Welcome to Stylist’s Pretty Damn Good, a weekly series in which different women share the one product – across hair care, skincare, make-up, body and fragrance – that remains a forever staple in their beauty routine.
With the growth of social media, you might find that every platform is saturated with information, recommendations and reviews – but there’s one account that really cuts through the noise. Rose Gallagher is the founder of blog Rose Gallagher: The Everyday Girl’s Guide To Beauty (though you may remember it as Mixed Gems Beauty) and alongside her growing social media platforms, the make-up artist and beauty blogger has built platforms that not only provide helpful beauty tips but also inspire positive change.
So where did it all start? While studying English at university in Liverpool, Rose began a blog dedicated to her love for make-up. It was here that she frequently visited a family-run salon called Peaches and Cream. After spotting her enthusiasm every time she entered the store, they asked Rose if she would join the team as a professional make-up artist and soon after, she began training and honing her skills.
After graduating, Rose was set on following a career as a beauty journalist and completed internships at some of the industry’s biggest titles. Unfortunately, though, no beauty journalist roles were available at the time but Rose remembered a quote she once saw. “It was by Dawn O’Porter and she said: ‘if you want to be a writer, just write every day,’” Rose remembers. “And so I just thought: ‘okay, I want to write about beauty. I’m just going to do it, even if it is on my own blog and a job doesn’t work out’.”
Alongside writing her blog, Rose worked in various roles including Ilamasqua’s head office and a personal beauty shopper for Selfridges. But the busy nature of her day job alongside growing a blog left Rose exhausted. “I was a bit like, the blog takes up so much time, I either need to really put my all into this, or I need to think about whether I want to continue to do it,” she says. “Because I had no work/life balance. I never used to get as much time with my friends and family as I wanted.”
Noting that she was in a fortunate position and living at home with her parents, Rose made the decision to hand in her notice and give her full-time attention to the blog. From there, her hard work has seen her become an IT Cosmetics brand ambassador (she actually received the call straight after handing in her notice), and it’s a role she continues today.
Over the years, Rose has built an audience that trusts her and it’s clear to see why. Her incredible make-up skills and honest opinions are the makings of all you could want in a beauty expert. Plus, her witty humour and warm personality make it feel like you’re watching a friend. Which is why Rose’s podcast Beauty from the Heart has been such a hit. The podcast is all about shining a light on incredible people within the beauty industry and highlighting the good things they’re doing. Guests have included Bobbi Brown, Val Garland and Sali Hughes, while a new third series has so far seen Juno Dawson and Laura Jackson join Rose.
With professional make-up training, eight years of blogging and a third podcast series under her belt, it’s far to say that Rose knows a lot about beauty. Here, she talks to Stylist.co.uk about the one product she currently can’t go without.
“I think it’s great we are all absorbing so much information about skincare but I also think there’s a time and place for: ‘you know what? I can’t be bothered with wading through all that information. Can I just have a simple moisturiser that does the job please?”
“And that is where Kate Somerville’s DeliKate Recovery Cream, £69 comes in.
“It is so simple. It’s fragrance-free, buttery, rich, nourishing – essentially, just a great boost of hydration and some comfort for your skin. During this time of year it is everything that you need. Plus, nothing in it is going to irritate a majority of skin types. The formula was developed with very sensitised and sensitive skin in mind and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anybody of any skin type.
“I was actually introduced to it at the start of the first lockdown. A friend of mine works at Kate Somerville and she knows I have rosacea and sent it to me to try. To be honest with you, I often get to try lots of products that claim to be suitable for people with rosacea and a lot of the time, lots of brands do much the same. They’re often fragrance-free, essential oil-free, things like that. But I just felt that this particular moisturiser was so hydrating, as well as not being irritating. That’s what made it stand out from other products I’ve tried for my rosacea.
“Since discovering it in April, I’m on my third pot. The minute I run out of it, I buy it again. It’s brilliant. Even though we’re so lucky with the job I do, I’m always been given things to try. But I will happily just go out and buy that one again. I absolutely love it. I really I do trust the brand, too. [The brand’s founder] Kate Somerville has her own practice. She’s looking at people’s skin all the time. I like it when people are making products based on their experience of speaking to people everyday.
“My main skin needs are something that will help to calm redness and also hydrate my skin without exacerbating redness. This moisturiser is packed with ceramides and is really great at repairing the skin barrier. And to be honest with you, I really like that it’s quite a rich cream. I go for a walk everyday and have been since we first entered lockdown in March. If you’re going to be in a central heated house and then going out into the freezing cold, you really need that extra rich layer so that your skin isn’t driven mad by the clash of the elements.
“When I use it, I dispense a marrowfat pea-sized amount. Because it’s quite rich, I like to warm the moisturiser between my hands and then work into my skin. A couple of times a week, I’ll mix tanning drops in with it. It’s amazing – if you use something too rich with tanning drops, it kind of dilutes the tan but this is still really hydrating and buttery and the power of the tanning drops isn’t compromised.
“Funnily enough, I first grew a love for skincare when I was doing my internships. I was so hell-bent on becoming a beauty journalist and all I really cared about was make-up. Years ago, during one internship, I was given Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish to try. Prior to that, I only used baby wipes – it hadn’t occurred to me that there was anything else to take make-up off with. Cleanse and Polish was the beginning of my whole foray into skincare and then I absolutely became obsessed.
“Now, I always do a skincare routine twice a day. I keep it really simple in the morning, to be honest with you, I do a really light cleanse, and probably just a moisturiser and SPF. That’s the end of that. In the evening, I’ll spend a little bit more time on my routine but once I’m finished for the day and I’m not going anywhere, I’ll take my makeup straight off. So if that’s in the afternoon, then I clean my skin in the afternoon. And if I’m especially dry, I might make a point of leaving a moisturiser in the living room. That way, if I’m watching a bit of TV, I can top up my moisturiser because sometimes my skin can literally go like sandpaper. This moisturiser is great for that and that’s why I love it, it’s just so simple and good.”
Main image: Rose Gallagher/courtesy of brand