Beauty behind the scenes: The November-December issue

One of the greatest pleasures of beauty editing at a glossy magazine is curating and directing beauty shoots. Journalism isn’t the most visually creative field (indeed, if your copy is visually “interesting” you’ve probably made an egregious typo). That just makes shoots all the more exciting! With this in mind, I thought we would bring you a new series, Beauty Behind the Scenes. In this series, Professional Beauty’s beauty editor will provide a behind the scenes peek of the work that goes into a photoshoot. They’ll also discuss the inspiration behind each shoot – whether it was new launches, current events, or in the case of this issue a very drawn out lockdown and hotly anticipated holiday season!

As November-December was my last issue as Beauty Editor, and first out of lockdown it was particularly special, and I’m thrilled to share it with you.


The November-December sunscreen edit

It wouldn’t be summer without swathe of sunscreen products. Awareness of the importance of sun protection is at an all-time high thanks to innovative, Instagram-driven brands like Ultra Violette and Naked Sundays. They’ve made the category approachable, cool and user-friendly. Sunscreen has gone from a (much resented) afterthought to an anti-aging must-have and clients are more willing than ever to pay premium prices for the right product.

Throughout the year, beloved cosmeceutical brands continued to deliver hard working chemical and mineral sunscreens in elegant formulas, providing essential protection for those using powerful actives. For the shoot, I wanted to create a sense of the outdoors. With most states in Australia experiencing months in lockdown this year during one of Australia’s hardest winters, we’re all desperate to hit the beach. I was inspired by my childhood family holidays in Forster and the blustery beach walks. Sometimes it would rain for two weeks straight during our December family trips – a soggy frustration that seemed like a luxury following three months of lockdowns.


Wellness escape

There were so many new launches in the wellness category this year. From Thalgo and Augustinus Bader‘s first expansions into the category to new brands like CILK Beauty arriving. For the shoot I wanted to think about what wellness means in 2021 – for me it wasn’t just about inner health and outer beauty. It was the objects I surrounded myself with and the rituals I practiced with during lockdown as my home become my office and vice versa. For this reason I included a Fornasetti candle gifted to me for my 30th – the scent restored a sense of calm as the PB team coordinated over 200 print-pages remotely, or the beautiful solid Odesse fragrance that sat by my laptop most days. Meawhile, for the first time in my life I felt drawn to crystals – inspired by my conversation with Jeannie Bourke of Venustus Paddington that appeared in this edition.


New Years Eve Makeup

For the beauty shoot I thought about what I, personally, missed most in during 106 days in lockdown. As an ex-makeup artist doing my makeup is meditative and cathartic, and while sure, you can do it at home with nobody watching, there’s nothing like the fun of getting ready with friends. Celebrating the opportunity to let loose, mingle and be seen shimmering eyes were the focus. Many gorgeous palettes were released ahead of the holiday season including a super wearable and portable number from Jane Iredale that your in-salon clients will love. After many months bare-faced, beauty lovers are embracing bold colours like never before – and who can blame them. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues this holiday season!


November-December Christmas shoot

Skincare is a key pillar of beauty and something that keeps our industry connected. While not everyone feels comfortable dolled up, everyone aspires to feel comfortable in their own skin. It was also a category that proved lock-down resistant. Demand for cosmeceutical actives kept many businesses surviving during the lock-downs (read my interview with Melbourne’s James Vivian here to learn how e-commerce kept his staff employed during lockdown) From the tactility of facial that we missed so much during the year (particularly as beauty editors) to the shared excitement of the latest launch. I wanted to gather the most exciting releases and gifting options of the year in a truly festive setting.

And finally, a shout out to BHA Media’s beauty hero, photographer Brandee Meier!

Ruby Feneley and Brandee Meier
Shooing the holiday edition with BHA favourite Brandee Meier!

No PB photoshoot would be complete without BHA Media‘s incredible photographer Brandee Meier. Brandee works behind the scenes with the Beauty Editors of Profesisonal Beauty, SPA + CLINIC, INSTYLE Magazine and Retail Beauty – her guidance, direction and hands on approach are essential to creating the original images you see across our print titles every year.

You’ll be hearing from PB Beauty Editor Hannah Gay when the January edition! In the meantime, you can check out the shoots via the digital magazine below.

Read the current issue of our digital magazine here:

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