Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam
@lisahannam

Five things I learned from working at a beauty magazine

Working at a beauty mag isn’t just a dream job, it’s the best job. And I’m not trying to rub it in – honestly. I’m just really grateful that as a health editor I get to research and learn about the latest science behind products, workouts and nutrition. But working at Glow has also exposed me to makeup, skin care and the beauty industry too. Here are some things I’ve learned from my day job (a.k.a., my forever job):

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Skin creams can become ineffective.
You know those little spoons that come with your pot of moisturizer? Well, I usually toss them with the box they came with. It wasn’t until I was complaining about my concealer rolling off on my fingers after touching my face that I understood their purpose. I thought my makeup was the culprit. However, I was immediately corrected by a beauty editor: Certain active ingredients can be sensitive to air and may lose their potency. It’s just like sunscreen, I told myself. The solution? I’m using those spoons or opting for a pump version of the cream, if it’s available.

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It’s all about the ingredients.
One of the most memorable interviews I’ve ever done was with the CEO of Patchology, when he told me that nails can absorb ingredients when products are applied to them. I was shocked! And then there was that blog post that debunked the whole “You eat four pounds of lipstick in a year.” Cosmetic and skin care companies are aware that our bodies absorb their products, and it used to just be the niche, hard-to-find brands that banned the use of certain questionable ingredients. But nowadays even mass products use alternative preservatives, as well as food-based, natural and/or organic ingredients.

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Beauty editors love science.
I remember a story idea meeting when one beauty offered to write health stories for my section. Beauty editors hear a lot about the science behind products (whether it’s a waterproof mascara or an eye serum), ingredients and biology that created the need for these products and so much more. They interrogate product developers, researchers, dermatologists, and pretty much anyone in a lab coat about product efficacy, evidence for claims and clinical trials. They also know their stuff with serious skin health conditions, like eczema. Turns out, I’m not the only one on staff who reads medical journals.

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They also love wellness.
Often when a beauty product is sent to the beauty desk, it comes packaged in a way that stands out – editors get between five and 10 courier packages a day! And that can include things like a juice cleanse, a Stella McCartney gym bag, a yoga class pass… you get the idea. And it doesn’t stop there. Beauty editors get invited to product launches that involve fitness classes (with Tracey Anderson, no less!), cooking workshops, farm visits and wellness spa treatments. The worlds of beauty and health are very, very close.

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The beauty industry supports women’s health.
From Shoppers Drug Mart’s Shoppers Love You. to Beauty Gives Back, the beauty industry is investing in women’s health issues, including mental wellness, cancer, prenatal care, and arthritis. I’ve been to some of the decadent galas, parties and press conferences. And it’s so impressive how women (who mostly run cosmetic, retail and beauty companies) band together for a cause. I’ve been able to meet the most amazing women (many of whom are are cancer survivors) and family members who’ve been touched by various health issues specific to women.

Not too bad for a nine-to-fiver, right?

–Lisa