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Q: What’s your name and general location?
Jennifer Nicole and I live about 70 miles west of Washington D.C. However, it is a world away from the city. We live at the base of the National Forest. We have absolutely beautiful views and just a fifteen minute drive to gorgeous overlooks with an abundance of picnic and hiking opportunities. I remember stories from my great grandmother about when the government moved in to create the national park. The made hundreds of families move from their homes with a tiny bit of money to make a new life. It was a sad time for them. I loved to hear those stories from her about the land we take for granted in this area. It is absolutely beautiful.
Q: Do you have any nicknames?
I went by Nicki in elementary school. Now, I go by Jen by my family or “princess” by those at work who tend to tease me for my many MAC and Sephora deliveries. However, I do prefer Jennifer unless being called Jen by close friends.
Q: We usually see you sitting down on camera! How tall are you?
I am definitely a short one. Depending upon which doctor is measuring me I am about 5’2-5’3. One doctor told me 5’4″, but I think he definitely measured me incorrectly. My shoes definitely help as I don’t wear flats very often.
Q: Does anyone ever tell you that you look like someone famous? If so, who?
I get a lot of “look alike” comments, but Twiggy and Marilyn Monroe most often. Wow! That is an honor!
Q: When did you become interested in cosmetics and beauty products?
When I was a little girl, and I mean little. I was probably about 3 or 4, my grandparents would take me into town and allow me to purchase makeup, false fingernails, nail polish…the works basically. My Mom wasn’t a big fan so most of it stayed at their home to play with when I went to visit. We only lived two doors down so I was there quite frequently. I definitely believe my girly girl and “old fashioned etiquette” behavior was handed down to me by my grandmother. She past away from breast cancer in 2000, but the girly girl has never left me. I still have all of her makeup and jewelry in a case that I love to look through at times, just to remember everything I played with as a child.
My Mom was also a large factor in my interest in makeup. I was allowed to wear the barely tinted Mary Kay lipgloss at the age of 10 or 11 and remember visiting the Estee Lauder Counter and Merle Norman Store with my Mom at a young age. I have such a vivid memory of taking one of my Mom’s brand new Merle Norman, wee bit expensive compacts, with me to an amusement park with a group of other young friends and parents. I was not supposed to have it at all. I was on one of those boats that turn upside down and I could feel it slipping out of my pocket and was doing everything possible with my elbow to save the compact. Luckily, it was saved and was never discovered that I had taken the compact. I finally confessed a few years later. She just smiled and said “Jennifer Nicole”…lol. I know what it means when I get the Jennifer and Nicole together. My grandmother was, and my mother is a beautiful woman that I have always looked up to when it comes to beauty, etiquette, style and grace. She is very kind hearted and I hope if I can just be a fraction of the two of them together, I believe I will be a wonderful example for others.
Q: What are a few of your “obsessions” right now (Foods, designers, television shows, songs, etc.)?
I am totally obsessed with the bottled version of the Starbucks coffee flavored frappuccino drinks. It is definitely my comfort. Food, nothing really. Sometimes I forget to eat…yes that is terrible, but as long as my iced tea or cold coffee is in hand, I am completely comfortable. I absolutely love Lady Ga Ga where music is concerned. My XM is set to tell me when her songs appear on another station so I can quickly change and turn up the volume. I definitely dance in my car when she and Britney are singing. I do not watch a lot of television, but thank goodness for the creation of the DVR. My husband and I both enjoy The Young and the Restless each evening. My own obsessions are Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Hills, Housewives of ______ (all of them except Atlanta, the blonde ruined it for me), Dr. Phil on occasion depending upon the topic and his ego that day, Judge Judy, and Lockup:Raw (any of those prison shows). However, the Y & R, Kardashian, Housewives and The Hills are a must. I could live without the others and many times don’t tune into those. I record them so when I get into the mood I will check them out. I don’t generally follow fashion designers. If I see something I like (with reason) I will pick it up, but I am not someone that feels the need to attend fashion shows and follow Vogue.
Q: You mention that you are obsessed with buying cars. What are you currently driving? What have been some of your favorites?
We have gotten much better about this as I have taken some control in the situation. Buying a new car once or twice a year is ridiculous. I remember when I was working at Farm Credit, I could hear activity in the lobby from my office. So, the receptionist would come to get me to introduce me to a car salesman from the local dealership. He would hand me a set of keys and tell me to drive it out for lunch and after work in the evening to see if I liked it. I was like “there must be some mistake, I didn’t ask for this.” He would tell me that Gary had arranged the delivery. You see, when Gary wants a new vehicle he is quite smooth about making me happy first. I fall in love with the vehicle he knows I would love, then he gets his own. I am such a sucker! He hit the nail on the head with the Mercedes though. He got me! I am currently driving an ’08 Mercury Mountaineer. All I care about is that I have plenty of room and something to warm by back and bum on cold mornings.
Q: You have also talked about having fibromyalgia. How does this affect your everyday life? How much is known about the condition?
Thank goodness in the past five years experts and doctors have really started to look into this and discover that there is a reason for those having chronic pain. It is not in our heads. It is true pain and there is no test for it. It took two years to be diagnosed. It is in my jaws and shoulders each day. In the past several months, I have noticed it more in my back, thighs, knees, ankles and yes, even toes. I have good days and bad days. Good days are when it is only my face and shoulders. Everyone should search Fibromyalgia on google and learn more about it. It is something that is preying on more and more people with no cause given as of yet. Stress is a major part of making the symptoms worse, which is why I left Farm Credit. Falling asleep with loan files on my table at night was not good for the body and being responsible for everyone else’s work in the office was too much to carry as far as the Fibromyalgia was concerned. Most doctors say the pain is not supposed to worsen, others say it is normal that it does. Mine has worsened over the past five years when the testing started so we are probably going to be undergoing MS testing as they have very similar symptoms. I keep putting the tests off as sometimes it is easier to just not know and keep going and staying positive at what you are currently dealing with. However, I have tried to put all of my pain aside for Gary during the past six weeks. He comes first in my life. The most wonderful caring thing was a couple of days ago when it was so bad for me, that Gary took the role in taking care of me. He put his needs aside for me. That is what a strong marriage is all about. For better or for worse. We are best friends, companions and plan to be a little elderly couple together. I look forward to growing old with him. Now, I work for The Inn at Little Washington (I don’t work in the Inn so stalkers can’t find me..lol) which is a five star, five diamond Relais and Chateaux property. This position has helped me deal much better with the symptoms of the condition as I can leave all of my work at work where it belongs.
Q: Your husband, Gary, has been in all of our thoughts and prayers since his stroke. How is his recovery going?
His recovery has been doing well. They have no idea why a 36 year old had a stroke. He had a head trauma at work by falling on the ice on March 4th which we have now found out ended in a mild stroke. The large one came on March 18th. A terrible memory that is hard for me to go back to. To make a very long story short, I was sure to have him airlifted to the University of Virginia for the best care possible. They told me he would be in the hospital for weeks and then to inpatient therapy for months. Basically, he would not be home for at least six months. This man was so strong, he was home in one week. However, as of yesterday, he is experiencing problems that we are not clear as of yet. His right side of his body, especially his arm, is twice the size as the left. The doctor simply says something is wrong, so we are on our way to his stroke neurologist at UVA on Friday. He is a strong man, but will be fragile as far as this is concerned for quite some time. He has been going to physical and speech therapy three times per week and learning the basics all over again, but I love doing it all with him at home too. I love to help him get better and he has improved on that “thinking” side of the brain in so many ways. The brain is amazing! I love doing therapy with him at home also! We love to play multiplication games and other “thinking” games together. That part is really improving and I am so proud of him.
Q: How long have you been married? How did you and Gary meet?
Gary and I are celebrating our fifth year wedding anniversary this week. It was actually on the 5th, but we plan the celebration on Friday the 8th since Austin will be with his father and YAY, he is taking me shopping and out for dinner. We have dated since 1998 though so I think we are made for each other. Best friends and my companion forever.
Q: What got you started doing videos on YouTube?
I ran upon a video of makeupsquare on accident and from that moment I was addicted to watching them. It took one year and a better camera for Christmas. I have been making videos since early January and here I am. I always wanted to do it, but didn’t have a camera with quality good enough to produce good videos. Gary knew how much I wanted to start to that was another way of showing his support to me and my new hobby to be at that time.
Q: How does it feel to have over 5,000 people care about you and your opinions?
It has amazed me at how much support I have received (some occasional hater comments) from everyone subscribed to me. From my beauty tips to my struggle after Gary’s stroke, everyone has been exceptional. I have made wonderful friends and wouldn’t give it up now for anything. They have become my support system.
Q: How has YouTube affected your life?
YouTube definitely keeps me busy. I find myself wanting to stay at home and practice editing, record videos, watch other guru’s that I love, etc. However, I have also found that on the other hand it makes me want to get out of the house and spend, spend, spend:)
Q: Do all of your family and friends know about your videos?
All of my family know I do videos. I have it listed on my MySpace page so I don’t keep it a secret from anyone. I am proud of what I am doing. If it is helping someone find the right beauty product, helping someone find a drugstore item for less, helping someone that has fibromyalgia or chronic pain know that they can overcome the bad days and finally being there for anyone that is a caretaker for a family member….makes it all worth it to me and I cannot be ashamed of that. I am proud of what I am doing and so lucky to be given the opportunity.
Q: What do your friends and family think about your beauty product obsession?
My family doesn’t quite understand the obsession, nor do they understand (with the exception of my sister, husband and son) the concept of what I am doing. They haven’t taken the time out to look at my work and I hope that someday that will understand how important this really is to me.
Q: We know you love your subscribers! But is there anything that you get sick of being told or asked?
I don’t mind being asked very many things, but here are a few….may I have some makeup?….what color lipstick are you wearing when I have it listed in the information box. Here comes the one that tops them all. I had someone ask me if I am drunk because I talk slow and I was thirsty. It was in my Haul with Lisasz09 video just recently when I openly told that I was so thirsty. I picked up a cold coffee in a glass bottle so I obviously wasn’t drinking. I think that people don’t understand my accent sometimes. We just talk a little slower in my location. It is just part of the accent and taking things slowly on a regular basis rather than being in a hurry much of the time. I have to clear up that I NEVER drink or use drugs while doing videos. I only socially drink and the only medication I take is for my Fibromyalgia which has nothing to do with me being thirsty…lol. I was just thirsty!
Q: Do you have any future goals for your YouTube channel?
Yes, I plan to announce my blog within the next 48 hours. I plan to do more product reviews and tutorials. I love doing tutorials, but the editing is starting to make sense to me now. That is what had been holding me back before. I didn’t want to do Part 1, 2, etc. I look so forward to sharing my makeup ideas and looks with everyone.
Q: Do you ever have buyers remorse for spending your hard earned money on products?
Yes, I do sometimes. Not often as I generally think it through before going to pick up the products. However, if I do, I don’t use the product, save the receipt and go for a refund. I think everyone has a little buyers remorse from time to time. I get caught up in the moment at times, but it is fun!
Q: What draws you to buy a certain product or brand of makeup?
Many times the packaging draws my attention. The reviews I find on makeupalley and YouTube and finally a SALE! Who doesn’t love a sale?
Q: What are some of your absolute favorite beauty products?
My top MAC products right now are from the Colour Ready Collection. I don’t know how I lived without the Prep and Prime powder beforehand. It is an amazing product as compared to any powders I have ever used. I plan to review it very soon on my channel. My top drugstore items at this time are Physicians Formula Bronzers, Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation, Revlon Color Stay Foundation and Milani is just blowing my mind (with the exception of the wet, dry sparkle eyeshadows). I find that these products are high end quality at a drugstore price and I ALWAYS wait for the buy one get one deals. You will find me searching online for the weekly online sale ads for each drugstore prior to going shopping. Oh, how can I possibly forgot…St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. It is a must!
Q: You have said that you are all for plastic surgery if it is for the right reasons. What are some things you recommend or would like to have done?
This is a tough subject because I find that so many girls and/or women feel so pressured by the media to look a certain way. I happened to lose weight, which helped make my decision to have plastic surgery. I am not ashamed to say that I have had a breast lift and breast augmentation. It was for me and me only. My decision was not based upon what my husband, society or anyone else wanted. I just wanted to feel better about myself and I waited until I was ready mentally and had searched for the proper doctor before going foreward. I am also not ashamed to say that I have had, but do not have now, botox and lip injections. It is all about making yourself feel better, if and only if you are doing it for yourself and have done research on the doctor. I would never suggest that anyone have surgery or not have surgery. Everyone should make the decision for themselves, but I never judge those that do it. However, I do think some go way too far and I feel badly for those people. I think the media plays a huge role in this.
Q: Do you have any beauty secrets or tips that you think most other people don’t know about?
When my fingernails are wet, I soak them in cold water to “set” the color and it helps them dry a little faster. Many other people probably know this trick, but it is something I use quite frequently. Also, allowing that short blast of cool water at the end of your shower to help your hair be more shiny. Oh, I learned the hard way…don’t squeeze out your MAC paints from the tube to use them for Back to MAC. Two out of four of mine dried out in firmly closed containers.One more, sometimes your fingers/fingernails are the best tool when trying to style your hair. I use a brush to dry my hair and my fingernails do the rest.
Q: Can you tell us some fun facts that we probably don’t know about you?
I love to latch hook. Yes, latch hook. The patterns are all so ugly, but I love the act of doing it. I have a little spot in my closet where I keep my finished work. They are never pretty, but I love the act of doing it. I also love to sing, but haven’t had the nerve to do it in public since I was a teenager in church. I sing in the shower a lot…lol.
We want to play Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Q: Will you slip a “secret word” into your next video for our readers? The secret word is “Peppy”.
Absolutely..”Peppy” it is.