Elizabeth Denton, Digital Content Editor at NYX Professional Makeup
1. First of all, why are you “cool”?
I’m a writer/editor and I’ve been living in LA for exactly a year. I was a beauty/style editor in NY for what feels like EVER, and moved here to work in the booming beauty community.
2. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got to your current job/lifestyle? Like 4-5 sentences? (I swear I’m not asking for a novel…)
I went to school for journalism, and knew I wanted to work in magazines. Back then, digital media wasn’t a reality. It was old school magazines!
I really wanted to train as a reporter. People think if you work in the style space, you have to be a blogger or someone who only chooses clothes, but I knew I wanted to be really well rounded. I interned at WWD and then Time Out New York, learning how to fact check and style and write for print and online and literally everything else that goes with publishing. It was so much work but vital. While interning, I worked in a medical office to pay the rent on my crappy East Village room in a really awful apartment. I was totally broke. I would go to class, go to my internship, and then work for a few hours, all in the same day. I wanted it that bad. There wasn’t Instagram, and all these other ways (for better or worse) for people get jobs like they have now. You had to really show up and put in your hours. I’m so glad I did it. Time Out ended up hiring me as an assistant editor, then I moved on to Seventeen and Allure. Now I'm at NYX Professional Makeup while also keeping up a new freelance career.
3. I know you operate within the "beauty" world (whatever that means these days). How does that impact your life? Your self image? Has that changed, or have you always felt that way about beauty?
Working in fashion and beauty has always made me think about my own self image, but I’ve generally been confident - with rough moments here and there (like most people). It actually wasn’t until moving to the LA beauty world that my perspective changed. All of a sudden, I want plastic surgery! It sounds so cliche, but when something is really normalized, you start wondering why you shouldn’t just get a little tweak here or there. Everyone gets work done here, and the beauty world is much more over-the-top than New York. In NYC, I could show up in sneakers and a topknot and feel normal. In LA, people have full glam squads with photographers for just a little press event. It can make you insecure for sure.
4. What do you think your 13 year old self would think of you now?
I think she would wish I didn’t work so much and had focused more on my personal life over the past 10 years. Not that I don’t have fun (because I have a lot of fun), but I expected to be married with 2 kids at 33! Instead, I worked my ass off and dated fuckboys. Oops.
4. You're obviously my friend and I know you're a normal human, but for anyone who sees you on IG/social media - what do you wish they knew about you and your ~journey~?
I think I’m pretty honest on Instagram - more so than a lot of people I know. But I wish people realized that it can actually be a lot harder to be honest. When I talk about anxiety or migraines and chronic pain or whatever, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. It’s so much easier to post a face mask and a glass of wine. But it’s important for people to see real moments on social so we know we’re in this shit together.
5. What are the top 2 detrimental thoughts you have in intimidating situations (new social circumstances, big work meeting, networking, etc.) and how do you combat them? (for example, I always used to think my enthusiasm made me look stupid so I dulled it).
I sometimes panic that I’m not going to know the answer to something, something really obvious like geography, and everyone is going to think I’m an idiot. I try to think of a situation when I knew something and someone else didn’t and how they reacted. I respect people so much and think they’re so badass when they just admit they don’t know something. I try to tell myself that people are thinking the same thing about me.
I also sometimes worry that I’m going to say something dumb. I tend to word vomit and try to fill silences. I can still think of the stupid things I said literally 20 years ago! But then, I recently learned that some people actually think I’m funny and that what I sometimes think is a dumb comment can actually come off as a joke! So now I just try not to take myself too seriously, because no one else is.
6. Do you consider yourself predominately an introvert or extrovert OR both/somewhere on the spectrum & how has that played into your career & social life?
It sounds like such a cop out, but I’m definitely in the middle, leaning towards extrovert. It’s “cute” and fun to call yourself an introvert, but I actually feel really depressed if I’m alone for too long. I need social interaction. That works out well for a job when you have to interact with people all the time. Going to press events and meeting strangers can feel exhausting, but it gives me a lot of energy to be surrounded by people.
7. If you could tell someone who wanted your life but thought they weren't "cool enough" just ONE THING, what would you tell them?
Maybe that you’ll never feel like you’re doing enough? You’ll never feel like you made it or reached your goal. You’ll always want more and feel like you have to do more and will have to find a way to live with what you have done already.
FIND ELIZABETH at @elizabethdenton