Thinking of becoming a beauty writer? Here are some of the best tips on how you can break into the industry.
If you have a passion for all things beauty, and love writing it makes sense that you would want to become a beauty writer.
The only problem is that beauty can be quite a competitive industry to get into, especially if you don’t have lots of experience, or know the right people.
But good news! Just because it can be difficult, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to become a beauty writer.
In this article, we’re going to be taking you through 20 of the best tips that we know will help you get a job writing about beauty as your full-time gig in no time.
If your dream job is to be a beauty writer, keep on reading to find out how you can turn that dream into a reality.
How to become a beauty writer
It’s not all about the makeup
Although many people think otherwise, being a beauty writer or editor isn’t all about makeup, skincare or haircare products.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at applying makeup, or how knowledgeable you are about the ingredients that go into the most popular moisturiser, if you’re not a good writer unfortunately you’ll never become a beauty writer.
Beauty writers of course have a huge passion for beauty, but they are also experts at conveying their thoughts and feelings about products through the written word that resonates with readers.
It’s also not the glamorous role that a lot of people consider it to be, it’s not all free products and interviews with celebrities. It’s unsociable hours, rushing to hit deadlines, constantly editing your work and trying to push past writer’s block.
You don’t need a journalism degree
If you’ve got a degree in another subject or skipped going to college altogether, it doesn’t matter because you don’t really need a journalism degree to become a beauty writer or editor.
Having a journalism degree means that you’ve learnt a lot of the basics of how to write articles in a journalistic manner, but doesn’t guarantee that you’re an excellent writer. If you’re able to show a potential employer that you can write well through your portfolio, this will mean a whole lot more than just a degree.
A lot of people get into beauty writing from other industries, so having experience or a degree in another industry is definitely not a setback in this line of work.
Many publications won’t just ignore your application if you don’t have the right degree or qualifications, that’s not the most important thing to them. They want to find the person who’s going to be best for their role, and as long as you can prove that you are that person, you’ll be able to get the job.
Some people may say they were born gifted writers and editors, but in reality, writing is about practice. Take a look back at some of the early work of your favourite journalists and authors and we’re sure that these pieces are nowhere near as good as their current work.
This is because becoming an experienced writer takes time to develop, to become a great writer you just have to actually write.
Write every day if you can, this doesn’t mean writing essays every day, even if you can write a short sentence in your journal, that’s better than nothing. Finding time to write every day will help to keep your creative juices flowing and will help you come up with new ideas, new ways of looking at things, and new ways to share your opinions through the written word.
Find your own voice
The more you write, you’ll notice that your ‘voice’ starts to develop over time. Your written voice is just the tone in which you write, this could be formal, chatty, witty, dry or optimistic–whatever your voice may be, lean into it.
A lot of articles will want you to fit your voice to theirs, but while you’re still practising it’s good to work on your own unique voice rather than copying other fellow writers. Not only will this help you out when you need to stand out and impress people in interviews, but it will also help you become a better writer.
Finding your own voice can take time, so don’t worry if you don’t think you have a unique style straight away. Just keep on writing and practising your craft, and before you know it you’ll know exactly what your writing voice is.
Start a blog
It’s common for writers from all industries to have some kind of blog, because if there’s one thing to know about writers–they love writing! So even in their spare time, they will look for more avenues to share their work with the world.
A great way to get your foot in the world of published writing is to start your own beauty blog. Blogs are free to set up on a lot of platforms, and you can instantly publish articles for the whole world to see.
You can blog about whatever you want; your personal life, beauty products, reviews etc. but use it as somewhere you can test out different styles of writing, different kinds of articles, and for you to develop an understanding of how to write popular content.
Just because being a beauty blogger is a hobby also doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as a professional tool. You can totally mention your blog in your CVs and job application forms, it sets a really good impression on potential employees as it shows how passionate and dedicated you are to writing.
If you don’t have much writing experience, your blog can also act as a portfolio to show examples of how you write.
Use social media to make a name for yourself
In the past few years we’ve seen many people make a name and brand for themselves by becoming popular on social media, so use it to your advantage.
If you want to become a beauty writer or editor, start sharing your content on social media, show snippets of your writing, connect with other writers and interact with the brands, magazines and publications that you would aspire to work with/for.
You never know when you’re going to be noticed on social media. A beauty director at Vogue could be scrolling through their ‘for you page’ and see your content and pass it on to one of the beauty editors–you just have to make sure that you’re out there for them to find!
Social media is such a useful platform that many beauty writers and editors didn’t have before. It could be that your favourite magazine editor finds you and tries to convince you to come work for them through finding your work online, rather than the other way around!
Utilise all of the networking opportunities you can
Networking in the beauty and journalism industries can provide a wealth of opportunities if you’re ready to take them. It’s always important to meet fellow beauty writers, editors and content creators.
Treat everything as a networking opportunity, and always keep your eyes out for them. Maybe you have a guest lecture at college about writing and you ask for the speaker’s email address to stay in touch, maybe you notice a beauty magazine is holding an event in your town which could be a chance to introduce yourself to one of the writers.
Or maybe you find a Facebook group for freelance beauty writers that you could join and reach out to some of the other members.
Once you have connections with people in the industry, use that to expand your network, even more, find mutual connections that may be useful to you too.
A good tip with networking is to do your best to maintain any relationship as you never know when they might come in useful in the future. For example, meeting someone who writes about technology news, you might not think they’re a useful connection if you want to write about beauty, but they may hear about a beauty writer job opening and put you forward for the role.
Reach out to people you look up to
If you look up to a particular beauty journalist, makeup artist or influencer, don’t be scared to reach out to them and introduce yourself as an aspiring content writer.
The worst thing that could happen is they don’t reply–and if that happens, it’s not like you’ve lost anything. A lot of beauty writers are very busy, so there is a good chance that they simply don’t have the time to respond to all of their emails, and if they do, you might have to wait quite a while for a response.
The best-case scenario is that they do reply to you and offer you tips and advice on how they got their start in the beauty industry. If they really like you they may even recommend you for a position at their magazine, or set up a meeting between you and an editor if you’re lucky.
Don’t be scared to pitch
If you’re full of ideas for beauty articles, don’t be scared to pitch them to your favourite publications, it’s how a lot of writers get their start in the industry.
You don’t even need to write out a whole article, just think of a few catchy titles and explain what the article would be about and send your ideas to some magazines. You can normally find contact information on the magazine’s website.
This may not land you your dream role, and it normally takes a lot of pitching before you finally get somewhere, but a magazine may commission you to write a one-off article. If they’re happy with how it turned out and it was popular with their readers, it may turn into more of a permanent gig.
Keep up to date with your favourite beauty writers
Did you know it’s just as important to keep up with your favourite beauty writers as it is to keep up with makeup news?
Beauty writers can give you the low down on job vacancies, new magazines and publications to look out for, or even tips on how to break into a career writing about beauty writing. Most writers will have accounts on various social media platforms like Twitter, so there’s plenty of ways to find them.
Some writers may even have their own courses or newsletters that you can sign up for and learn more about them.
Be on the ball when it comes to new launches, scientific news
Being a beauty writer is not all about testing products and giving your opinions on them, there’s a lot more knowledge that you need to have.
Beauty writers will be expected to have a good knowledge of all the latest industry news, new product launches and even the latest scientific news. This will mean that a lot of your time is spent looking at industry publications, scientific papers, writing notes on product launch events and attending industry trade shows and conferences.
Another important skill that comes from this is having the ability to transform complicated, scientific information into easy-to-read articles that readers will understand and be interested in–and this isn’t something that’s always easy to do and can take a lot of practice.
But the more you research, the more comfortable you’ll become with talking about all of these topics.
Don’t follow the trends
Like most things, you don’t get big by just copying what everyone else does, you need to stand out.
If you’re trying to catch the attention of inspiring beauty writers or recruiters at your favourite magazine, they’re not going to notice you if you just write the same articles that everyone else does, so look for ways that you can be unique.
Is there a new makeup brand that no one’s talking about? Could you speak to an upcoming beauty influencer who has an inspiring story that no one else is talking to? Do you have an interesting angle on a story that no one else has thought of?
Think of the last time you read a really great beauty article. What was it about the article that made it so memorable? Did it introduce you to a new product, or make you think a completely different way about your favourite makeup brand?
If you can figure out what it is about the articles that make them stand out, you can start to think about how you can take the same approach with your work and make your writing more impactful and memorable.
Do your research
There’s only so many times you can talk about how ‘pretty’ a makeup product is before readers get bored. As well as being descriptive and writing about how bad or good something is, you need to be able to back it up with facts and figures to support your points.
For every beauty article, you read online or in print, know that hours of research has probably gone into making the article happen. Not only did the writer have to fully test out a product in order to give a full review, but they also had to do research into the ingredients, the brand, the formula, packaging etc. so that they could provide readers with a truly informational article.
Not everyone wants to do all of this research because it takes a lot of time–and takes time away from the actual writing–but it’s critical. If you’re an established journalist you may be lucky enough to receive press releases and information for brands that have all of the research done for you, but as you are starting out you might not be so lucky.
Create relationships with your favourite beauty brands
Although you may want to focus on creating relationships with writers and magazines, don’t ignore the importance of relationships with beauty brands.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your favourite brands on social media or through email to introduce yourself. Although they may not help you get a regular column in Vogue, they could send you products before they launch so you can be the first to review them, or they could let you be the first to know about new launches.
Getting an insight into this information could give you all the content you need to write a great, unique article that will pique the interest of any beauty or fashion magazine.
Get an internship
Unfortunately, like as a fashion writer, internships are a very common thing in the beauty industry. If you want to work your way up in a company, you normally have to start at the very bottom–and often unpaid.
Unpaid internships are not suitable for everyone–not everyone can afford to work for free–but if you can, it’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and get you some real experience working in your dream industry.
Some internships may be for only a few days a week, which means you can get another job for the other days to earn some money, or your internship may pay for your transport and lunches which can ease the financial pressure a bit.
Always keep an eye out for job vacancies
Job vacancies come and go all of the time so even if you’re still working on building a name for yourself, remember to keep an eye on all of the job sites, Facebook groups and word of mouth that may alert you to a new beauty writing role.
It’s also a good chance to spot which companies hire a lot of people, what kinds of jobs are available and to figure out if any of them would be interesting to you.
You can also start to figure out how much the different publications pay their staff. Of course, it’s not all about money, but if you find out that your favourite beauty or fashion magazine pays their writers really poorly, it may make you reconsider your choice and instead go for another company that pays their beauty writers a lot better–for doing the exact same job.
Whenever you see a job that you like the sound of, save it and read through all of the things that the employer is looking for. Are there any skills or qualifications they require that you haven’t thought of before? Is there a way that you can develop any of these skills?
Looking at these job descriptions before you actually start applying for any positions can give you a headstart against other candidates as you have time to develop yourself and become more employable.
Have a great CV
Every time you apply to a new job you want to make sure you have a killer CV that showcases all of your knowledge and skills and convinces a potential employer to hire you.
Your CV should be unique to every single job you apply for, you can’t just submit the same CV to every company–unless the job roles are extremely similar.
Your CV should be the answer to all of the skills and personal traits that the employer was looking for in their job description, so make sure to clearly cover all of the points that they asked for. Also, show that you’ve done your research into the company, the articles they write, how many readers they have, what their specialist subjects are etc.
There are plenty of CV help sites that can help you put together a great CV, but it can often be better if you can design your own and make it unique. Writing is a creative and fun job, so make sure that you reflect this in your CV.
You don’t need to use a boring template you found online, you can add some design elements and eye-catching colours to make it stand out.
That being said, the most important part of the CV is its content so make sure that your design isn’t taking away from all of the important information.
Get your portfolio together
For any writing job, and to become a beauty writer you should be able to show a writing portfolio of your work, in addition to the CV you submit. Pick some of the articles that you’re most proud of, and that are relevant to the role you’re applying to, and put these into your portfolio.
This portfolio is going to show your potential employer just how good you are at writing, and what a good fit for them you will be through your writing samples.
Try and include a range of articles, some shorter, some longer, for different brands and different styles of writing to really showcase the full range of your talents and writing skills.
Your portfolio doesn’t have to be a huge document, keep to around 5-10 articles – any longer than that and the employer probably won’t read them. Alongside the articles, it’s also good if you can include a bit of context behind every piece. You can explain who the brand was, how successful the piece was etc.
Being a journalist isn’t the only career option
Just because you love beauty and you love writing doesn’t mean that being a beauty writer is the only career option for you–there are plenty of other jobs where you can use your skills.
You could work for a brand writing their product descriptions, writing their social media posts and blog posts, you could work for their PR team and write press releases and articles that get sent out to journalists.
You could even work for marketing or PR agencies that work with beauty brands and get involved with their content marketing. In these roles, you’ll still find yourself writing about beauty all day long, just not as a journalist at a magazine! Which may turn out to be an even better career path for you.
There are lots of jobs in the beauty industry that you may not have thought of it so it’s always good to explore your options.
Have you thought about freelancing?
Our final tip for becoming a beauty writer is to consider freelancing. Freelancing is where you’re self-employed and you write for lots of different magazines and brands.
It can take time to build a name for yourself and build up clients, but if you have always dreamed of working for yourself, working for a range of brands, and having more control and flexibility over your working day, a freelance writing job could be for you.
If you want to become a freelance writer, it’s extremely important to have a freelancing portfolio that you can show to potential clients as examples of your work. You could even have your portfolio on a website or blog that anyone can find.
There are also lots of freelancing websites that you can create a profile on where you can find clients and projects to work on if you want to explore the world of freelance writing.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a career as a beauty writer, we hope that this article gave you all of the insider tips and tricks that you need to get a kickstart in the industry.
If you follow all of these tips, you should be landing your dream beauty writing job in no time!
Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these tips and if they worked for you.