Behind the Blog

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// outfit linked here ; sweater is additional 40% off sale //

We are here. My favorite time of year. I have seen memes floating around social media about how everyone sort of loses track of time during the week between Christmas and New Years. And I love it. With less responsibilities, comes more time for reflecting on the past year and goal setting for the year to come. I’ve been doing just that and I hope you’ll join me. Living a purposeful life has been everything for me and it starts with setting intention…and then checking-in throughout the new year and at the end-of-year.

One aspect that i have reflected on and begun setting goals for is, of course, this blog. In doing so, I realized that there are so many things that I want to tell you. I want to answer your questions and open myself up, so you all can understand what makes this blog tick…and what makes me tick.

First of all, I want to start by answering some of your most frequently asked questions of me.

  1. Do you actually try and like the products that you share?

    The answer is a huge YES. Not only is that the ethical way of being an influencer, but that is my character by nature. I am not going to sell my readers things you don’t need in order to turn a profit. You guys aren’t just an unknown audience to me…you are my friends and family. LITERALLY. My friends and family read my blog and spend their money on the products that I recommend. I cannot have my mom’s neighbor or my former Sunday school teacher or my mom herself wasting their money. So those are the people that I have in mind when I’m posting.

    I ALSO NEED YOU TO HEAR THIS: I try SO many products that I NEVER ENDORSE. The products that you see on my blog and Instagram are truly the ones that I like. I don’t spend time posting about products that I do not like because (a) just because they aren’t my fave, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for someone else (b) sometimes I may not like a specific product from a brand but I love so many others from that brand and I’m not going to bash them (c) I have always wanted this space to remain positive. I’m not into brand bashing or talking about how if you use such-and-such, you’re going to get sick from toxins..that’s just not what my blog is about. If you are ever curious about a clean beauty product and you haven’t seen me post about it, DM or email me and ask me if I’ve tried it. I will always give you my honest opinion!!

  2. Do you receive free product?

    Yes. At this point, about 90% of the beauty products that I post are gifted. When I first started, I was purchasing everything on my own. As I have built my brand and readership, I am gifted most of my beauty products so I can try them for review. I have also received food, baby products and maternity clothes…but most clothing, decor, and food are purchased by me. Receiving free product in no way affects my feelings toward the product and I am not obligated to post it. I always let brands know that I will not guarantee a post, if they send product. As a beauty blogger, I need to constantly test products and the only way to do that is to have it in my possession - so it totally makes sense for brands and stores to send products for me to try.

  3. Do you reach out to the brands that you work with, or do they reach out to you?

    Both. In the beginning, I was reaching out to everyone. The clean beauty industry has changed so much in the last couple of years and there are so many more opportunities to work with brands, than when I first started out. Brands are seeing the benefits of working with bloggers and they are reaching out more. I still reach out directly to brands + boutiques to introduce myself. This is such a humbling business and not every brand is a good fit to work with…even if they are a clean brand. Overall, I have found most clean beauty brands and boutiques to be wonderful to work with. And I love that because this industry is still small and I am happy to get to support these small businesses by sharing them with all of you.

  4. How do you make money blogging?

    It’s different for every blogger. For me personally, I earn income mostly from my affiliate links… and also from some sponsorships and my Beautycounter page. If you aren’t aware, affiliate links are trackable links to shopping products that I share. When you shop from my links or my Like to Know It page, I earn a tiny commission. It doesn’t cost you any more, but it supports this business of mine. If you like a product that I share with you, it would mean the world if you would purchase through my links (on my blog posts, in my Swipe-up stories, on my Like to Know it Page and in my emails). I have several followers that DM or email me to get links for products and I LOVE THAT. I am always happy to send over a quick link..and you never know..I may have a coupon code or a better price! Not only do these purchases support me financially, but they also support the relationships that I have with these brands! The more support they see coming from you all, the more collaborations we can work on together …and everyone wins! The bottom line..if you are thinking of making a purchase and it’s a product that you learned about from me, please consider purchasing from me. Even leggings or shoes that I share earn commissions, so I appreciate your support by purchasing through my links on blog posts, my emails, swipe-ups on Instagram stories, my Like to Know it page and my Beautycounter page!

    Please hear my heart in all of this! My goal is not to become a millionaire blogger (if so, I have a long, long way to go!!) But any work that you’re not making money from is just a hobby. And sometimes this can feel like a very time-consuming hobby. So, I want to be upfront and ask for your business! There is so much more than meets the eye with blogging - communicating with brands, drafting posts, photography and most of all - answering emails and DMs from my followers! I love all of it, but it requires more time than you know!

  5. Why clean beauty?

    I discovered clean beauty a few years ago and there was no going back for this former Sephora VIB Rouge card holder. I have always LOVED beauty products. Over the past several years, I have been on a journey of changing my eating habits and choosing healthy, clean foods. Not because I was fearful of what was in my food…but because I love how eating healthy makes me feel! It’s the same for me with clean beauty. I’m not choosing these products because I’m fearful that conventional products will give me cancer (although, the research is very convincing)…but more so because I love how these products make my skin look + feel. And it’s fun for me. I love knowing and understanding what goes into my products. I love real. I don’t love slathering chemicals all over myself. It’s that simple for me.

    I like to keep it simple…but I also know a lot about the specifics of clean vs conventional beauty. So, we also talk about that here, too.

  6. Do you only use clean + non-toxic products?

    When it comes to skincare and makeup: Yes. Until recently, I would use an occasional conventional eyeliner because I didn’t love many of the clean options. Ever since Kjaer Weis released new eyeliners and their amazing cream eyeshadow (which I use as a liner) - I haven’t needed to use anything conventional. I also still use a drugstore eyebrow mascara because it’s so little product and I haven’t found a great clean alternative.

    When it comes to haircare and cleaning products - I am still learning so much. I get a lot of messages inquiring about both hair + cleaning and I’m always upfront that I have not found much that I am completely comfortable endorsing. I do love Innersense Shampoo + conditioner. And I wash my clothes with Molly’s Suds. With other hair styling and cleaning products - I feel like I’m still making compromises. I’ll keep looking for great products for you all - stay tuned.

  7. Does your husband take your photos?

    Contrary to popular belief, he does not ;) The good ones are usually taken by Shannon Jean Cole photo and the rest are taken by yours truly. Although, I guess occasionally - if we are traveling - my husband may snap one for me. But that’s rare. More power to bloggers with Instagram husbands… it would be so nice if my husband was a photographer. But he has many other amazing talents and for now, we are stuck mostly with my amateur photography.

The thing for me that keeps this little blog going is how much I get to help other women discover clean products that they love. Products that nourish and enhance, not ‘fix’ and ‘cover-up.’ I feel honored that so many of you look to me to help you on your beauty journey.

My word for the year in 2019 is FREEDOM. I want to be FREE in my journey as a mother, wife, daughter and friend. For me that means, living who I really am without unrealistic expectations that I have placed on myself to be some version of ‘perfect.’ I will mess up and I won’t have it all together and that’s ok. In this space, I want to be free to be whatever kind of blogger that I want, not what I think I ‘should’ be. And mostly, I want to be FREE to be who I was made to be. Who God made me to be. And I’m excited to see what 2019 will reveal about that. You can adopt my word or I’d love if you would share your word for the year on my Instagram post!

Thanks for joining me in this journey! I have so many fun things planned for 2019. Get excited!!

xoxo, Lauren