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Modern Classics: The beauty finds you already can't live without

April 10th 2014

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Co-founder of BeautyMART Anna-Marie Solowij reveals the six products she has no intention of giving up

Modern classic: bit of an oxymoron, I know, but we’re talking about those products that you use every day, that you tell your friends about, that you can’t imagine ever not using.

However, unlike ‘classic’ classics - I’m thinking Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Olay Beauty Fluid, Revlon’s One Perfect Coral Nail Polish, etc, that endure without alteration, ‘modern’ classics are susceptible to the vagaries of changing trends, changing times. Like the latest Celine bag, your crush on Cara, or super green juicing; it’s love, but it may not last forever. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t succumb again, at some point in the future - just look at Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. So, until I fall in love with something new, this is my current modern classics hall of fame:

Weleda Skin Food, £10, is a long time love. I have had a tube (not the same one, natch) of this rich balm in my bathroom cupboard for at least 30 years. I love its creamy, ointmenty texture, the almost medicinal aroma, even the way the leaf green aluminum tube crinkles up beautifully with use. I rely on it at least three times a week to treat dry skin.

It’s great for tight-feeling shins, dehydrated hands and as an emergency face mask; even the residue gets smoothed over brows and hair, to tame them. However, if you were to plot my usage over a year, you’d see peaks in mid-winter and high summer – times when skin is crying out for some soothing care either due to cold and wind or aircon and sun.

Fairydrops Mascara, £7, is my latest makeup crush. I’m a disloyal mascara user because any brand that launches a shiny new wand with a funny-looking brush (FairyDrops’ has three bobbles, and reminds me of a show poodle) will turn my head and I will flirt happily until the next beau comes along.

For me, Fairydrops achieves the status of ‘modern classic’ because it’s so much better than other mascaras out there. The combination of ‘poodle’ wand and formula makes it behave like a push-up bra for lashes, lifting, separating and enhancing your natural assets without turning them into some kind of parody of femininity.

Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Fluid Blusher, £15.50, is something of a rekindled passion. I remember when this makeup artist brand first launched, oh about 15 years ago, and his water-based blush seemed like the most ingenious idea then – and it still does now, giving skin that glow from within that for me is the most desirable way for blusher to look.

Daniel has just added two brighter, near-neon shades to the range and I personally love Trip, a vivid orange which when applied gives that sunkissed tone you get after a day at the beach when skin looks warm and bronzed at once.

If you haven’t got an EOS Smooth Sphere lip balm, £7, in your bag then you’ve obviously been on another planet for the past 18 months. We launched them in the UK at BeautyMART in 2012 and since then, they’ve become the most popular lip balms on the planet, Instagrammed by famous people including Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian, Poppy Delevingne and Lisa Eldridge. They’re not only modern classics, they’re cult classics.

Balmain Texturising Salt Spray, £19.50. Balmain. Even the name makes you feel like one of those sickeningly chic French girls with thin legs (in white jeans…) and easy, breezy hair. It may never be possible to have the legs but that hairstyle can be yours with a few spritzes of Balmain’s Texturising Salt Spray. It’s a style that has been honed over many seasons by superstar stylist Sam McKnight at the Balmain shows, the very exemplar of his ‘done, then undone’ approach to hair. Slightly disheveled, textured, sexy, it’s the ultimate modern classic.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look better and – more importantly – feel more confident, before a big event or party wearing Prtty Peaushun, £18.50. This skin-perfecting body beautifier is the nearest thing to having your own lighting director follow you round with a Soft Box (that’s the light they use for beauty shoots). It’s quick-drying and blemish-covering.

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