UPDATED ON: July 4, 2015
In the spirit of transparency and honesty, two things I value very highly, I include relevant disclosures in each blog post. Common disclosures you will find include:
I use affiliate links to generate revenue to support this site’s upkeep. Affiliate links are links to third party retailers that give me a commission if you purchase a product using that link. The commission can be anywhere from 1% to 8%, depending on the retailer. The commission comes out of the retailer’s pocket and does not add any cost for the customer. However, I’m committed to finding you good deals from trustworthy vendors for products I review – even if that sometimes means sending you somewhere that is not an affiliate.
Affiliate links are the primary source of revenue for this blog, as I do not write (and have never written) any paid reviews, nor do I offer sponsored posts. I have also chosen not to run third-party ads on my blog at this time. I feel that ads negatively impact the load-time for readers, and I would rather have a site that loads quickly for people than make a few extra dollars in ad revenue.
At least 99% of the products I review on this site are things I’ve purchased with my own money. However, on occasion, a brand or PR company will send me a product to consider for review. The key word here is “consider.” Not every product sent to me will be included in my blog – in fact, most are not. I will determine whether or not a product is mentioned based on how I feel about it, and whether or not I think readers would truly benefit from knowing about it it.
Products I receive for free are subject to the same, strict evaluation process I use to review products I’ve purchased, and will not receive a glowing review just because they were sent to me for free. I am 100% committed to giving my readers honest reviews for everything I try, regardless of how it was acquired.
Additionally, I do not, under any circumstances, do paid reviews.
Since the inception of this blog, I’ve probably done a very small handful of sponsored posts. A sponsored post is a post that I have received compensation for. Sponsored posts are never reviews. These posts are informational and pertain to a specific topic, such as trends, interviews, or tips & tricks. I do not accept compensation for product reviews.
Additionally, any opinion I’ve expressed in a sponsored post is 100% honest – a sponsored post does not mean the post is less factual. It simply means that a specific brand has compensated me for the exposure they received by being featured on this blog.
All that said, I no longer do sponsored posts. The primary reason for this is that I only want to put my time and effort into content that provides the most value for people reading this blog. Sometimes I will work with brands to provide that content because I need a subject matter expert on a specific topic. But I prefer to select who the best expert for a topic is on my own terms, based on my personal assessment of that person’s or brand’s credentials, in order to ensure the content I’m providing is educational and valuable. I consider that expertise to be the currency I’m working for in those instances, rather than money. Knowledge from a credible source is far more valuable to me than cash.
There may sometimes be sponsored giveaways, wherein the compensation will be in the form of prizes for my readers. A sponsored giveaway is one in which a brand or company provides the actual prize while I provide the brand exposure. Sponsored giveaways are labeled as such anywhere they are publicized. When I do hold sponsored giveaways, I only do it for brands and products that I personally love. I will never do a giveaway for a product I have not used and enjoyed myself. I want you guys to have nice things!
Most giveaways I host on my blog are not sponsored, meaning I purchased the prize myself. Why? Because I like you and want to give you stuff.
I Bought This
I like consistency, and since I have a special disclosure for products received as press samples, I now also have a disclosure to let you know when I’ve purchased a product out of pocket.
I do not rely on my blog as a primary source of income, and my plan is to keep it that way. I blog because I enjoy it — I enjoy learning about new products, interesting brands, skincare innovations, and trends in the beauty industry. I love sharing that knowledge with others, and for me, this blog is a labor of passion. It also happens to be an expensive labor of passion, between site upkeep, money spent on products, and time spent on researching and writing posts. Any blog revenue I make goes right back into this site in some form, and I sincerely thank all of you for your support. Without it, S&T wouldn’t be what it is today!
If you have any questions about my disclosure policy, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to respond to all of my email within 48 hours!