Gritty Pretty founder and Editor-in-Chief, Eleanor Pendleton

The only beauty website in Australia to offer a beautiful, interactive digital magazine experience, educating women on all things skincare, cosmetics, hair care and fragrance from the ease of their computer or smartphone device, Gritty Pretty is your go to for beauty minus the BS. Expertly curated to educate, inspire and offer a shoppable edit of products deemed essential by the industry professionals who know best.  I spoke with founder and Editor-in-Chief Eleanor about how it all started, the business journey, empowerment, skin-care summer essentials and what is next for the Gritty Pretty team.

Hi Eleanor and welcome to our #bethegirl interview series! I am thrilled to chat about all things career, business, beauty and the world of digital.  Let’s start with your professional background and how you get into the beauty industry…
I studied journalism and worked as a beauty editor in women’s lifestyle magazines such as InStyle, Harper’s BAZAAR and Cosmopolitan before venturing into the world of digital and all things

Can you think of a career highlight or experience that has stayed with you and you feel has helped shaped the business woman and entrepreneur you are today?
I’ve had multiple and all at different high points of my career. For example, the day I moved out of my sun room and into a co-shared office (with my friend and fellow entrepreneur Sara Crampton, Founder of TheUNDONE) was a big day for me. Following on from that, when Gritty Pretty moved into an independent standalone office in Sydney’s Rosebery was also a milestone. We’re about to move into a new office located in North Sydney, which I’m in the midst of renovating, and that too is a key moment in my brand’s life. Other highlights that have stayed with me include our first cover shoot shot in the U.S with supermodel and KORA Organics Founder, Miranda Kerr. I was in Malibu with our Creative Director and realised we were on our way to Miranda’s Malibu home for the cover shoot – it was a real pinch me moment. Following on from that, I’ve been so lucky to travel the world for my job.  I’ve attended a CHANEL Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais and traveled many times to Paris with CHANEL; I’ve been to South Africa, the Maldives and even Sri Lanka. Those experiences where I’m fortunate to see other parts of the world and learn about beauty brands, their products and how they’re made, are always incomparable.

“We ask ourselves every day, ‘Do women want to know about this?’ If they do, we’ll test and report on it.”

Let’s talk about your business journey with your company Gritty Pretty, how did it all begin?
Gritty Pretty has had two lives. Originally, I launched the beauty website back in 2010 when I was working as beauty editor at FAMOUS Weekly magazine. I wanted a website that would inspire, yet talk in a way that wasn’t just spinning marketing BS. After a couple of years of editing Gritty Pretty more so as a creative outlet, I took a beauty editor position at InStyle for three years, where it sat dormant. Once I re-launched the website at the end of 2014, Gritty Pretty had become the only beauty website in Australia to offer a beautiful, interactive digital magazine experience, which educated women on all things skincare, cosmetics, hair care and fragrance, but from the ease of their computer or smartphone device. From then and to now, our beautiful audience of women has grown to attract 100,000+ readers each month, 70% of those are Australian women. We ask ourselves every day, ‘Do women want to know about this?’ If they do, we’ll test and report on it.

What does the Gritty Pretty team look like today?
We have an AMAZING team of women who make Gritty Pretty the online go-to destination that it is. I have six staff, three in editorial and three in partnerships. We also work with a host of regular freelancers including photographers, stylists, journalists and hair and makeup artists.

What do you love most about being a woman in business?
I love that I work in a female dominated industry. I love women! I’m in awe of women – we really do it all. We work full-time jobs, we grow our babies and birth them into the world, we run our households and we support our family and friends. We do business with both strength, strategy and with a level of empathy.

“I love that I work in a female dominated industry. We do business with both strength, strategy and with a level of empathy.”

What is you go-to skincare routine and products and coming into Australian summer?
As I’m always testing new products, my routine is constantly changing. I’m also pregnant so there’s certain products I usually use but am not currently because of my pregnancy (such as retinol creams). Some of my go-tos include: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, The Jojoba Company Pure Jojoba Oil and La Mer The Treatment Oil.

How do you relax after a busy day and unwind?
To relax, I like to go for a beach walk at our local beach with my husband. I also do reformer Pilates twice weekly (after work) and prenatal yoga every Sunday, these three moments in my week help me stay focused and energised.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in journalism and the beauty industry?
The world of print publishing isn’t changing, it’s already changed. It’s very different to what it was when I started twelve years ago as a fresh, starry-eyed 19-year-old. Digital and social media didn’t exist then the way it does today, so the landscape is completely different, which means there are more avenues for young people to enter in today’s world. It’s an exciting time because anyone with a phone, a laptop and the internet can start building opportunities for themselves. At the end of the day though, one thing remains: your reputation will always proceed you.

E5Day in the life for Eleanor right now?
Right now, we’re in the midst of renovating our new office so I usually pop over to the site first thing in the morning to check on progress. I’ll then head into our office and have a meeting with my team before having a meeting with various brand managers.

What is in store for the rest of 2019 for Gritty Pretty?
We’ve got our final makeup masterclass in Brisbane on October 31, 2019 (the event is sold out) and our summer issue of Gritty Pretty Magazine will go live December 9, 2019. We’re also re-launching in 2020, which is really exciting! We’ll be asking our readers what they want to see more of so stay tuned!

Thank you so much Eleanor for sharing your career and business journey with TDP.  Congratulations on all that you have achieved and on becoming a mama very soon!  I can’t wait to see the relaunch in 2020 and the beautiful new Gritty Pretty office!  Explore the world of Gritty Pretty here and follow along on Instagram for your expert beauty fix.

Hayley x





Hayley Payne

Chief Editor

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