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Can we trust K-beauty reviews, or are all Korean beauty bloggers automatically dishonest as soon as they accept “free stuff”? I have noticed a lot of distrust in the Asian skincare community lately, and so I feel it is time to discuss the “elephant in the room” of blogging as a business and whether or not we can actually trust the opinions of K-beauty influencers anymore in today’s The K-Beauty Podcast!
Maybe it’s because as a blogger I am more sensitive towards this particular topic, but lately I’ve been seeing more and more forum discussions and Instagram posts regarding the “dishonesty” of K-beauty bloggers and influencers. There is a strong undercurrent of mistrust running from consumers interested in Korean and other Asian skincare towards our work as reviewers. Our role as mediators and “translators” between Korean brands and their potential customers places us in a position that can, of course, easily be exploited if we place collaboration opportunities before staying true to ourselves.
The more mainstream K-beauty has become, the more professional brand-blogger relations are becoming as well. K-beauty review events where product samples are exchanged for social media posts are swamping Instagram, and so you will suddenly see 30-50 people post about the same product, all raving about it of course.
As someone who has taken part in such K-beauty review events but lately feels they are getting a tad out of control… I get it, guys! But, as a blogger whose small budget doesn’t allow her to simply buy every new product worthy of a review, I am also adamant in defending a blogger’s right to accept PR samples in order to do her job. The idea that my K-beauty reviews of, say the Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner or the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask, which I both received as a PR sample, are less to be trusted than my (German) review of the Klairs Original Toner, which I bought with my own money, is absurd to me for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, I do know a fair number of bloggers and Instagrammers who definitely have a tendency to just love everything, and I have seen some pretty shady stuff going on in the blogger community, all for just one bottle of nail polish or a 3€ shampoo.
As with most things in life, the question of honesty in the K-beauty blogging community is not as black and white as some people might think. Thus, I wanted to tackle the question of the trustworthiness of K-beauty reviews on the net, and the broader questions surrounding the topic of bloggers being paid for their content, including the idea of PR samples as “free” stuff that bloggers are apparently ready to sell their souls for…
Here is episode 12 of The K-Beauty Podcast:
Can We Trust K-Beauty Reviews?
Can We Trust K-Beauty Reviews? – Episode Notes
- Interesting article from “Beautyeditor” on the question of trust in the beauty community
- My paid collaboration with Tescoma (German) – I still use that popsicle maker almost every week!
- My paid collaboration with Mixa skincare (German) – their hand cream remains my favourite hand cream of all times, and I would still recommend it without hesitation.
- My paid collaboration with Curazinc (German) – I must admit that I would probably do a few things differently now regarding the presentation of the product, and I am also not sure I would do paid collaborations for any type of supplement anymore, but this was my first collab ever so it was a learning curve.
- My review of the iUNIK Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner (English) – this toner is “Gothamista approved”, so I’m sure it’s a great product, but it was just too much for my oily combo skin and broke me out.
The Weekly Craves, Faves and Misbehaves:
- Crave of the week: Blanc Doux Oligo Hyaluronic Acid 5000 Toner – watch Director Pi’s video (the toner is discussed at 15:08 mins.) on the best K-beauty toners, buy toner at Yesstyle*
- Blanc Doux Pinot Noir Spray Serum – buy at Yesstyle*
- Fave of the week: Enature Cicaherb Restore Sheet Mask – read my review, buy at Enature US
- Misbehave of the Week: L’Oréal Cica Repair Hair Balm – Germans can buy this at dm Drogerie drugstore, I am not sure if this product is available in the US
- Intro and outro music: “Puzzle Pieces” by Lee Rosevere
Thank you for tuning in for this week’s episode of The K-Beauty Podcast: “Can We Trust K-Beauty Reviews?” Make sure to subscribe on ITunes to always receive the latest podcast episode as soon as it airs!
Let me know your thoughts about K-beauty reviews and Korean beauty bloggers in the comments! Which K-beauty infuencers do you trust?
Take care, guys!