What do you get when you put together a bubbly, sassy, fun loving, fashion and beauty lover? You get Kara McGrath, Bustle’s Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor. We can always count on Kara to catch us up on the latest trends, must have’s and to teach us new tips and tricks (like how we’ve been misusing our Clarisonic’s…), keeping our beauty drawers stocked and our fashion knowledge growing.
How did you get your start as an editor?
I was a part of Ed2010 and HerCampus in college, which helped me land internships during my junior and senior years. After I graduated, Seventeen (where I had been interning for a year) asked me to stay on as a freelance editor. Eventually I was made full-time!
What is your definition of beauty?
I hate to put a single definition on the word beauty because it’s so subjective. Even what I think is beautiful changes on a daily basis!
We bet this role keeps you up to date on all the latest products and trends – what are your favorite upcoming summer fashion and beauty trends?
I’m still obsessed with rainbow-colored hair. All the Korean beauty products that are hitting the mainstream here in the U.S. are awesome; they make skin care a fun activity rather than a chore.
What advice do you have for twenty-somethings who want to break into the publishing world? Where should they start?
I can only speak for digital publishing, but the best thing you can do is to get an internship that lets you write for clips! And, thanks to the internet, you don’t even have to be in New York City to do that anymore. If you haven’t been able to land one, start your own blog — that way you’ll have clips to send to potential editors. Also, build your own brand on social media. I KNOW. It sounds annoying, but it can really help jumpstart your career.
How do you describe what you do?
I generally say I oversee the fashion and beauty vertical for an online feminist publication. I assign and edit stories, plus work a lot with our video team to produce video and photo content.
What is the most surprising thing that you have learned about writing as an editor?
Definitely how to make even the most personal essay universal. Bustle does a lot of personal essays, and it’s easy to slip into a self indulgent narrative that in no way relates to a reader. Now that I’ve noticed what doesn’t translate while I’m editing, it’s easier to catch myself doing the same thing when I’m writing.
What is your daily beauty routine?
Skin care is the main focus of my routine: I wash my face, then apply toner, serum, lotion with SPF, and eye cream in the morning. At night I wash again, do a face mask a couple times a week, and apply an oil. My usual makeup look involves a bold lipstick and not much else.
Do you write and edit outside of the office?
In the sense that we work around the clock to make Bustle the best, yes! I do my best writing and brainstorming when I’m in a location that isn’t my desk. But I don’t write or edit for other publications.
How do you re-charge at the end of the week?
I try to make sure I see friends over the weekend. I love my coworkers, but I think it’s important to stay close with people who aren’t in the exact same industry as you too, because otherwise you end up only talking about work. It really helps to disconnect — plus my friends are just cool people to hang out with.
What word encompasses the twenty-something years?
Unique (because no one’s experience is the same)
What are three things we couldn’t find out about you online?
Much to my dismay, there are no photos of me when I accidentally dyed my hair black in high school. At the time I was too embarrassed to take pictures of it, but now I really wish I had them. Other than that, I don’t keep many secrets.