Today was a brilliant day for us here on Lovely Girlie Bits, we were featured in U Magazine! What a year it’s been and this was a great way to start off the second year of our blog!
That’s me! On the right! I’m “The Real Woman”! I’m in excellent company with the Pixiwoo sisters, Ellie Balfe, Emma Farrell, Aoife from The Alpha Nail and the beaut.ie ladies, or should I say “Masters”!
This is the interview from the magazine.
This was a shortened version of the questions I answered and rightly so, I had a lot to say! So here are all of my answers in all their glory, so sit back and get stuck in…. 1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your role as an online beauty guru (how long you’ve been at it, accolades).
My name is Karen Constantine and I’m a thirty something Dubliner who has been waffling about make up and beauty on www.lovelygirliebits.com since September 2010. I have been known to go into Boots for deodorant and come out having spent a small fortune and no deodorant. I don’t take myself seriously at all and have recently posted photos of my debs (the absolute horror!), have proclaimed my secret love of The Scrunchie and as I’ve a degree in Science from UCD, I have put it to good use and tested out waterproof mascaras by dunking my face in a sink full of water. Makes perfect scientific sense, no?
I try to write as if I’m talking to a friend. It’s pretty informal and I try not to have too many War and Peace length posts. I post the best photos I can with my ancient camera with no editing, airbrushing or any kind of photo magic. If readers want to know how a foundation looks on the skin, that’s exactly what they’ll see. And there’s where my role as a beauty blogger comes in. I’m completely honest in reviews and experiences of products no matter if they’ve been sent to me or if I’ve bought them myself. I always disclose if I was sent something so that the reader is fully informed when they decide whether to buy something or not. I’ve built up a level of trust with my readers and I think they know me now! I research products I want to buy on blogs myself because it’s a way of seeing what it actually looks like on the skin rather than just in the packaging.
It’s much more fun to write about products I love, but sometimes I have to spill the beans on products that just didn’t work for me but I try to do it in a funny way so that it’s not just one big post about me giving out, that’s boring for me and the reader!
My sister, Joanne, recently joined forces with me and is tackling the fashion end of things but I am converting her slowly into appreciating all things make up and beauty. We’re celebrating Lovely Girlie Bit’s first birthday at the end of September and are closing in on 100,000 hits and have over 500 followers so far, crazy!
2. How did you get into your particular area of beauty and why did going online make sense for you?
– I’m a regular reader of beaut.ie and am completely in awe of Aisling and Kirstie. I found myself checking their site when deciding whether to buy a product or not and thought “Karen, you’re always buying products to try out and you have stuff to say about them, so why not put your thoughts online and leave your poor family and friends alone, they have no interest in what you have to say about Lush solid shampoo bars.” This was my outlet and as the number of followers continue to increase, it’s nice to know there are people out there reading what I think! Now I justify buying certain products “for blogging purposes”, any excuse!
3. What’s the best part of your job?
– I’m met some brilliant people over the past year and love being a part of the growing Irish blogging community. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the beaut.ie awards a few weeks ago, the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Awards and have been to eventsand launches. I never for a second thought I’d get to do these types of things when I started out and now have proper reasons to lash on the make up! Being a beauty lover is an expensive habit but fortunately I’m sent products to test out and review that I might not think to normally buy and I’m extremely grateful for that. It also means the blog is more varied with products from all ranges on the budgetary specrum. Finally, there is nothing better than finding a product that I love and can’t wait to blog about. I know that the readers will be as excited as I am and every comment they leave on the blog makes my day.
4. What one key piece of advise would you like all our readers to know (about beauty first, and then life in general!)
– Beauty? You don’t have to spend a fortune to get some great products these days. Our local chemists, Boots and Superdrug are full of affordable products that are excellent quality. That being said, it’s totally allowed to treat yourself to more expensive items, it’s one of The Rules Of Being A Girl. I’ve posted looks using high end products on one eye and more affordable products on the other and asked if readers can tell the difference.
Life advice? If everything is falling apart around you, keep on smiling.
5. What one product or product range could you not live without and why?
I could not live my life without lip balm. It doesn’t matter which brand. I panic when the hand goes into the handbag, rumages around only to emerge empty. I will be honest, this rarely happens because I have been known to carry 11 lip products in my bag, from lip balms, lip glosses and lipsticks. My cute EOS lip balm is always close to me!
6. What’s been the key to success in your online endeavours.
– I treat the blog as my second job and put a huge amount of time and effort into it. I try to blog regularly with funny, relevant content. Twitter has been brilliant for advertising new posts and giveaways and also for getting in touch with companies, fellow bloggers and readers of the blog. We have a Facebook page set up for those that don’t use Twitterso they can be alerted every time we publish a post. I know if it wasn’t for the support from our readers, the blog wouldn’t be successful and we love running giveaways to thank everyone.
7. What’s the biggest beauty mistake people make that you would like to correct?
– Please please pleeeease don’t let yourself be talked into going too dark with your foundation when being colour matched in a shop or when colour matching yourself! Match your foundation to your skin. A little bronzer afterwards is better than a complete orange face when going out. Those photos will be all over Facebook, out there forever!
8. Some of your favourites
Mascara – I am an absolute mascara fiend and love trying new ones in the hopes they’ll give me lashes like the girls in the ads (even if they do have fake lashes on and those lashes have been digitally enhanced, it doesn’t matter, I want them) I have two current favourites right now and please don’t make me choose. I’m loving Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Fusion and Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect rotating mascara. My favourite waterproof mascara is The Body Shop’s Big and Curvy Waterproof Mascara, it doesn’t budge a single bit even after a double dunk of my face into a sink full of water.
Foundation – I am on the never ending hunt for my perfect foundation. That elusive product that will give me plently of coverage without looking cakey, will keep shine at bay and makes me look flawless. If it could give me Kim Kardashian’s skin, that would be grand thanks. Any foundation suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Cleanser – Emma Hardie’s Moringa Balm. I’ve been using it for over a month now and it’ll take something major to change my mind from this. The balm and the micro fibre cloth are two little gems that have changed how my skin looks and feels where I feel confident enough to go to work with Liz Earle’s Sheer Skin Tint on my face, which is unheard of for me!
Beauty Tool – MyBabyliss Big Hair styler is the business and ladies should add it to their Christmas wish list (yes I said Christmas!) It makes me look like I’ve gotten my hair done professionally and all I do is stand there and hope for the best that it doesn’t tangle my hair. Love it lots.
Hair product – Lush’s Marilynhair treatment. This was my first product review on the blog last year. It’s aimed towards ladies with blonde hair but I’ve used it when I had really dark brown hair and nothing else has given my hair such shine. If you’re looking for soft, sleek, smooth hair, this is the treatment for you. I have repurchased this many times and will continue to do so. Love Lush.
Moisturiser – I’ve been using Emma Hardie’s Professional Moisturising Cream for a month now and love everything about it. It smells divine, has the benefits of a serum and a moisturiser and you can use it morning and night.
Nail polish – I can’t choose one. No, I actually can’t so here are my top picks! NYC’s Prospect Park Pink, China Glaze’s Ruby Pumps, Chanel’s Peridot, Ciate’s A Dangerous Affair and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Calypso Blue.
Bronzer – The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face. This gives the most natural, sun kissed glow of all the bronzers I’ve ever tried and yes, it is scary when you first squeeze it on to your hand ready to apply but it is gorgeous and needs to be tried. So that’s it ladies, my first magazine interview! Hope you enjoyed and thanks to Aisling at U Magazine for featuring moi, you made a girl very happy today 🙂