Yet another beauty blogger tag : )

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We're all in foul moods here this morning because our newborn has his days and nights mixed up, so the whole household is exhausted and no one's sure who's Arthur or Martha.

The result of that is me sitting down to write a review post earlier and realising that I was getting more grumpy about the product in question than I needed to - so perhaps it's not the best day for me to be writing reviews!

Sounds like a good day for a tag post. And maybe getting this post up will relax me enough to approach the review post with fresh eyes. We'll see ; )


Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?

I started blogging because I wanted something to do during my maternity leave. I'm a writer and editor by trade and I knew that having a baby (our first) would probably make it difficult for me to write: writing is an emotional thing and when your emotions are tied up elsewhere, it's much harder to write with heart (and then there was the sleep-deprivation I knew was coming - not a good recipe for writing heartbreaking tales of staggering genius ; )).

So I thought, ok, what's some writing I can do each day that isn't too taxing and that I can stop and start as much as I need to without losing my thread completely. Since I'd become interested in reading beauty blogs and was already a self-confessed beauty junkie, it seemed like a no-brainer. 

The rest, as they say, is history. I've been blogging now for over two years and don't plan to stop any time soon.

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?

This is too hard for me to answer because I discovered a lot of blogs at around the same time. But if one has stood the test of time - even perhaps more than Temptalia's blog - it's The Beauty Look Book (http://www.thebeautylookbook.com/).

Why? Because it's so beautifully presented and clean-looking, and I find the swatches to be spot-on (more so than Temptalia's - hers show up much more yellow and warmer on my screen than the products swatch in real life, for some reason). Plus I tend to agree with a lot of her opinions, so if she likes something, chances are I will too.


What was the first blogosphere hyped-about product that you bought? Was it worth the hype?

Ach, that's another one that's hard to answer because I bought a few high-end products on top of each other when I first started blogging. If I can pick two: 

Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powders. Yes, they absolutely lived up to the hype. Can't live without them.

The second would be a few Nars eyeshadows. No, they absolutely did not live up to the hype. I'm still annoyed that I bought four duos over a period of six months before playing around with other formulas. Silly me. Lesson learned.

What have you learned from being a beauty blogger? 

I think my biggest lessons have come from doing Project Pan, which I wouldn't have started if I weren't a beauty blogger. 

Through that I've learned not to buy too much stuff because I know just how long things take to finish. I also don't like having products sitting around that I'm not using. There's too much consumerism in the world these days I reckon, and Project Pan has taught me not to fall into that way of being. Yes I still buy things, but I'm pretty restrained these days (my wallet thanks me!).


What are you five favourite things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?

1. Writing. I need to write each day or I may well die. I'm serious. It's a part of me and life looks better when I've managed to squeeze in some writing for the day - even if just for a short period. It helps keep me on the level.

2. The community, particularly the panning community. I like the beauty community in general but it's the panning community that's the most supportive, and I'm yet to witness any bitchiness in that community. A rare thing when it comes to social media, I reckon.

3. Writing about things I love. If there's one thing that's better than just plain writing, it's writing about things you love. When I come across a new makeup or skincare item that blows my socks off, I can't wait to share my experiences with it - and I love discussing the product with other beauty lovers. Good fun.

4. Having something that's mine. We have a toddler, a newborn and a very needy Golden Retriever. Quite frankly my husband's also rather needy ; ), so being able to do something for myself each day is such a precious thing. Playing with products and then writing about them on this blog are things I do each day that are mine and no one else's. I might have to slap on moisturiser with one hand while I'm breastfeeding these days, but hey, you can't win 'em all.

5. Growing a little each day. I like growing my professional skills and it's hard to do that when you're a primary carer. But through this blog, I've kept up my writing and editing (so it's not such a shock to go back to work), I've improved my photography skills (that one's a moving feast ; )), and I've learned to do things I mightn't have ever learned to do (like some basic computer programming skills). These things may well get used in other walks of life, and that has to be a good thing.


Have you changed anything since becoming a beauty blogger? 

I've tweaked my template quite a bit and I've also invested in some lighting for my photos. They're the main things. I guess I've also engaged in other social media platforms that I mightn't otherwise have used (like Twitter), and I still need to do more of that but there's only so much time in one day.

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out? 

Have fun. If blogging isn't enjoyable for you, perhaps it's not your thing - maybe youtube would be a better fit, for example.

I also wouldn't compare yourself to other bloggers: so many blogs exist, it's hard to define yourself and build a huge following. As a wise friend of mine once said, sometimes an audience of five is enough.


What are your top five makeup brands?

Hourglass. Hourglass powders (finishing powders, blushes, bronzers) make my skin look so much better. Unicorn tears, for sure. Can't live without.

Kevyn Aucoin. You can buy KA products reasonably cheaply from Beautybay - particularly if you wait for specials - and I've collected quite a few now. I love the brand's eyeshadows, blushes and highlighters in particular.

Becca. Becca also makes a great powder - the texture is beautiful and just feels luxe. Becca also has some great complexion products like foundations and primers, and you really can't beat the brand's original liquid illuminators.

Maybelline. My favourite budget brand. Maybelline makes some great foundations and concealers, and its lipsticks and mascaras are as good - often better - as many in higher price brackets.

Stila. It's not that Stila is underrated, but I do think it's often overlooked because it's not as 'funky' as other higher-end brands. But I love its CC and BB creams, and some of its eyeshadows are excellent too. I would pick the Stila In the Light palette over Urban Decay's Naked palette any day.

Recommend your top 5 beauty products

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (including the blushes and bronzers). Reckon I've said it all above.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold. Because that makes my skin look its best.

Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows. I have hooded eyes that are dry and over 30, meaning that the eyeshadow game isn't easy for me. But KA's shadows never make my eyes look crepe-y, and the mattes are among the best I've tried.

Rituals' Shower Foam. I've just done a review of the white version (The Ritual of Sakura) so the product is front-of-mind. It's the best body cleanser I've ever used and I can't imagine ever being without it.

Becca blushes. Wild Honey is probably my favourite shade but I love all the ones I've tried. The texture is divine and they look beautiful on the skin.


In sum

That's it! Hope you enjoyed this little tag, and feel free to do it yourself if you'd like - I tag anyone who wants to have a go at the questions.

Speak soon x


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