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Life and Work with Shelley Plummer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelley Plummer.

Shelley, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I began exploring color and artistry at a very young age. My great joy was in painting. I loved the rhythm and fluidity of brush strokes while creating something unique out of color. My passion for color grew as I did and evolved into a career selling my painted treasures.

I was a full-blown grownup before a friend convinced me I’d enjoy makeup as much as painting. I discovered I was curious enough to try it. After all, I’d never know if I didn’t try, right? I again found the brush strokes to be uniquely mesmerizing as I created different looks with color on my face. I found a new fulfilling joy in applying makeup to other faces. There’s something just so incredible about seeing your work enhance another person’s look. It’s giving of yourself in a way that is is so selfless and was more than what I felt in my art business. As I began to explore makeup artistry, my friends often called or came over for tips and advice on their own makeup. I was often requested to go purchase colors that would work for them.

My husband encouraged me to start a blog. I thought he was nuts. He talked to me about it for a year before I started. He said people are contacting you frequently for beauty advice; I think you have a voice that would be helpful on the internet. After that year of encouragement, I decided to do it. My blog is 7.5 years old now. In that time, I wanted to try my hand at youtube as well, and I’ve been doing that for about a year and a half. Moving to Mesa from Alaska really enhanced my desire to try doing YouTube because the lighting here is just so much better. It’s challenging but it’s really fun.

My blog and youtube channel are centered on beauty reviews; including skincare, nails, makeup, and hair. I include pictures and swatch colors as well as comparisons between products. Sometimes, I give out information about beauty trade shows or just bless the world with my thoughts in general. Through these outlets, I’ve met many truly nice people who blog, represent brands and do makeup art. I really adore my beauty friends and they are the most precious part of this whole endeavor.

I also enjoy movies, travel, baseball, being outdoors, being a spokesperson, following the wild horses and exploring Arizona. Color fills my soul and experience gives me life. I want to experience everything this area has!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been a lot of challenges along the way. In the beginning, I started to blog to talk about things I was interested in. I wasn’t even very competent in some of the things I liked to show on my blog. As I’ve continued, I’ve found that in every niche, there is a LOT to know and I really knew very little. I’ve learned a lot about skincare and nail care, i.e. beauty related things that were important but didn’t center on color. As technology rapidly advances, so do changes in the beauty industry and it is a real scramble to try to learn at an adequate rate. I try to stay informed but I really find it challenging because I don’t have as much free time to read blogs and other information as I used to in order to keep my knowledge current.

The changes in digital technology have been staggering. Social media was barely a thing when I started blogging. There were blogs, YouTube, and Twitter. Now, there are many other forums to keep current on and they change daily, so the technical challenges can get really discouraging. I’ve found that you just have to do the best you can and try not to worry about what you can’t conquer.

Younger women who are just starting will probably have it a little easier because they’ve grown up with social media being a thing. They’re more used to it and how to manipulate it to their advantage that older chicks. That’s a plus in this world. With rapidly growing social media, however, there is a compelling urge to compare ourselves and our lives with the others we see in the media. The most important thing to remember is that these images are curated to one degree or another. No one has a perfect life regardless of what their Instagram portrays. They still have heartbreak, loneliness, despair, hunger, and defeat. The images that we see can cause us to doubt the value of our lives or our looks. I’d urge younger women to try to have positive self-talk and do whatever it takes not to fall into that trap. If we compare ourselves to images we see, we will be defeated and unhappy rather than posting our own because we find it fun. Try to keep the fun in what you do. Don’t do it out of a drive to compete against other women because that will never bring you joy.

Social media has become a 24/7 kind of job. It can feel like if you’re not on it constantly, you’re falling behind. But I would urge everyone, younger and older, to remember that life is happening all around you while you’re looking at still images to see what trends are. Take time away from the media in order to be present in your life. Be present with your friends, partner, and kids. Don’t live so much for a social image that you aren’t really experiencing your life. Be present.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in product analysis. Brands bring me products for my honest evaluation. I review beauty and lifestyle products to give my take on them to my readers. I especially enjoy talking about colorful things. Color gives me life! I’m known for my sense of humor as I tackle a project and for living my life boldly in color. I have a pretty youthful spirit that comes thru in my work.

I am also well known for my outdoor pictures, particularly my poolside photos. Large brands have used my pictures for their advertising and I’m particularly proud of that. My work has been featured in many online and paper advertisements.

One thing that sets me apart is my experience. It’s a nice way to say I’m older than the average YouTuber that you might be familiar with. It gives me a more accurate presentation on anti-aging products, for sure. And I like to encourage older people to utilize color and glitter in their lives if they want. We are on this earth one time and if we don’t try a bold eyeliner now, when will we? Just do it! It washes off if you don’t like it. I try to take the fear out of color.

I am proud of not being afraid to try… whether it’s a new skincare device or a color that I’ve never worn before, or a baseball park I hadn’t been to yet, I’ll try it. I’m also not afraid to look silly while taking pictures. There is enough seriousness in life in other areas and I think beauty should be a fun experience.

I am really happy to be a media correspondent for Cosmoprof North America and The Makeup Show, These opportunities have helped me to grow, stretch my wings, learn and keep striving to do a better job. I am proud of continuing to learn and change and build who I am through these opportunities. I am proud of being a spokesperson for different brands and experiences. I enjoy all aspects of what I do and am proud to do it.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
One of the biggest barriers to female leadership is the competitive nature women sometimes have toward each other. I’ve been in business situations where the women just try to decimate each other’s work rather than being supportive. It hurts all women to act that way. I’ve been lucky in my blogging career to be in a group of women bloggers who help each other and will support each other. In my experience, that’s rare to find. I’d like to see more women be each other’s cheerleaders rather than trying to cut the legs out from each other.

Another barrier, in my industry and elsewhere, is the tradition. For instance, some of the biggest beauty brands have been around for a very long time. It’s hard to work with them because they are stuck in their old ways. Sometimes they think they are still working with people who have quit the blogging world. They spend all kinds of money sending out products for testing that aren’t tested because the person quit and yet the big brands often don’t update their lists of who they want to work with. It’s a shame.

In the beauty industry, there is quite a bit of ageism. And I understand it to an extent because I want to see products on a pretty unlined face, too. However, it negates the experience and wisdom that a slightly older person might possess. Experience is of great value regarding beauty products but is often negated by a brands desire for their products to appear youthful. Ageism must change for women to truly become leaders. We must start honoring and valuing experience as much or more than we do fresh 20-year-old skin. Beauty is more than just skin deep.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Ross Plummer

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. cliff

    June 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Shelley is pure awesomesauce. All’a y’all should immediately give her all your attention and custom!

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