Friday, September 29, 2017

First Look Fridays Interview Series: Beauty Blogger Shelley Plummer of Polarbelle

Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series
I've connected with many fabulous beauty bloggers over the years. But one of my very favorites? Shelley Plummer of Polarbelle. Even though we've never met in person, we've definitely got a similar outlook on life that's led to many rapid-fire conversations over Instagram direct message! I love Shelley's unique take on beauty, too -- she's always introducing me to products I haven't heard of but absolutely need in my arsenal. And she shares my love of crazy hair colors! Read on to find out what inspired her to start her blog, the powder she can't live without and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I'm from Anchorage, Alaska and lived there my whole life, until three years ago when I moved to Phoenix. As a kid, my favorite pastimes were art, math and sports, particularly baseball. I went to school in North Spokane, Washington, originally as an art major, and changed to physics/math because my natural curiosity to figure out how things worked won out. I still wanted to work in aerospace, but then I met a guy and came back to Anchorage to live. My husband was a cop for a lifetime, now retired, and I worked at the police department for years before I started a full-time art business. I sold my work at various malls and seasonal craft and trade shows for two decades and in the last five years of my business, I transitioned my medium into painting faces, which I found to be even more fulfilling.

How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a blogger?
I actually started rather late. When I was 35, I had a friend who was into makeup and she talked to me about it. A lot. And I thought, you know, I've never tried working with color that way and if I'm ever going to, I should start right away. I found it to be a really interesting way to work with color and I wasn't burdened by having to carry products back and forth to different locations. I guess I was burning out in the painting business and developed a large interest in color via cosmetics.

My husband thought I should start a blog. I'd been doing reviews on different websites for years but never thought about doing my own. My husband was really insistent and he didn't give up on me, so I did. :)

I love the name of your blog! How did you come up with it?
I used to do reviews under the name meToo ... because when someone described a color, I'd think, "Me too, I want that." I guess the ultimate lemming. I joined MacLivejournal when I became interested in makeup because it was the M.A.C personnel who took painstaking time with me and helped me to further myself and abilities. The name meToo wasn't available, and I thought, dude, who am I going to be? Well, I'm not a Southern belle, and that's where the name Polarbelle came from. A born and bred kid from the Arctic, and it fit. I thought of the hours that I used to spend at my aunt's house hugging her polar bear rug when I was little (before they were endangered), and it was a good fit.

What are your favorite beauty essentials?
Good brushes. This comes from my earliest days doing art, and it was so difficult to convey what you wanted to with lousy or inferior brushes. A good brush makes all the difference. There are a lot of different tools, of course, but one thing I LOVE is a good brush.

Exfoliating products such as retinol and AHAs. Again, dry skin. I was plagued by flaky skin in my teens because of dryness and if the skin is dry, not smooth, flaky, etc., the other products won't lay as beautifully. Just like in other forms of art, you have to prep the canvas in order for the products to apply the way you want and to last on the canvas. I can't be without these beautifying, regenerating exfoliators.

Foundation. It doesn't matter if it's a BB Cream, a CC cream, powder or liquid, it just needs to be a nice, smooth application that buffs beautifully. I've used foundation since I was a teen because I needed cheek color and it just didn't wear well on naked skin. And I love the look of an even skin tone.

I'm torn between contour, blush and highlighter, but you can see a theme here: cheek products. I've never had a nice, healthy, natural cheek color. I started wearing blush in my teens because I was so pale in the cheeks. As addicted as I am to my contour and highlighters now, blush has been a constant in my routine since I started with the bare minimums as a kid.

How about your top 5 favorite beauty products?
Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Giorgio Armani Beauty Light Master Primer
Giorgio Armani Beauty Light Master Primer. It's not greasy, it holds every foundation in place, and it has the faintest glow in it to give my dry skin a natural looking fresh glow.

Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Translucent Pearls
Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Translucent Pearls. I'm not sure when I discovered this product, but as a dry-skinned person who has only lived in arid climates, I'm always chasing healthy-looking skin. I have never regularly used a powder as part of my routine because, again, I'm dry and it's always felt a little masky. When I picked this up just on a whim because it was so pretty, I used it lightly all over the face, kind of like a finishing powder. I use it lightly to set my face and it gives me the most natural-looking complexion. People ask how I get that natural glowy hydrated look and the one constant has been this powder. I've been through many, MANY of these and it's just proven itself time after time. I call it my secret weapon.

Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Pixi Beauty x MaryamNYC Strobe & Sculpt Palette
Pixi Beauty x MaryamNYC Strobe & Sculpt Palette. Contouring the places where I don't want a healthy glow is very important to me. I've rarely been over 10 feet away from this palette since its debut.

Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Buxum Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick White Russian
Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in White Russian. This is the perfect nude for me -- slight pink tone, awesome finish and comfort. It's the nude I had pictured in my head all these years but could never find. This is the one lip color I could wear the rest of my life and be happy with that.

Shelley Plummer, Polarbelle, beauty blog, beauty blogger, interview, First Look Fridays interview series, Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Elasticity Repair
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Elasticity Repair. This is a skincare product that when I use it at night, I see a difference the next day. When I don't use it, I see a big difference and not in a good way. It's a keeper!

What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1) When in doubt, blush it out. If you've got your face all on and something just looks off to you, like maybe you think the whole look isn't really cohesive, swipe the lightest bit of blush on the bottom of your browbone and into your crease and it pulls the whole look together. Use a blush brush with just a hint, it makes everything match.

2) Use a very small doe foot-shaped gel liner or lip brush to apply concealer on spots. Less is always more with concealer on the face. The tiny brush allows you to dab just the smallest amount right onto the red spot without getting it around the blemish or whatever you're trying to cover. When concealer spreads beyond the spot, it draws attention to it.

3) I'm not sure if the next one is much of a secret, but in my art business, I painted a lot of straight lines. I was pretty good at freehanding them. I learned to hold my breath, put my elbow on a table, hold the brush lightly, and draw. I do the same with eyeliner. Put your elbow on the counter, or table, and sit to steady your arm. Lightly hold your breath to control body movement. With eyeliner, the lines should be shorter, rather than a full straight line like with a painted picture, and hold your brush lightly. Holding it lightly actually gives you more control and better application. Stop in between breaths. Don't try to swat a mosquito at the same time, like I did last week. That never works.

Being a blogger must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
Being a blogger IS fun. I am a couple weeks shy of my 7th blogiversary and things have changed so much since I started. In the beginning, Twitter and YouTube were the only other social media. Now we have Instagram and Snapchat. We live in a 24/7 world and it definitely takes a larger amount of my time than it used to.

I love to talk baseball with my baseball-loving friends. I'm really looking forward to post-season baseball playoffs. I become super fan and probably annoy everyone around me. I LOVE the post season games! I shop often, always with an eye for ideas for my blog and YouTube. I don't have to buy things, I just look around. This keeps me motivated and it's also a quiet thinking time for me where I work out all the challenges I have and it creates ideas for me. I love to be outside, whether it's in the pool or exploring the Phoenix area scouting photo shoot locations and learning more about where I live. With the weather turning to fall, I'm able to spend more time outside exploring and I just LOVE it! I like to find new wonderful areas to watch the amazing desert sunsets. I enjoy movies, travel and anything colorful. Color was and will always be my first love and I enjoy it in all it's forms: people, places, things, ideas.

How can The Beauty of Life readers find you on social media?
You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest.


  1. Thank you for the feature, Jamie! There's so much work involved!! I am so honored. I keep saying that but it's true! 😘😘

    1. I was so beyond thrilled to feature you, Shelley! :)

  2. What a wonderful interview with Shelley! xoxo

  3. Love hearing from both Shelley and Jamie. Two in one post is perfect!

  4. Way to go Shelley! Looking fabulous as always, woot woot

  5. What I love about this series is that even when you think you know a lot about a blogger, you learn so much more. When I think of Shelley I think highlighters since she's always writing about them. But now I see it's anything on her cheeks that makes her more beautiful.

  6. Being a beauty blogger myself, I’m always on the hunt to follow other beauty blogs - I’ll be checking her out!

  7. Too sweet. I’ve been lucky to meet Shelley a few times over the years and she is just as amazing in person.

  8. not being a beauty blogger and only knowing shelley as a friend thru our spouses, i thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better as well as her recommendations!

  9. Great feature on Shelley, so much I didn't know about her!

  10. I love this! So great to get to know Shelley better!

  11. So cool!! I had no idea what you were up too! I thought enjoying the retired life with your husband! You go girl! 😀

  12. Love this! I'm going to have to try the Translucent Pearls trick!

  13. What a great interview! Shelley always seems so fun and real, I love her!

  14. Having known Shelley for, well let's just say a very long time, you are so right. She is so much fun and very real and love, love love her. Congratulations Jamie and Shelley! What a wonderful interview.