Ever wondered what it's really like to be a beauty editor? Wonder no more. Joely Walker, ELLE's very own beauty editor, is here to take us through her day, from press meetings to writing features and discovering hero products...
My alarm goes off. I am categorically not a morning person (I wear an eye mask to keep all light out for as long as possible). I snooze my alarm for at least 15 minutes and give a quick (ok, quick-ish) scroll through social media and emails.
My morning beauty routine begins with a proper cleanse in the shower. With my face still slightly damp, I move onto the rest of my skincare prep. I don't like to load on too many products, but rather streamline my routine to multitasking serums, eye cream and SPF.
As for ingredients, I'm currently hooked on hyaluronic acid (game-changing) and products that focus on probiotic ingredients, like Vichy's Slow Âge range, which I'm currently testing.
The range includes a Fluid Moisturiser, Cream Moisturiser and Eye Cream, all with a mega mix of complexion-enlivening Vitamins Cg and E. A few days in and my dry, sensitive skin feels calm and hydrated all day (no mean feat).
On the makeup front, I use around 14 products. 14?! Yes. But I build them up in ultra-fine layers to keep things looking light and fresh. For hair, I'm fairly lazy—dry shampoo is my hero.
My work uniform usually consists of shirts, jeans and boots and my aim is to be comfortable for the office, but smart enough for meetings. My Celine bag is basically my first-born child in handbag form. I love it unconditionally and use it every day (all about that cost-per-wear).
I carry the usual essentials — keys, wallet, pencils, and obviously vital beauty products (it's in my job title). A bright lipstick is my go-to when I need to look pulled together quickly, concealer is my hero and an eye cream that makes me look like I've slept far better than I actually have, like Vichy Slow Âge eye cream, is a godsend.
I'm usually out the door by 8am. Walking to work has become a part of my routine. It takes an hour, but gives me the chance to get some headspace and fresh air before starting the working day. I say 'fresh', but living in London, that's sadly something of a (massive) overstatement. In fact, since moving here 5 years ago, I gradually noticed my skin taking a turn for the worse.
Now, I use antioxidant-rich products and high SPF protection daily to protect my face against the elements, which can be found in the Vichy Slow Âge range. To pass the time, I listen to podcasts (My Dad Wrote A Porno is hilarious), playlists ('90s R&B is my favourite genre) and call family and friends.
I'm always looking for new products and exclusives to write about and so my mornings are split between meeting with beauty PRs or attending events to chat new beauty innovations, and going straight to the office for team conference or planning meetings. If I'm out, I'll go for breakfast in Soho and always try to order a green juice to cram in some vitamins (as well as a plate full of bread and some variety of egg, naturally).
I live a life of incessant hunger. 'Surely it's time for food again?' is usually my line of thought right about now. Snacks (namely brazil nuts) make writing for deadlines / prepping for shoots / editing products for pages much easier.
Lunch ranges from grabbing a quick salad or sandwich from Pret (conveniently a stone's throw away from the office) to sitting down with ELLE Beauty Director Sophie to brainstorm ideas. If I'm meeting a PR, we'll usually head to Dean Street Townhouse, which is just around the corner. When the lunch set-up is Instagram gold, it's surely rude not to document with a post?
At ELLE HQ, it's back to business checking emails, writing or pitching features, organising the influx of products in the beauty cupboard, prepping for upcoming shoots, catching up on internal ideas and forward planning meetings.
Tuesday means it's 'What ELLE Wears' day in the office, where street style photographer Victoria Adamson shoots the team's outfits. If you spot me posing awkwardly on the streets of Soho, it's for this reason. Luckily, Vicki is a pro and always finds the perfect spots to shoot. Today, I'm wearing an Acne jumper and jeans with my favourite Celine bag and silver ASOS boots. Here's when I call on that aforementioned trusty de-puffing Vichy Slow Âge Eye Cream and team it with a slick of concealer to make me look more awake.
A lot of my evenings are spent at beauty events, whether it's a store opening or product launch. Tonight, it's a press dinner at Flemings in Mayfair. A perk of the job is having the chance to visit spots I'd never normally have access to (or could afford!), and this luxe hotel is one of them.
I make a quick change in the office. Silver is my current go to for easy evening dressing, and this ASOS skirt ticks my boxes. I pair it with a black ASOS turtleneck jumper, a failsafe leather jacket and River Island ankle boots. My Mac Russian Red lipstick often makes an appearance pre-event.
If I'm running late, I'll grab an Uber. It gives me the chance to check last-minute emails and have a quick Instagram scroll.
A three-course meal awaits at Flemings and the swanky dining room is filled with fellow beauty editors from the industry. The next few hours involve catch ups (they're a truly lovely lot, many of whom I class as close friends), great food and a preview of future beauty heroes. I know, I know, it's a tough job.
I'm usually home around 8.30pm, but tonight the brand is treating us to a night at Flemings. Being less than 60 seconds walk to your bed post-dinner is ideal. Plus, the suite is beautiful with a fancy marble bathroom, cool sofa area and ginormous double bed.
Whether I'm at home or in a swanky hotel room, the first thing I do when I walk through the door is get into comfy PJs. There is no greater joy.
After a long day at work (and a few glasses of wine), I'm always tempted to just jump straight into bed in my make-up. But I resist and always (ok, almost always) remember to double cleanse (essential to clear skin of any make-up residue, oils and pollutants) followed by a nightly skincare regime.
Tonight, it's continued testing of the Vichy Slow Âge range. The probiotic-derived Bifidus gets to work as I sleep and strengthens the skin's protective barrier by helping to prevent water loss. It also means the free radicals that I'll be facing tomorrow have a harder time causing damage. I'm game.
If I don't get a good 8 hours at least (9 and a half is my preferred) then I look absolutely drained the next day. Tonight, I'm making the most of having a huge marshmallow soft bed all to myself. I switch off by reading Cat Marnell's memoir, How To Murder Your Life (a great read if you haven't already). Oh, and I'm sure I give my boyfriend a call at some point during all this to say hello (slash ask him to record Big Little Lies on Sky).
Life proof your skin thanks to Vichy's Slow Âge range. Slow down, age well and visit Vichy online to discover more.