When I started following Emma Hoareau on Instagram it was eerie how connected I felt to her content despite being halfway across the globe, and never having met. I could tell, through the heightened feminine intuition — that alerts when you find another of your kind — that she was digesting a lot of the world in the same ways and at the same times as I was. Finding the art of self-portraiture and then struggling with where it fits in in our world of over-curated content. Speaking to self-care, not as a means of consumerism but a tactic for protecting one’s magic. Meandering through the lessons of being your own boss, and seeking a community from which to share tips and tricks to surviving freelance life. All of it journaled on her beautiful blog Lolita Says So. It all resonated with me, as it does with all her 32K followers. Finally, we opened up the conversation with this fascinating multi-talented woman, and hashed all these things out — including some of her best skincare tips! Read on to begin your girl crush with Emma Hoareau.
Emma Hoareau: I started my blog when I was at university as a creative outlet for my studies. I used to post inspirational photos (this was pre-Pinterest, guys!) and then when I started practicing my photography it all went from there…
VW: You’ve recently started sharing more about freelancing and on your blog, but tell us about some struggles you’ve found in being your own boss?
EH: Oh gosh, so many! Definitely getting to the point where you can rely on work coming in without being worried about money, and trusting in your own talents. Which sadly there isn’t any special trick to, it’s more about relaxing and knowing that even if you don’t get booked for a job in 3 weeks, you might get booked for 3 in one day.
VW: How do you stay accountable for your freelance work and blog posts?
EH: I try to make sure I spend half my time on each. Working freelance as both a photographer and a blogger means the workload is very varied in terms of paid content, but I try to make sure I spend just as much time on creating the content for my blog which isn’t paid for. After all, I never thought this would be my job so it’s important for me to keep talking about things that I like — paid or not.
VW: Self-care is such a hefty concept these days — what does it mean to you?
EH: Self-care is very important, especially when you’re your own boss. You need to make sure you congratulate yourself when you succeed and also push yourself further when you’re feeling lazy. For me, beauty is a great way of self-love. There’s not much a bath, a face mask and a cup of tea can’t fix.
VW: We can’t talk to our favorite beauty blogger without needing to riddle you for your top favorite skincare tips — what are your secrets to keeping glowing, dewy skin in a city like London?
EH: Definitely double cleansing. I use a balm-to-oil to take my makeup off then go in again with a foaming cleanser. In a polluted city like London, it’s really important to remove all the dirt in your pores. A resurfacing product, like a mask or acid, is great for getting that glow, too. Tata Harper Resurfacing mask is my new go to, and I love the AHA and BHA pads from Zelens. Lastly, a great mist, to use after cleansing (a slightly moist face absorbs serum better) and to freshen up throughout the day is paramount.
VW: I truly stand by (and have written about) self-portraiture being a key vessel for sustaining a level of self-love, self-understanding, and self-appreciation. You do so much of this and are so empowered with your personal photography, can you share with our readers why you think it’s so important?
EH: For me, it’s about playing with the idea of how others see me and how I see myself. In a world obsessed with the selfie, I love shooting myself on my camera in the different places I visit. I can imagine looking back at them in years to come and remembering how I felt and what my life was so much more than a staged Instagram post. I want people who look at my photographs to feel something and interact with the image rather than just ‘like’ it.
VW: This is something I am constantly going back and forth with, but has there ever been a time you’ve felt shamed or hesitant to share nudity on your social media or blog, or have you always been very comfortable with yourself and your platform?
EH: Most definitely. Before I published my blog post on my self-portraits I had never really shared photos of me nude as I was worried people who see it as ‘slutty’. But I did it anyway as I felt it was something I really wanted to share as it was important to me. And the post had the biggest reaction ever and I received so many messages about how raw the images and the words were, which I’m so glad resonated so much with my audience. From then on I’ve felt empowered rather than uncomfortable posting my images.
VW: Three books that have changed your life?
EH: Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Power by Naomi Alderman – I read this just last week and it’s a book all millennials must read!
VW: What would you like to see more of from women on social media in 2018?
EH: Less editing! All these over-edited, made-for-Instagram posts are getting tiresome. Let’s create real, relatable images that make you feel something rather than just make you jealous.
VW: We stand by you on that Emma!
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