Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belly Linting

I haven't done one of these introspective posts in a while.  I think I've come to uneasy terms with spending and being of the uber-consumer mindset for makeup.  Let's pivot on our heels and talk about blogging.  How 'bout that?

I am pretty much amazed that Wondegondigo is actually still chugging along and I am enjoying the more leisurely pace of posting.  Have to admit that I am slightly sad that statistical pageviews are lower since I've stopped the frenetic (for me) pace of posting, but this pace fits a bit more closely into the time and energy constraints I have.

Here are some thoughts I have been wrestling with related to blogging.  I like being transparent about things like that on this blog.


"I don't belong here."

Lately, I've been feeling this more strongly.  My part in the beauty blogosphere is relatively short & very small, but even in the little time I've been in it, there has been a bigger and bigger shift in the nature of beauty blogs out there.  I'm not even talking about the shift to video as the preferred medium for having a beauty media presence.  I am amazed at the savvy and slickness (sleekness?) of the blogs out there.  I am equally dazzled and simultaneously dismayed.  Dazzled because of how incredibly polished they are but I feel dismayed that I feel more out of place with the sleek blogs.

I do think there is room and reason for a dinky, personal and niche blogs like mine.  Dinky beauty bloggers of the world, UNITE! :)

I actually think it's my own ego and relentless striving that wants my blog to be the most specialeriest blog ever.  I'm trying to reconcile my happiness in having a dinky blog operation with the opposing desire to have a more amazing blog.  I want to take over the world, but I don't think I have that capability frankly.


"Maybe I should shoehorn myself into there?"

I've been doing lots of small things over time to increase the quality of this lemonaide stand: upgraded camera, research into lighting and general photography equipment, downloading a trial version of Lightroom.  I am pondering a new template for the blog to snazz it up, new lens, et cetera.  I am winded just thinking about all this stuff.

Consider products a bit less niche to get teh moar bigger stats?

Start a Youtube channel?  <----bwhahahahahah!


"What the hell do I know about makeup to have a blog?"

Anyone can have a beauty blog.  Anyone.  This is a truth and often cited.

I came by my "expertise" <-----bwhahahahahah by paying for it.  I don't work in the industry.  I don't apply makeup better than anyone else.  I have what I have by paying ooooodles of money for it.

...not to say that my love of beauty is not authentic.  It seems like a weird way to have and maintain a blog by just paying loads of money for it.  Why?  WHY CAN'T GOOD THINGS BE FREE?!


"Am I going to be a 50 year-old woman putting selfies on a blog?!"

This is not a dis on all the great blogs for older women out there. 

But because of all my vanity, which I have tons of by the way, just like I have tons of forehead, I feel like it would be weird (?  right word?) to put my face out there and documenting aging.

And for some reason, it seems unseemly (again, wrong word?) for me to be putting selfies out as I age.  This feels like a very controversial statement to me.  Taking self portraits to post on some social media seems to be very much a younger person's activity and I really don't feel part of that generation.  I lived in a world before internet!  (I used to go to the library to research topics.  Now I just say, "Siri, what is the name of that Tim Curry character in that movie?"  All this new technology... so weird.  I digress, but I mean nothing wrong is with aging.  Maybe something wrong with aging while posting selfies on a beauty blog.  I'm not sure.  I need to work through this thought noodle even further.


"Why do my favorite blogs disappear?"

This one makes me sad.  There's been blogs I've loved and been fans of that have POOFed!  Many of those were by bloggers closer to my demographic and with a personal sensibility I admired and related closely with.

Why do these blogs disappear?  Makes it seem inevitable that mine will one day poof as well.  The song of my peoples... it is a song of POOF!

Til next time, faithful or occasional readers of this dinky operation!

We now return to our regular scheduled, makeup-fueled but not all that frequent posting...

54 comments :

  1. there are totally still space for your 'dinky blog'. i dont think that you should be out of place at all! lots of ppl still read you and so long as you write for yourself, there will always be space for you at the table :)

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  2. I prefer dinky blogs :-)

    You can post selfies or not post selfies. You can decide your comfort level. I do, however, like seeing the makeup on you.

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    1. I prefer those to read as well! I am a bit of a weird (okay, a LOT of a weirdo). There are very few of those slick blogs I actually read regularly, so I don't know what my weird issue is! XD

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  3. I have next to no interest in those big, sleek, professional-looking makeup blogs. I do like Temptalia and Makeup and Beauty Blog for their copious and thorough reviews, but those are the only big beauty blogs I read. I don't feel the pressure to try and make my blog equally big and sleek because I don't have the time or money, and because I think those blogs are a fundamentally different genre from the "dinky blogs" I so love. I do have the occasional feeling of "what the hell gives me the right to talk about makeup publicly," since I came relatively late to this stuff and still struggle with getting my eyeshadow applied evenly to both eyes. I live in fear that people will think I'm trying to set myself up as some sort of guru, when I really just want a space to figure shit out and go into geeky raptures over lipstick, you know? And it's fun to have people who understand those geeky raptures.

    "It seems like a weird way to have and maintain a blog by just paying loads of money for it. Why? WHY CAN'T GOOD THINGS BE FREE?!" I totally sympathize! But you'd be spending money on pretty much anything you chose to blog about--books, food, whatever. I think makeup *feels* more materialistic than other expenses, even though it's the same exact exchange of money for goods and services.

    Lastly, I for one love reading beauty blogs by women older than me. We all have this irrational fear of aging ingrained in us by society, and it's great to be reminded that I can continue to enjoy makeup and beauty as I get older, have kids, etc. <3

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    1. AB, I think you verbalized more clearly what I am thinking regarding the guru stuff. I just want to geek out over pretty things and not be an expert or anything! This must be why I love your blog, too. Yes, makes total sense. For me, there is always a need for those big beautiful blogs that update frequently with all the new releases, bc I am always interested in news, but the ones I savor each and every post on are those that isn't afraid to put its geek on.

      :) One thing awesome about loving beauty & getting to connect with beauty lovers is that it allows me to have connections with people not totally similar to me (my age group, neighborhood, professional industry, etc).

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  4. I know what you mean about the super-polished blogs! I also struggle with finding my place. I think most of the reason I haven't blogged in quite a while now is that I am in a less consumer-y mood, and trying far fewer new things. But, part of it is a lack of interest in continuing to blog in an oversaturated market. And part of it is being drained from work. I don't know what I'm saying. But I always appreciate the belly-gazing!

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    1. emeee, I've been missing your posts, but I understand the place you find yourself. there are so many blogs out there (and so many of those polished ones) that it's a bit of a mindful decision to continue to blog and determine how you want your blog to be.

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  5. Bellyhead, your "dinky" blog is one of my favorites too! I agree with everything everyone has said, especially Auxiliary Beauty, as I read her blog as well. As a beauty lover, cosmetics addict, and beauty blog blog junkie, I am constantly amazed at the different approaches, interests and voices of my favorite bloggers out there. One of the whole "points" of the internet, for better or worse, is that anyone can be an expert on anything! Please - keep on bloggin'! Google account has somehow changed and reveals my full name, so I apologize for posting as "anonymous" - Nina R.

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    1. Nina! Are you on Google+? One of the reasons I won't do G+ is the stupid REAL name reason. I swear, I'm a lot more fun as Bellyhead than as Ms. Wanda B. Jones. Truth. :)

      We are mutually in deep appreciation of Auxiliary Beauty! Smart, thoughtful and a true geek in the best way.

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    2. wait... there's no hugging and hearts and shit on this blog! >:(

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  6. "I don't belong here" --> I sometimes feel the same way, although my blog is no way shape/form intended to be a beauty blog, what I wrote seems to be overwhelmingly beauty *product* related. At least you write SOOO much better than I do.

    "What the hell do I know about makeup to have a blog?" --> ITA, I see that as a trend whereby someone who buy LOADs and loads will get "ahead" in blogging. To get "money" you have to spend lots of money in the beginning.

    "Why do my favorite blogs disappear?" --> Yes 3x. Where are they? I can name a few, I thought they were great bloggers then one day... poof! What happened to them? No/little explanation.. not that I'm being nosy but I do sometimes wonder.

    Dinky? Not even close! Don't say that about one of my fave blogs!!

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    1. Claire, I totally totally consider your blog a beauty one even though I know it isn't. I think of it as a beauty blog + a healthy dose of life in it. :) And please, do NOT even say I write better than you. My prose is practically stream of conscious level of blather. In each of you posts (beauty related or not), I see your thoughtfulness come through. And that is a fact.

      At one point I was seriously considering running ads on this blog (and may still) but once I saw a giant picture of a fungal toe on a fellow blogger's blog page, I decided I may not be ready. :) But still, the thought of offsetting an expensive eye shadow palette with ad revenue from toe fungal infection still remains compelling to me!

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    2. LOL we all know that nice toes are requisites of all things beauty, you can't put on that fancy Chanel polish if you ain't got nice, healthy, fungus-less toes!

      Honestly, I don't always talk deep, "soulful" things in real life: no audience! Mine is a toddler whose vocab comprised of "More more cheese!" or "NO, Ma, NO MORE FOOD." Most of my real-life friends couldn't care less about makeup. In essence, out of boredom, I suppose, I found my "audience" through writing my blog. And I think all of us blogs for the same reason: to find audience to things we love to share. So, I think that's my response to "What the hell do I know about makeup to have a blog?" We understand makeup geekiness, that's why we are here. Even if not, the writing itself is.. cathartic. O.k. must stop here before I turn into cheesebalz.

      P.S. Beneath all the lints, you, too, are all soul and thoughtfulness. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd say so :-)

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    3. Ain't that the truth? Fancy nail polishes always look better on toenails that are not so fungalishcious. Eh?

      I also am a huge fan of cheese. After all, it seems to be the right train of thought and stream of consciousness exercise to go from fungus (skip over mold) to cheese to toddlers? No? Did I ever tell you when I had my first kid, I didn't realize how important it was to really clean the baby's neck in between the rolls and rolls and folds of baby fat rolls. Did you know you can make bm cheese on a baby's neck?





      Uh oh. Did I just lose the whole blog audience and go a whole other level of niche on this blog?

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  7. Hey, I think that with the rise of commercialism and all this sleek sponsored stuff, the "dinky" personal blogs, with people discussing products they paid for themselves, are even more important! I love your perspective a lot.

    (Am still probably going to fork out $80 for CdP, probably 308. Because some mistakes you have to make for yourself, right? And it's soooo pretty looking.)

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    1. Adele, I know the overall feedback one those CdPs are very positive! :) I bet 308 is going to be awesome on you. Maybe that particular formula just doesn't "mesh" with my skin. The quads themselves are beautiful and I think you will wear them well. I KNOWS it!

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  8. Belly, I adore your blog! I find it much more authentic for having "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak. I also really enjoy that you dwell over sparkly eyeshadows (especially the PARPHAL ones!) and all the belly-gazing. It feels like much more genuine appreciation of makeup happens here than at the bigger blogs.

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    1. Annamaria,
      One rule of aging & makeup that I ignore is the whole shimmer/sparkle thing! :) I'm going to figure out how to keep wearing it until I am a shriveled up tiny lady. A refined texture with complex shimmer... yum!

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  9. I've never considered your blog as "dinky", but if by that you meant a more honest, personal and hella fun to read blog, then may "dinky" blogs live on FOREVER. Please, never leave us!
    Personally suffering the 'do I belong here' feels. Day in day out, I see beautifully formatted and written (which, by the way, your's is def one of them) blogs that at times make me strive to do better, but sometimes make me feel I can't measure up and can't ever join the club.
    As mentioned before, I'm already slightly bored with my blog, and it's a struggle to even maintain a weekly post. I am constantly thinking I should get better equipment, esp lighting wise, but I'm too poor after buying all the makeups. So far the post that's generated my most hits is one about GA's Organica Palette which I happened to be one of the first to review. For awhile I felt that I needed to blog about the newest flashiest stuff to get hits, and it was not a good feeling... esp since I'll never be able to do that constantly. So my attitude now is mainly, Whatever, this is my space, and I'll cry if I want to.

    Stay at your own pace and keep up the "dinky" ;)

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    1. There is a "club" or something out there right? Maybe we can do a Groucho Marx and refuse to join a club that will have us and march to the beat of our own drum. Isn't it odd that the desire to measure up is something that pops up in us at all when a glossy blog isn't necessarily what we reasonably strive to be? It is totally confounding me!

      It is a bit of a buzz to see a post get huge views. And when you realize that it's because you were the first to scoop something it can become an addictive behavior. I have many posts like that! Mainly my Tom Ford posts are like that, although I've slapped myself around and backed off on that. All the new releases pile out at the same time, and for me, it's impossible to blog "properly" with thoughtful analysis on a product with good pictures unless I give myself time and get good lighting. I need to also BUY it to know it and love it (or hate it). And man, goodness I don't want to spend THAT kind of money to put up "quality" posts. I just don't have it in me.

      ...
      and then the camera equipment, et cetera. Oy!

      I'm trying to make myself remember, "dinky" is good! :)

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  10. And this is why I keep returning......

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  11. I don't read those highly polished, beauty-magazine-aspirational blogs either! All of the reasons that are listed as perceived weaknesses or outliers in the beauty blog world are the reasons that I read your blog -- well, except the last one. I really enjoy your more personable, personal approach as well as seeing how products look on your face. And because of your wonderfully enthusiast approach ("dinkiness"), documenting hard to find products and your experience with them, the voice of the blog, plus your willingness to put your face out there and to show us how products perform, I would be really sad if you ever left the blogosphere, but I'd understand why -- there are too many pressures and various kinds of judgement in the beauty world.

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    1. I'm blushing furiously Christine. :) Thank you for your kind and generous comment. It really helps me validate that my "dinky" approach does have a place in this (beauty) world.

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  12. "Am I going to be a 50 year-old woman putting selfies on a blog?!"

    I hope so! No-one wants every woman over 50 to disappear off the face of the internet, including er, their faces!
    One of the things I love about 'dinky blogs' is getting a window onto someone's world, who may live in a different country, have a different lifestyle etc. and adding age to those variables can only make things more interesting. Not to mention the advanced level of moisturiser knowledge I know I personally hope to have acquired by 50+.

    Kudos for putting this 'controversial' statement/question out there and all the best on grappling with it.

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    1. It is sad that in the wider, more accepted norms of beauty is so focused on youth. My conflict seems to have some root in being part of norms of social acceptance while at the same time holding my own little rebellion. Going to need many further grapple/wrestling sessions.

      The other thing about the "selfie" phenomenom seems much more youth centric than for older generations like me. And it's not like I'm very old, but I am certainly not a young little thing. Older women kind of fade from view and maybe that's why I feel the conflict that I do? I don't know. :)

      Too many deep (ish) thoughts. Gives my snow-noggin' a headache.

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    2. Mm, I'm not very old, but I'm old enough that my teen years were untroubled by mobile phones and Facebook. And thank gawd for that! I feel for the vulnerable little ones putting themselves out there on the big ol' internet and developing online personas (probs 'personae' but that sounds really pretentious) when they don't even know who they are yet...I digress!

      I don't actually perceive photos of people wearing make-up on make-up blogs as 'selfies'. More illustrations, which are near essential in discussing a visual thing.

      I suppose the lack of older women showing their make-up on the internet will, as I become an older woman, be how looking at clothes on fashion web shops can be now: I'm looking at someone who looks half my age and is half my body mass, trying to imagine how that dress would look on me!

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    3. Urg. I am so thankful that I didn't lead my stupid younger years in the age of the internet, mobile phones, et cetera, too! But now I get to document for all digital eternity my very large obsession with makeup in my older years! :D HA!

      I guess the term selfies isn't really right for self portraits on a beauty blog. 'Tis quite true. But you know that excruciatingly self-absorbed way a teen (or anyone else, really) might tilt, pout into dozens of photos to get one specific look nailed down? Who does that? *raises paw* yep, that's me.

      :D I can go into fashion on the blog, too then. Then you can also enjoy photos of a larger BMI woman flouncing around in very loose garments.

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  13. I always enjoy your product reviews and FOTDs--they're the reason I stumbled across your blog originally, you feature the makeup I tend to buy--but your thought-noodling posts are my favorite. To comment on just one aspect of this one, as a near-50-yr-old beauty junkie myself, I'd love to keep getting inspired--for decades!--by the makeup on your mug. That said, I don't have a picture of myself anywhere on the interwebs, so I understand the desire to walk away from it all. But if I were the boss of you, I'd make you write this blog till the end of time. ;)

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    1. :) sosusam, I'm so glad you've landed here and participating in this thought-noodling conversation. Isn't it weird and kind of disheartening that when an older beauty is lauded in the wider media (like Carmen Dell'Orefice) it is trumpeted about like a big anomaly rather than accepted and promoted as a norm?

      Afterall for companies to make profit, there is a whole generation of older women making and spending lots of disposable income on things like beauty products. As a consumer, I would love to see more examples of older beauties in marketing as a normal marketing strategy!

      As a blogger, being burdened with ingrained social norms, I feel my conflict. :D ahhhh! such thought noodling to noodle over!

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  14. Minus the selfies bit - only bc I don't really do them of course lol - I've had so many of these same thoughts running around in my head over and over and over, oh and over again. It's part of my ongoing love-my-blog-wanna-quit-my-blog song that's on a loop. Sigh. Not new news there LOL! Anyway...all that to say you aren't alone :-) Wherever you are, whatever you choose to write about and whatever speed you choose to post I will read it!!! I absolutely love your blog....from belly linting posts like this to your yummy food posts to your gorgeous suqqu and application posts...I love it all and always look forward to what you have to say. Plus you make me laugh!!!! :-P smooches and hugs!!! xoxo gummy :-)

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    1. Gummykins! Who knew starting a blog meant so much *thinking*? urg! right? Brain hurts.

      Thank you for reading all random makeup and non-makeup related posts. :D

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  15. YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE, BELLY. (Just kidding. But I hope you don't!)

    I realized, from one of the comments on a similar post I wrote, that I DIDN'T want to be a huge blog. And I want my blog to not be sterile and to be funny and honest and be a place where I can say "four-letter words" (I got called out by an angry man for using the f-word), because this is what blogging is supposed to be for (IMO anyway)—geeking out. Anyway, I hope you continue being a geek with me and the rest of your frankly awesome readership. :D

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    1. But Carina. I got to go peeeeee. :) Though I have my moments when the idea of quitting is intensely appealing, I'm kind of happy letting the blog putter along at its current pace. Of course, in classic me fashion, my feelings change moment to moment.

      I think people forget that personal blogs are personal blogs. Unless one has an intention to be professional (or polished, let's say), we can say all the four letter words we feel like typing out. Like: BACN, MKUP, BUTR, PIES, CAKE.

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  16. I love your blog despite being one of your newer readers haha. I think it has personality that makes up for those super minimalistic templates (too many of those and too little that has your twist of spunk). I feel like you are one of the more engaging authors out there and I like the pace you have too. It's great that you're not a makeup artist or work in the industry - it gives us, other average consumers a really honest opinion of your thoughts. :) I hope you still put up photos when you're 50 - why not??

    Keep doing what you're doing :):)

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    1. thank you Velveteen Rabbit for taking time to comment. Your blog is lovely and I also look forward to continuing to read it. :)

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  17. But this is my favourite blog...dinky/polished doesn't matter to me, has the right content and thought combination that keeps me reading. This post is really hitting home with how I feel about blogging sometimes. I think I fit in a lot less, I don't know what I should be blogging about. I been thinking about some other issues too but too long to write haha. Keep blogging as yourself :)

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    1. :) I blog as "bellyhead" and it is actually only marginally close to what I am like in person.

      I really think you have the most gorgeous photos out there. Even just for that, which doesn't build a complete pictures of your beautiful blog, puts it into a class by itself. (am huge fan, in case I had neglected to tell you this)

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  18. I think there's a place for all of the blogs. I read the big, slick ones to find out what's coming out, but I read the more personal blogs to find out if the new stuff is really any good. And to read about the smaller, niche brands that the department stores don't carry, or about foreign brands. And for commeraderie - some of the big blogs have become big ads.

    I'm all for aged selfies! Why not! We see too few older women on the blogs. We spend a lot of money on make up - we should be able to see what it looks like applied like everyone else.

    don't quit…

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    1. Thanks Ava! I'm not quitting or "poofing" though I really do see the allure it on occasion.

      Regarding aged selfies, I DO agree we don't see enough older women on blogs!

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  19. oh belly, don't you ever leave the blogging world, pweeeeze. I hope to see your selfies when you are 50, 60 or 80 years old. Makeup is not for the young only. I don't know where this comes from, that only young people can post selfies with makeup on, etc. I don't care about age, I will wear makeup the way I want no matter what age and dress the way I want. I totally get what you are saying and have had some of those thoughts as well. I have a lot to say about this topic but I won't, haha. Despite the fact, that the whole www is unlimited, I find the beauty/blogging world quite limited actually.
    I don't have a special setup, I use my cheap canon point and shoot cam, natural lighting and my background is my old mango blouse, haha. And I don't buy makeup for my blog but for myself, because I want it, wear it and like it. I also don't keep things for swatching purpose only (what I did in the beginning), etc (does this make me a bad blogger? lol). And I also don't need every single new oh so glam and 'revolutionary' product on the market. I prefer reading blogs of people, who (no matter what size the stash is) still select the products they get, ywim?
    Anyhow, love your blog, love reading it and don't feel like 'you don't belong here'. You do. At least in my world, haha <3 / Claire xxx

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    1. Herro Claire!

      Wait a minute.. you use a P&S cam? Omergerd. Your photos are magnificent! *CRIES IN DESPAIR* Man, I need to "man" up on my basic photo skills.

      I would love to hear one day (in whatever forum of your choosing) what your thoughts are on this whole age topic.

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  20. Hi! I found your blog through Carina's new post yesterday (today? I am lost in time) and I'm so very happy I did. It's a breath of fresh air to know that someone else feels like this, even someone who has been blogging for a few years already. Anyway, I don't want to gush... because what I really want to do is read through this blog!

    Dinky bloggers are heeding your call!

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    1. :) Oh Jill! I'm so glad that Carina invited me to hang out on her blog and had given me the opportunity to "meet" her regular readers. Thank you for taking the time to come to this blog and to check out the back pages. There is a lot of makeup loving, naval gazing, and pictures of me doing vacant-stare selfies here. I look forward to your comments in the future! xoxo

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  21. Oh how I love these introspective posts of yours! In a way they always reflect what I think and wish I could express but then why make the effort since you do it so smartly? Selfies? I'm not even there yet and don't think it'll happen unless you get me real drunk! Reason? Well, I'm the eldest here, really I am and although I'm not ashamed of this I'm just not at ease enough to do it.

    Now does doing my own thing qualify me as a "Dinky Blog"? :)

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    1. Did you call me "smartly?!" :O We need to arrange a get together with some fine shampanya at some point. I will bring the bubbly AND the camera. Who knows what "dinky" actually means. That's my version of feelings of inadequacy, blind ambition and lack of web coding skills.

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    2. Ack! You know what a champagne hang over feels like, right? Might as well kill me now!

      Based on your definition of "dinky" I'll say I qualify, especially in the lack of web coding skills category! :)

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    3. I'm impressed we can even run a blog at all! :D

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  22. There's some part of me that always worries I'm going to be the weird professor, mortified by a selection of selfies her students have found. I think what keeps me going is how much fun blogging is for me.

    And personally, I love your blog. I'm on a quest to find more and more bloggers over the age of 25!

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    1. I guess it could be worse. Rather than a beauty blog, we can have naked pictures out there. I think this is probably the slightly less mortifying option. :)
      But seriously, I totally understand this. I blog incognito so I would TEH DIE OF DA SHAME if people I knew were like: WOAH, WHAT IS THIS?

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  24. LOL....If yours is considered dinky, mine is probably "burlap sack" status. I don't even review the latest and greatest products...which a lot of the sleeker ones seem to do. But, that's okay! I enjoy all blogs, as long as their pictures are clear enough to let me know what the heck I'm looking at.

    But anyway, all jokes aside, I do understand the dilemma. I really do. Once upon a time, I had a blog where I could talk about whatever the hell I felt like (seriously! 1920s fashion one day, a discussion women's rights the next, and then back to a tutorial on how to dye black hair pink), and the other people I befriended online had similar blogs, and nobody's blog really fit into a "genre." Now, I feel that unless a blog fits into a "genre," people wouldn't know what to make of it.

    And the selfie thing...haha, maybe it just has to do with age? When I was in my teens and 20s, I always posted my FOTDs on MUA, with breakdowns of what I wore, and in which order, as if anybody else really cared. Nowadays, I'm like, "Why on Earth would anyone wants to see a selfie of ME?"

    But anyway, thanks for letting me ramble here! Lol. I guess this is just my really long-winded way of saying that I do understand. It seems so expensive to have what would be considered a "successful" blog these days.

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