Editors / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Elise Wilson, Category Beauty Editor at Bauer Media

Elise Wilson is the category beauty editor for Bauer’s weekly titles, where she works across Woman’s Day, Take 5, OK! and NW as well as

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

My career in magazines started when I was 19 with my first ‘proper job’ as receptionist at Pacific Magazines in New Zealand. Fast forward a year and I was fashion and beauty assistant of New Idea magazine, then at 21 promoted to my dream job of beauty editor.

I was lucky enough to work as beauty editor for some of the biggest titles in NZ in the 11 years I was there, and about three years ago I moved to Sydney with Bauer Australia.

My job was originally as the health & beauty editor of Woman’s Day Australia, and now I’m lucky enough to work as the category beauty editor across all of Bauer’s weekly titles (Woman’s Day, Take 5, OK! and NW) and So I’m busy!

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Well as you can imagine my usual deadlines are pretty hectic across all the titles I look after.

Last month both NW and OK! magazines got stood down for a few months, which you think would mean less work for me, but it’s actually meant I’ve just shifted more focus onto my pages in Woman’s Day, Take 5 and online, plus more social media coverage of things across the board.

I try to get up and have my brekkie about 7.30am (usually I’d be going to the gym in the mornings, but my routine has changed quite a bit now), then I’m at my laptop and sorting through my emails by 8am.

I like to go through all the international mag clippings that have come through overnight as they give me inspiration, and answer everything that needs to be answered by 9am so I can tackle my deadlines without getting too distracted.

My days often have between one or two zoom calls for general meetings and beauty launches, so that’s nice and interactive. The rest of the time I’m liaising with PR’s about product, imagery, samples and firing off questions for beauty experts to answer in preparation for all the future pages I have coming up.

It’s definitely a lot of juggling, but being so busy during this time (and doing a job I love still) has made the time fly!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My job has always allowed such flexibility, even before COVID. I’m my own boss and manage all my own deadlines (as well as my assistants and the interns we have), so I’ve always been lucky that I can basically work how I want as long as my deadlines all get met.

Before the lockdown I was at meetings and beauty launches constantly, so I structured my days around that as well at the gym early in the morning.

Now, however, with me solely WFH, I smash out lots of my work earlier (as I’m definitely more productive in the mornings!) and enjoy signing off most days at 4pm to go for a run or long walk then. I’m very much a routine girl, and this is working for me now which I love.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To be honest, I’ve never been great at a work-life balance. I’m a very social person, but I’m also a workaholic and what my partner refers to as an ‘active relaxer’ (which means I can’t sit and just chill ever!).

I think that’s the exact reason I have a job like I do, because it never really feels like I’m working as I love it so much, and it’s really social and interactive. I am however really big on exercise and this has become a big part of my life, so I guess that is my downtime.

Oh and spending quality time with my partner, mainly with trips to Bunnings to buy more house plants. I think we’re obsessed now.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I am always the yes person. Whether that’s with work or personal, I’ve definitely burnt myself out in recent years by just taking on too much. So with all this lockdown stuff it’s just forced me to take a bit more of a back seat and relax a bit more. My work and personal life schedule doesn’t need to be manic in order for me to feel accomplished.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Slightly controversial, I really don’t enjoy podcasts. Give me a great lighted-hearted book about romance and I’m there for it. I’m currently reading The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell and it’s great. Funny, witty, at times too-close-to-home, but also the perfect escapism.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I could now never live without my Google home hub. I ask it questions all day every day and live my life around it. I’m also a big music lover, so Spotify gets played all day too and replaces TV and Netflix almost completely for me.

I’m also a bit obsessed with picture editing through the Lightroom app. I urge everyone to try it!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would have to say Victoria Beckham. She’s my absolute inspiration with how she juggles being a business mogul, celeb and amazing mother and wife. She’s everything I’d love to be – and of course, still look that glamorous.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I know COVID has been really tough and a lot to take on for everyone, but I’m now just excited to see how we grow from this. The new businesses, the ones that have become more innovative, our way of working and living, it’s all happened for a great reason, I’m sure of that. Fast forward to another three months’ time and we’ll all be living in a whole new world and I’m embracing it.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.