Two Birds, One Stone

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve worked with PR companies and makeup companies before to either get my hands on products or to get the full information. Without fail, I receive absolutely no pressure to review products and they’re understanding if I don’t like something. The ones I have worked with are professional and leave me to do my own thing. I like working with them and have a great amount of respect with what they do.

And then every once in a while something happens that really gets on my nerves. This is when a company hires someone who goes around leaving comments on blogs on behalf of the company. I’m not going to mince words: I hate this. Not only is said commenter biased, but they are leaving comments for their own gain and don’t contribute to the community of blog readers, a community that I help to foster. Every time I see this happen, I delete the comment without fail. I don’t address it because I think that the mere deletion sends enough of a message. I thought that as blogs became more popular, these spam commenters would learn.

It seems they haven’t so I’m addressing this once and for all and giving you all a product review while I’m at it.

Paola left a comment on my Moisturizer post and recommended that I try the Skin MD Shielding Lotion. I did a quick google search and found that “Paola” has been recommending Shielding Lotion all over the blogosphere. Qu’elle surprise.


So here we go: since Paola brought attention to the lotion, and since I already know about it, you may as well read a formal review. I tried Shielding Lotion over a year ago, and I did not like it. As I replied in the comments, it’s watery and has dimethicone as its main moisturizer. It doesn’t absorb into the skin and takes forever to dry. I do not like this lotion at all and I used it at a time when my hands were particularly parched and felt no relief at all. I much prefer the regular hand creams and I’ve tried many.

You may wonder why I didn’t review the cream before. Well, since the company was relatively new and unknown, I just didn’t see any reason to draw your attention to it. There are tons of great products out there (hand lotions among them) that are worth mentioning and so I’ve written about those instead.

If you’ve tried the Shielding Lotion or have something to say about the kinds of comments I delete, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Edit: it seems that the person leaving the comments works for a vendor of Skin MD Lotion. Skin MD had nothing to do with the comments and they like to work with bloggers one on one. Of course, my review of the lotion still stands.

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15 Responses to Two Birds, One Stone

  1. Ladybug says:

    I hate spamming comments and I, like you, delete them quickly. I’ve posted about this on my blog before – I do not appreciate folks trying to use my blog comments as free advertisement.

  2. Carleenp says:

    Interesting. This led me to a couple of comments about the same product and a few others on my site by another person. In my case, can’t verify they are from a company rep, and suspect they came from a person who independently sells the products. I deleted one comment entirely and took the links out of two more.

    I welcome PR and company comments on my site as long as they identify who they are and do not post for purely commercial purposes. But I abhor spam, and unfortunately, some spammy type comments occasionally slip through.

    Thanks for heads up!

  3. Beauty Banter says:

    I work with PR companies as well and actually used to be in PR… it’s a win/ win situation – you get your product out there and, if you(as the publicist) believe in said product, the editorial will likely agree.

    I think it’s important to remember that we, as bloggers, want to share quality products with our readers, not products which don’t deliver.

    If the PR can’t handle a non-post, then post away – as honest and negative as the post may be toward the product…

    xoxo,
    Beauty Banter

  4. eye4style says:

    Good for you! I am so with you on this, I’ve even gone mildly crazy and emailed the company telling them how much I disdain being spammed.

  5. Critty says:

    I totally agree with you. I read blogs to get people’s honest opinions about a product … and I write one to give my honest opinions. Comments like that are spam and are hijacking your blog for the company’s good. Smart of you to Google the commenter!

  6. The den Boers says:

    I, too, hate those marketing tactics. Working with advertisers sometimes though have made me privy to some underhanded ploys that companies, big and small, are now using. There are now many companies that employ people to join online communities and pitch products. The ‘good’ companies know that you don’t just spam something; you first build a relationship, sometimes for weeks, on said sites. Finally, once trust has been gained, they offer their opinion (sales pitch) to their online pals that they have befriended. You can never know nowadays.

  7. Kait says:

    I think this was a very classy way to handle this. Way to show ’em.

  8. Henna says:

    The Den Boers – I don’t mind if they are cultivating a relationship with me through email and other techniques because that still leaves me in charge of the content for this blog.

    Leaving comments promoting your own brand is what I have a problem with, because it diminishes the value of all comments and of the community itself.

    Kait – thanks! I hope I got my point across.

  9. CincyFan says:

    Henna, I totally support your POV on this issue. I too have had comments made by companies pushing their product under an anonymous moniker. It’s a shame they don’t feel their product is worthy enough to stand on its own. That they have to stoop to these kind of tactics. I just hope that Paola gets the message.

    Oh and I think what Den Boers was talking about is when marketing reps join online communities (e.g. MUA) and post as a regular person to gain the posters’ trust. Then they start pimping the products they represent without disclosing that they work for them. I’ve seen this done in the past.

  10. Henna says:

    Ah yes, that is not cool.

    I actually know a girl who had to do that kind of stuff as an Intern (not for a beauty company though). Even she felt like it was kinda sad that the company was paying her to do that.

  11. Maggie says:

    I cannot stand shills. I hate being manipulated that way, especially because most of the time it’s so obvious as to be insulting.

    It happens a lot in the e-tailer bath and beauty industry, unfortunately. These folks don’t necessarily have the budgets to advertise, but they know the positive effect a glowing recommendation on a forum like LUSH or MUA could have on their business. They usually either post under an assumed name or have their friends and family post as unaffiliated members that just happened to come across this company.

    It’s really kind of dirty.

    (I have enough friends in this e-tailer industry that it’s something I’m very conscious of, and I always mention if I’m discussing a company that I have a more personal relationship with.)

  12. Girl-Woman says:

    As far as the biased comments made by the company, “Shame on you, Paola!”

    As far as trying Skin MD, I have tried it, mostly for my hands, and I found the consistency to be watery and the effects to be minimal.

    Thanks for putting this out in the blogosphere so we won’t be further duped,
    Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog

  13. BeautyScientist says:

    I work as a formulator of skin creams so I guess I have a different sort of vested interest. I hate people leaving fake reviews because I am genuinely interested in what people really think of products. With regards to this particular lotion, I don’t think that dimethicone is a very good base for a lotion. It can give a nice initial skin feel but it is volatile, so over a fairly short period of time it simply evapourates. If you have seriously dry skin you want a formulation with a fair bit of mineral oil in.

  14. Henna says:

    Beauty Scientist, thanks for your insight. I did feel as if the lotion was kind of evaporating but it was difficult for me to tell whether that’s what was happening or whether it was just drying out. I think the nice initial skin feel was just because my dry hands were wet and so water would have had the same effect.

  15. Hana says:

    Sad about spammers.

    Sad too about you not liking the SkinMD lotion stuff. I really liked it, personally. It wasn’t greasy and at least for me it dried quicker than any other lotions I’ve used before. I was using it on my legs though, so maybe it works better there than on hands.

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