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Buy better, buy less | The best multi-tasking beauty buys

Time to condense, combine and conquer…

By Jenny Brownlees

Though there’s an influx of impressive beauty products on the market at the moment, it’s also possible to do a lot with very little.  Slimming down your toiletries is both ecological and promotes creativity within your routine – for example, there’s been a recent trend for using the same pink lipstick on the eyes, lips and cheeks, as seen backstage at London Fashion Week’s latest Preen show.

So, if your makeup bag has felt a little cluttered of late, we’re here to Marie Kondo your routine with suggestions of one-stop wonder products that’ll save you time, money and space.

Charlotte Tilbury calls her multi-miracle cream the “body-of-an-angel balm.” Frequently using it backstage at runway shows and photoshoots alike. The firming and nourishing Vitamins A, C and E make this an ideal SOS treatment for the skin. The do-it-all serum can be used as a wrinkle-defying cleanser, left on as a face mask or used as an emergency treatment for the entire body. Regenerating Rose Hip and Camellia oils feed the skin, whilst Cranberry Seed Oil fights age-accelerating free radicals. No wonder it’s one of Charlotte’s seven wonder products.

Advances in cosmetic formulas mean it’s now possible for a product to look as good on your lips as it does on your cheeks, and this pot certainly does. Versatile and long-lasting – this buy gives cheeks a soft but perfectly flushed glow. The creamy rogue sinks into the skin like a dream, plus it’s easily buildable on cheeks and lips. Coming in a chic compact complete with vanity mirror, this buy is smart and space-saving.

Milk’s all-new Flex Highlighter has a silky, pearlescent finish that glides on the skin to give you a next-level glow. Use on the top of the cheekbones as a highlighter, down the bridge of the nose to contour, in the corner of your eyes to wake up your peepers, or (make-up artist secret ahead) on the top of your cupid’s bow to accentuate the lips. For evening, we dust this multi-purpose shimmering powder on the collarbone and décolletage for a light-catching finish. Formulated with plumping hyaluronic acid-filled spheres and redness-calming chamomile this weightless powder won’t crease of cake – wherever you use it.

Both a gel liner and brow pen – this handy multi-miracle worker leaves both brows and eyes with a striking finish. We favour a brown eyeliner for daytime, as it gives eyes a much softer look than unforgiving black, yet is still impactful when used to create a stylish cat-eye flick. Made with Community Trade Marula oil, this 2-in-1 duo has an ultra-dark pigments and staying power, lasting for up to twelve hours wear.

Considered the ultimate shortcut to perfect skin – this hero buy primes, conceals, covers and even helps prevent acne – to give you flawless skin in a flash. Coming in an impressive 24 shades with SPF15, there’s a foundation for every skin tone. The 3-in-1 best-selling formula manages to blur scars and conceal pimples whilst moisturising skin with nourishing vitamin E. Using pulp from green lime, sweet orange and grapefruit, this multi-tasker hydrates without causing skin to become oily. Consider this a triple threat.

The beauty trend for glossy cheekbones, eyelids and lips is looking set to continue for Spring/Summer 2020 and beyond. For a balm you can use anywhere on the face, try this expertly glow-giving buy from CTZN. Dewy and luminous without being at all sticky – give your features a look of instant hydration and a high-fashion edge.

Why clutter your bathroom with a cleanser, exfoliator and mask when Espa offers it all in one? To cleanse, smooth a small amount over the face, neck and décolleté to remove all traces of even the most stubborn make-up. Gentle jojoba spheres will work to buff away dead skin cells, leaving skin visibly brighter. As an indulgent mask, leave on the skin for fifteen minutes as you relax. This do-it-all buy is suitable for every skin type and all ages. Soft and supple skin, this way.

Considered the cult product in the beauty realm – this truly versatile buy is in the kit of every top make-up artist. François Nars originally created the iconic product after constantly mixing cosmetics on photoshoots, frustrated there wasn’t a product on the market he could use on the cheeks, lips, eyes and body. With 12 shades available in varying hues – The Multiple will illuminate each and every skin tone. We’ve relied on NARS’ silver-flecked ‘Copacabana’ to give us the perfect amount of shimmer for over ten years, long before any other brands were offering illuminating highlighters. The Vitamin E-enriched formula is best applied with your fingers, then blended for a natural-looking glow.

This 2-in-1 targeted treatment is perfect for the blemish-prone among us. With an exfoliating stick to mattify the t-zone and tighten pores, you then unscrew the tube to reveal a skin-purifying green clay mask. The clay works to absorbs excess oil, whilst moringa extract specifically targets stubborn blackheads. A new buy from Clarins, this product will shave precious time off your beautifying routine.

Packed full of antioxidants to fight off first sings of ageing, providing SPF 30 protection and priming the skin for a flawless makeup base, this product gives a real bang for your buck. The light-weight texture of this primer serum softly blurs imperfections, leaving skin soothed – plus, you only need a pea-sized amount. For an instant refresher through the day, why not employ a make-up artist top tip by rubbing a small amount of primer in your palms then patting it over the skin to freshen the complexion without disrupting makeup.

The perfect way to combine your blush, highlighter and eye shadow in one compact palette. These suit-all shades can even be dampened on an eyeshadow brush to create an even richer pigment. Delivering one-swipe payoff, brush the Peach Honey bronze under the cheekbones to add definition, swipe the apples of the cheek with a mix of Sugared Peach and Peach Pop blushers and finally add dimension on the highest points of the cheekbones with the Peach Pearl highlighter. As if that wasn’t enough, did we mention the palette is also deliciously peach-scented?

Meet the space-saving holy grail of make-up brushes from Ciate. An incredible 4-in-1 stack, these brushes slot together perfectly for a minimal make up kit or travel bag. With super soft bristles, the tapered powder brush sets powder, blush, bronzer or highlighter, whilst the round blender blush can be used to blend eyeshadow or concealer. Use the angled brush for eyeliner, eyeshadow or brows and the oval shadow brush for lips, concealer or targeted shadow. Ideal.

The Environmental Working Group states that more than a quarter of all women use at least fifteen beauty products daily, so why not cut that down significantly when it comes to your hair routine? The award-winning Hershesons Almost Everything Cream is a one-size-fits-all solution to streamline your hair product haul. Use it on wet hair to prime, leave on as a conditioning mask or smooth on dry hair for a shine boost, texture injection or curl definer. Put simply, it’ll make every hair type, colour and style look and feel better.

We weren’t sold on the power of setting sprays, until we tried this one. Able to be used as a setting spray or misting refresher throughout the day, all whilst providing SPF 30 protection, this is an ingenious creation from COOLA. Remember, SPF isn’t just for summer, so this is a perfect year-round buy. The green-tea infused spray manages to set your make up perfectly whilst, (being a specialist SPF brand and all) the completely clear UV block expertly protects the complexion from sun damage. Botanical extracts hydrate and fortify skin, alongside cucumber and aloe extracts to soothe and refresh. With a few simple spritz’ you’ll be looking flawless from morning ‘til night.

If you’re in a hurry but still want to achieve a glowing make up look, L’Oreal’s glow enhancing lotion can be used as a base for makeup, mixed in with foundation or applied as a highlight, with any of its multi-purpose uses giving you a radiant glow. Infused with hydrating watermelon, Glow Cherie is beautifully pearlescent, leaving skin looking healthy but not shiny. One swipe and you’re ready to glow.

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