Friday, June 7, 2013

The Friday Forum - June 7

It is pouring outside and expected to rain even harder as the day progresses. The remnants of Hurricane Andrea will bring heavy rains, gusty winds, and a threat for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes up the East Coast today. What a way to celebrate my mother's ninety-first birthday!

I just took her a pretty flower arrangement: white roses and lavender alstroemeria. I was pleased to find an artistically designed arrangement at the grocery store. I would have sent flowers by my favorite floral artists at Art with Flowers, but, sadly, they closed on April 31, another casualty of the recession. I miss them already.

I continue my search for the right job, and I've been busy in the last week with contacts, meetings, and interviews. If you noticed a drop-off in my attention lately, that's why. In the frustrating process of hunting for new work, I've met some interesting people doing great things, and I hope I'll be able to join them. I love a challenge!

During the last few months, I've thought a lot about blogging and whether I can - or even should - continue. Beauty blogging has changed so much. When I started, four short years ago, there were plenty of good beauty blogs, but I saw a niche and thought I might be able to fill a gap. Now, with Lord-only-knows how many beauty blogs in existence (seriously, I think too many - does every teenager need one?), and with readers having only so much time to devote to reading about beauty products, it's hard to feel accomplished. It's hard to earn your visits.

My statistics tell me that many readers stop by my blog every day - anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 (fewer of you on Saturdays than Mondays, for example). Those numbers far exceed my initial expectations, and I am so grateful to all of you. I've tried very hard to keep up with the latest and greatest in beauty, and it has been very expensive. Most "normal" people would think it's lunacy to buy so much makeup. Very few bloggers receive gratis products for review from the brands I cover, and I'm not usually one of them. I don't have 100,000 visitors/day.

I have never "monetized" my blog to much extent. Monetizing means many things, but can include selling lots of ads or placing affiliate links all over the blog's posts. Affiliate links can look like ads (many of the display ads you see on blogs are really affiliate links - the company (e.g., Sephora) did not choose to pay the blogger for the space), or they can be links within a feature that direct the reader to a site where a product can be purchased. Every time you click on those links, the blogger makes money. It's not much per click, but it can add up.

I never embed affiliate links in my features. I put links in features to show you more about the product or where to buy it. Period. I do not want you to wonder whether you are "enriching" me or "supporting my blog" (a common ruse) if you click on links. You do see Google ads on my sidebar and one text advertisement that brings me a few skin-care products/year (barter). I don't chase after affiliate ads because I think too many usually make blogs look junky.

Every day, I am offered opportunities to accept or write sponsored posts. Many bloggers love sponsored posts because they charge the sponsor for them - anywhere from $25 to $500 (or more). Sell a few sponsored slots each week, and you could make plenty of money to buy beauty products - or pay the rent. I just can't do that. Selling space on my blog is not me. I assume you visit to read what I have to say, not what someone else pays me to say - or what someone else wants you to think is editorial copy when it's really advertising copy. In fact, many sponsors absolutely hate the requirement for labeling sponsored advertisements and try to get around it by asking the blogger to use another term, for example, partner.

Many bloggers continue to gnash their teeth over the FTC guidelines requiring them to clearly label the source of the products being reviewed (something I have always done within features), the fact that they use affiliate links to make money, and sponsored posts. Advertising must also be labeled (something I've done from the get-go). To me, that's full disclosure, but there are bloggers who resent the rules, feeling that if magazine don't have to do it, why should they? I think what some really resented was the clear requirement for disclosure - not all, just those who felt their path to the big payout was endangered. There are many bloggers (and I'm not just talking beauty) who blog for money, not fun. It's a business, not a hobby. There's nothing wrong with that as long as it's clear to readers.

Another thing about blogging that has started to concern me is the ugliness that underlies some of the fakey kiss-kiss among bloggers. You can't see most of it - and that's for the best. Those who hold themselves as the standard have the same warts as those they criticize. They complain that other bloggers make all bloggers look bad. I don't believe that's true, although I've seen bloggers stage hissy fits that don't sit well within the industry. The stories I could tell you... Yes - you might point out the resentment that bloggers have created in fashion, elbowing their way backstage in some cases, and annoying those who were "there first." There has been plenty of industry chatter about this. In the end, the best, most observant fashion critics survive, and the rest land on the wayside.

Every day, I am spammed by social media outfits that try to tell me I'm not making enough money from my blog. I should be using certain key words, adding this and that, using their search engine optimization techniques to monetize my blog, and so on. One writes every single day! I've marked her e-mails spam, but they keep getting through Google. I don't care about SEO! The sad fact is that many beauty bloggers do care. They prater about it endlessly.

I've rambled on - I've always been good at free association - but my point is that I'm occupying space in an industry in which I sense a change. I don't know whether I'm ready for the ride forward. I'm not making an announcement - just letting you know what's on my mind these days as I try to figure out if I can and should continue to publish Best Things in Beauty. It's a big investment, not only of time, but also money. If I were to stop, what would I miss? You, my faithful readers, and the wonderful people in the beauty industry (brand representatives at headquarters and the stores) and their PR folks - many of whom have become friends. I don't want to let anyone down.

So please cross your fingers (and toes) for my job search if you like Best Things in Beauty. If I don't find work soon, my decision may be based solely on whether I can afford to support it in the manner I prefer.

My regular giveaway - this week for a NARS Blush Bronzer Trio I found in "storage" - will end tomorrow, Saturday, June 8, at midnight. Don't forget to enter.

This week's extravaganza giveaway for Le Métier de Beauté's brand new Summer Night's Dream Kaleidoscope Eye Kit runs though Sunday night at midnight. Le Métier de Beauté generously donated the Kaleidsoscope, and the contest is open internationally. If you met the criteria for entering, but didn't tweet, I'd recommend you tweet anyhow. It might improve your chances. Good luck! It's a beautiful prize. If you don't win, it should arrive at Bergdorf Goodman momentarily. I'm not sure what day we will be able to announce the winner, so stay tuned.

Photo courtesy of


Christina said...

Wow Charleston girl! I absolutely love your blog and visit it daily! What I like is that you cover brands that a lot of other bloggers do not, and you're usually first to announce the news.

I completely understand if you weren't able to continue blogging, but you would definitely be missed! Why, without you, I wouldn't have discovered the joys of fragrance, the Le Metier brand, and I wouldn't have my shopping lists well ahead of launch dates for Chanel and Guerlain. LOL! Oh how my wallet cringes, but I enjoy knowing about all these releases before everyone else does, and I have you to thank for that!

I do hope you are able to continue blogging, even if it's sporadically!

ChristineV said...

I am one of your regulars. I stop by every day.

I certainly understand the cost, the time commitment. But I hope you find that perfect job.

I hope you continue. So many of the other blogs are so much like commercials rather than individualized opinions and experiences. I have been filtering some of my blog bookmarks and deleting many because they are so commercial. Its also one of the reasons I don't subscribe to beauty magazines anymore.

The Allure beauty issue has become an industry promotion rather than a true poll of the 'best of the best'.

I have bought a couple of the products you have featured based on your write-ups and have not been disappointed.

But another trend in makeup that is disturbing is the price inflation. I would rather have lesser amounts and smaller prices. That way I could try more and different products. Since that isn't the case I can't afford to try as many new products as I like.

I am no longer working so my makeup is pretty minimalist, but I still like to have good performing products. Which is why I read beauty blogs.

Take care.

caitlin403 said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a rough time right now. I would personally be devastated if you quit blogging; this is the first blog I check every morning! But of course what matters most is your well-being, and I hope you can come to a decision that makes you happy :)

Sarita said...

I can understand how time consuming this must be for you. Needless to say I'm selfish and I love your blog and would be sad if you stopped - it's nice to have a mature point of view which is sadly lacking in some many blogs as you pointed out. There are so few beauty blogs out there now like yours unfortunately - you are one of the few good ones left.

Lena said...

Dear CG! I second everything Christina said plus
1. You have very a great writing style;
2. Integrity;
3. Style;
4. You such a caring person,
And a lot more! I love products u feature, love reading your discussion board! I will hope and keep my fingers crossed for you to find a job! Please take care!

CGstrein said...

Oh Charleston Girl, I would miss you terribly!!!! I too am a daily reader and start my day or end it by reading your blog. I know there are a million beauty blogs and vlogs these days but none like yours!

I appreciate the fact that your blog is not the cluttered mess that so many of them are. Even more so, I appreciate the quality of your writing and the beautiful products that you feature.

Your taste is excellent and your advice is spot on for me. Because of you I discovered Kilian and Rouge Bunny Rouge. You have influenced so many of my
purchases and those products generally go on to be favorites. Case in point, my Giorgio Armani blush in said I had to have it and you were SO right! It is now my most favorite blush of all time.

I will take a moment to stop being selfish and say that in the end, you need to do what is right for you.

Back to being selfish, we live in the same area so when I buy some new beauty products I would be happy to drop them off and let you review them first. Not sure if "borrowing" is covered by the new FTC rules. Hehehehe, now I am just sounding desperate.

I do hope that things work out on the job front and that you find a solution to your struggle that brings you peace and joy. Thank you so much for the joy you have brought me over the last year!

AnnaR said...

Don't give up hope yet Charleston girl! I know you have to be realistic, but your integrity and hard work will surely open a new door for you soon. I'm relatively new to your blog, but I enjoy reading your reviews and the equally intelligent comments from so many of your readers. I feel that I've learned so much about brands and fragrance that weren't a normal part of my world. "Necessity is the mother of invention" and I'd bet on you to come up with something if a conventional job doesn't come your way soon.

Solanace said...

Fingers crossed! Your blog is great, and I hope YouTube can keep doping it.

Sam said...

Best of luck in your job search (I'm in a similar position)--and thank you for your honesty, in this post as in all your posts.

virginiaisforluvrs said...

You make an excellent point about magazines, and I don't think most people realize that they are paying 4 or 5 bucks for a packet of advertisements. I don't understand why the rules should be different, but maybe the big mag. corps. are paying big bucks to keep it that way. I don't have proof; it's just a guess. I personally wouldn't care if you monetized your blog, if that's what you wanted to do. I would consider most of it reinvestment in your blog, not really to make a living (although some people do make a living that way). I do hope you find a job that you love and look forward to everyday. I think that drive/passion in your career will lead you to the decision on whether or not to continue blogging. Best of luck!

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

First of all, my best wishes for your mom's ninety-first birthday :-) You have my utmost respect and admiration for everything you do to keep her in her home. It's been a real trial at times, but the rewards are incalculable. So, happy birthday to your mom and best wishes to you both.

Your FF post made for poignant reading. And, I couldn't agree more with you about the changes that have been occurring in the blogosphere. Those of us who have been reading beauty blogs for years have definitely noticed the changing landscape. What started as a hobby has become a big business, what was once companionable support and comraderie has morphed into cutthroat competition and snarkiness, honest opinions have been cast aside as sponsored posts flood the blogs, civil discourse has been hijacked by trolls. The list of negative changes just goes on and on ad nauseum. No wonder a number of lovely and personal blogs have folded. Why would anyone want to put up with all the headache?

The fact is, we'd all miss you terribly, Charelstongirl, if you decided to put BTiB to rest because it is one of the few genuine blogs out there and you are it's shining star. As you can see from all the previous comments, your integrity and trust-worthiness are greatly admired, your informed opinions are appreciated, your personal values are held in high esteem, and your joy in finding things of beauty is infectious.

As for the cost of products, I don't think any of us care if you actually own the product or you've swatched and sampled it. I can't imagine actually purchasing all the things you feature. You have better things to spend your money on--like kitty treats for Charlie :-)

As for the job search, we're all rooting for you. You're such a bright, energetic, and creative woman. Hopefully the right door will open soon.

Have a wonderful weekend, Charlestongirl. Enjoy your mom's special day. And, think of all the shrubs, trees, and flowers that the rain will nourish. I wish we had some of that rain here in So Cal. It's been so terribly dry.

Happy weekend everyone.

grlnxdor said...

Charlestongirl, your blog is the first one I read every morning and I hope you can continue to do it "your way". It's refreshing to not see ads and links. They wouldn't sway me anyway. I research everything to death before I buy.

I hope your Mom has a nice Birthday despite the rain. We have sunshine in the Midwest after days of rain.

My husband and I visited the East Coast in late May and had so-so weather and cool temperatures. But a vacation is a vacation, right? Visited Niagra Falls, Portland, Maine and went whale watching off of Plymouth, MA. It was truly exciting and I still think I'm on a nature "high"!

Victoria said...

Truth be told, I'm actually a minimalist (my wallet thanks me profusely), so while I do enjoy learning about new products, that's actually secondary to the greater enjoyment that I derive from the close-knit community and camaraderie here, and if BTiB were to one day "close its doors", that's what I would miss the most. The active readership here is more mature, thoughtful, and gracious than that of other, perhaps more popular blogs, and I would be sad to see everyone scatter if BTiB were to go.

Best of luck on your job search, CG! You know all of us are rooting for you.

Melanie said...

I, like the others have mentioned, regard your blog as an honest one. You truly do showcase the best in beauty. In fact, this is the only beauty blog that I read any more and I rely on it to help this stay-at-home mom keep up with what is out in the beauty world. I do very much hope that you are able to continue, even if it were not on a daily basis.

I also appreciate the other readers and the advice and comments that they provide. For instance, yourself, Eileen and Jo answered a question that I had regarding using vitamin C and A serums on April 12th's Friday Forum. And, thanks to the three of you, I am alternating them morning and night and am saying goodbye to the crepey skin that has been getting me down! I value this forum and the knowledge that is made available via it. This community is all thanks to you.

I hope, too, that the work situation changes soon for you as well. My fingers are crossed!

I wish you a great time with your mother for her 91st. What a gift to be able to celebrate such a milestone with her.

On a beauty note, I just got a call that our local Chanel counter is having a recycling event -- bring in an empty container, receive $10 off a minimum purchase of $75. Good for Chanel!

And again to Tracy: Shu eye brow pencil received and loving it. Thank you! And it is a regularly-tipped pencil -- no special sharpening required.

Happy weekend!

Sara said...

Hi CG!
I couldn't agree more with the comments the other ladies have made. Yours is also the first blog I read daily, sometimes twice! I obtained my le metier melange palette from Michael Reinhardt after I thought I had missed out- but thanks to your blog I was able to locate it! As I have mentioned to you before (during my quest to locate the melange palette) I do not have any high-end counters near me and so I rely heavily on your blog for swatches and recommendations and have never been disappointed. I also enjoy those posts where you are commenting on upcoming collections. It is completely selfish but I hope you keep up with the blog, even if you are not buying new makeup but simply comment on new collections or let us know what you are up to. I usually "lurk" but felt like I should leave a comment today! Happy birthday to your mother!

Unknown said...

I read your amazing every morning when walk to train station...yes walk and read and google in the train and by the time I start work, I have checked out an item and feeling so happy! Please please dont stop this blog otherwise I will nv make it to work! I pray for u for the job and hope job hunting finishsles soon.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom! Wanted to let you know that your blog is one of my favorites. I have limited time to read because of work, but I read your blog and three others. I hope that you will continue posting, even if fewer times per week and even if you swatch what is at the store and don't buy the item. Your descriptions are fantastic! Still, I understand. As life moves forward, things change. I would miss your blog tremendously.

Anahita said...

I love reading your blog not only for the reviews but for the sneak peeks of upcoming collections. On a totally unrelated note, my Blue Mercury just received the fall collection from Chanel. The collection is amazing. The cream blushes are incredible and the eyeshadow is amazingly pigmented. The lipstcks and polishes are nice as well. There is a strawberry coco shine that is to die for. The khaki liner is nice as is the khaki mascara. I think it will do really well. I'll send good vibes from Philly that you get a job soon.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

First, Happy birthday to your wonderful Mom! 91 is quite an accomplishment,not to mention that she raised a fantastic daughter. I read your blog daily, because I relate to you, your love of high-end products, and your ability to recognize quality when you see it. I think what you said about bloggers advertising all over their blog is, (at least subliminally) one of the reasons I love your blog so much. It's a breath of fresh air, uncluttered, well-written, and honest. I search for that in the bloggers I follow, which is why there aren't too many I'm interested in these days. I can sense that the blogging world is changing, which is why I've held off on my blog idea. I'm just not sure there's a need for it anymore, as you aptly pointed out. I would greatly miss your blog if you decided to end it, but I understand your need to prioritize your income needs ahead of blogging. You've got my support, either way. But know that you would leave a hole...a BIG the world of beauty for those of us that are not teenagers! (notice how I dodged the "age thing"? ;-) )

Meredith said...

I had no idea that all of this was involved. Too bad all these people jump onto you and try to tell you what to do (control issues, anyone???) Why can they just let you do what you please, it's your blog and your time and money. What I would miss if you discontinued, basically, is THE BEST beauty blog out there! You have the classiest, most tasteful blog available. I love that you concentrate on the high end makeup as that is what I am primarily interested in and purchase. Your reviews are so well spoken that it is obvious that you are a very highly educated and cultured sophisticated woman. We need to hear your voice for the betterment of all of us who are listening. Your photos are the most accurate of any other blog I've looked at. I have been a skincare and makeup fanatic for over 4 decades so I do have some idea of what I'm talking about. I totally understand if you need to cut back, we all do since the economy changed but perhaps you could review items from the counter without purchasing so much. That would save some money and then review what you wish to purchase. Or you could simply cut back on your blogging days such as doing it Monday, Wed and Fri or whatever. I also enjoy hearing about your life, your interests and efforts in ecology, your mom, your opinions on various matters etc. I guess by now you can tell that your's is my favorite blog to read and I do, each and every day. I understand about the time and money part, but don't let the less pleasant people wreck what brings you and us joy. There must be some way around these troublesome people's interferences. I'm not a techie but perhaps one of your readers or their high school or college age child knows how to screen out the pests? Anybody out there care to lend a hand and give some advice to CG about getting back in control of her blog? Anyway, that's my two cents, I'd miss you very much so if you stop, I'll just have to deal with it but I want you to know how much I, and I'm sure others, get out of this blog. Much more than just makeup and skincare info. It's your style, your intelligence and taste that makes this blog so enjoyable. I don't mean to be selfish, but please do continue, if you can!

Jo said...

Hi CG,

I would be so disappointed if you discontinued your blog. I'd really miss you. There is so much I would not know if not for you. Yours is the only one I read every day and I enjoy it more than any other beauty blog I read. Is it possible that instead of discontinuing you just cut back a little bit or instead of buying every thing just do in store swatches and then continue to bring us previews of upcoming collections.

I don't think you should be concerned with competing with other blogs, you're in a class by yourself. Just keep doing your thing.

I do wish you lots of luck in your job search. I've been in that position before and know how frustrating and discouraging it can be. I'm convinced that you'll have a new gig soon.

Happy Birthday to your mom!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Like the others I read your blog first every day. It's always interesting, and usually tempting, and I get to see some beautiful products that don't come out in the UK like the Les Délices de Chanel collection.

I do understand the all consuming nature of what you do - both financially and personally by giving your own free time. I wish you luck with your job search, and hopefully you'll get some good news on that front soon.

Last, but very definitely not least, I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to your mother. What a wonderful age. I hope you both have a wonderful weekend celebrating.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog and visit most days. I am awed by the amount of products you cover and in such informative depth. I prefer high end products and few of the British blogs cover them as much as you do. It must be hugely expensive for you but fun too, I hope. If the fun stops, don't make yourself do it! Best of luck with the job search and thanks for sharing your passion with us. Susan

Tracey Kaste said...

I would be horribly sad if I could not touch base with you almost daily. I read your blog before I met you and enjoyed it but now that I "know" you I enjoy it even more, As a makeup artist (Estee Lauder) I like to hear what you say and also as a more "mature" consumer I think our opinions matter as our needs differ than a less mature person. We have to work harder to look more natural :) and our skin care needs are different. I wish you well in the job search and hope the perfect job for you comes around that you find fulfilling and meaningful but also allows you to blog for my selfish pleasure!

Teasmade said...

Another post to say that I appreciate your restraint and integrity. I read many beauty blogs. Most are obviously "kept" women -- NO integrity and all for the money. Anyone I don't respect, say a certain DC young-professional/political-dressing blogger, I go out of my way NOT to click on her links to avoid paying her even a few cents. Yours, I would do so.

I have made a few purchases after reading about the products here, but mostly I am aghast at the prices of the higher end lines--say, for lip gloss--and wonder how you manage to post them with a straight face. Sigh . . I guess there's a market for them.

Like GCstrein, I live in this area, but rather than dropping *off* samples, I would happily pick some up! I am darker and yellower than you, though . . . (saying this makes me feel a bit creepy, like a stalker! But you have shared so much of yourself with us.)

Please keep us apprised of your career/writing/posting path--I know you will!

Christine in Silver Spring aka Tweenymama

Anonymous said...

Although I dont' comment a lot, I read you EVERY day, quite often many times a day! I constantly search past posts for your opinion of a product. You are well written and truly represent class and style. Some of my favorite things came from your advice...and one in particular, from you!! Please know that you are worth reading and I wish the best for you in the job hunt, and not just for my reading pleasure. Hugs :)

Denise at aeiokid at comcast dot net

Teasmade said...

Another post to say that I appreciate your restraint and integrity. I read many beauty blogs. Most are obviously "kept" women -- NO integrity and all for the money. Anyone I don't respect, say a certain DC young-professional/political-dressing blogger, I go out of my way NOT to click on her links to avoid paying her even a few cents. Yours, I would do so.

I have made a few purchases after reading about the products here, but mostly I am aghast at the prices of the higher end lines--say, for lip gloss--and wonder how you manage to post them with a straight face. Sigh . . I guess there's a market for them.

Like GCstrein, I live in this area, but rather than dropping *off* samples, I would happily pick some up! I am darker and yellower than you, though . . . (saying this makes me feel a bit creepy, like a stalker! But you have shared so much of yourself with us.)

Please keep us apprised of your career/writing/posting path--I know you will!

Christine in Silver Spring aka Tweenymama

Mary Ann said...

I love your blog! It's the first one I read every day. If there is something I'm thinking of buying, I always check your reviews, Oh the things you've talked me into. Good luck with your job search.

bisbee said...

CG - I echo your other faithful readers in saying your blog is truly special, and I would miss it terribly if you stopped...but you have to do what is best for you, of course!

Crossing fingers that you find the right job for you! And, very happy birthday to your mother! I lost my parents many years ago (my Mom has been gone 20 years)...I miss her daily and dream about her often!

We don't live that far apart - whenever I go to Tyson's (which is not that ofte), I always look around, thinking I might run into you!

Take care!

Lisa C said...

I really do hope you find something soon! And I hope its something that will make you very happy in it. I'll keep you in my prayers.

And I certainly hope that you will be able to continue this blog. I so look forward to all your reviews and swatches. I truly look forward to all your posts! You are loved <3

Unknown said...

I would miss your blog if you didn't blog anymore, but if it comes down to putting food on your table and paying for your living quarters vs. buying makeup, the choice is clear - you need food, you need a place to live. Makeup is nice, but people can get along without it.

I appreciate the fact that you take the time to respond personally to the commenters on your blog, and I have found your comments to be insightful and helpful. When I get money again, I'm going to be looking for a better sunscreen/facial moisturizer, for example. I learn a great deal from reading your blog, and I find it valuable.

I agree with you that many blogs have simply become outlets for advertising, and as with the magazines, it's hard to know which opinions are genuine and which are influenced by profit motive.

Last, but not least, Happy Birthday to your mom! I hope you had a nice time with her today.

It's been raining here all day, too.

Charlestongirl said...

I love you all! I'll be back tomorrow. Had a job interview today and then went networking. Right now, having just arrived home, I'm beyond tired. I appreciate all the sweet comments and will write in the morning.

tasa said...

I'm one of the regulars here as well and visit daily, sometimes twice a day (from work and then later from home to read more closely). Yours is the rare blog that I do come to frequently and reread because of your terrific writing and taste.

Frankly, I've recently "pruned" the list of beauty blogs I follow. I find too many sponsored posts, cluttered graphics and not as much grace and kindness as is found in your blog. I'll keep coming back even if you reduce the posting schedule because I love to read what you have to say.

Friday Forum is one of my favorite features you do, thank you for being honest with your readers and engaging us. Best of luck with your job search!

Katy said...

Glad you got to spend time with your mother on her birthday! She sounds lovely. Sorry to hear your florist was closed!

Be selective in the job you take. You're worth an excellent job, not an okay one!

I Enjoy your Online Beauty Magazine.

Keep on BLOGGIN!


Evelyn said...

Happy Birthday to your mom Charlestongirl! Wish the weather had been sunny for you but at least we're here to enjoy the birthdays. :)

I actually save your blog for last every day because I enjoy it so very much to cap off my beauty day. Whichever topic you choose, it's always an interesting read and your commentors also have interesting things to share (except for the trolls but we ignore those). Actually all the blogs I read are really individuals discussing what they like rather than a monetized blog. It could be useful for swatches but generally the writing has no character and that's what I look for - a genuine voice not a PR blurb. I can swatch for myself if I have to. I hope you'll keep writing for us for a long time yet so I will keep my fingers and toes crossed (although it will be hard to dance salsa like that - lol) for fantastic work to come your way!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Moonchime said...

Hi CG! First, Happy Birthday to your Mother. The floral arrangement you gave her sounds sublime!

I visit your blog often. It is my absolute favorite. I've learned so much by reading your recommendations.

In this cyberverse where everybody and their sister has a blog these days, everything can be overwhelming and downright confusing.

Your blog is like a breath of fresh air. You would be terribly missed if you were unable to be unable to continue. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers concerning your job search.

Have a wonderful weekend!~Marilyn

lola seicento said...

Hi Charleston Girl,

I certainly hope that you don't stop blogging. Your blog is unquestionably one of the very best out there. I have been ridiculously busy with work lately, and some days I'm not even sure if I will squeeze in the time to post a review. I don't have the time that I would like to make the rounds to my very favorite bloggers, but no matter how busy I am I always read your blog. I know that I am not alone when I say that your content, honest reviews, personable interactions, and level-headed approach to blogging is so refreshing. I think that your voice is a vital one, and your integrity, honestly, and penchant for fantastic products keeps us all coming back. Your opinions are trusted and cherished- and that is a very rare thing these days.


Anonymous said...

Hi CG I read your blog everyday as well. You're right in saying there are so many blogs out there however not all deserve a visit at least once a day like BTIB. I love your blog its one of the few I consider to be trustworthy fun and an honest opinion. I understand your situation with the job, I hope you find one soon. I hope you are able to continue blogging. It would be a big loss if you decided to stop.

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

I would most definitely miss you if you stopped blogging! But I want you to do what is best for you, whatever makes you happy.

Sending good energy for your job hunt :)

judith said...

My two cents, I trust your swatches! The swatches you post are spot on and that is so very helpful to someone who lives in rural Wisconsin and likes pretty things.

You mentioned teenage bloggers. I am decades away from my teenage years and I enjoy reading YOUR thoughts.
Thank you.

beano54 said...

Another fab prize
I follow you via gfc yasminec9
follow you on twitter @yasminec9
tweeted about this giveaway too link is
my email is
have emailed you too
thank you

beano54 said...

I am a regular of your blog love reading all your posts
I love beauty products and your blog gives such great information on products that i love to know what it is like etc
i would be Gutted if this stopped as i come on daily
i know i am being selfish and that is your right to decide

Nina said...

CG! I agree with al of the positive comments here! Your readers adore and respect you and would miss you terribly if you stopped writing, but we would understand. I for one would not mind if you decided to have advertising and make revenue from your blog. You have such a charming style and make all of your readers feel as if we are your friends! Best wishes to Mom and Best of Luck on your job search - sending more Philly wishes your way!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a breath of fresh air. I enjoy reading your thoughtful prose. Thank you for sharing.

Sarah said...

I love your blog and would be really sad if you quit! I feel like you often talk about products others don't.

Like others have mentioned, you shouldn't feel obliged to always buy a product and swatching is useful too.

I really hope you find a job soon!

Cynthia.Richardson said...

Please don't stop. You're one of the classics!

Lucy said...

Dear CG , I understand your position and am willing to accept whatever terms you can manage to keep the blog oing. I highly respect your opinions and look to you for beauty advice first. Praying or the right job opportunity that will allow you the est of both worlds.


Makeup Remastered said...

I love your blog- it's personal, sophisticated and feels genuine- I tend to gloss over 'monetized' blogs and only really visit to get swatches of products I'm looking for. You do fill a niche and don't u forget it!

Anonymous said...


Your blog is genuine, intelligent, and bubbles with charm. Last year, at age 29, I had a stroke that made it difficult for me to recognize my own face in the mirror. As a result, I became obsessed with beauty products, as I tried to "recapture" my face. Your blog was a joy to come across, and you made a real difference in my life. I would be sad to see you go. I am crossing my fingers for you that you'll find a job soon. Even if you can't afford to keep doing high-end things, I encourage you to keep experimenting with beauty products, whatever your budget allows for. What you do is an art. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

take care,


Anonymous said...

I like your blog because of how you write, rather than what you write about. Your blog is like a friend or sister that I don't have.

Unknown said...

Hang in there in CG. Like the others, I look forward to reading your reviews, and especially enjoy the Friday Forum. There isn't another one like it. Few other bloggers engage their readers the way you do. I enjoy reading all of your readers' experiences with makeup and skin care and would really miss your mature readers' perspectives if you closed your blog. Thank you for adding my blog to your list of those to read. Ironically, I also have less time and energy to post as often as I'd like, so I have a renewed appreciation for the time you take to write about the latest collections, to provide us your honest and informed opinions, and to keep the Friday Forum going. Clearly, we will all understand if you must post less frequently as you spend your time seeking work. We're all sending you positive energy so that you find a position soon. And fingers crossed that Congress reverses this sequester.

Claire said...

CG, you are a rare, if not the only one, of the bloggers that is of your kind: not-monetized, not driven by PR samples, sales, pitches, etc. If you are gone, you will be leaving a big void in the beauty blogging arena. Moreover, your blog is the mature, sophisticated voice in the beauty blogosphere out there. Mature meaning not childish, not trendy (but on trend), not something that comes/goes easily as the fad itself. Finally, your integrity is really unmatched. I don't see many big bloggers right now solely write about products that they truly love. Truly love enough that they purchase them by their own money. In short, you are one of a kind and I'm sure I'm not the one who shares the sentiment. Therefore, I'm crossing my fingers, toes, and sending you all good vibes for that job search!! It'll be a tragedy to see you leave beauty blogging and I hope I won't see that happening if at all.

CrystesMom said...

Oh, just wow, CG! I have nothing much to add to what everyone else here has said! I know that I will be really devastated if you cease to write this blog, but I know that you must do what is right for you at this time. I have been enjoying BTiB almost from the beginning of the blog and truly appreciate all that you have put into it. Your blog even touches on many things that have nothing to do with beauty, but are so important in other ways to all of us. Your insight has helped me to grow as a person in so many ways. Good luck with following your dreams and my fingers are also crossed for you.

Rosemary said...

I'm surrounded by moving boxes and have a poor wi-fi connection, but I wanted to say, don't go, CG!

After not being able to get online all week, here were my priorities:
1. Check email
2. Read Best Things in Beauty.

Sending good wishes for the job hunt.


Karin said...

I follow quite a few beauty blogs and, after reading this post, I've taken a closer look. I want you to know I'm looking for and appreciate an honest opinion, not one that's paid for. I also appreciate your true experience as a consumer and researcher of quality beauty products. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can start a blog, but what do we as readers really know about them? Only what they tell us, so trust is key.

Another point I want to make is I'm not 24. I'm not even 34. I'm 44 and already in menopause. Needless to say, my skin and makeup needs are very different than those of a younger woman. This is yet another fact that makes your blog in particular important and unique.

I am truly sorry you're having a rough time of it, but it would be a great loss to your readers if you had to give up this blog. Keep your chin up and stay beautiful!

Charlestongirl said...


I am so grateful for your support - and basically speechless. I'll return to this on Friday. Thank you so much.