If you aren’t following Kiss, Blush & Tell then you aren’t living. The Instagram account headed up by Tori Tatham has quickly become our number one account we visit on the daily for all things beauty related. Not only is Tori incredibly knowledgeable on skincare (this woman knows her beauty), but she’s hilarious too. Her Instagram stories and lives are a treat to watch. She has also given us some of the best beauty advice we’ve ever gotten - everything from skincare basics and how to use retinol, to the importance of Vitamin C - things we never knew about beauty have been brought to light and our skin is so thankful for it. Her blog is where you can find all the juicy information with thorough reviews and thoughts on quality products to fit all budgets.
When we decided we wanted to start “A sit-down with…” series interviewing inspiring entrepreneurial women, we knew Tori was our number one pick for our first edition. Her no-nonsense, say-it-like-it-is attitude towards the blogging industry and skincare is refreshing and she is, in our opinion, a much needed voice on social media today.
So here is our sit-down with Tori. Enjoy…
When did you start your blog and why?
I started my blog when I was living in London and working at Space NK (a well-known luxury beauty retailer who had a spa leg too). I had just finished studied health and skincare and thought it would be a good way to share my knowledge with friends who asked the odd question here and there. This was 2009 and I did it very ‘here and there’. I only really started doing it properly in the last 3 years, with 2018 being my first year of being a committed blogger.
What are your dreams for Kiss, Blush & Tell?
Whew. A lot. And I feel like I am one of those people who constantly blame time, which annoys me about myself. I do, however, do Kiss, Blush and Tell on top of a full-time (and pretty demanding) job. This means I work very long hours and wish I could dedicate myself 100% to my blog to work on all my bigger dreams.
I hope to get started with some workshops in Joburg this year (another plan that I keep meaning to do) and then the ultimate dream is product. One day.
Short term – I would like to start doing KBT full time as it demands a lot from me, but the money is erratic and I would never ever want to sell-out for the sake of paying my bond. I am too much of a worrier to give up a secure salary for now .
How do you manage juggling your Blog, Instagram account, and your day job? Top tips for staying organised?
To be honest I battle at times, but generally I feel I have a pretty good handle on this. I feel like I have always been pretty good at not letting KBT interfere with normal life, so I do switch off when Marc walks in the door or when I am spending time with family and friends.
My day-job does luckily allow me flexibility and I feel like I have been juggling the two for a good while now, so have found my groove. I am a big believer in a super organised Outlook calendar, many phone reminders and LOADS of lists. At the end of the day, KBT is my hobby. My day job will always come first as that pays the bills, KBT is my fun outlet and I never want it to become something I over-think or force myself to do.
What advice would you give any woman wanting to follow her passion and start her own blog.
Just that – follow your passion. Without your focus, whether it be food, fashion, beauty, home décor etc, being a passion you will get bored. It requires a lot of patience and a lot of commitment. I started my blog way before there were freebies or money involved, which I am grateful for as this was never a driving factor (and it will always stay this way for me). Start it for the right reasons and stay true to yourself. All people want is authenticity and honesty (not easy to find out there).
Any #girlboss that you look to for inspiration or that has inspired you to get to where you are today?
Yes, a few! There are so many amazing woman doing incredible things. I basically want to be Emily Weiss (seriously); founder of Glossier and Into The Gloss (the blog she started before she launched her brand).
Miroslava Duma who is an idol in the tech world, she also balances being a Mum and a super-woman brilliantly.
Victoria Beckham – I admired her as a little girl in the Spice Girl days and still look up to what she does today. Her work ethic is like no other, she doesn’t stop!
Take us through a typical day in the life of Tori.
My days are all quite different but I start off with a cooked breakfast each morning from Marc, who takes his breakfast-cooking very seriously, I normally shower while he is getting this ready and make the bed etc.
I like to be dressed and ready for the day by the time he leaves for the office as this creates some routine in my life. I then normally go to my office to check emails and always make a to-do list for the day (with some things rolling over from the previous day). I then get into my car and drive to my local coffee spot which is 5 minutes down the road – my daily coffee order is vital in order for me to actually feel awake!
My day is then spent doing my day-job (which doesn’t require me going into an office, so everyday looks different for me).
I then return home and get dinner going. I love cooking so this always feels like a good wind-down from the day. I also usually play a podcast at the same time. I then head off to exercise to get that out the way, and by the time I get home we are ready for an early-ish dinner on the couch with Masterchef.
In between all of this I fit Kiss, Blush and Tell in. I answer DM’s on the go as much as I can manage. I fit meetings in where necessary and usually do blog posts late in the evening or on the couch after supper. Photography-wise I set aside one day a month to wake up super early (around 5am) and use the morning light to get through my shot list. This is all managed by many, many lists that help keep it semi-organised.
How do you plan your days - are you a planner? Or do you wing it?
I’m a bit of an in-betweener I guess. More a planner though. I have a daily to-do list but if I get side-tracked or things don’t go to plan, I am very relaxed. I love managing my own time and do think organisation is vital in my life to make sure no lines are blurred and that I don’t take work into my personal life.
What is your daily skincare routine?
Whew. How much time do we have?! (jokes. Kind of)
I am a skincare fanatic. We all know this, and I feel SO passionately about helping others improve their skin. My routine is rather elaborate because it’s a pampering ritual for me that I genuinely look forward to. Please don’t be put off by this; there are way shorter, more concise versions ☺
Mornings: I do a very light cleanse in the shower or just swipe micellar water over my skin (depending what ingredients I put on the night before). I then might do a light exfoliation or go straight into my Vitamin C followed by a hydrating serum. This will all be finished with SPF 50 before I pop some make up on.
In the evenings I always do a double cleanse (usually as soon as I walk in the front door), I then pop a mask on (depending what my skin looks like it needs). I then finish off with AHA’s to exfoliate and Vitamin A (retinol). I have built my skin up to daily use of all of these ingredients but please read my blog posts or ask for advice before you do this as these ingredients are potent!
What is your one top no-exceptions rule in skincare? Something you can’t (and no one should) live without doing?
Cleansing properly (and SPF daily)
How would you describe your day-to-day style? (which we think is impeccable by the way…)
I’m not very good at describing anyone’s style, but I guess it would be sophisticated with a casual edge (I feel like a real fool describing myself like that!) but I love a pretty flow-y dress with a leather jacket and converse or a beautifully tailored winter coat with ripped jeans. I guess I always try to dress down my more formal pieces which makes me feel more myself. Oh, and comfort first. Always.
Do you have a mantra, quote, motivation, or task that you live by or do? Something you think about or do daily that drives you to be your best self?
Not really a quote but I always stay true to two things when it comes to Kiss, Blush & Tell and constantly remind myself about them; to ‘DO YOU’ – to never be influenced by what is going on around me and stick to what I believe is great content and my best work, and then to simply stay true to myself which sounds simple but is the single most important thing to me. My readers’ trust is everything to me.