I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled cow, but keeping abreast of new products and innovations is a huge part of being a beauty editor and blogger – and that
sometimes often means I can’t always finish things I’m using. Sounds great in theory, right? But it isn’t always – while charities and my friends and family love it when I comb through and refine my stash, my skin doesn’t love being given different things too often, and I like the familiarity of my favourite products.
Those that make it to empty, squeeze-every-last-drop-out status are therefore good. Really, really good. In fact, so helpful is this litmus test, that I’ve set up a box under my make-up desk for empties to remind me what I really need to tell you about. Here’s the latest bunch //
Serums / You know how I love a serum. And a pre-serum. Basically: stuff that goes under moisturiser and makes skin springy and healthy. These three do different things. SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier gets your skin producing its own hyaluronic acid (HA is hydrophilic and therefore draws water into the skin, padding and plumping it out), while Niod’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex is a blend of HA at different molecular weights to put back what skin is invariably missing thanks to the ageing process. Both will make skin look bouncier.
HealGel is a different beast, which was initially designed to be used post-operatively, but is now sold online to one and all and is handy if you have skin that needs soothing, speedy healing, less redness, etc. I use it after my serum of choice and sometimes dab it on scabs when they seem to be hanging around for a bit long.
Cleansers / I always cleanse twice – sometimes thrice if wearing heavy make-up – and usually do so first with a cream or balm cleanser, then with one designed to ‘treat’ my skin.
Pai Camellia & Rose Hydrating Cleanser is an ideal pick for gently cleaning skin without whipping off moisture, and is especially good if your skin is prone to redness or is sensitised (it is for this reason that I picked it up in August, after a holiday to Portugal when my skin felt a little delicate).
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is a different affair that contains a slew of acids to help break bonds between dying cells and usher them down the sink so that they don’t clog up pores. The BHA bit is antibacterial and will help to really penetrate the pore. I often reach for this when my skin feels prone to breaking out, or when it has, indeed, already broken out. (A little goes a long way with this one so squeeze out a broad bean-sized amount, then massage it onto your slightly damp face/neck, and rinse).
Other face stuff / Mixed bag here – but all thoroughly dependable products. I’ll start with the Estee Lauder Supreme+ Global Anti-Ageing Instant Refinishing Facial (what a long name! Had to keep sense checking that as I typed…). I’m not a big ‘face mask in shower’ type because I’m usually in too much of a hurry so instead go for the old mask as I hoover/type up blog posts ritual on a Sunday, but I gave this a whirl out of curiosity and was really pleasantly surprised. It essentially gives a bit of a scrub and adds a little moisture, so is a great, speedy fix if you don’t love the faff of doing a proper face mask sesh.
Garnier Ambre Solaire No Steaks Bronzer Face Mist is ALWAYS somewhere in my house. Most beauty journos will have a fake tan they swear by, and this is mine. Nothing else has ever done it as well for me. Love that it sprays on (no orange palms, no mitt or tools required), that it’s clear (no brown splatter on my tiles/carpet), and that it develops into a warm, healthy tan that errs on the side of ‘glow’.
I’m also really into the brand BioEffect at the moment, and have polished off their lightweight but strengthening and skin-thickening (and therefore wrinke-reducing/slowing) Bioeffect EGF Eye Serum. The brand ploughs a lot of energy and time into research and grow their own human growth factors from barley in Iceland. I’d read up on them if you’re curious about advances in skincare – they’re quite pioneering and have something exciting in the pipeline for Feb which I’m sworn to secrecy about until its launch, but which I can tell you is another clever, science-based skin fortifier.
… And on my bod / First, Optiat Pick Me Up Coffee Scrub. I’ve written about these before and am still a firm fan. Very scrubby, very skin-smoothing. Yes, they make your bath/shower look a little like someone’s smeared poo everywhere, but I find that it’s easy enough to rinse away and has never put me off using these coffee-based scrubs.
Another old fave: Neal’s Yard Remedies Pumice Foot Scrub. Again, v scrubby, actually gains traction on hard heels, smells amazing… which brings me to Molton Brown Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Bath & Shower Gel. This came out earlier in the year and I was an instant fan. Much like salted caramel or sweet and salted popcorn, the combination of salty sea vibes in a shower gel wasn’t something I’d considered might be quite excellent – but once I’d smelled it, I was a convert.
Less newsworthy but very worth a mention is Living Proof Timeless Shampoo. Again, this is not my first bottle of this stuff. I love it because it addresses those weird issues that are a result of ageing hair like slight brittleness and frizz and everything looking a bit ragged.
Make-up / How often do you finish make-up? Really finish it, not just hitting pan, but also scrapping the sides of the product out? Thought as much. Same here. I move on and hoard and have twenty five red lipsticks on the go all at once. It’s horrendous for storage. But that’s another post, though it hammers home that these are both a bit special as I actually used both of them down to their last little molecule of pigment.
First, Dior Airflash Spray Foundation. I don’t spray this directly onto my face because that would be insane and my brows and hairline would end up foundation-coated, too. Instead, I pop it on a buffing brush and work it into my skin. The result is a very fine, but v high-coverage layer of foundation that’s brilliant if your skin is a bit upset but you also don’t like to look like you’re wearing lots of make-up on your skin.
The second one is Estee Lauder X Victoria Beckham Eye Kajal. I made it to the little plastic nub on the black liner end about a month ago, and have since panic-bought three as I’m terrified VB will announce that it was limited and will exist no more (these things frequently happen when make-up brands collaborate with people and it’s so very irritating). Why such fervour? It’s ever so creamy, blends deliciously without losing pigment intensity, and once dry, it stays put. (P.s. the nude end is every bit as good, but I use that colour far less frequently so would love Beckham to launch the black on its own to reduce waste and make my life easier. Just throwing that idea out there.)