The Beauty Spy: Eyelash curlers, the one true makeup kit essential

The beauty spy won't set foot outside the house without giving her eyelashes a curl. Plus, vitamin E products, and Sephora's Smiling Skincare.

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I hate those questions such as "If you could have only one beauty appliance what would it be?" or "If you had to throw away everything in your handbag save one item, what would you keep?"

Clearly women are not monogamous when it comes to the contents of their make-up bags or handbags. Everything is essential; from the hairbrush to the bronzer to the lip gloss to the tweezers to the mints. Yet when it comes to my make-up bag, there really is just one thing I cannot imagine living without for even a day: my eyelash curler.

Not curling my eyelashes before I go out is just not an option. This piece of equipment is so important that if I see that my eyelash curler is about to curl its last lash, I rush out to buy a replacement immediately. Here in the UAE that is no easy task. Last time I checked there wasn't an eyelash curler to be had in all of Abu Dhabi. Apparently there are people out there (not just shopkeepers) who have yet to discover this miraculous gadget, which is why I decided to dedicate a column to it. Ladies (and possibly gentlemen), your life will never be the same again. OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but your eyelashes won't.

Although I have been using these little gems for an age, I have just learnt how to get the best out of them. I recently returned from London, where I visited the Trish McEvoy make-up counter at Harvey Nichols to pick up some essentials for a friend in Abu Dhabi. I thought I might as well see if they sold eyelash curlers. Eddie, the salesgirl, showed me one.

"It's very basic," she said. "But I love it; I hate all the newfangled ones, this one just does the job. Shall I show you how to use it?"

I thought I may as well let her, although I was convinced there was nothing she could teach moi about eyelash curlers.

"Clasp your lashes in the gadget, squeeze, tilt them back slightly and hold for 10 seconds," said Eddie, demonstrating on herself. "I always do it once my mascara has dried otherwise I tend to get mascara marks on my eyelids."

There was a big difference. One set of eyelashes looked like they'd been twisted around a chopstick while the others were unremarkable. The chopstick effect lasted for only a couple minutes, after which the overall look was stunning. Eddie suggested I do it myself to get the hang of it.

Clasp, tilt and hold. Couldn't be simpler.

I bought two of them, one for my handbag and one for my make-up bag. I suggest you do the same. Happy curling.


The bold and the beautiful

Now here is a beauty line to brighten your day. Sephora has created its Smiling Skincare range for face and body that is all about pleasure. Brightly coloured packaging in five pretty rainbow hues will brighten up your bathroom, and there are products to suit all skin types. Choose, for example, from the green line, which features soothing cleansers, exfoliators and masks, or from the pink line, which features creams such as Flawless Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15 and contain light-reflecting pigments and antioxidants to ward off the signs of ageing. With five lines in total, we're grinning from ear to ear.

Smiling Skincare will replace all existing Sephora skincare products and will be available in Sephora shops from mid-April

M loves: Maybelline XXL Pro Range Mascara

Whatever mood your lashes are in, the new Maybelline two-step mascara can cater to it. Whether you're after volume, curl or extension, this miraculous dual-ended mascara will satisfy your every whim. Start with the base coat and then apply the mascara. Volume is increased a whopping 11 times, curling lasts for up to 12 hours and your lashes will look as much as 85 per cent longer. Get ready for that party, girls.

Dh58, available at leading pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide

3 of the best

Packed with antioxidants and healing properties, these great vitamin E products will nourish your skin

JO MALONE VITAMIN E BODY TREATMENT SCRUB, DH448 Gentle and revitalising, this indulgent scrub containing organic brown sugar and shea butter sloughs away dead cells to reveal radiant-looking skin.

THE BODY SHOP VITAMIN E CREAM CLEANSER, DH48 It takes only one application of this rich cleanser to soften skin and clean your pores.

BOOTS VITAMIN E BODY LOTION, DH25 Feel virtuous while applying this lotion - a light and easily absorbed formula that keeps your skin feeling moist for up to 24 hours.