When I started to make this list, I suddenly realised why my credit cards bills are so high! I spend a lot of money on makeup and skincare and I enjoy wearing/using it.
I probably started wearing makeup and thinking about looking after my skin when I was about 12, and that was 40 years ago! So, here are 20 of my favourites and staples after a LOT of trial and error and money wasted on products that didn’t live up to the hype.
A keen makeup fan will quickly note that I haven’t listed toners, bronzers, lip liners and primers, concealers and eyebrow pencils. Simply because I never use them. However, if you have a recommendation on any of these, I would be glad to give them a try, as I sometimes think I’m missing something by not using these products.
I would also love to hear from you if you have any views/experience using the products below. Leave your comments please!
Finally, just to be clear I am 52! Some of these products may not suit younger people. I also have a slightly combination skin, so if you have dry or oily skin, again, some of the products may not be suitable for you.
1. Facial Cleanser: Origins Checks and Balances. I’m not a huge fan of creamy cleansers as they don’t leave my face feeling as clean as I would like. This gem from Origins is a frothy face wash and is wonderful for getting rid of all of the muck of the day. It leaves my face feeling squeaky clean!
2. Face Serum: Boots No7 Restore and Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Serum. I have only started regularly using a serum under my day and night cream in the last few years, but I really think it makes a big difference. You only need a tiny bit though, and I frequently overdo it. Apparently, using more does not make it work better!
3. Eye cream: Lancôme Genifique Yeux. Eye creams are a tough one. I have sensitive eyes and I have spent so much money on creams that make my eyes itchy, red or uncomfortable. This one is by far the best that I have tried, although Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair deserves a mention as well.
4. Day Cream: I like to use a day cream with an SPF in it and my favourite at the moment is No7 Restore and Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Day Cream. It feels like a comfortable barrier between my skin and the world, and although quite heavy, is very rich and luxurious. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is also very handy for a quick fix, as it tightens the skin and gives that well rested look.
5. Night Cream: My favourite night cream is currently Origins Powerful Lifting Cream. It’s anti ageing and feels gorgeous on your face, it’s like going to bed with a soothing mask on. I also love Lancôme’s Genifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream.
6. Body Lotion: You can’t beat The Body Shop Body Butters. My favourite is Mango, but I love the seasonal ones they bring out at Christmas. They also do Body Yogurts now for those that feel the butters are too heavy.
7. Hair Serum: Percy and Reed Volumizing No Oil, Oil. My hair is fine and needs a bit of ‘oomph’. This product gives it volume and shine, without being heavy and sticky.
8. Mascara: I’ve said it before and I will say it again. There is nothing to compare with Lancôme Hypnose.
9. Eye Shadow/ Liner: I LOVE Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencils. I line my eyes with these gorgeous thick pencils and it makes them POP! I love the browns, greens and blues. Current favourite shade is ‘Dark Pearl’.
10. Lipstick: MAC lipsticks are by far my favourite brand. They are easy to wear and the most gorgeous colours. Current favourite is MAC Cremesheen Crosswires, a very summery orange, though I usually move to more plum hues as the weather turns colder. If you go in store a helpful MAC expert will allow you to try various colours on your lips, so you don’t waste your money on colours you will never wear.
11. Sun Protection Face: No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Facial Sun Protection SPF 50. I can hardly believe now that I didn’t bother with a sun cream for all those days in my youth! Unfortunately my skin is sun damaged from those sunbathing sessions but at least I can slow down any further decline. Young people take note!
12. Eye makeup Remover: Lancôme Bi -Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover. So many eye makeup removers leave my eyes puffy and red. This sensitive solution is perfect for me and the icing on the cake is that it also removes waterproof mascara which I tend to wear on holiday.
14. Nail Care/Treatment: After years of false nails (because I used to bite them), my nails are weak and I struggle to grow them long … but OPI Pro Spa Nail and Cuticle Oil to Go Treatment has given me the best nails I have been able to achieve. I don’t wear nail polish much, but if I do, I choose Sally Hansen Colour Therapy which cares for nails as well as colouring them.
15. Foundation: I’ve been a fan of bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation for years now. It’s a mineral rich light powder which goes on like a cream. I have about 2 minutes to do my makeup each morning, so it’s perfect as with 3 flicks of a brush it’s on …and it stays all day with a little help from bareMinerals Mineral Veil which is a translucent setting powder. Apparently the makeup is so kind, you can actually sleep in it!
16. Wrinkle Treatment: No7’s Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum, promises to reduce wrinkles by as much as 5 years. Wow! I have been using it for six months now and can definitely see some improvement, especially around the mouth.
17. Perfume: I love Issey Miyake and his latest, L’Eau D’Issey Pure Nectar De Parfum, is my current staple.
18. After Sun Body Cream: Do not go on holiday without L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil. Put it on every evening after a day in the sun, and your tan will last a whole lot longer. It keeps skin gorgeously soft, stops any dryness, and the smell is heavenly!
19. Hair Shampoo/conditioner. I love the Tigi Bed Head Range, in particular Recharge High Octane Shine Shampoo/Conditioner. They are not very expensive but give your hair a ‘just left the salon’ feel.
20. Hand cream. L’Occitane do lots of gorgeous hand creams with an array of fragrances, but L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm is the best hand cream in the world, no contest! It’s power is such that even after you have washed your hands, they still feel smooth and moisturised!
I hope you enjoyed my list. Please leave a comment if you have any experiences you would like to share, or products you would like to recommend! ❤️