Media Insight: "Beauty Buzz"


InStyle magazine Time Life Building, Rockefeller Center New York, NY 10020 212/522-5561 Fax: 212/467-0196 http://www.instyle.com Among the growing stable of women's fashion and style magazines is one which, like its counterparts, often weighs more than a newborn baby. InStyle magazine, now in its eighth year, delivers celebrity-driven news, tips, fashion advice and lifestyle guidance to its predominantly (86 percent) female audience with a median age of 32 and median individual income just over $68,000. Circulation hovers at around 1.5 million for the monthly, which most often lands on the shelves next to Vogue and Allure. At its inception, InStyle's founder Martha Nelson declared that the content of this Time Inc. pub would be "useful, beautiful and fun." Which brings us to the Beauty Buzz section, which aims to sniff out the substance in the beauty industry. Statistics, science and verifiable facts are the order of the day at Beauty Buzz. Content/Contacts As beauty news director, Amy Synnott oversees the magazine's beauty department, including the news-driven Beauty Buzz space. For Beauty Buzz, she looks for stories that highlight trends and innovations, as well as studies relating to health or beauty. Synnott, who previously served as senior beauty editor at Glamour, also runs short news stories in the Beauty Buzz section. "We are trying to approach beauty from a more journalistic perspective, trying to get to the bottom of whether things really work. We want to evaluate things and really put them to the test," says Synnott. Contact amy_synnott@instylemag.com. Pitch Tips Pitches for the Beauty Buzz section all go to Synnott, and she wants them in writing. Materials should come in two to three months in advance. Do your homework first. "I hate pitches that don't have a news angle," says Synnott. "Just because something is new, that does not make it newsworthy. You would be amazed how many press releases I get from people who are just launching a new pink lipstick." (Hint: If two other firms have new pink lipstick, too, tell her so. Synnott subscribes firmly to the three-of-anything-make-a-trend school of thought.) Include the price of a product, a toll free number where people can buy it, a launch date, and the active ingredients of any skin care product. Comments While Synnott leans heavily toward the hard facts, there is room here for softer news. For example, Synnott also likes pitches that draw her attention to behind-the-scenes beauty trends. A regular feature called "Spotted Backstage" highlights such items, as in a recent feature that took readers backstage at a fashion show where everyone was using miniature Japanese irons. When it comes to products, though, those who can supply the science have the best odds. Synnott's "Buzzword" column explores some new technology or ingredient that readers will be hearing about, for example. "We will say what it is, what is claims to do -- and what the dermatologists have to say about it," she explains. In The Pipeline Some things are constant. Synnott always needs access to expert makeup artists, hairstylists and the like. She always needs statistics and studies having to do with beauty and related lifestyle issues. Ideally, these studies will offer "something ironic or surprising," as she put it. In a recent study, researchers from Clairol found while 19 percent of women are naturally fair-haired, 64 percent of newscasters and 65 percent of Miss Americas sport a blond coif. Beyond that, she is simply on the lookout for breaking fashion news and trends. "This page is dependent on what is going on. The industry is generating the news and so our need for news will depend on what is happening in the industry."

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