Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Northern California, but I moved to Southern California to get my PhD in art history. After completing grad school, I ended up staying in Southern California, where I work in my field as a college professor. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and the cats and dogs with whom we share our lives (and who are often featured on my blog).
How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to start your blog?
I have been obsessed with skincare and makeup since I was an early teen. I always drove my mom and sister crazy when we would go shopping at department stores because I never seemed to make it out of the cosmetics department. They would hang out there with me for a while, and then would leave me there, and hours later they would come back for me. Believe it or not, I would still be talking with the makeup artists and sales associates.
At first, my blog was simply a diversion from the rigors of scholarly research, and it didn't occur to me that anyone would ever really read what I was writing, but when Barneys New York and Space NK contacted me and said that they wanted to work with me, it dawned on me that there was something to what I was doing. I also find writing exceedingly cathartic and therapeutic, and believe in doing it every single day.
As I wrote in my About Me section on my blog:
I have never lost the thrill of mixing colors and playing with makeup. I just find the artistry so fascinating when applied to the human canvas. There is no question that a "good canvas" requires proper skincare, and I am forever on a quest to find the best skincare products with the highest quality ingredients. This little blog is my search for the products that I love the most. I hope that you enjoy it!
While I am not a professional makeup artist, my academic training in Art and Art History lends itself to a deeper curiosity about our desire to adorn and transform ourselves. The artifice and skill with which we transform our faces, and our desire to "create looks" that enhance our features in an attempt to "perfect nature" is not unlike the underlying philosophy of idealizing Renaissance portraiture. In fact, it was for this very reason that Botticelli's portrait of the lovely Simonetta Vespucci, in her infinite beauty, was chosen as the face of my blog.
I love the name of your blog! How did you come up with it?
Lola is actually the name of my cat, and I named the blog in her honor because every single time that I sit at my desk to write she either sleeps on my lap, or sprawls out on my desk next to me. When I was trying to come up with a blog name, Lola was sitting on my lap purring, and she looked up and gave me a warm and loving blink and then promptly went to sleep. It was then that I had the "Aha Moment" that I should name the blog after her. The "secret" is that she's a cat, but my readers know that my name is actually Helen.
What are your top 5 favorite beauty products?
What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1) Always wear a sunscreen. An SPF of 30+ is one of the best preventative measures that you can take to avoid prematurely aging your skin, or worse yet developing skin cancer. That said, it needs to be reapplied every two hours to remain effective– so keep slathering it on throughout the day.
2) Always remove your makeup before going to sleep at night. If you are too tired to wash your face, then invest in some gentle makeup wipes or micellar water that can remove everything on those nights that you just can't be bothered to go through your whole skincare regimen.
3) Invest in high quality skincare products that suit your skin type. If you take good care of your skin early, and avoid excessive sun exposure, you will definitely notice a huge difference in the texture and health of your skin. We often forget that our skin is our largest organ, and investing in its health is of paramount importance to your overall health.
Being a blogger must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
I teach at a university when I am not blogging, and when I am doing neither of these things I like to hang out with friends and family, play with my animals, read, write and watch TV shows like Orphan Black and Game of Thrones.
7) In addition to your blog, how can The Beauty of Life readers find you on social media?
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin and Tumblr.