To start off Large Marge-style, let me just say that it was a day just like today, weatherwise, anyway. On April 4, 2006, I’d made an eye-cream suggestion to one of the beauty editors via Jane Magazine’s (now defunct, of course) blog and she posted to say that she loved it. It was Dr. Hauschka Eye Contour Day Cream and I took that to mean I should definitely create an outlet for my beauty acumen that had until that point been relegated to sharing hairspray recs to middle-aged accounting partners on elevators at my marketing gig at a Big Four audit firm. Here are nine things I’ve learned in the nine years since that day.
- Biters Gonna Bite. Pay as much attention to the copycats as Paris, France pays to the Paris in Vegas. i.e., none. There will always be screamingly shoddy Xeroxes. To me, imitation isn’t flattery, but it also doesn’t have to be anything I acknowledge, either.
- Do What You Love And The Money Will Come. If you are blogging to make money, it’s going to be a rough road. This gig is all-consuming: If you don’t love it, it’s going to show.
- Visuals are Vital. I am embracing Instagram for its beauty. But I still struggle with a medium in which the more inauthentic an artistic expression is, the more it succeeds. The irony isn’t lost on me that we live in a world where people over-contour their faces so that they look utterly unreal (to the point of an Uncanny Valley resident) IRL, but we spend hours making our homes look like ABC Carpet and Home replicas using marble slabs and white poster board and six different lamps set up just so.
- Fashion Is Art, Beauty Is Science. And sometimes the twain shall meet, but I’ve found the people who really GET both are few. You can’t be an expert in anything if you’re a genre generalist.
7. Blogging is STILL not respected. At least once a month, someone who works for a beauty brand will ask me which magazine I’m from at an event to which they likely invited me and then looks visibly irritated and starts looking over my head to see who else they should be spending their time with when I tell them I write a blog. It makes me appreciate the early adopters that much more.
8. Never Have A Single Income Stream. From 2007 to 2010, I saw at least 30% of my coworkers let go at three different companies. I made a decision to diversify my revenue after seeing people who’d given 15+ years to a company unceremoniously let go in the name of “rightsizing.” I don’t begrudge the people making the decisions to streamline a business, but it helped me accept the reality that putting all your financial eggs in a single basket is simply not a smart strategy.
9. YOU Are What Keep This Site Going. Even when I have 8 deadlines a week for my freelance clients, knowing that you guys come here every day since 2006 to talk beauty inspires me. Even on Sunday nights, when returning to the Groundhog Day that is R18 deadlines (at least 2,900 over the course of 9 years) on top of my multiple side-hustles (and four of nine years, a full-time job) you guys make bringing the beauty a joy. I am the living EMBODIMENT of the praise hands emoji because of YOU. Here’s to many more. Thank you for reading!