The Best Policy

A large portion of this blog’s content is doing product reviews. Part of doing those reviews is receiving products by PR representatives or directly from companies for consideration.

About a week ago, I did a review for Apothia on a fragrance they had sent. A couple of days after the review went live, I received an email from the Vice-President of sales requesting I not do reviews for the other 2 items they’d sent. Since the request came without explanation, I prodded for one. She stated that the review did not “accurately represent” the product. When I asked what was inaccurate, I received no response.

I can only assume that the company was unsatisfied because I had not ranted and raved about the product or given it a perfect score. (The product, by the way, received a B–a more-than-decent grade.)

Which brings me to the point of this post. There’s no question that beauty bloggers feel at least some pressure when doing reviews. There’s the desire to make others happy and to not criticize a company when they’ve given you something for free.

But the policy for this blog has always been to convey both the good and bad about products. It’s more important to maintain readers’ trust than it is to make a company happy. If a product is bad, I will tell you. If a product doesn’t live up to its company’s claims, I will tell you. If a product isn’t worth the money, I will tell you.

I’ve always firmly believed that quality companies will take the good with the bad. Instead of ignoring or trying to hide criticisms of a product, great companies will take them and work to improve their products. If a company expects me to give their product a glowing review just because they’ve sent it for consideration, I can’t support that company or do further reviews for them.

Knowing that many readers take my reviews and use them to decide whether or not to buy a product means honesty isn’t just the best policy–it’s the only policy.

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8 Responses to The Best Policy

  1. sthobbie says:

    Your honesty is very much appreciated! Companies should realize this.

  2. Lisa B. says:

    I feel you give some of the most honest and complete reviews I’ve ever read, whereas I’ve found some others to ONLY/exclusively give mostly positive-to-glowing reviews. I suppose it’s good that they want to tell people about good products/products that they like, but it also seems a tad unrealistic. I realize products are getting better and better–technology has done some great things with makeup–but you’re probably still going to come across less-than-stellar things sometimes. Your grading scale seems very fair and gives me a good idea of what to expect from an item.
    Apothica’s response just makes me want to avoid giving them my patronage; so they’ve just lost a potential customer. It’s hilarious that they said your review is “inaccurate” and then can’t even come up with a reason for it.

  3. Kim says:

    NOT cool. 🙁 That’s why I appreciate your blog versus many others, I feel like I’m always getting an honest review without the fluff that many beauty bloggers give nowadays.

  4. michelle says:

    companies like that leave a bad taste in my mouth. the reason why you should send out products for review is a) PR and b) to get important feedback from real life testers. don’t expect things to go your way and think that since the reviewer is getting the item for free, therefore should give the product gold stars.

    the feedback is something the company should consider when reevaluating and possibly incorporating into the products so they can IMPROVE it so next time they WILL get a better review. the beauty market is – of course- a consumer driven market and our feedback is clearly just as important. it is a social marketing type of world now, and if they can’t get with it now, they will sink later.

  5. I appreciate your honesty, it’s a shame they reacted like that which is why many bloggers are hesitant to receive products.
    I enjoy your blog very much.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for your honesty, it is very appreciated! Beside, fragrances are very personal and I think your reader would go test the product out for themselves and not solely rely on your opinion. I know that I would go and smells the product before deciding to buy or not.

    I was wondering if you wrote the information anywhere about the fact that you got the products sent for consideration by the company (when it’s the case) or when you buy it yourself. I read your full posts, but I can’t seem to remember being able to find that information anywhere.

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