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Blogger of the Week: Strawberry Blonde

July 23rd 2014 / Hanna Ibraheem

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Nic, the voice behind beauty blog Strawberry Blonde, spoke to us about her summer must-haves and essential travel products...

Whether you want to read about the latest beauty launches (and whether they're any good) or recommendations for your approaching holiday, Nic's beauty blog, Strawberry Blonde, should be your first port of call.

Packed with honest and fun to read posts, we've quickly become obsessed with checking her site daily and guarantee you will be too. Here's what the beauty blogger had to say when we asked her about the products in her makeup bag, her current skincare routine and any embarassing beauty blunders she's committed...

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So what made you decide to start blogging?

I've been obsessed with all things beauty since I was young, thanks to growing up with a model big sister. I work as a freelance writer and once joked with friends that I wished I could write about lipgloss. Shortly after this I discovered beauty blogs and a whole new world opened up... I decided to give it a whirl three years ago and was instantly hooked!

How did you decide upon naming your blog?

I thought up the name in about 5 minutes - partly inspired by AA Gill's references to 'The Blonde' in the Sunday Times - but mainly just because it's my hair colour. It doesn't really get deeper than that.

How do you balance all of blogging along with other interests?

I sit up very late at night and sometimes burn my children's dinner. Even the most simple posts take me hours to prep, photograph, write and edit - it's way more time consuming than I imagined before I began. If I wasn't so passionate about it, I wouldn't do it.

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What beauty products make you part with cold hard cash?

I'm all about aiming for The Perfect Base, so most of my cash goes on skincare, foundation and concealer. I also have a major weakness for blusher, probably a symptom of being such a pale face. My most repurchased products are Bioderma Sensibio H20, from £4.50 (mainly as an eye makeup remover) and Anastasia Brow Wiz, £16, the absolute best I've tried, thanks to a rec from Kenneth Soh a few years ago when I had to source it from the US.

What's your skincare regime? Could you talk us through the products you currently love?

I'm a skincare fanatic and have been religious about my regime since my early twenties. Bobbi Brown's Hydrating range is my latest love... I'd always associated the brand with makeup and the skincare wasn't even on my radar - big mistake - it's amazing. My favourite is their Extra Treatment Lotion, £45, for a pre-serum, skin-quenching base layer. I'm also a fan of Skinesis by Sarah Chapman and Pai Skincare for sensitive days.

Down to the nitty gritty, what’s in your make-up bag currently?

I've recently fallen back in love with YSL Touche Eclat Foundation, £30.50, for natural coverage with a lovely glow, paired with Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, £19, and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, £56. For colour, Michael Kors Sporty Bronze Powder in Glow, £34, and Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Plum, £16.50, are my favourite pairing. Coral orange or fuchsia make up my summer lip palette... Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Pink Pong, £8.99, is da bomb.

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Who do you rely on in a beauty crisis?

In all honesty, it's usually other bloggers or Twitter! Caroline Hirons has saved me from many a skincare crisis and my sister is still my most trusted makeup advisor.

What’s your personal favourite hair and beauty look?

I do like a natural look most of the time - glowy base, lots of mascara and a bright lip. My mane is pretty wild and takes quite a lot of taming. Babyliss Big Hair Spinning Brush, £44.99, is my best friend for smoothness, volume and waves - I've used it pretty much daily since it first launched.

What’s your ultimate favourite beauty treatment?

I have a lash tint and (subtle!) HD Brows done every month at Studio D, but my favourite is definitely a facial - both for the blissfully relaxing experience and glowing after effects.

What is your top beauty tip for the summer?

Wear SPF and fake it. My faves are Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45, £26, for face, Ultrasun Sensitive SPF30, £20, for body, He-Shi Rapid 1 Hour Liquid Tan, £22.50, for body and Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster, £18, for face.

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Which makeup and nail trend do you love for this season?

The "I woke up like 'dis" bare skin look, aka the most challenging, time-consuming one to achieve! I have a mild nail polish obsession and love brights and off-whites for summer. I'm currently wearing juicy orange 'Sunkissed' by SensatioNail, £12.50, (awesome home gel kit) on my fingers and Barry M's cobalt blue 'Damson', £3.99, is a constant on my toes.

Can you tell us about any hair and beauty blunders that you’ve experienced?

*cringe*... Rimmel Pink Shimmer frosted lipstick, orange blusher and poodlesque hair. A loooong time ago, honest.

What beauty items do you like to take with you when you go away?

I pare back my beauty routine when I travel as I'm all about low maintenance on holidays. I'm just back from Italy where I spent most of my time with hair in a topknot wearing mascara, a bright lip and little else (beauty wise!). I took Macadamia Flawless, £20.60, and Charles Worthington Style Setter Dry Shampoo, £3.99, for easy hair maintenance and for evenings out, MAC Prep & Prime BB, £24, and crayon colours - By Terry Ombre Blackstar, £28, and Kiko Creamy Lip Gloss, £6.90. I like to have a signature fragrance to remind me of holidays and this time it was Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt (available from September) - such a gorgeous, refreshing scent.

Who is your favourite blogger?

Vivianna Does Makeup has been my favourite daily read forever - I love her writing style and passion for products. Her great sense of humour and down to earth attitude make her very relatable and we have very similar taste in beauty products, so I love hearing her recommendations.

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What would be your advice to aspiring bloggers?

Find your niche, know your audience and write from the heart. Be creative, don't be afraid to stand out from the crowd and do your own thing.

If you could invite anyone dead or alive to guest blog on your site who would it be?

Lisa Eldridge - such an inspirational MUA.

What does the future hold for your blog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?

At the moment I'm focused on creating content that people enjoy reading and find useful. As for the future, watch this space!

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