Media Profile: Getting a new beauty treatment - Jan Masters, health and beauty director, Cosmopolitan

There are only a few jobs in the world which excite casual comment so much that you have to lie about your career at parties. Obviously there’s the doctors (Oh, doctor, I have these terrible shooting pains ...), the dentists (ditto) and, surprisingly, beauty journalists.

There are only a few jobs in the world which excite casual comment

so much that you have to lie about your career at parties. Obviously

there’s the doctors (Oh, doctor, I have these terrible shooting pains

...), the dentists (ditto) and, surprisingly, beauty journalists.



Jan Masters, the new health and beauty director at Cosmopolitan, often

finds herself pretending she weaves rugs for a living rather than face

endless questions about dry skin or listen to fervent attacks about

skinny models.



’It can be a bit irritating,’ she admits. ’Most of the time it’s okay

because people just want to talk about things they’ve read, but you can

wind up cornered for hours if you aren’t careful.’



It’s also a bit tricky if you’re having a bad hair day. If you’re a

health and beauty director, people expect you to look good. ’I have a

natural inclination to health and fitness but I’m not obsessive,’ she

claims.



’I don’t sit around drinking mineral water and eating steamed vegetables

all day.’



Masters’ arrival at Cosmo coincides with a whole new team starting on

health and beauty. Laura Bacharach, a freelance, joins as health and

beauty editor and Catherine Baudrand joins as fashion and beauty writer

from Harpers and Queen.



’It gives me a chance to look at everything all over again,’ says

Masters.



’The previous team did a really good job and we have a great heritage.

It’s really well known and there are a lot of pages to fill, but I think

it’s time to look at where we take it next.’



Masters remains tight-lipped about her plans, but readers can expect

some sweeping changes. When she started freelancing for Company, she

introduced first person beauty writing which gave advice that readers

could actually relate to themselves. At New Woman she launched the first

ever beauty awards, which proved such a hit with readers and advertisers

alike that countless imitators sprung up almost overnight.



’I’ve done awards,’ she concludes. ’I have no plans to do an awards at

Cosmo. I’ve got one or two big ideas though, but I don’t want our

competitors to know just yet.’



She sees that fashion and beauty are changing, with more

individual-looking models taking over from the traditional blonde image,

and lesser known beauty brands such as Nars and Bobby Brown threatening

the mainstream players.



Masters’ spare time is spent satisfying her greatest indulgence -

watching television. She’s got a TV in almost every room and couldn’t

list her top ten programmes because there are too many - although her

favourite is definitely Brookside. She loves TV so much that she once

sent in a sitcom script to the BBC about two girls who lived together at

college moving in together at the age of 35. The corporation has asked

her for more ideas, although finding the time is a problem.



’My ideal lifestyle would be to keep the beauty editing but write hugely

well-received sitcoms as well,’ she confesses. ’Oh, and maybe review a

few soaps.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1988

Deputy editor, Hair Magazine

1991

Health and beauty director New Woman

1997

Health and beauty director, Cosmopolitan



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