It's a universal truth that every woman has in her beauty cabinet a go-to product that makes her feel fantastic. Similar to a good-fitting pair of jeans or elongating killer heels, we often treasure a shade of lipstick, the perfect defrizzing hair dryer or that exact shade of grey eyeshadow that has become an all-amazing find and one that we just can't live without.
A friend once told me that if she were cast away on a desert island she would have to have her eyelash curler with her as a necessity. Forget matches and a tent - having beautifully curled and fanned lashes would make her feel confident, instantly refreshed and nothing short of "done" - ravishingly ready to be rescued.
Like a reliable old friend, there are some products that simply give those oh-so-important self-esteem-boosting moments that make us women feel we can do anything in the world.
For movie star greats such as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Katharine Hepburn, glossy lips, groomed hair and alluring, smouldering eyes were their trump cards. These beautiful and assertive women knew that power could be found in a bottle or a mascara wand as well as in a wiggle and a whole heap of attitude.
And if there is one make-up item that has an immediate impact, it's bold lipstick. Like an exclamation mark for the face, a bold lip is transforming, and every woman should try to achieve one.
Lipstick really is magical. To me it's more than a waxy bit of colour; it has the power to make skin look more alive and the wearer instantly polished, and holds the promise of having a great day.
To prep your lips, gently exfoliate them first to remove any dry or flaky skin. I like Boots Botanics Purifying Face Scrub, which is gentle enough to use on delicate areas.
Next, liberally apply lip balm and use a lip liner to prevent your lipstick colour from bleeding. For the full-bodied effect, apply a long-lasting crimson, berry or fuschia formula such as L'Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Ravishing Red or Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in True Vintage.
For a pout that really gets you noticed, try Dolce & Gabbana's Passion Duo Gloss Fusion lipsticks in Poetic, Dynamic and Satin. Heavily pigmented and richly moisturising, they will instantly make your lips look fuller.
Blot with a tissue. Repeat.
Slip on those killer heels.
Get ready to conquer.
After all, when all is said and done, it's not what you wear but the way you wear it.
3 of the best
Get back-to-basics with these hard-working and economical soaps
L'OCCITANE WOMEN'S DAY SOAP, DH25 A fair trade soap made by the African women of Burkina Faso, and all proceeds go to charity. Made with shea butter, it's gentle and cleanses without stripping.
DOVE BEAUTY CREAM BAR, DH5.75 A bathroom staple. Extremely moisturising with a clean smell.
COWSHED GRUMPY COW, DH88 Beat the blues and lather up with this sudsy bar. The mandarin and grapefruit essential oils smell heavenly.
CLEVER COLOUR Instead of fiddling with a separate eye cream and shadow, we've fallen for Clinique's new multitasking offering of protection and colour. Packed with antioxidants, caffeine and cucumber extract, these clever tubes - available in six pretty shades - not only soothe our tired eyes but also give us crease-resistant colour that stays put.
Clinique Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Colour, Dh99, launches in the UAE this month, available across all Clinique counters