Now, for both girls and guys alike, having good staple beauty pieces is pretty crucial in my opinion. Sure, testing out new makeup pieces, shower gels, shampoos and skin products is really fun, as you can discover new textures, fragrences and routines that you like. But to have ones that you can easily fallback on, and just go into any shop is buy is always a comfort, especially if you’re travelling away and just want a little taste of home.
So, I thought I’d list my ones. Just for all those who are curious about my opinions on beauty, makeup and skin products, and for those who want a good, honest review on some of the high-streets brands.
1: No.7 Stay Perfect in 5: Classic Rose
I found this little beauty after being sent down a Christmas package from my grandma. She had been given this as a gift, but it was unused and needed a good home. And before you get turned off, thinking it’s too ‘old’ because it was originally bought for an 80-year-old, No.7 is a highly-reputable brand, with millions of die-hard fans around the world. Also, it’s bridging that gap between the higher ends of makeup – Like MAC and Charlotte Tilbury, and equally as good brands, like Max Factor and Collection 2000.
To me, Classic Rose is what is says on the tin. It’s a perfect rosy pink lipstick. It doesn’t appear too brash, or standout from your natural lip colour. And just adds a fresh pop of pink to your lips without looking too overdone. And it also blends on well with my ‘Rose’ lip pencil. The colour isn’t necessarily moisturising, nor is it matte, but it has the best of both lipstick types. And for an everyday lipstick, it does last fairly well. However, be warned. It does have the ability to smudge. And when it does that, it does look like it cause a lot of mess. Also – apps the same caution for kissing, drinking and eating.
But I love this lipstick so much, I’ve bought a backup. As you can’t buy it in shops, but only online.
2: No. 7 Extreme Length Mascara.
Finding the right mascara is probably like finding the right pair of shoes. There’s so many options, so many styles and so many brands that all equally as good reviews. And I’ve gone through Maybelline, Max Factor, Rimmel, Collection and even the stupid ones you get off the front of magazines. And so far, I’ve found a mascara that suits my particular eyelashes perfectly. No. 7’s Extreme Length isn’t a newest mascara going, but it consistently gives out good results. I am lucky that I am blessed with pretty long lashes anyway, but this mascara not only makes them fluttery fans of loveliness, but with the unique design of having flexible brush ends, the grip and open up your lashes to the maximum possible level. It also isn’t too expensive – £12.50 for a tube, and this seems to last a long while. Now, I know this is more than a normal high-street mascara, but it does bridge the gap between high street and high end, without really breaking the bank.
I have noticed a massive difference when I put it on, as even if I put it on without a full face of makeup, I look more awake and less like a exhausted zombie. And the good thing about this is that it’s a lovely quality one, without having that high price, and doesn’t leave you with panda eyes in the night. There is a waterproof version as well for all you frequent criers, swimmers or just people living in a rainy area.
3: Denman D3 Classic Styling Brush
My eyes – one on the left has two coats of mascara, and one on right has none.
Known as one of the most ‘famous styling brushes in the world’, and with a history going back nearly forty years, Denman brushes have always been a classic staple in the hairdressing world, and have yet to be replaced by fancier and new tools. I have three Denman brushes – one which I bought myself, one which is a small pocket one, and one that is over thirty years old, and yet still is in fantastic condition. So, as you can see, I use Denman for every part of my hairstyling routine. The brush – which the classic one is sold at the fantastically cheap price at £6-7 – hasn’t changed in design in the past twenty years, and for good reason why. With smooth, rounded edge nylon pins, and a staggered design, it provides a fantastic styling tool for everyday and night styles, and the style of the brush makes it hygenic and comfortable in your hand to hold onto.
I have gone through loads of brushes, as my hair is not only long and thick, so it needs a really durable brush to tame it. And I have never been let down by my Classic Styling Brush. I actually panic when I lose it, because I don’t want to subject my locks to the pulling, and bad quality of my other backup brushes.
This brush really is a classic for a reason!
4: Dove Purely Pampering Cream Oil Body Wash.
Like my favourite lipstick, this product is a rarity. You cannot find it for love nor money in boots, and the only reliable places I’ve got it from is Asda and Poundstretcher. But when I find it, I stock up. I have used this body wash for about ten years now, and I go through bottle after bottle in a very short amount of time. With only the smallest amount, this body wash lathers up really well, and the scent is not overpowering but rather a subtle, vanilla, jasmine and honey essence that makes your body smell gorgeous afterwards. It is also very moisturising, and does make the harder skin of elbows and feel feel a lot softer after the bath, but also doesn’t leave any residue or stickiness on your skin after a bath or shower. This is also really good for doubling up as shaving cream, and you only need the smallest amount on a loofah or a sponge. Also, one thing that I struggle with is how sensitive my skin is, as a lot of shower creams make me come up in a rash or just generally feeling very uncomfortable. But I’ve never experienced this with Dove as a company. Like I said, this is very difficult to get hold of nowadays, but the rest of the Dove Body Washes are equally as good, and come in a range of scents and textures that you could pick from.
5: Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent.
I love a lot of what Rimmel does. Their Kate Moss brand will also feature in this blog post, and I find their foundations to be pretty good for a makeup product under £10. But this is the pinnacle of my favourite Rimmel product. Their Stay Matte Pressed Powder minimises the appearance of pores, hides shine for the majority of the day, and even if you just apply it without foundation, it makes you look slightly more flawless and put together. I’m lucky to just have a combination skin type, which probably means that I don’t have to use a pressed powder if I didn’t want too, but I prefer the matte look of foundation above any other types, and I just find that this powder hides a multitude of sins, as well as covering up rosy cheeks (from which I suffer from) and red blemishes. It also doesn’t clog your pores in a way that some powders can do, and it sets foundation in a pretty flawless manner. And for the cheap price of £3.99, who could resist it?
6: Paul Smith’s Rose Eau de Parfum
Perfume is my addiction. I have so many perfumes, ranging from cheap Lacoste stuff to Chanel No. 5 to Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique. But you need a scent that will surpass any season, any time of the day and any occassion. And Paul Smith’s Rose is that one. The scent of wild roses is one of my favourite smells ever, as I grew up with getting rose talcum powder every birthday and Christmas from my grandma. But like many perfumes, having artificial flower scents can be overpowering and sometimes very sickly. But Paul Smith has somehow managed to bottle the fresh, real scent of a rose and harness it into a perfume that doesn’t fade during the day, and makes you smell delicious and fresh during the day. It has a fresh, modern yet classic scent that all ages will love, and due to the fact that it is a pretty high-end perfume, it doesn’t disappear the minute you put it on your skin. I have worn this perfume for days out, dinners and even work, and it just feels refreshing on your skin, and you don’t have to worry about topping it up, or whether it’s changing during the day.
I was lucky that I bought my bottle during the New Years Sales, so be prepared to pay at least £60 for a good sized bottle.
7: Max Factor’s Face Finity All Day 3-in-1 Foundation in Light Ivory.
Finding foundations is a minefield for me. I’m naturally very pale, so many high-street foundations make me look orange (even at their palest shades) and I don’t have the money to afford really good stuff. So for years, I had to battle with putting on the lightest foundation, it being too orange, and then toning it down with white loose powder. But recently, I’ve discovered Max Factor’s 3-in-1 and found the perfect shade for myself. This foundation only needs a little to go a long way. And with a fairly good scent, not too tacky to the touch, and when applied properly, it gives a very good coverage, this foundation is the whole package. And for makeup novices, it also combines primer and concealer, so it could be a gentle introduction into adding other things onto your face during your makeup routine. It does give you a matte finish, which could be easily matte enough not to require powder, and from a whole day of touching my face, eating and just being outside, it doesn’t rub off or diminish it’s coverage. However, if you do have some prominant dark circles, red areas and obvious blemishes, you may need a good concealer, just to give that complete coverage. But for me, I find this to be a perfect foundation for any season, and everyday.
8: Rimmel’s Salon Pro by Kate Moss Nail Varnish – In Soul Session.
My hands and nails are my pride and joy. Not too boast, but I have pretty long and slender fingers, and a good nail shape that can make any nail varnish look pretty good when done right. And yes, like most people, I went through the period of wearing black nail varnish, and then blues and greens. But recently, I’ve wanted a staple, pale and classic colour that just added something subtle to my hands, and enhance their qualities, rather than appear too obvious. And also, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pale pink/nude mixture that wouldn’t appear too obvious, but blend well into my skin colour. And on a whim, i bought Kate Moss’ Soul Session colour from Rimmel, and I don’t think I’m ever going to turn back. A beautiful beige rose colour, which comes with a very wide brush that can easily coat your whole nail in one go. As it is so pale, you need a few coats to really bring the colour up, but that’s not too bad. It is also fairly chip resistant, and I’ve had my current coat on for about a week, and it’s only slightly chipping at the chips. A good, thick feel when apply, that doesn’t smudge too much, and the colour does go very well with my silver and pink Pandora rings, and my skin colour. And as the colour is fairly neutral, this goes with every piece of clothing, and for every season.
Bottle on the left isn’t mine – my own has gone missing.
9: Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Palette
From Kim Kardashian to Angelina Jolie, contouring has become the new fashion crave to get the cheekbones and shadows that you want on your face. Contouring can make your nose look different, you cheeks fuller and you face more streamlined. But the contour kits that the celebrities use can be ridiculous prices, and having a makeup artist work their wizardry on your face can be an expensive treat. So, when I was persuaded at the tills in Superdrug to buy Barry M’s Chisel Cheeks Contour Palette, I thought it could either be a good little experiment for me. And how I was surprised. The contour palette is made up of three, decent sized powders – a highlighter, a bronzer and a deeper colour to go under your cheekbones. And with handy little instructions on the lid, which shows you exactly where to place them, and exactly how to apply – this palette is a nifty little investment. The darker colour is incredibly pigmented, and when blended in, it does give the required shadows, and with the combination of the dark and light together, your face does appear to be a different shape. And as being pale, I was worried how the medium bronzer would look against my skin, but the difference wasn’t noticeable but it did give the effect that was desired. And once again, you can’t beat the price – £6.49. Now, it would be as good as the heavy-duty contour palettes of Smashbox, MAC or Urban Decay, but for a high street brand, it certainly gives you a good pigment, a good blend and good shadows.
So yes, these are my nine beauty favourites. If you have any questions about them, don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you!