If you read any beauty blogs at all, you’ll know the MAC x Toledo collection is a) extant, b) beautiful and c) now available on counters in New Zealand. I am not publishing this post to be the first to break the news, although of course I’m including arm and lip swatches of the three products I have from the collection. What I really want to talk about is PR samples – PR samples from MAC in particular.
I will always disclose when a product has been gifted to me by a brand. Sometimes, if I’m excited, I’ll write about it in the body of the post. If not, I’ll at least mark those products with an asterisk. These things aren’t required by law in New Zealand, but it’s good practice for transparency and integrity’s sake.
I don’t always know if this is enough, though. I mean, for one thing, it doesn’t account for the things that I get sent and don’t write about. This happens quite a lot, and not everything makes it on to the blog, especially as I’m not publishing new content daily. (I don’t do that so that I don’t give myself a mental breakdown.) Sometimes, I feel like I have such a wealth of new stuff worth sharing that I’ll include it all in one post, like that time I did the ‘On my dining table’ one. I’m going to do another of these soon, because there’s just a lot of things.
The other thing about PR samples is, most of the time, they are unsolicited. I mean, I’m in contact with the PR company, but they’re not products I’ve requested. In fact, I get sent more things unsolicited than I have ever successfully received from asking for them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing… except when I start feeling bad because I haven’t written about something even though I didn’t even really want it and it doesn’t fit with my vibe. Skincare, for example, is not something I’m going to experiment with on a whim. I don’t have a team of assistants to farm these things out to, so they might go into my kit or get donated to Women’s Refuge.
Bizarrely, I still feel presumptuous and ashamed of myself when asking a PR company or brand to send me samples. This is something I really need to get over. Of course no one should barge around demanding free things, but the reality is that my blog has a) a decent readership, and b) an incredible purchasing influence (I found this out when I asked you guys to fill out my readers’ survey late last year). This is not something I will ever abuse. I know that you guys (my readers, my everything, my reason for existing) try things on my recommendation because you trust my opinion. Without that trust, my blog would be interchangeable with a Farmers catalogue or the beauty page of the Life pullout from the newspaper.
I mentioned this a little bit in my first video. Sometimes brands don’t send me things once I tell them I am always honest. This is alarming for a number of reasons, not least because it shows they don’t have the greatest confidence in their products.
Blogging is not about competition, but (remember I am all about honesty here) sometimes in the past I have seen other bloggers receive PR samples that I haven’t, and I have felt jealous. I’ll admit this, because who wouldn’t feel jealous when someone’s getting sent free stuff from MAC, or Benefit, or any other brand you really like? This has particularly been the case with MAC, because MAC has always been one of my favourite brands, and the pinnacle of professional makeup artistry in my eyes.
So, as you can imagine (and now I hit the lede, which is why this ramble is on my blog and not a news story) I was incredibly excited to receive samples from MAC of the Toledo collection, their big Spring (Autumn, for us) LE launch. Like, squealing aloud to myself at home alone kind of excited. This is a big deal for me!
I received the lipsticks in Sin and Tenor Voice, and the lipglass in Oxblood. Tenor Voice is named as True Red and Oxblood as Nude Awakening in the swatch picture because those are the working names that are on the PR samples, and I’m still learning these things/not very good at reading press release documents.
I’ll keep this part short because there’s not a whole lot to say about the products themselves that hasn’t already been said, and this post is long already. These are fantastic products as I would expect from MAC, and the lipsticks are long lasting and the gloss isn’t too sticky. To read more about the products themselves, Lani has done a very comprehensive review.
I wanted to talk about my approach to PR samples because it’s important that you guys know what’s going on behind the scenes. Sometimes I get things for free. That doesn’t change how I feel about them. 99% of the time, I’m not getting paid to talk about something. I will make it very clear if I ever am (there’s one of those rare posts coming tomorrow, but you’ll understand when you see it why I took the job).
What do you think? Am I doing okay? Transparent enough?