Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let's Talk About That Thing We're Not Supposed To Talk About

not gonna lie. I miss my long hair sometimes

There comes a time in every blogger's life when inspiration is a little lacking. It has been for a while, and we should talk about it because I value the Messy Wands community feedback. Holiday collections have been well covered by now and since I've moved to New York, I was made aware (and feel horrified about) the sheer amount of products I actually own. Because of that, I've been purchasing significantly less than I did a year ago, so new material is not something I consistently have anymore. On the flip side, my personal conscience and finances have been way better because of my newfound sensibilities.

That said, new products are the unofficial backbone of a successful makeup review blog. There are only so many times you can talk about the same lipstick or eyeshadow without repeating yourself, like how I can barely talk about Le Métier de Beauté products anymore because I can link to a dozen posts that share my sentiments clearly. As for the new stuff, let's just say something has to really blow my socks off for $95.

I'm saying this because I am quite stuck, dear readers. I would love to still consistently put up new content, but I would like to hear what you'd like to read about if it's not about new product/reviews. Makeup inspiration posts? Specific makeup tutorials? Skincare reviews? I would appreciate it if you give me suggestions or let me know what you've truly enjoyed reading throughout your time at Messy Wands, and I'm sure inspiration will hit again.

Also, I don't say this often enough but thank you to all of you for reading! I read every comment and love getting emails from readers. It floors me that you want and trust my opinion about beauty products and like the makeup looks that I messily cobble up. When I started the blog I steeled and prepared myself for hate because I know of so many of the nicest bloggers and friends who have been cyber-bullied for no reason whatsoever, but I am fortunate that I have not had to deal with this. Even people who disagree with me do so respectfully, and I have never felt more blessed that I am part of this community.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you'll continue to visit Messy Wands as I figure out the direction of this blog.

121 comments:

  1. Well, you're beautiful either way. But you rock the short hair, which is something not everyone can say! You seriously look like a model! (And maybe you are, I'm kind of new here :p)

    I think makeup tutorials would be fun and so would skincare reviews, for sure... xx

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    1. Thank you :) I love my short hair. I only get occasional pangs when I see old pictures! The short hair is here to stay for some time. (Alas, I am not a model!)

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  2. Hi!
    How about trying to answer beauty conundrums such as "what lipstick colours should we all own" or maybe doing some top 5s of various products? There are probably plenty of products in your stash we haven't seen yet :)
    A post I'd quite like to see from a beauty blogger is a comparison of different types of highlighter - powder, liquid, cream. I like comparison posts because they make me feel more informed before I make a purchase!

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    1. Hi Georgie,
      It's definitely true. Thanks for the feedback! Those posts are always on the back of my mind - I just don't want to write about it until I know what I write about is correct, if you know what I mean. I'm always researching, though!

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  3. I personally do not care about new makeup products. Not at all. But that is me. I like your makeup tutorials, your pictures, and would like to read more about other things like skin care, books, food...NYC, you know - lifestyle in general.
    Have a good day!
    Sandra

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Sandra! Those are great ideas.

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  4. I think the best beauty blogs are more like beauty journals, where each entry is a glimpse into where the writer is in regards to beauty at that moment, so that over time, there's this whole history on the blog. It's more about the overall journey and not individual product reviews, although I like those as well. I like knowing what you're interested in at the moment, what's not doing it for you, what you're experimenting with, and how you see beauty, as well as how that changes over time. And I love when you do tutorials of photos. That lets me see what kind of beauty you're drawn to. I hope all of that makes sense. : )

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    1. I LOVE the idea of a beauty journal - that was actually how Messy Wands started out. Stories integrated with products. I've been thinking of revisiting that, actually. It'll take more effort and brainpower, but the writing will be better!

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  5. I'm not interested in 95% of the products you feature on the blog! But I love reading your posts - your voice is unique, I appreciate your honesty and opinions on products or looks, and on a more subjective note I have similar eyeshape and colouring to you, and how you transform your face etc can be quite inspiring when I'm in a rut. Basically, super kudos to everything so far. Given that you have so many products, perhaps you can do 'best of' posts, or present new or different ways to wear them. Inspiration posts, tutorials and skincare reviews are also handy. Good luck, I hope you are inspired again soon :)

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    1. Haha! Thank you for the kindest words! I'm happy to hear that my makeup looks help you and yes, all the comments have helped tremendously!

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  6. I agree with what someone said above - I love reading top 5s or 10 lipsticks, eyeshadows, brow products. I love reading about what your favorite products are and why.

    I also love seeing looks you re-create! You always inspire me to try different looks.

    Keep it up! I'm finding myself in the same pickle - I can't keep buying things at the rate I'm going because I'll never be able to make the blog sustainable. It's all about trying to think of new ways to do things. I appreciate that you've been honest to your readers about it! ;)

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    1. It's just not viable for us small bloggers!

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  7. I read several other beauty and makeup blogs, and some of the posts I most enjoyed from a particular blog weren't about products at all--they were thoughtfully written essays about personal and cultural reactions to aging (certainly addressing trends in the beauty world over time), and one that was almost a personal memoir about her experience throughout life with makeup, and by extension, how she viewed herself and how she wanted to present herself to the world.

    Essay posts like that are definitely harder to write than straight copy about a product, but I think they really make a beauty blog stand out from the rest. If you are to occasionally write about topics that let readers connect to you as a person, while still saying something universal, then I think you will have a uniquely interesting and special blog. For example, one might write a post recollecting beauty habits of their mother, grandmothers, and aunts, and then turn those specific stories into larger themes about beauty across generations and cultures. Makeup goes way beyond the products we buy (or just want to ooh and aah over), and there's so much to be said about its role in our lives, from girlhood to old age.

    On another note, I commend your decision--I too struggle with a little self-hatred sometimes when I see how much makeup I have. Alas, a makeup-buying embargo has never worked for me! Whatever you decide to post, please keep doing so regularly--it will keep me coming back regularly!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, Lauren. It reminded me of how I used to write in the early days of Messy Wands. There was a lot more heart then (I also had more time) and the stories made the reviews more than "pretty lipstick!" (though there's nothing wrong with that). Thank you for reading :)

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  8. I love when you re-create editorial looks and put your own personal signature on it! To me, it celebrates beauty products and not necessarily about buying all the new stuff.

    Best of luck on whatever you decide. I really enjoy your blog.

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    1. Thanks, Bellyhead! I like doing those too. I realize that reviews are my least favorite posts to do, so I may scale back on those and concentrate on doing looks.

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  9. Just be yourself! You have a loyal fan base who will continue to read even when your inspiration may be lacking! Take some time off to rejuivenate, and we will be here waiting for you when you're ready to start up again.

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  10. Hi!
    First off all, everyone who goes short with their hair misses their long(er) hair at some point. I went back to a short pixie a couple of weeks ago after having a long bobline and last week I was like, whyyyy did I go short again? (well because it looks cute, duh). Ah well, its just hair, if you want to let it grow again, all it takes is time and patience :D

    I only recently discovered your blog and I love it! Im can not really tell you or give you tips on what to blog about as Im still reading your own articles :D I follow you with bloglovin, so whenever you have a post up, I'm coming over to your blog anyway, wether its once a week or once a month, no problem.

    Thank you!!

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    1. Thanks Sandra! I only miss my long hair when I look at old pictures, but I definitely know that it'll grow back again. I'm definitely very much enjoying my shorter cut anyway :)

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  11. Hi!

    Judging from your Elle Vietnam tutorial from a few days ago, I think you have a knack for tutorials! Especially since you have so many products already, I'm sure you could whip up a lot of different things. I'm on a personal hiatus from buying makeup, and even though I don't have to worry about blog content, I think it makes me more creative. That way, I'm not just interested wearing my 10,000th but NEW! berry-red lipstick (which is admittedly always beautiful in my fantasies) with some tasteful eye makeup.

    I'm also aaalwaysss interested in skincare reviews... If you want to keep reviewing new things, or even talking about things that have worked in the past. Speaking of the past, why not talk about some products that you find resurfacing as favorites, or that you're giving a second chance? I think those posts are a lot of fun, even if the products aren't always available to buy... More inspiration and less temptation for the rest of us! :)

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    1. Great idea, Dolly! I barely talk about skincare because it's harder to review and it's *so* subjective, but I think it's because I have to go super in-depth when I talk about it, whereas something like yesterday's post was actually easy and super fun to do.

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  12. I applaud you for taking the conversation above ground! I won't miss all of the new product posts. How many times can you read about the same product on 5 blogs? Additionally, I feel like my stash is out of control and I need to put an end to frivolous buys of the "new, shiny, pretty! next!" sort.

    Like others here, I would be really interested to see makeup inspiration posts. Trying to create a look from what's already in your stash. Also, how to use the same colors in a new way - Kate the Driveller does this and I always find it compelling. Skincare is always a winner with me and I think that hearing about what is working for you / not working for you seasonally or monthly would be very interesting. Skincare techniques are also appealing (massage, home facials, etc.).

    Whatever you decide to post, I'll read, as I really like your point of view. Thanks for being part of my cyber-life!

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    1. Ugh Kate is AMAZING at that. Definitely an inspiration!

      Thank you for being a longtime reader, NeenaJ!

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  13. Hello!

    I'm another new follower! I really enjoy your blog and it's so refreshing to see a blogger going to their followers to directly for inspiration.
    Though I haven't been through all the things you've posted over the years yet I'd like to chip in and say I'd love some posts on skincare. I love the "Skincare of the Moment" article you posted yesterday, I wouldn't mind seeing more post like that every couple months or so. I think a lot of beauty blogs skip over skincare even though, by my definition, skincare should be included in anything beauty related.

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    1. First and foremost, thank you for visiting Messy Wands and I hope you enjoy your stay :)

      I think skincare is THE MOST important aspect of beauty! I'll definitely try to write more about it, even though they're usually harder to talk about.

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  14. I absolutely love your blog and getting into a rut is nothing to be asahmed of. I would love to see makeup tutorials. I know it's kind of hard to do tutorials through pictures, but I absolutely love your makeup looks.

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    1. Thank you :) I actually love doing looks. Tutorials take more effort, but when I finally finish it I feel very very good. I just have to psyche myself up to redo my old tutorials (the brow one needs a serious revamping)

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  15. FOTDs would be great! I also love the way you copy magazine looks.

    by the way, I know someone who knows you back in KL. =p

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  16. I love the step by step tutorials. They're very clear and make more complicated looks seem easier to achieve. It makes me less afraid to experiment. Also, like many of the others, I really enjoy the posts wherein you experiment with different looks. It doesn't really matter to me if the products are new or old, it gives me inspiration for different things to try!

    Also, as I know you're a fellow LMdB fan, I have a question. Have you tried their couches de colour technique by mixing and matching colors from different kaleidoscopes? I have enough kaleidoscopes now that I feel I could get a lot more out of them if I did this, but I haven't hustled up the time to sit and play.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback!

      I haven't, but I know it's definitely possible. Just today I did Jojo, Rose Champagne, and Corinthian (from the permanent collection) and it was this beautiful shimmering nude eye :)

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  17. Your blog was one of the first I ever followed, you're so beautiful, short or long hair! I think some lifestyle content would really bring some personality into you blog, I would love to see some "day in the life" post or something of that sort!

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    1. Thank you, Rachael Michelle! If I had a different lens I would do outfit posts too, but alas :P I'll definitely think about something, though my life is not super interesting!

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  18. I think you can add fashion to your blog. Or monthly/currently favorites like youtube guru do.

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  19. i just found this blog few days ago (yep i was looking for chanel notorious pictures and it seemed to me that almost everybody link your blog as a reason why they bought this chanel. so i came here and now i will also have to buy it but i am afraid that it is to late... so in a way i hate you right now!) and i have to say that i just love your blog from a very first moment. for me you can write about anything i dont care (maybe it is better that you wont write about new stuff and new collections because that i dont need to go and buy it).

    i also just love how you make pictures of your makeup so any more makeup tutorials are welcome. the same goes for reviews about skin care or some kind of best red lipsticks or best anything... or it doesnt matter i will probably read your blog anyway. just please continue writing.

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    1. I'm particularly proud about Notorious, actually :) I needed everyone to go out and buy it hahaha!

      Thank you for the kind words and feedback! You have no idea how much they mean to me.

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  20. I read all posts, though comment rarely here. I love your makeup looks, most of all with lipsticks/glosses and eyeshadows. I'd like to read more about you skin/body/hair care as well :)

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  21. I love the "Inspired by Runway" posts you do, Wandz! I totally agree with commenter "jess" up there. New ways to use a product is always interesting. Themed posts, like Bloomz was really good at this. She posts on a specific colour theme. You don't have to do the exact same, but just to inspire you. :)

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  22. I really like your blog and only discovered it very recently. Whilst its interesting to read about all these new products, I dont often buy the newest 'must have' item because I find there is always another 'must have' just around the corner. Its just exhausting and we're not made of money!
    I would be interested in more tutorials and FOTDs using the make up you already have - theres lots of fashion blogs these days that concentrate on the 'capsule wardrobe' idea and being creative what what you've got. I'd be interested in reading more posts about looks - concentrating on colours and looks rather than reading about certain make up brands.
    Also, I love the sartorialist website and other street fashion blogs - are there similar blogs for street photography/ make up looks? Best wishes, J

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    1. Oooh interesting. Concentrating on colors and looks is a good idea. Some of the brands I use are so hard to procure for most people that I feel bad sometimes, and this is definitely a way to remedy it!

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  23. As many others have said, you have a unique and interesting voice, so whatever you write we'll enjoy! Several fabulous bloggers have struggled openly with this question about the "need to buy" new products in order to create interesting posts--and the makeup ennui (and financial hole) they can end up grappling with as a result. I encourage you--and them--to know that we love reading your blog posts whatever the topic. You've gotten lots of suggestions from others so I won't repeat similar suggestions, except to say that if you like fashion, you could do clothes/what I wore posts, too. Don't limit yourself to makeup if you don't want to. Just don't stop writing (unless you're not enjoying it)!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Sam!

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  24. I've been a long time reader of yours and other beauty blogs. I am actually becoming tired of all the new releases and skeptical of bloggers that adore every new product they review. I love those 'empties' posts because you get to see what the blogger really ended up liking. I, too am aware of my excessive amount of cosmetics and would like inspiration to keep it well edited and the best fit for me. Please keep on with LOTDs. Your artistry inspires me to be creative with what I already have (and creates a few lemmings too). And your beautiful photos remind us that this can be an art form and not total frivolity.

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    1. Yes, I love Reductionista for this! I've also contemplated doing empties post but I tend to just throw them out (at most I tweet/instagram it ha). Thank you for the encouragement and kind words :)

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  25. I would love to see inspiration posts. It is fun to see how you put different products together to make unique looks. That is one of the reasons I like you and Kate at drivel about frivol so much. I can then go into my enormous stash of makeup and try to duplicate the looks without having to buy new product. If other readers are like me we all have way too much stuff and most of it never gets used.

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    1. Roger that! (and yes I love Kate too!)

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  26. You are one of my favorite bloggers of all time and I get SO excited every time I see that you have updated your blog. While I do love reviews, I really don't mind if they are very infrequent. The only thing I care about is that you keep posting!! I love your writing :) I really like when you do different looks. And I remember a looooong time ago you did this one look and you had an outfit that went with it, it was super pretty. That would be cool. You could even experiment with your hair, you have a cool hair cut and could style it in different ways (faux hawk!!!) along with a makeup look. Or even swatches! I don't know why but I love a good swatch. Even if you don't buy something, if it catches your eye maybe swatch it for the blog (instead of buying it). I dont know... I just tried to think of some stuff that would be fun because I would be sad if I lost you in blogland somewhere, you are my fave!!!

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  27. I found your blog a couple of months ago and have been hooked. You write so well! Your content and style are smart, witty and thorougly researched. Anything you blog about shall be read by me, and it does not have to be just makeup!

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  28. Hi XIao,

    This is probably one of the few times I am commenting on your blog. But I wanted to tell you that what you do, makes a lot of people like me around the world love ourselves a lil more everytime we try and copy your look and see a new 'us'. I hope that made sense.

    I am an Indian, and have non existent cheekbones, and everytime I look at your pictures, I get inspired, cheeks, lips, eyes, everything ! I then dig up my stash and play. How many people can make you do that ? I read a lot of blogs, but few stand out, you ARE one of them !

    I love what each blogger has to offer today, their opinion, perspective and loves. That said, I love how you sound mature/grownup yet a very grounded fun person ! I am sure that the 'rut' you feel you are in - will pass just as the saying goes - 'this too shall pass'.

    I love how you pose, and how you do looks, editorial looks, and weirdly, I love sometimes(weirdly) that you do it so successfully without video to talk, but a writing medium, which is remarkable !

    Maybe, if you have the time and want to try something new, you could try video ? I think you would be perfect after someone like Lisa Eldridge(I love her videos) to talk about beauty/skincare. Your preferences in skincare, looks for college, work, party or just a look you got inspired by !

    Lastly, sending loads of hugs !

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  29. I know exactly how you feel! I actually started a blog to share my journey of trying to get my makeup obsession under control. I love seeing favorites post, and knowing which products you truly love and would repurchase. I also love your tutorials!

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  30. Such a good topic and I don't think it's that taboo...also, your blog is quite inspirational so don't worry about being boring...

    I sometimes feel guilty about posting the fact I buy expensive beauty products, as it might be enabling. On the other hand I think my beauty-a-holicism can help when I can combine it with my critical view upon it, and help people taking a decision of buying/non buying. Sometimes I can find my view so different from other bloggers. EG, I tried Le Metier de Beaute lipstick in Dubai and I was *pun intended* surprised by the dryness of the lipstick! I know Dubai is in the middle of the desert, but why did the lipstick matched up to that? (still loving their powder & cream blush, btw, and seeing you so enthousiastic about the Lipgloss might make me order that one soon)

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  31. I'm with you on this, other half... As for me, I would like to see more Editorial looks! You have such a striking face and I love seeing your makeup looks. :)

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  32. First off, let me say that about a week or two I did what you did : chopped off all my hair! I didn't go as short as you, but I didn't sleep for days before my appointment because I was so nervous. So go us for having the courage!!

    Second, I really love product swatches but one thing I like is that you do different products than a lot of the other blogs I visit. So variety counts just as much as new content. Now if you can't do new products all the time, and unless you're getting free samples I really can't blame you, I enjoy seeing eye and face looks. I think you're really pretty, you take well lit pictures and I love pictures of seeing what you're wearing. You should do some more holiday looks, especially with Xmas and New Years coming up.

    Thanks for the awesome site. I love reading it. :)

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  33. While product reviews are fun ( frankly part of the joy is your choice of brands which are not readily available here among the corn, and bean fields ) what I enjoy most about your blog ( your's is at the top of my list ) are your photos, and writing. Be it a tutorial, review or non makeup items, or a bit of lifestyle I would enjoy all and more. Find your inspiration where ever it might strike, and don't feel the need for it to be new makeup. It has only been in this last year that I have fallen hardcore into the beauty world, and as you know it's not inexpensive if what you are falling for are high end products. I personally want to focus more in enjoying what I have rather than the acquisition of more. That is my long winded way of saying you have a reader/viewer of your blog no matter what. O.k. I'll stop now!

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  34. We are going to love your content no matter what it is. It's your voice we love and one of the best things, in my opinion, about your blog is the beautiful looks and tutorials you post.

    I have struggled with the same issues over having the latest products to post. I'm hours away from counters so counter swatching has never been an option. I was feeling terrible guilt over not being able to provide my readers any reviews about most of the holiday collections. Dior, Guerlain, Chanel, nada. I'm just not in a financial position to be buying all that stuff right now and, like you, I am feeling happy with my collection and no need to expand.

    I think just sharing with us your feelings/thoughts on beauty as you have been is great content. Showing us what you have been loving, reaching for, finishing, etc. is always interesting.

    Like a previous commenter mentioned it can be easier for us to just do a product review rather than a thoughtful article. I struggle with the desire to post tutorials, tips, thoughts, because I have this odd issue with the fact that chances are, even if I did come up with the idea on my own, guaranteed someone else has thought of it or posted it first. I have this fear of people thinking I'm stealing material or being unoriginal. I know it's silly to expect bloggers to have completely unique, original tips and tutorials to share and we are still offering the opportunity to bring awareness to a tip or technique that is new to several readers but I can't seem to get over that weird fear.

    I still remember the day you started your blog and my exhilaration over being first to add you to my blog roll and comment. Don't stress about the new products. It is you that has made your blog successful, not the products. We aren't going anywhere. ;-) (((hugs)))

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  35. First of all, I adore your blog. Countless times when I've found myself stuck in a makeup rut you've pulled me out of it and inspired me to try some new things. While your new product reviews and swatches are excellent (really, some of the best I read), I also love the makeup looks you post. Your editorial and inspired by posts are always stunning and challenge me to mix up my own makeup routine. Whether you spend a fortune on new products or not, you've got a loyal reader right here. :)

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  36. Hi,

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now. And I really enjoy it. I once commented that I thought you did too many posts on Metier products that it seemed like you were being paid by them. But since then I have noticed that you have broadened your product posts and covered many different brands. I will agree with many above that say you do have a unique voice and look ( I love your short hair!) And I think that we all own too much make up! So, I will reiterate many posts saying you should do more tutorials. I love Lisa Eldridge's video's not because she constantly shows new products, but shows how they are worn. Have you ever considered a video tutorial. What about using models? Do you think you could apply make up on a model as well as you do on yourself. You should try. Tutorials are great, because you really can see how a product works. Even in photography doing a Step by step explanations on how you are achieving a look would be great. I really do enjoy your blog and hope you continue to do new things!

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  37. You are definitely one of my favorite beauty bloggers, and I love hearing your ideas about certain products. I am a makeup addict, however, I am also a skincare addict. I would love to see you incorporate more skincare reviews as well! Seeing that your skin is so flawless, I have always wanted to know what products you have been using at the moment and also what products you can always turn to if your skin decides to act wonky. I think tutorials would be wonderful as well! I am always on the look out for some new inspiration for an eye look, or a lip look I thought I could never pull off. If you want to throw something political or even just share some news that really made you angry or touched your heart, that's fair game too! It's your blog, and I think your loyal readers will continue to read whatever you post, I know I will. Thank you for being amazing!

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  38. You are definitely one of my favorite beauty bloggers, and I love hearing your ideas about certain products. I am a makeup addict, however, I am also a skincare addict. I would love to see you incorporate more skincare reviews as well! Seeing that your skin is so flawless, I have always wanted to know what products you have been using at the moment and also what products you can always turn to if your skin decides to act wonky. I think tutorials would be wonderful as well! I am always on the look out for some new inspiration for an eye look, or a lip look I thought I could never pull off. If you want to throw something political or even just share some news that really made you angry or touched your heart, that's fair game too! It's your blog, and I think your loyal readers will continue to read whatever you post, I know I will. Thank you for being amazing!

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  39. I really like your blog. I agree articles your top products in different categories would be really interesting. I'd love to know what your top 5 lip balms are, or your top 10 liners, etc. Comparisons would be equally interesting. How to achieve different looks with different kinds of liner, or how the diverse lipsticks from a brand compare to each other (these things are helpful for the many of us who have no access to counters and can only buy online). Also, make up tutorials seem to be very popular, and I can figure why. I'd personally love to see how to cover dark circles, how to apply foundation, how to wear different eyeliners with different eyeshadows, all kinds of tutorials would be great. Even if you don't have the time to prepare the entire tutorial, just posting the makeup look, like your recent copper and blue post, which was really cool!

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  40. Xiao, i honestly mean it when i say that i will hang off of every word you write forever. No matter what it's about. Your "voice" is so unique and refreshing and genuine that i love reading anything you write. I check messy wands religiously...you seem so much more "real" than a lot of bloggers, who seem to put a lot of time and effort into constructing a veneer of perfection. You dont need a veneer because you are so perfect and enjoyable already. The little glimpses of your personality that we readers get are always independently lovely. Thank you for all the time and effort and awesome you put into maintaining messy wands.
    Now that im off my emotional little canadian soapbox...
    Re: this rut. I love pictures of your face- looks, tutorials, etc. Im also a huge fan of your skincare reviews, as you seem really realistic about results from a product. This is also completely selfish (flaky nose twins?!) as i am on the hunt for similar characteristics in products as you are, it seems. On the topic of beauty product overload, id like to see you put your extensive "archive" to use to come up with a bit of a capsule collection. Your one all-time favourite product from a variety of categories. Id also like to echo another readers desire to get more of a lifestyle aspect from your blog. While i get that may not be a direction you want to go, a lot of us would love to know more about your personal life and new york adventures. I also genuinely enjoy your nail polish posts, even though they are token filler material.
    On another note, im jealous that you are so much closer to my favourite ice cream establishment than i am. If you are ever curious, check out Grom!

    Thanks again!

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  41. I had short hair for awhile due to an unfortunate haircutting accident (it shouldn't come as a surprise that I never went back to that hairstylist again), and it rocked my self esteem a lot more than I expected it would. That being said, it taught me a lot of things about "beauty" and what it means to be comfortable in your own skin, so I don't necessarily regret the experience. Two years later I had long hair back. Nothing is forever (at least not when it comes to hair), and believe me, you rock short hair WAY better than I ever did! You could always play around with exciting wigs if you really wanted to change up your look!

    As for beauty product overload... I go through periods of time where I feel guilty about how much I own and I back off of buying. I wish I could say that I was better at not loading up on makeup as often as I do, since I really don't need it and when you get to the bottom of it, it's an unnecessary expense for a student like me. Blogging doesn't have to be about sharing the latest and greatest; you can share with us how you are using products differently from when you first discovered them, do a round-up of things you keep reaching for despite them not being your newest acquisitions, and I know I'm not alone when I say I'd love to see some tutorials and looks you put together with things already in your amazing stash!

    Good luck with everything, I have faith that your blog will continue to be amazing no matter which direction you choose to take it in.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I haven't been reading your blog for long, but I was drawn in by your approachability. You talk about your beauty challenges and working around flaws, and how to wear colors that you might not normally gravitate to. I love makeup but my real obsession is skincare. I'd love to see more of that. I think your style could deliver some truly helpful reviews and recommendations. I also loved your copper/blue tutorial, that's a great example of wearing unusual combinations to create a stunning look.

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  43. I stumbled onto your blog when looking for a review of a beauty product, and was hooked! I am also Asian and particularly appreciate the photos and the how-to's. I do not have a lot of beauty products and don't use a lot of makeup, but appreciate the advice. I really like the fact that you show both how to do makeup with a light touch and with a more dramatic look. I'd love to follow a how-to tutorial on doing makeup for a professional/office look.

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  44. Ooh, and you know what I always wonder? How those products first purchased months or years ago are standing the test of time. Are they trendy or classics, has the consistency changed, does the product clump or flake in a way it didn't when you first purchased it. Do you still love it, or have you changed your mind? As you say, when you're spending a good amount of money on a product, you want to know what you can expect over the long haul as far as quality and wearability.

    ReplyDelete
  45. One of my favorite types of blog posts is actually "I'm in a rut, and here's what I'm wearing all the time." Because a "rut" is by default usually something quite nice and wearable.

    I would also love for you to talk about your criteria for evaluating these new products that you aren't buying. What are your gold standard products/shades/textures?

    ReplyDelete
  46. You're beautiful AND most of all your makeups are just gorgeous. Your tutos are very good too and I love the products you wear and revieuw.
    I am a huge fan of makeup artists, honestly speaking you should work as a makeup artist.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Btw, I really enjoy reading your blog. I like your smile, your taste, etc....Although I am thinking I should buy less makeup, I still open up your blog every day.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear Xiao, I'm just going to echo things that have already been brilliantly put but it's YOUR VOICE I come for, first and foremost. And then running it a close second, DAT FACE (whatever hair or makeup it's sporting).
    I'm not v. interested in reading about new products and good on you for not posting filler and retreading the same tired old ground of PR releases and magazine-style spiel; I'm much more interested in how people/you wear makeup, whether old or new, fashionable or un.

    ReplyDelete
  49. So many comments! Several people have already said this but I'll echo the thought- new stuff isn't too terribly important to me. One of the things I really love about your blog is that you inspire me to dig around in my stash and experiment more often. This is why I really love your editorial, inspirational, and tutorial posts. I knew that my glasses allowed me to get away with a lot of eye makeup, but I must say that your Keira Knightley post threw me over the top. I dug around in my stash to copy the look and I was shocked to discover that I still felt comfortable leaving the house. Maybe it's partly due to the holiday season giving me permission to wear a little more glitz or something, but in the last couple weeks I've really renewed my love for all my various palettes and such. I've even noticed enough similarities between things I already have and newer releases that I've been able to cross a few things off my wish list. New stuff is nice, but appreciating and using the things I've already got is better in my opinion. Then my bank account won't choke when I do decide to splurge on something. :D
    I don't think I have the fortitude to blog myself, so I appreciate everyone who does all the more for it. And ultimately this is your blog so I figure you should write about what really compels you, whether that be an editorial look, a new product, an old product, skincare- whathaveyou! That's what makes a blog unique, and what keeps me coming back.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am also really compelled by the anonymous comment above about how products are over time. Do they really live up to expectations after the newness has worn off, or do some of them change in texture, consistency, wear time? Is a mascara formula just as nice after it's been used for a while and had the chance to dry out a bit? These are some of the things I always wonder about when I'm thinking about buying something new. After the initial "that's so pretty I want it now!" thought wears off of course, hahaha. So if that's something that could interest you, I too would love to hear your take on how various products stand after the initial fervor.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I like your blog and I think you have a sufficient enough stash to do different posts that focus on color stories, distinct makeup looks. I would love to read more about your skincare routine, health style, and fashion style. Product blogging may be bread and butter but is not the most interesting part of a beauty blog. I generally like the individualized posts that may discuss something a little off the traditional beauty blog map. However, these take a longer time to write and require more skill in effectively pulling off. Just need to expand and think about what you can write it that you would feel comfortable discussing in a public forum.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tutorials for your LOTDs! Your looks are always so pretty. Honestly, I'd read anything you post. And I have never thought your blog inadequate, so I am not sure what to suggest for you. Hmm, perhaps a very nice twist to this blog would be you going drugstore? haha, like one whole month of only drugstore, and then document your feelings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear. I wouldn't be able to bear that /clutches makeups

      Delete
  53. Talk about your move to NYC, pets, travels, food, clothing, how and what your using on your hair. A little bio not to much info.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sometimes I'm interested in what you're wearing (clothes) because the clothes and the makeup look great together.

    You have some of the best photos because they are so clear and you are beautiful :)
    Maybe you can talk about your camera and lighting set up?

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  55. I love this blog! I'd be really interested in the products that you've been using for years that you don't think to mention anymore. Most bloggers talk about their new products and what they think of them, which I love too, but I'd love to know what has stood the test of time and what you have repurchased again and again..?

    Jo x amomentwithjo

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm a longtime lurker and first-time commenter. Love your blog and your great pics; this blog started me on the road to LMdB Lip Cremes and a variety of other spendy treats. Totally appreciate being horrified by the amount of products you/me/we have, but if you love makeup enough to blog and/or read about it, what are you going to do? That being said, NYC is a pricey place and slowing down on makeup/skincare expenditures is probably wise. Since you do have a large stash of great brands, what about featuring unsung heroes (as Karen does over at Makeup and Beauty Blog)? I'd love to know what your go-to products are for a 5-minute face or your party makeup or your favorite lipstick. The swatch photos you take are super-helpful. Please keep your beautiful blog going and thanks for all your hard work to make it so enjoyable!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Totally understandable about the money/amount of products! I often feel like this and have definitely slowed down my purchasing over the last month to 2 months. No point in going bankrupt for a beauty blog, huh? I'd LOVE to see more skincare stuff. I enjoy buying/playing with makeup, but skincare is what excites me most!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  58. In case you need any more "pepping up" - I love your blog! As many others have said, it's not just about the "new." Since you asked, I would love to see different looks with what you already own, your must-have favorites, HG products, NYC information etc... You have such a unique and interesting face and can wear so many different kinds of looks and colors and I think all of your readers just love seeing how you pull it all together.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm tired of buying a whole lot of stuff, too, but am likely to continue reading your blog and others like it just because it's interesting and fun to see how people are living their lives. My Women Stuff, Drivel about Frivol and Sweet Makeup Temptations are my other favorite blogs -- great writing, plenty of good photos, swatch comparisons and closeups, interesting and varied content that is not all beauty related, honest opinions, thoughtful kind feedback to comments, fairly regular posts.

    I am sure you will be able to come up with a ton of ideas from those listed above and from other blogs. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I check your blog every day for new content. You have a good face and you photograph like a dream. I really enjoy it when you do your own versions of editorials. Makeup inspiration posts are not a bad idea, either.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi! First of all, I LOVE your blog so I would keep reading regardless of new product reviews. What I do enjoy seeing is recreations of looks! I'm Asian as well, and it is interesting to see how you translate looks done on models to your own face. For that alone, I would keep reading Messy Wands. :) However, I would also appreciate how-to's in the eye makeup department as that's what I'm struggling with. But that's just me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. You can share your daily routine, share posts about foods, or events you found interesting around you. we love reading you anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi Xiao, whatever you put out there is interesting to read! Some ideas (if not already mentioned): how to create different looks with one palette, how to create several looks using the same color scheme (taupes -- who doesn't love taupe!), different highlighting/contouring techniques, subtle variation of lipstick (aka reds, pinks) and how to coordinate the eyes, your 5-minute makeup/skin care, your must-haves, etc. These can easily be done with existing makeup products and reader can easily recreate them using their own stash. This is where true blogger's talent is put to test. I'm really not into PR stuff as soooo many other places already covered those. I'm into what YOU do with the stuff that you have, what makes you unique!

    I also love reading about life in general, so like I said, whatever you put out there will be interesting. And every now and then swatches of new products (even those tested in store) can be helpful. Do they allow you to do that?

    My best wishes for your blogging endeavor,
    Claire

    ReplyDelete
  64. Have you thought about doing a blog sale of the cosmetic items that you really don't use and that are in pretty good condition for a discounted price of coarse? It could be a possible solution to make up for some of the money that goes into your purchases so you don't always have to break the bank to give us amazing reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have a blog sale that's ongoing! I haven't updated it in a while because I haven't photographed my next batch. Though that's not a viable long-term solution in terms of spending, because I'll always make a loss.

      Delete
  65. hi. love your blog. i'd love to see posts on how to do different looks eg skyfall severine's extreme smokey eyes. i am sure your readers would be more than happy to send you pics and suggestions on what looks they want to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SEVERINE'S EYES! That entire casino scene all I could do was look at her eyes because the gold is entirely swallowed when she doesn't blink. So mesmerizing. It's on the list!

      And yes, please definitely send me pictures and suggestions via email/twitter/facebook! They're always welcome :)

      Delete
  66. hope you could post makeup tutorials such as everyday makeup tutorial, kdrama inspired looks :) and some product recommendations

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi Xiao,
    Appreciate your post.

    Your blog is really nice to read especially the pictures taken looks professional. If I may give a suggestion, maybe you could post about tips on how to survive a very dry weather or something like that? Or tips on how to take care of our make up products that have not been used for a while?

    Xoxo
    Meryl @ Memoiselle

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love your blog!!! I enjoy reading your post and love your beautiful photos. You are one of my favourite beauty bloggers. Tutorials, makeup inspirations post... anything about makeup in the way you write is interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Definitely skincare reviews!!!! I would love to hear your selections :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. I hear you!! Where your blog stands out is its ability to create unique content without new products necessarily. What I love most is your makeup looks / re-creations - be it inspired by a theme or something on the runway. It doesn't necessarily have to be a tutorial, just a product break-down will do.

    ReplyDelete
  71. i think we all understand that at some point you are tired/ uninspired by make up. having wayyy too much stuff myself i just stand in front of the mirror sometimes and dont know where to start and usually think i should just go with the safe choices done like a million times before.
    Skincare is difficult to review(different skintypes, ages and weather conditions for global readers) but i would appreciate your thoughts on any product.
    i think if you did more make up looks based on featured/seasonal/holiday looks promoted by companies or make up trends using things that you have not buying whatever the label suggests i would really be interested.
    i always wanted to see chanel or dior looks on different people, i am always shocked that they have a blond with gorgeous blue eyes and perfect skin and claim you can look like that by buying this palette or this lipstick and so on.
    xoxo eve

    ReplyDelete
  72. I have to echo those that have said that they really enjoy your editorial recreations, I do love seeing your interpretations of looks. It's very interesting to read all the feedback to your post as I sense that it's not only bloggers feeling the urge to cut back on buying new items, many readers are also suffering with 'new release ennui'.

    I have cut back a lot on buying and like you, I have struggled with adjusting my blog to suit. I don't think it needs to spell the end of blogging though and you've had lots of great suggestions for subject matter. I agree with The Kindly One that it's nice to see a blog as a beauty journal and if you view it like that, rather than magazine-like content, it opens up so many possibilities for different posts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. I know I never comment, but I'm actually a huge fan of your blog and am spreading the word to other friends who are also interested in beauty. The thing is, there are a hundred other blogs to go to for new products and whatnot, but no other blog will ever come close to Messy Wands in my heart. Echoing above comments, your voice is like a big sister, candid, trustworthy, witty, down-to-earth. Just keep writing and I will never stop coming to this blog <3

    Oh, and your cheekbones. Those too.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I know I never comment, but I'm actually a huge fan of your blog and am spreading the word to other friends who are also interested in beauty. The thing is, there are a hundred other blogs to go to for new products and whatnot, but no other blog will ever come close to Messy Wands in my heart. Echoing above comments, your voice is like a big sister, candid, trustworthy, witty, down-to-earth. Just keep writing and I will never stop coming to this blog <3

    Oh, and your cheekbones. Those too.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Xiao,

    First off, thank you for maintaining a blog of the highest quality. It is a daily read for me. I know finding inspiration is not always easy, but I find your posts to be entertaining, informative and a pleasure to read.

    I personally would love to hear more about your favorite products, products you use on a daily basis (rather than featuring the latest colletions) and your make-up techniques. I like seeing the posts on your particular look of the day, or some of the more editorial looks you do.

    I respect whatever decision you make regarding keeping this blog going, but please know that it is more than just the content that makes me come to your blog. It is your personality that comes through with each post. Your posts are thoroughly entertaining, and I know that is a product of you and your personality, rather than the products that are featured.

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kate,
      Thank you for your comment! Reading everyone's feedback actually made me breathe a huge sigh of relief. Previously I was trying creating a more, shall we say, professional environment. I was making MW more of a resource and less of a personal blog, but it seems like everyone prefers the latter, which is what I am better at anyway!

      I LOVE ALL OF YOU <3

      Delete
  76. We share a mutual love of makeup and skin care. Chances are, whatever you choose to blog about, I'll still be coming back daily because you are a gifted writer. I just had eye surgery yesterday. Perhaps you can provide some suggestions for rockin the eye patch, or how to emphasize another part of my face until I can wear eye makeup again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get well soon! (but yes, after looking at your comment I gave this a serious ponder. If I find an eye patch/find a way to bind up one of my eyes, I'm going to do this tutorial.)

      Delete
    2. You are so kind to have considered this odd request! I will be wearing the patch next week when I go back to work. I'm wondering if I should still draw on my eyebrows like I normally do or perhaps I should stay away from anything near the eye area and focus solely on cheeks and lips. Then I wonder if I should do a bold lip or or just a nice neutral look. I'm thinking a bold lip in addition to an eye patch might scare my coworkers.......

      Delete
  77. I like when you recreate looks from the magazines or the runway like the copper and blue one you posted recently.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hello there,

    My 2 cents.

    Those who love beauty love it in all its forms. I love blog posts that are just a line of smashed up lipstick colors (the pigment! the shimmer!) or a long post about what it was like to try on the most recent Le Métier shadow. There's no rhyme or reason to what readers of Beauty want, I think generally speaking, we like everything and are a very difficult bunch to disappoint (difficult, i.e. impossible).

    That said, I understand the blogger's block. I think your writing is wonderful and your commentary on looks from the runway is terrific- I suggest you delve into creating spin-offs of runway looks or street looks that you've seen and felt some kind of rapport with. Also product reviews, lines that you don't get to hear about much (Paul & Joe gets a mere smattering of coverage on makeup sites and the foundations are superb-) Your photography of the products themselves and the swatching is wonderful and I bet you could get away with several no-text posts and just rely on a lovely puddle of bright red pigment to do your writing for you!

    Cheers and best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  79. ANything and everything you post would interest me. and to be honest, I can get tired of the new product reviews when new collections come out. It just makes me bummed that I can't have the latest Chanel palette OR wondering why everyone is so gaga over the latest Chanel palette. I am with the others on your artistry. we love your blog for your impeccable photos and LOTD, so more tutorials would be great! I love your nail posts, too- and comparisons, new color combos or layering of things you already have are appreciated. For such an educated beauty consumer, we could learn a lot from your expertise even if you went on a year long No Buy- the PURGE, for example, could make a great post. What did you get rid of and what could you never part with and whY? how about top ten or top five favorite of a certain category- creamy red lippies, neutral eyeshadows, skincare faves for example. Or posts sharing what you Hit Pan on and would repurchase, posts on the most useful and reached for items in your stash. Combining colors and layering to create new products out of what we already own would be great! and also, please some tutorials on your gorgeous eye looks specifically tips for Asian eyes. You have such gorgeous eyes and coloring, you inspire those of us who are eyeshadow novices or color shy. Inspiration will strike and we will be reading when it does. Keep up the great work and congrats on all the positive change in your life!

    ReplyDelete
  80. PS I adored the So You Want to Look Like Keira Knightly post- more like that one, showing us how to re-create an iconic look from mags or beauty ads or beauty icons would be so great! thanks thanks thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hello,

    I'm fairly new to reading your blog, but I wanted to tell you that I'll read anything you write about. It doesn't have to be about new products. I love seeing your monolid looks and I envy your cheekbones (I'm Chinese with no cheekbones, lol). Plus, you are really good at pulling off the bold lipstick colors (I prefer to stick to the neutrals bc I'm a sahm). I'd like to think that I'm living vicariously through you when I read your blog (I'm a New Yorker currently living in a boring Brooklyn neighborhood). So, even if you have no inspiration, you can see from all the replies that you have many followers regardless.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I love when you do an inspired look, they always end up beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  83. I love your blog and have been reading from the first post! (Chanel Joues Contraste Rouge, love it!) I think what struck me about that one was how you already had a strong voice and it seemed like you had been blogging for a while (I think I commented as much on that post.)

    One of the things I like is the looks you do and how you adapt them to your face. I've seen others do it, but more often than not, they just end up being "inspired by" in the end. Yours actually looks like an adaptation to your face, I'm not sure if I'm making the difference clear. Your photos are great too.

    Since your collection is so large (from what I've seen), I think it's okay to go back and show older items, especially if they're permanent. Or you could even do a series of "treasures", past limited edition items you have - PJ from atouchofblusher does this and she calls it "From My Treasure Chest".

    My collection is nowhere near the size of yours and I think if I blogged, I could get a lot out of it for the next year! Collection comparison posts would be nice to see, like The Driveller Kate does, but I will admit that she is amazing at those and it will be hard to top her at that. I remember you did something similar with red lipsticks, which was nice to see.

    Another person mentioned something about journals and talking about beauty through cultures and generations. I really love this idea and realize that's why I read a few blogs by older bloggers, because I like to see their insight on the new trends (some of which are old to them!) and their commentary on how things have changed.

    Also, I noticed that I read a lot of Asian bloggers too. I love seeing the differences in the beauty culture between east and west (of course this also make my heart bleed, since there are so many wonderful Asian brands we don't get in England, it's a surprisingly short list, living in London helps).

    In fact, thinking through it now for this novel of a comment, I realize that it's not your reviews that necessarily keep me coming back, but some of these other things that you don't see so much of in other beauty blogs. Maybe I'm getting tired of straight reveiws, I don't know, but I don know I get more excited reading a post when there's a bit of a story, some sort of beauty commentary.

    I hope you carry on, your blog is among my favourites to read and one of the ones that have priority when I don't have time to read.

    Leila

    ReplyDelete
  84. A lurker comes out of the shadows to comment :)

    I'm a great fan of Messy Wands and your writing style, the products you feature, and how you feature them. I always like to "save the best for last," and that's what I do for Messy Wands posts on Bloglovin whenever I see it's been updated! That's how much I enjoy reading you! I admire how you manage to keep your posts short, concise, and so engaging all at the same time.

    And you've educated me so much about makeup! It was your pictures that drew me into your blog. There aren't many Asian bloggers who photograph themselves who have eyes similar mine—I too have the creased lid on one eye (although mine comes and goes depending on the sum total of sleep I've had the previous night), and monolidded on the other, and slightly droopy upper lids. Eye makeup has always been frustrating (I still can't get eyeliner to show up). But can I say what a revelation Le Metier's Champagne pencil was to me for awhile?! It was great to see your pictures and see that it was possible to achieve a variety of fun but subtle, classy looks with my kind of eyes. Every makeup artist I've ever encountered tries to create that "crease" on my lids, and I only end up looking like a battered raccoon.

    I vote for continuing with tutorials, much like the ones on contouring, highlighting, and faking a higher nose! These things are frequently discussed, but they can be confusing without diagrams. The lines marking your face were really supremely helpful, and it's the little visual details like those that make your blog stand out from the rest, and makes it a really informative resource.

    I love makeup reviews, but they don't always have to be new products, and I don't think you should have to feature "new" things constantly just for the sake of reviewing them. I'd love to see reviews on products that you perhaps already own and love (and maybe many other people already do too), but haven't written about yet. Things that are readily available at counters all year round. Even products like Nars Orgasm, if you have it (reviewed to death, I'm sure, but I know I'd still be interested in seeing your take on the product if you wanted to share). I think there are people who Google it wondering what the fuss is about, and a quality source like you would be a great help.

    Aside from makeup, I always love seeing what skincare products people are using. They don't have to be in depth reviews so much as cursory reports on what you're currently using and loving, what's working for you, and how. It can be haircare, body care, anything beauty related. I love the idea of writing about beauty across cultures and generations—scratching the surface. But only if you want to share it.

    Basically what I want to say is—I think you're doing a lot of things right. In the end, write what you want to write. Don't let any feedback influence you into writing anything that you feel isn't you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed comment! You have no idea how much us bloggers appreciate this :) I am absolutely honored that you enjoy reading Messy Wands!

      I feel like you guys already know me so well because everyone's feedback was AMAZING and basically everything I've been wanting to do but have forgotten about. Thank you!

      Delete
  85. I love your blog and look forward to what you are wearing... please continue to swatch and show the colors even if you don't buy them. NYC is the best for seeing all of the new colors and collections.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I really like when you create a look and list what you used. Those are my favorite posts!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Xiao! I'm telling you! We are two peas in a pod right now :) I ventured into a new-to-me brand and after those posts are done, I have nothing left. I'm not buying anything new until January (at the earliest). I'm thinking of doing themed weeks. Like a variety of smoky eye looks or skin care step-by-step. A year ago I also jumped from blog to blog and picked a few looks to recreate it. I of course am inspired by runway or magazine looks, but I also love to feature inspiration from bloggers. That was one of my most fun series and I hope to repeat it in a few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
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