They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and few people get as clear a vision of the beauty industry as professional beauty writers. Jamie Sanders of The Beauty of Life chatted with us about how she got started. She also gave us insights into her favorite beauty products, and what the term “beauty” is all about for her.
Can you tell us about your professional path that led to the creation of The Beauty of Life?
I majored in journalism at Indiana University and moved to New York in 2002 to pursue a career as a magazine editor. After stints at Harper’s Bazaar and Cargo, I made the switch to copywriting and have worked for multiple companies, including Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman and American Eagle Outfitters.
Along the way, I also started doing a lot of beauty writing for various online publications; and I finally decided that I wanted a way to write in my own voice. This was before niche blogs were really a “thing.” LiveJournal was the cool way to blog back then, but I didn’t want to blog that way. One night in January 2007, I was looking around my room and realized I really did have a ton of beauty products and absolutely loved them. So, The Beauty of Life was born!
Who should be visiting the The Beauty of Life website and why? What can they expect to find there?
The Beauty of Life really celebrates all things beauty in a positive, emotional, energetic and enthusiastic way. I want my readers to feel how much I love what I’m writing about through the words and pictures I use. My main focuses are salon and spa reviews (my Salon & Spa Directory column), interviews with industry insiders (my First Look Fridays column) and reviews of beauty products (mainly higher end). While I do love everything from mascara to body wash, my main focuses are nails (I’m obsessed with nail polish and own over 400 bottles), bath & body, skincare, and hair.
What are your favorite must-have beauty products?
Bonne Bell Lip Smackers: I’ve tried every single lip balm out there and I keep coming back to these. They just make my lips look and feel the best (and they taste great to boot). I must really be a tween at heart!
First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Collection: All three products in the line are my skincare holy grail. Seriously, people think I’m in my teens when I use them religiously.
Redken Blonde Idol Collection: I went blonde earlier this year and definitely needed to change up my shampoo and conditioner game. The shampoo, mask and leave-in conditioning spray from this collection work wonders! They keep my tresses bright and feeling super healthy.
Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover: As I said above, I have a nail polish obsession. This is the only remover I’ll use; it takes off even the most stubborn glitter polishes effortlessly.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat: Dries nails in five minutes flat and makes them look super glossy for over a week. No other top coat comes close.
M.A.C Haute & Naughty Lash: THE BEST MASCARA ON THE PLANET. Two different wands lengthen, thicken and curl my lashes so much that they hit my glasses (which is my true test of whether a mascara works). Plus, it never clumps or flakes!
What does the term “beauty” mean to you?
“Beauty” means looking and feeling your absolute best, inside and out. It also means appreciating everything that life has to offer and trying to make yours the best it can possibly be.
Please share with us anything that you think has contributed to the success of The Beauty of Life. What are some of the things that you have learned along the way?
Blogging was definitely a trial and error process for me. I think it always is, as is anything creative. I try to interact with my readers on all my social media channels, reply to comments, and really study my analytics to see what types of posts people want to read.
I’ve also been very fortunate to meet some of the most influential people in the beauty industry along the way, and to work with many of the top brands. I believe very strongly in cultivating relationships with people and making sure they know how special they are. Both the brands and the people I’ve met have always been incredibly supportive – I think because of how much I’ve tried to foster those relationships.
However, I think at the end of the day, what matters most is that I want to write The Beauty of Life. I love beauty in all forms, and I want to express that through my writing. If I didn’t feel this way, I just wouldn’t keep blogging!