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The Advice That Beauty Editors Do – And Don’t – Follow

Beauty editors get real

By Sherine Youssef

It was late June when I made my way to Barney Martin for a haircut, my first in 13 months. A few days earlier my sister had got married, and I had been a bridesmaid – under strict orders not to touch my hair until after the wedding. Barney is used to these long absences because I only cut my hair twice a year. Three times, tops.  

I know. Appalling beauty editor behaviour. And hypocritical, too, considering the countless stories I’ve written advising readers to get regular six-to-12-week trims. (Luckily, Barney, bless him, is so clever that his cuts maintain their shape and grow out beautifully.)


I know. Appalling beauty editor behaviour. And hypocritical, too.

Hair colour is my other can’t-be-bothered thing. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had my hair professionally coloured, and I’m kinda over it. A week before the wedding, after Vincent at Headcase Hair had tended to my greys, I said goodbye and told him I probably wouldn’t see him for another year as I wanted my virgin colour back, and would be using DIY box colour on my roots for the foreseeable future. All that sitting around and waiting in a salon just wasn’t for me. (Thank goodness I’m not a blonde, I honestly don’t know how you ladies do it.)

In my defence, I’m hardly the only beauty editor out there who doesn’t follow her own advice. (And although I don’t care much about my hair, I do dutifully follow other beauty tenets: I wear sunscreen every day – seriously, I don’t even look out the window without La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+ – and my brows are professionally pruned every two months. Thank you, Benefit).

In my experience, all beauty editors are similarly pragmatic about what they practice versus what they preach, and amongst ourselves we’re totally candid about it. So, in the spirit of honest beauty advice, I’ve asked a couple of fellow editors to spill on the beauty recommendations they do and don’t follow.


Leigh Campbell, host of You Beauty podcast

Advice I ignore…

1. Don’t use mass market shampoo

I use supermarket shampoo, like Garnier and Pantene, even though hair stylists and colourists would have you believe it’s a sin. And I’m happy to admit I think I have nice hair. (Ed’s note: she does.)

2. Get laser hair removal

I shave my arms. Not my armpits, my forearms. I’m really hairy and CBF getting laser, and no, the hair does not grow back thicker or darker.

3. Have your hair coloured professionally

If I can’t find time to get to the salon (which is about half the time), I use at-home box colour to cover my grey roots. Show me a woman who has three hours to spare every two and half weeks, and I’ll eat my lipstick.

And advice I follow…

1.Invest in a good quality hairbrush 

I brush my hair. A lot. I do it when I am thinking – it’s cathartic or something – and a good quality brush, like Mason Pearson, helps distribute my scalp’s natural oil throughout the mid-lengths and makes my hair healthy and shiny.

2. Drink plenty of water

It’s the most overused and boring tip of all time, I know, but I do drink lots of water – mostly for the cold and flu fighting properties, and it works.

3. Avoid touching spots

Digging away at pimples leads to scaring and inflammation, so whenever I have a breakout, I get my facialist to do professional extractions.


Iantha Yu, BEAUTYcrew beauty editor 

Advice I ignore…

1. Dry your hair before bed

Sleeping with wet hair can cause breakage, but who has the patience to dry hair off completely?! At most, I’ll half-dry it quickly with a hairdryer, then hit the hay.

2. Give your nails a break from polish

I’m a back-to-back shellac or gel nail polish kind of gal, which can be detrimental to nail health. I’m not going to drop my habit any time soon, so I make sure to apply a few drops of cuticle oil daily to help strengthen nail growth and keep my nail beds looking pretty. Right now I’m hooked on CND Solar Oil.

3. Have gel nail polish professionally removed 

Know when your Shellac nail polish starts to lift at the edges? I certainly do… for me, that’s the green light to start peeling the entire thing off. Bonus points if I can get the whole piece of Shellac off in one go. I do not recommend this.

And advice I follow…

1. Moisturise after showering 

My post-shower routine is non-negotiable: I step out of the shower, dry off, and moisturise my body. Every single night. (Ed’s note: I can confirm Iantha has the softest skin on the beauty circuit.) Right now, as we’re in the dead of winter, I use a gradual tanning moisturiser (like Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk Cocoa Butter Scent) to warm up the appearance of my skin.

2. Double cleanse

I double cleanse every night (because I prefer long wearing base products) using Biore Baking Soda Cleansing Micellar Water on a reusable disc (like Face Halo or Enjo) to remove eye makeup, and Dermalogica PreCleanse for my foundation. In the shower, I do a final clean with Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Foaming Cleanser. And yes, this happens every night, even if I get home late and I’ve had a few drinks.

3. Use face and hair masks 

I mask anywhere I can. Going to the gym? Pop in a hair treatment (like Christophe Robin Moisturising Hair Oil with Lavender), let it marinate while you’re hitting the weights, then come home and wash it out. Heading to a shoot? Apply a creamy facemask, like La Mer The Brilliance Brightening Mask, and let it quench dry skin while you’re in the car. Easy. 

Beauty editor Lucy Adams (and smoothie)

Lucy Adams, beauty editor

Advice I ignore…

1. Avoid washing your face with bar soap 

Bar soaps are often drying and so don’t do your skin any favours but I love the squeaky clean and fresh feel on my body. I’m a Dove Beauty Bar girl from way back. 

2. Sheet masks are the ticket to good skin

The Korean beauty trend makes my skin feel claustrophobic and sheet masks are not my thing. I prefer old school mask application, using a brush or my fingers. 

And advice I follow…

1. Take cold showers

Blasting yourself with cold water before stepping out of the shower really does make your hair and skin shine.

2. Use eye cream 

I use eye cream religiously, morning and night. I love Sodashi Samdara Ultimate Age-Defying Eye Crème – it’s pricey, but nothing has worked quite as fast on my tired-mum, under eye bags.

3. Choose ‘clean’ products 

Clean beauty is where I’m at. Blame genetics, lifestyle or skin changes after babies, but my skin is uber sensitive, so often it’s the most natural products that work best on my skin. That doesn’t mean I have to skimp on hard-hitting ingredients, though. Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum, an all-natural vitamin A, was recently recommended and it’s working a treat.



BY Sherine Youssef

Sherine Youssef is a beauty editor with too many hair masks, and not enough motivation. 

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