Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a fashion and beauty editor at one of New Zealand’s popular monthly magazines?
Well, we wondered for you! We grabbed the opportunity to speak to the talented and gorgeous Fashion and Beauty Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ edition) – Claudia Renford.
Can you summarise an average day for you as Beauty Editor?
No two days are alike! It is a juggle between attending launches, viewing and reviewing products, writing, interviewing, styling and organizing shoots and meeting those looming deadlines – with little time in between for touch-ups!
I am always looking for inspiration for upcoming shoots too so I spend a bit of time researching ideas and trends – the creative aspect to the job is one of the reasons I love what I do. Pinterest, google and overseas magazines are a great source of inspiration, as well as the latest news and samples that come across my desk on a daily basis.
Once I have an idea of the next feature, I then pitch my ideas to the editor, and begin organizing the spread by arranging samples and booking photo shoots, models, etc. For beauty features, I will research and interview professionals in the field.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
As mentioned, I read a lot of overseas magazines, in addition to Google and Pinterest. My go-to mags for ideas and inspiration are Stylist, Vogue, and Glamour magazine. Products that are sent in, can also inspire a story idea, particularly if it is a new ingredient or technique.
For the aspiring Beauty Editor reading this, can you explain the work that you had to put in to get to where you are at now?
I lived in England for 2 years and worked for Bella magazine as Editorial Coordinator before being promoted to Fashion & Beauty assistant. I then moved to Melbourne and worked as a Fashion Assistant on New Idea Magazine. Both of these jobs were the stepping stone into fashion and beauty for me – I was fortunate to have amazing mentors to help guide me and encourage my creative visions and help develop my career. When New Idea moved to Sydney, I was promoted to Beauty Editor and then moved to Girlfriend magazine as Fashion Editor. I have been in the industry for about 20 years (eek showing my age!) and still love every aspect to my job!
If you want to get into this industry, a degree is important – but if you can get an internship or be willing to do work experience as well. An internship is a great way to get a foot in the door, show your talents and use it as an opportunity to give you, some insight into the direction or career path you want to follow. Make sure you do your research on the company and magazine.
What do you think is the greatest misconception about being a Beauty Editor?
That the job is complete glamour, because it is not! The hours are not 9-5 so you have to be prepared to work late and at weekends, especially if there are promo events and photoshoots.
There is actually quite a lot of science involved too. The biology behind the product ingredients and knowing the benefits of the ingredient are essential when writing an article. It’s quite interesting how much scientific knowledge I have gained since starting my career as a Beauty Editor!
What is the one thing that you can justify having a splurge on, and see as a bit of an investment?
In regards to beauty a good Serum or products with anti-oxidents! I love them, I believe they are a wonderful product and make my skin feel amazing. And I can’t stress the importance of an SPF…it’s a beauty editor cliché but so important, especially here in – and the great thing is, you don’t have to spend a lot – just make sure you apply each day and remember to re-apply throughout the day!
In my wardrobe, I have developed an obsession with Capes – it’s my go-to piece, to make my outfit look polished and the added bonus?…It covers my arms!
What Autumn/Winter trend are you most excited for?
Lace and grey. I love lace for its vintage vibe – it’s a classic and timeless material. Grey shades is an alternate to my usual winter black wardrobe – I am looking forward to mixing shades of grey or wearing it with winter white or black pieces.
It is affordable and great quality. The clothes last! You can find a good piece that is on trend, and affordable all at the same time.
How do you and your team decide on an apparel theme for Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ edition)?
As we bring over some editorial themes from the Australian version of the magazine – we adapt, where applicable with New Zealand labels and products. Our readers are while they love to be on trend, they want styles that suit them, are classic and versatile. We are fortunate to have a diverse range of readers – from age to occupation, so we aim to give them the information they need to get them through the season!
What is your staple go-to piece for a night out? And for the weekend when you’re looking for something awesome to just throw on?
A black cape – it is incredibly versatile, and can be worn dressed up with pants or a dress or with a pair of jeans.
Is it true that as a Beauty Editor you have access to a Beauty Cupboard? If so, what is the greatest thing that you have come across?
We do get a lot of products to try and there are so many wonderful products, it can be hard to choose – but I can’t live with a serum, eye cream, moisturiser and foundation – false lashes are my guilty pleasure!
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