Skincare (I’m obsessed)
This isn’t really one product in particular – it’s really just an overall obsession with all things skincare. I used to brush off the idea of having a complex and fully-formed routine for my skin, preferring to stick with a couple of inexpensive items and focussing on the makeup instead. However, over the past few months I’ve realised that makeup really needs the best canvas possible – so it’s important to treat your skin carefully and take the time to find what works.
I’ve managed to clear my cystic acne almost completely – partially through hormonal treatment for PCOS, but mostly with a topical routine (and drinking loads of water!). I still get the odd few spots, but now I know how to deal with them without making anything worse – currently, my primary concern is all the hyperpigmentation and scarring left behind from years of blemishes (if you have any tips, please drop them my way!).
Below are a handful of my current fave skincare steps for both day and night time:
- The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (I wrote about this in my recent Empties post – it’s brilliant stuff for the price)
- Simple’s Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser (not heavy-duty enough for those with drier complexions, but I find it light and non-congestive).
- Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel by 111SKIN (gorgeous stuff – I got this in a Glossybox, but the full size is £110 so it’s safe to say I won’t be repurchasing…).
- Benzoyl Peroxide gel from Acnecide – be careful with this stuff, as it’s very potent. I smear a thin layer on any troubled patches to get rid of spots.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another – you might find this out the tough way, so make sure to patch test anything you want to incorporate into your routine, especially if you have sensitive skin.
NYX Matte Blotting Paper
As someone who can get inordinately oily throughout the day, makeup checkups and maintenance are essential. I only recently decided to try blotting papers, as they always struck me as old-fashioned and a bit gross. However, I found that just applying powder to an oily face doesn’t do much except create a weird paste-like effect on the face.
These sheets from NYX are a great place to start, as they only cost £5.50 for a pack of 50. Blotting takes a little getting used to – you may scare yourself with the amount of oil coming off your face (I know I did), but it’s a really revolutionary thing for us greasy folks. After blotting, the powder will go on more easily, or may not be required at all. It’s a fantastic step to take so that everyone else can’t see their reflection in your nose.
Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush
Following on from blotting, I bought this brush a few weeks ago to apply my pressed powder. Previously, I would use a flat sponge, but that tended to soak up oil from my face (I also made the rookie mistake of keeping the sponge in my powder compact, resulting in hardened and unusable powder).
I find the quality of the brushes from Ecotools to be excellent for the price (my second favourite drugstore brand after Real Techniques). The brush head itself is a domed kabuki shape that could be used for blush or bronzer as well as standard powder – it’s lovely and soft on the cheeks. What I really love about it, however, is that it bloody RETRACTS! No more worrying about your brush getting all skanky in your bag, or depositing powder all over everything (although the lid isn’t the most secure). It looks pretty fancy too, with the chic grey packaging and perfectly compact size. I definitely recommend getting this, or something similar, to keep on you in case of beauty emergencies.
Again, not one thing in particular. With the horrible/lovely (depending on how you cope) summer heat here in the UK, I’ve leaned more towards a lighter base, and creamy products for the eyes and cheeks. They’re just so easy to bung on for a subtle or more buildable customised look. Here’s my top three:
- Secret Flush from UBeauty – another Glossybox pick, this cream stick blusher has a shimmery mid-tone pink colour, erring on the warmer side. I find that it adds a healthy and natural glow to the cheeks (and/or lips), like you’ve been in the sun a little bit. It also smells sweet and delicious.
- Radiant Touch Highlighter from Kiko Milano – I stole this off my sister (!!!), but I’m sure she won’t notice. I really love the sleek packaging of this one, and it is sooo blendable – perfect for the bridge of the nose and top of the lip, both under and above foundation. The finish is more powdery so it won’t look too oily or sticky on the face.
- Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Colour in Amethyst – kinda seems like I get all my makeup from subscription boxes, doesn’t it? A Birchbox gem (although I’d love to purchase some full-sized ones), this stunning and creamy eyeshadow stick is perfect for scribbling on and giving a quick blend with the fingers or a brush – et voila, instant smoky eye. I particularly love this taupe-purple shade, as it strays from the often-boring warm-toned looks I favour but isn’t too out-there.
Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Sequin
I posted a Colourpop haul not too long ago, after panic-ordering a load of stuff – free international shipping is a dangerous, dangerous thing. Out of all the (totally brilliant) goodies I picked up, this has been my most-used – a gorgeous, coppery metallic eyeshadow in the cream-to-powder Super Shock formula.
It’s such an incredibly beautiful shade, packed with pigment and metallic shimmer – I stick a dense eye brush into the pan, swirl it a fair bit, and then just go to town blending it onto the lid. The shadow diffuses out at the edges rather than remaining solidly opaque all over the lid. While you could go in with a transition shade, a darker crease or inner-corner highlighter, this shadow is honestly perfect by itself and so wearable with all different kinds of look. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these – and they’re only $5.00 each.
It was so hard to come up with favourites this month!!! I just love everything, yaknow, and all the stuff I loved last month, I’m still using (I guess I just stick to what works for me). I’ve bought a few new things this month, so next month’s favourites could be quite exciting…*cough* Champagne Pop *cough*