A couple of weird things happen to me in October.
I switch from ordering white wine to red, I suddenly get the urge to sleep 20% more (never happens, natch) and overnight my skin goes to shit.
That’s the technical term, you understand, also applicable to the state of my abdominal muscles after two pregnancies in three years..
I’ve always had skin that, like my children, is prone to playing up from time-to-time. Particularly in winter it’s the age-old law of the sod that all at once it’s dry yet slightly greasy and also wrinkly but a little bit spotty. One or maybe two of these complaints I could deal with at once. But throwing every skin complaint under the (winter) sun at me at once is just annoying.
Which is why it happens that every October when I reach for the Merlot over the chilled Sauvignon Blanc I also reach for a host of different skin products. And only on occasion is this at the same time.
I’m still wedded to a few of my favourites – I maintain Clarins’s gradual tanner hides more sins than anything else and will forever herald Clinique’s Take The Day Off balm as the best gentle makeup remover – but I’ve added some new sticks of dynamite to my arsenal. Read on to see which will work for you!
Clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara, £22, Farmacy Sleep Tight Night Balm, £42, Glossier SuperPure Serum, £24, REN & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray, £18, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Advanced, £39, Harbour Elements Truly Gentle Cleansing Balm, £22, Sisley Masque Contour Des Yeux, £85, Chanel Hydra Beauty Nutrition Creme, £55.
Is your skin red, irritated and spottier than a hormonal teenager’s? Yep, mine too. Which seems unfair now I’m almost old enough to be the parent of one.
I’ve been trying Glossier’s Super Pure Serum (£24) ever since they launched in the UK a month or so ago and have been really impressed. Full of zinc and niacinamide it really soothes and calms irritated skin and has left mine noticeably more even. Love it.
At the same time as the SuperPure I ordered a couple of other Glossier products. I love their Balm Dotcom, it reminded me of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, and the Milky Jelly Cleanser works well though I don’t like the smell. I didn’t get on with the Priming Moisturiser as it wasn’t heavy-duty enough for my ageing skin, and I’m not convinced enough by this to try it’s richer sister. Maybe in the summer time?
While my skin is red and irritated, it needs moisture to stop going flaky and sore. A beautiful image, I know.
I start with Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Capsules Advanced, £39, (15% off for Black Friday) little pops of serum in their classic capsules that are loaded with oils, hydrocarbons and lipids. These tiny miracles work wonders on my wrinkles and give a great base to my moisturiser. Plus as they’re in their own little serving they’re totally hygienic and great to travel with.
I first sampled Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Nutrition Creme when I was given a small tester at their counter in Selfridges, shopping with a friend for her wedding lipstick. I was hooked immediately. This product is perfect for skin requiring TLC that is no longer still in its twenties: it’s incredibly moisturising yet not greasy and leaves me with comfortable skin that has an all-day glow. You can find it in John Lewis at £55 (10% off for Black Friday).
For night time I use an amazing oil/gel hybrid from Farmacy, Sleep Tight Balm at £42, full of plant-based retinoid-like ingredients as well as skin-plumping agents. This is described as being ‘like a mini-facial to firm and tone while you sleep’ and I quite agree.
Next up is perhaps the product I’ve been most impressed in this year: Elizabeth Arden’s Grand Entrance mascara. Until I picked this up almost by accident (I was sent a sample) I was most definitely a BeneFit They’re Real kind of gal, but I’m on my third red tube of this now and I will continue to buy it. It’s the best mascara I’ve ever used by a mile, and is 15% off the £22 price at the moment on LookFantastic.
Cheating a bit now as we move on to face wash, but I wanted to include a product I’ve talked about before, Harbour Elements’s amazing balm as it’s so kind and gentle, just what I need this season. I use this as a first cleanse on light make-up days or a second cleanse when my skin needs looking after: it does its job with no fuss and no redness. Perfect for my winter needs and a bargain at £22.
Not quite skincare but just as important for the health of my skin this winter is sleep. And I never get enough of the stuff.
I love a good pillow spray to help get me off at night and this one by REN is up there with the best of them. It’s as important in my night time routine now as my evening cup of chamomile tea (hello, I am 80 years old), and helps me relax as I sink into my pillows late at night.
OK, so I know this is another cheat product as I’ve mentioned it before, but I LOVE this stuff so much. It lasts an age so try not to wince at the £85 price tag – it’s 10% off in John Lewis for Black Friday – and as one who will wake up with puffy wrinkly eyes if she doesn’t get enough sleep I need all the eye-cream help I can get.
This is the best eye product I’ve ever tried and I will keep re-purchasing every time it has some of it’s extortionate price knocked off.
Finally I wanted to talk hair a little bit. I don’t change up my shampoo and conditioner too often but lately I’ve been experiencing something of a sensitive scalp which, when combined with dry coloured ends, ain’t a good combination.
This RAW Biolage shampoo (£15.50) has been a lifesaver: from natural origin it doesn’t contain silicones, sulfates or parabens and is a real treat to use when my head is feeling irritated. A couple of times I’ve paired with it this Purology Superfood masque (£18.55) which has treated my hair gloriously: it leaves it silky smooth and glossy without weighing it down or turning greasy.
What have you been loving this Autumn? I’ve got some Votary goodies on the way and can’t wait to try them!