Powerhouse Joanna Coles on Her Career Journey & What's Next

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Joanna Coals is my girl crush. She is hands down one of the coolest women I’ve ever met. As the incredible former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, she’s also on the board at Snapchat, the executive producer of The Bold Type and the author of Love Rules. She’s had an amazing career and really, it feels like she’s still just getting started. I first interviewed Joanna when I was the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty and loved our conversation. Here's an excerpt for our interview.

Bobbi Brown: I love that you knew what you wanted to do from the start. At 10 years old you made a magazine for the queen. How did you think to do that?

Joanna Coles: If you grow up in England, the queen is like the big celebrity, so I just thought, “I need her to enjoy this product and tell me that she likes my magazines.” Even more amazing than the fact that I wrote to her was the fact that her lady in waiting wrote back and said how much she’d enjoyed it and that Buckingham Palace was looking forward to more editions.

BB: When did you discover your own beauty style, because you have such a cool look. I saw a picture of you the other day with your fierce cut and pale lips and noticed you look a little like Cate Blanchett.

JC: [laughs] In my dreams I look like Cate Blanchett! I just came back from Sundance, and people kept coming up to me thinking I was Tilda Swinton. They got really disappointed when I said, “I’m afraid I’m not Tilda Swinton, but I’m still happy to give an autograph.” With beauty, I think one never finishes it. I’m always exploring. I like the concept of change. I would be very depressed if I was looking the same as I did 15 years ago. Also, it’s so much fun. The beauty products themselves are coming up with new technologies, and so I love getting in there and trying different things.

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BB: How do you feel about the trend of injectables, plastic surgery, and Botox?

JC: I’m very unjudgmental about it. I think you have to do what makes you feel OK. As long as they’re safe and they’ve been tested well and you have a good doctor, I think, you know, whatever makes you feel good. When I moved to America, I had my teeth done because I have had horrible British dentistry, and I was very struck by how nice everybody’s teeth were in America. It was the best thing I could have done.

BB: Have you tried any lasers?

JC: I’ve tried a couple of lasers. They seem to me sort of fine. You’re never going to wake up looking 20 years younger, but I think there are amazing products out there now that help you keep your skin healthy. I feel like I want to look well. I don’t want to look 20 years younger. I do think you have to educate yourself on the latest techniques.

I loved having her on the latest episode my podcast to talk about her career in publishing, how to master work-life balance, aging gracefully and what’s next for her. Listen to the full episode here!

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