I’m excited to start a new series called Ask Sabrina where I’ll be answering your frequently asked questions! I thought it would be a fun way to share more about myself and roundup the FAQs you’ve sent my way! Today I’m answering more personal questions to start but I’m open to other topics for future round ups! I have accumulated a long list already from recent polls so I have some I’ve saved for next week but feel free to leave more in the comments or you can always send me an email too.
1. How long have you been blogging? How did you get started? Do you blog full time? Is blogging your career? What do you do in real life? How long did it take you to get noticed by brands? How many hours a day do you work on the blog?
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my story on how I started The Beauty Look Book. My first blog post was back in May 2009 and it started as a hobby while I was in graduate school. Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog was looking for guest writers, I submitted an idea on Le Metier de Beaute, she accepted it and I had so much fun I started my own! The blog grew by word of mouth among other beauty junkies who loved luxury beauty or hard to find brands. At that time I didn’t know blogging could be a career let alone generate any revenue. I had no idea press samples existed either!
I didn’t start monetizing my blog until around 5 years later and it was only possible thanks to another blogger (Amy from @cafemakeup) who referred me to an affiliate network and helped me get approved. I had applied to a few over the years and every single brand rejected my application. At this time I was still working at a corporate job in finance and as the blog grew it began to take more and more of my time. It got to a point where I could not have work/life balance, but I was so passionate about the makeup I made it work. I’d wake up at 4 am to write articles, I’d rush home after work to take some photos before the sun went down, I’d blog on weekends and every waking moment! Once my blog generated enough income to surpass my corporate job earnings, I decided to leave my corporate job and blog full time. It took about 6 months of consistent earnings before I felt confident enough in myself to pursue blogging as a career. I talked it over with a few close friends and family before I made the leap. Most of them told me “don’t do it!” “you can’t leave your corporate job” and that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I am 1000% happy I took that risk because I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s allowed me a lot of freedom and flexibility to be my own boss.
Working for myself has had its fair share of ups and downs. For me it was a risk worth taking. I am happy that this type of career has evolved over the past decade and is being recognized more as a legitimate career. Today brands, retailers, agencies and affiliate networks are more accessible to bloggers and influencers who want to partner and work together which I think is great! A lot of people still ask me “what do you do in real life?” and I think they forget that bloggers, influencers, YouTubers are still real people and that blogging, taking photographs, making videos, writing etc. is in fact “real life” for many of us.
I feel like I could write an entire series on my blogging experience! I’ll save more for another post.
2. What’s your favorite TV show?
The Office – best show of all time!
3. Favorite movie?
Tie between Elf and Love Actually
4. Favorite ice cream?
Jeni’s anything! My favorite flavors are Cream Puff and Brambleberry Crisp, although Andrew says Gooey Butter Cake is the best one, he actually ordered some individual gooey butter cakes after trying the ice cream lol!
5. Favorite handbag and why?
My favorite right now is the Goyard Cap Vert in black. It’s a versatile everyday bag and I love that it’s crossbody and small but not super mini. I still love my Tory Burch Perry Bombe Bag but it’s really small. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit more room which is why I love the Goyard. You can see what fits inside in this reel @beautylookbook.
6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot all your photos?
I’ve used the Sony a7RII for years and really love it! I just recently replaced it with the Sony a7RIII which has a lot more features and really like it as well. For the lens I mainly use the FE 24-70 mm/2.8 lens. For videos and vlogging (which I haven’t published any videos yet) I’ve been playing with the new Sony ZV-1 and I really love it. I mainly buy my equipment (cameras, lens, stands, flash attachments etc.) from B&H, Adorama or Amazon.
7. What does your husband do? How did you meet? Can you show us your husband?
Andrew and I met nearly 20 years ago! We were both attending different colleges in San Diego at the time and we met on a study abroad trip in Oxford, England. He was one of the TAs, I was one of the students. We started dating several months later after and we’ve been together ever since! I guess you could call us college sweethearts. After college he went on to pursue a law degree and now practices family law. I would love for him to be a full time Instagram husband (which he probably thinks he already is). He’s made a few appearances in my stories and also this reel and this one too.
8. As a Florida transplant, how do you feel about Florida? Do you miss California? Will you ever move back? Are you planning on staying in Florida long term?
Both Andrew and I love Florida. I am surprised it has grown on me over the past three years given how attached I was to life in San Diego, California but Florida definitely feels like home now. When we first moved here I was so homesick I cried myself to sleep every night for nearly 3 months. But we’ve found a lot to love here. We love the weather (heat, humidity, rain and all), the people, the beaches, the casual laid back atmosphere and the sunshine. I do miss California a lot and I’ve only been back a couple times to see family and friends. Right now we don’t know if we will move back or stay here. So much has changed in the past year we really don’t know what the future holds – but we are very happy living in St. Petersburg, Florida!
9. Biggest changes in beauty habits during quarantine, if any? Any changes in purchases, beauty routine, or what you decide to wear?
The biggest changes for me have been what I wear (or don’t wear) on my lips outside. Lip gloss is a disaster with face masks! I still wear lip balm or a matte liquid lipstick if I have to wear a mask. Lip Balm has been an essential for me, without it my lips dry out and start peeling. As long as it’s not super sticky or thick it still works for me (I like the Fresh Sugar Advance Therapy Lip Treatment). Stores and malls have opened up here in Florida but you still cannot touch the testers so I tend to order things online more often. It feels safer to me anyways to order online versus going to the mall, even with social distancing. I’ve also been more aware of acne prevention and hyperpigmentation from acne scarring. I wash my face more often. I have to be super careful of acne where the mask covers my face. I feel like I’ve been using spot treatments more often than I have in the past!
10. What is an interest or hobby you have that would surprise us?
I think a lot of you might be surprised I’m into fitness and weight lifting!
That wraps up my first Ask Sabrina round up! Happy for any feedback or if you want to send more questions feel free to leave them in the comments or email them to me. If you can put in the subject line Ask Sabrina Series suggestion or something along those lines it will help me filter and sort them! Let me know if you think 10 is a good number of if you want more questions answered per week! Topics can be anything! If there is enough interest in a blogging/social media topic I might dedicate an entire post or few series of posts.