This is going to be my very last blog post on Beauty Swatch! Luckily I drafted the post 3 months in advance because time has just slipped by, and I now find myself 10 days overdue my “blog birthday” (5 June) which was supposed to be the day I wrap up Beauty Swatch.
What has taken me so long to finally wrap up the blog is because I’ve been in full swing into my photography hobby, dabbling in calligraphy in between and my parents have been staying with me on & off since March for both work and house hunting! My study is quite small so once the guest bed is set up, my computer is pretty much out of reach – for blogging, online shopping and catching up on Mad Men.
It seems that many people have trouble digesting the news that I AM REALLY saying goodbye to Beauty Swatch. “It’s the end of an era!” have been muttered a few times, along with comments in denial such as “Will someone else take over the website?”. I also get asked if I will miss my beauty blogging days, and the truth is that after 3 months of deliberating followed by a 6 month “sunset plan” I am finally ready to let go.
I have much to be grateful for in my beauty blogging memory lane, and am proud of the achievements as well as the knowledge that I sought after to set myself apart from other bloggers on the topic of lipstick. Blogging has also influenced my life in unimaginable ways and I’m glad that I decided to take the plunge at blogging when I was once skeptical about it all those years ago.
5 things I will miss about beauty blogging
1. Connecting with fellow beauty and social media enthusiasts
The hardest thing to grapple with departing from Beauty Swatch is moving on from the blogging and social media community. It’s got me thinking about how I should continue to harness social media into my photography hobby and establish my new presence. I realised that whilst I am ready to move on from beauty blogging, I’m not ready to move on from social media as it’s now part and parcel of how I interact with others and make my brand visible to others. People become known for the types of projects they get involved in, and it’s given me something to think about in terms of what I try next so that I can find a new community to engage with.
2. Experiencing the newest products first hand & learning about products directly from the brands
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I get a buzz from trying the newest skincare and beauty products, and I really believe that having direct engagement with the brands or PR themselves takes brand engagement to another level that I wouldn’t have ordinarily experienced as a consumer. Seeing beauty products advertised on a magazine doesn’t move me anymore, and I hope the beauty blogging community will continue sharing their authentic experiences of the product to keep me informed as I take a back seat.
3. Five years worth of content, readership and projects
Most people think I am crazy to give up a blog with traffic the size that I have. And yes it’s humbling to see my new site grow from digit to digit in contrast, but there’s nothing like a desire to change creative focus to keep things in perspective. I will keep the site running for a bit longer so that you can continue browsing on the content curated over the past 5 years, and my Pout Perfect book will remain on sale while stocks last. Seeing my photography Instagram following grow encourages me to improve what I do & it feels really rewarding to see that people enjoy the pictures that I take without needing to know anything about who I am and what I stand for.
4. A topic to stretch myself on
Let’s face it – a lipstick blog doesn’t sound like the type of thing that one would describe as game changing or a key influencer. But I have surprised myself in what I have managed to achieve by stretching myself beyond what I thought was possible and willingness to trying new things (like the eBook I dreaded writing). I am going to miss the familiar territory of lipstick as I venture onto the heavily saturated photography scene.
5. Helping you find your way through the lipstick jungle
I will definitely miss the heart-warming comments from all of you about how Beauty Swatch has helped you find a lipstick that you’ve been looking for! From an idea that started as a flash across on my mind, through to registering the domain 24 hours later, it has been such a great experience having you join me on my journey over the past 5 years in having a go at something different on the beauty blogosphere.
As for the other 5 things that I won’t miss about it…
1. They say a hobby is no longer a hobby when it starts to feel like work
In the earliest of blogging when my work wasn’t so intense, I could fit in blogging easily on week nights as a way to unwind the day. But lately the only time I have now to blog is on Sundays and those with family would know that spending one’s time engaging hundreds of thousands of people across the world is not as important as experiencing life at your fingertips. Now I spend my Sundays trying to get fit, attending calligraphy classes and getting out and about to snap new photos to build my portfolio.
2. The politics of beauty blogging
The only thing I want to say here is that I wish there was as much energy spent on creating great content as there is on discussion about it. Beauty Swatch is proof that you can create your own definition of success, no matter your niche. The key word here is “your” definition of success, not others.
3. The politics of commercial blogging
I admire those that have taken the plunge into making a career out of blogging & support the idea of commercialized content. What I won’t miss is the requests from brands to create bespoke unique content for nothing more than a few bullets of lipsticks. My collaboration with Clinique is proof that my ideas are award-worthy and capable of selling out lipsticks.
4. Overflowing beauty cupboard
I know, this is a first world beauty blogging problem, but I am really looking forward to simplifying my beauty cupboard to my trusted favourite products & going back to “hitting pan” like normal people. Since clearing out my study to make room for my parents frequent visits, I have used up a lot of beauty products diligently and find myself exploring again like a newbie relying on my own research for the next beauty product to try.
There I said it!! I remember the days when I would feel pumped when getting through a productive swatching day, and even mastered my own lipstick swatching routine that would get me through several weeks of content in one sitting. Once I set my mind on wrapping the blog, it started to feel like a chore and I knew from that moment that I had to tell the PR companies to stop sending me beauty products well in advance of my actual farewell date. Getting through the last few bullets of lipsticks was tough and in the end I still had to de-scope some products for my own sanity.
Photography, on the other hand, is giving me a new buzz as I have been diligently learning to shoot in Manual 100% of the time, and it feels really rewarding when the results turn out amazing. A few of my favourite events that I shot are: One Fine Day Wedding Fair, She Hacks and just this morning I shot the Oscar Oscar St Kilda blogger event.
As I say goodbye, I’d like to leave you with a photo I took at One Fine Day Wedding Fair that sums up how I feel about this time of my life. I’m thankful for the past, appreciative of the present and optimistic about the future. THANK YOU so much for tuning in all these years! I wish you all the best in your own adventures! Stay in touch with me via my personal Instagram and photography site, and if you still feel like chatting lipstick my book is still on sale, browse my popular posts and I’m only a tweet away.