In a world of choice when it comes to beauty, it's interesting to understand those absolute essentials that you just couldn't live without. It might be your daily moisturiser, an essential makeup product or even a fragrance. For each person it's different. I got into a conversation with a group of friends recently and found it so interesting to hear what they just could not live without....their Desert Island Beauty Product. This therefore inspired me to share their stories with you and give you some new ideas and fresh inspiration.
Aimee is 37 years old and lives in Bristol. Aimee and I have been very best friends (literally!) since the moment we met almost 10 years ago now. As a couple of beauty addicts, we've enjoyed many visits to Boots and Space NK together to check out the latest products. Aimee's choice is Creme to Powder Blush by Sleek Makeup. She says "I would have to take my Sleek Creme to Powder Blush to a desert island as it's great for both cheeks AND for lip colour! This little palette I have has lasted a year already (no exaggeration!) as a tiny dab goes a long way! It comes with a built-in mirror for reapplying on the move which I love. It's also a great price at £5.99 which works out very economical for the amount of use it gets." Cream blushers have been incredibly popular in the last few years due to the multitasking properties that Aimee was talking about. Use for cheeks for a healthy glow and on lips for a gentle stain. Click on Aimee's photo to take you to Sleek's website.
Emily is 33 years old and lives in South West London (but originally from Scotland!). She's one of my best friends and a fellow south Londoner! She is a big skincare fan and spends time each morning and evening ensuring she is maintaining and repairing her skin. Her choice is the Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream. She says "Why? Because we are not all fortunate enough to be relaxing on that desert island! Love this product..pricey but it's luxurious and rich and has made a noticeable difference to the fine lines. A five star product!" Emily is conscious of looking after the delicate area around her eyes and this product is a great choice for her and for many. Not only does it give immediate improvement in texture and plumpness around the delicate eye area, but the peptides, natural plant oils and humectants target fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and dryness. Click on Emily's photo to take you to the John Lewis website.
Katie is 32 years old and lives in Surrey and she's my 'adopted little sister' (a.k.a my boyfriend's little sister!). She is always active either horse riding or skiing and so her products have to be quick but incredibly efficient. She says "Elizabeth Arden 8 hour Skin Protectant is my best friend when I go skiing and during the Winter. Great for chapped lips and peeling skin after a sunny few days on the slopes. I also get eczema on my hands and this stuff sorts it out in a couple of days. Just wish they'd change the fragrance!". Katie is right, this cream is a little tube of wonder (but doesn't smell that great!). It's a genuine multi-tasker and is actually featured again below. Both of the girls use it differently, showing how perfectly it can adapt for different people. Click on Katie's picture to buy.
I met Kim a couple of years ago through Emily and she's a wee babe. Like me, she is a bit of a researcher when it comes to her beauty products so she was a great choice to give a really well-informed view for this post. Kim lives in West London and is 32 years old. Her choice is the Diorshow Waterproof Mascara in Black. She says "My desert island beauty essential is the Diorshow Waterproof Mascara in Black. I have used Dior mascara since I was at school (that's a lot of years!) and I always go back to it. The pigmented formulation gives a dense colour and the illusion of lengthening and thickening my lashes. It's waterproof, so it's perfect for the beach and lasts all day. I wear this product on and off the beach and love it!". Kim's example is a good one as waterproof mascaras need not be exclusively for those desert island days. They will always last longer than normal formulations so if you enjoy a bold lash look but don't want the fall down then give this a try. Click on Kim's image to take you to John Lewis' website.
Kirsty is 26 and lives in Glasgow. I met her when we worked for the same fashion agency together in Glasgow and she's a wee gem and a complete beauty addict. Her pick (like Katie) is Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream. She says "My 'couldn't live without product' is Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. I use it if I ever have any dry patches, spots that I want to heal quickly or my skin just needs a bit of a boost. Although it's not for everyone, I actually love the smell and like to slather it on my entire face before bed once a week or so (sorry pillowcases!) It can also double up as a brow/lash conditioner, lip balm, and can even pass as a cheek/brow bone highlighter at a push! It's so valuable to me, I've even cut the top off to get the very last bit out. " This product truly is an all-in-one and claims to sooth, restore, calm and help relieve chapped, cracked, dry skin. It also soothes roughness, redness and minor skin irritations. Click on Kirsty's picture to buy.
Mell is 25 and lives in London. I met Mell when we worked together at Lyle & Scott and I still can't think of a day I saw her without her Mac Ruby Woo lipstick on (even on tired days!). She says "So it goes without saying that my beauty product of choice is MAC Ruby Woo, often known as the holy grail of red lipstick. I have been wearing Ruby Woo since I was at sixth form college, and I would never, EVER, branch out to any other brand. There are so many products out there that claim to be 'versatile' however Ruby Woo truly lives up to that claim. I have seen Ruby Woo worn on so many different skin tones, and it really does work on everyone! I associate Ruby Woo with pure sassiness, and every woman deserves to feel S-A-S-S-Y. It has got me through job interviews, great dates, appalling dates, I could go on... Ruby you are my no.1 gal!". If you're after the perfect red shade in a long-lasting matte finish then I certainly wouldn't recommend looking beyond this product. This was the lipstick that made Mac famous and is loved by Dita Von Teese, Rita Ora and Rhianna. Click on Mell's picture to go to Mac's online store.
Nat is 30 years old and lives in Townsville on the East Coast of Australia. She is my ultimate best friend and I miss her a lot. She is now eight months pregnant and has been very conscious of looking after her skin as she's experienced hormonal changes throughout her three trimesters. Her choice is the Frank Body Scrub. She says "For my desert island beauty I've chosen Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub. I use this at least once a week, it keeps my skin so hydrated and glowing. This scrub has proved invaluable throughout my pregnancy as I've suffered from dry skin. It only contains natural products including cold pressed almond oil and robust coffee...it's so good you could almost eat it. Plus it's only tested on 'babes'!" Frank Body is an Australian brand that is now available in the UK. Links to Nathalie's choice and other products are available by clicking on her photo.
Here's lovely Phoebe who is always smiling. Phoebe is Emily's cousin's girlfriend and whilst I only met her a few months ago, she's such a gem that we all love hanging out with her. Her choice to take to the desert island is Simple Light Moisturiser. She says "If I was stranded on a desert island, I'd be desperate for a good moisturiser. This one feels so lightweight on your skin, you don't feel like you're wearing it but it still leaves you looking revitalised and refreshed. Plus it's got SPF in it so you're protected everyday. It just so happens to be cheap too....total winner!" Simple's product range is a lovely one because it's genuinely clean of any harsh additives and kind to the vast majority of skin types. This moisturiser is packed with skin boosting vitamins and contains both UVA and UVB protection. If you're after a good daily moisturiser then this is a great bet...it guarantees for at least twelve hours which is pretty great! Click on Phoebe's photo to take you to Superdrug's website.
Rach is my amazing sister in law as well as being one of my best friends for over 14 years now. Not only does she have my darling brother to look after, she also has my gorgeous little nephews; Oliver who is almost 5 and Leo who is 16 months. Her pick is the iconic Dandelion Powder by Benefit. She says "As a busy working mum and nurse, I don't get a huge amount of time in the mornings to put a much make up on. Most days it's just foundation, cheek stain and this, Benefit Dandelion Powder. I have used Benefit products since my early 20s and this has been a staple of my make up bag since then. It's a delicate pink powder that can be used as a blusher or as an all over powder. I use it all over and love the way it warms my pale Scottish skin without overwhelming it like a lot of bronzers do. Plus it's subtle enough that I can wear it to work without feeling too made-up in front of my patients or when I'm running about with the children at home. It also smells lovely too!" Rach is right and this product is loved by many for it's instant brightening effects yet natural look. For those tired days or when you're having a great skin time and just want a gentle glow then this is a great one to reach for. Click on Rach's picture to go to the Benefit website.
I met Roz through a friend a few years ago and love her high energy and craziness. She's a big beauty fan like me so we always have lots tips to share. Her choice is the Dermologica Daily Microfoliant; a real skin saviour. She says "After thinking about what I really have to have and can't have any other substitute in all the beauty sections (make up/skin care/body care) I've decided on the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. I live in London and wear make up almost every day so I have a lot of grime to get off my face in the evenings. I also have extremely sensitive skin - most face products sting - and I'm 33 so ageing is a concern! I find that the dermalogica range are perfect for my skin, but they are quite pricey so I limit myself to one or two must-haves. The daily microfoliant is great for gently scrubbing my skin every day so it's left soft and really clean. I really do think this is the one stand out product I've used over the years that has made my skin better (bar the monthly hormonal chin spots!). I highly recommend this!" If you're to ask a skincare expert for a daily cleanser that supports a range of skin concerns then this is a very likely candidate. It's extremely gentle so good for people with sensitive skin like Roz and leaves the skin feeling super fresh and glowing. Great choice! Click on Roz's photo to take you to Dermologia's page on the John Lewis website.
Sarah is my little cousin and (I'm lucky to say) a good friend of mine too. She's 30 and lives in Glasgow. Sarah's pick is mascara which didn't surprise me at all as she's always been good with her lashes! Her choice is the L'Oréal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara in Black. She says "My must have is my L'Oréal Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara. I have been loyal to this for over 10 years now, and it always comes through for me. I have tried other mascaras and none come close to this. It is guaranteed to give me no panda eyes, even after a sweaty gym session (which others have done much to my horror when looking in the mirror afterwards). I won't leave the house without mascara on ...I look dead without it! The only exception being when I'm running late in the mornings (ok, every morning) and have to put it on on the train!". I've tried this mascara before (thanks to Sarah's recommendation) and I have to agree it's super rich, thanks to the base coat and separates whilst volumising at the same time. The fact that it doesn't budge will always be a winner. Click on Sarah's photo to take you to Boots' website.
I hope you enjoyed hearing from my fabulous girls and found some cool new beauty discoveries! A huge thank you to Aimee, Emily, Katie, Kim, Kirsty, Mell, Nat, Phoebe, Rach, Roz and Sarah for taking the time to do this and allowing me to share their stories. You are all wonderful and I love each and every one of you.
Have a great weekend guys and cherish your lovely friends!