Beauty and fitness writer Amber Katz appears in major lifestyle sites ranging from Allure.com to Refinery29 and Yahoo Beauty. Her own blog, Rouge18, has a loyal legion of readers who have been following Amber’s work since 2006 (back when it was called Beauty Blogging Junkie), and her love of pop culture shows up in references throughout her writing. Amber cares about trends that are just about to hit the mainstream, so if you have your finger on the pulse of something that’s about to get big, read on to see how to pitch her your story.
1. What publications/ outlets are you currently reporting for?
In addition to my own blog and Estée Lauder’s The Estée Edit, I write for allure.com, self.com, refinery29.com, Yahoo Beauty and teenvogue.com.
2. What topics/ beats/ stories are of special interest to you right now?
Anything beauty/fitness health-related. I cover a bit of travel and fashion, as well.
3. Please provide a brief bio.
Amber Katz is a freelance writer and founder of rouge18.com, a pop culture-infused beauty blog featuring everything from skin smoothers to hair spray to body scrubs. A former financial copywriter, Amber started her blog in 2006 as an outlet from which to rave about her favorite lotions and potions to fellow beautyphiles–instead of her non-target audience of middle-aged (straight) male auditors at the office. Amber’s beauty bent has taken her as far as Tahiti to learn about monoi-making, to the fields of Morocco, where argan oil is sourced.
4. Why did you become a journalist?
I always wanted to write about beauty. I wanted to be a beauty editor for a teen magazine, but thought it was too lofty a goal without connections, so I had law internships in college at Boston University. I thought I’d go to law school, but after working a year at a law firm, I decided to pass. Later, when I worked in marketing at an accounting firm, I found myself recommending my favorites glosses and hairspray to men in their 50s in the elevator at work. I started my blog to have a more appropriate outlet for these recommendations.
5. What stories (or project) of yours are you most proud of and why?
The pop culture posts I wrote for MTV.com are among my favorites I’ve written, as the voice of the site was so aligned with my own. Those posts were just really fun to write.
I’m also proud of this heavily researched article for The Cut on all the hair supplements I take for longer, stronger hair, which involved pinning down a study from the University of Bolognia about lab rats peeing out biotin without taking it with folic acid, the real key to speeding up hair growth.
6. What’s the best pitch you ever got?
I no longer have the pitch since I switched email addresses a few years ago, but one of the best ones I received was an opportunity to interview Blake Lively’s longtime colorist, per an email pitch from the colorist’s publicist.
7. What was so good about it?
Blake Lively’s hair was a pop culture moment in its own right at the time, and scoring exclusive details about her coveted locks during her peak Gossip Girl fame was amazing, especially for an independent beauty blogger. Here’s the story:
8. What are some tips for people who want to pitch you a story?
Read my blog. Don’t pitch me specifically for one outlet if it’s a general product mention you’re looking for. Make sure not to pitch me for outlets for which I haven’t written in over a year.
9. When do you prefer to be pitched? How much lead-time, or what days/times are most appropriate?
I’d say between 9-5 Monday through Friday. For a product I have to test/review, I need at least 3-4 weeks. I’m always knee-deep in about 25 products that are in my to-test pile.
10. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’m writing a fiction novel that takes place at MIT. It’s simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever taken on.