Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why I Don't Include Packaging or Product Photos in My Reviews

I've noticed that including (sometimes multiple) photos of product packaging, applicators, and close-ups of products is pretty standard on beauty blogs, but I tend not to do that. Sometimes I include a basic photo that's provided by the manufacturer to make it easier for you to identify something in a store, but that's about it. Why, you ask? Okay, no one asked, but I feet the need to explain myself anyway.
This is as good as it gets around here.

First of all, I do occasionally take a photo of a product or its packaging if I think it's important for understanding how the shit works, but otherwise usually I don't. Here's why:
1. I don't have a great camera or light box, so I don't really think whatever basic photo I could take with the equipment I do have would add much to a review. I'm not going to invest in equipment just for blogging, since this is a hobby blog, and I don't make money from it. I try to take decent photos of the things I do want to show you, like swatches, but the time and equipment it would require to take good product shots is not worth the limited added benefit, in my opinion.
2. I'm not advertising or promoting products. I'm not trying to dazzle you with pretty packaging design - or turn you off with bland design. What I'm interested in is performance, and that is easier to demonstrate in words than photos of fancy boxes and glitter. Again, this is why I try to take decent swatch photos, when it's useful, since they can show you how things work. My swatch and wear (i.e. makeup on the face) photos should improve now that it is warm enough to be able to take them outside or in my sun room.
3. There are lots of product and packaging photos available on other blogs if that's important to you. Like fucking tons. I might be able to show you swatches that you haven't seen before, but if you've seen the container for one shade of lip gloss or eyeliner pencil, you've seen them all, really. If not, I trust you to know how to google.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with product shots. I love to look at them on other blogs, and they are a source of extra information and added visual interest. But since there are already so many blogs out there doing a spectacular job of providing these photos, I'll stick with what I do better. The investment in time, frustration, effort, and money would not justify the ends, for me, here.

Are product and packaging photos a really important part of makeup reviews for you? What in particular do you like to see?


  1. I only recently found your blog, but I already noticed this approach, and I'm grateful for it, as a reader.

    1) Adding all those extra pictures increases load time of a page and makes me have to scroll forever. Not a huge deal, but I'm lazy :P

    2) Product packaging is a huge factor in the cost of an actual product. I'm willing to say at LEAST half of the cost of most cosmetics comes from the brand name and the packaging. If something works well and is affordable, I really don't care how it's packaged, who makes it (as long as it's not some back ally lab in Chile), or what brand name is on the front. If I want something that looks nice, I'll buy a painting. If something works awesome, is a good price, and looks like shit, I'll buy it. How a product looks doesn't influence what I care about most: performativity.

    All I'm looking for in terms of information about packaging is what kind of packaging it is. Jar, squeeze bottle, palette, pot, pump, baggie, sifter. That's all I need to know. If the package has a picture of a giant turd on it, I don't care as long as it works.

    1. Yeah, that's the idea! I would feel weird, I think, if I had a bunch of photos of something that looks cool, and the photo convinced someone to buy it,e ven if it sucked. or if they got distracted from the fact that something was great but the blah packaging. I'm not trying to glamorize anything. Having said that . . . I do like looking at pretty photos on other blogs, though I am personally cheap enough that it's not usually enough to tempt me to spend money.


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