Here it is: the last installment of the Snooping Around series. I’ve shared with you some of my favourite Interweb windows into homes, desks, treasured possesions, wardrobes and handbags. But, I’ve saved my absolute favourite for last: beauty products.
Created by the beautiful Emily Weiss in 2010, Into The Gloss takes us into the beauty cabinets of fashion insiders. You’ll find editors, stylists, makeup artists, models, assistants etc. all divulging details of the beauty products routines that they can’t live without. The site itself is as glossy as the women it documents – it’s uncluttered, easy to navigate, and full of photographs. It’s also nice to read about full beauty routines for a change – so often we see reviews of just one product, and you never know how it will work with your other lotions and potions.
I love these perspex dividers, which organise your products but still keep the drawer light, so you don’t have to rummage around too much. From designer Tory Burch’s cabinet. Photo Credit: Into The Gloss
When I first discovered this blog, I spent hours reading through the archives. There’s a pattern: everyone has a favourite lipstick/lipgloss/lipbalm, favourite moisturiser, ‘best I’ve tried’ eyeliner etc. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that very rarely is one person’s star-product the same as another’s. We all have our favourite products. Even if, like me, you’re not brand-loyal, you’ll find that you know what works for you and what doesn’t because of your skin type, the climate you live in, and so on. Having said that, I’ve noticed some products cropping up more than others (on Into the Gloss as well as in magazines, and other beauty blogs):
- Bioderma Créaline H20 Cleansing Solution – comes up a lot as the staple cleanser used by makeup artists, models, and even mere mortals. Hard to find outside of France, but available on eBay and here at LeGuideSante for a bargainous £8.74…shipping is about £7 though!
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios – really good, reasonably priced sun protection. They even have a version for oily skin called Anthelios AC, which doesn’t leave your face competing with your patent Louboutins for the Shiniest Accessory prize (if only my face was an accessory). Readily available in pretty much all French pharmacies. In England, larger Boots stores and many pharmacies (I get mine at my local Lloyd’s Pharmacy) stock it. You can also get it online at Boots.
- French brands in general get a lot of well-deserved hype. Pharmacy brands like Avène, La Roche-Posay, Lierac and Vichy are brilliant value for the quality of product that you get. I read here that the French government even subsidises some treatments at the Avène and La Roche-Posay clinics. The French know how to do good skincare!
- Other than that, almost everybody repeats the importance of thoroughly cleansing and hydrating your skin – don’t expect your makeup to do all the hard work!
For me, beauty products are so much more accessible than clothes or furnishings. I love new things, and the cheapest but most satisfying way of alleviating that craving is a visit to the beauty counters at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols or Peter Jones. Is there a purchase that gives a more instant sense of smile-inducing gratification than a luxurious new lipstick? Or one that offers more hope than a new wrinkle-reducing blemish-erasing moisturiser? As Philosophy so rightly put it, it’s Hope in a Jar, and it’s much more affordable than those boots from Alaïa. That was my attempt at rhyme, by the way (Alaï-AR).
Whereas the other Snooping Around blogs that I’ve talked about might provide inspiration and ideas, that’s often all that they provide: Givenchy couture and Eames chairs aren’t within everybody’s reach. On the other hand, cosmetics and skincare products are attainable. And that is why I like to know about other people’s favourite beauty products and routines – you hear about what works for other people, and you can try the same tip or buy the same product, and hope that it will work miracles for your complexion. Unsurprisingly, most of the time, what works wonders for somebody else isn’t as effective for me, but I still go back for more beauty revelations. Indulgent, yes, but it’s far cheaper than treating yourself with Jimmy Choos, and much kinder to your waistline than consoling yourself with
half a a whole bar of Lindt.
So that’s it: we’ve FINALLY reached the end of the Snooping Around series. Even I – the one who thought it would be such a fabulous idea – was beginning to tire of poking around other people’s lives. I better go and think of some other things to write about…