Rose-Gallagher

The Influence Room Podcast - Changing the dialogue Rose Gallagher: Makeup Artist and Beauty Blogger

Posted on Dec 20, 2019 12:51:51 PM

In this episode of our podcast we chat to the wonderful Rose Gallagher, founder of Mixed Gems Beauty, about her success as a beauty blogger and her brand ambassadorship at IT cosmetics. 

Rose discusses the journey she has embarked upon, the challenges she faces in the current world of beauty and how she feels the beauty industry has evolved.


Overview

Looking back, Rose reveals that the stem of fascination with make-up and beauty came from influence by a family friend. This love for the beauty industry was what gave her this dream to become a beauty journalist. 

However, after 8 years of hard grafting with her blog, working both evenings and nights, Rose quit her job as a make-up artist to pursue her new dream as a beauty blogger. What has been made clear was that she is fueled by her passion to succeed as a beauty blogger and to empower and inspire women to feel their most beautiful. One thing she emphasises is that hard work and sacrifice needs to be made in order to excel. 

“Just crack on and do it and it'll all work itself out, if you keep working hard, it'll work out.”

Now, Rose is a brand ambassador for IT cosmetics which came about through her true love for the brand. Her authentic passion for beauty is what has driven her to share her expertise to help those engaged on her platforms.

Five quick takeaways:

  1. Beauty should be down to individual choice. Whether you choose not to put on any makeup or whether you choose to put lots on, you should not feel you have to conform to any stereotype or feel pressured to look a certain way.
  2. Becoming a social media influencer does not happen overnight. Hard work, persistence, and sacrifice are a few of the steps needed to be made to achieve your goals. 
  3. There will be a rise in real achievable results from beauty. Rose strives to be apart of this movement by ensuring honesty in sharing real skin concerns. 
  4. People are losing faith in paid endorsements. Beauty forums on Facebook are a place to look when you’re looking for a place of influence to trust. It is a place of discussion on what they’re using, what they’re buying and what they like. 
  5. It is important as an influencer to spread the messages of the good people by making others aware that if they are going through hardships, there is a resource there.

If you enjoyed this episode and don’t want to miss the rest of the series, you can follow The Influence Room Podcast on Spotify and Apple iTunes podcasts.


 

Full audio transcription

- Bronagh Monahan

You're listening to the Influence Room Podcast, the show that brings together brands, talent, influencers, industry thought leaders to discuss what influence means from different viewpoints. This week our guest is Rose Gallagher, founder of Mixed Gems Beauty, and Brand Ambassador for IT Cosmetics.

- Bronagh Monahan

We spoke to Rose about her mission to take the conversation of confidence around the UK and in Ireland. She offers advice on how to empower and inspire women to feel their most beautiful. And we were really keen to chat to Rose about how she feels the beauty industry has evolved. Also, if you're not aware already, this podcast is produced by Entail and you can head over there now to check out all of the behind the scenes content and links to any articles that we talk about in the interview.

- Bronagh Monahan

Hello and welcome back to the Influence Room Podcast. We are recording this in the first week of September. We have kind of got that back to school feeling-

- Alex Payne

….satchel and knee high socks feeling.

- Bronagh Monahan

... Yes, the feeling of opportunity-

- Alex Payne

Pouring

- Bronagh Monahan

... Exactly, and we have a brilliant guest with us today, Rose Gallagher. Hello Rose.

- Rose Gallagher

Good morning. Thank you so much for having me.

- Bronagh Monahan

I love your accent so much.

- Rose Gallagher

Do you know what? I actually find-

- Bronagh Monahan

I love it.

- Rose Gallagher

 ... there is so many people that I meet in London from Birmingham, they sound really posh and then you find out that they're from Birmingham and it's one of those accents that people try and dull down and I feel like it makes me want to hash it up even more. I'm like, what's wrong with the accent? I don't get it-

- Alex Payne

You’re a sort of glamorous version of Peaky Blinders. It's an amazing confusion.

- Rose Gallagher

I would agree, however, controversial, haven't seen Peaky Blinders.

- Alex Payne

Oh that’s insane. 

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah, I know. I know. Everyone's disgusted in me

- Alex Payne

We need to stop and start gain. That’s on your to-do list.

- Rose Gallagher

I know it is I promise, between that Strictly come dancing and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I'm all set for the hibernation that’s about to kick in.

- Alex Payne

Light the fire and we will see you in march.

- Alex Payne

Off we go. We must also introduce a new friend. 

- Bronagh Monahan

Yes, we've got a new member of the Influence Room with us.

- Alex Payne

Well not new.

- Bronagh Monahan

Well not new. I guess new to the podcast.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yes.

- Alex Payne

Hello-

- Rose Gallagher

What's your name? Where'd you come from?

- Milly

Millie. Hi. I'm from Kent and I'm 22.

- Alex Payne

And actually, this is your second stint with this as well. So we love working with people that are young. When did you come to us?

- Milly

2017.

- Alex Payne

Penalmente year of university?

- Milly

Yes.

- Alex Payne

And did a year placement with us?

- Milly

Yeah

- Alex Payne

That was quite something, wasn’t it?

- Milly

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

Highs and lows. What were the highs?

- Milly

Highs we went to….

- Alex Payne

Going back to university. 

- Bronagh Monahan

Lunch break.

- Alex Payne

Yes. Exactly.

- Milly

I didn’t get one. Went to lots of events with you guys.

- Alex Payne

We did.

- Milly

Like rugby centurions. 

- Alex Payne

Yes. That was good .

- Milly

That was very fun.

- Alex Payne

That was good.

- Milly

That was like my dream night.

- Alex Payne

You had a good night that night, didn't you? And you finished your degree, which is in?

- Milly

Advertising.

- Alex Payne

And you've got a?

- Milly

2.1.

- Alex Payne

Nice, and now you are back with us.

- Milly

Thanks.

- Alex Payne

Very nice to have you-

- Milly

Thank you.

- Alex Payne

... A back in the business and B on the pod.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah. So Millie and I are part of the talent team and part of what we do is seek out the best in the business, in the world of Influence. And we kind of touched on this just before we started recording. The reason that we started this podcast that we wanted to... anyone who's a listener, we wanted to give them an insight into who our members are and what sort of area of influence that they operate in.

- Bronagh Monahan

And so when I came across your channel, you have such a wealth of experience and knowledge in the beauty industry and arguably I would say apart from gaming, that beauty is the original category that really embraced this new way of influence and high peer to peer recommendations work at how brands work with people who aren't from covers of magazines, are actually the people that influence you the most are your friends, your family, the person who does your hair.

- Rose Gallagher

Definitely.

- Bronagh Monahan

So yes. Tell me a little bit about how you got into this weird and wonderful world. Take it back to the start. I want to hear how you got into beauty and who were your early influencers that made you love that world.

- Rose Gallagher

My mom would say that she thinks this family friend of ours, Mary Courtney, was the stem of my fascination with any kind of makeup and beauty, this really glamorous lady. She would come around, she always had the most pristine, big blow dry, she would have pristine make up on. She had these really long painted nails, loads of rings on and I was just fascinated by her and I wanted to have a look at absolutely everything she had on. And then my auntie Mary, was also really into makeup and she spent so much time with this scrubbing up. She never had children of her own. So she kind of fostered us like we were her own children and she was another one always had her nails painted. If she had like a tenner in her purse, she would spend it on lipstick.

- Alex Payne

Wow.

- Rose Gallagher

She really, that's what she loved. Because my mom loves skincare and she'd always have a bit of complexion on her or whatever, but she's not fussed about loads of makeup. So she found it really interesting to be like you were just  fascinated by them. And that's where she insists it all stems from.

- Bronagh Monahan

Well that's because I think there's a divisive argument where some people say that, the beauty industry has been used to make women feel bad about themselves. But I would argue that, putting on makeup, it's about self care and its about self-expression. And actually, yes, your makeup doesn't make who you are, but it's about taking time. Just those 20 minutes that you may do in the morning or maybe you have a longer routine. But so much of that is about wellness. I would argue.

- Rose Gallagher

I completely agree. My auntie Mary that I just mentioned actually. She was someone that... because she loved her routine so much and she was always so pristine in everything. You could tell if she was having a bad day, if she hadn't been bothered. And it's not that you should wear your makeup everyday as a sign that you're having a good day or whatever. But for her personally, that was an indication of how she was feeling. And I agree. I think there's a way of communicating any message with the beauty industry and as long as the message is, whatever you want to do-

- Bronagh Monahan

Exactly.

- Rose Gallagher

... whether your choice is that you cannot be bothered to put your makeup on or that your choice is you want to put lots on, you should be able to do that and not feel like your silly for doing so or conforming to a stereotype or this or the other. Some people don't feel peer pressure. Some people, like me this morning on the tube, just want to throw red lips to come and feel fab for the day. Do you know what I mean?

- Bronagh Monahan

I agree.

- Rose Gallagher

 I haven't been sucked into any peer pressure this morning-

- Alex Payne

With a little bit of jazz hands as well as just to sort of...

- Rose Gallagher

Exactly.

- Milly

I feel like that should be a motivational quote.

- Alex Payne

Yes.

- Milly

Stick your red lipstick on and you're down.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

I might join you there. I feel a little left out and this point.

- Bronagh Monahan

But I think that's it, the problem has always been the representation within the beauty industry. That was always the problem. The people who were the brand ambassadors, they probably weren't the people that were buying that brand because they were multimillionaires. They look that way because they're incredibly rich.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah.

- Bronagh Monahan

And how the industry is now, you do trust the people that are recommending these products to you because they are like the person who you went to school with or there the therapist who gets the best insight into what the actual ingredients the products are. And I think that's what has excited me the most about the way it's move forward.

- Rose Gallagher

Do you know what I'm really excited about at the moment? So when I was thinking about, obviously you guys, whole focus is Influence and the different types of Influence. I very recently have joined a few Facebook forums about beauty. I'll tell you what, they are so fascinating. If you could join Caroline Hirons forum or Nadine Barker or Sally Hughes, their readers are in these forums genuinely talking about what they're using, what they're buying, things like that.

- Rose Gallagher

And those conversations are fascinating because there's no influencer in the middle, there's no marketing person in the middle. It's just friends talking about their experiences. And honestly I look at those pages all the time just to see, like that to me, a bit like your point earlier on about who do you trust when you're looking for your influence. That's the kind of place that I'm thinking if they all say this is really good, it's really good.

- Rose Gallagher

A woman wrote in one of them the other day, she said, "Look, I'm on a budget and I mean an actual... no messing around budget. I really can't afford to invest in any skincare at the moment." She said, "What would you all recommend? Of the one thing that I need to do, if there's a way I can scour down but still decent, then what is it?" Everybody wrote back, there was a couple of things actually. Coconut oil was a crowd pleaser, and they just said, use that for your cooking, your skin, your this, that, and the other, everything.

- Rose Gallagher

And then the other one, everyone wrote back and said there’s this Primark cleansing balm, that's £3. And then they went, do you know what? If you get one thing, just go and get that. I'm going to go and get that now.

- Bronagh Monahan

I didn't even know.

- Rose Gallagher

I didn't even know, but so many people said it. Great, I've not seen that on Instagram once-

- Bronagh Monahan

No.

- Rose Gallagher

... I've not seen a paid partnership with a big blogger doing that. But though that is so frequently occurring in that conversation. 

- Bronagh Monahan

The value of that.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

But that is the next phase in the burnout of hashtag ad, hashtags bonds. People are losing faith and losing interest in paid endorsements, and they want exactly what you've just described, which is where people choose it, talk about it because they love it, need it, want it rather than because I've been paid to.

- Rose Gallagher

The thing is I really agree with that. I think people are definitely losing faith. But I think the reason why people are losing faith is that a lot of the time you will see a hashtag ad or hashtag whatever from a person that you know has never spoken about it before. Whereas equally on the flip side, as someone that loves working in beauty and wants to sustain a career out of it, I also think it's a shame because people that then work with brands that they have a very loyal and genuine partnership with our cast under the same umbrella. And that can be a bit difficult. For example, I have a brand ambassadorship with IT Cosmetics, which I absolutely love.

- Rose Gallagher

And it came about essentially because for a couple of years I never used to shut up about them. And then they said, look, we need a spokesperson. We know that you absolutely love us. Would you be up for it? But any time I mention them now, I'm terrified, and I write, "I work with IT Cosmetics, Oh my gosh, yes, I'm using my CC cream, but I do work for them.” But I feel like I really overcompensate and I over explain, but actually I'm just talking about something that I love.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

That's the first time I've heard that and that is absolutely fascinating. And I wonder if there's a way that that should be caveated.

- Rose Gallagher

And I actually feel like every time I mentioned the products, I'll mention that I work with IT Cosmetics, but actually the nature of what I do with them is all quite practical, so I don't need to say anything if I'm just talking on my Instagram page because my days with them include things like being on QVC or filming something that's going to live on their channels, but I feel like a can't sneeze without declaring, “Oh I work with them” and then that's actually ramming it down someone's throat when I'm trying to do the exact opposite and make sure that they know, I'm not trying to run this down your throat, but I'm just making it clear. So it's really murky water.

- Alex Payne

Do you have a solution for it? How would you like to do it? Because you've been on a journey with them of advocates into ambassador and much more than just an influencer. But how would you love to be able to tell your audience that, that's the journey you've been on. You’ve worked with them now because you were such a champion of them at the start as opposed to because your paid to plug it. 

- Rose Gallagher

I definitely reinforce it a lot when I work with them because I think so many brands have brand ambassadors now, and I'm always quite conscious that for me that is actually such a great brand that helped me at a time when I was feeling not confident in my, redness in my skin. I genuinely love the thought of someone knowing, “I promise you, I'm not just saying it, this will make a difference for you”. However, I don't know what the solution is because there is still so much misuse of, “are you genuinely loving that or not?” However, all of that said, I think that there are people that you know that you can look up for a genuine answer and they're the people I focus myself on. I know I've mentioned a few of them before, but like Sally Hughes, that is the person that I would look out for a genuine opinion on something. She will always tell the truth. You will notice that if she ever works with the brand in a capacity, it will be someone that you have seen her talk about so much and you'll just think, well, good for you if you're going and work with them for the day. Because I've seen, you mentioned them millions of times and you clearly have a very big loving together.

- Bronagh Monahan

Well I think what you and Sally and Caroline and Nadine all have in common is that, you do have a foot in both worlds.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah.

- Bronagh Monahan

Because I think the problem, particularly I would say in the fashion industry is that you've had these big media conglomerates like Comedy Nest, that have been the giants in the fashion and beauty industry. And then this world of influencers has come in and it's put a huge threat to their business and rather than find common... which I do think they're doing more of, they definitely are. But there was a period where there was this huge tension between the two worlds. You can't exist with this tension. There has to be collaboration. And so what all of you ladies have done is not rejected this old school, but it's not old school. It's grounding. It's foundation and its heritage. You've embraced that, but brought it to this new world, and you have podcasts, and you have websites, and you've got amazing digital platforms, but you have the experience, and the knowledge to be able to talk about them in a way that's informative and that you've done your research. Because there's lots of young people, they look at this business like, that's what I want to be and I don't care how I get there. I just want to have a big Instagram following.

- Bronagh Monahan

Problem with that is, we don't know what's going on behind closed doors on Instagram. They could just... I mean, I don't think they will. But...

- Rose Gallagher

They never know, absolutely. 

- Bronagh Monahan

And so I think that it is about embracing the two worlds and finding a way. Because I would be so upset if those businesses had to... do you know what I mean?

- Rose Gallagher

I definitely think that it's been a very interesting few years. When I first graduated, I did a number of editorial internships and all I wanted was to be beauty journalist. And actually the reason I'd set up my blog, is because I thought, when I graduate I want to beauty journalists, but I'm going to need examples of my work. So I just thought the blog will be the examples won’t it. I did my internships, absolutely loved them, every minute of them. And then there just wasn't really a job at the end. So I got my first job at a makeup brand instead and then kept the blog ticking along. From that time, I can't believe, and it actually really quite cracks me up that I just kept my blog going because I was enjoying it. But weirdly, the thing that I thought I really wanted, I ended up being better off keeping my blog instead because everything changed so quickly.

- Alex Payne

It came to you. As opposed to you going to it. 

- Rose Gallagher

I always say that actually, so many people say, “I want to do this, or I want to do that.” Like I wanted to be a beauty writer, well then start writing about beauty then?

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah. It's simple.

- Rose Gallagher

It really is simple. I think people expect this eureka moment of, you're going to get this amazing job or you're going to hit this many followers or you're going to have this viral video. Just crack on and do it and it'll all work itself out, if you keep working hard, it'll work out. I suppose to the question of how the influencer versus journalist world came together. I agree that I tend to gravitate towards the people that really have that backing in just doing a bit of prodding. I find that sometimes if there's someone that's been the industry for years and they're talking about a product, they will ask so many questions, possibly more than I would think to ask because they're so used to grilling that doctor or whatever.

- Bronagh Monahan

Well, that's why it's unrealistic in the world of brand partnerships to absolutely love every single product that you endorse.

- Rose Gallagher

Of course.

- Bronagh Monahan:

And I guess another reason why the Influence Room was set up was because of that influx of partnerships that were happening that clearly weren't authentic. Because once you get paid to do something traditionally, it's like, Oh, rose tinted glasses, everything's great. But actually what brand's need is people who can say, okay, I acquired the formula of this thing. It suits my skin tone. But actually this might not work for you. Like it's just not realistic.

- Rose Gallagher

It's really funny point you should make. So in terms of who I watch, there's not that many people, I'm busy as much as the next person. The people that I will always sit down and watch, listen to his Sam and Nick from Pixiv. And one of the main reasons is that they very much keep in mind that at all times, all different skin types, all different skin tones, and it is all about teaching you how to make the best of yourself, as opposed to watching someone make the best of themselves, and the people making the best of themselves. Good for you. That's brilliant. But I like watching Sam and Nick because I want to look nice at the pub this weekend. That's my concern. If I'm spending 10 minutes investing my time watching something, what's in it for me? I want to feel my best and I think they do that really, really well. And I really think actually that's one of my favorite things about how Influencers have come to rise and come to power. It gives people a voice that we need to hear from. Two working makeup artists of many years that have so much experience across every type of skin and age and all the rest of it that you can think of. Yeah, I want to hear from you, and as much as I have so much respect for titles and magazines and things like that. I don't think you can be hearing from the horses mouth, an expert like that, a real grafter, what the answers are to “how do I correct my dark circles” or whatever it is.

- Alex Payne

What was the answer to that? I'm trying to work that out for years. Don't have a small business…..get rid of that and go back to something normal. 

- Rose Gallagher

I just love it. That's one thing I love. I love that there are also regional voices. It really, really makes me happy. I love that Jake Jamie from Birmingham who is the loveliest brummie you've ever met in your life has got like, I don't know, just a huge global worldwide presence and he's my mate from up the road.

- Bronagh Monahan

Jamie Genevieve. Really strong glaswegian accent.

- Alex Payne

Oh really?

- Bronagh Monahan

...has one of the biggest beauty channels. But again that's another thing. That is what has been great about this new wave, is that, it's not about privilege-

- Rose Gallagher

No.

- Bronagh Monahan

... and actually you can be an entrepreneur in that world and really you have to be all parts of the business and the people who rise to the top, our clearly those people who are savvy, they know exactly what they're doing, they've got that working class motivation behind them and-

- Rose Gallagher

I really left that. I heard a quote recently that's really stuck with me, and it says, ‘you can't be what you can't see’.

- Bronagh Monahan

Oh my God, I love that quote.

- Rose Gallagher

I only heard it and I'm fascinated by it because genuinely the biggest eureka moment for me was I was doing internships while I was at uni. And blogs were just becoming a bit of a thing. This is 2009 to 2012. So I found this girl from my primary school, Selena Jarvis, who for the record is a mega babe. I didn't know her well at primary school, but she had this really long red hair. She was absolutely striking, lovely girl. She had this amazing blog. She had won a Teen Vogue Award, if you don't mind.

- Milly

Wow.

- Rose Gallagher

And all she used to write about, was ‘picked this up at boots this week, had my nails done at the salon at the end of the road’. But she was from down the road from me, exactly the same circumstances, no frills, no silver spoon in the mouth. And I just thought you have exactly the same resources as I do, and you've won a Teen Vogue Award. And honestly, it was the most inspiring thing that ever happened. And then actually when I was a makeup-artist and started working at Selfridges in Birmingham, so I had like a base that was in a public area or whatever. The first thing I did was email her and go, “hello, just to let you know biggest fan over here”. Please come in, I really want to do your makeup and just meet you, and just told her all about what a big inspiration she was. And she came in and we just made friends.

- Bronagh Monahan

Amazing.

-Alex Payne

Amazing.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

You made a really interesting point about... actually, we were talking about your podcast and you were talking about how that is the medium that you enjoy the most because you're-

- Rose Gallagher

Absolutely.

- Alex Payne

... able to verbalize your thoughts. And I just was interested... I think a lot of people now would define influencers. What's your following on Instagram? What's your engagement rate? And it's narrowed right down to that. And we often talk about the fact that we're trying to offer a platform where you can trade in whatever it is that you like in terms of influence. So it might be personal appearance, it might be TV, radio or blogs or journalists or content creation. Where you're at now and the world in which you operate? Are you seeing as a broader sense of channels that people operate in? Is that something you are conscious of or do you think that that is to come? Do you still think people will pin themselves to one lane?

- Rose Gallagher

I think it's still to come.

- Alex Payne

Okay.

- Rose Gallagher

For me, the reason why I was so excited to get into the podcast sphere is, I've always been very aware that I have access to really great people, that people are fascinated by. I'll text my friends at the end of the day, and they'll go, “Oh my gosh, how did you get to meet them?” I went to a podcast recording last night, actually Katie Piper. We’ll talk about that actually in a second because I want to say so much about that. It was absolutely brilliant about how they've done the brand ambassador thing in a really brilliant way. But podcasts wise, the likes of that, my friends would go, “how did you get to meet her and what did she say, this, that and the other.” And I thought, I am lucky to have access to these people and I love sharing beauty tips or beauty expertise or whatever with normal people like me who just want to hear it from an expert.

- Rose Gallagher

But I'm actually lucky enough to bloody have those experts numbers in my phone. So I thought if I can just have a chat with them rather than me relay what a lovely day I had talking to that person, we'll all talk to that person. You know? And then everyone's part of the fun. So many of my friends... I think with your close friends, it's really funny. I'd take their thoughts on anything I was doing the more seriously because they know me well and I'd just like to think that they thought I am at work as I am with them. So many of my close friends texted me and said, “you know the podcast? It felt like I was just on the couch having a glass of wine with you two”, and that's the biggest compliment you can get.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah.

- Alex Payne

Yeah. You're absolutely right.

- Rose Gallagher

I think people need to be involved. I think it's so great seeing a great press event on Instagram and you love it and you're fascinated-

- Alex Payne

Goes the distance.

- Rose Gallagher

... and I think it is so great now that I'm seeing so many brands, they will have a big press event and they'll hire a space and they'll say, “do you know what the press section for this lovely lavish fragrance launch on this day, is from 6 till 8pm, but from 12 to 5pm let's invite the consumers”. Let's invite the people that love buying this fragrance and always come back and get it. Why shouldn't I get to celebrate this too? Why shouldn't we all get to be part of this extravaganza?

- Alex Payne

It's the whole way of doing things is evolving so quickly and that’s such  a generalization, but if you think back even to 20, 30 years ago, it was a hero of a campaign who was shot, filmed, whatever it was, plastered all over billboards and stuck on TV ads and then people went and bought it. But now, there's so much more of layers of engagement in terms of everybody needs to be a part of whatever the launch is.

- Bronagh Monahan

And what their touchpoints are as well.

- Rose Gallagher

I think Pantene did this so well last night. So the podcast recording I went to, Katie Piper hosted it to have a conversation. She's a new ambassador for them with two other ladies. One of them is Paris Lees, and she's a model/writer, very vocal about her trans journey. And then the other lady was Ramla Ali and she is a champion boxer. And to be honest, I didn't know about the other two before last night, but I really enjoyed listening to their stories. They were both fascinating, but they all had these really emotional attachments to their hair. So Katie Piper said that during the recovery of her acid attack, there were a number of times where her hair fell out and grew back and she said, do you know what? She just felt like they might've taken my face but they're not going to take my hair.

- Rose Gallagher

And Paris said when she was transitioning, there were so many things, she was taking hormones, she had a boob job, she was applying makeup, but she said the one thing that was hers and absolutely has and no one had to add it, was that she grew her hair. And that to me, they were the most incredible stories. That's what you call a brand partnership. I literally, this morning, I'm going away this weekend, the first thing I did was put all that Pantene stuff in my suitcase. I'm so on board. Do you know what I mean?

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah.

- Rose Gallagher

I've got so much respect for them for doing that. And that's a lovely thing about the industry because actually I love that a brand like Patene that we all know and recognize and can find readily and available everywhere is having those conversations. And encouraging those conversations and that makes me really excited about the beauty industry. When people do things like that and use their voice and their power and their leverage to spread really good messages, which is exactly what my podcast is about. I'm talking to the people that I've come across that have power, have people that are interested in their thoughts and may use that to say, let's all do something good with this.

- Bronagh Monahan

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do day to day? So obviously your a brand ambassador for IT Cosmetics, but I just want it for someone who's listening that is interested in this industry and wants to learn from someone who's been working in it for years. Can you tell us a bit about what does a week look like for you?

- Rose Gallagher

Okay, so I know this is such a cheesy answer, but no two days are ever the same. It can really vary. So if you asked me that couple of years ago, I only left my full time job at the start of last year. So it used to be, and I think it's really important to emphasize that. I started my blog in 2010, and I chipped away, chipped away and chipped away and I always had a full time job and did it in my evenings and weekends. And then I left my full time job at the start of 2018.

- Bronagh Monahan

Eight years of grafting.

- Rose Gallagher

It's not an overnight thing and don't worry if it’s something you want to do and it's taking a while. It might take awhile, but you will get there. But just I think social media can sometimes give the impression that things happen overnight and then you feel bad if it's not happening overnight and you wonder why. Just keep cracking on slow and steady will win the race. So my routine used to be I'd go to work nine to five, I would just spend every evening, weekends, things like that. Trying to just write my blog, do different things, travel to see people, come to London as often as occurred. I was living in Birmingham. Then now that I'm a brand ambassador with IT, so essentially on a given week I'll probably do a couple of days with IT Cosmetics, there might be a day at QVC. It might be that... if I'm doing a day at QVC, I can't do anything the day before other than preparing and learning your notes. Because for live TV, there's no way out. You have to know exactly what you're doing-

- Bronagh Monahan

Especially QVC.

- Rose Gallagher

... and this is something I think people don't realize as well, is like so much hard work goes into these things. People will often say, “Oh, that's so much fun and everything”, and it really is. It really is so much fun and I absolutely love it, but sometimes I think to myself, "But are you aware that I was sat on the couch all day yesterday with cue cards checking that I absolutely knew all of those ingredients, which I will be challenged on?" There's lots of things there. There's so much that goes on for you to constantly educate yourself and be prepared. That I think doesn't get put on Instagram. That's the most important stuff of the  routine.

- Bronagh Monahan

It’s a skill to make things look easy.

- Alex Payne

The detail.

- Rose Gallagher

Yes.

- Bronagh Monahan

You have to be a bright mind to be able to operate in live TV world. 

- Milly

There’s no take two.

- Rose Gallagher

There’s no take two. Believe you me there’s been incidents. There was a very amusing incident one day where I attempted to contour, but that's not what happened. And what do you do? You just got to like…. Yeah, we’ve all been there . Unfortunately some of us were being filmed at the time, but what do you do? You just got to laugh it off.

- Bronagh Monahan

What was the turning point then from starting blog 2010 to then leaving full time job in 2018. Was there a particular turning point? Was there someone that you met or, I don't know, a partnership that happened that then meant that you could make that decision?

- Rose Gallagher

I was starting to be approached for a few partnerships from people that I really liked. Because to be honest with you, you get approached about things all the time and it is like nonsense or something that you've never even tried or heard of and you'll get an email saying, ‘what's your rate and whatever?’ And I'm thinking, "Well, of course I'm not going to touch this with a barge pole." But then when you start to hear from people that you absolutely love, that's incredible. And so I was just starting to think, if I am starting to catch the attention of people that would love to work with me and I'm desperately frantically trying to sustain what I'm doing in my evenings and weekends, think how great I could make this, if I put some time into it. And it was a big gamble that I knew I just had to take and hope it would pay off. And I'll be honest with you, I lived with my mom and dad at the time and I just followed my gut instinct and took the leap, and it paid off. But I'm very lucky that I was able to live with my mum and dad. Not everyone has that luxury.

- Bronagh Monahan

No.

- Rose Gallagher

But again, I feel it's really important to be clear about that-

- Bronagh Monahan

Sure.

- Rose  Gallagher

... because you can see these amazing success stories and not realize there was a helping hand behind there. You know?

- Milly

- Yeah.

- Alex Payne

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

- Rose Gallagher

And I'd hate for someone to think I-

- Milly

Quit my job.

- Rose Gallagher

... 100%, I did that because I was in a position to be with my mum and dad, do you know what I mean?

- Alex Payne

Yeah.

- Bronagh Monahan

And so what have been some of the highlights since going full time?

- Rose Gallagher

Do you know what the main highlight... I love that not two days are ever the same and I'm definitely always in a suitcase and always meeting new people, which I really, I love. I think it's so important to meet as many different people as possible to just learn about different ways of life and keep your perspective really broad. But my favorite thing was, I got my personal life back.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah.

- Rose Gallagher

My friendships now are stronger than I think they've ever been in my life. My friends are so important to me and my family, and I've always been a really friend and family focused person. But I was exhausting myself because I was putting in every spare minute in to trying to grow something that I could sustain myself from. And actually I wasn't having any fun. And that's another thing, you do sacrifice your night at the pub, you do sacrifice lots of things. But now whatever is happening in the week, I make sure I am out with my friends that week, or I have Facetime with my friends in Birmingham. Without that you would go absolutely stir-crazy mad. Especially in these very bedlam environments, where you're at dinner with this one, and you're at party, you're in this and that. You just need you mates to keep you sane for the week. And that's the best, best thing that could have happened out of everything.

- Alex Payne

I wanted to ask you a question about, you're talking about multiple channels. You're obviously extremely strong in beauty and cosmetics. Do you ever want to use your influence there to tap into the other parts of your life? I mean, do you have a football team and given the falling you've built, you'd like to use it to go to a football match of your choice or cinema or whatever? Or are you very protective of the channel that you've built? Do you know what I mean?

- Rose Gallagher

 I know what you mean. That would be lovely. Don't get me wrong, but I'm very aware that people just want me to tell them about their make-up. They don't care that I'm going to a great football match, and I feel like you have to just remember who is listening to you and watching you, that's actually given you this great opportunity in the first place.

- Rose Gallagher

I had a really interesting debate just before Christmas. One of my favorite brands gave a number of bloggers a 20% off code for their followers and just said, it's a really lovely brand, I won't name them because of the debate, but just let's just think if you were to go shopping, you'd love to go shopping with this brand, and they gave us all a 20% off code, and I thought, "How wicked is that? If I was a reader, I'd definitely be shopping there, and I'd love the 20% off."

- Rose Gallagher

And a couple of other bloggers said, well... each to their own, no judgment. But they said, "Well, that's kind of free advertising for them." And I feel like they should have discussed a fee with us for that. And I'm personally not going to share that because I think it would be more of an advertising thing. And I just said, well, from my perspective, everybody loves that brand. I'm just thinking about the woman at home that's getting 20% off. I don't care whether I'm being paid or not, good for her. She's the one that's watched me all year and made me have a lovely year. You go and enjoy your 20% off. That's all I care about.

- Alex Payne

That's very interesting.

-Bronagh Monahan

Yeah. I think that there's a tendency in this business for people to become really entitled and actually it's-

- Alex Payne

I agree with you.

- Bronagh Monahan

... Do you know what I mean?

- Alex Payne

Yeah.

Bronagh Monahan: ... And exactly to your point, yes, you are the face of your brand, but also you are there because of your audience.

- Rose Gallagher

Absolutely.

- Bronagh Monahan

And what we're trying to do in the market is... okay, there's all this commercial stuff happening over here and that's great and people should pay people to do what their good at. But also there's this whole world of editorial and advocacy that is so important for you to stay relatable because I know that there's people that I followed for years and every single thing that they put up now is an advert. And they've just become a billboard and actually, it's like I actually can't relate to that anymore. And it just makes..

- Alex Payne

I agree. I think if you're an interesting story teller, fundamentally which is what you are, I think people buy into you and I think people would love to know more about you, which then can potentially relate to the strength that you have. But I'm just sort of throwing it out. But I also, I completely agree with Bronagh that the fundamentals of social media is there's an organic site where you follow people who tell interesting stories. If those people reach a point and then just flip into, ‘right I’m going to just serve you stuff I’m paid to talk about’, eventually that audience will walk away. So I wonder whether there's a sort of... and we've discussed this before, you have to blend that commercial activity with the stuff that you want to, need to and love to talk about.  

- Rose Gallagher

And I think there also has to be a consideration that the people making this content need to pay their bills though as well.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah

- Milly

Yeah

- Rose Gallagher

And I think there's a balance between. I completely agree that there are definitely people that is just one ad after another. But equally on the flip side, I think if there is somebody that I love that's teaching me all the tips and tricks in everything that I love following, I'm going to be delighted if they get a great brand partnership and think, "Good for you," because they have rent to pay, they have bills to pay. And one of the things I think sometimes gets missed is that, unless you have bread and butter coming from somewhere else. For example, I could do someone's makeup, or I could write an editorial piece or something like that. But otherwise, those things are really helpful to help someone to sustain the lifestyle and the work that they're doing. But there is a fine balance, and I think it's very easy to spot the people doing that really well.

- Bronagh Monahan

Would you ever be interested in having your own brand of cosmetics?

- Rose Gallagher

Do you know something, at this point in time, no. I would definitely never rule it out because I absolutely love makeup. But I really feel like I'm learning at the moment. I have so much to learn and I'm enjoying learning so, so much. And that would be something if I was to do it, I would see myself doing when I've inherited a lot of information. But right now I love that I'm speaking to experts from brands. I'm just in an absorbing phase and I hope that what I would like to think I'm trying to do, is whenever I absorbed some thing, because I'm meeting all these fabulous people, I'm saying, "Guess what they told me this week, if we put our lipstick on in this way, won't bleed for three hours," whatever it is.

- Milly

Epic. 

- Bronagh Monahan

And then I also wanted to touch on the Look Good Feel Better project-

- Rose Gallagher

I love the Look Good Feel Better, I could talk about them all day.

- Bronagh Monahan

Because before we started recording, we talked about how do we communicate the actual practicalities of that project because they're associated with lots of different beauty brands, but actually people aren't seeing, or maybe it's not being communicated what the donations and what the money is actually going to. Which can be the case for a lot of charities. So can you please tell us a little bit more about it?

- Rose Gallagher

Of course, I'd love to, I love talking about Look Good Feel Better. There's such a brilliant charity, and I think that as we were saying earlier on, it's one of those phrases that people know is affiliated with the beauty industry, but they possibly don't know what happens with, Look Good Feel Better. So they're a charity that host workshops all over the country for men and women. The male workshops are quite new. And what they do is if you were undergoing treatment for cancer, your local hospital could book you on to a workshop where you come in, sit down, you will get a big bag of projects transcending skincare and makeup. And then a volunteer will teach you how to use them all, essentially with a number of things in mind. On one hand your skin is going to go through lots of changes during that time, so it's how to best look after yourself while that's going on. Everything in these bags is designed to work really well for someone during that process. But also it's quite a difficult thing to go through to have an impact on you, your self esteem, your confidence and really it's about encouraging that moment for you, that chat and just have this lovely afternoon. And what's so fascinating is that the workshops are hosted by volunteers. So Look Good Feel Better, do calls out to anybody that's a beauty expert.

So you'll find that it'll be, for example, your local makeup counters, they will have volunteers that go from there. And what you'll find though is, in the workshops, even though yes, it's about this makeup and skincare master class, which is lovely. It's also an opportunity for this group of people going through exactly the same journey to all meet and make friends. The conversations you overhear... there's so many things you become aware of that you wouldn't have thought of, but you know when you open a beauty project, and it might have a little foil seal to keep it fresh. If you're going through your treatment, and you're at a phase where your nails have become really weak, you can't get that foil seal off. So one of the first things we will do is get the foil seals off, but then you might be struggling with your product and the lady next to you will go, "I went through that two months ago. I used this, this, this every night. It really helped strengthen them up, don't worry, you'll come through out the other side."It's just amazing.

- Milly

Amazing.

- Alex Payne

Amazing teamwork.

- Rose Gallagher

Amazing teamwork.

- Bronagh Monahan

To come full circle from where we first started chatting, I think what the beauty industry can do is... I think there's lots of periods that you go through in your life that can make you feel like those things aren't important. So perhaps being a first time mum and then you start to lose those moments in your day where you can have some time alone. Or if you're going through illness, if you're going through grief. And actually your beauty routine can be that half an hour period in the day or it's just for you and it's

- Milly

Therapeutic almost.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah.

- Rose Gallagher

I couldn’t agree more.

- Bronagh Monahan

And I think what Pantene are doing, they're telling those stories that maybe aren't being represented because I think there's some people who think, well that's not for me, actually-

- Alex Payne

Which is reality rather than the aspiration.

- Bronagh Monahan

Exactly.

- Milly

I was going to say with the hair thing, you said they’ve brought back their hair, like that was their thing that they took control of. I guess that's what there kind of doing with their makeup. There bringing that back, they're becoming who they want to be or are, but they just can't show that necessarily all the time because of the treatment and things.

- Bronagh Monahan

Yeah, because some people may just might feel that they are at a disadvantage or that they're not being... again, you can't be what you can't see. And I can't even imagine how traumatic it must be to go through chemo, lose your hair, lose your eyebrows, your skin completely changes and actually those are the people that need experts the most that need that therapy and yeah, I think it's an amazing project and that more people should get involved in.

- Rose Gallagher

I think that it's what a great example of, there are amazing people doing amazing things. I absolutely love the beauty industry for that. There is a brand that I am obsessed with. I literally couldn't love them enough, there called Beco. They are a social enterprise and they make soaps. The soaps are lovely. There all three or four pounds. They're organic, their paraben free, you name it, whatever you're looking for, this soup is great.

- Rose Gallagher

But the workforce is comprised of 80% blind, disabled or disadvantaged people and their whole business model is that, these people that have been overlooked in other workplaces and other workplaces potentially haven't been set up in a way to-

- Bronagh Monahan

Cater.

- Rose Gallagher

... accommodate them. You have a home here, you are loved here. They've just launched this campaign, which is one of the cleverest things I've ever seen and it's amazing. And it's called Steal Our Staff. And their whole thing is, look, we don't want to lose our staff because we love them, but the truth is, they're amazing and they've been overlooked. And if you were to steal this team member, we could then use our headcount to get another job to another person with a disability. 

- Alex Payne

Look at that. 

- Rose Gallagher

It's brilliant and they just repackaged all of the safes and things and they've got their team members and they'll say like, this person is really good with electrics. This person really wants to work in a radio studio, whatever it is. And I think they're going to make only great waves-

- Milly

It is on the packaging?

- Rose Gallagher

... It's on the packaging.

- Milly

That's amazing.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah, it's unbelievably-

- Milly

It’s like a little CV.

- Alex Payne

I like that.

- Rose Gallagher

Yeah, yeah.

- Bronagh Monahan

So Rose. We could talk all day.

- Rose Gallagher

We could.

- Bronagh Monahan

I think you're amazing. I think you're such a great representation in the beauty industry. Can you tell us where we can find you, on the different channels and then also follow that up with what your goals are for the year ahead?

- Rose Gallagher

How lovely. Well thank you, it's so lovely to be invited on because I'm usually on the other side of the microphone-

- Alex Payne

You're very good on that side.

- Rose Gallagher

I can't believe that I'm on the flip side for a change. But yes, I'm @mixedgemsbeauty on Instagram. My blog is called Mixed Gems, by all means. Watch me doing a contour demo on QVC from time to time-

- Alex Payne

Please can you quickly tell us about QVC. It's sort of cult, isn't it-

- Rose Gallagher

Genuinely, it's the most positive. I can't explain right. Because it's one of those things that you have on at home and you just feel like you know the people.

- Alex Payne

It's addictive.

- Rose Gallagher

It's so addictive. Try working there. The things I have bought that you don't need. 

- Alex Payne

It's a game.

- Rose Gallagher

But it's so funny, when you meet these people in real life that you've been watching on the TV, you realize that the reason they've been put there is because you feel like you relate to them and you feel like their best friend. And I am just constantly going round, like I have meltdowns when I see my favorites, if you're getting ready or whatever. But actually do you know something, when you're not QVC side and you're the person coming in to talk about your brand, whatever, you're all in the same changing rooms together. You've never had a laugh like it.

- Rose Gallagher

It's hilarious. Honestly, it's just the best fun.

- Alex Payne

Wow.

-  Rose Gallagher

It's like having all the chat with the best people at uni, but all in one place.

- Bronagh Monahan

I need to watch this.

- Rose Gallagher

Brilliant staff canteen.

- Alex Payne

Alcohol ever involved?

- Rose Gallagher

I wish-

 - Alex Payne

That would be amazing.

- Rose Gallagher

It would feel amazing, I'm always saying that. But actually that they did this thing the other day in award ceremony and we had like a table of... because it was all about people from beauty. It was literally the best thing ever, however you had to behave because it was live television. I was whispering to my table going, "Can we all go on a night out". They were great.

- Alex Payne

What fun. I've really enjoyed this. I have to say it's not my specialist subject, but I've learned a huge amount so you're good at what you do.

-  Rose Gallagher

Thank you.

- Bronagh Monahan

You need to finish with your goals.

- Alex Payne

Yes. Your goals.

- Rose Gallagher

My goals. What I really have enjoyed so much this year when I started my own podcast, was picking out the people in the industry that are doing amazing things and sharing their messages. First of all, my goal would be that, I think there's a few people at the moment within beauty trying to book the trend of filtering and projecting a perfect thing. I think there's going to be a real rise in real achievable results from beauty.

- Rose Gallagher

One of my goals would be I'd love to be part of that movement and I very much try and show my skin concerns and everything as much as I can because to be honest that makes me really uncomfortable and I do as much as anyone would feel self conscious or whatever. But the messages I get back as a result of doing this, show me that this needs to happen more because people aren't seeing enough of this and when they do they feel better about themselves because you're not an alien with six heads for having a bit of redness in your skin. But actually because you don't see it, you think that you are.

- Rose Gallagher

But we're very normal to have these things. And another goal would just be to spread the messages of the good people. You know the likes of Bico, they are incredible. I just want to tell everyone that will listen about them and just make people aware that if they're going through hardship, there is a resource there. The other week I spoke to Long com about the work they do with the national literacy trust. One in seven women in the UK has literacy needs.

- Rose Gallagher

Literacy is something that impacts whether you can read your prescription and know which platform to get your train. So many basic everyday things that a person could be struggling with to share that story and make that person think, do you know what? I'm 45, but I will do something about this now. There's still time to change. I can still get that support. So I just hope I can-

- Bronagh Monahan

Anything that you've-

- Rose Gallagher

... encourage those changes.

- Bronagh Monahan

Anything you've mentioned, we'll include links-

- Alex Payne

Yes.

- Bronagh Monahan

... in the show notes. And hopefully we can spread a little love.

- Rose Gallagher

 Thank you. That would be amazing.

- Alex Payne

We've really enjoyed it.

- Bronagh Monahan

I have loved it.

- Bronagh Monahan

Thank you so much for listening to the Influence Room Podcast. If you want to learn more about the site, you can follow us on Instagram @theinfluenceroom and check out the website and become a member if not already. We're really excited to hear about what you're doing, what you're passion is about the stories you want to tell and become part of the contra economy.



 

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