#Story: Unconventional Beauty

Emerald Barnes, formerly of Sweet Tart Beauty, shared her blog #story on Twitter and has graciously allowed us to reshare it here. To see her original Twitter thread, click here.

I rarely share my blogging experience but wanted to participate in the #FLBlogCon Call to Action. I began blogging in 2011 after my initial health setback. I saw girls like @MakeupGeek and @itsjudytime sharing their love for beauty and said why not?

Dipping My Toe

The only issue is they’re both gorgeous so I just challenged myself to try blogging. This way I could dip my toe in the blogging world. I wouldn’t show my face until two years in when I received my first job with Revlon through a platform. People didn’t throw tomatoes, so I continued posting!

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Blogging helped build my confidence and determination to be myself and make people see past my condition and focus on my ability to create great work and share my experiences to help others find themselves in a space where being a non-traditional beauty at the time wasn’t accepted.

I’ve worked with @hngmskincare, @MunkPack, @ultabeauty, @GCGme, @CentsofStyleLLC and many more over an 8 year period.

Growing My Blog

A highlight of my blogging journey was the boot camp experience with @FLBlogCon where I had the opportunity to speak in front of people and brands. As an introvert chilling in a wheelchair, it was scary yet exhilarating because I was well received.


After that I was interviewed by Ben Reed at Orlando Waterhole and that was so much fun. (Honestly wish I had the recording!)


I had the honor of being invited to attend @TheMakeupShow in Orlando every year and the staff was so kind and accepting. I also never missed a chance to take pictures with @JVincentmakeup and many more. I attended Premiere Orlando courtesy of @AndisCompany and took these pictures:

In addition I had the privilege of interviewing many people including @Roquois, Casey Conroy, @yelenaleu, @the_NAJA, and many more.

Reigniting My Love of Journalism

This reignited my love for journalism. It was something I always loved but had opted not to pursue for fear I wasn’t good enough.

I appreciate this entire experience and although I no longer blog in this space, I loved every minute and appreciate every yes and countless no’s because it made me push harder. (And because I love a challenge!)

I am so happy to see more chronically-ill beauties making their mark! the recognition that you gorgeous baddies are getting lifts my spirit. Keep rocking it!

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Thank you to @Bess_Auer for helping me find my voice and to @FLBlogCon for giving us the opportunity to network. And a thank you to @GCGme, @Xyloburst, @hngmskincare, @slickchicksnyc, @Itcosmetics, @seventeen, and many others that took a chance on this unconventional beauty. You helped me realize hiding isn’t necessary but confidence and having a strong voice will take you far!

Thank you that’s my #story!

—Emerald (formerly Sweet Tart Beauty)

You can currently find Emerald on Twitter and Instagram at @couchvibn. She shares and promotes unsigned artists as a way to show appreciation for an industry that helped her tremendously over the years by creating the soundtrack to each moment of her life.

She explains: “If not for music I’d surely no longer exist. I also promote positivity and self love to help those suffering from chronic illness, self harm, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder like me.”

In the future she hopes to create a positive community of like-minded individuals.

Are you a marketer, business owner, or somebody curious about blogging, creating content, or being an influencer? Tickets are on sale now for this year’s FLBlogCon. Click here for more info.