In our last in-depth chat with our new Beauty Squad, we catch up with Julia Coney. Julia started her website, All About the Pretty, in 2006 as a way to document her makeup must-haves and exotic travels. This Texas native who now lives in Washington, D.C., always sports a new lip gloss at yoga sessions and annually splurges on Parisian skin care. Read on to find out which beauty products send her heart all aflutter and which A-list celebrity she rubbed elbows with as a teen.
How did All About The Pretty come about?
I had one of those a-ha moments in 2006. I realized I wasn’t completely satisfied working as a legal assistant. I have an English degree and I always liked to write, but I wasn’t doing anything with that skill. So I went to a writer’s conference and I met a girl there who asked me what my skin care routine was. I told her that I go to Paris every year and buy all my skin care there. She didn’t believe me. So she told me I needed to start a blog that was a beauty site. She told me to talk about my lifestyle, talk about my travels and talk about my habit of going to yoga wearing all sorts of lip glosses. And that really was how it started. The name, “All About the Pretty,” is my grandma’s saying. I kept writing, and more and more people started reading. Then in 2010 I decided to quit my job and see how it would go. It’s taken off since.
Why did you decide to focus on beauty?
I’m so obsessed with makeup that I used to call New York and Toronto to get products shipped to me that I had seen in the magazines. A lot of products wouldn’t be available in Texas, where I’m from, or D.C., where I live now. I think every woman relates to beauty because it’s something so personal to yourself. It’s also very accessible. You might not be able to afford the new $3,000 handbag of the season, but you can always afford a lip gloss. You can always buy a new nail polish.
What is your stranded-on-a-deserted island beauty product?
Lip gloss. Bobbi Brown doesn't make my favorite anymore, but I bought enough tubes when it was discontinued that I’m now just running out after four years. It is a squeezable lip gloss called Twilight. The consistency is between loose and tacky; it’s the perfect middle in terms of texture. The color is a mauvey pink and it’s sheer, and it looks good on every skin tone. I would take that. I would also take La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. That is the best sunscreen because you can actually get a subtle, protected tan and your skin doesn’t feel like a lizard afterward.
Who is your beauty icon?
My celebrity icon is Jennifer Lopez. I like her because she plays with makeup. It’s sultry, it’s bronzy, it’s sexy, it’s glowy, it’s full lip, it’s no lip, it’s mink eyelashes. I only watch American Idol to see what her makeup and skin look like.
What's the best beauty advice that you’ve ever been given?
Take care of your skin because you only have one of it. My grandmother really made sure I understood the importance of skin care. Your canvas has to be cared for in order to paint well on it.
What would be the one beauty trend you would banish forever?
French manicures. For one, it’s not French. Also, nobody's nails are that white.
What beauty trend would you bring back?
I’d bring back very full eyebrows. Thick eyebrows are gorgeous.
Is there one beauty technique that you still can’t quite master, but you wish you could?
The smoky eye. I just cannot do it. My go-to eye look is a neutral eye that always shimmers.
Who do you think is the most beautiful person alive today?
Beyoncé is the prettiest person on the planet. She is not only that, but she is also nice. Her mother actually gave me my first weave, so I remember her singing in the salon when she was little. When Destiny’s Child was new, the group used to come to the hair salon and sing while people were getting their hair cut. I was 16 or 17, and they were little girls. It’s crazy to think about.

Photo: Courtesy of Julia Coney