The first nail-focused beauty blog

ALU and the FTC Regulations

By on October 28, 2009
in News

By now some of you may have heard about the FTC regulations regarding bloggers and their relationships with brands. You can read all about it including the 80+ page guideline document HERE. Basically any blogger, regardless of their niche, must disclose if they received payment or a product sample in relation to a product review. They consider receiving a sample as a form of payment for the review. I haven’t spoken about this until now because I wanted to read all 80+ pages of the guidelines and any other articles I could find on the subject to see what is actually required and decide how I want to address it here.

Some of you probably care less about all this so feel free to skip this post. If you want to hear my long winded thoughts on what’s happening and how ALU will address the regulations please read on.

Bloggers Receive Product Samples
In case you were unaware, bloggers receive product samples and not just beauty bloggers. Mommy bloggers, tech bloggers, food bloggers, garden bloggers, etc. In regards to beauty blogs you’d be hard pressed to find a blog with a loyal readership and 6+ months of posting under their belt that hasn’t received a press sample(s).

Bloggers are treated the same as magazines, receiving samples of the newest products to test. How do you think we get collections before they hit shelves? Only for some reason the FTC feels the magazines don’t need regulating even though they are influenced by advertisers. You know those product recs to get the cover model’s look? Paid for! So really the fact that the FTC is coming after us is quite a joke! And I’ve heard a number of bloggers say F-U to the regulations. They aren’t abiding.

I Was Clueless Too
Here’s the thing. Like a lot of you, when I first started my blog or even before that when I was just reading blogs, I had NO CLUE that brands sent out samples. I thought those women were independently wealthy or about to file for bankruptcy. Being the first nail blogger on the scene, I never dreamed I’d get an email offering to send me product for review. I mean, who was I? Just some girl with way too much nail polish and an idea to focus on a niche that no one else was covering. I blogged for a really long time before that first email arrived and brands started to take notice of me.

Who Can You Trust?
The main rumbling I’ve heard is how can readers trust bloggers if they’re getting free product? Are their reviews biased because they don’t pay? How can they distinguish the “swag whores” from the true and honest fanatics? All I can say is trust your gut.

From the beginning, I’ve posted about what I want, when I want. I don’t make promises to brands regarding reviews. I don’t post only positive reviews. Look in the archives, you’ll see that not every color gets high praise. Yes, I do run ads as a form of income but I have no formal relationship with the advertisers or agreements in regard to my content. My ad network handles the management and sales aspect but my content is purely up to me.

How I Deal With PR
The fact of the matter is that every single day I get more press releases in my inbox than I know how to deal with. The majority are totally unrelated to my blog (hello designer bra straps!). With each press release is the offer of sample product. I’d say 95% of those releases go in the trash. The small percentage that do relate to ALU with things I think either you or I would like, I accept product for. But does that guarantee a review? Not by a long shot! If something doesn’t thrill me or apply well or just doesn’t meet my standards, I don’t review it. I’m not going to waste our time on that.

So no, I didn’t post the second half of the OPI Spain collection. Why? It didn’t excite me. I didn’t post the Essie Neons because they applied terribly and all I heard was complaints about the wear. I skipped Chanel Rouge Allure Laque because the colors were kind of “meh.” I’m not out to post every single collection on the planet because I only want to share with you the things I think are actually worth it. And even then, there are some stinkers in the bunch and I’ll let you know that too.

What Happens Now?
The regulations go into effect on December 1st. As of that date or prior to, I will have a formal disclosure page so that even if someone comes here for the first time, they’ll know the deal. Also, at the end of each post you will see a short disclosure statement letting you know how the product was obtained with a link to my disclosure page.

Why Are You Just Doing This Now?
I’ve never hidden the fact that I receive press samples and openly told anyone that has ever asked about it (and lots have). The first time I got a collection early I saw posts about it on MUA with members commenting that brands send out product to bloggers. I didn’t feel the need to brag or rub it in anyone’s face that I have the privilege of getting polish from brands to share with all of you. We all know it’s basically free advertising for the brands but for me, it’s the chance to share my passion for polish. I take that seriously which is why I don’t just post everything offered to me.

Questions? Comments?
Let’s go ahead and open the floor for questions and comments. I want to hear what you have to say and am happy to address any concerns you have. If you aren’t comfortable commenting, feel free to email me directly editor[at]alllacqueredup[dot]com or use the comment form HERE.

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There Are 55 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Her Royal Poshness says:

    Does this apply to UK bloggers?

  2. All Lacquered Up says:

    Nope, only US as the FTC is part of the government.

  3. Danica says:

    Hmmm, they have to make it so difficult – wasn't there some big deal awhile back about bloggers not being reliable reviewers and somebody was misconstruing the point of blogs and was telling people not to trust, because they are paid for their reviews? I think that was a different blog, but anyway, I take everything i read on a blog with a grain of salt. It's especially nice when different blogs cover the same brands. I have learned who has similar taste as I do and even then, I go with my gut reactions as to what I feel is best for me (for example, no matter how big matte is right now that will never be my thing). I appreciate any information I can get on polishes before/when they come out!

  4. kelliegonzo says:

    very cool of you to let us know what you're all about. i'm a pretty recent reader and blogger and i am still learning about the whole shebang :) thanks for your openhearted honesty michelle!

  5. Ava says:

    I personally don't care about where you get your polishes. I actually think it's great that you get freebies since it must take up a lot of your time to swatch, review, and post. I know you have a passion for what you blog about, and I get so much from reading it! If you have to disclose, then by all means, disclose. As long as your posts are informative and interesting I'll keep reading them :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    So you didn't review the Essie neons because they suck, but you didn't feel any need to mention the suckiness? That kind of speaks toward you protecting the people who send you free stuff.

    Though truth be told, I find that where I really think you've been biased is in your relationship, whatever it may be, with CND. You posted quite a bit about how great it was that they effectively doubled their price point, and you're giving them a free plug on a weekly basis.

  7. All Lacquered Up says:

    Danica – They DO have to make it difficult. So frustrating. The truth is, the chances of me getting caught by the FTC should I choose not to comply, is slim. And even if they did, they would warn me before taking further action. But I figure it's better to be safe than sorry and I have no problem disclosing.

    I just find it terribly unfair that print isn't held to the same standard. If the world only KNEW how they're influenced.

    Kelliegonzo – Thank you. I've always been an open book but it's better to lay everything on the table when there's so much speculation and controversy buzzing through the interwebs.

  8. All Lacquered Up says:

    Ava – Thank you! I'm glad you find my site helpful.

    Anon – I wasn't protecting anyone. Neons are notoriously hard to photograph. These ones in particular were a bitch to apply and took so many coats to get opaque. It wasn't worth my time to write about them. Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I'm not generally an Essie fan. That I rarely review their collections unless it's something special like the North Fork polishes. And even in that review I stated that I'm not Essie's demographic. How exactly is that protecting them?

    And in regards to my CND Monday posts, that was something I thought would be fun to add to the blog. The collection is too big to swatch in one shot so doing it over time seemed like a cool solution. Yes, they increased their price and for some people that may be too much. It's not up to me to decide whether a product is worthwhile based on price alone. As I've stated before, I try to take price out of the equation when reviewing a product because expensive to me isn't expensive to another person. Some people think nothing of buying Chanel polishes others would never spend more than $4/bottle regardless of the brand. It's all relative. I like the quality of CND and the versatility of the line and choose to feature them.

  9. Selina says:

    Thank you for an informative post on this topic. Although I'm in New Zealand so the FTC regulations don't apply to me it's still a topic that is of interest to all bloggers and blog readers. I can tell almost immediately which blogs are 'in the pockets' of companies and I tend to avoid them. It is totally unfair that this is directed at bloggers and not at print media, but the cynic in me thinks that it's probably easier for them to take on bloggers than the powerful media conglomerates behind the glossy magazines.

  10. All Lacquered Up says:

    Selina – you make an excellent point. It is easier to go after us. Though from what I understand any penalties would fall onto the brands and not us. Though part of me can't help but wonder if this was at all motivated by magazines hoping to push us out of their dance space.

  11. Stephanie says:

    hopefully they move on to the mags or people will get smart and stop buying the obviously biased ones. "oh we loooove this new lipstick" then there just happens to be an ad for it within 2 pages of the mention. hmmmm. or "this purse is so awesome with everything" then in the back here's a code to get 10% off that purse online. hmmmm.
    very unfair that they are targeting bloggers.

  12. Kristin Booker says:

    Very well said, Michelle. Very, very well said.

  13. NancyPower says:

    I am asked to try things all the time. If it is a small company that does not impress me I just sip the review, not to be biased but out of respect that they sent me something. I do however forward my feelings to the company. If I review several products some which I like and some I don't I do include all products and just say that some were not the best for me.

    I know that for me in Canada I won't be effected but really I think we know who reviews for pay etc, it is usually easy to spot. I wish they would just leave everyone else alone!

  14. AHY says:

    I'm a blogger and recently (2 months ago) I recived my first free sample, the DC Mattes. As a teenage blogger, I find it quite difficult to afford my blog, I recently spent $90 for 1 months worth of blogging material, it isn't cheap. I love getting the samples because it makes my blog more than my hobby (and because when people ask about a polish I get to say that it isn't relesed yet). I like knowing wether a glowing review is due to a product or a promise of more samples to come, HOWEVER, people will always see it as the latter if that fact is shoved down their throats. I will tell anyone that asks which polishes are free, I will not recommend every polish I receive, I do want to maintain my credibility; BUT, I might as well quit my blog right now if samples were taken away.

  15. moeysullivan says:

    Thanks, Michelle. Your explanation is accurate and reflects the reasons I read your blog in the first place: it is informative, clear, witty, has great illustrations, and does not try to be anything more that what it is.

    And what, pray tell, is that? An awesome blog with one editorial viewpoint, yours. I've seen you diss Chanel polishes and glorify NYC Color when the material requires it. It probably helps that you have a real job in the real world and share our concerns about durability, ease of application, how the stuff actually looks on your fingers, and budget.

    Don't worry about the suggestion that you are somehow "protecting" Essie, or whatever. That's why blogs are great: someone who wishes to do so will pick up your slack, if that's what it is, and put up a bunch of streaky Essie pics if they feel the need.

    Finally, my favorite thing about you is your refusal to believe that just because you love nail polish, it must be the most important thing in the universe. Yeah, it's awesome, but it's just paint that dissolves in acetone.
    And that's OK.

  16. FB @ says:

    If I don't like the product, I don't review it. Period.

    If they pay me, I disclose that they paid me, or sent me the item in question.

    Most of the time, even if they paid me or gave me something for free, I still give my honest review (pros AND cons).

    What annoys me the most, is magazines not having to declare anything

    So what, just because they're a mag, they get carte blanche because we just assume they were paid & given crazy amounts of free stuff?

  17. The Glitterati says:

    The part that really gets my grill about all this is the double-standard with regard to magazines versus blogs. In terms of the products reviewed/featured, I'm willing to bet real money that bloggers buy a much higher proportion of those products than magazine editors do. I've also started noticing a lot of 'advertorials' in magazines… long pieces that sound like a 'how-to' or other type of editorial piece, but are actually paid-for by beauty companies. I'm talking downright *payment* here, not just a sample or a 'freebie'. To date, I am aware of no beauty blog that does this type of post. (And if I did see one, I would treat the post with a high degree of scepticism, as I do those magazine advertorials.)

    I agree that it's easier to go after bloggers. After all, magazines have been receiving press samples and talking about them for decades. To ask them to give full disclosure now would surely cause a ruckus, and amongst large media companies at that. Blogs are still relatively new, individual, and do not contribute to the economy in the way that the glossies do. So let's pick on the little guy then.

    As for negative reviews, I have bought plenty of products that I was disappointed with. Unless there's a lot of hype about that product, chances are, I don't post about it. It doesn't excite me, and it's much more fun to write about a product that IS good, regardless of whether it was a free press sample or purchased with my own cash.

    Hopefully the Canadian government won't be embracing this silliness anytime soon. I am sorry you guys have to deal with this.

  18. mmg says:

    Honestly, I am glad to see you say something. I can certainly understand why it is frustrating that these rules don't apply to magazines – however… I find it fascinating with the blogs I read how a product is obtained. Some are hard swapped, some sampled in store, etc. I find it amazing, so as a reader I appreciate that detail!

  19. Mrs. Jenner says:

    I've read your blog from the beginning and you have always been honest in all of your reviews. I can't imagine how long it takes to swatch the colors and all of your photos are perfect! You actually take the time to apply the polish well too :) which some do not.
    Your readers can't expect you to review every single product as that just takes too long. Bloggers have lives outside of blogging and sometimes readers forget that. Thank you for all the work you do to show us great polishes! You deserve free product as I know I have spent a lot on polishes because of your posts!

  20. swedishfishing says:

    I agree that the double standard is really unfair. Magazines and other media should absolutely also have to disclose whether products were provided for free; otherwise, this whole thing seems to be suggesting that blogs aren't "real" media (but magazines are) since there are effectively different rules for each now. And honestly, that sucks. I don't even read magazines anymore because I feel that they're generally not very body-positive, so I really, really respect good, honest bloggers. I've enjoyed your blog for awhile now, and that won't change at all– I'm glad you get samples to review! I can't even imagine how much it would cost if every blogger had to buy all the new polishes coming out– blogs wouldn't be able to review much, and I wouldn't know what's worth buying. So keep up the good work!

  21. Lauren says:

    I didn't really think you were all buying 100+ bottles of polish a year. I'm fine with bloggers reviewing freebies as long as they don't try to hide it or push the product on readers

    teen mags are the worst at this. I recently read an article on sweet 16s where every dress and accessory was from the same overpriced site. Do they really expect us to believe that's coincidence?

  22. T.R. says:

    Thank you Michelle. For me personally you didn't have go through the trouble but another one my bloggers talked it about it earlier.

    My personal view, I think you all should get the freebies. I watch too many people on blogs and youtube ask and even demand the guru/blogger review products and that's not cheap. I mean seriously though I thought you all just did what you liked and didn't like and that's all. We are adults anything you review any of us can go out and check for ourselves.

    When all is said and done it's just a person's opinion nothing more nothing less.

  23. Stef says:

    I was wondering if you were rich because of all the polishes you review! ha ha ha Now I know the truth! I know how long it takes me to give myself a manicure from start to finish, you swatch a ton of polishes, so getting them sent to you is deserved!

    The FTC is lame. Why start all this? You rock Michelle!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think the regulations are a great idea but they should be extended to print as well. When I first started reading blogs I felt misled in that I bought products based on 'great reviews'. I would not have bought half of them had I known the bloggers get the stuff for free. I do feel a lot of bloggers are NOT forthcoming in product reviews because they are too afraid to offend their bread and butter. They love to be mingling with the stars etc. That fine but I want to know. I want to see a disclosure so I could weigh the bias.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Though I agree that magazines should be made part of the equation, in all honesty, this fact that print media is not part of the FTC thing should NOT be used as an argument by bloggers. Yes, it may be unfair but it's best to deal with the issue directly and not use some sort of comparison to drive your point.

  26. loungie says:

    by reading the comments I wonder if anyone on the planet really thinks magazins have to BUY products they write about?!

  27. Julie says:

    I appreciated your thoughtful discussion of the new regs. I personally don't give a hoot where you get the polishes from that you review. I just like the pics and am not ashamed to saw so! I am like that you keep your blog updated and for that reason, you are my favorite blog!! Keep up the great work!

  28. B says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Michelle darling. I too started Clumps without even knowing I would ever get a free sample of anything. You have given me a lot of perspective. At the end of the day, I feel your readers (and fellow bloggers) know that you do what you do out of the love for nail polish. And that's all that matters. Keep doing what you're doing!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Kudos for being so articulate about these rather silly new regulations. As if 'we', the readers, are so naive that we think the tooth fairy got you all of these nps before release. Yeh sure!
    C'mon, 'we' know perfectly well that you (ao) get stuff, but that the sender cannot force you to like it or review! And 'we' are educated enough (certainly npwise) to know when a blogger is overpraising something that obviously sucks. Of course it is probably not always easy to be strict; you may have a longterm love for a certain brand and hence be lenient towards less great nps, you may unlove another brand even though you try hard to like it etc, but that is your prerogative!!The whole objective of your (or any) blog is to give us your subjective opinion! (guess what, an opinion is always subjective, that's what the word means!!)

    Nobody in the np-blogging world can offer the definitive verdict on a np's quality or beauty, simply because it is all a matter of taste! That's why you should read different blogs too. I have np's that, acc to the np bloggers, are the nec plus ultra in np, but that suck big time on my nails, regardless of the bc/tc combi I use. It's probably the climate. Or a skanky bottle. Or just me ;o)

    People (at least the FTC) seem to forget that blogs are PERSONAL, whether the blogger buys all the goods him/herself, whether he/she receive the goodies as pr, or whether he/she is in a brand's pocket. In in my not so humble opinion, a blogger has NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL towards his/her readers, but only to his/her own honesty and authenticity. A blogger can and should post anything he/she likes (including boring (imho) CND, no 2nd part of OPI spain or everything essie, or crazy expensive shoes in an economic recession like Jane A does). If you as a reader don't like it, don't read it.

    And don't ever think you *need* a np, you need food and shelter and people that love you.
    I almost forgot that when developing a serious lemming for Jade (not on sale in my country, only accepts US credit cards, evilbay >50 $ etc), fortunately all those swatches on the blogs made me realise I wanted it for the want, not for its beauty: I lurrrve greens but this hue would look so fuggen ugly with my skin tone I'd hate it forever.

    A blog is not a guide for successful living. Nor is Vogue.
    Nor is ms 'modern' Lippmann. And 90 lbs may indeed be a healty weight for some, and size 6 (indeed, 12!) is not plus.

    Just use your own head.
    (and paint your nails: 20 little canvasses are craving for your creativity)

  30. Sandy says:

    Thank you Michelle for all the great information on this subject! I had heard about the regulation a couple of weeks ago and was wondering how it was going to affect the bloggers. You explained it very well and I for one, have never questioned whether you did or did not receive samples. I just love your openess, great detailing and above all, your honesty with the products. Your sight was one of the first ones I found information about a particular product and you have become one of my daily reads. You exemplify professionalism just by tackling this subject. I respect all of your hard work – keep it up!

  31. Debbie says:

    Well said you – and there will always be haters and conspiracy theorists who will decide that anything you left unblogged will be done in an attempt to protect someone who is sending you free stuff, says more about them that they think that way imo! You only have to read the blogs that I do – yours and scrangie mainly – to know that you write what you find and what you blog is what rocks your boat, not just what you received in the post, I have been a fan of your blog for ages, I live in the UK and cant get most of the polishes and I still read your blog, why? Because its written so well, you make me laugh and you are so "real" and I like that in a blog and your photos are fab and a bit of nail envy looking at your pics reminds me to love my snarly little nubby nails and to look after them. Keep up the great work Michelle and kudos for being out there and open about how this all works.

  32. Sonya says:

    I think your approach to this silly rule is spot on. It is clearly "punishing" honest bloggers (like you) in order to make the dishonest ones disclose their relationships.
    Sigh, does the government really need to be so invasive in another aspect of our lives, such as blogs and product relationships? I think that there are more important things for the FTC to deal with.

  33. Robin says:

    I'm a new reader – I love your blog – I'm OLD (54) but I find I'm starting to try new things and it's fun – like someone else said "20 little canvases". I've ordered some of the things you've posted about BUT it doesn't matter to me whether you got the product free or not – let's face it – when you buy nail polish it's in a bottle – not on someone's nails. This is after all YOUR blog – and you've invited us to 'visit' – if we don't enjoy our visit we shouldn't come back and it appears most of your visitors come back over and over! thanks for sharing your swag AND your opinions and your great writing! I may get all 3 OF those Zoyas – just for FUN!!

  34. Jamie says:

    To be honest, I pretty much count on you as a blogger being able to get hold of the polishes before a wee bit early so that I can see them before I make purchase decisions. As far as I can tell, the only real way for this to happen is for you to get samples sent to you. I read your blog regularly and so I have a lot of faith in your honesty — I think readers, especially frequent readers, can get a pretty good sense of these things

    I appreciate all the time and energy you put into this blog!

  35. squeakdance says:

    From reading this and other comments, I'm disappointed to hear that bloggers aren't posting more negative/"meh"/lackluster reviews. I can only speak for myself, and maybe I'm alone on this, but I think it would be nice if everything tried got at least a little bit of a review. Even something as brief as what you said in here, that the polishes didn't excite you or were streaky, just something, anything, would be better than totally skipping it. No pics or anything like that, just a super quick little post. I value the expert opinions of people who have way more polish experience than I do, and I appreciate hearing even a morsel of their thoughts on a product to help me make a more informed decision.

  36. All Lacquered Up says:

    Stephanie – great point! i hope that does happen soon

    Kristin – Thanks doll! I appreciate you taking the time to read all my babbling.

    NancyPower – I agree, the pay-for-play bloggers are easy to spot

    AHY – Enjoying the samples and the exclusivity of getting product early wasn't my point and it's not something I revel in. It's definitely a perk of blogging but even if I didn't get samples, I would continue to blog because it's my passion.

    Moeysullivan – I heart you. It's totally just polish, not the cure for cancer.

    FB – I've always tried to use language like "I had the opportunity to try" as compared to "look what i got for free!!" but apparently the FTC wants clearly drawn lines. I've never hid anything, I just wasn't blatant but now that's where we are.

  37. All Lacquered Up says:

    The Glitterati – those advertorials are getting harder and harder to identify. i get sucked in, thinking it's real content until i notice the SMALL disclaimer.

    mmg – Thank you for adding your insight. I just hate the double standard.

    Mrs. Jenner – I wish I had the time to swatch everything and post about it all but like you said, I do like having a life. I could throw up crappy swatch pics just to get it done but my perfectionist side would never allow that.

    swedishfishing – it is unfair but what can we do about it? that's the question that rolls through my mind.

    Lauren – Exactly my point. I read Nadine Haobsh's book Beauty Confidential and had no idea that the looks on mag covers are bought and paid for.

    TR – It is just an opinion. It's a personal blog. It's my way to share what I love and what excites me. I write this site hoping to find readers that share my giddy love of polish.

    Stef – Thanks for the words of encouragement. If I was rich, I'd be traveling the world, not high on polish fumes.

    Anon #2 – I can't speak for other bloggers but the disclosure isn't going to affect the way I blog the same way receiving samples didn't affect it. What exactly do you mean by mingling with the stars?

    Anon #3 – Who said bloggers aren't dealing with it? I am going to comply with the FTC regulations but that doesn't mean I don't believe the magazines should be held to the same standard.

    Loungie – I'd be curious to know that as well.

    Julie – Thanks for not giving a hoot. I'll keep posting about polish regardless of the FTC.

  38. All Lacquered Up says:

    B – Thanks for the support girlie! It's a shame a few bad apples had to make us all questionable.

    Rose – that made me laugh and cry (in a good way). thank you for such an in depth and honest comment. I'll just focus on my little "canvases" Ha!

    Sandy – thank you for your kind words and support. i just appreciate all of you being so understanding and coming back to see what i have to say about polish.

    Debbie – I'm glad I can add a little humor to your day. I wish more of the amazing collections we get here were available overseas. I know I have a substantial international readership and I always feel bad knowing they can't buy everything I write about. Especially our neighbors to the north in Canada. So close yet so far away.

    Sonya – I don't see it as a punishment as much as a double standard. I don't mind the rule as long as it applies to everyone.

    Robin – Well I'm happy you choose to "visit" here and I'm glad this whole mess won't affect how you view ALU and me.

    Jamie – That's how I've always looked at it. If I get samples early enough I can have them posted before they go on sale so you can make wise purchase decisions. Without samples, that wouldn't be possible.

    Squeakdance – I hear your request but I'm only one person. And I'm not the type to just throw out random posts. That's just not my style or my vision for ALU.

    Truth: I'm not a writer. In school I avoided every writing assignment I was ever given to the point of calling in sick because I didn't finish a paper. Writing is a challenge for me and if I'm not passionate about what I'm saying, it's a struggle. So I choose to focus on the things that excite me because when I love it, the words just flow.

  39. Lackoholic says:

    Well put Michelle. As much as i love your swatches and want to see it all, I'd be surprised if you didn't seed through them somehow. And posting what you think is interesting enough to share is just logical! As for the freebies, I can't see how one would give a fake review of a bad product and lying to ones readers in order to get more of that bad product… Plus, polish is all about the pictures, and pictures don't lie. If it's streaky or bad application, it usually shows. Keep up the good work!

  40. Melanie says:

    I don't think it took a rocket scientist to figure out that you (and other bloggers) were getting free samples. I, for one, have NO problem with it whatsoever. I've never seen a beauty blogger shamelessly push one brand over another. And like another commentor, I like the fact that you post early, before I make my purchase decisions. Good for you, good for me. Good all the way around!

  41. Anonymous says:

    It is a good thing.

    A lot of nail blogs are basically pimping the same brands and the same colors.

    They are creating market buzz and building consumer base for products.

    In short they are advertisers, and disclosure is right ON.

    We live in an age when kids are literally market penetrated from a super young age and the "monetizing" of blogs has turned a bunch of them into nothing more than pimps for products. The line is not only wavering but fuzzy as advertising creeps into blogs.

    I mean why have a nail blog in the first place if all you are going to do is pimp for the companies for free product?
    Doing the "latest reviews" just gets you search hits, viewers and followers, which translates to money.

    It's advertising, not blogging. Disclosure is LONG overdue.

  42. folavril says:

    Thanks for posting this, its good to understand where you are personally coming from when reading your reviews.

    One comment though re the things you didn't post such as the Essie neons. You may have been aware that others didn't like the formula – I, on the other hand as a non-expert, had no clue. If you have an opinion like that (or that certain of the Espana colors were meh), that information is often the more helpful to readers. Wouldn't it have been easy to say in your Espana post, sorry guys thats all & here's why. Or mention the problems with the Essies somewhere.

    I find it very curious that all the information you mention that you chose to withold was negative in nature about the products. And in that case I'm going to have to start approaching your blog with the mindset that if you don't put up a review within a reasonable time of a lines release (say a month) its because you have a negative view of it.

  43. All Lacquered Up says:

    Anon #6 – I hope that "pimping" comment wasn't directed at me specifically. If it was, I would love to know how exactly I am doing that. The brands and products I write about, I would have posted about regardless of any brand samples.

    "Monetizing" a site that takes time and effort doesn't mean you are a sellout or pimp. There's nothing wrong with getting paid for doing something you love.

    I realize that since the beauty blogging explosion of early 2008, a lot of people have started blogs with the wrong reasons (product samples, money, event invites, etc.) but it's not fair to reflect the actions of those unethical people on those of us that have been blogging much longer, with passion and no expectation or demands for anything other than to be able to share their love of product online.

    Folavril – I don't think that's a fair assumption at all. Not posting about something doesn't equal disapproval. I only have so much time and one set of hands. I can't post everything and please everyone. At the end of the day this is a personal blog that happens to be about nail polish and I write about what inspires me.

    To Everyone – You are all welcome to email me with you questions. I've always had an open door policy. If you see that I didn't post about a collection you want to see, you can ask me why.

    Assuming it's because I don't like it puts words in my mouth. If there's something you're dying to see and there seems to be enough interest, I take that into consideration and if time allows, I add that to my calendar.

    The fact is I'm not a mind reader and I can't accommodate everyone's requests. I'm one person and I do the best I can.

  44. Trisha says:

    Maybe you could giveaway the products that you don't like? One womans trash is usually another womans treasure!

  45. All Lacquered Up says:

    Trisha – I've participated in live swaps before and I give a lot away to friends and family. I gave quite a bit of polish to a charity and plan to hold a charity beauty garage sale soon. Unfortunately it's just too time consuming for me to do that sort of thing online.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Not you specifically, but I follow about 25 blogs, and it seems like all of them are on one product wave.

    Building "lemmings" on colors and brands that just aren't that fabulous when you get it home and on the nail.

    I have no problem with making money on "what you love". What totally sucks, is not disclosing that you are making money or getting piles of free items.

    That is why disclosure is important.

    A company paying you to endorse their product is a far cry from a real review.

    A whole lot of people in the blogosphere audience may not understand the difference.

  47. folavril says:

    The problem is your blog states that the site is "the go-to resource for everything nail related". What you're saying in this post is contradictory – this is an "only what you're interested in, only what you like & only when you can be bothered" blog.

    A go to resource needs to include both negative & positive data & you are absolutely withholding negative data from your readership. Those Essies you didn't like – did you buy them or did they come from Essie? What about the meh Espanas? Who paid for those?

    I'm looking forward to seeing you trash a significant number of products that you disclose have been provided to you by someone like OPI, or China Glaze or Essie for free under the FTC rules. And until then I think its a perfectly reasonable that assumption that if you haven't reviewed something its because you don't like it & you don't want to piss off your sources. You've given me no reason to believe otherwise.

  48. All Lacquered Up says:

    Anon #7 – I agree, paid posts/reviews that aren't disclosed are just straight up shady. I've received offers to do them in the past but it's been for products that are so unrelated, I can't even understand why they'd want to pay money to be on my site. Contact lenses and jewerly? How would that make sense?

    folavril – Why are you so angry? It's just nail polish. You have the right to your opinion and if you want to make incorrect assumptions, that's your choice but it's not that serious.

    I'm not going to defend myself to someone who wants to see the negative and believe there is some blogger/brand conspiracy going on. If you don't like my site, you don't have to read it. If you're so unhappy with the way I run my blog, then start your own and do it your way. Best of luck to you!

  49. Alix says:

    What's with all the anger? Michelle describes her blog as a "go to" site because she's trying to share a braod range of knowledge, expertise and reviews. Fact is, none of us is paying for her opinion, we have no contract (legal, social or otherwise) with her that obliges her to disclose anything she doesn't want to. This is a personal web site, containing her personal opinions. If those opinions are influenced by free swag (and clearly they don't seem to be), then take her reviews with a big fat grain of salt and move on. At the end of the day, yes, we all still have to think for ourselves, instead of accepting wholesale the opinions of others to spare ourselves the brain activity. Michelle, if I were you I'd tell the FTC to eff off but clearly you're nicer than I am… :-)

  50. CandyPaint says:

    Michelle, thank for your honesty, I read on your page you received samples prior to this post (I think in the FAQ's). Regardless of how you obtain the products I LOVE YOUR BLOG. I read other blogs as well and I can tell you aren't interested in certain products because while everyone is blogging away your "on to the next one" (Jay-z influenced that line). Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  51. CandyPaint says:

    The previously posted comment was not a paid advertisement. I LOVE ALL LACQUERED UP!!!

  52. pammy says:

    I'm with Alix. I don't understand the negativity and anger.
    If Michelle chooses to not review a product, that's completely her decision. I visit the site for her lovely pictures and opinions, but I will often compare many other reviews as well. I really appreciate that she takes the time to put up these reviews, which can take hours and hours out of a week. I don't have to love what she loves. I also don't expect her to have the time to mention every single polish she doesn't like.
    - Michelle, thanks for doing what you do! =D

  53. BunnyMasseuse says:

    As only a reader (and a blogger with a blog page that's as pale white and empty as my soul I hear…) I look for things that I'm interested in. I'm looking for facts, comments, opinions and I weigh them just as they are… opinions. If you don't review something I'm interested in, I go elsewhere for it and don't fault you because you didn't review EVERYTHING out there. And I don't read just one blog… but many… and look for a consensus of the blogs I'm reading for an overall idea of whether what I'm interested in buying is worth the $$ or not… nothing against you but I figure I'll make sure I do my own homework for things I'm interested in… I'm hardly a blindly following reader.. but I do appreciate what you bring to the table.

    (pardon for the long winded sentences out of my norm…)

  54. This post, and the comments, sure made for an interesting read. Keep following your passion and forget all the haters!

    I found your blog in a web search for a Chanel Jade alternative, and I like it a lot. Thanks for the swatches, and for answering comments, that’s awesome. Stay positive, and you will go far :)

    Regarding the FTC regulations vs print not having those rules… There are certain subjects they just don’t teach us in school:

    1) proper grammar and spelling, 2) how not to be an (pardon the expletive) asshole, 3) critical thinking 4) to question everything, and finally 5) stop talking and start listening.

    Those blog rules are there, simply to keep society from having to learn points 3, 4, and 5

  55. Sandi says:

    Oh fercriessake. You work, you have a relationship to nurture, you don’t want your nails to be totally destroyed by overswatching. It boggles me how many people have posted comments whining because you can’t do them all. How effing stupid can they be? As far as ‘confessing’ you got free product? Again, how stupid can they be? You have polishes way in advance of their public release, do the think the freakin’ polish fairy leaves them under your pillow. I’ve seen you both praise and condemn the same company’s polishes in one post. Where is the favoritism in that? And magazines, don’t even get me started. I don’t believe any review on any product from a magazine that has paid advertising for the same product. Receiving a sample to try and possibly review and getting money to shill for a product are light years apart. I don’t care if it’s beauty products, appliances or hemorrhoid cream. Get a fukkin clue people. Don’t blame a blogger because you’re too brain dead to tell the difference between an honest opinion and a pimp job.