Q&A

– obligatory dog shot –

I’ve had a few requests to do a Q&A post in the past but I’ve been hesitant to do one because sometimes putting out the call for questions can result in a deafening silence. Which in turn leaves me feeling awkward and uncomfortable, two feelings I go out of my way to avoid at all times. Nevertheless I felt braver than usual (I wasn’t even drunk!) and put the call out for questions, and in they came. So here we go –

Why don’t I have ten years of bathroom counter like you? It’s entirely possible that you are not currently living in my house. If you did live in my house you too could celebrate the amazing counter space that my bathroom provides.

I feel super nosy but I’d like to know what your job is? (not specifics, I’m not a creepy stalker) Without going into too much detail I can confirm that my job entails the following: finance, administration, copywriting, team management, drinking too much coffee, policy development, daydreaming, liaising with solicitors and avoiding public speaking.

Can you fly to Melbourne and be my personal stylist? Will you pay for my flights, accommodation and valium?

What made you start a blog? To be honest I can’t really remember what inspired me to start up The Belle Lumiere. I used to develop my own websites many moons ago, and got to the point where I was doing all the coding and design myself. But I have grown fat and lazy in my old age and now rely on WordPress to do all of the heavy lifting for me.

Name top 5 people that influence you (beauty fashion whatever) – This is a tough one because I don’t find myself that easily influenced. I’d say beauty and fashion wise, Liv Tyler would probably be my biggest influence as she was the first celebrity that I was really inspired by.

Favourite/frequently visited online stores for products & clothes (top five for each) – For clothing: ASOS, Forever 21, Shopbop, GAP & Country Road. For beauty products: Strawberrynet, Adore Beauty, Kiss & Makeup NY, Sephora & Bath + Body Works.

Favourite type of cereal? I don’t eat cereal. I like oats though, if that counts.

Favourite skin care and makeup brand? My favourite skin care brand is Dermalogica. I don’t really have a favourite makeup brand but if I had to judge based on which brand I own the most products from, it would probably be MAC.

Fox Mulder, Misha Collins, Daryl Dixon – Fuck, Marry, Kill? This is probably the most difficult question I’ve ever been asked, and I put some serious thought into answering it. I would probably marry Misha Collins because he is the most stable and is an actual person. He also speaks multiple languages, built his own house with his bare hands and is married to his high school sweet heart. Deciding who I would choose to kill between Fox Mulder and Daryl Dixon was a tough and gut wrenching decision. I decided to kill Daryl and fuck Mulder because 15 year old me would have wanted it that way. Plus Daryl is living in a post apocalyptic world so his days are already numbered.

Why does sour cream have a use by date? I am lactose intolerant so this question is moot.

What band are you most embarrassed about liking as a teenager? I regret nothing. But I did go through a Korn phase.

What would be your strategy in a zombie apocalypse? Now this one I have thought long and hard about for many years because I am a total weirdo. One thing to remember whenever a possible apocalyptic scenario strikes – fill your bathtub with water (Thanks for that tip, Cormac McCarthy). Once it had been established that yes, this was in fact a zombie apocalypse, the likes of which I am unlikely to survive because I avoid confrontation in life as a general rule, I would probably pack up my family in a couple of cars and head to the bush. Though it’s entirely likely that I would be stuck at work in the city when disaster struck so I’d probably live off the stash of tea and tins of tuna in my desk drawer for 3 years and eventually be the first one to crack and jump out the window. I would also keep a weather eye open for Daryl Dixon at all times.

What would you do if you woke up and you were a giant bug? Probably go to work as normal, just to see how people reacted.

I’d love to know how many days a week you wear makeup, or how much makeup you wear generally day to day? I wear makeup at least 6 days a week, and try to avoid wearing makeup on Sunday where I can (if I have no social engagements etc). I don’t wear a lot of makeup, and when I do I try to make it look as natural as possible. Although sometimes it feels like it takes more effort to look like you put minimal effort into your look than it does to shoot yourself in the face with a makeup gun and be done with it.

How do you prepare for your up and coming posts? Do you block out a particular day e.g. a Sunday and bang them out and schedule them or do you set aside a hours so a night and work on them that way? At the start of each month I write up a little plan in my diary about posts that I plan to write. Each day (if I have the time) I check the list and write up whichever post I’m in the mood for. Occasionally I’ll feel motivated to post something random, so I’ll just whip it up in the evening when I sit down to get things done on the computer. Lately I’ve been having to plan a bit more because the lighting in the evening is terrible, so if I want to include a decent photograph with the post I need to plan ahead and take the pictures on the weekend during the day when the lighting is good.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question, because I had a lot of fun writing up these answers!

Q&A

Hi everyone! This is just a quick note to say that I’ve had a couple of requests to do another Q&A post soon so if you have any questions for me please leave them in a comment (or send them to me via twitter) and I will answer them in an upcoming post. Thanks again!

Q&A

I’ve had a few people emailing me lately, and their emails included a few common questions so I thought it might be fun to lump them all together in one big happy Q&A post. So a big thank you to those who did email me, and to those who sent through some extra questions on Twitter!

What are your dogs names?
Ben and Matilda (Ben is the bigger of the two).

What are the best brands that make foundation for fair skin?
For me personally the only brands I’ve managed to find that suit my skin are Givenchy, NARS and Prescriptives; and two of those I discovered by chance. Givenchy has a really great range of fair foundation shades, but the problem is they don’t have a lot of physical counters within Australia that you can go to and colour match yourself so there is a bit of trial and error involved. Lucky for me I have a friend who lives in England who happens to be the same colouring as me (Hi Kate!) and she wears Givenchy foundation too, so usually I just ask her what shade she’s been matched to and go with that. One of the biggest problems I’ve come across with shopping for fair foundation shades is that even brands that do cater to fair skinned people don’t always have the entire shade range in stock in Australia. Brands that do often have foundation shades at the fair end of the scale that are available in Australia are Clinique, Clarins and Yves St Laurent.

When are you going to have a makeup sale again?
I honestly haven’t really thought about it! Usually once every 6 months I get the urge to clean out and purge everything in the house, so probably in around 6 months or so I’ll have the desire to rid myself of excess cosmetics and set up another blog sale.

How do you balance family, work, a social life, blogging & hobbies?
This is a tough one because honestly I sometimes feel like I don’t do a very good job of balancing everything in my life. I do my best to make the most of my various “to do lists” and try to keep on top of things before they become a problem. I’ve also been doing my best to place my full attention on one task at a time, which helps me get things done in a far more efficient manner. It is in my nature to want to organise everything down to the final detail (Scorpios have a hard time relinquishing control of situations), but I’ve learnt to go with the flow and take life one day at a time.

What are your most overrated products?
To be honest, I’m still not completely sold on face primers… I also think that Diorshow mascara is completely overhyped.

What is the best makeup product you’ve ever used?
Just because it’s saved me a lot of time and hassle in looking for foundation, and is probably the product I’ve re-purchased the most over the years, I’d have to say the Givenchy Photo Perfexion Foundation (in the shade Perfect Ivory).

What are you studying?
Classic Literature.

What is your favourite perfume?
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

What is your favourite highlighting product?
For autumn/winter it’s Benefit High Beam, for spring/summer it’s Benefit Girl Meets Pearl.

What are your favourite books?
This is a tough one because I have quite a lot of favourites. If I had to narrow it down to a few I would say The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, 1984 by George Orwell and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.

What are your favourite TV Shows?
Supernatural, The Walking Dead, LOST, 30 Rock, Dexter, The West Wing, Twin Peaks, Jersey Shore & Hawaii Five-O.

What colour are your eyes? They look different in every picture.
Green.

How do you afford all of the stuff you buy?
I have a full time job which definitely helps cover my addiction to buying beauty products and books. Though having said that, I have a pretty strict budget that I stick to every fortnight, and within that I give myself a “shopping allowance” for beauty products, books & clothes etc.

What kind of music do you like? Do you have any favourite bands or songs?
I’m going to try and not make this answer as long winded as it possibly could be… I like all types of music (how predictable), and have a lot of favourite bands and songs. I’ll pick a random selection of songs that I adore because it seems a little bit easier than listing bands/artists and songs:

Matthew Santos – Drop A Coin
Tom Waits – Jockey Full Of Bourbon
Led Zeppelin – Travelling Riverside Blues (Live)
Adele – Make You Feel My Love
Jay Z Feat. Eminem – Renegade
Paolo Nutini – These Streets (Live)
Cream – White Room
Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page
Neil Young – Harvest Moon
Kings Of Leon – Holy Roller Novocaine
Crowded House – Distant Sun
Rodriguez – Sugar Man
Laura Marling – Night Terror
Nine Inch Nails – Closer
Pearl Jam – Alive
Gogol Bordello – Think Locally, F*ck Globally
Iron & Wine – Evening On The Ground
John Mayer – Stop This Train
Taylor Swift – Last Kiss
Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should’ve Come Over
Sia – Breathe Me
Corrine Bailey Rae – Daydreamin’
Bobby Long – Being A Mockingbird (Live)
Rufus Wainwright – In My Arms.

Who is your favourite Sweet Valley High character?
Good lord, don’t make me choose…. Um…. Tom Watts from the University series. He was a stone cold fox.

Do you have a fail proof makeup look?
Nothing is fail proof, but if I’m feeling lazy I’ll generally reach for – Givenchy Photo Perfexion Foundation (in perfect ivory), Benefit Erase Paste (in fair), MAC Creme Blush (in ladyblush), Jemma Kidd On Set Mattifying Powder (in fair), MAC Mineralize Blush (in dainty), Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow (in recess), MAC Eyeshadow (in blanc type) & Lanolips (in rhubarb).

And now for some of the more colourful questions that have been sent to me…

Why do you idolize that skank Bosworth? She is a talentless famewh*re.
Because she’s pretty, sweet and she wears nice clothes.

Are you Kate Bosworth?
Yes.

Oh wait, no.

How did you manage to get a boyfriend and what does he see in you, you’re so ugly.

Why are you so proud of being so f*cking pale? It’s gross.
Baby, I was born this way.

Are you dating Manu Feildel?
Only in my dreams, and his nightmares.

Do you think Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are dating?
I honestly could not care less.