One of the most popular questions I get on social media is career advice in the beauty industry. There are so many beauty enthusiasts who wish to translate their passion into a rewarding career. But finding out what jobs exist and how to land an entry-level job can be challenging. This is even more difficult considering how quickly technology and retail is changing. For this reason, I’m going to feature some of my favourite people in beauty in my newsletters and blog in the coming months who have fascinating jobs. These are people who started at the very bottom and worked their way up to oversee some big brands. Not only are they the top of their field, they are really nice too. Which proves you can still be nice and very successful in business – no matter how it looks on those daytime soap operas. I’m hoping they might inspire you.
To start, I’d like to introduce you to Isabelle Randez, Communications Director for L’Oréal Luxe in Canada. (She’s based in Montreal.) She oversees all the pr, social media and communications for YSL Beaute, Giorgio Armani Beauty & Fragrances, Lancome, shu uemura, Clarisonic, Kiehl’s, Biotherm, Urban Decay & Viktor & Rolf fragrances. It’s a mammoth job considering the number of collections and fragrances each brand launches each year. I sat down with her recently to get the details of her job and her fascinating life.
Dave: You have one of the most exciting and demanding jobs in luxury beauty. Tell us a little about what your job entails.
Isabelle Randez: I am in charge of communications and social media for the luxury brands at L’Oréal. What’s great about my job is that every day is different and it is very fast paced! One day I’m in the office, the next I’ll be traveling or planning an event! That’s what keeps things interesting! I would say even more so now with social media, you have to be curious; there’s something new almost every day!
To cover all the brands, I manage a team of five and together, we take care of product launches, press events, sponsorships, media relations, community management, etc.
DL: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get to this position?
IR: I have been working in PR for 12 years now. I started my career at Clarins where I worked for two years. And this year I am celebrating 10 years at L’Oréal… time flies! I started at L’Oréal as Communications Leader for L’Oréal Paris and then, three years later I moved to the luxury division. Here, my responsibilities increased over the years and, as we acquired new brands, my portfolio expanded naturally and I started building a team to support those brands.
DL: What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
IR: I love to travel and I’ve had opportunities to meet incredible people including Viktor&Rolf, Stella McCartney, Renzo Rosso (Diesel founder), Demi Moore, Nacho Figueras, Linda Cantello, Yazbukey, Penelope Cruz, Julia Roberts, Lloyd Simmonds and many perfumers. It’s quite an honor to be able to represent my brands and have these amazing opportunities. My job has also brought me to places I had never been before including Tokyo and Marrakech.
DL: What press trips have you taken journalists on? What cities and destinations have you visited?
IR: Paris is the city where I go most with editors, New York as well quite often. But it’s always fun to discover new cities when on press trips. The most uncommon destinations include Berlin (for a Diesel launch), Newport Beach for Urban Decay, Tokyo for shu uemura, Marrakech for YSL and London for Stella McCartney.
DL: What advice do you have for beauty bloggers who wish to work with your brands?
IR: I would say that it is really important to build relationships with brands/PR professionals and showcase how your blog stands apart from others. Share reviews you have done, pitch story ideas or product reviews you’d like to do.
Sometimes, it is hard for us to keep up with all the new blogs, so don’t hesitate to send through links to your blog and share some info (traffic, social media accounts). For me, and my brands, the aesthetic of the blog and the photography is very important and so that will definitely catch my attention.
Saint Laurent spring/summer 2015
DL: What fashion brands do you like best? What is your go-to daily wardrobe for work?
IR: I am a big fan of YSL, both for beauty and fashion. I believe YSL has always been daring and I love what’s happening on the beauty side with Cara Delavigne and on the fashion side as well. I also have great pieces from Viktor&Rolf.
For my work wardrobe, I love dresses and pencil skirts and I do have a lot of black because it is so easy to wear! And I accessorize with belts and jewelry.
DL: How is beauty PR changing?
IR: Digital channels are changing the way consumers purchase products and interact, engage with brands. Prior to making a purchase decision, consumers do a lot of research, compare products, read product reviews, etc. Therefore, it’s very important to be present on all touch points.
We continue to work closely with beauty editors as they have huge credibility and legitimacy. As well, digital platforms, blogs, social media, have become an integral part of our PR efforts.
Isabelle Randez instagram
DL: What is your favourite cocktail?
DL: When you are hiring a new PR manager, what do you look for in a candidate?
IR: Someone who is organized, efficient, autonomous, resourceful and social media savvy.
DL: What is your favourite resort or hotel in the world? Where do you go to unwind?
IR: I think one of the most amazing hotels I have stayed at is the Shangri-la Paris. I also spent the day in an amazing resort in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. One destination I love for personal travel is California and I really enjoy Auberge du Soleil in Nappa Valley.
DL: What are your favourite beauty products right now?
IR: I definitely have my fave go-to products. I love to try all the new products we launch but these are the ones I always go back to! My Clarisonic (and I always travel with it) for cleansing, Kiehl’s ultra facial cream for day and Midnight Recovery at night, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, YSL Touche Éclat and Vernis à Lèvres (because I don’t like reapply lipstick so this one stays on really long!), Urban Decay Naked Palettes (1, 2 and 3!!) and the Black Perversion 24/7 eye pencil and Perversion mascara. For the nails, I love the YSL La Laque Couture, they are so easy to apply with the wide brush!
DL: What fragrance notes do you love most?
IR: I love florals. Right now, I am wearing Armani Sì, I alternated between the EDP, the Intense and the new eau de toilette… I have them all! Sometimes, I mix it with Margiela Replica Flower Market!
DL: Your all-time favourite movies?
IR: I really loved Pulp Fiction as a teen and this movie stuck with me. We recently released an Urban Decay collection for the 20th anniversary of the movie (can’t believe it’s 20 years!) and so I saw the movie again and really enjoyed seeing it again!
DL: What advice would you give someone interested in entering the industry?
IR: The first thing I would say is to meet with editors and build strong and genuine relationships with them: it is the starting point! You need to be efficient, detailed-oriented and understand their needs and deadlines. You have to be available and respond fast! I would also recommend knowing the media landscape really well… especially in this day and age, where online and social media are in constant evolution. Read magazines, blogs and websites to understand them well.
DL: Tell us about what it is like to take a designer or makeup artist to visit New York editors or bloggers. What was it like taking Yaz to see the editors?
IR: Yaz is so easy going! When working with high profile designers/makeup artists, you never know if they’ll be comfortable doing everything we ask of them: meeting with the press, doing appearances, etc. It is usually very long days… But Yaz was down for everything and she was super pleasant. I really love her and I can say I’ve made a new friend and can’t wait to visit her in Paris. Editors and bloggers in New York and Toronto really enjoyed meeting her. She is so creative! She was generous with her time and explaining her creative process.
DL: I know you love chocolate. Where in the world do you find the best chocolate dessert?
IR: Difficult question!! But I would say Paris. They have amazing Éclairs and Petits pots de crème au chocolat J
Follow Isabelle on Twitter & instagram at @Lavieenblush
Crissy LondickMay 21, 2015 at 10:08 pm
Loved the article. I’m patial to nude pallet and light bronzer because of my pale skin. Always wear moisturizer with sunscreen
ChloeMay 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm
I’m a current public relations student. Thinking about how this industry is a path I could take makes me really glad I chose my program!
Faiha MullajiMay 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm
So good to know her life and experiences. All the luck and more! Great interview
September DeeMay 20, 2015 at 11:28 am
What a nice article. Now I’m craving to go back to Paris again.
Jo-Anne OndrusMay 20, 2015 at 11:23 am
Thanks for a very insightful article. Had no idea they owned so many brands.
Michelle D'ErcoleMay 20, 2015 at 11:02 am
Great read as it applies to other industries as well!
Natalie HeatherMay 20, 2015 at 9:24 am
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Isabelle last year at Spark Sessions (a fashion and beauty blog conference). She is so lovely, and it was so nice to read more about her and her career! Thanks for sharing, Dave!
Chantal CôtéMay 20, 2015 at 8:48 am
Very interesting/ intéressant!
LouisaMay 20, 2015 at 7:13 am
This article on Isabelle Rendezvous is amazing!! If I was a young woman starting out, this interview would’ve inspired me to go for it. Great questions Dave Lackie. – louisaS59