I often find myself saying this as a way of explaining why I started Beauty Despite Cancer and why I created Defiant Beauty...
- beauty blogging
- organic foods as well as organic beauty
What makes a beauty blogger a beauty blogger?
What makes a beauty blogger a beauty blogger? Are bloggers born or made? Here Tamara Brittain tells us how she became obsessed from an early age.
What makes a beauty blogger a beauty blogger?
Sometimes I think my fate was sealed when I was about four and first discovered a strawberry scented hand cream on my aunt’s vanity table.
My mother never really had much in the way of beauty products, I didn’t have opportunity to smear her lipstick or eye shadows all over my face, like many little girls do. So I know that this obsession with beauty products is all my own, not an inherited trait. My first recollection of a product was that strawberry hand cream. I remember every visit was a race between me trying to locate the magic potion, and my aunt trying to make sure that I don’t waste any of her pricey hand cream.
Fast forwarding into my teenage years I was a proud owner of almost every issue of Cosmo girl and teen vogue. And although my budget was limited, I would walk for hours to save money on bus fair and spend it on a new lip gloss. Amongst my friends, I was the one with all the latest makeup, and when they came round I would bring out all my treasures at their request. It felt wonderful when my peers turned to me for advice about what product to use, or how to apply something. Although my mom was absolutely horrified with my make-up looks (and yeah my application techniques were probably not as good as I imagined), I absolutely loved my beauty products.
Many girls outgrow this obsession, yet I never did. It is not that I use lots of products, I just like to have them. Every time something new comes out, I want to know about it and ultimately I want to try it. One of my favorite things since I was sixteen has been bringing the new goodies home and carefully reading everything on the packaging, from instructions to the ingredients list. This is just something I always have done, yet it wasn’t until much later that I started to understand what all the ingredients actually were.
In my early twenties I became entranced by the programme “you are what you eat”. I watched it with horrified fascination. I always had a good relationship with food, yet my obsession with beauty products meant that sometimes I would by some lower quality produce just so I could get a new mascara. Gillian McKeith (the presenter of the programme) made me rethink what I was doing. In one of the episodes I also saw a mention of an organic vegibox scheme. I believe that was the first time I heard about organic food.
After a short search on Google, I and my then fiancé were signed up to the Riverford organic box scheme, and after eight years we still are. My curiosity made me look into organic food more closely (and there was a very helpful pamphlet with our first box). It made me more interested in environmental issues as everything we do has an impact, and it is so easy to forget that when all our lives are so busy, and stressful at times.
When I first started getting boxes from Riverford, it was about better tasting, seasonal produce. Yet it was one of the first steps that changed my lifestyle completely, it lead to a discovery of People tree, a fairtrade and organic fashion company, and eventually, it lead to me changing to natural and organic beauty products.
At the same time money was an issue and my wanting to swap to more natural products (of which there weren’t that many at the time), was proving difficult. I had a brilliant idea of making my own. Armed with a few DIY beauty books and empty serialised jars I proceeded to experiment in my kitchen. In the end it turns out that anything that involves a double boiler is not for me, but I am more than happy to mix scrubs, toners and oil blends.
I still do some DIY from time to time, but I do prefer my products to be made but someone else. To me it really is like a difference between a home cooked meal and going to a restaurant. Some restaurants are not so good and you would’ve had a much better meal at home, but some are so exceptional that you know it was worth every penny. Some beauty products just deliver that experience beyond a functional blend, which I can’t achieve on my own.
When I realized that my love for everything Beauty related is not going anywhere, I just wanted to share it with others, this is how my blog started. There are so many natural/organic products around now, and there are new brands being launched every year.
I have been using natural skincare and body products for the past seven years and started to swap out my make-up about four years ago. Things have come a long way since then. There has never been as much choice as there is now.
But swapping is not as easy as it may sound, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it will work for you. My skin reacts badly to jojoba oil, which is a wax that is considered to be great for sensitive skin. There are some people that are sensitive to coconut and argan oils. You need to learn what works for you, and you do need to become savvy at reading labels. Even products that are certified organic could have ingredients that you might wish to avoid because of personal sensitivities (ingredient knowledge is also useful in learning how to spot products that try to seem more natural than they really are).
I have my old favourites and I am constantly on the lookout for some new discoveries. I hope to share most of them here with you. Who knows, maybe you will find and exceptional product that might not make you look ten years younger, but will never the less put a smile on your face and bring that twinkle to your eye.
A great read Tamara, well done:)