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Our #BeautyInCharge series takes a look at how people in a wide range of roles are able to take charge and own their positions. In the series, we speak with L’Oréal Paris employees at all levels, from those who’ve been with the brand for years to those who are just getting their foot in the door, and unsurprisingly, they all have amazing career advice, beauty product faves, and so much more to share.
Most of us are guilty of following a few (or many) of our favorite influencers on social media, looking to learn the latest beauty trends from a trusted source. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to influencer and brand partnerships? That’s exactly what Lindsay Pierce gets to experience firsthand. As L’Oréal Paris’ Manager of Brand Communications, Lindsay is no stranger to the world of influencers, events, and social media. For this installment of our #BeautyInCharge series, get to know the ins and outs of Lindsay’s life—from her best career advice to her beauty must-haves.
What is your current position, and what was the path that got you there?
“My current position is Manager, Brand Communications. I initially started on the brand as an Assistant Manager of Social Media; I was capturing content and community managing our social channels. I managed and posted on all of our social platforms and responded to consumer questions. After about a year, I moved to the brand communications team.
“Because I had a previous social role, I started to take on more of the influencer workflows for our brand and talent. My counterpart, our Senior Manager of Brand Communications, manages our traditional PR workflows. We work in tandem under the Assistant Vice President of Brand Communications to ideate and strategize all PR initiatives from an influencer and traditional PR perspective for every category and product.”
Is this what you always envisioned you'd be doing?
“The short answer is no. I didn’t even think this job existed when I went to college and was mapping out my career. I actually wanted to go into photography when I first started at the University of Missouri, then switched to a magazine design track after that. I was very interested in the editorial field. Right after college, I started working at Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I wrote digital editorial content there for a year and a half and then transitioned onto the social team. I think young people are kind of drawn to social or they are placed into social positions because they know the space pretty well, which definitely kick-started my experience.
“I was looking for a new opportunity, and I came to L’Oréal thinking that I could continue in social with no real idea of where else I wanted to go. Since I have a background in design and photography, social has always made sense for me. Exploring the influencer and talent space has given me a ton of new skills—like working on contracts with talent. Negotiating and having that person-to-person contact every day and owning those relationships is something I never knew I wanted to do, but it has been the most enjoyable part of this job.
“That’s where I am today, and I think this job and this space are going to continue evolving. The key to success in a job like this is to be okay with change, to learn how to roll with the punches, and to be on the cusp of trends, so you’re always in-the-know.”
Describe a typical workday.
“No day in this job or on the brand communications team is the same. We typically produce the same or similar events year over year, especially for red carpet. We also work on brand experiences and campaigns with the category teams, like influencer events, which are different every year depending on launches and products.
“In terms of my every day, emails, meetings and managing projects. There is an endless flow of communication every day from internal and external partners, so emails and organization are super important.
“I’m on the phone with agents every day, texting with talent every day—just checking in or sending them flowers, gifts, handwritten notes, or product. Most days include drafting or redlining contracts, negotiating with agents, and tracking content fulfillment. The backend content creation with influencers is a day to day job.
“From a larger brand communications perspective, meeting and partnering with the marketing teams for each category is important to make sure we’re tracking toward their goals and objectives per product.
“That’s kind of my download on the work!”
What goes on behind the scenes at beauty events?
“My team handles logistics, travel, planning, glam, and hosting for events. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of details. For award shows, our team may arrive a day early and organize room drops for talent. We’ll get early access to their rooms and add mirror decals, leave products, place a handwritten note, leave a bottle of champagne and flowers and make sure that when they arrive, they feel welcome.
“Once they arrive, we’ll text them, make sure that they’re doing okay, and maybe send them to a spa treatment if they’ve had a long day of travel. That evening, the night before any big award show, there’s usually a pre-party that we’ll all attend together—our team manages the car services, timing, guest lists, and production to make sure everything goes smoothly. We’ll make sure all the talent is in glam prior to the event and that they like their looks, they’re getting in their dresses, and heading down to cars.
“My main responsibility at our events is hosting talent. We invite influencers, tastemakers, or people who have larger social followings in the beauty space so that we can authentically publicize the event and the brand. Our red carpet events are part of our brand equity, and it’s fun to show talent that part of our brand DNA.”
Which event that you’ve worked on stands out as the coolest?
“I like them all for different reasons. From our traditional events side, Golden Globes was really fun last year. The experience of attending the Golden Globes is something that not a lot of people get to do. We hosted seven or eight influencers. Some went to the actual show, and some went to the watch party. Just being in that highly energized room and being surrounded by people that you can recognize from your favorite movie or your favorite TV show is really surreal. I don’t think that’s lost on our influencers either; most of them are also recognizable people, but to be in a room with high profile celebrities is still a cool experience.
“We’ve also done some really cool product activations. We hosted a Rouge Signature Empower Luncheon, bringing influencers and ambassadors together to celebrate our Rouge Signature lip launch. L’Oréal Paris spokesperson Aja Naomi King attended, and I think everyone walked away feeling empowered. That’s a really cool gift to give our brand partners.
“Most events are all-hands-on-deck, and everyone has specific roles and responsibilities to make sure nothing is missed and the days run perfectly. It’s high energy and the best way to see the brand in action.”
What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?
“I’m a people pleaser, so I tend to say yes to everything. I’ve been challenging myself to step away from that kind of subjective mindset and look at our business goals objectively. I’m in a very personal role based on business relationships, but at the end of the day, we’re all talking about lipstick and how to make women feel more ‘Worth It’—it definitely gives me perspective to remember why we do what we do.”
Has working in PR changed since you started your career? How do you see it changing in the future?
“The world is way more digital than it used to be. PR is still very traditional—we pitch long lead print publications, which is a very successful endeavor for our brand and something that we put a lot of time and energy into. But we have also upscaled dramatically in the digital sense. Instead of running a traditional digital ad on our L’Oréal Makeup channel, maybe we’re running that on an influencer channel to reach new audiences. We challenge our teams to explore these new digital experiences and outlets that are popping up every day.
“Our brand was one of the first to create a long-term partnership program with influencers, which we called the L’Oréal League. Even that program has evolved from something that used to be very product-focused to something that is now representative of what our brand is and our brand equity—they are truly part of the L’Oréal Paris family. They are each so inspiring and empowering, in the beauty space and beyond.”
What's been your proudest career moment to-date?
“Last year, our brand signed Celine Dion as a spokesmodel. To me, Celine is the ultimate talent and a role model in a lot of ways, and I was dying to work on her launch event. I told our Vice President of Brand Communications and Strategic Initiatives that I would sweep the floors if it meant I got to work on the event. That’s the coolest part of this job; if there’s something I’m dying to do in my career, there are so many opportunities that can help me get there. The launch event was a ton of work, but I’ll never take that experience for granted. I never imagined I would get to sit in the same room as Celine Dion and hear her humming and singing her new favorite song. She’s an icon.
“That was a pretty big career achievement, I don’t think my parents were even ready for that one!”
Let's talk #WorkPerks - What are the best ones at L’Oréal Paris?
“The best work perks are the products! Our products really are so good—I use them every day. We take such care in crafting and creating these launches. It’s hard not to want to use them when you know so much about the formulas and campaigns. That ‘behind-the-scenes’ access is a perk for sure.”
What's something that might surprise someone about working at L’Oréal?
“I did not realize before I started on this brand that L’Oréal Paris truly is the biggest beauty brand in the world. Our brand is known, consumed, and loved by audiences internationally. As I’ve started to work on bigger and bigger projects for the brand, I’ve realized just how far-reaching we really are, which makes working on our brand equity and communications that much more interesting. You start to understand that people will see this, and it will make a difference or an impact.”
What might surprise people about working with influencers?
“Influencers are normal people! They don’t want to be treated any differently—this is their job. Along with our team, they’re also trying to evolve their businesses and their brands to make sure they’re successful and that they’re ready for the next digital evolution, whatever it may be. Most influencers have an agent, so the workflows are now very similar to that of traditional talent or celebrities. Most influencers work through their agent and therefore, brands work directly through agents or managers in order to partner on content or negotiate deals.
“A lot of people might look at an influencer channel and just think, ‘Oh it’s aspirational, she likes taking photos’ or ‘Oh, somebody paid for an ad,’ but they don’t realize how much goes on behind the scenes. Usually, an influencer has a team of one, two, or three people supporting her. They could be managing her calendar or securing brand deals for her so that she can focus on the content creation and doing what she’s good at. So not only do brands build relationships with talent but with agencies and talent representatives as well.”
Working in PR and with influencers, how important is your own social media presence?
“I don’t cultivate my own Instagram because I work in the influencer space, but I do know a lot about social and what works, so I am more inclined to take photos wherever I go and post them. I’m probably more aware of the space than most people would be. Also, my social feed is full of my friends, but it’s also full of our L’Oréal Paris partners and people we work with as a brand. I guess my social media is a little bit different in that when I am posting, I’m aware that people I work with are watching it, and I think because of that I treat it a little bit differently. It’s a business tool for me and for everyone I work with as a partner, so I use it less to keep up with people and more for research and inspiration.”
Best piece of career advice for someone who wants to make it big in beauty.
“The beauty space is so fun. It’s a luxury that women get to buy beauty products, and I try to come into work every day with that mindset—that we can’t take ourselves too seriously, that this is not the be-all and end-all in the world. We’re a business, and we’re striving to meet business goals, but at the end of the day we’re selling lipstick, and we need to remember that it’s a luxury for our consumers to buy our products.
“In terms of making it in the beauty space, you have to have the right mindset when you’re coming in, a passion for beauty, and an awareness of the industry. At L’Oréal, we definitely work hard—we put in the effort and care about every detail. We’re not afraid to put in the hours and the heart it takes to see results.
“I also think storytelling is a really important part of this job and beauty in general. You can tell so many stories with beauty, and the faces of the industry are changing every day. Our brand is laser-focused on what empowers women in beauty, which is inspiring on so many levels.”
How do you strike the right work-life balance?
“I just got married a few months ago, and I think because of that I’m keenly aware of my work-life balance. I value my relationships with my husband and family above work, and I value my quality time with them. Setting time constraints on my phone is really helpful. There are definitely days where I turn on the notifications on my phone and am checking my email until 10 p.m., or I’m working on the plane on my way home from vacation. But I also know when it’s time to turn off. It kind of comes in cycles. We have a busy season at work, and it requires a lot of time and energy, and I have to ask that my husband and family are patient with that. And then there are times when I can step back a little bit and focus on my personal life.
“I go to the gym four or five days a week—that’s a huge priority for me. I cook every night and enjoy that time to myself. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about work, but I try to turn off the noise. Weekends are huge for me. Unplugging and finding time to rest is really important. And if I don’t have that time, my creativity suffers. Creativity is a huge part of my job and communications in general, so I allow myself time to rest and re-set knowing that I’ll come to work and be an even better teammate because of it.”
Do you feel like planning your wedding was easier after planning so many work events?
“Yes, I do. I had a full Google doc with 20 tabs for each vendor, every detail involving the wedding, and a full budget. I do think I was more prepared to plan it. Also, when reviewing contracts with my vendors I knew what to look for. About two months before our wedding I took a conscious step back from work—I got here at nine, left at five, and I meditated every day to make sure that I was focused on the right things and emotionally ready. But the party planning process was easy and fun—mostly. It was a bit tough because our wedding was in Dallas and not local to where I live in New York. There was a lot of travel involved, but the rest of it was easier having planned a few events for work.”
L’Oréal has a killer company store. What are the products you stock up on there?
“One of my go-to skin care products is Serum 2.0 from SkinCeuticals. It’s an antioxidant and antipollution serum—I feel like that’s really important living in New York. I stock up on a lot of Essie nail polishes—I’m constantly inspired by the colors they’re coming out with. I also stock up on Lancôme BB cream, which is what I use daily for my face, and Perversion mascara from Urban Decay. I actually use a combo of Lash Paradise, which is my favorite mascara, and Perversion so I kind of layer the two every day. Lash Paradise has a very dry formula, and Perversion has a very wet formula, so when you mix them it’s the perfect combination.”
What are your favorite LOP products?
“Lash Paradise is at the top of my list—always. My other cult go-to product from L’Oréal is the Infallible Pro Glow Foundation. I use it for every event—I think it has the best glowy finish. It looks very natural. I also love our Brow Definer and our lip products. The one I’m using right now is our Colour Riche Plump and Shine. I like the finish, and the colors are nice—it’s a little more sheer than our Colour Riche Shine Lipstick. I also love our Rouge Signature for a more dramatic lip.
“Outside of cosmetics, I use Elnett every day and Bright Reveal—the entire line. Face scrub, pads, night serum—everything. One of my new favorites is our Age Perfect Rosy Tone Under-Eye. It actually brightens under your eyes, and it looks like you’re wearing concealer, but you’re not, it’s just your skin.”
Any new launches you're excited for/wish were in the pipeline?
“We have a new eye shadow product coming out that I think is going to be very wearable for every day. It’s a new type of product to the brand, so that’s very exciting. There’s a new brow product and liner as well—I will definitely rotate all of those into my current routine. And there’s a new lip product coming out that will be really exciting too.”
Favorite beauty trends right now...
“This has been a trend for a while now, but I’ve always loved bushy, fluffy eyebrows. I brush mine up every single day. If someone does my makeup and they make them look like all one line—I hate that so much—I’ll fix them after they leave. Sometimes I’ll even take a spoolie and put Elnett on it and brush it through my brows so they stay.”
How would you describe your typical beauty/grooming routine?
“For my typical morning routine, I get up, wash my face, use lotion, apply the serum from SkinCeuticals, and apply an under-eye cream. That’s pretty much my skin care prep for the morning. Then, I apply BB cream and concealer, fill in my brows and brush them up, and then either do minimal liner—we have our new Flash Cat eyeliner that’s really easy to apply—or I’ll do quick shadow and mascara. Mascara takes me about 10 minutes to apply. That’s pretty much it. Sometimes I’ll do bronzer and blush if I have time. If I haven’t washed my hair, I’ll use dry shampoo or dry conditioner—that’s a new product on the market that I think we’ll see a lot more of. And then I will actually re-blow dry my hair after I put all those products in to set and refresh the style. It helps disperse the product and gets rid of that chalky dry shampoo feeling.”
You're stranded on a desert island—what are the top five things you have with you?
“I actually think about this all the time. I’m constantly like, ‘Oh, this is a product I would take with me on a deserted island.’ Is that weird? I would definitely take a face wash. Since I’m deserted, makeup probably isn’t the first thing on my mind. I would bring a lotion with SPF to protect from the sun. I would bring a hair tie so it’s not in my face. I would take a toothbrush—definitely a necessity… And, deodorant. Those are my five and then maybe if someone found me they’d say, ‘Oh, she doesn’t look that bad.’ Am I allowed to have my phone? Is there service on this deserted island? I think I’d be doomed without it.”
Do you feel like you have a signature look? How did you cultivate it?
“Honestly, I don’t feel like I have a signature look. People say this all the time, but it’s when you hit your 30s that you really become yourself and know your style. I’m excited for that time in my life. I’m 26 right now, so I don’t feel like I have my “signature” yet, and I'm totally okay with that. I’m still experimenting with things that I think look good. But curled hair is definitely a daily look for me. And eyelashes. If I walk out the door with only one swipe of mascara on, something is wrong with my day. I would rather be late than not have mascara on. Those are my two daily ‘must-haves.’”
Tell us about your wedding beauty look.
“Every bride wants to feel her prettiest on her wedding day, and I always feel my prettiest when my eyes pop. I also told my makeup artist about the bushy brows, and she spent about 30 minutes doing my eyebrows on my wedding day—she was very detailed, very precise, and very focused on them. She gave me a smoky brown eye to make the blue of my eyes pop and then spent extra time on my brows. I didn’t really care about my foundation—I didn’t even do airbrush. I just had her do regular foundation and some extra concealer to make up for my lack of sleep the night before—I was so anxious!
“For my hair, I wanted to wear it down and curled like I usually do, but it was 95% humidity on my wedding day, and it downpoured for most of the day. I felt like it wasn’t an option for me to wear it down because it would have been ruined as soon as I stepped out of the limo. I made a game-time decision to have her put it half-up, and it actually held pretty well. I used half a can of hair spray to set it—half a can of Elnett—and it managed to stay.
“I did feel a little bit of pressure to nail my look because I work in the beauty industry. When I was scouting for my makeup and hair artist, I wanted somebody that I work with to have known them. I reached out to Sir John and a few other brand partners for recommendations. One of the influencers we work with recommended my makeup artist and an agency partner recommended my hair stylist.”
What’s your favorite karaoke song?
“Anything by Celine Dion. It would either be ‘Alive’ or ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’—that one’s fun because everyone joins in. That’s me in a song.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Food is obviously the first thing that comes to mind. If I’m going to indulge in a guilty pleasure, it’s going to be pizza. I could house an entire pizza by myself—or French fries.”
What’s your favorite book?
“I just read a book called Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and it’s written like no other book I’ve ever read. It mimics a magazine interview—it’s all fictional, but it’s based on a true rock band from the ‘80s. It goes so in-depth with the characters, and you actually feel like these are real people being interviewed.”
What would your high school superlative have been?
“Probably something like ‘Most Likely to Move to New York.’ I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma and not a lot of people move this far away. I decided to move to New York when I was 13 years old, and it was always part of my conversations about my future with friends and family. It’s crazy how you can speak something into fruition like that—it changed the trajectory of my life.”
What are your social media handles?
Instagram - @lindsaytanzola
Next: #BeautyInCharge: Meet L’Oréal Paris’ Senior Manager of Digital Content and Innovation
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