One of our favourite 40+ UK style/beauty bloggers has to be Laurie at Vanity and Me. We love her feminine style - mixing present trends with a dash of classicism and individual flare.
Laurie was born in 1963 in Essex and on Vanity and Me she shares her beautiful outfits, as well as offering style tips and inspiration. Her profession is hairdressing and beauty therapy, and in her time has had 3 salons. She is now based in West London, and has 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
It's pretty evident immediately that Laurie has a passion for every aspect of fashion. But as someone who also started blogging as a second career, and having started my own blog a year ago, I was also keen to hear about her own experiences...
What inspired you to start blogging?
I have alway's been an avid magazine reader, and when I came across an article about a woman who was doing really well at blogging, I thought what a marvelous idea it was. I started to read a couple of blogs and thought how I would love to have a go. The blogs that I had been reading were all high-end designer inspired, and I thought it would be good to show how you can style yourself on a budget at the age of 50 yrs old and still be stylish.
I had never even sent an email before, so it was a huge challenge, believe me huge! I am not going to say it was plain sailing because it wasn't. But I refused to be beaten. I love a challenge and blogging was something I fancied having a go at.
Wow that's very inspiring, and it's great that you weren't immediately put off by your lack of expertise. Plus your website is so professional so you clearly got over the technical issues! Now that you've been blogging for some time, what do you like the most about it?
The community. I have made some good friends and been to some fabulous places and events . When you have spent ages on a post, putting it all together and you get lovely comments and your page views grow it's the best feeling ever! I still wonder now why so many people read my blog, I never feel it's good enough. I know I haven't conquered everything yet, but I will get there. If any of your ladies reading this would like to give it a go, please do get in touch, I am always willing to help.
Are there any downsides?
Well, it has to be the time consumption. It takes a lot of my time, and any blogger out there will tell you the same. Time and effort, lot's of it are required to get your blog off the ground. It has most probably taken me more time than others due to the lack of my PC skills.
Tell me about it! It's certainly a commitment if you want to run a blog properly. How do you organise your day so that you can fit everything in, as well as having some downtime?
I get up at 5am to blog till 8am Then I flitter in and out of social media sites through the day. I write my blog post's in the evening and catch up with anything else on the agenda such as replying to comments and emails. I used to watch all the soaps. but I don't watch any now. I dedicate my free time to my blog.
Well you're clearly very passionate about it which makes it worthwhile. Is there anything you'd like to see change in the blogging world?
One thing I would like to see change is the way we are compensated. Brands like to offer a gift for a huge write up about their brand. If they were to place an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine it would cost them thousands of pounds. For that price, they could pay groups of bloggers who would reach more people, the bloggers would get paid and everyone would be happy.
So would you say blogging is best as a second career then rather than a first one?
Yes, it's great for a second career, not as a first choice. Not unless you have super powers to rocket your blog right up there with the famous bloggers. If I blogged full time seven day's a week I still wouldn't earn anywhere near what I do working .
You're very active on social media - I always enjoy connecting with you! How important is social media to Vanity and Me?
It's so important. If we didn't have social media, we wouldn't have many readers! I wouldn't have found new friends or brands . You need the social media to grow. I belong to so many media sites where I share my blog post, I wouldn't be anywhere without them.
I agree, social media is great for finding friends and brands. I found you that way, and have made many other long-lasting connections too. But some followers have commented that there are so many bloggers out there, they don't know where to start. Do you feel the blogging sphere is becoming overcrowded, and where would you recommend starting to find the right blogs for you?
I think the blogging sphere is way over crowded with 15-25 year old bloggers. They must find it really hard out there. Any age above 30, the number of bloggers slows down a bit.And there are a good amount of 40 + bloggers but not many UK 50 + bloggers. There are loads of 50+ American bloggers. If I were to start looking for a certain blog, I think the best bet is to try googling what you're looking for. BlogLovin is very good for blog reading, but you can't put in what age bracket you would like your blogger to be.
What do you think makes Vanity and Me unique?
I wouldn't say that I'm unique ! I would say that I am the average woman trying to make the best of myself with the money that I have. I like to share my beauty tips with my readers and show them how we can still be fashionable after hitting our 50's.
Well I certainly think you have a strong identity and your personality shines through. What are your top tips for starting a blog?
My first would have to be finding a name that is available on all media platforms Instagram, Facebook and twitter are by far the most important media platforms to me. When you have the same name for each account. you are far more easier to be found. Having the same photo on these accounts make it easier to recognize you too Secondly, think about what you want write about, what your good at. I started my blog with the idea that my beauty tips would come in handy and how to shop frugally . knowledge of other things such as cooking, interiors or anything your good at and passionate about write about it ! Make friends online. Share what they are doing, and they will share right back!
Absolutely. What would you say your favourite thing about the-Bias-Cut.com is?
I love that it's grown up, aimed at us maturer women. And the different range of designers available. It's always good to find something a little different . A few years ago us women over 50 I feel were left behind when it comes to fashion. I do feel we are becoming a trend of our own now though, and brands are starting to sit up and take notice.The community page Ageism Is Never In Style that you are hosting on Facebook is fabulous, and I enjoy joining in the conversations on there.
Thank you! Are there any particular pieces that have caught your eye?
My favourite pieces has to be the quirky shirt designs (by Gibson & Birkbeck). I am always professing my love of those! I do love a well designed shirt that is not plain black or white, but different and colorful that stands out from the usual boring plain you find in the shops.
I have to admit, they're some of my favourites too. Every season they just keep designing more and more beautiful shirts! And they fit impeccably too on all ages, shapes and sizes, which is pretty rare for Fashion labels! Is there any aspects of the Fashion Industry you'd like to see change?
Sizing. I think all clothing in all stores should be available from size 6 to size 24 or higher. There are far more larger sized women out there today, and they are just not catered for. I am petite, and when I go shopping in most stores a petite fit will be available to me. why can't it be available to larger women? I don't have to be labeled petite and shop in a store that's purely aimed at the petite woman, so why should the larger woman have to? Why should a woman have to shop in a store that's purely aimed at a larger woman?
It's interesting you say that, because I've met several petite women who really struggle with sizing too. So there seems to be an issue at both ends of the spectrum. And it's something I'm very conscious off when curating the collections, whilst also ensuring there are enough pieces for expressing your own individual style. How would you describe yours?
I would have to say it's pretty classic. I like to wear classics and bring the outfit up to date with on trend accessories.
What are your 3 top style tips?
Underwear is a good place to start. The perfect fitting bra can make a huge difference to your appearance . Every woman should be professionally fitted to their perfect size every couple of years. I started doing this around ten years ago, and was amazed at the difference.
Colour would be my next tip. go shopping and try on colours you wouldn't normally. Some colours can make a huge difference. I know that I can be very monochromatic. This is one of my downfalls as is my love of beige and cream. But black has just been crossed off my list. I love black, but as I age it is sure not loving me!
And finally, wear what you love. Look at yourself each day that you dress. Do you love what your wearing ? if not then it's time for change. don't just make do ! If you love what your wearing you will feel good. And if you feel good, this will boost your confidence and you will shine.
Thank you Laurie!
If you'd like to find out more about Laurie and Vanity and Me click here. And if you've been inspired to start your own blog, you can always get in touch with Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also become a featured style blogger for us here at the-Bias-Cut.com - there's no minimum article requirement, and you don't need to have any journalism related experience. We'd be happy to share a bio about yourself, and any affiliated links, and we'll take care of the IT and social media aspects that Laurie talks about!