Beauty Basics: The Essential Products We Can't Live Without

Sometimes nothing but the basics will do. We love talking about the frivolous side of beauty here at, but the reality is that most of us spend the majority of our beauty related time and money on basic, functional products.

These are the products that keep us comfy and feature in our everyday lives, but we often forget to appreciate how much we love them. Here are some of my must-have-can't-leave-the-house-without basics; we'd love you to share yours in the comments below.


  • Lip Balm - Carmex (€3.79)

Carmex is such a good old fashioned stalwart. It's reliable, functional, and effective. As a barrier lip balm for winter - the sort which provides a protective layer against the elements, it's perfect. The slight hint of menthol and camphor stimulates circulation to the lips, which in turn helps to prevent them from crisping into raisins.

Dab a touch of your hydrating serum into lips at bedtime, pop a bit of carmex over the top, and you have soft lips by morning.

  • Body Cream - La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+ (€15.99)

A good everyday moisturiser is pretty essential to keep your skin happy and to prevent conditions like dermatitis and eczema, which can be tough to get rid of once they've colonised a leg or a patch of abdomen.

Despite my love of fancy and beautifully packaged beauty products, my everyday staple in La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+. It's functional, unperfumed, and fecking great. I've written about it here before. It keeps skin soft and happy. That's all I want in a body cream.


  • Waxing - Veet EasyGrip Ready to Use Wax Strips (€8.49)

I'll be frank - I'm not all that bothered about hair removal. Hygiene and tidiness are the most important factors, so provided I'm neat and clean, anyone who has an issue with some completely natural hair can eff royally off. As the famed Twitter account goes, 'get in the sea'.


But sometimes I actually do want to get in the sea, and nobody wants peepy stragglers attempting to escape from their bathing suit. It draws the attention of other bathers, and I'd rather go about my business without that kind of attention, thank you very much. So if I'm in the mood for a spot of waxing, I'll go with Veet. It's a pretty classic waxing brand, and provided you exfoliate and moisturise between waxes, it should work well.

  • Shampoo - L'Oreal Fibrology Thickening Shampoo (€5.09)

I try to wash my hair every other day rather than every day, but I always go back to L'Oreal Fibrology.It forms the thickest, most delectable lather, and leaves hair feeling softly clean and bouncy.

Read a more comprehensive review here.


  • Hand Cream -Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (€21)

It may surprise you that the two most boring products on the list are the two most expensive, and from the same brand too. Here's my logic on the expensive hand cream - I've tried to institute a hand care regime over the last few months. Now, there's nothing at all wrong with hands showing their age, and there's nothing wrong with aging. But I do have a problem with my hands looking prematurely marked and aged simply because I didn't bother my arse to look after them.

They take more abuse and are more exposed than any other part of the body. With that in mind, I try to invest that little bit more in the best hand cream I can afford, and Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is the best. I try to use it morning and night, and a couple of times throughout the day if I can.

  • Facial SPF- Clarins UV Plus (€38)

It is well known at HQ that I am sunscreen mad. I wear SPF 50 every day of the year, and try to avoid being in strong sun as much as possible. This is because I will burn - exposed to full sun - in about five minutes. Put me out for twenty minutes, and I'll have painful burns that sting for days.

You may not be as pale and evolutionarily embarrassing as I am, but you should still wear an SPF. Clarins UV Plus is the best I've ever found for feeling comfortable on the skin, not looking chalky, and not interefering with makeup. It's great stuff.


I have deliberately skipped deodorant here, as it's a touchy subject, but feel free to add your ultimate anti-stink basics in the comments too. This is grass roots beauty, people. No glamour here.

G'wan, give us a peek into your bathroom cabinet! What are your must-haves that wouldn't win a Hollywood pouting prize but you wouldn't give up for all the glamourous mattifying T zone powders in China?

Related Articles

More from Beauty