InBeauty, Interview, Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Erin Cook, Beauty Director at Gritty Pretty

Gritty Pretty is one of my favourite digital beauty magazines, and with Eleanor Pendleton at the helm – it’s no surprise why. Every time a new issue alert arrives, I push everything to the side and immediately dive in. Erin Cook is the resident Beauty Director who I’ve followed on Instagram from what seems like forever now, and I was thrilled when she accepted my offer to feature in this series on my blog – I mean, Erin knows beauty and knows it well. I always make a point of reading her articles (a recent favourite here) and if truth be told, I might stalk her on the regular to keep myself up to date. That out of the way; let’s chat makeup, skincare and beauty with Erin Cook!

Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? Growing up, my number one true love was magazines. I was obsessed with the beauty, fashion and pop culture pages of Total Girl and then Dolly and Girlfriend before graduating to Cosmo, Cleo, Nylon, Yen and Frankie. For a long time, I loved fashion and beauty equally but beauty obviously won out – I think that’s because I always felt a little excluded from fashion. I grew up in a small town where I didn’t have the money or the resources to really delve into the world of fashion. (This is before online shopping.) Whereas beauty on the other hand… It was easy to walk into Priceline and pick up the hot new $15 eyeshadow palette from Revlon and try my hand at Cosmo’s latest smokey eye tutorial. Was it pretty? Absolutely not. But it was accessible to me.

What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? Hoo boy! I hate to choose between my children but I think everyone secretly has a favourite child. (Mum, dad, if you’re reading this – it’s me, right?) I douse my skin in hyaluronic acid day and night. It’s so great for drawing moisture to the surface of your skin, making it look and feel super plump and super juicy. Bonus points if the hyaluronic acid-based serum has some niacinamide in it to calm my skin when it’s pissed off because I tried a new product that claimed it was going to change my life. Speaking of hydrating, squalane is so good(!) and I think we’re going to see more and more of it! Where hyaluronic acid is more of a surface hydrator, squalane can delve a little deeper for longer lasting hydration. Great for my dehydrated skin.

Retinol is almost unparalleled when it comes to anti-ageing and creating smooth skin and small pores. Almost every dermatologist I’ve interviewed swears by it and they’re the real experts here. I get really cute hormonal acne on my chin once a month that I’ve just come to accept and treat as I go. For these guys, I love a salicylic acid spot treatment. Salicylic acid is the business for pimples – it’s anti-inflammatory and unclogs pores and calms redness and just try it already.

What are your favourite beauty treatments? I’m not loyal by any means but the top spot at the moment goes to HydraFacial! HydraFacial is the Real Deal – and you can find it at skin clinics all over Australia which is great. It exfoliates, sucks all of the gunk out of your pores and then infuses a bunch of potent antioxidants (tailored to you) back into your skin. There’s no down time and you walk on out of there with skin that is noticeably glowy. Where’s the lie? I don’t like any treatments that are too extreme. Anything that requires downtime or involves layers of skin shedding off my face isn’t for me. I want to treat my skin nice and keep my skin barrier intact.

In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? As a journalist, I want to speak to the experts that are well respected and at the top of their game. To become a dermatologist requires many years of study at a university level, same goes for scientists and cosmetic chemists. However, there are some very knowledgeable skin therapists out there too. I look at academic credentials and experience before reaching out to experts.

What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? You do you! If you’re going to do it, go somewhere reputable. I don’t have anything in my face at the moment.

What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? I’m obsessed with CHANEL makeup – their global makeup artist Lucia Pica is so cool and makes me want to work on my makeup stills. I just ordered MegaBabe deodorant online this morning because apparently it’s a natural deodorant that actually works. Time will tell! Treatment-wise, I really want to get a bit woo woo and get a super relaxing facial, preferably with crystals involved. Mostly for my brain but if it helps my skin too – great!

What is your favourite beauty magazine, and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I love Porter and Vogue UK at the moment – they’re similar in that they offer super high-end visuals with in-depth reporting on topics that haven’t already been done to death. As for websites, I’m into Into The Gloss, The Violet Files (part of Violet Grey), Man Repeller, Goop (with a grain of salt), The Cut, Byrdie, The Coveteur and The Strategist. Violette (Estee Lauder’s global makeup artist) is the coolest person on YouTube in my opinion! As for podcasts, Fat Mascara are my OG beauty podcast (I feel like I know them at this stage). I’ve just started listening to Allure’s beauty podcast, Goop Beauty Closet is worth a listen too – plus, The Glossy Beauty Podcast and The Beauty Brains.

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