Rania Esper is the Founder and Editor of The Blush Diaries. She has recently opened a new shop with a collection of unique hand-picked items featuring both collaborations with talented designers along with designs made by her.
I have exceptionally sensitive skin and try not to experiment with products too often, although as a blogger that’s difficult to do. I never had an issue with my skin until I was 20, and I saw many dermatologists who sent me home with a bag full of creams that never really helped. Finally I found a dermatologist who explained to me that my skin is intolerant to so many chemicals and I have to be very careful what I use; she also prescribed a couple of topical treatments that have kept my skin clear for the most part.
My morning and night routines are almost the same. I start by washing my face with Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser, which is gentle but really refreshing. Next, I tone with Clinique Clarifying Lotion #4. It’s one of my favorite products because it removes any dirt or grime without the harshness of an exfoliator. I hydrate with Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which is the only moisturizer that doesn’t break me out or leave my skin looking oily. I’m not always diligent about using SPF but my favorite sunscreen is RoC Soleil-Protect Anti-Shine Mattifying Fluid SPF 30.
I don’t use foundation unless I have an event to attend, and I usually keep my daily makeup as simple and natural as possible. I like using a BB Cream such as Tarte Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer. It has light to medium coverage, built-in sun protection and blends so naturally. Sometimes I skip this step and just apply some concealer where needed. My favorite concealer at the moment is Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser, which really brightens the under-eye area and gives a nice glow. I set everything with a Beauty Blender and Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. I top it off with Bobbi Brown Blush in Peony on the apples of the cheeks or Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush if I want a more luminizing effect. Finally I apply a few coats of Mascara; some of my current favorites are Benefit Roller Lash, Rimmel Scandaleyes and Maybelline One by One.
I have naturally curly hair with an aversion to humidity, so it’s a challenge to control frizz while living in Dubai. I use Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo followed by Drybar’s Sake Bomb Conditioner. Before blow-drying I apply a little BioSilk Silk Therapy and Organic Argan Oil to the ends. I’ll use a curling iron to add some soft waves and a little bounce to my hair.
My mom is so big on staying ‘au naturel’ and that’s really influenced me growing up, which is why I make it a point to avoid exposing my hair and skin to a lot of heat and chemicals unless I need to. I’m really into braids lately and I love learning new ways of wearing them this summer.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I always wanted a career that involved high levels of creativity and a lot of energy. I didn’t really feel fulfilled in my corporate job and decided to switch over to something that excites me: fashion. While searching for a job in the fashion industry, I started blogging and loved it. In March 2014, I finally decided to forge my own path and turn The Blush Diaries into a business.
What was it like in the beginning when you first started?
In the beginning everything was a mystery and I was learning about the industry and its possibilities. It was both terrifying and exhilarating to take this step.
What are some things you learned that you wish you knew sooner?
I’ve learned that there isn’t one set road that allows you to succeed. You have to work hard and expect that it will take time before you reach the desired goals.
What are the best things about blogging?
One of the best things about blogging is developing your own voice, defining your style and seeing how your readers respond to that. I am lucky to be able to write about the things I’m passionate about and to see it resonate with other people.
What are some things people don’t understand about fashion blogging?
People don’t realize that there’s a lot of work done behind-the-scenes and it really takes dedication.
What’s your favorite social media site to use to promote your blog and where have you seen the biggest traction?
I love Instagram because of the tremendous amount of visual inspiration, and I enjoy getting creative with my photography and learning how to improve it. I’ve found that the combination of multiple outlets creates a good buzz and a lot of traction, but the best results have been from Twitter and Instagram.