Friday, November 13, 2015

First Look Fridays Interview Series: Beauty Blogger Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series
If you aren't already reading Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, do yourself a favor and start IMMEDIATELY. Its creator, the truly fabulous Helen, writes such in-depth product reviews that I not only find myself admiring her writing ability but wanting every single product she talks about! Read on to find out how her blog came to be, the lipstick she can't live without and so much more.

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?
Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Susan Thompson Cosmetics Lola's Secret Lipstick
Susan Thompson Cosmetics Lola's Secret Lipstick. It isn't every day that a celebrity makeup artist creates a lipstick just for you, and that is precisely what happened with Lola's Secret. My very close friend, Suzi Thompson, created the perfect pink lipstick in my honor, and it is an unbelievably gorgeous lipstick of extraordinary quality. I carry a tube with my everywhere I go! Read the review here.

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, face oil, beauty oil, skincare
Beauty Oils. I have had a serious penchant for luxury beauty oils for quite a long time, and frankly if I could only use one skincare product in perpetuity, it would be these golden elixirs. High quality oils offer deep and penetrating moisture to the skin, and they nourish skin and give it an ethereal glow. Since luxury oils have recently gained so much traction in the marketplace, one can now find them at all price points, and for all skin types and concerns. I am so obsessed with luxury oils that I have dedicated a page to all of my luxury oil reviews at the top of my blog (link here).

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Tom Ford Nude Vanille Lipstick
Tom Ford Lip Colors. Truthfully, I am obsessed with everything that Tom Ford creates, from his filmmaking to his leather goods, and from his eyewear to his cosmetics, but his lipsticks are absolutely unbelievable. They really are that good! They are creamy and so beautifully pigmented that they achieve full opacity in a single pass, and the colors are unbelievably gorgeous. They range from the most sumptuous and flattering nudes to the most highly saturated reds, the most stunning corals and finally to the most dynamic vampy shades. If I had to pick a single favorite shade, I would have to say Nude Vanille since I reach for it the most.

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Artis Fluenta Oval 10 makeup brush
Artis Fluenta Oval 10 Brush. I have been obsessed with this brush since I first opened the box. This is a huge brush with ultra soft bristles, and it does a phenomenal job giving foundations, tinted moisturizers and BB and CC creams the most amazing airbrushed finish. It feels so great against the skin that I reach for it more than any other brush. Read the review here.

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, blog, blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Tom Ford Cheek Color Blush Wicked, makeup
Pink Blush. It's one of my great weaknesses, and finding a single favorite is nearly impossible, but my favorite liquid blush is Susan Thompson Cosmetics Mim's the Word, and my favorite powder blush is Tom Ford Cheek Color in Wicked. The former is a gorgeous blue-based pink that effortlessly glides across the skin and it imparts the perfect lit from within pink glow. The latter is a complex mid-tone shimmering pink that can be subtle or intense depending on your mood, but I find that a light hand is where Wicked looks the most natural and gorgeous.

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.

26 comments:

  1. I loved reading more about the fabulous and erudite Helen! I didn't know that Lola is her cat, I had thought Lola was her alter ego but maybe Lola is both

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Allison! While Lola is definitely my cat, I would say that her name has definitely become a bit of an alter ego as well! <3

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    2. Thank you Helen - so blessed to have found your amazing beauty blogs! You are the world's most authentic beauty blogger!

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    3. Wow, Carla! Thank you so much for your unbelievably moving words! I am deeply touched! <3

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  2. Jamie, my dear friend, thank you so much for featuring me on your truly exemplary blog! I am flattered and humbled that you wanted to feature me! xoxox

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  3. As much as I thought I knew about Helen, there's always more. This is just the best read. I have just about the same favorites!

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    1. Thank you, Marcia– I am touched by your generous comment!

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  4. I really enjoyed this interview. I love getting to know more about the beauties behind the blogs and Helen's blog is a great fave of mine so this article was a real treat.

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  5. Another amazing interview- I love Helen (and her blog, obviously!)

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    1. I feel exactly the same way about you and your blog as well, Bailey! <3

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  6. Helen is my Tom Ford (and luxury beauty) inspiration and I love her blog! My next stop, thanks to her, will be the Artis brushes.

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Renu! I am constantly inspired by you and your wonderful blog!

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  7. Thank you Helen! It is with great joy that I found all about your beauty blog ; you are such a well respected name in the beauty blog - from Switzerland to North America to the Middle East... you write so well, up to the point, credible, knowledgeable and real. Thank you for mentioning about the Swiss anti-aging LA PEAU Skincare ! It is a hidden secret to be found by your readers...

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    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, Carla!

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  8. I loved this interview it's great getting to know more about bloggers! Helen is the best, and I adore her blog!

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    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words, Heather! The feeling is absolutely mutual!

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  9. I absolutely love Helen's writing and in-depth reviews! It's nice to know a bit more about her.

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    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words, Kristina! <3

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  10. What a great interview! Loved getting to know her fave products!

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    1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed seeing some of my favorites! <3

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  11. My twinster! you are just wonderful. I'm so glad Lola's secret love for makeup is out!
    Sending hugs for the weekend,
    your cosmic twin from the other coast,
    xxxxx

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