How’d You Get That Job? An Interview With Maybelline’s Social Media Manager, Sarah Mendelsohn

July 01, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
sarah mendelsohn maybelline new york
Nailing a job in the beauty industry takes a lot of passion, creativity and tech savviness — and Sarah Mendelsohn, Maybelline New York’s social media manager, embodies it all. The Middle Eastern American beauty girl just reached her five year anniversary at the legacy makeup brand (owned by our parent company, L’Oréal), and we had the opportunity to chat with her about her stunning Instagram, @ahitofsarah, how she landed her job and what advice she has for those who want to follow in her footsteps.

Tell us about your background and how you got started in the beauty industry? What brought you to Maybelline?

Prior to working at Maybelline, my early career was spent working in the fashion industry. In college I interned for Dolce & Gabbana and Harper’s Bazaarand my first full-time job out of school was in global marketing at GAP. Although I love fashion, it was always a bit difficult for me to find my place within that industry. I barely wore makeup at the time, but I always associated Maybelline with fashion. 

When I interviewed for a social role at the brand and learned that Maybelline was the cosmetics sponsor for Fashion Week, I was very intrigued. I was told that I’d get to go behind the scenes at an array of shows to cover them for our social platforms; I was so excited and sold on the position. Even though the connection to fashion is what brought me to the brand, I ended up becoming a full-blown makeup junkie within my first six months at Maybelline.

What's your favorite thing about working for Maybelline?

There are so many! I love getting to work for an iconic, legacy brand and help, along with an amazing team, continue to move it forward. Leading content shoots that support key moments like PRIDE, Halloween and Valentine’s Day have been favorite because they allow me to be the most creative. I love getting to work with so many talented makeup artists and creators, seeing them produce impressive looks with the brand. It’s amazing to work for a company that caters to every skin tone, age and gender and that anyone can easily find, afford and create really impactful looks with. 

What's your favorite Maybelline product?

This is such a difficult question for me to answer because I love so many! But if I had to narrow it down: the Maybelline New York Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil, the Eyestudio Hyper Easy Liquid Eyeliner and the Tattoostudio Sharpenable Gel Pencils.

What does your personal makeup routine look like on the daily?

Pre-pandemic, I generally would wear a full face of makeup to work, and I’m probably the most extra person with makeup on my whole team. I always wear a full beat that includes foundation, concealer, powder, blush, highlight, contour and bronzer. If I do an eye look, I won’t wear a lip, and if I don’t wear an eye look I wear a bold lip.

We love your Instagram. Tell us about your vibe there.

Thank you! I am a Middle Eastern American, and I also have a thicker figure. The biggest thing I push on my own social platforms is confidence in my body despite it not being the one most celebrated in media. I do this a lot with the type of clothing I wear and I’ve found that it has helped people who follow me find confidence in their own bodies as well. I also am a beauty junkie, so I like to share makeup looks, skin care and hair care. Pre-pandemic, I traveled once a month as well and love to share my travel photos, too. I can’t wait to get back out there!

How do you hope to see the beauty industry changing in the coming years?

This question is coming at a very revolutionary moment in time. I always advocate for diverse representation both at Maybelline and on my own channels. I’m proud Maybelline has done a good job of that. With the conversations happening on social media, I hope to see the beauty industry work to truly be inclusive — in marketing, product development and in talent hired both internally and for external facing content and events. I definitely see the industry moving in that positive direction. 

If you weren't working in beauty, what would you be doing?

Before working at Maybelline and while working in the fashion industry, I also freelanced as a writer and publicist in the music industry. I really think I would’ve turned to the music industry next. I just know that I was always meant to work in a creative field and music is that, too.

What's your advice for someone just out of college who wants to pursue a career in beauty? 

I would follow all the beauty brands and influencers obsessively! I’ve found it so impressive when interviewing entry-level candidates to see how much they know about what’s going on in the space, and anyone can become an expert by just doing that and paying attention. I would definitely start with an internship, that’s a great way to get into a beauty brand, and at L’Oréal, I’ve seen so many interns grow at the company. Depending on what role someone is interested in, make sure to come in with a relevant portfolio or understanding of what the brand is already doing in that function. For social media, coming in with fake Instagram grids, strategic optimizations and ideas is always impressive.

And finally, what does beauty meant to you?

Beauty is self-expression and confidence within yourself.

Read more