After spending our teen years experimenting with makeup - orange foundation, uneven liner, nail art (let's be honest, we've ALL been there) - come our twenties it's time to settle down (at least where our beauty regime is concerned) and find the key products and stable routine which will see us through this definitive decade. Get your notebooks at the ready because I've rounded up the eight
products weapons needed to equip your makeup bag through your tumultuous twenties...
The Do-It All Concealer Essential for obscuring the side effects of those late nights spent studying/partying/binging on Netflix (delete as appropriate) - when your skin is looking a little lacklustre and the bags under your eyes growing darker by the day, a concealer is your BFF. Choose a shade lighter than your skin for concealing and brightening around the eye, and a more natural colour for masking blemishes, scarring, and pigmentation. The Eve Lom Light Illusion Concealer* provides a one-step glow to the complexion - brightening and hydrating with a complex formula of essential oils, vitamins, and minerals to help boost circulation, and instantly blur imperfections.
The 4-in-1 Hairspray Whether its rolling out of bed three snooze alarms later or dashing from work to drinks with 5 minutes to spare, we often need the lift, boost, and polish (usually guaranteed by at least an hour of showering, combing, and blow-drying + 364722 hair sprays, lotions, and cremes) on the most time-constricted of occasions. Charles Worthington's Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray is a salon treatment in a bottle (application takes 30 seconds max.). A grab-and-go hairspray if ever there was one, this single bottle performs the roles of hairspray, volumiser, texturising spray, and dry shampoo with an unrivalled prowess. Buy now, thank me later.
The Dual-Action Mascara I spent my teens scouring the high-street for the perfect mascara - never returning to the same one, because I was never quite satisfied... That is until L'Oreal's Volume Million Lashes landed on my dressing table. Volume, length, last, this budget mascara ticks all of the boxes (I consider it a spot-on dupe for Chanel's Le Volume Mascara, and MUCH prefer it to its oft-hyped sister L'Oreal Telescopic). One coat is perfect for giving your lashes the length and definition needed during day, a few more and you'll have clump-free, fluttery lashes that will have folks swearing are falsies.
The Signature Scent Nothing quite defines a period of time like a perfume (one whiff of Chanel Chance and I'm right back in sixth form). When you reach your twenties stray from the conventional and opt for something a little more personal. With a wide and versatile range of scents to rival any boutique Parisian perfumer, head to Jo Malone for eclectic scent combinations a far cry from anything on the high-street. My personal favourite (Blackberry & Bay Cologne) is a sharp, sweet, and heady combination of fruity blackberry and tart bay with a sweet woody base - it reminds me of all things autumn.
The Luxe SPF Wrinkle creams may be reserved for the over 40's, but waiting until the damage is done before introducing anti-aging products into your routine is like applying suncream to burnt arms. In our twenties our skin is still young enough to hold elasticity but already beginning to form lines and dark spots, which will make their mark. Whilst there's no need to go out and spend megabucks on the same serums and oils that your grandma uses, a combination of antioxidants and a good SPF will provide protection against free radicals which damage skin cells. Eve Lom's Daily Protection SPF 50* is a 2-in-1 wonder product which protects against UVA and UVB rays, and pollutants, as well as providing an antioxidant layer. Oil-free, fast absorbing, and a perfect makeup base, this 'not just an SPF' moisturises and plumps the complexion, brightening and evening out the skin tone, and (with the inclusion of lactic acid) eliminating impurities and breakouts. A*'s all around.
The Classic Red Lipstick Perhaps not quite as 'essential' to your health as the above, but (in my opinion at least) the kind of product which is guaranteed to provide a much needed boost of morale when times get tough and (as any twenty-something will vouch for) they DO. A classic red will see you through all of the cocktail parties, hen-do's, and romantic weekends in Paris that our twenties are made for (I'm also prone to indulging in a quick application mid-essay). My lèvre de choix? Chanel's Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Colour in Gabrielle. It's as Parisian as they come, and you can hear me go on, and on, and on about it here.
The One-Step-Wonder Face Mask Aside from the prospect of preparing for ageing skin, many of us are still dealing with the remnants of our teen troubles. I for one have a lot of scarring to clear up and still suffer the occasional breakout. Aside from ensuring that you stick to a regular and balanced skincare routine, one of my strongest recommendations to those with troubled skin is to invest in a really good high-quality mask. Aesop's Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque is the old school classic guaranteed to sort out ALL of your skincare woes and leave you with a glow worthy of a five-day juice cleanse. Deeply cleansing and refreshing, this is that miracle of masks - a clay based product which is perfect for dry or sensitive skin. I defy you to dislike it.
The Handbag Hairbrush As regular readers will know I swear by nightly use of my beloved Tangle Teezer to leave my hair, smooth, soft, and knot-free. However if I'm out and about then I'm sure to be accompanied by my Head Jog Backcombing & Styling Brush. Perfect for taming flyways, providing long-lasting lift to the roots, and for ensuring a neat, straight parting, this light slim brush is a handbag essential in my book.
Fellow twenty somethings - what are your beauty essentials??