This article contains some PR samples.
I’m not really a beauty product person – you’ll never find me swatching eyeshadows in the aisles of Boots or freaking out over a new limited-edition lip pencil. No one ever questions me about my make-up routine (so I can’t look that bad, surely?) but I am always being asked where I get my hair cut (Gen at Rush Cambridge, she’s a dude) and how I get it so shiny (chip fat).
Although I don’t often go out hunting for toiletries, I do occasionally get sent press samples (are they trying to tell me something?) or pick up items in goody bags at events, and I have my favourite go-to products too, so I thought it was as good a time as any to share some simply decent products that I’ve found are simple, effective, and easy to use.
This is a great cream for skin that needs soothing. Although it smells a little bit perfumy, and I don’t really like scented products, I can totally overlook that for its calming effect on irritated and sensitive skin. I use this to soothe my face after I’ve been out in the wind or sun and need a bit of skin comforting.
This is one of the products I’ve seen most flashed across Instagram. It seems to be a bloggers dream and Glossier (the people behind Into the Gloss) have nailed their packaging, product and service. Although this daily face wash is designed for all skin types, and feels lovely and soft, it’s a bit harsh for my sensitive skin and made it sting a little. Apparently the cleanser contains the same cleaning agents found in contact lens solution, so it’s safe for your eyes too.
I swear by Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm throughout the winter, but when a package from Beefayre arrived I was interested to try something new. This little metal pit of beeswax lipbalm is cruelty free, made with Melissa oil (who?) and smells like a summer pudding. Beefayre donate 3% profits to bee conservation and research.
This is something that I have re-purchased many times. The oil-free gel-cream texture is just lovely, soothing and smoothing. It immediately makes skin look and feel better, more plump and hydrated. It doesn’t interfere with makeup like some face creams do, and you can even put it on over foundation to help refresh skin. It’s definitely in my all-time top five!
Aside from Gen at Rush, this is the best thing to happen to my hair in years. Another all-time top five products. This protective cream speeds up drying time – run through damp hair before drying, a small amount goes a long way and is enough to make hair smoother, softer, shinier and tidier.
This is new to me. A mineral broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen, that’s tinted, and helps protect from the main causes of damage that accelerate signs of ageing. Everything in one place! The texture is really light and smooth, and the colour isn’t really noticeable when on, so it’s a suitable protective product for all skin tones.
This is my go-to sunscreen for my sun-sensitive face. I use this pretty much daily throughout the year as I’m very pale and prone to my freckles joining up and looking like big brown tears on my cheeks. I’m not so worried about people trying to clean my freckles off for me, but I do want to protect my skin and look after it as best I can. This sunscreen is really light, it’s scent-free, water resistant, and it’s invisible when it’s dry.
I am always in search of the perfect tinted moisturiser with a high SPF. I’ve not found the holy grail yet, but so far No7’s City Light has been the best option. I’ve tried light foundations like Guerlain’s Aqua Nude (it smelt too strongly of Parmaviolets) and NARS Sheer Glow (it went patchy and dry) and I don’t want to have to spend a large portion of the day putting different parts of my face on, so I opt for this easy and light cream. The sheer tint smooths the complexion, moisturises and offers SPF 15 protection.
It smells like Italian oranges and is made with pomegranate, what more could you ask for? I like a serum, I like the way they go on the skin and don’t feel greasy, but do feel like they’re doing the job. According to Erno Laszlo this serum rebuilds cell integrity and strengthens skin structure. Whilst I couldn’t comment on that (I’m no expert) I do feel that it makes my skin feel firmer, and it definitely helps blemishes to heal quicker.
I don’t really like eye creams, I think they’re too claggy (that is a word) and can cause milk spots in the skin. I much prefer a gel, which is lighter and more refreshing to use. This gel contains sodium hyaluronate (just like the fluid found around your joints, apparently this used to be made from rooster combs but is now made from fermented beans) and aloe vera (a nice succulent plant). I don’t know how I feel about that! The gel also contains grape, mulberry, saxifraga and scutellaria which apparently lighten the skin and block melanin production to reduce dark circles. Maybe I should try it on my brown tears?
If you’ve got any polite suggestions of what I can put on my face, or want to get in touch about anything else, you can contact me here.
And, if you’re struggling under a mountain of part used toiletries, please don’t forget the Toiletries Amnesty.