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What’s in my make-up bag? Camilla shares her make-up staples

I’ve had a fascination with make up since I was small. I used to love watching our mother applying her make-up and remember the smell of the Clarins Eau Dynamisante spray she used to spritz liberally post bath before she changed like it was yesterday…I’m making it sound as though she is no longer with us (!) she is, I’m just feeling nostalgic…it must be lockdown and the fact we haven’t seen her for some time now.

I digress. Back to make up…! I find it weirdly intriguing watching friends applying their make up too…and I am 100% the person that tries to avert their eyes but finds it nigh on impossible, if someone is attempting the art of make-up application on a packed tube in the morning. (I hasten to add, there is zero judgment — I have been that person, on many occasion– particularly in my 20’s when I regularly used to stumble out of bed after too many vodka tonics the night before and trot off to work with wet hair and a can of lilt for breakfast — how did we use to do it?!)

Something about underground (tube) application leaves me cold now I have to say — applying foundation with your finger tips and then no means of washing them…and that smudgy look that is left on your make up after those same fingers handle the rest of the application process…I always feel there are germs in the air on the tube, just waiting to jump and stick into your concealer and cream blush…it’s skanky, there is no way around it…so perhaps, when I say no judgment, there is a little now that I’m all grown up and nearing the end of my 30’s.

Getting a glimpse of the inside of another person’s make-up bag is a bit of a guilty pleasure I confess — rather like walking down the street and having a quick squint through the window into someone’s living room…it’s a metaphorical window. A person’s make up bag says a lot about them. It is deeply personal — and you’re either a minimalist or a maximalist…and either gets my vote. I always remember my Aunt keeping her make up bag in the car…I went with her to work one day for a work experience placement in my teens and for some reason it really stuck in my mind that she called her make up bag her ‘bag of tricks’ — I suppose because it’s exactly that, make up has the ability to completely transform a face…for better or worse!

Today I want to share with you the contents of mine — there are some real old faithful’s in there and some pieces that are new to the party. Below I have listed them with a brief description about why I like each….I’m going to take it in order of application! Camilla X

Skinceuticals Brightening UV Defence SPF 30

I was gifted this sunscreen earlier this month — and I have to say I really like it, it’s a light fluid like texture that is easy to apply and doesn’t leave your skin with that oily texture that some sunscreen can.

Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner

I have been wearing this eyeliner since I was 16 years old.  Originally chosen for it’s low price point (an absolute bargain at just £3) but I continue to use it today because I often find more expensive kohl pencils too soft, and therefore smudgy…and the last thing you want is an imprint on your eyelid from your liner. I am sure there are equally good kohl pencils on the market but I haven’t searched too hard…in my opinion, ‘if it aint broke….’ you know the rest! 

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil – 001 Black Brown

The same goes for my eyebrow pencil – it is so inexpensive and it holds well so I haven’t been tempted to stray…the only product that has tempted me so far is the Glossier Boy Brow.

Ren ‘perfect canvas’ clean primer

My love affair with this brand began when I was pregnant with my son; I was given some of the Ren Moroccan Rose body wash and lotion (perfect for pregnancy and breast feeding mothers because it is really ‘clean’ and doesn’t contain any nasties…the smell still takes me back to that desperately tiring, but special, time when a few minutes to shower and inhale the scent felt like the ultimate ritual in self-care.

This primer was recommended by a friend and I have to say it really does do what it says on the tin…it feels a bit like a serum but it dries to create the perfect base for make-up application. The fact that it is silicone free and contains ingredients such as agave extract and probiotics is an added bonus and I swear it helps to reduce pores!


I started using this foundation just before Philippa’s wedding — we went to Chanel for a make-up lesson as part of her hen (highly recommend it actually- it’s £50 per hen, which includes a 2hr make up lesson, all the products and then the £50 spend is off set against products…) Philippa favours the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua which is better at giving a fuller coverage, and lessens the nead for a concealer, great for an all day event — but I like this one because it’s really light weight and leaves a dewy finish.

Glossier Stretch Concealer

I literally love this — I picked it up when I went to their covent garden pop up last year — it comes in 12 shades (mine is G9) and gives amazing buildable coverage — I use it to conceal blemishes and on days when I haven’t had enough sleep, it expertly conceals those dark circles…whilst leaving a dewy finish.

Cosmetics à la Carte Matte  Bronzing Powder

I was kindly sent this last week — we are offering a lovely 20% off the entire Cosmetics a la Carte range (they do beautiful skincare as well as make up) so they sweetly sent us a few pieces to try. This is rapidly becoming my new favourite bronzer…and I have tried a lot! It gives a really natural colour, you look more sun kissed than sun soaked…(I have ‘freckle’ but no doubt other shades will give a less subtle look if that’s your vibe) and it comes in a lovely compact, complete with application brush and mirror — making it a perfect handbag accessory.

Chanel ‘Joues Contraste’ Blusher – 82 Reflex

This is a dream of a blusher – it has a bit of a sheen to it and it has a peachy tone – if you are looking for a more  affordable option, Boujoir do a similar shade called ’16 Rose Coup de Foudre.’

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand Easy Highlighter

This is pure genius…a little dab on the cheek bones, smudged in with your finger tips…creates the perfect glow to finish. The one issue I have with it is the packaging…you have to twist to open and close it once you’ve removed the lid — if you forget, you waste a lot…and you tend to get your fingers covered in product twisting it open) but that’s a small price to pay for this little piece of genius.

Collection Cosmetics Eyes Uncovered Palette Just Nude

This is one of Philippa’s bargain finds…Collection is exclusive to Superdrug…so not surprisingly it’s really affordable (we’re talking £4.99 for a complete eye shadow palette). The colours are spot on for me — natural shades which blend to create the perfect ‘no make up look’ — it probably doesn’t last quite as well as more expensive shadow powders…it ‘sits on the skin’ slightly more than for example, the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Pallete – which I use for nights out, when I want extra longevity (I have 204 Tissé Vendôme). I have to say, I highly recommend this for day to day…and so refreshing to get change from a fiver for a decent product these days!

Cosmetics à la Carte Intense Volume Mascara

This mascara was commended by the beauty shortlist awards last year and I can see why…I love the mirrored silver packaging…it is a good looking product and it creates a dramatic lash. I would probably say it’s best for nights out when you want a really defined, full looking lash — and it feels really nourishing AND contains no nasties – part of the DNA of the Cosmetics à la Carte brand and why we wanted to work with them this month to bring our members a discount on their products.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Matte Lip Colour – Nude Reality

I bought this lipstick after seeing one of our favourite bloggers, Chloe Samwell Smith, singing its praises – I hadn’t realised it is matt, which I never think suits me..so always layer it with something on top and use just a little so it doesn’t look too pink (particularly if wearing eyeliner…I never think a heavy eye and lip look good together, always one or the other.

Lucas Pawpaw Ointment

I always have a tube of this in my handbag – it’s an ointment made from fermented papaya (it doesn’t smell fermented!) and it’s great for going over the top of matte lipstick to add some sheen, or day to day it keeps your lips hydrated like a standard balm (I’ve been using it on my hands lots too since Covid-19 as it’s amazing for dry and cracked skin from over washed hands).

Anya Hindmarch Make-Up Pouch

Last but SO not least…I finally want to give a little shout out to my make up bag…she is an old faithful. It felt like a real extravagance at the time I bought it but I had lusted after it for a very long time and it really has stood the test of time — with a separate section for your make up brushes, it keeps things organised…and looks so smart too. If you haven’t already, you should check out her whole travel range…it’s dreamy…the in-flight case is next on my lust list.

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