Now this post’s a bit ‘magazine-y’, but there we are. I asked a few of my girlfriends which products they wouldn’t like to live without and here’s the lowdown, straight from the horses’ mouths as it were. I’m not going to make ‘beauty’ a regular thing on Nomad Thief (I wouldn’t have much to say) but hey, we all need a bit of help with advancing age. Sorry guys, I haven’t included any male-specific products here, but will try to remember to do that another time as even you wonderful beings aren’t immune to age or the elements. Some of the following you will have heard of – some are a bit more gratifying:
#1 Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. The original (and probably still best) has a pretty strange smell (like creosote) and not only that but a pretty strange texture too (sticky) but if you’re having a desperate time with dry skin, this will work wonders. Slather it on before sleeping (yup – 8 hours, ideally) on your back. Alone. Also good as a lipsalve and brilliant to heal sunburn. And for littles ones’ chapped noses, apparently
#2 Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment. One of my friends swears by this. She says that her hands get horribly dry from washing them all the time and this is one of the few creams that seems to help. She doesn’t suffer from OCD by the way
#3 Clarins Flash Balm – mixed reports on this one. Use as a mask (in fact I don’t bother to wash it off) or apply just before (literally) make up. I’m quite a fan and think it does give you a ‘glow’. You have to put your make up / tinted moisturiser on straight after though, before it’s sunk in
#4 St Tropez Instant Glow Face Lotion. A lifesaver in the winter if you (like me) look terrible without a tan and need a quick fix. The texture’s a bit funny and it seems a bit like teabag staining your face (apply after moisturising and before any make up) but the effect is great. You can use without make up too, if your skin’s particularly amazing
#5 Superdrug Vitamin E body scrub – cheap and very good
#6 Dove soap – good for travelling light as you can also cut out taking moisturiser and face wash
#7 Head + Shoulders shampoo. Not just for those with dandruff. Has a slightly ‘medical’ smell but gives ultra clean, shiny results. They also now do it for coloured hair
#8 M+S Floral Collection Magnolia soaps. Gorgeous smell, creamy yet lathery at the same time. More interesting than ‘normal’ soap and more ecologically sound than shower gels
#9 Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. Great for frequent washing (lather with water) – doesn’t dry yet leaves your skin squeaky clean
#10 Boots own brand eye make up remover pads. In a wee, light, plastic perfect-for-travelling-or-your-handbag pot
#11 ‘That funny foaming shower gel stuff’. Or in other words, Imperial Leather Foamburst. I second this one, it’s lovely stuff. Try the blue one if you, like me, don’t like ‘sweet’ smells
#12 Sanctuary – Therapist’s Secret Facial Oil. Use at night, after cleansing and before moisturising. (Gosh, so people DO do 3 step facial care…) Allegedly it ‘seems to actually plump up the skin and doesn’t make combination skin greasy’. Sounds great
#13 Benefit’s Pore fessional. To be put on after moisturiser (in the morning only) and before foundation. You rub it on any large/open (don’t you just love them) pores and my mate seems to be convinced it’s working – I’ll examine her when I see her. Her other (possibly somewhat inflammatory) facial beauty tip is ‘to get monstrously fat’ (she’s a bit scrawny)
#14 Liz Earle hot cloth cleanse and polish. ‘Leaves skin very soft and clean and is the best thing for taking make up off. Literally transforms dull dry skin’. Reading that last sentence, I think this particular mate of mine is in the wrong job
#15 Eve Lom facial cleanser – a classic. And the best. Competition for #14 it seems. Has a whole ritual thing going on involving a muslin cloth… what’s not to like?
#16 Bobbi Brown Vitamin E cream. ‘A lovely light moisturiser / primer’. Primer? I’ve got a lot to learn…
#17 L’Occitane shower oil. Also good for shaving legs apparently
#18 Sudocrem – ‘a miracle product. Non drying and you put it on a spot or redness overnight and next day is a million times better’. Result
#19 Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser – instead of foundation
#20 Nars liquid foundation sheer glow
#21 Bare Minerals make up – again, mixed reports. I can’t get on with it, but a couple of my mates are huge fans… One says: ‘you can put it on and it looks like you are not wearing a scrap of make up and your skin is perfect. But I find it a bit drying long term and perversely I think it makes me break out. Plus you need to be careful not to use too much or to get cakey. Best for occasional use – apparently wedding make up people like it’
#22 Creme de la Mer fluid tint – this one’s expensive, but excellent. I have it on good authority (thanks Sabrina & Charmaine) that it’s a make up artist favourite. Lovely consistency (if you’re not into foundation but want more coverage than most tinted moisturisers give) and a really lovely (delicate and expensive, I’d call it) smell. The only snag is that it only comes in 3 colours. But if one of those works for you – great
#23 Cornsilk loose powder in translucent. Cheap. And you can wear it by itself or as a powder over other stuff. As used by K Mid, apparently
#24 MAC powder. Stops the gloss for greasy/combination skin types
#25 Dr Organic facial serum from Holland and Barrett. ‘AMAZING’. Says it all really
#26 Blisteze. A godsend for chapped lips. (You don’t need to have coldsores)
#27 Vaseline. For defining your eyebrows. Or for lips and little ones’ chapped noses (cheap version of #1)
#28 Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge – for cheeks and lips. Good if you don’t want your blusher to be powdery, or if you don’t do ‘proper’ lipstick but fancy a bit of colour
#29 Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum – has a kind of funny smell but really feels like it’s doing your skin good
#30 Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum – very calming (not at all rich or heavy) and effective, this is a serious product – you don’t buy it for any posey packaging
#31 Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Healthy Bronze – this is technically ‘for men’ (so there was one in there) but I use it – smells weird and lovely (kind of minty) with no hint of that awful self tan smell. It ‘tans’ much more gradually than say, the Johnsons one, but it smells a whole lot better
#32 Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque – very, very rich
#33 Lancome mascaras – best I’ve found to date, and there’s a lot of rogues out there. Happily I have a constant stream of samples thanks to my mum’s serious Lancome habit. Try Hypnose or Defencils.
#34 Nars mascara. A friend says that this is one of the only ones which doesn’t make her look like she has bags under her eyes.
#35 #36 #37 Dr Hauschka – cleansing cream / quince cream / rose hand cream. Strange, wonderful smells and textures and worthy, serious packaging and ingredients
#38 Benefit Eye Bright pencil – apply on the inner corner areas of eyes – makes you look all wide awake and bushy tailed and just a little bit Icelandic / wood nymph-y
#39 Eyebrow threading (re)shaping (and tinting) by Blink – the importance of this can’t be stressed enough. Try to grow your eyebrow hairs as much as you can bear to before you go, for max results. You can also get a quick lip / face wax (sorry, ‘thread’) if you’re a bit hairy
On that note, that’s it for now. A big up to my secret skincare consultants – thank you!
If you want further hair & make up product ideas, it’s worth checking out this blog spot: Florabundance. Lydia (my brother-in-law’s niece) is a recent graduate (ie young) but (not that being young is a bad thing – I’m just jealous) is really passionate about hair and beauty (hence the blogging). She does both brilliantly and knows more than I ever will on the subject.