Beauty Director Annabel Meggeson's best beauty products

This month's essentials: Lipsticks and new oil cleansers


Every month, Red's Beauty Director, Annabel Meggeson, divulges her latest beauty finds and shares the product she considers absolutely essential to your make-up kit.

From skin-quenching serums and glow-giving creams to must-have brow and lip products, here are the things that have made it into Annabel's bathroom and make-up bag - and stayed.

This month, it's all about new, affordable highlighters for an instant hit of radiance, game-changing nail polishes that lend a little TLC (as well as a chic finish), and a nourishing cleansing balm, whose texture is beautifully pitched between slip and grip. 

Click through the gallery to see the latest round-up.

Happy shopping! 

To see Red's first ever beauty box hand-picked by Annabel,

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Bag yourself...


It's cool, complexion-brightening and stays perfect for hours. 

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Three new...

1. , £27 - The sweet almond-rich formula is designed to clean without disrupting the skin’s healthy bacteria. Clever.

2. , £25 – Part of their new skincare range, this is excellent, leaving skin clean and soft.

3. , £40 – Thorough, but super-light. Fans also layer it on as a skin- softening mask.

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Roots manoeuvre

Eighty-eight per cent of women cover their grey hair, with one third saying they’ll do so until the day they die*.

So it’s safe to say we don’t like regrowth. Nothing beats the salon finish, but I’m coming round to in-between products, like (£14.99) and (£16.99), which boosts colour and makes greys stand out less.

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Fancy that

From the gilded Doric pillar of a tube to the eye-watering price tag, everything about screams luxe.

Whether you’d pay £55 for a lash enhancer is another matter; inky and lengthening and lovely it is, but that’s a hefty wedge. It would make a fabulous talking point in the Ladies, though.

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Let's colour!

Spring’s lip crayons are full of playful promise, yet still incredibly chic. I feel ready for anything when I team (£28, 2) with polished skin and a smoky eye; (£17.50, 1) are juicy and bright, while (£26, 3), come in names like Leader, Lover and Dreamer – a reminder that we’re all a force for good (and can benefit from a hydrating lipstick to boot).

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Mascara update

Featherising – is it a word? It is now, thanks to (£16), which leaves lashes inky and fluttery.

Add fortifying ceramides and it’s a great everyday mascara

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3 new favourite...

...Face savers

1. The overnight plumper: , £38 

2. The everyday skin support: , £88

3. The lip softener: , £16 

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It's lovely!

A fragrance for humans” is how Sarah Jessica Parker described her new unisex fragrance; I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love the subtle, (£32 for 30ml). 

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30-Second Skin Perfector

Maybe I’m feeling rushed or my skin’s unreceptive, but there are days when I know a foundation’s not going to work. Make-up artist Geraldo Frazao suggested this, instead: prep skin with Lait-Crème Concentré, £20 (the cult backstage moisturiser that’s now available in Boots), then press a little Sensual Skin Enhancer, £36.50, just around eyes, nose, mouth and anywhere else you have a little redness. It’s a fast route to perfected skin without any heaviness from a base.

Find  Lait-Crème Concentré in . 

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Pro tip

Use body oil rather than bath oil in the tub, as the latter contains dispersants which can be drying. Any droplets of oil left on the surface of the water can be rubbed into skin before you get out.” - From Goop Clean Beauty by the Editors of Goop (Sphere, £20) 

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This month I love...

These Smoke Sticks from Topshop (£6.50 each).

Great colours, easy to blend and they stay put.


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Skin food

Renowned for her holistic treatments and hand-blended products, Annee de Mamiel also suggests this seasonal soup to support skin ().

Fry butternut squash, onion and turmeric (antioxidants); add coconut milk (healthy fats) and stock; whizz and finish with pancetta and coriander. 


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They're genius!

Essie’s Treat Love & Colour (shown in Sheers To You, Laven-dearly and Tinted Love, £8.99 each) are a great new one-stop for nails.

Rich in oils, collagen and brightening pigments, they strengthen and perfect, leaving tips with a pretty tint. The lavender one even neutralises stained and uneven nail beds.


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With its flashes of pink and gold, this sultry nude eye & cheek palette (£48) is launched with Chinese New Year in mind, but, frankly, who needs an excuse to buy Bobbi Brown?

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Glow better

Decléor’s new Facial Pilates treatment uses powerful movements to lift and sculpt.

At home, massage in (£76) – use thumb and forefinger to pinch along your jawline and up your cheeks.

Facial Pilates, £75, at Decléor spas;

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Naked ambition

A little late to the nude palette party, maybe, but (£44) is a worthy addition.

With 14 wearable shades, there’s an eyeshadow for every occasion. Start sheer, blend well (ideally using a more rounded brush than the one provided) and build slowly for the best results.

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Hair savoir-faire

French women are as likely to frequent blow-dry bars as they are to forgo butter.

To get that chic, effortless look, rough-dry your hair, then apply some of (£16.30) – it’s somewhere between a texturiser and a dry shampoo, and adds that je ne sais quoi to hair without making it flat a few hours later.

Feeling really French? Skip the rough-dry and apply product once hair has dried naturally.

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Three best...

From left: , £28 – a glossy toffee nude that never looks flat

, £22 – this pink shade feels new-season fresh

, £2.50 each - juicy and sweet

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Members only

Is this the innovation that will change the way we buy beauty? Beauty Pie is a members’ scheme where you pay a monthly subscription for access to top-quality make-up (and, coming soon, skincare) at factory prices – £2.30 for a lipstick, for example.

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(£325 for 50ml) is the new fragrance from Helena Christensen's Strangelove NYC range, and it's as sexy, sultry and spirited as the supermodel herself.

Think black pepper, patchouli and a boho vibe.

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Bath oils against colds

I’m feeling cold or full of cold on a pretty much ongoing basis at the moment, so days are spent dreaming of the moment I can climb into a hot bath with a glug of (£26).

It’s utterly therapeutic and fills the bathroom with its delicious herby scent.

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Youthifier alert!

I’ve just started taking these (£79 for a four-week supply) as they come recommended by both Red’s no-BS health director and the most youthful-looking fiftysomething I know – Yasmin Le Bon.

Their USP is high-quality nutrients suspended in flax oil, making them super-digestible. I’ll keep you posted.

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The (£38) is loaded with pretty, sexy shades in a soft texture that makes them a joy to apply.

It's my new must-have.

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Party prep

(£45) leaves a subtle sheen and smell on skin with no stickiness.

The perfect finishing touch for legs and arms.

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Stocking fillers

From the gardens of Provence comes  (1), with herby ingredients and chic packaging. (4), a (2), and (3) also make great bottom-of-sock fare. 

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Non-stop suncare

Add a couple of (£105) to your skincare or foundation for a little on-the-spot UV protection when the weather looks bright. It’s a non-bothersome way to do sunscreen in winter.

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3 best...Christmas reds

1. , £95 for 50ml – sexy, seductive tuberose with a modern twist

2. , £21 – a fabulous, long-lasting red

3. , £12 – a classic colour, but tomato undertones keep it fresh

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The Red jury’s still out on what exactly LED can do for skin*, but it’s gaining quite a reputation among beauty experts as a collagen booster.

We’ll be looking into this at the newly opened Cowshed Spa in Selfridges, where it’s offered alongside manis and pedis.

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Pro tip

“For the ultimate ‘no-make-up make-up’ eyes, use a prodigious amount of black or brown kohl the night before, really working it in to the lashes, then wiping off the excess. It adds depth to the eyes but doesn’t look like you’re wearing any make-up.” Kirsten Kjaer Weis, make-up artist.

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3 best...Lip balms

1. , £15 – the coolest new balm in town

2. , £25 – a new (chic, effective) offering from the luxe-y hair brand

3. , £2.99 – a cheerful revamp of an old faithful

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