The Differences Between Fashion and Beauty Bloggers

I've been a blogger for a long time - 6 years in fact. I started off on a different blog from here, which was primarily about fashion, with a bit of beauty and lifestyle. Now I'm writing this blog, which is primarily about beauty, with a bit of fashion and lifestyle. As I've had two blogs with two different focuses, I've had the unique opportunity to experience being in both blogger communities. While there are a lot of similarities between the two, I have observed some distinct differences. Keep in mind that my experience revolves primarily around the Vancouver scene, but I'd love to hear if it differs or is reaffirmed in other cities around the world!

From my time being a beauty and a fashion blogger, here are some of the differences I've noted:

1. Beauty blogging events are way better
Here is how a typical beauty event goes down:
  • everyone arrives pretty much on time, or early!
  • there's mingling and food
  • the host presents the new products to all attendees. There may be video or slide presentations and even live demos
  • attendees are encouraged to play with all the products
  • there's a sweet swag bag
  • attendees range in age and occupation from university students to stay-at-home moms to professionals
Here is how a typical fashion event goes down:
  • everyone arrives late
  • there's mingling and food, but nobody eats it. Lots of drinking though
  • sometimes there's a DJ
  • sometimes there is a shopping discount, but nobody actually does any shopping
  • there's a swag bag filled with a couple token swag and coupons
  • attendees range in age from 20-something skinny blond girls, to 20-something skinny... non-blond girls
As someone who actually wants to go to events to see products and to learn more about a brand, I much prefer the structured format of beauty events. As well, I've noticed more innovation in beauty events in terms of what actually is done at events, from flying in on helicopters, to getting our hands dirty playing with products. I stopped accepting most fashion events a long while ago as it would usually just be a store with a bunch of people standing around checking each other out. After a long day at work, that type of social awkwardness is the last thing I want to do!

2. Beauty bloggers get way more stuff, way earlier in their blogging careers
Because beauty products are typically cheaper (not including high end skincare and makeup) and easier to mail, I've noticed it's a lot easier to get product sent over than with fashion. With clothes, you have to get the right sizing and there may be limited quantities available if the designer isn't mass-produced. Often, you may even have to return items after you've written about it. Fashion brands also seem to be more conservative with who they send product out to, which basically is a nice way of saying you need a bajillion pageviews and Instagram followers to matter.

3. Beauty bloggers tend to be much more analytical, OCD, collector types
There's definitely a "type" that seems to be a stereotype between fashion and beauty bloggers. Fashion bloggers generally tend to be skinny, good-looking women with perfect hair and waistlines - catalog models essentially. They also seem to tend towards the bohemian or preppy look, with a decidedly laissez-faire, well life is just always perfect attitude, whereas beauty bloggers... well, we tend to be more the over-thinking librarian/mad scientist type. Not to say there aren't gorgeous beauty bloggers out there (there are TONS!), but that as a species, we lean more to analyzing the hell out of everything. That's why beauty bloggers are such trusted resources; they research the crap out of everything they try, so you know that you're getting an informed opinion. I'm talking about testing in all weather conditions, noting wear time by the hour, doing skin type analyses and even investigating ingredient patents! Here's a prime example of what I mean: only in beauty blogging would someone get criticized for not taking photos in different lighting conditions and for not noting exactly whether something was "shiny" vs. "glittery" vs. "satin" vs. "pearlescent."

Beauty bloggers also tend to be hoarders as any casual perusing of the makeup collection post tag can attest. Fashion bloggers may like a certain collection, but rarely will they buy it in its entirety. Beauty bloggers will often do this and collect an entire collection in all its shades, editions and regional varieties. Why would anyone need to do this you ask? Well, why wouldn't you need 20 different shades of red? You never know when an occasion may call for it!

4. Fashion bloggers are way more clique-y and standoffish
Another reason for why I said in #1 that I prefer beauty over fashion events is that it's very difficult to make any real connections in fashion blogging. After a certain point, "famous" fashion bloggers become an elusive breed that instinctively know whether you're "in" or "out" of their tribe; if you're "in" then you will be welcomed to all the #Sundaybrunch dates you can handle, otherwise you're tolerated as a body in the backdrop of their event outfit photos.

Famous beauty bloggers though still make the effort to interact with their communities - just check out the comments section of Temptalia and Makeup and Beauty blog to see what I mean. In my own experiences, I've made some of my closest friends through beauty blogging, but I've only experienced cold shoulders and frenemies from the other.

5. Beauty blogging is much easier to do on your own
I feel I may offend some beauty bloggers here, but hear me out! Beauty blogging is tough to do, but it's often something you can do by yourself. Fashion blogging on the other hand, is very difficult now to do on your own.

Firstly, you're weather dependent. Almost all fashion bloggers take their photos outdoors and so having suitable photo locations is key. Secondly, predominantly all fashion blogging is now personal outfit photos. When I first started blogging, fashion blogging was more inclusive in that there was more content out there around styling advice, runway images and collages of fashion items; in fact, there were fashion blogs out there where you would never even see the blogger's face! Nowadays, it's 99% outfit photos and those photos are of professional quality with SLR's, lighting setups and photographer boyfriends.

Sure, it's possible to take your own photos with a tripod and remote timer, but that doesn't seem a common route. I used to take my own outfit photos when I was a fashion blogger, but I couldn't get over my self-consciousness to shoot outside and it probably took me twice as long to shoot one outfit as it takes now for me to shoot a full week's worth of products.

In conclusion, I hope this post didn't offend anyone, but I thought it would be interesting to share these differences as I've seen them. I'd love to hear from you if you're a fashion or beauty blogger about your own experiences in either community! Does what I say ring true or am I just crazy?

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