Grace Day, tells us about her life as a beauty writer, blogger and MA historian.
If you’re into beauty and make up, you’ve most likely heard of Grace Day (aka That Grace Girl), or come across one of her amazing articles scattered around the web.
Originally from Shropshire, a sleepy town on the Welsh border, Grace moved to Oxford at the age of 18 to study History (which is one of her biggest passions). She now lives in Manchester and is a highly respected blogger and beauty writer for Beauty Bay.
In this sit down interview, Grace explains life as a beauty writer and gives us an insight to her hobbies and favourite beauty influencers.
Keep scrolling down to read the interview
Why did you decide to move to Manchester?
After I graduated, I wanted to pursue an academic career and move to a bigger city, somewhere with more buzz and energy but without London’s extortionate rent prices.
I’ve always loved Manchester, and the University has an excellent reputation so I moved there in August 2015; to study part-time for a Masters in History.
I got a part-time job working at a beauty counter and started taking on freelance writing work to fund my degree. Now, I’ve landed the job of my dreams, writing for the Manchester-based beauty company, Beauty Bay.
How did you get into beauty writing?
Weirdly, I didn’t get properly into makeup until I started university, but I’ve always been a keen reader and in my teens, I would spend all my pocket-money on magazines – flicking right to the beauty content before reading anything else. There’s something compelling about the way words can be utilised to describe beauty products so I was always drawn to these articles.
I had acne during my late teens, and I spent a lot of time online reading product reviews, so in the second year of my first degree, I decided to start my own blog to share my experience with others.
My blog readership grew and gave me the perfect opportunity to practice my beauty writing skills until eventually I was approached with offers of freelance work.
I didn’t have any intentional master plan to get into beauty writing; it was more the culmination of a series of happy accidents!
Have there been any difficult moments in your journey so far?
Until recently I was working five days a week at the beauty counter, two days a week in-house freelancing, and then trying to cram lectures, studying, blogging and additional freelance work in wherever I had a spare moment.
It was exhausting (and I’ll admit to having a few meltdowns!), but the hard work paid off when I was offered a job by the company I’d been freelancing for.
You seem to love all things beauty, but why? What do you find so fascinating about it?
Beauty is so comprehensive, and it’s something that all women can relate to, just at different levels – even if you have a super simple routine and don’t do much more than wash your face and put on some mascara you’re still engaging with beauty.
What does it take to be a respected beauty writer?
A lot of people probably think all that beauty writers do is sit around and play with lipstick, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
It’s my job to scope out, trial, research and write about everything there is to know about beauty, which is weirdly super similar to the process of writing academic articles.
It also requires a lot of time, people-skills, adjectives, and above all creativity – you’ve always got to be one step ahead, looking for the next big trend and thinking outside of the box.
How do you find inspiration for articles and blog?
I source a lot of my beauty inspiration from social media – Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube all have huge beauty communities.
There is, however, a big divide online between the types of content you see.
There’s a lot of heavy Kim Kardashian-inspired looks (which isn’t really my vibe), but then there’re some truly inspirational accounts that champion a more innovative approach to beauty. Not necessarily minimal, but using products in different and inspiring ways. I love that!
What’s your favourite beauty topic?
My favourite topic to write about is skin care.
It’s a subject that is both informative and enjoyable to read about – plus we can all relate to it in some way or another.
I get so excited when new skin care products land on my desk – there’s so much scientific innovation and research behind the latest launches these days.
The market is saturated with products so brands know they have to create formulas that work and do something different if they want to be the next big thing.
I also love “beauty history” and it’s something I’m hoping to write about more on my blog in the future.
There’s not a lot of academic work out there regarding the history of beauty, so I’d love to do some research in this area – if I get the time!
Who are your favourite beauty influencers and make-up artists?
Do you have any hobbies?
Well, I haven’t had much time to engage in hobbies recently! I’m quite bad at switching off as I genuinely enjoy what I do so much. In my “spare time,” you’ll most likely find me trialling products, clipping articles from magazines, and reading up on new launches and social media.
Saying that, in the near future I’m planning on enrolling on a ballet course, taking up yoga, and doing more running.
What are your 5 favourite things in life?
I haven’t had much time to train properly recently, but I love running. It’s probably the only time that I can completely switch off and disengage. I love nothing more than getting up super early on a sunny day and running through the city before it’s woken up.
History will always be another one of my great loves – you have to love something to spend five years studying it! I always have a history book on the go, and it’s such a great way to expand your mind. Now that my degree has ended I can’t stand the thought of not still learning!
#3 Hot Showers
Yes really, sometimes it truly is all about the simple pleasures!
It’s a cliché, but I love catching up with my friends – a lot of them are in similar career situations to me so there’s a mutual understanding that we won’t see each other a lot, but when we are together our switches are well and truly off. Plus it’s a chance to indulge in good food and drink (another of my favourite things).
#5 Good Food and Drink
Manchester has such a great variety of places to eat, and new restaurants and cafes are opening all the time so I’m always scheduling ‘friend dates’.
Want more? Check out ThatGraceGirl.com for articles from Grace.
That Grace Girl Talks Beauty Writing