Weekly Feature for Fashion & Beauty Fanatics: Q&A with Teri Cosenzi of Beautiful Makeup Search
As an early adopter of online beauty writing, Teri Cosenzi has turned her experiences into a full-time career, with a large and dedicated following for her blog, Beautiful Makeup Search. She talked to us about getting backstage at New York Fashion Week, how online writing has changed over the past 12 years, and how she relates to her readers.
Q: So you began the Beautiful Makeup Search back in 2001 (a long time ago in website years!). Why did you decide to start the site, and how has it evolved over the years?
A: I had a a few bad experiences at makeup counters where I wound up over-spending on beauty products that I didn’t want or need. I posted about the experience on a Geocities message board and got a lot of response. I quickly figured out that women wanted to share their stories, but more importantly, women wanted to know what beauty products worked well so they wouldn’t waste their time or money in having a similar experience. I started beautifulmakeupsearch.com from that. In the beginning, readers submitted their own reviews, but I caught the attention of brands very quickly because there was nothing else like my site online at the time. I changed the format to a monthly webzine, but realized a monthly update with a dozen or so products wasn’t enough. I started writing about beauty products more often and then discovered this blogging format that I switched over to in early 2005. Since then, I have written almost daily.
Q: How has social media come into play? How is it helpful for your blog?
A: I was an early tester with Twitter and became addicted to that fast. I’ve met so many other great bloggers and hear from brands on an almost daily basis. I continually get new readers from Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I am overwhelmed with all the different social media platforms, so I choose to work with those three that perform best for me. Right now, I find most new readers from Pinterest.
Q: Have you ever been to New York Fashion Week, or do you think you ever will?
A: I have attended and covered New York Fashion Week numerous times. I was lucky enough to be one of the few first beauty bloggers backstage and front of house at a fashion show.
Q: What beauty product would you never leave the house without?
A: That is a tough one, as I use so much skincare every morning. For makeup though, I never leave the house without filling in my brows. I find just that one step makes me look more alive.
Q: What are some of the best parts of your career?
A: The best part of my career is that I turned this little hobby into a career for myself. My blog is my business and I am fortunate to be able to do this from my home and put family first.
Q: What about the most challenging?
A: The most challenging part is time. First, there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Separating time for work and time for play is difficult, especially when my office is in the middle of my home.
Q: Where do you get ideas for your posts?
A: I mostly get ideas from my own beauty concerns which are shared by many. I want to know what the hottest makeup product is just like everyone else, so I find that out and write about it. If I get an age spot, I research the latest treatments and serums, and write about it. If I am going to the beach and worry about having a safe tan, I research self-tanners and bronzers, and I write about it. I relate with my readers, because as women, we share a lot of the same beauty concerns.
Q: What are you PR pet peeves, or what is the strangest pitch you’ve received?
A: I have a problem with getting pitched topics that have nothing to do what I write about. A lot of times I don’t respond and then a mailing shows up with said product. The next thing I know, I get an email from the brand demanding to know why I haven’t written about this product that I never requested, nor would ever write about. A little bit of research into know what a blog is about helps both brands and bloggers.
Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A: Send me an email, email@example.com. I’m easy to work with and I’ll tell you if I think a product is a fit for myself and my readers.
For more fashion insight, download our free 2013 Notable Influencers Fashion Pitching Kit or take a peek at our Top 10 Refinery29 Journalists on Instagram, Top 10 VOGUE Journalists on Instagram or Top 20 UK Fashion Blogs.
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