Q: How long have you been doing makeup and nails? Are you a professional makeup artist?
A: I have been doing my makeup and nails (also my friends' makeup & nails) since about 12 years old. I am self taught and have had no professional training, though I do come from a family of artists and am formally trained in all aspects of visual art. Having a background in the arts has given me a solid foundation to transition into makeup artistry by simply switching my medium from paint to makeup. With that said, I am not a skin care professional, so everything expressed in my blog is solely my opinion based on personal experience and practice. I am, however, looking to expand my knowledge and put my skills on paper, and I will update you once I do so.
Q: Where are you from? What is your nationality / ethnicity / racial background?
A: I was born in Russia and came to New York with my parents when I was 10 years old. I am an American citizen and identify with the Russian culture and nationality. My ethnic / racial background is Russian and Bashkir, but to simplify things, I consider myself Eurasian (part Slavic, part Central Asian). To read more about my mix, you can check out The Eurasian post dedicated to my Bashkir (Bashkort) culture and ethnic group.
Q: May I send you products to review?
A: Yes you may. Please contact me at MaryamMaquillage@gmail.com
Q: What kind of camera do you use? Do you take your own photos?
I use the Canon Power Shot S95 for most of my ready-to-wear makeup looks (portrait mode, self timer) & eye shots and nails (macro mode, no flash, natural lighting). For conceptual looks, face shots, 3/4 shots or whenever there's no sunlight available for eye shots, I usually take the pix with the Nikon D90 camera and zoom lens. Since this is a professional camera, it is almost impossible for me to take my own photos, so I have my boyfriend take the shots using a tripod. Occasionally, (if the scene calls for it :) I even take the pics with the cam on my MacBook Pro, as well as my iPhone 5.
Q: How tall are you and what size do you wear?
I'm a little guy, I stand 5' 2" tall and I wear a size 4 -- sometimes a 2 -- depending on the brand... but why do you wanna know?! Just kidding, I've got nothing to hide, so I'll even offer my weight before it becomes a FAQ: I'm 115-118 lbs and proud of it :)
Q: How long does it take you to do your nail designs? Where do you get the patience for such tiny details? Do you use a nail stamper?
A: My nail designs usually take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete (not including the drying time). I actually find painting tiny details quite relaxing and meditative and I'd say I probably enjoy it even more than putting on makeup. All of my nail art is hand painted and I've never used a stamper before in my life--I don't even know how to use one!
Q: What do you use to dye your hair?
A: Nothing. I've never dyed my hair in my life, but it is very sensitive to the sun, so it gets significantly lighter in the summertime. #virginhair
Q: I want to recreate one of your looks, may I re-post your photos?
A: Yes you may, just please provide a proper citation, i. e. my name & a link to the original blog post.
Q: Do you have any advice for novice beauty bloggers?
A: Sure. Post often, take clear HQ photos, and be kind. Refrain from ruthless self-promotions, work on your niche (looks, reviews, nails, etc.) as well as diversifying your content, and get to know your audience. Be open to questions and criticisms and be a part of the community. Join beauty forums and interact with other beauty bloggers. Again, be kind :)