Last Updated on March 31, 2021
Valentina Chirico is an expat Italian editor and archaeologist living in Birmingham, UK. An Intellifluence Trusted Blogger, Valentina founded a beauty blog in 2009 and has collaborated with premier brands such as Lush, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Avon, Maybelline and Nutree Cosmetics, to name a few. After rebranding in 2019, Valentina’s blog valentinachirico.com focuses on cosmetics, indie fashion, smart living and beauty in antiquity. In addition to her website, be sure to follow Valentina on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to name a few.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background including how you became known as The Beauty Archeologist?
Basically, everything started when I was studying, during my B.A., and I started to work as a sales agent for a beauty company. After a couple of years, I thought that it was a great idea to promote what I was selling and try it with a website. It was a simple blog (a free blog) and I kept writing, for more than ten years. The more that was going on and the more I was understanding, more than selling, I like to test and show how to use things and I found a connection between what we do today and what our ancestors were doing. So when we beautify ourselves, it’s not just something minimal or something really small, it’s for everyone.
In the past, there was massive meaning in terms of spirituality, status quo, and the relationships between different social endeavors. With my website, I love to tell more about (not just) cosmetics, makeup and the skincare that I’m using, but also have it be about the beauty in the past so I started to get some really quick archeology (posts). You (as a reader) will be really surprised by – for example, some kind of (ancient) hair loss treatments. Not to make it grow, but to make it fall (off)! For people you would hate, in ancient Egypt. It’s quite funny for us (to think about now), but not for those people, losing the hair.
You have done a lot of brand collaborations – are there one or two memorable ones that stand out as favorites?
Being in the right niche, there is a lot of competition. You are really, really small. So when I was contacted by Lush Cosmetics in Italy, it was something that opened the windows to something new – that was my first big collaboration. It was something face-to-face with PR and the lovely people in the shops, so that was one of my first collaborations, it was really great.
More recently, one that really signed my path was one with Saje Flow Life Coach and others that really surprised me. It was a beauty brand (Jolie Beauty) from my hometown, I mean my “new” hometown. It really surprised me.
More recently, I have been asked to create content and it was my first time doing more video-based content (for Clé Cosmetics, a K-beauty label made in the US) and I really enjoyed it so I think in the future, I am going to do more video-related content because I really enjoy the editing behind it and I am really having fun recording myself in different scenarios and in the next couple of weeks I am going to release something fun and new.
In addition to your beauty blog, you also run another blog called Italian Memories – can you tell us the story behind this site?
Yes, that started one night – I was lonely in my student accommodations and I decided (it was in my mind for a couple of days and nights, I thought it was a good idea) to (make) a simple blog writing what I remembered about Italy because I left the country in 2017 to study in Birmingham and everyone I was meeting was so interested in my country and they would keep asking me about the weather, the food, etc.
Everyone thinks it’s always sunny and bright and everything’s good, and with my blog I want to tell my own (story) of Italy – the things I remember, the good and the bad, the funny and unusual and something that goes beyond the cliché – I want to break the cliché with things that are real from my memories.
How do you structure your average day so you get everything accomplished?
Each day is different, so it’s hard to think of a day that is a copy of the one before, or the week before. I’m active mainly during the morning and late at night when it’s really quiet and I keep writing and putting everything inside my blogging platform so when I need to concentrate more, that’s at night. When I need sunlight for energy or taking pictures or videos, I use the day. I have a lack of energy in the middle of the day.
Sometimes I wake up really early in the morning. I’ll get quite busy with e-mails and other content so it depends. There are some days or weeks that are really busy – it depends on the campaign I am in. It is really important, no matter how busy you are, because every week is different. Every day is different. It is good to always have a planner, even a small one. I write down all my deadlines and I write down (every day) what I should do and also all of the deadlines that I have so it’s really important for me, no matter the type of week. I have everything on paper, in terms of what I have to prioritize.
At what point did you realize that you were, in fact, an influencer?
Honestly, it’s been somewhat recently. I’ve considered myself a writer and I love to consider myself a storyteller because I try to test something more (a product or experience) that goes beyond what you see – something that connects, also a feeling.
Recently, especially the last year, during the lockdown I have been really busy and I realized that there are people (companies) that look for me and ask for me to join in campaigns, to give my opinion, to create something just for them. So I would say that during this last year I realized that my voice is important. I am not VIP but my voice still counts. This year I realized that people read my blog and really think that my voice is meaningful.
What are some of your goals for this year as it pertains to your blog and influencer marketing?
Every influencer loves to grow more so (I want to) let my voice be helpful to help the largest amount of people as possible, so I would love to grow my audience but I want to focus more on video optimizing. I consider myself more of a writer, so in the next year and months, I would love to implement my YouTube, hone my editing skills, grow my community and maybe interact with more influencers and basically keep having fun because this is the most important thing – it’s not about money, even though everyone wishes for it.
It’s not about how popular you can get but for me it’s about creating something – using all my mental energy for something good and having fun, specifically, because otherwise life would be so boring without something to make you feel good and enjoy life.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.