(1) What do you do for work and how do you find time to blog? As the name implies, I am indeed an educator! As a Communication Studies professor, I cover courses like Mediation & Negotiation, Public Speaking, Small Group Dynamics and Mass Communication; I also run speech and debate and journalism programs at a large urban high school. Needless to say, my work hours are extensive but I love teaching…helping students to become more effective communicators is my passion and I am thankful to be able to get the gift of that opportunity each day.
In light of my work hours, I generally blog in the later afternoon and evenings–once I am finished in the classroom–and, since I take all my own pictures, I am constantly chasing the light so swatching and photography generally takes immediate priority over writing when I get home. It can be a sacrifice (Beauty Professor is never far from my mind…the ability to write 24 hours a day can be a caveat of blogging) but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Every product featured must be photographed, the photos must be edited and watermarked, I must test the product and then do follow up images (generally of the product in action on my face)…then the images are uploaded and captioned. It is only after these steps that the post is ready to be written. This process can take days, weeks or months, depending on the product and it is why I am so selective about what I commit to trying for this blog.
Due to their increase in the last year (I receive approximately 60-100 blog-related missives a day), responding to comments and emails has become more challenging. The interface with readers and brands I love is important (and one of the reasons I started BP in the first place) and I’ve learned that responding eventually is better than (a) not responding or (b) driving myself crazy with the unrealistic expectation of responding immediately. I thank you, my readers, for hanging in there with me as I hone this approach! Finally, I am happily married to a husband with an equally demanding work schedule so we are constantly striving to make sure that we spend “down time” together…isn’t it odd that most of us have to work quite hard to carve away moments to relax?
(2) Why are most, if not all, of your reviews positive? Because my limited time for blogging, I would much prefer to devote my energy to discussing products that I like, rather than channeling efforts into expressing distaste for something. I find that the writing comes much easier when I am loving my experience with the product, and, after a full work day, I need all of the help I can get. That being said, ethics are paramount to the health and well being of BP and I will always give you my most honest opinion of something, good or bad, should I be asked via comment or email.
(3) Is Beauty Professor sponsored by beauty/skincare companies? Absolutely not! I am an independent blog and am at liberty to write about anything I want, whenever I want…schedule permitting ; ) Whenever a press sample is included in a post, I make sure to disclose its presence following the “Bottom Line.” However, it must be stated that for every press sample that receives a favorable review (because I truly LOVE the product), there are many more press samples that simply do not get coverage on the blog because my experience with them wasn’t exemplary. I buy a lot of beauty (it is my fiscal indulgence, above all else) and these purchases have always made up the majority of what is discussed on BP. I love to track down esoteric items and am equally thrilled to share them here.
I am privileged to work with a host of beauty lines that I have adored for years (talk about a dream hobby!) and am also a Beauty Ambassador and contributing writer for Neiman Marcus (truly an honor) and Skincare Ambassador for RoC Skincare (retinol is incredible).
(4) What are some of your Holy Grail products? I am going to exercise extreme restraint here because I need to go to bed soon! Here are 10:
- Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge…reviewed HERE
- La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream…reviewed HERE
- By Terry Densiliss Concealer…reviewed HERE
- Tom Ford Naked Gloss and Nude Vanille Lipstick…reviewed HERE and HERE
- Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quads…reviewed HERE
- Surratt Beauty Relevee Mascara…reviewed HERE
- Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Cheek Blush in First Love…reviewed HERE
- Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow…reviewed HERE
- By Terry Densiliss Primer…reviewed HERE
- Foundations by Tom Ford (reviewed HERE), Clé de Peau Beauté (reviewed HERE), By Terry (reviewed HERE), Sensai (reviewed HERE), Koh Gen Do (reviewed HERE), Shu Uemura (reviewed HERE) and Zelens (reviewed HERE).
(5) What kind of dog is Jethro? Jethro is a Peke-a-Poo…half Pekingese, half Poodle and utterly angelic. My husband and I (as well as the rest of my immediate family) are so thankful to have him in our lives.
(6) What made you start Beauty Professor? I have always had an affinity for beauty products…during college and graduate school, I modeled to pay my tuition and was consistently more interested in the makeup than the actual posing! In my early adult years (when disposable income became more of a reality), I found myself amassing quite a collection of makeup and became interested in reading beauty blogs (long time favorites include The Beauty Look Book and Cafe Makeup) to aid in my decisions. After finishing co-authoring a public speaking textbook with another professor (it was a 2 1/2 year endeavor…we had a publishing deal and the book is currently being sold nationally), I was still in “writer’s mode” and thought that starting a beauty blog would be a fun way to catalogue my collection and interact with other beauty lovers. Three years and one Trademark later, Beauty Professor is still going strong…what a blessing!
(7) What is it about foundation that you love so much? I have some unevenness (delayed sun damage from earlier, sunscreen free years) that I prefer to cover; this struggle definitely heightened my interested in finding the perfect base solution. I believe that if your canvas is looking its best, one is more apt to feel their best! Beauty Professor is laden with full spectrum swatches of dozens of foundation formulas because many of my readers share in this base passion; I am thankful to be able to help individuals find their way to their perfect foundation match every single day.
(8) Where do you shop most often and what are some of your favorite beauty/skincare lines? For makeup and skincare, I find myself shopping at Nordstrom (can’t beat their return policy), Topshop (I always find something), Neiman Marcus (the spectrum of high end brands is superb), Barney’s New York (the cosmetics floor is a whimsical wonderland), Anthropologie (for whimsical staples) and Space.NK (carries everything else I love).
Some of my favorite beauty lines inlcude Surratt Beauty (reviewed HERE), By Terry (reviewed HERE), Clé de Peau Beauté (reviewed HERE), Burberry Beauty (reviewed HERE), Charlotte Tilbury (reviewed HERE) and, of course, Tom Ford (reviewed HERE).
In terms of skincare, I am consistently pleased with SK-II (reviewed HERE and HERE), Radical Skincare (reviewed HERE), LiftLab (reviewed HERE), La Prairie (reviewed HERE) and NUDE Skincare (reviewed HERE).
(9) What camera do you use to take your pictures/film your videos? Who takes the pictures of you? I predominantly use a Canon Rebel SL1 for still images as well as all of my videos on my YouTube channel. Sometimes, when the situation requires, I use my iPhone 6 to capture images spontaneously and also use it constantly for Instagram.
I take all of my own pictures of myself. Managing the angle, finding the right natural light and maneuvering the camera backwards (without being able to see what images are being captured) can be a wild challenge but I’d like to think that process is part of what makes Beauty Professor so authentic!
(10) What is your “beauty aesthetic” and how long have you been growing your hair/who colors it? I feel best with an even canvas (hence the quest for the ideal foundation), a slight bronze/contour/highlight effect, a soft pink blush, a taupe-bronze eye, dark lashes and a pinky nude lip (as depicted HERE). It is classic and polished and easy to acheive on a daily basis…I can usually get ready in under 10 minutes!
I’ve had long hair for most of my life (though it is currently the longest it has ever been!) and I don’t color it (athough it does get naturally lighter in the summer). My mom trims it once or twice a year and otherwise, it is extremely low-maintenance (albeit a challenge to brush these days)!
–The Beauty Professor