Teen Vogue’s Elaine Welteroth’s Fashion Week Instagram Diary

A front row invitation to the shows at New York and London Fashion Weeks is a seriously coveted ticket. An even more sought-after invite? The chance to go backstage!

Luckily, Elaine WelterothTeen Vogue’s first African-American beauty and health director, agreed to let us tag along via her personal photo diary. We got the royal treatment—makeup touchups by the pros, prime seating for all of the shows and face time with our favorite models, designers and celebrities.

Below, check out Elaine’s photo feed and then read on for our exclusive interview, where we chatted about everything from dream jobs and workouts to Black History Month and beauty advice.

Maybelline NYC makeup artist Alice Lane and me twinning backstage at Suno. #twinfros #twinsouls

The look backstage at Alexander Wang: NARSissist makeup artist Diane Kendal’s bleached-out brows gave the look an extraterrestrial edge.

Backstage at Alexander Wang.

Stole a chair next to runway goddess Jourdan Dunn for a little makeup touch up.

Brooklyn pit stop (and requisite selfie) en route back to the city for the Prabal party.

The grand finale at Alexander Wang. Well worth the long trek to Brooklyn.

The model board backstage at DKNY. It’s like Donna Karan scooped up all the “cool kids” in NYC (top models to street style stars).

Inspiring office visit between shows with my bud (Beyoncé’s genius stylist) Ty Hunter. He’s the most humble and hardworking man in show biz!

Fresh for the runway backstage at Oscar de la Renta.

The beauty look at Marc by Marc. Makeup by Dick Page. Hair by Guido Palau.

One of my favorite things about my job is spotting new models. Natalie Westling’s fire-engine red hair and skater persona made her a fast favorite this season.

Backstage with Karlie Kloss!

Prepping for the runway backstage at Donna Karan.

The face chart for Zac Posen. Old Hollywood meets “Black Swan,” no?

And Zac Posen’s face chart brought to life by the gorgeous Coco Rocha.

Off to London Fashion Week!

London nights call for the perfect LBD and all the necessary accouterments.

Off to Christopher Kane in my new oversized pink coat.

The subversively sweet beauty look at Jonathan Saunders.

First looks at Vivienne Westwood Red Label.

Nothing like Stormtroopers backstage at Preen to kick-off an action-packed day of shows!

Lily Collins and me!

How did you get your start in magazines? A handful of internship experiences led me to pursue my passion for magazine editing. To get my foot in the door, I practically stalked an editor that I wholeheartedly admired. We’re talking snail mail, email and phone…not recommended, kids! Luckily, she agreed to an informational interview with me.

What tips do you have for landing your dream job in magazines? I always tell young people who want to work in this industry to work tirelessly with a smile, be kind to everyone you encounter and seek out opportunities to add value beyond the call of duty. It’s what has laid the groundwork for every job I’ve had in the industry.

What intrigues you about the health and beauty fields? At their core, the beauty and health fields are focused on self-improvement. Whether it’s finding the one elusive lipstick or cracking the code on the quickest, most effective workout that you can actually squeeze into your over-scheduled life, it’s all about finding tools that help you live up to the best version of yourself! And beauty in particular is the one great equalizer among women of any age, shape, race or class. Let’s be honest—we all want to know how to have a great hair day.

What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received? Actress Lily Collins said to me during an interview recently, “It’s the quirky things that make you beautiful.” I absolutely, wholeheartedly agree.

Why do you think diversity is important in the beauty industry and how do you strive to bring a fresh perspective to the table at Teen Vogue? Teen Vogue is all about celebrating personal style and our reader isn’t one note. It’s so important that girls of all shades, shapes and every hair type feel represented in our coverage and in the images reflected in our magazine. Showcasing diverse beauty, but also diverse point of views, and personalities has always been important to our editor-in-chief Amy Astley. So, if anything, it’s really her open mindedness that continues to inspire me.

What does Black History Month mean to you? From music and politics to fashion and beauty trends, there’s an undeniable impact that black culture has on American pop culture. And while the impact is evident year-round,  Black History Month serves as a reminder to reflect on the progress we’ve made as a nation. That’s why it’s important to find your own way to pay tribute.

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