Meet Abby Hardie! Abby Hardie is a beauty blogger sharing her passion for beauty and…
Meet Evangeline Sarney!
My name is Evangeline Sarney.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get started in the beauty industry?
My love and passion for beauty started young.
I grew up in a small town in Australia and – despite it being far from New York City glamour – I have fond memories of sitting with the ladies of the town reading Avon catalogs whilst all the other children were running and playing in the mud outside.
Fast forward to many years later and I dove deep into a love for beauty products – skin creams, serums, lipsticks, mascaras, anything I could get my hands on.
It was at that point I had a random fleeting thought, “I should start a beauty blog” (it was 2010 and blogs were just starting to gain momentum).
I’d read a little booklet attached with an Australian young women’s magazine called Dolly Magazine (RIP) and it had an entire beauty notebook filled with beauty tips. I already had a personal Tumblr blog at the time so thought – why don’t I start my own? The Tumblr blog started to evolve and before I knew it, I had thousands of followers, hundreds of messages each day from people wanting beauty advice. As the blog evolved people started to take on notice – I started getting offers to write columns for publications and brands wanting to collaborate.
As a result of my blog, I helped to create content for Revlon in Australia when they first launched their social media channels. I went on to collaborate on content for a number of major beauty brands and companies including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Covergirl and The Body Shop. On the writing side I had a guest column on beautyheaven.com.au and acted as a contributing beauty writer for MODE Media’s GLAM vertical.
Fast forward to 8 years later and I transitioned my blog into an editor style publication and had a couple of freelance contributors. I’d gotten to a point where I grew my website and blog to 1.2 million readers and my career had gone far in Australia – what was next for me?
That’s when I packed up two suitcases and headed to New York City. The energy of the city instantly sparked a new era of creativity and passion. I connected with many creatives in NYC, including someone working in fashion media, and they suggested taking what I learned and doing consulting. That’s how I ended up where I am today – working with the best brands in beauty on content production, strategy and marketing and loving every minute of it.
What does a typical day in the life of Evangeline Sarney look like?
My day starts with a little music to get me going, some mornings I’ll do yoga or spin class. I check emails and urgent tasks and then start to jump on calls around 10am. Every day is a little different – some days I’ll be brainstorming ideas with different teams and marketing leads, building out decks, pulling keyword data or researching trends and other days I’m typing away writing an article. I work from home – but some days I’ll head to a coffee shop or coworking space to spark a little creativity. Once it hits 5pm I’ll jump on to other client work and pull up around 9pm – if I’m not working late on multiple projects I head to a fashion or beauty event or an opening for an art show, or a new restaurant (I’m glad to have gotten this element of my life back!)
Sometimes I’ll also work on weekends as these are the days that any photoshoot works for my content studio Create & Make Up. During these shoots I serve as the creative director and the production manager making sure everything goes smoothly and looks great. That’s a lot of being on my feet and some of the days start at 6 and don’t end until 7.
You started makeuptips.digital a decade ago and have since gained over a million readers. How have you managed having such a large readership?
It’s honestly unfathomable to even imagine that number of people and it still shocks me to this day. I always try to remember each follower and reader is still a person – so I try to put myself in their shoes and think what would a person actually want to learn about or hear about?
Managing a large audience definitely takes work and there came a point when I just couldn’t respond to every comment or question. Compiling the most common questions or requests into one article was often a helpful tactic to ensure I was connecting with everyone.
Where do you pull inspiration from when brainstorming brand strategy or creating content?
Social media plays a huge part – I love seeing what’s trending on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok – but one of my favorite ways to gain inspiration is to walk around a Sephora or Ulta store or a makeup department. I love seeing how the products are displayed, listening to the way an associate will describe a product and watching how a regular person shops for beauty!
How has the shift in the industry from the traditional marketplace to the digital marketplace affected your sources of inspiration or your strategies when brainstorming for brands?
I’ve always been digital first thinking since that is how I entered the space, but ever since things have shifted to be more e-commerce focused for brands, I’m even more adamant on stressing the importance of including content that actually helps to show the product and its benefits. Creative and editorial style imagery is great (and can be a lot of fun to create) but realistically product texture shots, before and afters, and tutorials showing people how to use a makeup or skincare item are now that much more important.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career?
There are so many. At the end of the day, I ultimately trace everything back to my blog and growing it to a reach of 1.2 million people, because without that all my other career accomplishments wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to blossom – like moving to New York City, landing a consulting role with L’Oreal, moderating a panel during NYFW and the countless other opportunities.
If you could go back to the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?
Examine the gaps in the market as early as you possibly can and don’t be afraid of rejection or failure! I wish I had started creating content for brands earlier or started doing public speaking earlier – but I also believe everything happens in the due timing that is it meant to.
What are your must-have beauty products? What can you not leave the house without?
As a beauty aficionado this question is always a tough one…. But I’ll say:
L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Last Color. I’ve been using these since they launched and to this day I am still obsessed. My go-to lipstick – this stuff lasts a ridiculously long time. I’ve worn it for 10+ hours and it lasts through eating lunch and drinking lattes. Plus, it doesn’t dry out my lips!
Sunscreen. Or more specifically UltraCeuticals Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50 in the Mattifying formula – sadly not available stateside (I get it shipped in from Australia!). This sunscreen doesn’t get greasy, it’s transparent on the skin, and it somehow manages to blur my imperfections. I often wear this on its own on the days I don’t care to wear foundation and it’s easy to touch up throughout the day.
Lancôme Dual Finish Powder Foundation. When I started working as a consultant for the brand last year this found its way into my makeup bag and is always with me when I’m on the go. Perfect for minimizing shine, it can also be used wet to create a kind of creamy foundation in a pinch.
Other staples in my routine: Fenty Beauty Match Sticks, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara, and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color.
Interested in learning more from professionals in the digital marketing and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series and follow us @DigitalBeautyHQ on Twitter and Instagram for more industry insights!
(Photo in graphic by Calbert Warner. All photos provided courtesy of Evangeline Sarney.)