From the products to get you through party season to a skin-saving serum, Sarah Vine picks the beauty buys that really make a difference

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Autumn is a tricky time for skin. Mine goes all dry and grey, and the shadows under my eyes grow darker as the nights draw in.

The weather is the main culprit, of course, even though this year has been relatively mild. But it doesn’t help that everywhere seems to be heated by blasted blow heaters that roast your complexion and make your hair stand on end.

So my autumn edit starts with a skin saviour, a new product from Skinceuticals: Metacell Renewal B3 , £96. It’s aimed at those wanting to counter the first signs of ageing - in other words women who are much younger than me; but for some reason it seems to really suit my dehydrated skin. I’ve been using nothing else since I was sent a preview sample, and I promise you: it’s a long while since I’ve come across such an effective product.

It’s a serum not a moisturiser, so you’re supposed to use it underneath a cream. I haven’t needed to do this - it seems to do the trick on its own. To be honest, it’s left everything else on my dressing table gathering dust.

Despite its efficacy, it’s also incredibly lightweight and non-greasy, and works really well under foundation and concealer.

It has a very gentle brightening effect, which over the weeks I’ve been trialling it has made my skin more even in pigmentation. And you only need the very smallest amount, so even though it’s £96, you probably won’t need to shell out too often.

My next recommendation is a bit of treat: La Prairie’s Concealer Foundation Skin Caviar Foundation SPF15 . I’ve used La Prairie on and off over the years - but have never really thought of it as a makeup brand. This foundation, which comes with a matching concealer in the lid, costs a small fortune (£136) but the price is definitely reflected in the performance.

It gives really superb, classy coverage, great for parties or when you just need that little bit extra camouflage. Again, a little goes a very long way, and it lasts well. Whenever I wear it, people always say I look ‘rested’ - which these days is high praise indeed.

Speaking of parties, here’s a dynamic duo guaranteed to get you through to New Year: Diego dalla Palma’s High Performance Mascara  (£15) and  Concealer SPF 10  (£15). Best mascara I’ve tried in a long, long while, with a beautiful precision brush, excellent lightweight yet effective formula and sticks around like that last, unwanted guest - although in a good way.

The concealer, meanwhile, is nothing short of superb, and particularly suited to the under-eye area. If you like liquid eyeliner - and I find it’s the quickest way of achieving a party look without the faff of messing around with eyeshadow - the Water Resistant Eyeliner  (£14) is pretty foolproof. All three would also make an excellent gift.

Lastly, if you’re looking to treat yourself to a new lippy,  Lipstick Queen’s Seven Deadly Sins  range is pretty much the ultimate for party pouts: seven gorgeous, luscious non-sticky shades of fabulousness. I choose Lust (£22), a sultry shade of berry red which doubles up well as a blusher, should the occasion demand it.

What are your autumn must-haves? Let us know on Twitter  @GetTheGloss  or tweet  @SarahVine