All things creative with @softblond

Tell us more about who you are and what you do!
Where do I even begin? I suppose you could say I’m a writer, editor, and content strategist specializing in beauty and lifestyle—but really I’m an ever-evolving creative. I grew up in Houston and went to school for acting, worked in Chicago storefront theatre for a handful of years, hustled with a ton of pay-the-bills day jobs, and honed a decade-long career as a voice actor before ultimately moving out west.

I ended up transitioning out of the performing arts and into creative content/writing for brands, where I fell in love with the beauty industry. I love amplifying and telling stories about self-expression, mental health, and innovation. I like to think that all of my creative endeavors and odd jobs (like frosting cupcakes in a bakery at 7 a.m. or teaching a college course on voice acting in anime) have helped to fuel a unique POV and out-of-the-box ideas. 

You've worked as a writer/editor for a long time- what is your favorite story you've worked on to date and why?
I'm particularly fond of this story for PopSugar that tackles how mental health and cosmetic procedures are interlinked. Through writing and researching, I realized that it’s not as black and white of a topic as I had originally assumed and it forced me to confront some of my own biases. When it comes to getting injectables or cosmetic surgery, the conversations around what’s helpful versus what’s harmful are so delicate and nuanced. 

How do you stay inspired to come up with new content ideas?
Being creative on demand (a reality of working on a creative team) can be incredibly challenging at times. Through lots of trying to force it, I’ve found that the more I make time to disconnect from work-brain and make time for experiencing the things I love, inspiration is literally everywhere. I know that’s so cliché, but it’s true. 
Sometimes inspiration looks like working in my garden, pulling weeds and tilling soil for hours—noticing little critters and new growth patterns. Other times it’s wandering a flea market (or scrolling Etsy) for vintage tchotchkes. Or, making a killer pasta sauce from scratch while listening to records. Maybe the secret is just romanticizing my life?

Since you work at Mane Addicts, we have to ask, what are some beauty trends we can expect to see in the second half of the year?
I imagine the “skinification” of hair will continue with in-salon (or derm office) treatments and products that prioritize hair and scalp health. I also feel like all of the super bold hair colors and cuts that peaked over the last few years will soften up. Think strategic layers and color (versus all-over transformations) and a trend pendulum swing that’s making its way back towards minimalism. Honestly, I’m into it. 

What is a beauty trend you are happy to see go?
Nothing annoys me more than fear monger marketing or straight-up misinformation that floats around online around certain ingredients or formulas, especially as it pertains to the idea of “clean beauty.” 
I’m glad to see smaller brands embrace the science behind their products (Dieux Skin comes to mind) and cosmetic chemists become the new influencers and set the record straight. I’m a big fan of Javon Ford and Dr. Michelle Wong.

What are your favorite ways to style denim?
Easygoing and mixed with a whole lot of vintage. Literally yesterday, my husband was organizing our bedroom closet and asked, “Do you have any idea how many pairs of jeans are in there?” Obviously, denim has a chokehold on my wardrobe.

I love pairing relaxed fits and lived-in washes with soft knits, romantic blouses, and vintage jewelry. 

Follow Hannah on Instagram @softblond
June 12, 2023