I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with skincare and beauty, right from fancy dress as a child playing with lipstick and saving up my pocket money to buy make-up from the corner shop, to hours spent watching the beauty shows on QVC as a teenager (yes I was a bit of a geek). I was completely fascinated with the different products and brands they featured, and the exotic experts who came over from America to demonstrate them. From a young age my oldest friend Maddie and I would mess about with face masks and paint each others’ toes, reading up on beauty tips and debating the important questions in life like how often you should wash your hair, and as soon as I was old enough, I was saving my pennies to try out salon treatments from waxes to manicures to massages.
This obsession may come as a surprise to some people because beauty isn’t actually something I talk about that much, mainly because I tend to stick with the same stuff – it’s only when I find something new that I really shout about it. But why not shout about the tried and tested, really good stuff? Because when you spend money on something that doesn’t work it’s the worst. That’s why I come back to the same favourites again and again, that I know will work. So here they are, my trustworthy hair and skincare staples…
You might’ve worked out from the picture that I’m a big fan of Liz Earle, and I’m not jumping on any bandwagon because I’ve been using her range since I was 12 (I told you I was a geek about this stuff!). I think we all know that we should be cleansing, toning and moisturising, but sometimes it’s easier said than done – I’m not going to pretend that I do it every morning and night as I should. However, Liz Earle’s products make it feel like so much more of a treat because they smell and feel amazing, and when I use them daily and consistently, I do see the difference in my skin.
If you haven’t used this cleanser before, it’s a thick cream that doubles up as a make-up remover, containing rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus essential oil, which you rub in before washing off with a muslin cloth and hot water. I find using the muslin cloth helps slough off a lot more make-up than a wipe or cotton pad swipe job, and gently exfoliates at the same time, so your skin is left squeaky clean. (If you’re wanting more exfoliation, there’s a great little Liz Earle product for this too, which I wrote about in this blog).
This stuff smells INCREDIBLE and no wonder because it contains aloe vera, calendula, cucumber, rose-scented geranium and vitamin E. It’s the most cooling, refreshing tonic on your skin, and I find it’s also great for soothing reddened skin after you’ve plucked your eyebrows, and soaked on cotton pads as a little eye mask when hayfever gets bad.
There’s a few different versions of this moisturiser depending on your skin type, I use the Light option for combination/oily skin. It contains borage, avocado, echinacea and vitamin e and a little goes a long way so you only need to use a pea-size amount each time. As the name would suggest, it feels beautifully light and non-greasy, soaks into your skin quickly and again, it smells like flowers.
You might think it’s strange that I use shampoo for blondes because yes, you’re not mistaken that I am in fact a brunette! I’ve had blonde highlights for years which is why I started using it; it just happens that said highlights have now pretty much grown out because I’m too broke/lazy to get them done. Despite being darker now though, I still love using John Frieda’s products and they’re the best shampoo and conditioner I’ve found to date.
I find some shampoos leave your hair feeling not quite clean, or just feel really drying. This one has neither problem, it lathers up well and feels so silky it’s almost like a conditioner in itself. Then the actual conditioner leaves your hair feeling another level of soft, and both smell lovely and fresh too.
This stuff is probably the only reason that I get told my hair looks in good condition, because truthfully I straighten it a lot more than I should. It contains Kalahari melon seed oil, coconut oil and radish seed oil, and is by far and away the best heat protector product I’ve used. It keeps the ends nice and soft when you’re straightening them, and works well too when rubbed into wet hair before blow drying.
So there you have it, my hair and skincare staples. FYI I don’t have shares in Liz Earle (hard to believe I know) and haven’t been gifted any of these products – I honestly just really like them! What are your favourites and the products you always come back to?