Where Do You Get Your Beauty Inspiration?

December 28, 2009

I absolutely loved reading each of your comments for the post Why Do You Love Makeup & What Do You Look For in a Brand! It was fun for me to read and gave me a bit of insight into your style and personality. Thank you!

Thanks to those who filled out my mini-survey on your beauty habits from a few days ago. Your responses indicated that 38% of you looked to blogs for beauty trends while 31% of you looked to magazines/publications for beauty trends the most. This was of particular interest to me because of a few recent conversations I’ve had about where women look for beauty inspiration and how the internet has changed the way women view fashion.

I have read beauty and fashion magazines for about a decade now and while I love the articles and layout, I have to say these days, I find most of them lacking in inspiration for someone like myself. As a woman in my late 20’s I find that I end up finding only about 10-15% of the content in these major publications interesting or something that I would actually wear that is at a reasonable price.

One of my favorite magazines has a monthly feature titled “Smart Shopping: Under $500” which I find a bit ridiculous since to me “smart shopping” is not something under $500 and I have yet to see some fashion or accessory in that series that makes me go “oooh, want!” Perhaps I am just reading the publications that target a different demographic.

I used to rush to flip open to the beauty sections of these magazines – I loved the different looks or up close features from the runway and how-to’s. Today, it seems like most publications are mainly advertisements and I question the validity of editor comments like “we were blown away by this product . . . “ as I wonder is this product really all that or was there something extra paid for this product placement/feature?

So why do I keep shelling out money for these month after month? I have no idea. How many times have I bought an issue only to feel, “ugh, what a waste of $5” after flipping through 100 pages of product advertisements?

I’ve been told that print is dying. It seems that everything is moving towards a digital trend where we can get more information faster through the Internet. I find it amazing how blogs and YouTube have exploded because it allows so many people to express themselves creatively and share it with everyone and anyone.

Since we can get information faster and sooner, why pay $5 for a publication when you can get the same information (or more) on the Internet for free?

So – my fellow readers, tell me more about where do you get your beauty inspiration from.

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  • R

    I get my inspiration solely from the net! Beauty blogs like yours, The Lip Print, Karla Sugar and Temptalia where I can view swatches and make up looks.

    For the last six years I so I have given up taking much notice of what the beauty sections of magazines have to say, because we all know it's never the best mascara and that it's just in there because the publication has been paid $$$.

    Nowadays celebrity makeup artists even have their own blogs and show the exact products they use which I LOVE! I was so sick of seeing "you can create this look by using these products" on the inside cover of magazines when it was completely made up and they had no idea what actual products were used on the cover model.

    Love your blog, keep it going! πŸ™‚

  • Hey Sabrina!
    I mostly get my beauty inspiration from Youtube, beauty blogs and Lucky magazine, and in that order! Youtube is great for learning new techniques of application and new trends/products. Blogs are especially great for new product launches and the magazine gives me ideas for looks based on what models are wearing in the features/advertisements.
    I really like the "looks I am loving right now" series you did a while back, look forward to more posts like that…:)

  • For the past year and a half or so youtube and bloggers have been my go-to's for inspiration and I def agree with the poster who mentioned makeup artists who have their own blogs and describe exactly which products were used and how!

    Outside of this I really love seeing closeup HQ shots of celebs at events or on the red carpet…I realize how much really goes into looking like that but its def fun to aspire to as a fledgling makeup artist:)

  • Since I've been hooked on YouTube, makeup forums and beauty blogs, I don't buy magazines anymore. They're too generalist for my interest, and they're not doing honest reviews but rather copying PR stuff.
    I find the web much more interesting.

  • lvh75

    Ooh, ooh, I totally agree with you on that article 'Smart shopping under $500"! I am getting pretty bored of those fashion/beauty magazines too, especially since I know that it is all paid advertising. I have been using the internet and blogs more and more, the websites I visit weekly are makeupalley.com, karla sugar's blog, temptalia, and of course the beautylookbook. I believe the beauty blogs are the wave of the future when it comes to consumers being influenced to buy. Sincere reviews by regular consumers that have similar tastes in clothing/style/beauty etc. are MUCH MORE valuable when it comes to deciding where to spend my hard earned money. And I agree with the reviewer above, that I loved your series 'looks I'm loving right now', I got TONS of inspiration from that! It's great that you actually used a lot of items I had in my stash already and hadn't used for a long time. It gave me fresh inspiration to search thru and use some of my older stash! Keep up the good work!

  • Someone else recently asked a question like this and I actually can't even say where I get my beauty inspiration from. I consume a lot of print and digital media, and yet… very, very rarely do I ever see a look that makes me think – ooh, I want to look like that! In some ways, I almost think that I get my beauty inspiration directly from the colors of my makeup, but I have to admit I must be influenced SOMEHOW by everything I read and see. I think nothing stands out to me because of the lack of Asian models in mainstream beauty media and the … "tameness" of makeup looks in Japanese fashion magazines. I do definitely think I'm influenced by the Japanese fashion magazines more than I am by anything else though.

  • Eileen

    I'm probably older than your typical reader–I'm 61–so I grew up during a time when all the latest trends in fashion and make-up were found in magazines. And, I must admit, I still love relaxing in a bath or curling up by the fireplace with a good magazine to read. Times change, though, and so I find myself regularly visiting a number of honest beauty blogs like yours to keep current. The information I get from the blogs AND from many of the readers' comments are a great source for trends. I also love the international factor. Growing up, I never thought I'd be reading a German blog about the latest Japanese make-up trend πŸ™‚ Such fun! Unfortunately, some so-called blogs are thinly disguised product placement platforms and paid advertising. So, reader beware!

  • I still have a thing for print, regardless of how dead it may be. Allure, Lucky, Nylon, Vogue…my biggest inspiration comes from the product ads and editorial shoots, as the makeup is often both creative and beautiful. I should email you a picture of my bedroom walls – they are covered in magazine ads and pictures!

    As for blogs, they mostly give me the shopping itch although there are a few (including yours) that inspire me to combine colors I forgot I had, and to play around with textures. Your idea a couple of months back to write looks down in a notebook is one of my big goals for 2010 – I own so much that I forgot what I have and I'd like a way to creatively explore and use up my stash.

    Also, I get a lot of inspiration from myself. I think of color combinations or remember events from my head and develop looks that focus on those colors from my memory. I think that's an artifact from when I used to paint and draw =)

  • Thanks girls, I really like your responses!!

    Eileen/Joey – I still have a thing for print magazines too, even if I find the content lacking sometimes.

    Catherine – you bring up some really good points. I often look for inspiration everywhere, but rarely see something that makes me go "I want to have that look" too. I totally agree with you on the lack of Asian models in the US. I've turned to Asian fashion/beauty magazines too b/c the content is less trendy and more geared to what "real" women might wear.

  • I continue to subscribe to almost all beauty & fashion magazines available. I still love the feeling of relaxing with a magazine after a long day, but also, like others, began to get tired of seeing endorsements across magazines of the same 'sponsored' brands. And, as an earlier reader noted, I the shift from real products used to create cover looks to "you can create this look by using these products" seemed like a credibility buster. I prefer to read about actual products and techniques used by practicing artists. Most of this information is found in blogs vs. print now. Still, I love the look and feel of turning sturdy color pages while relaxing with a magazine. Truly a conflict, but timely, useful, objective content will win in the end… for me.

  • Hello!
    I get my beauty inspirations from message boards and blogs these days. I love hearing what works for people and what doesn't, and I'm always open to trying new stuff! I used to have subscriptions to mags like Allure, which are great except I kinda got bored after awhile, I guess cause they pick anything just cause they need an idea and turn it into something you "have to have." In general I just love beauty and think it's a lot of fun, and great to experiment as well as finding/keeping those holy grail items!!

  • I'm old (56) and can remember the glory days of the fashion magazine. I subscribed to Vogue (as well as other fashion mags) when I was 12. I'll never forget my mother confiscating a Seventeen magazine due to a story titled "Is Virginity outmoded?" Boy…how things have changed! I devoured fashions magazines as a teenager and younger woman. But, I stopped subscribing to magazines entirely when the fashion model no longer appeared on the covers or in it's pages. I don't like the trend of celebrities as models. I really miss the supermodel!! I occasional pick up a fashion magazine (September's Vogue issue, one at the beginning of spring to see the trends) and I look at them every month at my hairdressers. Now I look to blogs for my news about new beauty and fashion. I rely on input on performance, availability, etc. of products and love the product swatches and I love the thoughts and ideas of "real" women. Sabrina, your blog is one of my faves!