Friday, June 14, 2013

First Look Fridays: Founder of The PR Closet and Beauty Publicist Alexis Rodriguez

Alexis Rodriguez is one of those publicists you definitely want to know. She's worked everywhere, from Diane von Furstenberg to her current role at Bobbi Brown, and she's super knowledgeable. She shares that knowledge via her informative and well written blog (of which I never miss a post!), The PR Closet. Read on to find out which Bobbi Brown eyeliner she can't live without, what inspired her to start her blog and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up in NYC and Florida and came back to NYC to go to college. I went to Pace University and majored in Lit/Comm with a minor in Marketing and Art History. I now live in NYC with my husband and our Cavapoo named Hendrix. By day, I do PR for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Prior to Bobbi Brown, I worked at LVMH, Diane von Furstenberg, Tractenberg, Ketchum and DNA PR. I have done in house, big agency and boutique agency PR for more than 13 years. When I am not working (which is rare), I spend my time mentoring young aspiring publicists via my blog The PR Closet, an advice column focused on how to break into beauty and/or fashion PR. I also recently launched BeautyComm Intensive, a 2-day workshop that teaches the ins and outs of beauty PR.

How did you first become interested in beauty and fashion, and what led you to work in PR?
I didn’t decide on a career in Public Relations actually. I just kind of found it organically. I started as an international business major in school and switched to Literature/Communications my sophomore year. Then I started taking internships, and the only ones I could ever find were in PR. I didn’t even know what PR was at the time. I landed one working with beauty brands and loved it, so I kept that internship for a while and eventually it turned into a full-time job. I stuck with beauty because I loved it -- and not just because it is girly and fun, but because there is also a real science behind ingredients, textures and formulas, and how the products work. I really appreciate the industry and what beauty and fashion do to help women feel more confident.

What is your favorite part about working in PR? Any highlights throughout your career?
The people I get to meet make working in PR an absolute dream. I don’t know if I would have had the experiences I have had if I didn’t work in PR. Through several events and partnerships, I have had access to a lot of inspiring people. Hillary Clinton, Oprah and Madonna top my list. My career highlights would have to be the honor and privilege of working for the most powerful women in fashion and beauty.

I love your blog, The PR Closet -- I never miss a post! What led you to create it?
Thank you! On July 15th, 2011, I was asked to give the keynote presentation at Fashion Camp NYC, a day camp program for teens interested in the fashion industry. Fashion Camp NYC explores the “business” of fashion, teaching teens -- ages 12 to 18 -- how to turn their passion into a lucrative profession. Their educators include fashion executives, designers, product developers, stylists, bloggers, editors, and apparently publicists as well, which is where I came in.

The girls were genuinely interested in learning about PR, and more than that, how I got into PR and ultimately to where I am now. It was incredibly rewarding and a lot of the girls remained in touch with me, seeking out mentorship, which is why I launched the blog. I have always wanted to help young, aspiring publicists in a bigger way, and Fashion Camp NYC was the catalyst for finally making it happen ... So, the blog was created to first and foremost serve as a go-to for young, aspiring beauty/fashion publicists so they can learn how to break into PR and ultimately succeed. I explain what PR actually is, the difference between beauty and fashion PR, where to start, what schools have great PR programs, etc. I also feature informative links, beauty/fashion publicist Spotlights, and post jobs and internships in beauty/fashion PR. I love paying it forward, and The PR Closet allows me to do that my way.

As a beauty publicist, you must come across so many amazing products every day. What are your 5 favorite products from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and what makes them stand out for you?

1) Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15. It's my favorite foundation because it evens out my skin, but keeps it healthy and natural looking, and it wears all day, so I don’t have to worry about touching it up. I alternate between that and Bobbi’s Foundation Stick, which I carry with me everywhere.

2) Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara. I don’t have long or full lashes, but this mascara makes it look like I do.

3) Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Bronze. It is the best color out there and so easy to apply. Once on, it stays put until I wash it off. I swear I get asked about once a day what shadow I am wearing -- it’s that pretty.

4) Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. It's the most incredible liner I have ever used. It is so intensely pigmented and creates the perfect line that doesn’t smudge. I’m obsessed!

5) Bobbi Brown Corrector. It makes my dark circles vanish. I actually use two correctors -- Bisque and Peach.

Are there any other beauty products or brands that you love? What makes them stand out for you?

I really love Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel. I have been using them for about 10 years, 3 times a week.

I can’t live without my CLARISONIC Mia 2. I use it every other day to exfoliate and I have seen a dramatic difference in my skin tone and texture. I told you I was a skincare nerd!

Working in PR and blogging must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
I sleep!

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