Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beauty Blogs Backstage: An Interview with Of Face and Fingers

This is my second month participating in Beauty Blog Backstage, and its something that I find completely brilliant. This month I interviewed  Of Face and Fingers. Check out her blog she does some amazing swatching!

You can see her interview of me HERE.

1. I like your site. What made you get into blogging?
I started blogging after I moved from Chicago to London. A lot of my US-based fellow beauty fanatics wanted to see swatches of UK brands they couldn't get in the US, so I started swatching UK makeup for them and posting the pictures on my blog. Other people started reading the posts, too, and my blog was born.

2. I read you lived in Chicago for awhile. I live in Chicago! What was your favorite thing about the city?
I lived there for 3 years. I love Chicago, and I still miss it sometimes, because I had many fond memories there. I lived in the South Side, Hyde Park (near where Obama lived, by the way!). I loved the awesome sales and wide range of products available, the general beauty of the city, especially Lake Michigan and Millenium Park, and the fact that the city actually has seasons - here in Singapore, it's summer all-year round, which isn't as great as it sounds once you live there for awhile. Singapore is pretty small, so living in such an expansive area like Chicago was really a big thing for me - I loved how you could go to the South Side, and you'd get one experience, and you could go downtown, and get a totally difference experience of the city, and if you went up north, then the feel of the area would be totally different. No part of Chicago is quite like any other part.

3. What made you choose “Of Faces and Fingers” for your blog name?
I've had someone comment that the name is weird, but my blog primarily focuses on makeup - hence faces - and nail polish - hence fingers.

4. I also read you lived in London. I’m going to London this Christmas. Any suggestions where to buy makeup? Any secret finds?
Yes! Do some makeup shopping in London! Go to Superdrug (the UK equivalent of Walgreens) and browse the shelves! In particular you'll want to look out for Sleek, Barry M, GOSH and Bourjois. Also if you are hunting down the elusive Lancome Erika F eyeshadow, the UK has it - check the upscale department stores, or larger Boots stores. For more upscale shopping, head to Debenhams, John Lewis, and House of Fraser - they're all right by each other along Oxford Street, which is right in the heart of London, and I think they carry brands like Nails Inc and Illamasqua. You could also head to Harrods at Knightsbridge - the decor of the place is very pretty and worth taking a look at.

5. What about makeup do you like the most?
 I especially like how it can make me look like a better, more awake version of myself - very useful when I wake up in the morning for work!

6.    When your not blogging what do you do?
Work. I spend long hours at my work, and that takes up most of my time. Otherwise, I hang out with friends and family. I lead a very tame lifestyle right now - after starting work I just don't have the time and energy for clubbing or other activities I used to do, although I do go out for drinks every now and then.

7.    How do you ensure a good quality picture of your swatches?
It's a painful process - I'm not going to kid you. But first, contrary to popular belief, you don't need a fancy SLR camera. Of course an SLR camera will help a lot, but I use an old Panasonic Lumix and I still get decent pictures.

 First of all, lighting is important. I always take my pictures under natural light, and I'm really picky about this. If I don't have natural light (it's night/too dark/cloudy), I don't take my photos. Sometimes I do attempt to take photos under lamp light if I have no choice, but it's much harder to get a good photo that way.

 Secondly, you have to be really nitpicky about details. Is the product placed just right? Are there any weird, harsh shadows? Most people don't bother to look at such details, but it really helps. 

Thirdly, I use the Macro mode on my camera to take close-up shots (which is most of my photos on the blog). This should be a no-brainer, since the macro setting is built into almost every camera on the market nowadays, but I'm always surprised by the number of people who don't know that it exists on their cameras. 

Lastly, patience is key. People just look at a blog and take the pretty pictures for granted, but it all is very time-consuming. For each photo that goes on my blog, there are 20 photos that didn't make the cut (yes I counted). So you really have to keep taking photos, and keep trying to get the perfect shot.

With these tips, I get pretty good photos. Sometimes I edit them a little for colour accuracy (e.g. the photos turn out too yellow, too dark etc despite my best efforts), but usually if the shot is good, I don't have to. I'm always very happy when I don't have to edit a photo, because I take it as a sign that my photography skills are improving.


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