Looking After My Face

February 22, 2012

When I wrote my Life List last year I vowed to get my face to a state when I would be comfortable leaving the house without make-up on. This might sound  like an incredibly shallow resolution to make, but years of living in polluted London and burning the candle at both ends had taken its toll on my face and I was left with pale, sallow skin with large under eye bags (which I’ve always been prone to), large pores, ruddy cheeks and a lined forehead. I regularly used fake tan to perk my complexion up a bit but even then I felt uncomfortable with no make-up on.

Re-reading the above paragraph makes me wish I was a man. Imagine not having the worry of painting your face before you leave the house?

Since leaving the city I’ve tried a few skincare regimes, from pricey to budget: Clinique, Liz Earle, No 7 and good old Boot’s own brand. But nothing made me actively enjoy washing my face – I always resorted to Elfie’s baby wipes to clean the makeup off my face when I was too tired to properly cleanse – and so the state of my skin remained the same. Until I started using Cowshed on the recommendation of a friend.  It has been a lifesaver to my poor tired and dry mum face.

All Cowshed products have a very high concentration of essential oils so using the products always feels like a rich treat. I use the gentle Lavender cleanser with a muslin cloth followed by the refreshing Chamomile toner, as well as the Calendula facial scrub once or twice a week. At night I also apply the Cranberry Seed facial oil (this is divine!) followed by the Rose replenishing night cream, or the Quinoa hydrating daily moisturiser. It sounds like a lot but is a really nice way to wind down for five minutes at the end of a hectic day, especially if I’m treating myself to the facial scrub and a quick facial massage with the oil in the bath. Because I do miss the feel of a more traditional ‘wet’ facial cleanser I have also been using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser once or twice a week in the shower in the morning.

This regime seems to have really worked for my skin type which is slightly dry to combination. The lines on my forehead are noticeably finer and the red on my cheeks has faded. I get much fewer breakouts, and although my pores are still visible they are less so.

I’m still not going to be leaving the house without make-up just yet, but I’m a step closer. In fact, my next task is to find a reliable long-lasting foundation that is lighter than my usual MAC Studio Fix Fluid as it’s become too heavy for my needs (though you’ll have to prise MAC’s Select Cover-Up out my cold dead hands; my skin is getting better, I’m not miraculously getting 9 hours sleep a night so there are still more bags than an airport carousel under my eyes). Bourjois’s Healthy Mix Serum has been purchased for the princely sum of £10.99 having read so many rave reviews about it online: I’ll let you know.

This post is not sponsored. I just bloody love Cowshed. 


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  • Reply Katie February 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Sounds like we have similar skin types – especially the eyebags! I use Aesop cleanser, toner and moisturiser (their tangerine oil moisturiser is amazing) and Skin Doctors eye cream, which is the first one I’ve tried that actually makes a difference to dark shadows – not too pricey either. I use Bourjois mineral mousse foundation which is a really nice consistency. Also a mac concealer fanatic!

  • Reply Janet February 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I am using Clinique and seeing no improvement. It’s not worse, it’s just not better, and for the amount that stuff costs I want it to be better. I’m always tempted to try other brands, and Cowshed certainly sounds lovely and it all has wonderful names, but I quite like the safety net of Clinique – knowing that if it disagrees with me or I have a reaction or I just plain don’t like it I can take it back and exchange it for something else. Clinique is the first time I’ve ventured out of the bog standard cheap skincare, and the idea of spending so much on something that may or may not work scares me!

    • Reply alice February 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Completely agree, if you’re making that kind of investment then you definitely want to see a change. I used some tester-sized products first so I knew they were going to work for me which made me feel a bit happier about it!

      • Reply Janet February 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

        I never really see anything with testers, they’re so tiny. They show me if I will have a reaction or not, I suppose, but not really if it will ‘work’. I’ll have to see if I can find anywhere nearby to get some Cowshed testers from. It’s not as common as Clinique (though much prettier looking). I’d like to try so many different brands but it’s just such a waste if it’s not a good match.

  • Reply Ismay February 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

    For a very light feeling, long lasting foundation I have to recommend Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua- I love it. And I use Clinique Airbrush concealer which is pretty good for my dark under eyes. I can’t imagine being comfortable going out without make up though- I would feel naked! I’m a bit of an addict.

    • Reply alice February 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

      I have a sample of Chanel Vitalumiere – will definitely try it! Do you find it lasts the whole day? The perfect foundation would last me the day and hopefully not rub off on my pillow when I take my 2pm nap with the baby ;)

  • Reply Amy Metcalf February 23, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I have found, since being pregnant, my skin is absolutely horrendous! I am spottier than a teenager and the face often looks like an oil slick! Pregnancy is not making me glow, just shine! I usually use dermalogica ultra calming cleanser which I love but my beautician recommended using the dermalogica which is basically for teens. The facewash I find a bit harsh tbh however the clean start bedtime for breakouts has really improved the breakouts. Before I was pregnant, I would have an occasional sunbed once a week which I found helped my skin so much too.

    For foundation try bobbi brown..I find that a nice foundation and you don’t need too much although at present I am just using their concealer with powder. Excellent coverage too.

    • Reply alice February 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

      me too! I get horrendous spots on my chin especially. Sudocrem helps them clear up pretty quickly, better than anything I’ve tried before.

      I will go and speak to the Bobbi Brown ladies at John Lewis – I LOVE their gel eyeliners.

      • Reply Amy Metcalf February 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        YES! So annoying! Damn Shall steal some sudocream from my Mum next time she looks after my niece…or just start buying in bulk now :D

        The make up is lovely. My old housemate used to work for them which prompted me to use bobbi brown. She also used to work for Armani make up which is also gorgeous – their concealer is SO good..unfortunately there are no Armani make up counters in Norwich. Boo!

  • Reply mamacymraeg February 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I use Trilogy face products and swear by them. Nice when you’ve found something that suits. I used Liz Earle’s tinted moisturiser-got at the John Lewis counter so the strong smelling lady could match it exactly…I always get the colour wrong and end up looking like a muppet. It’s awesome. On the days that I do wear make up (don’t often leave the house you see!) I use that, Benefit posie tint and mascara…that’s it. x

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      You’re the second person to recommend the Liz Earle tinted moisturiser, I must check it out! Love those strong smelling slightly terrifying makeup ladies. x

  • Reply Claire February 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I find dematologica really good but I think a regular routine is the trick. I have recently started using their new eye cream and its definately helping the pesky little lines. I love Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser really nice and light for daytime with a bit of Mac skinfinish powder.

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      I think you’re so right about a regular routine being essential. I find Dermalogica a little strong for me (I think it’s because they have so many good oils in them) so they leave me a bit itchy!

  • Reply Chloe February 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I’m pleased to see you’ve written this as I’m doing exactly the same thing at the moment. I have so many nice proucts from before I lost the time and motivation to look after my skin. It’s a sorry state of affairs now, and I’ve resolved to start a proper cleaning regime again. I go a bit crazy for Origins products, never tried Cowshed before.

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Lots of people are suggesting Organics so will have to check them out! I think skincare is one of the first things to fall off when you have a new baby to take care of but I’m trying REALLY hard to prioritise it again.

  • Reply Mamabearuk February 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Oooh love this and comments, am always on the look out for recommendations when it comes to makeup. I need to move away from estee lauder double wear light but am never happy with anything I try out so end up sticking with it. There are no mac retailers near me so may have to travel to try out shades etc but sounds worth it. Also need to shake up care routine, not going to reveal how long I’ve been using just facial wipes for…. And I wonder why I have crap skin. Ha the bags are a baby thing aren’t they, it’s all I see in photos now!

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      MAC really is rather good if you can get to a counter, plus if you spend over £10 on their website you get free postage. So for my yearly tube of concealer (£13.50) I never bother trekking into the store, I just grab it online! Perfect!

      Trying to learn to love my bags. Not happening.

  • Reply Helen February 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I use Liz Earle but I can’t say my face is any less lined, dry or blotchy than before I started using it. Might be time for a bit of Cowshed!

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Me too! I don’t know if I gave it long enough – about a month – which was enough time it took to use a whole tube of their cleanse and polish (I didn’t think that was great value for money to be honest!).

  • Reply Sarah February 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Have your tried Origins products before? The Mega Mushroom range is lovely. Pricey but worth it; and if you’re anywhere near a shopping outlet they usually stock them there :)

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      I haven’t but you’re not the first person to recommend them to me – might be time to check them out!!

  • Reply Richmond Mummy February 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m a big fan of Cowshed too but actually haven’t really tried their facial stuff, I tend to use their shower gels, bath foam, and body moisturisers – although on a recent visit to Babington I also stocked up on their hand cream and nail/cuticle oil, which are both amazing. I have gotten into really bad skincare regime habits since having Allegra though, I rarely cleanse and even more rarely moisturise, which is terrible – my skin is in need of some TLC, must try harder! xxx

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Ahhh I love all their shower and bath bits too (and scented candles – best I’ve ever tried!) but haven’t used their hand cream. Will check it out x

  • Reply Karen February 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, since having baby I’ve struggled with leaving the house looking half decent (and my skin has been the last thing I’ve thought of). I’ve been looking for something new to try (after being a Liz Earle girl it now doesn’t seem to be doing anything for my skin), I will now have a go with Cowshed. Foundation wise I’m trying Bare Minerals.

    • Reply alice February 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      I think skincare is one of the first things to go when you have a baby to be thinking about! I’m trying really hard to make it a priority again, even when I’m exhausted. it does make me feel nice and relaxed at the end of the day.

  • Reply Lorette Kenfield July 4, 2013 at 2:24 am

    sometimes it is very hard to find a very good skin doctor near your area or city.”*“

    Till next time <

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