I first met Elaine Atkins at a beauty event a long, long time ago. She was definitely one of the first few bloggers I met when I got into this whole gig and I remember how genuine and nice she was. Elaine runs Toronto Beauty Reviews – a damn fine beauty blog. If you’re wondering if you should try a new mascara or beauty line, Elaine has probably tested it, took photos and wrote a blog post about it. You can tell that her love of all things beauty is what makes her blog stand out. Meet Elaine!
How did you become so passionate about make-up and beauty?
I remember loving makeup and beauty ever since I was really young – going through my mother’s makeup and being in awe of magazines. The beauty or style sections were always the only parts of the magazine I was ever interested in.
How did you end up starting your blog, Toronto Beauty Reviews?
I actually had a “petite style” blog first (Curls and Pearls) which I only started so I could connect with a community of women with the same issues as myself. When I saw that I enjoyed writing and sharing on the blogging platform I decided to start Toronto Beauty Reviews to share any thoughts and tips I’d picked up over the years. Many of my friends and family come to me for questions and advice or to ask if I’d tried a certain product so I figured this way I could just direct them to the blog. I never thought it would become anything more than a fun hobby.
Where are your top 3 beauty products of all-time and why?
Oooh this is so hard! As a lover of beauty products this list can change but I would say for the past year I have been a dedicated user of these 3 products:
1. Shu Uemura cleansing oil – it gets rid of all my makeup and my skin feels so soft afterwards
2. Jane Iredale BB cream – this BB cream is full coverage but can be layered on beautifully. I have a lot of acne scars and this does a great job of covering it all up
3. Jurlique Lavender Silk Finishing Powder – I love this powder to set my makeup; it leave a really nice matte finish (important to me as I’m very shiny!) but doesn’t look powdery.
You recently left your full-time job in pharmaceuticals to pursue a career in beauty – what brought you to this decision and what are you doing now?
I wish I could tell you I was brave and just decide to take the leap – but my company actually shut down so I, along with many others, was let go. My decision to not go back into the industry however was a big one. I enjoyed my time in the pharmaceutical industry and I don’t plan on closing the door on it completely but I enjoy the creative and interactive part of my life that blogging has opened up for me. At the moment I’m the artist manager for Blush Pretty: Hair + Makeup Artistry, I’m working on a couple of events this fall (the launch event for DesignHerCo’s designherkit + SPARK Sessions a fashion and beauty blogger conference) and pushing myself to take blogging and the opportunities it brings me full time.
What’s a typical day for you like?
I’m still trying to figure that out. My job ended in the beginning of September but I have been travelling a lot since then. I’m still trying to find a routine for myself but I try to get up early and have breakfast with my husband then spend the morning answering any emails for Blush Pretty and for Toronto Beauty Reviews I may have missed the previous night. I am still getting into the routine of writing everyday which I’m starting to get better at. I am also trying to find a routine for photo taking to make post writing easier. I try to do some kind of house chore too so I don’t have to deal with it on the weekends. In the evenings I’m either attending events or working on details of upcoming events. In between all this I try to stay on top of social media.
What are some amazing things you have experienced as a result of your blog?
I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing and inspiring people all because of the blog. It’s so nice to be surrounded by people that are making their personal dreams come true. Also, I was named an Aveeno Ambassador and just recently returned from a trip to New York City. It was my first time ever in NYC and I feel so blessed that I was given the opportunity.
What is the single most important non-negotiable thing for you when designing your lifestyle and career?
I need to always feel comfortable with what I’m doing. I’m not talking about pushing my limits or stepping out of my comfort zone but if anything makes me feel a little uneasy or I feel something just isn’t right I won’t compromise. Nothing is worth sacrificing my integrity or conscience for since at the end of the day I’m the only one that will have to live with the consequences.
What do you do to de-stress?
I’m also still trying to figure this out! A few years ago I really loved doing yoga. I haven’t found a yoga studio in the city that gives me that sense of peacefulness yet. I don’t do it often enough but sometimes my husband and I just enjoy taking walks by the Lakeshore or in High Park or even through downtown neighborhood streets. Another great way to de-stress is to laugh a lot! It’s important to have many moments of laughter with those you love.
Best piece of life advice to share?
Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you in a meaningful way. Nothing comes to anyone easily and you have to work really hard for what you want to achieve so having a support system is crucial. Also – pay it forward. Don’t just take positive energy and thrive on it – give that same energy back and you will always be rewarded.
To learn more about Elaine Atkins: visit Toronto Beauty Reviews online.