We never thought being a beauty editor was a particularly simple task—if you know what all those different mascara brushes do, you’re way ahead of us—but after reading Jean Godfrey-June’s completely phoned-in column, “The Beauty Closet,” in the June issue of Lucky, we’ve changed our tune. In fact, based on this page alone, we’ve discerned there are just four easy steps to becoming a top beauty editor:
1. Carefully select your featured products. Think you should patrol out-of-the-way boutiques and track down women brewing body lotion in their kitchens? Not necessary. It isn’t even mandatory to seek out new formulations or effective innovations to share with your readers. In fact, all you need to do is read the press releases from a couple of national chain stores, and maybe stroll through the cosmetics aisle at CVS once in a while. Following the example set in Jean’s June column, a typical article can contain ringing endorsements of mass-manufactured products from commonplace shops like Bath and Body Works and Crabtree & Evelyn. And why not throw in a L’oreal lip gloss that can be purchased in pretty much any drugstore in the U.S.? Done!
2. Find colorful ways to describe the items. Beauty editors are supposed to be creative, so be bold with your language. Don’t be afraid to refer to candles with nonsensical descriptions like “stuffy, stodgy chic,” and feel free to use cloying constructions like “uber-British-y.” Not sure what these phrases actually mean? Don’t worry! Your readers won’t know either!
3. Keep the big picture in mind. Never forget that, as a beauty editor, your job is to sell products that no one really needs. Don’t hesitate to overstate the cultural importance of common items like lip gloss if you think it’ll move a few more units, and be sure to couch even the most pedestrian of beauty aids in convoluted, grandiose language. Even though no one will truly comprehend your prose, they won’t want to admit it. For example:
Women no longer powder their noses; cigarettes are out; only lipstick remains, a final holdout of the glamorous secreting away of oneself in full view that was once the epitome of femininity.
No editor will dare to delete sweeping generalizations about the nature of womanhood!
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. For instance, don’t bother figuring out whether a shower foam saves time over a shower gel because it doesn’t require lathering. No one’s going to test any of your baseless claims anyway because, well, they’re insignificant. (How much time do you spend working up a lather in the shower? Mere seconds! See?) Likewise, don’t waste a moment pondering if you, as the beauty editor, should even be recommending home accessories like candles, even if your magazine has a home decor section where candles would be much better suited.
With practice and persistence, a beauty editor position is easily attainable. And if you get discouraged, keep the faith: these four steps obviously worked for Jean Godfrey-June.