Beauty Without Fuss

Sunday 6 September 2009

Products I love - Updated!

For those of you who followed my last blog, you'll know that the original of this post (below!) was written the best part of five years ago ... how time flies! So I'm going to update the post, and see what's been replaced, and what's still going strong. I'll be doing a separate list of my new favourites later.

Kerastase Dermo Calm shampoo - Simply the best anti-dandruff shampoo there has ever been, for us sensitive scalped, dry haired people, plus it's good for coloured hair. Now sadly rumoured to be discontinued, I've recently bought four bottles just in case

... UPDATE I still use this, it was never discontinued (don't trust those pesky sales people who are only interested in upselling you to the products with better commission!) and I still love it. Have never found a product that soothes as well, and is as gentle on the hair.

Diorific 008 Mystic Mauve - The perfect neutral lipstick, if one ignores the quite ridiculously bulky packaging. Goes with smokey eyes or no-makeup makeups, somehow just makes your lips look polished and gives the perfect finishing touch to any face. And it makes your teeth look whiter, which is marvellous.

... UPDATE I still use this lipstick too, but I've redefined the colours I use as neutral these days, I use a lot more caramelly shades, and, some people might think this is odd, I use red as a neutral too. More about that later.

MAC Prolash - Great mascara with bulking fibres to make your lashes look fab of a nighttime. This was my wonder-product till I discovered Lancome Hypnose, which I find doesn't smudge as much.

... UPDATE: MAC simply couldn't compete with the Lancome Hypnose, for me! Sorry MAC, I love you, but Lancome do what they do so very well, it's not a fair competition any more.

MAC Strobe Cream - a cream highlighter/moisturiser. You can use this on your cheekbones/browbones for a highlighter effect, or use it in place of moisturiser for a slightly sheeny dewy effect. I like to dab a little all over a too matte foundation to make it look more natural. Did you know all MAC face products are vitamin enriched, like this one? I didn't either. And it's literally half the price and twice the size of Benefit's similar products.

... UPDATE: Still love this stuff, I love a dewy finish these days - I have reached that age where matte simply won't do any more, alas - and this is a marvel for mixing with other products where a sheen is necessary. There is no glitter, and no sparkles in it, so it's a little more subtle than a lot of shimmering products out there.

Laura Mercier eyeshadow in Twilight - a sort of purply-browny-greyish colour. You can wear this as a light natural colour wash across your lids, it's perfect for bringing out the green tones in hazel or brown eyes, but it also suits blue eyes. Or, you can use it as I do as the basis for the smokey eyes look as detailed earlier. The perfect suits all occasions and colourings eyeshadow.

... UPDATE: Still use this on a regular basis, but I use it more often as a subtle eyeliner, it's a beautiful shade still, and exceptionally versatile.

MAC paint in Untitled - a flesh coloured pigment in an artists paint tube. Can be used anywhere on the face - it comes in a variety of colours and finishes - but this one makes the perfect base for eye makeup, as it evens out the skin tones there, and gives the shadow something to cling to, and makes it last all day, and all night if it has to. Wonderful stuff.

... UPDATE: Still great, and still works (and still on the same tube! This stuff l a s t s) but it has serious competion from Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. In fact, if Urban Decay wasn't packaged so bloody stupidly, it'd be the hands-down winner in this category.

Urban Decay liquid eyeliner - I own about six of these, beautiful colours and simply the best brush yet found for ease of application. Stupid, stupid colour names though.

... UPDATE: Urban Decay still have the best selection of eyeliner colours on the High Street, and the product is just as good, BUT (and it's a big but) the new packaging makes it a lot more wasteful, and less easy to use. A case where less is indeed more when it comes to packaging.

Rimmel pencil eyeliner
- there is no eyeliner pencil on the market to rival these budget beauties. Soft, easy to apply, and relatively long lasting, simply no sense in buying more expensive ones.

... UPDATE: They still rule. Other companies might come up with lovelier colours, but for cheap and cheerful, you can't beat Rimmel pencils in the UK. In the US, a totally different story, as Wet'n'Wild rule, but they're difficult to find over here.

Chanel Crystalle - my favourite perfume, I flirt with others, but I always come back to this. A green, floral, herby type scent, that's not at all sweet (my pet hate in perfumes, along with that horrible ingredient in certain perfumes that I haven't identified yet which makes me retch), and apparently it's very sexy. I love it.

... UPDATE: Oh yes, I still love this. But, my other go-to perfume these days is Philosykos by Diptyque. That's a glorious green fig scent. I think green is my favourite perfume type, by far. That and incense. Again, more about that later.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream I never leave the house without a tube of this about my person somewhere, I use it as a lip balm, to pat on foundation to get a glow, as an eye gloss (great if you've smudged your liquid eyeliner, and want to make it look like a deliberate action), as a cuticle treatment, on spots, on flaky skin patches such as ankles and elbows, on scratches. It's wonderful, and last for years. Don't buy the lip treatment stick though, it has too much added vitamin e and another ingredient which can actually make your lips flakier. And it doesn't contain petrochemicals, which is one of my pet hates in balm-type products. The original wonder product, and still the best as far as I'm concerned.

... UPDATE: Still can't be bettered, as far as I'm concerned. I must have a tube, tub, jar, or tin of every single balm on the market, and I must pick up a new one every week, but the only thing I've found 8hr Cream can be bettered on is scent. 8hrs wins because, when it comes down to it, it's more versatile. Wouldn't want to waste something gorgeously smelling on burns and zits now, would you?

Chanel Rouge Noir lipstick and nail varnish Beautiful colours, beautiful packaging. Chanel do reds better than any other make up company, and these are the best reds ever, no question.

... UPDATE: Controversial, this one. They are still the best reds ever, but not for me, these days, I think. They're beautiful, but they're too dark and too ageing for me to wear regularly. Currently, my favourite red is a Givenchy CanCan which is the brightest reddest red I can find - at the moment! - and I find it gives my face a little lift, which can only be a good thing, right?



  1. I still love Rouge Noir, but I really have to be in the mood for it on the lips. I find it easier to wear on the nails nowadays!

  2. Me too!

    I have a picture of me (recent) with my lips in rouge noir, and my hair up, and I look like my grandmother! Searching for a new red lipstick is tough, but there's a red out there for everyone, I believe.

  3. I don't agree about Mac Strobe! I think Benefit's That Gal is better...pinker and softer, and smells nicer. Mac Strobe smells weird.

  4. Each to their own, of course! But I find the Strobe a lot more versatile, mainly because it's not pink. Also, it's cheaper, you get more and it lasts longer than the Benefit (all important for me, as I use it mixed with other products very often, and pink doesn't suit everyone, or every look) but if you love it, and it's what works for you, then go for it, I say!

  5. I absolutely love lancome's mascaras. I've tried hypnose and flextencils. I seem to like flextencils more, maybe because my curls are held in longer than hypnose. :)



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