October 15, 2009
/ by Anna Marevska
Women have pursued beauty secrets since the beginning of civilization. Today beauty encompasses more than just makeup and skincare products. Being beautiful involves being healthy as well.
Women’s Health magazine recently underwent a creative and editorial makeover and the new look debuted with the October 2009 issue. For newly promoted associate beauty editor, Alexis Farah, that means delving deeper into her craft to help readers filter through piles of beauty information and point out the best fit.
Farah was named associate editor, beauty, in August 2009 — three years after she joined the magazine as an editorial assistant in the beauty department.
“What a wonderful feeling it is to be recognized for the work that you are doing and your dedication to the job,” she said. “It’s nice to know that the magazine has seen that and appreciated my desire to always strive for the next big thing.”
Luckily her promotion coincided with the magazine’s makeover, which also included an increase in beauty pages. Besides being more involved in the editing process, she will write two stories per issue, interview well-known beauty experts and appear as a beauty expert on television and radio programs.
“I am really excited about the new organization to the book,” she said. “Our front-of-the book stories are now all together in one section called Beauty and Style Lab. It definitely makes beauty more of a ‘destination’ for our readers.”
With a blend of research and science-driven beauty information, Farah strives to produce stories not covered before and wants to deliver something unique. And it is not enough, she said, “to just skim the surface of beauty” like other magazines.
“We set ourselves apart by digging deeper and giving our reader more information,” she explained. “It is our goal to deliver the best beauty coverage that includes hard-core research-driven features, the latest trends, newest products and much more.”
And despite the fast pace of the beauty industry, the young editor said she likes the challenge. “I feel like I have grown with this magazine, each day learning something new and challenging myself to find newsier stories with the most up-to-date science and technology,” she said.“It is a huge challenge, but a worthwhile one when you see the end result.”
For Farah, the end result means helping women feel better about themselves by giving them advice that really works. It’s one of the reasons she got involved in the beauty industry, she said. But it was during her internship in the beauty department of Cosmopolitan she realized writing about beauty goes beyond passion: It was something at which she excelled.
“It was my calling,” she said. “My friends would ask me to do their makeup and I am forever fascinated by new products and new concepts in the beauty industry.”
And how does Farah keep up with the ever-changing beauty industry? She stays informed by sifting through the massive amount of information and creating articles based on what applies to them, she explained.
“I am constantly reading everything I can — and not just beauty related,” she said. “I am attending beauty media events, reading press releases and tapping into what the experts see as new and noteworthy on the horizon.”
Another way is through social media. She explained, “I have yet to break into the world of Twitter but I am aFacebook junkie. Social media, including Facebook and Twitter, are great ways to interact with our readers to get a feel for what type of information they look for from Women’s Health.”
Farah advises PR professionals to send information highlighting new technology and techniques, citing new studies and statistics or putting a new spin on an older concept.
“We’re always looking for pitches that help us push the envelope and take our beauty pages to the next level,” she said.
Farah is also looking for press releases with new products, ingredients, story ideas or any other new information in hair care, makeup and skin care. She wants fresh and cutting-edge products with clinical studies or statistics to back up their claims.
“I’m always keeping an eye out for press releases that include really unique how-to tips from the pros,” she added.
She wants to receive all press materials by e-mail. “If I receive a press release that isn’t a fit for a story that I am currently working on, it goes into a folder where I can later do a search to see if any of the releases in the folder apply to an article I’m working on.”
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