Skincare Diaries XV
I have my current routine down to a science - every one of these products performs exactly as I want it to, working perfectly in conjunction with everything else (and that's a balance that's hard to find). Where I used to switch up my cleansers by day and introduce new products into my routine as often as I was sent them (meaning my skin was in constant freak-out mode and I never really saw the longterm benefits of anything I was using), I now keep each product in rotation until it's empty. Okay, granted, I do have a few options for certain products (blame it on the day job), but the majority of my routine is here to stay.
My day (and in this case, my week), doesn't start until I've washed my face. I've been using Glossier's cleanser as my morning face wash for a few years now, I must be on my third or fourth bottle. It's great for getting rid of the greasy layer of product from the night before. I'm lucky that my skin never really feels dry post-cleanse, but I'm paranoid about dehydration and since the new year I've been religious about using face mist before I moisturise. This time of year is the worst for my skin, but by keeping it hydrated I've managed to keep at bay the wan, grey appearance it usually has by the end of winter, and I've noticed such an improvement in the texture of my skin (which itself has knock-on benefits to foundation application).
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Oskia CityLife Cleansing Concentrate, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution Saturday Skin Daily Dew, NIOD Re:Pigment, YSL Eye Perfecting Fluid, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Cream, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
I wrote about this new NIOD serum in a recent monthly roundup post - it's a true lifesaver and as soon as I began applying it (back in January) I noticed a huge difference. It's touted as a hyperpigmentation serum, and while it does just that (much better than similar treatments I've used before - my acne scars are disappearing before my eyes) it's also prevented me from getting any breakouts since I started using it. I'm obsessed with this Peter Thomas Roth moisturiser at the moment too (for more reasons than that I love the name). Oil-based moisturisers don't always sit well with my skin so I've been sticking to water-based ones for the past year or so and this is the best I've used so far. It's a dense gel that somehow melts onto the skin (similarly to the way that balms become oils) and makes it look bright and feel soft come morning.
I wrote about this La Roche-Posay serum recently as well - it's affordable, 6823981 more effective than any hydrating serum I've ever used before, and I fully intend to stockpile the stuff because LRP have a bit of a rep for discontinuing their hero products (RIP Physiological Cleansing Gel!). What I really love about it is that it absorbs super fast, which is great when I'm rushing to get ready in the morning and don't have tonnes of time to wait for each layer of product to sink in. The eye cream I'm currently using is a rather unassuming Pritt Stick-like thing from Embryolisse - it's a weightless gel that magically feels ice cold on application (even when it's just been sat on a shelf) - exactly what puffy morning eyes need.
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser, Exuviance Detox Mud Treatment, Saturday Skin Daily Dew, NIOD Re:Pigment, YSL Eye Perfecting Fluid, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Cream, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
Although I've been trying to keep my routine consistent, I do like to mix up my cleansers from time to time. This Tata Harper one is clay-based and slightly abrasive, so it's great for when I want my skin to feel super clean, but don't have the time to go all out and do loads of masks. With a little time to kill this evening however I did undertake a bit of midweek masking... This Exuviance one arrived in my mailbox today and I couldn't wait until the weekend to try it. It's exactly what I want from a face mask - a dense black layer of charcoal that makes your pores feel like they've been emptied by suction force.
As you can see, my levels of obsession for Embryolisse's cult moisturiser have reached new heights. After going through countless tubes of the stuff (and converting my boyfriend who uses it far more liberally than I appreciate), I invested in this giant pump bottle. Granted, it's not photogenic (or travel-friendly), but it makes me feel much less guilty about using a heft dose every morning. I don't think this face cream can be beaten, it's the only one that keeps my skin supple and hydrated but also acts like a primer and helps my makeup to apply flawlessly.
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Oskia CityLife Cleansing Concentrate, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, Saturday Skin Daily Dew, NIOD Re:Pigment, YSL Eye Perfecting Fluid, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Cream, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
I've always found that balms and oils take my makeup off most effectively, but the new generation of gel cleansers are just as good - and won't leave any greasy residue on your skin. This Oskia one is really effective at shifting makeup, and I love that it's targeted at city dwellers' skin. I'm super conscious of how badly pollution is effecting me! Depending on how my skin is feeling I'll use a chemical exfoliant after my evening cleanse as I did tonight. I used to use them more often, but since having fewer breakouts I treat it as a preventive measure and stick to 2-3 times a week so as not to overdo it. YSL isn't a brand that's particularly renowned for its skincare, but I've been really impressed with this eye cream since opening it a few weeks ago. It's light and gel-like so it absorbs quickly and doesn't irritate or make my eyes go puffy as heavier creams do.
Along with misting my face twice a day, a new habit I've accrued is exfoliating my lips every morning. I don't get super chapped lips but since the weather got colder I've been waking up to slightly dry, flaky lips which was compromising my lipstick application... Exfoliation has really helped so I've kept up the habit. I've never really enjoyed using lip scrubs because they're so messy (this one is super chunky as well) but I do it in the shower so I can have a good scrub then rinse it all away easily.
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Oskia CityLife Cleansing Concentrate, Saturday Skin Daily Dew, NIOD Re:Pigment, YSL Eye Perfecting Fluid, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Cream, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
I've also added a couple of new steps to my evening routine in the form of these lash and brow grown serums from Talika. I was cynical about trying them because they immediately screamed 'gimmick' but I persevered (all in the name of investigative journalism!) and boy, am I glad I did. I'm totally into the Bambi lash look right now, and there's a point where you realise you need more than just good genes and expensive mascara. My lashes have never looked fuller, longer, or healthier, and the brow serum definitely works 64833 times faster than standard castor oil. I love the applicators on these products as well - there's a doe-foot sponge which I use to line my lashes/brows and then a mascara wand which I use to brush through and ensure that every hair is thoroughly coated.
Okay, you get the jist, my morning routine is pretty much nailed. Extra eye cream this morning so that no one in the office knows I stayed up two hours past my bedtime watching Sex and the City.
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Oskia CityLife Cleansing Concentrate, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, This Works Evening Detox Clay Mask, Sand & Sky Purifying Pink Clay Mask, Saturday Skin Daily Dew, Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil, YSL Eye Perfecting Fluid, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Bouncy Cream, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
I haven't masked as much this week as I'd have liked to - working until 7pm has its downfalls... I haven't painted my nails or cooked myself dinner in weeks, which are the number one signs that I'm stressed/busy. I always try to finish early on Fridays however and spent a little longer indulging in good skincare practice before I have my one lie-in of the week! Masking is as much a form of self-care for me as it is skincare. This Works is one of my favourite brands for masks right now (although their packaging design is terrible!), Nothing is as satisfying as a mask that applies completely opaquely - brushing this on makes you look like the Wicked Witch of the West, in the best way possible. Plus, it smell wonderful, and the slightly grainy texture gently exfoliates as you remove.
I rarely have lazy weekends anymore which means my weekday skincare routine carries on into the weekend. If I do have time to spare on a Saturday morning, replace the above with every mask I own.
Technically this took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, but for structure's sake... As soon as I get in from a night out I remove my makeup. I usually use gainer's micellar water because it's cheap but good, but I was recently sent Embryolisse's version and I love it. It's just as efficient but has the added bonus of smelling like a French pharmacy. As always when I've had a late night/a few too many sambuca shots, I sleep with my favourite overnight mask and a layer of Estee Lauder's latest skincare innovation beneath it (the iconic Advanced Night Repair but in uber-intensive mask-oil form) - in order to wake up extra dewy and not looking as hungover as I feel.
AM: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, NIOD Flavanone Mud Mask, Saturday Skin Daily Dew, La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum, Embryolisse Eclat du Regard, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre.
Last night's preventative measures did their job, but to give my skin an extra boost I do a morning mask as I potter around doing my morning chores. I never quite trust my drunken makeup removal skills so some hardcore exfoliation and detoxification is in order as I change my bed linen and vacuum. After that it's on with the usual before another day of extra-curricular work.
PM: Embryolisse Micellar Lotion, Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser, Exuviance Detox Mud Treatment, Starskin 7-Second Overnight Mask, Talika Lipocils Expert Eyelash Serum, Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Growth Gel, Eve Lom Kiss Mix.
I never let a Sunday night go by without masking, so a second whirl with the Exuviance one is in order - I like it every bit as much as I did the first time. The Starksin mask wipes are a total splurge but I adore them and I always see glowing results after I've used them - basically every Sunday night because what better way to start the week than with radiant skin! They're also an absolute godsend if I'm in a rush to get to bed or I'm not feeling well because they're essentially an entire skincare routine in one go and you can do it whilst lying in bed - they're soaked in a rich serum of slow-release ingredients, and they're textured so they gently exfoliate and massage skin as you use them.