Beauty Bets

Elizabeth Dehn

6. Elizabeth Dehn-0C4A5100Copy-2

You spent your formative years meticulously grooming your brows, testing countless shades of crimson, strawberry and blushing nude lipsticks while cultivating a large vocabulary of terms for facial scrubs, peels and masks. And for all your efforts, you might entertain the idea of diving into the vast ocean that is the blogging community with a beauty blog of your very own. And sure, you might gain a little momentum and grow yourself a decent following. But a community of Pinterest followers totaling over 5 million is something, to which only a handful of the most remarkable bloggers can claim. Elizabeth Dehn is one such blogger and her engrossing discussion of all things beauty and cosmetics can be found on her highly successful blog, Beauty Bets. Garnering a few tips for carving out a presence in this overwhelming sea that is the blogging community, we sat down with the impressive Ms. Dehn, who has deservingly earned our devoted respect.

Hailing from Minnesota, where they’re admittedly not best known for their up-to-the-minute trend awareness in beauty and cosmetics, Dehn has been running her blog, Beauty Bets since 2009. What originally began as nothing more than a creative pastime, seemingly overnight turned into a phenomenon of respected beauty advice loved by (literally) millions. In addition to her blogging endeavors, Dehn is an Editorial Director at MSP Communications and also collaborates with the beauty brand, One Love Organics. Her sizeable and loyal readership continues to look to Beauty Bets time and again for cutting edge advice, tips and reviews of some of the hottest beauty and cosmetics on the market.

Aside from your early devotion to beauty, were there any other driving factors that inspired you to create
Beauty Bets? 

It really began as a creative outlet. I was a magazine lifestyle editor at the time and didn’t have enough pages to cover all of the beauty I loved. I was also curious about this blogging business. Everybody was doing it but I hadn’t found many beauty blogs I actually wanted to read. So you could say it was for purely
selfish reasons!

Can you describe some of the most fundamentally important steps you took, to which you can attribute Beauty
Bets’ success?

Social media truly makes anything possible. The blog is just one piece, but having an identifiable logo and being a part of the conversation helped me build a brand. There are so many gorgeous, free blogging templates today, but back then it also set me apart to have a custom site.

From where do you draw inspiration for fresh posts on a consistent basis?

From whatever my friends and co-workers and I are talking about! If we’re curious (what is oil pulling anyway?!) then chances are readers will be, too. If I’m not excited to write about it, it’s hard to muster the energy and readers notice.

What’s the most important, lesser-known fact about beauty in your opinion?

The trends might change from season to season but at the end of the day people want products that work, smell nice and look pretty on their vanity. You can try to fake it with a trend or advertising, but consumers see through that!

When traveling, what’s the one product you would never leave behind?

Dry shampoo. Between hard water and tiny hair dryers in the hotel, I always need help in the volume department!

You have a fair selection of talented contributors for Beauty Bets. At what point did you determine you needed the aid of additional writers?

Early on, when I realized that I was never going to cover DIY or drugstore beauty, for example, as well as some of my contributors. Having a team keeps the content fresh and is less isolating—a little-known downside of being a blogger!

I understand you’re also an Editor Director for MSP Communications and also collaborate with the line, One Love Organics. How do you balance your efforts between all three?  

I balance all three by focusing on what I’m good at and delegating or hiring out the rest. I have no shame in that department, it’s just good business and keeps me from burning out!

With an impressive Pinterest following of over five and a half million, how did you grow your exposure adequately to garner this kind of public interest?

Honestly, I have NO IDEA. It happened practically overnight so it’s safe to assume that Pinterest promoted my account. But I do think that my editorial background lends itself nicely to pinning products, images, etc that create a cohesive story. I’m fairly consistent in terms of style and I only pin what I love.

What kind of advice do you have for young writers looking to brand their ideas through their own blog?

Think about what you REALLY care about, because that’s what’s going to get you out of bed and to your laptop in the morning. Then start writing! Good photography has become almost synonymous with blogging. Will you take your own or find someone to partner with? Finally, build relationships with other bloggers, brands, and the media. We support each other and it makes all the difference.

Text by Jennifer Richardson-Moulaison
Photograph by Eliesa Johnson