Beauty bloggers slammed as hairy armed copy cats: UK magazines show their true colours

By Aisling | December 22 2011 | 128 Comments

A beauty blogger prepares swatches

Ah she had to be having a laugh didn’t she?  Otherwise it was an absolutely incredible unprovoked attack on beauty bloggers.  The venom that was released in this  post from makeup artist Kay Montano showed a serious lack of understanding of how social media works and the democracy of blogging.

It wasn’t the story she was telling which was fairly mundane.  Apparently a PR agency sent out incorrect information in a press release about some work she’d done which was then replicated around the web.  Big deal.  Get over it – it happens all the time.  Not the bloggers fault – blame the PR agency.

And then there was some ranting about going to launches and seeing – horror – bloggers at it!  Getting free stuff!  Well again. Get over it.

They provide tons of coverage for brands.  Mountains of it.  That’s why they’re invited.  Sorry if you don’t like it.

The most hilarious part of the post  was the patronising and superior way in which she divided beauty bloggers into two camps.  (She had stupid names for them both)  One is better than the other apparently – because one set writes for magazines.  The other set swatch lipsticks onto their hairy arms – and who would want to see that?

Who would want to see an un-photoshopped view of an eyeshadow or lipstick shade on real skin in natural light?  Literally millions of people it would appear, from the traffic we get collectively.

Now here’s the thing.  Traffic to beauty blogs is huge and growing every day.  Magazine sales are declining.  Magazines recruit bloggers to write for them.  No magazine website or blog has ever been able to come close to the success of the best beauty blogs despite pumping huge money and resources online.

It’s not happening.  But it got worse.  Comments and tweets agreeing and sneering at bloggers followed thick and fast by the magazine industry.  Only a month before Cosmo had run Bloggers Awards “Aimed at celebrating the crème de la crème of the blogging community”: however who did we spy wading in but the beauty editor of Cosmo, Inge van Lotringen @cosmobeautyboss, retweeting her agreement in response to the following?  When the beauty editor of Hello magazine (not actually noted for its beauty coverage) and Beauty presenter of ITV’s This Morning, tweeted “Kay is not only a very talented makeup artist – she speaks the truth”, she began a smug little bitchfest among magazine eds, leaving a really really bad taste in many peoples mouths.

It reminds me a little of the time Alexa Chung showed her distaste for fashion bloggers in Vogue – the very people who had arguably made her so famous.

Irish magazines are a bit different thank goodness.  They don’t go in for this wholesale nasty crap that the whole of the UK media is infested with, so we’ve been able to sit back and watch the drama unfolding.  It’s a shame really because it could have been so different for Kay Montano.  She could have launched her blogging career by doing what she does best – makeup.  Raised her profile, gathered thousands of new fans and taken the opportunity to learn how to engage.  Instead she has alienated with her arrogance.

Oh well.  Another one bites the dust.

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128 Replies to "Beauty bloggers slammed as hairy armed copy cats: UK magazines show their true colours"

  • Well said, Aisling. I read this piece with sheer disbelief at Kay’s snobbery and her perceived entitlement to that snobbery.

    It was both offensive and hypocritical for her to accuse the majority of beauty bloggers as illiterate scroungers, while going on to make up her own offensive adjectives but then to insinuate that everyone that disagreed saw themselves as being attacked?

    What a deluded, arrogant woman. I especially enjoyed Jane’s comments on the article.

    I do think, though the following support by magazine editors and people of ‘influence’ is even more worrying. Do these people not know that they’re working in an ailing trade?

  • Kirstie says:

    Yes, I agree. I would have known Kay Montano’s name as an editorial makeup artist and been very interested in her new blog as a result, hoping that she’d be a new Lisa Eldridge, someone who gets it oh-so-right.

    But you can’t enter someone else’s sphere, castigate them for what you think they do wrong, and try to pull the ladder up after you – it just doesn’t work that way, and you’ll swiftly find out why.

    I also think Ms Montano did have an axe to grind from day 1 and before this unfortunate post appeared, if you read her bio it’s quite apparent. I’d been reading the site before the unfortunate www post anyway – and had the same feeling. Like she wanted to ‘show us how it was done’. By all means, please do, we can all learn and strive to do better – but this isn’t the way to go about it.

  • fififinx says:

    I think the mag eds know full well they’re in a failing industry – and they are well aware that the reason their circulation is dropping is due to blogs and social media. There are several reasons for this: Magazines assume everyone has huge amounts of disposable income and time to go buying the products of whichever house is giving the sweetest kickback that month; they are not updated very often; they cost a lot to buy if you’re only interested in 1 or 2 articles; they generate a lot of waste; bloggers are more accessible and interactive; bloggers understand that real women are not a size 0 who has nothing better to do than have facials and pout in perfect lighting conditions all day. They also tend not to descend to bitchiness the minute they feel their oh-so-perfectly-preserved selves are under threat.
    After all, how can one afford a facelift a year if one’s sinecure disappears?

  • legalyblonde says:

    I cant read the original post at all…

  • 100% Fifinix, 9 times out of 10 if I’m thinking of making a purchase I’ll check out swatches and reviews on blogs on vlogs – semi naked models, dry humping jaguars in editorial shots just don’t have the same honesty I find.

  • ArtDonatella says:

    The link to Kay’s post gives an error, just to let yous know :)…

  • Kirstie says:

    fixed now – apologies!

  • Aisling Aisling says:

    Oh that’s just SO typical of bloggers! To be getting link error and all that – obviously we are no good at cutting and pasting either!

  • I was just so bewildered that she actually hit publish on the fecking thing. Come on, what was she thinking?

    And as you’ve said Aisling, Kay’s original issue should’ve been with the PR agency that sent out the wrong information.

  • ~Thalia~ says:

    Hmm, couldn’t finish the piece, it’s so badly written.

    I can only speak from personal experience, I never buy ANYTHING without
    Mucho research on the interweb, most of it blogs a d you tube videos of real ordinary people reviewing the product, hairy arms and all :)

    In truth she sounds like a frequent flyer on the bitter bus.

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