By Devon Abelman
My first-ever informational interview was with a beauty editor. At the time, I had no idea I wanted to be a beauty editor myself, and after I walked out of her office, I called my mom to tell her I definitely didn’t want to be one. (The joke’s on all of us now!)
But before going up to the editor’s office, I sat in the lobby along with two other interview-ready women my age. They both wore basically the same thing: a black pantsuit of sorts, a cream collared dress shirt, and pearls. With my floral midi dress and lavender lipstick, I looked like Janis Joplin next to these Hillary Clintons. I nervously laughed on the inside, hoping my #beautyblessed self wouldn’t make me look ill-prepared.
Luckily, that beauty editor approved of my aesthetic choices. *praise hands emoji* She said something along the lines of, “Your face is your resume, and by the way, you’re doing a great job.” And look at me now, kids!
Since then, I’ve done almost a dozen interviews and informationals with beauty editors from Allure to Cosmo. This is how I’ve formatted my resume.
Many beauty editors have mastered the “no-makeup makeup” look or have discovered a night cream that allows them to wake up every morning with flawless skin, needing just a swipe of mascara. I have yet to find that cream and the only time I do no-makeup makeup is when I’m on a beach. So I need a little help in this department. If you do too, lightweight foundation is your friend. I like to use AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact because it gives me sheer coverage that doesn’t look too cakey or oily. Both of those qualities are key—you don’t want to look like you’re about to walk the red carpet or like you just anointed your entire body with coconut oil.
On a typical day, I tend to overdose on highlighter. The rover on Mars can probably see my cheeks, distracting it from finding alien life forms. (Sorry, NASA!)
However, on interview days, I like to take my illumination levels down to a subtle glow that convinces editors I’m beaming with excitement—not sweating with fear for my future. Colourpop’s highlighters do the job at a super cheap price: $8! Their shade Lunch Money is great if, like me, your skin resembles snow. For medium girls, Wisp will give you a really pretty golden glow. And finally, Avalon, a bronze-y gold, is perfect for darker skin tones.
When you’ve found the perfect shade, tap it on the top of your cheeks and under your brow arches with your fingers. Then give yourself some color with a peachy pink blush (like tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Glisten) on the apples of your cheeks with a fluffy face brush.
Skip showing off your smoky-eye skills in favor of a modest cat eye look—the beauty interview version of a pencil skirt and blazer. Wings are the best reference for your patience and makeup savvy.
First, you want to lay some groundwork. Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Sand is a chill universal base shade. It’ll make you look awake and ready to answer all the curveball questions. Apply the shimmery champagne to your entire lid under the creases and inner corners with a fluffy brush.
As for the sharpness of the wings, I take a break from my usual “Japanese sushi knife” wings and opt for a more manageable pocket knife version. I don’t want to show off too much, you know. With a liquid liner like Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, apply the smallest, most controlled of flicks. Then finish off with mascara.
Note: If you have no idea how to do a proper wing, skip it to save yourself from stressing. Just go with the Bella Sand or a similar shimmery neutral shade and a bolder lipstick instead.
Don’t grab your favorite red lipstick today. You’ll look like you’re trying out to be a Taylor Swift impersonator. Instead, use a brick red. Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Chula is 100. The color is so unique that I’ve never found another lipstick like it. If I wanted to have a signature lip color to wear every day, this would be it. Or you could channel young Dev on that first informational with my first purple lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Haute.
A nice rosy nude is always a good option too. Yeah, it’s not the most exciting shade to usher in this new chapter of your life with, but it’s reliable and professional looking. I forever recommend the super velvety and long-wearing Ardency Inn MODSTER Long Play Supercharged Lip Color in Valentine.
Hot tip: If lipstick is your holy grail, keep a couple of your favorites in your purse, just in case the editor asks you what they are.
You want to make your brows looks as natural and awesome as possible. An editor once told me that she was distracted the entire time she was interviewing someone because her brows were poorly drawn on. Don’t let this be you! When in doubt, clear brow gel it out. Urban Decay Brow Tamer will keep your face caterpillars right and tight with zero margin for error.
Devon Abelman was voted Most Likely to Give Moms Beauty Tips in high school. OK, not really, but she might as well have. Her work has appeared in Parents, American Baby, and Prevention. She’s currently the assistant editor for FamilyFun and founder of the beauty blog #beautyblessed. If you ever need podcast, TV, or movie recommendations, you can subscribe to her newsletter DEVFLIX. Or if you’re in the mood to listen to women talk about things they love, check out her podcast Less Than Three.