Our #WomanCrushWednesday: Karen Constantine
We're adding our own twist on #WomanCrushWednesday - highlighting real Irish women and their inspiring stories
Anyone with an Instagram account is fully aware of how much we all carefully edit and filter our photos (and by extension, our lives), in order to appear to be better versions of ourselves to our followers.
But some women are keeping it real and deservedly being praised for it.
Enter Karen Constantine. Karen has inspired us to embrace our natural selves by going barefaced with her hair in a messy bun on her YouTube channel, Lovely Girlie Bits.
She is among a new wave of social media influencers who are shunning the clichéd 'me, me, me' approach to beauty blogging. Women like Karen are challenging this perception, by simply being themselves.
Her honest reviews, bargain beauty buys and hilariously honest YouTube videos have seen her following skyrocket over the last 12 months.
The thirty-something (“that’s all you get out of me!”) Raheny native tells us how a year-from-hell led to her discovering a new passion; how she balances blogging with a full-time job and where she sees her career heading in the next five years.
Overcoming a Tough Year
“In the last 12 months, my marriage ended and my father passed away after an illness. After that, I’ve learned that I’m a strong woman. When things get tough, it puts everything into perspective and I’ve learned a lot about myself. I've been blogging for five years now and after my marriage ending, and dad passing away, I was looking for a distraction from real life.
"I spent hours reading reviews, watching videos and I was instantly obsessed! One day, I thought, 'I love makeup and beauty, I could totally set up a blog and justify all of my purchases', and so my blog was born. I had a little point and shoot camera which I used to take very bad photos and my sister Joanne and I started doing YouTube videos in 2012. It still took us five months to build up the courage to film."
Her Snapchat Popularity
"I joined Snapchat back in April and n no way did I ever believe it would take off as much has it has. When I had 100 people watching my Snapschats, I was delighted. Now, I'm hitting nearly 7,500 every day which is just mind boggling!
"What I really love about Snapchat is it helped me gain a whole new audience for the blog. I love how I get to be my absolute self, and have the craic and interaction with so many other gas people. By putting myself out there, people have gotten to know me more, and in turn, I've gotten to know some amazing women this year."
Not Taking Herself Too Seriously
"I try to keep things funny and light hearted in my videos because life is hard enough without having to watch someone moaning and ranting all the time. I get messages every single day from women saying I make them smile and that's what I want. I want to give people a laugh at the end of a rubbish day and put a smile on their faces."
Balancing a Full Time Job with Blogging
"Over the past year, it's been more difficult as I already work overtime at my' real job' so it’s pretty much non-stop during the day. In the evenings, I'm usually exhausted, but I am either blogging, out at a beauty launch or catching up with friends. I'm looking into cutting back on my hours at work so that I can balance things more, but that's not possible until I can make a regular income that will cover the shortfall. Unfortunately, free lipstick and eye shadow don’t pay the bills, but I'll keep the balancing act going for now!"
On Influencing Followers
"I’ll never not find it weird when someone asks me for product recommendation and then goes out and buys it. One thing that I’ve always been adamant about is never selling out - no matter how big or small my blog is. So many people trust me despite having never met me. My integrity and honesty is paramount and no amount of money or sponsored posts will ever change that. I’ve spent years building up a relationship with the readers and that’s important for me to maintain."
On The Future
"Over the next three to five years, I'd love to be blogging full-time, and be able to film more videos for YouTube. I have so many ideas and not enough time to do everything I want, but I’ll keep plugging away on evenings and weekends until I get where I want to be. I’d love my own column in a paper or magazine someday. That would be amazing!"
Her Woman Crush Wednesday
"I love women who aren't afraid to go out and get what they want while staying true to who they are and by playing nice. Women who are creative and passionate about what they do inspire me every day and I know some absolute corkers thanks to blogging and Snapchat! I admire all of my Snapchat friends so much, and have a soft spot for ladies like Joanne Larby, Tara Farrell, AJ Fitzsimons, Louise O’Reilly and Mags Lynch. I can’t pick just one because I’m lucky and have such a great group of blogging pals!"
Check out Karen at LovelyGirlieBits.com.
Do you know someone who should be our #WCW? Tweet us @Indo_Style_ and let us know