A Day in the Life of Elle.com’s Beauty Director

You know what editors do during NYFW (if not, check out the diaries of Leandra, Amelia and Harlingand you know what a fashion publicist does. Now it’s time to check out the beauty side of the fashion industry. Below, Elle.com’s Beauty Director Julie Schott walks us through a day in her life during fashion week. She’s proof that even the best-laid plans can fall apart because of Instagram.

Sunday, 7:50 a.m.

I am guilty of setting three to five alarms and hitting snooze on all of them until a ringtone symphony fills my apartment. It’s especially fun for my boyfriend. Two snoozes is enough this morning, and I arrange myself in time for my first show of the day, Victoria Beckham. In a cruel twist of fate, backstage starts at 8 a.m on Sunday every season. Beauty people are the sous chefs of fashion week, forever slogging away in the kitchen preparing food, rarely ever seen. Which is exactly how I justify wearing sweatpants and sneakers to shows. I put on a Danielle Guizio pair that remind me of middle school soccer warm-up gear with a Flashdance-cut sweatshirt and Nikes. It’s way too early for makeup. I swipe my face with step one of Dr. Dennis Gross’ two-step daily peel and leave without doing the second step.

8:20 a.m.

I’m in an Uber!

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Victoria Beckham is at Cipriani downtown this season and it’s fittingly POSH. I’m sorry. Pat McGrath is backstage. We discuss her epic Thursday night party, Mothership Ball, a Paris is Burning-inspired situation with Teyana Taylor, Naomi Campbell and Amanda Lepore where I lasted about 15 minutes before running home to enter an Instagram story black hole. Back to Victoria Beckham: the models are made to look as though they’ve just come from the spa, which in VB-land means flushed, pore-less skin and tissued-off neutral lipstick. The hair is equally subdued: just a low pony. My spa reality is more sweaty and lethargic, but I see the vision.

9:00 a.m.

On to Public School.

9:10-9:40 a.m.

When I get backstage, makeup artist Grace Lee is applying layers of pewter Maybelline gloss to Romee Strijd’s eyelids. It’s a makeup situation look you could easily recreate without studying a 7,000-step YouTube tutorial. She shows me a coconut-scented mascara that’s not out until January and I contemplate swiping a tube. Cosmopolitan.com’s Beauty Editor Carly Cardellino and I leave to get breakfast at the Public Hotel, which is the only place I suggest going because it’s next to my apartment.

10:00 a.m.

I hear someone calling my name and it’s Justine Marjan, the super-talented hair stylist responsible for 90% of the lobs you’ve seen on Instagram. This season she created the hair at Cushnie et Ochs, Creatures of Comfort, Rebecca Minkoff and more to come this week. Justine orders avocado toast. Carly gets an egg sandwich with bacon. I claim not to be hungry and expect to finish half of what they order. Don’t ever eat with me.

10:30 a.m.

I go home (next door) to change for SoulCycle and emerge from an Instagram blackout at 12-something p.m., having missed class.

12-something – 1-something p.m.

My friend Kathleen Hou, beauty director at The Cut, sends our group chat with Allison Davis (who is also at The Cut/New York Magazine) this Wall Street Journal feature on Jared Leto. She says it’s the best thing she’s read all day. Neither of us are subscribers, so Kathleen sends excerpts. Who knew Jared Leto is responsible for Slack? I did not. But I did interview him last summer in Italy for his Gucci fragrance. He ate oatmeal and I wasn’t allowed to shake his hand.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

I walk to New York Pilates on Bowery, but the 1:30 class is full. That’s my signal not to exercise. Besides, walking counts as a work out. A few months ago, Shiona Turini showed me where the steps are tracked in my phone. Nothing has been the same since. 15K is my daily goal, though I rarely break 10. Anyway, I set out early to get my steps up.

2:45 p.m.

I sit on a bench outside The Mercer and listen to the “Still Processing” podcast until everyone else shows up. There’s a debate about the Greatest Albums by women. Who would you add to the list?

3:00-4:30 p.m.

Lunch with Jen Atkin, hair stylist Glen Coco Oropeza (you go Glen Coco), and Carly. Jen looks like a cross between Michelle Pfieffer in Scarface and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction thanks to her new haircut. We order food, talk BIZNESS, take too many pictures, and then…

4:45 p.m.

I should be simultaneously backstage at Prabal Gurung and Opening Ceremony.

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Instead of a runway show or presentation, Opening Ceremony puts on a “dance theatre piece,” written and directed by Spike Jonze. Mia Wasikowska and Lakeith Stanfield star as a couple navigating the confines of monogamy (I think). They try on a lot of different clothes with the help of dancing dressers. But the most compelling part was singer Abraham Boyd’s rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Bury me to Abraham Boyd vocals. BTW, there’s no discernible hair or makeup.

7:05 p.m.

The doors to Fenty Puma backstage close in 25 minutes. I’m 30 minutes from the venue. Are you sensing a pattern? I catch the N train going uptown and find out via email that doors have shut early, so I get off at 28th street and walk downtown…

8:00 p.m.

Until I get to Souen. I’ve been eating at this health food restaurant since college (Pratt), if that’s any indication of how affordable it is. There is zero ambiance, just a good ass Asian-influenced macrobiotic menu. Expect a model sighting or two, although probably not during fashion week. I order the macro plate, which is steamed vegetables, beans, wakame and brown rice. Maybe don’t ever go here on a date (although I actually did), followed by dessert. This is weird, but I consider it a hugely validating compliment when someone at the table next to me orders what I order. I get the chocolate mousse for dessert and the compliment. SMALL VICTORIES! When I’m done it’s almost time for Fenty, the actual show, at 9. But I walk home instead.

9:30 p.m.

What the whole entire fuck, I should’ve gone back uptown. It truly is Rihanna Inc. Week.

9:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

HOME! Bra off, fuck it, bra off! ::Future voice:: I watch the finale of Insecure, and since I know not everyone is caught up, that’s all I’m going to say.

Julie Schott is the Beauty Director of Elle.com. Follow her Instagram, @Julie_Schott. Feature photo by @katterfly.

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  • tmm16

    Okay, I’ve been following Julie on Instagram *I swear I’m not a stalker* and have 2 questions:

    1. Maybe I missed it above, but no poop talk mention here? 🙁 that was so entertaining to see via Instagram story.

    2. I’m guessing this is an inside joke, and I’m truly embarrassed to even ask, but can you explain JANICE? Just curious, tbh.

    Also, “Bra off, fuck it, bra off!” should be chanted frequently.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i almost made a “shit happens” joke in her intro 🙁

  • Amanda

    Errrr, I’m a bit confused by this one. 7:50 is too early to do your makeup? It seems like she missed most of the shows she was suppose to be attending, had breakfast/lunch with friends, and then tried to work out a few times. Where does the beauty editing come in? Does this strike anyone else as being sort of… flippant about a job that I know people would die to have? Am I being super nit-picky here???

    • jackie

      thought the exactttt same thing. she basically missed her job half the time!

      • Amanda

        and, damn, sweatpants to Victoria Beckham? i understand the pressure to seem like such a relaxed cool girl, but that just seems sacrilegious.

    • prairie dogs

      Ha, no you’re on point. She used to write for xojane as Cat Marnell’s assistant (protegee?) and had the same vibe.

      • gracesface


      • Kattigans

        Yeah I read Cat’s book (actually super sad, but also an addictive read – no pun intended) and she talk about Julie a lot from her XO days. Idk, this piece just seems so lazy

    • Tessa Meyer

      Yeah, I just peeped her old stuff at XOjane and some of it is kind of…brash? I know that’s the tenor of that site, but it’s just not really what I look for at manrepeller. http://www.xojane.com/healthy/im-not-anorexic-im-just-thin

      • Lise

        Girlfriend clearly has disordered behavior. I heard her guest spot on the Glowing Up podcast recently and she mentioned multiple times how she takes diuretics and laxatives to lose weight. Doesn’t seem like the kind of person MR should be glorifying.

        • belle

          How is Glowing Up? I listened to the first few episodes but they just seemed so boring and I hated the vocal fry / drawl (even ironically, since it’s not funny?) I thought maybe they were just nervous or getting in the swing of things so I planned to check back later.

          • LMB

            As someone who dabbles in vocal fry a lot, that didn’t bother me so much as the Julie Schott episode did. I haven’t listened since then. They’ve had some good guests but I’m not really interested/ worried I’m going to hear more eating disorder promotion. I like their product reviews, but I’m not into their weird food obsessions. I honestly got sick of hearing Esther talk about her attempts at veganism – girl no one cares to hear you brag about how you went to Montreal and didn’t eat cheese.

          • belle

            I went back and listened again today, and you are totally right. Julie didn’t have much to offer, but they are kinda all on the same level in terms of ignorance… I’m not sure why they even set the “challenges” for themselves. Say you’re going to drink lemon water daily and you don’t even do it ONCE? Maybe I’m used to more hardcore investigative/debunking podcasts (ex. the beauty brains, oh no ross and carrie, etc) but they definitely don’t have the knowledge to back things up. I’m not sure what exactly they’re bringing to the table since it’s easier than EVER to have a conversation about beauty products online. Not to mention it’s kinda hard to consider them hardcore beauty fans when they don’t even know what Byredo is WHEN CAROLINE ALREADY HAS THE PERFUME.

            (i’ll stop now)

            But anyway clearly the podcast is still rage inducing so I don’t think I’ll listen again….I will say though, the episode with Golden Sun Shyne was really cool – I hadn’t heard of her, I wished that she got to talk more throughout the episode and I’ll definitely be looking for other pieces she’s featured in.

          • LMB

            I do want to listen to the Golden Sun Shyne episode but I’m having a hard time being interested in the other ones…I like Caroline as Official Sean Penn and her podcast and YouTube show “This week had me like” were both funny, but Glowing Up isn’t doing it for me.

    • Mimi Moss

      Yes, agreed Amanda. As I was reading I kept going back and trying to figure out the timeline as it seems like from 10am until 4:45 she didn’t do much that was FW related. I guess my expectations were that a beauty editor would be quite busy during this time, but apparently that’s not the case. A quick caveat is that I live in LA and have no real relationship to what the NY fashion scene is like. Now that I know how mellow beauty editing is though, it might just be my dream job!

    • Anne Dyer

      I just couldn’t get down with this one. Same thoughts as you. It’s okay to give a shit.

    • Abigail Larson

      I feel the same way. As much as I appreciate the “laid-back” approach (of which I am quite fond), there is a line that I feel like was crossed here.

      • Eliza

        Exactly…. Stuff like this is why people think fashion/beauty is bullshit 🙁

    • ihaveacooch

      i follow a ton of beauty editors on instagram and i’m like do any of you ever work ever????????

      • Sabletoothtigre

        We do! Instagram is just for Fomo-flexing!

        IG’ing the countless SEO spreadsheets and traffic goals we are constantly inundated with probably wouldn’t get as many likes.

        • U.S. Labor Class

          Because this article is about a day in the life of her JOB, showing us how she tackles FW shows, as well as the behind the scenes boring SEO spreadsheets and labor, would actually help educate others who aspire for that dream job. Opportunity missed by acting like the job is a big blow off party. I was hoping to see how challenging a job like this actually is. I scrolled all the way to the end of the day to see if she was writing, editing, something – then she just watched some show finale instead. I feel duped.

    • Lindsey

      I am with you. I feel like she didn’t actually do anything all day, but walk around and meet up with friends to eat their food and then just fall into instagram holes instead of going to shows she’s supposed to be at? How is that profiling someone’s potentially really interesting job during the most intense week in her industry?

    • A Local Honey

      I definitely don’t understand what this person does for a living.

  • Jam Jam

    This made me feel better about my life.

  • Emmie

    her motivations really speak to me tho

  • Amy Brumbpo Tungus

    Anyone else bamboozled at the fact Jen Atkins seems to be EVERYWHERE AT ONCE!? It seems like everyone has an instagram story of them hanging out with her……how does she do it!? does she have clones?! does she teleport!? tell us Jen!!

    • yassqueeeen

      Yes! I feel the exact same way. She seems to pop up on my IG feed, not just from her actual account but from several others this week, too. Girl gets around! Would love to see a day in the life of Jen!

    • belle

      I want to see a day in the life of Jen Atkins!! She must be so busy, not to mention her line is also super popular. I know not everyone loves the Kardashians but Jen is pretty close to them so I’m sure that comes with all its own pressures!

  • I actually thought this one was funny! I love Julie and her sense of humor, I think she was using a bit of that here. She kind of always talks like this, I’ve heard her a few times on the Lady Lovin podcast, she’s good! (Also follow her on insta)

  • Kattigans

    MR, you can do better than this. I’m sure Julie is good at what she does but this piece was just so lazy and pretty much just made her sound like every millennial girl nightmare stereotype come to life. The line about her going to breakfast with friends and then pretending to not be hungry came across as weird too…like on commenter said: it’s okay to give a shit. This was a day in the life of a Beauty Editor, not a day in the life of hanging out with editor friends and missing exercise classes.

    • Kattigans

      Bring back Gabby!

  • orthostice

    I like Julie, but there was something super depressing about this? I’ve noticed on Insta that among the Big Name Mags Beauty Editors there is this culture of FOMO/trying to create FOMO that seems super exhausting.

  • emily moran

    I think the issue at hand is MR serves as a call to response to be our best badass selves. Every article I read makes me want to realize and pull out the best parts of myself that mainstream society oft wants to silence in young women: wit, humor, compassion, authenticity in style and otherwise. And while MR doesn’t discourage having faults, I feel as though even when discussing them there is a sense of introspection. While grading on a curve bc everything MR does makes me feel best, this piece just left me feeling like everything sucks.

  • SkankLord

    That makeup artist in the picture is Dianne Kendall not Grace Lee…….