In Conversation with Beauty Expert and Author Chantel Guertin
Chantel Guertin isn’t Stuck In Downward Dog anymore. She’s also an accomplished novelist, Editor-at-Large of TheKit.ca, and a beauty expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. Her work has been published in ELLE Canada, FASHION, Maclean's, TVGuide, National Post, Best Health, Reader's Digest, Tribute, Canadian Family and more. And if you’re lucky to meet her in person, you’ll fall in love with her charm, cool and humility. Her friendly, positive attitude is a rare quality amongst someone so accomplished. But it’s what keeps her grounded and relatable. It’s a pleasure to share with you this interview with a style icon and accomplished storyteller.
Beauty Tips, Writing Advice & Life Lessons With Chantel Guertin…
You’re a style and beauty icon. What’s the one tip you could share to feel like a million bucks every day?
Smile. It makes you feel better, look better and gives you a reason to have wrinkles.
What came first: the writer or the beauty expert?
I was always writing -- in my bedroom for as long as I can remember. But as far as a job goes I became a beauty editor at ELLE Canada and then started working on a novel that would become my first published novel, Stuck in Downward Dog.
Any beauty tips that you’d like to give our viewers for the holidays?
Avoid burgundy or wine coloured dresses or tops. That shade too close to your face highlights dark circles--which, let's face it, you're going to have during the festive (but tons of late nights) season!
What’s the one beauty item you should always carry in your purse?
Flower Beauty Makeup & Cosmetics by Drew Barrymore's Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby. The shades are complementary to any skin or lip tone, and you can build the product up so that you can have just a wash of colour on the cheeks or a bright, bold lip.
Any recent style trends that you really thought we’ll look back at and think “Wow, that was a mistake!”
I have never been a fan of the super-arched eyebrow. Unless it's on a clown.
An accomplished author, a beauty expert, a mom … How do you juggle all these balls in your daily life…and make it look so easy?
Ha! I wish I felt like it was easy! My recent resolution is to be in the moment -- whatever I'm doing. So if I'm working, I'm working (no distractions or guilt) and if I'm with the baby or the older kids, I'm having fun and not being stressed about the other things I need to get done!
Did writing your first book Stuck In Downward Dog come naturally to you?
Writing is something I've always loved and wanted to do. And rough drafts tend to come pretty easily to me -- which means that they're VERY rough. It's the second and third drafts or revisions that are so hard for me. I don't like that step, but I do like the end result when I've put in the time to polish a book.
Where did the idea for your first book come from?
Stuck in Downward Dog is about a girl who's 25, having a quarter-life crisis. Her best friends have it all--boyfriends about to propose, great jobs, great homes, and she feels like she's stuck in a rut in her life: her boyfriend's broken up with her, she lives in a basement apartment and she has a job she loathes. I've definitely been through all of those stages, though thankfully not all at once, but it was those depths of despair moments of feeling like you're not keeping up that inspired me to write the book.
Your Pippa Greene series has been wildly received. I enjoyed the story of this teen girl on her journey to being an award-winning photographer. Is there a bit of your personality coming out in this book (or in any other of your books)?
Pippa and I share the death of a parent as a teen (for me, my mom died of cancer after a seven-year battle in my teens). That balance of being a normal teen and dealing with death was something I wanted to explore in the series. As for the photography aspect, I did my research since before Pippa I didn't even own a nice camera. Now though, I try to learn as I go to make sure she's authentic - which is fun!
What else is on the horizon for Chantel Guertin to accomplish?
Right now I'm working on the third book in the Pippa Greene series, which will come out next fall, and then it'll be time to start working on the fourth book. In the meantime, I'm counting down the days to my belated honeymoon (too busy with books and a baby to take it!), which my husband and I are taking in January.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what are the three things you’d like to have with you?
Good Grief by Lolly Winston, a notebook and a pen. I can't imagine being bored with those three things.
Chantel Guertin is the author of two best-selling adult novels - Stuck in Downward Dog and Love Struck -- and the teen novels The Rule of Thirds and Depth of Field. She is currently working on the third book of the Pippa Greene series.
Follow Chantel on Twitter: @ChantelGuertin