Plus, all the other beauty essentials on her list.
Welcome to I Swear By This, an interview series where we chat with our favorite fashion and beauty insiders about the beauty products they use down to the last drop. This week, we asked Sarah Brown, executive director of The Violet Lab, to share all the products she's loving right now.
In the beauty editor world, Sarah Brown is an OG. Which is to say, she knows her products. After cutting her teeth as a beauty editor at Elle under the legendary Jean Godfrey-June, Brown then went to Vogue where she left after 15 years, rising from senior beauty editor to beauty director. Today, Brown is still in the beauty space, working as the executive director of the Violet Lab at luxury retailer Violet Grey. She spends her days testing and scouting brands to bring readers the crème de la crème when it comes to beauty products. Needless to say, she knows what she’s talking about. Below, Brown shares nine skin care, hair care, and makeup products she’s loving right now.
“This was the first brand I launched when I joined Violet Grey. I use it every day; I can’t even count the number of bottles I’ve used at this point. It’s just good; it just works. It’s one of those products where my skin just looks better.
“It folds into my regimen seamlessly; it’s the first thing I put into my face after my toner and essence. It has a watery texture that soaks right into the skin—you put it on then you forget it’s there. It’s definitely my new staple.”
“This gel cleanser comes in a large glass bottle, so it’s generous in size. It’s one of those products where you never feel like you’re going to run it. It’s luxurious, and it doesn’t strip your skin afterwards. Plus, it smells amazing, it’s refreshing, and it takes off all your makeup. It’s on my counter, and I’m always reaching for it; I look forward to using it every day.”
“First of all, the packaging is really luxurious. It doesn’t look like anything else; it instantly elevates your bathroom. I like to use body oil after the shower, when my skin is still a little bit moist, and this one leaves me feeling silky—not sticky—and it smells amazing.”
“I don’t think there’s a single day where I don’t use this. I’m blonde, so my brows are basically invisible and when my brows are filled in, it really makes a difference. The pigment is intense, in the best way. It doesn’t look like you’re putting greasy paint all over your brows. And it’s foolproof—it won’t budge until you wipe them off in the evening.”
“I have fine, wavy hair and, when it looks good, you’d never know that it’s fine. But my hair also gets weighed down easily, so it can go either way when I add in product: It either looks bouncy and lush or stringy and sad. This product helps me avoid the latter.
“I comb my hair while it’s still wet, run a little bit of product through my hair, and comb through it again. Then I scrunch my hair and let it air dry. It gives it a non-crunchy definition and holds everything together.”
“This product falls somewhere between a balm and a gloss. The color payoff is incredible, but it doesn’t look like a lipstick. It’s a magic combination that comes in a chic, skinny tube, so it’s easy to fit into your jeans pocket or throw in a small bag.”
“These little patches have micro darts for what they call ‘up and coming zits." I just love it; it really works. You really can’t see them on your face which is great but also slightly dangerous. You’ll forget about it in the morning and end up going out in public with the patch on your face.
“There are so many overnight treatments for blemishes, but many of them dry your skin out, which creates even more of a mess. This doesn’t do that at all—it’s a magic little patch.”
“This is the perfect nail polish for me. I love either a really dark hue or a completely nude color. This one falls somewhere between a purple and a Bordeaux, and it’s currently my go-to shade.”
“I know everyone talks about this product, but you should believe the hype. It’s a serum; it’s an oil—really, it does everything. It smells incredible and makes my skin feel nourished and soft. I use it all the time, sometimes on its own, other times as the last step in my routine to seal in all the moisture.”
Photos: Courtesy of Sarah Brown
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