As a beauty editor, I receive a lot of beauty products for free. It’s kind of part of the job. In order to keep up with the constantly growing market, it’s really important to have as much experience with a large variety of products as possible. While we beauty editors are by no means skin, makeup or hair experts, we are product experts. And that’s our job.
In order to offer up the best advice on foundation, moisturiser or even hair dye, really we need to have tried the product out for ourselves. Because at the end of the day, if it’s a total flop, we’re not going to want to recommend it. It makes sense then that our beauty routines are rarely constant. Most days require trying something new and swapping one product out for another. And although it is great to get to experience so much, it makes it hard when you come across one product you really, really love.
So although there’s no doubt that we have an abundance of new products at our finger tips, what we don’t have is a free product hotline that allows us to reorder products we really love without having to, you know, actually part with some money. And in a weird way, for a beauty editors to actually buy a product, I believe said editor has to love something more than a non–beauty editor might. Why buy a new serum when you have another five waiting on the shelf? Because you simply can’t imagine your routine without it—that’s why.
To get insight into the items we beauty editors simply can’t imagine being without, I reached out to some of my fellow eds for the products they insist on buying themselves, and this is what they had to say.
"I literally just ordered another one of these. It’s the easiest, no-fuss mask for when the dehydration lines on my forehead get out of control. It has the consistency of a heavy (gel-like) cream, and when my skin is really dry, it drinks this up. In fact, this might be the third tub I’ve got through."
"I discovered these eye masks on holiday in Tokyo a few years ago, and I bought as many as I could possibly squeeze into my suitcase back with me. Essentially, they look like a sanitary towel (with ear hooks), so not in the least bit glamorous, but when you put them on, they gradually heat up, and honest to god, these give me the best night sleep. (I wear mine with my regular eye mask over the top for maximum light blocking.) After I finished my Japan stash, I thought I’d never have a good night’s sleep again, until some of my Instagram followers told me they were now sold in Superdrug. They’re more expensive than in Japan, but I bought three boxes before lockdown hit, and safe to say I’ve gone through them all."
"If you know me, you’ll know that I have an unhealthy obsession with buying KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics products. I blame it on the ‘hard-to-find’ appeal. (I just love a makeup chase.) I have bought three of these. It’s the best contour product I have ever used. Kim said she designed it to make contouring an easy, non-scary option for everyone, and she nailed it. It’s so easy to scribble on your face, and it blends out like the definition of a dream. It makes me feel like I have Mario Dedivanovic in my pocket at all times."
Editor's Note: Although KKW Beauty does offer international shipping, please note that your ordered items are subject to additional duties, customs and tax charges.
"I admit I am a concealer obsessive. I tend to wear a very minimal base every day, so my search for the perfect all-serving concealer has been thorough. This Estée Lauder number is medium coverage but creamy so you can blend it easily to cover any pesky spots or areas of redness. It’s long-wearing, never creases under my eyes, and the radiant effect is thanks to the camelina oil that gives my skin a fresh finish. As soon as I run out, this will be straight into my online basket."
"This was the first Aēsop skincare product I tried, and I was immediately hooked. It is a real gem for sensitive types. I love a cream cleanser so that my skin never dries out. This Purifying Facial Cream contains white clay to really clean your skin of makeup, pollution and any buildup of oil. The botanicals such as chamomile bud are rich in fatty acids so my skin is left supple post-wash. I am on my second tube and will keep repurchasing to keep my skin happy and clear."
"Toner, that often-forgotten step, has really helped to rebalance my skin’s pH level, therefore keeping my breakouts at bay. This toner from Jalue is my secret find. It doesn’t strip your skin, and the rose, neroli and willow bark help to rid any last bits of dirt left on the surface of your skin. While the added golden ingredient that is hyaluronic acid refreshes and hydrates, giving you a real glow. It's a little pricey but being 200 ml, the price per dribble is definitely worth it."
"I'm pretty well-known for my soft lips; you can poll the men I've dated and the friends who always question why mine never seem to chap. I think some of it is rather annoyingly down to a few hard-to-replicate variables such as genetics and what have you, but I have this balm to thank for 95% of my famed lip texture.
"It's seen me through 10-hour flights, blizzards and unexplained lockdown-induced dryness. The packaging says it's an overnight lip treatment, but it works within moments. It's basically the equivalent of a deep conditioner but for lips."
"I'm ashamed to say this, but I only got my eyebrow game together a few years ago. My sparse, growth-resistant brows didn't encourage me to spend much time on them, but as soon as I tried this, I felt like I'd reached something akin to a transcendent state.
"The superfine pencil allows me to re-create brow hairs with precise strokes that look natural and don't budge. I got fed up of faffing around with brow pomades and gels, and using this has cut down both the time I'd spend trying to figure my eyebrows out and the stress too. I usually buy two at a time out of fear that I'll lose one or even worse that it gets discontinued."
"It sounds hyperbolic, but this serum is great skin, bottled. Bear with me on how it works. Its hero ingredient is reishi mushroom extract, which encourages the formation of new Langerhans cells and enhances the function of existing ones. Langerhans cells are immune cells that are activated in response to external cell damage and UV light. Essentially, they’re your skin’s first line of defence, so arming them is key to preventing damage. Yet their real pièce de résistance is that they help defend the skin against internal damage such as stress so that it can’t have such an impact on your complexion. It’s akin to starting your day with a relaxing yoga class so you’re ready to work calmly and bat off stress. Honestly though? You won’t care about how the science works; you’ll be too busy admiring the results."
"I must get sent new mascara launches weekly, and yet nothing even comes close to this lash lengthener. For me, it’s the brush. The bristles are perfectly positioned to comb through my lashes without clumping. Ever. Two coats and my tiny mole eyes go from zero to hero."
"In my eyes, this tinted moisturiser can do no wrong (apart from possibly extending the shade range). It’s perfection. The coverage is sheer but buildable, and the finish is dewy but never shiny. I can apply it slap-dash with my fingers, and in 30 seconds look considerably better than I did before. I mean, what more could you want from a tinted moisturiser? I will repurchase this until my dying day."
"In an effort to try and moisturise my body every single day, I’ve amassed quite a stockpile of products to try. And while I’m all for an over-the-top, ultra-luxurious body product, I needed something I could easily top up (without spending my entire weekly food shop budget) if I’m to make this moisturising thing a habit. The Body Shop British Rose Body Yoghurt has a gel-cream formula meaning it soaks into the skin fast, and I adore the light rose scent. I also religiously buy the British Rose Body Wash, too."
"I’m constantly switching up my skincare all in the name of, well, my job. But there’s one product that will always take front-row seat in my bathroom cabinet, Medik8 Breakout Defence and Age Repair. The oil-free serum contains copper PCA, niacinamide, and beta-glucan to help reduce blemishes and combat congestion, while simultaneously improving the appearance of fine lines. It’s a little tube of magic. Oh, and a little goes a long way, which means a single tube will last you for months."
"Huda Beauty always comes through with the eye shadow palettes. This one is truly a classic that I will likely keep purchasing. It's pocket-size with all my main everyday colours and rich in pigment. What more could you ask for? I use the shade Rich."
"Pricey, but it does things to my lashes that I didn’t know my lashes could do. One minute they're naked; next, they're long and voluminous. *Eye flutter.* "
"I love concealer. Mostly because I really need it. I have dark under-eye circles, and I have spent my whole life trying to find ways to cover them up. A few years ago, I came across this. Because I'm all about the glow, the word matte put me off, but upon swatching it, I saw that actually it was probably just what I needed. Easy to apply, this stuff melts into the skin and covers just about anything, all while leaving a natural finish. I refuse to be without a pot, not now, not ever."
"Long before I was a beauty editor, I religiously purchased this unisex cologne every year, so why would I suddenly stop? Like fresh orange and grapefruit but with a deep woody, leather base that makes people stop you in the street, this cult fragrance will always be front and centre of my perfume collection, alongside its sister (or brother if you'd prefer) scent, Colonia Essenza."
"Anyone who knows me knows that I feel really passionately about luxe bath products. If a bath product doesn't make me feel like a million pounds, then I simply don't want to hear about it. The reason that my bath-and-body product bar is set so high is because I was introduced to this stuff so early on in my career. It's a £41 bubble bath, which seems absolutely ridiculous, but I challenge you to buy a tub of Honey Bath and not go back for another. Every scent is as great as the next, and I recently got Who What Wear UK editor Emma Spedding onto this stuff too. I think she's grateful, but a £41 love affair with a bath soak is definitely an expensive one."
"Not only do I appreciate its formulation of 12% ascorbyl glucoside (the stablest and most water-soluble derivative of vitamin C), which is scientifically proven to block free radicals and pollution, but its texture is loveable and lightweight, too. And unlike other vitamin C serums, it doesn't smell like hot dogs, rather a glass of fizzy orange. Did I mention my skin is noticeably brighter immediately after applying? What's not to love?"
"From gel nails and pedicures to removing unwanted hair, I'm always up for the challenge of trying beauty treatments out at-home. I feel foolish paying for something I can do myself. Elyure Dybrow has been a mainstay in my beauty stash since 2015. The tinting kit, which costs around a fiver, grants me full defined arches in 10 minutes flat. Instructions are simple, it's foolproof, and it allows me to wear less makeup and still look put-together."
"There are a handful of products I always ensure I have a backup of, and Glossier's Lash Slick mascara is one of them. Sure, new mascaras are often introduced into the mix, but I couldn't be without Lash Slick. The tubing mascara does a fine job of separating, lengthening and volumising my lashes without a smudge in sight. Its effect is customisable. I find you can build masses of volume by waiting a few seconds between every other coat or so. And it comes off easily. It just washes off. I'm obsessed."