SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, 10 July 2017

My Pink Bird Experience - Working With Etude House

Hey hey! Regular readers will know that for the last few months I got to work with Etude House as part of their Pink Bird programme. This programme involves a bunch of bloggers and YouTubers being selected and a box of products released by Etude House sent out for the purpose of review. This is to help promote Etude House and their products to an International audience. For me, being a massive fan of Etude this was a dream come true and I couldn't believe my luck! Today I want to talk about the experience I have had with them and I want to highlight both the positive and negative aspects of things as I feel it's important to be transparent in my views and things I have experienced. Any negative points mentioned are not intended to bash Etude House or to steer people away from them, but pinpoint aspects that I believe could be improved on.

During this time, a group chat was set up on Instagram with about half of the Pink Birds (as we couldn't find the others on social media but we knew they were more from the e-mail sent out to us) where we would discuss the products that were sent out, speculate what would be sent in the next box due to new releases and from time to time just talk about other brands and products. It was great to meet a group of people with a similar interest in Korean beauty products and styles that I can share my views with. Some of the girls that were in this chat with me will also share some views on the experience. So in the cases in which I have used "we" or "us" I am speaking about those that were also in the group chat with me. They have also decided to share their views on the experience and their posts will be linked below when they post them up.
HOW DID I REACT WHEN I WAS PICKED

 I was ecstatic when I found out! I woke up a couple of days after Christmas to an email notifcation from Etude House saying that I had been chosen and to confirm a few details with them. I told my partner immediately and he was so happy for me and even joked "you won't need to buy make up for the next 6 months then" when believe me, on top of these boxes I also bought make up! I immediately let my close friends know what was happening and everyone was so excited for me as they know how much I love the brand and they themselves are fans of Etude House themselves so it was a great way for them to see the new products they were releasing first hand.

THE MONTHLY SELECTION

Every month we were given a selection of items, the amount of items varied per month but there was usually at least 5 products all full sized apart from some of the skincare products being sample sized. Each month there was a great variety of different products which meant I had several different things to try and to review. This mixed things up a bit and made sure that my blog didn't feature the same type of products constantly (such as, perhaps a constant bunch of lip product reviews being shared). The variety was great and it was always exciting to see what new things we were going to get!

THE PRODUCTS SENT

In the first month we were asked what our base shade was, what colour of correcting primer we would like and were given customised eyeshadows based on our star signs. This made us feel like our boxes were going to be semi personalised or at least made to fit us in some way. However, after that, we were all given the same shades of the same products (asides from the coloured mascara from February both shades were alternated between people). This was an issue for myself and a few others, due to them sending out shades that have blue undertones and therefore made for those that have a cool undertone to their skin. This means that myself and others with warm undertones (I myself have very prominent yellow undertones) that the product shades did not suit us well. They clash with my skin and take the warm out of my look. It would have been ideal if they had let us pick a shade from maybe a selection of 2 or even 4 to pick one that is suited to our skin tone.

However, as you can imagine I am more than grateful for the products sent, it just ended up at times it was difficult to give a good review on a good product when the product doesn't suit me well and I can't really use it afterwards. I have however, tried to use these products even though they aren't so fitting on me but I find I am reaching for some other products instead. It would also help people interested in the products to see swatches of different shades instead of different swatches of the same shades so they can pick and choose which one they would prefer. It would have also meant a slightly more positive review of the product as I could say I loved how well it suited me.

A few favourites of mine included the Glass Tinting Lips Talk and cases, Honey Cera Sample Kit, Dear Darling Soda Tint (despite the shades not fitting me well) and the Cherry Blossom Palette. These are products I would definitely consider repurchasing in the future along with a number of the other products I have tried out. There were a few products that just weren't good (such as the highlighter from the Wonder Fun Park range which was such a shame as it was so pretty to look at!) but on the whole the majority of the products worked well but I could have done with them being in a shade that was more suited to myself.

One thing I have to highly commend them for is the packaging on all of the products and for most of the months everything seemed to be moderately colour co-ordinated. 

COMMUNICATION

Communication between brand and blogger is such an important aspect of working together, so I feel I should speak about how well the interactions between myself and Etude House went. Every month we would receive an email letting us know that our box had been sent out and it would also contain little information images showcasing the products, the shades and how to apply them. Sometimes this would come the day or the day after it was sent, some months we didn't get the email until people had received their boxes. This wasn't a major issue but sometimes it caused worry that we had been missed out if people had their boxes already.

I myself had a major issue regarding communication from Etude House that really left me disheartened about the programme. Back in February, I woke up one Saturday to a letter from ParcelForce to let me know I had a customs charge on a parcel from Korea, being the only parcel I was expecting I knew it was my Etude House package. I phoned them and tried to resolve it myself and explain that the package was a gift and under the value stated for customs charges. However, Etude House poorly labelled the package, not only putting the value as $25 (instead of the usual $2) and scoring out the 5 poorly and not labelling the package as a gift, there was no way for me to get the charge removed. I was hesitant in paying the fee as I felt it wasn't fair that I would be the only one having to pay £21 for products that I was supposed to receive for the purpose of reviewing. It took almost two weeks and multiple emails for Etude House to get back to me, with two different outlets emailing me about the situation. The issue was resolved then but it caused me some amount of stress over those two weeks I had to wait for a response. The box had to be sent back to Etude and the products resent out in the next box.

I also had an issue where my email containing the links to my posts for that month had gotten lost and I got an email stating if I didn't post the next posts up by the deadline, I would be removed from the programme. I had posted said posts by the deadline and I had to resend them the email. In my own opinion, they had the link to my blog on file so it would have made sense for them to check up on my blog and make sure I had posted them in case I had simply forgotten to send them an email.

There was no confirmation of receiving our emails with our posts each month (there was the very occasional one for some people) and there was very minimal feedback if any at all. Part of this made me feel like the posts weren't being read at all. This is something I feel could be majorly worked on.

DEADLINES

Initially when we were told we were Pink Birds we were told we had a deadline of 4 weeks to do our posts. This seemed fair and it was enough time to make sure everything was done perfectly. However, when we were told our boxes had been sent out, the deadline was suddenly changed to 2 weeks. Now to a lot of people this will seem like plenty of time, but for some people it's not. Those with full time jobs, some that work overtime, people with family, sometimes you just don't get the time in the day to take all the photos, to edit them, to review the products properly and to make sure your impression of them is portrayed the best you possibly can. 2 weeks is also not a long enough time period to truly test a make up product or skincare one (especially things like BB creams where skin reactions can occur within a few weeks and not immediately). Some months I was working and my days off I was busy, not even in my city and just felt like I was rushed at the end of the two week deadline to make sure I got things finalised and finished. There were times I had to retake all my photos completely as I didn't notice there was a smudge on my camera and the photos were unusable and I had barely any time to get the photos done properly again. I just found it strange that we were given one deadline then it suddenly changed.

FAVOURITISM?

This one is a difficult one. All of us as Pink Birds worked hard on our posts making sure they were up to Etude's standards and fit well with their cute, princess aesthetic. They featured one YouTuber on their Global page and chose not to feature any of the other 15 people that were involved in the programme. This wasn't a major thing but it just felt clear that they picked a favourite out of us all and that only this person seemed to be deserving of this promotion (this isn't anything against said person as they themselves haven't done a single thing wrong. But it felt a bit unprofessional of Etude to do it in this way). We also received an email regarding the May box that two people on the programme's posts were the best from the previous month and that they were going to receive some extra products as a reward. While I can see that they were probably trying to motivate us, it made a lot of us feel that our posts weren't good enough for them and that the favourites in the programme had been chosen despite all of our hard work. Our work was being ignored and barely acknowledged. It was disheartening for some of us.

THE LAST BOX

Or lack of it. We were told that the programme was to last 6 months and the general consensus was that we would receive 6 boxes, one for each month as this was what had previously happened the other years for Etude House. However, we didn't get the what we thought was going to be the final box. There was no implication in the email regarding our May box that that would indeed be the final box and there was no words of gratitude towards us for taking part in the programme. It just seemed to end abruptly and earlier than expected. As of writing this post it has been over a week (almost 2 weeks) since the first email was sent by a Pink Bird in regards to this with no word back from them. I myself emailed them querying whether or not the box was sent as I was worried it had gotten lost in the post and have yet to receive a reply. We are not the only ones that have contacted them and we are still waiting. This has left us feeling disappointed and it felt extremely anti-climatic for it to just end this way. If it was a miscommunication and we were to only receive 5 boxes I would have rathered an answer explaining that than to be ignored.

If, following this post being shared, we receive any form of information about it or the box, I will edit this section.

So this is how I feel in regards to the Pink Bird experience, I know it seems like there are more negative points than positive and it probably portrays that I am ungrateful towards Etude House for letting me take part when in reality I really am so so grateful to work with them and get the chance to try so many new things out. I simply feel like I've had a couple of light slaps in the face from Etude after putting so much money into purchasing their products over the last near 8 years and for putting so much time and effort into my blog posts for them. I basically feel like communication has been the poorest aspect of this experience and I hope in upcoming years that Etude work to improve on that. It's a vital part of the blogger-brand relationship and they fell short in this department. I feel I have been fair in my points and I feel it's important for me to be transparent about things like this and not just paint it as picture perfect because they are my favourite brand.
Follow me on: youtube | twitter | instagram | facebook | bloglovin'

Post a Comment