I don’t really want to gloss over the current state of the world or tell you that buying a new face cream will fix things because it won’t. But I also don’t want to tell you to not treat yourself to a small luxury if you’re in a position to, because maybe those five minutes in the morning you spend on yourself are paramount for your wellbeing. Or maybe you’re genuinely just out of moisturiser and can’t duck out to Mecca to chose another. I don’t know what’s right. But what I do know is a good beauty product. So without expectation, I’ve compiled a list of ten cult picks – stuff that works for anyone and everyone. Stuff you can buy online and not think, ‘Damn, too oily! Too dark! Too rich!’ when it arrives. Maybe you’ll want one, maybe you just want something to read, maybe you want to order one and send to your sister because you can’t fly up and see her for her birthday as planned. Whatever it is, I hope it helps in some (very, very small) way.
Le Labo Santal 33
Scent is linked to memory, so in a weird, twisted, beauty-editor way I’ve stopped wearing perfume right now because I don’t wait to taint my favourites with this awful time. BUT, I digress. Not everyone is me. Plus, birthdays and anniversaries are still happening. Maybe you need a luxurious, all-appeasing gift? Maybe stress-buying fragrance is your kryptonite. Either way, I am yet to meet a human (male, female or otherwise) who does not fall victim to the hypnotic spell of Santal 33. Androgynous and esoteric, it’s smoky and warm. Like a hug, but not the sweet kind. More the dark, mysterious stranger kind (in a non-creepy). Anyway, it’s very good. Buy it, smell it, never return it.
Le Labo Santal 33 100ml, $440. SHOP NOW
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Face mists are like the butter cream frosting of the beauty world. Sure, the cake is “okay” without it by why the hell would you not include it as part of your cake-decorating or skincare-applying routine unless you were forced to do otherwise. They are best post-cleansing before serums (products absorb best on a damp face) or to keep you awake as you work from home. Or, in the fridge on a hot day. Jurlique’s is one of the best: it’s lightly hydrating, smells like a dream thanks to a high concentration of rosewater, and contains zero nasties. Plus, it’s a beautiful Australian brand that I believe is worth supporting.
Jurlique Balancing Rose Water Mist, $49. SHOP NOW
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
Skin shades all over the world can put their trust in RMS Living Luminizer. The clean, coconut-oil based highlighter is less a shimmer and more a translucent gloss, so it suits fair complexions as much as deeper ones. It’s non-toxic too, which is never a bad thing.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $61. SHOP NOW
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Hand cream has been the unsung beauty hero during these trying times, and while I can’t say I’m thrilled about it, I can say this rich, creamy pick from L’Occitane is truly a stand out. Unlike other superfluous formulas, it’s effective thanks to a 20 per cent concentration of pure shea butter. Also, one is sold every three seconds around the world. So yes! It works. Use it to counter balance dry hands from over-washing. But on that note, wash! your! damn! hands! That’s all.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $45. SHOP NOW
Weleda Skin Food
This cream is not here to mess around. It is here to HYDRATE. If you’re perpetually dry, that might mean your face. If not, that might mean hands (again), knees, elbows, feet, lips, corners of the nose or cuticles. It’s also ace for air travel thanks to its suer emollient texture, but let’s not dwell on that right now (just nice to know for future reference). The perfect natural, non-toxic, do-it-all salve. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of beauty.
Weleda Skin Food, $25. SHOP NOW
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
No one can sit here and tell me their skin doesn’t need vitamin c, because they would be lying. It’s tricky to suggest a formula that works for everyone, but if my experience in beauty has taught me one thing, it’s that everyone loves this serum. Editors, friends, skin experts, dermatologists and celebrities all rave about it. I am also a fan. It’s part vitamin c, part vitamin e, part ferulic acid, part magic for skin that’s bright, smooth even-toned and clear. Expensive, but you can’t argue with hundreds of dedicated brand fans.
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, $210. SHOP NOW
Chanel Lipstick in Pirate
I wrote about the lipstick index last week (those were the days). And sure, lipstick might not be at the top of your to-purchase list right now (because that would be toilet paper), but there is circumstantial evidence to prove that in tough times, lipstick sales go up. This is because little luxuries – like lipstick – are one way of injecting a little light into an otherwise bleak situation. Chanel Pirate is the queen of all reds: rich-looking, creamy, slightly matte… like something Lauren Bacall would wear.
Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Pirate, $56. SHOP NOW
Oribe Dry Texturising Spray
If I could only recommend one hair styling product for the rest of my life, it would be this. It’s pricey, but there’s no comparison out there (believe me, I’ve looked). It gives all hair types a beautiful, natural-feeling texture. No grit or stickiness, just volume and movement. Plus the smell – heaven. Everyone from fine hair types to coiled will find use for it.
Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, $68. SHOP NOW
Lanolips 101 Ointment
This Australian-owned business is big news all over the world. It was founder Kirsten Carriol’s dad who introduced her to Lanolin (the oil found in sheep’s wool), and she knew she had to share it in the beauty space. Now, it’s one of the best lip balms money can buy. All natural and highly moisturising, it’s the perfect product to keep in your handbag at all times. But don’t let the fun stop at your lips – it’s great on cuticles, chapped skin and as a face gloss (pending you’re not break-out prone).
Lanolips 101 Ointment, $19. SHOP NOW
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps
Moisturising is the cornerstone of any good skincare routine, but when it comes to real estate below the neck, it looses its appeal. For that reason, I am a firm believer in a really nice body cream/lotion/moisturiser. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is the OG and the best. It’s light and non-greasy but leaves skin feeling dewy and hydrated. One sells every 40 seconds, and it’s not exorbitantly priced. A cult beauty body product if there ever was one.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Moisturiser, $34. SHOP NOW
Unless you have the bone structure of Bella Hadid, chances are you’ll get a kick out of gua sha. The ancient Chinese practice is all about moving fluid around the body using a range of tools crafted from jade stone. Modern gua sha tools are often made using jade or rose quartz, and are carved into a shape that allows them to curve into the contours of the face. Make use of the extra time at home with a slather of face oil, before you push fluid up and out towards the lymph nodes. Try YouTube for further instruction.
Salt By Hendrix Rose Quartz Gua Sha, $25. SHOP NOW