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Life after all those beauty freebies: What does an ex mag editor actually buy?
Or: Wow I miss the beauty cupboard
I’m never sure if anyone wants this kind of content from me. No one, when asked ‘Who would you most like to look like?’ would ever say me, so I don’t assume anyone would be that interested in what I put on this face. The teen actually just walked past as I was doing this and said, ‘You know, you’re not Zoella.’ Yeah, I know.
But I find I do get a lot of questions about products on Instagram and there is alway an uptick in engagement when I mention any skincare or make-up I’m using.
Furthermore, I’ve been living in the real world for a year now. By which I mean, a world in which I am not a magazine editor and don’t have products thrown at me, for free, on a weekly basis. Below are the non-negotiables for me, the things I will continue to willingly buy as part of my beauty products arsenal. As such, I can assure you I have not been paid to recommend any of the following. Some of it has been gifted to me in the past. But if it’s in this list it’s because once it was gifted, I was hooked, and became an avid consumer.
I’m not particularly high tech but I am fanatical about cleansing, toning and moisturising every day. To me, not cleaning your make-up off before you go to sleep is as horrific as not wiping your bum. Yeah that’s what I said.
Cleanser Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm
I sort of wish I’d never discovered this because now I feel like it’s truly one of the only things that really agrees with my face. It cleans well, including tough eye make-up. It smells incredible (very lavender-ish) and leaves my skin feeling clean and nicely plumped. I’ve often used it as a mask, in that I’ll cleanse with it and then smooth on another layer and go to sleep in it.
Exfoliant Tatcha The Rice Polish
Easily my favourite exfoliating cleanser. The granules are so soft yet effective and while it’s super expensive I find a pot of this, which I’d use once or twice a week, lasts me around three months. It leaves a cleansed feeling but never scrubbed or dried.
I love this stuff. Only two or three drops under moisturiser in the morning. I don’t know if I’m just believing the hype on the packaging, but I do think, I could look worse on 53 years old. To be honest I adore most things Murad do, they have a product called Invisiblur which is an insanely good way to prep your skin for make-up. But I haven’t had any of that for a while.
Every few days I mix a couple of drops of this in with my moisturiser. No, I probably don’t ‘need’ it, but I like it. So there.
Oh my, deluxe it is. A little goes a long way, feels super rich and smells beautifully clean.
My feet need extra attention and there is nothing, to my mind, better than this. I put it on right as I’m going to bed. I admit my heels got absolutely dire over winter (I just lost the ability to give a shit) but this sorted them out in about three days. Now that I have soft heels again I am reminded that I do, in fact, give a shit. And so now I will never stop using this.
I’m pretty low maintenance, largely because I’m not very good at applying make-up. Especially since my eyesight really went downhill and I can’t see perfectly without glasses. Sometimes I do my make-up, hoping through my blurred vision that I’m getting away with it. Then I put my glasses on to find I’ve created the monstrous love child of Barbara Cartland and Ronald McDonald. But on a good day, here’s what’s working on my face.
Foundation Bare Minerals Bare Pro in Cool Beige 10
A make-up artist actually recently told me she thinks this coverage is too heavy for my skin. But honestly, if anyone ever compliments me on my skin, you can bet I’m wearing this that gives a super matte coverage. I’m sticking with it it makes me happy.
I’m a fan of Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge. The pack says they’re great for lips and cheeks but I’ve always hated the look of me in lipstick so it’s strictly cheeks. I use no 11 which is a very pinky pink and no 6 which is more brown-ish. Sometimes I do a blend of them. Both sparingly. One of these can last me up to a year.
As I said, I hate me in lipstick. It makes me look like The Joker. But I need to feel something there. I’m still livid with Clinique for discontinuing their tinted lip balms. So far, the things I’ve found that are the next best things are:
I’d love to show and tell more but Substack is warning me I’m reaching my word limit. Rude. So I’ve really just praised my non-negotiable heroes here, the ones that I keep on buying long after I lost the privileged access to the magazine beauty cupboard. Let me know your thoughts and particularly if this content is of interest to you or not. Thanks!
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