Sarah Vine predicts which of the products we love now will never reach their sell-by date
Every beauty generation has cult classics. The Eighties had Lipcote and Ultraglow (and boy, I made good use of them both); the Nineties Crème de La Mer and Eve Lom; the Noughties Nars Orgasm blusher and Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth cleanser. Then there are hardy perennials, enduring classics from season to season: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, Clarins Eau Dynamisante, Chanel Rouge Noir and No 5, all richly deserving of their iconic status.
These days a product can go from zero to hero in less time that it takes Kim Kardashian to put on her blusher (admittedly a fair few hours, but still). So how do you know whether something is the real deal? Here’s what I’m putting my money on...
1. The skin perfecter: New Maestro foundation from Giorgio Armani, £36, www.selfridges.com . One of those life-changing formulas: it feels like gossamer on the skin, and yet it offers a muscular level of coverage. It blends so beautifully that you can use it on specific areas (it’s brilliant for softening darks shadows and sun spots), or layer for a more “made-up” effect.
2. The no-brainer: Clinique Chubby Sticks, £16, www.clinique.co.uk . These crayon-shaped lipsticks make getting the perfect pout child’s play. They’re fun, easy to use and come in a rainbow of colours. The coverage is a bit lighter than your average lippy, so they’re ideal if you want a bit of glamour without looking super made-up.
3. The face-shaper: Hourglass Illume Crème-to-Powder bronzer duo, £40, www.liberty.co.uk . If God forgot to give you cheekbones, create an excellent substitute with this formula.
4. The brow-saver: Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, £32, www.selfridges.com . Charlotte Tilbury is the genius behind this make-up range, and this is a classic make-up artist’s tool. The angled tip allows you to create a realistic effect, making it ideal for filling in sparse brows. It also has an in-built sharpener and a comb for that perfect finish.
5. The scent: Le Labo Rose 31, £138 for 100ml, www.liberty.co.uk . An exquisite, masculine and slightly wild interpretation of this most feminine of flowers.
6. The glamouriser: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, £24, www.houseoffraser.co.uk . The ultimate formulation if you want your lips to really stand out. It has chic packaging and is intense, slightly sheer and luxuriously glossy. It makes you feel like a million dollars from the moment you put it on.
7. The de-frizzer: Moroccanoil, £30.45, www.feelunique.com . This is a bit of a Marmite product: some people swear by it, others hate it. Used properly, it works brilliantly to soften and de-frizz hair of all types, from the finest to the thickest. It’s especially good for sun-exposed or rainy-day hair, and you can use it wet or dry. The new Frizz-Ease.
8. The skin-saviour: Clarisonic, from £120, www.feelunique.com . If you seriously want to look after your skin, the Clarisonic will save you a lot of time and money. Exfoliator, massager, cleanser, it’s the skin equivalent of an electric toothbrush, so no surprise that it was developed by the bright sparks who came up with the Sonicare.
9. The super-hydrator: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, £58, www.dermacaredirect.co.uk . If my skin needs serious nourishment, this is what I reach for. Its secret is industrial quantities of high-grade hylauronic acid, a clever little molecule that holds up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
10. The overnight sensation: Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial, from £45, www.sarahchapman.net . Like cashmere socks for the face, this serum/oil is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory omega oils, firming Dermaxyl, jasmine and rose. It smells divine (jasmine, frangipani, rose and tuberose) and the results are fantastic.