Inside the Industry | Beauty and its Beasts

Working in the beauty industry, you get to meet all kinds of interesting characters. By no means is it the Devil Wears Prada world of fashion (in my experience, anyway), but you do come by some rather intense egos.

I was very clearly reminded of this the other week when I took a day from the office to attend an industry conference. One of the guest panel speakers was a very successful blogger/vlogger with a huge following on YouTube – she’s rumoured to charge out her sponsored videos at tens of thousands of pounds. So when she took to the microphone, the conference delegates were eager to hear her pearls of wisdom on engaging communities and spreading the word on their brands.

All I can say, is I was shocked. She seemed incredibly bored, as if being there (which she was paid to be) was a huge inconvenience and everyone at the conference was a bit of an idiot. Bear in mind that these idiots came from sales, marketing and new product development departments of a huge number of top brands, precisely the people who overpay for her exposure. There was not one useful piece of information that I took for her, except that she’s got the eye roll down pat.

This is a woman in her mid-late twenties who has very cleverly carved herself a career doing something that she loves. I have a lot of respect for that. However there is an opinion out there (in the PR and journalism world) that bloggers don’t necessarily deserve the status that they have, and although I disagree, this blogger was a perfect example of that being true. She also seemed to know very little about beauty or the positioning of her blog, as when asked what in a product made her want to feature it, or what she looks for in a product, she replied ‘I don’t know, it just has to be something I like’. She’s touted as an expert that millions take advice from, so it was a little worrying.

Regardless of success, I think it is so important to remain humble, open and to remember where you came from. These are the very people who have helped to make her a success, yet her ego seemed to overlook that. I hope that maybe she was just having an off day, and if not, that at some point her viewers will see through her. And just remember, a million views on YouTube does not necessarily make an expert.

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