The Insider Ankita Chaturvedi
The insider has but one aim. To bring to the forefront what it is about makeup that makes your fav Bloggers fall head over heels in love with it! This week is going to be about what Ankita Chaturvedi of http://corallista.com had to say to us..
1. What was it that prompted you to begin writing about beauty and make up?
I was going through a phase of bad skin and hair (caused because of swimming) about a year and half ago which prompted me to look for solutions online. My search led me to beauty blogs, a world which I did not know existed and I was hooked! I devoured the ones I liked, I went through each and every post for hours together and discovered not just about hair and skin (which was my original subject of search) but so much about makeup as well. While I found lots of reviews of various products, I found myself craving for a more artistic side of makeup, of looks and tutorials and image oriented posts. My major motivation when I started my blog was to share my looks and tutorials. When I did my first reviews I realised I had struck a chord with the readers, they liked my attention to detail and found my work helpful. Since then I’ve tried to maintain a balance between reviews and looks/tutorials.
2. For how long has your blog been up and running?
My blog has been running since January 2011, it has been a wonderful 15 month journey!
3. From where did your love for makeup and beauty care stem? (first exposure)
My first exposure to makeup was my Mother’s lipsticks! It’s the one product she has always loved and worn and my first experience wearing makeup was for a fancy dress in 1st standard. I wore a bright berry lipstick and some blush! Since then I’ve worn makeup mainly for dance performances and school cultural events. I still remember carrying a small makeup kit containing liner and lipstick for school functions. My Mum always stressed on using quality products and she would always give me a tiny makeup kit to carry for these events which I would jealously guard and not share with anyone! I also thought I could apply makeup better than my teachers and would generally do it myself (I was in 3rd standard!).
Fast forward to the present day, my love for makeup stems from the fact that I’m an artist at heart and I love experimenting with colors and looks. It is an outlet for me to channelize my creative energy. Nothing gets me more excited than a gorgeous complex multi-dimensional eye shadow!
4. What was the first beauty product you ever used?
The first products I remember using actively are Vaseline for lips and Sunscreen for skin, a Lakme one that made my skin really greasy and ghostly white but I used it anyway since I did not want to tan(I’m glad they have improved their formula so much now!). In makeup, the first product I used on a daily basis was a brown pencil from Maybelline (discontinued now) which I absolutely loved!
5. Your most loved product that you just can’t do without? And why?
Talking of skin care, I cannot do without my Kiehls #1 Lip balm (I have dry lips!) and my sunscreen. Sun rays are a major cause of skin ageing and the simplest and best thing one can do in early years is to wear a sunscreen every day without fail! The one that suits my oily skin best is Lotus Herbals 3-in-1 matte sunscreen.
Talking of makeup, it has to be a lip product – a gloss or a lipstick. It’s the one product I cannot do without. I have naturally rather pale lips and I just need a bit of color on my face. Zeroing in on a particular brand and product is difficult since I try out a lot of makeup and I’ve found many that I like! My favorites for everyday wear are Avon Smooth minerals lip gloss in Rose Garnet, Maybelline Colorsensational in Plumtastic and Maxfactor Gloss cube in Spicy Plum.
6. How is it that you believe you are able to help your readers?
I make a lot of effort in providing an accurate detailed description along with lots of images of everything I review. I always include images of myself wearing the product as shades can look very different when swatched on the arm as compared to how they would look on the face. When a reader reads a review that contains the smaller details, provided in an organized way, it gives a more holistic idea of the product. With my engineering background, I feel I’m able to analyse a product very objectively and present it in a way that is structured and detailed (something you learn after writing countless reports as a science student!). I read a lot of beauty blogs and as a reader, I find reviews with more images and details much more enjoyable and useful!
Indian women are known to favour neutrals and steer clear of more colourful makeup. I myself love sporting colourful makeup, both brights as well as deep rich shades and I feel the Indian skin tone has such a perfect tone and color balance to wear the brightest of shades with ease. I try to incorporate my love for color in the products I review as well as my eye makeup tutorials. There is a way to wear even the brightest of shades and it gives me immense pleasure when I hear my readers say that they are going to try out a look I did, they never knew a shade like this could be so ‘wearable’! I still remember the comments on my first Red lips post and a more recent Sunset eyes tutorial, they inspire me to do more of the ‘wearable’ looks with seemingly un-wearable colors.
7. What does it feel like knowing that your words influence decisions that matter so much to those that come to you with questions?
It is a great feeling but it also brings along with a sense of responsibility. The person who is asking you for a product recommendation is going to go ahead and spend money on it. It is okay to say ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know’ than giving wrong advice. It is a very satisfying feeling when readers come back to tell you how much they loved what you recommended. There are some who actually write back personally after using a product and messages like these make my day!
8. Have you ever met one of your subscribers face to face? How does it feel?
I have and quite a few of them became friends after the first meet! It is amazing how we could connect so well over makeup and beauty despite knowing barely anything about each other!
9. How has caring about yourself influenced your life? Personally and
Personally, I feel more confident and comfortable with my skin/hair/body. Previously, I felt I needed to take more care and that thought always nagged me. I have also been able to pass on a lot of this to my family especially my mother who has begun to take more care of her skin which her ageing skin needs and I love to see how much she glows. Professionally, it has in a way disciplined and organized me more. I am more regular with my skin care now that I know I need to take pictures on a regular basis for looks/reviews and cannot have breakouts caused by an erratic routine.
10. What is the one thing that you would advise people to follow as a beauty care routine on a daily basis?
A regular CTM followed up by sunscreen (during day) and night treatment (at night) is a MUST for everyone. Even oily skinned people need moisturizer (oily skin is not necessarily hydrated). Ever since I started using products appropriate for my skin type, I have seen a huge change in my skin. I receive a lot of compliments for my skin now from friends, family and even followers who have been with me since the beginning. The compliments are not that I have great skin, but how much it has improved in the past year! The most important thing is CONSISTENCY! It is important to use good products but if you are not regular and consistent with it, it’s not going to help! Believe it or not, when you are hitting 40, all the negligence and erratic routines are going to show on your face and nobody wants that! Choose products meant for your skin type, stick to a regime and do not miss it even a single day! And the one product that should never be skipped in sunscreen! And lastly, drink lots of water.