January Favourites

I have been enjoying lots of products in January, some new and some old favourites. I decided it was time to simplify my skincare routine as I realised that the complex one I had described in my October post was far too rich for my skin and was causing blocked pores. During the January sales I finally cracked and purchased a Clarisonic Mia which has done wonders for my pores and skin texture. Makeup is now going on very smoothly and allowing me to wear much less foundation.

Here are my favourite products for January:

january_favourites

Shiseido eyelash curler

I am lucky to have reasonably good eyelashes that don’t need too much mascara to look long but they aren’t particularly curly so I decided to take the plunge and buy this eyelash curler from Shiseido. I don’t really have much to compare it to but it does a good job of curling my lashes and is easy to use. I have used it most days this month with one coat of waterproof mascara to give me a look that opens up my eyes and makes me look more awake. This will definitely continue to be a regular part of my make up routine from now on. One thing I particularly like about these curlers is that you get a spare rubber cushion with them and you can also buy replacements.

Garnier moisture match revitalising hydrating gel

I didn’t actually discover this until the end of the month but I had been looking for a moisturising gel for a while and was very pleased to discover this inexpensive version from Garnier. It has a light scent and a lovely cooling feeling that is not sticky and provides a lovely base for makeup. It is the perfect light moisturiser for my oily skin if I am wearing foundation. Works particularly well under BB creams.

La Roche-Posay physiological cleansing gel

This cleansing gel has become my favourite cleanser. The light scent is gorgeous and the texture is soothing and refreshing. One pump removes all of my makeup with ease and it is particularly lovely used with a washcloth or my clarisonic.

Ecotools powder brush

I wasn’t impressed with this when I first got it as it didn’t seem very full. Originally I used it for bronzer but now it has been used and washed a few times it has become more fluffy and soft and makes a fantastic powder brush. It seems to be a good trade off between my full brushes that are lovely to use but apply a bit too much powder and my duo fibre brushes which don’t apply quite enough.

Bobbi Brown blush in Peony

I’ve had this for a while but have really come to love it lately. It looks scarily bright in the pan but gives a beautiful, healthy pink glow that really seems to suit my pale skin in the cold weather. I’m very impressed with the staying powder of these blushes, they stay all day.

MAC eyeshadows in Blanc Type & Patina

I thought I was done buying MAC eyeshadows as I have a full 15 pan pro palette but I wanted a 2 pan for travel. These two colours were a bit of an impulse buy but that have turned out to be my perfect every day colours that I have worn almost every day since buying them. Blanc type is a matte pale beige that evens out my skin and patina is a beautiful, slightly pearlescent taupe-brown that is the perfect colour to give my eyes some definition.

Clarins ever matte foundation

I got this with my Boots advantage points because I love the True Radiance foundation but it doesn’t have great staying power for work. By midday it looks too shiny so I have decided to save it for going out instead. I was worried the Ever Matte would be too matte and flat but it isn’t at all. It gives a lovely, medium coverage and 103 Ivory is the perfect colour for me.

Rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner in taupe

During the day I find dark eyeliners on my waterline are a bit too much but sometimes I still want something, especially if my eyes are looking red and tired. This is perfect, it darkens my eyes a little and disguises any redness but still looks subtle enough for the daytime.

My Favourite Brushes: Foundation

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Most of the time, I apply my foundation with a brush. In my quest for flawless skin I have accumulated quite a few foundation brushes, from the traditional flat kind to the huge Ecotools brush (technically a bronzer brush). The brush I use tends to depend on the texture of the foundation that I’m applying. For a thin, watery consistency I love a smaller buffing brush but for a thick BB cream I like a large brush that can spread it quickly and blend it well. I don’t use a traditional flat brush much any more as I find fuller brushes work much better for my skin. These are my favourites.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

This was the first domed brush I ever tried for applying foundation and is still my favourite. The Expert Face Brush from the same range is similar and also nice but I like this one better as it is just a bit softer. I wish this brush could be bought outside a set as when I eventually wear it out I am going to want another one. The bristles are just the perfect amount of soft and dense and they never fail to apply my foundation perfectly and blend it so well. Another plus is that it washes like a dream and dries incredibly quickly. I’m yet to find another brush that is as such a good all rounder as this one. I have been using it for a long time now and it has been washed many times but still looks like new.

Ecotools Bronzer Brush

This is really a bronzer brush but I bought it as it looked similar to a Tarte brush that you can’t get very easily in the UK. I find this brush amazing for applying thick BB creams, spreading quickly and blending them effortlessly. The only downside is that it uses a little more product than smaller brushes but this is something I can put up with when I’m in a rush and need to apply my make up quickly. The brush is also inexpensive and I would definitely replace it if it wore out.

Sigma F86 Tapered Kabuki

I bought this one on a whim and I’m very glad that I did. This is a firm, densely packed candle shaped brush that is just perfect for applying all textures of foundation. I find this one gives a particularly beautiful finish with fairly thick, creamy foundations such as my Laura Mercier Silk Creme. My only complaint is that it is a bit difficult to clean and takes a long time to dry. I also find that due to the dense nature of the bristles, I feels dirty quicker that my other brushes and clings on to a lot of product. I use this one when I want a perfect finish but not for every day. I love the Sigma Flat Top Kabuki brush for similar reasons bit I get a marginally better finish with this one.

I would love to hear some recommendations for other foundation brushes.

My Favourite Autumn & Winter Perfume

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I love this time of year, the turning of the leaves, the crisp breezes and the beautiful autumn light. Whilst in summer I have enjoyed coconut and fruity scents, now the season is changing I find myself wanting something warmer and more complex. I love the smell of roses, in my opinion the most beautiful flower of all. The beautiful Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone is a rich, woody rose that reminds of me of a bunch of red flowers by a wood burning stove. It is actually a fairly simple composition, containing only rose, oud wood, praline and clove however it does not seem simple when worn. I find two spritzes of this beautiful perfume last all day and I can’t see me getting through the bottle for years.

What is your favourite perfume for this time of year?

Evening Skincare Routine Trial: October

evening_skincare

This is the evening routine to go with my morning routine.

I like to use different types of products in the evening as I have usually been wearing a full face of make up during the day and I like my skin to feel thoroughly cleansed afterwards. There are also some products in my evening routine that I don’t use every day but are extra treatments used a couple of times a week. This is what I have been using this month.

Cleanser

I start off with a micellar water to take off my eye make up and a good amount of the rest of my make up. To do this I soak a couple of cotton wool pads and sweep them over my eyes and face. I find my cleanser does a more thorough job if I do this first. My current favourite is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water which does the job very well. To be honest, I haven’t seen much difference between micellar waters that I have used so I will probably stick to this one as it is inexpensive and does the job.

Once I have done this I use an oil or creamy cleanser, currently the Nuxe Melting Cleansing Gel with Rose Petals. This smells absolutely beautiful and feels lovely and creamy on the skin. I bought it as an alternative to the Clarins Melting Cleansing Gel which I had a sample of and loved. I don’t actually find the texture to be very similar to the Clarins but I like it anyway. To thoroughly remove all traces of my make up I massage in a generous blob and then wipe it away with a soaked, hot flannel. I might run out of this soon, if so I will switch to the Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil.

Toner

I don’t use a toner every evening but a couple of times a week I use the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. This contains glycolic acid amongst other things and does an excellent job of brighting my face, leaving it glowing the next day. It has quite a strong smell like most Clarins products but I love it.

Eye cream

The moisturiser I have chosen irritates my eyes if I get it too close to them so I am using Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvinating Eye Cream at the moment. This is nice and rich yet still absorbs well. I am concerned that this is a little too rich more me but I will stick with it for the month and see how my skin is at the end of it.

Serum

I like serums that don’t leave my skin feeling like it have a layer of silicone on it and the Vichy Aqualia serum does this perfectly. This gorgeous smelling light serum absorbs quickly and leaves my skin looking radiant and healthy. I will also mention the Vitamin C capsules by The Body Shop. I plan to alternate these with the Vichy serum as I want to test out their brightening effect and to compliment my morning serum (Superfacialist Vitamin C). I must admit one of the reason I want to use them is that I like the little capsules that they come in.

Moisturiser

Oh how I love the smell and texture of Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins. To me it smells of chocolate orange and is a lovely, rich luxurious cream that is a pleasure to apply at night. Even though this seems as if it would be too rich for my oily skin I have not had any problems with it and my skin seems to like it too. My only complaint is that it stings my eyes if it gets too close so I need to be careful when I apply it.

 

Morning Skincare Routine Trial: October

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I love trying out new skincare products but I’m not so sure my skin loves it. Although I don’t have sensitive, irritated skin it has a tendency to get very congested if I use too many rich products, especially as I wear full make up most days. I have decided to trial a skincare routine for a month, sticking to the same products every day to see how my skin reacts. I am hoping that consistency will be the key to keeping my skin clear and blemish free. I have always had oily skin which I hoped would calm down now I am in my early 30s but unfortunately it is still as oily as it has ever been. I get fewer blemishes now but they seem to scar more than they used to. My aim is to find a skincare routine that keeps my pores clear and helps existing marks to fade. To do this I am going to include chemical exfoliants alongside my cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser.

This is what I have chosen and been using so far in October.

Cleanser

After many years of trying many different cleansers I have settled on using a foaming wash in the shower in the morning as I find it makes my skin feel fresh and clean and keeps my pores clear. I have tried using cream cleansers in the morning but I seem to have more congested skin if I do, even though this isn’t the case in the evening. My morning cleanse is done in the shower and my current favourite product is the Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash from The Body Shop. I love the fresh smell and the fairly gentle foam which gives my face a thorough clean but without making it feel dry. My pores always seem to be well cleaned after using this but I like to follow with a gentle exfoliating toner.

Toner

I don’t always use a toner in the morning but when I do it is currently Eucerin DermoPurifyer. Most days I don’t need it but if my pores need a little extra cleansing or my skin is looking dull then this toner works well. It contains lactic acid which I find is quite gentle on my skin. I have to be careful not to use too much of this and to wipe it off well as it can leave a bit of a residue.

Eye cream

Eye cream is not something I bother to use all that much but as the weather is getting worse and the days are colder I like a bit of extra moisturiser around my eyes. Some moisturisers seem to make my eyes sting so I have been using Eucerin Aquaporin as it is light, gentle and fragrance free.

Serum

I have to be careful with serum and moisturiser as if I use too rich a cream along with serum my skin suffers. The serum I am using at the moment is the Superfacialist Vitamin C Brightening Serum which is very light, absorbs very quickly and smells beautiful (oranges). I don’t know yet if it does brighten my skin as it claims but it certainly feels nice on my skin and gives some extra hydration.

Moisturiser

As I am using a serum at the moment I am sticking to La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide moisturiser as it is very, very light and non-greasy. There is no scent and it is designed to suit the most sensitive skin. I don’t find this enough on its own but over serum it is perfect and doesn’t prevent my make up from staying in place by being too greasy an heavy.

If my skin is hit by blemishes I will also use Dr Spot by Soap & Glory. I bought this as a cheaper alternative to the Clinique Clinical Clearing Gel and so far it seems to be working quite well.

So this is everything. I will post my thoughts on this combination of products at the end of the month.