After working on the beauty counters, studying for a Masters in History (where she specialised in the history of beauty, no less) then becoming a freelance beauty writer and starting her own blog That Grace Girl , beauty editor Grace Day knows her products. We caught up with Grace to find out her top budget buys and spenny splurges, her skincare saviours and what's next on her shopping list...
Where do you shop for beauty?
Mostly online. I have staff discount at Beauty Bay so I’d be foolish not to make the most of that! Although that said, I do love aimlessly wandering a department store beauty hall. I think it goes back to my beauty counter days; I love the energy and excitement, just seeing people get giddy over products makes me feel happy and inspired to write.
What was the last makeup item you bought?
I tried to give up buying makeup for Lent, since I have so much, and as a beauty writer and blogger, I’m the recipient of many generous PR packages! However, I did recently buy two of the Suva Beauty Hydra FX liners which just launched on Beauty Bay . I’m obsessed with neon at the moment, and I’d been hunting for the perfect neon eyeliners for ages so I bought Scrunchie, £12.50 (neon pink) and Fanny Pack, £12.50 (neon green). A lot of people think this look sounds scary, but it’s actually quite subtle. It gives me a ‘look’ even if I’m just wearing black jeans and a black sweater which I do, a lot.
And your most recent skincare purchase?
A replenishment of Mario Badescu’s Buffering Lotion, £15 .
It’s my favourite thing for taking down those big under-the-skin breakouts before they’ve broken through, and I prefer it to the iconic Drying Lotion, £16 because you can use it under makeup. I have to stick to a pretty acne-centric skincare routine since my teenage breakouts haven’t stopped completely, so I’m never without a bottle of this on my shelf.
Which products do you gift to friends?
Things that they would probably never buy for themselves… a Tom Ford lipstick, a Chanel nail polish, Aesop handwash, a Diptyque candle. You can’t go wrong with any of those.
You have £500 to spend at a makeup counter. Which do you choose?
Probably Chanel. I’d blow it all on a lifetime supply of Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzer, £4 0.
Oh, and a bottle of No5 for my mum. I grew up in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, so when I was a teenager, going to a department store and buying something from a Chanel counter was always the dream. I guess that’s still stuck with me because even now if I want to treat myself, I’ll go to Chanel. In high school, my best friend and I would pool our lunch money to share sandwiches so we could save up to buy Chanel lipsticks.
Ever had your makeup done at a makeup counter?
Many a time! When I worked on counters, we’d all do each other's makeup on slow days. I think people have a bit of a misconception about people who work on beauty counters. I wish I could help change that. I like to think I did for the people I met when I was there. Yes, so much of the job is about sales and targets, but the girls I worked with were some of the most talented and inspiring I met. You can only do that job if you’re really passionate about beauty and a really good makeup artist. Doing 20 makeovers a day on different skin types and face shapes gives you serious skills.
What's in your Boots or supermarket shopping basket?
French pharmacy brands. Whenever people ask me to recommend products that are effective, but not too pricey, I point them towards the likes of Avene , La Roche Posay , Nuxe and Embryolisse . They all have the same back to basics approach to skincare, and I’m a big believer in 'less is more' - which I think is the reason why French women have such amazing skin.
Favourite budget beauty buy?
The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid . It’s less than £6 and hyaluronic acid is such a game-changing ingredient. It's one of the few that works for every skin type. Dehydration is something we all experience (often without realising it), so just adding a layer of hyaluronic acid after cleansing will massively boost the hydrating benefits of your serum and moisturiser . It’s like a magnet for moisture; each molecule of hyaluronic acid draws in 1000 times its weight in water.
And the most expensive?
My perfume. Years ago I was gifted a bottle of Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s Baccarat 450 and I fell in love. In fact, it’s the only perfume I’ve ever repurchased. It’s the type of fragrance you only need one spritz of, but you can smell it on yourself all day and you will literally get strangers stopping you in the street to ask about it. I always describe it as smelling like the worlds most expensive candyfloss. It’s £200.
Where do you get your hair done and what do you use on it?
I go to Melissa Timperley in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. People travel from all over the world to get their haircut there. I feel blessed that it’s just a short walk from home for me! Melissa is a genius and her salon goes against the grain of the traditional hairdressing experience. So much effort goes into the consultation aspect, and the stylists talk their clients through everything they’re doing as they do it, which as someone who knows nothing about hair, I really appreciate! I get my haircut every three months and I always pick up a bottle of Unite 7 Seconds . It’s the best leave-in conditioner I’ve ever used.
Any other treatments you regularly book in for?
My nails are never not painted, but every month or so I book in for a gel manicure with Blow . It’s an app service and the technicians come round to your house to set up shop. I love having gels . Aside from the practicality, it’s just such a nice pick me up. I also love an Eve Lom facial. I go to Julia in Harvey Nichols because she knows my skin and gives the most amazing facial massage. Her hands are magic! I always leave glowing.
What’s next on your beauty shopping list?
I have my current routine down to a science, and I’m really trying not to mix things up because I’ve learnt (the hard way!) that my skin likes balance and routine. However that said, I’ll almost certainly be purchasing The Ordinary’s Squalene Cleanser, £5.50 . It’s their first foray into cleansers so I’m intrigued.
Grace Day is Beauty Editor at Edited by BeautyBay Follow her on Instagram