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Hey you! So you want to know more about the girl behind the blog? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do you live? Are you married? Kids?
I was born and raised in the South, and have lived mostly in Georgia. I've lived in Atlanta for a few years and I love it. There's always something to do! I have an adorable, frequently-featured Morkie (Maltese-Yorkie) named Charlie Brown.
Why did you start a blog?
I started ElleSees after reading a post on another (now-defunct) blog. It felt like one big advertisement. I knew I could make one of the products featured, I knew a dupe for another product, and had a better suggestion for a third. I started a blog that instant. Plus, I would think it creepy to approach shoppers in Target and share with them my beauty knowledge, right?
How is your blog different from other beauty blogs?
Most beauty blogs are divided into two categories: product reviews or a showcase of beauty talents (makeup, hair, nails). While I LOVE those types of blogs, and feature those categories as well, my blog addresses those who don't have a beauty routine because of (a) time, (b) budget, or (c) skill. My posts generally: are 15 minutes or fewer, with time-saving tips; use drugstore products, as well as my Cheap Treats and Beauty DIY series; or are on a beginner level, teaching basic beauty skills. Whether you're the Mom-on-the-Go, the College Student on a Budget, or the Teen Just Getting into Makeup, there's something for everyone! You can have a beauty routine that works for you!
Are you a cosmetologist? Do you work in the industry?
I am completely self-taught, and it is a profession I admire. I currently freelance.
How did you get involved with the beauty world?
I've been involved with makeup/hair/nails practically my whole life! I grew up in it. I have fond memories of playing with blue Barbie eyeshadow and Tinkerbell polish when I was little. My sister and I also did annual beauty pageants. Sitting still for long periods of time getting my hair done taught me patience! My mom did our hair/nails for school and let us play in her makeup. My hair was never cut until I was 15, so I've forever loved doing my hair. Additionally, my Grandmother had a locally-sold cosmetic line named after me and my sister. We would play with the samples, her makeup, wigs, and a styling head. I've been a beauty fan for years, as an observer, learner, and user. My family and friends trust my opinions on a product, as do my blog readers. I have knowledge to share, but am forever learning more.
What's your background in beauty?
As far as my background, my sister and I grew up playing in my Grandmother's salon. I can remember being 3 (there are pics!) and crying because I didn't want to leave! This is when my DIYs began--I called them "experiments." I tried giving my sister a perm at 4! I loved watching the transformation of the clients through hair/makeup/nails. I realized the power of makeup and the right techniques. I thought it was such a glamorous atmosphere. We would go with her to hair/nail shows as her testers. When we'd spend the night at her house, she'd do our hair or give us special manicures, like adding a tiny rhinestone to an accent nail. It was so much fun!
The beauty industry used to be shrouded in mystery (to me anyway), and the public had access to poor-quality drugstore products or really expensive department store makeup. I've loved seeing that shift to easily-accessible products, better drugstore quality products, and pro-techniques. I learned so much by watching my Grandmother, my mom, reading anything beauty-related, like beauty/fashion magazines, books, and studying really old cosmetology textbooks. There is something to be said about old-school techniques! And don't forget MTV's House of Style! I would attempt to replicate what I observed on my dolls, sister, and friends. It's taken lots of practice and products, but I love beauty and I always want to learn more.
I love your DIY Beauty products. How did you get started in that?
My beloved late Great Granny came from the Great Depression era and instilled in me: How can you make it yourself? How can you recycle that item into something new? How many different ways can you use it? Those values hold true today as I make many of my own products and are the inspiration for my Cheap Treats series. I try to give many options as possible or many uses for the product, whether I make or buy it.
My first beauty DIY was a disastrous attempt at making my own perfume at age three. I was constantly concocting some beauty product, but never developed a love for cooking! I loved to mix things together using my Grandmother or Mom's old products. Skip ahead to high school where I would make my own lip balm, dye my friends' hair with Kool Aid, or dye clothes with tea or berries. On Halloween, I'd do my friends' ghoulish makeup. I'm admittedly frugal, especially during the college years, and making my own products is a result of that. I had an old notebook where I'd jot ideas and recipes complete with a chart listing the benefits of each ingredient. Now, I keep it all on a spreadsheet.
Every recipe I share has been used by me in some form for years, created or used in a variety of ways, and on a variety of people. The same concept goes for my hair and nail tutorials. When I am creating a new look or recreating a celeb's hair/makeup, I try it many times and in different ways. I try to keep it to my blog's mission statement of easy, quick, and on budget.