My regular readers will have noticed that this is not a beauty blog. In fact I’m just not a beauty person. I have no skin regime, hate putting on makeup and wouldn’t know what to do with most of the stuff I see people blogging about. I’m a fan of the natural look (not the one created with slapping on tons of make-up, I mean the actual natural look). If I put on any kind of foundation I feel like I’m caked and my skin sweats because it’s trying to breathe. That being said, I do have some products that I just can’t do without and I thought I’d share them, because if I need them, you might too! So here goes!
Let’s start with the nail stuff, because this is the only area I really really take a lot of effort.
Nails Inc Glass Nail File: I got this file about 11 years ago and it was about £25. Yes that seems excessive for a nail file, but like I said I’ve had it 11 years ago and it’s still perfect. Sometimes called crystal nail files, glass files will not rip or tear your nails. They glide silently across your nail and create a lovely smooth edge to your nail. You just run it under cool water to clean it and it’s back to its original self. I even use this file when I’m wearing nail varnish if I need to reshape, and it never makes the polish crack or peel, so I’m still left with a flawless manicure. The only reason I’ll need to replace this is if I drop it and smash it. I have a friend who has a mini one in a little case she keeps in her handbag. I might need to investigate one of those…..
Nail Envy by OPI: Anyone who knows me or follows me on twitter will know how much I love this product and recommend it to anyone who has problem nails. It saved mine. I had soft, brittle, peeling nails that I couldn’t keep long because they broke all the time. The weakness of my nails would mean that my nails would bend and by bending would chip my nail varnish. My manicure wouldn’t last more than a day. I started using this a few years back. You start off with a week-long treatment, where you just put a layer on each day for 7 days, one on top of the other, and at the end of the week take it all off and just replace it with one layer. Some people say that they notice a difference straight away. I certainly felt that my nails were stronger. There are different types of Nail Envy for different nail problems and I’m sure there’s now a pink shade with treatment in it. I started with the weak nails version, but now I use the Original and Matte. I like the matte one because I don’t like the look of clear nail polish on bare nails – it looks greasy to me. They recommend the matte option for men but it does come out more pearlescent than matte. Nail Envy isn’t cheap but it lasts a while and it works. I use it instead of base coat so I get a treatment every time I paint my nails. You can paint it on top of your manicure if you need an extra treatment. But be warned, if you stop using it, your nails will go back to how they were! I’m converted. I love the stuff and can’t see myself ever wanting to stop using it.
Seche Vite: Working in retail, opening boxes, counting out money, ripping off plastic, my manicure never used to last more than a few days. Sometimes I would spend ages on some nail art only to have it wrecked within 20 mins of starting work. So I was after a top coat that would make it last. I’d heard about Seche Vite mainly from nail art fans, because they claimed it doesn’t drag the design when you’re sealing it. This was a big plus for me – spending ages on a design only to have it ruined by the top coat was a huge deal. I was sold. I bought mine from amazon marketplace, as it’s the cheapest I found. I’ve been so happy with it and have bought and re bought as I’ve worked my way through each bottle. It’s got a nice thick texture, and all you need to do is let a bead of polish form on the end of the brush before you paint and it’ll seal your colour with a nice even layer. It dries pretty quickly too. My only issue is that it does tend to shrink the colour at the ends of the nail so you can be left with a millimetre of bare nail at the tip. I’ve been trying different painting techniques to see if I can prevent this but not come up with anything. Sometimes I just file the ends the next day. Other people have said that after a while the texture of their polish changes and they get white bits but I always just turn the bottle upside down once I’ve capped it, and wait for two (sometimes three) air bubbles to rise to the top. Then I turn it right side up again. I think taking the air out of the polish makes a difference.
Frizz Ease Secret Agent: This stuff is my one must have hair product. I started using this because for some reason when I was about 16 I started to get really long flyaways along my parting and hairline. Hairdressers say it’s regrowth, but I always disagree. 15cm long regrowth? I don’t think so. Without this stuff I look like I have a mohawk growing along the centre of my head. My Mum had this product in the bathroom and so I started to use it, and it’s still my hair saviour. It’s the only think that works! When I get my hair done at the salon, I always take this with my in my bag and go to the bathroom afterwards to fix it.
Chapstick: I was always a Vaseline girl, but my Mum always swore by cherry Chapstick and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Turns out she was right!
Touche Eclat: I’ve been using Touche Eclat for about 13 years. It’s light, reflective, easy to use and covers my massive dark circles. It’s been perfect. But 13 years ago my skin was a lot different. And now I have fine lines around my eyes which this stuff settles into. Benefit have just launched something called FakeUp which claims to solve this problem. So I bought some. I’ll do a comparison review on the two once I’ve had a chance to play.
Rimmel Blusher: in Smoked Oyster. I’ve used this blusher since I was in my teens. I used it through the cream blusher phase, I used it through the bronzer phase. This is my colour. What can I say?
Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter: by Lush. Feel what you like about Lush at the moment, I love this stuff. It’s a big pot of lemon scented butter. I use it on my cuticles (perfect for recovering my weather wrecked fingers) but I also use it on my heels, elbows, knees – anywhere dry and chapped. The pot is massive and it expires after about a year. I’ve never finished a pot. But it’s not really expensive and it works so I don’t really mind!
Light Blue by D&G: This is my perfume, my scent. Given to me by a friend for my birthday just after I met Gary (this very bottle actually!) it reminds me of that time every time I smell it. I wore it on my wedding day and save it only for special occasions because I don’t want to lose the memories associated with the scent. Which is why this bottle has lasted me 11 years!
Gillette Venus Spa Breeze Blades: As someone who suffers with folliculitis, I have spent a lot of time working through different products to find the most comfortable way to deal with hair removal on my legs. These razor blade cartridges have shaving gel already on them and I have found them to be the best. They shave well but leave my legs moisturised and comfortable. Each blade will last a week. They’re not cheap but they work!
Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush: After using this toothbrush I can only compare using a manual toothbrush to brushing my teeth using a blunt stick. I couldn’t believe the difference this toothbrush made to my mouth! After using it for the first time my teeth felt SO clean and my mouth felt so fresh. I’ll never use a manual brush again – there doesn’t seem much point!
So those are my beauty staples! Let me know if you try any of these, because I’d love to know what you think!