Beauty’s a very personal thing. What works for you might not work for someone else, and that’s ok. That’s one of the great things about the beauty industry – there are so many options!
This list is made of all the products I’ve used for years, that I will probably never turn my back on and continue to spend my legally-obtained money on. They’re too good; they work perfectly for me!
Fenty Glossbomb Lip Luminiser in “Fenty Glow” – £16, Harvey Nichols/Boots
I’m not really someone for lipgloss because I like to keep my makeup as fuss-free as possible, and we all know there is nothing more annoying that hair getting stuck in your lipgloss. HOWEVER, this pretty little lady is my only exception. She’s not sticky, she’s super moisturising, and she’s really versatile because of how neutral this shade is. She is a lil bit penny, I’ll say that, but she lasts ages and the effect is timeless, so she’s worth it.
My friends used to give me orders for this when they knew I was going to Liverpool for a day trip while at uni. There’s a big Harvey Nichols beauty hall in the city centre, and this was way before Fenty broke out online on Boots or Selfridges.
Revlon ColourStay Liquid Foundation in “Buff” – £12.99, any drugstore
Not gonna lie, but the influencer influence got to me on this product. I saw Tanya Burr use this in one of her old GRWM vlogs, and I’ve always been so jealous of her skin – it’s so fresh and glowy! I have oily/combination skin, and I do have a lil bit of redness in my cheeks, and I’ve found that this foundation sinks nicely into my skin, especially in the heat, and it tones down the redness without hiding all my freckles. It really does last for 12 hours like it says, so I haven’t been on the market for a new foundation in years!
Fun fact – me and Tanya wear the same shade!
Matrix So Silver shampoo – £10-£12, Feelunique.com/Lookfantastic.com
This is the exact shampoo my hairdresser uses on me when I go and get my hair done. I’ve been a cool-toned, artificial blonde for the last two-three years, and I owe how long its lasted throughout this lockdown to this alone. It’s not as drying as some purple shampoos, it’s super vibrant, and you don’t need a lot to get a good lather. It is a little pricey, but on nearly every beauty site there’s some kind of discount code, so the cost comes down. It also smells faintly of pumpkins (?) to me, and I love that – makes me feel extra seasonal in Autumn!
TRESemme Moisture Rich conditioner – £4-£9.99, any drugstore
I’ve never come across a more luxurious-feeling and pocket-friendly conditioner in my life! It’s thick and creamy, but still very loose, and it smells incredible. It actually smells like a professional hair salon, like that expensive stuff they buy in bulk with those huge pumps they keep by the wash basins. I like to use a nice big dollop because I have very thick hair and because I use a purple shampoo, I need that extra moisture. This is also one of the few hair products Boots and Superdrug sell in travel mini-size, so even when I go away for a long weekend, my hair is soft and smells expensive!
Maybelline Lash Sensation in “Black” – £8.99, any drugstore
I haven’t used any mascara except this one in the last five years…? This was also an influencer purchase, but it was my longtime bae Zoe Sugg who got to me this time. It has a slightly curved wand that hugs my lashes perfectly, and you don’t get a tonne of product on the brush, so there isn’t a risk of accidental spider eyes or huge clumps. It is super easy to layer, so if that’s the look you want, no problem! Go nuts!
The product itself lasts ages and has never gone dry on me, so you really can’t go wrong picking this up.
elf Cosmetics Lipstick Pen in “Praline” – £4, Superdrug
Whenever I want a darker lip, or I want to wear lipstick but it needs to last all day or for an entire messy night out with minimal touch-ups, this is my go-to. This is The One. It’s a warm, darker brick red that almost borders on brown, so it’s become a staple in my Autumn/Winter makeup bag. Because the bullet is thinner and more tapered, unlike a traditional lipstick, it’s really easy to control around the lip line. It has a soft matte texture when it goes on, but it does dry out relatively quickly, so the staying power starts almost immediately. It also only costs £4! *puts ten in my basket*
MAC Mineralised Skin Finish in “Soft and Gentle” – £26.50, MAC
Tanya Burr did it again, goddammit. Highlighters are one of my favourite beauty products – nothing I love more than a cute, shiny nose! Soft and Gentle is one of my favourites because the product itself lasts ages, and even though its a really beautiful and natural shade, it’s really buildable so you can get as much impact as you want. Every year, one of my besties buys me a MAC voucher for Christmas, and this was my purchase two years ago – two years, and it still looks like this after almost everyday use!
Jo Malone London cologne – £48 – £98, jomalone.co.uk/John Lewis
Originally, I was never into this brand that much. When my Dad would come back from business trips, he would always bring home a gift for Mum and me. For Mum, it would be a bottle of Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin, and for me it was usually some fancy chocolate or a piece of jewellery. As I slowly started to associate certain memories and places with their scents, I really got into Jo Malone, and now a day doesn’t go by without me spritzing myself. Yes, it is a spenny brand, but they’re more than worth it.
My staple scents are Orange Blossom, Wild Bluebell, and Nectarine and Honey Blossom in the S/S, and Peony and Blush Suede, Poppy and Barley, and the limited edition Christmas Orange Bitters scents in A/W.
Real Techniques Miracle Sponge – £9.99 (pack of two), any drugstore
I don’t know what I’d do without this squishy thing. I used to be a big fan of the Real Techniques foundation brush, but I kinda fell out of love with how thick and streaky my foundation looked without me packing on pressed powder over it. I mean, it helped it last on some seriously sweaty and messy nights out, but at what cost? I switched to this when the whole beauty blender craze was too much to ignore, and I haven’t looked back since.
Urban Decay Naked Heat palette – £43, urbandecay.co.uk/Debenhams/John Lewis
This was a Christmas present last year from my Dad, and it was my first foray into UD as a makeup brand. I’d heard good things, but now I know they’re true. There’s enough neutrals in this palette that I can do a basic wash of a single colour for a day in the office, but enough darker colours and gorgeous shimmers that I can get really creative if the mood takes me and lean into the warmer-toned grunge style I love. The shadows are super pigmented and easy to blend, and I definitely think its worth the money. The double-ended brush that’s included is pretty decent at packing on the shadows, but that’s about it.
My favourite shades are definitely “Chaser” and “Low Blow” if I’m doing a basic everyday look, but when I’m going all out, I love wearing “Lumbre” (it looks so pretty packed onto the inner corner!), “Scorched”, and “En Fuego”.
The Body Shop body yoghurts – £9 each, The Body Shop
Ugh, these products. I don’t know what I’d do without these guys. I’m useless at moisturising, mostly because I hate the slippery, sticky feeling that last for ages as you wait for it to sink in, but these little beauties are a game changer. They’re super silky and lightweight, and they sink into my skin literally within a minute or two, so just enough time for me to scroll through the ‘gram while sitting on my bed in my towel before I start doing my hair. Also, they smell incredible. Like, I cannot tell you how good. I am a lifelong lover of anything strawberry-related at The Body Shop, and a little while after I’ve put this on, I get super hungry and keep trying to figure out what that amazing smell is. It’s me; I’m the amazing smell! This stuff smells so good that it literally makes me want to eat myself!
I’ve also recently discovered that these guys are really soothing on sunburnt skin, and are really effective at getting rid of those flimsy edges of peeling skin. I was applying aftersun nearly every other hour for days and was left feeling horrible and greasy and yucky, but this stuff? Just a little bit, twice a day, and boom! Newborn skin within three days!
These products help me look less like a greasy egg every day, and I don’t really know what I’d do without them. These take me from a 3 to a generous 7, and they do enough to fool a partner until they inevitably have to see me first thing in the morning.
But, the important thing about these products is that they make me feel more me. They make me feel more like the person I want to be and want others to see. Make up makes me feel more confident, and helps me express my creative side and personality in a different way to poetry or my outfits. There’s a differing in opinion on what make up should do – should it highlight what’s already there, or should it be used to cover up and change what’s already there? To be honest, make up should do whatever you want it to do, and that’s it. You do you, boo.
This is all the wisdom I’m willing to impart for now, I’m tired.
Talk to you later,