I began vlogging about beauty products over a decade ago, broadcasting shitty webcam videos recorded in my first college apartment. Despite being very average at makeup and not having anything particularly new or revolutionary to say, I managed to accrue a small but loyal following. I eventually realized that YouTube wasn't the right fit for me, and I moved on to this written blog. My viewership blossomed, I felt creative and inspired, and I met many lovely people I still speak to regularly via Instagram and email.
But a lot has changed over the last year, both in my personal life and in the beauty community at large. The loss of my cat Simmis was devastating for many reasons, but it also helped me realize some things.
First, blogging has made me creatively lazy. There was a time when I used my camera to take beautiful pictures of my beloved cat, as well as my friends and the world around me. Over the last three or four years, however, my camera has been used to take HD selfies and product shots...and nothing else. There's nothing wrong with product photography or self-portraits, of course, but when you use "oh wait I have to take pictures of my twentieth red lipstick" as an excuse to avoid other creative endeavors? It's a problem.
Of course, that brings me to my growing concerns about consumption. On a personal level, I look back on my materialistic 20s and feel so utterly disappointed in my wastefulness. Much of the physical stuff I bought is no longer with me, but likely festering in a landfill. This doesn't mean I'm suddenly going zero waste--I have a new cat and I'm attempting to adopt a second one, so I'm bound to create a decent amount of trash--but I'm certainly trying to cut down. Yes, I want the new Surratt foundation like crazy, but I have four other foundations to finish. I don't need to spend $75 and 3+ hours of my time reviewing another one. (Sidenote: it is amazing when you finally realize that wanting something doesn't mean you have to spend the money on it.)
And as a certified Old Woman, I'd really prefer it if that money went to more important things, like eliminating my student loan debt. Sadly, that's tough to do in the beauty community. We all love to snark about marketing trends, but frankly, we fall prey to them fairly often. It's actually sort of necessary in the beauty community if you want to stay relevant: I noticed a marked drop in my readership when I stopped buying and reviewing new releases on the regular. Going on a No Buy excited a lot of the regular readers and some specific newbies, but on the whole, it was a death knell for my views.
Am I upset about that decline in readership? Not really. I recognize many of the people who have commented here over the years. Heck, I talk to some of you fairly frequently on Instagram! It's more that the decline in readership really emphasized how consumption drives the community. Encouraging people to buy stuff they don't need? It's not something I want to funnel my energy in to anymore.
That's the other thing: I've been struggling with how I expend my energy lately. Everything makes me anxious, including "When am I going to finish my next blogpost?" It's become a bad habit that I want to address with counseling and self-reflection. Add in several other personal life factors that are grabbing at my attention right now, and I really can't be stressing over a blog.
Most of all, I think I've gotten everything I can out of this blog, as have most of my readers. It's been a great way to practice my writing, connect with like-minded people, and talk about my love of makeup. And yes, I still love makeup! But I don't have to blog about it or buy a ton of it to prove I love it. Instead, I'll make the occasional Instagram mini-review, or I'll try a new look on a lazy weekend. In the meantime, I will reconnect with my loved ones, my hobbies, and my creative side. And of course, I will continue to appreciate everything you've done for me over the years.
I will let my dot com domain (www.badoutfitgreatlipstick.com) expire in
March. The blog should continue to be available at its Blogspot address
(badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com) in perpetuity. Eventually, the blog may become
archived or private, depending on how much of my mental energy it
requires; I will announce that in advance if it's happening. And Hell, who knows? Maybe I'll create a catch-all blog at some point to keep practicing my writing.
Thank you all for supporting this blog and me. You have been an important part of my life this past decade, and I am eternally grateful.