Kristie Dash once used a tweet to land an internship.
Back in 2011, she emailed Eva Chen, then at Teen Vogue, with a riff on one of Chen’s recent tweets so that her email would stand out. Today, the beauty editor still uses social media obsessively, with Instagram being one of her go-to platforms.
“Instagram is now where trends form and, in many ways, it has democratized the beauty and fashion industries,” she said. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t actively think about posting on Instagram every day, but it’s something I enjoy and it doesn’t feel like work.”
After stints at Lucky and Allure since graduating in 2013, Dash has quickly risen in the industry ranks. She served as Allure’s digital beauty editor until last month, when she moved to social beauty publisher Obsessee as a senior editor.
Dash frequently uses Instagram to give her nearly 20,000 followers a peek into her life as a beauty editor. Her feed is a quirky mash-up of “natural” work-life moments including shots of her meals, face masks smothered on her face and behind-the-scenes glimpses of photo shoots and fashion week events. She used to post at least once a day, but decided to triple her output on her mentor Chen’s suggestion. “I do whatever she tells me to do,” she said.
We asked Dash to pick five posts from her Instagram feed that give us a feel for her job, describe the posts and ideas behind them, and weigh in on what makes a good Instagram feed. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.
So much of what does well on Instagram has what’s referred to as “thumb-stopping” quality. Scrolling through our feeds is practically second nature, at this point, so sometimes it takes something dramatic to get your thumb to stop and press the “like” button. The perfect example: this silver face mask by GlamGlow. My background is in beauty so when I can find a really good product that also produces an effective social moment, I feel great joy.
Behind-the-scenes shot of Bella Hadid
When I worked at Allure, I loved taking behind-the-scenes photos at photo shoots, like this one of Bella Hadid being shot by Patrick Demarchelier. Casual, I know. Now more than ever, consumers have a far more intimate relationship with brands and the people behind them thanks to social media. They want to know what goes on beyond the glossy wall that most brands have up. At Obsessee, instead of these kinds of social moments being supplemental to the final product, they’re essential, so I’m excited to get creative and find interesting ways to tell a fuller story than what people are used to.
Then there’s this one. @bellahadid being shot by @patrickdemarchelierofficial. This sounds cheesy but I had chills in this moment. I’ll never forget it!
A photo posted by Kristie Dash (@kristiedash) on
Sped-up DIY braiding video
Last year at fashion week, I was backstage at Public School and the hair look was a twisted Sade-esque ponytail. I took photos of the final look, and it was really cool-looking, but then I realized it would be even more mesmerizing to see the hair stylist actually creating it, sped up. I love Hyperlapse, Boomerang and slow-motion to make video more dynamic on my feed. Even though I still see Instagram as a space primarily for photos, still images don’t always capture what videos can — especially when glitter and fringe is involved.
As seen on the street
My feed is a reflection of my life: Random. Outside of work hours, I like to pretend that I’m a photojournalist shooting unique subjects around New York City, as seen here with this curbside bookshop of epic proportions.
I missed the YouTube generation by a year or two. I learn a ton about beauty products and brands solely from recommendations I see my friends posting about on Instagram. In turn, I regularly post some of my favorite products, usually within some sort of theme, with little reviews in the caption. I’ve never had an active blog but, to me, this is a more convenient way to read about personal recommendations than having to click through to a separate link. This is the same thought process we have at Obsessee.
Though it’s my job to test every product in existence (), I have my tried-and-true favorites. These are the things I use every morning to perfect my base/pretend like I got enough sleep: @diormakeup primer: many makeup artists hate primers but if I want my foundation to last all day/night, I have to use one. This one is silky smooth and yay for SPF. @narsissist Velvet Matte Skin Tint: this buildable full coverage foundation is aptly named…it produces a matte finish that seriously feels like velvet. In a non-weird way. @maccosmetics concealer duo: all I’ll say is that if I didn’t use this every day, you wouldn’t recognize me. @glominerals pressed powder: this is proof that I really use this stuff. I set my liquid foundation with a dusting of this powder that’s my perfect shade. @itcosmetics brush: the ideal size and level of firmness for buffing. I don’t clean it enough though. @narsissist Contour Blush in Olympia: my recent obsession is (natural) contouring. I don’t wear blush bc my cheeks are naturally rosy so this is what I rely on for definition. @hourglasscosmetics Lighting Powder in Luminous Light: one of my pet peeves=ODing on highlighter. This one is a subtle champagne shade and I only use a couple taps of it on the tops of my cheekbones.
Image courtesy: The Lifestyle Edit