How long have you been blogging?
Since February 2009
How many subscribers (across all media incl Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc) do you have right now?
Crikey! Well on Twitter it’s creeping past a humble 1300 for me and on Google Follower, the blog has almost 600. I am not sure how accurate the number of subscribers are in relation to the blog since I don’t actively campaign for stats; it’s not a grave concern so long as I enjoy what I do. Just Nice Things isn’t on Facebook because neither of us can devote the time to maintain that page and Twitter is much more direct and instant.
What do you blog most about (reviews? make-up looks? hair care products? fashion?)?
I largely write about make-up, fragrances, hair, beauty gadgets and treatments, which are all areas I love. I seem to be notorious in undergoing painful, torturous treatments like laser hair removal, epilating and waxing (I have a high pain threshold), and the responses indicate they are subjects people want to know more about. The blog initially started off about nails (something which Helen is very passionate about) before it quickly expanded to cover other aspects of beauty. I do make-up professionally as well so blogging about the latest trends and products in cosmetics is something I can incorporate into my work.
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
We started off as Helen & Sheenie’s Nice Things before we settled for Just Nice Things when we moved servers and acquired a domain. I think we had to choose this when we couldn’t register Nice Things as a URL. It always makes Helen and I laugh that we are referred to as one or that we are rarely seen together in one place at one time.
Do you blog full-time? If not, what do you do full-time?
Like a lot of bloggers, I do this in my free time whilst holding together a full-time day job (I work in the health sector). I also moonlight as a photographer (www.afsheen-shaikh.co.uk) and I’ve got into baking big time with cupcakes. I’ve set up a Twitter account for that as ShaikhNBakeUK. Don’t ask me how I find the time to fit all of this in!
Have you ever been invited to any blogging events? If yes, which one was your favourite?
Oh yes, very frequently. It’s flattering to be invited to events although it’s not humanly possible to commit to all of them, which often means turning down a few. I never get upset if I’m not invited to some events – beauty blogging would be tedious and boring if we all turned up to the same things. Events are also a great way to catch-up with other bloggers, some of whom have become good friends. I can’t pick a favourite, however. I enjoy events where the atmosphere is relaxed and the brands understand bloggers because unlike press, we are a different kettle of fish.
What type of hair do you have and what’s your favourite hair care brand?
My hair is fine, greasy and a bit wavy but I’ll religiously blow-dry and straighten it. Unfortunately my hair can be a right nuisance in the sense that when I find the right product, it works well for a while before getting greasy so I try to rotate products to give my tresses a break. I am currently using Shu Uemura’s Moisture Velvet shampoo and conditioner which is amazing but very expensive. I’m also using Kevin Murphy’s Angel Wash & Rinse and Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine shampoo. I think I’ll order Privé next (http://www.just-nice-things.co.uk/2011/01/17/tried-tested-prive/) as it worked really well when I had a trial size and it is reasonably priced!
What’s in your make-up bag?
In my handbag, I’ve managed to squeeze a concealer, eyeliner, a NARS blusher compact and a few lip glosses in case of any emergency touch-ups. Unless I’m going out in the evening after work, I don’t re-apply my make-up after leaving the house. My actual make-up collection is housed in 10 thick transparent plastic drawers from Muji (and rising, no doubt) which contain my large collection of eyeshadows (loose and pressed), blushers, lipsticks and lipglosses. I buy these plastic drawers which just stack up, one on top of the other.
What products do you swear by?
Anything by NARS especially their blushers and eyeshadows. They’re highly pigmented so only a very tiny amount goes a long way but also the quality is what I’d classify as perfection. NARS have such beautiful colours too, I’ve been hard-pushed to find dupes that come close to their offerings. I’m also in love with Illamasqua’s Skinbase foundation and Lancome’s Hypnose Drama mascara. I can’t see any other mascara brand stealing the spotlight from Hynose Drama.
Who are your favourite bloggers?
Every blog I read has character and its own style, and I am discovering new ones every week. I do find myself re-visiting Lipglossing and Mouldy Fruit a lot (both have amazing images). I also enjoy perusing Make Up To Make Out, Vex In the City, Get Lippie, A Beauty Junkie In London, Pearls and Poodles…too many good blogs, I tell you.
What animal would you be if you could choose?
I’d want to be a big cat or even a domestic cat. Eat, sleep, eat, kill, feared by most…what a life!
What’s your pet hate?
Grown adults who ‘rite lyk dis’ and compose such sentences as ‘always sed england aint ani beta’. I am very judgemental in this respect – I couldn’t date a guy who wrote in such a despicable manner for example.
What’s your vice?
Shoes. I should buy shares in Kurt Geiger.
What makes you subscribe to a blog?
Someone who can engage me with their writing style and content with good photos. Humour is a bonus but good grammar and spelling is essential.
How do you think your blog stands out from the other blogs?
I believe Helen and I have found a happy medium in how we blog and we are not competitive or feel threatened by other blogs. We update daily (Helen is super efficient in lining up reviews a year in advance) and we have a great blogging relationship where we are able to coordinate when we both live so far apart. In theory, running a blog with another person would sound like a recipe for disaster but Helen and I work so well together that I couldn’t imagine blogging alone. There’s no PR/marketing exercise with Just Nice Things – we are just happy to do our own thing and are thrilled people visit our blog.
Do you have a favourite make up artist? If yes, who is it?
Well I am always marvelled by the talents of YouTube artist Francine (aka kuuipo1207) who has been a huge inspiration to me with her eye-popping eye make-up (http://frantasticmakeup.com/blog/). She doesn’t cite herself as a professional but I swear she could give the pros a run for their money. Her presentation style is brilliant and her work is breathtaking.
How would other people describe you using only 5 adjectives?
I haven’t a clue! If you follow me on Twitter, I’d expect the words ‘random’, ‘crazy’ and ‘very angry’ would spring up. Actually, I think that’s how Get Lippie described me and then said in person, I am completely different – reserved, polite, shy or words to that effect. Perhaps Twitter unleashes a dark side to me.
What do you consider your strengths?
I am very patient and I act calm during stressful and critical moments especially at work. Yeah that’s it, I have the patience of a saint except for when I’m driving. Then I swear like a trooper!
What is your favourite beauty magazine?
I stopped reading and buying magazines years ago. I have blogs at my fingertips whether I’ve got my phone or ipad and they are my number one source for beauty. Magazines and newspapers just seem to be full of outdated information in comparison.
What food can you not stay away from?
How about what food I can stay away from? Anything flavourless and bland. I love cooking and baking, and of course eating. I wish I had time to do a food blog!
How often per month do you haul?
I am very disciplined and only buy when I feel the urge, which I am pleased to say doesn’t happen frequently although if I am passing a Superdrug, I’ll always nip in to look at what’s on their shelves and part with some cash. If I went into Liberty’s or Selfridge’s, I know it would be an expensive visit but Superdrug doesn’t seem to leave me with the same feeling of guilt. Still, when I look at how much make-up I have, I do slap my wrist and vow not to buy more. Do I listen? Do I heck!
Is there something we should know about you that you haven’t shared before?
Well when I’ve told the world wide web I have Hollywood bikini waxes on a regular basis, I don’t think there is anything else more intimate I could share.
Sheenie is one of the most loveliest bloggers & twitteristas I’ve met, she’s funny and kind and has great work ethics and brings a lovely “addition” to Just Nice Things! Between her and Helen it’s probably one of THE best nail & beauty related websites out there!! Follow THEM!!!
Miss drifted Snow White