On My Bathroom Shelf
I recently posted this image on my Instagram with the caption ‘shelfies over selfies’, and I’m fully behind that notion. There’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction than seeing inside someone else’s bathroom cabinet and getting a look at the products they trust enough to use every day. If you haven’t already wasted days reading Into The Gloss’ Top Shelf archive, what have you been doing?
My own bathroom shelf is much less exciting than some of those featured on ITG, but I still wanted to run through just a few of the products that have earned a permanent place.
Sachajuan Ocean Mist Shampoo
I’ve already mentioned being a sucker for salon-brand shampoos. I actually flit between this and the OI Shampoo from Davines, but this is what happens to be in my shower currently. I was once told never to use a shampoo that isn’t clear in colour, but for this one I make an exception. It’s rare that shampoo becomes one of the more attractive things in your bathroom cabinet, but that blue gets me every time. Aside from the appearance, it’s a genuinely good product and one I’d highly recommend if you’re forever trying to add more volume and texture to the hair. It’s thicker than most other shampoos I’ve tried - in fact it almost has the consistency of a gel or jelly. Once it’s in the hair it lathers up really well though, and like most Sachajuan products I’ve used, it smells divine.
Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam
From a regular shampoo to a dry shampoo. This is actually the only dry shampoo formula I use, as sprays and powders have a tendency to really irritate my scalp and leave me scratching my head furiously throughout the day - never a good look. As this is a foam, it’s nowhere near as drying and doesn’t seem to affect me in the same way. Even as a one-time hair mousse obsessive, it still feels decidedly strange to apply foam directly to dry hair. What starts out as a sticky mess soon dries down though, and you’re left with the feeling of cleaner hair with a lot more volume. I still don’t think any dry shampoo can come close to freshly washed hair, but this is probably the next best thing.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo[+]
Remember my unwavering loyalty to this product? According to the archives, I picked up a tube of the original formula in 2012 and completely lost count of how many repurchases were made. My struggles with my skin have been well documented and, while things are a lot better than they were six years ago, I still do suffer from the odd bout of adult acne. Like a lot of things, stress has a tendency to accentuate the problem, so I turned back to LRP’s Effaclar range a few weeks ago. Even after a couple of years away, it continues to do wonders for my skin and is gentle enough to be used twice a day if needed. This and the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion are awesome for calming blemish-prone areas overnight without starving the skin of moisture.
Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap
I’ve bought into the hype around ‘luxury’ shampoos, conditioners and body lotions for years, but I’ve always been much less picky about the shower gels I’ve used. Considering it’s washed back down the plughole so quickly, I don’t necessarily see the point in spending a fortune. The only shower product I would recommend paying extra for is this one from Mario Badescu (I say ‘paying extra’, but at £8 for 236ml it’s not going to break the bank).
There’s nothing memorable about the smell and it doesn’t promise to leave your skin feeling particularly soft. Where this really does come into its own, however, is in its ability to calm skin and reduce the appearance of niggly little blemishes like body acne and ingrown hairs. I’ve suffered with both for years, albeit fairly mildly, and this seems to be the only product that’s made a noticeable difference. For a product that’s slightly more expensive than your supermarket brands it’s remarkably no-frills, but it’s also bloody awesome and a god-send if heavily fragranced shower gels have a tendency to irritate your skin.
I wholly have ITG’s Top Shelf to thank for my discovery of Fur Oil. When Emma Watson first discussed it back in 2017, I definitely wasn’t the only one intrigued by an all-in-one oil that promises to soften and care for the hair and skin around your ‘most sensitive’ areas. I use this after I shower on my legs, underarms, bikini line and eyebrows - pretty much anywhere that I remove hair in any way, shape or form. As mentioned, ingrown hairs are something that I suffer with whether I shave, wax or epilate, so to have a product in my arsenal that’s designed to soothe the area is great. At close to £40 a bottle this definitely feels more like a luxury than a necessity, but I’m yet to find a more purse-friendly option that promises similar benefits.
Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops
I’ve spoken about the wonder of tanning drops on my blog before, and for very good reason. For tanning novices or anyone who generally doesn’t get on with the stuff (raises hand), they can be great at giving back control and allowing you to choose exactly how dark you want to go. I use the Light drops from Isle of Paradise, mixing 3-4 drops in with my evening moisturiser (almost always something by Burt’s Bees). There’s no avoiding the soft biscuit smell, but a quick cleanse in the morning is all it takes to combat that and leave the skin with a subtle glow. I don’t tend to tan much even at the height of summer, so typically rely on this to bring a bit of colour and life to my complexion. It stops me from looking like I haven’t left the house in months, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
Milk Makeup Charcoal Cleanser
Milk has always intrigued me. I think it’s partly because the brand still isn’t easily available here in the UK, and anything that’s difficult to get hold of naturally just seems more appealing. Either way, when some of Milk’s products started trickling into TK Maxx a few months ago I was straight in there. In the end I only picked up this and a stick concealer (sadly that one seems to have been replaced by the Flex Concealer in the permanent collection. If you do happen across the original formula in your local TK Maxx though, it comes highly recommended). My acne-prone skin tends to love anything that’s formulated with charcoal, and a gentle cleanser is the ideal way to incorporate the ingredient into your everyday routine. I don’t love this enough to seek out any remaining bottles on eBay and Amazon, but a charcoal cleanser in one form or another continues to be a staple in my bathroom cabinet.