You may have seen that last month we partnered with Luzanne from Pink Peonies to bring you some exciting beauty content? This month we’re introducing blogger Liezel Malherbe from 9Lives as our Blogger of the Month. Find out more about her:
Describe your blog in one line: 9Lives is a lifestyle website covering 9 categories, with news, reviews and articles that help you make the most of this one life.
When did you start blogging? I started little over two years ago. I had just left the world of magazines and I was working as a production assistant on a television show. I suddenly had so much time compared to the hustle of a weekly magazine, so I started writing to keep myself busy. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue it full-time.
What made you start a blog? I love writing, particularly about lifestyle topics. I am passionate about giving people great advice – which skincare products and make-up they should spend their hard-earned cash on, where they should eat out, which events they should attend, etc. I started in magazines but I saw that media was shifting online and I wanted to be part of this new industry. I like the personal approach of blogging, that people read my opinion and experience of things, and I’m serious about giving my readers the best advice I can.
Is your blog your day job or do you have a full time job? I am lucky that I can pursue this full time. I am supported by LUMICO, a digital start-up in Cape Town who help with site and business development, and they allow me to really put my full energy behind 9Lives. Of course this also adds pressure because it isn’t a hobby or part-time gig. I need to make it work or I won’t have food on the table.
How often do you update your blog? I write daily and I try to post a couple of articles a day. Some will be longer posts like skincare articles, make-up videos, restaurant reviews or travel features, and in between I’ll post fun things I find around the web.
What do you focus on? 9Lives covers 9 categories and I really try to split my attention evenly between these. That being said, I enjoy writing about skincare and make-up, having started as a beauty editor. I love researching the ingredients and science behind products to give people the best information. Plus it’s so much fun playing around with cosmetics.
3 tips for someone who wants to start a blog:
Strive for excellence. Quality content is the most important thing in this business. Make sure you honour your readers by giving them the best information, and ensure that your articles are well-written and free from typos and spelling errors. And never sell out your opinion. Even if brands advertise on your site, your loyalty should be with your readers and you should always be honest with them and have their interests at heart.
Build connections. In this industry it really is about who you know. Make friends with other bloggers, ask advice, learn, and support them. Get to know PR liasons and brand managers and nurture those relationships. And don’t burn bridges. Always treat people with respect – you never know where they might be in the future.
Do it with passion. Write about the things you love – your content will benefit and your readers will enjoy reading your articles more if they can see that you really care about it.
What are the 5 beauty products you can’t live without?
That’s tricky because I have to change between products a lot to try them all. The ones I am loving right now:
Make-up remover/Cleanser: Vichy Pureté Thermale Cleansing Micellar Oil – this oil cleanser takes off all make-up and dirt in minutes, including stubborn mascara. It speeds up my evening skincare routine.
Hand cream: Optiphi Renew Hand Therapy – I hate it when my hands feel dry so I always have hand cream in my bag. I love that this one contains SPF20 to prevent sun damage.
Primer: Dermalogica UltraCalming Redness Relief Primer – I have odd skin: Dry in patches and then prone to oiliness on my T-Zone. This primer helps to smooth my skin and control oil, and the green pigment neutralizes redness. I use it all the time before my make-up.
Sunscreen: Eau Thermale Avene Very High Protection SPF50+ Cream – In my opinion, sunscreen is the most important player in your skincare regime, protecting you against early ageing and reducing your risk of skin cancer. This one is formulated for sensitive skin, which I need, and I like the lightweight, non-greasy texture.
Body: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion – I have really dry skin and underlying eczema, so I go through body lotion like nothing. Apart from being really affordable, this lotion works all day long to keep my skin smooth and moisturized and I like the fact that it doesn’t contain fragrances, which can irritate my skin.
Drugstore beauty or high-end products? I don’t have a specific preference. To be honest you get some brilliant drugstore products and some terrible high-end products that have nothing to show for their prices. When it comes to skincare I’ll normally look at cosmeceuticals that are sold by dermatologists, but for everything else I’ll look for products with great ingredients that have been proven to work. I enjoy drugstore make-up because it allows you to follow trends without too much commitment, but I might splurge a bit on a great foundation and concealer.
What international blogs do you follow? Into The Gloss, Harper and Harley, Goop, The Beauty Department and Man Repeller are a few of my favourites.
Other articles you may be interested in:
Introducing Blogger of the Month: Luzanne from Pink Peonies
Blogger of the week: Leigh van den Berg
Blogger of the week: Tori
Five naturalistas to follow on Instagram