It’s hard to decipher the good, from the bad and the ugly when it comes to beauty. So often you’re paying for the packaging or the brand name over the quality and efficacy of the formula itself…
From 24 carat gold serums, to placenta based potions, I’ve trialled a great many ‘diamond dust’ creams too, and let me tell you, the majority of the time, they’re no more effective than the dust found on my dressing room table.
So how do you sort the rough from the smooth? Allow me to introduce the beauty products that are worth their weight in gold, but may mean you need to remortgage your house…
La Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream, £220
It was during a recent trip to Dubai that I discovered the skin-changing qualities of this cream. I was in the sun all day every day, and coming back in the evening to inflamed, sun-drenched skin in need of TLC. I applied a thick layer of this every night and by morning, not only had it calmed down any redness (my rosacea prone skin reacts badly to almost all rich creams), but the glow I had the next morning was akin to a facial. Having purchased a new tub on my return to the UK, I have to say this really is a complexion perfector. Formulated primarily to replenish lost moisture from the skin, it’s no wonder my face looks the picture of hydrated health when I use this.
Shiseido Future Solutions LX Total Radiance Foundation, £75
I consider this the holy grail in complexion perfection. This does something to my skin that no other foundation can, and I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but it’s pretty damn spectacular. I attract compliments like magnets, and let me tell you now, this never happens. My skin has never been my selling point – plagued by acne when I was younger and rosacea now, I am honest enough to say that my skin is far from the best. Until I camouflage it with this that is. Whilst the formula appears thick, a little goes a long way (Thank the lord, I hear you say, at that price tag!) and it not only covers every line, imperfection and change in skin tone seamlessly, it doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. It somehow melts into the skin and just sits there like an invisibility cloak. Better still, by 8pm (and the arrival of a date), it’s still going strong and sassy. What a dream!
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Perfumes, £348 each
Initially a luxury Swiss skincare line, Valmont has ventured into fragrance and it’s fancy AF. Whilst the wow factor is in the packaging; they resemble works of art with multifaceted detailing on the bottles, and each scent depicted by a different coloured gem stone. Inspired by Venice, the home of Valmont founders, Sophie and Didier Guillon, each scent takes you on a journey through the various regions of Venice, with my favourite; the yellow/amber shade – Gaggio Medio I. Inspired by Dorsudoro, it’s musky and masculine with notes of Amber and Sandalwood. The only place I’ve ever visited with as powerful scents is Dubai, and these really reminded me of the luxe, oud-y scents of the super glamorous Arabic women and the packaging only adds to this. One spritz lasts all day and is more of a treasured possession than just a perfume.
Hair Rituel by Sisley Revitalizing Fortifying Serum, £135
If you’re a long-standing reader or follower of mine, then you’ll know how much I love Sisley skincare products. Their scientific stance, skintelligence and transformative technology makes for one hell of a brand. When they recently launched a hairline, I knew I’d be all over that stuff. Pricey yes, eye wateringly so, but that serum in particular has worked a mini miracle on my barnet. It’s thicker, shinier, smoother and less oily than before whilst it holds a style so much better too. Just pop a few drops into the roots and massage in, then smooth a few through the mid lengths and dry ends.
Shiseido Future Solutions LX Total Radiance Loose Powder, £80
I don’t do powders ordinarily. I find more often than not they look cakey, settle in every nook and cranny on my face and can age any youthful glow I may be sporting on a lucky day. That said, there’s not much worse than an overly shiny face, especially one where makeup slides off faster than a drunkard off a barstool. In an ideal world, they’d be a powder that was so fine, it set your makeup but left no trace of it’s powdery texture, and didn’t instantly conceal your carefully curated highlight. And then there came this powder. Ticking all of the above boxes, plus many more, this is so light you can’t even feel it on your fingers, is colourless and holds my makeup ALL day. Better still, it comes with a vintage looking pouffe which reminds me of my Spanish Grandma and her dressing table decorated with Chanel makeup.