Known for her authoritative and no holds barred beauty reviews, Jane Cunningham aka British Beauty Blogger is one of the UK’s premier digital voices when it comes to separating the products that work, from those that don’t.
With over 47,000 and 32,000+ followers on Twitter and Instagram respectively, there are a bevy of reasons why her legion of loyal fans rely on her frank, informative and honest opinions to shape their shopping habits; one being her extensive product knowledge and another being her unbiased editorial integrity. Jane says, “I started British Beauty Blogger as a place to talk about products and experiences in a way that just wasn’t possible in magazines or papers: I wanted to say if a product was rubbish and not just discretely ‘not mention it’...I just felt consumers had a right to know if they were throwing their money away.”
Now a leader in online and mainstream media, how did the beauty pro forge her path in the industry? “I was a beauty journalist for many years (always freelance but wrote for the Times, Telegraph, Indi, Guardian, Metro, Express and Mail...everyone really) before discovering 'blogs' when they were literally just emerging and then set up my own site,” Jane tells us. Her career highlights? “So many - being commissioned by Vogue Russia for a piece quite early in my beauty writing career, discovering that in my own space on the internet I could say what I like and no editor to stop me, going to visit Chanel's apartment in Paris - I've been very lucky and very blessed.”
When it comes to what she likes most about the beauty industry she says: “We're in a very exciting phase at the moment, mainly because the industry is being so heavily influenced by Asia and women in the UK are starting to experience innovation, textures and new routines like never before.” With her finger firmly on the pulse of future emerging trends, what does the future hold for the journalist herself? “I honestly don't know - blogging and on-line is (quite rightly) under intense scrutiny right now,” she comments. “It's in danger of imploding itself I think...”
We caught up with Jane to talk all things beauty and blogging - from the best piece of work advice she’s ever been given to staying organised, horrible bosses to the best parts of her job.
GTG: Hit the snooze button or up-and-at-em?
JC: Up and at em - I have a dog to walk and she doesn't happily tolerate a lie-in, although I love to have one when I can!
GTG: How would you describe what you do in under 10 words?
JC: I write clear and honest reviews about beauty products.
GTG: Best piece of work advice you ever had?
JC: Sometimes you have to jump without looking.
GTG: Name 3 things in your working week you love doing
JC: I love searching the net for interesting beauty stories, I love being able to be instantly reactive to new beauty news and have it on my site or my Instagram within moments and I love reading comments that BBB readers leave me on my site.
MORE GLOSS: How to become a successful beauty blogger
GTG: What are the 3 things you do every day before breakfast?
JC: I'm a breakfast sinner - as in, I don't really have breakfast! I never have done - my appetite doesn't kick in until after 12pm, although I do need a coffee. So, I get a lot done before ‘breakfast’ with the most important job being walking Honey, my toy poodle.
GTG: What do you love about your job?
JC: Mostly, that I've built it myself - that my site exists because I did follow those words, ‘sometimes you have to jump without looking’. I did, and it hasn't been without problems but it's more than worth any stresses. I have a relationship with women who love beauty that I didn't think was possible and I'm eternally grateful to have the readers that I have who share so much.
GTG: What’s cooking for work lunch?
JC: A fruit smoothie, gluten free bread and cheese, or sometimes a homemade soup.
MORE GLOSS: Soup-erfood - is souping the new juicing?
GTG: How do you stay organised?
JC: I don't.
GTG: Describe your working style in 3 words
JC: Chaotic, unpredictable and reactive.
GTG: Typical work attire?
JC: I split completely between jeans and a scruffy T at home or some kind of arrangement of black, cream or white for days in London. I'm far too predictable with my ‘out of house’ wardrobe but cannot seem to move on into some colour.
GTG: Heels or flats, and why?
JC: I'm a half-wayer on this - I can't wear heels for any length of time (I have a beautiful pair of Kenzo boots that I call my ‘one hour boots’ because I can only stand for an hour in them), but I have many pairs of wedge Converse that give me height and I can actually spend the day in.
GTG: Worst job you ever had?
JC: Being secretary to a man who used to click his fingers and then make the letter ‘T’ with them when he wanted a cup of tea. I used to want to fling it at him. I probably would now, but back then, I didn't dare!
GTG: Notepad or i-notes?
JC: Notepad. Or back of an envelope which is more likely.
GTG: Yoga, pilates or HIIT and why?
JC: None - I do a brisk hourly walk every day so that will do.
Follow Jane on Instagram @britbeautyblog and Ayesha @Ayesha_Muttu .
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