oh! this is a very timely—and appropriate—question to ask me, since I just relocated to Los Angeles for a few months. okay, my perspective: first of all, it’s marvelous that you’ve found a potential career that you love and that you have a passion for. that, in of itself, is exceptionally difficult and some people spend their whole lives trying to pinpoint that. so I see why you’re conflicted about taking a break from it—and thus falling behind in your career. to be honest, though, there is no such thing as falling behind in your career especially this early in your path. first of all, you’re interning—not hired—at Weddingbells. I’m not saying that that’s license to take it any less seriously (the fact that you’re worried about leaving them is a sign to me, actually, about how much you love your job and how great of an intern you likely are). how long is the term of your internship though? why not intern there for a little while longer while you a) save money to b) travel for a few months? I am very pro-travel, pro-life-experience. once you start working-working (not just interning), it’s exceptionally difficult to take a year—or even a few months—off. but you never know where a life adventure in Seoul might take you—you could intern at Vogue Girl (I LOVE that magazine) while out there, or start your own travel blog or ‘zine. and that could lead to another job/internship/something amazing. when you open your heart and mind to life and opportunities, opportunities will, in turn, find you
Oh! So many things: *Maintain your optimism: don’t let the toxicity of your environment—a college major you don’t love, competitive friends, petty coworkers, etc etc—take it away from you. It is one of your defining qualities. *Learn to say no—and don’t be afraid to speak up: if you don’t speak up for yourself, you can’t expect others to pipe up for you. Be braver. *Be better with money. Really. You’ll need it when you move back to NYC. *Say yes to adventure, to (calculated) risk, to possibilities. The latter is something I’ve learned in spades since eighteen, but especially in the last few years of my career. Taking every meeting, being open to new opportunities and not being shackled by unwarranted fear or hesitation. This life we lead is short and fleeting—I assume you’re eighteenish if you’re asking this question. Listen: eighteen feels like it was yesterday to me. I remember everything about it from my poor fashion decisions (haha) to my general cluelessness and the occasional waves of trepidation about what the future would bring. Today, I am eighteen + ten + then some. Time flies, really it does, so maximize every second. Live the best life you can—any limitations you have are self-imposed.
dear women of the world: you should learn from this wise man. heythatsmint, I am obsessed with you. can you be my new SBFF (skincare best friend forever)? ^_^ but seriously, well done with your skincare routine. the only thing I’d say is a) if you feel oily during the day, use blotting papers (these are fairly unisex!) and b) instead of splashing water, have you thought about a facial mist instead? this one from Jurlique is really soothing and this one is a classic. and c) if your skin is super, super dry, consider adding a face oil to your routine. this one is my new favorite, it soothed my skin through a terrible cold recently!
ah, weddings. such happy, festive, fun affairs—unless you’re the bride, in which case you are super-stressed out with 9.8 million details. I love that you’re taking a proactive approach to your skincare and now is the perfect time to begin (five months out). so, first of all, I’d definitely recommend the basics: drinking lots of water, cutting back on refined sugars, boosting the amount of fruits and veggies you have. also, um, wash your face every night (I’m astounded by the number of people who don’t wash their face. don’t they realize they’re going to sleep with a day’s worth of oil, pollution, and grime on it!). if you can invest in a Clarisonic, I think it’s a wonderful way to deep cleanse and exfoliate. I use mine 2-3x a week (especially on the days I wear more makeup). many brides I know get facials, but I actually think if you cleanse properly, using masks at home is a great (and less expensive, because let’s face it, you have enough expenses these next few months) alternative. a few of my favorites: SK-II, Jurlique, Ren. lastly, try not to sweat the small stuff. I was, to be honest, a total bridezilla. I agonized over everrrrrything, every little detail. it was worth it, yes, but at the same time, I realize now that what people remembered from the wedding wasn’t how the blush of the favor ribbons perfectly matched the place card calligraphy. they remembered the overall happiness of the bride and groom and the love and joy everyone felt. hooray, congratulations!
aw, thank you for social-media-stalking me. I appreciate your support (and to all the other hundreds of thousands—how did that happen—of followers out there). well, David Bowie once said, “I DON’T KNOW WHERE I’M GOING, BUT I PROMISE YOU IT WON’T BE BORING.” that’s become my motto. I left Teen Vogue full-time last October (still writing for them, of course. check out their March issue!). I loved my seven years there, Amy Astley taught me so much about how to be an editor and just a good person overall. really, though, there’s no dramatic story: I just knew that I wanted to learn new things (digital! e-commerce! product design!), write for new places (Vogue! Elle! Wall Street Journal! Vogue China!), and see as much of the world as possible, so that I could feel my brain expand and learn new things again. I know a lot of people were, like, “oh my goodness, why would you leave a wonderful, stable job to be freelance?” (um, my mother said that. except swap in “oh my goodness” with “what is wrong with you”, haha). this is why—and this is advice for all you lovely ladies and gents reading out there: the purpose of life isn’t to be stable, safe. you owe it to yourself to live life to the fullest and to maximize every single opportunity you are blessed with. xx
oh dear, it sounds like you’ve been having a hard time with someone lately. (there’s almost always a “someone” instigating, isn’t there?). I hope everything’s okay! so, here are my thoughts on your questions: no, you’re not wrong for what you’re feeling or thinking. the magazine industry tends to attract driven, ambitious people and with that can come a fair amount of drama. it’s not an industry that’s like booming either—it’s getting smaller and more difficult to find jobs, so there’s that contributing to everything as well. but my point of view is that you could be in any industry—neurosurgery! academia! zoology! (what a random assortment of jobs I chose, btw)—and it would be similarly cutthroat and backstabby. because, really, it comes down to one person/group of people who like causing drama. your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be super-aware of these folks and to steer clear of them (be polite and nice, of course, though). find the people that you trust, that you feel comfortable around, and that are true friends. they exist. I know they do, because I myself found a group like that, even in the fashion industry. you obviously love writing—it’s so hard to find your passion in life. don’t let someone take that away from you.
hooray, I’m glad to be a force for skincare good. your message made my day! so, serum 101: just as basecoat is the most important step of a manicure (this one has been my favorite for the last two years), serum is like basecoat for the skin, a crucial first step. the analogy is a tad jumbled but basically what serum does is deliver a straight shot of beneficial ingredients to the skin (they’re often pricier than plain lotions because they’re more concentrated) plus deliver on benefits like hydration, brightening, etc. so, it’s up to you to choose what kind of serum you need. if you’re looking to fade dark spots, perhaps try Clinique or L’Oreal. remember to wear SPF during the day as well, since just as sun darkens the rest of your skin, it can darken dark spots. and for those of you looking for hydration (it’s so deeply dry out there this time of year), these are two of my favorite serums for deep moisturization: Dermalogica and Ren.
Stefano Tonchi! Hamish Bowles! Mark Holgate! Andre Leon Talley! Eric Wilson! Ariel Foxman! Derek Blasberg! Andrew Bevan! Hal Rubenstein! Joe Zee! (the list goes on.) listen, anytime someone tells you something that you know in your gut is simply not true (which must be the case, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking me for validation, no?), just tune it out. the world is full of naysayers—people LOVE telling other people what they can’t do. prove them wrong…
someone call me a cardiologist because your question just gave me heart palpitations. well, first of all, I’m glad you’re acknowledging your skin sins. although, first of all, there’s probably nothing wrong with the acne cleanser you’re using or the Dove cream you’re slathering on your sad, parched face. what is a major problem, though, or as Julia Roberts would say in Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Big. Huge”, is that you aren’t removing makeup at night. that is not good. I’m picturing it seeping into your pores right now. seeping into your eyelash follicles, making your lashes sad and puny. okay, enough lecturing! here’s a basic skincare routine I recommend: *remove your makeup every night (even if it’s Yes to Carrots makeup removers. which I like a lot, by the way) *wash your face every night (it can be with something as simple as Cetaphil) *use a serum for your skin type (since you said “parched”, I’m going to recommend this one—it’s a splurge, but it’s worth it. I think serums are worth their weight in gold) and *night cream (this one is good for sad-looking skin). use an SPF during the day. this alone will make your skin happier and less arid. and, when you see a difference in a few weeks and want to graduate to masks and treatments, drop me another line ^_^
if you’re lucky enough to get in and afford it, go to university, please. modeling is an amazing career—but, in my opinion, it’s not really a career path you can choose as readily as, say, medicine, banking, or, um, lawyering. there is no core curriculum, no majors, no minors. someone has to “tap” you, effectively choose you, to be a model. and that could ostensibly happen while you’re in school, interning in NYC or Paris over the summer at a swishy fashion PR firm. there’s the distinct possibility, also, that you’ll find something you want to do in school that opens your eyes to the possibilities of fashion/glamour/travel (I imagine all the appealing things about being a model) but—as you point out—with a longer lifespan. I think people should follow their dreams, but do research and homework to prepare for them. I applaud you for having big dreams—and asking the right questions before. but definitely, definitely, definitely go to college. it’s a foundation and base for the rest of your life.
ps: if you’re not following Kelly Mittendorf on Tumblr, you should. great, smart advice from a great, smart, successful model
sigh, I can totally sympathize with you. I specifically remember calling my parents when I was in college and telling them I was switching majors (from pre-med to English, the horror). my dad was silent. my mom was hysterical and basically didn’t speak to me for a month, and then entered a denial phase that she’s only now—like, a decade later—is thawing out of. it can be hard but you should absolutely do it because why should you hide what you want to be (and therefore who you are)? so, here’s what I would do: tell them in person. don’t just say “Mom, Dad, I want to be a blahdeblah. isn’t that great? k, bye!” tell them your plans—and make them exactly that: plans. explain the career trajectory for the path you’re choosing: people start with this job, then they do this, and then are promoted to this, etc. I think 99 percent of my parents’ freak-out was due to lack of understanding of the industry I was embarking out. the more I fill them in, the more understanding they are (note the present tense—they’re still learning to embrace it). in any case, congratulations: you should be happy you found your calling. you’re lucky, really! so many people don’t know what they want to do with their lives, like, ever. if you know, you owe it to yourself to do it.
take that gap year! and take one (or some time) before you start your first real post-uni job. take it from me: it is really hard to take time off once you start working. it’s something, to be honest, that you have to explain a bit—no one will quite understand. “take time off to travel/live life/explore/have an adventure?” they’ll ask, furrowed brow and puzzled look on their faces, “why would you do that?” if you can take a gap year, in my opinion, you should. when I graduated high school, I couldn’t wait until college. when I finished college, I couldn’t wait to start working. and when I had my first job—and was ready for a new challenge—I couldn’t wait to start that job. do you see a pattern here? my personal stance is to enjoy being young—take a gap year before university, take time off before starting your first job, take time off between jobs. it’s not being lazy, it’s rekindling your imagination, your sense of adventure, your stance on the world as a whole. it’s worth it, trust me ^_^
first of all, congratulations. even though I’ll be living in LA for part of next year (eeek), I really and truly feel that living in New York City at some point in your young adult life—whether you end up falling in love with it or detesting it—is a life-changing experience that everyone should have. you’ll be surrounded by people from all walks of life, from all countries, from all orientations and cultures… all united by the common experience of trying to make it in NYC. so, my advice: a) start saving now. it is ridiculously easy to spend money in NYC (you’ll want to meander into every little cafe in the West Village, browse/shop in every indie boutique in Nolita, etc), harder so to make it. b) establish a network of friends from college, high school, whatever who are also planning on moving to NYC. it’s good to have that support system in place early on c) try not to get too swept up in the “wooo, party time!” scene. I have seen it time and time again—deeply ambitious and together and talented people who get sucked into the NYC nightlife scene. have fun, of course, but don’t be utterly frivolous either. remember, NYC is the city where you Make It. dream big, have fun, and make it happen
over the holidays this year, I’ll be visiting five cities in three weeks (London, Manchester, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul)—my weary back misses my fancy organic mattress just thinking about it. but, after so many years of travel, I’ve gotten used to it. but nevertheless, there’s almost always that point in the evening where I bolt up, hair and limbs akimbo, wondering where I am, haha. in any case, my top tips for travel-sleep: 1) try to acclimate to the time zone you’re going to, whether that means snoozing on the flight or going to bed as soon as you arrive (if you land at, say, midnight). 2) recreate the rituals of home as much as you can. for me, that means my extensive (and exhausting) seven to nine step skincare routine every night. 3) I tend not to take pills. I do try, instead, to wear myself out during the day. whether that means sightseeing, shopping (whee!), or family time, I try to max out my energy on day one so I sleep well. happy travels!
oh dear. I went through a phase like the one you’re talking about in my early twenties (and all throughout college, if we’re being honest). it was hard to break out of the cycle because, well, what girl doesn’t love to shop? now, though, I have a much more pragmatic approach to shopping. I really (try to) take time to think about the things I’m buying, asking myself how and whether they fit into my wardrobe, am I buying it just because it’s inexpensive, and will I still be obsessed with it in three weeks, three months, or three years from now? for your situation, though, first of all, anything you haven’t worn yet and that you’re ‘meh’ about (the items that don’t make your heart race thinking about them), return them. like, now. secondly, I think you have to ask yourself why you’re in a shopping funk—are you stress-shopping because of school or family? are you competitive-shopping because you’re comparing yourself to friends? spend some time thinking on that, and whether there’s a way to cut whatever it is that’s triggering the spending out—or at least reduce exposure to it. you will be happier, your closet less packed, and your bank account will thank you!