Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As with a difference. I usually chat to the people behind some of your favourite beauty brands, however this time to celebrate my first 6 months of blogging I’m sharing a day in the life of a still-new-to-the-scene beauty blogger. I find it inspiring to read blogger interviews where they share their glamorous, fun and fulfilling daily lives: free products dropping into your letterbox on a daily basis, invitations to exotic press trips, beautifully edited social feeds curated from the comfort of a boutique coffee shop… that may be the reality for those who make a living out of blogging and it’s great to have a goal to aim for, but in the meantime here’s what my blogging day looks like.
6am – Get woken up by a hangry toddler
Kick husband in the shins to signal he needs to deal with the situation. He’s responsible for the morning shift and I take on the evenings, which suits his early bird / my night owl rhythms, although our boy has lately decided that I have no right to stay in bed when he’s awake, running into our bedroom and throwing my watch and glasses at me, communicating in no uncertain terms ‘get out of bed lazy’. No cleansing lemon water and mindful meditation for me then.
6.30am – Breakfast
Cereal for the boy, which he proceeds to throw down his pyjamas, and a cereal bar for me, the higher in sugar the better. I try to check social media platforms and respond to messages without the boy stealing my phone.
7.30am – Ready, set, go
Pamper the boy with Aveeno Moisturising Lotion and dress him in a lovely Petit Bateau outfit which he will no doubt spill tomato sauce on. Open my wardrobe to find a messy row of uninspiring, un-ironed, uncoordinated clothes piled three items deep on mismatched hangers. Pluck out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and throw my un-groomed hair in a messy bun. Not one of those stylishly dishevelled topknots but a lanky bun tied with a brightly coloured plastic hairband. And no I’m not planning on getting changed once I’ve done the school run, unless I have a meeting this is the #ootd. Days when I have to look presentable involve La Roche-Posay’s BB Cream, Benefit Goof Proof and Arbonne Smoothed Over lipstick.
8.30am – Product testing
Once I’ve dropped off the boy at the childminder’s the working day can start. I had images of spending every morning in one of the many lovely local cafes, sitting in a bijou back garden sipping a turmeric latte, but with products to test and flatlays to photograph and my laptop the size of a small pony I tend to work from the dining table opposite my husband who also works mostly from home. If I’ve received press samples I’ll trial them now, taking notes on the packaging, the formula’s scent and texture, its feeling on skin, and the result.
9.00am – Photoshoot
Mornings tend to offer the best light for photos so I’ll do a ‘photoshoot’, selecting the products for a post and choosing complementary props and settings based on the theme and colour scheme. For efficiency I’ve created an ever-growing list of props available categorised by colour, anything from ribbons to candles and scarves. I’ll take quite a few shots of different layouts, upload onto my laptop and select around 4 for editing, adjusting the light and erasing imperfections.
10.30am – Research
I research all products before writing a post, from checking claims to understanding the benefits of key ingredients and any vegan, organic, natural or cruelty-free certifications (discussed in Vegan and Cruelty-Free Beauty: What Does it Mean), getting in touch with relevant spokespeople for quotes and further product information.
1.00pm – Lunch
Go foraging in the fridge and usually end up with something imaginative like cheese on toast.
2.00pm – Brand partnership!
Get approached by an unknown brand wanting to work with me on a sponsored post, yay! Research the brand and discover it’s a Chinese shoe manufacturer with an abysmal customer rating on Trust Pilot. And that they’re offering $10 for my work. Oh. Politely decline and suggest they may want to tackle their poor rating.
3.00pm – Magazine features
Reach out to magazine editors with beauty pitches based on blog posts I’ve been working on. Admittedly getting resounding silence as feedback can be demoralising, but it only takes one yes to get an article published so perseverance feels worthwhile. My favourite article to date is probably my very first for The Resident featuring my top 5 vegan beauty products – it achieved the highest page views in the publication’s health & beauty category.
4.00pm – Social Media
Schedule social media posts using Planoly, ensuring regular and consistent messages across all platforms with room for ad hoc posts to react to daily events, usually through tweets and stories. Upload post to the blog formatting the copy, adding alt text to images and the nofollow tag on all outbound links. I’m still a little hazy on the ins and outs of SEO so read the 100th post on the subject to try and glean more tips. For post themes I prefer to group a handful of products under a common theme rather than review a single product, so will pick a selection of cruelty-free products for Cruelty-Free Beauty: Follow the Rabbit or French skincare for Is Pharmacy Skincare the Secret to French Beauty. I feel it gives the post a more varied and editorial feel and fits with what I’ve grown up reading in fashion and beauty magazines.
5.45pm – Final push
Get toddler dinner ready before picking him up at 6pm. Once he’s in the bath I take this bathroom time to do my evening skincare routine, currently featuring Natura Siberica’s Gentle Face Peeling, Sophora Japonica Serum and Night Cream (all reviewed here). Once the little one’s in bed it’s wine o’clock.
Does this sound familiar to any bloggers out there? Leave a comment below to let me know!