Prometheus News


The beauty products we've loved the longest

Dec 12, 2019 by William Lewis.

Mascaras may come and go, but it's these products that have earned their place as The Pool's long-term beauty loves  .

Beauty journos – we're a fickle bunch. Fond as you like of a product until a newer, better model comes along and we're on to the next one. So, when one sticks and makes it all the way to our make-up bag, it must be exceptional. As for the ones we've sworn by for years and years? Well, it's time we celebrated them. Here are The Pool team's favourites...


A make-up artist first told me about Seche Vite on one of my first assisting jobs, and I've been using it for the ten years or so since. In my opinion, it's the best topcoat around – you just can't beat that super shiny finish – plus it makes your polish last longer. I'm rubbish at being bothered to paint my nails, but when I do, it makes such a difference. Beautiful nails cheer you up.  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, £9  


The moment I smudged Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturiser onto the back of my hand, and the jigsaw piece slotted perfectly into place. Here are the technical facts: it's a gel-cream that refreshes the skin and slowly pumps it with hydrating ingredients over the day. It's available in 16 different shades and can be built up to provide coverage ranging from quite sheer to medium-weight foundation. It doesn't require extreme levels of cleansing to remove, and it's good for your skin, actively increasing levels of hydration the more you use it. And here are the real-life facts: it makes skin look completely refreshed; within moments of applying, there is a quenching sensation and a gloss that dissipates slightly but leaves you looking (and feeling) radiant. It doesn't hide freckles or flush, but it gives your skin tone a smoothing once-over. Like whisking a knob of butter into a sauce, everything looks silkier, softer, more together, but not hugely different. I now have it in three shades to see me through the whole year of seasonal swapsies and various scenarios from "a little something" for the school run to "done-but-not-too-done" evening events. I bloody love it, and I urge you to give it a go.   BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel-Cream, £27  


I've been wearing Miller Harris L'Air de Rien ever since it launched about ten years ago. I find floral fragrances a bit girly and anything sharp tends to "wear me", but the woody, spicy but not-overpowering blend in this hits just the right note. It's also the only fragrance I ever wore that routinely had people coming up to me asking what I was wearing. (And I was not in any way swayed by the fact that Jane Birkin was its inspiration. Not.) Miller Harris L'Air de Rien, £95  


I do love blusher. It wakes up your whole face. Finding an excellent blush for darker skin tones can be tricky: they can be too loud, too warm, too orange or too beige. That's why I absolutely love Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge Lip & Cheek in Chocolate Cherry. As a beauty journalist, it's part of my job and DNA to be a bit fickle when it comes to products, but I'm loyal to a fault to this pigment-rich and warm cream blush that looks natural on dark skin. I can do a bit of mascara and a slick of this on my cheeks and lips, and I'm ready to go. It's something that never leaves my bag and one of the few products I've ever actually used until it ran out. And then I bought some more.  Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Chocolate Cherry, £21  


Somebody bought me my first bottle of Jo Malone bath oil several years ago, and I've never looked back. It's one of the most indulgent products I use, in that it transforms the simple act of having a bath into something downright luxurious. It smells fantastic, but it's also the ritual of using it that feels quite special. If I'm ever feeling low or a bit run down, it instantly makes me feel better. I would use it every day if I could, but I try to save it for moments when I feel like I need it so that it's still a treat.  Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil, from £18  


There's nothing I love more than slathering my face in Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. It smells delicious (just like marmalade) but with a silky, creamy consistency that leaves dehydrated skin feeling smooth and comfortable. Best of all, it's an absolute doddle to use. Spread a thin layer over your face, give it a couple of minutes to sink in, go to sleep then wake up with plump, healthy-looking skin. It's 10-hours-of-sleep-with-added-glow bottled. I've been using it for years, and it's still a joy every time. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, £25  


I'm almost embarrassed to say that the beauty product I've been using for longest is the mint and tea tree shower gel from Original Source. It's continuously been in my shower since I was a student – that's sixteen years of use. Just think: when I first started buying this, mini-disk players were still in circulation. Why do I love it? Well, the scent is, quite literally, akin to a foghorn. It's the most nuclear product I own and the only thing that wakes me up. Eye-smarting tea tree oil, of course, was the smell of my teens, and I'm not ready to give it up entirely. Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel, £1.20  


The world's best primer – back from before primers were a thing –Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector, is the secret weapon of make-up artists and beauty editors alike. It's one of my all-time loves, and I've been using it forever (in Pearl, a milky shade) as a dewy, under-foundation glow for when I want my skin to gleam. You can also wear it as a highlighter, or wear it on its own. There's a shade for everyone – from deep bronze to peachy-pink –, and such is its success that Becca has trademarked it, and expanded it into a whole range. A lot of things are referred to as "youth in a bottle," but this may actually be it.