As beauty products seem to get more and more sophisticated there seem to be a greater number of them. Every beauty brand has their own serum, moisturiser, primer etc.
Here are the 10 beauty products that every woman needs, including some of the best cosmetics, new and best selling. Take your pick.
1. The face serum.
This is really where it’s worth investing a bit and where you can’t take short cuts. Although if you go to the beauty counter they’ll slather on masses of this stuff I only use a very little for good results and my bottle lasts for ages. Favourite at the moment is Clarins Mission Perfection Serum which I recently found in Paris and isn’t that easy to buy here. It has a lovely consistency, no fragrance, and creates a radiant film for what comes next.
Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Booster serum is slightly more expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. It’s a clear liquid serum containing 30% hyaluronic acid and dual-action peptides plus antioxidants. Serums don’t get much better than this.
The point of serums is that they contain concentrated, targeted anti-aging ingredients that you couldn’t find all together with your moisturiser. From brown spots to discolouration to brightness they are aimed at improving your skin tone all round – and it’s never too soon to start. The words anti-aging seem to put some people off, however the sooner you start adding a serum to your routine the sooner you’ll see results that will continue and improve with time.
Serums take a few seconds to apply and you should use morning and evening. Thankfully you only need one….
2. The Eye Lift/Serum
Having put something expensive and very special on your face you also need to concentrate on the eye area. Dr Sebagh’s Eye Primer Lift has an instant tightening and brightening effect. Use this first thing or before going out.
Another one to try from a brand I love is Clarins Extra Firming Eye Lift Serum, designed to revitalise and help with dark circles. The point of these two is that they will give you an instant improvement to the eye area as well as provide long term benefits.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t use an eye cream but for a fast beauty fix these are both excellent. Again you need very little to use both under the eye and on the contour above.
Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum is my all time favourite for night time. It comes in gel form and works to reduce lines and wrinkles while you sleep.
3. Eye Creams
Some people say that you don't necessarily need a different cream for your eyes than for your face. However this is an area that you really need to concentrate on as the skin is thinner than on the rest of your face, and there are some excellent eye creams out there that help you to do just that.
Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream is an all time best seller concentrating on lines, wrinkles and dark circles. You can use this one morning and night.
Another one to try and again highly rated is Clinique’s Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20, which offers you protection as well as brightening. This helps to defend the eye area from visible aging and comes in a handy tube so you can take it anywhere with you.
My personal favourite for day and night is Lancome Absolue Yeux Premium. It has a lovely consistency and is designed to replenish moisture and firmness and increase radiance.
Another step you can’t miss or combine. There are so many moisturisers out there, all promising to provide huge benefits. As far as anti-aging is concerned, and again it’s really worth investing here, I love Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream and if I’m willing to have a splurge, Lancome’s Absolue Premium BX SPF 15. Another excellent moisturiser with SPF 20 is Clinique Superdefense.
Note: If you’re a Lancome fan it’s worth looking out for the Lancome Gift with Purchase which you can find particularly at House of Fraser and John Lewis at certain times of year and where you may well get a pot of the very expensive Absolue Premium day and night moisturisers for spending a minimum amount on your cleanser or makeup.
I will confess that when I’m in a hurry this is one step I frequently miss out and then regret later, as a really good primer does help your makeup last the day. I particularly like Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer which goes on incredibly smoothly, evens out your skin tone and helps the rest of your makeup stay in place. There’s also a Eve Lom primer with SPF 30 which I take away with me.
Equally Laura Mercier has wonderful primers offering SPF or extra radiance depending on what you’re looking for, and at a lower price than Eve Lom (but who can resist that packaging?) The texture is like a creamy gel and a delight to apply. It also does exactly what it says on the tin.
6. Foundation – Compact or Liquid
For ease of application, speed, portability and coverage I don’t think that anything beats a compact foundation. Favourite long lasting compact foundation and the one which I take everywhere with me, is Bobbi Brown’s Even Skin Long Wear compact foundation.
For a liquid foundation alternative I don’t think you can beat Lancome Teint Idole 24H foundation which really has long lasting qualities. I’ve tried others and have always come back to this, for consistency (not too thin and not too thick) and coverage.
Of course you need to go the makeup counter first to make sure you have the right foundation colour, after which you can order online. Be sure to test any shade in daylight. Shop lighting will make everything just that little bit more yellow, and what you think is the perfect colour may turn out to be something completely different when you get it home so go to the daylight with a mirror and check the colour before buying.
Foundation and concealer combined.
If like me you like double-duty products you might like to try Clinique’s Beyond Perfection Powder Foundation and Concealer in 1. This also comes in liquid form. The point is that you can adjust the coverage to be lighter or heavier where you need it and don’t have to use two products.
I am a concealer tester and collector as I’m always looking for something new and better. So there are several favourites. Firstly bestselling old favourite Estee Lauder Flawless Double Wear Concealer is hard to beat. It’s a liquid type concealer rather than a stick, but it’s easy to apply and gives excellent coverage. It’s also reasonably priced.
If you want a stick concealer in luxury packaging look no further than Hourglass. Their Hidden Corrective Concealer not only comes in an easy to apply stick, is moisturising as well as concealing and doesn’t go caky after time, it’s also beautifully presented as you’d expect from this brand. I take mine everywhere.
A relatively new kid on the block, Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder is in a translucent shade that suits everyone. It reduces shine without creating a matte effect, and helps your makeup stay fresh. This is an excellent powder and once you’ve tried it you may well not want to go back to anything else.
This was tried on me recently at SpaceNK and I was happy to find my makeup still in place at the end of the day. There are plenty of powders to choose from that will, for a shortish time, remove shine entirely, but this creates the most natural look I’ve found.
Another powder to fall in love with is Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Finish Micro Powder, and not just because of the gorgeous compact. This powder blurs imperfections and fine lines and helps give a flawless look to your makeup.
9. Blusher and highlighter
Too much glitter or shimmer can be ageing, and who wants this in the morning anyway? My favourite blush of all time is Nars Orgasm, which, as their best selling blush seems to be an excellent colour for everyone (and there’s a whole range from cream blush to nail polish). Alternatively, if you like more of a subtle glow than a flushed blush you should try Clinique blushing powder blush in Aglow.
A double duty cheek and lip offering is Aerin’s Multi Colour Cheek and Lip in Natural. This is a creamy formula where you need to build the colour up carefully to avoid overloading, but the packaging alone makes you want to get your hands on this one, combine that with a product that can multi task and it becomes irresistible.
Finally for the perfect three in one, blush, highlight and bronzer or sculpt, take a look at Shiseido’s Face Colour Enhancing Trio which has a blush, highlighter and bronzer or sculpting colour –whichever you want to call it.
This comes in three shades, the one I’ve shown is Apple, which should suit everyone, there are also darker and more subtle shades.
10. Eyes – Liner, Shadow and Mascara
There are two ways to go with this, particularly if you’re in a hurry. Favourite eye pencil particularly as a liner with a smoky finish in the morning is Clinique Quickliner Eyes Intense – a self sharpening pencil with a smudger at one end. This is a richly pigmented pencil where you can apply as little or as much as you want and it really does last all day. There are also lots of colours to choose from.
Alternatively there’s the temptation of Bobbi Brown’s Rich Caramel Eye Palette which also comes in Greystone. It also has it’s own double ended eye liner and shadow brush. You can use this for the liner alone of build up colour for day or night. Again this is an extremely tempting palette – Bobbi Brown colours are always highly pigmented so they give a deeper and richer colour. And you can be sure it’ll disappear before Christmas as it’s perfect for gifts as well.
Here I have two favourites and neither of these is new but both best selling and tried and tested.
Firstly Lancome’s Hypnose Mascara is famous for volume, length and depth of colour, you can choose from the full range here. There are so many mascaras out there and no doubt you have your own favourite, but you can’t go wrong, when you want to update, with this one.
Alternatively try Benefit They’re Real mascara, another all time bestseller and reasonably priced. You may need a special remover for this one as its staying power is famous.