Hi guys! Ange here! This isn’t going to be directly beauty related but it’s a hot topic these days and we’d like to address it. If you spend any amount of time on instagram or watching YouTube videos then you’ve probably heard about sponsored videos/posts and affiliate codes and links but I’m going to give you the cliff’s notes version anyway. A sponsored post is basically just paid promotion. The FTC has been cracking down on this (mainly on YouTube) and are requiring creators to disclose any sponsored content that they post. Affiliate programs are sales based. The vast majority of the links you see in the description section of a YouTube video or in the bio of an instagram page are affiliate links. Meaning if you click on the link to make a purchase, the creator will receive a commission on that sale. And the same thing goes with the codes that you’re always seeing. For instance if you’ve ever bought anything from Morphe, you probably used a discount code to save yourself a little money. And whether you knew it or not, you also earned a small commission for whoever the code belonged to as well. So what’s our stance on all of this?
Well first thing you need to know is that Em and I both have ‘real’ jobs outside of what we do on here and on social media. So we don’t rely on commissions to put dinner on the table. That being said, if you’ve followed us for any length of time then you know how much time, effort and love we pour into our content. I spend HOURS doing swatches, taking photos in different lighting, sorting through the said photos and choosing the best ones to then edit. Either before or after that, I actually have to use the product so that I’m able to write a knowledgeable review regarding the formula. Then I’ll generally try to find a similar product for comparison purposes. After all that’s done, I have to sit down and write a review that’s informative and also entertaining. Yes, social media is flooded with ‘bloggers’ that do half assed swatches to which they attach to a 3 sentence caption where they tell you the product is going to change your life and don’t forget to use their code to save $$$$!!! I hope you know that Em and I are not those girls. We always keep it 100% with our reviews and if we make a few bucks off of a post? Sweet! But bottom line it’s not going to make or break us. We do our best to be objective and honest in what we do but we’re also cognizant that a review is basically an opinion. Just because we like or dislike something, doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same way. And since there’s two of us, you’re also getting two different opinions. We share a lot of the same favorite products but we don’t agree on everything and don’t expect that you will either. I’m going off on a tangent here, the point I was trying to make is that we take what we do our blog and social media accounts seriously and we give 100% every time. In addition to the time spent, we’ve also invested a good bit of money on equipment. We both bought cameras and lens this year so we could take higher quality photos. And now we’re starting to talk about lighting options. And beyond equipment there’s also site maintenance and the occasional giveaway. We also spend a lot of money on products. Yes we do get things sent to us and yes some of the products we’d buy even if we weren’t planning a review. But we also buy a lot of things because we know our audience wants to hear our unbiased thoughts. It adds up. And unfortunately we married for love not money so we can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars and 40+ hours a week taking photos of our forearms. Running this blog and our pages costs money. This is where the affiliate stuff comes in…
We review tons of different brands and if we’re affiliated with the company, we’ll tell you. Every single time. I’m always mentioning discount codes, sometimes they’re affiliate codes and sometimes they’re not but I’ll always disclose that information (And sometimes it feels we’re the only people doing so). Also we’ve been promoting 95% of these brands long before we became affiliated. For example Makeup Geek, Looxi and Beautylish are three companies we’ve loved and promoted since before we started our pages but only recently did we start getting a commission based on the sales that we’ve generated. We really appreciate when you guys choose to shop using our links but we want it to be your choice. We don’t have a YouTube channel so we can’t speak on that platform but on instagram it’s extremely rare for people to be forthcoming when it comes to this topic. We feel confident that most of our followers would be happy to support our blog especially when they’re buying a product based on our swatches or recommendations and if you don’t feel comfortable with that? That’s fine too. For us it’s all about honesty. And let’s be real here, we’re not going on European vacations with our commission money. At this point we’re just trying to make enough money to cover the cost of products, equipment and fees and if one day we’re able to do that plus have a little left over to buy groceries? Well that would be fantastic. We’re not there yet but we hope to be one day. What I’m trying to say is that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do on this level without commissions. Nowadays social media is the main source of advertisement for most brands and they’re making a lot money. So as a consumer if I have the option to give a little bit of that money to one of my favorite bloggers (who would probably appreciate it more than a brand that’s making millions) it’s a win/win for me.
On to sponsored content… we’ve never done a sponsored post but would we? That depends. First it would have to be a company we’d be proud promote. Secondly we would need to have the freedom to present the material in our own way. If we were required to give a 100% positive review without trying the product or given a script to follow, it would be a dealbreaker. I like to think that you guys have a sense of our personalities and who we are as people. We’re silly. I like to swear sometimes. And if a brand wasn’t cool with that then we wouldn’t work with them. In order for us to do a sponsored post it would have to brand and product that we’d promote regardless of whether or not it would benefit us in any way. So say if one day Anastasia calls us up and says I’d like to pay you a million dollars to do a post about my new eyeshadow palette and I’m also going to fly you to Beverly Hills so that I can do your brows and then we’ll have a sleepover and play truth or dare and prank call Wayne Goss… our answer would be hell yes. And we’d clearly state that the post was sponsored. But if a company wanted us to follow a script or lie or to do anything that felt unnatural to us, we’d say no. So as of now we’re only receiving sales based commissions from a few different companies but we’ve never been paid upfront for promotions.
So to recap… as we’ve grown (and continue to grow) as bloggers we’ve started to develop affiliate relationships with companies that we love and are proud to promote. This doesn’t mean that we’re automatically going to love and promote every product the brand produces. For example we’re affiliated with Too Faced but since I wasn’t crazy about the Nikkie Tutorials palette I didn’t monetize any of my posts regarding it. We love what we do and although we have fun, it’s serious for us. And we want to be the best in the game. We want our blog to be your go to spot for swatches and reviews. We value our relationship with all of you and our reputations as bloggers in the beauty community. We promise to always be forthcoming with affiliations and honest in our reviews. If you go to our ‘discount codes’ page, all the affiliate codes are marked with a * and at the bottom of our home page we have shopping links for the brands that we work with. We appreciate your support and we hope to continue providing you with the best content possible!
Love, love, LOVE how you laid out your opinion on this! In fact, running to my page to do something similar as I’ve begun to get affiliates codes and such. Y’all are the bestttttt!
Love your honesty and realness about all this!! Between you ladies and Stephanie, I know I’m getting real reviews and good info. Thank you for all your hard work!!