25 April 2015

Katie says something: Embrace the beauty evolution

Katie Service is Assistant Beauty Editor at The Sunday Times Style -  the fashion, beauty and lifestyle supplement which just happens to be my favourite supplement *ever*. I used to devour it every week as a teen, and it's a love that hasn't faded over time (unlike my love for streaky highlights and a side fringe, thank goodness).

So imagine how thrilled I was to spend a few weeks on the beauty desk at Style. Teenage me (and okay, not-so-teenage me) would have been (was) whooping inside with happiness when the dates were confirmed. Katie was my line manager for the duration of my internship and she was just the loveliest person. In fact, she's so lovely that she kindly agreed to be featured on my blog for a lil interview, despite the fact her to-do list is as long as my arm for most of the time.

I was particularly interested in interviewing Katie because her beauty background was more hands-on before she pursued a journalistic path, and I always think it's really interesting to see what inspires, guides and motivates people to do what they do.

So here's her story, along with some interesting beauty insights of a beauty writer.

You have what many people (including me!) would consider a "dream job". How did you get to Style?

I suppose I got into Style via a slightly unusual route - I started working as a makeup artist (mostly assisting on fashion jobs) shortly after I left (Durham) university - it led me down various paths until I got to the Style Beauty Desk including a great job working at Conde Nast Asia Pacific for an awesome beauty journalist called Kathy Phillips*.

*former beauty director at Vogue, and creator of beauty brand This Works

Did you always want to work in beauty journalism?

I always wanted to work in beauty - I love make-up and skincare - but especially the more creative and visual side.  Beauty journalism is just one side of that passion that I am exploring - it's an enormous challenge and I'm learning every day.

What's your favourite make-up hack?

I still can't get over Deepica Mutyala's putting red lipstick under eyes to remove bags.  I tried it on myself with a coral lipstick (my skintone is different from hers so I adjusted the colour) and it works a treat. 

What do you think is the hardest thing facing aspiring beauty journos today?

If you're not embracing that journalism is a constantly changing world then you're going to have a hard time.  With online and fashion film and the rise of advertorial - print journalism is now quite a narrow field and there are few jobs left that are just for print only.  Embrace the evolution and you'll have no trouble at all. 

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Working with really inspiring people. 

... and the most challenging thing?

Keeping ahead of the curve.

Could you describe the process of putting together a beauty feature?

I love shooting beauty still lives - the process would be thinking of a theme (usually connected to upcoming product launches) then planning how the page will look visually and pitching that to the photographer.  I'm often inspired by artists or textures or sculptures.  Then on the shoot day you work together to make your idea into reality.  

Who do you look up to in the world of beauty?

People who innovate the beauty world - Laurence Hovart, Kathy Phillips, makeup artists like Alex Box and Kay Montano, Eugene Souleiman.

With the growing influence of beauty blogs, how do you see the future of beauty journalism?

I think it's a good thing, just so long as you always have good quality content.  Some blogs don't apply the rules of good journalism and that's a worry. 

What advice do you have for people wanting to work in the beauty industry?

You don't have to go the "normal" route - if you're struggling to get a magazine job try some more hands-on mini jobs to get you kick-started - makeup artistry; try getting into product development; learn about fragrance formulation - all of these things will make you a better beauty writer later on.

What beauty innovation of 2015 are you most excited about?

Hmm... that's a tricky one as there are so many!   I love the new sculpting sticks from Illamasqua and also the Swoon Lip Gloss scoop - an extra long spatula applicator that helps remove the last bit of your lipgloss at the bottom that the normal applicator is too short to reach!

All images courtesy of Katie's instagram @katieservice14


  1. I loved reading this! I've always loved reading the beauty pages of magazines, and I think it's really interesting that Katie got started working as a make up artist - I always assumed you'd have to go down the journalist route. It sounds like your internship went really well too! How did you apply for it? xx

  2. Sofie-Eliza Price30 April 2015 at 22:39

    Hi Beth! So glad you enjoyed reading. My internship was so great there, I loved it! I just sent an email asking when there was availability and providing mine :)


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