13 Beauty Editors & The Products They Can't Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of The Coveteur.
So, we’ll occasionally joke that fashion editors shop for a living. But, beauty editors? A significant portion of their job (on top of condensing trends, interviewing experts, writing, styling, et cetera, et cetera) is actually trying the myriad of product out there all to inform you exactly what’s worth your credit card overage. And, trust us when we say that they get sent a lot of products to try. Every evening is an experiment in some new serum, long-wear lipstick or hair oil, all in the name of bringing some IRL knowledge to us.
Just take a look at Jane Larkworthy’s monthly column in W — it’s pretty much a product-by-product exploration of what’s been delivered to her desk, and consistently the most dog-eared page of any given issue for it. And, let’s be real, when you have a publication like Allure or Harper’s Bazaar behind you, these are the people you trust when trying to decide whether plum or wine is the lip color of the season.
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So, if you’re constantly trying every new formula that enters the market, we had to ask: what exactly do they stick with. Like, do they ever come across a BB cream and decide then and there that this is when they stop playing the field and go steady? In other words, for the people who are changing and trying new products all the time, what are the products they’ll always love? We asked some of the biggest editors in the business — everyone from Lucky’s Jean Godfrey June to Britt Aboutaleb of Yahoo Beauty — and the response was, well, overwhelming. These professionals are passionate about their product. What we learned? CVS offers some pretty grade-A potions, sometimes stinky is a good thing, and Kevyn Aucoin's The Volume might just be the best mascara out there, as voted by not one, but two different editors. Next time your cabinet needs stocking, consider this your guide.
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Jean Godfrey-June, Beauty Director, Lucky Magazine
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"There are SO MANY items I use over and over — it's kind of crazy to pick one. YSL Sheer Candy in hot pink is the ultimate sheer lip color that somehow works secretly to brighten up your entire face. I apply the organic oil from Intelligent Nutrients — it's called Anti-Aging Serum — constantly when at home and sparingly at work over makeup for total revivification. I would be pale, less svelte and very tired-looking without Lancôme Flash Bronzer for Legs, which I use everywhere, including face.

Philip B Forever Shine shampoo and conditioner makes your hair visibly, dramatically better in all categories. I don't really style my hair at all because you need nothing after Phillip B! If for some reason it isn't perfect, I have John Freida Secret Weapon in my bag, and it solves any hair issue. The Clarisonic changes your skin, and Yes to Cucumbers wipes fix every problem I can think of — I even use them to gently cleanse the leaves on my houseplants! But, if [I could] only have one—the YSL lip!"
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Britt Aboutaleb, Managing Editor, Yahoo Beauty
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“I'm always tempted by the newest, fattest, most volume-promising mascara wand, but I consistently circle back to Kevyn Aucoin's The Volume. The wand is much skinnier than the name implies but it delivers perfect lashes: full, defined, just on the verge of spidery — in a good way. Also, it's like little flecks of rubber so it comes off with warm water and doesn't flake or leave dark circles behind."
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Robin Black, Makeup Arist & Creator, Beauty Is Boring
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"Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Serum is a product that I use on myself daily and also on the models at photo shoots. The results are instant and pretty damn impressive! I keep bottles of it stashed all over the place — the bathroom cabinet, the refrigerator, my camera bag, several in the studio (one for the models, another as a back up for my personal use).

I am a late night sort of person and as such, morning is never a good time for me. When applied with the Clarins Manual Auto-Lifting Method (a very specific process that assists lymphatic circulation and feels absolutely lovely!) this serum reduces puffiness, defines the cheekbones, tightens up the jawline and makes me look refreshed. I'm completely addicted."
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Phillip Picardi, Senior Beauty Editor, Refinery29
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"I have been using Rose-Marie's RMS Beauty Living Luminize for three years straight now. It is the only product I can use practically anywhere — bridge of the nose, inner corners of the eyes, all over the lid, the temples, high planes of the cheekbones, along the jawline — for a completely undetectable glow that imparts a touch of dew, thanks to good-for-you skin ingredients like rosemary and coconut oil.

It can be an ephemeral product, given its more natural origins, so I layer Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight powder on top of it to make it stay. Grab an eyeliner brush to get it into the inner corners of the eyes, and then smudge a little bit into the center of your lower lash line for a widening effect. Or, tap it on top of cream blush to help it blend better and look more natural. I also love it on the lid, in place of eyeshadow — it will elevate your eyeliner game by adding a bit of dimension. You can also apply it to the high planes of the face generously before your BB cream or foundation to supercharge your base."
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Joanna Douglas, Senior Editor, Yahoo Beauty
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"When it comes to skincare, many people believe that expensive and fancy is always better, but as someone who tries it all I've yet to ever find a better body wash than Dove. I used Dove soap as a kid, and once the loofah craze hit in the '90s, Dove was the first brand I tried. It remains my go-to and is always in my shower. My dermatologist recommends it for my sensitive skin, and I love how it leaves my skin feeling smooth, soft, and hydrated even during the harsh winter. My current faves are the Deep Moisture and Pistachio Cream Purely Pampering varieties."
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Leah Wyar, Beauty Director, Cosmopolitan
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“My mainstay is Jergens Original Cherry-Almond Body Lotion. Nothing moisturizes better (even in the dead of winter) — and because I've used it since college, the scent comes with so many different memories. No matter how many body lotions I'm sent or that I try out, this is the one that I actually BUY at Duane Reade — in the jumbo size — every month!”
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Ying Chu, Executive Beauty Director, Glamour
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"When it comes taking care of your skin, everyone is fixated on the face but you can't forget the body. For me, it's all about Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream. I love the scent (a berry-citrusy blend that's not, despite the name, too sugary), the velvety texture and the fact that it's got a healthy dose of fruit acids (AHAs) — it keeps my skin smooth, hydrated, glowy and free of dry patches. It's a tad rich for the most humid days of summer but I always go back to it in the fall, then use it straight through to May or June.

A couple years ago, I went through complete withdrawal when Fresh had a production shortage of the Acai Cream. Lesson learned. Now I stockpile bottles of it year-round."
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Anne-Marie Guarnieri, Editor-In-Chief, XOVain.com
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"There are few higher compliments you can pay a beauty editor than, 'Your lashes look great, are they real?' Yes, girl, they are totally real, and thank you. They are a combination of biotin and Diorshow Black Out Mascara. If the illusion of intense volume is your eyelash goal, this is the formula for you. It's rich, it's dense, it's blacker than a starless sky, and the classic teddy-bear brush allows you to completely coat each lash, clump-free, every time you sweep it on. I've tried every iteration of Diorshow, and this is the one I always come back to."
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Jessica Prince, Senior Beauty Editor, Harper's Bazaar
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"I've been addicted to these Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow anti-aging tanning wipes since the first time I tried them. Not only do they (safely) transform my complexion from pale to radiant (sans orange streaks) in one hour, but they exfoliate dead skin, shrink pores, and help fade existing sun damage too. The best part: Concealer is no longer required."
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Kathleen Hou, Senior Beauty Editor, The Cut, New York Magazine
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"If my eyelashes were a Kardashian sister, they would be Khloe. They’re stubborn, willful, and want to do their own thing, which usually means being very resistant to eyelash curlers and curling mascaras. For a long time, I was faithful to the Shu Uemura eyelash curler, but the Surratt Beauty Eyelash Curler has my everlasting devotion. It’s like a gentle curling cradle for my lashes with its double-pronged handle and a comfy lash pad that doesn’t pull or tug. It creates a natural, curling angle that is neither 90 or 45 degrees like most curlers (frankly, I don’t recall enough geometry to describe what degree angle it is, but it looks and feels good.)

I’ve had it for about a year but I anticipate it (like Khloe) being my favorite for many more years to come."
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Elaine Welteroth, Beauty & Health Director, Teen Vogue
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"Toner is one of the most universally skipped steps in skincare. As a beauty editor with gazillions of sexier products competing for my attention, I admit, I used to neglect it, too. But, this one has changed the game. I cannot stop singing the praises of Biologique Recherge's P50 Balancing Exfoliator. I discovered it after complimenting a fellow beauty director on her freakishly radiant skin. She swore by the stuff. I immediately got my hands on it and I've been HOOKED ever since.

Disclaimer: It's smelly and from time to time, it stings like hell. BUT, it's also the fastest-working skincare product on Earth. It visibly shrinks pores, evens your complexion and it makes you glow like nobody's business."
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Faith Xue, Beauty Director, Byrdie
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"Goldfaden MD's Fresh-a-Peel was one of the first at-home peels I ever tried — and let's just say my skin will forever be better because of it. I smooth a thin layer of it on after washing my face, wait a minute or two, then rinse it off with cool water. The lactic acid and fruit enzymes leave my face looking ridiculously bright, polished, and clean — and I swear it's even magically helped clear up a breakout or two. It's the perfect quickie pick-me-up on days when I'm too lazy to spend more than 5 minutes fixing my skin (aka, most weekdays)."
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April Long, Executive Beauty Editor, Elle
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"I change up my routine all the time, partly because it's my job to try things out, but also because I find that my skin has different needs on different days. But, no matter what, the one product I always return to is the original Crème de la Mer [moisturizing cream]. It is, quite simply, a phenomenal moisturizer — it leaves my skin glowy and firm, and there's absolutely nothing like it when it comes to complexion resurrection after a long-haul flight.

There are a ton of newer, jazzier hydrators out there — and yes, there are many that I also use and love — but having a jar of Crème de la Mer in my medicine cabinet is kind of like owning a cashmere sweater or a chic pair of black heels: I might not put it on every day, but when I do, I know it will never let me down."

For more beauty editor picks, head on over to The Coveteur!
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