Paula from The P-Ho Diaries explains the name behind her blog, what's in her makeup bag and her fashion inspiration
Paula, aka P-Ho, began her blog The P-Ho Diaries as a way to share snapshots of her life. Two years later and she’s built a loyal following as she writes about the latest fashion trends, beauty must-haves and top eateries. We sat down with the blogger to talk skincare regimes, fashion inspiration and her biggest beauty blunder.
Firstly, what made you decide to start your blog?
In one of my previous jobs I dealt with bloggers on a day-to-day basis and I always loved reading through their blogs. They were so inspiring and I loved the way it gave a little peek into someone’s life, so I decided to start my own. It took me months of procrastinating before I decided to start and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the beginning, but I got there in the end and I couldn’t think what it would be like to not have it now. I’m celebrating the two year anniversary this month!
How long did it take you to decide upon naming it The P-Ho Diaries?
P-Ho was a nickname I had when I was younger, it combines my first and last name and I think came about when J-Lo was all the rage. I always liked the thought of having ‘diary’ in the title as it portrays a very personal blog which is exactly what I wanted mine to be. So I put them together and The P-Ho Diaries was born!
What’s your favourite aspect of blogging and are there any downsides?
I love being invited to events I maybe wouldn’t have had the chance to go to before, and getting to meet other bloggers who have the same interests as I do is always a plus. You can sometimes come across internet trolls which I guess is a downside of putting yourself out there. I just tend to ignore them and not let it get to me.
How do you balance blogging with other interests or jobs? Do you ever go offline?
Working freelance, it has definitely become a lot easier to keep up to date with my blog and manage it full time. I make lots of lists and try to plan ahead if I have any collaborations in the pipeline. Sometimes I just take a break from it and choose not to blog at all over a weekend so I can go and enjoy my ‘real life’ or if I go to a restaurant, I don’t take pictures and review the food so I can just enjoy the meal and the company.
How do you decide what to feature on your blog?
If I really like something I’m always dying to share it with others. Everything on the blog comes from a love of fashion, beauty and mainly food! I just hope other people enjoy them too.
What beauty products or brands make you part with cold hard cash?
Definitely Illamasqua products. They are one of those brands that are so inventive and the products actually do the job, plus last ages too. Some of my favourites are the Eyebrow Cake , £15.50, and Gleam Highlighter , £20. I currently have my eye on the Hydra Veil , £30, and have heard such good things about it, so no doubt I’ll be parting with the cold hard cash very soon!
What's your skincare regime? What products do you use?
I am always trying new products so my routine keeps changing, but one thing I never change is my eye makeup remover. I have very sensitive eyes so I use Simple’s Kind To Eyes Nourishing Eye Make-Up Remover Cream , £3.75, it’s brilliant! My skin is very dry so I have been using a Garnier cleansing oil I picked up in the States to cleanse and so far so good, it has a great smell and feel on the skin. I moisturise using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial moisturiser , £24, it’s perfect for dry skin and not too heavy. La Roche Posay’s Serozinc is an everyday affair and I also love to treat my skin to a mask - you can’t beat GlamGlow , £34, it really does work!
What's your haircare regime? What products do you use?
My hair is thick, frizzy and wavy and I wear it straight nearly every day, crazy I know! So it’s important for me to get it ultra smooth. I’ve recently been using Tresemme’s Keratin range , it’s absolutely brilliant and reacts with the heat of the straighteners to keep it smooth. For styling I use VO5 Smoothly Does It Heat Protect Styling Spray , £3.69, and Lee Stafford ARGANOIL from Morocco Anti-Frizz Spray , £9.99.
Down to the nitty gritty, what’s in your make-up bag currently?
Too much! I have been trying not to carry as much around with me so here goes:
Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Gaze , £15.50, Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora , £20, Kardashian Beauty Joystick Lipstick Pen in Shocking Pink , £10.95, Diorskin Nude Tan Glow Sun Powder in 002 , £35, Urban Decay Naked Palette , £37, Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Eyeliner , $30, YSL Babydoll Mascara , £24.50, YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen , £25, Tom Ford Blush in Frantic Pink , £45, and Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie Lip Liner in Liberated , £12.35.
What’s your personal favourite hair and beauty look?
A smokey eye and nude lip with big hair! I’m not very good at working on the big hair but I’ve experimented with waves more recently and I love it. I have been using Lee Stafford’s Argan Oil Twisted Waving Wand , £29.99, and it’sgreat for creating lovely waves in my hair really easily and quickly.
What’s your ultimate beauty treatment?
I love a manicure, especially when nail art is involved. I always try to watch the technician to pick up tips. If there is a manicure at an event I’m always first in line. There is nothing better than having brand spanking new, shiny nails!
What’s your top health and beauty tip?
It’s an obvious one, but always moisturise! I recently flew to New York and I made sure I took all my makeup off and sat with moisturiser and facial oil on my face to stop it getting dehydrated. I must say it worked wonders!
Can you tell us about any hair and beauty blunders that you’ve experienced?
I once let a friend dye my hair peroxide as they apparently knew what they were doing. It turned out so bad my hair started to break off in pieces every time I dried it,so I had to go for the chop and get a cropped hairdo. Needless to say we are no longer friends!
You also post a lot of fashion looks on your blog. Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
I love seeing all the looks on the catwalk at London Fashion Week and then seeing those trends transition into the high street. I love to put my own twist on them and I love seeing how other bloggers do too. Lookbook.nu is a great place for inspiration and to see how others are styling up their outfits. My favourite designers are Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Ashish.
What’s your favourite look for a glam night out?
Anything covered in glitter or sequins. I am a total magpie and what better excuse than on a night out? I love a pair of high heels and glitter is a great way to really go crazy with your makeup and go for something more daring.
When do you feel most comfortable - dressed up and in heels or dressed up rocking trainers?
Oh hard question! To be honest I never owned a pair of trainers until last year, and now I can’t live without them. I think sometimes being a bit taller than average, I’m 5’8”, I feel I tower over some people in heels so I’ll go with trainers!
What do you like to take with you when you go away?
My key items would be my skinny jeans as they go with everything, a pair of heels and flats and a nice dress for the evening. I always make sure I bring a nail file and remover, I only ever seem to break them when I go away and I hate having them all chipped. Time Bomb’s Complexion Cocktail with a shot of H2Omega , £24 is a great pick-me-up for dehydrated skin so I always make sure I have that for after flying.
Who is your favourite blogger?
Bryan Boy is definitely my favourite. His fashion sense is amazing, who knew I’d be buying ladies shoes I’ve seen a guy wearing! I love his Instagram too as it always makes me smile and his coverage of fashion shows is spot on, straight from the FROW.
What would be your advice to aspiring bloggers? Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to turn back time?
Be true to yourself and do what you enjoy and love. Whether you are more of a writer, a photographer or a vlogger, do what feels best for you! Everything has been a learning curve and I’d say I’ve definitely gained more confidence in my writing and from attending events so I wouldn’t want to change that.
If you could invite anyone dead or alive to guest blog on your site who would it be?
Alexander McQueen was my favourite fashion designer, I remember I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the skull scarves when he first brought them out so it’d have to be him. His work was so inspiring and I’m looking forward to seeing the Savage Beauty exhibition next year at the V&A.
Is there anything you don’t like about working through the internet?
Not really. I love how you can engage with people so quickly and if it wasn’t for social networks there would be nowhere to shout about my blog and get myself heard. Plus there is of course the total excuse for shopping online – research!
What does the future hold for your blog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?
I’m going to try my hand at vlogging! I think it would be a great addition to the blog and a good way to add something new. I’ve always been told I’m quite good in front of the camera so I can’t wait to give it a try – watch this space!