Last year I was lucky enough to do a few photoshoots, some for magazines and a couple for brands. Aside from making me feel like a monumental twat on occasion (Heidi Klum I am not), it’s largely a fun experience, something that’s a little outside of the day to day. How often can you say that you’ve modelled swimsuits for Speedo, eh? It gave me excellent fodder for Tinder if nothing else:
“Hi, have you had a good day?”
“Yeah not too bad. Just been by the pool being shot by a famous Canadian photographer in a swimsuit for a national magazine. No biggie”.
One thing these shoots have had in common are the makeup artists. I bloody LOVE a makeup artist: they know just how to make you look amazing. I always get off a makeup artist’s chair thinking I look like me, but better. They perform all sorts of magic tricks that I can never conquer; if it’s not contouring it’s individual fake lashes. Lovely.
On the last two shoots I’ve been on both makeup artists have inspected my face and said, “ooh, don’t you have lovely skin?”. Once I’d climbed back on the chair I’d fallen off from laughing at this statement I would thank them, and sit dutifully still for the rest of my face painting, waiting for my transformation. Me? Lovely skin? Pull the other one.
But it’s been something I’ve really been thinking about the last six months. I have had one zit in this whole time, in the whole six months: I think those makeup artists might be right. I think my skin might actually be a bit good. Here it is with no makeup, for a bit of fairness (in the summer when I wasn’t channeling pale Snow White as much). Not bad for a 30 year old, eh?
And one with makeup and with my massive favourite glasses, just because…
I’ve been working on my beauty regimen since around 2012: before then it was all soap and Nivea. A couple of years later I discovered Caroline Hirons and the power of the flannel and BOOM! I have enjoyed beauty immensely ever since.
And so I thought I’d share with you my current secrets. Nothing in here amounts to rocket science, it’s all a little time and money investment when it comes to caring for your face.
Twice a week I like to take a long bubble bath (I love this Detox Oil from Elemental Herbology or Fenjal for some heavenly smelling vintage vibes) and give myself a facial: below is the order I use these products for the ultimate fifteen minute at-home treat.
Of course, if money and time were no object I’d be off down my local Clarins Spa weekly to give my face a good seeing to, but this is most definitely the next best thing.
Some pointers, before we begin:
– Flannels are king. They really are. I have about twenty of them and use a clean one every morning and evening to remove my face wash. They are absolutely essential to a lovely clean face ready for all the lovely potions you’re about to put on it to keep your skin lovely and radiant. If in doubt, ask Caroline Hirons. I buy mine from IKEA.
– WATER. Drink water. 2 litres a day. Skin looks good from the inside out.
– Shop around. What suits me won’t necessarily suit you but it’s a good starting point. I like to look at online reviews and obsessively Google “product name + review” before purchasing. I love recommendations from those in the know, Caroline Hirons and A Model Recommends are definite favourites.
– I bought all of these products with my hard-earned dollars. No freebies.
STEP 1: CLEANSE
On a day-to-day basis I usually only cleanse once as I don’t wear heavy makeup or a separate SPF, and this is generally when two cleanses would be required. However, for my fifteen minute facial I go in for the double cleanse with this Decléor Brightening Cleansing Oil, £29, as the first step. It’s an oil that emulsifies with water and is great for that initial facial massage.
Next up is the Clinique Take The Day Off balm: my old favourite, I’ve used this ever since it came out a couple of years ago. It’s just brilliant – great price point and lasts forever. This is a fantastic staple to use morning and night and comes with a massive stamp of approval for me.
Special mention here to Eve Lom’s Morning Time Cleanser, £40. I don’t use this in my 15 minute facial routine but it wakes my skin up in the morning like nothing else. Lovely.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
I know the mighty Hirons does not advocate physical exfoliators but I like a gentle scrub in my facial. This one is Burts Bees Citrus Scrub, £10.99, and it’s almost a solid: you add water to get the consistency you prefer so it can be as soft as you like it.
STEP 3: MASK
Bit of a curveball brand here. I really love Korres, the Greek beauty brand, and this wild rose mask from them is lovely. I think the excuse to lie back and do nothing for a few minutes while it works its magic is the best part of the facial for me. £7 for a 16ml bottle.
STEP 4: CHEMICAL EXFOLIATE
The ultimate in bi-weekly treat: Liquid Gold, £33.50. This magic potion clears away dead skin to reveal the luminosity underneath – it’s great to rejuvenate and stimulate the production of collagen. If you have skin that’s a little more sensitive I’d err on the careful side with a gentler product such as PIXI glow tonic, £18 (which is also AMAZING!).
STEP 5: EYE CREAM AND SERUM
I first discovered Caudalie when I was sent some product to review a year or so ago. I LOVED it and have been purchasing it ever since – I really do credit their serum with how brilliant my skin has been these last six months. I’m currently using the eye cream (£26) and serum (£35) from their Polyphenol range but have their cult Vinoperfect serum (£45) on order, as well as the Caroline Hirons favourite Beauty Elixir, from £11.50.
STEP 6: NIGHT CREAM
The most relaxing end to a facial: I love nothing more than lying back in bed, Netflix on, happily rubbing a lovely night cream into my face. This is the best one I’ve ever tried – Aromessence Neroli from Decleor, £32.50. It goes on like a balm but rubs into an oil and will delight aromatherapy fans as it smells wonderful.
Runner up to this is Sanctuary’s Therapists Secret Oil, £18.98. This stuff is bloody brilliant, the best facial oil I’ve ever tried. This is what I wear to bed on the nights I’m not giving myself a facial (did anyone just childishly laugh out loud at that sentence? Good).
Over to you: I’m always dying to try new skincare products. What do you enjoy?