Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bloom: How To Use The Site To Your Advantage

I know I have written many things about before as a member of their Ambassadors program. I just made an order this last weekend and it got me thinking how much I really love how their website works and that I have never really done a full post explaining how to best use their site to benefit you. So, here is a little tutorial, if you will, about how to get things set up to where you can make the most of your account.
First Thing's First - If you are not already a member, Go here to sign up. There is no cost to join Bloom, and there are many great reasons you should go ahead and try. Bloom is based completely off reviews - in fact their motto is Women Helping Women Discover What Works and that is exactly what the site is designed to do. They offer a large selection of cosmetics lines, and each product lists reviews submitted by real customers. Normally, this alone wouldn't be a selling feature for me, especially with makeup. There are just so many different skin types and colors that just a review of one person saying how great it is doesn't help you much. What i love about Bloom is that next to each review is a picture of the reviewer (if they added one to their account), their skin type (oily, dry, combination), their complexion (olive, fair, brown, etc), and whether or not they have sensitive skin. How great is that? All the main things you need to know about the reviewer to see if their skin is similar to yours.

On top of the great reviews you can find on each product, Bloom also offers a 365 day guarantee on all of their products. So, just in case you end up with something that doesn't work for you you aren't out any money! How great is that? I can now shop worry free :)

I've Signed Up, Now What? Perfecting the Beauty Bio - Once you get your account open and started, it is now your job to fill out all the information about yourself. You can add a photo if you choose to, and then you just select your complexion, skin type, birthday, sensitivity, etc. You can add your beauty goal if you choose to as well as a little about yourself. One nice aspect of Bloom is that it really is built to be a community - in fact I have friends online that I have only met through Bloom. You can even 'follow' certain members that you maybe have similar skin types or that are friends or even that you just love what they have to show you. It saves all those who you follow and who follow you off to the right side of the page

If you are going to take your membership to the next level, it is really important that you fill out the basics (you'll see why in a few minutes).
Once you have filled everything out, it should look something similar to mine (yours won't have any images in the beauty cabinet or brands yet though). It has all my pertinent info for other potential customers to compare to. I've also added a Beauty Tip and I find that these can be really interesting as you browse others' bios.

Now Let's Start Customizing More With Reviews -  Now we need to start adding items to your beauty cabinet. This is the point where you just start looking around the site. You can browse for specific items in the search bar at the top, or you can go to specific brands, or browse by makeup category. Once you find a product that you have used before, you need to post a review about it. Here is where you need to really just be honest. Bloom encourages their customers to be completely honest about any product they carry - love it, hate it, they want to know! This is where your full Beauty Bio comes in handy for other customers. Say you absolutely love a certain type of foundation and you have a fair and oily complexion with non sensitive skin - this review won't really help a person with dark, dry, sensitive skin. See my point? I know it is a little time consuming, but I like to think of it as helping others just like me - consumers who just want to get a product that they will love and not have to worry about.
So, to get to review a product just find the item you wish to review and scroll all the way to the bottom where the reviews are. There is a tab at the top of the box that says 'Write a Review" and when you click that, you will see the screen above. You choose how many stars you give the product, and then write your review. Remember - one sentence reviews don't really help much. I like to say if I liked it and why or why not. Also if there was a specific aspect I liked, such as the scent or something, I make sure to note that. The more info you can give helps alleviate any issues the next buyer may experience. Next you will need to 'Choose A Headline' and there is a short list you can choose from if you like it quick and easy or you can come up with one on your own. This will be just something to sum up your review at first glance.

Once you have submitted your review, the item will be saved in your Beauty Cabinet. The Beauty Cabinet will include everything you have reviewed as well as anything you have purchased. This would come in handy if you find another person who has similar particulars as you and you want to see what else they use. It's literally like going to your friend's house and peeking in the bathroom cabinet - except much less creepy! Also, if you look at the items above in the photo you will notice there is an Overall Rating at the bottom of each with the Write A Review option below that. So, when you purchase something from Bloom, you won't have to go searching to find the item and review it later - it will be waiting in the Beauty Cabinet for you.

Ok, Let's Look At Your Recommendations -  Now that you have a few things reviewed an your bio filled out you are all set to get personal recommendations :) Hooray! Just look at the top bar of any page and you will see the option Best4You. Click there to really start reaping the benefits of your work so far.

The main Best4You page has each category of products Bloom sells. I'll give you a real life example from my most recent Bloom purchase. I needed a new foundation. I've used many different brands before and never been 100% satisfied with them. I use them just because I didn't the money to go to waste (this was before my days of Bloom), but they just weren't my favorite. So, I went to the Best4You tab and clicked on Foundation.
As you can see, my Best Overall Foundation recommendation was Cargo Oil Free :) Now, let's say I maybe was on a bit more of a budget or wanted something more 'green' - Bloom gives more than just one suggestion in the Best4You tab. They show you:
  • Best Overall
  • Best New Product 
  • Best On A Budget
  • Best All Natural
  • Best With SPF
  • Best Oil Free
And these are just the categories for foundation. Each different type of makeup or skincare will have categories specific to it, ex. the mascara will have Best Waterproof, that kind of thing. So, thanks to you filling out all your information, these suggestions are compiled for you based on what others with similar specifics to you (called Beauty Matches) have liked. Pretty cool, huh?

Show Yourself Off A Little - Once you've used some products and want to show others what they can accomplish with them, you can add some photos or videos! On your Beauty Bio page, you will see a box that says My Photos.

I have all the photos from all the products I have tried so far in the Ambassadors program as well as a few extras (like my pretty blue toes with Essie nail polish on them). Now, I have access to photoshop on a regular basis, so I am able to do things like put comparison photos up next to each other like on my LashFood photos, but this isn't even necessary here since all the photos are side by side anyway. Also, a new feature with the photos is that you can tag whatever products are used in the pic so when someone looks at a product you have posted a picture of, they will be able to see your photo in with the product info. The photos are very easy to add and you can write descriptions for each one - this is a great area to explain a technique you may have used. Even better if you are a budding videographer, you can upload a video tutorial should you feel so inclined :) I haven't done any videos yet - but I'm working up to it. I do really enjoy watching the videos of others and they can be very helpful when trying out something that I am not familiar with (like the Winks false eye lashes). Your tagged photos and videos even show up in the Trends section for others to browse through.

Go Forth And Browse! Now that you know all the basics of how this wonderful website works, what are you waiting for? I decided to go for my Best Overall Match on the foundation and I bought the Cargo Oil Free Foundation :) It just came in the mail today and I'm very excited to give it a try. I also snagged a tube of SuperGoop sunscreen to take on my vacation next week - another Best4You suggestion! I'm really letting the chips fall on my recent purchases but thanks to Bloom's system I feel confident that I will really like both of the products I bought. Besides, if I don't I can always send it back!

So if you still need to, go here to sign up and use all these neat features for yourself.

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