Matte moisturisers and fast-absorbing serums are a godsend when applying makeup is on the agenda, but the products you reach for on no-makeup days needn't be quite so covert. This is your reminder that supercharged skincare isn't just for evening use and that products with baggage [residue, shine etc] still have their uses - thick creams, rich oils, and gleaming serums can be more than daytime appropriate. Good makeup starts with good skincare, so it only makes sense to spend every makeup-free waking [and sleeping] moment with skin maintenance in action.

These products are all about unrestricted, maximised potential.

VICHY Aqualia Thermal Serum*

I adore this serum, its effects are remarkable [especially given the relatively minimal price tag]; it's the next best thing to actually injecting moisture into your skin [or at the very least adhering to that 8 glasses of water a day rule], but with immediate effect. Ideal for combatting and preventing dehydration as well as soothing dry or sore skin, the formula is also hypoallergenic and paraben-free. It's especially perfect for sensitive and combination skins that crave hydration but don't react well to heavier creams and oils. I would happily wear it on a daily basis but unfortunately it leaves a bright and shiny sheen across the skin, with a slight tackiness that renders it far from ideal as a makeup base. Undeterred, I've established it as my go-to on a no-makeup/stay at home day. Slather it on thick and fast.

ANTIPODES Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum*

Oils are typically reserved for evening use due to their tendency to leaving skin embalmed in a thick and greasy sheen, which would never fare well beneath makeup. However I'm also fond of slathering one over my SPF when I go for a run, especially during the winter months when frequent exposure to a harsh Northern wind can leave skin feeling a little raw. When it comes to facial oils, Antipodes are my go-to brand, every product performs with prowess and the formulations point to a modern creativity that looks outside the box established by traditional oil blends. A recent release, the Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum contains blackcurrant, kiwi fruit, boysenberry, grapeseed, and açaí. Fatty acids and antioxidants give skin the nourishment and protection required to fortify skin cells against free radical damage and prevent the early signs of ageing.


CLARINS Beauty Flash Balm*

Okay, hero product alert. This recent addition to my stash is fast living up to not only its cult and revered reputation but also its claims to being a multi-purpose product. Admittedly, I am rarely enamoured of a multi-purpose balm; in my experience there are very few which can truly adhere to more than three of their [often lofty] claims, but in all honesty I can even imagine that applying this stuff to my hair would have miraculous effects. Unlike a conventional balm, it has a lighter, creamier, and decidedly non-greasy texture, which absorbs to a smooth and silky dry surface. As you might have guessed, 'makeup primer' is just one of this product's many established claims, but on no-makeup days I like to layer it on thick for the ultimate perfecting complexion boost. Ideal for following up an early AM masking session, it brightens, tightens, and moisturises. Enveloping skin in a light and comforting blend of olive, witch hazel, and bisabolol, this stuff is good skin in a tube; if your complexion is relatively clear you could easily forgo makeup and wear this instead for a wholly natural fresh-faced radiant glow.

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EVE LOM Moisture Mask*

When intensive hydration is upon the agenda, this is the product I can rely upon to banish both dry and dehydrated skin in an instant. Almost like a souped up supercharged version of the Vichy serum above, it has a deliciously thick and gloopy texture that instantly soothes, cools, and refreshes skin. Packed with hydrating ingredients, including two patented moisture complexes, this quenches skin's first and rejuvenates a lacklustre complexion in one use; I treat it like an intensive day cream and leave it on until my evening cleanse. It absorbs slowly, leaving skin both gleaming and a little sticky so would by no means perform under makeup; however, I especially love to use it if I'm having a makeup-free day but intend to go out in the evening. Once removed it leaves skin so amazingly smooth and soft that foundation applies and sits like a dream.

SUQQU Musculate Mask & Massage Cream*

I'll hands up confess to being one of those phase-driven people who swings in and out of fads with effortless ease. I can go for weeks on end with committed daily schedules, dietary restrictions, workout plans, and beauty rituals [weekly coconut oil hair masks/flossing/hand cream application] before flaking out once routine turns to boredom. One habit I've yet to be disenchanted by however is daily facial massage. On no-makeup days [and occasionally on makeup days, time permittingSUQQU's Gankin massage is the first thing I do once I've washed my face, drunk my green tea, and...checked social media [and there was you thinking my morning routine too virtuous to be true]. The massage takes a matter of minutes, and is designed to improve circulation and lymph drainage, reduce puffiness, ease tension, and sculpt muscle definition [it ticks all the boxes, I wrote about it here]. The cream itself is designed to provide the perfect consistency for the massage [thick, soft, and rich] and is also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to soothe, boost, and hydrate skin. What's more, post-massage the cream can be left on to serve as an intensive moisture mask. I often leave it on all morning before removing with a toner soaked cotton pad to find skin super smooth and soft.

AĒSOP Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum*

A gel alternative to cream and oil based hydration is always a welcome offering, especially during the warmer months, and for those with oily and sensitive complexions. Hydrating enough to surpass its 'serum' nametag and act as moisturiser as well, this thick, cooling gel is packed with some of nature's more powerful hydrators and antioxidants [inc. aloe vera, lavender, grapeseed, and parsley seed]. It absorbs quickly but leaves a slightly sticky reside and notable sheen which render it unsuitable for use beneath makeup. This serum performs best with time on it side - the formula is excellent in providing lasting hydration and protection on makeup-free days, and I favour it above alternatives as its effects are both noticeable and lasting.


What skincare do you reach for on no-makeup days?