By now you’ll know that I’m a bit obsessed with my skin. Skincare is one of my favourite indulgences; I love everything from the packaging to the texture of the product, to how it feels on my skin, and ultimately what it does to my skin.
Your skin is the biggest organ of the body and just as you would look after your heart, lungs, brain, liver (ok maybe I’m not great at looking after the liver) but skin should be looked after too. I’ll try not to bang on too much because I’ve already covered a lot of my routine and skin concerns on my The Ordinary favourites post (read here), so before you do anything else, make sure to check it out for the full rundown of my skin type, concerns etc as well as the products by them that I use daily, as that’s half my skin routine right there.
My favourite compliments are always about my skin, because it’s been such an insecurity of mine for so long. Being told ‘you look better with no makeup on’ or ‘I love your freckles’ or ‘your skin is glowing’ are some of the nicest things you could say to me, it just makes my confidence soar. I’m always so aware through social media of being a disappointment in real life, without all the makeup, lighting and filtering, so to me, showing off my bare skin is a big deal and is me at my most vulnerable. If I show you my bare skin without makeup, I either trust you a lot or it’s taken a lot for me to post. I can guarantee I’ll have pussied out at least 5 times before posting, but I’m getting there.
I’m learning to accept more of my flaws (I’m the owner of 1000s) but many of these products, as well as those previously mentioned by The Ordinary, have helped soften my concerns and helped my skin look it’s absolute best.
So here’s the rest of what I use as part of my fucking enormous skincare routine, that’s only real purpose in reality is to basically keep my mug clean at the end of the day. I know I could just use soap and water, but I promise you that these are worth it.
The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter – £10.00 – The Body Shop
I used to use makeup wipes to remove my makeup, the thought actually makes me a bit sick now. I definitely went to bed with half my makeup still stuck in my pores and my skin was looking and feeling neglected. Using makeup wipes is bad for the skin as they cause micro tears to the top layers of your skin through the dragging motion used to wipe the product off. This leads to damage which in turn causes premature ageing and wrinkles to begin forming.
So this kinda changed my life. My lovely friend Amy posted about it on Instagram. I saw the post literally as I was battling with a makeup wipe and thought fuck this. So at my next chance, I bought it and I fell in love.
It’s almost like a buttery Vaseline texture that melts into a facial oil as you massage it in. It’s so much quicker than makeup wipes as you rub it on directly over makeup and just use warm water and a muslin cloth to wipe the crap off your face. Because of the natural oils in the product, your skin stays moisturised, which is amazing if you find you get that raw, tight feeling after cleaning your face.
I take a penny sized amount (and try not to heave as it scoops under my acrylic nails) and massage it over my face until I look like a melted Barbie. I then wash it all off with a wet muslin cloth.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser – £7.50 – The Body Shop
I bought this recently as a second cleanse. The Camomile Cleansing butter does a great job of removing makeup, but it does leave a light oily film over the skin, so if you want a deep cleanse I recommend going in with something soap based to really remove all the residue.
I picked this up on a whim after loving the Vitamin E Face Mist from this range and I really like it. It’s absolutely huge, really affordable and feels deeply cleaning, however a little bit drying. I find this really removes any traces of leftover makeup, leaving my skin feeling really clean.
I take a pea sized amount and massage thoroughly all over my damp face and rinse with warm water both in the morning & at night.
I love The Body Shop as a brand. It’s somewhere I used to dismiss quite often as being a bit ‘gimmicky’; somewhere you’d go to pick up something mundane (body butter anyone?) as a last minute gift. But they’ve recently released a newer range of luxury skin and body care products infused with some interesting & exotic ingredients.
I also love that they promote using natural ingredients and that they’re campaigning to draw an end to Animal Testing in the U.K. Cosmetics Industry, which is something I’ll always support. If you do go in to one of their stores, please sign their petition, it only takes a second and it’ll mean more than you know to all the poor mice and bunnies that suffer in the name of ‘science’.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – £6.80 – Cult Beauty
I mentioned that I’d bought this in my ‘The Ordinary Favourites’ post but wasn’t quite ready to review it at that point. Well surprise surprise, I love it. This does an amazing job of gently exfoliating the skin without having to use an abrasive scrub or mitt. It claims to ‘boost radiance and visibly restore clarity’ which I’ve noticed slightly, however the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the texture of my skin; any small bumps or dry patches that I suffered with before are now noticeably better.
I also had a huge spot begin to flare up on my chin, ya know one of those seriously painful under-the-skin ones (keeping it real people) but after using this on it, it’s actually healed without coming to a head, which is honestly a first for me. It definitely doesn’t irritate my skin and feels like a final cleanse to sweep away any trace impurities and dead skin cells to leave my skin glowing and ready for moisture.
I also just love playing with the bottle and the nozzle, I feel like a lab tech, it’s so fun (how embarrassing). I wet a cotton pad with this once daily in the PM and wipe it across my face, focussing in my oiliest areas or where my pores are biggest, which is basically my T Zone (forehead, nose and chin).
Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder – £53.00 – Sephora
On nights where I feel like I really need to exfoliate, I use this. Sometimes you feel like your skin just needs a proper scrub, especially on a Sunday night after a weekend of shit food, alcohol and heavy makeup. So this is the product for those days.
It comes in the pot in powder form which literally blew my mind at first, but all you do is pat out a small amount into your hands, add a few drops of water to it and massage it into wet skin. The fine grains of powder act as exfoliating beads to slough away dead skin, reduce texture and brighten and smooth the surface of the skin. I do this no more than once a week to allow my skin to heal and repair.
I love Tatcha for its incredible quality products as well as its stunning packaging. It’s a luxury Japanese skincare brand created using ancient skincare secrets passed down by generations of Geishas. I bought this from Sephora as part of a 4 Piece Bestsellers Set and I love all 4 of the products, they’re really unique in texture and formulation and have really transformed my skin, however they are really expensive which is a bit of a bummer.
Buy the 4 Piece Bestsellers Set here – £46.00 – Sephora
Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque – £21.50 – Feel Unique
This mask is so good if you feel like your skin needs a deep clean. From what I’ve said so far I basically sound like I’ve got a tonne of shit stuck in my pores but I thankfully don’t, I just love deep cleaning products. This sucks out all the dirt and oil from deep within the skin, leaving it feeling cleaner, tighter and more lifted. It helps to shrink pores, preventing dirt from re-entering, meaning breakouts and blackheads are kept at bay.
This product works very similarly to the Glam Glow masks but it’s much cheaper and you’re given a lot more product in the pot. I absolutely love Kiehl’s products, I used to worship their Midnight Concentrate before I fell in love with The Ordinary oils. They’re also bomb because you get to pick out free samples with each order which is also fun if, like me, you’re unhealthily obsessed with trying new skincare.
I make sure to steam my face over hot water and wipe the areas with the most blackheads with a warm flannel to open my pores so the product can sink in really deep. Then I use an old clean foundation brush to apply this mask across my whole face (avoiding my eyeballs obvs), leaving a generous layer on my T Zone (forehead, nose and chin). I leave it on for a minimum of 20 minutes but usually forget and end up nearly leaving the house 2 hours later with it still on. I then wipe it off using a cold, damp muslin cloth and then rinse my face with cold water to close my pores straight after to prevent dirt, pollution and grease re-entering my skin. I do this around once a week.
Starskin Hydrating Bio Cellulose Second Skin Face Mask – £8.50 – BeautyBay
So obviously if I’m being super Extra I’ll then follow up with a sheet mask like this one from Starskin. I usually tend to do clay masks (typically used to reduce oil, clean skin, reduce blackheads and dry out spots) once a week, usually before the weekend so my skin is at it’s best, ready for more makeup to be applied. I would then typically use a sheet mask as a treat on a Sunday as a way of relaxing & unwinding, or after a stressful day mid week, usually followed by a few G&Ts and 5 hours spent on Netflix. It re-injects moisture into dry, tired, fatigued skin, while soothing redness and restoring that much needed glow.
I love this sheet mask as its firming and hydrating and feels really luxurious, but any sheet mask tends to do the trick in terms of re-hydrating. I also love Korean skincare favourite Tony Moly’s cute sheet masks as they’re really natural and are full of ingredients like Aloe Vera which cool the skin and treat redness. I apply this mask onto clean dry skin and let it sink in for as long as possible. I always use the leftover gel in the sachet all over my neck & chest too to rehydrate as much skin as possible.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil – £5.50 – Victoria Health
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil – £9.00 – Victoria Health
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA – £4.90 – Victoria Health
So you’re all probably sick to fucking death of hearing me talk about The Ordinary right now, but if for some unknown reason you’re not, or if you missed my review of these 3 products, read my The Ordinary Favourites article here. They’re my absolute go-to moisturisers.
Talika Photo Hydra Day Cream – £35.00 – Look Fantastic
I love to use this moisturiser if my skin feels overly oily or after I’ve worn a hydrating mask. It’s a lot lighter than my other moisturisers and is water based, meaning it quenches my skin without leaving a heavy film. If you’ve got oily skin then I’d highly recommend this for its gel-like consistency, it also smells so fresh and clean, it’s lovely. I find myself reaching for this in the mornings and often put it on multiple times a day if I’m wearing no makeup.
Belif The True Cream – Moisturising Bomb – £30.00 – Sephora
For all you dry skinned bunnies out there looking for something to banish your dull dry patches, this one’s for you. This shit is thick. It feels like you’re actually feeding your skin, it’s that nourishing. I only have these in sachets currently (I got given about 30 for spending $600 in Sephora in New York – I got given soooo much free shit and got upgraded to a VIB membership after one visit….) but I’ll definitely be purchasing the tub when I’m all out.
I love to put this on before bed so that it sits on my skin overnight, leaving my skin baby soft and glowing the morning after. If you love a dewy finish, whether you’re dry through to oily, this one is beautiful, but very oily girls steer clear, it might be too heavy for you to handle.
Tatcha The Water Cream – £52.50 – Sephora
For all my in-betweenies with combination or normal skin, or luxury skincare lovers, you’ll love this. If, like me, you’re obsessed with YouTube beauty gurus, you’ll have heard a lot about this moisturiser. It’s light, thin but really moisturising and works amazingly as a dual purpose moisturiser & primer. It smells gorgeous and feels like you’re really treating your skin. It’s also a known favourite of Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, and you can’t really argue with that. If you can afford splash out, I highly recommend this. Again, this features in the 4 piece Tatcha Bestsellers Set I mentioned above, however the packaging has since changed to a cute blue jar.
Tan Luxe The Face Illuminating Self Tan Drops – Medium/Dark – £35.00 – BeautyBay
So for those of you who read my recent beauty haul post, you’ll know how much these drops have changed my skincare routine. If you missed that post, read it here. I said I’d dedicate a whole post to these drops but I figured I may as well cover what’s left to know in this post.
Here is the before & after, after using these drops once.
Literally I can’t express to you how much this product has changed my approach to skincare. I try to shade my face from the sun and cover it whenever I go on the sunbeds to prevent overexposure, premature ageing and wrinkles. However, doing this leaves me with a pale face & neck whilst the rest of my body looks tanned and glowing.
Before these little orange drops came along, I relied so heavily on makeup to match my pale face to my tanned body. I hated leaving the house without makeup on, I was embarrassed of my rosy cheeks and dark under eyes and pale skin. I was just so uncomfortable with how I looked and felt really insecure without makeup on.
Since using these drops, I’m so much happier just walking around with no makeup on. I feel like my skin looks clearer, softer and has an amazing healthy glow; I just look really well rested, hydrated, and look like I’ve spent the last few weeks on holiday. It does an amazing job of evening out my skin tone and disguising the redness and Rosacea I struggle with, as it changes my skin from having a pinky undertone to a much warmer golden one. It’s so natural looking, and these drops paired with my eyelash extensions and some lip balm are all that I wear now most days. It’s amazing being able to just rub your face and not have to worry about screwing up your makeup. I love it! This is definitely one of my Holy Grail products now.
REDNESS & SPOT TREATMENTS
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – £15.00 – BeautyBay
I use this whenever I have a specific breakout. I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve never had many major issues with spots, all I get now are standard hormonal breakouts or the odd one or two, but whenever I get one, I literally put this straight on. It’s made with a blend of Calamine and Salicylic Acid, and comes in a small glass bottle. The formula is naturally separated, with a clear liquid on top and a pink sediment at the bottom. Your natural reaction is to shake it up, but you actually dip a cotton bud in to the pink layer at the bottom and dab it over each spot. I do this in the evenings after all the above steps if I do have any spots; it’s one of the only times I’m grateful for being single, because it means I can go to bed looking like an absolute mess without having anyone see me.
Yeah, you look like a total dick covered in little pink dots, but to sacrifice one night of looking like Mr Blobby (if you don’t know, get to know), your spots will dry up and shrink literally overnight. The pain and redness are sucked out within hours, and I usually find that all my spots tend to heal without leaving scarring within a couple of days. It’s a little miracle.
La Roche Posay Rosaliac AR Intense – £17.00 – Boots
This serum is meant to treat facial redness at its source and prevent its reappearance. It contains Ambophenol, a powerful vegetable extract which supposedly helps to reduce the size of blood vessels in the face and strengthen their walls. The formula also contains Neurosensine, a soothing ingredient that targets the appearance of redness.
I use this if I have any mad Rosacea flare ups, like if I’ve eaten something which has triggered it or the temperature changes dramatically. I get Rosacea on my cheeks and jawline which I absolutely hate. You’re meant to apply this day & night to gradually treat Rosacea, however I always forget and just tend to use it if I have flare ups as it does a brilliant job of immediately penetrating and cooling the top layers of skin.
I would say, don’t expect miracles from this product. I knows that Rosacea is hereditary and therefore difficult to eradicate, especially with an over-the-counter solution. I’m looking in to dermatologists who specialise in the reduction & treatment of Rosacea, but I do expect a long term solution to cost far more than £17.00 and require more intense treatment. I’ll keep you posted.
Mario Badescu Aloe, Cucumber & Green Tea Facial Spray – £7.00 – BeautyBay
As with half the shit on here, I’ve recently written all about this facial spray on my ‘New This Week…’ post that I wrote last week, so if you’d like to read more, check it out here.
I apply this at least 5 times a day just because I’m boujee and love the smell. It really hydrates and moisturises the skin, giving you a subtle dewy glow. I add this both over and under makeup, or just after skincare as a final touch of finesse, haha.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist – £37.00 – Sephora
Now if you’re wanting to be an Extra Princess, try this. This was one of the most hyped products in the beauty community in 2016, and for good reason. As with all the Tatcha products, they’re extremely luxurious, high in quality and performance, have the most incredible violet packaging and are packed with skin saving ingredients. This spray is used by everyone from Kim Kardashian to J Lo.
It’s milky in appearance and is used to nourish, hydrate and set the skin. It can be used on its own or as a finishing touch over makeup. I find that it seamlessly melts all of my makeup products together to create a really smooth, even blend to my makeup. It eradicates that chalky, powdery finish that you sometimes get after setting, leaving me with dewy makeup that stays locked down for hours.
However, I know it’s absolutely crazy in price. I got mine again as part of the Bestsellers Set, but I’ve kept it for special events only, using either my Mario Badescu Facial Sprays or Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray – £23.50 – Feel Unique. This works just as good for setting and keeping makeup in place all night, but it’s much cheaper and you get far more product for your money.
The Body Shop Born Lippy Pot Lip Balm – Raspberry – £2.50 – The Body Shop
And my final step is lips. I loveeee this lip balm. They always have 1000s of these in jars by the checkout and I always buy a few. My favourite flavours are Raspberry, Guava and Watermelon. I always have one of these somewhere; in every bag, pocket, drawer, and a few scattered about my car. I always figure, if I break down in the wilderness, I can eat them to survive until I’m rescued cause they just taste so good, haha.
I’m really fussy with lip balms. I find that most temporarily moisturise my lips but dry down and actually make my lips peel and flake worse than before over time. I’m a nightmare for picking my lips and have really damaged them in the past, so I’m more aware than ever on the importance of looking after them. I actually swerve most lipsticks now, especially mattes, in favour of just lipliner and this balm. It’s really high gloss and has a lovely pink tint. It makes my lips look way bigger, juicer and keeps them flake free. Winner winner.
Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm – £19.50 – Clarins
I’ve ran out of this, hence why I don’t have a picture, but I need to repurchase it ASAP. This is without doubt the best lip product if you struggle with dry, chapped or damaged lips. It’s really thick and glossy without being sticky, stays on for absolutely hours and really deeply nourishes the lips without making the top layers of skin peel off. It’s absolutely amazing and is genuinely worth the money. After years of sampling every lip balm under the sun, from Carmex, Blistex & Vaseline all the way up to ludicrously priced lip oils and everything in between, this is without doubt the best I’ve ever used.
So that’s a summary of my full skincare routine, minus my The Ordinary products. I know it seems like a lot, but I don’t do all the above steps every night, and there are definitely nights when I still lazily reach for a makeup wipe and just rub a bit of cream in and go to sleep. We can’t be perfect all the time, but hopefully this helps those of you looking for some new products to try! Let me know if you use any of the above products and what you think, or if you do purchase any, let me know how you get on. Sorry for writing yet another Biblical length blog, I promise I’ll do some shorter ones soon.
Thanks for reading.