Before you hit your 30s, there are a few things that you'll always try: glitter eye shadow, Kylie Jenner–style lipstick, maybe even a touch of unicorn hair. But when you reach your third decade, you really just want to settle down into a signature style. You want to feel like "you" all the time. Not only do you feel more grown-up, but you end up being able to get dressed quicker in the mornings and you start to feel more put together, more "grown-up."
But where do you start? And which pieces should you actually invest in? To help, we have the sage words of A Style Album's Louise Redknapp and Emma Thatcher, who have listed all the beauty products you want to spend some dollar on by the time you hit your 30s. Plus, they've rather helpfully pointed out some of the fashion pieces you'll want to buy too. Happy shopping indeed. Keep scrolling for the 30 pieces you'll want to invest in by the time you're 30…
1. A signature scent
2. Posh hand cream
It's super-handy (get it?) and very grown-up to carry around a hand cream. We hate the feeling of dry hands, so this is a little daily luxury you can justify and enjoy. Talking of, an Aesop handwash is always on the go in our home too.
Shop posh hand creams:
3. Every-occasion lipstick
Find your colour and always have one close at hand—lipstick can empower you.
We’ve just started on a course of Lumity—an anti-ageing food supplement—and are super excited to see the results. Beauty & Go’s drinks are also something we drink daily, they taste great and contain collagen and hyaluronic acid so are brilliant for our skin. Talk to your local health food store about what’s right for you.
5. An advanced moisturiser
A good skincare routine can make you look radiant and refreshed even if you don’t feel it. Try out different brands to find out what works for your skin—grab some testers as you go along. As you get older, it’s all about the active ingredients: The Ordinary has been applauded for the excellent ingredients for low prices. Look after your skin; it’s your best accessory!
Shop advanced moisturisers:
6. Caring for your hair
7. An electric toothbrush
Look after your teeth now and save yourself a fortune in the long run! Electric toothbrushes are a necessity and something that shouldn’t be an afterthought.
8. Looking after your nails
9. The right foundation and concealer
You’d be surprised to hear how many people wear the wrong type and shade for their skin tone. Always go a shade lighter than your skin tone to avoid looking overdone. Take the time out to get matched—your skin changes so much by the time you reach your 30s it may be worth a make-up overhaul.
Shop our favourite foundations and concealers:
10. Underwear you'd be proud of
11. The all-important LBD
Yep, you’ve heard this time and time again: Invest in an LBD. We’ve often resisted—not wanting to give into the realisation that we don’t have anything more distinct to wear—but there have been times where we’ve had just a few minutes to get ready and really wished we’d had that reliable dress. We’ve searched for some cool options— throw one on, add a slick of red lippy and you’re good to go!
12. Anything from Chanel
Yes, we know not realistic for all budgets, but if you want a special forever piece, buy Chanel. For friends’ 30ths, we’ve often all chipped in and bought Chanel pearls or a brooch, or for something really special, Susan Caplan sources vintage jewellery. How thoughtful would a Chanel necklace from the year you were born be?
13. A timeless bag
Now with such good high-street finds we often have a multitude of bags to choose from. However, there comes a point when it’s most economical to go back to basics and invest in a good-quality leather go-to bag. Big enough to hold all of your grown-up stuff.
Shop timeless bags:
14. A classic blazer
Not just for the office. We team our blazers with denim and trainers for a dressed-down look for the day and a cami/black trouser combo layered with plenty of necklaces for an evening. Worth investing in a quality, well-cut blazer for maximum wear. Blaze Milano is pricey but the best.
15. Chic loungewear
The first thing we do when we get home from a busy day is put on our “comfy clothes.” Time to ditch the old, scruffy tracksuits and buy into some luxurious separates that you’ll feel good in even after a tough day.
Shop Chic Loungewear:
16. Perfect-fit jeans
By the time you hit your 30s, you should find out what shape best suits you. Topshop has a huge variety of styles, so take the time to go in and try on the ones that suit your shape. Generally, the more expensive the jeans, the more hold they have. For classic designer denim, Rag & Bone and Frame are our go-tos. Donna Ida is the Denim Queen; if you’re based in London, it’s worth popping into her London store to see what shape is right for you, or visit her online denim clinic.
17. A throw-on leather jacket
Shop Biker Jackets:
18. Black court shoes
19. A quality watch
We prefer the look of an oversize men’s watch over a delicate ladies’ style. Larson & Jennings has some classic styles, and if you’re looking for a forever piece, look no further than a Rolex Daytona.
Shop quality watches:
20. An alternative ear piercing
You know you’re approaching your midlife point when you opt for a “crisis” piercing! No need to do something you’d regret, though—there are plenty of piercings that are perfectly acceptable. Maria Tash has set up shop in Liberty, so we’d suggest heading there for an über-cool ear makeover. And if you can’t make it to London, simply get some inspo from her Instagram account.
21. High-spec sunglasses
To hide a multitude of sins and to prevent the inevitable crow’s-feet, an oversize pair of sunglasses is a must for any woman. Whether it’s to cover up late nights out partying or late nights up with the baby, you’ll be grateful you bought a pair you like wearing… a lot.
Shop high-spec sunglasses:
22. Beautiful flats
We do believe in paying a little more for swimwear—better-quality fabrics and fit are all too important when you want something that lasts and makes you feel at your most confident.
24. Personality-driven accessories
Accessories can make an outfit. Be it a belt, jewellery or a scarf. When you go into your 30s try to stop buying throwaway accessories and opt for forever pieces that you will never tire of. It's all about ensuring you locate the items that really speak to you: If boho jewellery, for example, isn't your thing, don't feel like that's the answer!
Shop personality-driven accessories:
25. Khaki jacket
This one simple item can take you from the school run to Glastonbury. Everyone should have a khaki jacket in their wardrobe, as it’s also perfect for the unpredictable British weather.
Shop khaki jackets:
26. Flowers and candles
Shop luxe candles:
27. Luxurious sheets
28. A selection of good books
Step away from your phone and read a good book! It’s a simple pleasure that’s often overlooked in this crazy, switched-on world. Coffee table books are a great decorative accessory for your home too. Win-win.
29. Take up travelling
The older we get, the more places we want to see, and travelling has become a priority for us. We’ve recently ticked Tulum of our hit list, but a Californian road trip, Cuba and Mykonos are all up next. Grab a copy of Condé Nast Traveller’s Chic Stays (£46) for some inspiration.
30. Good friends
Well, that quote says it all!
Opening Images: A Style Album