Happy Unbirthday to Me

Auxiliary Beauty turned one today!

I don’t have any especially attractive baked goods lying around, so here’s one of the peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies I made earlier this week.

I didn’t start blogging regularly until February 2014, but my introductory post went up on January 18. Maintaining this blog has been one of the best parts of the past year: I’ve loved interacting with my readers, developing my makeup skills, and having a place to do some non-academic writing. Since I’m always fascinated when other bloggers reveal which of their posts have been the most popular, I thought I’d do the same in honor of my first anniversary. Below, the five posts that have received the most pageviews over the past year:

1. NARS Audacious Lipstick Swatches and the Allure of Audrey

Liv, Audrey, Grace, Vera, Annabella, Fanny, and Bette.

This post got about five times as many views as the second most popular post. The release of the Audacious lipsticks for NARS’ 20th anniversary unleashed an online frenzy, the sort of frenzy that François Nars himself couldn’t have anticipated back in 1994. I’ve looked up my share of Audacious reviews and swatches myself, so I understand the appeal of this post. There are just so damn many lipsticks in the line, with so many variations on berry and bubblegum pink and coral. You want someone to rank the half-dozen orange-reds from warm to cool so you don’t have to do it yourself, you know?

For the record, I still haven’t bought a lipstick from this range. The more swatches I examine, the more paralyzed I feel; the more paralyzed I feel, the more research I do. It’s precisely this feedback loop that got me the pageviews, no doubt. Also, someone linked to my blog on a Polish beauty forum. I actually ran the post through Google Translate to see if the posters were saying something like “Can you believe this bitch and her half-assed swatching?” Thankfully, the discussion was all business (that is, lipstick).

2. Beauty Abroad, Part 13: Topshop Matte Lip Bullet in Get Me Bodied

When I bought Get Me Bodied, I had no idea that the Matte Lip Bullets were new for fall 2014; but apparently they were, which I think explains the popularity of this post. I can still find them online, so I have hope that they’re not limited edition–I’d love to try more colors when I go back to the UK. Get Me Bodied was one of my favorite purchases from 2014, so I hope my review persuaded other people to try it, too!

3. NYX Reviews, Part 1: The Bad


This set of reviews also featured a new product: NYX’s reformulated Hot Singles eyeshadows. (I’m sensing a pattern here.) I think people might also enjoy negative reviews, since my post about my least favorite purchases of 2014 received many more hits than my post about my favorites. I do appreciate a good snarky review myself, and they’re getting hard to find in the increasingly monetized world of beauty blogging, so I’ll endeavor to keep bringing the snark in 2015. Though, ideally, my purchases will be so wise and well-thought-out that I’ll have no reason to do so!

4. Lipstick Chronology #7: MAC Capricious

This was one of my very first posts, and I’m a little embarrassed that it’s my fourth most viewed, since the photos aren’t great quality; I also have no idea what my hair is doing there. Incidentally, I took out my tube of Capricious yesterday and discovered that the lipstick had gone moldy after three and a half years of faithful service. A fitting end, perhaps, to my first year of blogging. Wishing to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, I sterilized my entire lipstick collection with paper towels and a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol, producing this unexpectedly artistic mess:

I kind of want to hang it on my wall.

5. Lipstick Chronology #28: MAC Candy Yum-Yum, Maybelline Fuchsia Flash, and a Word about Dupes

People really love MAC lipsticks. This was the most introspective post of my top five–I blathered on for a few paragraphs about my objections to the practice of dupe-hunting–but I suspect that most readers showed up for the Candy Yum-Yum swatches and comparisons, not the navel-gazing.

I also thought about making a list of my most unpopular posts, but there wouldn’t have been much use in that. It took a while for people to start reading my blog, so the posts with the fewest views are simply the ones I wrote earliest. But I will say that in general, my posts about nail polish receive relatively few hits. This makes me wonder if makeup blogs and nail blogs just have different audiences. They probably do, if my own behavior is any indication: I’ll check out a few nail blogs if I’m looking for swatches of specific polishes, but there are none that I read regularly. Is this the case for anyone else?

I feel like I’ve done a couple of self-congratulatory stock-taking posts in the last few months, so I’ll keep this one brief. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment over the past year! I’m excited to find out what year two of beauty blogging will bring.

12 thoughts on “Happy Unbirthday to Me

  1. I used to read nail blogs pretty frequently, but it seems like all my old favorites are now either defunct, mostly posting indies (which don't interest me much, since they are expensive and always sold out), or posting more lifestyle/ad content than swatches. So I like a good makeup blog that also posts nail polish sometimes, personally.


  2. I feel the same way about indies. It just seems like it would be time-consuming to keep track of all the new shades coming out, since there are so many indie brands. Plus, indie polishes tend to be multicolored glitterbombs, which I love in theory but don't actually wear very often. Come to think of it, I've never been super-excited about indie makeup, either. Indie brands tend to be creative and alternative, but not necessarily great at making staple products.


  3. Happy blog birthday and congratulations! I found you on Kate the Driveller's blog roll and I don't think I've missed a single post since then. It's been a pleasure. Cheers to the your year ahead! (Joy)


  4. Happy blog birthday! I can't remember now how we came across each other but I'm so glad you decided to start this blog. I too cringe at how popular some old posts are but noticed that high stats on posts doesn't translate to increase in readership or engagement. I'm constantly googling for swatches but almost never follow the blogs that show up in results (or I already follow them, heh). Good swatches of new/popular products will always be useful but either you have to pump them out non-stop or else provide something that no one else is. The latter is why I devour your posts when you decide to take a break from dissertating. 🙂


  5. I can't remember how we came across each other, either, but I do remember reading your blog before starting mine and being very flattered when you first commented. 🙂 Checking pageviews is very addictive, at least for me, but it's very rare that pageviews correspond with actual engagement. Plus, I need to remind myself that there's no REASON why I should want lots of hits, other than pure ego-fulfillment. I'm not making money off this blog or trying to become famous, so I'd much rather attract a small audience of engaged readers than thousands of people just looking for swatches.


  6. So true re: MAC. Almost tempting to do it if you're a new blogger and you want to widen your reach super duper fast. But I like you're small group of readership here. It's not always that I read other people's comments on blogs, but your readers are very insightful. You can't buy that with MAC posts.Happy belated blog birthday, Auxiliary Beauty!- Rae


  7. Thanks, Rae! My preference for cruelty-free makeup means that I'm never going to have a huge MAC collection (though I did buy Pink Plaid recently for a friend who wanted a dusty pink lipstick). So much for that road to fame. Plus, then I'd have to become one of those MAC people who stay up until 2 am to pounce on the 73rd limited-edition purple lipstick of the year, and that seems exhausting. I need my sleep.And yes, I feel tremendously lucky to have such thoughtful readers, including you!


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