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A Model Recommends founder Ruth Crilly reflects on nearly a decade as a digital lifestyle guru

Career-minded: Ruth Crilly always wanted blogging to be her main job
Career-minded: Ruth Crilly always wanted blogging to be her main job
Tight bond: Ruth Crilly and daughter Angelica

By Katie Wright

The internet is overflowing with beauty bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers, but a decade ago, the 'blogosphere' was still in its infancy.

"When I started, there were just a few beauty bloggers out there, and blogging most definitely wasn't a viable career," says Ruth Crilly, whose website A Model Recommends celebrates its 10th anniversary early next year.

"But at the same time, there was a great sense of excitement and optimism - I always had the highest hopes that my blog would become my main occupation."

That's exactly what happened. After 10 years as a model, Crilly decided she wanted to share everything she'd learned about beauty, and started blogging, which she now does full-time, alongside being a mum to Angelica (4) and Ted (2).

How does she fit in uploading blog posts and sharing Instagram videos with her 174,000 followers when there are two little ones running around at home?

"It's an ever-evolving schedule that's never the same from week to week," the 38-year-old says.

"Because I'm fitting work around the children, I have to now be really flexible and not set the bar too high in terms of quantity. I write when I have something to say and I film when I feel inspired.

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"I have a nanny two days a week, which is when I do the bulk of my work, the overflow (ie, the other 20 hours) has to be shoehorned into evenings and nap times and the times when I pretend I'm in the toilet."

The former model is also a co-founder of dry shampoo brand Colab, and has expanded the blog to cover fashion and interiors.

When she does get some well-earned me-time, the Somerset-based mum says she loves nothing more than a long, hot bath filled with Epsom salts and Aromatherapy Associates bath oil.

"You only need a tiny capful of oil and you've got a soak that will send you into the deepest sleep," she says.

"Yes, you can also stick a mask on, or do stuff to your hair, but quite honestly, the less you have to do, the better.

"What's pampering about flannelling off 18 different peels and deep-cleansing masks? Just lie there and stare at the ceiling, it's the best break you'll ever get."

Dr Teal's Pure Epsom salt soaking solution soothe & sleep with lavender, £7.99, Amazon

Model must-haves: Crilly's five beauty favourites

1. Vita Liberata Body Blur instant HD skin finish in latte light, £29.95

"I can't get through summer without a tube of Vita Liberata Body Blur - it's this amazing leg perfector that makes you look as though you're wearing the world's best sheer tights."

2. Beauty Pie super retinol ceramide boost anti-ageing face serum, £8.86 for members (£80 for non members)

"Retinol seems to perform miracles on my face. I have many success stories when it comes to product testing, but love the Beauty Pie retinol range."

3. Colab dry shampoo spray paradise, £3.49, Boots

"Obviously, I have to include my Colab Dry Shampoo, because it's invisible yet highly effective at absorbing oil. I co-founded Colab five years ago and it still gives me a proper buzz when I see it on the shelves and online."

4. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless fliter in light/medium, £30

"This is an amazing glossing glow that you can wear beneath or on top of foundation and it makes you look around 15 years younger (probably)."

5. Davines OI Oil, £35, Cult Beauty

"Without it, my hair absolutely looks like a bundle of hay that's been scraped up from a field behind my house. It really tames my hair, but doesn't weigh it down."

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