Day after day, Instagram is flooded with new beauty products that position themselves as must-buys. While it’s very easy to get swayed by the pretty packaging and fun catchphrases, there are still those cult favourites that have been holding their own since they were introduced decades ago. Why are they loved? For starters, their formulations have successfully been tried and tested for ages. And, they come with a rich history. We rounded up the best makeup products that have stayed true to to their purpose even after all these years. 

Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation


This is, hands-down, one of the best-selling full-coverage liquid foundations. And it has the ability to stay put for hours on end, making you look light and fresh no matter how many errands you had to run. Not only is the formula a winner, it is also oil- and fragrance-free. 

What makes it timeless: 55 shades and 24-hour staying power – that’s how this foundation rolls.

Concealer: Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer 

The fact that the Japanese label Clé de Peau means ‘the key to beautiful skin’, should give one an idea of how packed this product is with skincare benefits. The award-winning stick concealer is known for a natural finish, and also comes packed with SPF to suit new-age needs. 

What makes it timeless: The formula contains rosa fruit extract and green tea, which are known to prevent colour from oxidizing as you go on with your day.

Illuminator: YSL Touche Éclat

One stick of YSL’s Touche Éclat is sold every 10 seconds, making it one of the world’s most-loved and bought beauty products. The gold applicator pen is not just a multi-tasking concealer, but also a highlighter. What’s more? It’s a product Meghan Markle swears by.

What makes it timeless: It’s the world’s most natural-looking highlighter, which means that it highlights your face without any shimmer or glitter.

Classic Red Lipstick: Dior Rouge No. 999 and Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate

Rumour has it that the original No.9 debuted at Dior’s first runway show. The formula has since changed and extra digits added, but this universally flattering shade of red remains the brand’s best-seller till date. Chanel’s most popular hue is Pirate, which was formulated to look exactly like the shade of red that Coco Chanel wore and favoured. 

What makes them timeless: Classic reds with formulas that date back decades.

Blush: NARS Orgasm Blush

This product first made waves thanks to its name, and then because the universally flattering shade made one look naturally flushed. The ultimate authority in blush, we love its weightless texture and flattering pigment. 

What makes it timeless: The silkiest formulation and the superfine micronized powder pigments make sure it is the best blend-able application in the business.

Eyelash Curler: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

Loved by makeup artists, beauty addicts and celebrities alike, this simple eyelash curler is said to be the the only one in the business to stay consistently on top. The product’s upgraded silicone pad gives the best, most optimum curl. 

What makes it timeless: It gives incredible curl and length for all eye shapes.

Nail polish: Essie ‘Ballet Slippers’

An iconic shade that has been trademarked, this is THE nail paint for natural, polished looking nails. Known as the safest shade in the manicure stable, it’s nearly 36 years old and still going strong. 

What makes it timeless: It is said that in 1989, Queen Elizabeth’s hairdresser wanted a bottle of Ballet Slippers pink polish to be sent to Buckingham Palace.

Eyeliner: Lancome Artliner

The top two reasons (among many) why this is a cult favourite liquid liner? It’s long-wearing and incredibly easy to use and master.

What makes it timeless: It lasts the longest without drying up. Plus, makes a great cat-eye.

Lip balm: Smith’s Rose Bud Salve

Not only does the vintage tin packaging reflect the heritage of the century-old brand, but this rich, moisturising product has garnered a cult status for being more than just a lip balm – it can also be applied on the elbows and knees. 

What makes it timeless: So popular was this multi-purpose product that it found a place in the archives of  Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Mascara: Diorshow Mascara

Formulas have come and gone, but this one still remains the holy grail for mascara lovers. This micro-fibre enhanced mascara helps make lashes lengthy and bold without clumping.

What makes it timeless: The new Diorshow Mascara uses Dior’s revolutionary patented air-lock wiping system, which keeps mascara fresh until the last use.