I actually did one of these posts a while back but there are so many more readers of my blog now that I thought I'd do an update and tell you a bit about myself, as well as answer any questions on life, beauty, blogging and whatever else!
10 Facts About Me
1. I've been a pescetarian for 12 years (there's no deep reason). No, I don't miss bacon. Nope, I couldn't care less if we're out to dinner and you order meat!
2. My 'day job' is as a commercial insurance underwriter.
3. My Myers Briggs Personality Type is INFJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling and Judging), the rarest one, which explains a lot...
4. I'm left-handed.
5. My ethnicity is half English and half Jamaican.
6. I'm from Manchester but live in Woking (just south-west of London) at the moment, however it looks like I'll be on the move again soon...
7. My favourite films include The Prestige, Interstellar, Inception, Memento (yep, that's a lot of Nolan...), American Beauty, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Straight Outta Compton, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Before Sunrise and... Mean Girls (I don't feel I have to justify myself!)
8. My favourite books include 1984, The Life of Pi, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the Harry Potter books and Noughts & Crosses.
9. I'm actually writing a book myself. Maybe one day I'll have the guts to share it!
10. I'm a cat person.
Answering Your Questions
Q: If you could only use one makeup brand forever, what would it be?
A: I'd have to say MAC because their range is just so vast I think I'd constantly be discovering new products and I'd never be able to exhaust their entire shade range!
Q: What made you start blogging?
A: I think it was essentially boredom; I'd never been more into beauty than the average woman, however I ran out of the blusher I always wore (then used up and repurchased) and it had been discontinued so I started researching alternatives online. That kind of introduced me to the world of beauty blogs and I was immediately hooked. It was the start of summer and I was definitely in need of a hobby so just decided to give it a go and start my own blog. Fast-forward two and a half years and here we are...
Q: What are your thoughts on growing so much in blogging in recent years? Is it something you think you'll continue to do in the long-run?
A: The last year really has been incredible for my blog (and I'm so grateful to all of you reading it for this!) and I really couldn't have imagined how much it would grow in a pretty short space of time. It has already slowed but I'm not going to complain; just over a year ago I could've counted the new followers I gained in some months on the fingers of one hand! As long as people keep reading and enjoying my content I'll be really happy. As for blogging in general; Jasmine Talks Beauty is here to stay for as long as I can foresee! I still love it and still feel passionate about my content so I'd love to keep reaching new people.
Q: I know your job is unrelated to blogging and pretty intensive so how do you manage your schedule to do both?
A: I think the most important thing for me was to gauge how much I could comfortably blog because I'd much rather consistently put out a smaller number of posts that are high-quality than burn out by trying to do too much. I plan and schedule a lot (including my social media accounts via Buffer) so use iCal to organise which posts will go out when over the coming weeks (it's also really handy because I can immediately access my blog schedule from my iPad, iPhone or MacBook). I also use the Blogger Journal to keep track of press contacts and tasks and have recently got into using the app Wunderlist to create to-do lists. I often also create my Instagram posts in advance via the new drafts function so if I know I'll be out or busy, so the post is ready to go and I only need a moment to hit 'post'. I take my photos in bulk and use my commute and other time spent travelling to write up the text portion of my posts and to deal with any PR emails. If I know I have a lot on at work or an exam coming up then I make sure to work pretty far in advance and ensure I put out content that isn't too time-sensitive.
Q: What are your best tips to juggle full-time work and blogging?
A: As well as the above, I think it's really important not to stress yourself out with blog-related stuff. A lot of PRs will chase you for responses after a day or two, understandably because this is their day job, however it's not yours so managing their expectations can be hard. I find that having generic templates that I can just amend slightly to the recipient in question is really handy - if something is an instant 'no' then it's still polite to respond but you don't need to write an essay. I immediately delete any spam (usually people trying to sell 'guest posts' or 'SEO expertise) and often don't reply to generic emails that weren't sent directly to me if they aren't of interest, unless I'm chased for a response. I also sometimes put an 'out of office' on when I'm really busy advising I will take a few days to reply. I think the key is not to bite off more than you can chew; it's better to do two good posts a week than if you try to do four and miss posting days or put out sub-standard content. Plus you can say 'no' to things if you're feeling overwhelmed.
Q: What are your thoughts on travel and what have you learned from it?
A: I honestly think that I'll always be a person who values experiences over material possessions; I'd much rather go and explore somewhere new than have a designer handbag. I'm actually not the best flyer but I'm determined not to let it shackle me because there's so much I want to see and do. I've barely seen anything of the world and I'm desperate to experience more. There's nothing more valuable or interesting to me than meeting and talking to people from completely different cultures and seeing what other countries have to offer.
Q: What is your biggest fear?
A: It's a bit grim but honestly, my biggest fear is dying. A little bit ridiculous when it's probably the one thing that will happen with absolute certainty... I suppose it's because I don't believe in an afterlife (or any traditional god/intervening deity), so the thought of being nothing is terrifying.
On that positive note(!) I hope this was interesting and you have found out a little bit more about me if you were curious. Have an amazing Christmas and I'll see you back on Boxing Day with a new post!