Become A Beauty Editor

Current journalists, as well as individuals seeking a job change, will find the following steps useful on the road to becoming a beauty editor for a newspaper or magazine.


1. In order to become an successful editor, all journalists must keep a few things in mind: 1) The Associated Press Stylebook is your bible; 2) line editing skills are extremely important; and 3) the goal of your publication must always influence decisions you make on copy. In order to become a successful beauty editor, all journalists should remember the following: 1) Keeping abreast of trends is critical; 2) think like your audience; and 3) be flexible.

2. To keep abreast of beauty trends means to read every major, national magazine, such as Allure, Elle, or Glamour. Many companies will pay for subscriptions to publications that are work-related; ask if yours is one of them. Another way to stay plugged in is by attending events. Shopping centers and boutiques often host fashion shows, where beauty products are advertised, and if you’re in a large city, big brands usually come together at local convention centers or hotels to showcase their latest lines at trade shows.

3. Keep your target audience in mind. If you write for wealthy women over the age of 50, reviewing the latest electric-blue eyeshadow and matching lipstick probably isn’t a good idea. Put yourself in your readers shoes, and write about products they would use. For an accurate gauge of readers’ opinions of your stories, ask your company to conduct a subscriber survey. In the meantime, ask friends or acquaintances what they think of recent articles and features.

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4. Be flexible. If a competing publication comes out with a full feature story on the latest boutique to up downtown and its owner, be prepared to go after the same subject with a completely different angle, or not at all and quickly switch gears to another idea. Being able to turn on a dime and produce an alternate story is extremely valuable.

5. Once you’ve mastered operate as an editor, focus on your actual line editing skills. Being able to tighten stories without losing their meaning is vital to being a good editor. Your objective should be to present the most relevant, correct information in as coherent a manner as possible. If space constraints due to changing ad sizes means cutting four lines off of one column, be prepared to do so, perhaps quickly.

6. Finally, in order to actually become a beauty editor, demonstrate your superior skills to your boss. Show him/her that you know your audience and what they want, and can write well about it. When an editor spot opens up, chances are you’ll at least be considered (most companies prefer to promote from within). If there are no growth opportunities at your current publication, make as many connections in the industry as possible. Something will turn up, as journalists are always moving on to other positions.