Polly Blitzer by Guy Aroch

Polly Blitzer is an accomplished editor, successful entrepreneur and, of course, a beauty product junkie.  If you want to take the pulse of what's going on in the beauty world, Polly is the person to ask.  For this month's edition of Beauty Bylines™, I had the opportunity to check in with Polly and find out some of her favorite products and hair, makeup and skincare trends for 2010.  She's a fascinating woman…read on for the interview:

Beauty411:  You went from traditional print media positions at Marie Claire and InStyle to starting Beauty Blitz.com.  What was the inspiration behind that? What has been the most rewarding aspect of the transition to an online magazine?

Polly Blitzer:  After
almost a decade as an editor at Marie Claire and InStyle, I'd absorbed
the fundamentals of journalism and built different editorial brands.
I’d been writing and editing features but I had dozens of ideas that
couldn’t be executed within the confines of the printed page. I love
coming up with better way of doing things. As I started noticing a
dramatic shift in editorial from print to online, I got more involved
in instyle.com and
began jotting down notes that would eventually inform the foundation of
Beauty Blitz Media.

BeautyBlitz.com, we can present information to savvy beauty consumers
in a timely, interactive way.  The
most rewarding parts of starting BeautyBlitz.com from scratch have been
watching it grow, hearing positive feedback from readers around the
world, and realizing that if you’re passionate enough and work hard
enough, you can flourish at something you never thought possible.

Beauty411:  Can you describe what a typical day at Beauty Blitz is like?  How far out do you plan your editorial calendar?

PB:  I
kinda love that I don’t have a typical day, primarily because I wear so
many hats (CEO, CFO, editor, TV personality, manager, writer, wife).
Each week is a mix of beauty industry events, meeting with beauty
companies, overseeing staff, content production and the tech/business
side, conceiving new partnerships and pausing frequently for iced
coffee with a splash of skim. We’re on a long-lead and short-lead
schedule, and we plan our monthly editorial themes a year ahead. But we
have the flexibility to publish late-breaking stories on the fly.


Beauty411:  Most beauty editors have their finger on the pulse of the "latest and greatest".  What beauty trends do you see as prominent for 2010?

PB:  On
the beauty science front, sunscreens will become more lightweight but
even more impervious to things like perspiration and water. I predict a
surge in hybrid products like L'Oreal lipstick with serum or CoverGirl
and Olay's skincare blush.

hair and makeup trends stem from the runway, and the Spring shows I
attended were flooded with orange lips (peaches to corals to basketball
orange). Celebrities also influence trends, and now that we have daring
stars like Rihanna and Gaga, women will no-doubt start taking bigger
risks with bolder choices. And hair? The buzzword is volume. Hard
science and consumer demand will continue to push the envelope in
collagen boosters, anti-oxidants and hair pigments.


Beauty411:  Do you have a favorite beauty indulgence, treatment or ritual?


PB:  It’s
a simple math equation: Blowouts = Sanity. Gwyneth Paltrow once said
that her wardrobe battle is half over once she gets her hair done. I
sometimes get two blowouts a week. It's an indulgence, but I can never
get it quite right on my own, and I like a polished, sleek look. The
Time Ritual massage at Mandarin Oriental is the only treatment that
knocks the native New Yorker out of me. There’s nothing like a long
soak in the tub with a copy of New York magazine.


Beauty411:  If we peeked inside your makeup bag, what products would we find?

PB:  It’s
like a mobile Sephora. And the contents change from month to month,
since my job is to test every line. Here’s what I love right now:

  • Essie nail polish in a shade she custom-made for my wedding
  • Chanel eye quads
  • Nars Orgasm for cheeks and Albatross for highlighting
  • eye liners (liquid and pencil)
  • At least 4 lip glosses
  • Benefit Erase Paste
  • Chanel Eau Premiere (I’ve been smitten ever since they flew me to Grasse, France for the jasmine harvest)
  • Hair elastics, headbands and decorated ponytail holders
  • CoverGirl Last Blast and Blinc Kiss Me mascara (depending on what mood I’m in)
  • spare earring backings, because I always lose them after TV appearances
  • Binaca (so old school but it's the quickest way to minty without chewing)
  • Fresh rose lip balm (feels like melted butter, tastes like lemonade and imparts a barely-there flush)
  • Shu Uemura lash curler
  • slant
    tip liner brush (Natalie DiStefano, the genius makeup artist at Rita
    Hazan, taught me how to transform my gumball eyes into exotic almonds)
  • Dr. Brandt tinted moisturizer


Beauty411:  Do you have any favorite mass market or drugstore products that have worked their way into your beauty routine? 

PB:  Mass-market
companies have the top R&D teams in the world! Plus, the same
parent company that produces L’Oreal also makes Lancome, Shu Uemura and
Giorgio Armani Beauty. So they share science and resources. I get to
cheat, because I meet with all the beauty companies months before
collections launch and ask questions about ingredients, formulations
and claims.

My drugstore musts are:

  • Pantene (been using it since I was 15)
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild eye and lip pencils (beauty editors have loved shade #666 for years)
  • L'Oreal True Match bronzer (it’s completely matte)
  • Q-tips
  • Olay Daily Express facial wipes for sensitive skin (I never travel without them)
  • CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara
  • Neutrogena sunscreens

Polly, thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with me.  I loved interviewing you for Beauty Bylines™!.

Photo credit:  Guy Aroch

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