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The Biggest Lies About Working in Fashion and Beauty

Champagne! Dior! The latest $200 serums! This is the life for those of us who work in the style and beauty industry, right?

Wrong. Though fulfilling on many levels, working as a fashion or beauty editor isn’t always swag and expensive face cream.

1. This is a “chill” industry.

Ahh, how I wish the days were full of kicking my feet up and sipping chamomile tea. When you work in the fashion industry, though, you’re constantly running, running, running—especially when you work in digital! Whether tackling market appointments, returning samples to keep up friendly relationships with PR, or even making sure that your cover girl is actually booked and ready to show up on time, the life of a fashion insider isn’t always the easiest. (But fear not: if you enjoy the fast-paced life, you can definitely still have fun!)

2. Fashion Week is the most wonderful time of the year.

So, let me clarify: Fashion Week IS a wonderful time. However, when you’re going backstage to interview the hair, makeup, and nail artists while models are running around like decapitated chickens and the fashion director is having a nervous breakdown 15 minutes before the show, it can be a trying time (to say the least). It looks so fun because people always post the glamorous parts of the job on social media, but very few show the grunt work. Trust me, it exists. Still, it is pretty cool to see the models before everyone else. Just be prepared for a circus show!

3.You get to take home the beauty stuff.

Hold your horses, my little Edsters. Yes, PR brands will sometimes send makeup and cosmetics for a shoot or to establish a good relationship with editors, and your company may also have a closet that houses all things beauty. I know those Kylie Lip Kits may be calling your name, but you should never take something out of the closet without first asking for permission. True story: I was working with two other interns, and one of them decided to take a red lipstick out of the stash because nobody had used it. Two days later, the beauty director asked for that specific shade of red for a shoot! Let’s just say…it didn’t end well.

4.We’re all hanging out with Anna Wintour.

If you’re an intern, there are very few times you’ll be hanging out with the creative director or the editor-in-chief. There is still a hierarchy within the industry, and you should be careful not to overstep boundaries in an “entitled” way. Yes, there have been times I’ve been in the same room as Anna Wintour. And yes, I’m obsessed with her. But no, I do not just frolic in beautiful Vogue gardens with her.

5. If you want to work in fashion, you have to be an editor.

I remember talking to this young lady once who said the only reason she was working at a fashion magazine was because she was passionate about fashion, even though she hated writing. News flash: If you hate writing, you may not make for a good editor. Luckily, you don’t have to be an editor if you’re interested in the fashion or beauty industry. You could be a creative director or a site director. There is a plethora of other opportunities in PR and communications. You can work on the legal side, become a designer, or delve into social media management or video production for a brand. Lend your expertise where your passion lines up and you’ll be so much happier.

Jamé Jackson is a freelance writer based in New York City. She loves all things fashion, beauty, and #GirlBoss related. She can be seen spreading her magic on Instagram @Theblondemisfit and her website, Theblondemisfit.com.

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