Having worked in the beauty industry since I graduated (and I’m no longer 24) I’ve tested my fair share of beauty products, from pink hair dye (utter fail) to snail gel (surprisingly pleasant). I love to try new products, always on the look out for the next miracle beauty item promising flawless rejuvenated skin or silky high shine hair. Most products I will have a fleeting relationship with, keen to move on to the next. But others I keep coming back to: even if it’s been a few months or a couple of years, playing around with new launches and new trends, there are those beauty staples that I know I can trust to deliver a fantastic result. And I’m not alone in this opinion, as these three products reviewed here have won, and continue to win, the most prestigious beauty awards. These are the ones that I recommend to friends when they ask for beauty advice.
I defy you to not fall in love with Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser. Over the years it has won over 125 beauty awards (from Instyle to QVC and CEW) and is loved by numerous beauty insiders. Enriched with cocoa butter and chamomile, this rich creamy cleanser easily removes all traces of make up without that uncomfortable tight feeling. The cotton cloth provided is a generous size and gently exfoliates skin for a smooth result. I actually have one in my baby’s – Elemis-branded – toiletry bag so he’s starting off with some really lovely products. Too much spoiling and he’ll be asking for La Mer’s Moisturising Cream by the time he’s six. Not technically a natural brand, Liz Earle is botanically-based and Cruelty-Free accredited (you’ll find more cruelty-free options in my post Cruelty-Free Beauty: Follow the Rabbit). It is also suitable for vegetarians: they use animal by-products such as beeswax which are obtained without harming the animal. 100ml RRP £15.00 or £16.50 with 2 cotton cloths
I’ve actually already reviewed this cleansing balm in my earlier post Travel Chic Travel Light: Elemis Minis – does it count as a new review if it’s for the full size version? I first discovered the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm when working for the company who manufactures Elemis’ hotel cosmetics – hence my obsession with travel size toiletries, my latest favourite being Nourish’s Starter collection reviewed here. The balm is scored a high 4.5/5 on the brand’s website by customers, and has won awards from Stylist, Harpers Bazaar and CEW (a professional organisation whose members work in the beauty industry). This product smells amazing and boasts an equally impressive list of oils: sweet almond, elderberry, wheat, oat, lavender and coconut. You’ll also find beeswax and shea butter to give it that thick, unctuous texture. I applied it as per instructions on dry skin but with wet fingertips, massaging into skin before removing with a damp muslin cloth. Does the best skincare always involve a muslin cloth? I’d like to propose a new award to recognise the hard working muslin cloths of the beauty world. 105g RRP £41.00
It took me a while to start using this product: I’m just not accustomed to starting with a conditioning hair treatment so by the time I thought of applying it my hair was already shampooed. So I put a reminder on my phone. Yes, I scheduled it in like you would a dentist’s appointment. Luckily I don’t have to do that every time I want to wear lipstick. It only took one reminder though because once I’d got over that initial barrier and saw the result on my hair, I had no trouble remembering to apply pre-shampoo. Loved by celebrities and beauty insiders, with close to 30 beauty awards already under its belt, this is no mean feat for a product that goes against ingrained habits: shampoo first, condition second. As the world’s first pre-shampoo conditioning hair treatment, the Elasticizer was originally created in 1974 for Audrey Hepburn, one of Philip Kingsley’s celebrity clients. If her beautiful shiny hair is anything to go by, the Elasticizer should definitely be able to deliver beautiful results to my mane. After a few regular uses involving application of the treatment to my mid-lengths and ends, followed by a shower cap for 20 minutes before shampooing, my hair felt stronger and less fluffly when blow dried. Imagine what it could do when left on overnight… 150ml RRP £32.00
I’d love to hear about your iconic beauty products, leave a comment below to let me know! Keep your eyes peeled for part two in next week’s post, featuring one of the most famous blushers in the beauty world.
Features PR samples.