Is there anything more satisfying than a solid beauty recommendation? You can scour bestsellers lists and take note of the buzziest products, but until someone says ‘this worked for me’, it can be tough to buy into something you’ve never tried before.
That’s where we come in. Team Escentual gets to try some of the best brands the world has to offer, and we’re constantly pitting them in direct competition with each other to see which one gets to make it into our personal stash. We’ve got years’ worth of experience in sorting the so-so from the truly excellent!
So, if you’re looking for the freshest foundation, or a product that never fails to save weary muscles, this is the post for you! We’re sharing the products that we lean on time and time again, so step this way for your new beauty hero…
MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Dewy is the word of the moment when it comes to skin, but not every glow is born equal. Rather than amping it up with a glossy, honeyed glow, I prefer to play it soft, hydrated and gleaming with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Face & Body Foundation.
This comfortable and radiant base is where it’s at for those who err towards the drier end of the skincare spectrum; it won’t highlight every dry patch that you have and it has an amazingly high 80% concentration of water, which is just bliss for those times when you need to cheat your way to a smoother, plumper-looking complexion. That’ll be every day, then!
It’s a fairly sheer foundation, which means it won’t be for everyone (if you want a full base that’s still comfortable, check out the makeup artists’ favourite Ultra HD Foundation). But if you’re searching for something that works with your skin rather than against it, it’s most definitely worth your time. I’ve used a lot of foundations over the years, but I always return to Water Blend when I want my skin to look fresh.
Decleor Aromessence Ylang Cananga Oil Serum
Taking care of my skin is something I enjoy. And while many products can be very hit and miss with my problematic skin type (oily-combination), there’s one product I can always rely on. Decleor Aromessence Ylang Cananga Oil Serum is an anti-blemish oil for oily-combination skin.
An oil for oily skin, you ask? I was hesitant. But rather than starving my skin of the oils it needs and causing it to overcompensate, the Decleor Serum leaves my skin feeling hydrated, fresh and non-oily.
As well as making my skin feel good, the essential and botanical oils create a spa-like experience; breathing in the scent of ylang ylang creates a relaxing start to my morning routine. Feeling uplifted and ready for the day, I follow with the Decleor Aroma Purete Velvet Mattifying Fluid for a luxurious and velvety finish that works as a perfect base for my makeup.
Senior Influencer Executive
Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in PK107 – Medusa
Every brand has that one cult product everyone flocks to, and PK107 Medusa is that product for Shiseido. At first glance you may just think it’s ‘just another face powder’ but it’s much more than that, and that’s why I’m never without it.
It was 3 years ago when I started at Escentual that I first tried Medusa and it was love at first sweep. The soft pink hue has a really subtle blue undertone that’s perfect for counteracting dull tones in the skin, so a little underneath the eyes to set concealer or along the cheekbones adds a beautiful radiance to the complexion – you have to use it to believe it, trust me!
I couldn’t tell you how many PK107s I have been through, but what I can say is that my makeup feels incomplete without it.
Tisserand Muscle Ease Bath Oil
So when asked for my most repurchased product I was going to choose a fragrance (Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb Eau de Toilette is my go-to favourite), however when I looked at my purchase history one product stands out in numbers massively: the Tisserand Muscle Ease Bath Oil.
I have to admit I love a bath, be it after playing football, a long walk, a day gardening, or just to relax with a gin and tonic on a Saturday evening before dinner. I used to use the mainstream high street brand that foams up to create a nice bubble bath (not very manly I know!), but once I experienced using the Tisserand bath oil I have never looked back.
The aroma is divine thanks to the herby essential oils and ginger adding that bit of spice, but the main thing I notice is the effect on my muscles and skin. I have never felt more relaxed after a bath with the Muscle Ease! There’s no horrible drying effects that the aforementioned high street brand used to cause – I used to have to shower after the bath! – but now my skin is left smooth, soft and nicely scented.
Nailtiques Protein Formula No 2
There’s not many beauty products I repurchase time and time again as I’m easily excited by newness and one-upping the current favourite. The one exception, however, is the Nailtiques Protein Formula No.2 – an absolute breakthrough that has been nothing short of magic for me.
My nails used to break if you just looked at them wrong. Well, perhaps not quite.. but the cycle of peeling/breaking a nail and shortening the rest to match never saw them grow beyond little stubs – not very appealing! When I first started using this regularly, the difference was astounding – my nails were harder and survived all the knocks and bumps that would have previously set me back. I never thought my natural nails would get voluntarily shortened out of purely practical reasons!
You use it as a regular nail polish and it even gives your nails that bit of extra sheen if clear is where you want to leave it at. I use mine as a base coat under coloured nail polish which also makes the bottle last that little bit longer. If weak and brittle nails is the bane of your beauty routine, this product might be the ride or die you’ve been looking for!
Senior Social Executive
Narciso Rodriguez Eau de Parfum Poudree
It takes a lot for a scent to become my signature; it’s got to smell unique, have a slight edge and be slightly under the radar. But guess what? I found a winner and it’s called Narciso Poudree. As the old saying goes, if it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it, and as not a day goes by where I don’t get complimented on it. Poudree never fails to be my number one. I’d say it’s sexy but demure and feminine but ballsy. If I was a fragrance, it’s everything I’d want to be and more.
Lab Series Treat Pro LS – All-in-One Face Treatment
I adore the Lab Series Treat Pro LS – All-in-One Face Treatment. It does everything my skin needs! The lightweight cream is luxurious and light, that glides on leaving my skin feeling moisturised and looking super refreshed. Its quick absorbing formula is handy for a pick-me-up for when you need to look your best in the morning, but works best used daily after cleansing.
The skincare routine that works best for me is ‘less is more’, but the Pro LS – All-in-One Face Treatment is always in my bathroom cabinet. It’s the treatment I credit with keeping my skin looking youthful.
The facial moisturiser leaves a matte finish and calms redness and any irritations that occur. Bonus tip – this works a treat after shaving and is the bee’s knees when it comes to calming my skin.
This truly is my desert island favourite and one I cannot live without.
• Beauty Team Favourites: April 2018
• NARCISO Eau de Parfum Poudrée