Life

Hello, again.

Hello. Bonjour. Hola.

So this is a little strange. I haven’t written a blog post in years – to take a guess, I am going to say around 7. This domain, which once meant so much to me, which once had thousands of visitors a day and represented years and years of hard work, was about to lapse and I felt nothing.  I was ready to just let it go. 

Then a friend said to me, why don’t you just renew it for old times sake?  I tried to open up this website and I couldn’t.  Abandoned and unloved, bots and hacks had managed to completely bring the site down as well flooding my long forsaken Cosmetic Candy email (full of spam for V*agra which I can’t seem to stop).  Like a derelict house covered in cobwebs and dust, I had let it fall apart. 

This was once my baby before I had babies, and I didn’t even have the courtesy to replace it with a holding page, a picture of a cute kitten perhaps or a rickroll.  I was a very bad caretaker.  

 Whether you used to read this blog or have just stumbled here because you were looking for sweets, here is some background.  

This is not my bed because there are no crumbs.

What is this site?

Cosmetic Candy was a fairly bustling beauty blog which I started around 2003, then for 10 years ran with equal parts of excitement and boredom, joy and sadness.  Long before everyone, from your nurse to your hairdresser was an influencer, I innocently opened up an ugly blogspot website to talk about my passion for make-up.  It was fun and easy, no pressure, no commitments. It took years before us mere bloggers suddenly got sent free products to review, then came sponsorships and ads, and the rest is history.  

Look at this gem I found – yes that is a piece of torn paper with my domain name on.

There were absolutely no guidelines back then, you made it up as you went along whilst filling up your sidebars with as many widget as humanly possible. Our sites were ugly, but our hearts were sincere. 

Another gem. Make up pic taken with flash on some bedding with the date in the corner too.

When blogging was fun and successful, I adored trying new things, swatching, staying up till 3am to write blog posts whilst going to my 9-5 job.  Sometimes I went to fun events and met interesting people, occasionally I was treated like something special, giving my ego a temporary boost.  This period was probably the longest part of my blogging journey; there’s other stuff that used to go down alongside the fun stuff, like plagiarism, bitching, good old fashion back stabbing and so on.  That may sound terrible, but it really was generally fun because it wasn’t ‘real life‘.  Later on, it started to take up a lot of time, and did become like…well, a job. 

Then like any “job” it got repetitive and the love for it definitely die. 

Sure, receiving new beauty stuff through the door is very exciting, there are events with free food, but there really is only so much you can use and only so much you can store unless you’re a makeup artist or an esthetician. You feel obliged to go through piles and piles of products, the majority you are lukewarm about, and back then, most of us didn’t get paid for it.  Please don’t get me wrong – what a lovely treat to be able to try beautiful products and have people read about it, and support you.

But it’s natural, I think, to get bored of the same thing over and over, and more importantly, I began to wonder if blogging, or rather, influencing, supported the kind of person you want to be. Did it up hold my values, my true self? For me, it most definitely got to the point where it did not. 

The fact is, the competitive side of blogging was something I had to grow out of.  I can’t imagine at this point of my life, with a young family and other commitments, being tied to blogging and getting outraged when someone got paid more for an instagram post, or when someone got something that you didn’t, people following and unfollowing. Stats and followers matter if you want to be paid, and whilst some earn theirs, many have to beg or buy subscribers to feel worthy.  It just wasn’t something I wanted to be part of. 

Another thing that I thought about was how more and more experts were joining the scene having seen how incredibly successful bloggers were.  Dermatologists, cosmetic scientists, make up artists. In contrast, I was just an ordinary person talking about products I liked and didn’t like. I couldn’t tell you the benefits or weaknesses the way a dermatologist or cosmetic scientist can,’..because this ingredient is X and does X’,  I couldn’t show you how a beauty product blended like a makeup artist either. 

Nurse kitty is ready to do your fillers.

Does that mean my opinion didn’t matter? Of course not.  But the point of being a non beauty professional, a normal Sally (sorry Sallies) was that I could give my genuine, normal-person-view of things.  But once PR and sponsorship got involved, that began to change.  I also didn’t have the desire to study beauty further, although I still do love all things makeup and skincare, the limits of what I had to say definitely reached its natural end after 10 years.  

I did always do my best to tell the truth about a product and if you remember my blog, you’ll know that I did, but I found it was difficult at times.  Can you honestly say, this product is a pile of poo, if you’ve been sent it for free (and you don’t want to miss out on more freebies) or if you’re being paid (certainly not).  I don’t mean middle of the road opinions, but I mean really rip in to something you hate.  It’s rare. This is not exclusive to bloggers/influencers by the way, celebrities do this too – it’s just business and (nearly) everyone has to make a living. 

Some people who I started with have gone on to make a lot of money, some are now “famous” and some really deserve their success.  This post isn’t really about that though – and I say, good for those who have made blogging into a viable job and those who are still going after 10 years – well done on having the stamina to keep up with the whippersnappers! 

Undoubtedly, the best thing that came out of blogging is the friendships I’ve made with people I still talk to regularly.  There are some seriously good eggs out there, and it’s taken the passage of time, with most of us retiring our blogs, to highlight how good those friendships are because it’s outlasted our hobby.   

Where are the old posts?

Oh the issue of the old blog posts.  I think I must’ve had close to 1000 posts (I used to blog A LOT). Due to the fact I didn’t update WordPress for such a long time, it’s all locked away in some kind of database which I can’t open or access.  I should be sad, but I am sort of grateful.  It represents a decade of my life which has gone, I’m sure I said some mindless things so I am happy for it to be vaulted. I do wish I could remember what my last blog post was though.

And….you were gone for 7 years???

Something like that.  In the last 7 or so years, I have had three babies and I think I’ve done (so far) a pretty good job of making them in to kind, fun and happy little folk. Life still has its peaks and troughs, but hey, that’s life. 

I am heading to a milestone and I am working on rediscovering who I am, and what I would like to do with my life before I die. (Sorry, I am a double Scorpio, I have a preoccupation with death)

Dr Gabor Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian doctor and writer with an interest in Childhood development, says that, 

“The greatest gift a parent can give a child is his or her own happiness.” 

So that will be my mission and focus, alongside the day to day, to make myself fulfilled and happy to be the best mother I can be, because they are my purpose now.  It’s like a win-win situation. 

Iron man approves. 

As for this blog, I’d like to occasionally post on here, possibly about beauty or something else, but it will just totally depend on how I’m feeling.  I hope to open up more and tell you what I am up to – maybe. Double Scorpio you see, it’s hard to not keep everything a secret. 

I am on Twitter and Instagram if you want to follow my musings, and I have a new outlet for crafting passions (@2amcraftclub). My plan is to add my blog sale page on here as I am also currently decluttering area by area. I suppose you could say this blog clear up is also a form of decluttering too! 

The lost year of 2020 has been a really good time for us as a family to stop and reevaluate things, and I am grateful for this time even though it has been unpredictable.  I hope you have all been able to find something precious amid the mess caused by the Covid-19 virus and if you used to read here frequently, I thank you for your support in the past and hopefully in the future, and most of all, I wish you all purpose, luck and of course love. 

Rowena. 

9-7-2021 (that’s the 9th of July, my American friends). 

 

2 Comments

  • Sheenie

    Row! What a trip down memory lane! I echo your sentiments about how blogging used to be and how it’s evolved. You became a mummy to three cuties and I a cat-mum. The events, the food (which I blame for the start of my weight gain followed by going out for dinner with other bloggers) and the freebies. Now I look at how much make-up I have accumulated and how much more I have bought, and I need therapy.

    For me the fun was having a platform to write (coming from journalism) and it helped me get a job in writing but also I met the likes of you. In fact the majority of my friends are former bloggers and outnumber my school and childhood friends. I have been happy to take a step back and don’t care for the competition. It stopped being fun for me so I knew it wasn’t the centre of my universe but I do appreciate the time I devoted to it and I don’t regret what I invested into the blog. I just couldn’t do it full time. I don’t think you can ever rest easy with blogging and influencing as more emerge – life is too short and there are more important things that take precedence. I do post occasionally and it’s nice to be able to do that.

    By the way, I think there is a typo – you can’t have started the blog in 2013 and 10 years later is in the future of 2023! Please don’t make me feel older than I already am.

    P.S: I love you! xxx

    • admin

      Oh my God Sheenie – so I started in 2003!!? That is such a long time ago!

      You are one of those blog friends I mention! I don’t regret the time invested as it’s been interesting but there was definitely a time to move on x

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