Beauty secrets you won’t find anywhere else

She’s been poked, prodded and pampered.

It’s all in a lifetime of work for beauty editor Stephanie Darling who has spent the last 30 years being experimented on, so we don’t have to.

She’s put everything she knows about beauty procedures from botox to the vampire facial and product information from foundations to sunscreens in her new book Secrets of a Beauty Queen.

Stephanie has worked for Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Mode Magazine so there’s a lot of information to share.

She says she’s probably had every beauty procedure done.

“I am always putting my body on the line for my beloved reader,” she writes.

The book is a trip down memory lane and the memories are worth sharing. It’s refreshingly honest filled with anecdotes of bad hairstyles, meeting Jane Fonda, having her makeup done by Bobbi Brown and being propositioned in a Rio de Janeiro hotel room by a porter.

“The process was deeply cathartic and made me realise more than ever, that I have the best job in the world,” Stephanie says.

“There was a mountain of work involved pulling it all together and piecing together all the tips and information along with the memoir element.”

One of those memories is experimenting with hairstyles and ending up with a mullet.

“Yes I looked like a racoon and not in a good way,” she writes in the book.

“Looking back on it, I really should have had the courage to say that it was an epic fail and could they (the hairdressers) please fix it.”

She also had botox at 32.

“It is the gold standard for relaxing wrinkles as it blocks the signals between your facial nerves and superficial muscles.”

Then there’s the injectables, eyebrow tattoos, equine therapy, liposculpture and eyelash transplants she’s also had.

Stephanie is big on appearance but it’s not about vanity. She says it’s about feeling empowered and feeling good.

“If you look groomed and polished, you will always have the first impression advantage,” she writes.

Her beauty motto: “always be at the ready, you never know when you might run into an old boyfriend.”

Less is more for the beauty guru who, when it comes to makeup, believes a flawless base is the best place to start and that means moisturising – even more important now we’ve hit Winter.

Pic: Mecca

Pic: Mecca

“Winter beauty care is all about hydration as skin and hair can get pretty parched,” she says.

“Change up your beauty routines to include serums with good moisture boosting properties and don’t forget the sunscreen no matter what season it is.

“Also change up your fragrance and think about looking at scents with an oriental flavour to give more depth and warmth.”

Two of my favourite sections in the book are the “terms and conditioners” which is the A to Z of hair care advice and Stephanie’s top 100 products including serums, eye makeup remover, masks, oils, tweezers, makeup brushes, fake tans, shampoo and hair treatments.

“I hope it will make people laugh out loud and also get swept away by the places I have visited and the celebrities I have interviewed as well as the depth of knowledge I have gleaned,” she says.

“This book really is two books in one; a beauty memoir as well as a beauty fact bible.”

Pic of Stephanie: Justin Ridler