The Top 10 Brilliant Products I’d Rather Not Be Without

I was putting on some of my tinted lip salve this morning when the thought for this list occurred to me. What products do I rely on, give me pleasure (no, stop there – I don’t have one!) or are simply a joy to use? Some I buy regularly, some are purchases that have definitely proved to be worthwhile investments. So here are my tried and tested top ten brilliant products:

Now I am fully aware that possessions are not as important as being loved, loving, having excellent health, being kind or trying our best to be wise and generally wonderful. However, I’m not talking soopah yachts, flawless diamonds or a Chanel suit here.

I think it is fair to say that most women think a good haircut is important. It says so much about us, especially regarding first impressions. My hair is very fine and so I am keen to make it look as thick and healthy as possible. Apart from the talented Lucy whose skills are as finely honed as her scissors, I rely on Aussie Aussome Volume shampoo and conditioner. These two products smell amazing in an elegant bubblegum sort of way and give my hair gloss and swing. I have tried other brands but always go back to Oz! Click here to see full range.

A cashmere wrap is not something you buy every day, but I can absolutely vouch for this accessory, having owned one for several years (and it still looks as good as new). Featherlight and supersoft, it works equally brilliantly as a wrap on a cool summer’s evening or a scarf cuddling your neck in the colder months. Looks especially chic if you buy with a matching cardigan or jumper.

Perhaps I should have called this list my top ten addictions because as soon as I walk into the kitchen each morning I make a beeline for our espresso machine. I heat half a mug of Oatly Barista milk in the microwave for one minute and then pop in an espresso shot. I feel cheated unless I have two of these comforting creamy mugfuls every day. I used to use Nespresso capsules until I found Belmio – equally good quality and taste but less expensive. Read my post to find out more about them.

Next, FitFlop sneakers. I don’t know why I bother to take them off at night because they are constantly on my feet, keeping me comfortable the entire day. By the way, FitFlop has up to 50% off until end June on lots of their shoes. Loving this new style because white trainers are super cool at the moment and these are crafted from durable leather with a touch of snakeskin on the heels. £85 sizes 3 – 9. DETAILS HERE

Like most women, I have a collection of handbags, some of them were purchased eons ago but they are all going strong because I look after them. This is my fave – it goes with me to Waitrose, the cinema, my yoga class – well you know – everywhere. It’s a Coach prairie leather satchel. Not sure why it’s called a satchel as it isn’t that large, but it is the perfect size for my many essentials and makes a great everyday bag. Made of gorgeous grainy leather, I get lots of compliments about it and it is, naturellement, super practical navy. Despite being my enduring companion for many months now, it still looks absolutely brand new. Definitely one of my most worthwhile investment pieces. MORE INFO

Still reach for this little piece of make up heaven every single morning. Dark circle concealer. Brilliant value as far as I can see as after weeks of daily use it still has lots of fluid inside. This is not the first Maybelline product I have adored, I think it is a good, well-priced brand. Have a look at my previous post or click on the photo for more info.

Another top product in my kitchen is my potato ricer. If you want heavenly smooth buttery melt-in-the-mouth mash, you have to own one of these. I recommend you buy a good quality one as it will last for absolutely years of faithful service.

Am super impressed with my Osprey zipped purse. Made of textured leather, it has a sturdy zip and the perfect amount of pockets inside: one for cash, 10 for credit cards (two of which are either size of the zipped coin section in the middle and all of which hold the cards firmly and safely); also compartments for discount vouchers, driving licence, bank notes, there’s even space for my Senior Rail Card. Take my word for it, this is an amazing way to carry your dosh and cards around. Mine looks good as new after five years which is testament to the quality of the leather and the workmanship. There are a variety of colour options. Check them out here.

I have always loved leather and paper and seeing a week to view. Yep, talking diaries here. As I can’t get to grips with the finer points of my mobile, unlike Annabel who seems to do everything in a trice on hers, I love the old fashioned-ness of my leather desk diary. I like Filofax who offer good quality, durable products at a fair price. MORE INFO

And that lip salve I mentioned at the beginning of this post? It’s made by Carmex and I particularly like this brand because it feels right on my mouth. Not too sticky, yet viscous enough to be nurturing. I have no better recommendation than to say I have depended on this particular brand to keep my lips soft for over six years now. Ultra hydrating with Vitamin E, shea butter, sun protection SPF 15 and a lovely hint of colour. Best price I’ve found is £3.37 from Boots. Plus you get some of their wonderful loyalty scheme points, especially if you register as over sixty when Boots give you even more discounts. Click here to buy

Anyone want to enlighten me as to their fave products?  I’d love to hear what successes you’ve had. Go on, click here to share your recommendations…


  1. Dear Grace
    I know how important a good hair cut is and I CANNOT find a decent hair cutter in my area – Shaftesbury, Dorset – I look at everyone’s hair around here and am willing to ask a stranger where they get their hair cut but everyone’s ( of my age group) hair here is quite ordinary and unstylish. Your hair is amazing and I would be interested to know who cuts it as I would be willing to go anywhere just for a one off really good cut. I would like to be told what is the best hair cut for my face and colouring as well.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Amanda. Have you tried Toni & Guy? I have used them over the years and always had a good cut and colour. As I understand it, all their staff are very well trained. I would suggest popping in and speaking with a senior stylist and senior colourist. If you take photos of haircuts that appeal to you, they will advise you on what style and colour will work for your particular hair type and complexion. If you like what they suggest, you can then book your appointments. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Grace

  2. Hi Grace

    You’ve asked for ‘Fave Product’ recommendations so here’s one that’s recently become a new hero product of mine:

    Crème of Nature Pure Honey Knot Away Leave-In Detangler.
    No sulphates or mineral oil.

    There’s no product ‘overload’ with this. No yucky stickiness and or that weird, slightly ‘crispy’ effect which some products leave behind.
    The dreaded frizz is tamed and my hair dries to soft, sweet smelling waves.
    I think it’s an absolute snip at £5.99 from Boots.

    If left to it’s own devices, my so-called crowning glory resembles a rather tatty bird’s nest.
    Not a good look. At least not for the slightly more mature lady.
    This fave product leaves my unruly mop tamed and frizz free. And it’s as cheap as chips. Result!

    Best wishes

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