Friday, November 30th, 2007

Nadine Haobsh has recently published her book entitled Beauty Confidential. Nadine brings beauty to your door step with this humorous and guilty-pleasure-reading book with all sorts of tips, tricks, and secrets on how to look your very best. This is a great stocking stuffer for your favorite beauty addict, because Nadine gives such a refreshing account of the beauty industry from her unique perspective from being a current beauty blogger and former beauty editor.

Nadine was available to answer some questions submitted by the Beauty Blog Network, and here’s ours:

Q&A with Nadine Haobsh

What are some tips for traveling light, without missing any essentials, for the upcoming holiday travel season? — Temptalia
Hmm, so you mean you can’t bring an entire suitcase devoted entirely to beauty products? (Kidding, of course even though I have been known to do just that a time or ten.) Start with the basics, and then add more if you have room:

  • SKIN: 1) A cleanser, 2) A day moisturizer with SPF, 3) A night moisturizer with peptides, retinol, glycolic or salicylic acid. (My favorites: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Olay Regenerist Touch of Sun SPF 15, MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Serum)
  • HAIR: 1) Travel sized shampoo and conditioner, 2) Leave-in conditioner. (Scrunch leave-in conditioner and let hair air-dry, or apply before heat-styling to help hold and condition. You probably have a hairdryer at home, but may not have other tools. If you have room, throw in a curling iron or flatiron, to dress up hair and impress relatives who have driven in from five hours away and will secretly pick on your appearance otherwise.) (Herbal Essences makes yummy travel-sized versions, and I’m a huge fan of Infusium leave-in)
  • MAKEUP: 1) Foundation, 2) Bronzer or blush, 3) Mascara, 4) Lipgloss. (If you have room, add black eyeliner and a neutral colored eyeshadow. Otherwise, the bronzer can double as shadow.) (In my bag: Bare Escentuals, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, NARS Orgasm, Max Factor Lash Perfection, and Clinique Black Honey)
  • MISC: Throw a sample-sized tube of perfume in your makeup bag (Bond no 9 Chinatown is too good to be believed), don’t forget a razor, and depending on how long you’ll be home consider bringing tweezers, mini scissors and an emery board.

Now, keep on reading for Nadine’s answers to our fellow BBN blogs’ questions.
Do you have any beauty secrets that you haven’t shared yet? Why or Why not? If you do, will you share one with us? Thank you so much! — Sarah O.
Believe it or not, I’ve shared all the gossip about the beauty industry that’s fit to print. (Well, most of it, at least. There are a few things I’m taking to the grave, just because I believe in karma, baby! But some situations may or may not surface in my fictional book that’s coming out next year.) As far as beauty tips, I’m always learning new things, although I usually post them on the blog instantly! So right this second, I have nothing new to impart; I’d better get studying up!

What’s the “beauty vibe” like in UK & CA, what are the differences? — Gloria
Oh my goodness, the beauty vibes in London and Los Angeles could not be more different! While Londoners are much more formal (or at least sound like it, what with their lovely Hugh Grant cut-glass accents) they also take beauty a lot less seriously. Makeup? Highlights? Manicures? Who has time? There’s an exhibition tonight, and then a party after work tomorrow, and this weekend will be spent in the country with friends at a regatta or polo match Angelenos, on the other hand, play like they’re all beachy and Cali and What, me worry?, but in actuality, they have their beauty regimens meticulously planned, don’t work out without sporting more makeup than most women do on their wedding day, and have standing appointments with the waxer, tanner, manicurist and stylist. Of course, I’m generalizing here, but I’ve met countless women in each city that really do fit these molds to a T.

What makes your book different from the plethora of beauty books already on the market? Why should beauty buffs like myself add your book to my beauty library? — Toya Smith Marshall
Great question! Unlike most of the other writers of beauty books, I’m not a makeup artist and I’m not a hairstylist. What I bring to the table is my background as a beauty editor and the fact that I’m not a beauty editor for any magazines now. Beauty editors have seen and tried it all (and have the beauty battle scars as proof!), and I pass all that info on to you without any conflict of interest, or any editors behind the scenes wincing every time I slam an overrated product that advertises in our magazine. My only agenda is helping other girls and women who love and are curious about beauty, just like me, but who don’t have access to all these experts and insider tips.

As a fellow NYC girl being glamorous here can be very expensive. What are your best tips for cheap and glam living in nyc? — Marina Klimasiewfski
Glamming it up on the cheap is all about learning where and how to spend your money. You can find some of the best products on the market at the drugstore, such as Olay Regenerist, Cetaphil, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15 (really, anything from Neutrogena!) Max Factor Lash Perfection Mascara, Pantene shampoo and Infusium conditioner. More often than not, I voluntarily choose these products over more expensive offerings sold at places like Bendels and Barneys. A lot of the myth behind prestige products is just that: myth. It’s mostly marketing, packaging and hype. Go drugstore for products, and then spend whatever earmarked beauty money you have left on the best haircut you can afford; it’s with you everyday, and a great cut will last for several months and truly flatter your face shape and hair texture.

Do you agree on the news and commentaries that mineral makeup is just a hype? Can anyone wear mineral makeup? — The Mineral Makeup Blog
If mineral makeup is all hype, then color me fooled, because it’s literally changed my life. I have rosacea and spent my teenage years embarrassed by my red nose and chin, perennially searching for a foundation that looked natural, covered my redness, zits and pigmentation, wouldn’t cause breakouts, and—very important!—didn’t make me feel like I had a pound of stage makeup on. I must have switched brands every three months for ten years. Even the ones that didn’t make me breakout still felt heavy, and tinted moisturizer is a joke with my complexion; it covers nothing! When I discovered Bare Escentuals, it was an epiphany, like the brand had been created just for me. (Self-involved, much?) As I started to turn my friends, family and, eventually, blog readers onto it, however, they were all expressing their own happiness with it: the way it evened out my best friend’s olive-y skin-tone, the glow and youth it brought to my mother’s complexion, the suddenly invisible pores and blemishes my former roommate enjoyed while using it. What I’ve seen has made me a huge advocate of mineral makeup across the board (the fewer ingredients in a product, the better), and so I do truly believe that anybody can benefit.

Nadine, are you brand conscious? I know that there is quite a term as being a brand snob, but there are also ones out there adventurous enough to pick really low priced brands. Where should we draw the line on which to try? (because we can’t try everything from high end to the lowest of low end! ) — Beautynomics
It’s hard to figure out what’s worth the money, what’s worth throwing caution to the wind for (we’ve been so brainwashed that expensive is better, it can sometimes be just as nervewracking using that new, raved-about drugstore product!) and what to skip, but I trust word-of-mouth recommendations. Learn to trust certain bloggers—who will not just post a litany of products and say, “Oh, this just came out, and isn’t it pretty?” but will give a review of the product after having put it through the testing-wringer—listen to your beauty-obsessed friends, and troll the boards at places like Makeup Alley. If 500 girls are all orgasming over a certain mascara or intensive conditioner, you can bet it’s great!

What is the most efficient and effective beauty gadget that you have tried? — Beauty Gizmo
I am absolutely besotted by the Solano Sapphire flat iron. It was superhip years ago, and has now been replaced by other, newer brands, but I still can’t give up my Solano. It heats up in seconds, and even works when I’ve been too lazy to blowdry my hair beforehand, and am left with a curly, tangled, beachy mess. It’s truly worth every penny.

What ways do you think that the beauty and publishing industries contribute to the pressure on modern women to conform to a certain — and perhaps virtually impossible — standard of beauty? Or, conversely, how do these industries help empower women in terms of cultivating positive body image? — Jazmin Casing
I love that Dove uses real women in their ads, runs the Campaign For Real Beauty, and promotes the message that what you see in most ads isn’t real — it’s all airbrushed and art directed, and that we should celebrate and appreciate our bodies. Modern standards of beauty are a complex thing, and it’s easy to point a figure at the media and say, “You! It’s all you!” Of course, there are many factors. Parents play a part, peers play a part, boyfriends play a part. But it’s irresponsible to downplay the media and fashion industry’s role in actively distributing and promoting these images. The old line that clothing simply looks better on skinny women is insulting and tired; if designers are making clothing that is most flattering to 1% of the population, they’re not doing their jobs correctly. There’s absolutely no reason to continue photographing unhealthily skinny women and portraying it as “normal” and “ideal.” Yes, some women are naturally thin. But the fact that, “Hey, you’ve lost weight!” is perceived as a compliment is simply messed up. Our bodies are beautiful, strong, wonderful machines that should be celebrated; what they aren’t are accessories to be molded and prodded to fit trends and to fit clothes.

What’s the greatest thing that has happened to you because of your blog? — Elke Von Freudenberg
Starting my blog has brought such a wonderful and motley crew of characters into my life! It gave me the freedom to travel, the inspiration to write, the pleasure of connecting with and attempting to help strangers make the most of their looks, and the thrill of securing a book deal. I am so, so grateful for every single person that reads Jolie in NYC, and I’m even more grateful that people keep coming back and genuinely seem to enjoy reading it!

What is your most favorite makeup product and why? — Stylish Opinion
This is easy: Bare Escentuals mineral makeup! I could write an entire book devoted to why I love this stuff so damn much (and have probably written almost that much over the year on my blog), but I’ll keep it simple. BE is amazing because it has SPF 15 sunscreen, won’t make you break out, feels absolutely weightless and covers redness and pigmentation like no other. I hate the heavy, cakey, paint-like feel of foundation, but don’t dare leave the house without it (except for on grungy weekends when I know I won’t see anybody!), because it makes such a huge difference in my appearance. BE lets me have the best of both worlds: the coverage is amazing, but it feels like I have nothing on. Obsessed!

With the arrival of television, “video killed the radio star.” Do you believe internet media will eventually overtake print media? — Carleen Pruess
Absolutely; it’s an inevitability that internet media and blogs will overtake print media; they’ve already completely changed the landscape of journalism and publishing in just a few short years. Honestly, I can’t believe that some publishing companies are still attempting to charge for online content; it’s a losing battle, and the longer they resist, the more catching up they’ll have to do. I think print media companies who recognize the power of the format and gradually introduce blogs and websites into their brand with the same respect they’d treat the launch of a new magazine will do fine; not every website will succeed, but the failure of one does not signal doom for the rest. And just because any idiot with a computer and internet connection can set up a blog doesn’t mean it’s an easy, Mickey Mouse-operation; companies should realize this and start (and continue) to hire professionals that are trained and experienced in online media. Treating it seriously now will yield major dividends later. It makes me sad that print media, newspapers in particular, is on the decline, but that’s progress, I suppose. And, especially considering we live in an age of instant gratification, why wait until tomorrow when you can read (and then blog!) about it today?

What are some of the perks you have seen to being a blogger? — Henna
Ahh, the glamorous blogger life. Full of champagne and caviar parties, chauffeur driven cars, mounds of Christmas presents — oh, wait, that was being a beauty editor! There aren’t that many quote-unquote perks that come with being a blogger, unless you count the freedom to work from home in your pyjamas, set your own schedule and interact directly with people from all over the world that you’d normally never have the chance to meet. I do consider all of these things perks, and so I love the fact that I can blog and make a career from it! (But I’m not going to lie; private jets are nice, too.)

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4 thoughts on “Nadine Haobsh Q&A Session For Beauty Confidential

  1. Great post! Love the travel stuff… for more beauty/travel tips, visit my blog.

  2. Excellent interview! Great Q & A; especially loved the last question.

  3. Jessica

    Before I rave about how awesome your job is, let me just say that I came across your msnbc story describing your life as a beauty editor. Let me just say after reading the article, it really confirmed my questions such as, is this really the job for me? What a perfect job! Seeing that you are a very busy person I don’t really expect a repy but if you have time to email me with any information on what the best schools are, etc. that would be really appreciated. Thank you for your time.
    -Jessica