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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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