Saturday, 12 February 2011

Inspirational Interview - London Beauty Queen

Hello my lovelies! It's time for yet another Inspirational Interview, this week with the wonderful London Beauty Queen. LBQ always seems to have the hottest beauty gossip and brings us plenty of reviews so if you don't follow her already, I recommend you tootle on over now and check her out!

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Firstly, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself please?
I'm a 28 year old Marketing Manager living and working in London who likes wine and spends way too much time watching Criminal Minds. 
How long have you been blogging and what was it that inspired you to start a blog?
I've been blogging for about 9 months and it really just started out of boredom. I've always worked in the health and beauty industry and had become aware of blogs through my work - I literally thought 'I could have a go at that' and one bored afternoon started LBQ. I found it reignited my passion for beauty products and gave me an outlet to write, which I really enjoy. I never thought it would lead to the success it has!
What are the best and worst parts of being a beauty blogger?
The best part is definitely the feedback and interaction you get with your readers... some ask me really personal questions like what foundation should the use on their wedding day! It's great having an audience that really listens to what you say and trusts your opinion; I still get really flattered when someone tells me they've bought something based on a reccomendation from me.

The worst part is probably the time it takes up. I could spend my whole weekend trying products and preparing posts and quite often come back after a night out and force myself to write! I say this, but then I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it - plus I'd probably moan I was bored. 
Your blog always seems to have the most up to date beauty news and releases - how do you find out so much exciting information and what sort of process do you go to in deciding whether or not to share it with your readers?
I'm quite lucky that the majority of my information comes from brands themselves or PR agencies. I do still find great products through having a browse in Boots or being given something as a gift, but on the whole the PRs make my life a lot easier by sending it directly.

I do always go through a process of choosing what to feature - whatever I write about must be interesting and relevant to my readers, so the product has to be new, innovative, good value for money or simply effective. I won't write about a product that's just ok or not that great when I could be telling people about something fab!
You post really frequently (daily - sometimes more than twice daily!) - where do you find your inspiration and motivation for posting?
I just enjoy doing it. I think it's quite therapeautic sometimes as I have to really think about the experience I had and why I did/n't like it. Most of the time I have so much to say that I need to post just to get it off my mind! I also feel an obligation to my readers to give them something new to read every day... It drives me insane when I go on a lot of the magazine websites and they haven't updated their beauty pages in three weeks. There's so much going on I don't know how they get away with it!
What has been the highlight of your time as a blogger?</b>an>
Definitely the awards I've been nominated for. To be a blogger for literally a few months and be nominated for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award (and be in such great company) was amazing... I was on a high for about a week after I found out. I've also just been nominated for a Rodial Beautiful Blog Award (which is still open for voting... shameless self-plugging here!) and I find out the results in February. To me the recognition of these award nominations is fantastic - I don't know why I've been so successful, but it means the world that I am. 
One of the things that I love about your blog is that it features a complete mishmash of high end and budget brands - do you have any particular favourite brands? What encourages to make a decision on whether or not to buy a beauty product?
That was my aim when I first started blogging. Nobody has a cupboard full of high-end beauty products because we just can't afford it. Having worked in the industry I know that a lot of the time you just pay for the packaging and the name, particularly when the same formulations are used in cheaper 'sister' brands. I believe that you should pay for what you get - there are some great highly priced products out there, but there are also a lot of pretty fantastic cheap ones too.

When I'm buying a product (or reviewing it) I really question if it's value for money. If it's £80 but turns me into Jessica Alba then I'm happy, but if it's that same price and does nothing then what's the point? Some of my favourite products are under a tenner because technology has moved on - customers are demanding more and companies are trying to meet these needs. Some of my favourite brands include Liz Earle for skincare (really natural, fab quality products that aren't over priced,) MeMeMe for cheap but effective make-up and L'Occitane for everything inbetween.
How do you spend your free time when you're not blogging?
I'm a massive music lover so spend my winter months at gigs and summer months camping out in festivals. I love history so spend a lot of time in museums or visiting old homes/castles and spooking myself out! I also love Sci-Fi and crime so quite often I'm quite happy sitting at home with a boxset of Criminal Minds, Bones or Battlestar Galactica and a bottle of wine. Blogging takes up a lot of my time though and I've made so many friends that a lot of my weeks are taken up through events or socialising - with yet more wine!
What can readers of London Beauty Queen look forward to over the next couple of months?
Lots of exciting news, reviews and beauty gossip! 2010 was a great year in the industry and from what I've seen already 2011 is going to be even better. I want to start doing more 'progress' reviews too so you get to see me use a product over a number of weeks, rather than just my final thoughts. I'd really like to make my blog more interactive and get my readers to review products for me or suggest things they'd like to see. 
Ok time for some quick fire questions:
3 Favourite Items of Make up:
Concealer, Powder & Mascara. (Bags, shiny nose and non-existent lashes!) 
3 Favourite Foods:
Pad Thai (my local takeaway don't even ask now!), Wahaca (Mexican street food restaurant in Westfield) and a choice between pizza and sarnies... they always fill a hole. 
3 Desert Island Items:
Either a Philippa Gregory or Jodi Picoult book, my Blackberry (which is permanantly attached to me) and probably my sister so we could talk about Doctor Who. 
3 People who've inspired you:
Oooh this is a hard one. Probably my mum as she's always positive no matter how much rubbish she's been through. I get inspired when I see successful businesswomen like Michelle Mone or Karren Brady in high profile positions. Other than that I get inspired by random things I see and random stories I hear!
3 blogs you'd like to recommend:
A Model Recommends - the one blog I read religiously because Ruth is bloody hilarious.
Saskia the Style Fairy - a fairly new discovery, but I love her outfits.
Belle of the Bald - a fab girl called Maya who's documenting her battle with cancer through decorating her bald head!
3 words of advice:
Be strong, be determined and be positive. (A bit more than 3!) 

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