Phew! This was by far one of the most stressful weeks ever! Last weekend, I went to see the Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro and Deathcab for Cutie with my man (eeeeek it was AMAZING!) and had to move all my stuff out of my flat, because I had to move on Monday. Then there’s been Take That, my mum is coming over today and I’m seeing Take That again this weekend! Phew, really exciting but stressful when you are between homes really! LOL. Bad planning on my side.
Anyhow, today is Friday (imagine hearing the loudest “TGIF” right NOW!) and that means it’s time for Follow Friday Interview Series! It’s been going for a while now, but I’m totally not ever gonna run out of interviewing more awesome bloggers :-)
Today you’ll learn about the lovely Helen from Just Nice Things who’s crazy about nails, apparently!
How long have you been blogging?
I started Just Nice Things (with my co-blogger Sheenie) in February 2009. It’s scary where the time goes.
How many subscribers (across all media incl Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc) do you have right now? I have around 1,800 Twitter followers and 500 GFC followers on the blog but it’s hard to tell overall as I am not obsessed with stats and I don’t check Google Analytics all the time so I don’t know off the top of my head how many email or RSS subscribers we have. We usually get around 2,000 unique views a day though.
What do you blog most about (reviews? make-up looks? hair care products? fashion?)?
My personal “thing” is nail varnish. I’ve been collecting and hoarding nail varnish for many, many years and this is what prompted me to start the blog as I needed some sort of justification for the amount that I was buying. Also, I discovered American nail blogs at around the same time and realized that there was a gap in the market for a UK nail blogger. Over the years we have diversified a little bit and now review many other beauty products and treatments, but nail varnish is always going to be my first love.
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
Our original blog was “Helen & Sheenie’s Nice Things” but we changed it about 18 months ago to “Just Nice Things”. Because that’s what we like to write about. Sheenie and I are still often referred to as “helenandsheenie” though, which is funny.
Do you blog full-time? If not, what do you do full-time?
It feels like I blog full time, as I spend about three hours a day on the blog. I do give myself weekends off though, unless something particularly exciting is happening. This means that I have got quite far ahead on my scheduled posts, which makes me happy. It means that I can let the blog take care of itself for weeks at a time if I don’t feel like blogging or don’t have time to edit my photos. I loathe being behind or feeling under pressure. As for what I do with the rest of my hours, I have a full time and quite a hectic job in sales.
Have you ever been invited to any blogging events? If yes, which one was your favorite?
Yes. It’s impossible to state a favourite but I do know that I get extremely upset if I ever have to miss anything that involves my favourite brands which are OPI, Nars and Illamasqua.
What type of hair do you have and what’s your favorite hair care brand?
I have very curly hair which I am working hard on to restore to its natural state after about ten years of extensions and chemical straightening. My favourite hair care brand is TIGI, without a doubt. Their products look and smell amazing and never let me down.
What’s in your make-up bag?
Erm… I don’t have a make-up bag. I have three rather large make-up boxes at home with drawers in them that house everything I own. In terms of what I take out and about with me, it is totally minimal. You’ll always find hand-cream and a lipgloss in my handbag and that really is it. Once my makeup is on, it’s on and I can’t bear to be messing about with it during the day. I’m not one of those girls you see peering in the mirror in the toilets in a bar, frantically reapplying mascara.
What products do you swear by?
Nars Albatross. It is the perfect under-eye or cheekbone highlighter and I really could not live without it now. Also, Nubar Diamont fast-drying topcoat. Trust me, you’ll think Seche Vite is overrated once you try this stuff.
What animal would you be if you could choose?
I have no idea. I suppose I have to be clichéd and say a cat. It must be nice to be pampered all day and to snooze in the sun.
What’s your pet hate?
People who take no pride in their grammar. I see so many crimes involving “alot / afew” or “there/their/they’re” or “your/you’re” on Twitter and blogs, and every time I see it, a piece of me dies.
What’s your vice?
Nail varnish! And probably driving too fast.
What makes you subscribe to a blog?
If it is well written with personal content and photographs, not just regurgitated press releases and stock photographs. I’m not interested in daily raves about MAC. Anyone with a bit of humour or individuality will get my vote as well.
How do you think your blog stands out from the other blogs?
I suppose the fact that we’ve been going as long as we have. There’s a lot of competition out there now and many bloggers are trying to find their niche. I believe there is room for all but Twitter alone makes me realize how many bloggers there are all jumping up and down trying to get some attention. I’ve steadily built a reputation as the go-to blogger for nail varnish advice in the UK, and that makes me really happy. Also, there aren’t many bloggers who’d be brave enough to write a detailed review of their Brazilian wax as Sheenie did recently. We work hard to update daily so there’s always something new to read.
Do you have a favorite make up artist? If yes, who is it?
Easy. My favourite make-up artist is Halimah Haque. A freelancer who also works for Illamasqua as part of the Product Development team, Halimah is so talented. She did my wedding make-up for me and we have identical taste in music and get along like a house on fire. Check her out here!
How would other people describe you using only 5 adjectives?
I asked a friend. The response was “Nails Of Iron. Likes Nars”
What do you consider your strengths?
Organisation, loyalty and perseverance.
What is your favorite beauty magazine?
I don’t read magazines any more. I used to buy them all, and then I discovered blogs. I actually can’t remember the last time I bought a magazine. It would probably have been a wedding one about 18 months ago.
What food can you not stay away from?
Anything with chilli in it. I’m addicted to that red hot adrenalin kick. The hotter the better.
How often per month do you haul?
I’m not hauling at all at the moment as we are at the final stages of buying a new house and the amount of money that the government, bank and solicitors are stealing from us in the process is making me howl. I’ve cut right back and in fact am planning on selling off a lot of my stash in the not-too-distant to try and raise some more funds and de-clutter a bit. Keep an eye out for my blog sale!
Is there something we should know about you that you haven’t shared before?
Nope, I’m a fairly open book, as you’ll know if you follow me on Twitter!
I love that Helen & Sheenie are sharing the work load and responsibility for their blog. That makes their life easier and the content a lot more varied. I wasn’t too much into nails until I saw Helen’s nails and realised how CRAP mine are. She really is my go-to nail advisor besides Leanne from Do Not Refreeze :)
Go follow her/them! NOW!
Much love & have a lovely weekend,
Miss drifted Snow White