Allure EIC Michelle Lee On Her Latest Beauty Obsessions

Want to freshen up your #shelfie game? Introducing What’s COOL, your no-fail guide to the beautyscape, from the must-have products of the moment to the must-know trends, courtesy of our stylish friends and in-the-know experts.


If there’s one person who truly knows about beauty, it’s Michelle Lee. As the Editor in Chief of Allure, Lee knows everything there is to know about cosmetics, skincare, hair care, and especially nail care (if you follow her on Instagram, then you already know she’s obsessed with nails).  She’s also tried just about everything: from the latest beauty launches to more intense experiments like Fraxel treatments, she’s done it all.


So, out of all of the things Lee has played with in the name of beauty, what does she truly love? A K-Beauty double cleanse, light citrus scents, and “pretty punky” ensembles. Below, we take a deep dive on all of her current obsessions.



The one beauty trend you’re currently obsessed with:

“I’m really excited about stacked hair accessories: sparkly hair clips, barrettes, fancy bobby pins. After years of short hair, I’ve been growing mine out, so it’s perfect timing for a little embellishment.”


Your favorite scent:

“I have two current favorites: one is Le Labo Bergamote 22, which is a bright citrus; the other is Louis Vuitton Le Jours se Leve, which is also fresh and light with a mandarin base. As you can tell, my favorites lean toward clean, light, and citrus.”


The one product/trend you’d never try:

“I’m pretty adventurous and willing to try most things once, as long as they’re not too permanent. I’d stop short of saying ‘never,’ but I don’t think I’ll ever try dermaplaning, which is essentially shaving off the peach fuzz and the top layer of skin on your face to exfoliate deeply and create a smooth base. I know people who swear by it but I’m just too scared that my hair will grow back thicker or I’ll end up with horrible razor bumps.”


One product or trend you can’t live without:

“Cleanser for sure. I do the Korean double-cleanse every night. Right now, I’m using Then I Met You which has a cleansing balm followed by a gentle foaming cleanser. I absolutely have to wash my face every night or I can’t go to sleep.”


Favorite accounts to follow on Instagram:

“I’m a major nail art fanatic so I have a bunch of nail accounts I’m inspired by like @nail_unistella, @misspopnails, and @mpnails. Plus, I pretty consistently love @tinygentleasians.”



Favorite brands you’re loving RN:

“For beauty, I love so many brands it’s hard to narrow it down. But I’m a big fan of Tatcha, Drunk Elephant, Revive. My favorite mascara is Lancome Monsieur Big and favorite eyeliner is MAC Brushstroke, so I’m also a fan of the bigger, established brands, too.”


Go-to uniform:

“My look is different every day, but I do love dresses. I just find them easy. I usually describe my style as ‘pretty punky.’ I feel odd in anything too frilly so I like to edge it up with something tough, like a leather jacket or a spiky boot. I like the juxtaposition.”


Favorite Saturday night activity:

“Watching Netflix in bed with a big glass of red wine!”


Your current Netflix binge:

“I loved every second of The Good Place and binged Killing Eve in record time because it was so good.”


The one celebrity you want to get a manicure with:

“I was close to saying Rihanna or Beyonce but, honestly, I think I’d choose Michelle Obama. Imagine the stories!”


Your daily beauty routine:

“I do about six steps of skin care in the morning and evening, which includes things like essence, serums, eye gel/cream, moisturizer, SPF every morning. One of the products I use both a.m. and p.m. is Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum, which has made a nice difference in my skin. On weekdays, I do a full makeup routine but often go makeup-free on weekends. Part of my job is testing beauty products, so I have a whole box filled with eyeshadow palettes. I’ll let the mood strike me each morning to figure out which one to use. My go-to look is typically winged liner, so that’s pretty standard while everything else, like lip color, changes day by day.”


Your biggest style inspiration:

“I really find inspiration from a lot of people and sources. I love the style of Giovanna Battaglia, Yasmin Sewell, Babba Rivera, Sophia Amoruso, Natalie Joos, Jenna Lyons. I keep a constantly evolving Pinterest board of outfit inspo and love to see how people pair mismatched patterns or colors or how they wear interesting layers.”


Anything online that you order in bulk:

“I don’t really order them in bulk but I’m pretty crazy for pimple patches. Cosrx and Mighty Patch are good ones. If you don’t know, these are small circular hydrocolloid stickers that go over blemishes. Depending on the type of blemish (if it’s not a deeper cystic one), the patch magically makes some spots disappear overnight.“


A hobby you’ve just gotten into:

“No weird hobbies. But I can really nerd out when learning new things, whether it’s photography or web site design. I love that type of thing.”



Bergamote 22 Eau De Parfum 100ml



Le Jour Se Lève



Living Cleansing Balm



Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel



Violet-C Radiance Mask



TLC Sukari Babyfacial Mask



Rescue Elixir



Monsieur Big Mascara



MAC Brushstroke Liner -



C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum



Acne Pimple Master Patch in Beauty: NA.



The Original, 36 Patches


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