London Beauty Queen - In the Hot Seat
I met Hayley Carr, The London Beauty Queen, almost three years ago. I liked her from the first. Forthright with her opinions, strong beauty knowledge, bags of confident style, in touch with real women and their real budgets, unpretentious and humourous. Like lots of strong women, she gets her fair share of hating and slating and I admire that she ploughs on, being true to herself. I thought you might like to get up close so, I took the interviewers seat to find out more about what goes on inside her head.
Was there a defining moment when you realised the huge influence you have on women’s beauty product choices?
Not really, it’s definitely been a gradual thing. I can remember the first time someone tweeted me a picture of a mascara they’d picked up on my recommendation and I thought ‘jeez people actually listen to me!’ It was a buzz, and I still get that to this day. Over the years I’ve realised that people genuinely trust my words and act upon them, but it’s still hard to marry that with the idea of me sitting in my office alone shooting off words into the internet.
How do you deal with the weight of responsibility on your shoulders, as one of the UK’s most followed Beauty Influencers?
I take my position seriously and am very conscious about what I recommend and what I say. I would hate for someone to make a purchase off the back of a piece I’d written and not love it as much as I do; although I always try to provide balanced opinions and explain who may benefit the most. I don’t think you can get too bogged down in it or you’d never say anything, it’s just about operating ethically and within parameters you’re comfortable in.
Which females inspire you and why?
I love strong businesswomen and those that have broken down barriers; I’ve always been taught by my mum that anything is possible, you only have to try, so I look to those that have carved the way or changed up the way things operate – no matter how big or small. I love hearing about stories from women such as Sophia Amoruso and Karren Brady, but the people that inspire me the most are those women in my life every day: my mum, my sister, my nan, my best friends and my blogging support network.
What are your predictions for the future of beauty blogging?
I think we’re moving much more towards respected opinions and genuine insight, rather than generic hauls or vacuous information that doesn’t add much value. I see a huge future for women in their 30s/40s/50s and beyond to focus on a digital persona and reach out to others that are actively seeking information and advice as they age. I also predict we’ll see a lot of bloggers stop as it gets hard to differentiate, and brands focusing their efforts on much more targeted sites to really get their messages out to the right people.
What would you have done, if not beauty?
Beauty has always been my life; it was my first job out of Uni and where I spent most of my 20s working, so it’s hard to imagine anything else. If it wasn’t beauty though I’d still be in digital media and marketing, working on big brands and helping them reach out to the right demographics in interesting ways.
Which is your most favourite MERUMAYA product and why?
The Melting Cleansing Balm™. It’s affordable, effective and makes cleansing a pleasure rather than a chore. It’s also a product that every woman can enjoy, no matter their age or skincare knowledge.
What does our message #beautyhasnoage mean to you? Or how does this message resonate with you?
It’s very relevant right now and a reflection of what is actually happening out in the wider world; women are celebrating their imperfections and differences, rather than focusing on them as a flaw that needs to be fixed. Many brands don’t understand that ageing isn’t something to be ashamed about, but increasingly I’m seeing more diversity and subtle changes that illustrate the industry is waking up. Our beauty doesn’t disappear as we age – it just evolves.
Please tell us about any experience in your earlier life that made you feel less confident about your beauty. How did you over come that and what advise would you give future generations of women so they find their beauty-confidence earlier?
In my 20’s I was so insecure – about everything. I didn’t really know who I was, which was the main crux of the issue. I hated my hair, my skin, my body… But as I’ve aged I’ve realised your self worth isn’t defined by your knicker size or how many grey hairs you have. I think the only piece of advice I can give is that your family, friends and future partner will love you for who you are (flaws included) so don’t focus on them as a measure of your attractiveness or value. Accept yourself in all your glory and focus on more important things; don’t waste the time and effort I have fixating on how wobbly your thighs are.
Women who put themselves at the forefront are often undermined. The prospect of this, puts off many women from expressing their true opinions, being their true selves. What advise would you give them for dealing with ‘haters’?
Rise above it. Most of the time those that ‘hate’ are insecure themselves and are reflecting their insecurities onto you. We all have opinions and they’re absolutely ok to be different; not everyone has to like you and we won’t all be best friends. Focus on the task in hand and ignore anyone that tries to take you down.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Probably juggling a kid or two, a home, a business, a blog and everything else life throws at me! Who knows… I wouldn’t have said I’d be where I am today five years ago, so I prepare for the unexpected. Thanks to Hayley for taking the time. Here's a link to the London Beauty Queen site.