It’s a question pondered by Wellington friends Morgan Ashworth (24) and Harriet Pudney (23) — one that led them to launch beauty blog Hyacinth Girl, to prove that a love of beauty isn’t vapid.
The pair met at university a couple of years ago, and Hyacinth Girl grew from discussing and trying out beauty with a wider group of friends, including makeup artists.
They’re tired of the airhead rep attached to beauty enthusiasts. “It’s okay to be obsessed with guitars, or cars, or beer, or whatever, but the minute you like makeup or something girly, everyone’s like ‘that’s stupid’; it’s not allowed to be an interest in the same way that traditionally male shit is,” says Harriet.
Morgan adds: “We don’t put makeup on to pick up dudes. We do it because it’s an art and it’s fun, and you feel good about yourself when you’ve tried something and got it right — like, the perfect winged eyeliner or a really cool, bright lip colour that you’re not sure you can pull off.”
Beauty fans — both local and international — agree: they’ve been flocking to Hyacinth Girl since its launch in September.
The website’s recently had a makeover of its own, but its writers have pledged to stay honest about the products they love — and the ones they don’t — even if big beauty and its advertising dollars come knocking.
“We’re not writing a blog so we can get cool free stuff. If I hate something, I’m going to say it,” Morgan asserts. Harriet adds, “We’d rather the blog grow slowly and organically than quickly and disingenuously.”
And while it could one day become a full-time job, the pair say that for now, they’re just enjoying sharing their thoughts with their audience, without taking it too seriously.
The Hyacinth Girl girls’ beauty picks
NARS Sheer Glow foundation
“It’s a full-coverage foundation and that’s my kind of vibe — a really polished base for my skin and really simple for the rest of my makeup. It’s quite expensive but it’s the best foundation I’ve found.”
MAC lipstick in Heroine
“I’m a huge advocate of bright lipstick all the time. People talk about wearability or work appropriateness; to me, if you want to wear it to work, it’s work appropriate.”
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
“It’s a major indulgence but their powders are just amazing — you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of the difference that it makes.”
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter
“I use it in a little bit of a triangle under my eyes as a concealer. You barely notice it’s there, but I really like the way that it looks.”
MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in Uninterrupted
“It’s a little bit weird but not unwearably weird. I reach for this pretty much every day that I wear eye makeup.”
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle
“I wear this on my cheeks and eyes — it’s just that really nice, reflective, ‘bam, here are my cheekbones!’ kind of thing.”[/info]