How do you make a Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle blog stand out when there are so many great ones out there already?
We weren't sure but as two beauty addicted thirty-somethings, lucky enough to work with some pretty amazing beauty brands, we figured we could at least give it a bash and the result is Two Pretties.
A collaboration between Digital Brand Expert and Lifestyle Writer Kirsty Lemare-North and Beauty Editor and Make Up Artist Lucy Da Silva, we aim to deliver up to the minute How-to's and reviews aimed at the plus thirty woman, plus industry news and advice.
Why plus thirty and why two of us? Because it is really easy to look great at twenty. You can party your arse off (which we did), get up the next morning, barely wash and rock a smudged eye with ease.
Try it post thirty and unless Alice Cooper is your role model, it isn't going to work for you. Products, looks and trends as you get older have to be smarter, work harder and be genuinly effective. With a cumulative twenty years in different areas of the industry between us, we know how to differentiate between marketing guff and crap ingredients to pick out what actually works well.
The two of us thing is easy! Between us we reflect what plus thirty looks like. Lucy is building a career, dating and on the go, Kirsty is running a business at home, whilst raising two kids and trying to juggle everything. We have similar skins and no time - so we feel that we represent a modern view of plus thirty from both angles. Where possible we will be testing products that work across the board - first dates and school runs, to give you the most thorough look at it possible.
LUCY DA SILVA
Loving everything about beauty for as long as I can remember, being a make-up artist was all I wanted to do growing up. The Mary Quant Classic Make-Up & Beauty Book was my bible as a 13 year old, and for as long as I can remember I have loved everything Kevyn Aucoin ever did!
So instead of doing what all my friends were doing, I geared GCSEs/A-Levels etc towards it. However, after a stint working at an American summer camp teaching photography at 19 (looking after eleven ten year olds at a sleep away camp, well and truly put me off teaching children for a really long time!!), when I finally decided to come home I went to a local college to hone my self-taught “skill.” Various beauty courses, theatre, panto, weddings and prom make-up jobs, and a fashion journalism degree later; I ended up in the world of marketing for an online beauty retailer. Not quite the realms of make-up artistry, or even journalism (waaay to live ‘the dream’), I was still able to put my knowledge and experience to good use.
After four years I went on to become the Digital Content Editor at Jemma Kidd Make Up School. Meeting the comic genius that is Kirsty Lemare North, and having her as the easiest going boss in the land, we shared an office in Soho and spent far too much time laughing (and drooling over products)! ... Oh and making coffee.
A fellow make-up maven, product junkie and lover of words, we always talked about doing something together. So where Jemma Kidd ended, new projects began!
With the same dry, sarcastic and downright dark sense of humour, compulsive addiction to cosmetics we really cannot afford and love of all things digital, Two Pretties is a pair of thirty something women with plenty to say. That being said don’t expect a lot of mush about how much we love everything.
With a cumulative thirty years experience in different areas of the beauty industry, we can spot marketing guff at a hundred paces (quite often that we ourselves have written) and are not fooled by ‘clever’ phrases. The time for mass accumulation has passed for us and we expect our products to not just look beautiful, but genuinely deliver on their promises.
With two very different lifestyles and expectations from our beauty products and routines, our aim is to really put beauty tutorials, products and launches through their paces, in the hope that what works for us will also benefit you! Loving to get on our soap box, you can expect to hear about the products we enjoy, alternative ways to wear the latest beauty trends, pet peeves and much, much more.
I still remember what my very first ‘proper’ lipstick looked like. It was summer ’89, I was seven (shhhh) and I received a precious tube of Avon’s ‘Iced Champink’ as a prize for participating in the dancing competition we had organised on our army estate. I LOVED that shimmery pink, it went so perfectly with my neon scrunchie and stripy shorts. Those were days of style and sophistication, let me tell you. Especially because Jessica of Sweet Valley described having one just like it.
My addiction to cosmetics had started well before then though. My mum had a collection to behold. One palette in particular held my gaze. Filled with beautiful rich jewel tones, with the sort of payoff MAC dreams of, I coveted it deeply and swore that my adult life would be replete with items of such wondrous beauty.
By the time I was thirteen I had a collection most adults would envy. No chemist pound basket went un-raided, no car boot sale scoured as my mission to own ‘the world’s most makeup’ continued. Hours were spent poring over Just seventeen and charity shop beauty books as I learned how to blend frosty pink with frosty blue and how to avoid tide-marks.
Given that I also loved art and performing, it is a bit of a surprise that I didn’t go into it but I had lofty visions of a career in the theatre, soon put paid too by a lack of confidence and weight problem. When I got pregnant at twenty two it was time to settle into a ‘proper’ job so I cracked on in marketing, went to night school to get a degree in business and told myself to grow up.
Didn’t stop me completely though. I studied for a B-Tec with one of those home learning courses in slap, which although I loved (my sister not so much – guess who got to play Guinea Pig – sorry Bec), was nothing like enough to prepare me to actually do any make-up. I got insured but never did anything with it. Real world experience is simply too important and besides. I was building a ‘career’.
And build I did, jumping on the Digital Band Wagon in 2006 with passion and zeal. Working with lifestyle brands, eventually a cosmetic company came up (Jemma Kidd) and when the opportunity came to set up their digital I finally achieved some semblance of joy, in working with makeup professionals and with a decent range. When Lucy joined me as my Content Editor, it was a bit of a match made in heaven. Funny, clever and able to turn a brilliant phrase, Luce loved slap almost as much as me.
When I moved on it, even though I still work in beauty, the fix isn’t enough so it was purely a matter of time before I found an excuse to rope her in to something and so Two Pretties has been born.
Something I have been asked is why not sooner – a bit shameful that a beauty addict with the skills to build a website would be soooo late to the party no? The truth is with so many amazing, clever sites out there it was a bit intimidating but the partnership with Lucy, whom I know is amazing, takes some of the sting of nerves out and most for us this isn’t about being the best. The joy isn’t in competing, it is about joining a community of addicts just like us. People who love fashion, interiors, food and most of all make-up.
With this in mind, please do get in touch. We so want to hear from you, see your work and covet your collection!