Alex Steinherr for Primark


Don’t call Alessandra Steinherr an ‘influencer’. She is, of course – one of the most influential out there. But as the world slowly wakes up to the fact that ‘influencers’ know what makes a good picture, but don’t necessarily know what makes a product great, or why we should be using it, or what it’ll do for us (actually, don’t get us started), the focus is turning again to people who have deep knowledge of their subject. (Hallelujah.)

We like to think that includes us (over 50 years of beauty editing between us), but it certainly applies to Alex, who for many years was Glamour’s beauty editor. (And who we hung out with at many a launch and on many a beauty trip.)

She’s now used all her deep wisdom about skincare to create a fantastic range for Primark – nothing over a fiver, beauty-hounds! – and a second wave of products just hit the shelves, designed to help combat the negative effects of pollution on the skin. Hopefully, they’ll have the stock levels sorted this time round, because the first collection sold out before we could even write about it. It’s been restocked now, though.)

We don’t know how they do it for the price, honestly. There are some absolutely fantastic products in there, and after a few weeks of playing with them in our own time, here’s what we’d head back to Primark to buy again. (And believe us, it takes a lot to get us into a Primark store.)

Dual-Texture Exfoliating Pads/£5 – lightly textured, these are infused with a teeny bit of lactic acid, to combat dryness. Sweep over the face for brighter skin (they really do work quickly, and without irritation).

Plump & Glow Plumping Lipgloss/£5 – we completely love this lightly shimmering gloss, which isn’t sticky and doesn’t tingle (both pet hates of ours), but leaves lips looking prettily poutier.

Oil-Free Gel Hydrator/£5 – we don’t have oily skin (our complexions are dry), but even we get a sense of comfort from this skin-smoothing gel. If you’ve oily skin, we think you’ll be even happier with it.

Plump & Glow Facial in a Stick/£5 – bloody brilliant. Packed with hyaluronic acid, dragon fruit and cactus fruit extracts, it glides onto the skin to melt away make-up but can also be used as a moisturising stick, or even slathered more generously, we find, as a quenching mask.

Maximum Moisture Sheet Mask/£3 – Alex certainly knows her stuff about Korean skincare, which is heavy on the sheet masks (and if you follow her Instagram @alexsteinherr you’ll see she’s not shy of modeling them). We still prefer to do ours so nobody can see, because sheet masks can be a bit scare-the-horses, but this is the most fantastic, complexion-plumping drink for thirsty skin.

By the way, all the products are suitable for vegans, cruelty-free (we’d expect nothing less) and fragrance-free. Fragrances in inexpensive products, in particular, can be highly divisive – so a smart move of Alex (and we’d expect nothing less) to go down that route.

Get ready to flash those fivers.

And head to Primark now…