BEAUTY TALK: ALISON RICE

Posted in Interviews, Style on August 31, 2016 by


She’s the Group Publisher of our favourite dot com destinations: POPSUGAR Australia, Who What Wear AustraliaByrdie Australia and MyDomaine Australia. Alison Rice basically runs 30% of this country’s internet as we know it.

If she’s not already on your radar, we’re about to put her there – if only because we hope everyone gets the chance to meet Alison, an industry heavyweight who’s garnered herself a bit of a reputation – overwhelmingly positive – for being a real gal’s gal; helping women succeed and supporting them until they do.

Full disclosure: Alison Rice has been our woman crush everyday for a while now. And our hardcore crush on her extends beyond her enterprising, industrious, warm and caring spirit and into her enviably chic wardrobe filled with a mix of high street and investment designer pieces which she styles with total class. We’ve also been semi-stalking (OK, full-on stalking) her snapchat @Alison_Rice, where the former beauty editor she shares compelling product reviews and recommendations and may very well introduce you to your next favourite foundation.

A few weeks ago Rice graciously let Gritty Pretty into her Bondi home for this exclusive beauty talk in which she shares her views on dream jobs, beauty, her mentoring strategy and keeping up with the internet.

GRITTY PRETTY: Your job title is impressively long. Can you tell us what your role involves?

ALISON RICE: I know! I get a bit anxious looking at it. I lead two teams and with their help, set the editorial, product and commercial content strategy for POPSUGAR Austraila, Who What Wear Australia, Byrdie Australia and MyDomaine Australia.

GP: What circumstances led to you landing such a coveted role? Is it something you always thought you would do?

AR: I put it down to hard work, natural curiosity and being easy to work with. I knew coming into Allure Media five years ago that there would be opportunity as with any digital start up, but  I didn’t chase it. You have to be patient and just get on with your job.

My journey into leadership started when I was covering my publisher’s maternity leave on POPSUGAR. During this time I worked on the Who What Wear, Byrdie and MyDomaine deal, so that was always going to be what I did after the cover role. When my publisher decided to focus on her new family, I moved into the group publisher role. That was a really proud moment for me.

I always used to say I didn’t know what my CEO saw in me when he put me in the publisher role, but now that I’m a manager I certainly do! High performers generally have a few things in common: exceptional behaviour, trustworthy, high learning agility, self-awareness and a proactive nature. We see opportunity, not extra work – and we always deliver.

GP: You work with some of the country’s best beauty editors: Lisa Patulny at Byrdie and Justine Dunton-Rose at POPSUGAR. What beauty tips have you picked up from them?

AR: Justine is the queen of skincare. She’s taught me a lot about ingredients and treatments; small things like how Fraxel is a brand name and not a form of laser! And Lisa is my healing guru – she has a really holistic approach to beauty. The Who What Wear team and I are always charging our crystals and using Venustus products.

GP: When do you switch off and what’s your PM beauty routine like?

AR: I usually get into bed at about 9:30pm. I spend an hour catching up on socials and then give my eyes a break with a book before going to sleep.

As for skincare, let it be known I’m an obsessive! I am a few years into my pursuit of perfect skin – which at one point included monthly Omnilux and DMK enzyme peels, and now looks like eight-weekly facial massage and extractions at Jocelyn Petroni, and bespoke laser facials and peels at Melanie Grant. Highly recommend laser if you suffer from pigmentation. Honestly, I look like a different person!

I am currently transitioning (key word!) to new skincare so I will be sure to report back. Without fail every night I pre-cleanse, then apply either a serum or an active, then moisturiser and eye cream. I use Lanolips on my eyelids because they can get dry.

In terms of skincare brands I have used and trust: Ole Henriksen, Arcona and Skinceuticals. The C E Ferulic serum is probably the most effective product I have ever used.

GP: Anyone that knows you or watches your Snapchat knows you do an 11-out-of-10 red lip. Pray tell, what is your secret?

AR: Step one is don’t bother if you have dry or cracked lips. I only wear red when my lips are in good condition, so that’s the first secret. I also have Lanolips on while I do the rest of my face, and blot it off before applying lip liner. That’s a crucial step – it really does make a difference to minimise bleeding.

I wore Burberry Kisses in Military Red on my wedding day and have been pretty loyal to it ever since. Mostly because wearing it makes me feel powerful and loved. Plus, I think blondes tend to suit a blue-red. For this reason I also love M.A.C Russian Red.

GP: What are five of your most frequently used beauty products?

AR:
1. IT Cosmetics CC Cream – It’s all I care about right now. I tell anyone who will listen to buy it. It provides the perfect amount of coverage, dewiness and has staying power.
2. Kevyn Aucoin Brow Pencil – the BEST brow pencil you will ever use.
R+CO Dry Shampoo Paste – I am currently trialling this for POPSUGAR Australia Health & Beauty Awards. It sounds backwards but is magic on thin, straight hair.
4. Makeup Forever Ultra HD Concealer
5. YSL Baby Doll Mascara – I like clumpy lashes.

GP: Who are you beauty muses?

AR:
1. Lara Worthington; I generally copy whatever she does to her hair. This has been true for the last six years except for the pixie cut. I did heavily consider it though.
2. Lisa Patulny, our beauty editor on Byrdie. She has that great sun-kissed, natural blonde hair – always with a perfect bend.
3. Dree Hemingway; she has the I-didn’t-try-look I’m always chasing.

GP: What’s your life mantra?

AR: Just see what happens (thank you mum); be kind and show up fully. I work really hard at living on purpose and being present in every conversation I’m in.

GP: What’s your idea of fun?

AR: Being around my husband, Tony! He makes me cry-laugh. I also find time alone pretty fun. I know, wild! But my job is so fast-paced and requires me to talk a lot so I need that time alone to recharge. Tony knows when it’s quiet time and promptly leaves the house.

 

 

GP: You’ve spoken out about digital plagiarism on multiple occasions. It’s obviously an issue that affects your line of work and something you feel strongly about. What can readers do to help the situation?

AR: I was nervous about putting my opinion out there but I also think is it important for me to have one. As much as we can be like, “Oh, you know what they say about imitation [being a sign of flattery]!” Nup. We all need to work together to make it stop. Online content is just as valuable – if not more valuable – than print. Problem is, it’s easier to steal.

The internet is a big place and there’s room for all of us. More than that, our reader deserves fresh, new ideas.

GP:  You’ve got quite the reputation for is being a champion and mentor to women in your field. In any industry, how important are mentors and how do you go about finding the right one?

AR: That’s really kind of you to say. I work very hard at being a good woman and also a good leader.

I think there’s two types of women – the pull up and the pull down. Most of us are overly familiar with the pull down. They wait for you to show weakness (you know, be a human) and then attack! They do this because they’re intimidated. They also rarely operate alone. I don’t waste any time trying to understand that behaviour, but instead I want to help show the next generation of women – particularly entering women’s lifestyle media – how to pull up. Put out your hand and bring her with you.

The best mentors enter your life organically. I don’t think having one is essential to success. I also don’t think it has to be a woman. Mine isn’t. Good mentors listen and give you enough guidance to make a decision, but don’t decide for you.


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