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I spend a lot of time browsing the new-in pages on Space NK and Cult Beauty. I have to admit, I probably check those pages every single day. They just have such a good range of niche, prestige brands, as well as newer, fun things. A brand I’ve discovered recently is Tower28. It does some lovely cream blushers and its lip glosses are great too – super juicy, but non-sticky. There’s a tinted SPF product out in the US that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
First Beauty Memory
My auntie works as a beautician and when I was young, she gave me a nail file, a nail bath and some orange sticks that she no longer needed. For me, it was the best day ever. I soaked my hands until they became prunes. But I loved the whole ritual of it and the experience of taking care of myself.
Trust me, curling your lashes really does make a world of difference – so invest in a good tool. Likewise, if you can find a place near you that does good LVL then keep it close and never let it go. If you have good lashes and brows, nothing else matters. Another rule I follow is oiling up my cuticles as often as I can. It really helps to keep the condition of your hands and fingers tip-top, plus it prolongs the life of a manicure. My final advice – and I should practise what I preach here – is that when you add skincare items into your routine, do so one at a time. It allows you to see how your skin barrier reacts before you start layering on too much in one go.
Glossier’s FutureDew is one of my favourite beauty products of all time. The brand bills it as the last step of your skincare routine, but I use it as the first step of my make-up routine. I take one pump all over my face to create a glowing, primed base, or I’ll mix a little with my foundation, using a flat-top brush to buff everything in for extra luminosity. Another repeat buy for me is MAC’s Face & Body Foundation. You can build it up for more medium coverage, or use just a small amount to have a sheer layer of something. It’s the definition of ‘your skin, but better’. Patrick Ta’s Major Brow Lamination Gel is the only brow product I use – I recommend just one swipe for each brow, then making sure you don’t touch them until the end of the day as it has a tendency to ball up a bit. If you’re after a natural, fluffy effect, you’ll love this. For mascara, it has to be Giorgio Armani’s Eyes To Kill Wet Mascara. My lashes are extremely straight, so they need a waterproof formula like this to hold curl and give a fluttery effect. Finally, I’m never without the Augustinus Bader Lip Balm. It’s one of the best I’ve ever used, with a velvety, butter texture I can’t get enough of. I like my lip products to have a soft effect and not be too shiny on the lips. This fulfils that brief perfectly.
I’ve used Bumble & Bumble’s Sunday Shampoo for years. My hair gets greasy within a matter of hours, but this helps to clarify my lengths without stripping my scalp – I get a whole two days out of my hair before having to wash it again with this. I love Beauty Pie’s Detox Shampoo, too. It’s similar, but cheaper than Bumble & Bumble if you’re a member. Finally, I know it’s a cliché, but I really do rate Oribe’s Dry Texturising Spray – it’s as good as everyone says it is.
For beauty inspiration, I love following professional make-up artists on Instagram. That includes people like Katie Jane Hughes and Nikki Makeup. Though I might not put every single one of their tips into practice, I find people applying make-up so therapeutic and I love to hear about their thinking behind each look. I also love to watch the routines of fashion accounts I follow, too. I never turn down watching a ‘Get Ready With Me’ – it’s a great way to pick up inspiration.
My skincare routine is constantly evolving, but right now I’m trying to streamline things for speed and efficiency. Both morning and evening I start with a cleanse using Beauty Pie’s Japanfusion Transforming Gel Cleanser. It has the best texture to it – think a gel that switches into an oil, so you have time to massage it in and indulge a little. After this, I love to rehydrate with a mist – my current favourite is Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator. Then I’ll use a little of Estée Lauder’s Advanced Recovery Supercharged Complex Eye Cream – I’ve tried a heap of eye creams and this is the best in terms of hydration and feeling like it actually does something. Next, I apply my serums. I like to use ones with niacinamide to help reduce any inflammation, then I’ll layer on hydration with La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 – it’s brimming with hyaluronic acid. To seal everything in, I layer on Dr Jart+’s Ceramidin Cream. It’s no frills and gets the job of hydration done. For SPF, I look to Kiehl’s, La Roche-Posay and Beauty Pie.
Leave your brows to the professionals. About three years ago now I found my ‘brow person’ and I’ll have her in my life forever. Her name is Clare and she is based at Perfect Brows in Brighton. The experts there understand your face structure and what will suit you best. She’s helped me to tame my mono-brow into something a bit shapelier which requires little maintenance and zero fussing.
I don’t have a set make-up bag or beauty storage, but I do love the pouches that come with the Glossier orders. They are so easy to throw into your bag if you need to. Plus, they’re not massive, so they force you to be quite edited with your picks. If you get one, don’t chuck it away, reuse it as much as you can.
Final Beauty Advice
The beauty advice I wish I could give to my younger self is to step away from the powder. I used to love to be matte – though it looked good for photos, it just wasn’t good IRL. For others – and still myself – I can’t advocate wearing SPF enough. Google the amount you should be using on your face – which, by the way, is two fingers worth – so you know exactly what you need visually every day. Everyone will thank themselves later on for using SPF daily.