7 Beauty Editors on the One Product They Routinely Buy
04.09.19

One of the perks of working at a women’s media outlet is having access to a lot of beauty samples. Moisturizers, sunscreens, toners, cleansers, mascaras, lipsticks, blushes, bronzers — you name it, it’s probably made its way onto my desk at some point, and beauty isn’t even my main beat. A beauty editor could easily stop purchasing products altogether and simply coast on samples alone; and for the most part, I’m sure many of them do.

However, I know from my own experience and from talking to beauty editors in the industry that there are crucial exceptions to this modus operandi — products that are so beloved an editor will continue to purchase them, despite a closet full of free samples waiting in the wings. Products that have stood out amidst all the testing and experimenting as “Holy Grail” staples worthy of personal investment. These are the products I’m most interested in hearing about, because I know that if beauty editors are spending money on them, they’re truly the best of the best. Ergo, I asked seven beauty editors whose skin I admire on a very regular basis to tell me the one product they’re so obsessed with they consistently repurchase it. Scroll down to read what they said.


Thatiana Diaz

Thatiana is a beauty writer at Refinery29.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? I have sensitive, acne-prone skin, so my dermatologist has always stressed that I use noncomedogenic beauty products, which don’t clog the pores. When looking for one in the drugstore, I discovered La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer with SPF. It seemed fancy enough where I felt like I was investing in my skincare but was still ideal for my budget. This shopping experience was years ago, and I haven’t been able to replace this moisturizer, even with all the new launches that come across my desk as a beauty writer.

How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? It lasts me about two to three months before I repurchase.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? While my co-workers complain about the dry office air often in the winter, I’ve never felt their woes (thankfully). This moisturizer quenches my skin and keeps it hydrated in all conditions, even the harshest weather, which is ideal in New York City. It also gives my sensitive skin a level of comfort every time I apply it, so I know that I’ll never forget to wear it every morning. And using the version with SPF gives me sun protection without having to apply an extra product.

How do you typically use it in your routine? It’s the last step in my daytime routine after cleanser, toner, and serum. I don’t apply it at night as that’s when I’m treating my skin concerns with acne treatments. If you have combination skin, be strategic with your moisturizer. Give extra attention to your drier areas (for me, that’s my cheeks) and lightly apply on your more oily spots.

Hallie Gould

Hallie is a senior editor at Byrdie.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? It’s no secret [editors are sent] various skincare products as they launch from their respective brands. It’s a perk that’s yielded expensive taste, I’ll admit. But it’s also allowed me to find the few formulas I’d pay to replace, no questions asked. You know that specific type of panic—the kind that sets in when you realize you’re scraping the bottom of your favorite jar, bottle or tube when you need it most? For me, that happens when I’ve used the last of my beloved Renée Rouleau Triple Smoothing Berry Peel. If you’ve read my pieces before, this isn’t the first you’re hearing about this product. If you haven’t, welcome to church.

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How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? About three months.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? The peel is one of those magical products that works both instantly and over time. The formula looks and smells like jam, courtesy of all those antioxidant-rich berries with AHAs, BHAs and enzymes, and feels a bit spicy on your skin when you first apply it. But don’t fret. After 10 minutes and a quick rinse, you’ll notice a real, visible change (it brightens, evens, and retexturizes immediately, and, after a few uses, works to fade post-breakout marks, lift discoloration and smooth your skin’s overall surface texture).

How do you typically use it in your routine? I like to use it ahead of a big night out (after cleansing with Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm). It’s a real gem.

Kathleen Hou

Kathleen is the beauty director at New York Magazine’s The Cut.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation

How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? I’ve found that a bottle lasts about a year.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? Years ago, before I was a beauty editor, I would faithfully plop down $60 for Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation. Now that I’m a beauty editor, I’ve tried zillions of foundations, but this remains my favorite (and it’s a favorite of celebrity makeup artists, too). It’s still the easiest to apply (you can even use your hands!) and you’ll get a beautiful, even, glowing seamless base that looks like real skin — or the dream, your skin when it’s on a hormonally balanced, celery juice and exercising five-times-a-week regimen. Armani may not have the 40 shades that Fenty does, but it recently expanded its range. The undertones are formulated just right so they won’t make you look grey or washed out.

How do you typically use it in your routine? I start by dabbing a few dots around my nose and blend out — this is where most people tend to have the most discoloration. I do a light layer first and add on more if need be; it won’t look cakey if I layer on coverage. It’s the foundation I recommend to everyone who wants to see what a fancy foundation can really do.

Lauren Valenti

Lauren is a beauty writer at Vogue.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? Stila Liquid Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow

How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? It definitely depends on how often I’m wearing glitter at a given time. I also have nearly every shade they offer in my repertoire, ha. But I’d say about six months for my best-loved shades.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? There’s this funny misconception about beauty editors that we’re automatically super skilled at doing our own makeup. I mean, I’m not terrible, but eyeshadow is still something that eludes me, especially when there’s shimmer involved. This liquid-gel glitter eyeshadow requires zero expertise for an iridescent disco eye in minutes. Seriously, it’s so easy it does the work for you and makes it look like you know what you’re doing. I’ve waxed on about it with many peers in the industry (I can always spot someone who’s wearing it!) and everyone agrees that it’s a true unicorn product.

How do you typically use it in your routine? I love wearing it when I go out at night, particularly in black-gold Molten Midnight or champagne-y Golden Goddess. It holds up impressively well for glitter, too. I apply it straight from the tube using the doe tip applicator and then quickly diffuse the edges with my ring finger. I tend to keep layering it on for maximum saturation. Also, I’ll sometimes start by smudging black eyeliner pencil on first if I want a smokier effect or a more graphic shape. One thing to note is that it dries really fast, so keep that in mind as you’re blending!

Khalea Underwood

Khalea is a beauty editor at The Zoe Report.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? I’m sure that my friends, coworkers, #instafam, second cousins and the kind lady who bags my favorite beef patty at Golden Krust are all tired of me singing the praises of Glossier’s Boy Brow (in Black). But I can’t help it. For me, it truly is that desert island, can’t-live-without-it product that I absolutely need to have on my face before I leave the house. It comes second to SPF and moisturizer, and I keep at least two or three backups in my at-home beauty closet. It’s that serious.

How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? My only qualm with Boy Brow is the fact that it’s so tiny. Since I use this every day (except for Sunday… only God can judge me, so I go to church without makeup on), I tend to run through one tube every month and a half.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? For some reason, it’s really tough to find black eyebrow products. And many of the ones that are available are way too dark. This gel is justtt right, and it enhances my arches without overpowering them. The mini brush is great for getting into those tiny gaps and curves. And the consistency is fantastic, too — perfectly waxy without being too sticky.

How do you typically use it in your routine? At first, I was a bit intimidated by the tiny brush applicator, but I’ve found that the key to applying Boy Brow like a pro is to hold it as you would with a pencil and create those same hair-like strokes using a light hand. I learned this the hard way, when my sister called me out on my “harsh” shape. The formula is very pigmented, so apply it lovingly. Sometimes, I’ll go in with a micro pencil to fill in any gaps, and I always blend the product in with a spoolie for a natural finish.

Ari Bines

Ari is a fashion and beauty writer at Bustle.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? Glossier Boy Brow [Ed note: This repeat answer was a coincidence, but certainly makes for a compelling case!]

How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? Since I wear a full face of makeup almost every day, I go about a month and a half before having to replenish with a new tube.

What makes it so obsession-worthy? I think I have an obsession with this one product because even though I have days where I feel like I have no eyebrows, Boy Brow creates these natural, bushy brows with just a couple of swipes.

How do you typically use it in your routine? It’s the first thing I apply to my face after a deep cleanse and moisturizer. Then I put concealer under my arches with either a flat eyeliner brush or any brush with a thin edge to carve out and shape my brows — it makes them look even thicker.

Carly Cardellino

Carly is the brand beauty director at Cosmopolitan.

 

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What is the one beauty product you will always spend your own money on? Thrive Cosmetics Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel

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How long does it typically last you before you have to repurchase? I go through one once every three months!

What makes it so obsession-worthy? For me it’s like a red lip — it instantly makes me look pulled together. It has the truest pigment payoff I’ve seen yet and has a cone-shaped mascara-like brush that coats every brow hair without leaving clumps behind. Basically, it leaves me with the bushiest-looking brows that are both thick and dark. Personally, I love a super strong brow because I like the way it pops against my platinum hair, but you can also apply it in a lighter manner if you just want to slightly amp up your arches.

How do you typically use it in your routine? Typically I start applying it at the beginning of my brow, and then brush it through toward the arch and tail end, filling in any sparse spots and creating the illusion of a thicker brow throughout.

Feature image via Arielle Bines.

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