Focus on Pure Artifice with editor Lucy Freeman

Pure Artifice is a beauty blog covering cosmetics, perfume, skincare and treatments. It’s aimed at single, affluent women aged 25 to 40 who are tired of being patronised by cosmetic companies and want to find out how effective products are before they buy them.

This week, we caught up with editor and freelance journalist, Lucy Freeman, to discuss her readers, eco-friendly PRs, turning into her mother and triplehydroxypantsglycoltuttifruttis!

You and your blog:

Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Not entirely sure – it’s a constant mystery to me where people find me. I have lots of regular readers, and have been contacted for advice on beauty problems by a massive variety of people including beauty students at the University of Maryland, anxious transvestites, TV producers and fashion PRs. My readers seem mostly to be fairly affluent single women between the ages of 25-40 who are interested in beauty and cosmetics but overwhelmed by the level of choice in the market.

What subjects do you cover?
I look for trends in cosmetics and beauty, and how people interpret them, and the psychology behind the beauty industry. I find women’s relationships with their own appearance really interesting. The successful products are those that a) work and b) really tap into something in women’s psyches – it’s not just about putting a ribbon round a glass jar!

What makes you different from other blogs in your sector?
When I review products I don’t look at the price or the brand, I try and review as blindly as possible and get relevant case studies to try them without giving them any background information so they can be objective. I recently discovered that a High Street chemist product that retailed at £9.99 a pot worked just as well on my skin as a £350 pot of Parisien “cosmeceutical” product. I also try and understand HOW the products work, or don’t work. I don’t like pseudo-science that patronises women.

Why do you blog?
Because I was writing for the Times I kept being sent loads of products to try. They couldn’t possibly be all covered by features, and I felt they needed a home, so I started the blog as a way of letting people know about products they might otherwise miss. The stories and the passion behind some of the products were so interesting and inspiring and people had worked so hard that I just felt I had to write about them. Bulldog Grooming is a case in point – a really brilliant, cost-effective product with a great entrepreneurial story behind the company.

What are your favourite blogs?
Sadly am generally too busy working, Twittering and trying to catch up with my own to read many others! I like Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science though.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
Very closely. I like them, and I think they have a horrible job, by and large! The only time I get annoyed is when they can’t tell me how their products work.

Do you have any advice for PRs?
See above! I was desperately trying to review a hair removal product that sounded excellent, for example, but had to give up because the PR couldn’t explain to me how it worked. Also, if you are going to send out a product and its main USP is its eco-friendliness, don’t send it wrapped in gold plastic in a bag full of polystyrene chips.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Samples, background on how and why the product was created and who it’s suitable for.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Emailed press release or chatty email. Don’t like posted press releases as it’s so eco-hostile!

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Whenever – I work very odd hours!

About you:

Do you have a day job?
Yes – a freelance journalist and a copywriter.

A phrase I use far too often is…
“How do you open this?” I have turned into my mother and am easily confused by complex lids!

I’d like to have a go at…
Writing scripts for The Archers.

Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
In a world where people are not taken in by words like triplehydroxypantsglycoltuttifruttis, no matter who is advertising them, and only buy products that are self-explanatory and effective.

[lnk||_self|Pure Artifice]
[img|jpg|Lucy Freeman]
[lnk||_blank|FJD: Lucy Freeman]

New! Check out our Media Jobs board for PR and Journalism vacancies Learn more