The Beauty Spotlight Team wants you to get to know each of our members better by asking us a series of personal and blogging questions, and now it's my turn to divulge! I love interacting with all of you-- so please feel free to ask other questions if you have them. And no, I'm not missing part of my left eyebrow!
2) What is your dream job? My real job is my dream job. It would be a sad state of affairs if I had spent that many years in grad school only to discover that my chosen field just wasn't for me. As it turns out, I really do love teaching. I love interacting with my colleagues, staff members, and with the undergraduate and graduate students.
3) Do you have a special talent? A photographic memory, an odd attribute that my sister, niece and I inherited from my dad. When I was a retail manager I used to freak out my employees because I could walk into the store and take a look at the shelves and be able to see what they sold while I was gone. However, much of the time I retained largely odd bits of otherwise meaningless information, but I gained a whole new appreciation for it in my last two years of college since it made taking finals much easier. That said, it was really in grad school that I learned how to harness this quirky talent, and I employed it for my MA thesis, all of my Ph.D. qualifying exams and for my dissertation. It made such daunting and difficult tasks infinitely more manageable, and frankly more enjoyable. For me it's not quite a point and shoot type of paradigm, but instead one where I retain and see what I engage with. I do often see entire pages of text in my head (right down to the most minute details on the page). However, my crowning achievement occurred one very late night after spending about 12 hours writing. I decided to turn off the computer and go to bed because I was so exhausted, and the oddest thing happened: I scrolled through the last 3 pages of my chapter in my head, and edited them with my eyes closed. When I finished I jumped out of bed, turned the computer back on, and completed the chapter. Oddly enough it was my hard-to-please professor's favorite passage. Interestingly, two other Beauty Spotlight Team members have photographic memories: Perilously Pale and The Pink Sith!
4) What makes you feel beautiful? Being confident and happy-- all internal things, but they manifest themselves externally as well. However, a good hair day, the perfect pink blush, and the perfect pinky nude lipstick doesn't hurt either!
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Chocolate, luxury face oils, lip products, and anything from The Organic Pharmacy, Radical Skincare and African Botanics! Truth be told, I don't actually feel too much guilt about any of these vices!
6) What time do you wake up in the morning? Generally between 6:00-7:00AM without an alarm clock.
7) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Different things at different times. When I was about twelve I wanted to be a jockey (I was short and rode horses-- and someone tried to recruit me). When I was in high school my parents sent me to Paris, where my dad grew up, to live with family-- and I wanted to be a Psychotherapist like my dad's über chic cousin with whom I lived. While in college I naturally gravitated toward Romance languages and the Arts and Humanities, and was encouraged by my very favorite professor to go to grad school. Because I was a rather rebellious professor's daughter it took me a little time to warm up to the idea, but once I did there was no looking back. While a child I was warped by academia because whenever asked my age I always responded in the number of semesters I had been alive rather than years. This endlessly amused my father's colleagues-- who were later thrilled when I chose an academic path. While I no longer give my age in semesters, I do gauge time via the academic rather than the Gregorian calendar.
8) Are you a cat person or a dog person? Well, I happily live with and love both, but I tend to prefer the feline sensibility in general. Though I have to say, I am partial to Pit Bulls, and Delilah utterly and totally melts my heart every single time I look into her lovely soulful brown eyes.
What was your first real job? Working in a restaurant at the age of 13.
10) If you were given a shopping spree at one store, what store would you like it to be? This is such an unfair question! That's simply too hard to choose. For luxury niche beauty products I definitely always choose Barneys New York and SpaceNK. However, I do also love to shop at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
11) What is your most favorite discontinued item? Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse #44 (US version).
12) Finish this sentence: "Don't start a beauty blog if…." You are simply trying to get free products! That is such a poor source of motivation for blogging, and it always shows.
What type of product is the most fun for you to test and review? It really depends on my mood. However, luxury face oils always make me very happy. So does Tom Ford and Surratt anything!
14) When you shop for makeup, skincare and perfume, do you do it with the blog in mind first and foremost-- or with your own use in mind? Both actually. I have become far more selective in my purchases, but I always have the blog in mind.
15) How has your relationship to beauty products changed since you began blogging? Well, I wouldn't say that I am any less obsessed with beauty products than I was in my pre-blogging life, but I would say that I have way more products now! I would also say that I am far more discriminating about what I use, and what I spend my money on.
What is your greatest joy about blogging? Interacting with people and forging friendships in this amazing community.
17) How much time do you spend blogging per week? That depends upon how busy I am with work. I do post something every single day, though. There is so much more to blogging than one can imagine-- you are basically the researcher, the editor, the writer, the publisher, the IT Department, the photographer, the social media manager, the PR manager, the product tester, and the troubleshooter. Additionally, one has to allocate time to respond to emails and comments, and when you put all of these things together it takes a considerable daily commitment. As any blogger will attest, you have to wear lots and lots of hats to do what needs to be done to run a blog, and for most of the bloggers that I know this is done while having a career outside of blogging.
18) If you could start your blog all over again, what would you differently? That's hard to say because the choices that I made brought me where I am now, and I like where I am.
19) What is the best piece of advice that you would give an aspiring beauty blogger? Don't write about what you think other people want to read- instead write about what truly interests you. This is the best way to find your voice, and then like-minded people will be drawn to your blog. This is the way to best engage with the blogging community, not by doing derivative work or mimicking the work of other bloggers. It's also important to take time to edit what you write, and to spell check your work. Articles rife with mistakes don't inspire confidence, or repeated visits to the author's blog.
20) Do you consider your blog a hobby, or is it part of a larger career objective? A happy hobby that has taken on a life of its own. I guess that some might call it a second career based upon the level of commitment and consistency necessary to keep a blog going. That said, I am and always have been very happy in my career choice.
21) How do you find the motivation to keep making the effort to keep the blog going? I love interacting with those who read my blog, and love interacting with other bloggers. I have also forged some amazing friendships with brands, the owners of brands, Sales Associates, Reps, PRs etc., and it is a very gratifying part of the entire blogging experience. Also I still get super excited about new skincare and makeup finds-- so remaining motivated comes naturally.
22) What are your favorite TV shows? My current favorites are: House of Lies, Shameless, Episodes, Ray Donovan, Being Human, Justified, Homeland, Veep, Covert Affairs, Elementary, Mad Men, Castle, Suits, Big Bang Theory, Perception, and White Collar.
Do you have questions that I didn't address? Feel free to ask!
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