Welcome to another installment of the Blogger Spotlight series! Today’s interview is with Gio of Beautiful With Brains – when I was coming up with names for my blog way back when, “Beautiful With Brains” was on the list but she got it first! Her blog is a fantastic read and has been a big inspiration for me, with ingredient breakdowns, smart reviews and random interesting beauty facts. I was delighted when she agreed to do an interview! Here it is.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog.
Hello! I’m Gio, an Italian girl now living in London. I started Beautiful With Brains seven years ago because I wanted to share my passion for all things beauty with other like-minded people. I also wanted to help them make the best choices for their skin. There is so much confusion and contradicting information about skincare and cosmetic ingredients that it’s hard to know what to believe! I like to look at the science of beauty to debunk myths and figure out what really works.
What’s your daily skincare routine?
I like to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible and use only a handful of effective, chockfull of goodies, products. I start by cleansing with a gentle cleanser. My favourite is Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser because it quickly takes off everything without irritating skin and, thanks to the washcloth, also performs a gentle exfoliating action.
Then, I apply a serum. In the mornings, I alternate between one with Vitamin C (at the moment I’m using one from Skin Actives) and Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, which contains every antioxidant you can think of. At night, I use a serum with retinol.
Then, I apply a moisturizer with niacinamide, which has been shown to do everything from moisturizing skin to reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. I use mostly Olay moisturizers because they are cheap and effective. I finish off with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide to protect my skin from the sun (obviously, I skip this step at night!).
About three times a week, I also like to use an exfoliant with glycolic acid. And, when my skin needs a pick-me-up, a sheet mask. I don’t use any toners or eye creams because I don’t believe they are necessary. I use my facial moisturzer on my eye area too. It has always worked well for me.
What’s your daily makeup routine?
I miss the days when I could spend half an hour just blending bright, crazy-coloured eyeshadows together. These days, I’m lucky if I have 15 minutes to do my makeup, so I keep it simple. I do a quick eye look with eyeshadows in the same colour family.
Then, I apply mascara, foundation, concealer, a touch of blush (I’m so pale I need it not to look like a ghost!), and a swipe of lipgloss. If I have a special occasion to go to, then I’ll do a full face, and apply primer, highlighter, bronzer, brow powder… pretty much everything!
What’s your favourite bargain product?
Just one? There are so many! I love everything from Sleek Makeup, especially the eyeshadows palettes and blushes. They are very pigmented and blend like a dream. Milani also makes some lovely blushes and eyeliners.
For nail polishes, Barry M. They are available in any colour and formula you can think of and dry quickly. They’re perfect for those who, like me, end up chipping their nail polishes straight after application, because they can’t keep their hands still for more than 5 minutes!
My favourite drugstore skincare brand is Olay. Their products are well-formulated and reasonably priced.
What’s your favourite splurge?
I can’t live without Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit. It covers my dark circles very well and, once set with powder, doesn’t budge. I also like to splurge on foundations. Drugstore brands have upped their games lately and come out with wonderful,foundations, but they still rarely make shades light enough for pale skin. My favourite at the moment is Dior Diorskin Nude Foundation. It has a lightweight texture, medium coverage, and a glowy finish, and looks very natural on.
What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1. Wear sunscreen every day, even if it is cloudy or rainy. You are undoing the rest of your skincare routine if you don’t.
2 Exfoliate regularly with a glycolic acid (if you have dry or sun-damaged skin) or salicylic acid (if you have oily skin) based product. They make skin smoother and brighter, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and help keep the pores clear, preventing blemishes and breakouts.
3. Experiment. Don’t shy away from this or that colour because you are afraid you can’t pull it off. You never know what looks good on you until you try it. And if it really doesn’t suit you, no worries. Wash it off. It’s just makeup.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Pink lipglosses and peachy pink blushes. I have far too many!
What’s your favourite blog post(s) that you’ve done?
Again, there are so many! I prefer to write long posts about skincare, where I can talk about a topic in-depth and help people with a problem they have, like figuring out what ingredients work best for their skin.
Two of my favourite posts are 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Should Include In Your Skincare Routine and The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid. I’m also proud of my Are They Dupes? series. Here, I compare high-end skincare products with cheaper alternatives. More often than not, the cheap option is actually better!
Beauty Should NOT Hurt is another favourite of mine. Us women are constantly told that we need to suffer to be beautiful, but I always thought that was nonsense. Pain is never beautiful. If beauty hurts, you’re doing it wrong.
Check out Beautiful With Brains for your dose of smart beauty!