Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

Insider Tips for Breaking Into Beauty Editorial From a Pro

By Kristin Garnero

Whether it’s reading up on ways to make your blowout survive the gym or testing ways to get your lipstick to last longer, you already live and breathe all things beauty. But it takes more than being a beauty junkie to land your first job in this field.

For whippersnappers wanting to break into the beauty editing biz, we tapped industry pro, Courtney Dunlop, currently Clinique’s Editorial Director and the former Executive Editor of and co-author of Break Into Beauty, for her best tips on starting out.

Show your interest in beauty on your resume.
Make sure that your resume reflects your interest in the field — even if some of your former work experience doesn’t seem all that glamorous. “When I was first starting out, my resume included my retail job at Bath & Body Works in the mall and that I had participated in a skincare focus group,” says Dunlop. “The point is, it gives you something to talk about in an interview and it provides an opening for you to expand upon your passion for beauty.”

Stay up-to-date on beauty news.
From trends, industry news, buzzy product launches, Dunlop says it’s important to read everything you can get your hands on about beauty. All of this information is easily accessible on the Internet, so there’s really no excuse for not being in-the-know. Employers are looking for people who know that Jason Wu is doing his second collection for Lancôme this season, for example, and are genuinely excited about it.

Be well-groomed at all times.
To break into any industry, you have to be out there meeting people. And, since this is the beauty industry, you must fit the part. That means tidy nails, hair that isn’t a mess, and some sort of makeup to give you that extra glow, suggests Dunlop. After all, you never know when you’ll get called in for a last minute interview or run into an Estée Lauder recruiter at a party, so keep up with your hair coloring, brow grooming, and manicures — all of which you can do cheaply at home yourself.

Consider a temp job.
“I know several people who started out at a temp agency and asked to be placed at beauty companies, and they worked their way up from there,” says Dunlop. “Even if your job is to answer phones, if you show up looking pulled together and stylish and answer those phones like a champ, I swear people will notice,” she adds.

Try, try again.
Even if you send out a trillion résumes and never get the job, don’t give up. It’ll happen eventually! “Beauty editing can be really hard to break into, but, once you do, you’re a lifer,” says Dunlopp, “and everyone looks out for each other.”

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