Gregorie Guillaume: Hue Knew It

Gregorie Guillaume, along with her sister, started Hue Knew It in 2008 as a way to address beauty concerns for women of color. She knew that she could produce the kinds of visuals, plus beauty education that would create a forum for Black women to join in on the beauty conversation. Hue Knew It continues to feature hair, skin, body, cosmetics and fashion stories and has become the go-to place for women to get the latest scoop. Hue Knew It encourages "women via insider knowledge on how to perfect their head-to-toe beauty routines so they look and feel fabulous any time, any place at any price point."

Gregorie was kind enough to share with us the story behind how Hue Knew It was founded, tell us about her perfect red lipstick, offer advice for other budding women entrepreneurs, and of course, spill what’s in her Ultimate Beauty Arsenal. Read on for more.

What inspired you to begin blogging at Hue Knew It and what keeps you excited about creating new content?

When launched in 2008 by me and my sister, the website answered the nagging question - “So what about us?” Us refers to the millions of black women who, over the years, looked to mass media for some form of acknowledgement and validation of their beauty, of their complexion, or of their hair type; but those images weren’t always easy to find.

Rather than depend solely on general population monthly publications to get the message out to women of color that yes, “your brand of beauty” is just as beautiful as the visuals in that commercial or on that billboard, joined the cause to drive home this message at every turn.

Spawned by the overwhelming lack of sufficient color shade representation among some of the largest cosmetics lines, HKI’s goal is to seek out those companies who sincerely want to see their products be worn globally.

Let’s talk beauty and fashion. What is your perfect red lipstick?
My perfect red comes in the form of matte Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain ($13) in #01 Always Red.

What 3 products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal—those items you absolutely cannot live without—and why?
Laura Mercier Tinted Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 20 ($43) in Mocha. It’s the perfect multi-purpose product rule - color, moisturizer and sun protection in one fell swoop.

I like almost any Ardell Eyelashes or any lashes found in a local beauty supply store in my Harlem neighborhood. As long they have wow factor, I’ll wear them. I love how they accent my almond-shaped eyes.

A cheapie clear lip gloss with good thickness like Jordana Clear Sensation ($1.49) is all the rage in my book. I don’t feel complete without a shiny pout.

Do you have a Sunday night or weekend beauty ritual? If so, what is it?
As I race against the clock to watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta at 8pm EST, I’m in the bathroom mirror with my Clarisonic brush and Goldfaden MD’s Doctor’s Scrub to clear debris from my skin, Proactiv Repairing Treatment to treat any pesky pimples and a trusty tweezer to remove stray hairs from absolutely anywhere I don’t want them. Once that process is done, I can relax and be entertained for the night.

We love your beauty looks, but you’ve got great style as well. If you had 2 hours to pick out an outfit from head to toe, where would you shop and why?

Hands-down, Zara is my go-to for an entire head-to-toe look. Zara clothing is affordable, on-trend, well-made and ranges from classic silhouettes and shades to fulfill my ladylike vision, to funkier cuts of jackets and separates to contribute to my street chic attitude. And the accessories collection? Priceless.

What is your favorite winter fashion trend?
I really don't do trends, but I will call myself a coat whore. My front closet is half filled with coats for literally every occasion, although I do need a red jacket desperately. I like the idea of walking down the street in a coat that turns heads in the middle of winter - it’s everything.

Tell us about your hair care and hair styling routine? How do you keep your tresses moisturized when the air is so cold and dry?

I’ve worn my hair curly for the last two years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I treat my hair with kid gloves by washing it weekly using products from Biolage for coarse/curly/dry hair, deep conditioning it for 15 minutes, and then using a leave-in conditioner and frizz serum and letting it air dry, which enhances the curl pattern. Lastly, I sleep on a silk pillowcase to keep it from breaking overnight. For daily maintenance, I use a $5 spray leave-in conditioner from my corner beauty supply store to wake up any limp curls and to detangle.

We support women being empowered and unafraid to go after their dreams. What is the most valuable piece of blogging or business advice you’ve ever received?
Find your voice early on. Readers are smart and can sense (if you are) inauthentic a mile away. Give your audience a quality product - information they can form their beauty decisions with and hopefully a website that keeps them engaged and wanting more.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

My first project for 2014 is working with Guthy-Renker brand - Proactiv. Because of my background as a licensed skin care therapist, I will appear - alongside a few other beauty bloggers, on their soon-to-be Facebook page, talking favorite products from the line and offering user tips to consumers.

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