Allow me to introduce you to Maura Lynch, the Senior Beauty Editor at one of your favorite shopping magazines, Lucky. Maura's been writing in the beauty industry since she graduated college when she landed a coveted position – working with Eva Chen at Teen Vogue. "It’s amazing how a lip gloss or perfume can lift someone’s mood. It’s more than just an aesthetic pleasure," she comments. Check out her interview for advice on how to get a job in editorial and to get a sneak peak of what life at Lucky is really like.
1. What college did you go to and what did you major in?
I went to Muhlenberg College—an amazing, tiny liberal arts school in Allentown Pennsylvania—and double-majored in English and Spanish. Originally, I wanted to do something more in the international studies realm (I love to travel, learn about different cultures, and study different languages), but after my freshman seminar with an extremely eccentric professor who specialized in Irish Literature, I knew I had to be an English major. Shout out to Dr. Rosenwasser!
2. How did you get into the industry and how many years have you been involved?
It’s sort of a happy accident. My junior year, I was thinking about getting into magazine journalism, and I was introduced to a very important beauty director at a very important magazine. When I heard that her job entailed testing out products, visiting spas, and writing about high-tech skincare, I knew I had found my calling, so I started interning and doing anything I could to get clips and experience. When I graduated, she tipped me off to a beauty assistant opening at Teen Vogue. I got the job, thankfully, and worked for Eva Chen for two years (sidebar, I could write a book about how fantastic that woman is), and then I went to work at ELLE for almost two years. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have worked where I’ve worked, for the people I’ve worked for—and because I don’t want to end this sentence in a preposition, I would just like to…say that.
3. What’s your favorite part about working at Lucky?
The voice. We treat the reader like a best friend. Every new life-changing product I discover is a secret I can let them in on! When I’m writing, I try to envision saying the words out loud—would my friends totally make fun of me for using the word tresses? Probably. Plus, I think Lucky has some of the coolest readers. I think I actually would be friends with them. Some of the responses I’ve gotten on blogs are hilarious and super-informative.
4. What’s the worst?
I should probably say there is no worst part, but have you seen the magazine? The temptation! The pages are filled with things I want so badly, I can’t stand it. Every day, I pass by something new on a rack that I add to my mental shopping list. I seriously need to put my credit cards in the freezer.
5. Being that Lucky is one of my favorite shopping magazines, dish on where you shop and why.
I tend to avoid Manhattan on the weekends, so I’ve found boutiques in Brooklyn that I absolutely adore. Hands down, I always find something at Dear Fieldbinder in Cobble Hill—they have an amazing but not overwhelming selection of some of my favorite lines like Parker, Myne, and Corey Lynn Calter. I recently bought a Grey Antics dress there, and a few weeks later I saw an Arcade Fire show and the violinist had on the same dress! That means I made a good purchase, right? Matching dresses are totally acceptable when it’s a rock star. For jewelry, I can’t stay away from the Clay Pot—I stalk their supply of Jane Hollinger necklaces. And of course, Sephora and SpaceNK in case I’ve been away from the office for too long.
6. What are your career goals?
I honestly just love what I’m doing right now. If I can stay involved in the beauty world for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. I think one of the reasons I’ve continued to be so happy in this career is that beauty products bring so much joy to people. It’s amazing how a lip gloss or perfume can lift someone’s mood. It’s more than just an aesthetic pleasure.
7. What advice do you have for people trying to get into editorial today?
Intern and network to build your circle. Most likely, you won’t get your job from a listing on a site, but from a tip from someone you’ve met along the way. That’s why it’s so important to be gracious and enthusiastic for the smallest tasks as an intern. And don’t discount informational interviews—most editors remember what it was like at the start and will give you a few minutes of their time and advice.
8. Confess! What’s your biggest beauty sin?
I’m so bad about putting on eye cream, which is a horrible sin because your eyes show wrinkles before anywhere else. I’m not as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning as I used to be so I try to stick to an eye cream routine, but I rush too much before bed and in the morning.
9. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Mexican food! There are so many great Taquerias in Brooklyn. I could eat chips and guac every night if my waistline didn’t have a problem with it (but it does, unfortunately).