October 14, 2009

Pieces of Life: FTC Guidelines for Bloggers, OMGZ Teh Series Stuffs Edition


Hey Chicas!

While I was away in California-land the good word about new FTC Guidelines for bloggers hit the airwaves.Β  I’ve actually known about this as far back as Summer and have been following the details closely to see how it may affect me and Musings. Btw two people just emailed me to tell me I spelled the and serious wrong…I know, I was trying to be funny in a Interwebz sorta way hopefully some people got the joke πŸ™‚

Dunno what I’m talking about?

It’s simple.

FTC wants bloggers to disclose any and all compensation they receive on blogs for posts, advertisements, etc….this basically translates as if you get paid to post or review an item you must state as such within each post. This also means anyone who receives product for review must disclose the information to their readers.

First off let me get something straight. I have never been nor will I ever be paid to post anything. That’s not how the beauty blogging world works as far as I know from my experience. Big wig companies do not offer to pay us cash of any kind to post about their products. If we were paid to post we’d be millionaires at this point! Ha! Especially me as I have over 3,000 posts under my belt…! Moral of the story? I have not, nor will I ever do a paid post. I blog whatever I want, whenever I want. I do not endorse anyone and no one endorses me.

At the moment my blog is a bit messy since my move to WordPress but I used to have a Disclosure link on the front page of my blog when I was on Blogger explaining all the details about my review process. This link will be again brought back to the front page as soon as I get my new template up and running. Plans to have it on the front page have never change just have been delayed since my template theme is taking longer than I expected.

If you read or see anything about your favorite beauty bloggers being paid to blog I highly suggest you e-mail them yourselves and ask in a friendly manner. They’ll be honest and straight forward with you I’m sure. I find it’s a big problem when large forums or sites are talking about beauty bloggers with little to no knowledge about the editor of the blog or the idea behind blogging. I, myself, have had experience with folks saying I get paid to blog. I do not get paid to blog. I blog because I love makeup, I blog because I like talking to you and showing you new things. I blog because I like to shoot my mouth off and babble. I have a real job, 9 to 5, and blogging is not it. I do this because I enjoy it not because someone is paying me to do it.

Which leads me to compensation.

If you’ve been with me from the beginning you know I had ALOT of reserves putting ads up on the site and even asked your opinion about them at the time. Any ads that run on the site are not endorsed by me nor do I endorse them. They are all completely random acts of Internet loving that I have no control over. Yes, I do get paid for the ads on the site so in turn this counts for some sort of compensation but no sadly I have not quit my day job nor have I purchased that mansion in the Hollywood hills I so desperately want because of the three ads I run on the site. Damn, I had such high hopes too!

Oh and press samples count for compensation as well according to the FTC.

When I originally started my blog it was all my own makeup items and purchases. About a year ago or so I started getting e-mail requests asking me to review items on my blog. These products are press samples that I get to try out, test, use, and proceed to review for you. Normally I start off reviews by saying “I got this to test out…” but I’ve been known to not say such because sometimes I am just rushed into a review as I get excited over a product. FTC now requires I disclose each and every item I get to test out. I’ll be placing a small note on each post that says if I purchased an item, stole it (kidding!), or got it from a company for review. My reviews have always been pretty straight forward and honest. I’m passionate about makeup and that pretty much shines through in every single post you see. If I get something for free I do not rave it simply because it is free. I pretty much break things down and tell you good things or bad things about it. If you have questions about a review or feel differently about the product by all means slap a comment up or e-mail me at [email protected] I do not moderate what you say about a product being great or sucky….I even join in your rants or raves most times.

And that’s pretty much each peeps. If you have questions about the FTC Guidelines or what they mean please do comment or email me (you’ll get a quicker reply via commenting as email is terribly backed up for me).

If you have a question about how I blog or questions in general about the blogging process please by all means ask.

Thanks for listening and in closing I point you to my Disclosure page which pretty much tells you everything else you may need to know. The page has been up for over a year now and gives the deets on me, this blog, samples, reviews, etc….



About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Dao

    Well said, Muse! Well said! I don’t understand why people think beauty bloggers get paid to blog. I guess the preconceived notion started from that dreaded NYT article. Some of us are lucky enough to get samples and that’s pretty much it. Get paid to blog, what are we? Some kind of desperate people? As you said, we all have jobs and other responsibilities that pay the bill. Blogging is a hobby and is fun. Thank you for putting your voice out there and defend us all πŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      hey dao! I do believe the NYT article really placed bloggers in a harsh light. Not sure where people get the idea we are paid to post. I’ve never been approached to do a paid post and I probably wouldn’t bother…really takes the personality out of my blog imho. I’ve run into problems with people discussing Musings on forums stating that I was paid to blog which is interesting as where they get their information is beyond me….people just assume I suppose. Heck I’d be a rich girl if I was paid per a post πŸ˜€ Blogging is a fantastic little hobby that I’m VERY passionate about and I HOPE my readers see that in my babblings πŸ™‚

      And yes some of us are quite lucky in regards to PR and samples. I’ve said as much on my Kiss and Makeup Interview that I have alot of wonderful people backing me up on Musings and providing me with samples that I might review. In some cases these are items I wouldn’t even consider for myself so it’s really a good way to discovery something new and exciting πŸ™‚

      Aw it’s my pleasure. One thing I do hate is disclosure in every single post…that def takes a little out of the fun blogging experience. It upsets me magazines aren’t monitored for the same. Oh well!

      Thanks for commenting Dao!

  • Jasmine

    Thanks Muse! I noticed the new tidbit at the end of some of ur review and i was wondering what it was about. I think its great that PR sends you stuff to review and I know you’ll always keep it real for the readers. Love your blog!

    • the Muse

      hi jasmine!

      yup every post will have it from now on out. πŸ™‚ I’ll do a press sample or a purchased so you know the deal πŸ˜€ Always Jasmine, promise it’ll be my truest opinion πŸ˜€

      If you’re reading a while now you’ve prob already came across a product or two I trashed hehe…just b/c it’s free doesn’t mean I have to likey!

      Thanks for the support! Hugs!

  • BeautyBitch

    Thanks for the clarification, it’s an interesting subject. I, for one, would happily PAY YOU to blog, heh heh but for the moment I’ll be content to lap up your musings for nothing in exchange for a few ads on your blog.

    One reason I think there has been such a fuss about all this is that magazines have always received money to run editorials and rave about products before. Yes, I know this for a fact as I once worked for a magazine. Not all magazines, and I couldn’t tell you which ones (because I don’t know) but most either directly or indirectly via advertising pressure get money to write nice things (or not write bad things) about certain brands. This is why I find it both hilarious hypocritical and downright nasty that the old-school media is now trying to tar the blogging community with their own dirty brush.

    One of the reasons I get my beauty info via blogs rather than only magazines these days is precisely the honesty that you get from passionate make-up addicted bloggers whose knowledge and critical eye on cosmetics completely outstrips that of most useless beauty writers and editors. Long may beauty blogs live! I’m sure many would agree.

    Rant over. Sorry to hijack your thread but it’s a particularly buzzy bee in my bonnet at the moment.

    • the Muse

      LOL Bora I heart you! Plus you can attest to the fact that I spend WAY too much money on makeup considering you’re my personal shopper on somedays LOL! and thanks it’s utterly flattered you’d pay to read my rubbish hehehehe you’re a joy!

      I actually wish they’d do the same for mags as I don’t find it particularly fair that blogs have been singled out….woe. It’s basically online content…I mean seriously we can’t pick up a magizine without some product push right?! I imagine the Asian market is as saturated with this type of behavior as the US one!

      I’m the same way! I was a reader before a blogger and I always got my info from forums or other beauty blogs as I just didn’t trust magazines to give it to me straight!

      no no not a hijack at all! I appreciate your input greatly!

  • laura r

    ROCK. ON.

    your blog is so honest and cute and funny. it’s escapism for me because of all the posh and fun items you review that i’d never purchase for myself. regardless, i have always felt that you are up-front with items that have been given to you and i know that will continue.

    it does seem ironic though!

    • the Muse

      thanks Laura you’re awesome!!!!!!! Awww seriously your comment is making my Wed! always hun always! big big hugs thanks for the support. It’s people like you that make me continue writing my crazy babblings πŸ˜€

  • Marina

    GREAT post Muse!And I agree with all comments above.

    And this is so strange that someone thinks that you get payed for your posts. But even if you did I don’t see anything wrong with it. You are doing such an awesome work! I mean it takes a lot of time to write review, take and edit photos etc.

    Anyway there are enough readers who love you and the blog and will always support you πŸ™‚

    As for my blog I never got even 1 sample. 100% of products I got myself!

    • the Muse

      thanks marina πŸ˜€

      I’ve always found it weird people think that….I WISH lol. It really does. You have your blog and I’m sure you see the time it takes to do posts and photos etc……:-D it’s quite time consuming πŸ˜€

      Awww thanks for the support hun! *hugs*

      Don’t worry as you get larger you’ll get firms that notice you and email to ask if you might review one of their products πŸ˜€

      I used to review 100% of my own collection πŸ˜€ as well!

  • plue

    Now we here in Malaysia don’t have this ruling, most prolly beauty blogging isn’t bothering too many ppl here, but hm, am not sure if there bloggers being paid to blog, but then again, I think as long they are honest with it, they tell readers that they are being paid for/ products are sponsored etc, readers should be ok aye?

    i guess the whole FTC ruling and such are to protect both readers and bloggers, without companies exploiting us i suppose πŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      hey little sis. it’s def something within the US πŸ˜€ I agree so long as folks are honest I’m cool with that.

      Absolutely especially readers as they don’t want people to pimp product that isn’t so great πŸ˜›

    • the Muse

      Hi Paloma

      If you start a blog and work hard on it normally you’ll be approached by company who e-mail and ask if you’d like to review a product on your site. I was blogging about a year and a half or two years before a company approached me to ask if I’d like to review an item on my site.

      Companies find you and if they like the way you write or just like your site and feel it’s reaching an audience that might be interested in their product they will def get in touch with you!

      Hope this helps!

  • Christy

    I love your blog, it’s informative, well written, and all the pics are really helpful to me. I’m just starting out on my own beauty blog, and ofc all of my stuff is my own/self bought. Could you give me some advice on what kind of disclosures I need to put on my site? I had no idea about this…Thanks for all you do! πŸ˜€

    • the Muse

      hi christy

      thanks so much for your lovely comment *hugs* so glad you enjoy my babbling πŸ™‚

      If you purchase most of your own items you really have nothing to disclosure but you can just put a little note at the end of each post that says you purchased them items yourself if you want or mention in your review, “I purchase so and so product and think it was great…yada yada…” mostly FTC wants those who get product for free to disclose not those who purchase items. I personally to disclose purchases and makeup I get free so you’ll either see me saying I purchased it at the end of the post or that I got it free.

      Hope this helps!

  • Mousie53

    Dear the Muse,yes i found waht you wrote me to be helpful as i didn’t under-stand what your website was about,now i do and i like it it because i to love make-up andi think i will like coming here once in a while, i like seeing u all make nice but yet wow lol i don’t know how to type here can’t seem to get all the words to stay on the pqge,hope u understand what i am trying to say here. i like it here but don’t understand how to type all my words here am use to old school chat rooms the one and only one i stayed in for a few years why a christian chat room, i miss talking ttalking to people and to find a site taht talks about one of my passions well i like this,will put your site on my favs. so i can find u again..lol ..if i don’t come back is because i got lost,well i am very tired and have to go to bed but will return soon

  • Mousie53

    Hugs to u all been up all night am disabled have had a good time here will try to come back soon all this is new to me so i will have to feel my way around eehe