My love for all things beauty started pretty late on in my adolescence. I‘d say up until I was about 19 all I really cared about was my next Topshop fix and I just about cared enough about makeup to smear on some Maybelline foundation and mascara. I would use the communal skin and body care in the family bathroom but luckily my mum has always been a total beauty junkie, so while there were a few duds I experimented with, for the most part my whole beauty routine has continued to be rich with affordable classics and oldies that should absolutely not be slept on.
As someone with eczema I have to be careful with trying new things– not easy as a beauty editor– but if I have a reaction to anything I strip back my skin and body care routine and reach for childhood basics to easy the flare up and soothing the dry patches. When it comes to makeup, while many new, more expensive brands have made their way into my beauty stash, there are a few brands that have a permanent place since my teenage years, including Maybelline and Sleek Makeup. And say what you will about Barry M, but the nail paints are still perfect for a quick impromptu pedi. Afro haircare has come a long way since the days of applying a ridiculous amount of Blue Magic hair oil to your scalp but classics like Ecostyler Gel are still apart of the routine for a completely snatched, sleek bun or defined twist out.
So, here are the products that I still have in my beauty routine since childhood.
The smell of this alone is the most comforting mood-lifting boost, it evokes memories of being smothered in it and becoming an oil-slick pre-bedtime as a kid. It’s best for evening use as it can take a while to sink in so nowadays I’ll use straight after a bath while my skin is still warm so it melts in quicker.
While I no longer use E45 cream to soothe eczema flare ups (I opt for the La Roche Posay Lipikar range now) this bath oil is still in regular reach. Growing up in London with such hard water was rough on my irritable skin so my mum would make me have an “E45 bath” multiple times a week and it felt incredibly luxe to 8 year old me. Even now, you can feel the difference with and without. When you add a capful to the bath, your skin post-bath doesn’t feel super tight or instantly dry.
I now enjoy a shimmery body oil for leg and décolletage shine but sometimes you want the sheen without the shimmer or colour i.e if you’re wearing a white dress or top– enter Johnson’s Baby Oil.
I used to use this to solely slick down my edges but now I use to aid definition in my twistouts. Note though, it contains protein so if your hair is sensitive to protein or prone to breakage use with caution.
My mum would always have a pot of this in her bag for dry skin emergencies and I have kept up the tradition with one on my desk. The key ingredient is glycerin for locking in moisture.
I love this formula for a super quick pedicure touch up. It dries swiftly and has a good shine but does need two coat for a really opaque finish.
My mum used a lot of Sleek Makeup when I was growing up so I think over time I’ve tried the entire range. Their lip liners are firm favourite in my makeup collection for the pigment and creaminess.