I was going to call this post ‘Boring Beauty Bits’ because firstly – let’s be honest – these products aren’t the sexiest, but secondly because I really like alliteration. I’m pretty cool like that. But I think calling these items boring would do them a disservice. They are the products I rely on almost every day and come back to over and over again. So let’s dive in to my beauty staples that don’t get enough love…
My monthly favourites and GRWM posts shine the spotlight on innovative and exciting products. That new lipstick formula, the life changing hair styling spray, a super OTT necklace. But I never seem to chat about the standard bits and pieces that keep all of this *gestures to whole body* in check. To use a convoluted analogy, these products are the best friend you’ve had since junior school who is trustworthy, reliable and kind but doesn’t quite have the same exciting pull as the new girl at school who you’ve heard got expelled for her last school and whose mum lets her wear hair mascara. You still with me?
But sometimes you need to acknowledge the staple items. Here are mine, but I’d LOVE to hear yours so please leave me a comment below with your reliable (but maybe a bit boring) beauty bits!
Going clockwise round the picture above, let’s start with one of the most genuinely boring items: Primark flannels. Yep, this is happening. Embrace it. My rosacea means that I can’t use a lot of physical exfoliators so I find that using a flannel to remove my cleanser gives me a little tiny bit of gentle exfoliation every day. I bulk buy the multipacks from Primark because they’re cheap, they come in fun colours, and they’re actually really good quality.
Batiste is my saviour. I cannot count how many hours I’ve saved by dragging a blow dry out for ‘just one more day’ with a spritz of this magical stuff. Yes it leaves the hair coated in gunk and there are newer brands out there that are lightweight and invisible but I’ve tried them and none of them have the power of Batiste. I don’t need to be able to run my hands through my hair just as long as it doesn’t look like I dunked my head in chip fat. Plus it’s cheap and comes in gigantic cans so I always stock up when I’m in Boots.
I wear a lot of matte lip products and also chew my lips when I’m nervous. Sexy. This bad boy is one of two products that keeps my lips smooth and happy: Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub. It’s a simple product but it genuinely works. A chunky, sweet-smelling (and -tasting) sugar scrub that gets rid of flakes and dullness straight away while also moisturising your lips. This tub is pretty battered as it’s been everywhere with me and is still going strong!
I’ve only been using this for a few months but I wish I’d discovered it years ago. Cold cream has been around for decades but I’d never given it another thought until I was given some on the Avéne press trip. The Avéne Cold Cream* is a very simple but effective moisturiser that doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, which some body products with fragrance can do. I apply this every night before bed and – another bonus – it sinks in so quickly that you don’t have to worry about the sheets sticking to you afterwards!
The Aquis Hair Towel* actually featured in a monthly favourites a few months ago and I think I acknowledged in that post that towels are not exciting. But this one is flipping genius. It’s made of really thin and absorbent material and cuts your blow dry time down like you would not believe. I wrap my hair in this when I get out of the shower, do my skincare and make up base, take the towel off and rough dry my hair for 2 minutes and my hair is dry. That is not hyperbole. TWO. MINUTES. It’s madness. I’ve heard M&S do a similar one which I may have to check out so I have a spare…
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know of my love for (read: obsession with) OPI Nail Envy. I use it as a base coat under every manicure and have done for years. I think it’s 50% responsible for my talons (in case you’re interested I reckon the rest is 25% genetics, 25% my refusal to do washing up). It strengthens nails so much it is bananas. But be aware that it can be *too* good – if you don’t use a nail oil as well then your nails can become brittle. Fair warning!
Another relatively new discovery for me, the Tangle Teezer Blow Styling Smoothing Brush*. Like most women (or men with long hair) I rejoiced when I found the original Tangle Teezer. No knot too big or hair type too unruly: it was a revelation. The expanded range takes the same principles but applies it to styling. This brush helps me to dry my hair quicker, while keeping it straight and smooth. I hate blow drying my hair so I just turn my head upside down, blast it with the hairdryer and use the Tangle Teezer brush to smooth the hair from left ear to right ear and back again, giving me some serious volume.
Feet are hideous. I would like to pretend that mine don’t exist and never have to deal with them ever again but then summer rolls around and I want to wear pretty sandals so I have to do something. Before bed I apply the Soap & Glory Heel Genius, focusing on the heel and top of my feet. It smells lovely and menthol-y and makes hot summer feet feel clean and refreshed. It contains fruit acids so it helps to gradually improve the rough parts of your feet as well as moisturising. Bonus!
This is another product that’s practically famous on this blog as it goes on every holiday with me, especially if I’m taking a flight. Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm is a cult product and I am a card-carrying member of that cult. It’s thick, a little bit gritty, and matte – all of which sound like they’d make a bad lip balm but the combination is incredible. I apply this every night to work its magic while I sleep and I soon notice a difference if I forget it or (forgive me, Nuxe) try something different. I have 3 back up tubs in my make up desk so that I’m never caught short which is the sign of a true addict.
This is a bathroom staple in France and for good reason: Boiron Homeoplasmine is one of those wonderful products that does everything. You can use it on sunburn, grazes, chapped lips, dry cuticles, insect bites, flaky noses from colds… you name it. It’s a great product to have kicking around to cover all bases.
This is another product you’re probably bored of hearing me talk about on this blog, but I couldn’t do a ‘beauty staples that don’t get enough love’ post and not include it. Seche Vite Top Coat is my holy grail. I’ve tried so many others and none are as shiny, fast drying or long-lasting. I use this with all of my manicures and it’s touch dry in a minute (ONE!) and ‘bash-dry’ in five minutes. This is UNHEARD OF. I know it smells funky. Yes, if you don’t wrap your tips properly it can shrink your polish. Uh-huh, it goes gloopy after a while, but I go through bottles so quickly I don’t get to that point. In fact I use so much of it, I buy the industrial sized bottles!
This is the body moisturiser I use if I’m leaving the house with my skin out and want to look glowy and healthy but also smell delicious. Soap & Glory Smoothie Star is a light moisturiser that smells JUST like Malted Milk biscuits. If you’re anything like me, this will be an enormous selling point. It takes a little longer to sink in than the Avéne Cold Cream but is still a lot quicker than the typical body butters etc.
I am really lazy with my hair removal. My hair is blonde and I’m not that hairy so I just tend to forget about it until 5 minutes before I’m leaving the house in a skirt and panic. Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you what to do with your body hair – it’s your body so you do you, bb. But for me, the Gilette Venus Star Breeze razor and blades are brilliant. The built in soap around the blades really helps the razor glide over the skin (even the knees, ankles and shin bone… I can’t count the amount of scars I have from teenage shaving accidents *horf*) plus it doesn’t dry the skin.
And those are all of my boring beauty bits – the beauty staples that don’t get enough love! Do let me know what yours are in the comments below – I’m nosey and am convinced someone’s going to reveal something life changing… Beauty Staples That Don’t Get Enough Love
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