What to Buy When You’re a Billionaire


Need fodder for your lottery fantasy? Here are eight things I’d buy if money were no object


Increasingly, I find myself being criticised for acknowledging the efficacy of any product costing over thirty quid, as though it were me that decided on its price point. My honest response to this is always to point out that my job is not to tell you how to spend your money, but to tell you what works across all price points. The proportion of your hard earned income ringfenced for beauty products is absolutely no one’s business but your own, and you should certainly never need to justify it to anyone (least of all someone implying you must be dreadfully stupid to even consider spending cash on your face). For me to pretend the luxe product category doesn’t exist, or is a load of old cobblers, is a bit like writing a motoring column and ignoring Jaguars, or a wine column that makes Champagne a moot point. I find it inhibiting and compromising on a weekly basis.


That said, I know very few women who can justify £100 plus on a beauty product, including me. I never, ever forget, even when every conceivable new product is arriving at my front door, and I’m slapping it on with gay abandon, that I am tremendously lucky, and that just one luxe moisturiser is many women’s fortnightly grocery bill. I don’t take that for granted even for one second, which is why, when I say an expensive product is good, it has to be really, really good. After all, it’s pretty low risk when you tell women they might want to give Maybelline’s new lipbalm a spin, but a big responsibility when you’re being equally positive about a face cream that costs more than decent Botox. So believe me when I say that the products below are, in my view, really, truly brilliant. I am not suggesting you buy them (though if you do, good for you), I am merely letting you know how my shopping list would look if I were Oprah and I was already fully stocked on Vi-spring beds and Faberge eggs. A girl can but dream.




Sunday Riley Stimulant I, £230

Here’s the thing about Sunday Riley: I can always, always see a difference. I try so many luxury products and dutifully apply them, morning and evening, and it’s not at all rare that after six to eight weeks I can see precisely bugger all change. But Stimulant I makes me look better immediately. Everything is tighter, firmer and smoother without the associated dryness you get with others attempting the same job. It’s perfectly hydrating but not at all greasy, making it the ideal base for sunblock or tinted moisturiser. It’s genius and currently out of stock everywhere, though I’m told it’s soon to make its comeback.




231714911Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Age Renewal Creme, £135

Every mainstream beauty brand now makes a luxury, mega-money moisturiser, and in my view, Estee Lauder has done it best. Firstly, the texture. Ru-Nutriv is like cold butter whipped with cream and shot through with silk. It goes on like a dream, managing to be extremely rich and cushioning without ever feeling greasy. It contains only the best natural and scientific ingredients, effectively holding Estee Lauder’s infinite number of skincare patents in safekeeping. Basically, if scientists are getting giddy about a potentially groundbreaking anti-ageing ingredient, it’s probably already hanging out in a jar of Re-Nutriv.




Sunday Riley Artemis Face Oil, £98

No more Sunday after this, I promise. But God almighty, this is amazing. It’s designed for oily and combo skin but I found out entirely by accident while testing that it’s fantastic on dry types too. What’s so special? Quite simply, it gives better glow than any skincare product I had ever tried before it. Seriously, you massage in before bed and wake up with much healthier looking skin – soft, radiant, firm. Oh and it smells divinely of lemon groves, unlike Sunday’s other oils, which smell of broccoli and cowpats.




Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil, £136

Note how I said previously that Artemis gave better glow than anything I’d tried before it? that’s because this new oil matches it. Oh how I wanted to try this and think “meh, what’s the fuss?”, but I’m afraid it’s completely brilliant on dry skins (oilier types – you’re off the hook). The improvement in my skin’s appearance is instantly noticeable – plumper, softer, fuller, glowing. The beautiful texture means a tiny bit goes an awfully long way. I would try to justify buying it on a cost-per-use basis, but I fear you’d still want to punch me.





Revive Creme Lustre SPF30, £235

I’m a sucker for anything glow-giving and so a rich, thick dry skin moisturiser (similar in consistency to Creme de La Mer) with stacks of light reflection and a high SPF that absolutely never peels, nor gives me weepy eyes for the rest of the day, is basically my daycream Nirvana. I have tried and tried to find a better super dry skin moisturiser with all the same benefits, that doesn’t cost the same as a meal for two at Claridge’s, and failed. Still, I’m nothing if not a trier, and so on I toil…


000153264Sisley Hydra Global, £145

Yes, there is a theme developing here and in all honesty, I could have written about any number of Sisley products (the masks, oh my, the masks). But this moisturiser is, I think, the most perfect day lotion in the world for dehydrated skin, whether oily or dry. What I love about it is that it’s matte but still really comfortable, and it does this by not going oil-free, but instead by choosing light plant oils that don’t take over – they remain in the background quietly keeping things comfortable and soft without leaving grease or shine. It is an extremely calming lotion suitable for sensitive skins, gives long lasting moisture (I can still feel it in the evening) and provides the most perfect surface for make-up – almost like a great primer. There’s literally nothing I’d change here, and that’s unheard of.


prevage-300Elizabeth Arden Prevage Advanced Anti-Ageing Serum, £165

Fancy, uber-expensive serums launch to huge fanfare, but I’ve yet to use any I prefer to this. I first tried Prevage in 2006, when a top cosmetic dermatologist I was interviewing told me about this great new antioxidant serum all the doctors were prescribing in New York. Then only available in-clinic, Prevage was, he claimed, delivering great results on fine lines and sun damaged skin. Naturally, I wanted in and while Prevage doesn’t perform miracles, it does have a noticeably improving effect on my skin. I can always see the difference when it runs out. The texture is perfect, the one-pump dose, unusually correct. It makes my skin feel great and look brighter, plumper, more vibrant. It’s really, really good. FYI: Prevage products are currently 3 for 2 at Boots , or always seems to be on offer at the airport, and the matching sunblock is magnificent.





Zelens Z Recovery Repair Balm, £140

I have twice given this as a gift – once to a friend undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and suffering inflamed, itchy, red and extremely dry skin, then again to another friend who had her contraceptive implant removed and seen her skin go completely doolally with redness, huge dry, flaky patches on an otherwise oily surface, and soreness after cleansing. Both women not only declared Z Recovery a gamechanger, but continued to buy it when things were calmer and the cost couldn’t be so easily justified. Yes, it’s a fortune, yes it’s only a face cream, but if someone I loved very much was really, really suffering during a particularly dark life moment, I would fork out.

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