Every year when I sit down around this time to write my blog anniversary post, I find I usually have something to talk about. A revelation perhaps, about how things are going, or just a look back at how far I’ve come. This year was different.
This year, the words wouldn’t come. I’m not sure why. I thought a milestone year like 10 YEARS writ in 10 feet high neon letters, would be an easy one to address. It turned out it wasn’t.
I’d looked forward to this year, 2017, with some anticipation in the past few months, knowing I’d be hitting one of the most major milestones for almost any blogger. But, 10 years of blogging and writing, in my case almost exclusively about beauty, has culminated in my being at a loss for words. I couldn’t seem to find the words to convey the enormity of the situation, and how much I truly appreciate that there are people who read, have been reading and are still reading My Women Stuff after all these years.
So, I’ve resorted to just a quick ramble here, just to say what I want to say, and hit the Publish button before words and courage fail me.
10 years sounds like a long time, and it is. It’s a full decade. It means that I’ve spent the better part of my 30’s into my 40’s researching, writing, and sharing my thoughts on various aspects of beauty, from an amateur, consumer standpoint. And I don’t even do it full time! 😀 Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes people agree with me, sometimes they don’t. That’s what happens when you set your thoughts and opinions down on paper (figuratively). Everyone will have an opinion and not everyone will have the same one as yours, which is fine by me.
But it’s that aspect of blogging that I’ve enjoyed, along with the opportunity to see how the backend of beauty is run, and discovering new products and brands. I love talking to the people behind the brands, to learn the science and technology behind a product, and to see makeup artists at work. I’ve been privileged to have met and spoken to some amazing makeup artists, cosmetics brand owners and experts in the field, and I try wherever possible to impart some of that information or knowledge to you through my blog, so that you may share in it too. I’ve read comments that say my blog’s “more serious” than others – I take that as a compliment because if I want to be trusted and taken seriously, wouldn’t I have to be a little “more serious”? Besides, it’s just who I am. I’m a serious person 🙂
What I’ve enjoyed most about blogging in the 10 years that I’ve been doing it, is the interaction with all of you reading this. It’s opened up my world in so many ways, allowing me to meet so many different people near and far, from different areas of life. I’ve met some of you over the years be it at events or just over coffee or lunch, and it’s always a pleasure. Some of the best friends I have now, I met through blogging, and they come from diverse backgrounds and even different age groups. They’re people I’d probably never have met, had I not fatefully hit publish on a blog post, sending it out in to the ether, back in 2007. Funny how life works out eh? 🙂
A reader recently contacted me and in the course of conversation, ?told me that she’d been reading my blog since she was in secondary school (high school) which I hazard would put her in her late teens at the time. She’s now 25 and a young lady embarking on her own adventure in the world. When I mentioned it on Twitter, I received some feedback that some had been reading MWS from the time they were in their late teens till now in their mid-late 20’s. 2 things struck me at this point. One, I’m almost old enough to be their mother! 😛 Two, I had been talking to these young women, who were at a very impressionable age when they ventured upon my blog and ramblings. I can only hope I didn’t lead them too far astray (except into the wild ways of luxury for which I’m somewhat notorious 😛 )
And this is why I say, and have said often, that bloggers have to be responsible people, and we owe a duty to our readers to be honest and critical. We just don’t know who are reading our blogs, and how much we can influence the way they think or approach life in general. Merely blogging or putting pretty pictures up, just for the sake of staying on the good side of the brands, or to be paid, without believing in what you write or tell people you really use, is irresponsible. Many people turn to social media these days in the belief that the blogger or Instagrammer or whatever new social media tool comes next, knows what they’re talking about and vouch for the product or service. But if you’ve never tried it or you’re just shilling it as a must-have because you’re getting paid, or so you can cement your relationship to get future freebies, that’s irresponsible behaviour.
As much as I encourage everyone to read beyond what I say, or what anyone else says, to form their own opinions, there will always be people who place their trust implicitly in you. Don’t abuse that trust. If you aren’t sure, just say you aren’t sure. If you don’t believe in something, don’t pretend that you do. What my time in blogging has taught me is that people from different age groups will read your blog and some will be more impressionable than others. If you’re going to call yourself an “influencer” (a title I abhor) use that influence for good.
You’re 10 today, have some cake! 🙂
As I watch the blogging landscape change in the 10 years I’ve been doing this since 2007, I have to confess a slight nostalgia for the way things were and used to be. When people wrote blogs because they wanted to share a new find, or information or tips. Today, I’ve learned that not only are blogs not in demand anymore, there are popular “influencers” and “content creators” who don’t even take their own photos, who move around with a personal photographer, and who get by copy and pasting press releases or writing obscure one-word captions on Instagram in a vague fulfilment of their duty as “influencers”. The blogging world has changed and while I’m disappointed in it, and I used to rail against this change, I no longer want to care. Yep, you read that right. I don’t want to care about what others are doing to get where they want to be.
What I realised in recent years, is that fame and popularity trumps everything and people who are on the up-and-up have no scruples. If I allowed it to bother me, that people out there are buying followers and likes to inflate their social media profile counts, or are promoting dubious products and services or that despite this fakery they are feted at events and showered with free stuff, I’d give up and retire. I almost did.
But I thought it was dumb of me to let what’s happening out there affect how I feel about doing what I enjoy i.e. beauty and writing and blogging in general. So, I stuck to my beliefs, turning down products and services I had no confidence nor interest in, and I was fine. I blogged in my own time, to my own schedule, about what I wanted, and I was fine. I spoke with blunt honesty, and called out bullshit and I was fine. I still work and blogging still isn’t a full time venture for me, and yes. I was fine. Better than fine, I thrived in my independence, away from the maddening crowd.
You see, a large part of why I’m still here 10 years down the road, is thanks to all of you who are reading this, and who are reading and keeping up with my blog and who tell me you appreciate what I do. You may not agree with what I say, or you may find it helpful. But you talk to me about it, you share your views or tips or you ask questions, and I appreciate that you do. The comments section is so important to me, because that’s how I know if I’m doing something right, and it’s also where I’ve seen people interact with one another, to help out when I don’t know the answers. In a major way, MWS has always been a positive place, and I try to extend that to the comments where you reside.
I’ve also noticed that MWS readers are a little, dare I say, more mature in your outlook on life. Many of you think, and ask me really hard questions that I sometimes cannot answer. Many of you are sensible, smart consumers and when I post a discussion topic, you weigh in with calculated, thought out views. Many of you are beauty buffs just like me, and introduce me to brands and products I might never have thought about trying. I enjoy that interaction and I thank you for taking your time to share those thoughts with me because it matters to me. If there’s one thing that 10 years in the blogging world has taught me, it’s that you can’t buy that kind of genuine interaction and engagement 🙂
So, THANK YOU everyone. It’s been quite a decade – thank you for being there all these years, and better yet, being right here with me right now 🙂 As I say on my Instagram profile, ‘I write, if you read’ – thank you for reading? My Women Stuff, and now I better stop writing LOL! 😀
104 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Cecilia Wong says
Thank YOU, Paris! For me, you’ll always be my resource person for skincare. I have always enjoyed reading your blog for being honest and well written. You are my breakfast buddy, even if you don’t know it 🙂 I started reading your blog when you were featured in a women’s magazine. That makes it how many years? And I look forward to reading more. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary! Hugs from one of your loyal ,albeit quieter, readers.
Paris B says
Hi Cecilia, thank you for reading! Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been featured anywhere haha! So yes, it’s certainly been a while. But thank you for reading, and for commenting for I don’t think I’d have come so far otherwise 🙂
well done and congrats!!!! we have almost known for a decade? XD
cheers and here’s to more 10s in our lives!
Paris B says
I can’t believe we’ve known each other that long! But look how far we’ve come 😀 Cheers!!
Beautifully written as always Paris! Thank you for staying true to yourself and allow your readers to get the best of beauty through your eyes! You’re a gem! Happy 10th anniversary MWS!
Paris B says
Thank you Roze, and thank you for reading because that’s the only reason I’ll keep writing! 😀
Mieza Everdeen says
I’ve been reading your blog since I was 18 and now I’m 25, hehe! honestly, I’m so happy that MWS is still here because you’re like my number 1 go to source for (locally available) beauty product reviews because I love the way you write, the way you explain stuff and call it bs when it really is no matter the brand/price (remember we discussed abt this on Twitter on why it’s raved even though it’s not that good). Simply put, I have trust in MWS and please, continue writing as long as you’re passionate about it because I dont fancy losing my favourite reading site in the nearest time. Happy 10th blogging anniversary <3
Well said Mieza.
In a way I’m so thankful I found your blog while searching for some reviews on I-can’t-remember-now-what-the-product-was.
Happy 10th Anniversary MWS!
Paris B says
Haha it’s been that long?! 😉 Thank you Rahainah! <3
Paris B says
Hi Mieza, Oh yes I thoroughly enjoy our little Twitter chats occasionally 😀 I can’t believe you’ve been here for 7 years and you know, life changes pretty dramatically between 18 to 25! Thank you for reading, for the trust and for the support. I wouldn’t be writing if no one was still reading <3
JY Wong says
I was one of those silent readers that have been reading your blog since 2011. In fact, much of my beauty holy grail I bought and on repeated purchase comes from reading your blog. Thank you so much for the earnest and honest review on the products which what makes me loves reading your blog compared to other beauty blogs. Happy 10th year!! and to many more 10 years to come!
Paris B says
Hi JY Thank you for delurking to comment! 🙂 I do hope that whatever products you’ve been moved to try have worked well for you, because I’d really hate it if it didn’t! 🙂 Thank you for the support – it means a lot to me! (although I’m not sure how many more 10 years there can be LOL!)
Happy 10th MWS! I can’t remember exactly when I began reading your blog but it must have been since a good 5 – 6 years ago at least. I recall sitting through the evening going through the posts backwards as I found them very informative and fascinating in the sense that I felt I was able to relate to your writing very well.
Fast forward to the present time, let it be known that each time I am interested in a new beauty product, my online research includes googling the product name + “mywomenstuff”. Of course, it helps a great deal that I in the same age bracket (possibly exactly the same age), have more or less similar skin tone and skin concerns as you!
I get your comments on how the industry get more challenging and not in a good way but rather with the influx of people who taint it with lack of scruples. I suppose there are variations of that in every industry. But what I’d like to say is that there are also many of us who truly appreciate blogs with integrity and who stick to their beliefs and ideals despite those challenges. We don’t necessarily comment on every post and only do so when there are relevant things to say but do know that we appreciate your visible effort on the blog, twitter and instagram (some are non beauty related matters!)
So, onward and forward! All the best and looking forward to most MWS!
Paris B says
Thank you Isabel, so it’s your searches that are tagged mywomenstuff eh? haha! 😉 I think it’s always helpful to find bloggers who are within a similar age group – it makes it easier to relate. But there aren’t many out there, are there? A few I’ve come across have kind of dumbed themselves down to a more acceptable “young” level but I guess that’s the way to get forward. I understand that not everything merits a comment. I’m just as bad at leaving comments sometimes, which shames me, as I know how hard it is to slave over a blog post and then to not have any comments at all is demoralizing. But as you say, not everything needs a comment, and these days, other social media platforms have taken up that slack (because it’s just so much more convenient) Thank you for reading and the comments and the support through the years. I truly appreciate it! <3
Happy 10th! I like reading your blog and I like how you keep it real for everyone. No hipster pretentious bullsh*t. Here’s to more good years ahead!
Paris B says
Thank you so much Rin 😀 And believe you me, I’m so not hipster, I couldn’t pretend to be LOL! 😀
Congrats on the 10th year. That’s pretty awesome! I’ve always been just a silent reader thus far but i think i’ve been reading your blog since forever. MWS is my holy grail beauty blog!! If I come across a product I need an honest review I’d go to MWS to see if you’ve reviewed it. The thing is, your opinion is a 100% hit with me…maybe because we have the same skin type? If you say a product is good, i’d go out and buy it and damn the product is good! Hahahhaah. Thanks for ‘influencing’ me in that way. Please keep on writing for as long as you can.
p/s you have got to try the estee lauder cleansing balm if you havent. I love it! That product alone changed my skin game. But I’d like to know how it compares to the more popular/ expensive ones e.g. Eve Lom, EH, etc.
Paris B says
Thank you so much Ism and thank you even more for delurking to leave a comment! I truly appreciate it 🙂 I’m glad you’ve found the reviews helpful and it kind of scares me that you put that sort of trust in what I say haha! But if I can help anyone with their skin, I’m happy to be a good influence! 😉 Oh and did you mean the Estee Lauder ANR cleansing balm? I think I have it! I’ll go dig it out and have a try. I’ll try to remember to mention how it compares to others I’ve tried, if I try it! 😀
Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous says
You have been my blogging rock all these 10 years. I still remember how you and I started. Beauty blogging was so new back then. We write about the things we buy and love (or end up hating). Photos were mediocre at best. What joy I felt when some obscure company in the US wanted to send me a product to try. OMG FOR FREE CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! 😛
The blogging scene has changed over the years. It became even more fun yet somewhere along the way, it stopped being fun. Suddenly everyone’s so competitive. Bloggers are pressured to buy fancy photography equipment to keep up with the blogging Joneses. Why bother with writing so much, eh, when you can stuff a blog post full of photographs of oneself holding the beauty product all cutesy? Sorry, just threw up in my mouth there for a bit. 😛
But you, you stuck to your guns and you kept it real. You’re not afraid to be scathing when the product doesn’t live up to its name and expectations. My wallet cries whenever you give a good review about a beauty product because I know it’ll be good.
Thank you for making blogging fun. Thank you for sticking it out for 10 years. Thank you for your time, your commitment and your love for us readers to keep going. Congratulations on 10 years. What a milestone! 🙂 xx
Paris B says
Thank you so much Tine <3 and I know that you too will be hitting your 10 year milestone too! We've sure come a long way since the Gloves in a Bottle days LOL! 😀 But I hear you. Blogging went through a cycle for me too. It was fun, and the helluva fun and the no fun at all. The competition is crazy. I don't even know what people are competing for - free products? Because really, that's all there really is. And don't even get me started on the rise of Instagram and its influencers, that have left blogging out in the cold. It took me a while to get my head around that, to not let it bother me (too much even if I might snipe now and then) and to just keep going. Ultimately, when you realise that you write, because you enjoy what you do, and not because you want more free stuff or want to schmooze with PR and attend events, that's when you get in the zone and it all comes back. As I told you before - I know you still enjoy writing, maybe on a broader topic - just do it. Your fansee will be there for you 🙂 <3
Happy 10th anniversary!
I’ve read your blog since 2008. I just graduated from college then and I’m hitting 30 this year.
I love your blog. It’s honest and serious. I get honest review that does not bow down to the brand demand.
To me that is precious and makes you an authority.
Of course thank you for leading me astray, that Dior have the best eyeshadow, Chanel now have the best blush and Dior lipstick is what I just like best( the serum rouge was a favorite actually), hands down Shiseido best sunblock and the ubiquitous Guerlain Meteorite.
9 years reading your blog and 9 years sticking to all the above : )
Please continue to write and occasional vacation is allowed no worries.
Paris B says
Thank you Jue and since 2008! :O That’s not very long after I first started out. Sometimes, I cringe at my content from the early days. What was I thinking?! 😛 But I guess that’s how we grow. I’ll apologise to your wallet now, but I guess you’re quite happy about being led astray eh? hehe… I guess I’ll be around for a while. Once I worked out that saying No was possible, I’m settling in for the ride 🙂 thank you so much for being there with me after so long! <3
Wow, time sure flies. I think you deserve a big round of applause for all these 10 years! *insert applause here* hehehe…
Thank you for sticking to your guns and remaining steadfast in your beliefs on giving us an honest-to-goodness blog! Happy 10th Anniversary!
Paris B says
Thank you Summer! 🙂 Appreciate your reading and support all this time too!
Happy 10th Anniversary. I remember reading your blog while i was still in Kuching so that i can find out whats available in KL and will add those items to the shopping list when i fly over. Now that i live in USA I enjoy reading your blog and twitter to keep in touch a bit with my malaysian roots and news 🙂 You introduced me to Guerlain meteorites which is now my HG product that im forever buying but never really finish lol…
Paris B says
Thank you Peggy 🙂 Ah you’re privy then to my constant bitching about the state of affairs here haha! 😀 But you’d have so much more access to the US brands and products. Sometimes, I wonder how crazy I’d go if I were living there, especially come deals or sale time. The deals are amazing! and prices, by comparison are affordable (well, if earning USD la 😉 ) Thank you for joining my journey and speaking of Meteorites, I saw a picture of a very pretty one coming up! Not sure if I’ll get it (depending on the price) but it is pretty! 😛
ML Chan says
Paris B says
Wooohooo, PB! Happy anniversary!
I remember reading your blog at 18, just at the beginning of my A Levels in college and now I’m in Melbourne studying my Masters! You were the one who inspired me to start with my old blog and now I’ve started a new one to re-train some of my writing ability!
I still read your blog every day although I no longer comment on it as often!
Here’s to never stopping at writing what you love!
Paris B says
Thank you Hanny! I most certainly remember you and that you came to the MWS awards party 😀 And you’re doing your Masters now! Well done! 🙂 Thank you for reading. I understand not commenting – sometimes, there isn’t much to say eh? But thank you for leaving this comment and congrats for getting back to blogging – one way or another – it’s cathartic! 🙂
Happy 10 Year anniversary! I don’t comment a lot but I do read most of the entries. I hope you enjoy this blog for more years to come.
Paris B says
Thank you so much for your kind words and support! I always remember when you do comment, because your handle is a very unique one! 😀
I’ve been following you since I graduated and started work in 2008! You have been a great help to me in deciding what makeup and skincare to purchase with my monthly paycheck. You also pretty much shaped my beauty approach since now I’m now all about sunscreen (Shiseido!) and red lipstick. When I was in Japan recently, I saw a Guerlain Meteorites pop-up store and I immediately thought of you as that’s the one thing I still haven’t tried out but probably will in the future.
Paris B says
Hi Liz, goodness from 2008! I hope your monthly paycheck didn’t want to slap me on the head for being extravagant haha! 😀 But I’m so happy that my nagging about sunscreen has been effective (your skin will absolutely thank you!) and aww thank you for thinking of me when you saw Guerlain Meteorites! It means so much more to me than you know 😀
Thank you Paris for staying truth to yourself and not engage to any influencer agency. Reading blog from 2004 when the name blog doesn’t exist yet,i knew it is not easy path to stay the same n consistent and persistence to love what you wrote after 10 years . Sometimes little jealousy monster inside me said : waaaaaaa….so shiok can get those luxury brand to try etc. Etc etc . I am guilty of that. But look back what you wrote in 10 years, you earn and deserves everything you have. :). And I learnt a lot from your blog, especially when I am to lazy to survey, I know I can always count on your reviews.
PS. I just wonder how many post you wrote in 10 yrs? 🙂
Paris B says
Hi Kay, thank you so much for reading and for the support! I know what you mean about feeling that twinge of envy, because we’re all human and we all will feel it one way or another. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t! But I also eventually realised that everything comes with a price and sometimes, it wasn’t a price I was willing to pay. That helps a lot. Thank you for reading and for the support through the years. I’m glad you’ve found it helpful one way or another! As to your question, I’ve published 3413 posts on MWS as of today – that’s an average of about 1 post a day every day for the past 10 years! 😀
*Sigh* From the article’s title, I thought that you would quit blogging. Happy 10th anniversary MWS! Be healthy and strong and enjoy blogging for many many years! Big hugs from Greece!
I did too and I was dreading clicking on the link in case I was right! So pleased to be wrong 🙂
Happy Blog Birthday! Thank you so much for your wisdom, insights and honesty over the years. I love the fact you’ve remained true to yourself and your readers. This is why we’re still here. Puff is easy to find. But real, not so much.
Have a lovely day and enjoy some well earned cake!
Paris B says
Thank you so much Tubbs! I appreciate all the kind words and support all through the years. For once, I’m glad you were proven wrong 😉
Paris B says
😀 Sorry Amalia, I’ll be around a while hehe… Thank you so much for your kind words and your kind support all the way from Greece! <3
Your are welcome, PB… And a big Thank you in return.
I still remember when you announced a short hiatus, I was so scared you would just go silent, because I’m bad luck to some bloggers. The recent one being Tine’s blog… T_T But thank goodness I’m still reading MWS today. Woohoo… Congratulations !
Paris B says
Thank you Bugs 🙂 Yes I had a lot on my plate at the time, and blogging was one of the last things I wanted to do. But in a way, I was saved by my blog in the end, because the routine I put myself back on for the blog and the interaction with all of you has helped me stay a little more sane 🙂 Tine has told me she’ll come back to her blog – just needs a little time to get sorted 🙂
Evan Chang says
Here’s to you Paris! *Holds a glass of Whiskey*
Paris B says
Ah Evan, you know my poison! *clicks whiskey glass* 😉