I spent some time with Allure magazine, both literally in it and with their Associate Digital Editor, Stephanie Saltzman. Not only do they appreciate a natural thing, but also a hydrating one, listing some of their most important beauty bag essentials as lip balm and moisturiser. How convenient for me… #letsbefrank
What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Need. More. Sleep.
Then, what’s the first thing you do?
Check my phone (doesn’t everyone?). I’ll normally scroll through Instagram first, check my e-mail, and then check my horoscope — I’ve started believing in that stuff more recently, after one too many bouts of Mercury-in-retrograde weirdness.
You’re Associate Digital Editor at Allure magazine. Can you tell my babes how you got to this role?
When I graduated from journalism school in 2012, I knew I wanted to work in beauty. It was just one of those meant-to-be things: Right around that time, there happened to be an opening for a freelance position on the digital team for allure.com, and when I heard about it, I just had this feeling that it was my chance. It was my first job out of college. I’d done internships at other magazines and websites (almost always in the field of beauty) so it really felt like the perfect fit for me. I got hired, and have since worked my way up to my current position. I couldn’t have been luckier.
What differentiates Allure from other beauty magazines?
One main thing is the level of research that goes into everything we do. A lot of people don’t realise how rare that is. We test and investigate every single thing we write about, which allows us to get to the science of what makes products work and to really dissect trends. That said, I think it’s also important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we always consider beauty within the larger context of the real world. No, mascara clumps aren’t the worst thing that’s going to happen in your life. And we get that. But if you do want to find a clump-free mascara, we’ve got your back. So that balance of taking the research—but not ourselves—seriously is what makes us unique.
What have some of your past roles been? And the biggest thing you learnt in them?
I’ve been working at Allure since I graduated college, starting as a freelancer and working my way up to an assistant editor, and now an associate editor. Before that, I interned for Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as a few smaller beauty-specific sites. Through all of that, one thing that’s stuck with me is that it is possible to be both incredibly successful and a nice human being. So many of the editors I see as role models have achieved their success by collaborating with others. It’s just so much better to put energy into being positive and collaborative than being self-important or cutthroat. That, and to always, always wear sunscreen.
Did you always dream of working at a beauty magazine?
It wasn’t really a concrete thing I had in mind when I was growing up. I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, but it wasn’t until college that I started to really realise my passion for beauty. Looking back, it had always been there — I’d spend forever in the shampoo aisle and had this curiosity about new products and trends I assumed everyone had. But looking back, I think beauty was always kind of my calling.
What does your average day look like?
Working in the digital space means there’s always a sense of urgency — things need to happen quickly. Most of my days are spent conceptualising, reporting, writing, and editing content for allure.com. I also help run our Instagram account, attend occasional market events to learn about new product launches, figure out what should go on our homepage, and, of course, test lots and lots of beauty products.
And what’s one thing you make sure you do, everyday?
Read a book. (Well, not a whole book. But a part of one.)
If you didn’t work in beauty, you’d work in…?
Probably something relating to TV. I get obsessed with shows — I’ll never be one of those people who is too cool to own a television.
You know your beauty products. What do you look for in them?
Having worked in beauty for years, I’m not impressed by a lot of the marketing gimmicks so many companies use. I approach every new product I try with a healthy level of skepticism. The first thing I look at (especially when it comes to skin-care and hair products) is the ingredient list. Is it just a basic formula, or is there something more interesting at play? But I’m also a sucker for good, minimalist packaging.
What do you avoid?
Tanning beds. I’ve never used one, never will. I also have a pretty strong aversion to anything heavily scented with rose or jasmine, which I usually find cloying.
How important is it for you that the product must not be tested on animals?
Super important! So many companies have made strides when it comes to being cruelty-free, and that’s because it’s what people want to buy. I don’t eat meat and like to think of myself as environmentally conscious, so cruelty-free beauty products are kind of a no-brainer in that regard.
And that it’s natural?
That’s another thing I value a lot. We’re lucky to live in a time with so many truly great natural products. The notion that, ‘natural products can’t possibly be as effective or luxurious’ is so old-school. There are an astonishing number of really legit natural brands out there.
Gee thanks babe, I appreciate it. #letsbefrank
A babe can only have 5 items in beauty bag. What are they?
I’m a major skin-care junkie, so most of my must-haves are for skin. You’ll never find me without hand cream, lip balm, sunscreen, a bold lipstick, and a good concealer.
And one skill every girl should know how to master in the makeup department?
When it comes to makeup, I’m all about brows. Mine are naturally full, but I always fill in any sparse areas and then use a light brow gel. I think people underestimate the power of good brows. They can completely change your appearance. Even if I’m not wearing any other makeup, I’ll take a few seconds to groom my brows—and maybe do a couple swipes of mascara, for balance.
Lastly, who should I put on my to scrub/dirty talk list?
Hari Nef, a model/actress who’s majorly on the rise right now. I was fortunate enough to get to interview her recently. She’s an activist for the transgender community, and she’s so well spoken on the subject. I find her so inspiring.