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Lipstick On The Rim: Byrdie Beauty Editor, Leah Wyar On Your New Holy Grail Products, Drugstore Favorites & How to Stand Out in the Beauty Business


Product junkies, this episode is for you. Leah Wyar, SVP of Byrdie, is here with us today talking about forever products, drugstore must-haves and cult-favorite products. We cover the death of lash extensions, the efficacy of clean beauty and the power of blush. For those that thought they knew everything about beauty, we spill new and innovative tips that will be worth sharing with all your girlfriends.

[Leah] On Clean Beauty

Molly & Emese ask Leah what she’s noticed in the clean beauty world in the last few years and where she sees it heading in the future. “Clean used to sort of mean a little crunchy, you know, you’d put it on and for a second it would look good. Then, two hours later when you start to sweat and it would break down, feel a little chalky or it would smell bad. And then, probably about five years ago, you started noticing this shift. Clean brands were putting things out there that were clean, that actually did something for your skin and that mixed a little bit of science into it.

[Leah] On Her #1 Skincare Ingredient: Vitamin C

“If sunscreen is a sock, then vitamin C is a shoe. They go hand in hand.”

“Vitamin C acts as a second door. Whatever sneaks in past the SPF, whether you didn’t apply it correctly or you didn’t put enough, it’s going to cause a reaction in your skin. We all hear about these free radicals and they kind of act like Pac-Man and go through and damage the skin. And that’s where in your twenties and thirties when you start to see those first signs of aging a little earlier than you want to. Vitamin C is packed with antioxidants. And antioxidants neutralize the free radicals so that it doesn’t actually go on to do all this harm”, explains Leah. Read more on Vitamin C here.

Splurge Vitamin C

Affordable Vitamin C 

[Leah] On Niacinamide 

“Niacinamide lives in this world where pigmentation problems can happen because you’re out in the sun, but they can also happen because your skin is damaged or your barrier is damaged.”

“Niacinamide is there to make sure the barrier stays intact, and to make sure that once it repairs itself, it can help make that skin tone much more even.” Leah mentions how the Olay Regenerist line is packed with Niacinamide and explains that it is the first place to start when wanting to incorporate Niacinamide in your skincare regime. She particularly loves the Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer. Read more on Niacinamide here.

[Leah] On At-Home Tools Are Here To Stay

Molly describes how in 2020 we saw a spike in at-home beauty tools like The NuFace and LED Masks. She asks Leah if she thinks those products are here to stay or if they were a trend. “There’s been a lot of research done that shows a lot of those tools can help prolong what you’re getting done by the dermatologist or aesthetician”, explains Leah. “These tools are ancillary to the professional treatment, which you’re going to do maybe once a week, once a quarter or twice a year. These tools are going to help extend those results. They’re such a great investment. You just have to find the thing that you’re going to actually use because I found I’ve taken so many tools and then I’ll use it like once a year. And when I use it I’m always like why don’t I use this more. But you really do have to try to use it if you’re going to buy it, to make it worthwhile”.

[Leah] On Ceramides

“I’ve heard a dermatologist describe ceramides almost as if your skin cells are like bricks and the Ceramides are the mortar”, says Leah. Ceramides help to keep environmental aggressors from breaking through the skin’s barrier. Ceramides are great to add to your routine, “in your late thirties because that is more where the skin cells start to get like a little scattered and they start to need a little help staying together” explains Leah.

[Leah, Molly & Emese] On Cult Favorites

“When I first became a beauty editor, I was this 22 year old assistant. My boss worked three days in the office, so she never had time to go out and try everything. She would rely on me to go, you know, poor me, I get to go out and to these events, and these get these treatments. The first thing that I fell in love with was the Omega Three Oil from Sonya Dekar”, explains Leah. She goes on to mention all her cult-favorite products that are all listed below.

[Leah, Molly & Emese] On Drug Store Must-Haves 

Leah expresses her love for the Olay Regenerist line AGAIN. It is definitely a must-try! Packed with Hyaluronic Acid, Leah also mentions the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer. Molly & Leah bond over the fact that they used to have to stock up on French beauty: Bioderma Micellar Water and Embryolisse Moisturizer, when they traveled abroad, but now you can get them anywhere. Lastly, they touch on the nostalgia of Jergens and the efficacy of the products they sell.


[Leah] On Byride & Business

“One of the things that we really pride ourselves on at the brand is something we call naming and claiming”, explains Leah. “It’s really finding whether it is a product, treatment or a trend, we want to be the first people to surface it to our audience. Then we give it a name so that people can say, ‘I saw this on Byrdie. Did you hear about this trend? Did you see this product?’ We have really prided ourselves on that since we started the brand, and we’ve helped a lot of small businesses get a lot of traction. We’re not just going after the things that are household names. We want to find things that are really cool and unique that nobody’s ever heard of before.”

Listen here for the full episode:

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