How to Beauty Blog with Cosmetic Sanctuary’s Lisa Heath

Office worker by day and beauty blogger by night, Lisa Marie Heath, 36, is also a mom, and a devoted PicMonkeyer. You might think that running a super successful beauty blog requiring daily posting to multiple channels, plus frequent interaction with readers would be impossible for a full-time working mom. And yet, here she is, racking up millions of followers in the process. Heath’s passion for all things makeup fuels her side hustle and, as a long-term subscriber, she’s relied on PicMonkey’s tools to turn out her web and social media posts quickly.

We spoke with Heath about how she juggles it all—often with wet nail polish on her fingers—working a day job and building a loyal following on her beauty blog, Cosmetic Sanctuary. She shares her tips with us for how to become a beauty blogger and how to run a successful social media campaign as an in-demand influencer.

How do you start a beauty blogging business?  

I’ve always had an obsession with makeup. When my boyfriend (who works in IT) and I moved in together he saw just how much makeup I owned, so he started talking about building me a website so I could blog about it. I fought him on it for awhile because I’m shy and I didn’t think anyone would read it. But, in mid-December of 2011, I decided to give it a go. My boyfriend, Nick, built the site and two weeks later I made my very first post to my new blog.

You have over 3,000,000 Facebook followers, and more than 150,000 on Instagram. To what do you attribute this impressive social media success?

Honestly, I’ve always been amazed at how quickly my social media grew. I started blogging and using Facebook and Instagram before the algorithms changed so I was able to build a fairly strong reader base early on. I still have a lot of readers from my early days that have stuck around, chatting with me on Facebook and mentioning things they remember from when I first started.

Lisa’s beauty blog has gained her 3M+ social media followers

Do you consider beauty blogging your side gig? If so, how do you manage having a day job along with running and marketing a blog?  

Beauty blogging is definitely the side gig. I work full time in an accounting firm, and I raise my 13-year old son. A few of my blogging friends joke that I’m a swatching robot, trying out so many cosmetic samples on myself all the time, but it definitely did take some time to establish a schedule that works for me so I can keep up with my blog, work full time, raise my son and still get out to catch a movie or shop. Even so, I spend many nights and weekends working on blog content. I’ll save the photos and work on a post during my lunch break at work. I’m usually up by 5:30am and working on blog photos. What’s sleep again?

You’ve used PicMonkey for quite a while, so I’m wondering what you like best about using it? What challenges are you experiencing? What would you still like to learn?

Originally I found PicMonkey because I needed a reliable, easy-to-use collage making tool. I do split images for my nail photos and it’s easy to do in PicMonkey. After about a year of using it for collages, I started using it for text and slight photo editing, too. Right now I’m trying to get used to the “new” version of PicMonkey. I don’t like change, and for me this is a big change. I’m not used to “layers,” so it’s a longer process for me.

The masking technique is perfect for showing a range of nail colors

Tell me about how you use PicMonkey? Do you use it for business, personal or both?

Both. I do use it more for business, every single post I make – PicMonkey has been used in some way. 80% of the photos have been slightly edited in PicMonkey’s editor and each collage (usually two in each post) were made using PicMonkey. When I use it for personal it’s usually collaging photos of my son.

You use Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. How do you use the social media platforms differently for different purposes?

Instagram and Facebook are definitely my stronger platforms. I find them more user-friendly and they get more interaction. Twitter I never really got the hang of. I don’t care for the limited characters and often try to talk too much on it. Pinterest I like more for personal use and cataloging my beauty swatches. While I use all four platforms often, Pinterest and Twitter are definitely more used for marketing, like for a sponsorship campaign, whereas I post to Instagram and Facebook almost daily.

Flat lay photography helps to beautifully present partner campaigns

In your opinion, what makes a successful social media marketing campaign?

Being authentic. Speaking from experience, you get much better results when you speak from your own experiences rather than blurting out what you think your audience wants to hear. Being truthful, even if it’s not in the brand’s best interest, keeps your readers coming back and you will gain their trust.

Last question, can you share a couple of tips from your success with social media to inspire other small business owners who desire to improve their social media presence?

Do it all yourself, or else hire a genuine person to do the social media. There’s so many social media bots and automated services out there and your readers will definitely notice that it’s not a real person they are interacting with. Make a connection with them and be genuine, it will keep them coming back.

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Sarah Gonzales

Sarah Gonzales is the content marketing manager at PicMonkey. Before this she worked at Intiut, and before that started a non-profit, and before that had a radio show, and before that worked at Ms. magazine, and before that went to UC Berkeley, and before ALL of that grew up in Alaska.