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10.03.2012

LA Ladies: Interview #1 - Dawn McCoy (Beauty Blogger)

Guess what? I thought it was finally time to shake things up a bit, so I've decided to start a series of interviews with women in LA that I admire, love, respect, and/or feel an urgent need to get advice from. Excited? (I am! Not that I'm biased or anything!)

This series in particular is called LA Ladies Interviews!

Today's LAdy (Get it? Yes, clever. Please bake me a cake. Trophies & medals are also welcome) is my dear friend, Dawn McCoy. Not only a beauty blogger (go check out Beauty Frosting for more of delightful Dawn), she's a voiceover actress, baker, singer, songwriter, writer, and all-around great person to know. Over the past 6 months I've come to believe that there is very little this woman can't accomplish. It's because of Dawn that I was finally able to crawl out of my cave and try blogging again. So, you can thank her for all this Internet rambling from yours truly!

And now, ladies & gentleman, I present LA Ladies: Interview #1 with Dawn McCoy (a.k.a Beauty Frosting!) - an interview I did while she was eating an awesome soup (that she obviously made herself.)

Dawn McCoy of Beauty Frosting!

NMS: So, Dawn, I'm curious. How did a sweet, Southern Belle like yourself end up dropping it all to come to Los Angeles? What was your motivation?
DM: [Thinking for a moment] I was 22 and I had just graduated college and wanted to become an actress. I was doing some acting in Austin, so I decided to come out. My whole family brought me out here. My aunt, my cousins...everybody brought my stuff. It was a big family effort and I found this amazing apartment. It was the best place - I've always had good luck with finding places and it was just something I knew I had to do.

I always wanted to come out here...this is a long answer...
NMS: It's fine.
DM: [Laughing & continuing] I went to a small liberal arts school for a few years...this is good. A much more interesting answer. You can edit this. So, I saw Gwenyth Paltrow while watching the Academy Awards when I was 19 or 20 and realized I wasn't doing what I really wanted to do because I thought I wanted to go to law school and become an FBI agent. That was my plan. I was in politics...and then I saw her doing her speech for the Academy Awards and thought, "Oh my gosh, I want to be an actor. I've always been an actor. I need to go back to that!"

So, I transferred to Texas and that led me out here.

NMS: And when did you have that "I'm going to be a beauty & baking blogger!" epiphany? Was it an epiphany? Does life just shake you one day and say, "You were meant to write about beauty & bake delicious things!"?
DM: [Chuckling a little] It was an epiphany. I was in Dallas and I had had a really hard month after a break-up, as you know [nodding at me], and I was thinking about this aesthetic, which is my aesthetic. Vintage kitchens...kinda like if you take Anthropologie, mix in Paris, and throw in a Tennessee Williams novel.
NMS: Ooooooh, girl! That was good description!
DM: [Laughing loudly] Oh, and the set of Pushing Daisies. That's what people have said. So, it's a very colorful life, but I imagined having this place...actually, I'm not gonna go on with that because I don't want to give anything away...but I had had this idea for a store and I didn't have the funds to start a store for beauty and I'd have cupcakes and stuff. So, I said, "well, what can I do right now? What change can I make today?" And that change was to start a beauty blog.

So, I researched everything, I started taking notes, I started Pinterest, which really helped me look at blogs and get ideas for things...and then I came up with Beauty Frosting in March 2012 based on that aesthetic.
NMS: And it's a really good aesthetic! Ok, blogging can be challenging...or maybe it's just me. You're always so diligent about keeping up with your writing...unlike some people. (This is the part where I point at myself.) What would you say your sources of inspiration are? And what are your top 3 tips for people who aspire to become beauty bloggers?
DM: Ooooh, that's fun. Well, first of all, I just missed about two days of blogging, meaning I'm running re-runs which is kind of upsetting to me because I'm a little bit of a perfectionist about it. [Under her breath] I'm probably gonna miss another one too.

As for my inspirations...My inspirations are my recipes that I come up with. So, I get inspired by the recipes and I get inspired to make recipes and, hence, the blog comes. So, I basically try to bake once or twice a week, at least. I love watching kitchen shows for that aspect and I'll take an idea for a recipe and combine it with my own things in my head and make a new recipe!

Another inspiration, for beauty...I love alliteration, so...I find alliteration to be a very good guide [giggling a little] for giving me names. So, I have "In-My-Tub Tuesday" or "Whatcha Wearin' Wednesday" or "Thirsty Thursday". What else...I had a "Favorites Friday" and "Saturday Social Hour." I have "High/Low" which is great, but basically my brain always carries a lot of stuff in it, so it's deciding "what are the things I'd wanna know?"

So, my tips would be: brand yourself - know who you are, think about what you'd want to read if you were looking at yourself from the outside, and also read other blogs.
NMS: Oooh. Good one. I need to do more of that.
DM: Pinterest is good too!
NMS: Meanwhile, how do you wear so many hats? Seriously, you have a lot going on. How do you ever find time for yourself? Wait. Are you a vampire?
DM: [With a grin] I call myself a superhero actually. No, I'm not, but I do have a lot of things going on. Well, I wake up at 7, go to bed about 12:30-1. I try to get more sleep sometimes, but basically I'm always doing something. So, whether I'm reading a blog or writing a blog or going on auditions. I make sure everything has a time. I try to be pretty scheduled...that's not a good answer.
Beauty, Baking & Being

NMS: [Laughing]
DM: I'm trying to think about how to put it...Well, it all makes me happy. It makes me happy doing the things I love. If I weren't doing things I love, then I wouldn't be as busy. I love everything I'm doing and so that keeps me busy, but happy. Is that a good answer?
NMS: Totally. Ok, beauty blogger, time to put you to the test. What are your top 3 beauty products that you recommend to everyone?
DM: Ooooooh. Good one. Can I give you a new one?
NMS: Yeah, sure!
DM: Hmmm. I love Trish McEvoy Volumizing Mascara because it doesn't destroy your lashes. It forms little tubes around your lashes and it washes off with water.
NMS: OMG, the "totally tubular" stuff? (referring to Dawn's post: Magic Mascara)
DM: Yeah, it's great! I've tried tube mascaras before, but this one is really good because it gets to the root, but washes off. The little tubes that wash off are a little freaky, but it's really great. AND it stays on at weddings, if you cry at movies, weddings...if you're an athlete, whatever. It'll stay on through a triathlon. So, that's number one.

I'm a huge fan of Cremé de la Mer. I know it's pricey. I know, I know, I know, but I love it. Even if you can just get the lip balm, that's amazing too. I use that just at night or on a plane and it's amazing. I'm a huge La Mer devotee.

And lastly, one that's possibly been discontinued, but you can find on ebay...actually, no, I have to do two here. I love LipFusion Lip Jolie Lip Gloss, which I think you can get on ebay or Amazon now, and I love M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick for a true red. I kept asking people, "what red are you wearing?" and I kept wanting to feature them on the blog and it was the same color every time, so I knew it was a winner for that reason.

Oh, and the new product I just discovered is the Make Up Forever Concealer. I've gotta go buy some!
NMS: I'm going to be self-indulgent here for a second and ask you, if you could give me a complete makeover, what would you do? Just for fun. I won't be offended...though I may cry myself to sleep tonight...but, don't worry, I won't tell you if I actually do.
DM: I don't think I'd change a thing!
NMS: Really?
DM: I don't think so.
NMS: I mean, even just for fun. If I was a paper doll and someone was all, "ok, go to town!"
DM: Ok, I'd probably have fun contouring your cheeks with a little bit of Armani bronzer or something a little deeper and then I'd want to do a Ruby Woo lip...Oh, and I'd want to see you without your eyelashes on!
NMS: OMG. That would be...I mean, yeah. That's tough.

(Note of Reference: Nami is obsessed with false eyelashes.)
DM: [Laughing at me] I love your look. Let me put it this way, I never looked at you and thought, "if I could change something, I'd do this," which is good.
NMS: Awww, thanks! [ME BLUSHING PROFUSELY] Now, back to serious topics...How long have you been in Los Angeles now and if you could give young women advice on making it here, what would your number one tip be?
DM: Oh, great question! [Taking a pensive sip of soup] I actually love giving un-asked-for advice...Let's see, I came out in 2000, so it's been 12 years, but I had a 4 year stint in Nashville, but I missed LA so much I had to come back...

The advice I would give is, "if you live in any big city, not just Los Angeles, you have to make a surrogate family for yourself. It's crucial." You will move home if you don't have that. You've gotta make your own family, so if you're 18 or 30, you gotta find a family. Now, sometimes it means making one. I have lots of different groups of friends. I think it's good and they're all family.

So, when I have get-togethers, they combine and it's kind of magical. You know they're people that, if you go missing, they will know you're gone and if it's your birthday, they'll be there. If you need a ride to the airport, you, at least, can ask...although I don't like to do that. That's my best advice.

Oh, and one more thing. Just be yourself. Be sure to be yourself because the first year I spent out here was me trying to be super-cool and it took me a year before I realized that my trying-to-be-cool did not work at all. So, I baked a cobbler, took it to a party, and instantly knew who I was and everyone seemed to like that.
NMS: If 5 year old Dawn could see today's Dawn, what do you think she would say to you? (Naturally, after the initial shock of realizing that time travel is, in fact, possible.)
DM: Wow. Um. Let's see. She'd say, "I thought you'd be a mom and married by now."
[Laughing ensues.]

NMS: Whoa. Cynical 5 year old Dawn!
DM: My dad was a wedding photographer, so it really stunted my way of thinking! She would say that and she would say, "I can't believe you met all of these amazing people"...and "we're not too different." That would be the main thing. That we're not too different. We're kind of the same person.
NMS: You're just taller.
DM: Yeah, I mean, I still have the same spirit. I'm pretty positive, like how I was when I was little. She would say, "I wish you could get more of my confidence back."

That made me a little teary.
NMS: Awww.
DM: This is like Barbara Walters!
NMS: Well, that's the perfect segue into this question...If there's one thing that comes to mind when I spend time with you, it's sunshine or rainbows...I might even go so far as to say unicorns. It's rare to find someone who is so positive, supportive, and warm. How do you keep the spring in your step? And when you have a bad day, how do you get back on the horse?
DM: I'm gonna cry! Seriously. You're really good. You need to do this professionally...

[Pulling herself together] Ok. Well, I always look on the bright side. People always say there's black, white, and grey. I think of it as red, white, and pink. So, I always try to stay in the pink. I surround myself with happy things. [pausing]
NMS: You really are getting teary. You're gonna make me cry!
DM: [Continuing] I surround myself with happy things. I have sadness just like everybody else, but I think I do think like a child in a lot of ways. I think I have an excitability that's very strange [smiles] and very unique because my mom never knew what to do with me...but I get really excited about things. So, I get excited about going home and taking a bath and reading my book before I go to bed or I get excited walking around my block. There are things that really fuel me and sometimes they're really simple things. I get excited when I come up with a new recipe. I get excited going to buy a new lipstick. I find the joy in small things and that keeps me going.

Baths are exciting!

I think I tap into my inner child almost all the time.

Color too. I will say I surround myself with pastels, really pretty baking things, aprons, dishes...I love being a girl, so having a girly aesthetic around me helps.
NMS: So, what's next for Dawn McCoy, wearer of hats? Where do you see yourself heading?...or, more importantly, what do you want out of life at this stage?
DM: Ok. Hmmm. Right now, I supplement myself with quite a few different things...and it's not stable. One month could be great. One month could be "eeshk! What am I doing?!" I woud like to have a stable, good living doing the things I love and am good at, that fuel me spiritually and fuel my inner child and that could, perhaps, pay for college for my future children.

I really want to do the things I love. I want to continue the blog. I'd love to have a show based on the blog. I've been writing children's books, as you know, as you are as well. I would really like to see those published by next fall...aaaand...I'd really like to be a sweeter Martha Stewart!

...except not so organized. More like Paula Deen meets Rachel Ray meets...there's someone but I'm forgetting who. Does that explain where I wanna go?
NMS: Yes. Definitely! And, last, but not least, it's time to look deep into your subconscious...It's time for word association! Ready?
DM: Ok!
NMS: Here we go!

NMS: Cupcakes!  
DM: Pink!

NMS: Lentils!  
DM: Ick!

NMS: Family!  
DM: Love!

NMS: Lipstick!  
DM: Red...for some reason, which is not what I always wear.

NMS: Puppies!
DM: Miss Ellie!

For your reference, Miss Ellie is Dawn's pup. Mr. Merlin is mine.

NMS: Any parting words of wisdom?
DM: Oooh. Um. Yes...

I have tons of quotes, so it's always really hard when I have to pick just one. For some reason I have this in my head because I recently saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I always say this to people: "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, then it's not the end!"

Whenever I'm having a bad moment, I have to remind myself of that.

One other piece I've been saying a lot the last year is "Everything ebbs and flows. There's an ebb and flow in life." So, when I have a bad day, I'm almost always guaranteed a good one the next day. It's just kind of the nature of it. That's what gets me through bad days. I'll say, "well, I know a good one's around the corner!"
...............................

So, there you have it! Aspiring Los Angeles beauty bloggers, you need to take some notes from this woman because she knows what she's doin'! Hope you enjoyed my little session with Dawn and if you want to know more, check out her Beauty Blog: Beauty Frosting right now!

To all my LA Ladies, this is Nami M. Scott from Los Angeles, signing off!
Good luck and Godspeed! xo!

Photo Credits: All Photos of Dawn McCoy in this post are by Amy Opoka

3 comments:

  1. I am so honored to be your first interview for your new "LAdies" interview series. You are better than Barbara Walters and WAAAAAAY more fun!! I heart you, Nami. <3
    xoxo, BeautyFrosting

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    Replies
    1. I heart you too, Dawn! Thanks for the fabulous interview! You seriously got me teary-eyed a few times.

      We'll have to do a follow-up at some point! xoxo!

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  2. I just re-read this and it melted my heart, Nami!! We are way overdue for tea. Perhaps next week? And are you going to Coachella with Tresemme? xoxo

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