Samantha Silver is 32, and one of the industry’s leading Beauty Directors. From chatting to celebs about their makeup routines to trialing new treatments, her life in beauty is definitely one that’ll make you green with envy. She’s also a mom of one and co-founder of This Is Mothership, the destination site for style hungry moms, with her partner and stylist to the stars, Gemma Rose Breger.
Samantha talked to Ursula Brunetti from Mind Beauty Style to learn about her beauty cabinet must-haves as well as how she made it as one of the most respected voices in beauty. (Make sure you take notes on her skin care faves!)
I grew up in the beauty industry. My mother owned three beauty salons when I was young and I spent a lot of time there. From the age of 14 I worked on reception for her on Saturdays. My first skincare was by Decleor and I always had my nails painted. I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, but I didn’t know that beauty journalism was a thing. Once summer while I was at University I was interning in the fashion cupboard at Glamour magazine and I was asked to help out on the beauty desk. Suddenly all of this knowledge that I’d absorbed growing up was really relevant. That was when I realized that ‘this’ was what I wanted to do.
How I did it
I studied English Literature at University followed by an MA in International Journalism. I made a dedicated effort to intern during every University break so I had a lot of experience on my CV by the time I finished studying. I moved straight to London and was lucky enough to get a paid internship at Psychologies magazine on the beauty desk. These kind of roles were so great for learning and getting a foot in the door, it’s such a shame that they don’t really exist anymore.
I met so many of my contemporaries when we were in these positions and we’ve all risen up through the ranks together. I ended up at Psychologies for 18 months, I gained great shoot experience, invaluable interview skills and started building up my contacts book. From there I did a brief stint at Grazia and then I landed the Beauty Assistant role at Company magazine. That was such a fun magazine, we were all young and hungry for our roles and I have such great memories from those years.
Two and a half years later I was offered the Deputy Beauty Editor role at Stylist, I was then promoted to Beauty Editor and then Beauty Director. I was at Stylist for six fabulous years before I left last month.
Launching the mothership
This is Mothership was born because my friend, celebrity stylist, Gemma and I both felt that there was a lack of information out there for new moms who were into fashion and beauty. There was nothing out there speaking to us. So we decided to fill it. You’ll find lots of quick beauty tricks and styling tips from two industry experts with 20+ combined years in the industry. You don’t have time to make mistakes so we cut through the crap and bring you the real products that work and the way to style your body that will make the best of what you have.
Oh god, this is a hard one – I could never choose between hair, skin or makeup… I love nothing more than a blow dry, I feel like with glossy hair you look like you have your shit together. But then if your skin looks crap then you have no chance. Basically, I need an equal balance of all three.
Ask any beauty editor and they will tell you that their skincare routine looks different every day. It’s a perk, but also a downside to the job, that we have to try new things all the time so often you make mistakes or you don’t use something long enough to see the full extent of its brilliance. There are a few skin care favourites I always come back to though: Skinceuticals Blemish and Age Cleanser ($37.91) and Ferulic Acid ($143.78), Sisley Black Rose Mask ($162.00), Elemis Marine Cream ($128.00), Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex ($60.00).
I’m really into Drunk Elephant skincare at the moment and I’m loving their C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00). Glossier skin care just landed on my doorstep so I’m looking forward to playing with that tonight. In terms of treating my skin, I love nothing more than a good facial with Nichola Joss or Abigail James. Finding the time is a bit tricky these days. One of my secret ways to make beauty discoveries is to follow beauty journalists from different countries, that’s how I find out about new and niche launches elsewhere.
I get my hair coloured at Josh Wood. Sibi Bolan colored it for me in May and we went for a low maintenance kind of color with subtle tones that look better the more grown out it gets. I don’t have time to visit the salon monthly for touch ups so this is really important to me. I am obsessed with Redken Sky High Volume ($11.40) (I think it’s called) shampoo and conditioner or L’Oreal Fibrology.
Anything for volume! I wash it every three days at the moment so dry shampoo is my best friend. And I couldn’t tell you when I last had it cut. I’m seeing Adam Reed in two weeks for a well-needed cut and I cannot wait.
If I had to choose a handful of makeup products that I couldn’t live without, I’d go for Becca’s under eye brightener is a god send for knackered moms, Creme de la Mer Concealer ($75.00) is a hidden secret it really is one of the best, I’m obsessed with Estee Lauder Double Wear Light ($39.50) for foundation that isn’t eaten by your face by 3 pm and Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner is really genius!
I love trying out products from different brands, everything in my makeup bag comes from everywhere!
I’d call my signature makeup look “Quick.” I do it in 2 minutes and 17 seconds! A glowy, bronzed base, a flick of liner and a touch of blush. I’m done.
Photo: Sarah Brimley/Stylist Magazine
Read more of As Told to MBS column, over here.