An Interview with Life By A

Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed by my blogging pal, Alex Donlin of Life By A!  Today, we’re switching roles so that you can learn a little about her…

life-byblackTell us about yourself!

I’m 21 years old, born and bred in the good ol’ state of Michigan. I’m currently a senior at Michigan State University studying journalism and public relations, and I’m finally graduating in May! I’m an intern for the Detroit Garment Group, and I absolutely love it because Detroit’s fashion scene is amazing. I’m a huge introvert, I love reading and writing, and I have the best friends anyone could ever hope for. I’ve also discovered I really love cooking. I’m a movie fanatic and probably have the longest list of favorites ever, which includes The Devil Wears Prada, Dazed and Confused, La La Land and Disturbia.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m pretty sure I wanted to be everything at least once. I remember I wanted to be a singer, model, actress, and teacher all during elementary school. When I got to high school I was dead set on being a CSI or working in forensics. (I loved the shows CSI and Criminal Minds.) I actually started off in college as a human biology major with the full intention of going to grad school for forensic science. That didn’t last as I nearly failed a required chemistry class. Lo and behold, journalism ended up being my actual calling.

Tell us about LBA, and how you got started.  

Life by A is basically a place for me to share all my thoughts, opinions, things that I like and everything in between. However, it’s changed a lot since I started it almost three years ago as I’ve grown up and wanted to write about more. The summer of 2014, after my freshman year of college, was when I really realized I wanted to work in the fashion industry, more specifically as a journalist. I had seen and read so many other blogs and really wanted to start my own. I created the blog basically to force myself to write more and to turn my passion into a reality. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember, so this was pretty natural for me. I originally wanted to just share outfits and write about trends, but I didn’t have a photographer or access to a good camera. It was kind of all over the place in the beginning, to be honest. I even had a different blog name! I think it was Michigan Stylista?

Now, I think I’m finally content with where Life by A is and what it represents. I don’t try to censor myself, and I don’t always have a set posting schedule. I always say that if I’m helping at least one person, then that’s all I need! I love getting to connect with my readers and read their feedback while getting to share everything that I love.

What makes your blog content unique?  Which posts are your favorite kind to write?

I think what makes my blog content unique is that not I’m in one specific corner. I’m not just a fashion or lifestyle blogger, I write about whatever I like. My favorite posts are my mood boards because they’re so simple, yet so aesthetically pleasing. I also really like reviewing movies and books!

What inspires you?

Truthfully, I find inspiration everywhere! I’ll see things on social media or other blogs that really inspire me to write posts and create new things. Pinterest is my main source of inspiration for my mood boards. On a different level of inspiration, I read a lot of self-help books which inspire me in my everyday life.

Who are your biggest influences and role models?

Personally, my role models and influences are my parents. They’re always pushing me to do my best but don’t force me to do anything I don’t want to do. They always support me with every decision I make, which I love so much about them! On a career/blogging level, my biggest inspiration is Julia Dudko aka Society Grl. She’s the one who originally inspired me to start my blog, and I’ve followed her journey for years. She’s so authentic.

Tell us about your beauty routine and the products you can’t live without!

My beauty routine is somewhat of a ritual now. I love waking up and getting my day started with my routine, and I love taking my makeup off every night and moisturizing before I go to bed.

Every morning I start with Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser before I hop in the shower. This is the best cleanser because it balances my skin perfectly. After, I use Formula 10.0.6’s So Totally Clean Cucumber + Sea Kelp Toner. Formula 10.0.6 is a great, affordable skincare brand! For my daily moisturizer, I use the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. If my skin is a little dry I’ll use the Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich instead. I’m a huge makeup junkie, but lately, I’ve been going au naturel. If I am wearing makeup, I go for a glowy look. My favorite foundation is MAC Pro Longwear. Since I’m all about a good highlight, I love Anastasia’s Glow Kit in Gleam. I’m also a huge lipstick wearer! I currently love a good dark lip, but if I want something bright, I go for a classic red lip or MAC’s Candy Yum-Yum. I also really love ColourPop’s liquid lipsticks.

At the end of the day after I take my makeup off, I wash my face with the Eau Thermale Avene Cleansing Foam. I recently discovered this product, and it’s perfect for my combination-oily skin because it gets rid of all that excess oil built up throughout the day.  I then follow up with that same Formula 10.0.6 toner. For moisturizer, I start with the Mario Badescu Chamomile Eye Cream, and then I use Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich. If I have any pimples, I cover them up with the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This stuff is seriously amazing. Every other week I use the One Smooth Operator scrub from Formula 10.0.6.  If I’m doing a face mask I love both the Keep Your Cool Skin Calming Mask and Pores Be Pure Mud Mask from Formula 10.0.6.

Other than skin products, I swear by Moroccan Oil for my hair! I love the smell, and it keeps my hair so soft and shiny.  I also LOVE the brand Kopari. They do all-natural products made with coconut oil.  I have their Coconut Body Glow, which is great since I’m so pale.

Favorite places to travel!

I’m lame and haven’t traveled outside of the United States yet, but England is at the top of my list. I pretty much want to travel everywhere! My favorite states, though, are South Carolina and Arizona. I visited Charleston, South Carolina last year and fell madly in love. Also, if you need a good beach to go to, I suggest Litchfield Beach on Pawley’s Island in South Carolina. My family and I used to go every year! It’s a private beach, so you don’t have to worry about large masses of people (which I despise). In Arizona, I stay in the Phoenix area when I visit, and I’m hoping to move out there in the next few years. I love it so much.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?  

My grandma always says “Consider the source and rise above.” Anytime I’m faced with drama or someone I don’t really like, I always say this to myself. It’s always better to take the high road when faced with negative situations rather than getting worked up over something you can’t really control.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give?

Always trust and follow your instincts. No one knows you better than you know yourself. If you follow what your gut is telling you, you’ll be brought into the right direction. If I never followed my instincts, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.

With graduation fast approaching, what’s next for you?

Right now I’m on the hunt for a job! This is extremely frustrating, to say the least, but I’m confident I’ll find the best post-graduation job. Yes, I’m forcing myself to stay positive throughout this annoying process. Other than that, I’m going to continue blogging, and hopefully, I’ll finally travel more. As mentioned, I hope to move to Arizona or New York City in the next few years. I’m pretty confident in my future!

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Snapchat: @alexandradonlin

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