Beauty blogger Julia Coney started All About the Pretty in 2006 after attending a writers' conference at Howard University. “I didn’t even know what a blog was,” says the 35-year-old.
At first she was hesitant to put herself—and her private life—on the Internet for all to read. But since taking the plunge into the blogosphere, Coney has found her stride, her audience, and, apparently, her own language. “I write about living a beautimous life,” she says—that’s beautiful plus glamorous, if you’re trying to decipher it.
Coney writes for women who “want to feel and look pretty.” Plus, the research isn’t half bad: She takes spa trips, tests moisturizers, and plays with makeup—all in the name of blogging.
By day, Coney works as a legal assistant at a law firm and has to fit blogging into her busy schedule. She usually blogs in the mornings before work, in the evenings, and on weekends. Between research, reading, testing, and writing, she says she spends about 25 hours a week working on her site.
We recently caught up with this Southern belle—Coney hails from Houston—for a little beauty and makeup 411. She let us in on her quick makeover secrets, the best fall beauty trend, and the beauty faux pas that most get under her skin.
Must-have makeup item:
“Anything by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wear something by Bobbi Brown. I absolutely adore her.”
Beauty products you always splurge on:
“Lip gloss, serums, and night cream. I wear lip gloss every day—a really great one can last through yoga class. Also, I’m compulsively addicted to high-end skin care. I switch between Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Creme and Chanel Sublimage night creams.”
Shade of nail polish you’re wearing right now:
“OPI’s Eiffel for This Color from its fall 2008 Paris collection.”
Favorite cosmetics store:
Best trick for taking a day look to evening look in under ten minutes:
“A quick smoky eye and lip gloss. I leave a blending brush in my office for this. Dip the brush into a dark metallic eye shadow and apply from lash to lid. You can easily build this color. I like anything with shimmer for night. Next, add two or three coats of mascara on top. For your cheeks, use natural blush and add a little bronzer. Apply a nude neutral lip gloss, and voilà, you went from day to night.”
Department store with the best makeup counters:
“Neiman Marcus (DC and Tysons Galleria), although the clerks can be rude. I’m from Texas, and I love the Neiman Marcus at home. I still order from my sales associate at the Houston Galleria, Ms. Juanita—20 years and still going strong! She’s like family to me. So even though I’m disappointed about the outposts in this area, I love malls and have to visit.”
Hours spent prepping for a night on the town:
“One and a half hours including bath. It’s an experience when I go out, so I want to enjoy the process as well as the look.”
Biggest beauty faux pas you’ve ever seen:
“Too much foundation or no makeup at all. I see so many women whose faces I just want to scrape. Or I see them and they don’t fix themselves up at all. A little lip gloss, ladies, will go a long way. I believe in the trinity: lip gloss, blush, and mascara. It takes five minutes. Make an effort, please, darlings.”
Best beauty tip to take years off your age:
“Yoga, a good meal with great wine, traveling, a new lip gloss, and sleep. All these will put a smile on your face. Sleep is a great beauty regimen.”
Best neighborhood for getting a head-to-toe makeover:
“This is tricky. On Sundays I only wear Chanel No. 5. It’s a hodgepodge the rest of the week. I currently have over 60 fragrances in rotation in the perfume arsenal.”
Prada or Chanel?
“Chanel, always and forever.”
Sephora or Ulta?
Manicure or pedicure?
“Pedicure. I can do a decent manicure myself, but a pedicure is a luxury to me.”
Lip liner or eye liner?
“Eye liner on the top lash. It wakes you up and is less likely to smudge on top.”
Highlights or high heels?
“High heels. You can always go with solid hair color, but heels make you walk better. Good posture is pretty.”
Best women’s magazine for gleaning beauty tips:
“Allure, the beauty bible.”
Best beauty item you can get at a drug store:
“L’Oréal H.I.P. (High Intensity Pigments) line. The colors are bold and wearable, and it comes at a great price.”
Best fall beauty trend:
“Dark lips. I’m so addicted to dark lips that I can’t wait for the temperature to dip so I can really jump into it.”
Next week, we indulge our sweet tooth with cupcake-obsessed blogger Danielle Buckley of Delleicious DC. We find out where to get the best cupcake—of course!—her cupcake flavor of choice, and the best drink for washing one down. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for the interview!
Have a favorite local blogger you’d like to hear from? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.