Sigourney Cantelo, founder and editor at



We’ve partnered with some of Australia’s top career professionals to bring you the best of the best industry secrets and success stories. Read on for top career advice from the mentors you wish you had.

After 15 years as a beauty editor and writer, including six years at Vogue Australia, Sigourney Cantelo decided the time was ripe to jump into the digital world with her beauty tips website, She reveals her career journey, the challenges she faced on magazines and in the digital world, and the many job avenues open for students passionate about the beauty industry.   

I gravitated towards beauty and wellbeing from an early age. My parents are both journalists and my mum, who began as a newspaper journo and went on to become a TV reporter and producer, would always come home with all these tricks that she’d learnt from the make-up artists at work. She had quite an extensive beauty kit and I was just fascinated.
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Image via: Sigourney Cantelo Instagram

I remember so clearly the day that I learned what a beauty editor does. I was around 19, and I had a friend also working as a fashion assistant. She invited me up to the Woman’s Weekly office where she was working and while I was there she showed me a small room crammed with all kinds of beauty products. She said, “Oh, this is the beauty cupboard. Take whatever you want out of that box, the beauty editor has finished writing about it” and I remember thinking, “What? There’s a job? There’s a person who WRITES about beauty products?” I immediately started researching beauty editing and clipping every beauty article I loved. I still have boxes and boxes of those clippings! I think it played a good part in helping me hone my own voice as a writer. Eventually, my editor on Qantas magazine started to let me write some of the shopping pages and I got to call in products and do some styling. I moved around different magazines over the next few years writing and styling, and eventually, I ended up at Vogue Australia as the Beauty and Health Director, where I spent six years.


Image via: Sigourney Cantelo Instagram

I’m now working full-time on my website, I started it as a side project three years ago when I was working at Vogue, because I couldn’t find a beauty website that did everything for me; the blogs I found back then weren’t that well-researched and there was nothing by an actual beauty journalist. I also found a lot of the beauty blogs very busy and frenetic and I craved a site that was clean and quiet and beautiful. So I created Beauticate with that in mind, launching with the ‘who’s and the how-to’s’ – interviews with inspiring women and men in the industry, plus videos and tutorials. But within a few months of the site’s launch I had to make a decision: stay at Vogue, or throw myself into the website full-time. I did the latter and never looked back.

As a working mum, the website has given me great flexibility to be with my kids a bit more. I have a four-year-old, Max, and a nine-month-old, Lulu. It’s so nice being able to have a career in beauty that offers flexibility to work from home.

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Image via: Sigourney Cantelo Instagram

A typical day for me begins at 7am when the kids wake me up. I feed them, while eating toast and glancing at emails at checking social media. I get Max off to day-care and might pop Lulu on the floor with toys while I do my make-up (and I might film a Facebook Live video showing my best tips while doing it). By 9am, Lulu is down for her morning sleep and my staff arrive. We’ll discuss the editorial plan, and for the rest of the morning I’ll answer emails, commission stories, go through photos from our most recent shoot. The babysitter arrives at 10.30 and I might head to a client meeting to discuss upcoming sponsored content. There may be a lunch for a beauty launch – these are held nearly every day and I’ll go to the most vital ones, or I’ll send a staff member. At 2pm I might interview a personality for our WHO section. Interviews are usually done while they’re in hair and make-up, then we shoot them in their home. At 5pm, I’ll do the day-care pick-up, relieve the babysitter and catch up with the team while prepping the kids’ dinner. By 8pm, the kids are asleep, I’m catching up on the day’s emails and if I’m feeling inspired I’ll do some writing. My day ends at 10pm with any last minute social posts, before unplugging and reading a book for half an hour to try and wind down!

It’s a really exciting time to be part of digital and I’ve been really lucky with the website. I had great relationships in the industry and I monetised the site very early on. I now hire a full timer and four contractors. We work out of my home. I have a good home office space and it’s a nice relaxed family environment. However, running a site like mine isn’t easy; you’re constantly thinking of new ways to attract clients, create new content, and in the past couple of years the beauty space has become really saturated: everyone wants to be a blogger! My advice, is only start a beauty blog or website if you have a really fresh or unique idea because it’s getting hard to stand out from the bunch.

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Image via: Sigourney Cantelo Instagram

My advice to writers I’m mentoring or anyone who wants to work in the beauty industry is to cultivate a healthy dose of curiosity. In this industry, you’re always learning. Not just about new brands and treatments but about marketing and how brands try to sell their products. It’s so important to do your research and read between the lines, no matter whether you’re a writer, a beauty therapist or a make-up artist.

Beauty is a career with great longevity and there are so many avenues open to students keen to work in the industry. Becoming a make-up artist is of course, top of the list – and that includes editorial make-up, bridal make-up, TV and film, special effects. What you choose might depend on whether you’re technical, artistic or have an interest in fashion and want to work in editorial. Or maybe you just really want to make women happy on their wedding day! You could also look at working in beauty retail, beauty therapy, product formulation if you’re scientifically-minded – or marketing and PR; all the big brands have PR departments. You could also work in sales or buying for a big company like Sephora, looking for the latest beauty trends. Then there’s the more science side the industry with product formulation, dermatology and high-tech beauty treatments like lasers. You could be a lash technician, a nail artist – the list just goes on and on.

What’s next for me? I’m really excited about growing Beauticate and also being a mentor to the younger writers I work with. I think it’s an important part of the process of becoming a really great writer. We have recently launch news and a new cosmetic section on the site and have lots of exciting things planned for the website in the new year. Watch this space!

Keen to know more about studying beauty therapy? Check out our range of online and nationally recognised qualifications here:



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