I Finally Perfected My Skincare Regime… Well, for Now!

Only about a year ago, even though I was into make up, I didn’t really think about skincare. I washed my face, and moisturised, but I have combination/oily skin and what I was doing seemed to work okay.

But as I’m getting older, I had noticed fine lines, dryness under my eyes where there hadn’t previously been, my skin was oily and then dry and who knows what was going on.

When you blog, you get lots of samples, and it must be awful for dedicated beauty bloggers to get through them without totally ravaging their skin and confusing it. I tried a few bits, but nothing really seemed to make a difference. But it opened my eyes to other products out there. My Liberty advent calendar really has been a goldmine for helping me to try new things I wouldn’t have even known about otherwise!

I decided I needed to think a little about my skin, try some things out and find out what regime would work for me. I knew it would be a fairly simple regime, I’m not one for a millions products (I don’t have the time, money or inclination). Some people like to use serums, lotions, potions and tools – I don’t want to make things more difficult than I have to.

So here’s what I found works for me. It’s what my skin likes, for now. As I get older, and probably will try samples out, this might change. But right now, this works, so I’m not going to fiddle with it too much.

Morning

In the morning I like to give myself a nice and simple face wash. I use Skin Laundry’s Gentle Foaming Facial Wash. I find this is leaves a clean and fresh feel to the skin, doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and I like the scent. It’s simple. It foams a little and I like this, and I enjoy the packaging, so I don’t have to unscrew a lid. I just pop the side of the cap and away I go.

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If my skin is feeling at all dry or like it needs a pamper, I’ll use Skin Laundry’s Skin Purifying Cream Cleanser. Again this is a nice clean scent which feels a little more creamy and hydrating. It doesn’t result in a tight feeling on the skin.

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I then follow with E.L.F’s Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I started using this a couple of years ago when I visited the States and since then I’ve repurchased religiously. I like that this is hydrating but light. It sinks into the skin wonderfully and doesn’t make it feel greasy, but takes away any tightness I might get with other moisturisers. It’s just heavy enough. And makeup goes on really nicely on top!

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Evening

To remove makeup, I commit one of the biggest sins going (apparently) and though I double cleanse, my first cleanse is to use a Simple makeup wipe. I know I know – apparently it’s really bad and it forces makeup into your pores, blah blah blah. But it works for me and it’s not doing me any harm. It is a lot of waste though, so that might wean me off them eventually.

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Anyway, until then, I’ll use these. They don’t irritate my eyes, they take off all my eye makeup and leave my skin visibly clean and ready for the next step.

My second cleanse will either be one of the face washes I mentioned in my morning routine, or it’ll be one of these two:

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Once a week I’ll use this Estée Edit White Mud face mask. This is actually discontinued, but I managed to pick up two backups from Bicester Village about a month ago, and I’m using it a little more sparingly to help stretch it out! I love how clean and clear my skin is after using this. It really balances my skin too. It was the only things that saved my skin during the Glossier Solution debacle!

If I don’t use any of the above, I’ll use this Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant.

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It’s a grey powder, that (I won’t lie) smells pretty eggy and a little nasty. You put the powder in your hand, mix a teeny bit of water with it and create a paste. Then work it over your face for about a minute before washing off. I love how clean my face feels after using this. It is quite abrasive, so I’ll only use it when I feel the need (after a heavy makeup day, night out or day in London) but it’s really effective. Plus it has anti-aging properties so bring it to mamma! Because it’s a powder, it’s going to be brilliant for travel too.

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The next step is my Pixi Glow Tonic. I’m actually almost out of this right now, so I need to pick up some more. And I’m tempted to try the new Rose Tonic, as a morning step too. But for now I’ll use this once a day, at night after cleansing. It really helps to exfoliate and balance my skin ahead of moisturising.

If I’m cleansing my skin a while before bed I’ll pop on some of that E.L.F moisturiser as the next step. But if I’m about to get into bed, I’ll use a sleeping cream.

I’d been using the Body Shop Oils of Life sleeping cream over the winter, and as you can see I’m almost out of that too.

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So I went to pick up some more, and actually came out with the Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy sleeping mask.

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Look how bouncy! It’s a strange bouncy texture in the tub, that turns to a water texture when it’s rubbed between the fingers and then melts into the skin. I’ve been loving the results. My skin feels soft and plump in the morning. Just how I want to keep it! I also picked up a sleeping eye mask from the same range.

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I’ve had trouble with eye creams reacting to my skin and creating dry, irritated, patches before so I was a little scared to try this. But I actually love it. My under eyes are no longer feeling thin and crepe-like and it’s actually the only thing that’s fixed some of the dry irritation I sometimes get on my eye lids as a result of allergies. I only use this at night because I didn’t like how it sat under makeup.

So this is what I’m using to keep my skin happy at the moment. I’ll be interested to see how I need to adapt this as the weather gets warmer, and my t-zone gets oilier, but for now it’s working!

August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

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Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

April Favourites!

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This month I have been really enjoying fresh scents, springy colours and good entertainment. As with the weather changing (in parts for the worst!), I like to ‘change the air’ in all aspects of my life, meaning I like to seek new experiences and explore perspective.

So here goes with my April Favourites!

You might have seen my latest ‘First Impressions’ blog about NYX Cosmetics. If you haven’t see it, please pop over and have a read. Two of the products I picked up have made it into this month’s favourites.

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Firstly, the NYX HD Blush in Pink the Town (£5.50), which I’m really enjoying using. It’s lovely to build up and gives a nice matte flush to my cheeks. I’ve used it practically every day since I bought it and haven’t made even a small dent in the pan. Love it!

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Second is the NYX Control Freak eyebrow gel (£5.50). I’m still finding it much better than the Urban Decay equivalent I had been using. It’s starting to go a little cloudy in the tube, and I guess that’s just because it’s been open for a while. But the UD one did the same, and it doesn’t affect how it looks once applied. And at that price, it’s no match – I’ll be repurchasing this when it’s done.

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Next is an item I got in my GlossyBox and a few months ago. This is the Luxie Large Angled Face Brush 504 (£10.42) I love getting tools in my subscription box, as long as they’re good quality. I was in the market for a new blusher brush so this came at the perfect time. The bristles are perfect because they mean you don’t get too much on the brush (I’m heavy handed with blusher and I wish I wasn’t!) The angle is great for getting colour into the contours of my cheeks. And it’s really comfortable to use. I wouldn’t even mind if I received another one of these, they’re that great.

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I bought the Bare Minerals Perfecting Veil (£22.00 Light to Medium) a while back. I wanted something to set my under eyes without being too matte. When I used this for the first few times I was really disappointed. It was too matte, too powdery, smelled funny under my nose and just made me look old. Back in the drawer it went. Then at the start of last month, as the Spring weather started to emerge, I decided I needed something on my t-zone. So I pulled this out again – this time using A LOT less product. And I LOVE IT. I literally tap my large powder brush on the pan, once lightly, and then dust all over the necessary areas on my face with that one tap of powder.

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You can barely see any powder on my face which is great because I really dislike the matte look. My oily areas stay matte ALL DAY. If I pat my nose with my finger at the end of the day I can see some oil transfer, however I don’t look at all oily. I look just as I did when I put my makeup on – natural. I’m so impressed with this powder, and interested to see how it fares as the weather gets warmer. I have started using the little sponge disc puff which comes with it (stored underneath the powder in the compact) occasionally to set my under eyes. Pressing a small amount straight after application of my concealer under my eyes, and around my nose does help keep my makeup in place, and only creases a teeny bit if I use too much. I also find it handles Touche Éclat spot-highlighting on top very well.

Next I want to talk about Body Fantasies. This American brand have just launched in the UK and have brought 4 fragrances with them. Aimed at the teen and pre-teen probably, I was lured to them by the fact that they seemed similar to the Victoria’s Secret body sprays at a fraction of the price. These retail for £3.99 each but Superdrug often have them ‘better than half price’ which is when I picked them up. They’re 94ml each but state they have over 500 sprays in them.

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I picked up Pink Vanilla Kiss Fantasy, Twilight Mist and Japanese Cherry Blossom. They also do a grapefruit scent, which wasn’t really for me. I didn’t expect to like Pink Vanilla Kiss, expecting it to be way to sweet and girly for me. But I really loved it – think a mix of Hollister and Victoria’s Secret and you get a sense of the heady sugary scent, but it’s not too over powering. There’s a vanilla floral note to it that just screams summer. It’s definitely my favourite. Twilight Mist (named really well) is more of a floral musk. Definitely an evening scent – fresh and again summery. Japanese Cherry Blossom is a little bit ‘old lady’ but in a nice way. It’s the most floral of the bunch, but it’s clean and fresh and a little sweet. If you’re in Superdrug and you see them, give them a sniff. For the price they’re awesome and I’ll definitely be repurchasing them. Because they’re so reasonably priced I’m not afraid to use them liberally and every day – unlike perfumes that you don’t want to use up! I like how the scent lingers all day, and I get little whiffs of them as I go about my day. I know they have a much larger range in the US so I’m excited to see what they come out with next, here. I’m strenuously hoping for some kind of coconut or pina colada scent!

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Lastly for beauty, I’ve been trying out the Body Shop Oils of Life Sleeping Cream (£28.00) I was offered a free sample of this cream with my last GlossyBox. This lightweight night cream looks like a cream and feels like a gel. It goes on smoothly and smells really nice. It sinks into the skin fairly fast and then stays a teeny bit tacky. When I wake up in the morning my skin feels amazing – soft, matte, almost powder smooth but so so light. I had been using this every night but now I can see the bottom of my sample pot I’m only using it once or twice a week. At £28 a jar I really can’t justify buying the full size, and to be honest I can’t really see a massive need for this. It does make my skin feel wonderful but I’m not sure it’s adding anything to my beauty routine. Still, I’m adoring it whilst I have it!

Gary and I found we had run out of full TV series to watch, as a lot of our shows have ended. Having Netflix now we decided to give House of Cards a go. And I’m so glad we did. Kevin Spacey is an awesome actor, and the show is written so well. Set in Washington DC and based around the world of The White House, it’s right up our street. We’re on the 3rd season so far, and really enjoying it.

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And lastly, as an avid This American Life listener, a recent episode featured Chris Gethard’s Beautiful/Anonymous podcast. At an hour long each episode, an anonymous person can call in and speak to Chris for the full hour about anything they want. Chris isn’t allowed to hang up on the caller at any point, and the only way the show can end is if the caller hangs up or if the time runs out. It’s been really interesting listening to these, and I’ve just got to the end of the back-log so I’m now waiting on new episodes. Some of them have been moving, some funny, and some down-right weird. But I love listening. If you enjoy This American Life, check out Beautiful/Anonymous – you might just like it.

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I love listening to this kind of thing in the car when I’m driving, and I’m considering getting Audible – do any of you guys have an Audible subscription? If you do, what do you think? Worth the cost? I’d love to know what you think!

So that’s April – what have you been loving this month?