Last night, as I was using the last of my trusty Lancôme Eau Micellaire Douceur cleanser to sweep away the remnants of the day, thoughts turned to how a bountiful beauty cupboard has not always been my norm.
It got my thinking of my favourite products of old…
Back in the 80s, for instance, my fail proof cleanser – and that of all my friends, come to think of it – was Anne French Cleansing Milk. This little lady became our trusty friend, taking off our too-heavy eye make-up and inexpertly overdone lips. She even accompanied us in the car for our clubbing nights out.
We’d pack in the car and off we sailed to The Raw Club underneath the YMCA on Tottenham Court Road (Saturday nights), City of Angels (same place, Friday nights), The Wag (Saturdays), Chesters in Southend (Friday nights) and Dingwalls on a Sunday (ok this was a lunch time session so she may have stayed at home for this one). The soundtrack of our youth was rare groove, funk and soul and we danced till our feet ached. Back in the car on the drive home, Ms French would be waiting in the glove compartment, cotton wool to hand. Passengers went first with the bottle being handed around, then the milky soaked pads would be passed to the driver who would swipe off the kohl and red lippy at a standstill at traffic lights. We knew how to party but also knew the importance of a clean face before bedtime!
I’m happy to report, that in the spirit of old times, I’ve just bought myself a bottle of Anne French to re-test it out and am glad to say that it is still a great budget buy. You definitely need to use a toner afterwards to remove all residue but it is great for removing all make-up and leaving skin soft.
Back then it was the Body Shop’s Raspberry Ripple Bubble Bath that would be waiting bath-side, along with their Dewberry Shower Gel and the Body Shop’s ultra zingy Ice Blue Shampoo and Banana Conditioner (who knew they still sold these?!) Now I’ve remembered them, I can’t wait to try them out again and the other Originals now re-issued. Albeit risking smelling like a fruit bowl!
Another bathroom staple was Vosene shampoo, used by my Mum on our hair when we were small in the 70s. In fact, it is still one of my favourites – I use this every few days as a great detoxifier. It really makes your locks feel clean.
When I could afford to, I moved on from the Body Shop’s ‘mix your own’ perfume oils (Remember those? I especially loved the Vanilla one!) to Laura Biagiotti’s Venezia. Come to think of it, while this was not intended to be a blog about The Body Shop, it has to be said that they were really ahead of their time with that concept – offering bespoke fragrances to the masses!
Now sadly discontinued, I absolutely loved Venezia, like no other perfume before or since, come to that. It was candy-licious and had a powdery top note, and had the most amazing body cream to match. This was actually more of a milk and had a subtle gold shimmer to it (well this was still the early 90s) – but it worked!
Another must-have in my beauty repertoire was the Aapri Facial Scrub. In fact, I tried this out recently and it was so much harsher than I remembered.
A real treat back in the 90s was Aussie Hair Care. We all thought we had found a cult product and from memory it was a bit pricier than other shampoos and conditioners, so it felt really luxurious. Glad to hear this week that they have just launched their super-sized versions, so looking forward to re-trying their Colour Mate Shampoo and Condtioner and their Three Minute Miracle. My spies tell me that the latter is often used by big name stylists in some of the most chi chi Mayfair salons as a quick fix on dried out barnets.
It’s amazing the memories that coming flooding back when you start remembering all of the products you once used… I’d love to hear your own favourites – why not get in touch with your own memories?