Photo courtesy of Weinberg Simon
Nancy Weinberg Simon is no rookie when it comes to all things beauty and fashion. After years working as a modeling agent and then as the beauty editor at Family Circle magazine, she knows the ins and outs of the industry. And now she’s parlayed that experience into her own popular blog, The Beauty Wall.
Q: You previously served as beauty editor for Family Circle before becoming a freelance writer in 2007. What made you decide to freelance?
A: I’d been at Family Circle for 10 years and loved every minute of it. Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make but it was the right choice for my family. My children were young at the time (3 and 5) and they needed to spend more quality time with me. Going freelance gave me the opportunity to do just that and continue doing the job I loved.
Q: When did you decide to launch The Beauty Wall?
A: Right before the new year (2013) I was out to dinner with an old work associate and close friend of mine who’s always been very pro-Nancy. She believes so strongly in me that it makes me believe I can do anything. I’d been toying with the idea in my head for quite a while and my dad’s recent death after a short illness made me realize that there’s no time like the present. My new mantra became Nike’s memorable tagline “Just Do It”.
Q: Where did your interest in fashion and beauty come from?
A: What little girl doesn’t love trying on makeup and playing dress up? I just didn’t know you could make a career out of it. I was working as an agent at a modeling agency and was offered a position at a national women’s magazine. I jumped at the chance as this allowed me to combine my childhood dream with my passion for writing and photography and my experience of working with top models.
Q: What are some of the benefits of being a freelancer and a blogger, versus an editor at a magazine?
A: The best thing about being a freelancer or blogger is that your time is your own. I can write at midnight or 5am if I want to. It’s also nice to get to write about whatever I’m “feeling” at the moment.
Q: How about the challenges?
A: For me, the biggest challenge is not being able to share an office with smart, talented peers to bounce ideas off of. There are also many benefits to working in a structured environment with access to the many resources that comes with it.
Q: Do you use social media to promote yourself? If so, in what ways?
A: Social media is such a huge part of the industry now. I use Pinterest and Facebook to promote The Beauty Wall. At this time I find them to be the most effective ways to communicate with my subscribers.
Q: New York Fashion Week is coming up in September. Have you ever been? Or would you ever go?
A: I’ve been to New York Fashion Week many times and always find it very entertaining. It’s quite a show–the music, incredible hair and makeup and new styles provide great inspiration for stories. I enjoy checking out the new designers and seeing how they leave their mark on the industry.
Q: What is the beauty product you can’t live without?
A: I don’t know what I’d do without Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. I use it to cover dark circles, brighten the inner corners of my eyes, conceal redness around my nose area, do subtle contouring and even out my lids when I’m going for that “no makeup” look.
Q: What are you PR pet peeves, or what is the strangest pitch you’ve received?
A: Years ago I had a deskside with a small jewelry company that wanted me to write about their necklaces made from children’s actual baby teeth. It was so creepy seeing these ugly dangling teeth. Who would wear that!?
Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A: I’m easy! I’m always up for reviewing the latest products. The best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Nancy on Facebook, Pinterest, and at her website, thebeautywall.com.