Beauty Blitz: You're One Click from Gorgeous

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h1 The New York Times called us “the beauty insider’s insider,” and that’s what we set out to be for our readers.

Polly Blitzer, Beauty Blitz

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Women love their beauty products. Consider the numbers: American women spent $10.2 billion (with a b) dollars on prestige beauty products in 2012 – and that's up 7 percent over 2011. They spend an average of 172 hours per year putting on makeup. And the average woman spends $15,000 on makeup in her lifetime, with $3,770 of that going to mascara alone. Yes, we love our beauty products and now more than ever consumers need someone they can trust with great product recommendations.

Enter Polly Blitzer, founder of Beauty Blitz, a leading beauty industry expert for 15 years, and former editor at InStyle and Marie Claire. Polly launched Beauty Blitz in 2008 after realizing how powerful digital media could be for helping women find and buy great new products.

We're also delighted that Beauty Blitz is also new Say Media content partner - and we used the occasion to catch up with Polly and find out why beauty media is catching fire, what women want, and her 5 must-have beauty products.

It seems that beauty sites are suddenly catching fire and having their media moment – why do you think that is? It's very accessible, so a lot of people of starting blogs to share their opinions and photos. That proliferation of sites is a good thing, in my opinion, because it shows how engaged people are in the beauty category.

What makes a great women's beauty site? What are women looking for? A distinct point of view, captivating visuals, beautiful photography, strong writing and fresh, unique information. In this ADD landscape, you really need to give your reader a reason to stay on the web page with you. And thirst for the next click.

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Any surprises about what readers really want (or don't) when it comes to beauty media? They don’t want to be talked down to from an ivory tower…they like to turn to experts who’ll be available to interact with them across different platforms. It’s much more of a relationship than what I experienced in print at InStyle and Marie Claire.

For those that are new to Beauty Blitz, what's your unique take on the beauty world? The New York Times called us “the beauty insider’s insider,” and that’s what we set out to be for our readers. I’m always curious about what goes on behind the curtain before a product hits shelves. . .and what pros keep in their kits that nobody’s heard of. As it turns out, our audience is equally passionate about that type of content. Luckily, I spent many years as a beauty editor before launching Beauty Blitz, so I have the relationships to get that sort of access. As a result, we’ve built a loyal following of women who turn to Beauty Blitz before making purchase decisions.

You have a lot of experience covering beauty products as a former magazine editor. What could you do online that you couldn't do in print? The ability to publish things in real time and most of all, cultivating relationships with the readers via social media. I also love how nimble you can be when you run a site. You don’t have lots of cooks in the kitchen…or lead time before an issue goes to print and ships to newsstands.

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What are the biggest questions readers have about beauty products? Does it really work? Do I have to pay a lot to get a lot?

What beauty trends and products are you especially excited about for the fall? Red lips. There are dozens of ways to pull off the trend, varying the color saturation, glossiness, tone and texture. We did a feature called “50 Shades of Red Lips” after the Fall 2013 collections and I want to try each and every one. I’m also looking forward to playing around with hair accessories, which can turn a bad hair day instantly from lazy to lovely.

What other beauty sites do you follow that are doing interesting things and why? The Coveteur does a great job of documenting the bathrooms and products of interesting people in my industry. They’re beautifully displayed and give you that snoop thrill. I always learn something new. I also like New York Magazine’s beauty and style site The Cut. They have a clever, irreverent perspective.

What are your current 5 must-have beauty products?

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

Beauty Blender sponge

Mason Pearson mixed bristle brush

Fresh Lip Treatment in Rose

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie candles

You had a custom Essie color made for your wedding – would you ever want to create your own beauty line? Maybe one day. You never know…

Follow Polly and Beauty Blitz on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.