From the LA Daily News, Tuesday, March 18, 2008 (article by Sylvia Masuda):
BLOG, BLOG, BLOG New media form gets a voice and builds credibility in the beauty industry
Blasts of hair spray cloud the air. Hair dryers roar. Makeup artists dab, brush and paint on to models’ stone-still faces. It’s hot, it’s crammed and it smells like flowers and chemicals.
Backstage, among the artists and models at Smashbox Studios in Culver City during L.A. Fashion Week, members of the press snap photos and scribble notes.
But some are not from magazines or newspapers. They are a new, tech-smart breed of the media now welcome to venture past the runway. They’re beauty bloggers.
Anyone, from a bona fide fashion mag editor to a makeup counter junkie, can speak her mind on the latest beauty buys through a weblog. And hundreds of them do.
“Bloggers have had a huge impact on the beauty industry,” said Kristen Nelson Thibeault, vice president of business development for Total Beauty. “As the new voice in beauty, bloggers speak from the experience of the everyday woman and women are responding to that in a very positive way.”
Total Beauty, a comprehensive user-friendly library of product reviews and how-tos, flew in several of the most popular beauty bloggers from all over the country last week to report at L.A. Fashion Week.
Laurie Costanza has been posting her opinions and beauty anecdotes on her blog, Beauty’s Spot, since August. Just six months after she launched, she found herself being thrown on a plane from her home in North Carolina to sunny L.A. “If there is one thing I have discovered in all of this it is that women love to talk about their favorite products and get inside scoop on other women’s favorites,” Costanza said.
Big-name beauty businesses now split their time working with magazine editors and bloggers. Product reviews mean advertising, and these days, companies are eager to send out invitations to VIP parties and fashion shows, and packages of the latest mascara or body cream.
Erika Valente, beauty editor of Makeup Bag, receives a “good amount” of samples, she said. But she’s not scooping up the freebies just for the sake of it. It’s a serious commitment that she works hard for; for more than a year, Valente has been posting regularly on Makeup Bag, sometimes twice a day. Lately, makeupbag.net has been pulling in 185,000 hits monthly. “If I could ever become a beauty editor full time, ” Valente said, “it would be a dream come true.”
A few years ago, makeup companies weren’t sure what to make of these beauty blogs, the earliest of which were just beginning to make a name for themselves.
“A lot of people were just thinking they were unreputable,” said a fashion industry spokeswoman who asked that her name not be printed. “They were kind of weary on sending a $150 product or a $75 shampoo over to them because they just figured they were just doing this for their own free spirit. ‘Who’s actually going to read it?’
“They’re taken a lot more seriously now.”
Feel free to click on the images above for a closer look at the article. A few of our friends were also quoted on the cover page of the paper, so we’re listing them here:
Listen Up! There’s a new tech-savvy breed of the media now welcome to venture past the runway. They’re beauty bloggers, and they have a lot to say:
www.talkingmakeup.com: “I got to test O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color by Smashbox during L.A. Fashion Week, and once again, I’m in love. This blush is clear gel that turns to a perfect light pinkish, most natural blush. We add Smashbox Cosmetics to Talking Makeup’s most favorite makeup lines list.”
www.amominredhighheels.com: “Led by Gregory Arlt of MAC Cosmetics, the makeup for the Kelly Nishimoto show was romance through and through. the models were made up beautifully with ultra-dewy goddess skin, blushing cheeks and lips that ‘look like she just ate the most delicious blackberries.’ So pretty!”
www.thejetsetgirls.com: “One of our personal highlights of L.A. Fashion Week was getting to meet Davis Factor, one of the founders of Smashbox Cosmetics, who was instrumental in bringing Fashion Week to L.A. five years ago (the shows are held at Smashbox Studios). He’s such a force in the industry, we know that when he’s excited about something, it has to be big!”
Special thanks to Sylvia Masuda, the LA Newspaper Group and Total Beauty for including us in this piece!