Mom Blogger: Tia Williams of Shake Your Beauty

The author and former beauty editor on her love of blogging, ’90s supermodels, and her three-year-old daughter

What inspired you to start your blog?
I first started Shake Your Beauty back in 2005, when there were like five and a half beauty blogs in existence! I’d been a beauty editor for eight years at magazines like Elle and Glamour, and had just left the industry to be a full-time writer.  But I was obsessed with beauty and wasn’t ready to let it go! So I started my blog to foster my obsession. Also, I realized that I’d collected all this insider beauty info over the years and I was excited to share it with my readers.

Being a mom, how does blogging fit into your life?
I love the flexibility of it. I make my own schedule, so I write whenever I find the time. I usually try to make sure I’m finished writing for the day by the time my daughter’s finished daycare.

Do you find it a necessary creative outlet?
Absolutely. It’s one thing writing for magazines and websites—it’s another to write for yourself, on your own terms. I love that I don’t have to worry about advertisers, office politics, or writing in a certain magazine’s voice. It’s whatever I feel like writing about!

How do you decide what to cover on your blog?
Shake Your Beauty has always been about introducing my readers to products I think they’ll love. It’s not a product review site, or a trend site—some of the products I include aren’t even new.  It’s all about what’s good and what works.

What kind of feedback do you get from your readers?
They love how transparent I am! My posts are super-anecdotal dispatches from my crazy beauty editor-single mom life with beauty blended in. My readers can relate to a lot of my experiences.

What are some sites that you visit everyday?
Jezebel, Salon, The Cut

Who are some of your favorite mom bloggers?
Girl’s Gone Child, My Brown Baby, and Her Bad Mother

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Just experiencing this little person’s personality as it blossoms and grows. The things that come out of her mouth constantly amaze me.  She’s three and thinks she rules the universe. No self-consciousness, no hesitation, ever. “I am a princess,” period. I pray she retains some of that boldness!

How did your interest in beauty start?
I was a teenager during the supermodel era—Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer—and I was obsessed with all of them. I’d sit in front of the mirror for hours making myself up to look like one of the girls in George Michael’s “Freedom” video. I got really good at it, and I became the girl who did everyone’s makeup before the big dances at school. Thank God I found the right profession.

How has your beauty regimen changed since having a child?
I’m all about double-duty products, because I don’t have all the time in the world to do my face anymore! So products that do more than one thing are a great way to cut down on primping time. I especially love Tarte’s Lip and Cheek stains. Just swipe over cheekbones and lips, add some mascara and you’re good to go.

Who are your mom beauty icons?
Padma Lakshmi, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek, Iman

What are your mom beauty essentials?
I think every mom needs a great concealer for the morning after pulling all-nighters with your baby. I’m a huge fan of Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit—it’s super blendable, and comes in a million shades. A brightening blush is also a quick way to wake up your complexion. Try a peachy-orange shade (instant radiance, on any skin tone) like Nars Blush in Taos. And don’t leave the house without a lip—it just makes you look more polished! If you don’t have time to do the whole liner-and-lipstick thing, swipe on a lip tint like Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm. They’re moisturizing lip balms that give lips just a hint of sexy color