Autumn is the season when my skin starts freaking out. It becomes a shade of what I like to call ‘farmer rugged’ thanks to a combination of the cold air, central heating and lack of sunshine. I get dry patches on my nose and cheeks and as an added extra bonus due to the house move I’ve noticed my forehead lines are getting deeper. It’s a nightmare for my poor hard-working face.
Despite this I’m still desperately on the quest to get my skin to a state where I feel comfortable going out with no make-up on. If I re-read my posts from the time I started this initiative back in February 2012 it’s amazing how far I’ve come on; I’ve gone from washing my face with Boot’s basic cucumber foaming wash and moisturising with Nivea to being really interested in skincare. Thanks to Caroline Hirons my evening cleansing routine is carried out with enthusiasm and care and never EVER missed, and it’s brought such a difference to my skin.
I really enjoy scouring beauty reviews for what’s new on the market and if a PR ever emails to ask if I fancy reviewing one of their products I practically squeal with delight. I’ve become one of those girls who talks about eye creams with their friends and debates the various points of CC vs BB creams. I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Anyway, here’s what’s been making my face that little bit nicer to look at this Autumn. And since you were wondering, BB creams are over: Clinique’s CC cream always comes out on top.
Dolce & Gabanna Rose The One* – £46.95
Not strictly for my face but definitely one of my most loved beauty indulgences. I’ve really got into fragrances since I became single and this is my new favourite (FYI: previous favourite was Stella McCartney ‘Stella’). I love how this scent is slightly floral yet fresh and grown up; it’s definitely not heavy and headache-inducing which I find some perfumes can be. I love it.
Clinique Take The Day Off Face Balm – £21
I know I’ve sung the praises of many face balms but this one HAS to be my everyday favourite. It’s not for everyone – its unscented and kind of has the texture of lard – but is so kind and gentle on my skin that I haven’t had a breakout since I’ve been using it. Because it’s so simple I find my skin is more receptive to whatever goes on next and I will continue to buy this for my ordinary day cleansing. And if you don’t believe me you can take Queen Hirons’s word for it.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream – £14.99
I’ve long been extolling the virtues of Eight Hour Cream and I think I will in years to come. I use this for everything: patches of dry skin, intensive hand cream, lip balm, eyebrow tamer, cuticle conditioner. I use it on the kids sore patches, too. It’s pricey but one tube lasts for absolutely aaaages; I’ve had one going on a year that lives in my handbag and I’ve just bought another that looks slightly prettier and less beaten up on my dressing table. I’m also a fan of the Eight Hour Cream day cream and the lip balm-sized version* is so very useful.
Estelle and Thild Facial Serum and Facial Oil – from £45
I’d never heard of Estelle and Thild before they were stocked at Harrod’s Urban Retreat Boutique. This beautiful range of skincare (the packaging and branding are lovely) from Sweden has been developed for use on even the most sensitive of skins and I can confirm all products I’ve been using have been very kind to my cold-ravaged face. I’ve been trialling the Rose Otto Age Defense Serum* and Facial Oil*; the serum I use every morning after cleansing and it’s a really lovely base for my moisturiser leaving my skin really smooth and my pores feeling tighter. The oil is my favourite though, I massage this in after my nighttime cleanse (I give my skin a pummle that Caroline Hirons would be proud of) and it leaves my skin really plump and supple. Plus they both smell divine.
LOOK, no makeup! Unheard of but thanks to my current regime I don’t have many breakouts to cover up and my skin tone is lots more even. There is an instagram filter here but that was more to minimise the effect of the bloody eye bags.
Gatineau Renew 7 Laser* – £49
This is one of those ‘miracle products’ that I usually don’t buy into whatsoever. You’re supposed to apply this as a serum morning and night for seven days as an intense treatment to give your skin the appearance of having had a laser renewal. I gave this a go with my cynical hat on, and you know what? I’ve never had a laser renewal treatment before but this has definitely improved my skin. My pores aren’t as visible, my complexion is more even and the skin looks brighter and feels softer. You use this when your skin is particularly suffering: winter (check), pregnancy, tiredness (check), stress… whatever takes its toll on your long-suffering face. It’s truly pepped up my tired-looking skin and comes recommended.
Trilogy Everything Balm – £20.50
Until I met Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream I was never a fan of products that performed more than one task. But Trilogy’s Everything Balm* is one of those and I love it. I keep it in my bedside table drawer and use it last thing at night on my lips, my dry winter hands and my upper arms. It’s a balm but turns into an oil on contact and feels really soothing when it’s applied right before sleep.
Macadamia Healing Oil – £14.95
I feel like I’ve tried ALL THE hair oils on my (naturally curly, unruly and dry) hair. From Kerastase to Moroccan Oil to something that wasn’t Moroccan Oil but was loads cheaper. This Macadamia Healing Oil* definitely matches up to my experience with Kerastase but was about a third of the price and smells lovely. It leaves my hair soft and supple and as a bonus comes in a spray bottle so my hands don’t get all sticky. Definitely a great budget-friendly alternative.
Decléor Aroma Comfort Body Nourishing Milk – £17.95
I hate moisturising my body because a) I get cold and b) I hate feeling all sticky. And this body moisturiser beats both points; it sinks in effortlessly, leaves my skin feeling smooth rather than sticky and does both of those things QUICKLY. I’m still in raptures over Decléor’s Aromessance night balm and they’re fast becoming one of my favourite skincare brands.
* denotes a PR sample