People like to joke that editors play with products for a living. Don’t get us wrong—freebies and fancy parties are part of the territory—but let’s be clear: We’re not just sitting at our desks playing with lipstick all day. At the end of the day, our jobs center around the actual writing—telling stories in a way that speaks to our audience. (And if you think writing about the 10th new eye cream launch of the year in an exciting way is easy, we can assure you it’s not.)
While the days are fun, they’re long—we’re up early, home late, and scrambling from meetings to events and everything in between while juggling tight deadlines. Which is why we’ve all come to rely on certain items to keep us calm, collected, and composed throughout the day. The products that make it into our workday bags not only help us express ourselves (like new items from Almay), but they're also the tried-and-tested favorites that have stood out from the rest of the pack, and today we’re sharing them with you in the hopes of helping you power through that dreaded 3 p.m. slump.
As the beauty director of branded content, Hayley Mason gets to do a little of everything, from writing and editing to creating makeup looks and hairstyles for photo shoots. Not just that, but the majority of her work is collaborating with the sales team and their clients to dream up big projects, finding a creative way to tell the story of a brand’s products while appealing to Byrdie’s audience. Here’s what a typical day looks like for her—and the products that help get her through.
6:30 a.m.: “I swim laps a couple of mornings each week at the pool in my building. I’m not a morning person at all, so this wakes me up and gets me into the office feeling more refreshed.”
8 a.m.: “Usually my fiancé and I commute to work together, and we’ll pick up breakfast and coffee on the way, but I have to leave early for a photo shoot today. I catch up on emails in the cab and then FaceTime my nephew. He’s 18 months old, so he likes to see my face on the screen and just say ‘hi’ and ‘love’ over and over until he gets bored.”
Noon: “I meet with the makeup artist on set and walk through what we’ll be shooting that day, go through wardrobe options with the stylist (yes to sparkles, no to the sweater that will definitely ruin the model’s hair), and choose background colors to shoot against. Everyone wants to know what eyeliner I’m wearing—it’s actually the metallic shadow in the new Almay Shadow Squads™in Thrill Seeker, ($5). I took a fine-tipped brush, applied it along my lower lash line, then used the matte finish of the same color on my lids. (The perks of getting to speak with experts all day long is picking up new looks and tricks.)”
3 p.m.: “I have to duck out for a midday meeting with a client. I’m presenting a big idea with our sales team, so I’m a bit nervous. Before I walk in, I apply another coat of the new Almay Liquid Lash Extenders™ Mascara ($7), zhush my hair, and it’s time to go.”
7 p.m. “My girlfriends and I meet up for karaoke on the Lower East Side. We belt out ’90s songs and fill up on $1 pizza slices.”
9:30 p.m. “I’m planning my wedding right now, which is nearly impossible with my work schedule, so once I’m home, I have to buckle down. I’m up past midnight organizing my spreadsheets full of venues and photographer details. When I finally crash, I realize I’m going to need lots of extra help in the makeup department tomorrow. Sigh.”
MyDomaine senior editor Sophie Miura starts her day by determining the volume and quality of stories she needs to write—everything else comes second. (In other words, she’s not just indulging in gift bags and going to fun events—though she does get to travel to exotic places.) Sophie not only produces travel-, health-, and career-based content, but she also helps with the site’s strategy and oversees freelancers and junior editors. Here’s what a typical workday looks like for her—and the products that power her.
8 a.m.: “I’m a late riser, so I like to streamline my morning routine as much as possible. It takes me about 45 minutes to wake up, shower, do my makeup, and get dressed for work. I only use beauty products that are quick to apply and stand up to my schedule, so a long-lasting brow color is a must.”
9 a.m.: “I start the workday with a to-do list, scan the news for trending topics, and start writing newsworthy content to go live by 11 a.m. I jot down everything in my organizer as I go to meetings and events. It also has my handwritten calendar, so it's with me all day.”
1 p.m.: “I write a lot of MyDomaine’s travel content, so I’m always catching up with hotel and tourism PR reps. Today, I’m grabbing lunch with a travel writer who has recently been to Finland—I’m jetting there next week so I need insider tips."
3 p.m.: “By the afternoon, I’m usually on a tight deadline, so I slip on some headphones to dull the office noise and finish my stories.”
6:30 p.m.: “Most days end with a work event, which I attend with our three other New York–based editors. I always keep a notebook, business cards, and a few makeup essentials in my purse while I’m on the go.” [Ed. note: The new Almay Best Blend Forever™ Makeup ($13) is perfect to toss in your bag because of the built-in sponge applicator—you can touch up your makeup wherever you are.]
Byrdie assistant editor Maya Allen tells us her job consists of wearing a lot of different hats. While a big part of her duties involves testing new products, most of the time she means business. Her day-to-day is a mix of writing, interviewing, and checking out the latest beauty launches. In other words, every day is different and that’s how she likes it.
8 a.m.: “My mom taught me to use makeup to enhance my features rather than cover up my imperfections. I keep things simple and apply Almay Smart Shade™ Skintone Matching Makeup in Deep Like Me, ($10) (additional shades were just added for deeper skin tones), add some concealer, fill in my brows, dab Almay Instant Glow™ Highlighting Duo, ($12) on to the high points of my face, and I’m good to go.”
9 a.m.: “I walk out the door with my headphones in, blasting my album obsession of the moment. I’m never not listening to music. It’s my therapy, and lyrics have the power to change my mood and spark inspiration at any given moment. I also reach for my shades for my commute to work. Sunglasses have a special way of pulling your entire look together.”
10 a.m.: “I usually have a morning event or breakfast meeting, but before going in, I always check my compact mirror to make sure my makeup is looking good.”
1 p.m.: “After my events, I head back to the office to crank out my content. I feel so fortunate to work for a company that pushes diversity to the forefront of our coverage. Growing up, I never saw women of color who looked like me being represented in the beauty industry. I feel so honored to tell the stories I once wished were being told—it’s a responsibility that I feel fortunate to have.”
7 p.m.: “I never go straight home after work. I either head to an evening launch event or go out with my girls (tonight it's the latter), so I always have an extra pair of earrings and my makeup pouch for touch-ups."
10 p.m.: "[At night], sometimes I unplug from social media and my email to ground myself, or I journal to reaffirm my goals. After indulging in me time, I'm able to go to sleep feeling more confident in who I am."