Feature Guidelines

Please note that I have a pretty busy “real” life since I work as a physician, am a new mom, and do like to have a life outside of blogging. My site is fairly popular, so I get a lot of emails about it. I get a lot of requests for features. Quite simply, I’m frequently overwhelmed.

Things that I will feature
• I will only mention your sale or contest if it is interesting to me and my readers.
• I will not help you in your illegal/iffy activities. This means if you are selling knockoff bags, I’m not going to mention your site on my blog.
Women’s Beauty, no men’s features
• Items from Mass Market (such as Target, Walmart and CVS) or Department Store retailers will be primarily featured. I also think that specialty stores like ULTA and Sephora are so popular now that any brands featured there are certainly game. Basically, well known brands will be the primary focus.
• This doesn’t mean that there won’t be smaller brands featured! I will still consider featuring smaller brands, but the main focus is on bigger brands.
• My features will all be on products/brands that I have personal experience using.

Things that I will NOT feature
• Dental Items
• Cosmetic procedures, surgeries or prescription products. Pretty much, if you need a RN or MD to allow you to have access to a product I am not going to feature it. My malpractice carrier considers these outside of my scope of practice and they have asked me to not feature them.
• Salons/Spas that I have not tried myself
• Nutritional Supplements
• iPhone Applications
• I do not allow outside guest posts
• I do not work with individual sales reps for brands like Avon, Rodan+Fields, Nerium, Younique…. the list goes on. Why? I get a few requests like this every day. I’m sorry to say that others have thought to increase their personal sales through bloggers as well! And I really don’t think it is fair to pick one of these people over everyone else (unless you’re my little sister. And she isn’t selling stuff.) So, I work with the national PR for these brands and treat them like any other brand. I don’t work with individual reps. (Yes, I have tried the Younique Mascara. I didn’t like it. Please stop offering to send it to me for 50% off.)

Review Rules: AKA, if I agree to review you, you agree to this!
Not every sample I receive is featured. I tend to write about products that I like or love. If I didn’t like your product, there probably won’t be a feature. I’m sure you’re ok with that. An Allure Magazine rep once told me that they operate under the old saying “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything At All” and I pretty much follow that as well.

• My review will be honest. I can not be bribed into changing my posts. Big brands have tried to make me change things. I haven’t done it for them, I’m not going to do it for you unless something that I’ve said is factually incorrect.

• On occasion I’ll write about products that I’m not as crazy about if they are a big enough brand that readers are likely to be asking about them or buying them. I try to be fair to products and rarely will I really gush about a product or pan it. I try to offer reviews that describe the product and how it worked for me. If it didn’t work for me then I’ll offer suggestions about who it is better suited for. I don’t write vindictive and mean reviews. No one wants to read it.

It will take time for your review to be completed. Usually I have other products in that same category that I’m currently testing, so it can be weeks to a few months even before I try out your product. Testing can take a long time, please be understanding. I’ve received my fair share of angry PR emails over not having a review completed within a few days of getting a product. This doesn’t get your review completed faster. It gets you an annoyed person writing your review.

Length of Testing:
~~Facial skin care usually is tested for at least 4-6 weeks to allow my skin a chance to equilibrate and see results.
~~Skin care items like masks, body lotion and sunscreen usually need a few weeks of testing.
~~Hair care products: Generally 1-2 weeks.
~~Makeup items typically need at least a few days of use to see typical wear and ease of use.

Due to the time it takes to test a product, I need enough product to complete the testing period. I do not require a full sized sample. Smaller sizes and lab samples are fine. If sending a sample in a form that is not the retail version, I will eventually need a picture of your product.

To be considered for review:
• Please e-mail me (cemikese at yahoo.com) about your product! Including as much information as possible is very helpful. I love pictures. I want to know what is in your product. Clinical result information is always helpful.
• If I agree to consider you for review, I’ll let you know and tell you where to ship the product.
• I am assuming you have agreed to all of the review rules listed above.