Stay Beautified!

The End

I think this post has been a long time coming, and probably not a surprise because of how quiet I’ve been.

I can say all the clichés, and they’re all true. It’s with a heavy heart that I write this. I did a lot of soul-searching. My heart isn’t in it anymore. You get the drill. It’s time to say goodbye, my friends. My fashionistas. My beauty lovers. It’s only goodbye in a sense, because I’m not really going anywhere.

8 years ago, I started BrookeKnowsBeauty. I struggled to start. Would anyone read it? Would they like it? Would they make fun of me? Well, the answer to all three of those questions is, yes. People read it. People liked it. People made fun of me. Wait, what? You may ask. People made fun of me? Yes, they did.

One of my very first memories in life was when I was 3 years old. My family lived on a farm in Texas. Yes, me, the self-proclaimed city girl, living on a farm. But, hey, I was only 3. I had no choice in the matter. I didn’t know how to convince my parents to get a fancy condo in a high-rise overlooking the city. I remember after a rain storm, running outside to play in the mud. I didn’t make mud pies or even splash around. I pretty much bathed in it, ran it up and down my arms and legs, and wondered how it would make my skin feel. Seriously. Obviously, I had never been to spa at such a young age, but I had already grasped the idea of walking around in a fluffy robe and sitting in a tub full of mud with cucumber slices over my eyes.
My love of beauty only intensified over the years. I played in my mother’s makeup. When I was 5, a friend of my mom’s fanned my addiction by giving me a shoe box full, FULL of Avon samples. I gave my sister’s and my friends makeovers. And when going to a university after one semester just seemed too tedious to bear, I decided to go to beauty school. Actually, my mother suggested it. My grandmother was a hairstylist and since I had been obsessed forever, it was the obvious choice. So, why did my mom see that, but I didn’t? Because mother knows best. Sorry, mom. I guess I never appreciated that, but I sure do now!

I’ve held just about every job there is to hold in the beauty industry. I’ve worked as a receptionist in a salon. I’ve worked as an assistant and moved my way up to stylist. I’ve worked as a makeup artist, as an esthetician, as a skin care expert at a high-end department store, front desk at a spa. (I realize I said receptionist and front desk…they are different, trust me.) I’ve done just about everything and I learned so much along the way. I had the knowledge and the love, and I loved to write. Why not combine my passions and start a beauty blog? Why not??

With the encouragement of a dear friend, I took the plunge and was off to a great start. I wrote about homemade skin care, mask recipes you could whip up with ingredients you probably had on hand in your kitchen. I wrote about my experience in the industry. I wrote reviews, I did Q&A Monday, remember that?? Quick Tip Friday was also fun! I did giveaways and contests. I had companies reaching out to me and sending me their products, free of charge, either as a thank you for a review, or asking for a review. But it wasn’t without its challenges. Sometimes it was hard to come up with content. After a while, people stopped sending me questions for Q&A Monday. Keeping up with it became challenging.

Also, things evolved in the blogging world. People turned to video tutorials and videos of their hauls. I didn’t have an interest in doing a video tutorial, and as for the haul videos, well…I kind of thought they were in bad taste. “Look at me, I have so much stuff! Don’t you want to watch me dump out a bag of beauty loot so you can be jealous?” That’s probably not the message people were trying to convey, but that’s my opinion on the matter and I didn’t want to do that.

Let’s touch on that other nasty situation…people made fun of me.

I worked at Sephora for a while. It was great at first. I was surrounded by nearly every beauty product out there and almost every day I left with free stuff. You can’t sell it if you haven’t used it, and most of the vendors were generous with their gratis. Most of them…some of them were stingy bastards, I won’t lie. It got difficult at Sephora because my manager found that I was fast and efficient working the cash register. When I told her I wanted to move into skin care, I was met with a firm, “No! We need you at the register.” With all the knowledge I had in skin care, I started to dislike the monotony of ringing up sales. I also found myself surrounded with very immature people who thrived on gossip. One day, one of the makeup artists came up to me and said something to me that rubbed me the wrong way.
“So, Brooke, I hear you have a little blog.”
I won’t lie, the first thing that nearly flew out of my mouth was, “I hear you have a little penis.” But I held it together. I smiled at him and acknowledged my writing and my experience in the industry. His only response was a wispy, “Hmm.” From that moment forward, there were a lot of whispers among these young men and women about my “Little blog.”

Let’s get one thing straight…to call someone’s project “Little” is condescending and bitchy. If you tell an aspiring musician that you hear they’re working on a “Little album” that’s rude. If you tell a chef you hear they’re opening a “Little restaurant” that’s rude. If you tell an artist you like their “Little drawing” that’s rude. You get the gist…and if anyone tells me they hear I wrote a “Little book” I might end up in jail.

It stung. Hearing that really hurt. I looked around at these youngsters…yeah, I said it…and told myself that I was selling $200 face cream while they were still in diapers. I almost quit writing after that. I’ve always been a sensitive person, but to belittle my experience in the industry and my writing was the ultimate blow. Miraculously, I shook it off and kept up with my “Little blog.” My time at Sephora was short-lived after that. Not because of the snide remarks and snarky comments I would get. Simply because I was done working in such an immature atmosphere, even if I did get a bunch of free products. My time at Sephora can be summed up nicely: It fed my addiction, but it didn’t feed my family.

I persisted. I wrote. I was given free products from companies I had never heard of. So why quit?

About a year ago, I tried to shift the focus to more of a lifestyle blog. Food, wine, accessories, fashion. Sounds like a good idea, but I couldn’t commit. I had relocated 2 times in 5 years and along the way I started writing a series of books.

I have put my heart and soul into the Heart & Soul series, and that’s where my focus has to remain. I published my first book and I’m working on the second book in the series. It’s an amazing thing to realize what you finally want to be when you grow up…at the age of 40! It’s been 4 years in the making and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. I love it too much. The floodgates have opened and I’m writing every single day. In the near future, I’ll be writing full-time and I can NOT wait for that moment.

So, even though the beauty blog is going away, I’m not. I’ll still leave the BrookeKnowsBeauty blog active, so people can search for and find my posts. Why? Because I’ve put a lot of good information out there, that’s why! But, I won’t be doing any more Q&A or product reviews and I’ll be removing the Facebook page. I know what I have to focus on. In closing, (Finally, huh?) I’m ready to pass the torch to all you video mavens!

Never give up, always follow your dreams and embrace the changes life brings!

I want to thank everyone for supporting me and for reading my blog. Now, I hope you read my book. It was a great ride and I hope you had fun!!

Check out my new website!! brookegillespietrout.com 

Stay Beautified!

August Beauty Contest!! (Updated)

For all your beauty advice…

Ok everyone, here it is…the beauty giveaway for the month of August! Last month, I was able to have multiple winners, and guess what?? I get to have them this month, too!

Believe Skin Care has generously donated some amazing products to be given away so you can try before you buy and fall in love. I know I’m doing this backwards, because usually I review the product before I offer it up in a contest, but I’m so excited about the prizes, I couldn’t wait!

Here is what is up for grabs:
AHA Anti-Aging Facial Cleanser. This is a cream cleanser that really breaks down makeup and makes your skin feel wonderful!
Anti-Aging Serum. Great treatment product to conquer fine lines before they start, or help minimize their appearance if they’ve shown up!
Eye Believe Eye Cream. HUGE pot of eye cream! Most eye creams come in a tiny tube, but this one comes in a large pot for eye cream. VERY moisturizing and nourishing.
Sweet Vanilla Perfume. A roller ball full of yummy vanilla fragrance. Roller balls are great for travel, or to keep in your bag to reapply when you need. This sweet vanilla scent smells so good, I want to eat it…or win it!!
And last, but certainly not least, Spicy Apple Beer Soap. Yup, you read that right, Beer Soap! It smells SO good!!

All of these products are great for sensitive skin. I’ve had the opportunity to try everything that’s up for grabs this month, and I fell in love immediately!!

Here’s how this contest is going to work this month…since there are so many goodies, I am going to have 4 winners.
1st place winner will receive the AHA Anti-Aging Cleanser and the Anti-aging serum
2nd place winner will receive the Eye Believe Eye Cream
3rd place winner will receive the roller ball perfume in Sweet Vanilla
4th place winner will receive the Spicy Apple Beer Soap

Just reply to this post that you want to be entered, or write on my Facebook page that you want to be entered. Four winner will be chosen at random, so good luck! While you’re at it, check out Believe Skin Care’s  Facebook page as well. Awesome products at amazing prices.

Thank you everyone, and good luck!!

You’ve Been Beautified!

August Beauty Contest!

For all your beauty advice…

Ok everyone, here it is…the beauty giveaway for the month of August! Last month, I was able to have multiple winners, and guess what?? I get to have them this month, too!

Believe Skin Care has generously donated some amazing products to be given away so you can try before you buy and fall in love. I know I’m doing this backwards, because usually I review the product before I offer it up in a contest, but I’m so excited about the prizes, I couldn’t wait!

Here is what is up for grabs:
AHA Anti-Aging Facial Cleanser. This is a cream cleanser that really breaks down makeup and makes your skin feel wonderful!
Anti-Aging Serum. Great treatment product to conquer fine lines before they start, or help minimize their appearance if they’ve shown up!
Eye Believe Eye Cream. HUGE pot of eye cream! Most eye creams come in a tiny tube, but this one comes in a large pot for eye cream. VERY moisturizing and nourishing.
Sweet Vanilla Perfume. A roller ball full of yummy vanilla fragrance. Roller balls are great for travel, or to keep in your bag to reapply when you need. This sweet vanilla scent smells so good, I want to eat it…or win it!!
And last, but certainly not least, Spicy Apple Beer Soap. Yup, you read that right, Beer Soap! It smells SO good!!

All of these products are great for sensitive skin. I’ve had the opportunity to try everything that’s up for grabs this month, and I fell in love immediately!!

Here’s how this contest is going to work this month…since there are so many goodies, I am going to have 4 winners.
1st place winner will receive the AHA Anti-Aging Cleanser and the Anti-aging serum
2nd place winner will receive the Eye Believe Eye Cream
3rd place winner will receive the roller ball perfume in Sweet Vanilla
4th place winner will receive the Spicy Apple Beer Soap

To place in this contest, I am asking you to spread the word to your friends. Get them to like my Facebook page and have them tell me you’re the one who sent them. The person with the most entries will win 1st place, and so on. While you’re at it, check out Believe Skin Care’s Facebook page as well. Awesome products at amazing prices.

Thank you everyone, and good luck!!

You’ve Been Beautified!

July Beauty Contest!

For all your beauty advice…

It’s here…FINALLY!!! The beauty giveaway for the month of July! I get excited about all of them, but this one is very exciting. Why? Because there won’t be 1 winner this month, there won’t be 2 winners this month, there will be 3…count them, 3!! winners this month! 3 very lucky people will get an awesome prize this month! So, what’s up for grabs for the month of July? Drumroll please…

Minerals Mate Palettes! I know so many people who love mineral makeup, and they all have the same complaint…it’s messy.

These palettes are great for mixing colors, they give you a lot more room to work with than the cap of any mineral product, it keeps things sanitary, and they are easy to wash after every use. I think everyone should have one of these…and 3 of you will! Even if you don’t use mineral makeup, this is still a handy palette. I use it to mix colors of lipstick, eyeshadow, and I like to use it to mix powder masks.

The winners will get a palette, a small satin storage bag, and a larger satin bag to tote/store your makeup collection. So, all you have to do to get your name entered is to reply to this blog, or write on my Facebook wall what your favorite mineral makeup is, or if you don’t use any just let me know you want your name down for the contest. The winners will be chosen in the first week of August. So, good luck, share it with your friends, and I can’t wait to see who wins!

You’ve Been Beautified! 

June Beauty Contest

For all your beauty advice…

Ok, here it is, the June Beauty Contest! Up for grabs this month is an amazing tinted moisturizer that is going to match any skin tone. Intellishade is the name of the product, and it has an SPF of 45…perfect for the season, that’s for sure! I like to keep things simple in entering my contests, so all I’m asking for is a reply to this blog post, or click on the BrookeKnowsBeauty Facebook logo on the right hand side of the screen and tell me what your favorite tinted moisturizer is, or tell me if you’ve never tried one before. At the end of the month, one entry will be randomly chosen to win! So, get going, tell your friends, and good luck!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday/June Contest Prize

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday! I’m going to do something a little different on this Q&A Monday. Since it’s Memorial Day, I wanted to keep it short so everyone can spend time being thankful to our troops for all they do for our country. So, I am going to feature one question, and then let you know what the prize is going to be for the June contest. So, read on and get ready to enter the June contest to win a great prize!

Dear Brooke, my daughter came home on the last day of school, with Sharpie all over her face. Soap and water aren’t doing the trick. Do you have any idea how long will this stay on her, and do you have any tips to get it off? Kristine K.

Dear Kristine, You have to love the courage these kids have to doodle on their faces. Or maybe it’s not courage…hmmm? Ok, she won’t look like a cartoon strip forever, I promise. The Sharpie will fade over a few days because the natural oils in her skin will break it down and it will disappear. Soap and water aren’t going to help. Rubbing alcohol, or even nail polish remover will get the stains off, but if it’s near her eyes at all, do not use either one. You can also put some oil on a cotton ball and rub that into her skin and then have her wash. That might not get rid of it completely, but it will make a big difference. Hopefully she’ll keep the Sharpie away from her face! Hope that helps!

Ok, now on to the prize for the June Contest! A while ago, I wrote a review for a tinted moisturizer called Intellishade. It matches every skin tone, and it’s got an SPF of 45. It’s amazing! And now, thanks to the generous donation from Zing USA, I have one to offer to one lucky winner in the month of June. So, stay tuned, that contest will be coming up this week!

Have a safe Memorial Day, and remember to always say Thank You to the brave ones who keep our country safe!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Contest News

For all your beauty advice…

I am sure many of you are wondering where the heck my May Contest is…when is it going to start, and what’s it going to be?? Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The bad news is, there will be no contest for the month of May. 😦 Why? Well, I will be honest with you and admit that this month completely got away from me. Unfortunately, I do not write full-time (yet), and this month is crazy with the end of the school year for my girls, and events at work that have sucked all my energy. I have not had time to figure out a contest.

The good news is, I have some awesome contests coming for the summer months! I guess I can plan ahead for June, July, and August, but not May!

My apologies for not getting it together this month, but someone will win something fabulous next month. In the meantime, I will still be doing Q&A, reviews, quick tips, and anything that crosses my mind that has to do with beauty. Thanks for understanding…good luck in the coming months!

You’ve Been Beautified!