‘5 of the best ‘must-have’ products’, compiled by a make-up artist [Head-to-toe beauty]

[By Elizabeth Hudson]
“Here’s me presenting on QVC this month”
Have you ever been stood in the beauty aisles or scrolled through website pages, staring at the endless beauty products thinking, “How do I choose between them all?”. Maybe you are swayed by the price tag or what happens to be on offer, or by what you’ve heard is the latest ‘must have’. Obviously, the savvy shopper reads around for opinions on what might suit him or her, best. In my role as a make up artist, I have been lucky enough to be able to ‘trial and test’ a wide range of products out there. So, here, I have rounded up a list of the ‘top 5’ base products that I would restock the instant I think I’m even coming close to running out…
This is a weightless hair oil spray containing keratin proteins and argan oil that nourishes and strengthens hair while adding a luscious shine. Sprayed lightly from mid-lengths to ends when damp it leaves my hair feeling silky and healthy after blow-drying, also helping to dry my thick hair quicker. I’m very much prone to frizz at the slightest hint of moisture in the air so I tend to spray a little over the ends (avoiding roots to avoid the greasy look) and I know this will keep fly-always at bay all day.
2. ESPA Refining Skin Polish, £27 for 55ml, johnlewis.com
I’ve tried a variety of face masks and exfoliators that all do a good job of leaving my skin feeling clean and smooth, but this one goes beyond all of them as my ultimate ‘go to’ whether I need a quick skin fix or a spa worthy experience. The creamy formula, containing tiny beads of diatomaceous earth and skin softening Shea butter, massages sensually onto damp skin, removing impurities, clearing pores and leaving my skin feeling silky, fresh and glowing. I use it as an exfoliator twice a week and once a week as a mask, with the scent of rose it feels like a spa treatment every time.
My ultimate desert island item, Complexion Rescue is the best of a tinted moisturiser, BB and CC cream combined, that provides my skin with super hydration, a gorgeous natural coverage and sun protection. I apply this every day, buffing a pea sized amount onto my complexion with the Smoothing Face Brush, for light-medium coverage and depending on the state of my skin or what look I want to achieve, I apply concealer and/or foundation over the top without it looking heavy or feeling cakey. While I was on holiday in Skiathos recently, this was all I wore on my skin, day & night, as it provided SPF 30 and a lightweight, natural coverage, enough for the warm climate.
I’ve not always been the best at remembering to use body lotion, but since being pregnant (I’m currently six months) and using Bio-oil religiously on and around my bump, it has also encouraged me to take care of the rest of my body too. I love this Vaseline body moisturiser as it is lightweight and non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, leaving little or no residue – great when you want to get dressed in a rush. A little goes a long way, so I’ve found I can get a good four months use out of one 400ml bottle, applying it an average of five days a week. There are lots of formulas available for different skin types, but I prefer the light scent and weight of the Aloe Soothe.
5. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, £9.85, feelunique.com, and OPI Nail Lacquer range, debenhams.com
For me, choosing good nail products would have mean they tick 3 boxes – long wearing, high shine colour and drys quickly. So that’s why these two products made my top 5 (I know I’ve cheated slightly, but I would have to use both to get that salon quality manicure). Seche Vite is amazing as its touch dry in less than a minute, thoroughly dry in less than 5 minutes, and can be applied as a base and top coat or on its own for ultimate shine. It looks thick like a gel and I’ve found lasts, chip resistant for up to 7 days. The OPI Nail Lacquer range is my go-to for a good selection of high shine colours that have an easy to apply brush and I’ve found that even if I haven’t got my Seche Vite top coat handy, they still last for a good few days without chipping.

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