Hanna Ibraheem quizzed Katie Snooks of Katie’s Beauty Blog, or Snooksy on YouTube, on her experience of blogging and vlogging.
Known for her honest reviews and simple step-by-step tutorials, Katie Snooks covers everything you could need from a beauty blog, from how she deals with acne to how to do her signature smokey eye, and even finds time to tackle the subject of body image – our kind of girl. Hanna Ibraheem chatted to Katie to talk about her experience with writing, filming and the products she’s currently loving…
Firstly, what made you decide to start your blog? And what kicked off the desire to begin YouTube?
I'd been reading blogs since the age of 16 - I'm the world's most indecisive person and so I always liked reading about how other people got on with a particular product before I went out to purchase it myself. In my second year of uni (doing a photography degree), I decided to create my own blog, writing my own opinions of products and photographing them and their colours perfectly to help others make their minds up.
I'd always dabbled in the world on YouTube and have had my channel since 2006, but it was only last year that I started uploading regular content. I could talk for hours about one lipstick so it only made sense to have my own video platform to ramble on about make-up!
How long did it take you to decide upon a blog name?
I actually called my blog 'Mes Luxes' (my luxuries in French) and it stayed like that for two years before I renamed it to Katie's Beauty Blog - simple and easy!
What’s your favourite aspect of blogging and vlogging and are there any downsides?
I have made so many incredible friends from blogging who I now call my besties - they are the biggest perks. The female blogging community is (mostly) so lovely and supportive, I feel inspired by each and everyone one of them! Saying that, there can be negativity and jealousy, which I don’t let affect me, but could be seen as a downside.
How do you balance blogging and vlogging with other interests or jobs? Do you ever go offline?
I feel like I'm online all day, errr'day but I try to spend my weekends internet-free. I have a full time job as a community manager at Gleam which means I'm reading blogs, Facebooking, Instagramming and tweeting all day at work, and I then go home and write blog posts and edit videos. It's so difficult juggling a social life, full-time job and my blog and channel but it's all about balance (and loving family and friends who understand my geeky tendencies and my need to write about make-up)!
How do you decide what to feature on your blog and YouTube channel?
I'm not the most organised blogger you'll ever meet and I don't write content weeks in advance like some do; I tend to feature what I'm currently loving (or hating) or feeling passionate about at that minute in time. Video wise, I'm bursting with ideas, I just need more time to film!
You’ve done a range of videos on YouTube – from tutorials, to hauls, vlogs and a couples lookbook – which video has been your favourite so far?
Lookbooks are by far my favourite videos to film. I'm naturally quite creative so they allow me to go out in outfits and showcase them in a more creative way rather than just lifting them up to the camera in a haul-type fashion.
My favourite video to film was when I handed my camera to my boyfriend to shoot my A/W lookbook but then made him join me in front of the camera for our Winter lookbook which was really fun (and he secretly loved it too)!
What beauty products or brands make you part with cold hard cash?
I'm a sucker for anything peachy or orange (lipsticks especially) and will pretty much 'accidentally' purchase anything that fits into that category. I have so many favourite brands of make-up ranging from low to high-end (Sleek Makeup, Bourjois to Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown) all of which tend to lure me into splurging.
What's your skincare regime? What products do you use?
It's funny because it feels like most YouTubers and beauty bloggers have perfect skin, whereas mine is not at all. I suffer with acne and it flares up from time to time (when I'm stressed or eating badly) and so my skincare regime is really boring, as I get nervous to use new products in case they irritate it. It means that girls trust my word a lot when it comes to skincare, as I'm really honest about my bad skin (I've even posted pictures, which was terrifying). At the moment I'm using a Shu Uemura oil , £60, to take my make-up off and cleanse, a cream prescribed to me by my doctor and I adore Alpha H's Liquid Gold , £31.50, and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Serum , £36 for nighttime treats!
Down to the nitty gritty, what’s in your make-up bag currently?
This is my favourite question! I've been wearing NARS Sheer Glow , £31, in its palest shade (Siberia) for a base, along with Collection's Lasting Concealer (my absolute favourite for covering imperfections).
My HD Brows Kit , £25, Rimmel Scandal Eyes Kohl Liner , £3.99, and Sleek Lipstick in ‘Barely There’ , £4.99, have been staples in my bag for the past year. I tend to switch up mascaras; my current favourite is Max Factor's False Lash Effect , £10.99!
What’s your personal favourite hair and beauty look?
I feel naked without eyeliner and smokey eyes - it's my signature look! I'm a big fan of plaiting my hair whilst it's wet and leaving it to dry for gorgeous 'shushy' locks - easy and looks like you've really made an effort.
What’s your ultimate favourite beauty treatment?
This is going to sound ridiculous, but I love it when I get my hair done and they give a little head massage whilst shampooing... I never want it to end!
What’s your top health and beauty tip?
I am a firm believer that a good eight hours of sleep will do the world of good. I also swear by silk pillowcases - they are gentler on the skin (meaning hopefully less wrinkles as I age) and they feel so luxurious. I also adore coconut oil for everything - I smother it on hair, body and face for a pamper.
Can you tell us about any hair and beauty blunders that you’ve experienced?
Blue and silver eyeshadow right up to my eyebrows was a favourite look of mine when I was 13...
What do you like to take with you when you go away?
Dry shampoo and sun cream! I also like taking a different perfume with me whenever I go away; I'm super nostalgic and love how smells can take me back to a certain place or time, and so I like to associate different perfumes with different holidays and trips. For example Lolita Lempicka’s 'Si Lolita' , from £35, reminds me of my dad's 50th in Calabria, Italy and Miss Cherie Dior, from £47, reminds me of my girly holiday in Lanzarote.
Who is your favourite blogger/vlogger?
What would be your advice to aspiring bloggers/vloggers? Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to turn back time?
My one piece of advice is only to do it because you love it. I was writing my blog for a year before anyone (other than my mum) was reading it. There are so many perks to blogging and because of this there are now so many bloggers, but the successful ones are those whose passion shines through.
If you could invite anyone dead or alive to guest blog/vlog on your site who would it be?
I would LOVE to do a YouTube video with Mary Kate & Ashley - to rummage through their make-up bags and talk all things beauty and fashion would be a dream.
What does the future hold for your blog/vlog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?
I'm so grateful and happy that people have stuck around to read my blog and now watch my YouTube channel grow. I have so many ideas for future content and videos so you'll have to stick around to see!