Speaking to Media: Katherine Lalancette, beauty director, The Kit
Next up in our Speaking to Media series is Katherine Lalancette. As the beauty director for The Kit, you’ve no doubt seen her work covering the top beauty trends, makeup looks on the red carpet, new product launches, and expert tips for makeup and skincare. Beauty junkies, this Speaking To Media is for you.
We spoke to Katherine about her beauty must-haves, her journey as a beauty journalist, her advice for aspiring beauty writers, and how to create attention-grabbing pitches.
What have been the most rewarding moments throughout your journey as a beauty writer, editor and director?
For me, the best part of my job is getting to meet all sorts of really cool, inspiring people, whether it’s a young Canadian artist living out her dream in Paris (shout out to the brilliant Laura Gulshani) or a mom of four and grandmother of three who started modelling in her 60s (Lina Vandal is as fab as it gets). I think, oftentimes, as we get older and busier, our world tends to get smaller and we end up only interacting with the same small group.
One of the biggest perks of being a journalist is getting to have meaningful conversations with so many incredible individuals you wouldn’t have otherwise met. People can be so amazing and it’s really nice to be reminded of that.
Could you share with us your list of summer beauty must-haves?
Chanel’s Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream is one of the best bronzers ever created, bar none. It makes absolute magic on the skin. I like to pair it with a smattering of faux freckles courtesy of Saltyface’s Freckle Paint to really drive home that “just got back from the Amalfi Coast” illusion. Emphasis on the word “illusion” here because I’m very diligent about sun protection. It kind of comes with the territory of a beauty editor. After you’ve interviewed enough derms and written at length about the dangers of UVs, you start taking SPF pretty seriously.
My favourite at the moment is Summer Fridays’ ShadeDrops, a mineral formula that’s forget-it’s-there weightless. I’m on my third tube already. For nails, I love an orangey red in the summer. My go-to is CND’s Poppy Fields. It reminds me of the colour of Campari. And then last on my list would be the Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment (I prefer the unscented version). It’s 100% worth the hype.
What sets The Kit apart from other beauty publications?
I think The Kit’s emphasis on community is really beautiful. We’re all about celebrating Canadians doing wonderful things, whether it’s making lovely skincare products or creating provocative art or pushing for change. Another one of our pillars is joy, which I just love.
I think, as a culture, we tend to take happy things less seriously, kind of like how the Oscars often reward the more dramatic performances or the darker films. But joyful doesn’t have to mean frivolous. You can have really smart, thought-provoking content that’s still uplifting. And really, who couldn’t use more joy in their life?
How do you stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the beauty industry? Are there any sources that keep you ahead of the curve?
A well-rounded media diet, with a mix of traditional outlets and social platforms, is definitely key. But honestly, I find the best stories often come from just talking to people and seeing what’s on their minds. I always come back with tons of ideas after a great night with friends.
What do you think the future of beauty journalism will look like?
I think there’ll always be an appetite for good quality beauty content. People will always want to know how to deal with that thing that’s happening with their skin, or they’ll want to make sure that the new hair mask they’re thinking of buying really works before they take the plunge. It’s more a question of how to best serve that content and, perhaps more importantly, how to drive people to it.
A big part of that, I think, is developing a strong voice on social media. It used to be that magazine accounts were quite straightforward in tone when it came to captions and such, but we’re seeing a lot more personality and irreverence these days. If there’s one thing the media can learn from TikTok or even the 2010s vlogging boom, it’s that people connect with people. Ones with opinions and feelings and a sense of humour. Often, the sort of high-brow, removed tone of traditional publications just doesn’t resonate when transposed to a social media setting.
What advice would you give to aspiring beauty editors looking to carve a niche for themselves?
I think developing your voice is the most important thing you can do. That’s what will set you apart, ultimately. Read a lot, write a lot, then write some more. Be curious about the world around you, talk to people, ask questions and really listen. And always be kind. Not only is it a tiny industry, but at the end of the day, it’s just beauty.
We bet you receive a ton of pitches in your inbox! Mind sharing what kind of pitch manages to grab your attention?
The pitches that grab my attention the most tend to be the ones that are really tailored to our audience and brand DNA. Getting the feeling that a person has done their research and understands the kinds of things you cover and how is very much appreciated.
It can be something like, “Hey, I noticed you do this series. I was thinking this might be a good fit for a future instalment,” or “I know you guys cover a lot of local brands. Here’s an up-and-coming one you might be interested in.” I also love getting connected to interesting interview subjects, like a super niche expert or a just cool person I might not otherwise have access to. It’s great when brands or PR agencies partner up with people like that in the context of a product launch or campaign. It adds a nice layer of storytelling and just makes things more compelling.
Want more of our Speaking to Media series? Check out our interview with Randi Bergman, freelance fashion, pop culture and lifestyle writer.