Jessica Harris, Sharing Her Journalist Journey, Beauty Tips and Style Inspo.
Meet Jessica Harris, journalist and blogger who now lives in a lovely Grade II listed house in Suffolk with her husband and her cat Farley! With a history of Journalism including writing for Glamour and Marie Claire, she now writes about beauty and fashion content on her own blog, with a keen focus on simple, classic and timeless products. In her own words, 'I’m trying to move away from trend-led pieces and buy more high-quality designs that can be worn every year.'
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INTERESTED INTO WRITING AND JOURNALISM?
'I’ve always wanted to write but the journalism course at my university was oversubscribed so I put it to the back of my mind and focused on fashion PR and took every internship I could find. It wasn’t until I worked as a PR Manager at a luxury vintage fashion brand that I realised I loved writing press releases (of all things!) more than anything else and make the leap into editorial at a wedding magazine.'
WRITING FOR DAILY MAIL AND GLAMOUR, CAN YOU GIVE SOME INSIGHT INTO HOW YOU BECAME SUCCESSFUL IN THE INDUSTRY?
'I don’t think there is a particular secret to it, I think it’s a case of working really hard to get what you want. Journalism is a very competitive industry and it’s about being determined, polite (good manners go a very long way) and seeing a potential story in everything as well as learning to recognise a crap story at the same time! I started my career at the height of a recession so I learned very quickly to work for nothing, network constantly and the power of keeping in touch with people (and not just because I wanted a job!) Be prepare to graft, start from the bottom, not see money for a while and do it because you love it.'
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
'I think I’ve learned to streamline my beauty routine and not gravitate towards things just because they’re ’now’ or on-trend but don’t necessarily work for my skin. I’ve discovered the Zo Health skincare line this year and it’s really changed my skin. I think an AHA like Alpha-H's Liquid Gold is a non-negotiable, as is a strong retinol and hydrating eye cream as I’m now over 30. I’m learning that less is more and to listen to what my skin is trying to tell me rather than overloading it.'
YOU HAVE A VERY MINIMALISTIC AND NEUTRAL STYLE, WHAT ARE YOUR STYLING TIPS? WHAT BRANDS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
'Again, as I’ve got older I’ve started to appreciate the quality of a product over where it’s from and sustainability is playing on my mind a lot more so this is something I want to focus on moving forward. Buying less but buying timeless, well-made pieces. I think if you buy more neutral and minimal pieces, not only are they not going to date, they’re also all going to go with a lot of other minimal and neutral pieces in my wardrobe. I really love Zara, H&M, Arket and Mango for high street and Reformation, Faithful The Brand and For Love & Lemons for more high-end pieces. I think just keep things simple, learn what works for your body type and skin tone, and what doesn’t, which all comes with time and a lot of trial and error!'
LASTLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE READERS WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED GOING INTO THE INDUSTRY?
'I’ve kind of answered this already but it depends on what area of journalism you want to go into. If it’s beauty, keep on top of beauty trends and learn to spot emerging ones, get to know who you need to pitch to, be persistent but don’t hassle people, intern when you can, build a strong portfolio by writing for local mags, blogs and newspapers or start a blog to showcase what you can do. I won’t sugar-coat it, you have to be comfortable with rejection - you’ll get knocked back a lot and your pitches will get a lot of ’no’s’, even the ones you really want to write about. But it’s part of the process and from it, you’ll learn what works, what doesn’t and sometimes it’s not about you at all, it’s about what’s going on with the publication. However, there’s no better feeling than when someone says yes and you see your name in print.'
If you want to be further inspired by Jessica, follow her Instagram @jessicaharris_ and her blog twentysixstyle.com.