For this week’s Meet the Media series, we’re pleased to introduce Chelsea Burns, the Senior Beauty Editor at Women’s Health Magazine. As an expert in beauty, wellness, and product testing, her work has appeared in several top-tier outlets like Real Simple, Fitness, and Byrdie. Please welcome Chelsea to BLND!
Hi! I’m Chelsea Burns, the Senior Beauty Editor at Women’s Health Magazine—covering beauty content on both the print and digital platforms.
How did you get into journalism? Was this always where you saw yourself?
I actually thought I wanted to be on Broadway… obviously that didn’t work out—I realized I didn’t quite have the chops or the drive (both very necessary) to make it. So, the next best thing that would get me to NY in my mind was magazines so I majored in mass communications.
From your experience, what makes a great story?
I love a story that has a personal touch—any time you can incorporate that first person, “I actually tried this or went through this” perspective, it always reads so much easier to me. I also think those are easier to write as well. I’m a sucker for great research/sources as well—I feel like your story is only as good as your experts.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
Hmm I think simply being able to make it in NYC at a job that I love! I decided at 13 that I wanted to live in NYC when I grew up and I’m doing it—it’s really rewarding when I stop to think about it.
What is one thing you wish the public knew about your job?
It’s not all lipstick and sparkles and swatching products (although that is some of it). At Women’s Health in particular there’s a lot of data that goes on behind the scenes to determine what’s going to be a good story. I also just wish publicists understood how many products we get pitched and sent in a day… I probably get at least 50-70 pitches a day via email alone. As much as I want to feature all the products, it’s just impossible!
I may be the most simple beauty editor you ever meet… I’ve always struggled with acne so my skincare routine is very streamlined: (Follain cleanser, a couple of prescription topicals, and Cerave moisturizer). I’ve been using It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour for years and can’t seem to give it up. It’s the perfect amount of coverage and has SPF 50. My hair is naturally straight so I usually just throw some dry shampoo in and put it up in a bun until I get to the office—or all day now that we’re WFH indefinitely.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
Take any opportunity you can get and use all of your connections! I went to college in Oklahoma and couldn’t for the life of me get a magazine to even respond to my emails about summer internships because I had no experience. A very extended family friend who worked in the marketing department at Marc by Marc Jacobs graciously took an informational phone call with me and it led to an internship with her that summer in NYC. I had no interest in marketing but it got me to NYC and it gave me the experience I needed. The next summer I think I had four or five offers for internships at different magazines. You just have to get your foot in the door!
When you’re not writing, what can we find you doing?
Right now I’m spending way too much time on Instagram but usually I love to go running in Central Park, hang out with my dog Penny, and shop the farmers markets.
Three words that describe you? Happy, calm, and friendly
#1 place on your travel bucket list? Greece! Or anywhere besides my apt…
Go to drink order? black coffee—iced in the summer, hot in the winter
Favorite restaurant? That’s tough but in NYC I’d probably say JaJaJa—a plant based mexican spot in the West Village.
Where can people follow you? Instagram! @ chelseatraberburns