We're fortunate to have a lot of shiny, new and exciting beauty launches land on our desk every day here at R29.
From makeup to skincare, we make it our mission to try more or less
everything that comes through the door so that we can sort the wheat from the chaff and tell you which products are worth spending your hard-earned cash on.
Now that beauty brands have woken up to diversity and the fact that we all have very different skin, hair and makeup needs and likes, most of said products are pretty effective. A handful even make it onto the 'Gram. But it's very rare for us to find something we just can't imagine our makeup bags and #shelfies without.
Ahead, you'll find a selection of products, from makeup to skincare, which the R29 beauty team will repurchase time and time again – they're
that good. Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor More
Eyebrow pencils can be hit and miss. They’re either too soft and crumbly and leave you with sooty smudges, or much too hard, which makes sculpting a chore – but this one is just right. The angled nib creates subtle and sharp strokes depending on your vibe (I like a bushy brow, so go to town with it) and the spoolie brush on the other end grooms and softens any sharp strokes. It was originally £36, but now comes with a complete refill for £40.
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso, £40, available at John Lewis More
I have light olive skin that is super oily and acne-prone, so I’ve always had a hard time finding a foundation that suits me. Lancôme's 40-strong shade spectrum has made it so much easier to get a match and the fact that it's non-comedogenic means it doesn’t clog my pores. I used to be a full coverage kinda gal – no foundation was too heavy – but this has swayed me. It’s ultra light but employs really fine iridescent particles to blur pores and blemishes, and it gives me this amazing lit-from-within glow. I’ve been trialling others, but I’ll always go back to this.
Lancôme Teint Miracle Bare Skin Foundation, £32, available at Lancôme More
I’m on my fourth bottle of this micellar water and was so pleased to find out it’s now available in an enormous 500ml version. It’s the only makeup remover that has the muscle to cut through the full face I wear on a daily basis and it really soothes and calms my sensitive, red skin. A once-over with a soaked cotton pad makes my face feel squeaky clean, fresh and cool thanks to the star ingredient, green tea. It’s cruelty-free, 100% vegan and the bottle is recyclable.
A’Kin Hydrating Coconut & Green Tea Micellar Water, £12.50, available at Feel Unique More Story Continues
Everyone goes on about Whirl and Velvet Teddy, but
this is the perfect nude – fact. A makeup artist friend of mine introduced me to the shade last year after I told her how hard I found it to choose a nude lipstick that didn’t make my olive skin look washed out or my lips too 'done'. It occupies a cosy space between rose and taupe, is matte but creamy, lasts way past lunchtime and makes my lips look a hell of a lot fuller. I panic every time I run low. MAC Lipstick in Yash, £17.50, available at MAC More
hormonal acne throughout my teenage years but when I hit 25 it came back with a vengeance. Acnecide, Duac... no creams my GP prescribed could tackle the scars and new spots popping up every day, so I took a trip to a dermatologist, who suggested using this – and only this – in my evening routine after cleansing my skin of makeup – and it's completely transformed my complexion. Two percent retinoid encourages skin cells to regenerate at a lightning speed, so pores rarely become clogged and pigmentation doesn't stick around for long. It absorbs in seconds and isn't sticky, smelly or irritating like other retinoids. I stockpile it. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% In Emulsion, £8, available at The Ordinary More
I’ve never really had a 'signature scent' because I find it hard to commit to just one, but this is the only perfume I’ve ever finished and I’ve just bought another two bottles. Guerlain can transport you to sunnier destinations in a single spritz and this pretty much smells like the Italian Riviera. It’s fresh, citrussy and sherbety thanks to notes of green tea and bergamot, and I always get compliments when I wear it. The bottle is also dressing table gold – literally.
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Teazzura EDT, £46.80 for 75ml, available at John Lewis More Georgia Murray, Fashion & Beauty Writer More
I’ve been hooked on this little bottle of pure brilliance for some time (I’m on my third batch). Three pumps on cleansed and toned skin in the morning, followed by moisturiser, is enough to leave my skin bright, clear and plump – that’ll be the hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. I’ve had compliments on my skin since using, so repeat-buying is a no-brainer.
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, £49.50, available at Kiehl’s More
A handbag staple, this balm solves nearly every skin conundrum I have. Chapped lips? Sorted. Damaged cuticles from the vicious cycle of gel nails? This’ll fix them. Glossy lids or dewy highlighter for desk-to-evening look? You guessed it. It’s a fiver and the only balm that actually hydrates rather than sitting atop the skin.
Dr. PAWPAW Original Multipurpose Balm, £5.55, available at Feel Unique More
This is such a brilliant product for summer. I have oily skin but enjoy looking glowy rather than matte, so this moisturiser-makeup hybrid is perfect – it gives my skin a dewy finish but covers all manner of sins, from dark under-eyes to hormonal spots, without looking like I have any coverage on whatsoever. It comes out of the tube white and adapts to your skin tone, so is suitable for everyone.
Shiseido WASO Color-Smart Day Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 30, £34, available at Escentual More
I use a bottle of this toner every week – it makes my balayaged hair a little more interesting and goes from vivid to subtle over the course of a week, which stops me getting bored. It's super hydrating and I can make it as bold as I fancy by combining with Bold As Brass, Rose Gold or Blorange, depending on my mood.
BLEACH LONDON Super Cool Colour in Awkward Peach, £6, available at BLEACH LONDON More
Alas, I was not blessed with Disney princess lashes, but finding the time (and money) to commit to lash lifts every two months proves difficult. Enter: They're Real! From the gloop-free formula and the flexible brush to the fan-effect on my lashes and the ease with which it's removed after a long day, using even the gentlest micellar water, I'm hooked.
benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara, £21.50, available at benefit More
This cleanser changed my skin, so it's no surprise I won't part from it. Oil cleansers were removing every last trace of London dirt and grime from my skin, but my blackheads were getting worse, and hormonal spots more inflamed. From the first day I used this acid-based gel cleanser, my skin improved. It's gentle enough to use twice a day, has eradicated those problematic blackheads and leaves my skin glowing.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel, £46, available at Space NK More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Gelcream Is The Most Honest Beauty Account On Insta & That's Why It's Ruffling Feathers All The Details From THAT Scene In Ariana Grande's "God Is A Woman" The Surprising Inspiration Behind Demi Lovato's New Hair Colour