Meet the OG of Digital Beauty

beauty bloggers then and now

Before there was Instagram and SnapChat, there was WordPress and Blogger, and those were the platforms my friends and I used to begin to build our beauty blogs, establish authority in the industry and share our passions with the world.  all entrepreneurs, here we share advice on breaking into the industry and our first ever head shots.

Fast forward a few years, (I've had my blog since 2009), and my have things changed! Staying authentic to who were were in the beginning, my colleagues and I have learned to evolve with the ever-changing landscape of social media and most importantly, with life.  I'm excited to re-introduce you to my crew – the original gangstas of digital beauty.  All entrepreneurs, their evolutions have been inspiring and they're all still killing it.  

Yours Truly

You already know my story, but here's a refresher.  What started as a hobby ( in March of 2009 quickly turned into a full time gig and I've been riding the wave ever since. (See this Forbes article about the beginning of my career).  My blog evolved according to my personal passions and besides writing about skincare, makeup and haircare, I also love creating content about wellness, yoga and nutrition. I've been able to take on freelance writing gigs editorially and work in branded content for outlets like Refinery29, Allure, Harper's Bazaar, Women's Health and more.  As a trend reporter, I appear on TV networks like NBC and have acted as a spokesperson for many mass and prestige beauty brands. Besides, being full time freelance, I've also launched The JM Collective, a boutique branding and marketing agency that caters to the beauty and wellness industry as a natural next step.  Consulting for agencies, brands and individuals in the has become another passion where I've been spending a ton of time.

Find work that sets your soul on fire and always remain authentic.

Jamie Stone

Jamie started in the beauty industry as a publicist right out of college.  In the Spring of 2006 her blog, HonestlyJamie (formerly Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis) was born as a fun side project.  She's been full time freelance since 2013.  "I would say that I was pretty lucky getting "in" early with most of the original bloggers and as the years went on my later employers were very supportive of my blog, knowing it was an advantage to have someone who understood both the marketing side of things."  Besides blogging, Jamie works with brands and celebrities in the digital media space on content creation and social media management.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, but with grace... Figure out what you *think* you want to do and make a plan on how to get it.

Amber Katz

Amber may be the only one of us who's first headshot is equally as stunning as her current.  Back in April 2006, she was one of the first ever to launch a beauty blog known as Beauty Blogging Junkie and has since been rebranded as Rouge18. What started in her cubicle at PricewaterhouseCoopers transformed into a career writing beauty stories for magazines, branded content, native content and online features for sites like Refinery29,,, and more. Today, she also provides editorial, proofreading and copy editing services to beauty brands and is retained by a startup incubator in San Francisco to write disruption reports and case studies on larger companies partnering with startups. 

Take some writing classes if you weren’t a journalism major, brush up on your science (this is a chemistry-heavy industry) and network as much as you possibly can. The most important thing, however, is that you’re already evangelical about the products you already use. You have to love this industry and its output to be able to keep up with its pace.

Andrea Arterbery

Andrea and I were practically babies when we worked in print.  Back when I was at Cosmo, she was a Beauty Editor at Essence and has been in digital since 2010. Besides writing her blog, TheArtofBerry, she began freelancing and now contributes to (!!!), and Yahoo!.  Since becoming a mom a few years ago, she's naturally been integrating #momlife articles on her site in addition to her beauty content.  Last year she signed with a book agent and is currently working on not one, but two books.  

Always maintain a positive attitude, be nice and (most importantly) you must be willing to put in the (sometimes hard) work required of you. It also helps if you develop a thick skin and learn to not take things personal.

Nadine Jolie-Courtney

If you're familiar with the beauty industry, then you know who Nadine Jolie is and her story.  Otherwise, let me fill you in.  In 2005 (yes, over 10 years ago!), Nadine started a blog called Jolie in NYC (now Nadine Jolie Courtney) while working full time as a beauty editor.  She dished on the gossip going on behind the scenes in the coveted editorial world so it was controversial to say the least.  Little did she know, she was on the cutting edge of the next big thing.  Fast forward to today, "I think the smartest thing I did was take a step back from beauty blogging in 2015. The industry is highly dependent on young 20something influencers now (which seems to be code for "beautiful people recommending stuff") and it was time for this dinosaur to sit down."  But of course Nadine didn't sit down.  Instead, she rebranded herself as a luxury travel writer, something she's passionate about, and writes for sites like,, and  Nadine also has her third (!!!) book coming out this May, Romancing the Throne, which I personally can't wait to get my hands on.

Pick a niche. Be consistent. Instagram daily. Learn Photoshop and video editing and invest in high-quality photo/video equipment. Be willing to live in public, and act accordingly.

Aly Walansky

Back when Aly got her first online beauty editorial gig with SheKnows in 2006, she referred to blogging as "live journaling," because the blogosphere didn't take off just yet.  Soon enough, her blog A Little Alytude was born and her freelance work has remained consistent.  While beauty was where Aly began, she's always focused on a slew of topics and currently freelance writes in the sex and relationships, travel and food spaces.  There isn't a story she can't conquer.  

I see too many 23 year olds thinking they will be instantly going on exotic vacations and fancy parties and that’s why they enter our world. It’s not true. Anyone worth their salt earned that stuff by doing a TON of work.