Friday, March 8, 2013

First Look Fridays: Publicist Teona Ostrov of Bratskeir & Company

Teona Ostrov, Bratskeir & Company, First Look Fridays, publicist, beauty publicist, interview

I've been working with beauty publicists for over 10 years. Without them, I wouldn't really be able to do my job as a blogger! And I realized recently that it's high time you get to know some of the most fabulous publicists in the industry -- the ones who are helpful, insightful, and, most of all, incredibly easy to work with. First up is Teona Ostrov, who works at Bratskeir & Company. Teona works on one of my favorite brands of all time, The Body Shop -- and a nicer, more enthusiastic publicist is hard to come by! Read on to find out which fragrance she loves the most, the product from The Body Shop that she can't live without and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am the oldest of 5 girls and was born outside Philadelphia in Doylestown, but spent most of my childhood in San Diego (we lived there for 10 years). We moved back to Pennsylvania and then I went to Emerson College in Boston. I absolutely adore Boston! It's the one city I would leave Manhattan for! I went to school and majored in Advertising, Marketing and PR, so I was pretty specific about what I wanted to do from the get go.

How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to work in beauty PR?
I always knew I wanted to be in PR, but I actually originally wanted to do sports PR. Despite the fact that I am an extreme girly girl I actually love sports. During my internships in Boston I was able to work with teams ranging from the Celtics to the Red Sox and even at Major League Lacrosse at the league offices. My first job out of college was at the New York Red Bulls, but after about two years I was given a unique opportunity to run the PR for Mizu Salon in New York so I made the big jump to beauty. I was always a product freak so I was totally into it. I've been doing beauty PR for almost 4 years now and love it. I will say that it has made my product obsession even worse and I pretty much live in a beauty closet at home (I am not complaining!).

What is your favorite part about working in beauty PR? Any highlights throughout your career?
I get to work with beauty products on a daily basis! What could be better? I will say it is nice that even through the madness and the long days I still love my job. I feel like not a lot of people get to genuinely say that. I do what I love and I love what I do. I am a very visual person and also love to speak from personal experience when pitching so I pretty much try out every product before I pitch it. Everyone makes fun of my desk because it might have over 100 products scattered all over it, but it's hard for me to accurately pitch a product if I haven't used it myself. Again -- I have become quite the product junkie! Additionally, I love to talk and am a very social person so PR is obviously the perfect job for me. I enjoy talking to editors all day and pitching stories. I kind of thrive off of the madness. It makes it more fun!

As far as highlights ... I think my first Fashion Week show was Betsey Johnson, which was SO much fun. Her shows are wild and it was an awesome first experience. This sounds so cliche but one of my favorite moments to this day was when I finally got a client a feature in Allure. I mean, its a beauty staple!

What are your 5 favorite products?
NARS, NARS lipstick, NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick, NARS Funny Face, NARS Funny Face Semi-Matte Lipstick, lipstick, makeup, NARS makeup
1) NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Funny Face. I am OBSESSED with the color. Its great for day and night!

Brush On Block, Brush On Block Sunscreen, Brush On Block sunblock, sunscreen, sunblock
2) Brush On Block. It's the MOST amazing mineral sunscreen (SPF 30) and it works to soak up extra oils and calm your skin. I love it because you can reapply all day without messing up your makeup. It's also a good foundation setter and you can never put on too much sunscreen!

Demeter, Demeter Fragrance Library, Demeter Fragrance Library Salt Air, Demeter Fragrance Library fragrance, Demeter Fragrance Library perfume, Demeter Fragrance Library Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray, perfume, cologne, fragrance
3) Demeter Fragrance Library Salt Air. It's my favorite of all of their scents. Rice Paddy is a close second but I get so many compliments when I wear this scent.

4) Susan Posnick COLORFLO Powdered Foundation. I hate wearing foundation or really anything on my face but this is really light, it's actually good for your skin and it has SPF 26!

5) The Body Shop Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes. If you look into any of the bags in my rotation, including my gym bag, you will ALWAYS find a pack of these. I love them to refresh during the day or if I am feeling extra oily. I also use them before the gym to make sure my face is super clean before I work out. Plus, the Tea Tree is a great pick-me-up for during the day.

Working in PR must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
I love to spin! It's hard to make classes because my schedule is so hectic so sometimes I do a lot of spinning at the gym on my own. I also eat out a lot. I hate the word foodie but I am definitely a lover of food, red wine and margaritas. I live on the Lower East Side, so there are so many great restaurants by me so it's hard not to eat out all the time. My bank account would probably want me to eat in a little bit more but the restaurants here are one of the best parts of living in NYC. When I am not doing any of that I am hanging out with my dog Reese (however he has made an appearance at a dinner or two). He comes to work with me and is essentially my second half. Any extra moment we have to hit up a dog park or take a long walk over the Williamsburg Bridge, we take!

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