From a spot-calming toner to skin brightening vitamin C capsules and the best tool to combat 'stress face', our GTG columnist reveals the products she'll always part with cash for
A beauty editor, blogger, makeup artist and the latest columnist to join the Get The Gloss team, Madeleine Spencer credits her mother Christine with being her first beauty icon. “I remember my mum at her pink and gold dressing table before going out, a halo of perfume encircling her, fuchsia lipstick being slicked on, clouds of azure eyeshadow hugging her huge blue eyes. She was the epitome of 80s' glamour," says Madeleine.
Madeleine's mum and her beauty icon, pictured in the 1980s
"I was impressed with the alchemy of beauty and the huge effect it had both on the person possessing it and on those around them. I never forgot that as I grew up, nor did I lose the desire to decode and understand how to make the best of a face.”
After writing news for local papers, Madeleine worked in magazines and founded her blog, MadeleineLoves.com while also jobbing as a part-time makeup artist. Her mission with makeup, she says, is to "arm women with the products and techniques that are useful and make them feel closer and not further away from themselves. I like people to look in the mirror after I’ve done their makeup and be comfortable with their appearance, not feel like they’re wearing a mask.”
As a sufferer of acne who’s battled the insecurity that having spots engendered, Madeleine’s beauty writing often focuses on how the way we look affects our self-esteem and sense of self.
Madeleine, 34, lives in London with her rescue dog Monty. Here are the products that make her all-time favourite list.
And if you missed it, catch up with her new column On the Face of It here .
"The best concealer for acne bar none thanks to its ability to be imperceptible once blended properly and to stay put. I use this every day on spots or redness."
"Containing PHAs to gently exfoliate and hydrate, I use this cleanser to remove all make-up (including around eyes) and to clean my skin, morning and evening."
"Body brushing ups circulation, aids lymphatic drainage and exfoliates. I do it before hopping in the shower, brushing my dry skin in small, firm strokes towards my heart."
"The excellent facialist Pam Marshall at Mortar and Milk told me to use this antibacterial and antimicrobial toner after cleansing and since I have, I’ve seen a significant improvement in my acne."
" Gut health has come to the fore of late as a vital component to feeling and looking well, but addressing issues when busy can be tricky, so I take a shot of this liquid gut bacteria every morning to help mine out."
"I’d searched high and low for a foundation that offered buildable coverage and looked like glossy, healthy skin when on and was delighted when I found this high street foundation which delivers precisely that and is also a bargain to boot."
"This fizzy rose-based scent explodes off skin and is instantly uplifting. I use it on days when I feel tired as a pick-me-up."
"I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t look excellent with a blend of these brown shadows around their eyes and use them often when making up brides to make eyes pop. Also, for pigment and quality, Tom Ford eye shadows are hard to beat."
"The most buttery, cosseting, beautifully-scented lip balm around. I apply a layer every morning and, when my lips are particularly dry, roll a cotton bud coated in this balm across them to gently exfoliate."
"This teeny tiny wand that’s loaded up with tubing mascara works magic if you want to catch and coat even the shortest and finest of lash hairs. It's a mascara for lower lashes , but I use it both on lower and upper ones when I want to wiggle mascara right into the roots."
"Sheet masks vary hugely in quality, but Skimono ones adhere to skin really well, and their foot masks and hand versions are equally as brilliant at infusing skin with moisture."
"When my hands feel tight and dry, I always reach for this from the Jurlique range . It’s thick but absorbs well, and this scent is the freshest and lightest incarnation of rose out there."
"Liquid eyeliner is a fiddly business, and I find a firm, felt tip to be best when wanting to apply some speedily. This does the job enormously well, conferring lids with a deep shot of black quickly, while the chisel-shaped tip makes controlling where it goes much easier."
"After a long day at the computer, tension mars my forehead and my eyes tend to get swollen and puffy. Enter this smooth jade tool . I find pressing the cool stone to my skin soothes and releases muscular tension and, when gently scraped across the skin on top of product, it also eliminates puffiness and ups glow."
"Vitamin C is a difficult ingredient to keep stable, but when it’s achieved, it’s a dab hand at lifting pigmentation and brightening skin. These single dose capsules are excellent, and I use them every other night on freshly-cleansed skin to reduce marks left behind by acne."