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Beauty journalist and digital trailblazer Alessandra Steinherr knows her craft inside out. 

Having risen through the ranks within the realm of glossy magazines, she previously helmed the beauty sections of several leading UK women's lifestyle titles.

Now, casting her shrewd eye over layouts is less part of her day-to-day, instead Alessandra shapes the beauty narrative through a different means: digital content creation.

READ: How to organise your makeup for a 2024 reset

Delivering informative insider tips and unwaveringly honest reviews on TikTok and Instagram (she goes by the handle @alexsteinherr), the beauty connoisseur is still, reassuringly, as product-obsessed as ever – and Hello! Fashion caught up with her to find out more about her own makeup and skincare habits…

The Beauty Breakdown with… Alessandra Steinherr

Alessandra Steinherr © Alessandra Steinherr
The multifaceted content creator has amassed an impressive 261K followers on Instagram

Her Beauty Philosophy

Alessandra Steinherr © Alessandra Steinherr
She has picked up years' worth of insider tips and tricks

Like many who work from home, Alessandra, somewhat unexpectedly for a beauty journalist, is pretty low-maintenance and usually goes makeup-free. However, when she is wearing a base, she takes her cues from tips learnt throughout the course of her career, directly from the pros.

"I apply my base with my fingers - I spent years going backstage to fashion shows reporting on beauty looks, pretty much all the OG makeup artists like to warm up foundation in their hands and press it into skin," she explains. "It just gives the most natural real-life finish. It’s different for photography - if I know I will be photographed or filmed, then I’ll use the F80 Flat Kabuki Brush from Sigma."

READ: Should your skincare routine follow a particular order?

RELATED: The Beauty Breakdown: Chloe Lloyd

Her signature look revolves around a sunkissed base colour, and she credits it with not only making her feel "so much happier", but also allowing her to actually use less product when it comes to the makeup stage. "As sunbathing is a big no-no for me, I rely on self-tanning," Alessandra says. "And I've finally found a brand that doesn't smell or come off on my sheets - it's called Tint Tan and it’s the best self-tan ever – super natural, smooth and it wears really nicely. It's my favourite new beauty find!"

Morning Skincare

Alessandra's skincare © Alessandra Steinherr
In the morning she often applies La Mer's Moisturising Cream

"I don't tend to cleanse in the mornings, unless I feel my skin needs it. I am generally pretty intuitive with my skincare and will use what I feel my skin needs that day."

"As I'm always testing new skincare, I don't have a set amount of steps, but generally speaking, I will use Environ's Vita-Peptide Toner, followed by a brightening serum (I love Allies of Skin's Tranexamic & Arbutin Advanced Brightening Serum) and then a hydrating serum, usually Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair. (Yes, in the morning!)"

"Eye cream is a must for me – I love OneSkin's OS-01 Eye Topical Supplement. I never skip moisturiser as my skin is dry, it's either La Mer's Moisturising Cream or Augustinus Bader's The Rich Cream. And then SPF of course – currently it's Garnier's Vitamin C Daily UV Brightening Fluid Glow SPF50+." 

"I love a glow, so I use a radiant primer, Chantecaille's Radiance Elixir is unmatched. It lifts my complexion especially on days when I look exhausted. If my skin feels a bit dry and flaky, I'll do a quick swipe over with Nip + Fab's Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads beforehand." 

Everyday Makeup

Alessandra Steinherr © Alessandra Steinherr
Alessandra is all about the glow

"When I am working from home, I'll go makeup free. It's my personal favourite. When I have meetings or events, I'll do a fresh, glowy look. I switch it around, but always go back to Shiseido's Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation and Natasha Denona's Hy-Glam Concealer for my base. My key makeup staples are cream bronzer and blush. I love Reeson's Bronzing Balm, and for blush I have a cream blush palette by RCMA that is so versatile, and I brush Mac's Glow Play over the top." 

"I go to Blink Brow Bar and get my brows threaded about every six weeks. I am not very good at shaping my brows myself - I'll just brush them up with a tinted brow mascara like Glossier's Boy Brow or for a more 'done' look, I'll give them that laminated finish with Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Freeze Gel." 

"My eye look always starts with Mac's Paint Pot in 'Groundwork' and Benefit's Hoola Bronzer dusted on top. I'll wiggle a powdery brown pencil into the lash line and follow with mascara, on bottom lashes I stick to a tubing mascara as it doesn't smudge (I like Victoria Beckham Beauty's mascaras). For daytime I wear Tom Ford's Eye Colour Quad in 'Cocoa Mirage' or Makeup By Mario's Ethereal Eyes Palette."

"On lips I'll use a fleshy lipliner like Mac's 'Subculture' and a tinted lip balm or oil, Rhode Peptide Lip Tint in 'Toast' and Summer Friday's Dream Lip Oil in 'Soft Mauve' are my go-tos."

"I don't like powder – it honestly makes me look about 100 years old and just dull. I set my makeup with By Terry's Hyaluronic Glow Setting Mist and I always carry Nudestix's Blot & Blur Matte Stick in my bag – it's a clear balm that tones down shine without making the skin look lifeless. This is one of those game-changing products I never want to be without! And when I really need my makeup not to budge, nothing beats L'Oreal Paris' Infallible 3-Second Setting Spray." 

Evening Skincare

Alessandra Steinherr's skincare © Alessandra Steinherr
Some of her go-to cleansers

"I double cleanse, first I'll remove my eye makeup with La Roche-Posay's Respectissime Eye Makeup Remover and I use Garnier's Micellar Water for my face and neck. Then I'll use a wash-off cleanser, currently it's Rhode's Pineapple Refresh."

"I then pat in Estée Lauder's Micro Essence and then I'll do a version of skin cycling, but in my own way (LA Dermatologist Dr Lancer put me onto this about 10 years ago!) I really go with what I feel my skin needs depending on how stressed I am, how well I ate, how much water I have drank, what climate I am in and what time of the month it is."

"Products on rotation are: Elizabeth Arden Retinol + HPR Ceramide Capsules, Allies of Skin's Multi Peptides & GF Advanced Lifting Serum, Chanel's Sublimage L'Extrait de Nuit, Lancôme's Rénergie H.C.F Triple Serum and Marie Reynolds' Bakuchiol, Peptide and Ceramide Complex and, of course, my beloved Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum."

"Eye cream at the moment is Chanel's Sublimage Eye Cream. Moisturisers are the same as I use in the morning, either La Mer or Augustinus Bader. In winter I may add a few drops of Omorovicza's Queen Oil as my last step. And two to three times a week I'll apply the QMS Hydro Foam Hydrating Recovery Mask and leave it on overnight. This is baby-soft skin guaranteed, it's heavenly for anyone with dry or stressed skin." 

Alessandra Steinherr applying skincare © Alessandra Steinherr
Alessandra doesn't have a set number of skincare steps as she's constantly testing new launches

"I am very careful with how I use and mix actives – I have always been in favour of looking after the skin barrier. This is something I learnt from when I was a junior beauty assistant – do not be aggressive with your skin! And it stuck. I know it goes against the current trend of actives, actives, actives – but skin is not a trend. I wish more people believed me and just treated their skin gently, it is better in the long run. Using actives in the right way for one's skin is key, and I know it's not always super easy when there is so much conflicting information out there. Personally, I can tell how far I can push my skin and when it reacts, I immediately go into repair mode."  

Going Out Makeup

Alessandra's evening makeup look usually includes a neutral lip © Alessandra Steinherr
Alessandra's evening makeup look usually includes a neutral lip

"For an evening event, I will maybe intensify my eyes and go for a soft smokey eye with a bit more mascara. I use Victoria Beckham Beauty's Lid Lustre in 'Mink' and the Satin Kajal Liner in 'Cinnamon'. Honestly, even if you think you can't do a smoky eye, with these two, you can! And when I feel a bit more ambitious, I'll use the Pat McGrath Mothership Moonlit Seduction palette – these are the most beautiful shadows I have ever seen, neutral but sexy."  

"I rarely wear a red lip - I like the look of it, but I just can't maintain it and if I'm at a dinner, I worry it'll smear. I like to match my lip colour, my lips are quite pink, so I tend to choose pinky-nude shades. Beige-nudes or browns make me look unwell. My most loved lip shades are Pat McGrath's 'Nude Romantique', Clarins' 'Nude Brick', Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in 'Boy', Makeup By Mario's 'Rosewood Glow' and Charlotte Tilbury's 'Candy Chic'." 

Quick-Fire Beauty Questions…

Which makeup trends or techniques are you currently obsessed with?

"I am in love with the makeup Dua Lipa wore at the Grammys - the makeup was by Lisa Eldridge, who is one of my favourite makeup artists. I love the way she layered bronzer high up on cheeks and over the bridge of the nose and added subtle lavender highlights. A dream." 

Which makeup mistake did you used to make and how can it be avoided?

"There are two things that I used to do and now that I tweaked them, my makeup looks way better. One is applying too much concealer – I always felt the urge to cover my undereye circles, but I realised that the heavy layers made them look worse. Applying less than you think you need looks so much fresher. The other is contour placement – we tend to apply it way too low, which can drag the cheek down, I now place it higher up, just on the cheekbone and it's much more lifting."

Are there any beauty hacks or time-saving tips you swear by for busy mornings?

"I love a hydrating tinted sunscreen – it saves so many steps and makes the skin glow. Then all I need is a cream bronzer, which I use on eyelids and to sculpt and warm skin, a tinted lip & cheek cream and then I use Maybelline's Lash Sensational Sky High Tinted Primer on my lashes and lightly in brows. Done!"

Which multitasking makeup products do you find particularly useful?

"There is this cute brand called Simihaze that makes a Sun Flush All-Over Face Tint in multiple shades that you can use anywhere: eyes, lips and cheeks."

How do you adjust your makeup routine for different seasons or weather conditions?

"In the warmer months I just tend to wear less makeup, definitely less layers and I make sure I use as many products that have SPF built in for daytime. I love a brand called Colorescience - they make a brilliant tinted eye cream and blushers with SPF. I had a cancerous mole removed from my face when I was 13 and since then I have been so, so vigilant in the sun."

Which upcoming beauty products or trends are you excited to try in your makeup routine? 

"I'm looking forward to the new Ren PHA Exfoliating Facial, which is formulated with acid-sensitive skins in mind and is so brightening and smoothing. I'm also excited to try the Milk Makeup Cooling Water Jelly Tints, I've seen them on TikTok and they look so fresh and flushy- perfect for spring-summer."