Top Beauty podcasts: The Guinea Pig and other favourites

We started with Serial, followed by The New Yorker, Oprah Winfrey and The HighLow but beauty podcasts are our latest favourites.  We meet Fiona Golfar, former Editor-at-Large at Vogue (and before that a makeup artist), and leading cosmetic surgeon Dr Maryam Zamani who have just started a very frank bi-weekly podcast about cosmetic procedures called The Guinea Pig. (We used to work with Fiona at Vogue and can vouch that she tells the funniest of stories and really is ready and willing to be Maryam’s guinea pig – this podcast is fun!)

Why did you set up the Guinea Pig Podcast?

FG: Maryam suggested the idea to me and it appealed because I have a punter’s interest and always liked our appointments. I liked how stylish she was and what a light touch she had. Never pushing me to do anything unnecessary for the sake of it.
MZ: About 18 months ago I became interested in listening to what others have to say, whether Ted Talks or other programs/podcasts and felt that there were so many influencers out there discussing some topics that I thought were a bit out of their depth.  I believe it is important and imperative that anyone thinking about doing certain treatments and procedures should be educated about the subject matter by experts in that field.  I had a natural chemistry with Fiona and thought it would be fun, educational and hopefully shed light on topics that may or may not be on the radar of the listener.

What are some of the subjects you have talked about and will be covering in the future?

FG: We will talk about everything from tummy tucks to beauty supplements, teeth whitening, Rosacea, fat busting and how to deal with incontinence. You name it we’ll talk about it!

Is there anything that you’ve had done cosmetically that you regret?

FG: Not yet! But I have had reactions to things I’ve done and it’s important to know how to handle that.
MZ: I haven’t either!  But like Fiona said, hopefully the point is to be educated about the procedure so you don’t have regrets later.

Does having botox/fillers hurt? 

FG: It can feel a little uncomfortable but it doesn’t hurt.
MZ: These procedures are done with needles and can feel like a little scratch but I do not even use topical anesthetic.  I have yet to have someone ask me to stop.

What is the procedure coming in the next year or two that you are most excited about?

FG: For me it’s the issue I’m currently researching. I only have to put the key in the front door and I’m peeing, so many women I know are suffering from this but it’s treatable. I’m going to Guinea Pig the options.

Which beauty products do you use the most?

FG: I use Maryam’s C Serum which I only discovered this year and I love the way it brightens my skin. Anything from the anti stress redness range from Avene is brilliant. Spectacle performance cream has a very clean deck of super active ingredients which brighten and hydrate without being greasy and has no alcohol or essential oils so it’s great for my sensitive skin as I suffer from Rosecea.  Only available via

Finally, I’ve never really worn foundations but I’ve recently started using Chanel Les Beiges Eau de Teint, a water fresh tint. It’s really sheer whilst giving my skin a bit of even coverage. Lucia Pica who designs Chanel make up is a genius. It’s so subtle.

Do you regularly see a facialist and who?

FG: I have seen Joanne Evans at Skinmatters for twenty years. She was into machines before anyone and gives an incredible facial massage. I am always asleep within moments of her laying hands on me.

Tell us 3 other beauty instagram feeds that you follow?

FG: @thetweakmentsguide by Alice Hart-Davis
@TheEditorsList by Olivia Falcon
@Skinmattersnottinghill by Joanne Evans

How do you think the beauty industry can offer more transparency?  Should it be more regulated?

MZ:  Actually I was just interviewed by the BBC on this exact matter.  Absolutely I think there needs to be more regulation on who can administer treatments.  Currently the guidelines are vague and sometimes injectors need only a few hours of training to be able to offer treatments because fillers, for instance, are not classified as a medical device.  While many treatments can go smoothly, there are potential devastating complications that can happen in the hands of a novice or someone who does not know how to identify and treat a potential complication efficiently and appropriately.  Transparency is necessary but I also think it is difficult for the patient to navigate and ask the questions they should.  I really hope that the podcast can aid in this aspect of the journey.

And if you want to explore beauty podcasts further then our recommendations are:

The Emma Guns Show: Emma Gunavardhana’s podcast covers everything from health and wellness to beauty and business – with frank, down-to-earth and funny practical tips, interviews from from Elizabeth Hurley to Michelle Visage and more.

The Beauty Brains: cosmetic scientists Perry Romanowki and Randy Schueller who analyse the industry’s fads, revealing what chemicals used in cosmetics really do, how products are tested, and what all the advertising really means.

George Northwood’s HedTalks:  top celebrity hairstylist, George Northwood talks candidly to some of his top clients including Anna Singh founder of Chinti + Parker, Vogue’s Jessica Diner and chef Nina Parker.

Beauty Full Lives: beauty blogger Madeline Spencer talks everything from Chinese medicine to adult acre and how to improve your smile, and interviews guests from Kylie Minogue to Bryony Gordon.

The Beauty of Vanity Now: this podcast was made by the now defunct Beauty Papers magazine in collaboration with Harvey Nichols. Listen to archive interviews with Bella Freud, Sam McKnight, Dr Yannis etc.

Fat Mascara: friends Jessica Matlin (beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar) and Jennifer Goldstein (beauty director at Marie Claire) spill the beans on the beauty industry.

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