Beauty products have always got my heart beating a bit faster. Where as my friends raved about their favourite new bands or cooed over new purchases from Topshop as we were growing up, I was busy buying up the entire stock of The Body Shop and getting to work in my bathroom testing everything out. Becoming a beauty journalist was probably inevitable – and the fact that my office, dressing table and bathroom are now full to the brim with brand new products to test still fills me with excitement.
I often wonder, however, which products would make it into my shopping basket if I wasn’t a beauty journalist; the key items that I would spend my pennies on. This week, I’ve compiled a list of the ten things I really couldn’t live without – and if you want a small, compact, but uber-useful set of beauty products, I recommend stocking up on the suggestions below.
1 – CLEANSER
Cleanser is the product I simply couldn’t cope without. I’m prone to breakouts if I don’t thoroughly cleanse my skin twice a day – and soap and water just wouldn’t cut it. There are plenty of different formulations out there, but my favourite is Micellar Water. I recommend Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals, £9.57.
2 – MOISTURISER
Without moisturiser my skin would feel tight and uncomfortable all day – and within days, it would start to flake and look uneven. Formulation is down to personal choice, but I like a cooling, weightless texture, such as Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet, £18.70.
3 – CONCEALER
As much as I prefer wearing foundation (or my current obsession BB Cream), I could cope without it if I had a really good concealer to hand to cover up imperfections or dark circles. My pick is bareMinerals SPF20 Correcting Concealer, £17.85, which comes in six different shades for the perfect match.
4 – LIQUID EYELINER
I’ve been lining my top lash line with a liquid liner for years – and on days when I forget or don’t have time to apply it, I hate catching my reflection in the mirror as I look half asleep. DIOR DiorLiner Precision Eyeliner, £22.85 is definitely on my hit list.
5 – VOLUMISING MASCARA
Mascara is equally essential. My lashes are naturally long, but currently quite sparse, so I usually opt for a volumising formula that can add depth to my lash line. I recommend Too Faced Lash Injection Extreme Volumising Tube Building Mascara, £18.
6 – ENERGISING SHOWER GEL
If there’s one product that I get through in bulk, it’s bottles of zingy, refreshing, energising shower gel – I don’t know how I’d manage to wake myself up in the morning if I didn’t have it to hand. For a decadent treat, I love Roger & Gallet Citron Refreshing Shower Gel, £10.80, which blends top notes of citron, grapefruit, and mint.
7 – DETOXING SHAMPOO
Shampoo is essential to all of us – and with all the haircare products I need to test for my job, I need a good cleansing formulation to get rid of build-up. When I use a regular shampoo, I really notice a difference, so it’s worth the extra investment. Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure is a range I’m really impressed with (affordable, but effective) – and my pick is their Deep Cleansing Shampoo, £7.05.
8 – HAIR OIL
I don’t bother with conditioner in the shower any more, as the results I get with hair oil (applied to damp hair before blow-drying) are so much more impressive – plus, it cuts down on drying time, and I hate blow-drying my hair so that is a big bonus. I love TIGI S-Factor True Lasting Colour Hair Oil, £15.96.
9 – INTENSIVE LIP BALM
Despite trying everything to rectify the problem, I always have dry lips and need an intensive lip balm in handbag at all times (and on every possible surface throughout the house). My all-time favourite is Nuxe Reve de Miel Honey Lip Balm, £6.27, which has a thick, soothing texture and leaves lips feeling supple and hydrated.
10 – NAIL POLISH
My last pick is a bit of a luxury, as I could happily exist without it – but life wouldn’t be half as fun. I love painting my nails in the brightest possible hues, which is the best way to brighten up depressing days (especially during the winter months). I like a glossy finish, so Dior Vernis Long-Wearing Nail Lacquer, from £13.50, in Psychedelic Orange or Purple Revolution, is my pick.