Kiran Branch meets the brains behind beauty blog Lips So Facto, Meg Lucas, to talk about the world of blogging and how it all started for her
Often cited as one of the UK’s best beauty blogs, Lips So Facto is definitely a firm favourite with the glossy posse. Kiran Branch sat down with founder Meg Lucas to talk about the blogosphere, products for sensitive skin and her beauty inspiration.
Firstly, what made you decide to start your blog?
I was in the middle of writing my undergraduate dissertation and wanted to talk about something completely non-academic. My flatmate was watching Pixiwoo videos on YouTube and it looked like the perfect antidote to literary criticism!
How did you decide upon a blog name?
I must have read something with the phrase 'ipso facto' one week and decided to play on that. It's not an obvious name for a beauty blog, but thankfully it seems to stick in people's memories!
What’s your favourite aspect of blogging and are there any downsides?
The best part has to be stumbling across an incredible network of likeminded people from all around the world. The downside is that conversations are going on and new content is being uploaded around the clock thanks to different timezones so it can be hard to 'switch off'!
How much of a techie are you?
Not much - I always have creative ideas but often can't see them into fruition when it comes to the technology side of things. That said, blogging has given me some handy basic skills with editing software and website coding.
How do you balance blogging/vlogging with other interests or jobs? Do you ever go offline?
I’m a freelance writer and dabble in social media alongside blogging, so pretty much my whole day involves being online. It's a bit of a conscious effort to make sure I get offline occasionally and I’m always tempted to read emails at 11pm. I find keeping a stack of good books around helps me get away from technology at the end of the day.
How do you decide what to feature on your blog/vlog?
I try to produce content I'd want to read, so products will only make the cut if they interest me. I do try and keep a mix of new launches and old favourites, alongside wandering off the beauty-themed path every so often.
What beauty products or brands make you part with cold hard cash?
NARS. Their bases and blushes are the staples of my make-up bag - and I'm a sucker for their iconic minimal packaging.
What's your skincare regime? What products do you use?
I'm really into skincare but I’ve only recently found a routine that seems to work for my combination, sensitive skin type. In the morning I cleanse with Pai’s cleanser , £25, tone with Vichy Purete Thermale Hydra Perfecting Toner , £9.99, and moisturise with Kiehl's ‘Skin Rescuer’ Stress-Reducing Moisturiser , £29.50.
My nighttime routine is very similar but with the addition of plenty of oils; I remove make-up with a balm cleanser like Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser , £24.99, and layer my moisturiser with a facial oil - at the moment I'm using NUDE Progenius Oil , £58. I use Pai Echium Eye Cream , £28, morning and evening too.
What's your haircare regime? What products do you use?
I've got a super sensitive scalp, so it's taken a few years of trying different things to work out a good routine. I use John Masters Bare Unscented , £12.20, or Rahua shampoo , £27, followed by Redken All Soft Conditioner , £11.95.
Down to the nitty gritty, what’s in your make-up bag currently?
I've had a hectic few months so my make-up has been fairly minimal and I’ve been relying on my most trustworthy products. For base I’m using NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, £28, and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer , £21, Bobbi Brown Blush in Pink Coral , £19, which is wonderfully brightening in drab weather, RMS Living Luminizer , £30, FACE Stockholm Bronzer in Marseille , £26, Hourglass Arch Brow Definer, £26, Burberry Eyeshadow in Midnight Brown , £22.50, By Terry Secret Brown Kohl pencil, £22, which straddles the gap between black and brown and stays on until you wash it off, and Soap & Glory Thick and Fast mascara , £10.
Who are your top people in health, fitness, hair and beauty? Who do you rely on in a crisis?
I'm not overly precious about hair, but mine is very thick and there seems to be very few people who can cut it well; William at Gielly Green is the only person I trust to do a great job. â€¨
For diet and fitness, James Duigan's Clean and Lean books are well worth a read. They're not 'faddy', make a lot of sense and there's an emphasis on health and nourishment, not deprivation. â€¨
What’s your personal favourite hair and beauty look?
It's become a bit of a cliché but I love slightly dishevelled 'French girl' hair. As for make-up, I love it when good skin days and perfectly symmetrical winged liner coincide… unfortunately that's a rare event.
What’s your ultimate favourite beauty treatment?
Face masks! I think they make up for lifestyle, so they're perfect when I've had a busy week and maybe not been as stringent with my skincare as I'd like. I love REN Glycolactic , £30, and Aesop Parsley Seed Cleaning Masque, £27.
What’s your top health and beauty tip and your biggest beauty bugbear?
Load up on Omega 3s! They're anti-inflammatory which is great for skin and they seem to keep me feeling all-round healthier too. I really notice when I'm not getting enough in my diet or forget to take supplements now.
As for my biggest beauty bugbear - foundations that oxidise on the skin. I'm sure I'm not alone in having been matched up to a foundation that seems perfect, only for it to be completely the wrong colour after a few hours.
Can you tell us about any hair and beauty blunders that you’ve experienced?
Definitely over-plucking my eyebrows as a teen. Thankfully they grew back, but I'm adamant tweezers should come with some kind of age restriction!
What do you like to take with you when you go away?
I think a good dedicated facial SPF is always worth squeezing into those ridiculous plastic bags if you're limited to hand luggage. They seem to work more harmoniously with make-up and cause less breakouts - and of course keep delicate skin protected from the sun. I like Clinique Cityblock Sheer SPF25 , £17.
Who is your favourite blogger/ vlogger?
I always find time to read Gh0stparties and Vivianna Does Makeup.
What would be your advice to aspiring bloggers/ vloggers? Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to turn back time?
Build an authentic social media presence. I was quite late getting onto Twitter which was a shame as it’s such a great way to connect with other bloggers and readers. There’s nothing I’d change really as the learning curve is part of the fun and I don’t feel there’s a right or wrong way to blog.
If you could invite anyone dead or alive to guest blog/vlog on your site who would it be?
Probably Danish-French actress, Anna Karina. Her 60s New Wave style inspired more of my haircuts and eyeliner experimentation than anyone I else I can think of, so I'd love to get the low down on exactly what she used and liked.
What does the future hold for your blog/vlog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?
I'd love to hint at something mysterious and exciting, but there are no set plans just yet. I'm happy just to keep trying to improve my blog and to see where 2014 takes me.