If you are in the Beauty Industry then you are certainly familiar with Dave Lackie. Founder and Beauty Editor of Beauty and the Guide and of course TV personality on Cityline as their resident beauty expert where he discusses trends, launches and innovations. Or maybe you are simply familiar with his amazing Beauty Giveaways that he hosts in an abundance on Twitter and his Blog davelackie.com.
Dave is no stranger to interviews. He has interviewed hundreds of Celebrities, Fashion Designers and Beauty Moguls in the likes Kim Kardashian, Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui and Bobbi Brown just to name a few.
I had the pleasure of turning the tables on Dave and making him the interviewee for a change.
Read on and get to know Dave a little better, his road of careers that eventually led him to becoming a beauty editor, as well as some insider dish on Kim Kardashian! Dave was kind enough to provide some amazing tips in making it in the beauty industry as well as what we can expect this Summer from our favorite Cosmetic lines.
Victoria: Where did you grow up? What kind of life did you have a youngster?
Dave: I actually grew up on a horse farm near Georgian Bay in Northern Ontario with two huge Saint Bernard dogs. I learned to ride horses very young and had chores each day to take care of them.
Victoria: You have accomplished so much in your notable career. Just to name a few…a PR manager, journalist, television personality, celebrity interviewer and not to mention being the founder of Beauty the guide! Sounds like a dream come true to anyone in the beauty industry. I would love to know which one of your endeavours did or do you enjoy the most and why?
Dave: I’ve been so fortunate to have the career that I have. And whenever I meet any students graduating or anyone who loves the beauty industry, I always encourage them to follow their dreams. I truly believe you can’t be really good at something if you don’t love it. And I started at the very bottom making almost no money at first. You have to pay your dues and learn your skills.
I loved planning special events for Harry Rosen, a high-end men’s wear retailer in Canada. I remember coming up with the idea of hosting a James Bond gala years ago when I learned that Brioni had dressed Bond in a film. Through Brioni, I met the curator of the Bond props in England and was able to secure two dozen props from the movies. But the best part was creating the actual event. I had rock climbers in tuxedos descending down the side of the building, Bond girls in costume and a full fashion show. The idea of surprising and delighting guests was such fun.
In terms of journalism, I still love interviewing designers and artists. Everyone has a story to tell and if you prepare, you can often get them to share the most interesting experiences. I get to meet such fascinating people. When I interviewed Michael Kors, I asked him who the most interesting person he had ever sat beside at a gala dinner. (Designers are always attending charity dinners). He told me this great story about meeting Andy Warhol. Michael was so nervous and talked non-stop to him. Andy said one word the whole night: gee!
Victoria: After all of those impressive career moves, how did you land into the world of beauty?
Dave: I always joke that when I write my memoirs, the book will be called “I was a male beauty editor.” I didn’t plan on working in the beauty industry. During university I was obsessed with UK alternative music. I even had my own radio show at CKMS, the University of Waterloo’s campus station. But when I landed a special events coordinator position at a downtown department store, I was put in charge of organizing the beauty and fragrance launches. It fascinated me. There is always something new launching in the beauty industry. And such science and art in these products. I loved working on these events. Soon I was writing for small magazines and newspapers about the industry.
Victoria: You have interviewed so many celebrities over the years including Kim Kardashian! She is so beautiful and is very well known for her amazing fashion sense and of course her flawless makeup. We all want to know what she was like in person and personally, I want to know if she was rocking that famous contoured look that we have come to know and love. If so, how did it look up close and personal without any filters or fancy editing??!! Give us the dish Dave!
Dave: Yes, I did interview Kim a few years ago when she was the face of Fusion Beauty. She is quite tiny in real life and is beautiful. But she wears so much foundation. I mean A LOT of foundation. I didn’t see a lot of contouring. I’d love to see her with less to really show her complexion. She was very polite but really didn’t have anything to say. I asked her about social media and she was saying how she looks to Twitter whenever she has a question. And she told me she learned the power of spray tanning while appearing on Dancing with the Stars. To be honest, I really wanted to interview her mother (who wasn’t on this trip). She’s the brains behind all of it. From a business point of view, she’s created an empire out of social media. She’s like the Martha Stewart of social media.
Victoria: On behalf of all Beauty Bloggers and Beauty Gurus alike, who aspire to be as distinguished as yourself, do you have any tips that will help us make it in the industry?
Dave: There has never been a better time to be a blogger in the beauty industry. When I first started out, beauty editors at magazines really did have all the influence. But social media has changed that completely. Bloggers have more influence now than magazines. And I truly love that. What I love about beauty bloggers is they truly love beauty and they are so enthusiastic. I find many magazine editors quite jaded and they miss the fun and excitement around a new launch. I sit in meetings with presidents of beauty companies and all they talk about today is digital an social media. That is such great news for bloggers.Here are my tips for aspiring beauty bloggers. Start by making the site look as good as you can. The rule I always go by is “Would Dior or Chanel” advertise or want to be on this site? It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be quite clean and simple. But your site really does have to reflect the type of brands you want to work with. Next, come up with a point of difference. You need to make your blog stand out from all the other ones. Maybe you specialize in lipsticks. Or you do fun test drives. Make your approach different. I use this example a lot: If you are reviewing a waterproof mascara, don’t just write how you like it. Plan a movie marathon of the saddest movies you know, and see how it stands up through Titanic! That is really fun. And it is different.
When you write your stories or reviews, take the time to research the topic. Teach the reader something new. Martha Stewart built her empire on thoroughly researching every topic she wrote about. You learned so much from her. It should be the same on your site.
I also find it is so important to send little email reports to the PR directors of the brands you work with. Tell them how many followers you have, how many people read the story, how long they spend on your site. Google analytics is great. This will instantly put you to the top of the list if you do it. It honestly isn’t who has the most followers. But who has really good content and who communicates regularly and professionally with the PR directors. I started with zero followers two years ago. It just takes time and work.
Victoria: What can we look forward to this summer? Are there any new and innovative products hitting the market?
Dave: Summer is always about bold lip and eye colours – lots of fuchsia and turquoise this year. I think Dior and YSL have been tops in terms of makeup innovation this year. Lancôme has a really fascinating product coming next month called Miracle Cushion – inspired by Korean beauty trends. It’s a spongy liquid foundation that is really interesting. I really love this summer’s limited edition fragrance bottles: from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Issey Miyake. Really fun collectibles. What is interesting is the big trend in fragrance notes is strawberry. You’ll see more and more scents with a tart, fresh strawberry note. It’s an alternative to citrus that perfumers are using to give a fragrance a burst of freshness.
Victoria: Is there a particular brand that you prefer? That you anticipate what they will come up with each season?
Dave: I don’t know if I have a favourite brand. I love that each one is different and has its own personality. So to understand a product launch, it really helps to know its history and character. Clarins has such skincare expertise and really is very much a family. So it is wonderful to spend time with them learning about the latest plant active they’ve discovered. Dior’s new creative director of makeup Peter Philips (who used to be at Chanel), is really letting his creativity flow. I just saw the fall 2015 makeup collection and it is edgy and beautiful. You’ll love that.
When I first joined Twitter, I had no idea I would meet so many wonderful beauty enthusiasts around the world. That was the big surprise for me. It is remarkable that women and men around the world love the same products and have the same questions. It is so much fun for me to share all the products and brands that I truly love through twitter and my blog. Because these are the people who truly love them. Nina Westbury, the pro makeup artist I work with on Twitter, and I get completely giddy when we see a really good makeup collection. So to all the beauty bloggers I’ve met through Twitter, a big thank you. I encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. Make your site and instagram account as good as you can. You really can build a career in beauty that is fun and rewarding.
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