Working as a beauty writer practically requires me to turn up at work wearing as little product as possible – a blank canvas if you will – to be smothered and swatched in potions and pigments from 8 ‘till 5. As it's my job to swatch and sniff my way through the latest and greatest beauty launches, each month I debrief on the ones worth writing home about.
First things first, (despite working in beauty, and adoring testing products and applying makeup), three weeks of not having to apply eyeshadow/eyeliner/mascara, or having to scrub at my eyes with micellar water-soaked cotton pads every night is absolute bliss. Of course, that’s far from the primary reason one commits to eyelash extensions - no, it’s fluttering long, thick, Bambi-like lashes that cause strangers to stop you in the street and ask what mascara you’re wearing that makes it worth investing upwards of £70 in a beauty treatment. My recent visit to Blink Brow Bar was the second (and better, by far) lash extension experience I’ve had - not only did the lashes last longer, they also had a infinitely more transformative effect. Disclaimer: You can totally 100% absolutely wear eye makeup with lash extensions, it just helps to extend their lifespan if you avoid excessive eye makeup action.
This is what I’d describe as a ‘dry oil’; thin in texture, it sinks into skin rather than forming a greasy oil-slick of residue (which is very important for me in a product I apply right before I lie down with my head on a pillow). It’s a blend of all the best oils, chosen for their ability to make skin appear bright, clear, and energised - as well as hydrayed. Better still, it smells (not overpoweringly) of jasmine.
From glitter pigment to full coverage foundation, I’m averse to wearing anything on my face that I can actually feel… Which makes my arsenal of ‘wearable’ lip products fairly compact - limited to a few lip stains and balms. Liquid lipsticks and lip glosses are two products I typically avoid at all costs, and it was only because I hold Fresh in such high regard as a skincare brand that I deigned this worth a try. I’m glad i did - it manages the perfect balance of shine and colour (think ‘my lips but better’), feels completely weightless, and (best of all) is refreshingly non-sticky - no hair-blown-in-the-wind situations. Hallelujah.
Sometimes a product assimilates itself into your routine so adroitly that you don’t realise it’s a favourite until you find yourself cutting the top off the tube to scrape out the last remaining product - and then find yourself considering buying another tube (even though you have at least five other products that essentially serve the exact same purpose). Bumble & Bumble’s Grooming Creme is one such for me - considering I’ve used it three times a week for the past year and a half, I’m shocked it hasn’t made it into one of these roundups before. My post-hairwash ritual involves mixing a small amount of this with (my other Holy Grail hair product) Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue. I run it through the lengths of my hair and then comb it through before blowdrying - and fully credit the step as the only thing that prevents my hair from blowing up into a frizz ball the second I apply heat.
I marked my return to old-school lash life with a tube of Sisley’s finest - another product I’m surprised hasn’t featured sooner. It was love at first opening - a fat, fluffy, curved brush is always a good sign. There are very few mascaras I truly rate - and despite being sent multiple samples, I’m rarely wowed by a new launch, which should be enough to validate any mascara I actually do recommend. Mascaras that claim to curl particularly annoy me because the effects rarely last an hour after application (if at all). This however practically negates the need for an eyelash curler (pair it with one and your lashes will practically be doing a 360).