Valentina Chirico is a skincare and beauty influencer originally from Italy, now based in London. On both her Instagram and blog - The Beauty Archaeologist - she combines her passions for beauty, skincare, and archaeology through reviews, tips, and articles. She also recommends products on her Judge.me page and is one of the first influencers to join the Judge.me Influencer family. Here’s her story.
Well, I started it to support my activity as a cosmetic sales agent, but I had the idea of starting a blog for a while because, during university, I was into blogging and YouTube. It was a sort of rabbit hole from there. I then started to write about beauty tips and experiences with different beauty and skincare products. I was enjoying doing different kinds of articles so I kept writing and writing and tried to expand my blog.
Well, I think that Instagram and blogging are my favourite mediums to work through, but because of other commitments, it's really hard to have so much time for blogging on my website. There are some pros and cons to both. At the moment I'm using Instagram more because well, Instagram is indeed instant. It sort of compensates for the time I don't have for my blog. The problem is that I don't have enough space to write inside an Instagram post so I still blog when I can.
I would say that a lot to my mum because she had lots of make-up and skincare samples and products while I was growing up. Those became my toys. When I started publishing content online, I discovered I wanted to tell stories about a new product or inspire people to do something with what they had already. I wanted to give helpful tips about how people could highlight their features.
Well, I try to incorporate it as much as I can. So in fact, if you scroll down my Instagram feed, you will see archaeological sites or pieces of art, because I love to inspire people to go and visit and learn about these places. When I have time, I also write some blogs or do some Instagram content about beauty in antiquity. I plan to write more blog articles about beauty treatment and jewellery in Ancient Egypt, especially in Ancient Egypt because I have an MA in Egyptology.
Sometimes it's really hard. I use my days off from my day job to snap pictures and take videos. In the evenings after work, I schedule my content, articles, and blogs, and plan the captions for my Instagram posts too. I try my best but sometimes it is hard.
“Okay, so the main suggestion I can give is about the human aspect. Allow the content creator enough time to plan and edit content for your brand. Influencers and content creators are people and often have jobs outside of social media. It's good to be mindful of this and it's better to allow a little bit more time to get good content!”
I love working with Korean cosmetics and beauty brands. I work with Italian beauty brands too but would love to work with them a bit more. I love promoting Made in Italy products in the UK! Working with jewellery companies and brands whose products are handmade is also a favourite. I’m hoping to work with these a bit more from this year onwards!
To me, it’s being as detailed as possible. As a beauty and skincare influencer, I have the opportunity to try a product that people just see online, so I can tell my audience so much about textures and how my skin feels having used a product. Another part is always being honest about the stuff I review, whether I have a bad or good opinion. I have to be super detailed, but also honest.
Okay, so the main suggestion I can give is about the human aspect. Allow the content creator enough time to plan and edit content for your brand. Influencers and content creators are people and often have jobs outside of social media. This is particularly the case when it comes to micro and nano influencers and they may struggle a little bit with their work-life balance. Sometimes they have to work more to keep themselves afloat. It's good to be mindful of this and it's better to allow a little bit more time to get good content!
Well, again to the human aspect, having a long-term collaboration with a brand makes you feel valued and appreciated for what you can do. A brand trusting you over a long period is encouraging. It’s also a win-win situation when you’re doing a brand deal because although you’re promoting their company or products, they’re also promoting you and your content, which allows you to be discovered too. I would say that something that can be improved is to give more chances to smaller creators. We make really good content and there are lots out there to show the benefits of working with nano- and micro-influencers because of how engaged we are with our communities. So I would say please give us smaller content creators a chance!
“I would suggest starting to make content when you feel it’s right and creating something you feel represents you.”
I love planning and actually making content. I love the process and then seeing the final result of all that work. Another thing that I like is when people ask me for opinions because people see me as an expert in my field. This is proof of being a content creator. Last week, whilst working in my day job, I was wearing a face mask I bought in Italy and this customer asked me, “Where did you get that from? It’s really nice!” and I told her I bought it in Italy. Then when I went to give her what she had asked for, she showed me that she was already on the website looking for this specific mask. This is another little joy of creating content that people actually take your opinion into consideration, even if you’re not promoting something for a brand.
I really think that it comes to social media itself. Social media sometimes pushes you to keep judging yourself and comparing yourself to other people. And this is totally wrong. When we publish online, it's the best part of our life, it’s filtered through a positive lens. So if we’re comparing ourselves to other people online, we might think that we are really unlucky or it might make us less confident about our looks. That’s one of the negative aspects of working in this industry. We have to remember that it is just positive filter that we see everything online through and it’s not real life.
I would suggest starting to make content when you feel it’s right and creating something you feel represents you. When you feel like you’re ready just give it a try and try not to copy the way other people make content. Ultimately, try to create content that’s unique to you.
“The page is good because you can incorporate everything you post on Instagram into it and link other things like my YouTube videos. I can put everything I write or post about products in one place.”
As a content creator, I hope to grow my community, not just in terms of numbers but in terms of interaction. I’d like to work with more brands and keep both my Instagram and website really active. As well as that, one day I’d like to publish my uni work, my MA thesis about beauty in Ancient Egypt, as an accessible book that everyone can read. Then I can finally say that I am a beauty archaeologist!
When you showed me the page, I found it really, really easy to use. The page is good because you can incorporate everything you post on Instagram into it and link other things like my YouTube videos. I can put everything I write or post about products in one place. And then I can add quite clearly any link or any coupon for a brand to a product recommendation. Sometimes when I explain something on my website, the code gets a bit lost so instead with Judge.me I can put everything clearly in one product recommendation section.