A few weeks ago, we took to Instagram to ask for pics of readers' Top Shelves. (We quickly learned that #topshelf is a shared hashtag—see for yourself—thus we turned to #ITGtopshelfie.) The response was incredible; ITG readers not only deliver in the product department, but you've got great photos and stories to tell, to boot. The first of which comes from @emmahoareau.
"My name is Emma Hoareau, I'm 23 and currently living in London. I say currently as I'm moving to Sydney in a few months time. Since I graduated university I've worked as beauty editor at Notion Magazine, whilst also doing some freelance writing, my blog, and image consultancy on the side. And of course one of my main hobbies is reading ITG!
One of my first beauty memories is trying out lots of colorful eyeshadow (I was 10, it was the '90s) and my friends and I taking photos of each other with each color on. I also used to live above a shop and I would often spend my pocket money on buying the 99p face masks that came in little sachets.
I stopped eating dairy when a nutritionist recommended I should just over a year ago, and I've never looked back. It's helped so much with my occasional breakouts (I get hormonal spots around my chin) and my skin in general. Since then I've also been into healthy eating; it's made me feel a lot better and more like a grown up who knows how to look after themselves and their body. I would say that my beauty philosophy is to care as much about what you put into your body as what you rub onto it.
I'm a big skincare fan. I love finding out about a new technology they've put into a serum, or a scientific discovery—I'm a bit of beauty geek. The three products I use everyday without fail on my skin are Biologique Recherche p50 Lotion, Diptyque Nourishing Cleansing Balm and La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo. I discovered Biologique Recherche a few months ago and was really impressed by how fast and effectively their products work. P50 is my favorite as it balances the pH of your skin, exfoliates, and hydrates it. It's magic.
Effaclar Duo is great for managing my breakouts, smoothing, and keeping any odd spots at bay. I find it stops any overproduction of oil too, so I don't end up a shiny mess by lunch time. The Diptyque Nourishing Cleansing Balm was a surprise hit as I thought it might be style over substance with their new skincare line, but it's the best cleanser I've ever used for my skin. It's a balm that turns into an oil on the skin, and I like massaging it into my face for a minute or so to get the circulation going before I wash it off with a muslin cloth. I've already gone through my first pot in two months! I just realized these are all French skincare brands—by total fluke! But I also do think they make the best skincare. There's so many great French brands.
In terms of make up I just discovered Brow Sculptor in Taupe from Tom Ford which, as a big eyebrows advocate, is all you need in one handy wand—brush, sharpener, and pencil. The pencil isn't your normal shape either, it's more of a flat line which means you can quite easily draw single hairs or create a perfectly straight line for the bottom of the brows. Laura Mercier makes my favorite concealer, the High Coverage Concealer in 0.5. It's pretty hardcore and can cover just about anything—it is so good. I would even go as far as to say it's better than the Kevyn Aucoin concealer everyone raves about. Since it's such high coverage you only need a pin-sized squeeze to use on your whole face, whether it's covering under-eye bags or a breakout. In terms of color, I've been addicted to the NARS Matte Multiples since they came out, I use Altai and Anguilla to try and give myself cheekbones. I always have them in my bag, they don't smash and end up all over like powders do.
I suppose I always looked up to mother as a beauty inspiration. She has a very nonchalant sort of beauty and I loved that she could look beautiful without having tons of makeup on, or even caring whether she looked good or not. Growing up in Paris meant that I was surrounded by that same kind of attitude towards beauty, where all you ever needed was a swipe of red lipstick and you were ready to go.
Of all the tips and tricks I've learnt along the way (don't eat dairy, use a chemical exfoliant and always wear SPF), I would say the biggest beauty secret or knowledge is to find out what works for you. Not much of a 'secret' I know, but it's your own personal secret once you figure it out. To know what consistencies (cream, gel, oil...) work for you, what color lipstick or shade of blush was made for your face, is the best knowledge in the world. That's why I love testing things, because the outcome is being more knowledgeable about yourself and your skin."
—as told to ITG