Where/how did you get your start?
I was in beauty marking for years with top brands like NARS, JURLIQUE, Avon and Kiehl’s and wanted to get more acclimated with the digital space so I started a beauty blog. Back then there were so few of us and most of the bloggers didn’t have a beauty background and there was a void in resources for beauty advice. I always had great access to experts and was getting questions all the time, plus it was my job to know what was coming out in the market so I wanted to be a resource to my friends, family and readers.–
I’m all over the place but generally speaking, I write on weekends, take meetings on Mondays and Fridays as well as shoot product and then am at events Tuesday through Thursday. I’m currently running around for NYFW then gearing up for some travel. I try not to plan more then a month in advance since things move so fast, it’s otherwise hard to plan.
What media outlet do you follow on a regular basis?
I follow most on instagram and twitter and more often find myself clicking onto articles then going to sites the way I used to. I also subscribe to a bunch of newsletters from Allure, Mashable, Gizmodo, Refinery29 to POPSUGAR and click in when there’s a story I find interesting.
In the past 5 years dramatically. When I started my blog budgets weren’t created for bloggers, and you were lucky to get a product sent. Now I get anywhere from 15-30+ unsolicited boxes a month filled with products in hopes of them being featured on my social media. Like many of my followers I find the #1 way I learn about new products is from social media, which makes it a huge game changer. It’s also caused this culture of wanting to be insta-famous and the idea that anyone can be an influencer. When I was growing up (and ahem graduated college) wanting to grow up to be a blogger or influencer wasn’t in our vocabularies.
When working with brands what is your top priority? How do you keep the relationship long-lasting?
Creating great content is my top priority. And being kind. Brands want feedback on their products and I’m very honest in my blog posts but I am never mean or emotional. In fact if I down right hate something I email the PR person kindly my feedback and that I’m not featuring it and why. They have always appreciated the feedback and it’s never hurt our relationship. It makes it stronger since they value you me as an expert and genuinely mean it when they ask my option. On that same token when I love a product and feature it beautifully on my site that of course strengthens the relationship as well. Brands want to work with bloggers who are professional and are good story tellers. I’ve had a number of campaigns where I’ve asked to change the direction since I don’t like to be micromanaged and also because I know how I like to digest information and I’ve been every fortunate that brands have always given me that flexibility. Sponsored to me doesn’t mean you’re telling me what to say or getting any kind of special treatment or that I’ll even like it. It just means I’m committing my time to prioritize your campaign, test your product over the pile up on my desk and have a budget to style it the way I want and hire a photographer.
For our readers that are looking to join this field, what are some tips you can give them?
Never act entitled, it gives all bloggers a bad name. And focus on creating great content on what you know! If you’re good at creating content use your blog as your portfolio, do a great job and then email your favorite sites/blogs that accept contributors and ask if you can write for them. It’s a great way to build up your site and contacts and also get into events and products sent until you build up your site and social media. Also don’t get discouraged or competitive. It took me 7+ years to get to this point. and it’s still a ton of work. In fact I work more hours then probably anyone I know.