Thank you, Wienerin!

I am so honored that Austrian magazine Wienerin chose to include me in their April issue — thank you, Wienerin!
Wienerin, April 2011, KarlaSugar
I don’t speak German, but here’s the interview in English:

When exactly did you start blogging (2008?) and why?
I have a good friend who lives in another state. She loves Armani, but doesn’t have easy access to that brand — so she has to order online. In the spring of 2008, Armani came out with a summer lipstick collection, and my friend wrote me a frustrated email: she wanted to buy one of the new lipsticks, but couldn’t pick a color from the swatches on their website. She was sure she would pick the wrong shade, and end up wasting her money on a color she didn’t like.

I live in a city that loves to shop, and almost every makeup brand has a counter here. I said it would be no trouble for me to go to the Armani counter, swatch a few shades on my hand, and send her a photo to help her decide. The next weekend I did it again for Chanel lipsticks, and I realized I could make a blog out of this.

You have specialized on swatching. Why?
I’m not a professional makeup artist; I wear my makeup basically the same way every day. I didn’t think I could write a blog telling people how to create different looks. I wasn’t even confident that people would want to read my makeup reviews — everyone has different tastes, and what works for me may not work for someone else. But I can take pictures, and I realized that serial swatching could be my niche.

When you started swatching: wasn’t it awkward for you going to the different make-up counters, smearing lipstick and eyeshadow colors on your arm and taking pictures in front of the salespeople?
When I first started, I didn’t tell the salespeople what I was doing, or why. I think they were suspicious, because I was there every weekend (and no one swatches EVERY shade of foundation). I told them, “I just really like makeup,” or “I’m buying something for a friend.” I would go outside to take my photos, so they never saw me doing that.

Eventually I confessed that I was doing it for a blog, and I was surprised to find that they were incredibly supportive. They are my first source of information — they go to training sessions to learn about new products, and then I get the scoop from them. I’ve learned a lot about makeup application from them, too. I really value those relationships!

Do people sometimes recognize you on the street. How does that make you feel?
It’s only happened two or three times, and not because someone recognized my face, but because they recognized the stripes on my arm. The first time it happened, I was so startled! But since that first time I’ve been a little more calm and collected — we usually end up having a great conversation about makeup.

No offense (really!), but don’t you feel sometimes “too old” to blog? I mean, apparently most bloggers are teenagers…
Ha! The internet is no longer the domain of the young. Everyone is online — women of all ages — and they want to hear from their peers, writers with similar experiences. We need bloggers of all types: different skintones, different ages, bloggers who write in different languages. The fact that anyone can be a blogger is a beautiful and valuable thing.

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15 Responses to “Thank you, Wienerin!”

  • Mimi says:

    Congrats Karla! Any chance you have a translation?

  • Christa says:

    Congrats!!! That’s fabulous and you look gorgeous!

  • Suzie Rose says:

    Congrats! (ugh, why didn’t I take German in high school when dad suggested it??!! LOL)

  • Julia says:

    Hey, congrats!!! I actually have that issue of Wienerin :-) BTW, you were also mentioned in the latest issue of BCMag, which is the magazine of the austrian drugstore chain “BIPA” :-)

  • Julia7 says:

    Congratulations on the article! Excellent answers, you have a great way with words. I especially like you answer to the last question:)

  • valerie says:

    That is so great! That question about teenagers is hilarious – you answered it very gracefully. :-)

  • GalileosDaughter says:

    Congratulations! Wow, that last question was really rude! You answered it with such intelligence and grace. Brava!

  • skybluesky says:

    You are so poised! I love your taste and your blog. Your swatches have been endlessly helpful for me…I’ve been able to buy a Bobbi Brown blush, Chanel’s new Vitalumiere Aqua blush, Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, countless lipsticks, Laura Mercier TM, Armani Foundations, and so much more because of you. I live in a tiny New England town that is about 300 miles away from the makeup counters I like, so it really helps!

  • Congrats Karla–this is awesome!!!

  • Kittyskyfish says:

    Congratulations Karla! You do such a wonderful job on your blog and it’s great that you’re recognized for it.

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations, Karla! You deserve every bit of recognition you receive. Thanks so much for your dedication to this blog. Week in and week out, you have new stuff for us to see (along with a gift for accuracy with hard-to-photograph colors).

    Super hugs,

  • The Rhapsode says:

    Hi Karla, congratulations! The last question was really funny, since I read so many beauty blogs and they mostly aren’t done by teenagers :-) . Also I love the face that people recognize you by the swatches on your arm; I feel like I would too, because your swatches are very distinctive in their cleanness, I’ve come to recognize a style there. And thanks so much for blogging, you’re the prime reason I got interested in makeup (I’m going to do a blog entry about that whole story sometime next week, haha.)

  • Jenm says:

    “Aren’t you too old to blog?” — what kind of question is that?! If anything, you’re the perfect blog demographic — you’ve grown up with the internet, so of course you blog!

  • Kara says:

    Karla, Congrats! Although…I wonder whether the author lives under a rock? Blogging for the young only? Weird. You answered very professionally. Keep up the good work! We love ya!

  • Claudia says:

    I live in Austria so I got kinda excited that you were mentioned in one of our magazines (there’s actually a second one as well but it’s not as famous as ‘Wienerin’). I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and I love it. since living in Europe has the disadvantage of not being able to get hold of everything in the store, your swatches have made ordering make-up online a lot easier for me :)
    keep up the excellent work!

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