Thursday, 1 July 2010

I Want This Job: Madame Figaro Beauty Editor

Oooh, I'm so excited to present you with my 3rd installment of "I want this Job" feature. I luuurve beauty and am a major sucker for products, experimenting with make up looks & reading about all the latest goodness in magazines.
NB: I have something weird going on with blogger and composing the posts, hence the sporadic font types!!! What a mare, sorry peeps!

One magazine I buy consistently here in Greece is Madame Figaro, whose glorious glossy pages, dreamy fashion & stunning beauty pages always give me a fully satisfied feeling. (I'm not quite there in reading and totally understanding Greek, so pictures and styling or visuals are what work for me).

I'd like to introduce Thalia Kechri of Madame Figaro, who going to give us a frank and honest sneak peek into being a Beauty Editor. Enjoy!

I want this job: Beauty Editor

Where do you work? Madame Figaro Magazine, Greece

What's a typical day in the life of Thalia Kechri?

As a beauty editor I don't have to go to work very early – that's a plus- so I have some time for my family and myself in the morning. I must admit each day is different since I often have to go to photo shoots or attend beauty events, usually cosmetic launches. So, when I haven't got another obligation I arrive at work at about 11,00 and start answering my e-mails. I receive a lot of different products and press releases every day so I have to go through all this stuff see what interests me and what doesn't. I may have to attend to a meeting with my editor in chief to decide next issues subjects. Then I get down to writing and preparing for my photo shoots. I also have a lot of talking on the phone to do. Lots of pr managers call me daily to talk to me about their clients, their products and so on. There isn't really a certain time limit to my job. If I have finished everything I have to do, I may leave at 5,00-5,30 but most of the days I have to be here to help the graphic designers to set the magazine's pages and make sure there are no mistakes made.

What core responsibilities do you have?

First of all I have decide on my subjects, make sure they are interesting and following the season's needs & trends. Then I must write the texts, consult some experts – like doctors, make up artists or hair experts – follow the trends & watch the fashion shows, especially if I want to write about make up or hair trends. I also have to be in contact with beauty products company in order to be informed about new products, new cosmetic breakthroughs.

What do you love most about your job? Have you always been passionate about beauty?

To be honest I was not passionate about beauty but I've always wanted to work in a magazine. So I ended up working in beauty by accident but I realized I liked this particular subject and I don' t regret having chosen this sector. When I first started working things were quiet different and there were many things I loved about it. I loved writing, trying on all these new beautiful cosmetics and doing something exciting. Nowadays, things are tough but I still like the fact that I get in touch with a lot of different people, I don' t have to sit in an office all day and I don't get easily bored.

Is the job as glamorous as it sounds?

The job used to be quiet glamorous but it is not anymore – not in Greece that is. I used to travel a lot in order to attend to international events but trips are now a luxury. Furthermore, when you do a job for so long you get to be more down to earth, and not get easily excited by things that others consider exceptional.

What's not so great about your job? Challenges etc?

One thing is not so great is that I can't write my opinion about the products I am presenting. I have to be careful not to offend big companies that pay a lot of money for publicity to the magazine I work for. In other countries- USA, UK, France – that doesn't happen. Journalists are free to write whatever they want but here we are bound by different interests.

How often do companies send in new product to you to review? Is there a beauty closet at Madame Figaro for all the amazing new products? - (I want to live in it!)

As I wrote above that is one of the great things about this job. Companies send their products all the time and there are several beauty closets at Mme Figaro.

What are your thoughts on the beauty bloggers out there?

I really admire all these women who try to take care of themselves and be beautiful even though they are so busy, they often have jobs and families and try to cope with everything, yet have time to blog about beauty. So, I believe the beauty bloggers should be well informed, try and be objective about the products they review and help all women be beautiful without spending much money nor time.

How did you get into beauty writing and what is the career path for those who want this job?

Well, I studied to be a translator but I've always enjoyed writing. I found out from a friend that Mme Figaro was looking for an assistant that spoke French and I had an interview. Since my editors in chief realized I was good at writing I became a beauty editor – it took me about 4-5 years. But this is Greece and there are no rules.

What skills do you need to be a great beauty writer?

First of all you have to have the ability to adapt to each magazine's style. I can't write for Cosmo in the same way I am writing for Mme Figaro. Then you have to be direct, straight to the point and avoid getting out of the subject. You also have to be concise – describe something in a few words. And of course you have to be imaginative because often you must write similar subjects with a totally different concept.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a Beauty Editor? Is it a tough career to break into?

This is the worst time for someone to try to become a beauty editor in Greece. No one is hiring. Things may be easier on the Internet but even there they don't pay you that well and Greek sites aren't very well organized yet.

What's the biggest beauty myth you have come across in your career?

That a face cream can erase wrinkles that's why I try to be careful and use words like reduce, soften, but never erase. Only a plastic surgeon can erase wrinkles. And that a body cream can make cellulite disappear.

What are your top 10 beauty essentials?

  1. Concealer
  2. Blush (Pink since I am blond, coral if you are brunette)
  3. Lipstick (red in the winter, pinkish in the summer)
  4. Mascara (brown in the morning, black in the evening)
  5. Grey nail polish (for this season at least)
  6. Eau de Parfum
  7. Moisturizing Day cream
  8. Eye cream against bags and circles.
  9. Body oils (the are dry and moisturize without leaving traces)
  10. Hair mask – the only way to repair coloured, damaged hair.

Can a 10€ face cream be just as good and have the same or better results than a face cream costing 100€?

It definitely can. When you pay 100€ for a cream, besides ingredients, you pay for the advertising campaign, the luxury bottle, the brand name and the big fancy package. Some very cheap products use effective ingredient and continue to be cheap because they don't have a fancy campaign or a luxurious package. They are still effective though.

Any expert beauty tips you would like to share with my readers?

My most important tip is that you don't need too many products to keep you skin beautiful and young. You mostly need to moisturize. Moisturize your face and your body both by using moisturizers and by eating fresh fruit and vegetable – not just by drinking water. If your skin is not moisturized enough then no anti-wrinkle cream – not even the most expensive in the world – can help you look young.

If you missed the previous "I want this Job" features, please see here for Footwear Buyer for Topshop & here for Ladieswear Designer.

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