I’ve spent a good portion of my career testing cult beauty products, and there have been lots of hits (and a few significant misses) over the years. I love it, and it has given me access to products that quite literally do what they say on the tin. However, it has meant that I’ve never been a loyal customer, and I’m always on the hunt for the next miracle product. Recently, I made the decision to scale back and fine-tune my skincare and makeup purchases. Ask my friends—it has led to me becoming a far more put-together person with a little more money in my pocket. What’s more, my beauty cabinet is no longer close to its breaking point.
From fail-safe skincare to signature scents, I’ve found some products that seem to have stood the test of time in my life.
While I’m certain this list will change as more exciting products are released, here are some of the products I swear by.
For me, moisturisers need to serve more than one purpose. Naturally, they should hydrate the skin, but they also need to keep my face looking young like a newborn. (I’m kidding.) Embryolisse's Lait-Crème is unassuming to look at but works overtime to create that coveted fresh, glowy skin. I carry a tube in my bag on a day-to-day basis (for when I’m barefaced).
Those with brown skin tones often struggle to find a sunscreen that doesn't leave a grey cast over their face, ruining makeup and holiday photos as a result. La Roche-Posay’s factor 50 is a great option. Regular use has helped with my hyperpigmentation, and it’s become a regular fixture in my daily skincare routine. Also, zero white marks.
I’m not one to wax lyrical about a product just because it’s considered “cult.” Yet Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum is worthy of the hype. It’s certainly not cheap, but hardcore skincare enthusiasts know that the investment pays off.
I’m big on moisture, and squalane is one ingredient that delivers. While The Ordinary's products can seem a little daunting (so much jargon!), this oil is great for those who need a hydration boost.
Admittedly, this is new to my skincare line-up, but so far, so great. If, like me, you suffer from an uneven skin tone, it may be worth considering Inkey’s Salicylic Acid Cleanser for your routine.
I’ve been obsessed with clay masks since my oily-skinned teen years. For some reason, they made me feel grown-up. As my skin has changed over the years, I only use a clay mask every two weeks or so. This purifying clay mask by Fresh isn’t too drying, and my skin feels de-clogged and brighter after use.
One of my favourite influencers recommended this scrub, and I concur—it’s fabulous. Sanctuary's Salt Scrub is lightly scented, and I recommend using it on your next pamper day so you emerge from the bath silky and smooth.
In my lifelong pursuit to become as dewy as possible, Glossier's Futuredew is my saving grace. It’s excellent as a primer or as a natural highlight.
I never thought I could achieve that “just been for a brisk walk” fresh-faced look until Glossier came along. Cloud Paint is a staple of mine. Sometimes, I use it on my bare skin to liven my face up. Get creative and layer up the shades.
At 18, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer was my first ever serious beauty product purchase and still is one of the best matches for my skin. The creamy concealer is delicate for the under-eye area but also works overtime when concealing my dark circles.
A full-coverage foundation that actually looks like my skin? Tick.
I’ve tried many liquid eyeliners over the years, but I always return to L’Oréal's Liquid Superliner. The nib is delicate enough to create a perfect super-fine cat-eye flick but isn’t difficult to maneuver.
If you’re not using eyelash curlers, then please start now.
This is a new eyebrow product created by influencer Jess Hunt, a young woman known for her killer eyebrows. It consists of three products—a Brow Sculpt, Brow Pomade, and Brow Pencil—and it’s a complete game changer.
Pre-lockdown, I wore lipstick every day. They make me feel confident, and that’s my excuse for owning every shade under the sun. Pat McGrath’s matte lipsticks are my most special bullets overall.
It’s taken a hell of a long time to find my “signature scent,” but I think this is it. (Although, this is always subject to review.) Dior's Gris Dior is a fragrance I was lucky to own for a few years, and I savoured it to the last drop. It's now top of my Christmas 2020 list.
Conditioners don’t last long in my life (afro hair problems). However, Bouclème's Curl Conditioner is a regular repurchase.
Another great brand for curly hair. I’m a big believer in co-washing curls (washing hair with conditioner and skipping shampoo), so it’s great to see a product that caters to this.
I've always been tender-headed, so I have never enjoyed detangling my extremely thick hair on wash days. However, the Tangle Teezer maneuvers through my curls like a dream.