Our 7 favourite iconic beauty products of all time, plus how to use them

Posted by for Beauty

Everybody loves a good beauty haul, but if you’re stuck on what to treat yourself to, why not make it one of these cult skincare and make-up buys? You can’t go far wrong.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of beauty products available these days. Whether it’s a case of endlessly scrolling through Feel Unique, or seeing new beauty products go viral on TikTok every other week, one thing is for certain: you can’t go wrong with treating yourself to something that’s earned cult beauty status. 

Not every product falls under that category. So, to make it easy for you, we’ve pulled together this list of products that have gained a cult title and are also Stylist beauty team-approved (plus, details on how they work).

Sadly, we can’t be held responsible for your bank balance after reading…

  • Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant

    A real beauty hero, this does-it-all balm got its name from a customer who used it on her child’s grazed knee and eight hours later, it was miraculously better. It intensely moisturises skin and can literally be used from head to toe. Chapped lips? Dry elbows? Cracked heels? Rogue split-ends? Tick, tick, tick, tick. We recommend keeping one in your handbag and taking it everywhere with you: there’s not much it’s not good for, to be honest. 

    Shop Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant at Boots, £25.20

  • YSL Touche Éclat Illuminating Pen

    If you’ve been using Touche Eclat to conceal blemishes, stop it. Right now. Despite being a concealer, it’s commonly misused. It’s tempting to use on spots, but the formula is actually packed with illuminating, light-reflecting pigments that’s designed to help disguise dark circles. It’s not glittery or shimmery, just flattering – and will make you look like you’ve had eight hours even if you really, really haven’t (and let’s face it, who has?).

    Shop YSL Touche Éclat Illuminating Pen at Yves Saint Laurent, £27

  • Bondi Sands Dark Self-Tanning Foam

    There’s a reason there’s one bottle of this fake tan sold every second around the world: it doesn’t smell like biscuits, it doesn’t turn orange on skin, isn’t sticky and only takes a few minutes to dry. It’s got aloe vera in it too, which helps stop it drying skin out.

    Shop Bondi Sands Dark Self-Tanning Foam at lookfantastic, £14.99

  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

    There ain’t nothing like a Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, and the one in this duo is a firm favourite of Stylist’s Beauty Editor, Lucy. It’s slightly golden and has ‘light flex technology’ that captures and reflects light – AKA, it’s guaranteed to get a compliment. The bronzer side is a mix of pearl and pigment and it blends really easily for a your-face-but-better-esque contour. 

    Shop Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow at Feelunique, £49

  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

    Introduce us to somebody who’s tried Better Than Sex and didn’t love it, and we’ll show you a liar. The hourglass-shaped brush perfectly separates, coats and curls each individual lash for some pretty impressive length and volume. The formula is blacker-than-black and layers well without clumping. It won’t smudge or flake during the day, either. Dream. 

    Shop Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara at Cult Beauty, £22

  • Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

    Suitable for all skin types, this hardworking cleanser quickly and easily gets rid of stubborn eye and face make-up and sunscreen – no scrubbing required. Warmed up in the palm of your hands or on finger tips, it transforms from a balm into a silky oil but won’t leave any residue and leaves skin perfectly prepped for a second cleanse. 

    Shop Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm at lookfantastic, £25

  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

    Not long ago it was impossible to buy Seche Vite anywhere except eBay, but since the UK learnt what a god send it is it’s now more readily available on the high street. It’s basically the only top coat you’ll ever need – and if you’ve never tried it, prepare for it to change your nail-painting life. Not only does it quicken drying time and leave an impeccably glossy, high shine but it also penetrates through polish to the base for a longer-lasting finish and stops nails turning yellow.

    Shop Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat at Boots, £9

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: courtesy of brands

Share this article

Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.