SamMakeup recently wrote this article, called "Is Blogging the new media?" I'll spare you the trite summary because this article has made its rounds on the blogosphere already. I encourage everyone to read this article and give Sam your two cents. We're a thriving community of outspoken consumers and we deserve to be taken seriously.
Beauty blogging is worth its weight in gold precisely because it IS written by amateurs. I value an amateur's opinion much more than a glossy review in a magazine because the amateur is probably applying a makeup or skincare product in much the same way as I am. In fact, magazine reviews often just show beautiful images of products with a small caption. You rarely read about how best to apply a product, what it smells like, or what is an affordable dupe. I also trust bloggers because most of our products are paid for out of pocket, and it is not usually our day job. Therefore, the review is more likely to be honest and fair. When an amateur dislikes a product, they are happy to warn their readers about it. But when was the last time you read a magazine article on a product that was rubbish, or clothes that lost colors after one wash? Why doesn't Glamour run a write-up on "Products you should stay away from?" We trust bloggers because we do good and bad reviews, and sometimes even have changes of heart. It's authentic, fair, and much more in-depth than any "clinical trial" I've read about in the glossies.
It is possible that the author came in contact with some bad apples at IMATS. Indeed, there are gurus out there with huge followings and I always scratch my head why because they completely lack authenticity. As a wary consumer, I rarely take just one person's word for how good or bad a product is. I make up my mind only after reading multiple reviews on the same product. I also consider whether the blogger has a similar skin-type as me, which would obviously affect whether I too would have the same experience.
As someone who has learned everything about makeup through YouTube and the blogging community, I can honestly say that I have almost never bought a reviewed and raved product without loving it equally myself. Thanks to the beauty community, I've discovered affordable gems and must-have splurges alike. Most beauty bloggers are honest, and our collective reviews save us all the time and money of experimenting with rubbish products. Until the professionals start talking about products they don't like, and do more in-depth reviews of a single product, I'll be sticking to bloggers to help me make my next haul wishlist, thank you.