Archive of ‘News’ category

Girl You Know It’s True: A Smiling Angel Shouldn’t Have Crooked Teeth

olympics+lip+sync+controversy Girl You Know Its True: A Smiling Angel Shouldnt Have Crooked Teeth
Last Friday, little Lin Miaoke performed “Ode to the Motherland” for a global audience at the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing, China. Dubbed a “smiling angel,” she captured the hearts of viewers around the world, and became an overnight media darling.

But as it turns out, the production team pulled a Milli Vanilli bait-and-switch, of Olympic proportions. The New York Times reports:

Under pressure from the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party to find the perfect face and voice, the ceremony’s production team concluded the only solution was to use two girls instead of one. Miaoke, a third grader, was judged cute and appealing but “not suitable” as a singer. Another girl, Yang Peiyi, 7, was judged the best singer but not as cute. So when Miaoke opened her mouth to sing, the voice that was actually heard was a recording of Peiyi.

And it is unclear if Miaoke even knew.

“The reason was for the national interest,” explained Chen Qigang, general music designer of the opening ceremonies, who revealed the deception during a Sunday radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

To read the New York Times article in its entirety, click here.

Is Your Beauty Product The Next Big Thing?

Breakthrough+In+Beauty Is Your Beauty Product The Next Big Thing?
If you have a great product or technology for the beauty industry and want to get it in front of millions of women, then you need the right partner.

The Breakthrough In Beauty 2008 Search looks for up-and-coming beauty brands. They provide them with all the support they need – from marketing to research to distribution – get their brands out in the marketplace. The best part…anyone can submit their beauty product or idea for consideration – even your college roommate that’s mixing up the next great beauty product in their basement. And for every submission Breakthrough In Beauty receives, they provide in depth feedback from their panel of beauty experts.

So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just having someone evaluate your product and give you priceless feedback on your new product can save you tens of thousands on research and development. Plus, if your product or idea is selected, you will be the focus of a multimillion-dollar campaign that will give your product international awareness and brand recognition.

This year, judges are focusing on one-of-a-kind beauty products that fall into one or more of the following categories:

• Color cosmetic offerings
• Natural-ingredient appeal
• Advanced technology
• Ingestible beauty supplements

But all ideas are being considered. Product submission deadline is September 1, 2008.

Good luck!

WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in Industry

Last month, a journalist for Women’s Wear Daily joined us at the Total Beauty Blog Summit in Los Angeles…

Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in Industry
By Rachel Brown

 H6B5259 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryMANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Beauty bloggers, once snubbed and now coveted by many of the beauty companies they adore, are on a bumpy evolutionary trek from detached commentators to industry insiders.

“They are like the QVC of this time,” said Don Ressler, co-chief executive officer of Intelligent Beauty, owner of Redpoint Cosmetics and iQ Derma. “They have been really involved in the [beauty] space. They have really shown they have a voice.”

 H6B5325 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryAt the Total Beauty Blogging Summit held partially at Intelligent Beauty’s headquarters here from May 16 to 18, the advantages and disadvantages of bloggers’ rising power were etched out. On the plus side for bloggers, much of the beauty apparatus is taking them seriously as formidable links to consumers, and a support system of bloggers and online networks has blossomed to foster their success.

On the downside, increasing competition has made it difficult for individual beauty bloggers to stand out. Bloggers complain about pesky publicists expecting coverage, and burgeoning media awareness has led to a perception that they’re swag addicts with trigger fingers for positive reviews.

Dangling on the precipice between fringe and mainstream is certainly a tricky place to be. Many beauty bloggers are making an effort to keep beauty companies at a distance since traditional media, they said, often gets too chummy with beauty firms.

 H6B5262 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryThe 45 bloggers at the summit were keenly aware that their currency is the authentic connections they have with readers. “We are liberated from the pressure of advertising. One of the great strengths that we all have is our editorial voice and the honesty we give readers,” said Annie Tomlin, editor of Bella Sugar, speaking on a panel at the summit, which was arranged by Total Beauty, a Beverly Hills-based online resource for beauty product information with a network of some 125 bloggers.

Still, bloggers walk a tightrope trying to preserve their integrity and acquire information as beauty companies banking on the bonds they have with consumers court them. Christina Jones, who writes eBeautyDaily for b5media, has responded to the dilemma by cutting back on communicating with public relations representatives. “I hate that pressure,” she said. “I don’t want to deal with them.”

 H6B5451 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryJulia Coney, founder of the All About the Pretty blog, suggested readers can tell the difference between a blogger with true affection for a brand and one that has succumbed to marketing, and will ultimately vote with their eyes. “I am not on Bobbi Brown’s p.r. list, and I don’t care if I ever get on it because I love her that much,” she said. “Readers really know.”

As the blogosphere matures, bloggers are sharpening their content and are sometimes shying away from covering products being sent to other bloggers to ensure variety. “Just because it is the hottest product, it doesn’t mean we are going to write about it,” said Ellen Mirza, editor in chief of Lipstick Powder ‘n Paint. “We have to be passionate about it.”

 H6B5429 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryReaders and brands can better judge bloggers for themselves if there exists established codes of conduct. Kristen Giordani, senior editor of Total Beauty, advised summit attendees on product review guidelines. For example, she handed them an instruction sheet that outlined how skin care items should be tested for at least four weeks, makeup for five days, hair care for two weeks and body care for four weeks before a review.

“The sites and bloggers that do have ethical standards and communicate those are going to be looked at [more favorably] from readers and brands,” said Emrah Kovacoglu, ceo of Total Beauty.

 H6B5431 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryReview protocols make sense to Paul Baranda, who puts out Beyond Beauty Basics with his girlfriend. “Really what we want is for readers to come back and stay loyal….We want to be that person that teaches you what is hot out there and what is new, and give it an unbiased review,” he said. However, he conceded, “There still seems to be somewhat of a lack of accountability in blogging. You don’t have to get two sources and all that stuff.”

The questions confronting beauty bloggers are only due to mount as their numbers continue to climb, making it a complicated task for beauty brands to navigate the blogosphere that is home to hundreds if not thousands of blogs touching on beauty. “The brands have definitely understood by now the importance of bloggers in the success of their businesses, but it is difficult for them to figure out what to do,” said Kovacoglu. “User-generated content is something that is scary to brands. They don’t know what is going to be said.”

 H6B5280 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryFragmentation and diversity in the blogger universe makes it that much harder for brands to gauge what bloggers will write. At the summit, the bloggers spanned the racial spectrum; live in big cities, suburban enclaves and small towns; were members of the YouTube to Baby Boomer generations, and ranged from stay-at-home moms to successful professionals to former beauty editors.

Brands have coped with that diversity by basing their interaction with blogs on a blog’s traffic totals and reaching out to the most recognizable blogger personalities. Kovacoglu said that brands are paying serious attention to blogs that have 25,000 to 35,000 unique visitors monthly, but Baranda estimated p.r. agencies start contacting blogs once they’ve reached the roughly 3,000 monthly visitor mark.

teri amber marina daneen WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryHow to boost traffic was a topic of great interest during the summit. Search engine optimization specialist Russ Smith told the group that celebrities remained leading attractions. Individual bloggers noted that their largest readerships were frequently for “how-to” posts. “Women want to learn how to do things properly,” explained Tammy Gibson, the blogger behind A Mom in Red High Heels.

Regardless of traffic, Kovacoglu indicated brands are most comfortable with bloggers the likes of Shake Your Beauty’s Tia Williams, Jolie Nadine’s Nadine Haobsh and Jet Set Girls’ Anne Fritz, all of whom previously were found on magazine mastheads. Williams has been featured in Olay advertising, and Haobsh said she’s worked with Guthy-Renker on the infomercial company’s In An Instant skin care line.

 H6B6424 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryDepending upon known blogging entities, though, can shut out brands to key niche consumers. As brands and bloggers become more sophisticated, they have a better grasp on audiences for blogs and what products appeal to them. Gibson said that there are currently a few brands “savvy enough” to approach her specifically for her audience, which largely consists of middle-class mothers 23- to 35-years-old.

Ressler said Intelligent Beauty would attempt to learn more from bloggers by soliciting their opinions and treating them akin to an “informal advisory board.” “You get instant information in real time. You don’t have to wait for a magazine,” he said. In addition, Total Beauty is launching a program called Sneak Peek later this year get products in the hands of beauty bloggers for them to review. “This is the first time we have had significant brand partnerships getting brands in front of bloggers,” said Kovacoglu.

 H6B5331 WWD: Beauty Bloggers Gain Credibility in IndustryIf the summit, where brands such as Kate Somerville, L’Oréal Paris, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Murad wooed bloggers with products and tours, is any hint, the assimilation of bloggers into the industry isn’t slowing. “We see that the Internet is very quickly changing the entire landscape of the beauty industry,” said Adam Goldenberg, co-ceo of Intelligent Beauty Inc. “The beauty companies that get this and that embrace the Internet are going to be successful and the ones that don’t are going to be left behind.”

Frédéric Fekkai is game. In a video clip shown at the summit, he confessed, “Actually, I wanted to be a blogger myself. Maybe I should start.”

Images courtesy of Steven Barston Photography.

Death By Blogging

sleeping+blogger Death By Blogging
This past weekend, The New York Times ran an interesting article on how the round-the-clock, sedentary lifestyle of bloggers can have a detrimental effect on their health.

CNN picked up on the story, and chatted with Perez Hilton about the risks of being a blogger. Click here to watch the video.

Am I A Philebrity?

philebrity Am I A Philebrity?
This morning, my girl Mar sent me this link to Philebrity – a cityblog covering the arts, gossip and media in Philadelphia. To my surprise, Spoiled Pretty garnered a shout out!

Does being on Philebrity make me one? I dunno…but either way, I’m extremely flattered.

Between this and the Philly Mag mention, I’m having a good week.

PS – Thanks to all of the readers of Spoiled Pretty. You keep me on my toes and I appreciate your support!

No Joke – Philadelphia Magazine Loves Spoiled Pretty

philly mag14323 No Joke – Philadelphia Magazine Loves Spoiled Pretty
This evening, I returned from a business trip – which is why the posts have been few and far between. Sorry ’bout that.

Anyway…so I just opened an email from my friend Claire, congratulating me on the Spoiled Pretty feature on Philadelphia Magazine’s website. Initially, I thought it was a belated April Fool’s joke. Luckily, my friends don’t share my twisted sense of humor.

I absolutely adore Philly Mag, so I’m over the moon!

Fresh Faces: Revlon And Neutrogena Get New Spokesmodels

ellem Fresh Faces: Revlon And Neutrogena Get New Spokesmodels
Elle Macpherson – who is nicknamed ‘The Body’ – will now be the face of Revlon. Elle joins Revlon’s diverse lineup of gorgeous spokeswomen including Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, and Kate Bosworth. “Elle’s special qualities as a businesswoman, beautiful and talented model, actress and mother represent the essence of the Revlon brand,” says Revlon’s President and CEO David Kennedy.

mcphee Fresh Faces: Revlon And Neutrogena Get New Spokesmodels
In related news, American Idol alum Katharine McPhee has signed a two-year endorsement deal with Neutrogena to become the new face of their anti-acne line. Katherine shot her first Neutrogena commercial in L.A. last week. The ad will be coming to a TV set near you, beginning in May.

Philly Girls: Watch Me On The News Tonight!

wpvi6 lg Philly Girls: Watch Me On The News Tonight!
Guess what?!?! Spoiled Pretty is going to be featured on the news!!!

ladyeatigpopcorn Philly Girls: Watch Me On The News Tonight!This past January, I sat down with WPVI-TV Channel 6 (the Philadelphia ABC affiliate) to talk about the blog, how much I enjoy writing it, and how you beauties enjoy reading it (and winning free prizes). They even interviewed a local reader!

So if you’re in the Philly area – pop some popcorn, stay up a little late, and watch your resident beauty expert run her mouth.

It’s sure to be entertaining, to say the least.

Update: This was not a case of blink-and-you-missed-me. I was not on the news last night. I think Spoiled Pretty got bumped – probably thanks to the Eliot Spitzer saga. So I’ll keep you posted, and let you know if/when the segment will air.

Girly Girls: The Growing Trend of Marketing Makeup To Children

girlygirls Girly Girls: The Growing Trend of Marketing Makeup To Children
In today’s New York Times, the paper takes an interesting look at the growing phenomenon of pre-pubescent makeup use. Analysts say this is part of a trend called KGOY (kids getting older younger) – a trend which is only enabled by pushover parents.

Years ago, I was shocked when pre-teens started carrying Dooney & Bourke handbags and wearing 7 For All Mankind jeans. And don’t get me started on the sweatpants with “Juicy” splashed across the ass. I used to find fault with just the parents, but the article points out that retailers are also to blame.

“Today, cosmetic companies and retailers increasingly aim their sophisticated products and service packages squarely at 6- to 9-year-olds, who are being transformed into savvy beauty consumers before they’re out of elementary school.”

girlygirls2 Girly Girls: The Growing Trend of Marketing Makeup To Children
According to the article:

*In a study last year, 55 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick, and nearly two-thirds said they used nail polish, according to Experian, a market research company based in New York. In 2003, 49 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick.

*Sweet & Sassy, a salon and party destination based in Texas for girls 5 to 11, includes pink limo service as a party add-on, which starts at $150 a ride.

*At Club Libby Lu, a mall-based chain, girls of any age can mix their own lip gloss and live out their pop idol fantasies. Last year, the chain did about a million makeovers in its 90 stores nationwide.

*Dashing Diva franchises often offer virgin Cosmos in martini glasses along with their extra-virgin nail polish, free of a group of chemicals called phthalates, for a round of services for a birthday girl and her friends.

Virgin Cosmos?!?!?! Huh?

I don’t know about you, but I am sickened by this. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of Big Tobacco marketing to adolescents and teens, but it’s pretty damned close. And the parents who can’t say no just add fuel to the proverbial fire. I’m all for buying your pre-teen some Bonne Bell Lip Smackers (that’s what my mom did, and I turned out just fine)…but limos and faux cocktails? I think this trend will only lead to bad things – like girls begging for rhinoplasty and boob jobs to commemorate their sweet sixteen.

Photos courtesy of The New York Times.

Look And Smell Like A Wino: Amy Winehouse To Launch Beauty Line

Dear Spoiled Pretty,

I love beauty products. But as much as I try, I can’t find the right products to recreate the crackhead look that’s all the rage these days. It seems that I’ve been to every department store and beauty boutique – and while many of the makeup brands have a Park Avenue vibe going on, I’m looking for products that scream skid row. Help!?!?

-Wino Wannabe

amy wino Look And Smell Like A Wino: Amy Winehouse To Launch Beauty LineDear Wino,

If looking sober and hygienic isn’t your thang, you’re in luck. The Sun reports that Amy Winehouse is launching her own line of beauty products, which will include hairspray, liquid eyeliner, and perfume.

Crack rocks sold separately.

xoxo,
Spoiled Pretty

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