Skincare and makeup are part of a confusing world complete with its own language. We hear about retinol, vitamin A, vitamin C, miracle serums and ageing cures - things that cost an arm and a leg and other products that suit a tight budget. So, short of having a degree in chemistry, who knows what we need and what we don't?
We spoke to Jennifer Horsley - ‘ Head Of Artistry’ at Mecca Cosmetica - to help navigate us through the confusing world of makeup and skincare. She doesn't have a chemistry degree, but she does have a degree in the makeup and skin industry having worked at Mecca Cosmetica for over 10 years.
You are head of product training with MECCA, therefore, you literally get first-hand knowledge on all products from Mecca brands, would you say you are a bit of an expert in the skin and beauty sphere?
I have a lot of experience in the field being a makeup artist for over a decade and working in different facets of the industry, product development, fashion, editorial, tv etc
I’m also a complete beauty product junkie myself even if I wasn’t in the industry!
I personally find it so hard to navigate beauty blogs/ magazine/ beauty influencers and the product recommendations that they provide as I can never tell what is sponsored content and what product certain people actually get behind. What are some tips to figuring out if products are what people say they are?
I always go by the longevity of the brand and if it’s been a best seller for a long period of time. If the product is beloved by makeup artists, it’s usually a good indication that it is high performing.
Beauty is so personal that there might be a trend or a wave of products that just might not be your style or aesthetic. It has to fit your lifestyle and be right for you - what works for one person might not work for another.
I always suggest following an influencer who has the same aesthetic as you - and maybe skin type is helpful - as generally, you’ll have the same experience with products.
A lot of influencers plug new launches so sometimes it’s hard to know the truth but I always go by formula, texture and performance. I always look at the philosophy of the brand and what they are known for and the “heroes” in their line.
In terms of a low maintenance skin routine, what are the steps we should try to follow at a minimum? Eg. do we need to cleanse twice a day and use serums and moisturisers?
A low maintenance skincare regime always starts with removing makeup whether this is with a wipe, oil cleanser, micellar water or balm. It is so important to remove your makeup as it clogs the skin and can cause premature ageing.
To maintain the skin's health I would cleanse morning and night, moisturise day and night, use an SPF in the morning and exfoliate at least once a week as a basic routine.
Do we need to wear sunscreen even if working from home?
This is a controversial issue. I think if your home office is in a lot of natural sunlight then yes, and a chemical sunscreen will help with the small amount of blue light our computer screens omit. If you are at home most of the time in front of a screen, I would still suggest it - better safe than sorry.
I know when recommending products it does change for certain skin types. Are you able to recommend some products that you get behind in a few different price ranges and for a few different skin types?
A couple of my fave products that work for pretty much everyone are:
Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, it’s a lactic acid treatment that gently exfoliates, smooths and brightens it’s so gentle on the skin with instant results.
Go To Transformazing Sheet Masks they are a staple in my kit for model prep they make the skin juicy, bouncy and smooth before makeup application.
Dr Dennis Gross New Stress Repair Range is amazing at re-plumping the skin and giving it the nourishment it needs with superfood ingredients.
I have noticed mists seem to be a thing now. However, are they all they are cracked up to be and when on earth do you apply?
I am obsessed with mists I literally have 4 at my desk at all times!
You have complexion mists like Mac fix plus which you can use to set your makeup as well as change the look of your complexion making it more dewy or Urban Decay All Nighter which will regulate the temperature of the skin to keep make up on for longer.
Then you have more skincare based mists which you can use in place of a toner to hydrate the skin. You can also use these throughout the day to refresh your skin whenever you need it. I keep mine in the fridge especially in summer but you can really mist whenever you want to it’s a great way to stay hydrated without disturbing your makeup. I often mist before a meeting to wake my skin up.