Influencer Rosie Connolly says she 'gets spots and her period' like everyone else
Rosie may claim she's "not the smartest", but that hasn't stopped the busy mum from building an empire
All cut-glass cheekbones, doe eyes and mermaid hair, Rosie Connolly is beaming out of my computer screen as I silently berate myself for having the makeup skills of a blindfolded toddler.
It's hard to imagine the gregarious and all-round gorgeous businesswoman having an off day. But the influencer and adoring mum isn't above likening herself to a sloth - and it's that little dollop of self-deprecation that makes the 32-year-old Dubliner all the more affable and relatable to her 360,000-plus followers.
"I've had those days where I couldn't be arsed putting on make-up and I have no tan on my face and I am as see-through as they come. I have spots, I have my period and I just want to eat chocolate. I am human. I call those my sloth days. I'm not a robot, I don't always look like this on a Tuesday," admits the model mum, who shares kids Harry, Remi and stepson Reuben with husband Paul Quinn.
Of course there is a reason for Rosie's perfectly made-up face as she's just launched her debut make-up collection with Inglot - while also somehow finding the time to drop a new line in her unisex clothing range, 4TH ARQ.
But don't make the mistake of calling the humble creative a businesswoman.
"I'm not the smartest person in the room. I'm certainly not the smartest person within the company," says Rosie of the team behind the much-coveted clothing brand, launched during the pandemic. "We've hired incredible people that I am in awe of."
"If you think you're the smartest person in the room, I think you're in the wrong room. The 'businesswoman' thing freaks me out slightly, I don't see myself in that way. Although I own a company and I am a boss, I find that odd. I am not very authoritative.
"I remember I went to a Reiki healer and I said, 'I don't think that I can be a massively successful businesswoman because I'm not tough. I'm not confrontational'. And she said, 'Well, why do you feel like you need to be like that?' I just assumed that's what successful businesswomen are.
"I am a very sensitive person and I thought I had to change myself in order to be successful. And now I know that's not true. I will never be that tough boss bitch girl, it's just not me - but I also don't think I need to be. I don't want to change who I am."
On running the company with her husband, Rosie adds: "We probably kill each other more about who is putting the dishwasher or a wash on - workwise we get on so well. 4TH ARQ wouldn't be what it is without Paul.
"When we started we were fulfilling orders from the garage of our house and I would say, 'OK, you put the dinner on and I will keep going' and 'Is the guy coming from DPD today? Tell him not to ring the bell because he will wake the kids.'
"It has been a crazy ride. Now we have expanded so much and I know my strengths and weaknesses."
Since deciding to channel her energy into her online career full-time seven years ago, Rosie's social media account has taken on a different identity, thanks in part to her business ventures.
"What I'm doing businesswise takes a lot of work and I don't have as much time to be online. Right now I am prioritising building my business," she explains.
"I do love social media and I love Instagram, but I definitely think the bigger my platform grows, the more you kind of have to be conscious of oversharing too. My kids are older and I think my view has changed slightly. There's so many more eyeballs, so I like to keep it more work focused and I think that's worked for me so far."
One thing that will never change, however, is Rosie's altruism. Having previously spoken about her mental health and opened up about her breast cancer scare, the leading influencer has also raised over a quarter of a million euros for charity.
"I think I have a responsibility to use what I've built for good. It's a business platform, don't get me wrong. I earned my money on Instagram, and I built my business from that platform, but I think it would be wrong to only come on and talk about make-up products or clothes links.
"Sharing my cancer scare was not to get attention, it was to raise awareness," adds Rosie. "If one or two or three people checked themselves then it was worth it. I think every year in my head there has to be a charity aspect somewhere. Irish people are the most giving and generous, they are so big-hearted."
Speaking from her sprawling North Dublin home, which the couple moved into late last year, the mum reflects on her journey so far.
"We definitely didn't do things by the book, I don't think anybody does. But we had a baby very early on in our relationship, then we got somewhere to live, then we got married and then we had another baby. We set up a business before we even had a house.
"The experience and the fun is in the journey. I adore my house, but my home is where my husband and kids are and that could be anywhere - it could be in a tent in the back of the garden.
"You have to be happy with what you have outside of material things and then the material things are an added bonus.
"I am so lucky and so privileged to be able to buy a house because I understand how hard that market is but it didn't bring me any new level of happiness - that comes from my family."
And her most rewarding job to date? "Being a mum," Rosie replies immediately. "It is the biggest privilege in the world to be someone's mother. And I understand so many people don't get that opportunity.
"They just put everything into perspective, I even get emotional talking about them. I adore them and I would do anything that would make them happy.
"If they said to me in the morning, 'Mom, I don't want you to be online anymore', it would be gone. I hope they don't say that," she laughs.
"They are hard work too, don't get me wrong. I am not going to romanticise motherhood because it is really hard, but they are what our life revolves around."
One thing Rosie can romanticise however, is her dream collaboration with Inglot and her adoration for the 28-piece luxury make-up set isn't just lip service.
"It was an absolute no-brainer for me. I can get the ick with work so I only team up with brands that I really align with. And not only is the brand amazing, they gave me free rein to create a collection I love.
"The lip liners, lipstick and the lip glaze together are phenomenal. The lipsticks are not matte, they don't dry out your lips like sandpaper and they have a gorgeous satin finish but are still really pigmented.
"The lip glaze gives that glossy finish but it's oil-infused so it's really moisturising. The brown liner, the palette, I could honestly talk about these products forever," smiles Rosie.
As a former make-up artist, the social media star may know how to perfect a cut crease in her sleep, but she isn't afraid to finish our conversation with an example of one of her many make-up misadventures.
"I have had more make-up disasters than good looks to be fair," she laughs. "I used to rub blue metallic shadow on my eyes and I can actually tell what year it is by my eyebrows. In some pictures I have no eyebrows, and then in others because there were no blonde shades I went dark and my eyebrows looked like slugs. It's funny to look back on."
The Rosie for Inglot Collection is now available in pharmacies nationwide or online at inglot.ie
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