Interview with The Advice Sisters

Exclusive Interview with
Alison Blackman Dunham
of the The Advice Sisters.

The Advice Sisters Guide to Life, Success & Happiness Blog:
What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column and member of the Total Beauty community:

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I have been providing content online for more than 16 years; providing online features and columns for my own web site and since 2005 on my blog. I started out writing life and career advice, then started writing relationship books and columns with my genuine twin sister, Jessica --that's how the Advice Sisters got started. In fact, the Advice Sisters are credited with bringing the advice/info-tainment genre, online! I've been writing about beauty and fashion topics for a decade, but when Jessica died, suddenly, I began to focus more on lifestyle, beauty and fashion. I have a popular and extensive beauty and fashion review column called What Works ( I am also the author of three published non-fiction books, and nine E-books.

What first inspired you to start a beauty blog? Although my web site has plenty of content, I kept being asked if I had a blog, which really is entirely different than writing the type of full scale articles and columns I provide on my web site. So I began blogging, then started blogging daily because readers responded more quickly to it than my bi-monthly What Works beauty review columns. The blog format also allows me to provide more comprehensive reviews than the What Works column format does. I am a freelance writer and this is my professional job. I consider the blog and my web site to be my online portfolio. I hope that if someone likes my writing and needs a writer, they will consider me!

How has blogging changed your life? Blogging has cut into my other projects in a huge way. I have been online so long I don't know whether or not it has made me more visible, but probably, it has. Alas, being out there also means that I see my work, often without my authorization or without attribution, in places I haven't any control over.

Would you suggest blogging as a way to make money or do you feel it is more of a hobby? Do you think it can lead to a career? I think it is extremely difficult for the average person to make money on the Internet. Some people do get other jobs from being online, but you really do need to have lots of connections and people who will help you build a buzz and promote you even before you begin to blog. It can raise your visibility, but unless your blog is truly hugely popular, you're not going to want to quit your day job to pursue it full time.

Do you have any tips for those trying to save money but also keep up on the latest beauty trends? I have always felt that the free gifts with purchase are a good way to try products you might not want to pay full price for--wait until those specials, then stock up on the stuff you would have purchased, anyway. Get samples in the department stores. They still do offer them, especially if you make relationships with salespeople at your favorite makeup counter. Also, know what kind of skin you have and learn what types of products work best for you. You don't have to spend a fortune to have good skin care if you choose the right products, use them properly, and use them regularly. The priciest cream in the world won't do you any good if it's not right for your skin. Keep in mind that what you read in a magazine or even in your favorite blogs may be useful, but not necessarily appropriate for your budget, personality, lifestyle, and so forth. Absorb as much as you can so that you are an educated consumer, but don't fall for the hype. Beauty reviews are highly subjective. What works well for me may not work for you. If I loathe something, you may love it. I never forget that my audience is very diverse when I write my reviews!

For Spring, what are you seeing the most of in terms of colors and beauty trends? It is all about bright pops of color which just mirrors what we saw on the runways. Yellow, bright green, blue, white, orange, bold pink...these are cheerful colors that you can play with. If you're color averse, try a bold nail polish or a colored eye liner or don't have to look like a rainbow. Softer metallics are also going to be popular.

Can you tell us what is in your makeup bag? I have stopped carrying a lot of products. A Clinique powder compact with SPF, a Chanel lip gloss, a kohl eye liner, blotting papers, a tiny rollerball of scent.

What would be the one beauty product that you couldn't live without? Moisturizing lip gloss, preferably with SPF--I never leave the house without one--and I have quite a few.

What is your key to staying on top of everything? Who says that I do?!

Thank you Alison for your time! I appreciate you doing an interview with Moody Maria and for all your advice. For more advice from Alison, visit her beauty blog at:

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