Listen In: How A Beauty Journalist "Front-Loads" Her Beauty Routine + More
"There's polarity in the beauty industry, but nothing's black and white. I can almost always see the other person's side of the story," says beauty journalist and co-host of Fat Mascara Jennifer G. Sullivan, who just debuted a column with The Cut titled "Ask a Beauty Editor."
In this episode of Clean Beauty School, Sullivan and I chat mostly about how to navigate all the gray areas and nuances in beauty media. A few topics we cover? No-no lists, "doing your own research" about ingredients, how much regulation should the FDA really have, and why lab-derived ingredients can be the more responsible choice than their "natural" counterparts.
Because ultimately, questioning common beliefs (be it ones you hold or not) is a good thing. "I'm almost always stress-testing my opinions—asking myself, do I really believe this? Or do I believe something else?" she says.
Of course I'd be remiss not to ask her about her beauty and well-being routine; she's a seasoned reporter in both topics, after all. And like most editors immune to the whiplash of skin care trends, it's fairly concise.
"I front-load my routine, so I can do less every day. I'm all about injectables, good health, and exercise so I don't have to do a lot of steps day to day. If you look at my daily routine and the products I use, it's very pared down," she says. "But don't let me confuse you that means I'm not doing stuff: I'm all about fillers, neurotoxins, lasers, getting outdoors, breathing fresh air, going on hikes, eating tons of vegetables. And that way I don't have to worry too much about skin care because I'm doing all this stuff."
As for that day-to-day, here are her core products: An oil cleanser (she's into Angela Caglia Neroli Oil Cleanser right now), epidermal growth factor serum ("I don't tolerate retinol or vitamin C well," she says), and sunscreen ("How much better are the new sunscreens? I love the Australian brands like Ultra Violette Sunscreen and Naked Sundays Sunscreen," she says).
There you have it, folks. Tune in to hear more—if you, too, are one to veer toward the middle ground, I think you'll find the episode refreshing.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.