Recently we had the pleasure of interviewing Madeleine Spencer who is part of the beauty team at Marie Claire, to get an insight into the world of a Beauty Writer and find out what products are in her make up bag…

  1. What’s your ultimate beauty saviour?

Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer without a shadow of a doubt; I’ve got polycystic ovaries so my ‘teenage spots’ never quite disappeared, but this concealer makes it look like they have. I flirt with others, but this is the one I’ve always had on the go since I was about 15.

  1. Talk us through your daily skincare routine?

I hugely enjoy the process of caring for my skin and am therefore more than willing to devote five minutes to it morning and evening.

In the morning I’ll use a cleanser – currently Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser – and rinse it off with cool water to send a rush of circulation to the surface of my skin. I follow with a lightweight pre-serum (Sensai Essence is on my shelf at the moment) and then a serum like Oskia Get Up and Glow or Shiseido Ultimune. If I’m going out in the sun, I’ll pop on an antioxidant rich serum, instead – this summer I alternated between Zelens Defence Serum and SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. I’ll then use some form of SPF.

In the evening, I’ll usually start by removing eye make-up with a bi-phase cleanser and then do an oil cleanse (I’m slightly obsessed with Clinique Take The Day Off so that’s been my go-to since it launched). After that, I’ll work a balm cleanser into my skin properly with my fingertips or Foreo, then apply either a serum or oil or – on occasion – both, depending on how my skin’s behaving.

In terms of brands, I have a soft spot for cosmeceuticals, French pharmacy brands and organics, but am always testing away so lots of different things make it onto my skin. More important than what I use, though, is how I use it – I’m constantly grilling experts on tips to make the most of skin through massage and other techniques.

  1. What beauty essentials do you keep in your bag?

I always have By Terry Baume de Rose to hand – mostly for my lips, but from time to time to moisturise cuticles and smooth hairs. I (of course) also carry a Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage around with me pretty much everywhere I go, as well as some form of moisture spray (Institut Esthederm InCellium is an old favourite). I usually will have an eyeliner in case I need to take my make-up up a notch while I’m out, and I also currently have Philip Kingsley’s small vented hairbrush in my handbag.

  1. What is the best piece of beauty advice you have received? Who was it from?

I was told by the wonderful facialist Una Brennan to focus on boosting circulation in my skin and it’s a tip that’s served me well – when I make time to really work my cleanser into my skin and perform a little massage with an oil, it behaves better and looks far more glowing. She also told me to put ice on spots to stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation.

  1. What is the worst piece of beauty advice you have received?

When I was younger, everyone seemed to suggest that clean skin should feel ‘squeaky’. I used to buy those clarifying toners that were effectively just alcohol and run them over problem areas again and again. Little did I know that I was stripping my skin and making it worse!

  1. What is your biggest beauty blunder?

If I’m nervous because I have a big meeting or am seeing someone I’ve not seen in a long time and want to look good, I tend to do my make-up at home and then top it up en route. As a result, I’ll sometimes end up wearing an awful lot more eyeliner/bronzer than intended. Equally, if my skin’s playing up I can get a bit trigger happy when applying foundation. I’m now trying to bear the less is more maxim in mind when I feel insecure and am tempted to use make-up as a blanket!


Don’t forget to take a look at Madeleine’s blog too: (we love it!)

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