Beauty writing trundles along well worn tracks - an annual schedule that goes something like this: New Year, New You! / Valentine’s Beauty! / Summer Beauty Trends! / Wedding Beauty! / Get Your Body Bikini Ready! / Festival Beauty! / Autumn Beauty Trends! / Party Season Prep!
Into that reassuringly familiar/depressingly predictable (delete as appropriate) calendar you get features on nail trends, anti-ageing and, I don’t know, ‘Halloween make-up’ or whatever. I recently received a press release extolling the virtues of ‘bonfire beauty’. But when there's a gap in the calendar, writers will tell you about the products they love and use.
I LOVE these features because they’re real, honest and not hooked onto any trend, theme or holiday. These lists contain the products that beauty writers and editors really rely on – some are new, while others are trusty old favourites or cult secrets that are only known to those in the industry.
Hannah posted a great video rundown of the products she’s using regularly at the moment and Natalie also revealed her personal beauty Holy Grails – both are incredibly informative and have given me a few suggestions to add to my shopping list.
And because I won’t be dusting off my trusty old ‘Party Season Beauty’ feature and lazily updating it with new products for a couple more weeks (JOKE!) I thought I’d share some stuff that I’ve discovered recently which doesn’t fit neatly into any ‘theme’.
Lip Tars by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
I have no idea how these Lip Tars work and frankly I Do. Not. Care. This stuff is genius. You squeeze the tiniest blob onto your lip, gently distribute it around your whole mouth (they tell you a little goes a long way, and trust me, it’s SO true) and hey presto, you have amazing coverage that lasts for hours and hours without needing reapplication.
Lip Tars have a fresh, minty scent and they’re highly pigmented so you get these beautiful colours – bright poppy fuchsia, the deep red I’m wearing in the picture above (which reminds me of American Beauty rose petals) and a frosty ‘60s nude - that dry down to a soft, matte finish. Love.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer
Being 'post cool' (ahem) I've only recently started experimenting with primers and one of my more successful discoveries has been this one from By Terry - a brand that was launched by Terry de Gunzberg after she spent 15 years as Yves Saint Laurent’s make-up designer (this lady knows her stuff).
I just rub a little of this mousse over my skin and it leaves it feeling velvety and soft, then I put my tinted moisturiser on. It’s supposed to even out your complexion and add an extra shot of moisture to the skin. It’s one of those extra steps that is quick and easy to insert into my morning routine and feels terribly grown-up.
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Opal
I wear this stuff all year round, but in the summer I use the Golden shade and in winter I go one lighter with Opal.
It’s a lightweight product that gives enough coverage to my skin without making me feel like I’m wearing a mask and is good for sensitive skin, plus it has SPF20 and anti-oxidants and unicorns’ tears in it (the last one may be a lie.)
Korres Aloe and Dittany Shampoo and Conditioner
I think I may have said before that in my fantasy life, my chic subway-tiled, mould-free bathroom is filled with gleaming rows of Korres bottles like something from Into The Gloss. Alas, reality is somewhat different, but I do have Korres’ shampoo and conditioner keeping my hair squeaky-clean and happy. The shampoo is lightweight, gentle and free from silicone and parabens.
It doesn’t lather up like a regular shampoo, but that’s fine because it smells delicious in a natural, wholesome way, and my hair feels soft and clean after I use it. Dittany is a mild antiseptic and aloe is protein-rich – all good for scalp and hair alike.
Kings & Queens Queen Isabella Cinnamon Orange Shower Gel
Are you still with me? Ok, on we go! Next up is a shower gel from Kings & Queens – a line that uses pomegranate and blue Egyptian lotus extract plus botanicals to make the most luxurious feeling products at an impressively low price point.
The Queen Isabella Cinnamon Orange shower gel is great for minimising the misery of my crap shower (a sullen trickle at the moment) by creating great clouds of aromatic, invigorating steam.
Rimmel Gel Eyeliner in Deep Blue
I am passionately devoted to a) eyeliner and b) Rimmel so enthusiastically tried out the Gel Eyeliner I got in a goodie bag at London Fashion Week and can confirm that it’s ace.
The navy colour makes a nice, flattering change from my usual black and the dinky paint brush allows you to draw lines as thick or as thin as you like, depending on how you angle it.
By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick in Carnal Attraction
And finally, a nice, proper rich lipstick in a dramatic burgundy – or ‘Carnal Attraction’ as the By Terry folk call it. Crikey. This is what I think of as ‘French’ lipstick – silky-satin formula, sophisticated scent, luxurious packaging – the sort of thing I’d proudly pull out of my Chanel 2.55. If I had one.
There’s all sorts of impressive-sounding anti-ageing Lumilip technology going on in there, but mainly I just love the colour and the feel of this product.
So there you have it - a fairly comprehensive canter through the contents of my bathroom cabinet and make-up bag. Now tell me, which products are rocking your world right now? Because I always have room for a few more...