meet jackie from beauty chaotic. her stila story about one of our favorite vintage products is inspiring and gives you a small peak into the life of a beauty blogger!
it was the summer of 2008 when a broken heart led me into the world of blogging. i was sad and distraught, searching for a way to occupy my mind on those lonely evenings spent in my apartment drinking wine, listening to amy winehouse and thinking about the guy who jilted me. originally i planned on starting a celebrity gossip blog à la perez hilton to keep me busy. but then a friend suggested i ditch the celebrity gossip idea and write about something i was even more passionate about - beauty.
it seemed like such an obvious choice. i couldn’t believe i hadn’t thought of it myself. i’ve always had an affinity for the glamorous things in life, even as a child when i was sneaking into my mother’s makeup drawer and wreaking havoc around the house - and my face -with her candy apple red lipstick.
so I went to work, staying up nights on my hot pink laptop, researching other blogs, thinking of story ideas and going over design options. it took months before i was satisfied with what i had created, but finally on christmas eve of 2008, i launched my site. at first i stuck to what i knew - product reviews, awards show fashion critiques and the occasional makeup how-to. but as my readership grew so did the demand for something i had never done before – a smoky eye makeup tutorial.
i knew nothing about how to create a smoky eye. honestly, I didn’t know much about how to apply eye shadow at all, outside of the basic highlight color all over the lid. so with limited funds and an open mind i headed to my local sephora in search of help and discovered the stila smoky eye talking palette.
i'd been considering investing in a palette for a while, and decided now would be a good time since it came with everything i needed, including instructions. so with the last money i had until payday i bought two palettes – the platinums and the bronzes. and what a great investment it was! i'd just moved out on my own and money was scarce, so for months those two palettes were the only eye shadows I owned.
and boy did I make the best out of what i had! i came up with every possible combination i could out of those 8 shadows - the silver smokey eye, the platinum smokey eye, semi-smokey eyes, dramatic smokey eyes, even the platinum/bronzy smokey eye. that one was a stretch, i know. but hey, it worked.
i was 5 months into my blogging adventure when heartbreak struck again - but this wasn't some boy toying with my heart. it was a million times worse: my little brother was killed in a car accident. shocked, devastated, and broken, i was beside myself with grief and had no idea how to cope. i wanted to stop working, stop blogging, stop living. the pain was simply too much for me to handle.
one night a few weeks later i was in my apartment once again, sipping wine, listening to music and crying my eyes out when the urge to film a tutorial struck. i knew it was something. I didn’t want to give up and more importantly something my brother wouldn’t want me to give up. so I dried my tears, pulled out my platinum palette and filmed yet another smoky look – this time a shimmery silver eye with hot pink lips look that i still wear to this day.
that’s when the healing began. i spent the majority of my summer filming tutorial after tutorial with the same two palettes – to keep my blog going but to keep my heart going as well. by the time fall rolled around i had used nearly all the eye shadows to the very last bit, scraping the final remnants out of the pans with a paper clip.
i’ve come a long way since those days. my blog and youtube channel are both doing well and i’ve amassed a giant makeup collection that requires an entire wall to store. i have everything a blogger could need at my disposal - hundreds of eye shadows, lip glosses, blushes and eyeliners are now at my fingertips. but it all started with two stila smoky eye talking palettes and i’ll never forget that. and though they were emptied long ago, i still have the two empty palettes to remind me of where i started, how far i’ve come and how far I have yet to go.