What is the reason for this blog? Am I thinking of quitting the reviews? To review or not to review, is it the only question?
A stupid Instagram post made me angry, but why?
I like to think of myself as a fair reviewer. Someone who actually spends time using a product, gets to know it and tests it out in different environments. I get it, you can tell how a product works by wearing it once. You can tell that it makes your beard softer but you won’t know how it will react in the rain, the sun or the wind. You won’t know how long it will last at work, when exercising or when you are at the beach. In fact, just using a product once doesn’t give you any real insights at all. Apart from making you realise that you like or dislike the scent!
I like to speak to the owners as well, you know, get to know them, their product, what drives them etc. I also give them a heads up if I’m going to put in the review that something wasn’t right. For example, when I reviewed Beardolution’s After Dark Butter I told the owner that the scent reminded me of my Grans bedroom before I released the review. It didn’t stop them from being unhappy and ultimately unfollowing me on Instagram but you can’t please everyone!
We are all different in the end and we can’t all like the same things. Life would be pretty damn boring otherwise and there would be no scope for different scented products or even reviews. Now, what was it that pissed me off so much about this particular Instagram review? Let me tell you.
Even a blind man could see something wasn’t right!!
So, as I was scrolling through the old Insta I came across a post with a product from a brand I knew very well. I took a look at the picture of the product on show and immediately could see there was something not quite right with how it looked. Now, if I received that I would be straight on the blower and speaking to the owner. That didn’t happen. What was even worse was the fact it was a second hand product. Yes, that’s right it had someone else’s fingers in it. How could you possibly know how clean that persons fingers were? All sorts of bacteria could get in there. Boilk!!
Lo and behold it was a review on said product and the review was not the nicest. The thing that really annoyed me is the person who reviewed the product is someone who has a huge disdain for the UK beard product market. Not only that but he makes and sells his own products as well (Illegally, I might add!). That immediately raises a red flag for me. I’m not big on people who make their own products doing reviews on other companies. There will always be a bit of bias in there.
Was this on purpose?
Throw in to the mix the fact they don’t like UK brands (generally speaking) then you have a recipe for disaster. Now, the person who did the review apparently knows his stuff. He’s well versed in how to blend scents and carriers together, yet he couldn’t notice that something was wrong with the product. This brings a few questions to mind.
- Either he did know that something was wrong and still posted the review and picture. This means they did it on purpose to try and discredit the brand and the UK market. If this is true then the guy has a serious problem and needs to have a long hard look at himself and his attitude.
- He purposely did something to make the product look they way it did. Only reason for that would be to make it look bad, again, on purpose.
- He doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about. If this is true and you buy his products then I would be very afraid. The fact they aren’t CPSR approved rings alarm bells to me which is why they are sold by messaging him rather than through a website. I get it, it’s a hobby etc… But, it is not right!
A bad name for reviewers
It is this kind of review that puts people off listening to reviewers when they give their opinion on a product. Luckily I don’t have to concern myself too much as the majority of people who read my reviews trust my opinion. They also know I’m honest and unbiased. But for new reviewers starting out, it could have a detrimental affect. Not that this person gives a fuck one way or the other.
I hope that the person has learnt from this mistake and in future gets his facts correct before slandering a company. Things could go very badly for him if he doesn’t. Not all brand owners are nice people. In the end, he was made to look like an idiot and took the post down. So it all finished up as a win for the company. I was angry and shocked but ultimately I was disappointed that someone who I actually respected for their knowledge, had let himself and others down with a shoddy, half arsed Instagram review.
To be fair, he did mention that the carrier blend was good and liked the addition of a particular oil, but that isn’t enough to put him in a better light.
UK vs USA
This argument has rumbled on for a very long time. There are a lot of people from the UK who prefer the American brands. Fine, I get it. They do things differently over in the US of A, using carrier oils that don’t get used here. They can also add a higher percentage of fragrance/essential oils which generally means the scent is more powerful and lasts longer. That is because they don’t have the strict guidelines that the UK market has.
I am going to be delving deeper in to all of this soon and I will be trying out several US brands to see what all the fuss is about. I’m willing to bet that some of them wouldn’t pass a CPSR but as I said, that’s for another day!
To review or not to review?
All of this did put me in an unusual frame of mind. In fact, I questioned wether or not I should continue to review products. In fairness I answered myself pretty quickly with a big FUCK YEAH!! I mean, I’ve been promising you my new style of review so I can’t disappoint you now.
At the end of the day the only thing that matters is that I am true to myself. I’m not here to try and put companies down on purpose or push an unknown agenda for some pathetic reason. I’m here to give an honest, unbiased opinion on a product which will help consumers make an informed decision. What I won’t do is deceive people into thinking something is bad when it isn’t!
I don’t want to dwell on this any further so let’s move on and talk about some other things quickly!
There’s no review this week but there will be a short blog out on the Thursday in place of it. Just to wrap up the Butter reviews I’ve done so far and to briefly talk about the USA brands I’ll be reviewing. Keep an eye out on Instagram as well because there will be some breaking news coming your way. Last but not least, did someone mention TikTok?
That’s your lot for today, thanks for reading To review or not to review? Don’t forget to check out the last of my old reviews Bigfoot Beard Co Butter Review.
Take care and keep growing
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4 thoughts on “To review or not to review?”
Fantastic blog and something that hits on a lot of important subjects.
Reviews from the right people are fantastic for a brand even with criticism if they reviewed knows their stuff.
A reviewer with little to no knowledge is extremely dangerous and should not be trusted.
My main problem was the fact the so called ‘reviewer’ is supposed to know his stuff. This leads me to believe it was done on purpose! My opinion of course!! Thanks for reading
Fantastic read as always brother, your one of a very limited few I put my trust in when comes to product reviewing. There’s some dosers out there that seem to think they’re the dogs balls when it comes to testing beard care. Don’t let’s these dip shits ever put you off. Keep doing what you do the British bearded community need honest people like you ?look forward to Thursdays Blog ?
Hey, thanks for reading! I appreciate your words my friend and I hope you continue to enjoy my blogs and reviews!