Beauty_clipartRead Georgia's interview with Sophie Qureshi, a beauty journalist who works for The National Magazine Company...





1.                 Is it worth getting into the beauty business?

Yes, if you are passionate about it. Beauty journalism is not that rewarding financially so you have to really love what you do to find it worthwhile. Of course, there are many perks involved working in the beauty industry, and people who work on the more commercial side (beauticians etc) can make a very lucrative career.


2.                 Do you have any regrets?

Not really!


3.                 What parts of the beauty business inspire you most?

The science side of things is incredible – it always amazes me what is now possible and how far products and treatments have advanced. It’s exciting to think how things will progress… I also love styling beauty shoots – it’s a very creative process and very rewarding to come up with a concept and then see the finished results.


4.                 What made you get into the beauty business?

I went into journalism really and then specialised in beauty journalism. I’d always been obsessed with beauty products and used to write a beauty column in my university newspaper. I knew I wanted to work in magazines from quite a young age and beauty was an area I was always interested in.


5.                 Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully Beauty Director at one of the glossies.


6.                 What advice would you have for someone like me who’s starting out?

Just do something that interests you and then work hard at it.


7.                 If you could change anything what would it be?

I wish that beauty journalism was easier for young people to get into – at the moment you have to do a lot of unpaid work experience to get anywhere and that means it’s not an option for a lot of people. I also wish it was a bit more secure as a job – with publishing houses making cuts all the time, it’s not a very stable career.


8.                 I’ve heard that qualifying as a beautician doesn’t always mean working in a high street salon; it can also mean working on TV sets, or cruise ships, or starting up your own business from home. What more can you tell me about them?

There are all sorts of areas that good beauty qualifications can take you into. For example, on all the shoots I do, I book makeup artists, hair stylists and nail technicians who never work in a high-street salon – their job is purely as ‘session stylists’, doing photo shoots, catwalk shows etc. This kind of work can be very exciting as you usually get to travel a lot and can work on a huge variety of projects. It is very competitive though so your work needs to be of a very high standard in order to get an agent to take you onto their books.

There are also now a huge number of businesses that offer therapists who come to your home or office to provide treatments. This can be a great career option for people who want more flexibility in their working hours, or who just don’t want to be based in the same salon day in day out.

TV work and working for celebrities is another big area – many celebrities now have a personal makeup artist who works with them for all their major events and public appearances.


9.                 What does a normal working day hold in store for you?

It varies hugely. Today for example, I’m in the office most of the day but will be out at two beauty launches – which is when PRs show the new products to the press. Then on Thursday, I am going to Paris for a big fragrance launch and the next day I am flying to Ibiza to shoot a summer skin story! So it really varies a lot. My job is really a mix of writing beauty features, shooting beauty shoots, and meeting with beauty PRs and advertisers to get all the details on the latest innovations and built good commercial relationships to encourage them to advertise their beauty products in our magazine.


10.            Have you got any stories to tell?

Lots! Wouldn’t know which to pick but I do get to interview lots of famous people – have interviewed Jessica Alba, Kylie and Cheryl Cole all in the last fortnight so you definitely pick up some gossip!

Thank you for your help with this interview.