There is a glut of fashion and beauty sites out there. So when a new one launches you have to think: What’s different about this one? How will it survive?
These are questions we put to Britt Aboutaleb, former Fashionista editor, and current editorial director of just-launched beauty site Byrdie. Britt left the fashion news world (she was the fashion news editor at Elle.com after she left Fashionista) for the world of beauty about a year ago, when she decamped to Los Angeles to head up the beauty vertical for WhoWhatWear. All this time what she was really gearing up for was the launch of this new standalone beauty site under WhoWhatWear’s Clique media umbrella.
“The content on the new site is strong enough to make [Byrdie] a destination in its own right, plus we have larger, long-term plans for both Byrdie and Domaine [WhoWhatWear's recently launched home site] that will benefit from independent branding,” Hillary Kerr, WhoWhatWear’s founder and editorial director told us. “We just felt like there’s a lack of gorgeous, clean, editor-helmed beauty sites out there and wanted to fill that void.”
And the site is gorgeous. The lead story is a stunning beauty editorial starring Brit Marling–the kind of thing you see in magazines but rarely see online.
“There are tons of great beauty blogs out there and a few super niche sites and Byrdie sits somewhere in between them—it’s glossy, with magazine-like layouts and expert advice—but it’s still fun and accessible,” Britt explains. “That’s the best thing about beauty–it’s a conversation everyone can take part in and something anyone can get excited about… it’s a lot more fun (and realistic) to save up for a Tom Ford lipstick than a Celine bag.”
According to Britt you can expect to find everything from “a sit down with Gucci Westman talking Vogue” to a guide to the best drugstore foundations. Byrdie’s home base in Los Angeles also means close proximity to celebs and their makeup artists for “get the look” features.
But just because Britt is a beauty expert by this point doesn’t mean she hasn’t made her fair share of faux pas. “At my first Henry Holland show at my first London fashion week the gift bags had electric blue eyeshadow and orange M.A.C. lipstick (I actually remember it was Morange) and I thought it’d be awesome to wear them both out that night,” she recalls. “I mean it was London, so you’re never the most wildly made up person in the room, but not my best look.” She continued, “And I recently found a picture of me from college letting the boy I liked highlight my hair–I mean, that wasn’t smart.” Maybe it wasn’t, but Byrdie’s looking pretty smart to us.