Haneen Odeh, Founder of themakeupeditor.com, tells TMN about her website and how it came to fruition, as well as her advice for people looking to start a career in media…
Name: Haneen Odeh
Current Job Title: Founder of themakeupeditor.com
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
When I was too young to remember!
Where did you work prior?
Before starting my beauty website – www.themakeupeditor.com – I was the Fashion and Beauty Editor at Marie Claire Arabia.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
When I first started working in the media industry, I didn’t think much of it.
Has your opinion changed much?
Being exposed to media professionals from outside the Middle East through my career, has made me realise how much development and improvement we need to put into the industry for it to start competing with the international markets.
Is the website a full time job or part time passion for you?
Writing features for themakeupeditor.com is a full time job as well as a passion for me.
Tell us about themakeupeditor.com…
themakeupeditor started as a way of collating all of my beauty knowledge in one place. My friends would always ask me for reviews of certain products, where to buy them or what types of products they should be buying and I decided that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just put this information out there, in case other people have similar questions. I think that more people rely on reviews and experiences rather than advertising when it comes to beauty and so that’s what I’m trying to achieve with themakeupeditor.com; a place for honest reviews, where people can feel comfortable asking for advice.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing how happy people are when they feel beautiful and confident. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding the perfect lipstick or using a new hair mask.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a blog/career in the media industry?
It’s a tricky balance between written content and visual content. The more beautiful the pictures and visuals are, the more attractive your blog or website is. To be successful though, you must always ensure the written content has value. Be original and always write your own content, never copy and paste everything you receive because that doesn’t make you any different from the thousands of other blogs out there.
How do you find PRs in the region?
Overall there is definitely room for improvement! However there are some really great, creative agencies in the region, so it’s important to do your research and find the right one to work with!
What’s your pet PR peeve?
A lack of originality. For most events, collaborations and interviews it’s the same people, the same content and the same questions. Instead of developing and focusing on collaborations with fresh faces and up and coming bloggers. This is why the rest of the world keeps coming up with new influencers and we don’t.
Do you accept press material from PRs?
Yes of course but only with no strings attached. If I like the product, I’ll write about it but I wont write about it only because it was sent to me. Also on a more important note, I always give honest reviews!
How would you rather be contacted at work
Email. I travel a lot, so it’s the best way to reach me.
What’s your most overused saying?
Five things you can’t live without?
Wifi, sunglasses, my iphone, my family and lip balm.
If you could change one thing about media in the UAE, what would it be?
I would have a little less recycling of content. I would like to see a little bit more investigative journalism, regardless of the subject matter. A little bit more of pushing the boundaries. I think the region is now hungry for originality.