Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Bold and the Beautiful

Beauty bloggers are taking over the world and that is a fact. After being ignored by PR companies for years, these same blogger now find themselves on the receiving end of VIP treatment; invites to press launches, free products as well as the occasional free trip. Didi is one of those bloggers who the make up obsessed turn to for advice on products. She has been running The Virtues of Beauty for just over a year and has built up quite a following. I touched base with her to find out the lady is behind The Virtues of Beauty. 

What made you start blogging?
I decided to start my blog after becoming obsessed with watching product reviews, makeup and hair tutorials and things of that nature on YouTube. That led to reading reviews on blogs and although I found them to be useful and I enjoyed reading what people felt about certain products, I wanted to try them out for myself; to see if what the reviewer had said was true for me. Especially being a woman of colour. I don’t really want to go into race, or to say that my blog is catered to a specific demographic because that’s not my intention, but I do feel that there is a lack of representation for women of colour, especially coming from the UK. You have people who are fantastic such as Erin from Scandalous Beauty or Brittany from Clumps of Mascara who do great reviews, but they are based in America. Some of the products they review aren’t available to you here and I remember in the beginning I’d buy/import those products just because they had received good reviews, but I soon found that not to be beneficial, so I decided to see what was on the market here, including products that aren’t targeted to women of colour and give my thoughts. 

Describe the concept behind The Virtues of Beauty?
To be honest initially there was no concept behind The Virtues of Beauty, I just wanted to create a blog that gave honest reviews, and pass on tips and tricks that I’ve learnt. 

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media? 
We live in a fast paced world and blogs are an easy way for the readers to find information and resources they want or need quickly. For someone who lives on their computer, I don’t have the time for traditional media. Blogs make it easier for me to keep up with the world around me – what’s hot and what’s not. Plus I like the feel of blogs, they tend to have a community feel to them; you’re able to interact with the author, ask questions specific to the post and get answers. However, there’s no pre-requisite to starting a blog and in some cases it shows through the standard of writing. As a blogger who has no formal training as a writer or journalist, I write my blog from a consumers’ point of view - I'm not here to change the face of writing, as we know it. 

Beauty blogging seems to be the new thing in blogsphere so how do you keep your blog fresh? 
The blog is still in its early stages, and I’m still trying out different things, such as mini-series. But I would like to think that ultimately I keep my blog “fresh” with my style of writing, which is pretty much conversational. I like to think the reader is sitting next to me and I'm just chatting away to a friend. 

What do you do when you are not working on your blog? 
When I'm not blogging, I'm managing my own private training organisation which I run with my mum and when I’m not doing that I’m a freelance makeup artist and wardrobe stylist. 

Describe a typical day in the life of Didi. 
A typical day in the life of me is fairly boring. It would see me waking up at around 6.30am scrambling for my Blackberry (I’m a proud addict), checking my latest emails and/or messages; then it's a date with Billy Blanks and a great Tae-Bo workout, after which I get ready for work. Depending on my day and meetings, I'll either work from home or go into the office. My friends call me a workaholic and I've been known to work late hours, sometimes I don't leave the office until 11.30pm. 

Where do you source your stories from? 
Most of my posts are product reviews and so the source of my posts as such comes from whatever product I’m testing at the time. It can be products I’ve got an interest in or someone has asked me to review or I’ve been sent by a PR company. 

What are your favourite glossy magazines? 
I’ll pick up Look magazine without fail. I do like to flick through InStyle, Elle and Glamour and on the odd occasion Ebony and Essence. - Not sure if Colures is still in publication, but I have a couple issues and quite like the magazine. 

Name five blogs that you read religiously? 
I follow quite a few blogs but don’t really read them all religiously; rather I’ll read the latest posts that come up in my feed with interesting titles. Some blogs of note are Mad News, Harlem Loves, Toya Berry, Scandalous Beauty and of course The Musings of Ondo Lady. 

How do you see The Virtues of Beauty evolving over the next two years? 
Quite simply I don’t know. I started the blog with no real notion of where to take it or what I wanted it to be. Fleeting thoughts of it evolving into a reputable online lifestyle or beauty magazine have crossed my mind but that’s about it. 

You can follow Didi on twitter here.

1 cool comments:

Marian said...

Fab interview honey! I like her blog name.