Inside life as a beauty editor
Leigh Campbell, beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, spills her best ever beauty tips and tells how to get a gig as glossy as hers…
Bh: How did you land your job at Cosmo?
LC: "I won it in a box of Cornflakes. Okay, that’s a lie, but sometimes it feels like a prize. It is such a rewarding role. I studied interior design and had planned on pursuing that path. One day I found myself assisting on a Cleo shoot (a friend worked there) and the next thing I knew, I had a job. Shop Til You Drop had just launched and I was hired as Assistant to the Editor. From there I worked my way up through four rewarding years as Production Editor, Photo Editor and, ultimately, Lifestyle Editor. I'd been in that role for 18 months when I was approached by Cosmo."
What are the best perks?
"Oh goodness, if I reveal that someone might kidnap me in the street and steal my identity! Honestly, it’s such a fantastic industry to work in. They say you are only young once, and while I am I feel grateful to spend every day with such dynamic, inspirational and like-minded women.
"Seeing a story you have worked hard on and are proud of go to print is also pretty amazing and very gratifying. An endless supply of lip gloss doesn’t hurt either."
You've got your finger on the pulse. What key make-up trend are you loving?
"Right now I am loving the whole ethereal look. It’s all about [getting] glowing skin with pale illuminator, white or cream shimmery shadow on the eyes and bare, lightly concealed lips. Be warned, though – I think it may look a little better on a European model with an unpronounceable name than Suzie the secretary. I’d recommend just taking one element, like the cream shadow."
Spill. What's the worst beauty blunder you've ever made?
"I didn’t make it – my mother did. I was eight years old, so I solely blame her as I was too young to have any sort of sense. She let me get a spiral perm. Yes, they were called perms back then. I have a ‘youthful’ (read: chubby) face, so I looked like a big brown ball of fuzz. I thought I was so exotic."
What won’t you leave home without?
"I wouldn’t be a beauty editor if I could narrow it down to just one [thing]. Gloss, of course, concealer and blotting papers."
Who's your beauty icon?
"I admire Scarlett Johansson for her body confidence; she’s not afraid to be womanly in a seductive way. It irritates me that people call her curvy – she’s normal, dammit! I think Drew Barrymore is eternally beautiful. She never ages but instead reinvents herself and always looks at peace with who she is. I like that Angelina Jolie has worked out how to make her eyes look sexy and cat-like with the winged, thick, straight liner she’s got going on. Her eyes are quite round and boring without it. Have you noticed? I’m onto you, Ange."
"C’mon, don’t make me get cheesy! To me beauty is, at the end of the day, a girl who may not be dressed for a spontaneous activity but goes anyway. A girl who gets rained on but laughs it off instead of whinging. A girl who will pop down to the shops with no make-up on. A girl who admits she sucks at curling her hair but flaunts her long lashes. She works what she’s got and doesn’t sweat the rest."
What's the best beauty tip you've discovered?
"You know when you line your top lid with black liner or shadow and then, after half an hour or so, you have a line half way up your lid from blinking? Well, to avoid that line, make sure you powder your lids liberally with translucent power after concealing and before applying any eye make-up. No more line. It’s genius. It’s pretty much up there with the invention of the wheel. And face wipes."
What new beauty trend are you most excited about?
"I’m so pleased that the beauty industry, and consumerism on a larger scale, is finally making a conscious effort to care for our earth and environment. From recycling and using less packaging to carbon neutral efforts, mineral products and events like Earth Hour, addressing this issue with the sense of urgency it deserves is imperative and long overdue."
Have you busted any beauty myths as a beauty ed?
"Not yet, but I’m on the case!"
The current issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale now