t be forgiven, and what she did is one.

      • It’s just so unprofessional and spiteful. I would have been OK if she said “your Instagram account is not big enough” but no, she had to come after my cats!

    • I’m with you. My cats are my kids and anyone who says a word against them will earn my contempt forever.

    • Sunny, can I just say that I LOVE your non-beauty posts? Especially the cat ones. I’m one of those people that thinks an Instagram account should be an adjunct to your blog; more of a life journal/behind the scenes thing, and I ALWAYS look for a little bit of that before following an account. You do a GREAT job of it!

      • THANK YOU! That’s what I told her, too. It doesn’t make sense for my Instagram to overlap 100% with my blog.

    • Are you kidding me?!?!? Do you know how annoying it would be to have 2 Instagram accounts, one for personal and one for blogging? How many times a day are you going to have to sign in and out and juggle? I know a few bloggers do this and I can’t imagine how annoying that would be. More importantly, I follow people on social media that I LIKE AS PEOPLE. If I’m following you on Instagram, I like you and everything you post! I get bored of accounts where you never see the owner and never learn anything about them other than the fact that they like taking pictures of makeup. I much prefer Instagram accounts to be a reflection of the person’s true identity and personality: sure I love beauty products and makeup pictures like nobody’s business, but I also like SEEING the person LIVE their LIFE. I like to see their animals, their family, their hometowns, their vacations, hell, even their lunch! Things they see that make them who they are. I can’t believe someone told you not to post pictures of your cats. You don’t even post that many pictures of them!!! Frankly I’d like to see more! And shit, even if you did post 14 a day of Kissa, WHO CARES?! It doesn’t make your blogging voice quieter – it makes YOU into someone I like and care about a helluva lot more than someone who only posts snaps of bronzers with robotic captions. COME ON NOW.

      • Aww thanks! That’s me as well! I follow very few HUGE Instagrammers. I prefer to spend my time liking and commenting on photos from people that I LIKE AS PEOPLE. There are plenty of huge Instagrammers who post about their cats all the time without being pet bloggers as well. I have no idea where she got that idea from!

    • Lily

      If any PR told me I couldn’t post photos of my kids, I’d hunt her down and bitch slap her! If only I wouldn’t end up at the police station for assault. Hahaha!

      • That’s the thing. I don’t think she understands that for some people, their pets really are family! Mine are literally like my children and it’s not as if I post random pictures of them sleeping or whatever. Most of my cat photos are kinda funny if I may say so myself!

    • What in the world made that person think that she was entitled to make such a comment? Does she think that she owns you or what? What a stupid bitch. I would have been veeeeery mean in my reply if it happened to me. Plus I would have posted many pictures of cat butts for a few weeks.

      • Being the chicken that I am, my reply to her was actually very PR (ironic isn’t it?). For such a time-consuming hobby that I never get paid for, I really didn’t deserve that.

    • WHAT. That is so entitled and so so awful. (I love the pictures of your cats, btw. Having pictures of cats make me follow people more often than not!)

  • Round of applause!!!!!!!!! [insert clapping emoji 3X]

  • Trakeee, you’re my spirit animal – well, maybe not an animal, you know what I mean 🙂 Thank you for this full-on honest post, and a special big THANK YOU for the name calling. All those PRs that treat bloggers like shit? Yeah, it’s time to get called out on that. I saw your comment on Instagram about the Beauty United event, and if it makes you feel any better, in my six years of blogging I’ve never been invited to a single event, with the exception of the one Xiao invited me to, ha. I used to say to myself that my blog was just too small and insignificant to get invited/ be sent press samples, but now I know it’s not just a matter of numbers – I guess I just fly under PR radar for 98% of the time, but I’ve had some very bad experiences, so I don’t even know anymore if not being included in any new releases is such a bad thing. At least this way, I’m truly blogging about what I like, and what I buy; although like you, it’s been less and less recently, so sometimes I end up scratching my head and coming up with very little to blog about. I do think however it has something to do with the way I’ve been blogging the past couple years, because you know, when I first started and had maybe 10 readers, I had a very small collection of stuff, a very small budget to buy new things, and yet I was able to publish a post almost daily.

    Now, for my PR horror stories – I don’t have anything super bad, apart from the standard ‘blog about our products that you’ve never tried, that we’re not sending to you to try, for a chance to be featured on our social media’ bullshit, or supposedly mailed samples being lost in the mail, and the PR never getting back to me. Yeah, I can’t with that bullshit anymore. I believe Rae talked about this a long time ago, but I do agree that if we don’t raise our standards as a community, we’ll continue to be treated like shit. I know newbie and small bloggers may not care about the respect as long as they get stuff for free, but ultimately, it’s the influencial bloggers brands want exposure from, so yes, I applaud you for speaking your mind and trying to make a change – and I really do hope there are PRs out there reading this.

    • Hahaha thanks Monika! I’ll take Spirit Animal! I like that!
      It’s not so much that I was hurt about not being invited, it was the LYING as to why I wasn’t. I even told her that who you did invite had over 5K Instagram followers and that was your criteria as to who else got invited. She didn’t say I was wrong. And then telling me you value every member equally? NOW THAT’S TWO LIES SO BYE.
      You keep doing what you are doing, because your blog is one of those that I like as it’s always honest. And I love your writing style too. Oh, there are PR that read my blog but I think it’s mainly the ones I love working with hahaha, I hope the ones that don’t somehow get told to. That would be AWESOME.

  • So much truth! *cheers* I never encountered anything TOO terrible, but I had a company that wanted me to try a brand of eyeliner (that I never heard of and costs $0.01 on Alibaba) and they can send me one if I cover the shipping/taxes…um NOPES!

    • Thanks!
      I’ve had that happen to me too, wanting me to pay the shipping. RIGHT. NOT going to happen! Good for you for saying no!

  • WAHOO!

  • I love you so much!!!
    Honestly I love it!!
    This is the blogger I want to be, it’s so hard to balance as I’m trying to grow.
    You just reminded me to stick to my guns! Xoxo

  • Hi Tracy (I’m Tracy too by the way) – Being a newbie at this game it’s nice to come across posts like this it makes me rejoice in the fact that not all bloggers are alike. I don’t want to just regurgitate the same old tired information and at almost 40 years old I know who I am and how I go here. Good for you for taking a stand!

    • Hi Tracy! Great name 😉
      Thanks! And good on you for taking a stand early on. Good luck with your blog!

  • I totally love you for reals!!!! You go girl and I gotcher back. I felt totally pressured with my blog and stopped it and made it AGAIN mine. So there! Love your blog and will keep reading and telling everyone about it. Seriously

  • We have already spoken about this many times in our DM’s. But literally, what kind of power trip do these people on the other end of the industry are on? Seriously, if you can’t be humble, informative and real don’t get hired as a PR person. There was once a point, very early on in blogging, that I used to get a kick out of freebies. They made me feel important, that’s it. Nothing I can’t afford to get on my own, but yeah it made me feel important and I loved being recognized by the companies. But literally this whole thing is such a mess. Some patroned bloggers will despise you for saying it like it is, because you are countering their laced “opinions”. Some of them are just entitled because they are more popular and anyone who has not bought twitter/instagram followers or networked their way to it, is simply not deserving of the same things sent their way. And SOME PR (not all, mind you) are just ridiculous people. It’s embarrassing for someone like me on the other end of the spectrum to witness the regina george personality in its full glory. Why? because they are PR and we are bloggers and they can work with us when they like/pick their favorites and abandon the rest of us. I’ve been fed up with this circle for a while now and that’s the reason I have downsized my blogging big time. Luckily now I can escape it all – you know why 😉 Now I’ll see if I will blog. But no more PR hook-ups for me. Thanks, it is a very dirty game.

    • Yup! We sure have. Many times! And I finally BROKE hahaha!
      You are right-getting stuff does make you feel important! Until the PR starts pressuring you, or IGNORES you because you made fun of a cat…my Shu Uemura post with the cat was the last I heard from them, even though I liked the products, I guess they didn’t like my cat jokes LOL.
      And I wish you all the luck in your new venture! So happy for you!

      • Actually, I had a big issue with a PR person associated with the brand. She asked me if I had any product requests and when I replied, I was dropped out of the mailing list. I only asked for 1 product to review, mind you! Initially it upset me but then I thought, I’m better off without such brands. This is not paying my bills, I don’t need to deal with such personalities. Good riddance. You too are better off without such ego’s to feed, too. LOL they got offended because you made fun a cat? I can’t even.

      • BooBooNinja

        because you made fun of a cat?!!!!
        Bye bye, Shu.

  • Ha ha, I like when your’re drunk!
    What brands don’t seem to understand sometimes is that their relationship with bloggers should be a trade-off. You can do something for them if they do something for you. Otherwise, you have zero reason to spend your time and blog space for them.A free product is just a free product, it doesn’t make your blog grow, and like you said it doesn’t pay the bills, so it shouldn’t come with strings attached. If you want sponsored posts, you gotta pay for them!
    Nowadays I don’t have much PR contacts, but when I do they rarely feel like good opportunities for me. Like that haircare brand who asked me to create a blog post about summer hair styles. I asked (nicely) what the compensation was, and they replied that they didn’t have a budget to pay for sponsored posts, but they would give me that cool infographics that I could use in my blog post FOR FREE, woohoo! U kidding me? You think I’m gonna publish a sponsored post in exchange for a crappy picture??
    I wonder if things have changed for the worse? Years ago when I was blogging in France, I had some great contacts with PRs for big brands. Not only were they generous with samples (no posts demanded) but they were also super nice and always there to answer my questions about the products/collections. So different country, or different times? I don’t know. Brands have been infected by the social media frenzy in the past few years and apparently, they often believe that there’s a ton of money to be made without spending a cent. I’m sorry but you can’t start a marketing campaign without a budget. Even when you get people to hold signs to advertise your sales at intersections, you pay them. You don’t expect them to work for a sample of your USDA choice pork shoulder. So why do you expect that from bloggers?

    • LOL I love this ” You don’t expect them to work for a sample of your USDA choice pork shoulder. So why do you expect that from bloggers?” THE BEST!
      Exactly! I don’t get it. And as to your speculation, I think it’s the country. I know people in Europe have some problems, but I think there’s lots of NICER PR there from what I’ve seen-although I could be wrong! I am just so tired of everything and it has to change, otherwise I’m going to go to an early grave DRUNK.

      • Girl, I hope I go to my grave drunk. It’d make it so much easier.
        So when are you comin’ to SoCal again?

      • Hahahaha, not sure maybe in the middle of July I think? If not then, August sometime. I’ll let you know for sure and bring you illegal sunscreen HAHAHA!

    • Hey Lulle, ha I think we all know that “we will share your post on our social media” trick very well by now! Some PRs think we were born yesterday!

      Regarding countries and PR samples, I have to say things seem easier here in Europe. The blogospheres (with the exception of maybe the British and the Dutch ones) aren’t at the same scale as they are in the US/Canada. I personally also find that in-house PRs from big (luxury) brands are the easiest to deal with. None of them has come after me for a post or anything! PR agencies could already be sketchy sometimes…

      • You’re right, thinking about it, most of the positive interactions I referred to happened with in-house PR managers from big brands. I suppose that PR agencies are under intense pressure to show numbers and the way they treat bloggers is more likely to reflect that. Their problem, not ours though!

  • Dude, THANK YOU for this post. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the blogger/brand relationship recently, and you’ve said SO MANY of the things that I’ve been feeling recently.

    As it stands right now, I’m pretty happy about my relationship with brands/marketing/PR etc. I write about things on my own time, and if I don’t want to write a post, I don’t have to — no questions asked. But every now and again I’ll have a really bad experience with a brand or PR firm and I can be SO surprised by how unbelievably unprofessional they can be about the whole thing. (My Smashbox makeover last month — dude, I am so glad you didn’t have to go through that. My 45 minute makeover took two hours; I was getting emails from the PR before the makeover was even over asking where a full blog post (which was never mentioned as a necessity) was; there were no gift bags as promised so I didn’t get to follow up with ANY reviews; and to top it all off, the makeup style itself was really… racist? Like, “we’ll do this because you don’t have double eyelids” and “Asian girls have to create a fake crease to look their best” levels of racist.)

    ANYHOW. From a blogger standpoint, the PR can really make or break a brand for me — even if it’s not my own experience. You can learn a LOT about what a brand thinks and values based on how they treat people when they think the consumer will never find out, and a big part of that has to do with how sneaky, rude, or unprofessional they’re going to be. On the flip side, though, there are some truly, truly great brands and PR firms out there, and they are a pleasure to work with. Lots of product info, flexible timeframes, all the good stuff. I’m going to be doing a lot of coffee meetings/office visits while I’m in TO next month, so I am really, really hoping for lots of the latter! :s

    • Wow, I’m glad I wasn’t here for that event now! I would have snapped at the makeup artist-you are too nice.
      Agree! I’m glad you work with good PR-wish I had the same experience as you! Like I said only a few brands I like working with-the others have all treated me like dirt. they can suck it.

    • Ugh that is SO RACIST! I hate it when MUAs do that. I am perfectly fine with my monolids and I don’t necessarily have to fake a crease or whatever.

      I just can’t go to random events anymore. I work as a freelancer on top of this rather time-consuming hobby. Every minute I spend going to events is a minute I am not making money/crafting content for my readers/spending with my family. I’d go if some of my favorite bloggers are also going, if for nothing else but seeing them. Otherwise I can’t. I just really can’t.

      • Liz

        I also found that events here were hosted at some really bizarre times of the day, as if bloggers don’t have jobs or other responsibilities. 3pm on a week day? Um, most people are too busy earning a salary. Get real.

  • Good on you, Tracy! I totally get where you’re coming from. One of the reasons why I moved to a completely different blog is because I wanted to reclaim my voice. I didn’t want to have to be pressured into endorsing or reviewing products that companies wanted me to review. I gave honest reviews, but really that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my blog. Now, I write what I want to write about when I want to write about it. It’s so liberating.

    • Thanks Laura! Ahhh-so that’s why! I’m so glad you did! I love your posts and don’t ever want you to quit!

  • In the words of Skinny Pete, “CHURCH!” I will read your blog ’til the cows come home because I LOVE you and find you and your writing wildly entertaining. Plus I also know you don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk, either! You tell the truth. If something lets you down, you say it, and explain why, which I appreciate greatly. Anyone who doesn’t value you for you/your writing style, isn’t worth a reply.
    You know about my most awful PR experience because I was so embarrassed and shocked at how I was treated that I emailed you! It was the PR girl who promised to meet me for lunch during the holidays and bring me products for a giveaway. She stood me up at the restaurant and didn’t answer her phone when I called and texted. Not only was it extremely embarrassing to be stood up while an entire restaurant full of patrons looked on, but it left me in a huge lurch because the giveaway had already been posted and I was to draw a winner 4 days later. With no products to send. There was no way I was going to email her and try to get the products, so I ordered the kit and paid out the nose to overnight it to myself so I wouldn’t let my readers down and lose credibility. I can’t imagine being like, “Hey! Just kidding on that giveaway, guys! LOL! Happy holidays!” The worst part though was that the PR rep had followed me on Instagram shortly after our first email and I followed her back. Hours after I got stood up, I checked my Instagram feed and there was a post from her of 2 champagne glasses. The caption said she and her mom were having lunch at a posh restaurant after spending the morning shopping. The timestamp on the post was at the time she and I were supposed to have been meeting. A week later, I got an email from her apologizing for missing our lunch date and acting like she’d only JUST realized that had happened. Even though there was a google calendar appointment — that she sent! – that sent a reminder alarm to both of our phones. Oh and a missed call from me that day and a text message asking if she was on her way. But oh yeah, TOTALLY JUST REALIZED I STOOD YOU UP like a SCHMUCK. The icing on the cake? She told me the reason she’d forgotten our meeting was due to a FAMILY EMERGENCY the morning of our lunch. It took everything in me not to respond back with a screen cap of her champagne lunch with mommy and ask if that was the emergency. The fact that she thought I wasn’t worth a simple text that morning to cancel our lunch so she could spend time with her family just burns me to this day. JUST BE HONEST. If you got home and realized you didn’t want to honor a meeting you set up, then just have the BALLS to tell me that. I completely 100% would have respected that. She also screwed around with one of my other blogger friends and took over a month to send her the products she’d said she would and when my friend got the package, HALF THE PROMISED ITEMS WERE MISSING. Without even a note explaining anything. We both got treated like trash by this girl. Luckily for the brand, I already LOVED their products and knew my disappointment was with the PR rep ONLY and it didn’t have a negative effect on my feelings for the brand’s products.
    I also had one PR person tell me they were sending me their whole line of skincare products to test and review if I liked. Guess what I got? 4 foil sample packets. 1 single use of each product. I’m sure I can share a really great review of the skincare benefits I experienced from using 4 foil sample packets! WOW. ????
    No one should leave a business relationship feeling used, beholden or slighted. If you do, someone sucks at their job.
    Speaking of, you’re EXACTLY RIGHT. I feel like I’ve been yelling this for at least a year: blogging is not my FT job! It’s a hobby I love. I’ll blog when I want. I won’t be tied to a once every day posting schedule that forces me to write on command. Post when you’re inspired. Post when you’re EXCITED. Post when you’re mad! When someone truly blogs for themselves, it shows, both in the quality of the posts and the quality of THEIR LIFE. No one should be enslaved to blog or vlog. All you need to remember is it’s a hobby you started out enjoying, and should remain as such. Reclaim your blog, baby! And cheers to vino times! 😉

    • PS: I still cannot believe you got left out of a beauty event for a network you’ve been with and supported since it’s inception. And then you got lied to about it! That burns my britches for you and everyone else who got slighted! Either include everyone in the network or be transparent about the event and the qualifications so people don’t find out about it second-hand and feel like they’re not “good enough.” Unbelievable!

      • I know-they don’t know what a GOOD TIME I AM OBVIOUSLY HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
        And yeah, I wasn’t the only one left out..so I was kind of speaking for the others. But you know, none of them(that got to go or got slighted) will leave that group even though they feel for me. Because the pull of free makeup is too strong for most. And that I don’t understand. You’d rather deal with liars. Or it means you don’t believe me. Either way, I’m not sure I want a relationship with anyone in that group now…you know?

    • Oh Goood Kristen I am SO SORRY to hear that! This is HORRENDOUS and said PR should have been shot!

      • Ha ha! Thank you, Sunny! 😀 I’ve never been stood up before until that day. Never thought it would be by a woman, LOL! Some people just don’t care about doing a good job, and their work ethic and treatment of other people hurts everyone in the end.

    • I remember you telling me about this! And I STILL can’t believe it happened to you. I would have sent her that screen shot of her instagram for sure…I don’t give a rat’s ass anymore. And I’ve had the foil packet crap happen to me too—and then bugging me about them: WHADDAYA THINK ARE YA GONNA REVIEW? NO. I USED IT ONE TIME. GET LOST.
      And thanks love! That’s exactly it-I’ve lost the PASSION because of all this stupid PR bull. In a way I’m glad it happened, because it made me make the decision to do what I want now! CHEERS LOVE!

      • I know, now I wish I had sent the screenshot. I was just so shocked and embarrassed by the whole thing at the time. Now I would DEFINITELY handle it differently! LOL at foil packet crap!! I know! No one can tell if something works from one use unless the product is a true marvel. That’s only happened a handful of times in my life, love at first use.
        Shitty PR experiences really do have a negative impact on blogging. It makes you lose your passion and spirit, and that’s terrible! You have so much of both, so I can’t wait to see what lies ahead with your no-B.S. blogging mantra locked n’ loaded!

    • OMG, OMG Kristen. I can’t believe you acted so nobly about this whole shit. I would have hounded her down and done something to her (I don’t know what exactly, but somethang!!!) Grrrrr, it makes me angry just hearing about it!

      • LOL, Lena! I loved your comment! I think at the time I was just so shell-shocked that revenge plots didn’t come to me. 😉

    • What the actual fuck…

    • Lily

      Omg Kristen, what a total bitch! I’ve only just met 1 PR personally because of location problem and she’s nice. But she stopped working and the new one who replaces her is kinda in her own world. But being stood up? You’re right that is the lack of work ethic. I probably would have written to her boss and cc to all the heads of the company.

      • Oh man, that stinks that you lost your good PR contact! Yeah, it was a touchy situation. I didn’t contact anyone for the reasons I cited above in my answer to Aoyv. I just hope her antics catch up with her because no one deserves to be treated so poorly.

    • I am extremely sorry about what happened to you. I still can’t believe how unprofessional and yes, I’ll say it, bitchy that lady was. Incomprehensible. I hope you brought this up to her supervisor/brand head. She deserves to get fired.

      • Thank you so much, Aoyv! LOL – bitchy is a good description! I didn’t contact anyone else about it at the company because I didn’t know anyone else and feared the general inquiry box was being answered by the same person who stood me up. : I doubt she’ll be around very long with that kind of “customer service” approach!

  • I was THRILLED to read this, and I’m very excited to see where you go editorially. I don’t deal with PR a ton, but most of the people I’ve worked with have been great, thankfully. Anytime I get an email from someone who’s obviously neglected to do a shred of reading about the subject matter I cover in the blog or my basic policies just gets ignored. I’ve had a couple disappointing interactions, but they weren’t exactly horror stories. Reading this post is inspiring because I generally have to fight the urge to acquiesce, so thanks so much for being so transparent here.

    • You are welcome Erin! I have a few PR like I said that are GEMS and I consider them friends! But a lot of the others, are just….a pain in my ass that I no longer want OR asked for. No more nice Tracy….the gloves are off!

  • Don’t you just love when you build up a good PR relationship over year then it just goes sour? Happened to me with my favourite brand, one I devoted at least one post a week on the blog for a year. All of a sudden one day I stop getting responses, then when I do get a response I’m told they don’t have samples… then I see all the new bloggers on their list reviewing PR samples from the collection I requested. Like do they think we don’t talk or read each other’s blogs?

    • That’s what I don’t get! The beauty community DOES talk and does see each other’s work! These companies are going to get caught in a lie and it not only makes people feel bad, but it can change the way they view the entire company! The slogan of 2015 should be JUST BE HONEST.

      • I told her exactly that Kristen! I said: you know we all KNOW each other and talk to each other and follow each other right? So, did you think those of us NOT invited wouldn’t see the event? Or ASK our friends hey WHAT’S UP???!! She kind of stammered for a sec and said, uhhhh yes we do know that….RIGHT.

    • I’m so happy you mentioned that one Julie! That happens to me all the time! And that’s what I said to the PR from BU-you know we all KNOW each other and follow each other, right? So those of us left out SEE them there?

  • Hi Tracy,
    I don’t know how to start. I am so disappointed lately, I don’t feel like blogging. L’ancome has one of the worst PR Department here, they tell lie after lie so I don’t even want to get into touch with them anymore. From some of the PRs I just want information and no products, I buy the products myself and to my one question per two months I don’t even receive an answer.

    A year ago online shop used my review to sell their products and when I asked if they can do a discount on another product, they wrote me a rather rude answer. Since I am lately so frustrated with lying PR, I told this to some people on Instagram on a side sentence, “I won’t buy from this online store because they used me and lied to me”.

    And you know what happened? Some readers started to unfollow me!
    I mean I can get along with PR telling lies and treat me like s***, I somehow accepted that over time but readers telling me things like “you asked for compensation? How awful of you” I can’t take it.

    I work my a** off, try to do every swatch color correct, give hours to compare products and they read it all for free. Then with one sentence I write they drop me just like that?

    I wished they all knew what we are going through here. I once got sick after reading an e-mail from PR, that is real, I couldn’t do anything but lie in the bed two days with headache. I am so frustrated that I put so much of my time and energy into this and readers hate me because I asked for compensation, which was just a discount to review the second product!!!

    I don’t know what else to say. I just would like to write whatever you write I will be reading because I love your blog. We have to try to stay sane in all that insanity. You and your health and your mind, these are more important than anything else. This is a hobby and we should also remind ourselves this over and over again.

    Thanks so much for being one of these real bloggers, not the fake ones who like every product and write the same arguments for the people to buy it. Because I don’t read those.

    • OH, Sara your comment made me cry! I can’t believe that happened to you. I wish I could give you a HUG. Screw ’em-those kind of readers you don’t need! You did NOTHING wrong. You asked to be treated fairly, that’s all and if they don’t like it-GET LOST. We will ALWAYS support you and read your blog-it’s one of my faves. Your swatches are always so AWESOME and for me especially, your colouring is closer to mine so I look to you for colour guidance always. Never stop please!
      And I’m always here if you need an ear to vent to-I vent to some people all the time, like Liz and Maggie, and Larie so if something bugging you talk to me! Talking it out helps you see what needs to be done.
      And thank you Sara-I try so hard to be ME and tell the truth, and that’s gonna STAY that way. I’m too old to play games. And too much of an angry wine drinker HAHAHA.
      Love ya lady! xx

      • Thanks so much Tracy,
        without fellow bloggers who can understand what I am going through, I would have already quitted. We always make jokes about beauty blogging community being like a “mutual support group”. I will definitely take your offer and vent to you too lol. And of course you can do that to me too, always there for you. Twitter messaging is a great environment 😉
        Love you too :-**

  • I’ve had some really great PR experiences, but a few shady ones too. I don’t have a lot of PR contacts and I am a-okay with that. I don’t want to only post reviews of PR samples on my blog, I want to write what I wanna write when I wanna write it.

    I recently had an experience with a PR that I was REALLY excited to be working with – it was with one of my favourite tea brands and I was so excited to work with them! But then I was charged with customs fees, and asked if they would be willing to reimburse me because hey, I don’t get paid for blogging, and he came back with a snarky “It was a GIFT” response. Uh…no? It wasn’t? I did the review anyway because I genuinely did like the product, but I haven’t had any responses from emails to him since then and I’m just like good riddance. If that’s how you want to treat me/bloggers, I don’t want you in my life.

    Basically – good for you Tracy! I look forward to seeing where your blog takes you next. 🙂

    • Thanks Jodi! I’m kind of excited now that I’ve gotten this off my chest and have been able to help everyone else vent too! All the stories coming out, like yours-UNBELIEVABLE and RUDE PR. What a shady tea dude! It’s this kind of stuff that just really IRKS ME now that I’m hearing it!

      • I’m so glad you started the conversation! It’s really sad that it’s necessary, but it’s good to know that I am not alone.

    • Liz

      Davids Tea?

      • No, Teapigs. You’d expect a smaller company to be better but nooope.

      • Liz

        Never heard of ’em but now I’ll be sure to cold shoulder them at the first opportunity.

      • They’re just starting to come over to North America – primarily UK brand. They make my fave peppermint tea, which is one of the reasons I am so sad.

      • Liz

        You can still drink the tea. Just don’t give them any blog/social media coverage. 😉

      • Ha! Truth!

  • I did notice that some older Beauty United members were flown in whereas the rest were all new members. I myself just thought that many people couldn’t make it, sorry about what you had to go through 🙁 I’ve previously read a similar post by you and I admire you for your honesty and standing up for yourself and what you believe in! I personally hate dishonesty in a review and I should definitely read your blog more because I can see you don’t do that!

    I haven’t have terrible experiences with PR that I remember but I do have brands that don’t contact me anymore (probably because I didn’t talk about how amazing their product was or didn’t even end up reviewing it because I got lazy) and I get really annoyed when they continuously ask you where the review is.. especially when you just got sent the product like a week ago. OH I had a bad experience with Spicy Subscriptions.. don’t ask why I wanted to work with them anyway.. they never sent me a box to review and made me do a fake giveaway. That was the last time I did a giveaway without being sent something from the brand first and seeing that the product was actually worthy of a giveaway :p

    • Thanks Michelle! I appreciate that sentiment! It wasn’t fair at al how they treated those of us they DIDN’T invite…ie.. they LIED to us when we questioned them. Not worth my time anymore. I don’t need to review lousy Covergirl crap on here.
      Fake giveaway, wow. That’s not cool at all.
      And yup! Vichy is one of the best! Glad you agree haha!

  • New reader here, hello! 🙂
    Stumbled upon your blog from Twitter. Wowza, this was a really interesting blog post. I always consider myself a ‘new’ blogger but that got old a year and a half ago when I started haha. I don’t work with any PR companies or have any contacts/stories, but that’s almost why I find this article so interesting. For beauty blogging I always feel that having contacts and getting publicity is ‘making it’. With not having anything close to these experience, it’s so eye opening to see the flip side of it!

    Anyhoo, really enjoyed the post and I look forward to reading more! 😀

    • Hi Melanie!!
      Yeah, it’s a fine line in the blogging world! But when you start getting treated crazily by these brands that made you think you’ve ‘made it”….yeah. It’s a whole different ball game.
      Good luck with your blog!

  • Found this from Liz’s tweet, I love it! The truth, with no strings attached, is why I started reading blogs instead of magazines. I will always unfollow any blog that is so obviously lying for PR/sponsored posts, whatever. I don’t care if it’s free or sponsored, I just want to read honest opinions!

    • Thanks! I do’t really care if there are sponsored posts where the blogger gets paid-blogging is expensive! Sometimes a blogger has to do stuff like that to pay hosting fees, photo storage fees-it adds up dude.
      But PR lying is where I end it. No more working with brands that treat me like crap.

  • Jayne

    I find that ignorance is bliss when it comes to PR because I went from feeling lovey-dovey about beauty blogging and beauty companies to incredibly jaded and suspicious after getting deeper into the politics of it all. PR companies may treat each of us like individual clients, but they must be stupid to think we all don’t talk to each other or *gasp* see EVERYTHING posted on social media!

    My PR horror story involves a pretty classic story of getting charged duty back in October. The PR person said it would be resolved and the cost covered on their end. Six months later, I get a notice from a COLLECTIONS agency asking me to pay for this charge before it shows up on my credit report. Many many emails later, the girl at the PR agency tells me that their accounting dept cannot reimburse me the $37 because there is no “paper trail” even though I have sent them the invoice for the charge, the collections agency’s letter and a screenshot of my bank statement showing that I paid the charge on their behalf.

    As of today, I am still awaiting payment from the PR girl who said that she herself will reimburse “from her own pocket”.

    • Right? We are all FRIENDS, especially those of us that have been doing this for YEARS! How dumb do you think we are? Or me in this instance? NO MORE.

      OH MAN, that’s so BAD….and it’s not like we make a ton of money doing this, so $37 is a lot!

  • Maggie

    I’ve been fortunate not to have particularly miserable experiences with PR, and the constant rotation of reps makes me think it’s probably not a fabulous experience for them either. It just seems like an industry that is rife with poor communication (ironically), crossed intentions and a feeble understanding of how to use this brave new world of online media for marketing purposes.

    But man, I’m just so done with the entire thing – the marketing machine, the anxiety, the inevitable backtalk. I just want to write about things that are interesting/beautiful/exciting/meaningful to ME, on MY time, at MY pace. And seriously, just fuck everything else.

    • It probably isn’t a great job I get that, but treating people like dirt to make YOU feel better about your life? WORM.
      And agree! That’s exact.y what I’m gonna do! Cheers!

  • Lydia

    I just had an infuriating experience last week. Let me set the scene for you: A few weeks ago I was contacted by PR (please note THEY reached out to ME) to review an upcoming launch. I love the brand and agreed. I just had to wait for the package to arrive **crickets** 3 weeks later, still no package when I see this brand popping up all over my Instagram feed with local and Canadian bloggers. I sent out an email to make sure the package wasn’t lost or stolen and they act like I’m requesting products. Woah woah woah, you pitched me remember? Fast forward 2 days and a brown manila envelope shops up on my doorstep with random products from 2 different brands just shoved inside. No box, bow and makeup bag like every other blogger. Not even bubble wrap or papers explaining the launch or product. I was TICKED OFF.

    Now let me be clear-I am not entitled. I started my blog in 2009 but never made it in to the “big leagues” like some other bloggers based in Toronto/Montreal and that’s perfectly all right with me. I have a career that gives me sooooooo much joy and purpose; blogging is my hobby and I enjoy the perks of the occasional exciting free sample or launch (not as common here in Vancouver and even then a very select group of the same cast of characters is invited). I often decline because my family and job come first and I can’t drive 1+ hour downtown in the middle of a work day. BUT I really felt that this was a slap in the face. I’m not fresh out of high school chica sitting in my bedroom in front of a camera (no diisrespect intended). I take pride in what I write, how I write and the research and testing that goes on before I post. Needless to say, I’ll think twice before working with this PR again.

    • Yup Lydia! I know EXACTLY how you feel! That was so RUDE to do to you!That’s my relationship with L’Oreal, so I am DONE with them. I’ve gotten swept under the rug by them so many times and every time I reach out they are SURPRISED that I’m not on their lists? BULL. You know DAMN well I’m not. DONE with them now! I don’t care anymore.
      Treating those of us that have been blogging for years is NOT cool. Don’t underestimate my ability to LET YOU HAVE IT. And I did. And I am so GLAD because everyone is sharing their horror stories too. This is the best thing that’s ever happened because we’re uniting! And that’s super POWERFUL.

  • Great rant, I’m with you! Looking from the other point of view, I work with very few bloggers with my products and I am super gentle with them, only give them things for their consideration and never force them or ask them for anything, because hey I know they are not professional journalists. I would never ever pressure a blogger (because I am one too). And with regards to professional journalists, I cannot say the amount of times I open well known magazines only to find one of my products with the wrong picture, wrong name and wrong positioning. (did they ask for my advice? nooooo). uuugggghhhhhhh

    • Thanks Sofia! Interesting point of you from you so thanks for that! For most of us it’s just a hobby, but PR seem to think we work for lipstick and blush! Sorry, nope!
      Hahahaha, right? Bloggers SHOULD be pros-we’d get it right every time!

  • Jane

    Brilliant post. I cannot drink either, it gives me a terrible insomnia, so you are not alone:) Usually, the companies that treat you with not enough respect are also the companies that have a horrible internal culture. You probably see the peak of an iceberg when you are communicating to their PR. L’oreal is a famous serpentarium, interesting that Vichy, despite being part of it, is still different (so people can make a difference!).
    Actually I just wanted to ask why don’t you wear that much makeup anymore? I like the looks that you posted before. I am new to your blog and your statement made me curious whether my makeup obsession will cease one day (I mean before my 70s when I will be more concerned about my joints than my looks:). I have been always focused on searching for the best skin care because I have (used to have) problematic skin but now I know all about skin care and unless some new major scientific breakthroughs will happen, I don’t expect any change in my routine (use the strongest anti-aging arsenal already). Sorry if I missed your post about it.

    • Thanks Jane! I love that you equated L’Oreal with a Serpentarium! THE BEST and so true! Yeah, see here in Canada Vichy even though owned by the snakes is handled by a separate PR firm -all on her own, so she’s AMAZING. So, I will continue to work with her because she’s one of the best!
      I’m near menopause, so hot flashes are a constant in my life now. To be honest, most makeup just doesn’t survive one of them, especially if it’s really bad. Plus, I go to the gym everyday and I don’t wear makeup there for sure. I can’t stand that. And I take care of my skin, so I really don’t need a lot of makeup and feel quite comfortable going out with nothing on my face. I do still wear it though and will post looks for sure here! I just don’t wear it daily is all I meant.
      I have an amazing skincare item I’ve been using exclusively for the last almost 3 weeks that I will share soon and you are going to want it! I can’t believe the difference in my skin!
      I appreciate your comments Jane! I’m so glad you found my blog!

  • Way too many horror stories to share, but your experience was awful. The more awful thing is that I’ve seen the same happen here. That’s mostly the reason why I pulled myself out of all networks. They don’t treat everyone the same, and there is always a preference for the sweet young things. Forge your own path, T, from experience I can tell you that it’s ultimately very satisfying and those PR/brands who do want to work with you will still do so. Those who don’t can take their kite and fly it where I don’t give a damn 🙂

    • KITE! I love you Paris! I really do!
      I do think it’s a bit of agesim when it comes to beauty blogging, which isn’t fair. I really don’t look at young bloggers for ANY ageing advice because SERIOUSLY why would I. There’s a need for older bloggers for sure.
      And yeah, I agree…distancing myself more and more is what is going to work for me. Might not for others! But I will be SO much happier for sure. Thanks for your thoughts and insights! I appreciate them a lot! xx

  • Toya

    AMAZING, Tracy. That’s what you are! GOD I love these wine-fueler posts of yours lol. Also love that you’re calling PR on their bullshit. You’re right, blogging is a HOBBY, not a job, and some of the expectations are ludicrous (yesterday I had a gal ask if I would promote her client in all these ways – we have no relationship thus far – and she’ll “try” and send me samples. Sounds like I’m doing her job for her!) I only really have one horror story where a PR gal asked me to change/pull a post I wrote that reviewed their product in a negative light. I told her no and to not send me anything anymore – eff that! The hilarious part is she’s been back this year offering me products to review on several occasions – I don’t even answer her emails. She clearly doesn’t remember me; we’re just lackeys to many of them, I’m sure. But those good brands/PR people? They GET it. MUFE has been amazing to me from the get go, and they’re never pissed when I write a poor review, and I’ve never been ‘punished’ either. Sounds like Vichy/Avene et al are the same.

    • HAHAHAHA man that’s so rich! They do have short memories, hey! Agree with MUFE-she is amazing. And yup! Avenue and Vichy are the same. I have no time for liars or demands. This blog as much as I love it doesn’t pay the electricity! No more ASSES to deal with is my motto!

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  • I need to introduce you to my good friend, the cabarnet sauvignon grape..MMMMM

  • Whoa, respect!

  • Christine Fau

    You rock, Tracy! You have integrity and that is what makes you fabulous. Don’t compromise it! Hugs, chris 🙂

  • You totally said it all for all of us, Tracy!!! You simply hit the nail on the head about brands and PRs demanding shizz for naught!!! No, we are not simply journalists, we are also publishers, and editors all rolled in one… and we don’t get paid! PRs need to understand that in addition to taking the time and effort to writing stuff, we also host their products on our site that we built up to readers we have been cultivating! And they just need to get their shit together and stop treating us like crap. Thank you so much for posting this!!!

    • Thanks! You are most welcome! I’m so freakin’ tired of PR games. I’m not playing anymore. Don’t want to send me something? DON’T. I got other stuff to talk about hahaha! Like….whipped butter. That doesn’t have to be refrigerated WHAT. See-that’s important and beautiful hahaha!