I've Sat Next to Beauty Editors for 5 Years—Here's What I've Learned

For the past five years in various roles within the fashion industry, I've sat in nattering distance from at least one beauty editor. I have no clue how to apply mascara evenly to my bottom lashes and have been guilty of sleeping in my makeup (never confess this to a beauty editor!), so I've used this position to try and learn a thing or two about what I should be putting on my face. In the process, I've developed a love of Byredo perfumes and now own enough acids to make me feel like I'm back in GCSE chemistry. I also speak Glossier fluently.

At least once a week, I pop my head around my laptop screen to say, "So here's a question for you…" Aside from mascara application, there are some basic beauty lessons I have now mastered after years of said incessant questioning. If you also aren't sure you've got the fundamentals right, then you might also find these basic tips useful. The best thing I've been told is that it isn't always a case of buying an expensive face cream. The bad news? You might need to do some more laundry.

1. Before Even Thinking About Expensive Products, Drink More Water


(Image credit: ASOS Lesley)

I once asked a beauty editor colleague, "So the wrinkles on my forehead… What do I do about those?" Despite the towering products around her, she told me it's all about water—and drinking lots of it. She told me if you notice a sudden change in more crinkles around the forehead, chances are it's dehydration. So before investing in expensive new products, make sure you are drinking your eight glasses a day. And the other best way is to rehydrate parched skin with hyaluronic acid.

2. Yes, You Should Absolutely Wear SPF When It's Cloudy


(Image credit: Lucy Williams)

The one thing I've changed about my beauty regimen since our beauty guru, Mica Ricketts, started at Who What Wear is using an SPF over 30 every day. Since then, I've stopped relying on whatever protection is in my foundation or moisturiser. Apparently living in the gloomy UK isn't a reason to not slather on sun protection. Don't miss her full guide to the best SPF products.

3. Double Cleansing Is an Extra Step Worth Taking


(Image credit: Monikh)

I've heard a lot about this double-cleansing business. It can sound a little complicated, and I suspected it was an industry trick designed to make you buy twice as many products. But no—this is one of the steps every editor has told me to practice. You want to start with a rich, oil-based cleanser or balm, and finish off with something lighter, like a gel texture. It makes sense, as sometimes the first cleanse only removes your makeup.

Related: The Small Detail That Is Guaranteed to Elevate Your Summer Staples

5. All Products Come With an Expiry Date


(Image credit: Amy Lawrenson)

Two and a half years into working near beauty editors, I discovered that products actually come with an expiry date. On every item, you'll find an illustration of a little pot with the amount of time they last for written in months. This starts from the date you unseal the packet for the first time. How careful should you be about expiration dates? Here, makeup and skincare experts share their theories.

6. Only Use Your Face Cloth Once


(Image credit: Getty)

This is a new piece of information I just discovered. Apparently, you should be treating your bathroom like a spa and using face cloths only once. Why? Because germs. 

Next up, the budget skincare buys that are just as good as the expensive ones.

Emma Spedding