Name: Anne-Marie Clegg
College: Southern Methodist University
Class Year: Junior (Class of 2014)
Major: Advertising, Fashion Media, French
Why She’s in Center Stage: Fierce beauty blogger behind The Beauty Book and beauty vlogger
Social Media Fun-ness: Find The Beauty Book (and Anne-Marie!) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
When did you start taking your passion for beauty and cosmetics seriously?
I have always loved playing with makeup, but I think my passion for it really blossomed during my high school years. I took AP art classes and especially loved painting portraits of people. I naturally paid attention to the contours and shadows of the face, bringing out people’s features, and essentially applying “makeup” to the many faces I painted on canvas. Despite this, I always dreaded the sketching portion of the process and always wished that part could go as quickly as possible so that I could do the part I loved—filling it in with my paint and brushes. I think this is a large reason why I am so drawn towards cosmetics—it includes the same process of “filling in” and highlighting the best features of others. It is living art that can make you look and feel different. Every day you can express yourself in a new, exciting way—all with only the flick of a brush.
What made you decide to start The Beauty Book?
I started The Beauty Book during my freshman year in college. The summer after I graduated high school, I quite accidentally stumbled upon the “beauty gurus” of YouTube while sitting bored with nothing to do, like the woes of most teenagers. I was instantly hooked. I found myself watching these makeup artists and beauty insiders endlessly night after night. Little did I know, The Beauty Book had been conceived. By the time I got to college, I had developed a huge knowledge base for cosmetics and beauty, but I didn’t know how I could effectively channel or fulfill my passions. I discovered that many of the women I watched on YouTube also had these interesting and cute little things called “blogs” and so I decided to make one of my own. The Beauty Book was born.
Favorite posts you’ve written on The Beauty Book?
My favorite posts to write are definitely my “DIY” (Do It Yourself) posts because I have so much fun doing these little beauty projects and getting to unleash my little creative monster. Others seem to really enjoy these posts a lot too—its all about saving money nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
The post I am most proud of though is my “How to Wash Your Makeup Brushes Like A Pro” post. This post went viral when I posted it on Pinterest and even caught the attention of many websites and blogs. It was a huge milestone and accomplishment for me since it skyrocketed my monthly views to almost 100,000. It felt like a proud mom watching her child win an Olympic Gold Medal. Dramatic, I know—but that’s how connected I feel to my blog and my subscribers.
What’s the hardest part about running your blog?
Finding the time to balance several part time jobs, school, looking for internships/future jobs and running my blog can get a little hectic and daunting sometimes, I’m not gonna lie. But running a busy schedule like that is a lot easier when you truly love what you do. Since my blog is an extension of my passions and interests, it becomes less like a “job” and more like a fun hobby—even therapeutic in many ways. When I blog, I am taking time to focus on things that I love and learn more about them. It has definitely been a learning process though. When I started out I felt like I had little idea of the voice, tone and direction I wanted to go with in writing my posts. I have definitely developed a stronger brand personality for myself and the blog with many strategies and future goals to match.
How often do you add new content and why?
Recently, I have been posting about twice a week but I am always working on posting more. I will admit that I only became very serious about blogging within the past year, so I am still testing out different blogging schedules and finding out what works the best. Also, I just started my own YouTube account (yes, I’m a “beauty guru” now!) so I have been teaching myself how to film and edit properly. I consistently push myself to become better and more professional at what I am doing.
What’s your advice to younger girls looking to start a beauty blog or break into the beauty and cosmetics industries?
I could literally write a book on this subject since I have learned so much from both my failures and successes while on my “cosmetic” journey. My best advice is to never get disheartened and don’t let the opinions of others ruin your dreams. I know that is the most cliché phrase to ever exist, but it is very true. When I first told people that I wrote a beauty blog and was a self-taught makeup artist, answers would sometimes resemble…(insert judgemental voice) “Ohh….so like…is that what you wanna do after you get out of college…like…for the rest of your life?!” Staying true to myself and my dreams, however, has definitely paid off. Internships and opportunities have come my way many times solely because of my blog. I recommend that everyone find what truly excites them in life and truly hone and cultivate it. It might just be the difference between you or Bob getting that job/internship offer.
Favorite beauty bloggers/vloggers?
So. Many. To. Talk. About. I mostly watch video content on YouTube and then also subscribe to the blogs related to those videos. My absolute FAVORITE beauty guru is Nicole Guerriero because she is so blunt and tells it like it is. She is a real, humble girl with a real personality despite her massive following. I trust her opinions and it’s a plus that she is also hilarious. I follow an ungodly amount of Youtubers and bloggers but some more favorites would have to include Tanya Burr, MakeupbyAlli, Lisa Eldridge, Tiffany D., Pixiwoo and Melphs.
First beauty product you owned (or remember being extremely attached to)?
The first makeup product I remember being attached at the hip to was foundation in general. In middle school, I wore a Neutrogena Foundation for acne prone skin since I, like many other poor souls, suffered very badly from acne (and yes, was tormented for it too because that’s just what pubescent little demons do at that age). I literally caked that stuff on like five layer icing.
Favorite beauty product?
MAC Painterly Paint Pot. It is the perfect opaque eyelid primer. It will ensure that your eye shadow will stay put all day long and will even brighten up the pigments and make your look appear more polished and enhanced. It’s also great worn alone to cover any veins around the eye area. MAC lipsticks and eye shadows are also great products.
What’s one product you never leave the house without?
I never leave the house without the tube of lipstick I’m wearing for that day. For a person who loves makeup though, you might be surprised that this is the only product I carry when I go out. I like to use products that will last all day so that I don’t have to reapply again and again throughout the day.
Favorite makeup look?
My favorite makeup to wear is browns and neutrals on the eyes that go from dark to light in a gradient effect. I like to pair this with a liquid or gel liner that is flicked out towards the ends to create a more almond or feline appearance. I also usually wear a lot of pinky-nude or mauve lipsticks with a champagne highlight on my cheekbones.
Favorite DIY makeup or beauty tip?
I have numerous DIY posts on my blog such as how to make your own setting sprays and mixing mediums, but one easy trick I love to do to ensure your lipstick lasts all day is to actually fill your lips in with lip liner before applying your lipstick. This will give the lipstick something to adhere to during the day/night and ensure that it doesn’t budge. I also like to use a lip liner that is one or two shades darker than the lipstick in the outer corners of my lips to create dimension and the illusion of fuller lips.
Favorite daring makeup look?
I love to play with purple shades since I have green eyes and I love trying out different shades and hues in general in order to discover new and creative looks for myself and my clients.
Where do you see yourself and The Beauty Book five years from now?
In five years from now, I hope that I am still blogging and that my blog is better and stronger than ever. I hope to continue the journey to shaping my own “brand image” and identity. I want to be a voice that people feel like they can trust and look up to.
Technology and the blogging atmosphere in general are always changing and adopting new ideas and innovations. I hope to grow and strengthen my blog with these changes. Although I know everything good comes with hard work and time, I hope to one day start my own makeup brand or perhaps even open my own makeup studio. I also love the fun and challenging atmosphere of advertising agencies, so it will be interesting to see if I can combine my love of the beauty industry with my future job in advertising.
Whichever path I choose, I know that I will be rewarded if I continue to work hard and remain dedicated.