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Beauty

All The Life-Changing Beauty Products We Keep Going Back To, And Why They're Just That Good

The grails of skincare and makeup.

A weekend trip to Sephora easily proves that new beauty products are literally dropping every single day. And while most of us enjoy limited edition finds, there’s nothing that beats having a staple of tried and tested products to rely on. After all, these iconic beauty products did not achieve cult status simply by being trendy. On the contrary, they have remained trusted go-tos for discerning women all over the world through the years. Whether it is something as instantly recognisable as Chanel’s No. 5 perfume or as universally flattering as NARS’ Orgasm Blush, here are the life-changing beauty products that every woman needs to have in her life:

Chanel No. 5 EDP
While the Parfum spray was first created back in 1092, it wasn’t until 1986 when then-Chanel perfumer, Jacques Polge, created the EDP (which remains a customer favourite). He envisioned the EDP to be the epitome of femininity, and chose to highlight the floral notes for a bold burst of heady Jasmine and May Rose. At the same time, he retained the original parfum’s aldehyde signature to give it that standout touch. Finally, he opted for a base of vanilla for a warm finish that’s incredibly sensual. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $30
Who can forget that scene in The Devil Wears Prada in which Andy Sachs, the character played by Anne Hathaway, gets mocked by her co-workers for not knowing what this very product is? Ergonomically designed to be suitable for all eye shapes, it curls your lashes beautifully and preps them for mascara application in a way that is often imitated but never replicated. YSL Beauty Touche Éclat, $62
There’s no denying the impact that Touche Éclat has had on the beauty industry. Since it was first introduced in the early 1990s, not only has it become a staple in literally every makeup artist’s kit, it has also spawned countless spin-offs. And the magic of this multi-purpose pen lies in its illuminating properties that softens the appearance of dark circles and helps to highlight the higher planes of your face, making it an indispensable tool for the perfect selfie. Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, $70
Forget about a chalky complexion when you’re using this loose powder to set your makeup as it doesn’t sink into wrinkles or pores, but instead, gives skin a soft-focus effect. To keep makeup in place, try using a powder puff to gently “roll” the product onto your skin after makeup application. This creates a protective veil over your skin that repels sebum and water so you never have to worry about streaking. L’Oreal Paris Elnett Blue Extra Strong Hold Hairspray, $13.90 for 312g
Even humidity and fluctuating temperatures have nothing on this hairspray. The hairspray of choice for photo shoots, runway shows and red carpet events, this high performance hairspray mists on finely on the hair and locks in the style for hours on end once it sets. Yet, the texture is so fine that you can easily brush it out and restyle your tresses as you please. Best part, it has a satin finish that’s doesn’t look matte (read: fake) nor glossy (read: greasy). Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, $60 for 250ml
Fans of this body moisturiser love it for its rich, yet fast-absorbing texture. Enriched with cocoa butter and sesame oil, it delivers much-needed moisture, fatty acids and antioxidants so your skin feels silky smooth and soft. Benefit Cosmetics Benetint, $54
Despite its blood red appearance, this buildable tint actually goes on sheer for a universally flattering rosy hue. Lightweight and non-greasy, you can easily blend this into your skin, creating a natural flush that lasts all day and night. We also love that it doubles up as a lip stain for that just-bitten look. Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer, $105
It might be hard to stomach this price tag for a concealer but it is worth every single cent. A little goes a long way as one glide of this ultra-pigmented concealer hides everything including zits, scars and dark eye circles to give you the illusion of flawless skin. Did we mention it is super blendable and also fortified with sun protection? Told you it’s worth the splurge. La Mer Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, $300 for 30ml
Known for its deeply regenerating powers, this skin saving salve is packed with nutrient-rich ferments to speed up the skin’s healing process for a smoother, more refined complexion. Rub a bean-sized amount between your palms and fingers to warm up the product before pressing into your skin for optimal product penetration sans any greasiness. Due to its ultra-comforting texture, it is  an in-flight staple for jet-setters who want to protect their skin against the harsh cabin air. Eudermine Revitalizing Essence, $75 for 125ml
Loved by Japanese women for more than a century, this softening lotion deeply infuses skin with much-needed moisture to keep skin supple and smooth. Moreover, it also improves skin’s ability to retain moisture through temperature changes, setting the perfect foundation for healthy, plump skin. Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara, $50
One look at this mascara brush and you know it means business. With a tapered shape, it not only enables you to reach tiny lashes at the inner corners of your eyes but also create a fanned out effect to create a dramatic, wide-eyed look. The formula contains nylon powders that thicken lashes and holds them in place without weighing them down. And the waterproof formula stays put even through tears, humidity and rain. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, $210 for 160ml
Featuring the brand’s signature ingredient, Pitera, this facial essence is designed to rebalance and restore skin to its optimal state, thanks to its blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Dispense on a cotton pad and sweep onto cleansed skin before any skin care to boost the absorption of products applied after. Over time, expect visible improvements in skin texture, clarity, smoothness and firmness. Dior Rouge Dior in 999, $50
Just the right balance of warm and cool undertones, this red lipstick works on virtually every skin tone and has been one of the brand’s best-selling items. Beyond beautiful colour payoff, the formula is also comfortable to wear as it is fortified with ingredients like mango butter, hyaluronic acid spheres and other plumping actives to keep lips smooth and supple. NARS Orgasm Blush, $50
It’s little wonder why this peachy-pink blush has been a crowd favourite all these while. Easy to apply as it goes on smoothly and blends perfectly with the skin, the formula is also long-lasting and remains streak-free after a long day out in Singapore’s heat and humidity. In addition, tiny gold flecks add just enough warmth to any skin tone and let’s be frank: who could resist that post-coital flush?