I love having a rifle through my friend’s make up bags. I always want to know which products they really rate because – besides the fact that my mates always look amazing – spending your hard-earned cash on rubbish mascara because the new advert made it look miraculous is just plain irritating.

There’s nothing more satisfying than applying really decent make up that actually works to give yourself a boost in the morning – and we all have those products we hold dear. The ones that do the job and we absolutely couldn’t live without. 

So in the interest of sharing recommendations, here are my make up bag staples. I swear by the following:

1. Loreal Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black

£10.99, Superdrug 

Loreal telescopic

A decent mascara is hard to find. You want one which will give long and lustrous lashes for the whole day, without clumping or crumbling. One that will seperate and give volume, and let you reach those tiny lashes in the corners too. Not much to ask then. I’ve tried countless mascaras (at about £8-£12 a pop) and this one beats them all. Plus it goes on the bottom lashes a treat, which I always find difficult to apply. 

2. Benefit Cha Cha Tint Lip and Cheek Stain

£24.50, Boots

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Flushed cheeks make my whole face look brighter and better so a bit of rouge is a necessity for me. Powders and creams last for approximately 3 minutes, so a stain is my go-to. For years I was a huge fan of Benetint, but got a bit bored of pink and then this mango-tinted beauty came along. It’s a bit of a scary colour straight out of the bottle, but fine after a bit of blending. It’s gorgeous on lips too. See also Lollitint and Posietint. SWOON.

3. Bobbi Brown Defined Long Wear Eyebrow Pencil

£29.50, www.bobbibrown.co.uk

Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencilWhen I was growing up everyone had thin eyebrows. Now – the bushier, the better. My poor brows can’t keep up. But they do need some help because alone they don’t really do much to my face. Eyebrow pencils are scary. No one wants two solid upside-down Nike ticks on their forehead (well, some might I guess). But I do want a defined, natural look that’ll stay. I’ve tried lots of eyebrow products and this Bobbi Brown pencil is the ONLY ONE that will do it. It’s expensive, I know. But it’s 100% worth it. Pop into your local Bobbi brown and get them to colour match you (the wrong shade is almost as bad as Nike ticks). It’ll last for ages too – I bought mine when they came out in April and it’s still going strong. 

4. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers

£12.50, www.amazon.co.uk

Shu Uemura eyelash curlers

I love curled eyelashes. They look longer, prettier and help maximise your mascara – and as a gal with stumpy lashes they can only be a good thing. As a kid I used pair after pair of cheap and cheerful curlers that would clamp shut and trap my eyelashes, before I’d prise them open and hope I’d not ripped half of the hairs out. Sticking some cheap mechanical contraption near your eyes won’t do. These Shu Uemura ones were recommended by Sali Hughes. And she knows her shit. Because they are the total DBs, so to speak.

5. Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Kajal Liner 

£18.50, www.bobbibrown.co.uk

Bobbi Brown smokey kajal liner

Another Bobbi Brown wonder – this kohl liner stays on for ages, unlike a lot of other liners. The dual-ended smudger makes blending  for a smoky look so easy, and is brilliant if you’re not too great at drawing straight lines on your eyelid. Stick this on as best you can, swipe the smudger over a few time and you’re done. I discovered Bobbi Brown a few years ago and rate this brand SO MUCH.

6. Max Factor Panstik Foundation

£8, www.boots.co.uk

Maxfactor Panstik

I’ve been using this for 15 years and lots of people would probably turn their nose up at me for being so old skool. I know there are lots of new fan-dangled foundation sticks on the market today but this one still works. It’s great for under the eyes (I’m always tired, so I bloody need a cover up there), and for dotting around the face and blending when you’re in a rush. I can’t be arsed with a full face of foundation everyday – so this, followed by a quick whip around of powder, is just the ticket.

So there are my six desert island make up items. What are yours?

Join our tribe

We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.