Lela London lives a life most people only dream about. She went from the MAC counter to a full-on editor in chief of an online beauty magazine (She Said Beauty) without batting an eyelash. The makeup artist, lifestyle blogger and London-based journalist has carved out a career in beauty that’s a hodgepodge of style, wit, and entrepreneurship proving that beauty girls do finish first. Discover how you can turn your love for beauty into a 360 career that allows you to merge your talents and make an impact in Lela’s interview below:
At what point did you know that Fashion and Beauty were your thing?
I’ve loved them both since I was a little girl – as most little girls do – but started collecting MAC makeup and designer clothes with birthday and holiday money when I was twelve. Funnily enough, I didn’t wear make-up until I was seventeen, but had amassed a huge collection by that time!
What made you decide to head to beauty school after college?
I actually didn’t do beauty school at all, I was always simply practicing on friends and became a make-up artist for MAC and Chanel on determination and a self-built portfolio!
Who were your mentors as you built your career?
Gosh, everything and everyone. Artists that I’ve still yet to meet (sup, Pat McGrath), artists that I’ve worked alongside, it has all been one big learning curve and everyone has been a mentor in one way or another.
What has it been like working with She Said Beauty and do you feel as though this type of platform is going to be vital to the growth of the beauty industry? Absolutely fantastic. When I began my career as a make-up artist I had no idea that it would lead me into fashion styling…and no idea fashion styling would lead me to becoming Editor in Chief of a beauty magazine. Beauty and fashion are quite the incestuous industry friends, aren’t they? Haha.
Though I recently stepped down from my position to focus on freelancing, I definitely think platforms like She Said Beauty are the future of the beauty industry. The make-up, hair, nail, and fitness communities are some of the strongest and savviest on the internet and any big player in the beauty world is going to have to be just as savvy to social media and women’s online lives from here on out to make a sustainable splash.
If you could do any part of building your career over what would it be?
I wouldn’t! Now I live in such an interesting dichotomy of beauty and fashion, and with my blog I feel like every part of my past has offered a new and brilliant insight.
What has been your most memorable moment working in the beauty industry?
Being backstage at Fashion Week always tops the list. Seeing the beauty trends of the next few months being created in front of your eyes…there is something so wonderful about being part of that.
What does beauty mean to you?
Indulgence! Remembering to care and appreciate yourself. We’re all being a little indulgent when we put on our skin creams, eyeliner, dying our hair…and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s the most affordable and accessible form of luxury there is.
If you were stranded on an island what top beauty products would you not be able to live without?
Argan Sun Protection For Body SPF 30+ (With sensitive and easy-to-burn skin, this ‘free from nasties’ product gets 10 stars). Label M’s Protein Spray for hair (I have crazy knotty curls, and this is my current favourite hair helper). Eyeko’s Black Magic Mascara (I look dead without mascara. Indulgence, yes…but I wouldn’t be scaring the coconuts).
Finish this sentence: A woman is most beautiful when _________.
She’s having a damn good hair day.