Thursday, January 21, 2010

The End Of An Era

Posts like this are one of the reasons I started my own blog--I wanted to be able to express my opinions on certain issues even when I knew my position would be unpopular. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I'd love to hear opinions in the comments!

Out in beauty cyber-land, there is (what is now a very popular) a beauty-oriented message board that I joined over 10 years ago, long before it received any press or had even a fraction of the members and posters it has now. The site consisted of just one message board (whereas now it boasts 22) and grew to accommodate a product review section, swap area, and diary to track spending, among other things. Initially it was just a bunch of passionate, mature, cosmetic-obsessed women devoted to finding the newest, the latest and greatest, the next most amazing product--the holy grail. I was fresh out of high school when the site debuted and remember how much I absolutely loved reading the board, learning about all of the fabulous products, the best e-commerce sites to launch, fresh techniques and must-have products. The idea of getting to go back to my dorm and read "the board" gave me comfort and got me through many a midterm, final, and breakup. It became part of my downtime in college and then in law school and was a place to go to find answers to beauty questions or share recent purchases that my "real life" friends would never understand and didn't care about. The board just felt like home in a way, or a family. It was a group of "regulars" many of whom began to learn about each others lives in the course of discussing beauty. There was a friendship, a camaraderie that developed and I learned about so many products and brands I never would have discovered on my own.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, in the last few months the board has devolved, in my opinion, into a strange, juvenile world full of teenagers posting messages like "OMG u guyzzzz, if n e 1 ever sees me without makeup i m going 2 dieeeee!!!" (if I got any of the lingo wrong I apologize--I don't speak tween), asking about the perfect drugstore glitter to land a boy, where to purchase NYX, how to scam Sephora or learn if they're been swaplifted. The product review area once blossomed with descriptions of new brands and hard to find items and now it seems as if only the MAC and ELF sections grow. I sat down today and realized that not only had I not written a product review in months, but I hadn't even read the makeup board in weeks (I do like the fitness, food and fashion boards) and you know what, I hadn't missed reading it. Sure, I miss what it used to be, but I can do without what it's become.

I find it really sad, like a part of my past is no longer relevant. I read it and posted almost every day for over 10 years. Many if not most of the "old time" original members no longer post and some have even taken down their once-lauded reviews. That comforting, familiar feeling is gone and the board is like a completely different place. To be honest, I don't think the issue is so much that I've matured, but rather the posters, topics and focus have changed, and decidedly not for the better in my opinion. I've found some amazing blogs and some other beauty boards (like that I thoroughly enjoy reading, though this one will always remain special and in a weird way I know I'll miss it.


  1. Agreed...I miss the "old days" as well (I've been a member only since 2005), and I rarely post anymore. I very rarely read the boards- and when I do, I usually end rolling my eyes. I use it mainly for swapping/product reviews, and I treasure the friends I've made. I will say, I'm enjoying the fashion and pet boards, although I haven't been active in posting.

  2. I feel like I'm in the same boat. I've been a member since 2006 and I'm a bit ashamed to say that I've only posted one review in the past 9 months, and I used to be all about posting reviews. I always felt like I learned so much from the site in question that I needed to give back a little, but recently I haven't been giving or taking. I skim the boards every now and again, but I rarely find discussions that I care to join anymore; I feel like it's the same brands and products over and over again. It's weirdly comforting to learn that other people feel this way too.

  3. You're right. It has been over-run by tweens and teens who offer little that is constructive and a lot that is riddled with teen angst and drama. That's not to say that there aren't many teens who are thoughtful critics, but the site just seems to have been taken over by the vacuous ones. I've come to much prefer the blogs such as yours.

  4. I feel the same way too! When I discovered the board in late 98-99, I was a senior in high school. The board was my go-to resource as well. Now my resources are mainly a few ladies I correspond with regularly - off the boards.

    I thought it was just perhaps I had tried so many more brands and products in the past years. I no longer find magazines as interesting as I used to.

    But perhaps the culture has infact changed. I hate those posts like "guess how old I am" or "which celeb do I look like." For magazines, I used to like the creativity in style and beauty for wearable looks and how-to's. Today, it seems mostly filled with advertising, and with so many options and raves, I don't know what to believe/trust.

    Great commentary - it's good to know someone else feels the same as me. I still use that message board as a resource for product reviews, research, and photo gallery though!

  5. I feel the same way. There also seems to be more meanness, for want of a better word. I still have friends there, and I do occasionally post, but I don't visit as much as I used to.

  6. This kind of thing is so sad. A lot of people miss out on the "good old days"...

    I'm a new follower who came over from Pink Sith's page!

  7. I totally agree. And even on the non makeup boards, heaven help you if you don't agree with the *experts* or ask too many questions. I am quite enjoying reading your blog!



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