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Beauty Shelfie: Annabel Meggeson, Beauty Director

Writer and expert8 years ago
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Annabel Meggeson, Red magazine's Beauty Director, talks us through the hero products that have earned pride of place on her bathroom shelf…

'My grandmother was extremely glamorous and always slept in curlers and wore lipstick. As someone who can tend towards scruffy, I was in awe of how consistently well presented she was. Overall, though, my beauty journey was very much my own – a lot of research done at my local Boots and the odd titbit gleaned from the girls at boarding school.

I remember using Cornsilk powder when I was younger in an attempt to soft focus my spots - and a lot of Aapri Apricot Facial Scrub in an attempt to obliterate them. A black Rimmel eyeliner and Rimmel concealer stick were other go-tos, as were various lipsticks from No7, which felt like the height of glamour. I remember a pearly purply-pink one in particular that had the word Grape in the name. My boyfriend at the time teased me and I never wore it again. Skincare-wise, I remember finding Clarins very glamorous, though I couldn't afford it; a bottle of Neutrogena's Sesame Body Oil was a huge treat. I can't for the life of me remember what facial moisturiser – if any – I used. I do remember slathering my face with cold cream and lying in the bath – seems DIY masking was around long before social media, after all!

I'd describe my beauty style now as scruff luxe. I look low-maintenance - I'm often makeup free and relish product-free days - but behind it all is a raft of treatments and routines that keep everything (more or less) together.

I always use a balm as the first step of a double cleanse. Annee De Mamiel Cleansing Balm, £54, contains lots of high quality essential oils, meaning it works on your senses as well as your skin. Press between fingers and take a few deep breaths before massaging it in. Forget muslin cloths, it's flannels all the way for me now. Nothing removes a cleansing balm better and they're wonderful for doing warm compresses – just load with very warm water, squeeze and press on to activate your skin.Then phase two of a double cleanse can be anything from a scrub to a soap to a foam. When the latter, I love L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam, £7.

You need an extra hit of hydration around the eyes as you get older, otherwise the makeup you so desperately need in that area will not look smooth and Sisley's new makeup ambassador Tania Grier recommended applying Sisley Eye Contour Mask, £81.50, straight onto damp, post-cleansed skin, before you do anything else. Then I'll usually follow with Institut Esthederm Eau Cellulaire Spray, £16 - an endlessly useful facial mist that cools, sets and hydrates. You can apply it either before or after you've applied makeup. I love face oils and find many to be good - especially Nude Progenius Firming Youth Oil, £72, for keeping skin consistently soft and supple.

I love to play alchemist when it comes to my bath and salts are always part of the formula. When I run out of Aromatherapy Associates Destress Muscle Himalayan Bath Salts, £47, I fill the lovely jar with cheaper epsom salts, until I can afford it again.

When it comes to makeup, Benefit Fake Up Concealer, £18.50, is one of the few concealers that doesn't go all dry and cakey, thanks to the core of balm. The fact its spawned lots of copy cats suggests I'm not the only one who thinks it's great and I'm also a fan of Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Robust Rhubarb, £19, as it imparts a pretty, healthy flush that suits most skin tones; easy to tote for touch-ups on the go. Then for foolproof lash building in seconds, it has to be the one and only Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Mascara, £25.

'Violin nails' is my new manicure directive; super short, in other words, with just a slick of top coat. Revlon's Gel Envy Top Coat, £7.99, gives great, long-lasting shine and finally, while I was a latecomer to this insiders' favourite, I can't get enough of the smoky, seductive scent of Chanel Les Exclusifs Sycomore.'

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