Beauty Junk - Beauty Addict

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Beauty Junk

Many of you saw Beauty Addict featured in the August issue of Allure ("Beauty Junkies," p. 196). Thank you so much to the readers who sent congratulatory messages; and welcome to any new readers who discovered Beauty Addict through the story!

I was so thrilled to open up Allure and see my "all-time favorite products" listed, but when I read the list, I have to admit that I was thoroughly underwhelmed. I think it's time to clear the air here about what was printed in that article.

It saddens me to even have to do this, as I have looked to Allure as the "beauty bible" since its debut; to see myself misrepresented in it was nothing short of nauseating. I don't want to sound ungrateful for the amazing publicity (it's still Allure!), but what I said in the interview and what was printed in the magazine are just not the same. To me, blogging has always been about honesty, openness, and transparency, so I feel like I owe it to all of you to clarify some of the points in the Allure piece.

1. First, the good: the Nars Bamako eyeliner, Laura Mercier Secret Brightener, and Benefit Dallas were indeed on my list of favorite products, and the quotes are accurate. Do give them a try if you get a chance!

2. Now here's where the mistakes begin. I'm not a "marketing and business development consultant" as listed in the article. I'm in marketing and business development for a consulting firm, which is completely different. And I don't work in Brooklyn. The interview was conducted over the phone and was recorded, so this just reeks of shoddy fact-checking.

3. After I gave my list of favorite products, the interviewer asked me if there were any lines I thought were consistently great. I answered with Becca; I love the brand and every product I've tried has been a high performer in terms of color selection, consistency, everything. We talked about the shimmer powders, which I adore, and then I mentioned Becca's ingenious concealer in its vast array of shades. However, I do not even own a Becca concealer and never said I did. I've tried it in the store and I think it's a great product, but regular readers will know that my one-and-only concealer is MAC Studio Finish.

4. During the interview, the subject of niche brands came up. I talked about Product Body for a bit; then the interviewer brought up a previous post on Ziaja hand cream. I agreed that the Ziaja product was great, but she seemed to really want to push me to talk about that hand cream. I do love it- and have gone through several tubes - but was it on my list of "all time favorites?" No.

5. In the interest of space, I realize that not every product I mentioned as a favorite could make it in; but we have more room here, so here are the ones that didn't make the published list (click to read previous mentions): Bond No. 9 Eau de Noho, Nars Single Eyeshadow in Thunderball, L'Occitane Amande Shower Oil (my favorite product OF ALL TIME), Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Hair Serum, St. Tropez Self Tanner.

Getting the facts straight is relatively simple, and is the backbone of good reporting (as rare as that is these days), even when it comes to such superficial topics as cosmetics. I didn't expect my full list to be published, but I also didn't expect to see items magically appear on that list that were never mentioned in the context of "all time favorite products."

Elsewhere in the article, there was an even more egregious error, this one with possibly serious consequences. In the section for the blog Lipstick Is My Crack, the writer/editors included a recommendation for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for self-tanner mistakes (also not on the blogger's original list of favorite products). Unfortunately, the Allure people made the crucial mistake of omitting a few key caveats on product usage that were stressed by the blogger. The result? One of Lipstick Is My Crack's readers ended up with a chemical burn. Nice.

It is sobering to sit here and deconstruct a piece of sub-par journalism from a publication that I have cherished, even idolized, for so many years. I suppose it just reinforces the old piece of wisdom, "don't believe everything you read"...especially in the magazines.

Other bloggers from the "Beauty Junkies" piece, please feel free to speak up here!