Beyond the Pale

Top Ten ‘Can’t Live Without’ Beauty Products I Swear By: #1

[Woman at Dressing Table c.1873 by Gustave Caillebotte]

I should probably admit right away that I am a complete beauty whore, and skip from one product to another, trying every new brand I can and avariciously coveting those I read about in magazines, beauty blogs and any manner of other outlets I can use to fuel my lust. I can think of nothing more boring than only ever using one cleanser, one shampoo, one moisturiser for the rest of my life – no more than I could think of only using one perfume ever (the HORROR!) Therefore, I am not on some manic quest to find The One – that magical product that will do everything and be my saviour, because I do not believe it exists and, furthermore, I’d be really disappointed if it did!

I must also admit to hesitating somewhat over the title of this post, as you so often see articles and blogs seemingly claiming they CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT the following 100 products, and frankly my dears, that’s clearly an outright lie. Unless the article is published in a medical journal and those products are things like – I don’t know, insulin, let’s say – then the chances are quite high that the author could have a fair pop at living without them. Having established that, I should also acknowledge that “Top Ten Things I Would Very Likely Be Significantly Grumpier If I Had To Do Without” is a somewhat clunky title, so I’ll stick with what I’ve got and cut to the chase…


#1 Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. This had to be my first choice – it’s something I’ve been using on and off for over 10 years now, and although there are lots of other cleansers I really like, I have yet to find one that tops this. It’s gentle yet effortlessly removes even notoriously stubborn lip stains and waterproof mascara, and although it’s melodramatic to say, I honestly think this cleanser saved my skin.

I used to suffer from acne and really struggled to find something help calm my face from the harsh treatments my doctor prescribed to treat it. I’d been using oil-stripping products and my skin was red raw – this cleanser immediately began to soothe and cool and my face never felt cleaner. I love the sensation of using the muslin cloth, too, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. This is something I’ll always go back to: a Desert Island product for sure.


I really enjoy taking my makeup off – I know that sounds odd, but I like taking time for myself and pampering myself occasionally. Of course most evenings after work I’m exhausted, just like everyone else, but those remove it all in one swipe type wipes are anathema to me. For one, I never feel they do a very good job (though feel free to recommend me some if you know a great brand! I remember India Knight recommending some French – I think – facial wipes that she raved about, though I cannot recall he name); and for another, I actively enjoy the experience of using a good product that lives up to the hype and actually does the job. No wonder this has won so many awards and is constantly gracing the pages of those Editors Picks type spreads In all the glossy magazines – it just works, beautifully.

Top Tip: I like to buy the largest size squeezable tube version, as when you think you’ve run out of it, you can cut it open and get as much as an extra week’s worth of product out of it!


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