Christine Mikesell is a full-time physician, mom, and beauty blogger – which means she has become an expert on beauty regimens for women who have lots of demands on their time. We had a chance to speak with Christine about incorporating her medical background into her blogging and what her blog is able to offer to beauty brands.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to start 15 Minute Beauty?
I started my blog while I was still in medical training. I was in my Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship, but the daily grind was getting to me and I needed something a little lighter to balance out my professional life. My husband suggested beauty blogging since I was spending a lot of time reading and commenting on other blogs.
As a doctor (and a person of science), what can you tell us about some of the “scientifically-proven” claims made by some brands and beauty products? Should they be trusted?
I’ve found that most of the larger brands do a good job of only claiming what they can back up. They have large legal teams that ensure they don’t over-promise. However, you do need to do a good job of really reading what they claim. Often, claims are along the lines of “this percentage of users noticed an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.” Many consumers read that as what percentage of the fine lines are improved with the product; but instead, it is the percent of those that said, “I think my skin looks better.” As long as you carefully read what the brands are claiming, you’ll find they’re truthful.
Finish this sentence: “When it comes to integrity and honesty, the most important thing that I want my readers and my partner brands to know about me and my blog is…”
… that those are priorities and I take my integrity very seriously. I was one of the first beauty bloggers to start disclosing press samples – before the FTC required such disclosure. I am very careful about the brands I will partner with and the products that I review. I only select those that I can be truthful about and fit the blog’s editorial view.
Are there any types of beauty products that you like to recommend to your on-the-go, time-crunched readers who need help with their “15-minute beauty” regimen?
I always look for products that can multitask. I’m a big fan of BB Creams, which combine skin treatments, moisturizer, sunscreen, and even foundation into one easy-to-use step!
What value do you and your blog provide to beauty brands with whom you partner?
I think my readership is slightly older than the typical beauty blog, and they are very savvy consumers. They really want to know how a product works and what is new, and they do actually go out and buy the products. I get emails and comments from readers quite frequently about my recommendations and how much they like the products.
How do you strengthen your relationship with a brand beyond simply trying out their products?
When I find a brand I love, I want to know what’s coming out next, and then give them feedback to strengthen their products and the way they pitch them to consumers. There are a few brands that I’ve featured over and over on my site simply because I love their products and have a good relationship with them.
Other than writing a review, what are some other tactics and methods you can use to promote a particular beauty brand or product on your blog?
I like to do “best of” lists which incorporate products. Whether the list is for a particular product type or to solve a particular problem, those posts are always very popular. In addition, tutorials and “getting ready” posts are also popular.
How do you see the beauty blogging industry evolving over the next five to ten years?
I think the individual blog itself will continue to become less important as each influencer’s content is spread across more social media networks. But there will be many ways for influencers to share their favorites and opinions, and consumers will follow them on those networks.
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