Beauticate's Brisbane-based features writer Zoe Briggs on pageturners and chick-lit

At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer read, like Zoe Briggs, features writer for beauty juggernaut Beauticate.  

Zoe, tell us your favourite summer read.

I am a notorious re-reader and have many go-to picks for any given mood – or season - so making me choose just one summer read to share with you is deeply upsetting. Having picked myself up and dried myself off from that moment of emotional turmoil, then, I’m going to have to plump for Matthew Reilly’s Temple as being everything I want in a classic beach read. That would be serious heft (clocking in at 689 pages), an engaging plot (ideally, as in this one, also a parallel faux-historical subplot – monks! Alligators! True love!), and, ultimately, for it to keep fuelling the desire to keep turning the page (jungles! Machine guns! Hidden treasure!), no matter how strong the desire for an afternoon snooze. And because I
can’t help myself and am a girl that likes an option, I’m going to be sneaky and throw in a runner up, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I know, I know, sequels are always crap, and the movie version certainly upheld that ethos admirably, but the book managed to pull off the impossible and outdo the original. Read it for optimum coziness, hilarity and general cheer, and, if nothing else, for the impossible-to-forget phrase “fat labia”.

Ha, ha! Ok, we have to ask, how did you end up writing for Beauticate?

I was obsessed with magazines from childhood and that sparked my love for beauty – for the glamour, of course, but also for its transformative powers. Part of me still believes that my perfect skin might be in the next jar of cream I open – an ad exec’s dream. I’ve been writing and editing for a long time across very different disciplines, from insurance law to high-end American weddings, but not quite found my niche. I had followed our founder Sigourney Cantelo’s career since her days at Vogue Australia, and would occasionally pester her to see if she wanted any help in her new venture. This was around the same time I found myself in a years-long battle with adult acne, which kicked my skincare passion into overdrive, and when she asked me to come on board my professional and personal interests aligned in a way that feels quite magical. When I’m not testing product (those deliveries never get old) or researching the latest skincare innovations, I’m putting together our WHO profiles, one of the best elements of my job. I get to interview an eclectic mix of women about everything from the exact products they use (we all love that ‘no really, what’s in the back of your bathroom cupboard?’ sneaky insight, don’t we?) to how they got started in their own careers, and edit it all together to form a beautiful story that really engages our readers. To have been able to call the beauty industry my own for nearly three years now still doesn’t feel real. Occasionally I’ll be researching a piece and get the urge to guiltily hide my computer screen, because it feels like I’m skiving off, and then I remember it’s my actual job.

Congrats Zoe on finding the job for you. That's such an achievement. 


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