Being a PR expert in the beauty world involves immersing yourself in the brand (or multiple brands) you represent, shining a light on the brilliant experts, products and stories that make a successful brand just that, plus getting journalists like me to feature them. It's hard work—not all champagne and parties à la Eddy in Ab Fab.
What dawned on me recently during an email chain with one PR for a global makeup brand is that these men and women are truly immersed in their brands—they see and try every single product, which means they're bound to have some favourites that aren't necessarily the cult buy the brand is known for or the hot-off-the-press new product everyone is talking about.
No, they'll have trusted favourites, products that only a true brand fan or insider will love. I wanted to shine a light on these products, so I asked 15 PRs who represent some of the biggest brands in the world to share their essentials. Keep scrolling for their insider tips on what products to buy.
"I literally can’t live without this blusher, people always ask me what’s on my cheeks and I convert everyone to this blusher, it gives the most amazing soft glow with a warm peach colour to the cheeks, it has a tiny sheen giving a subtle glow but honestly makes everyone look so healthy and fresh." —Alexis Gilmore, Clinique Senior Communications Manager
"People often forget about these eye shadows, but they're just SO great. You can use them wet or dry (but I rarely have water kicking around when I'm doing my makeup, so dry it is). Applied dry, they're more of a sheer finish but with the most amazing colours, but wet, the colours and intensity are seriously amped up (hence the name). My favourite colours are Pasiphae (pictured), which is basically is the colour of peacock feathers in an eye shadow and Desdemona, which is a shimmering burgundy which is INCREDIBLE on hazel eyes." — Kate Langan, Nars UK & Ireland PR and communications director
"I think the Bobbi Brown skincare range is the brand's best-kept secret. So many people think of it as a makeup brand, but actually the skincare is incredible. I tend to change my beauty regimen a lot, but this base is a daily staple because it gives my skin the hydration it needs while being a flawless base for foundation." —Caroline Keeping, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics UK communications director
"The BEST liquid liner I have ever tried (and I've tried a few!). It glides on easily and has a rich black pigment that doesn't budge all day." —Amy Wanstall, Coty consumer beauty influencer marketing manager
"My favorite product hands down are these capsules. Having worked at Elizabeth Arden as the PR manager for over four years, every trainer and consultant had told me to use them, but naïvely, I had always thought of them as the gold caps my mother would use. In 2017, the formula was relaunched and included pretty much all the best ingredients from our award-winning new products, including tsubaki oil found in the ultra-nourishing Eight Hour All Over Miracle Oil ($28) and the sea fennel extract to increase cell renewal and luminosity found in our amazing Superstart Skin Renewal Booster ($67).
"I decided to finally introduce them into my regimen, and I'm hooked! Each single-dose capsule keeps the ingredients potent and pure, and one capsule not only covers the whole face and décolletage but also feels super pampering each evening. I prefer to use them at night for a nourishing treat; however, if I have dry skin from a cold or the weather, I tend to use them in the morning too. I absolutely love using them, and they are the easiest things to pack when I go away. I only need to pack one capsule a day, taking up no space in my cosmetics bag. I am an absolute convert and couldn't do without them now." —Charlotte Mecklenburgh, Elizabeth Arden PR manager
"A miracle restyler and style holder for fine hair. Great to spritz onto fine hair like mine to hold a style or for second-day hair when you're re-styling. My hair would never normally stay in a 'style' for the whole day before I tried this." —Georgie Billingham, Bumble and Bumble communications manager
"I've been addicted to this since I was 17. My skin freaks out if I don't use this; it keeps my complexion hydrated, glowing and balanced no matter the season or schedule. I slather this on morning and evening, face neck and décolletage, and use any excess as hand serum. Your skin will thank you for it." —Georgina Dawson, Estée Lauder PR manager
"This is my under-the-radar product from Benefit. I LOVE it because I swear it's made my overplucked '90s brows double in size since I've worked here. Also, I've randomly discovered that it actually acts as the best eye primer I've ever used, so it's a great multitasker. A total unsung hero, in my opinion." —Annie Harrison, Benefit Cosmetics UK & Ireland PR manager
"The ultimate no-makeup makeup, offering full coverage with a natural radiance. The stylish couture packaging is light and durable, essential for those on the go!" —Robin Counihan, Givenchy and Kenzo press and digital engagement officer
"This bronzer is so smart that it naturally reproduces varying shades of the sun, offering women an instant natural glow at any time of year in one quick, easy motion. Its formula, enriched with moisturising active ingredients, does not dry out the skin. It ensures long-lasting comfort. I'm hooked." —Joanna Rash, Guerlain PR manager
"This is a big seller for us, but no one really talks about it! It's a neutralizing correcting cream and is the first skincare cream which covers redness. Comes in a universal shade perfect for all skin tones." —Melanie Green, It Cosmetics digital engagement and communications manager
"Nothing leaves my skin feeling so silky and looking so shiny! It's rich and nourishing with an indulgent texture that makes it the best body scrub out there." —Bianca Laciofano, Jo Malone UK communications manager
"I genuinely can't live without this… It's heaven! Whether applied before makeup or worn on its own, it leaves your skin glowing, and I guarantee you'll get a million comments on how amazing your skin is looking. Whenever a friend gets married I always make sure to get one for her, it's too good to be true!" —Kate Macdermot, Lancôme and Clarisonic communications manager
“There is so much more that you can do with this straightener—it’s not just about creating poker straight looks. The ultra-zone technology in the platinum+ styler means that your hair is heated to the optimum temperature for stylin—creating shiny and silky looks without causing major damage. Plus the rounded edges of the plates means waving and curling hair is so easy. It’s such a versatile tool and seriously my hair hero!” —Milly Green, ghd Global and UK PR Manager
Next up, 13 long bob ideas that will tempt you into the salon.