I was tagged to do this post by the lovely Kat from Kitsch Snitch - you should all go read her blog now. I think this tag was originally thought up by Tattooed Tealady, so go check out that blog too! I think the one Kat tagged me in has a ton more questions than the original tag though, but I didn't really have answers for the questions in the longer tag (favourite eyeshadow palette, best beauty deal) so I did the shorter one.
The only additional question I wanted to answer was what camera I use; for reference I use a Pentax K-X, with the kit 18-55mm lens.
Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I have been blogging since late July 2011, so just over a year. I started blogging after reading a lot of other beauty blogs and thinking it looked like so much fun - I was also in the middle of a heavy, dense academic degree that I loved and thought this would be a great way to do some creative writing as a pastime.
I was also feeling pretty lonely at the time, having just moved back home from my semester abroad and saying goodbye to all the friends I had made there. I guess I just wanted to do something I enjoyed!
Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
Oh goodness, that's a hard question! I started out reading Fee over at Makeup Savvy and watching Youtubers like Vivianna does Makeup, Vintage or Tacky, Essiebutton and Amarixe. I now have a huge reading list full of blogs I love (check out my Weekend Supplements for someone I recommend each week) and a huge Youtube subscription list. There are so many wonderful blogs out there, big and small, that I couldn't possibly list them all here!
What was the first blogosphere hyped about product your bought and was it worth the hype?
That's hard to remember! But I think it might have been my YSL Rouge Volupte in Sensual Silk. I was so overwhelmed at the time, reading loads of blogs and writing for my own. This is a nice lipstick, but it's too close to my skin tone, I think. I do love the packaging however!
What are your five favourite things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?
I love a lot about blogging. I love that it makes me a part of a great community. I love that I have met (virtually and in person) some really amazing, lovely and talented people. I love that I can talk to people (other bloggers, my readers) about beauty things and sometimes other issues, for hours on end - my boyfriend was certainly getting tired of hearing about it!
I love blogging because it allows me to do something each day that I absolutely enjoy and am never bored by. I also have to say that I love the fact that it has made me more confident - something about the support of the community, I suppose. I've been able to put the blog on my CV and use it as an example of work ethic in job interviews. That is something I would never have been confident enough to do a year ago.
What have you learned from being a beauty blogger?
That for the most part, people are lovely, but that you also cannot please everyone! In fact, I've never had a nasty comment so far but if I do I hope I can take it with a pinch of salt.
I have also better learned how to manage my time, how to make informed purchases (although that doesn't always prevent me from impulse shopping) and how to take (hopefully) better photographs. It's also taught me a fair bit about editing software (see the blog overhaul) and social media, as well as bits and bobs of HTML.
Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
With my makeup routine? TONS. SO MUCH. I use a far better foundation for my skin type for one. I use better skincare, I'm far nicer to my hair. I get my brows threaded instead of just hoping no one will notice how massive they are. I am also now able to line my waterline without going 'ewwwwwww' the whole time, which I consider a massive accomplishment. I have worn red, and now purple lipstick for the first time. I have purchased and not immediately discarded a lipgloss.
Hopefully I never stop learning new things.
What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
Go for it! Don't listen to pessimism. Write about what interests you and in your own style. Don't expect a million followers overnight, although they will (hopefully) come, just enjoy yourself. Make an effort to be part of the community and be grateful to your readers. I am so pleased when I get a new reader or a new comment - it's nice to have that interaction.
On a more practical level - social media is important; get on Twitter and on Facebook at minimum as they're a great way to keep in touch with people.
Natural light is your friend - whether you are taking photos on an iPhone or a Canon. I did not learn this for ages. On the other hand, don't fret if your photos aren't magazine standard - you'll improve over time and as long as most people can see what you're swatching, they don't mind.
Mostly just have fun with it!
Name your top five beauty brands.
This, I have to say, is highly changeable, as is my answer to the next question. But currently, and in no order of preference:
Revlon - their lip products are easily the best on the high street or in the drugstores.
Illamasqua - their nail polishes and lipsticks are amazing; they come out with some gorgeous collections and I love their ethos as a brand. As someone with lots of Australian friends, I also appreciate their lowering of Aussie prices so that people can actually afford to buy their products.
NARS - I love their blushes, eyeshadows, lip products, eyeliners...the list goes on. In the core collection they are great, although their latest special collection hasn't interested me much.
Percy & Reed - got me interested in hair products. I love their dry conditioner and volumising mousse, they make such a difference!
Monu - not because I got to try their stuff for free, honest to goodness. Their skincare has good and bad bits, but their good products have really shone for me these past couple of months.
At the moment, not always:
No7 Beautiful Skin BB cream; E.L.F Studio Lengthening Mascara; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Perversion; Phyto Phytoneutre Clarifying Shampoo and Seche Vite topcoat.
Tag other beauty bloggers to do this post!
I tag all of you that have blogs! And if you do it please link to it in the comments, I'd love to read it.