Interview with a Beauty Expert: Aly Walansky

Want to discover latest beauty trends? Aly Walansky covers all you need to know about what’s happening in the beauty world with her blog, A Little Alytude, and her informative (yet fun!) posts on tons of different lifestyle websites. Find out how she gets inspiration for her stories, her go-to travel beauty product, and much more below!

Your blog, A Little Alytude, covers everything from beauty and fashion to entertainment and travel. Why did you start the site?

I honestly started it a bit by accident. I was freelancing for SheKnows.com around 8 years ago, and my editor asked me if I was interested in starting a blog. At the time, I didn’t even know what a blog was, outside of sites like Live Journal! It was a just for fun thing, at first, and sort of grew from there.

Your writing appears on a ton of popular sites, including Beauty High, Women’s Health, and xoJane. How do you get specific assignments from these sites? Do you reach out and pitch ideas, or do you get assigned stories?

It works in the same way the print world does: writers pitch stories, and the editors will assign a story based on that idea, if they like it. Sometimes I get assignments as well, sometimes it’s a mix of both. It’s very much about building relationships.

If you have to come up with your own story ideas, where do you get your inspiration for what to write about?

Life! I write about what I’m interested in, what’s impacting me at the moment, what my friends are talking about and going through. Story ideas pop out of the most random of situations - I had one recently just out of a conversation I overheard on an airplane!

New Beauty Magazine ranked you one of the top four beauty bloggers in 2010, and Star Magazine said you were the hottest blogger in 2011. What do you think are key elements every great piece of content needs?

I think being interesting and relatable, absolutely. Also, if you do give instructions or advice, don’t do it in a preachy way. No one is here for that, and it’s condescending.

A lot of bloggers say they look to other writers or celebrities to keep up with trends. What are some of your favorite blogs or celebs to follow for fashion and beauty inspiration?

I think Amber Katz (Rouge18.com) is one of the funniest, sassiest beauty experts out there. I live for her commentary! Bryce Gruber (TheLuxurySpot.com) always has crazy fun posts that are guaranteed for being discussion-worthy at drinks that night. For travel, I’m all about Johnny Jet!

You have a crazy huge following on Twitter with over 33,000 (!) fans. How do you cultivate your social media presence?

I’m always touched that people are interested in being a part of my life, and just hope to keep them interested. I think it’s really easy to get lazy, and make your Twitter nothing short of self-promotional. So, I try to share fun links from around the web, things I’m reading, what I’m watching on TV, weird stuff on the news. It’s all about building and maintaining a conversation.

As a beauty writer, you often get a sneak peek at the hottest products. What new makeup products are you most excited about?

I’m ALL about the extensions from RPZL, an extensions-only salon opening in NYC’s Chelsea section in  the next few weeks. I think it’s going to be the next big thing.

You’re also a huge fan of traveling, but obviously you can’t take all of your beauty supplies with you. What beauty products are definite must-haves when you pack your bags?

Cleansing/makeup removal wipes. Always. It’s a must for refreshing after a long flight. Philosophy’s is great!

You’ve also gotten the chance to live blog from some pretty fun events, like the Miss America pageant and the Emmys. What are your favorite events to cover and why?

I love award shows because you get to be a little bit starstruck in the capacity of journalism. What is everyone wearing? Who is talking to who? It’s so much fun.

You’ve written about a range of personal (yet relatable) topics, like struggling with health insurance issues and dealing with aging. Are there any topics that are off limits to write about?

Nope. We’re all human. The second you stop sharing what it’s like to be a human, with problems and worries and fears, you stop being real.

Thanks for answering our questions! Anything else you’d like the CouponPal readers to know?

My greatest passion is a great bargain - it’s the only sport I know!

Like this interview? Check out the rest of our Interview with an Expert series. Have a question for an expert or someone you want to see interviewed? Tweet your suggestions with #Experts to @CouponPal!

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