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Bella Interview: Nadine Haobsh, Author of Beauty Confidential


If you've been reading blogs for a few years, you've probably heard of Nadine Haobsh. A former beauty staffer at Lucky and Ladies' Home Journal, she anonymously wrote the blog Jolie in NYC. A few posts about the perks that beauty editors enjoy (Marc Jacobs wallets, plane tickets, spa vacations, and so on) didn't go over so well in the industry, and when her identity became known, Seventeen rescinded a job offer.

But that's all in the past. This week, Haobsh releases her first book, Beauty Confidential. It's a breezy, easy-to-read guide to makeup, hair and skin care—complete with honest opinions about which products are worth the cash, and which are a waste of time and money. Nadine and I chatted over the weekend; here's the first part of our interview.

How do you think readers perceive beauty bloggers as opposed to beauty editors for magazines? Is there any difference?
Absolutely. I think that readers think (and rightly so) that you can trust beauty bloggers a bit more. There's less of an agenda, it's direct blogger-to-reader contact, and you're going to hear a tell-it-like-it-is review of products and trends. There's always going to be a certain amount of spin, no matter whether you're reading on a blog or in a magazine, but in general I find blogs to be so much more honest in their coverage

For Nadine's thoughts on whether magazine editors worry about the growth of blogs, read more

Do you think magazine editors worry about that?
They should. Getting into bed with advertisers is always tricky; many bloggers advertise on their site, but it has nothing to do with what brands they write about. That's definitely not the case with magazines.

What are you most proud of regarding the book?
I'm proud that I've created something so damn cute and helpful, to be honest! It's fun, it's easy-to-read, it's full of tips and product suggestions, and it's not like any other beauty book out there, because it's so personal and gossipy. All of my friends who have read it say it feels like I'm sitting in their living room, giving them beauty dirt for two hours! And that makes me really happy.

And what was the biggest challenge in writing it?
The biggest challenge was simply creating the concept: How do I put all these tips and tricks to paper without rehashing what's already been said a million times?

So how did you address that?
That's when I realized that my strength is that I'm *not* a makeup artist and I'm *not* a hairstylist. I'm a normal, young girl who simply happens to know more about beauty than the average bear because of my editorial background. I'm my own guinea pig, so I've had more mishaps than most! As a result, though, I know which products work, which ones don't, what to spend your money on, and all of the "behind the scenes" secrets that editors at magazines can't relay!

For more of my interview with Nadine, including some great dish on which products she thinks are overrated, come back tomorrow!

Photo: George Bogart

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