Ms. Centsible Makes It Easy For Beauty Fans On Any Budget To Try Small Brands
As green beauty edges into the mainstream, it’s under fire for being too pricey for beauty plebeians. Amber Eldridge, better known as Ms. Centsible, demonstrates how consumers can stretch their bucks to pick up better-for-you options. Whether it’s showcasing great buys for under $25 or scouring samples before plunking down on full sizes, she’s got her mind on her followers’ money. Eldridge is no scrooge, though. She’s obsessed with Friends reruns and early-morning coffee. She’s a sucker for her dog Zooey and rocker hubby Rodney. She adores unearthing a surprise fashion find at a thrift store and rummages through estate sales for darling décor. In other words, she’s a little like us, only with far superior abilities to work the angles. Beauty Independent caught up with Eldridge to learn about what put her on the path to social-media prominence, the deal with brand deals and her long-term plans.
Tell us about your how your blog started.
When I first made the transition to clean/green beauty and a more sustainably-conscious mindset, I needed a place that I could share all of these newfound products and thrifted items other than my personal Instagram. I also consider myself pretty sensible. I’m pretty level-headed when it comes to my purchases, and I definitely take the time to research potential purchases to see if it’s the right fit and right price for me. Me doing the legwork takes the pressure off of anyone else considering the same options.
Do you stay within a certain price range?
I try to present options for every budget – even the larger ones – because I never want to limit myself or those who read my blog. I have some higher-end products and some inexpensive products. It’s all about balance and knowing where you can save and where you should spend, and I want to help my audience keep an eye on which is which.
Describe your audience.
My audience seems to be those who want to learn more about non-conventional beauty through an honest and lighthearted approach. I also know many of my audience members are students, mothers and working women (i.e. busy), so I try to remain concise in my reviews. Nothing too lengthy or too serious.
What does your audience really like to see from you?
I feel like my audience loves to see makeup on an actual face. We all want to know what the various lipstick shades look like in person, what that new mascara looks like layered on and how pigmented a certain eye shadow is. It’s important to know these things before purchasing, and I’ll gladly test them out.
When did you realize you were gaining traction?
I feel like I gained more traction when I started my blog, Ms. Centsible, in 2016 as opposed to simply operating an Instagram account. I also started caring more about the curation of my photography. It really plays an important role in how both Instagram and your blog posts are translated. People want to see pictures that are pleasing to the eye. I feel like that helps a lot with gaining traction and impressions.
How many posts do you do weekly?
I had scheduled content for a while, but then life got in the way. We moved. We work crazy jobs, and I get behind. I try not to put too much pressure on myself to crank out blog posts. I really like to put quite a bit of thought and intention into what I write. Even though my blog posts are short and sweet, I never want to post something just to keep my own personal quota.
What are some of your favorite brands, and how do you discover new ones?
Some of my favorite brands are Au Naturale Cosmetics, Antonym Cosmetics, Inika Organic, Root, Leahlani Skincare, Kari Gran Skincare, Aleavia, Bambu Earth, and the list truly goes on. Instagram is a great way to discover through the explore page or particular hashtags, anything from bloggers, brands, design/outfit inspiration and different memes that you can laugh at for hours. I’ve also discovered a wealth of up-and-coming brands through Indie Beauty Expo. This past August was my second year in New York, and it’s always so incredibly enlivening not only to discover brands I didn’t even know existed, but chat with their founders and sample their products.
What should brands know about working with influencers?
It’s important to keep in mind that it could take a while before they see a post about their product. It’s quite rare to be able to tell if a product works well within a week. And it would be unfair to the people who rely on our blogs to make informed choices for me not to gain all of the information I possibly can and test the product out for an extended period. It would be inauthentic for me to say that this new product is a favorite when I’ve only tried it once. It really needs to work into my routine and see how it pairs with other items to truly see if it’s a worthwhile recommendation. Setting a realistic expectation and timeline from the start is a must.
Do you ask brands to pay for posts?
Whether I accept free products, utilize affiliate links, get personalized coupons codes, or a set amount of money, there’s a lot time and energy dedicated to reviewing products, and I certainly believe there should be some sort of compensation for bloggers in each relationship. This is actually quite the topic of conversation right now. The tide is shifting because many brands think we should work for free and, with photos and exposure, that’s like giving away free marketing. It has to be mutual.
Do you think your audience would be upset by a sponsored post?
I don’t think so. It’s part of being a blogger, and I think I’ve been very transparent with my audience. They know me well enough to know I would never post anything, sponsored or not, unless I truly believed in it.
If you don’t like a product, what do you do?
If I really don’t like a product, I normally just don’t post about it. If I liked it in general, but maybe not for myself, I’ll mention the pros and cons. I try to never talk badly about a product because everyone is different. I feel it would be completely unfair to slam the hard work of a small brand just because it wasn’t up to my taste. There’s an entire world out there full of complexities, and it probably fits someone else’s needs perfectly.
You work full-time in the film industry. Is social media going to remain merely a hobby?
Working in the film industry can be pretty crazy, but I love that it has given me the opportunity to have many conversations with hair and makeup artists about what green products they need to try and what toxic products they need to toss. It’s a real in-person opportunity to affect change. It will continue to be a hobby, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be open to other avenues within the green beauty community should they present themselves.
Were you interested in beauty growing up?
Yes! My mom always had a ton of makeup, which was so fun to go through when I was a kid. Growing up, she would do my makeup for Christmas banquets, proms and even did my makeup for my wedding. I’m still working on switching her over to the green side. I haven’t given up, though. I find myself sneaking in a clean lipstick or lip gloss any chance I get.
What trends do you see shaping beauty?
I love that natural beauty is becoming a trend as well as the conversation between beauty and aging in the same category. It’s wonderful that we are coming around the idea that women don’t have to fear when gray hairs appear or that we are becoming more accepting of our quirks and imperfections. It feels a bit odd to love the things we once covered up, but the whole practice of loving ourselves — gray hair, wrinkles and all of that — is something to be proud of.
What would be your dream partnership?
Oh gosh, that’s a great question. I would say it’d be quite an honor to become an ambassador for one of my favorite brands, being a face for them and representing their products, how fun would that be?
What do you think you might be doing a decade from now?
I’ll probably have some kiddos running around, and I’ll be at the Grammys with my husband.