10 products a beauty expert can’t live without

12 January 2022
By Sarah Murray

Fashion Quarterly's Sarah Murray shares the most valuable players on her beauty shelf at the moment.

Having been a beauty editor on and off for over ten years I’ve tried and tested A LOT of products which makes me quite a discerning customer. I like beauty products that first and foremost do what they say, and if they’re multi-tasking – even better. Here is my current lineup of products that I’ve been using to keep me looking fresh all summer long.

1. Sharni Darden' Retinol Reform', from Ines, $180

Trust me when I tell you – Shani Darden’s ‘Retinol Reform’ lives up to its cult status. I use it every evening and will continue to purchase it until the end of my days. Its anti-ageing formula stimulates collagen production and cell turnover. While it’s hard to articulate what the product does aesthetically, what’s certain is that my skin now looks glowingly bright.

2. Trilogy Vitamin C booster treatment, $44.99

Boasting a potent vitamin C, the two-week booster treatment is so active, that the packaging keeps the 6% vitamin C powder separate until it is opened and you are ready to mix and apply. I use the treatment every morning underneath my moisturiser and especially love the hit of mandarin, which awakens my senses first thing. 

3. Charlotte Tilbury instant eye palette 'Smokey Eyes' from Mecca, $127.00

If you’re going to invest in one eyeshadow pallet, it should be this, because really it’s like four palettes in one. With 12 shades to choose from (a mix of matte and metallics), the palette is seemingly designed to be split into four different groups, each with three complementary shades that can be layered to create an enhanced look.

4. Lash Noir 'Yumi Lashes' 2.0 keratin lash lift & tint, $129

Image: Holly Burgess

Look — it’s not an actual product, but a lash lift is one of those invaluable treatments you’ll never regret, lasting 8-12 weeks. What I like most about Lash Noir’s Yumi lash lift is how it makes my stumpy lashes look long and curled on a daily basis. And when you add mascara — just wow!

5. bareMinerals 'Strength & Length' serum-infused mascara from Mecca, $35

On that note, a multi-tasking mascara that uses a lash enhancing serum for long term results, while lengthening your lashes for the day, is a big yes from me. The mascara’s unique paddle brush also helps to create fanned-out and bat-worthy lashes.

6. Ilia Multistick from Mecca, $55

This little product by Ilia creates a healthy flush of colour on your cheeks, a tint for your lips, and even a soft wash over the eyelids. I love how it practically melts into your face to provide a natural-looking glow.

7. The Virtue 'Castro' parfum, $189

I’ve been newly introduced to the wonderful scents by the Virtue, and ‘Castro’ may just be my favourite. Exotically seductive, its top notes of Cuban tobacco, smoked wood, and violet are mixed with base notes of Peruvian balsam and musk. If you’re after a unique scent, this one’s for you.

8. Emma Lewisham 'Illuminating Brighten Your Day' crème, $110

This collagen-boosting crème certainly brightens my day with its subtle shimmer. It offers 72 hours of hydration and gently exfoliates the skin to keep it moisturised and happy.

9. Naked Sundays Collagen Glow Creme SPF50+, $37

A sunscreen layered on top of your moisturiser and underneath your make-up is a daily must. This one is actually a four in one – acting as a primer, moisturiser, SPF and collagen-booster. Best thing? It provides a protected and hydrated canvas for makeup application.

10. Pure Fiji sugar rub from About Face, $55

This is one of those products I buy on repeat – particularly when the weather is a little warmer. The sugar rub offers a natural exfoliation with fresh sugar cane crystals. Not only does it slough off dead skin cells and polish your skin, but because of its cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, it nourishes and seals in moisture. The water from your shower will bead off your body after use.


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