What Fashion Week Is Really Like From a Fashion Insider (And the Best Way to Cope)

BY Andrew Aqui · February 8, 2016

Fashion Week Survival Kit - DermStore
Fashion Week should really be called Fashion Month. What kicks off in New York this week and sends fashion buyers and editors on a whirlwind of shows, showroom appointments and parties doesn’t end until mid-March after jumping the pond and strutting down the runways of London, Milan and Paris. The excitement of it all is both fun and taxing. As a buyer, I decide what will make it from the runway to a department store near you, interpreting the trends and fashions I see firsthand through shows for the everyday customer. I’m expected to put my best designer shoe-clad foot forward as I interface with brands, industry contacts and the occasional street-style photographer. While it can be a lot of fun, the stress and packed schedule takes its toll on even the most diligent fashionista’s skin. I tackle the monthlong marathon with a regimen that keeps me fresh-faced and fashion-forward. It can be incorporated into any lifestyle, whether you are a busy parent or working professional on the run or the runway!

1. Prep With a Peel
I am firm believer in chemical peels as a way to exfoliate and shed dull skin. I see my dermatologist monthly for either salicylic or glycolic medical-grade peels. A well-timed peel one week before Fashion Week allows enough time for redness and flaking to run its course. My skin is left soft and glowing. I maintain this by using Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel in between dermatologist-administered peels.

2. Make It a Point to Moisturize
I moisturize like it was my job, and Fashion Week is as good a time as any to remind myself to stick to a rich routine. After cleansing with my Clarisonic and a gentle face wash like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, I use a toner to remove any remaining dirt or oil. I love Phytomer’s Rosee Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion because it doesn’t contain any alcohol and is gentle on my skin. I follow this with SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Hydrating B5 Gel. Then I use a rich moisturizer like Avène’s Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream. Creams are usually thicker and better suited for winter weather. This one is potent enough that I don’t have to reapply throughout the day, and it keeps my skin hydrated as I battle the dry New York air. An eye cream like La Roche-Posay Active C gives my eyes some extra TLC. And finally, since my moisturizer doesn’t have SPF, my last step is sunscreen. I love SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense Sunscreen because it is lightweight enough to go on top of these other moisturizing steps without feeling heavy.

3. Refresh on the Run
After many hours spent writing orders in between shows and showroom appointments, my day is usually not yet over, and I need a quick refresh before heading to an industry party or dinner with a vendor. For my skin, I love facial mists as a quick way to feel refreshed. Just a few sprays of Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist or Avène’s Thermal Spring Water and I’m ready to go. I keep a small tube of Marvis toothpaste at my desk for a quick trip to the restroom to freshen my breath too!

4. Take a Moment for Masks
Face Masks are a fun and easy way to pamper my tired skin when I may not be getting as much sleep as I’d like. I love the 3Lab Perfect Mask. Sheet masks are easy to put on before bed at the end of a long day, and the packets are also convenient to travel with and use in flight. It feels like a treat to wear them and gives me a moment to rest and reflect on another hard but fun day of work that lies ahead!

READERS—Was this article helpful? What skin care products do you use to keep your skin in tiptop shape during a busy week? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Andrew Aqui

Andrew Aqui is a Harvard-trained lawyer turned luxury fashion buyer based in New York City. His love of fashion is rivaled only by his passion for anything related to skin care and grooming. Follow Andrew at gr... Read More >