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The £14 buy that boosts our beauty editor's confidence

HELLO!'s Beauty Collective share the hero buys that help them feel confident – including an incredible £14 dupe 

Dressing table with beauty products
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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From a slick of red lipstick to a spritz of mood-lifting fragrance, we all have our own confidence boosters when it comes to beauty. From hair tools to brow kits, read on to discover the failsafe beauty buys our HELLO! Beauty Collective turn to time and time again...

Who are HELLO!'s Beauty Collective?

HELLO!'s Beauty Collective is a team of beauty and wellness experts, of different ages, skin tones and hair types, who have joined forces to bring you the best in skincare, makeup and haircare - with honest, trustworthy reviews of the latest launches and cult products.

Meet the Beauty Collective...

Donna Francis is one of HELLO!'s Contributing Editors, with a seriously impressive background as a beauty editor. You can find her talking all things menopause skincare on her Instagram @thebeautyed

Melanie Macleod is HELLO!'s Wellness Editor. When she's not testing the latest weird and wonderful wellbeing treatments, she dabbles in all things beauty, following five years as a beauty editor.

Beatriz Colon is our stateside beauty expert. Based in New York, we rely on her to uncover all the latest launches over the pond - and let us know what's worth the shipping fees!

Kate Lockett is HELLO!'s Assistant Beauty and Lifestyle Editor. Away from writing about the latest health trends, she enjoys getting the lowdown from celebrities about their beauty regimes and wellbeing must-haves.

Lydia Mormen is HELLO!'s Junior Beauty Writer. As well as being a self-confessed lipstick hoarder, she’s also partial to a spa day (or two!). Her favourite things include overpriced coffee, mascaras that won’t budge and discovering new wellbeing trends. 

Kate Lockett, HELLO! Health and Beauty Editor
Kate Lockett, HELLO! Health and Beauty Editor

Kate's brow gamechanger: Sculpted by Aimee Shape & Set Brow Duo, £20

"From sporting a monobrow to over-plucking in the early 2000s, my brows and I have been through it. However, my face never truly feels complete without doing something to them, even if I’m popping to the shops.

"After years of battling to make my brows mirror images of each other, I'm coming to terms with the motto 'they're sisters, not twins,' and I'm confident that I have now perfected the art form. Whilst not everyone is a fan of the trend, I love the fluffy, brushed-up brow look and once they’re done, I feel as though I can take on anything.

"Keeping them in check, I use the Sculpted by Aimee Shape & Set, £20, which has been a game changer. Who doesn't love a multipurpose product? This genius tool gives you definition as you fill in any sparse areas with the triangular-shaped (but not scratchy!) pencil to build up your shape at one end and the fixing gel at the other holds the hairs in place, without feeling tacky or getting flaky after an hour.

"For extra definition, I often apply a little bit of concealer underneath. As a long-term glasses-wearer, in the past, I’ve often forgotten about eye make-up but now I won’t buy frames that cover up these sensational brows.

 SHOP: The best eyebrow brushes and kits for big fluffy brows

"Although we’re only supposed to list one product here, it wouldn’t feel right to not shout out the BareMinerals Strength & Length Eyebrow Gel in Coffee, £18. The next and final step of my finessed brows, the highly pigmented, easy-to-apply brush adds a boldness to the pair that signals I am ready for the day or any night out."

Donna Francis, HELLO! Beauty Expert
Donna Francis, HELLO! Beauty Expert

Donna's emotional armour: Cafe Rose by Tom Ford, £90.10

"When I was eight years old, I travelled to Boulogne in France for my first-ever school sleepover trip. I was a real homebody and hated being away from my mum. I was hesitant to go but also didn’t want to miss out.

"Trying to prevent homesickness (and a midnight call from the teachers) my mum sprayed my pillow with her favourite perfume at the time - Christian Dior’s Poison (the classic 80s scent). It made me feel closer to my mum. And to home. It made me feel secure, and as corny as it sounds, loved. So, when I went on that trip, I took my Poison-scented pillow with me and smelt it whenever I felt homesick or insecure. And it made me feel so much better.

"And this habit of using scent as an emotional armour has stuck with me ever since.

 DISCOVER: Victoria Beckham is releasing a perfume line – here's what you need to know

"When I was a teenager, a morning spritz of the vanilla/chocolate-scented Thierry Mugler’s Angel carried me confidently through school. It was like a rebellious two-fingers up to my brown school uniform which made me feel far from empowered. Angel set me apart from my other brown-uniformed school friends and helped me feel stronger and ready for whatever the school day had in store for me.

"Working in fashion magazines in my 20s and 30s saw me build my first ‘scent wardrobe’ thanks to all the freebies that I was sent for my job as a beauty editor. And this is when I began to pick my perfume of the day according to my mood.

READ: Inside a Beauty Editor's shower: everything our beauty experts use on repeat 

"Today I spend as much time choosing my perfume as I do my outfit. I ask myself, 'What do I have going on in my schedule today? How do I want to feel?' Brave and empowered for a work meeting? I’ll pick Outrageous by Frederic Malle. Carefree and cosy for a day out with the kids? Cafe Rose by Tom Ford will do the trick. Sexy and strong for a social night out? 100% it has to be Slow Dance by Byredo.

"As I write this, I am heading on a work trip to New York for a panel event that I am chairing. I am leaving my family for two nights and doing something that I am very excited about, but also very nervous for. So before I left for the airport this morning, I showered myself in half a dozen sprays of Cafe Rose by Tom Ford. It makes me feel close to home, to my kids, and as I said before cosy and carefree. But while I’m in New York, I want to feel brave and empowered. I want to stick out from the crowd so I waft confidence and strength. Outrageous by Frederic Malle makes me feel that way. So, it’s packed in my suitcase.

"Perfume, for me, really is so much more than scent. It’s like my confidence-boosting comfort blanket that sets me ready for the day ahead."

READ: When I can't face the world, my beauty routine helps pick me back up

Beatriz Colon, HELLO! Writer and Beauty Addict
Beatriz Colon, HELLO! Writer and Beauty Addict

Beatriz's glow givers: e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter, £13.97 and Saie Glowy Super Gel, £22

"Sometimes, I need a whole arsenal of beauty products and tools to make me feel confident: hair oil, my trusty Dyson for the perfect blow-dry, a lengthy make-up routine that becomes longer and longer the more beauty TikToks I watch, the outfit I thought of in my head looking just as good in real life… the list goes on.

"However, a lot of times it's really just as simple as putting two products together for perfect ‘no makeup’ makeup, glowy skin-tint perfection: the e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter and the Saie Glowy Super Gel. Can you tell I like glow?

"Whether I'm doing a full beat of make-up or just need a bit of oomph (a.k.a. glow, always) this will always be part of my make-up routine, even if it's the only makeup I wear. And that's exactly what makes it my go-to confidence booster, especially when it's the only thing I wear on my face, because so little is just enough.

READ: Natural makeup: 4 beauty tips to help you achieve the 'no-makeup' look 

"All it takes is smearing a dip from the Halo Glow – technically a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's equally as viral Hollywood Flawless Filter, which thanks to my love for Halo Glow, I've never had to spend the $49 on – on the back of my hand, add a pump of the Glowy Super Gel, mix it all together, and voilà.

"Halo Glow doesn't quite add coverage but subtly balances out your skin tone, while Glowy Super Gel's lighter, almost watery consistency adds dewyness, hydration and freshness to your face. It's the perfect skin optimiser in a bottle – well, two, but the only two you'll need.

"It's my go-to confidence booster because how much time have we spent on looking for ‘my skin but better’ techniques and products, and still not be able to hide the fact we're wearing makeup? Look no further, this is it."

Melanie Macleod, HELLO! Wellness Editor
Melanie Macleod, HELLO! Wellness Editor

Melanie's hair smoother: Hot Tools Black Gold Brush & Dry Volumiser, £95.34

"I’d love to say that at the age of 33, I’ve learned to accept and love my naturally curly hair. Sadly, I would be lying. Though I wear it in its natural state most of the time, if I want to feel my best, most put-together and confident self, I always blowdry it.

"For nights out and important meetings, weddings and work dinners, you’ll always see with with my hair smoothed out, and this blowdry brush is how I achieve the glossy look I desire.

"I spent years as a slave to my ghds (and I still love them), meticulously drying my hair with my Helios Hairdryer, before going over it with my straighteners, but then the Hot Tools Black Gold Brush & Dry Volumiser came into my life and since then, my beloved ghds have been gathering dust, only used for straightening my unruly fringe.

"This blow-dry brush straightens and volumises my hair so well that it looks like I’ve had a salon do it - and I never feel more confident than when I walk out of the hairdresser. This helps me achieve the bounce and pride in my hair that I used to only get from spending a small fortune with my stylist.

"While I know I should feel confident in my natural state, a shiny, glossy blow-dried mane is how I feel like my best self, and this brush creates the look in 20 minutes."

 Find out more about the confidence-boosting power of beauty at HELLO!'s Beautiful You hub.

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