Hello all! 😀
I haven’t been talking about blogging tips for a while (cos I’m never very sure how helpful it is, seeing as to how there are so many other wonderful bloggers out there doing a much better job of it!) but I was thinking about this one recently as I did some image searches on the internet.
I notice that it seems de rigueur for many bloggers who blog about beauty, to include an extreme close up of the product being reviewed in action, primarily, makeup. This could be an extreme close up of their lips, eye and especially, nails.
I’m curious to know if you feel, as a blogger, that an extreme close up of your eye, lips or nails is “necessary” when you blog about beauty. Is it something you feel compelled to do because everyone is doing it? As a reader, as much as we appreciate the work and detail that goes into an extreme close up, do you think it “necessary”?
I don’t pay a lot of attention to nail polish but I find online swatches very helpful when deciding on a colour, if I’m looking at a brand unavailable locally. The thing is, more than once, I’ve seen a beautiful extreme close up online, showing off a beautiful smooth application and lovely shimmer only to find when I receive it that it may not be quite as beautiful. I may realise that the shimmer is only detectable close up, as in the extreme close up online, and not when viewed from a normal viewing distance. Few of us thrust our nails in the faces of others, I’m sure so a lot of that beauty is probably reserved for personal pleasure. I have nothing against nail bloggers – I could never do their job; but I would really appreciate a distant shot as well as I do the extreme close up just to see how things look from a distance.
This is true also of other examples of extreme close ups of eye makeup and even lips. I do these close ups too, which a lot has to do with peer pressure (haah!) but I have realised when going around the blogs and the internet, that plain and clear swatches and/or a “look” done to show how the colours work overall helps me much more than an extreme close up does, because it shows how it works from a natural viewing distance. Not only up close and personal. In fact, I find 2 eyes more helpful than just 1 – also true of seeing. You have to use 2 eyes to see the full picture 😛
You may think me hypocritical to raise this, considering I too am as guilty of it, but I am doing a bit of reconsideration in terms of presentation of reviews, because as I said, I realised that the way something looks generally gives me a better idea of how it works than an eye or lip in isolation (unless there is a colour comparison going on in which case, it can be quite useful). Perhaps, half a face, or a portion of a face, if one is not inclined to show the whole face, just to see how that pretty eye looks, when you pull away from the tight macro shot. Is the detail noticeable from a distance? Does a wonky eyeliner really matter when one isn’t looking at you from 2cm away?
But that’s just me so I’m opening this up for discussion 😀
Do you find it necessary to have extreme close ups in a beauty blog? Do you find that it helps you?
I personally don’t think it necessary although I have to admit that I admire the work and detail that goes into it. I don’t find it helpful per se as I find that a shot that is pulled further back helps me more than a tight one. I salute all the bloggers who do extreme close ups beautifully and in fact, the majority will. But sometimes (or maybe not just sometimes) it can be a little unnerving stumbling across a hairy lip or an unruly brow in extreme close up 😛 Ah the perils of blog hopping 😉
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.
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Sometimes closeups are my favorite pics. I really like to see both a closeup and distance shot in order to see if I like a product.
Paris B says
I think having both is ideal 😀
I must admit that I have been influenced by Temptalia a lot. I didn’t started out doing extreme close-ups.
However, the reason I took to extreme close-ups is because I personally find them very useful! For eyes especially, I find it essential because the close up shows how the colours layer over each other and blend into each other, which gives me a good idea of how good the quality of the eyeshadow is, and thus how easy it will be to work with that eyeshadow. I am not so particular about one or two eyes because I know that if the quality is good, I will be able to create a good look for myself on both eyes. I am not an MUA, so my skills are not good enough to work magic out of poor quality eyeshadows.
I also find close ups of lips important enough because it shows the quality, like chunky or not chunky, sheer or not sheer. I am very particular because I only want to buy opaque enough lip products. And I hate chunky lip products. However, for lips, I think it is extremely important to have the full face, and preferably matching full face makeup too, because lip colours seem to look different with different colours on the cheeks and eyes. As such, I myself am very particular that I provide the full face when talking about lip products, unless it is a mass review (haha, just did one). For mass reviews, I do try to collect my FOTDs over a period of time, so that I can provide full faces for all lip colours. But sometimes, really it is way too much to do, so I end up only providing lip swatches.
For blushes, full face is more useful as well, especially since blushes look different on different skin tones and skin colours. However close ups are still important enough that I will provide it. I normally do an FOTD with blush reviews. haha, and I admit that I am lazy enough to use the same FOTD to review several items… oops. =PPP But I think using the same FOTD isn’t that bad, because it provides readers with makeup combination, like what colour will go well with what other items… … So I don’t have much guilt doing this.
Nails, I think close ups are a must. But I would appreciate far away shot, perhaps the hand holding a clutch bag or pen, etc.
Paris B says
Thanks for your thoughts on this, Jyoan 😀 I personally find close ups of swatches very useful to evaluate texture but I suppose I’m not fussed about how it applies on eyes primarily because I realised I rarely if ever, apply shadows the same way as everyone else LOL! So sometimes a technique that gets the most out of a certain product doesn’t work for me because it risks looking muddy when blended the way I do. Still, I guess its all helpful one way or another. The only thing I suppose that bugs me is that some people who do extreme close ups, don’t show their eyes/lips/nails at their best 😛
By the way, I’ve said it before, but I would like to say again, how much I love your fashion shots style photos.
I think it is a great way to showcase a product in real life. So I know how I can match makeup with say, a hat, a sunglass, a clutch, a top, or even shoes.
haha, it is something I hope I can provide for my readers one day. But I am still not accustomed to running outdoors in brilliant sunlight, putting the tripod there, and crazily posing. I don’t have anyone to help me with photography, so… … I realise I am going cock-eyed because I do too much self-photography. Really want to change this.
Love Xiao’s blog also because of this… she is great at doing more than headshots all the time.
Paris B says
Oh and thank you for this! I didn’t realise I did fashion shots posts hehe… I think I’ve only done 2 to date and then I realised its too hard. I don’t have the flexibility time and location anymore and I also realised that to have a good fashion photo you really need someone who knows how to take photos for you. A tripod only gets you so far and is pretty inflexible. Otherwise for when I do take photos at home, its the tripod for above the waist shots and for now, that’s all I can manage 😀
I love to look at close ups of nail polish. Im also guilty of trying to find something imperfect in close ups of celebrities (LOL). I dont think extreme close ups are necessary, I find the pics of full make up using reviewed products much more useful 🙂
Paris B says
Nail polish close ups mesmerize me! But when I get the product, I’m like “Erm… is this it?” haha…
S. Drama&Makeup says
I love when you talk about blogging Paris, you always make me think more about what I do. I’ve recently shared some of your past posts on the subject with some italian blogger friends, they always offer an interesting prospect on stuff.
Talking about this particular topic I have mixed feelings.
I love seeing a complete look and a close up as well but I never do them. I feel like I don’t do anything particularly special/good with my makeup so I don’t feel the need to share it.
Recently I’ve started showing lip products directly on my lips but I’m not quite sure this is a good thing… I mean, we all have lips with different pigmentations, right? So my pics could be kind of useless…
Alright, my comment doesn’t make sense at all.
I missed commenting on here but I often read your post before going to sleep on my blackberry and then forget about coming back to leave my thoughts. I know, I’m awful.
Hope you’re doing great x
Paris B says
Hi S! I’ve missed hearing from you too but I’m glad you haven’t abandoned me LOL 😉 I hope you’re doing well where you are and thank you for enjoying the blogging posts even though they are few and far between. Its great to know it helps you and your friends as bloggers going forth. Actually I disagree with you about lip swatches not making sense. They do make a lot of sense because it shows the product against your skintone. Although our lip pigment are different, we can always mention that in the post, but how the color shows up against the rest of your face helps me, and could help someone who has the same skintone as you do. Somehow, arm swatches just aren’t the same, to me 🙂 So I think its terribly useful so keep it up! 😀
Hehe I think the best is to have both close up and full shot. Each to its own purpose and advantage; close up allows us to see or scrutinize the texture and shade, full shot to view the overall look or put the shade in perspective. Sometimes it looks great close up but the overall shot lacks the oomph. Lighting is also important – artificial lighting may not reflect the true colour etc. There are some bloggers who will take multiple lightings – natural, outdoor, artificial. But I appreciate this post of yours today. It shows how much thoughts and dedication you put into each post and as readers, we’re so pampered 🙂
Paris B says
I think you’re right, Jennifer – both would be ideal 😀 I can understand why some people only highlight 1 feature. Sometimes, you don’t feel like putting on a whole face just to take a lip shot but I think ultimately it helps to see how it goes with other colours, skintone etc Lighting can be quite a peeve of mine too but sometimes I can understand why some lighting is off due to time and location, although a quick tweak of white balance can usually do the trick 😀 Glad you enjoyed the post 😀
I definitely don’t think they’re necessary but I personally like them. I enjoy shooting in macro (can’t wait to get a better macro lens for my new camera!! :D) and really like to see other people’s extreme macro shots, whether it be their nails or eyeshadow. *However*, I think that it would be a wise thing to include a shot from a normal viewing distance for practicality’s sake.
Paris B says
Tunnel vision isn’t a good thing is it, Becca? 😉 I love macro shots too. I still haven’t gotten a macro lens because I’m not sure how much use I’d get out of it but I’ll think about it. It could potentially prove useful 😀
Connie De Alwis says
For certain makeup, I would appreciate close-up shots such as base makeup (a sheer-looking coverage from afar can really be thick and cakey up close!) and eye makeup. Especially for eye looks, I can tell more accurately what were the colors used to create the look. From a distance, a smokey eye is a smokey eye but it’s the close-up that tells the difference between a good smokey eye and a bad one.
Other than that, I don’t think macro shots are necessary
Paris B says
You’re right about the eye application thing but for someone who maybe isn’t as talented at applying shadow,but is talented enough to make it look good from a distance (speaking for myself of course 😛 ), I think there shouldn’t be that sort of pressure to show an extreme close up of what maybe a less than stellar application technique hehe…
Connie De Alwis says
Fair enough. In real life, I sometimes ignore a crooked line or blending that isn’t quite as seamless. After all, nobody’s gonna be staring that closely at my makeup! As long as it still looks alright from a distance :p
Elizabeth Maiorana says
Yes they are very very helpful to me- I really appreciate both, but if I can only have one, I like the extreme close up. xoxo Beth in Pgh 😉
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Beth! 😀
Beauty Box says
Hmmm, that is a very good question. I think especially for lips, everyone has different natural lip colour so I don’t find extreme close ups on lip swatches to be particularly useful though perhaps you could just the level of pigmentation. I prefer swatches on arms or canvas if I want to check the accuracy of a particular shade. Though close ups of eyeshadows on eyes interest me a lot more as I can see how they can be blended with other shades to create a look.
Paris B says
I have to agree with you about the lip swatches. Swatches on skin are better for me because it gives a more “neutral” representation of colour although it can be interesting to see how a colour can disappear into the lips but for that, I don’t think a close up is really necessary 🙂