Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Real Talk: Why I Write Positive & "Negative" Reviews

After writing an entire post on why I feel it's important to incorporate both positive and "negative" reviews on blogs, I realized that it became a complete rant. I decided to delete it and start fresh, focusing on why I write mixed reviews.

My lack of a filter can be perceived as rude, snobby, narrow minded, immature, etc, etc. For every one person that loves that about me, there are probably 10 who hate it. It's how I've always been, albeit I'm better now than in my younger years. A boss of mine always said, "it's not what you say, but how you say it". Mind you, she didn't take her own advice but it's true. How things are said will definitely change how they're perceived. 

Basically, I started blogging because of my love for sharing my opinion and experiences. Anything that can be reviewed is never matter of fact. Each person can love/hate different/same things about any given product, and that`s okay. What's important to understand with beauty, is that no number of rave reviews can make a product work for you if your skin/hair/etc just doesn't like it. For example, almond oil might be amazing for various people, but it won't work for someone who's allergic to almonds. Know what I mean?

I like to write a mix of reviews because I think it`s important for readers to have the opportunity to make their own decision based on the pros and cons provided to them. If they decide to try a product after reading several positive reviews and only one negative one, then at least they know that there's that slight chance that they might not like or might react to that product. If it works amazingly well for them, great! If they react or hate it, then at least they know that they're not alone. It's also important to note that most readers don't get free samples/products sent to them, they may be relying on reviews to help them decide where to invest their hard earned money. 

While it's true that perhaps some blogs/people have influence, I don't think it's enough to shut a small or large business down. Sharing a negative experience isn't a petition or boycott of that product or company, it's simply a word of caution to those thinking of trying said product/company. 

Whether you choose to write solely positive, negative, or mixed reviews, it's entirely up to you of course. Just remember that as a blog reader yourself, I'm sure there have been times where you've read a review and thought, "thank you for the honesty, I wondered if that product was worth the money".  

I could go on forever on this topic, however, I thought I'd keep it short and sweet to avoid it turning into another rant post. You are all more than welcome to chime in and share your thoughts on this topic, below. Keep it friendly please, I'm open to all sides and am definitely not looking for a debate.

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PS. Sorry if the spacing is off, blogger keeps acting up and I can't fix it :(


  1. I think it's really important to be honest in reviews, and sometimes that means admitting that you hated a product! Whenever I read a blog that's super chirpy about everything, particularly tons of PR samples, it makes me wonder if they're just posting good reviews in hopes of getting freebies. I want to know about the downsides: does it smell funny? Did it not meet the "long-wearing" claim on the package? Is the packaging just a letdown, for whatever reason? Are there not enough shades available? Negative aspects are an important part of reviews and I think people forget about that.

    Also, as you said--people read reviews to decide where to invest their money. If a product is fairly nice but wouldn't work on a certain skin type, readers need to know that so they can say, "Well, that wouldn't be the best for me, then!" What works for one person doesn't always work for another.

  2. I totally agree with you! Cause personally when I'm searching for product reviews, I like to also read why a product doesn't work for that person.

  3. Thank you for writing this article: I value a well-defined review (either negative, postive or middle) so much more than the "best thing ever" posts I frequently encounter (by really young, pretty things that are probably hypersponsored). Companies actually know when the 1st reviews are positive, the negative ones probably hesitate about speaking up (marketing psychology). That explains them sending out their not-yet-launched products to the famous, young crowd that can almost use anything on their face. Keep on being honest :)

  4. Great Post Nicole. I try and give balanced reviews and that goes for PR samples & things I bought for myself. If I didn't get on with it then I say so. I never give 'nasty' feedback just what I believe is constructive criticism. Bloggers that seem to love everything they try cast doubt in my mind, you never know if that is because they won't feature the negatives or whether they are just butt kissing PRs.

  5. I find it easier to write positive reviews, simply because I have more to say when I like the product. Having said that I do have some negative (or part negative) posts up as well. With regards to PR samples, I will only post the reviews of the products I genuinely like and would have been happy to pay for myself, but if I found I didn't like the smell or packaging, I will always say so. When I bought a product myself and didn't like and I feel the need to share my negative experience, I will do so. I think honesty and integrity are important, after all that is why blogs started.

    Your PR policy is very clear, so when products are sent to you everyone knows what they are getting. It is your blog, and reflects who you are, I don't see any problems with that.

  6. I'm really frustrated by people constantly talking about shaming companies and negative reviews. Its ridiculous because how else are people supposed to know whether a product is good or not if people don't review them.
    I'm glad that you believe in writing negative reviews!
    Roshni’s Journey

  7. I like reading negative reviews. First of all, it tells me that the reviewer is honest about all the products they review. Second, if they're clear about WHY they don't like the product, it's very helpful to determine whether or not it could work for me.

    A detailed positive review can tell me that a product might not work for me, while a detailed negative review can tell me that a product might work for me, it just means I have to do a bit more research.

    And if a product just genuinely sucks all around, it's better to warn people about it. If the company suffers from it, they should make a better product. :)

  8. You go, Girl! I appreciate your honest reviews and even the occasional rant. It makes me trust your positive ones all the more so. While my reviews are always honest, I don't review the products that are just "eh" because many of the ones that are so-so for my skin work well on other people. The results are entirely dependent on how my skin is faring at the time of use - and that can be extremely finicky. I end up reviewing the ones that work consistently and over time. And I won't write about a product that I wouldn't vouch for as being worth trying. That ends up leaving lots of products collecting dust (even ones that people send me for review with the condition that if I don't like it, I won't review it.) I hope that is good enough. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed reading about your perspective.

  9. Even though I love a ton of blogs, I feel like there's only a handful of bloggers I can rely on to hold nothing back, you being the top one.You rock. The end.

    Mayah x

  10. I like to read a mix of opinions on a blog, I do a lot of research in to products first and so I tend not to be disappointed all that often these days, however I do think a review can be mostly positive but also point out things a brand could improve. I genuinely professional brand will take comments of what they can do better and will make a more successful product due to the feedback, look at Pai and their moisturisers, the new packaging is spectacular, it took them a while but after considering what customers where saying they got it spot on. I think there is a way you can give not so great feedback without some of the drama that bloggers who completely bash a brand can get in to, and there is also an elegant way for brands to deal with less flattering feedback. P.S I have always loved your blog for your honesty, your personality shines through in your reviews Xx

  11. I agree that writing bad reviews isn't the boycott of the business/service, or the burning down, and crumbling of a business. People are scared of negative reviews, but shouldn't be. Thanks, Nichole.

    Wayne. |

  12. Great post! I agree with you (and everyone's comments above)... it's so important to write a variety of reviews, not just all glowing, all the time. I do struggle more with the negative ones...they don't always get individual posts, but I'll group them into "disappointing product" posts and do mini reviews once I accumulate a few. Annnd, sometimes they turn into "repurposed product" posts, if I find new ways to enjoy them :)

  13. Thank you all for your comments on this subject. There's nothing that I would disagree with above and very much value your thought(s)/opinion(s), whether they mirror my own or not. xoxo!


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