Saturday, September 21, 2019

We've had a great run. Thank you.

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.

-- Renee

10 comments:

  1. Aww, I remember your YouTube days, and I would occasionally check in on your blog because of my ever-present love for lipstick. It's sad to see you call it quits, but I totally get it. It's the same reason I quit YouTube. Buy. Buy. BUY! That's all it's about and if you aren't constantly hauling and reviewing the latest things nobody cares. Thanks to my YouTube days I have enough makeup to last me a lifetime, and I don't wear it as much as I used to (though I still love and wear it every chance I can get). It stopped making sense to buy makeup when I could barely use all that I had, and when I stopped buying, I stopped having things to make videos about, and that's when I realized it was over. It was fun. I have no regrets, but I have other things I'd rather do with my time and money these days. These days my love for makeup is personal, not public, and that's good enough. I hope you get your creative mojo back, but I'm sure you will. I'll miss your honest reviews and impeccable attention for details, but you gotta do you, so I wish you the best with all your other hobbies and interests!

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  2. I'll miss reading your posts! I have to say, I really enjoyed the videos you put out. Your voice is very calming and I like how articulate you are. I still follow you on IG so I'm sure I'll see occasional makeup updates there - alongside the adorable cat stuff!

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  3. Thanks for the blog, and I hope you enjoy the next chapter of creativity!

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  4. I have never commented before, but I will miss your blog, your skeptical reviews, high standards for base products, and taste in bright lipsticks! Probably the major reason I continued to silently enjoy your blog is that it represents a thoughtful, considered time before sponsored blogging. I understand your concerns about consumption and wish you the best in channeling your energies into new projects.

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  5. Thank you for all your hard work throughout the years, I loved reading this blog and got so many useful recommendations out of it. I will now follow you on instagram.

    I wish you all the best of luck on your next chapter, and if you ever come back with a new type of blog I’ll be sure to check it out. A blog that features diverse interests is my cup of tea. Much love to you and your kittens.

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  6. Thank you for all your hard work over the years! I’ve so enjoyed your blog and have found it immensely helpful (not to mention witty, informative, and real). Thanks for leaving it up as an archive. Hope you and the kitties have a great evening, and see you on the IG!

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  7. Thank you for all your great writing over the years--I've really enjoyed your blog and I'm sad to see you say goodbye to it! I wish you all the best with putting your energy where it feels the most important to you.

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  8. I will miss your posts and your take on the trend to consume less and make the most of what we have - Take care of yourself and all the best for everything wonderful in your future <3

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  9. I will miss you. I’ve really loved your voice of sanity over the years. Be well, Godspeed.

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  10. Thank you for your blog, which I have read for the past several years. I have also drifted from beauty-related content but I keep coming back to this blog because I really enjoy your writing. You're a really interesting person and a great writer and I'd love to read your thoughts on things that really engage you. Please don't stop writing!

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