By Amy Sciaretto
Sinead Norenius is a 16-year beauty industry veteran and licensed esthetician but her other passion is educating consumers about beauty. The sun-care expert, who has worked with celebrities including Natasha Bedingfield, is the editor-in-chief of SelfTanningQueen.com and she helped develop Beautisol sun care products. So she is also “one of us!”
As if that weren’t enough, Norenius founded iFabbo, the International Fashion and Beauty Bloggers Organization, which combines her expertise in the beauty world with her knowledge of social media platforms. Clearly, she is a 21st century beauty maven, so naturally, Beauty News wanted to sit down with her and pick her brain about avoiding tanorexia and how Twitter and Facebook are crucial to moving beauty brands and the industry forward in 2011 and beyond.
BN: What inspired you to found iFabbo?
SN: It was honestly out of a need. As a blogger, I felt that there was no one unifying organization that both promoted the profession and provided support, education and an avenue to build relationships with brands that did not have an ad network affiliation. I wanted to create an organization that would help raise the level of credibility, endorse and support the bloggers that are serious about blogging and help moderate and manage the relationship between bloggers and brands. No other organization has a consumer outreach arm either. iFabbo is striving to be the “Consumer Reports or the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for the bloggersphere. We want consumers to know that when they read an iFabbo-endorsed blog or buy from an iFabbo-endorsed brand, they can rest assured that everyone is being honest, credible and behaves in an ethical manner. We are bringing together some of the most influential and credible bloggers within the arena to help build this organization and help lead by example.
BN: What does iFabbo offer that is invaluable, in your opinion?
SN: Credibility, support and recognition within the bloggersphere. We are all here to help elevate the profession and how bloggers are viewed in a rapidly changing environment.
BN: What is the one key piece of information you feel you need to share with consumers about beauty?
SN: Want to look beautiful and young longer? Wear sunscreen and treat yourself as well as you treat others. Very often we put our needs last and that can have an effect on how we feel, how we look and how we act. Saying “no” to a dinner because you are exhausted and need sleep is okay and your body will thank you the next morning!
Self-tanning has gotten an even worse rap thanks to shows like Jersey Shore and Lindsay Lohan being tanorexic. What do women who desire a healthy, attractive Jennifer Aniston-like glow need to do?
People like Jennifer Aniston are a perfect example of less is more! She never overdoes her color and just goes one or two shades darker that her own natural skin color at the time. People need to understand that the minute you go too extreme, it will show. If you have fair skin you should never look as dark as “Snooki,” it will ALWAYS look fake and horrific; it doesn’t matter what product you use!
BN: How can self-tanning shake the bad reputation?
SN: Ha Ha! I say have people log onto http://www.selftanningqueen.com and watch all the “How-To” videos! Once you know how to correctly apply the product, it will always look more natural and once again remember to stay within your own skin color’s range. I am also a big advocate of tan interventions!
BN: Tips on self-tanning – what are the three things women need to know/do?
SN: Test a variety of products. Different products look different on various skin colors – what works for your friend may not work for you. Wear tight-fitting gloves to prevent your palms from turning brown. It also saves time on having to wash your hands frequently while applying the product. Buff, Buff, Buff! Remember to buff the areas that tend to grab a lot of product such as the ankles, knees, elbows and knuckles.
BN: What is your favorite luxury beauty item and why?
SN: Beautisol’s 99% Pure Peptide Rescue Serum! It contains eight cutting edge peptides that help keep fine lines and wrinkles away, my dark spots under control and overall my skin feels and looks more luminous! I have had people stop me on the street to ask what kind of foundation I am wearing and it feels great to say “Hardly anything, it’s my face serum!” I recently used it on areas that I had lasered off, as they were precancerous and my doctor could not believe how fast I healed. It’s my miracle product!
BN: What is your favorite bargain beauty item and why?
SN: L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black! Because I am so fair, when I don’t have mascara on, I look like I have no lashes! I have been using this mascara for years and it makes my lashes look long, thick and luscious. Plus it comes off easily and does not take my lashes with it. Bonus!
BN: Can social media platforms bridge the gap between brands and consumers, between bloggers and Googler searchers? In what ways?
SN: It already has! Social media has allowed brands and consumers to interact directly. For instance my other company, Beautisol was founded that way. My blog, http://www.selftanningqueen.com, was the perfect portal for me to interact directly with my readers and future customers to find out exactly what they wanted, what they liked and what they didn’t. This was direct feedback from people who use self-tanners, not a random focus group. Twitter has proven to be a great customer service tool. Facebook allows consumers to create communities around brands they love and support as well as help develop brands and product lines through direct interaction with the company. We use both selftanningqueen.com and our Facebook page to help guide product development and event marketing initiatives. Most recently we did a survey on our Facebook page to see what referral offer resonated most. Our customers are happy to participate and like to feel that they are being included. For the brand, it saves time and money.