Cupcakes and Cashmere’s Emily Schuman dishes on beauty, blogging and motherhood

By Ally Dean

Before Lauren Conrad or Whitney Port, there was Cupcakes and Cashmere’s Emily Schuman. The blonde beauty behind the popular lifestyle blog is a tech-savvy entrepreneur who was able to transition her approachable-glamour hub from a hobby to a full-time job that boasts more than 6-million readers a month.

At 31, Emily - who has also added national best-selling author to her CV (with another book on the way!) - recently teamed up with Birchbox on a limited-edition package featuring her beauty essentials.

“My favorite item in the cupcakes and cashmere Birchbox is the Shiseido Ultimune – a powerful concentrate that you put on right after you wash your face," says Emily. "I swear by their cleanser, so it’s a natural fit into my daily beauty routine.”

Oh, and somewhere between penning award-winning novels and taking over the blogosphere, Emily managed to give birth to her daughter, Sloan Fuller. Here, the new mom shares her philosophies on beauty, blogging and motherhood.

Emily Schuman’s motto on Cupcakes and Cashmere is to Elevate Everyday Life. Photo: © Cupcakes and Cashmere

When you started Cupcakes and Cashmere well before the lifestyle boom, did you realize you were tapping into something?
I started Cupcakes and Cashmere out of boredom, purely to expend some creative energy. I didn’t think anyone was actually reading it, but the more followers and comments I got the more I realized that I had struck a nerve. I think a big part of it has to do with the fact that most everything on the site is aspirational, yet attainable. That’s the brand ethos: Elevate Everyday Life. I live a normal life – I just try and include a thoughtful twist to the things I do day-to-day.

People who follow you and your site feel as if they know you. How do you balance what to share and what to keep private?
I don’t know if people would want to see me in my pajamas, so I make sure that the content that is going up on the site is truly aspirational. If you want to see a less curated version of me, I think I portray that on my social media channels. Many fans have told me that I’m much funnier in person, which I take as a compliment.

Are there celebrities or other bloggers you look to for inspiration?
I like stylish celebrities that seem comfortable in their skin. My favourites are Sarah Jessica Parker, who accessorizes really well, Kate Hudson’s minimalist but impactful red-carpet looks, and I love that Lupita Nyong’o takes risks.

Photo: © Getty Images

What is your earliest beauty memory?
My earliest beauty memory is my mother’s scent. She’s big on perfumes and I can still place specific childhood memories to the fragrances she wore.

Is there a piece of advice your mom ever gave you that stands out?
“Nice is not subjective." My mom taught me that almost every quality in a person is subjective. Whether someone is perceived as attractive, witty or funny is based on opinions rather than facts. But if you're genuinely nice, in the way that you interact with those around you and how you treat yourself, that's something that can't be debated.

Speaking of motherhood, congratulations on recently becoming a mom!
Thank you! I was not feeling like myself when I was pregnant; I was tired, nauseated and miserable half the time. To that end, I actually leaned heavily into my beauty products to give me a boost when I was feeling low. A great sheet mask or fun lip was sometimes what I needed to feel better, along with a nap, of course.

I imagine your beauty routine has had to evolve since giving birth as well?
Since giving birth the time I spend on my beauty routine has dramatically decreased. If there is a multi-tasking product, I am on it. A two-in-one cheek and lip tint is a lifesaver. I use the same pencil for my brows and my eyes, and seek out the items that I know will save me time. I dyed my hair darker to be less high-maintenance. But, on the flip side, the three minutes that I get to put on some makeup seems much more indulgent now. It’s nice to be reminded that I can find a little “me time” in something that I used to take for granted.

Emily gave birth to baby Sloan three months ago. Photo: © Cupcakes and Cashmere

How much do you think motherhood will impact the content of your site?
Being a mom is a huge new chapter of my life, as was getting married or buying a new home, but they don’t change the core of Cupcakes and Cashmere. Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I’ve given up the things that still inspire me. I am still sharing those things with the readers.

You look so fantastic since giving birth, what was your post-pregnancy plan to get back in shape?
Thank you! I’ve been going on my daily walks and also started circuit training for about 15 minutes, 3 times a week. I haven’t changed my eating habits at all and am just taking it slow.

What lessons do you want to pass onto your daughter? What’s more important to me is the responsibility I have as a mother to show her that beauty is about loving yourself. That being said, I hope she likes some of the jewelry and handbags that I will inevitably hand down to her.

Visit birchbox.com/cupcakesandcashmere; new subscribers can purchase the box for $10 + $4.95 shipping. Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home will be available for purchase on Birchbox.ca beginning May 19.

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