My beauty editor-approved make-up bag heroes - featuring the £12 mascara that I refuse to give up

Makeup products spilling out of makeup bag

My relationship with make-up changes as I get older.

Like most people, in my early teens, I experimented with colour (half lilac and half mint on the eyelid was a particularly strong look that I remember). My late teens were a quest for the best foundation and best concealer to cover up the angry pimples that had taken up camp on my chin. I hit my twenties and I couldn't get enough of a black kohl liner. The smudgier the better. Then as I approached my late twenties suddenly I was all about lipstick. My quest to find the best red lipstick meant that at one point I had over 45 shades to choose from. Now that I'm in my thirties, my only goal is skin that sings. I want a glowy complexion that Hayley Bieber would be jealous of.

Whilst my approach to make-up changes, there are a few constants that remain. My make-up bag heroes have been there with me during every iteration of my make-up life.

They have done me proud over the years and I have no doubt will continue to do the same for years to come.

My make-up heroes:

1. Maybelline mascara

£11.99 | Lookfantastic

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, £11.99 | Lookfantastic
This is hands down the best Maybelline mascara. Actually, it's more than that, it's the best mascara around. And I will not hear otherwise. I don't know about you, but what I look for in a mascara is one that coats my ghostly pale lashes in luscious dark pigment, adds volume to what are incredibly straight hairs and fans them out like a peacock on display. I don't think that's too much to ask. This mascara does all of that.

2. Tweezerman Eyelash Curler

£17 | Lookfantastic

Tweezerman Deluxe Classic Eyelash Curler, £17 | Lookfantastic
As I said, I have poker straight eyelashes. Despite that I never used to curl my eyelashes. Do you want to know why? The shape of them was always a bit too awkward for my make-up bag so it never properly closed. Then one day a make-up artist curled my eyelashes and to say I've never looked back is an understatement. Even on days of no make-up, I'll curl my lashes, as it makes me look more awake. I now always make space for these beauties.

3. Charlotte Tilbury brow mascara


Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows, £22 
I used to pride myself on how quickly I could get ready at university. Whilst the other girls in my flat used to spend hours straightening their hair, applying their fake tan and perfecting their feline flicks, I liked to be finished and on my third drink by the time they were done. So I've always been attracted to products that can do a lot in a short space of time. This brow mascara is fantastic. It fills in and grooms at the same time and it gives me that natural fluffy texture that I love so much.

4. Chanel bronzer

£43 | Feelunique

Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, £43 | Feelunique
Yes, it's one of the industry's most talked about bronzers. But do you know what? It's worth all the chat. And it's worth the £43 price tag. I love a cream bronzer because to me a creamy texture looks most natural - it mimics the look of my skin. It just lifts my skin and adds warmth whenever I'm looking slightly peaky. I'm not alone in my thinking, speak to any of my beauty editor friends and they'll tell you that their best bronzer is this.

5. Maybelline concealer

£8.99 | Lookfantastic

Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eraser Concealer, £8.99 | Lookfantastic
Another Maybelline favourite of mine. This concealer does it all. It covers up unsightly blemishes that need calming down, it brightens skin that needs a dose of light and it hides my dark circles. The doe foot applicator gives it a soft focus look and also prevents me from applying too much. I always have two in my kit - one for winter when my skin is paler and darker one in the summer that I use all of the face, rather than a full-on foundation.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.