Short answer: at a new job.
Long answer: I have been not only working at a new job with incredibly long hours, sometimes weekends, sometimes out of state travel, and with an ongoing increase of responsibility and recognition, we ran into some dire financial circumstances that put a halt to my enthusiasm for buying new things. Also, 95% of the time I was working from home so it was easy to be lazy about my skincare routine. Makeup? Pfft.
However, the biggest factor was shortly after I received my last haul package, I hit a sort of breaking point with blogging.
The proverbial straw happened when I had (per usual) painstakingly researched a new, un-blogged-about, trendy Korean skincare product, and carefully worked it into my skincare routine as an isolated new factor so I could properly report back on its effects, and then used it for a solid month so I could honestly review it.
Then someone else reviewed it first.
Now, before I sound like a petulant brat, let me explain: I idolized this blogger, and followed her. I remembered her post about getting it, and it was well after I had gotten mine- how had she tested it so fast? Then it hit me; she wasn't bothering to test products thoroughly before posting a review.
This is the biggest issue I have with skincare blogging; fine, you can test a foundation or lipstick a few times and comment on it, but for skincare? You need TIME. You need ISOLATION. You can't test a bunch of new stuff at once, because you can't pinpoint what the effects of a single product were if you're using a cocktail of unknowns.
I feel like a lot of the bigger bloggers have gotten caught up with churning out posts to maintain web traffic, and their reviews start sounding more like press releases than honest, I-put-this-on-my-face-for-weeks, detailed reviews. Also, who can afford to be reviewing new products every week (or more) with $30+ price tags, if they're not getting sponsored?
It made me feel like it was pointless to hope for quality over quantity, and that unless most people were outsourcing their product testing, most reviews out there just aren't legit. Not even from bloggers I trusted and bought products they suggested.
That burned me out. I only have one face, and I don't believe in ruining my face trying to test as many things in as short a time as possible, and then vomiting out post after post so I don't lose traffic.
However, our finances have improved enough that I am about to place an order for a new haul's worth of products that I have been eyeing for the past year, and I feel ready to review some of the products I have been using. Woot!
I'd love to hear people's tips on how they balance budget vs trying new items, so let me know!
All the best,