Splitting her time between London and Leeds, award-winning blogger Em Sheldon of EmTalks creates daily content on subjects ranging from fashion to beauty to travel to fitness, and has been in the game since 2012. Her frank, honest posts include ‘what happened when my boyfriend cheated on me’ and ‘how I beat bullies at school’ if you’re looking for a flavour as to why she’s picked up a loyal following, and it’s fair to say she’s a sharer. As such, she’s shared her beauty and skincare shopping habits with us, from a reliance on face wipes (no comment) to what’s in her Boots basket. The nosy type? Dive in...
From products she prays are never discontinued to having a good old chat at a beauty counter, here are the beauty and lifestyle blogger’s shopping tip-offs and must-buys
Do you prefer to shop on or offline for beauty, and why?
“I prefer to go into a shop when I’m looking for a new product or seeking out new textures and shades. There’s something really lovely about going to say, the Chanel counter, and touching the products, testing them out and speaking with the sales assistants. I tend to shop online for beauty when I’m rebuying my favourites, for example, my holy grail foundation and skincare essentials.”
Which shops or sites do you buy your beauty products from?
“I personally love Feel Unique, Cult Beauty and BeautyBay online. For luxury beauty, I’ll head to Selfridges and Harrods.”
What is the last makeup item you bought and why do you like it?
“ MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Powder , £24.50. I have been wearing it since I was about 16 and pray they never discontinue it. I use it after foundation to ensure that my makeup stays matte all day and I also find that it gives me more of a natural-looking result than many other powders- it guarantees that my foundations sit perfectly. I go for a medium-dark shade.”
And your most recent skincare purchase?
“As much as people hate them, it was face wipes. I go through so many of them- I buy them fortnightly. I love ThisWorks Intransit Wipes 60s , £17, Simp le Micellar Wipes , £4.19 any L’Oréal wipes and Ole Henriksen wipes, although they're not available at the minute.
I throw a packet of wipes in every handbag so that I’m never without, whether it’s to handle spillages while doing my foundation in the car (not while driving obviously), or because I’m up late watching Netflix and need to remove my eye make up. I am really into my skincare but for eye makeup removal and lipstick, I do find that face wipes are the way forward or at least, the quickest way. My boyfriend knows the rules too, if I fall asleep with my makeup on, he must remove it. I’ve woken up to him attacking me with a face wipe many times and thanked him in the morning when I realised that he also remembered to apply my holy grail Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate , £37 for 30ml.”
You have £500 to spend at a makeup counter - which one do you choose and why?
“Oh wow, I can only choose one?! My heart says Dior, Armani, Chanel and Guerlain. Let’s go for Dior. The lip balms are some of the best that I’ve tried and I’ve always bought Diorskin Forever Foundation , £35, so it would be nice to try some of the skincare next. I love the packaging and the service too.”
Have you ever had your makeup done at a makeup counter? If so, which brand, why and what did you think of it?
“I often get my makeup done by Illamasqua- they create a really unique, different look on me and I love it. I wish I could apply such strong makeup myself, but all the more reason to go along. I also love heading to Charlotte Tilbury- her makeup artists are so talented and I love how they make me feel like a bronzed goddess. You also feel like a total queen sat at their counter because it is so beautiful.”
What would be in your Boots shopping basket?
“ Boots Cucumber Face Wipes, £1. If you’re going to buy face wipes, these are budget friendly and do a good job. I also pick up Vichy Dermablend Foundation , £23, which is perfect if you’re looking for high coverage.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Gradual Tanning Lotion , £7.49, is also a regular buy for a natural and beautiful glowing tan. L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara , £10.99, is still the best mascara for long lashes. Vaseline , £2.09 is on the list too, whether it’s to put on lips, eyelashes or brows or to let my boyfriend steal because he is honestly the lip balm eater.”
What is your favourite budget beauty buy?
“Hands down any L’Oréal mascara. Nothing beats them! I love so many luxury beauty products but when it comes to a good mascara, I do find that budget brands do it best. L’Oreal Telescopic and Rimmel in general are my long-term mascara favourites and are still in my makeup bag after picking them up aged around 15. If it aint broke, don’t fix it!”
And the most expensive?
“I’ve always sworn by Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse. I used to spend all my money on it as a primer when I was younger (it's sadly no longer available in the UK). I also love Armani Luminous Silk Foundation , £40, and I am also a sucker for La Mer. I actually get regular La Mer facials (they’re free!) at World Duty Free before flying and it’s made me fall in love with the brand, I’m after the micellar water next.
Perfume wise, I’m always drawn to Jo Malone - each scent is pretty much the crème de la crème.”
What beauty products do you stock up on in your supermarket shop?
“Face wipes (great surprise there), Mane N Tail Shampoo , £5.99 (it’s meant to encourage hair growth), Aussie hair masks and Herbal Essences haircare because I once read in a magazine that people fall in love with your scent, and I love anything Herbal Essences fragrance wise- it sticks to your hair."
Where do you get your hair done?
“I go to Sassoon , my colourist Louise works in the Leeds salon and my stylist works in the Manchester salon. I’ve been visiting them for the last few years and honestly cannot recommend them enough. When I first went to them, I was a mess. I’d used extensions for a long time and pretty much destroyed my hair. I had bald patches and basically had no hair growth for over a year. The team sat me down, talked me through what we were going to do and a few years later, I finally feel confident again. I owe it all to Sassoon because they’ve been patient, worked with me, handled my down days and really given me my confidence and hair thickness back.”
Any other beauty services you regularly book in for?
“I go for regular blow dries now that my hair is in good condition. I generally go to Show Dry in Notting Hill- the stylists there are incredible, you leave with the bounciest blow dry and it lasts for days. They also have you in and out so quickly. I also love going to Tatty and Conor at Sassoon in Leeds for my blow dries when I’m back up north. I recently visited DryBy for the first time ever too in central London and was so impressed.
I have gel manicures regularly too- when I’m at home I head to an independent salon called Rag Doll Nails . The woman who owns it deserves ALL the success. I’ve never come across someone who preps the nail so well, meaning that my gels last me for weeks.”
What’s next on your beauty shopping list?