I believe that a win-win relationship exists between beauty bloggers and reviewers. Beauty bloggers give of their time (opportunity costs) testing products, photographing, and composing (hopefully) honest, thoughtful reviews. In turn, companies receive free promotion of their products. To me it does not matter whether I purchased the products myself or received them free for consideration. I am still giving the company my full side of the relationship, which for my blog involves an in-depth critique of the entire buying and using experience as well as concrete suggestions for store and product improvement. As with my readers, company owners are free to take what they liked and leave the rest!
1. Yes, I am friends with Dawn Merrill, the owner of Dawn Eyes Cosmetics. We have been friends since the Facebook Aromaleigh Addicts Facebook page came and went. I started reviewing products I had bought from her. Because she came to trust my reviews of her eyeshadows (you can see the early ones on Makeup Alley [under galgotspirit] and on the DEC blog), she has been regularly (and of her own free will) sending me samples, even before I published my beauty blog, to get my opinion on colors. So, although my blog is not an extension of Dawn Eyes Cosmetics, you will probably get a lot of "previews" of her collections (and who wouldn't want to see those?).
2. Most of the time I have bought the product(s) that I am testing and reviewing. However, on occasion, I will get free products from companies for review consideration. I will always disclose this when it happens.
3. I will occasionally ask a company owner if they want to sponsor a contest, usually to go along with a review. It is up to the owner of the company if they want to do this. They are in no way under any obligation just because I asked. They are freely consenting adults who can make up their own minds and who know how to use the words "yes' and "no" appropriately. When companies sponsor a contest, they expose one or more people to their product, which results in the possibility of word-of-mouth advertising. This is called "smart marketing." Why else do you think so many companies, both large and new/small, give away product freebies on Facebook, LOL?
4. I use Rafflecopter for my contests. If the contest is indeed being sponsored by a cosmetics, I will require among the Rafflecopter entry options that the company receive some sort of recognition (e.g., "like" their Facebook page, follow their blog) as a thank-you for sponsoring the contest (besides saying, ummmm, "thank you").
5. The publication dates of my contests are in no way purposely intended or timed to compete or coincide with any other similar review and contest published at or around the same time.
6. Regardless of how the tested products were procured, all opinions are my own. My responsibility is to the reader/consumer, not the company owner. Take what you liked and leave the rest!