Makeup Artist Jobs: Career Chat: Q&A With Julie Martinson

beauty-nine-to-five - beauty jobs in canada2When I first met Julie Martinson, I was kind of in awe.  She worked a full time job, in a very stressful industry, had an amazing blog where she posted the newest arrivals, sometimes multiple times a day, and was founder of a community of bloggers compiled with established and aspiring Canadians, providing help and expertise whenever needed. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with Julie over the last year and a bit, and I can attest to the fact she is every bit as impressive as her profile makes her out to be.


I was able to sit down with her and chat about the PR and blogging industry, and how they have impacted her career. Keep reading to find out all about her, and her suggestions for anyone who may want to break into the industry. 

BNTF: How did you first get into blogging?

JM: I was really involved in the Make Up Alley community back in 2010, writing reviews and doing swaps, and during that time I met some beauty bloggers who encouraged me to start!

BNTF:  What inspired you to establish Canadian Beauty Bloggers (CBB)?

JM: It was actually a blogger friend of mine, Kalyn, who had the idea. She wanted to form a community where we could feel safe and supported. I immediately jumped at the chance to help build this community and we’re up to over 300 blogger today!

BNTF: How do you think the Canadian blogging industry differs from other parts of the world, like the U.S. or U.K.?

JM: I feel like we’re way less competitive in Canada. We’re grateful for any opportunities we’re given and we love helping each other instead of seeing others as competition. I have always been excited and proud of my blogger friends when they get opportunities, not jealous or angry.

BNTF:  Do you think it’s possible to transition from blogging as a hobby to a career, given the competitive nature of the industry? 

JM: It’s possible but you really have to work at it. I would suggest having a large, large nest egg of savings before you quit your day job.  Freelance writing, sponsored opportunities and ad revenue fluctuates every month. It’s important to explore lots of channels, not just a blog, like Youtube, posting for mainstream media or hosting events.

BNTF: Do you think that blogging has impacted your career?  How important of a role can it play in helping people prepare for future jobs? 

JM: I definitely think blogging has helped my career. I am currently working as a Creative Director at a PR agency and I am able to help everyone see things from both perspectives, as a brand and as a blogger. We’re able to really tailor our blogger campaigns because of this insight.

Blogging has helped me become more organized, patient and consistent. It shows true passion and dedication to run a blog as a hobby, skills that you can definitely use in the workforce. It also has increase my network 5x over I am sure, and opportunities come my way that I would have never had before.

BNTF: By day you’re a copywriter/CD in an advertising/PR firm. Can you explain what a day in the life is like for you?

JM: Honestly, every day is different. I usually start off with an hour in the morning just prepping for the day: catching up on emails, seeing what has gone on in the world (I like reading The Skimm before work), and making sure I am set for any meetings or presentation. Then I usually sit with my design partner and we start to work. It usually involves 1-2 brainstorms on different brands, a client call and a lot of jokes!

BNTF:  I think a lot of people who don’t blog/vlog still don’t understand the popularity and influence these forms of media have.  How do you think these forms of media have changed the PR and Advertising industry?

JM: People have started to distrust traditional advertising (TV, print etc) so brands have to turn to trusted voices, such as influencers, to help get their message across. I have seen ad budgets shift from 70-80% traditional channels (TV, print, digital, social), to more of a 50/50 split between traditional advertising and influencer marketing. Good news for us in the PR world!

BNTF: Where do you think industries like Advertising and PR are headed?  Do you think companies should treat social media platforms more seriously? 

JM: Things have definitely shifted a lot over the past few years. Brands/agencies now need to pay to be seen and heard on social media. And to gain trust, they need to partner with influencers to really create a strong relationship with the consumer.

But with the heavy reliance on influencer marketing, I am guessing another shift will happen in a couple years where the market is saturated and begins to distrust any sponsored influencer campaign. Who knows what will be next, maybe VR? It will definitely be tech-focused.

BNTF: You’ve had the opportunity to attend events, and meet some amazing people in the industry.  What networking skills do you think are important to have?  How should you prepare before going to an event full of potential contacts? 

JM: I always make sure to introduce myself to the people running the event and thank them for inviting me. I know events can take a lot of work and dedication to put together and it’s important to acknowledge that and stay humble. ALWAYS show up if you’ve said you will attend. Nothing is worse for a PR person than an empty room…

I always prepare by making sure I know the names of my main contacts… and having business cards.

BNTF: What do you think it takes to be a successful beauty blogger? Any words of advice?

JM: Always strive to do the best you can. If you’re not happy with a post or photo, redo it! There’s nothing worse than having something out there you aren’t proud of.

Stay organized. Once you start receiving press samples, it will be important to track each one and review in a timely manner. Spreadsheets are your friends!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes we can get caught up in release dates, deadlines and traffic stats. It’s important to do what you want to do and not copy others. This is a passion and a hobby, if you don’t love it then it will feel like work!

Katherine Lake, Toronto, @TheGreenBows

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