14 Classic Beauty Buys That Have Stood The Test Of Time
14 Classic Beauty Buys That Have Stood The Test Of Time

14 Classic Beauty Buys That Have Stood The Test Of Time

With products launching every week, it’s easy to get swept up in the newness of the beauty world. While many turn out to be worth the hype, only a handful ever earn cult status. Here are just a few that will never get old…
By Rebecca Hull & Georgia Day

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

The Brilliant Blush

Orgasm Blush, £22.87 (was £30.50) | NARS

While lots of products claim universal appeal, only a few actually live up to it. Top of that list has to be NARS Orgasm Blush, a product so practically perfect on all skin tones that it spawned an entire facial franchise that continues to grow. Launched in 1999, the peachy-pink powder blush breathes life into all complexions, imbuing skin with a healthy flush that always looks natural and fresh (one is sold every 20 seconds globally, so that many women can’t be wrong). The formula itself is weightless and entirely buildable so you can really customise your glow, while the subtle golden flecks help make skin sing. If you love the original blush, you’ll adore the new next-generation Orgasm collection, featuring the creamy multi-use stick The Multiple and the Orgasm Rising Eyeshadow Palette.

Available at NARSCosmetics.co.uk

The Gentle Cleanser

Hydrabio H20 Micellar Water, £16 | Bioderma

Bioderma’s cult micellar water used to be an industry secret. Often smuggled back from Paris Fashion Week, it finally made its way over to the UK a few years back, effectively introducing non-French consumers to the cleansing power of ‘micelles’. These tiny round balls of cleansing molecules are suspended within the micellar water, so that when you sweep the formula over your skin, they cling to dirt and make-up, removing it quickly and gently. Now, one bottle sells every three seconds around the world, and it’s widely considered is the best micellar water of all time.

Available at LOOKFANSTASTIC.com

The Sensational Scent

No 5 Eau De Parfum Spray, £84.15 (was £99) | Chanel

Originally created in 1921 after Gabrielle Chanel tasked Ernest Beaux with conjuring a fragrance that epitomised ‘a woman’s scent’ the universal love for Chanel No5 remains strong today. And no wonder: a heady blend of floral aldehydes with hints of May rose and jasmine give it a delicate, feminine quality, while vanilla adds a skin-like creaminess that only gets more delicious the longer you wear it. Citrus top notes add a contrasting brightness to lift the whole composition and make it sparkle on the skin.

Available at Boots.com

The Cult Nail Shade

Le Vernis Nail Colour In ‘155 Rouge Noir’, £23.20 | Chanel

‘Rouge Noir’ was famously developed after Karl Lagerfeld requested a nail colour that would look good when shot in black and white. But the campaign it was shot for wasn’t what caused its popularity – instead, it was all down to Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace, played by Uma Thurman, who wore it throughout the film. The minute the movie came out, the polish sold out. To this day it still has a devoted following and remains a bestselling colour for Chanel. Glossy, expensive-looking and flattering on just about every skin tone, it ticks all the boxes.

Available at JohnLewis.com

The Hair Hero

Elnett Hairspray For Normal Hold & Shine, £6 (was £7.50) | L'Oreal 

There are hairsprays and then there’s L’Oréal Paris Elnett. If you haven’t tried it yourself, you’ve no doubt heard the name on every hairstylist’s lips, seen it in every professional kit out there or smelt it on everyone from your nan to your next-door neighbour. The reason for this decades-long dedication? It’s really good at what it does. Which, incidentally, is everything from delivering lasting hold and taming flyaways to structuring updos and creating definition. The ultrafine mist is shiny but not sticky and can be brushed out easily thanks to ultra-fine polymers. It’s invisible on your strands but offers strength and support in a few swift spritzes. It’s affordable, reliable and now comes in an array of iterations including ones with UV protection for coloured hair and argan oil for extra shine. What more could you want?

Available at Boots.com

The ‘OG’ Hybrid

Beauty Flash Balm, £30.60 (was £36) | Clarins

A beauty classic – Clarins’ peach-toned Flash Balm is a staple. One of the most coveted – and copied – beauty products ever, it still has a firm place in many insiders’ kits. Lending a suits-all hint of luminosity, it evens out skin tone instantly. It also acts like a primer, but without any of the usual stickiness or pilling. Though things have moved on and formulas have changed, many fans remain dedicated to this product and its ability to plump and smooth skin ahead of make-up.

Available at Boots.com

The Customisable Concealer

Secret Camouflage Concealer, £25.20 | Laura Mercier

It’s almost unheard of in the fast-paced world of beauty that formulas stay unchanged for decades, but Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer is an industry stalwart for good reason. The brilliance of the dual-pan compact lies not just in how easy it is to cover blemishes, dark circles and age spots, but in how seamlessly and subtly it does so. The two shades allow you to create a bespoke shade that matches not just your skin tone but your undertone too. Its coverage is heavy enough to not require endless touch-ups throughout the day, but creamy enough so it never looks cakey. Better still, each compact comes with a generous mirror for ultimate precision and enough pigment to see you and your skin through bountiful breakouts. 

Available at JohnLewis.com

The Luxe Multi-Tasker

Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, £21.75 (was £29) | Elizabeth Arden

This silky balm was invented in the 1930s by Miss Arden herself. Originally used to soothe cuts, burns, windburn, dry skin and everything in between, it’s now used more for aesthetic purposes – think glossing up the skin, brushing up brows and soothing lips. The best part is, it always feels really nourishing – wherever you apply it. We love using a little on dry cuticles, too.

Available at Boots.com

The Bestselling Tool

Eyelash Curler N, £24.99 | Shu Uemura

Japanese make-up artist Shu Uemura launched these curlers in 1991 after struggling to find any on the market that sufficiently lifted shorter lashes. He asked his son – Hiroshi Uemura – to create a pair that did, and he set about working with professional make-up artists to test widths, lengths, curves and pressure intensities until he got it just right. This beloved tool is now deemed the best curler on the market. You’ll be hard pushed to find an expert who doesn’t swear by them.

Available at Amazon.co.uk

The Classic-In-The-Making

Lash Idôle Mascara, £18.75 (was £25) | Lancôme

Every so often a product comes along that has future classic written all over it. Despite only launching two years ago, Lancôme’s Lash Idôle mascara is destined to leave a lasting lash legacy thanks to its ability to do everything you could possibly want in a mascara – and more. As well as long-lasting lift, serious length and densifying volume, the creamy formula coats lashes with a soft, flexible hold, which means the hairs never look crispy or feel brittle. It also never clumps, no matter how many coats you apply, and manages to grab every little hair for a fully fanned-out look.

Available at Boots.com

The One-Stop-Shop

Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14 (was £20) | Liz Earle

The OG of ‘hot cloth’ cleansers, Liz Earle’s iconic Cleanse & Polish is a bestseller and multiple award winner. The naturally fragrant cream cleanser works for all skin types and never causes any irritation. The texture is impressive, too – milky and fluid, yet thick enough to remove every trace of make-up, without the need for a double cleanse. The muslin it comes with works well with the cleanser to exfoliate and lift away dead skin cells, so that post-cleanse, your complexion looks brighter, smoother and softer. Part of the reason it remains so popular – and so copied – is down to its universally pleasing formula. We’re yet to find someone who’s skin type disagrees with it. It’s simplistic, but effective, killing two birds – exfoliation and cleansing – with one stone.

Available at LizEarle.com

The Legendary Lip Balm

Baume De Rose Lip Balm, £40 | By Terry

If you’ve not got excited about a lip balm before, chances are you’ve not tried By Terry’s inimitable Baume de Rose. So much more than just a lip balm, this beauty big deal is the creme de la creme of lip treatments, infusing rose blossom essential wax with hyaluronic acid microspheres, shea butter, ceramides and vitamin E to eliminate dryness, strengthen skin and infuse lips with deep-down softness and nourishment. So good is the velvety texture, plumped finish and subtle sheen it leaves behind that the heavenly veil of rose scent just feels like a bonus.

Available at ByTerry.com

The Suits-All Red

Retro Matte Lipstick, £16.50 (was £22) | M·A·C

When you ask the experts to choose a favourite red lipstick, this is still the one that crops up the most. The bold, pillar-box red shade launched in 1999 and remains one of the most iconic colours for the brand. It’s famous for its blue undertones, which help teeth look whiter and brighter. But if the original matte is too intense for you, the brand has now launched a liquid and glass formula, offering better shine and smoothness with none of the colour fade.

Available at MACCosmetics.co.uk

The Quick Skin Fix

Black Rose Cream Mask, £99.75 (was £133) | Sisley Paris

Few products are as iconic as Sisley’s Black Rose Cream Mask. The recipient of countless accolades, one tube is sold every three minutes globally. There’s no denying it’s an investment and a special treat, but if you’re inclined, you’re guaranteed to like the results. The pink-toned cream formula instantly plumps and brightens skin, which is why it’s often dubbed ‘youth in a tube’. Cocooning and nourishing, the silky cream is beloved for its ability to hydrate and add radiance at speed – ideal pre-event, post-flight or any time your skin needs a quick fix. The best part is, despite its luxe texture, it applies almost imperceptibly on the skin, absorbing fast with zero greasiness. No wonder A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence, Salma Hayek and Emma Stone love it.

Available at SpaceNK.com

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