Anyone who works in beauty will tell you that it’s a fun, inspiring place, full of creative ideas (and the occasional free sample!), but exactly how do you break into the beauty industry? In a new series, we’ll be chatting with Beauty Bay staff members to find out what their jobs involve and the paths they took to get where they are now.
From makeup artists and beauty editors to social media assistants, buyers, and web developers – these stories are proof that you can enter the beauty industry via any career path.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Even when I was really small I knew I wanted to be a writer in some form. In primary school it was an author, then when I discovered magazines I wanted to be a journalist and that evolved into digital copywriting and social media as the industry has changed.
What attracted you to the beauty industry?
I love the power that makeup and skincare have to change your whole mood. A good skincare sesh on a Sunday night with a facemask and serum sets you up for the whole week; a new eyeliner can boost your confidence before a tough meeting or long shift at work. It has also always fascinated me how the subtleties in beauty can create a signature look that becomes iconic e.g. Amy Winehouse’s batwing liner.
What did you study and how did this guide you into your current role/how do you use the skills from your degree in your job?
After leaving sixth form I carried out a ten week fashion course in London which set me up with all the basics of the fashion/beauty industry from journalism to PR to pattern making. I made some amazing contacts and friends there who have gone on to have some epic jobs and have helped me gain a lot of opportunities. After that I studied Journalism at University which was brilliant, but really I was just itching to get out there and start my career. Because of this I carried out loads of internships while I was studying at magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I also did a social media internship at a local fashion brand during one summer break from uni which was probably the most influential. I loved how instant the response was when putting out content and watching the number of engagements go up and up.
What path did your career take after graduation?
After graduation I moved to Manchester (which is VERY different to the sleepy Somerset village I come from) and got a job running the social media at a modelling agency. I learned SO much and again, met so many important people and lifelong mates. After 18 months I felt like it was time for a change and applied for my role at Beauty Bay. I’ve had so much fun here already! I went to a festival with the brand on my third week and was on set getting behind the scenes content on shoots not long after.
What skills and experience do you need to work in social media?
My core journalism skills have been really helpful as well as good spelling and grammar. I’m trend obsessed and always want to be the first to know what is new and next which is really important when doing image research and planning content. What I love about this role is that it is always changing and evolving so you have to be ready to adapt. For example, when Instagram launches a new feature we have to be on it!
What are common misconceptions people have about your job?
‘Don’t you just look at Instagram all day?!’
What does your day-to-day job entail?
I will spend the morning scheduling in posts. This means sourcing user generated content, finding images and writing copy for the topics that we need to cover as well as anything reactive that we might like to feature. After that I look in to any projects that we have coming up and strategise how we can utilise social for them. I report on certain aspects of our social media output, looking at engagement rates and how posts have performed in terms of sales to make sure we are giving our audience the best content and producing posts they want to engage with. There are so many exciting developments happening at Beauty Bay right now and there’s always opportunities to get involved with loads of aspects of the business.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is featuring the amazing work of MUAs, customers and influencers who use our products. It’s really nice to see their reaction when we’ve re-posted one of their shots.
What has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
When I interned at Harper’s Bazaar, I assisted on a location cover shoot with Cate Blanchett. The clothes and jewellery were out of this world and I kept thinking: ‘Are they really trusting me with this?!’ The final images were beautiful (of course) and it’s lovely to be able to look back and think I was a part of it.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in your field?
Write all the time – even if no one reads it. Start a blog, write for your student newspaper, write a journal – just write! Also say yes to everything and anything and figure out the rest later. I didn’t have anywhere to stay in London when I interned but I knew the opportunity was too good to pass up and I got there every day in the end. Most companies will cover expenses for unpaid internships now but it’s worth putting money aside if you can. During most of my internships I would get up at 5am for a 6am train to London from my university town, then come back at the end of the day and go straight to a bar job in the evening. You just have to make it work!
What’s your favourite thing about working at Beauty Bay?
The team here are super organised, helpful and open to any wild creative ideas. There is so much exciting stuff coming up that I can’t wait for our followers to see!
What deskside essential is vital to you doing your job?
I always have a big bottle of water, Mario Badescu Hydrating Hand Cream and my to-do list.
What’s your favourite Beauty Bay product?
I honestly can’t stop talking about the Oh! K Peeling Foot Mask. I officially have new feet thanks to that product!