One-on-one: Meet Anna Gardner, Founder of Vivianna Does Makeup


If you are anything like me, you like to sit down to a good scroll on Instagram after a hectic day while watching a few YouTube clips, and reading the daily posts from your fave bloggers. Being always on is the nature of our generation, and while some may argue that it’s taking away a sense of connection in everyday life, I beg to differ. Without social media, we wouldn’t have come to know the very beautiful and down-to-earth Anna Gardner, who started a little blog known as Vivianna Does Makeup some six years ago as a bored psychology major. Several years on, and hundreds of thousands of followers later, what once was a hobby blogging about fave makeup finds and sharing demos on concealer v.s. foundation has now taken on a whole new dimension.

Anna, in my opinion has mastered the art of blogging. She is 100% personable, genuine and honest, opening up a serious two-way dialogue with her community of women from all walks of life. Now, on her very own wellness and fitness journey, she has seen a new breath of life sweep through Vivianna Does Makeup as she documents her love for spin class and workout leggings. On her way, she’s found her readers too are on their very own journeys.

So it’s to be said, checking in daily with our fave online personalities allows us to identify with them in our own real lives, creating this ah-ha-me-too connection along the way. Because after all, life even for those who live it in front of the camera, still means pizza and tiramisu is the ultimate meal (they may just not Instagram about it).


For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading your posts or watching your videos, can you give a quick background story in how Vivianna Does Makeup came about?

Vivianna Does Makeup started back in 2010 when I was a bored Psychology student, with a passion for all things beauty. Instead of revising I started a blog to share my favourite products, tips and tutorials and a few months later I began making videos on YouTube. Fast-forward six years and I now run my blog, YouTube and social media channels full-time; posting everyday on my blog and twice a week on YouTube. On both I share a mixture of my makeup favourites, new product launches, lifestyle bits and bobs, fitness chat, recipes – the lot.

I genuinely feel like you have one of the most engaged readerships I have seen online – you receive comments on all of your posts, with questions being asked & kind notes of support. That must be a wonderful feeling. What do you put this down to?

I’m so grateful for the readers and viewers who visit my little corner of the internet and come to say hello. I feel like people enjoy VDM because it’s a bit of a mixed bag – you get a bit of everything there – and I try not to take things too seriously. Whenever I’m writing a post I try to get a least one sentence in there that might make someone snort when they’re reading it on their morning commute.

 

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Being a self-proclaimed make-up maven, when did you decided to add more wellness and fitness related-content to VDM? Has your personal voyage into being active helped you get inspired on all things clean eating, fit fashion & goal setting?

Although Vivianna Does Makeup has the word ‘Makeup’ in it, as the years have gone by it’s evolved into a place where I share anything and everything that I’m into at that particular moment. So over the years a lot more fashion and fitness and food related content has weaselled its way in as my tastes and interests have changed. My monthly Fitness File posts are like a check-in really and the comments underneath are really motivational – it’s like a little community where everyone is encouraging each other and giving everyone a pat on the back. My readers are real babes.

 

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When you get dressed for your workouts, what are the main styles you look for ?

I LOVE Varley and it makes up around 70% of my workout wardrobe. For the bottom half I love compression-fit, high waisted leggings. I find they give the right amount of support and mean that you don’t spend the whole of your workout hoisting up your waistband. For tops, when I first started working out I believed that the baggier the better, but now I’ve realised that the tighter tops are more practical, especially if you’re doing cardio moves as you don’t have to worry about your top riding up when you’re doing mountain climbers. I tend to wear my looser tops on weight-training days now.

Ok, make-up question time. Do you have a magic trick for removing make-up before a workout, and then what are your go-to products for a quick re-apply after? We have all been there before, rushing from a spin class to dinner with the girls only to look red-faced and flustered….

My one-stop makeup removal shop is the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup remover – it even wipes away waterproof mascara with minimal tugging. For re-application after the gym I like to do a little concealer under the eyes and on any areas of redness, a bit of bronzer on the cheeks, some mascara on the lashes and then gloss on the lips; though if I’m going on for dinner with the girls then I might throw on some NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square.

 

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With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we are all about motivating & inspiring women to be fearless leaderless in their everyday lives. Has there been a fearless woman you’ve looked to for inspiration to keep pushing forward in both business & life? 

My Mum is amazing. Her and my Dad both worked their butts off when me and my sister were younger and I’m always saying thank you to them both for doing that. She’s an amazing hostess, baker and all-round lovely lady. She hits the gym multiple times a week and if I look like her when I’m in my 50’s then I’ll be very happy indeed!

What is the best advice you have even give to yourself, or has someone given to you?

It’s so cliché, but I love the Kate Moss quote – Never complain, never explain. It’s not the most inspiring and kick-ass quote, but it really helps when you feel like you’re trying to over-justify your actions sometimes.

 

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Where to from here for VDM, or namely, Anna? Surely you have some big, beautiful dreams that you’re chipping away at… 

This is the million dollar question that I wish I knew the answer to! Right now I’m loving mixing in more lifestyle content on my blog, YouTube and social media channels, exploring new topics outside of beauty and looking after myself a bit better and working on that life/work balance. I’ve learnt never to say never to anything, so who knows what’s next?

 

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Quick fire questions:

Gloss or matte…. Matte 

Pasta or pizza (and what toppings)… Pizza with pepperoni, red onion & sweetcorn. 

Long walks or HIIT workouts… I love a long-walk.

Go-to smoothie recipe… A few dates with Almond Butter and Almond Milk is delicious.

If you could do a workout with one person and film it for YouTube, who would it be (let’s make it happen!)…  Zanna Van Dijk – I love everything that she’s about! 

Favourite quote you’d love to see on a workout vest… Anything that references my three favourite food groups: pizza, pasta and tiramisu. 


If you haven’t bookmarked Vivianna Does Makeup already, or followed Anna on Instagram, then get to it. You can also catch her twice-weekly videos on YouTube. 

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